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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City Council president Scott Wilson straight up lies to the public

During today’s finance committee debacle where the city council voted to withdraw the sales tax referendum, Scott Wilson, and other city council members criticized the school board for not reaching out to schedule another meeting until yesterday after last week’s joint meeting between the city council and the school board.
Why would they? If I was the board the only person, I would have reached out to is a lawyer. The thing is Scott Wilson lied, the board reached out the next day.
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Now you might be saying well maybe Wilson is just incompetent and like constituent emails he didn’t read it, but that would just make him incompetent which is just as bad.
I feel like we are stuck on a Mobius strip that will never end.

Scott Wilson for $#%s sake just wants more questions answered (draft)

Scott Wilson was on First Coast Connect today and I would encourage you to take a listen.

https://news.wjct.org/post/81519-city-council-president-scott-wilson-state-downtown-jacksonville-gaam

Here is a run down.

If only the school board and super would answer a few more questions.

Scott Wilson said that 2019 was not doable because people don’t like mail in ballots and it would cost to much. This despite the fact it would save five million dollars and the district would pay for it.

He also hasn’t said the board hasn’t had enough community meetings, 30 plus hasn’t been enough. He didn’t mention any community meetings, about Lot J, the Landing, the murder rate, etc. etc. etc.

Then he said he had faith in Jason Gabriel the city attorney who changed the meaning of the word shall.

He thinks everyone has agreed that the city council has the right to put it on the ballot. Um by every one he must mean the mayor and the civic council, the only people that matter.

He hasn’t had enough of his questions answered and before he can vote yes he needs to answer them again, and again and again.

If only the school board could give them every detail of the 1.2 billion dollar plan that spans 15 years, 150 plus schools, and 113 thousand students. Then some of his fellow council members might support it.

As for race being a factor, you know maybe, maybe not, it could just be a coincidence he is fighting against the referendum which would help our minority majority neighborhoods, but he just hasn’t had enough questions answered. 

The murder rate is something they need to address but he just doesn’t know what to do, but if the school board could answer some more questions that would be good.

He said he believes in ethical government, um what?!?  Then he better move.

They were handed the school board issue, it wasn’t something they asked for. Then he mentioned needing more questions answered.

More questions.

He just cares so much, he said he couldn’t allow the referendum to go on this year.

Some of his biggest whoppers were, he hasn’t dragged his feet. He hasn’t usurped the authority of the board, he isn’t ignoring the will of the people.

Wilson didn’t even commit to putting the referendum on the ballot in 2020 unless his questions are answered. Um if his questions haven’t been answered by now they never will be. At this point I am not sure if he understands how questions work.

This guy is president of the city council. The interview was embarrassing. 

Lenny Curry frees us of the notion that we live in a city that cares its citizens and the rule of law (draft)

I would like to thank Lenny Curry and the City Council. They have done the city a great service. They have freed us the citizens of the notion that they work for the people and care about the people of Jacksonville. They have let us know that it’s only their political donors that they care about.

Lenny Curry  and the City Council took a no-brainer, a tax referendum to help our schools and they turned it into a bare knuckle brawl on behalf of a handful of super donors.

When they say they are fighting to get charters more money, they aren’t. They are fighting for two charters the KIPP school and the Tiger Academy, charter schools with close ties to the civic council to get more money, despite the fact these two charters already get a lot more money than every other school in the city. 

The Tiger Academy got a million extra and the KIPP 2.6 million plus last year alone. This is above their per pupil allotment. This is extra tax payer money. Yet their owners still want more and maybe it is because the KIPP school owes two members on the Civic Council, Tom Baker, and Gary Chartrand over ten million dollars.

Not only are the mayor and city council fighting against the city’s children and schools, but they are also fighting against revitalizing neighborhoods, creating jobs, attracting businesses and slowing or reversing the flight to the suburbs, or you know things Mayors and City Councils usually want to do.

Not our mayor, not our city council anyways, no they are only interested in serving their donors, a handful of mostly white and mostly super rich men on the civic council. The group that really runs, sorry, rules our city.

So thank you Lenny Curry and Council President Wilson, thank you majority of the city council, you have let us know where we stand, and we will remember.

Councilman Randy DeFoor says the city council have been the grownups in the room. Um, lets take a look at the things they have said and done.

In the Times Union Randy DeFoor said the city council have been the grownups in the room in the ongoing dispute about the sales tax referendum. I think that’s laughable and after you read about the things the city council has said and done you definitely will too.

From the Times Union,

In past public meetings of the City Council, council members have leveled criticism at the School Board while passing up chances to ask questions directly to school leaders who watched tight-lipped in the audience.


https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190810/pivotal-meeting-ahead-for-school-board-and-city-council

This happened at multiple city council meetings where they don’t take public comments to the end. That doesn’t sound very adult does it, having lots of questions but when people are available not asking them.

Speaking of questions city council chair Scott Wilson published a Facebook screed where he complained about questions not being answered.

https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/08/scott-wilson-just-cannot-get-enough.html

This despite the fact mos t if not all of their questions have been answered over and over again.

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190731/school-board-answers-city-councils-laundry-list-of-referendum-questions

Rory Diamond called the school board chair a liar.

https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/08/rory-diamond-calls-school-board-chair.html

Brenda Priestly Jackson implied Jake Goldbold had age related dementia when he called out the city council for what they are doing.

https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/07/lenny-curry-retweets-brenda-priestly.html

Lenny Curry called several respected lawyers liberals, I guess that is a bad word in his circles and said the city attorney shouldn’t follow the law and not one city council person called them out.

https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/08/lenny-currys-lawless-city-hall.html

Two of Curry’s top lieutenants attempted to extort nearly a half million from the district and when called out, the council gave one of them Sam Mousa, a four year, no bod, no responsibility six figure contract.

https://testing.gfordistrict3.com/2019/08/did-city-hall-just-pay-off-sam-mousa.html

What part of this sounds adult to you?

They started this whole hubadoo based on a junior attorneys memorandum which ignored statutes and changed the meaning of the word shall.

This gave them enough of an opening to put a kibosh thus far on the referendum, and they used a lot of specious reasons, cost of and timing of the referendum among others as reasons to drag their feet.

This by the way is something current council members and former school board members Brenda Bully Jackson and Tommy Hazouri never would have put up with if it would have happened when they were on the school board.

They haven’t asked the city attorney to recuse themselves despite blaring conflicts of interests, owing his job the Curry  who desperately wants the referendum to fail.

Then none of them have recused themselves either despite taking money from the civic council which is pulling the strings behind this entire sordid affair.

Finally more than a few council members have said we know the schools have tremendous needs and the school board is in charge of the schools, but…

Does any of that sound like how adults act? Any of it.

The city council has given the city a black eye as they attempted to bully the school board while fighting against children getting what they both need and deserves on behalf of a handful of super donors, using specious reasons and a ridiculous memo that changed the meaning of the word they, to do so, you know because that’s how adults act.

Randy DeFoor is a joke, a bad joke, plain and simple.

Scott Wilson just cannot get enough questions answered. (draft)

This was something he posted on Facebook this morning.

I can’t understand why the Florida Times Union refuses to share both sides of this story. How can anyone ask the city council to place a plan on the ballot, require we vote yes and deny us the right to ask questions? In all my years in government I have never seen anything like this.
I attended their school board meeting on July 17th and we agreed on a plan. I also attended a follow meeting in case they had additional questions for me. The plan began with council members submitting their questions in writing, followed by school board written responses. Now we have a joint meeting scheduled for Wednesday August 14, 2019. At this joint meeting we will discuss in detail the responses which were bundled together and extremely complex. My questions relate to how the schools in my district will be changed and I don’t see those answers in the document returned to me.
I have always had a great working relationship with many of the school board members, but my patience is wearing thin. Every time I open the Florida Times Union I see quotes likes “they are moving the goal posts” or “we’ve answered questions and they ask more questions”. I ask what questions have been answered with no response; if the questions were answered they should be able to easily copy and paste. I have also seen statements such as “the questions are absurd or ridiculous”. They should be easy to answer then. While the Florida Times Union complains about the number of questions why don’t they share with their readers good thoughtful questions posed by your elected city council.
The city council did not ask for this issue but I also realize our schools need additional funding for infrastructure improvements. We have plenty of other issues facing this city. I am ready to move on. If the school board wants my support then answer a few simple questions.
For those who choose to call us names or speak toward us in a negative manner god bless you!

That’s a lot to take in there.

You may not have noticed it but there has been a concentrated strategy to go after the TU in recent weeks by the mayor, members of the city council and others. now I get it as a frequent critic I may be the last person who should mention this but what I have a problem with is not the news reporting well not always anyways, but with their opinion/editorial section, which if I am being honest put out a hell of an editorial on the matter Friday.

https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190809/friday-editorial-we-dont-need-appointed-school-board

Then he complains that the council has been denied the right to ask questions?!? Um the school board has answered all their questions time and time again, including a massive list sent to them two weeks ago.

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190731/school-board-answers-city-councils-laundry-list-of-
referendum-questions

He then says the questions have not been answered um, what?!?

It’s insulting that he would make that claim, Scott “ahh shucks” Wilson knows better but he must think enough of his constituents will just believe anything he says.

Then he says the council and board agreed upon a plan, yeah I am sure the board did but they had a metaphorical gun pointed at their head. This was also before the city learned the original memorandum was just some incompetent or corrupt junior attorneys opinion, and two of mayor Lenny Curry’s top lieutenants attempt to extort nearly a half million from the school board, one of which, Sam Mousa was rewarded with a six figure no bid four year contract for doing so, was revealed.

Then he complains the matter was dropped in their lap, he doesn’t mention it was done so by a patently ridiculous memorandum that didn’t have the force of law, and he doesn’t mention that he and the city council could have passed and just done as the law requires them to do so.

City Council president Scott Wilson made a terrible bed based on lies and greed and now he is complaining he has to lay in it. We really deserve better.

You too can get blocked from Scott Wilson’s Facebook page. (draft)

After explaining how school districts work and answering some of his already answered questions, City Council president Scott Wilson blocked me on Facebook. So I thought if you too wanted to be blocked I would give you some suggestions how and here is the thing toy don’t have to rude either, just using facts, evidence and appealing for decency should do it.

I would start by pointing out to him that the school board does not work for the city council, and just because a corrupt or incompetent junior lawyer working on behalf of the mayor and the civic council opened the door, it didn’t mean that he had to go through it.

You could talk about all the important issues on the City Council’s plate, Coastline drive, the murder rate, the Landing, Firehouse number 5, that have had zero public input.

If you wanted to you could mention his relationships to pro charter donors. Now I don’t think Wilson has been bought off. I think his disdain for public schools is in his DNA but it’s always fun to mention who he takes money from and how their interests more than the city’s are served by his actions.

You could answer his questions or explain how google works so he can get the answers himself. If he was just following the story in the Times Union, or would go to the DCPS site most of the answers are there. Throw in asking why he hasn’t, that might get you blocked.

How about pointing out how old our schools are and how much they need and how it would help children. On second thought don’t bother he’s not moved by facts, evidence or decency.

Then you could explain about charters, how dozens have failed in Duval and hundreds across the state. That they aren’t the end all be all that their supporters claim that they are.

Yep any of those should do it.

What Scott Wilson is doing is reprehensible and I urge you to tell him, just know you may only be able to do it once.

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Scott Wilson attacks DCPS in an op-ed to the Times Union.

Scott  Wilson attacked the district in an op-ed, the link is below.
https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190729/guest-column-citizens-deserve-more-information-on-school-board-plan


This is a letter I wrote to the Times Union, I would encourage everyone to write them a letter exposing Wilson as well. 


Scott Wilson complained in an op-ed that the school board had not had a meeting in his city council district. I think it’s embarrassing that we have a city council president that doesn’t understand how school districts work. In case like Wilson you didn’t know 2 city council districts combine to form one school board district. In this case city council districts 4 and 5 combine to make school district 3, and people were invited on several occasions to discuss the schools there.


I also find it troubling, that during his community meeting he didn’t stand up for our schools. When they asked him about the lottery he could have said, that money really doesn’t go to help pubic schools anymore and instead goes to scholarships. When they said they didn’t want to pay more taxes, he could have explained that it would cost the average person a dollar fifty a month and that the money was needed (something he has said repeatedly). Furthermore when they asked why should they contribute since they didn’t have children in school, he could have pointed out that a high quality public education system benefits everyone whether they have children attending or not and when somebody said the district needs to do a better job educating our children he could have pointed out the district was less than one percentage point away from an A. He could have explained those things but he choose not too. Though since he obviously doesn’t understand how school districts work he may not have known those things either. 

He says all he and the city council want are answers to questions. It’s my personal opinion he and the city council are holding out so a handful of their rich donors with charter school interests can get a bigger cut of the referendum but I have some questions for him. Whats the plan for the Landing? How come there have been zero community meetings about it. Whats the plan to address the murder rate which is now 20 percent higher than our previous high? What’s the plan for Liberty Street, the road collapsed over 4 years ago and now the project is millions over budget and years behind schedule. Whats the plan for the iconic firehouse number 5. If the city is going to spend millions to acquire it shouldn’t there be a plan? 

It seems to me that Wilson and the city council have enough on their plate without trying to usurp the authority of the school board  

I want to answer two of his questions, most of which have already been answered repeatedly. The school board wants to have the vote this fall because it will save 5 million dollars, speed up the implementation of safety measures for our schools, slow wear and tear on our most needed projects and who knows what public school hating Tallahassee will pass this upcoming session. Then the reason some schools are being replaced while others are being refurbished is based on their needs which were determined in a comprehensive study that the district did. I didn’t have to have personal meetings with the superintendent and school board to learn those things. All I had to do was read the Times Union.

But if we are being honest the city council isn’t really interested in answers.

Scott Wilson asks questions that have been answered over and over again. Shouldn’t we expect more from the city council president?

I am going to try and answer all of the city council’s questions no matter how ridiculous, frivolous or already answered.  My answers will be in bold.


• Council President Scott Wilson, District 4 


1. Can you explain how similar schools have different plans? Why is one a rebuild and another that appears to be in the same or maybe better condition is a rehabilitation? Is the data available to the public? Yes data is available to the public and has been for months. Plans are developed around a schools needs. https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/Facilities-Condition-Index-All-BM-Districts-4-Mar-2019.pdf?


2. What data was provided to change the plan from the original plan? The plan is 1,2 billion over fifteen years, that serves 113 thousand children and 14 thousand staff. Details are going to change frequently. Then unlike the city they worked hard to involve the community.

3. Where do you find the funds to operate a campaign to win in November 2019? Do you expect opposition? Yes they expect opposition from you and the civic council. I have a thousand dollars ready to donate but with 70 percent of the city already behind it I think they will be okay.


4. Out of the 20 community meetings were there meetings held in every city council district? Were council members invited to attend the 20 meetings? Individually invited? I couldn’t say but open source reporting says they were. 


5. What city council districts have schools being completely closed? Are the schools being closed due to low enrollment numbers or for other reasons? A plan has already been outlined. This info has been out there for months and I bet most council persons don’t know what all the schools in their districts are.


6. Where schools are being closed down is there a process to notify the community? Will there be public hearings on those changes prior to voter approval? The district has worked diligently to get the public involved or you know the antitheses of what the council does. One hearing about the landing, public comments at the end of meetings after decisions have been made? 


Most of those questions have been answered, repeatedly.  It shouldn’t be the boards responsibility to spoon feed the council.