I had hoped after the JEA debacle and with the city losing what I am sure will be the first of many lawsuits, that the mayor and city council could help heal the city by agreeing to put the referendum on the ballot, but nope, the Mayor doubled down on his disdain for public education.
At the COJ MLK breakfast which looks like it was a disaster, the mayor was asked about the referendum.
From the Florida Times Union,
TU: The last thing is the school board. I know there was the recent ruling that said they have the right to retain outside counsel. With that, another fracture point, how do you deal with the tense relationship now between the city and the School Board?
We’ve reached out, both sides, and I would say that I said in 2019, I didn’t think 2019 was the year. I thought it was moving too fast. I also believed I would like to see timelines. There were other stakeholders that had other interests. I believed we could work through those and get on a 2020 ballot. It’s a 2020 ballot. I believe we can work through those and get on a 2020 ballot.
In fact, they did provide timelines to the City Council just before their vote, and the City Council didn’t feel it had enough time to vet it. We are where we are right now.
They have timelines. I want to get in a room. Let’s figure all this stuff out with stakeholders. Let’s get it on the ballot and let’s get it done.
TU: Let’s get it done meaning you’ll support it as well?
We get everybody in the room and we agree to move forward? Yes, I want to be there. I believe we need to move forward with this. There are people with interests. Look, charter schools. There are people who care deeply about charter schools.
I cared about timelines. Timelines were presented to City Council. I’m not going to judge those timelines. I’d like to get us in a room and figure out how to move forward together.
By other stakeholders, he means Gary Chartrand who must know where the bodies are buried. The rest of the civic council through Curry under the bus with the JEA sale but here the mayor is still carrying Chartrand’s water.
The School Board should refuse to get in a room with this mayor and “work out the details” the mayor and city council had their chance. Every recent court case has said the referendum will be on the ballot and if Curry hasn’t picked up on that then, well he’s even worse than we thought.
What’s even more amazing is the state legislature is probably going to pass a dreadful districts must share on a proportional basis with charters bill. They are doing his dirty work for him. Spoiler, if somebody else is going to do the dirty work, don’t get down in the mud with them.
Curry, could have had a clean victory that unites the city and gives him a much needed victory, but instead he gave the city’s schools and children, his middle finger.