Did Scott Wilson just admit the sale of JEA is a done deal? (draft)

You might be asking, hey Chris what does this have to do with education. Well the sale of JEA is just more evidence that those leading us don’t care about what we think and want.

The sale of JEA is about as unpopular as the referendum is popular. The people of Jacksonville want the referendum and they want to keep the JEA too but that hasn’t stopped the City Council and City Hall from ignoring them. You see we don’t have a city government that works for us, they work for their donors and Scott Wilson seemed to indicate the sale of JEA, after ironing out just a few details, was little more than a done deal.

From the Jax Daily Record,

Wilson said the decision to privatize JEA is making its way to Council faster than he anticipated.

 “I just think the Council as a whole needs more time. This is one of the biggest transactions we’ve ever undertaken, even though this (JEA employee pensions) is just a small part of it,” Wilson said.

The bill states that active JEA employees on the date of a “recapitalization event” will be considered vested in the pension program regardless of their years of credited service.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/pension-bill-linked-to-jea-sale-could-be-deferred

Wha, faster than anticipated? Why are we in a hurry? What’s the rush? This is kind of a big deal right, shouldn’t this be a slow and deliberate process?

And um, one of the biggest transactions, we’ve under taken?

I thought the council was just checking things out. You know feeling its way around to see if the sale of JEA is a good idea or not.

I mean as far as I have heard and I try and keep in the know, there has been no JEA transaction yet.

I think we are fooling ourselves if we don’t think the sale of JEA is full speed ahead, despite the city’s reservations.

There was another interesting part of the article as well.

A memorandum from the Office of General Counsel distributed Tuesday to Council officials states any possible decision-maker in a JEA sale is prohibited from speaking about the terms of JEA’s ITN with constituents, members of the media, on social media or with possible respondents to JEA’s solicitation.


The cone also means Council members cannot file legislation or hold noticed public meetings regarding the solicitation terms.


The guidance does allow city and JEA leaders to speak about JEA’s future “in general.” 


After reading the memo, Council members Randy DeFoor and Garrett Dennis said the fine line between specific and general comments could provide a need for the  Council to have outside legal advice. They also requested city General Counsel Jason Gabriel provide a binding legal opinion on the cone restrictions.


“We have not talked about this at all as a Council,” DeFoor said. “This is a complicated area that we need our own expert counsel on to hold our hand through the process. The general counsel wears a lot of hats. They represent a lot of different people, and we’re going to need our own, in my opinion, counsel.”


Randy Defoor thinks people need their own lawyers, hmm is there anybody else that could use their own lawyers, hmm is there anybody or maybe a board that I can think of

Friends, whether it is the Landing, Lot J, JEA or the referendum, we are not being led in Jacksonville, we are being ruled and those ruling us do not have our best interests at heart.

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Just who does Lenny Curry and City Hall think they are fooling?

After the school board so no thank you to be extorted out of hundreds of millions of dollars by the city council. Lenny Curry released a statement.


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Um what? Collaborating? The right program? Oh yeah by those things he means do whatever he says and give him whatever he wants. I have to be honest I don’t even think that would work because he wants our schools to fail.


Anyhoo, I rewrote Curry’s press release to make it accurate. 


An honest statement would have said, instead of taking care of children, fixing schools, revitalizing neighborhoods, creating jobs, attracting businesses, and stopping flight to the suburbs the mayor

has decided to fight against those things so his donors can get paid.
The Landing, Lot J, the JEA, the referendum, him ignoring the needs and will of the people is not a one off. He doesn’t care about us or what’s best for us. This is dreadful living under his thumb, I can only take solace in that more and more people are waking up and they don’t like it either.

Aaron Bowman has a week long temper tantrum (draft)

Somewhere between praising the Civic Council and denigrating the school board Tuesday night, Bowman said that he would be the tax referendum’s worse nightmare if the school board didn’t give him what he wanted, hundreds of millions for his donors charter schools. Now that last part isn’t verbatim but the nightmare part is.


Um is that something somebody who is having an earnest debate with somebody else says? Does that sound like Bowman is willing to compromise? The truth is Bowman couldn’t give a $#% about what the city’s children and his nightmare comment is just further proof of that.


Next because you know there is nothing else going on in the city, not like there is a hurricane in the vicinity and the super doesn’t have to get the hurricane shelters ready, something nobody who works for a charter school has to do, Bowman “demanded” everything the district has on the timeline and it better be in by Tuesday too.


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Um, he must think he is pretty special to put a date on his request. I made a request of City Hall at the beginning of the summer and they told me they would have it ready by December.


 https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/08/estimated-completion-date-of-city.html

Oh and I do records requests fairly regularly, but I don’t go straight to the super. I go to the records request department. How arrogant Bowman must be to think the super is at his beck and call.


This led to exchange between Bowman and Carlucci where Bowman called Carlucci, probably one of the most genuinely nicest men ever, a has been.  


From Florida Politics, 


Bowman wanted Greene to reach out no later than Tuesday morning about the documents that led to the district’s proposed Master Facilities Plan.
Bowman’s colleague Matt Carlucci (an at-large Councilman who notes he was the leading recipient of votes in the March elections) took issue with the “demanding” tone of the request.
This was an extension of his irritation that the School Board has not been heard by Bowman’s committee.
“Aaron, You are a councilman. Please do us and your constituents a favor and Brush up on your humility. Dr. Greene is the Superintendent of al DCPS. Your Attitude only builds walls. Think hard about this, Matt. Ps: you did not behave like this when you came to me asking for support,” Carlucci wrote.
Bowman fired back nine minutes later: “When you come to terms that you are a ‘has been’ , I suspect things will get better for you.”
A has been? Um they both have the same exact role on the city council right now though I guess since Carlucci cares about people he is in the minority.
There is absolutely nothing redeeming about Bowman, he represents all that is wrong in the city.
He doesn’t care about the city, his colleagues or the city’s children, he only cares about his donors and I bet the only reason he does that is because he thinks they will help advance whatever squirly, myopic, agenda he has. He’s gotten through life being a bully and now that the school board has stood up to him, he is imploding. 
The city deserves better.

Is Charlotte Joyce trying to sabotage the sales tax referendum? (draft)

Only one school board member has consistently voted against the sales tax referendum and that is Charlotte Joyce, continuously deferring to the city council, I am now wondering if she might be attempting to sabotage it as well.


At the city council debacle, err meeting Tuesday, Randy White, I am pretty sure not the all pro Dallas cowboys defensive lineman, but a random white guy city councilman from the west side, said he was proud of his board representative (Joyce) for voting against the referendum, and thought after a 4-3 school board vote the day before, a vote the council tried several times to weaponize, more board members had come around to her way of thinking.


I wonder if he feels the same way after the 6-1 vote to sue the city council?


Anyhoo, that’s one thing, this excerpt from a letter the parents at Fishweir Elementary are sending the Times Union, a great idea that I hope more schools do, is another.


We are parents of students who attend Fishweir Elementary School in District 14. Several of us attended last night’s city council meeting, in which the council voted to withdraw the school board’s half cent sales tax ballot referendum. Council member LeAnna Cumber kicked off discussion by voicing her support for withdrawal. She argued that the school board has not been straightforward and noted specifically that “Fishweir Elementary” which “we’ve been told” was the rallying cry for the campaign was not slated for updates until eleven years on in the actual plan. Our own school board member, Charlotte Joyce, has likewise warned us that Fishweir will not be updated for a decade or more, as though this should diminish our support for the school board’s plan.


Um, was Joyce trying to dissuade the parents from supporting the referendum?


Did she say to them, don’t bother supporting it because help for your school is way down the list, I mean except for the five dollar per square foot expenditure for safety and the maintenance backlog, things I bet she didn’t mention.


We know her and White are simpatico about not supporting the referendum but I wonder what has she said to other council members and parents too?

Mrs. Joyce has been a tremendous disappointment thus far, she has a chance to be part of something special but instead she obstructs at every turn.


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It’s been a couple days, so let me explain why proportional spending is a bad idea. (draft)

Several members of the city council want, no, are demanding that the school board split any tax referendum money with charter schools proportionally, that is based on a per pupil allotment. Now some people might think that is fair but it isn’t and let me explain why.

First, all school do get a per pupil share of operational funds, money that is used to run the day to day operations at the schools, and the money is pretty universal, unless you are at the KIPP school then it’s off the charts but I digress. Charter and public schools alike get a similar amount per student.

Then there is capital funds. That money is put into a big pot and then given out based on needs. Duval has some of the oldest schools in Florida and because of cuts from Tallahassee there are a lot of needs, more so than the typical charter school which for the most part are just a few years old. 

It’s a little more complicated too because most charters are for profits and more money does not necessarily mean more money for the school, but probably means more  money for their owners.

Let me explain it another way. Say I run a non profit that trains and gives dogs to veterans suffering PTSD, people that really needed them, that would be good. If the legislature came along and said I had to give them to just anyone whether they needed them or not, well that would be bad. Say I had forty dogs, and 80 people wanted one, but only forty people needed, should I split the dogs between those that want them and need them, or just give them to those people that needed them? 

I imagine we all agree the dogs, a precious resource, should go to those people that needed them, rather than those people that might just want them. Well sadly everyone but the City Council that is. That’s the difference between proportional sharing and equitable sharing.

The district has come up with a fair plan based on need, that includes charters, the city council and their donors sadly, don’t want a plan based on fairness, and they are willing to drag the entire city down for a chance they will get paid, and that’s shameful.

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Tommy Hazouri, says 211 million is nothing, sets price for extortion (draft)

Last night’s city council meeting where not unexpected was still disappointing.

From Scott Wilson clearing the gallery to various members swearing fealty to the civic council, people had a lot to choose from on the disappointment menu.

Perhaps most disappointing however was Tommy Hazouri. Him knowing more than most about our schools needs and that the school board does not work for city council did not stop him from saying some outrageous things.

Hazouri said since 11 percent of Duval kids were in charter schools they should get 11 percent of the referendum and that was only 211 million dollars, he said it like it was nothing. He said he was disappointed that the board didn’t feel the need to give charters that money and with contempt in his voice let them know.

Think about that, the former mayor first dismissed 211 million dollars like it was nothing, and then scolded the school board for not giving into the city council’s extortion. This is what politics has become. We are Transactionville and Hazouri has embraced it, except what he wants only benefits him.

Hazouri endorsed Lenny Curry and then betrayed the city’s schools and children and he was rewarded for it by becoming the vice president of the council and I am sure this time next year he expects to be president.

Here is the thing though, we have a mayor and a bunch of council members who have shown that they are willing to shirk their duties on behalf of  handful of donors and throw kids under the bus, does anyone think they are going to keep their backroom deal with Hazouri?

My bet is they won’t and Hazouri will have thrown away his reputation and legacy for nothing and that will actually be a good day because anyone willing to sell out children for personal gain deserves neither.

Tommy ya done messed up.
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Tommy it’s not how you start, its how you finished and you have finished poorly.

  

The school board has stopped being nice and started being real

So a brief summary

The city council voted to withdraw the referendum because reasons

The school board decided to hire lawyers, finally, because it was the right thing to  do

The OGC told them to cease and desist because of incompetency

And now the school board has said, not so fast you don’t tell us what to do.

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I think this is long overdue but at the same time greatly appreciated.


And I have to say I am loving this new woke Grymes as well.


From the Times Union,


“We’re in this position because we’ve been trying to do the right thing,” School Board member Cheryl Grymes said. “It’s time for us to put our big pants on.”


https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190828/duval-school-board-wont-take-no-on-sales-tax-hires-legal-team

The City Council had to know this day was coming. They have given the city a black eye I hope we don’t soon forget.

Councilman Rory Diamond continues to struggle with basic numbers..

and decency, he struggles with decency too but that’s another post.


I know what it is like to struggle with math. I based my college majors on which ones needed the least amount of math. When I was getting my degree I only had a one credit stat class to take, and I ended up having to take it twice. So Rory, I get it.


The thing is Rory is struggling with basic numbers.  


The other day the school board voted 4-3 to support the supers plan to share with charters, a vote the city council weaponized by the way, and Diamond said the council didn’t support the plan. As bad at math as I am, I know I would rather have 4 dollars than three.


This problem showed itself again last night.


From the Times Union,

Several council members put the blame on the School Board for their decision to withdraw the legislation, saying the board has not been flexible about resolving concerns raised by council members, including about sharing more of the sales tax money with charter schools.
Diamond argued the the best way forward would to withdraw the legislation and give the School Board time to come back with a fresh request that “a majority of Jacksonville can support.”

Um a recent poll said 56 percent of the city supported the referendum, another poll said 70 percent.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/303649-poll-shows-overwhelming-opposition-to-lenny-curry-priorities

Does Rory not understand that 56 or 70 percent of anything is a majority?

Or is he just being disingenuous, does we hope nobody notices he is trying to trick people? My bet is that is it.

Rory represents all that is wrong with the city, he is either incompetent or he thinks we are.

Come on Beaches, this was the best you could do?

  Image result for rory diamond

Charlotte Joyce continues to disappoint

At this point we have to start wondering why Joyce ran for the school board. Was it to put a line on a resume? Was it to make her family proud? Because it sure doesn’t seem to be to make a difference.
Joyce has been the one stick in the mud in the referendum process a role I expected Willie to have but even he has been fairly consistent with my support, which means they are both proving me wrong, with Joyce taking the role as shill for the business and reform community.
This is a once in a generation event that she has the opportunity to be part of. She is part of a board that can make a greater impact than probably every other board that came before and maybe every other board that will come afterwards, but instead of stepping up, she continuously drags her heals and finds excuses.  
If Joyce does not want to make an impact on children’s lives, then why is she there. That is a question we should all be asking ourselves.
To read more, click the link:
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Outside council is okay for the JEA but not okay for the School Board, of for %$#s sake

The JEA has made a request to hire outside council. You see the OGC is good at screwing over children and schools, and usurping the duly elected school board, but not so good at privatizing publicly owned utilities.

Friends there ridiculously bad behavior continues.
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So to sum up, the OGC ignored conflicts of interests, misrepresented themselves, changed the meaning of words and ignored statutes and recent court decisions, and despite all this they are ordering the school district not the hire outside council.

Hoo boy, my grandother would call that chutzpah. I wouldn’t be so polite.

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This is Jacksonville friends, where we aren’t being led, we are being ruled.

To read more, click the link,
https://floridapolitics.com/archives/304483-no-outside-counsel-for-duval-county-school-board-says-jacksonville-city-lawyer