Councilmen Love seemed to get it when he said, “I think people deserve to weigh in on this. “It’s important not just for the schools. It’s very important for our kids. It’s also important for our economy. We need good schools.” Sadly other than him and a few others there haven’t been a lot of profiles in courage and integrity coming from the city council.
I am not sure if people understand, but the school board and the superintendent do not work for the mayor or city council. Furthermore no other school board in the state has to ask for permission to have special tax referendum. None, and if it wasn’t for the city attorney changing the meaning of the word shall, undoubtedly at the behest of the mayor, then the Duval School Board wouldn’t have to either.
When the city attorney came up with his ridiculous ruling, the city council should have laughed him out of his office. They should have said, that’s not how things are done you can’t just make stuff up to get your way. Instead more than a few members have substituted
their judgement for the duly elected school boards and come up with one specious reason after another. That’s not their job. They are out of their lane.
Also don’t they understand how dangerous this is? What’s to stop the city attorney from coming up with a ruling that one day usurps the city council’s authority, like say with the sale of JEA or some other important issue? The council has already shrugged their shoulders at the attorney changing of the definition of words which means right now nothing is off the table. Nothing can’t be done. They may think it would never happen to them which is what I guarantee you what the school board thought.
If members of the council do not agree with the tax referendum, that is their right, they should say so but still vote to put the referendum on a November ballot, like the duly elected school board has asked, but what shouldn’t be their right, is the usurpation the will of the people and deny the school board from having the special referendum.
These are troubling times, but I am not sure if most people realize how much so they are.