Elect the Next Superintendent? Are You F-ing Crazy?

The idea to make the Broward superintendent's job an elected position was trotted out on a couple of TV news stations last night. 

It's a horrible idea. 

As bad as the Broward County School Board is, unfortunately, voters are worse -- and just as easily manipulated. 

It would force the superintendent deep into the despicable world of Broward politics, where they would become sullied and exposed. You know, like our judges are. And our sheriff. 

Notter was a terrible superintendent; we all accept that. But he would have been even worse if he directly owed the lobbyists and contractors paybacks for the political fundraisers that got him elected. The thought is downright chilling. 

I don't think people know how absolutely screwed up the Broward Sheriff's Office is right now -- and it has a whole lot to do with 
elective politics. It's a snake pit, a place where backstabbing and political retribution are commonplace. No decent person wants such an acidic mess in his or her life. 

And it's expensive for taxpayers too. Did you know that Sheriff Al Lamberti, a Republican, has hired a full-time political promoter, Alan Berkowitz, on the taxpayers' dime whose job is to try to keep Lamberti in the good graces of the heavily Democratic condo crowds? Do you know that Lamberti has one of the largest public/media relations staffs in the state? There's a reason for that. 

Then there's the ethically dubious public deals with political folks. The sheriff buys cars from Maroone Ford through Michael Albetta, a Democratic leader in Broward County who in turn promotes the sheriff in Democratic circles. 

Is that a coincidence? Hell no. It's politics sullying BSO. 

The sheriff should be appointed by the County Commission, period. And of course, the superintendent should remain an appointed position. 

But here's the thing: The dysfunctional School Board somehow needs to get moving now to replace Notter with a national search. The idea of selecting an interim replacement from his sullied "lieutenants," as the Sentinel called them, is repulsive and would amount (again) to political malpractice. 

The School Board, in fact, shouldn't do much of anything else before bringing in a competent leader from outside South Florida, because the board can't be trusted to do anything right on its own. The current chairman, Ben Williams, is a holdover from the past board who was sitting on the dais during all of the corruption and stupidity cited in the grand jury report. He never lifted a finger to do the right thing one time in his tenure -- why would anyone expect him to start right now?

Williams' words indicate he's living in la-la land. Amazingly, he said two days ago that Notter was leaving on a "good note." That jaw-dropping statement alone indicates incompetence on a massive scale. 

It's clear the district is completely lost at sea right now. Idea: The Florida Department of Education is here reviewing the board right now, trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with it. What the state officials need to do is to help the district find a qualified and competent superintendent. It needs help, and it needs help now. 

-- In other news regarding BSO, one of Lamberti's top lieutenants, Capt. Robert Schnakenberg, has lawyered up in the ongoing State Attorney's Office investigation of BSO's Super Bowl detail.

The South Florida Times, in a story on the ethics complaint filed in the case, reports that Schnakenberg, who is director of BSO's criminal investigations, has hired Fort Lauderdale attorney Jeremy Kroll to represent him in the case. When contacted by the newspaper, Kroll wouldn't comment. 

It's a far cry from a couple of months ago, when Schnakenberg openly spoke about the case with me and said there was no wrongdoing when BSO obtained credentials for the sheriff's son to attend the game. 

Follow The Daily Pulp on Twitter: @TheDailyPulp.

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41 comments
Wearas
Wearas

The School Board members should hire Michelle Rhee as an Interim Consultant for 6 months to evaluate, propose and implement positive changes within the Broward School system. She has the talent and experience to correct all of the ills the system has experienced in the past.

Hal I. Tosis
Hal I. Tosis

Pulp, the reason the sheriff needs flacks is that partizan assholes like yourself will never give him an attaboy for anything. His worst crime is that he is a Republican. The reason we have so much corruption in Broward County is that you CANNOT say anything positive about any Republican. You help clear the way for every corrupt piece of shit Democrat that runs for any elected position, and then bitch because they are corrupt. The best way to keep corruption down is to have a mix of elected officials and make 'em watch each other.

Bo Phillips
Bo Phillips

What needs to be noticed is how many upper management personnel who have walked away from working for Lamberti/Wheeler/Benjamin administration.1) Colonel Auer (Prior administration Colonel) who had absolute 25 years of competence.2) Lt. Col. Hector Pesquera (Former FBI ASAC) career law enforcement officer.3) Lt. Col. Atkinson. A highly ethical former Lt. Col. for the US Army and 25 plus years in law enforcement under his belt.4) Major L. deFuria, (Former U.S. Army Soldier) with absolute competence w/ 39 years in law enforcement.5) Mr. Strain and Mr. Curry are highly respected individuals who follow the law and have their own personal code of ethics and honor that is not written in any policy book. These proud soldiers would never allow themselves to become corrupt or compromise their fine reputations to benefit these incompetent, amateur political hacks and there are plenty more that I have not listed. These were some of the major players in keeping the agency up and up and who truly believe their only responsibility is to the taxpaying citizens of Broward County.The motto to the story is Lamberti "eats his own" for personal gain and or "BLAME". Bottom line my friends, Lamberti has no ethics and is at the helm of the Sheriff's Office. He continues to claim no knowledge of anything the past 3 years and refuses to accept responsibility. Lamberti has never been a leader of anything which is why the agency is in turmoil. Just one simple example, he teaches his own son how to manipulate the system for personal gain.ENOUGH SAID!

Lonnie
Lonnie

Election is a great idea, Notter's sidekicks should be the last considered!!

R. D. M.
R. D. M.

Ben Williams is a joke, I work at a school in his district and he has never returned a single phone call, and the only time he ever showed his face was when we had a high reading score and the press took pictures. He is useless, he represents the poorest schools and does NOTHING to help them get on even footing with Western schools, I really have no idea what the man does for the district, someone should investigate him, do a FOIA request to see his emails because he surely doesnt reply or do anything.

Gator
Gator

Right now the school system is run on the model of a city manager form of government -- the elected officials chose a manager to run the day-to-day operations. An elected superintendent would change that to a stong-mayor form of governance. The latter form may work reasonably well (such as in Lighthouse Point) or less so (think John Lemelo's Sunrise, for you old timers).

There is always going to be politics involved in a powerful and public position such as the school superintendent, but why exacerbate the situation by making it a postion where electability is the number one criterion for the office? At one time I would have thought that this was not such a bad thing, but the rise of anti-intellectual, myopic, cultural warrior movements has made me change my mind.

Anyone
Anyone

Broward is Bored of Education.

And as far as BSO reform...as the Clash would say, "Sharif Don't Like it."

Steve-O
Steve-O

Fuck appointed positions. There is talk of simply disbanding the Broward School Board; the same consideration ought to be given to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Both are bloated and beyond repair.

Fly on the Wall
Fly on the Wall

The main complaint of the Grand Jury was the Board Members, who guess what, were elected and whose responsibility it was to select a competent Superintendent of Schools. The conclusion then is if you elect unqualified or political Board Members, their selection will be someone who reflects them. So, improve the quality of the elected Board member, improve the selection of the superintendent. If the superintendent is elected, how do you qualify the person running for office, especially with the corruption in this county? The power players with the money would make sure their candidate was elected. Just reading some of the comments in the Daily Pulp, voter's perception of a candidate can be on the way they speak (Alex Sink), the way they look and dress (Jennifer Gottlieb) (Eleanor Sobel) (Alex Sink). Many voters do not read or try to comprehensively weed out the b.s.but act like sheep when repeating what a broadcaster states on a newscast without doing their own research. I started out in college in broadcast journalism, at a time, if you did not tell the truth, you failed the course. What happened to that profession? Where are their ethics? It is my understanding that today the School Board is still working on their response to the Commissioner of Education regarding the Grand Jury report. I would hope their would be some sanity in looking at our local and national political system and knowing an elected official is indebted to the financial organizations or lobbyists who elect them. Unless the public demands campaign reform to insure independence of a candidate, it will be "sosodd". In order to clean house at the School Board, the Kool Aid has to be changed. Now everyone is running scared about loosing their job and getting honest answers will be even harder. The Inspector General assigned to Miami Dade County Public schools was instrumental in changing the same mentality we have here. The mind set is so embedded, it will take individuals with knowledge in Construction and Inspections to weed out those who have been responsible for the quagmire we are in. The checks and balances must be put in place and enforced. It will be interesting to see where it will start.

OneMansTrash
OneMansTrash

It's inconceviable, that there are some people advocating, that a citizen of a democracy is not entitled to his or her vote! What form of government are you proposing? The only one's I can think of are very scary.

LaidoffEmployee
LaidoffEmployee

Hey Pulp

Could you please look into the corrupt BTU-TSP union and its racket operation? In the BTU-TSP contract there is rule call "bumping" where by a senior employee can replace a junior employee if the senior employees position is cut. This process created a horror and injustice for lots of junior young and hard working employees within the District. Because of this process last year the District could not get rid off incompetent, unproductive and old trouble makers in the District. This year they are again grouping under the TSP union to use the same "bumping" rule to drive good hard working junior employees in the district. Needless to say that no other unions (FOPE, BTU-ESP, BTU-CSP and the like) in the district has this peculiar rule. Could you please take look at this unfair practice???

DeadNormAbromowitz
DeadNormAbromowitz

Howdy and hello.....So let me get this straight, the County Commissioners would select a Sheriff and we expect them to " allow" that person to do their job? So, Ilene, Wasserman-Rubin, Ritter,Keechl,Liberman, et al, those great minds and experienced; Managers, Leaders, law Enforcement practitioner's,criminal justice experts will select who will enforce the laws,jails and more importantly, CONTROL THE BUDGET of the sheriff???????? Sorry, it is a great concept but ppppppppuuuuuuuulllllllleeeeeeaaaasssssssseeeeeeeeeee, do you want the county commission of Broward to have anymore say in our lives??????Lamberti, like him, despise him, don't care about him? Fine, don't vote for him.And yes, Pulp, I agree, most voters are ill informed,swayed by shinny objects, drool as they vote, listen to the words of charlatans, and have no idea what or who we are voting for, kinda like joe average electing a judge? Nope, I want government, especially Broward government out of my life, LESS IS MORE!!!!! And as far as lawyering up.....duhhhhhhh, yeah!!!!! C'mon dude, when you hear the words " you have the right to remain silent" is not the time to try to "talk yourself out of it, by all means....many, many folk are sitting in jail because they said, " OK, let me tell ya' what really happened......"As my friend Mr. Miranda said, " damn, I shoudda kept my friggin mouth shut!" But then, he couldn't escape Karma! Stabbed to death in a bar in Az, and the suspect......invoked his Miranda Rights! Gotta love irony! OK, gotta run, we are all getting ready for the big diva smack down between Liz and Zsa Zsa who has had her dance card stamped but she is slow in getting down here!

Nucky Thompson
Nucky Thompson

Give the superintendent's job to Miriam Oliphant .

I am sure her resume will match the requirements and Ann Murray will certainly approve her appointment.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

Jeremy is a good lawyer and partner of J. David Bogenschutz. Often times the lawyers in the office will cover for each other so don't be surprised if JDB is on the case as well, But Jeremy is very capable. I often recommend Jeremy for those needing legal advice

I would not look at him lawyering up as anything special. The fact is it hapens all of the time if the person is right or wrong. I have been out of there for a while now but here's a tip, Bob. Do a PRR for any money paid by BSO to Kroll. It is possible/probable BSO is picking up the tab. Under Jenne, Fantigrassi, Carney, Brennen, and Feltgen were given legal fees paid as part of their separation package.

I like the idea of an appointed Sheriff. Do it like Dade though and make it a lifetime appointment so that he/she cannot be fired to keep them out of politics.

Gatorfl
Gatorfl

Kind of shocked at your comment that "voters are worse" implying that the general public is incompetent to elect who they see fit.

Seriously Bob, I like a lot of what you do, but your tilt towards the left makes NBC look centrist. Also your view of the electoral system is bombastic. Are there problems? Of course. But to imply that the voting public is incompetent is simply rubbish.

Christy
Christy

Due to these" Special" circumstances The Florida Department OF Education Should appointa superintendent.

"Abolish The School Board"Grand Jury Report 2011

anonymous
anonymous

There should be no school board, therefore no need for a superintendent. Disband the school board immediately. Our kids need to be educated.

Your Liver
Your Liver

Tomorrow there will be a spontaneous grassroots demonstration beginning at1:00 p.m. sharp at Teabag corners. Be there or be square. Get the cogent messages. Quiet the babies. Feel the love. Drink the Kool-Aide!

anonymous
anonymous

Wow. Pulp. I rarely agree with you. But you are SPOT ON for this one. Sheriff should be appointed. The School Superintendent would NOT be elected. Also, 1st? Really? me? :)

Model Citizen
Model Citizen

You're contradicting yourself. Bob is a partisan asshole for giving Republicans shit yet you admit that he "bitches" constantly about Democratic corruption?

And Bob Norman causes corruption in this town because he doesn't do fluff pieces about Republican officials? Seriously?

Blogger, please!

Curious
Curious

Yeah Bo, funny how these former military men would retire just 25 years into their second career. And Defuria, leaving after just 39 years on the job!

As far as Auer, he came with a reputation, and lived up to it (that's not a compliment), and was right there at the top through Jenne's stay, well aware of Jenne's criminal activities.

I agree with you on Lamberti, but the "proud soldiers" line is over the top, sounds too much like an allenwestism.

Aaaa
Aaaa

Pulp-

Can we PLEASE get you to take a closer look into BSO’s hiring process in its Enterprise Technology Division. The current CIO, Rick Carpani, is a former FPL employee. Since his arrival into his position at BSO, he has laid off 4 BSO employees, fired 1 and created a few new positions. This may sound like normal behavior except for the fact that ALL employees hired under his control (I believe 7 at last count) have been former FPL employees at one point in their careers. Internal BSO employees are being skipped over for positions they are more than qualified for. These hiring tactics must be stopped. There are many qualified citizens that are not even given a chance to interview for these positions, and the ones that happen to make it to the interview are wasting their time if they were not former FPL employees.

Thank you.

Listener
Listener

I'm really starting to like you Fly. Democracy is a terrible way to run a country but it's the only way I'd ever tolerate. What you are asking the voters to do is spend their time doing research on who they vote for. Right on the money. Democracy simply will not work without an informed and involved electorate. But that takes time and effort. Unfortunately, the average voter is so consumed just putting food on the table and the other necessities that they just don't have the time. And yes, many people just don't make the effort. It's the classic dilema of democracy. And it's exactly what the politicos want. The schools' Superintendent should be appointed and serve at the pleasure of the board. It's much easier to get rid of him/her.

Just like the President, (the board in this case), is the commander in chief of the Armed Services. Remember what happened to McArthur, (a brilliant commander but lousy politician), when he was getting a little absurd? Truman whacked him as it should be. Had we followed McArthur's, (or Patton's), advice, there would have been a nuclear war. The challange is to find the Truman's in our society. Lincoln went through 6 commanders before he settled on Grant.

I have faith. For every crisis that develops, America always seems to find the right leader, (Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, etc.). Its just that we take too long sometimes but eventually we get it right. None of those gentlemen were perfect, but they did their jobs. Churchill said that Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing...after they've tried everything else.

That's all this is really about. Finding the right leaders. The board must set the tone, the policy and provide the oversight. It's that simple. We the people must hold the board accountable. And there is a very simple way the voters can express their feelings. It's called an election and in a few years, there will always be another one. When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

Don Jimmy
Don Jimmy

Believe me when I write here in this blog. For all of Mr. Notter's faults and triumphs, you will think Jim Notter is the second coming of Christ if the Board appoints a total moron like COO Donnie Carter to the position of Interim Superintendent or even Superintendent. If you want total stupidity on the grandest scale, put Carter in the job.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Much of the solution (attempt to take something very complex and reduce it simply - I realize this is not possible, but play along) is true election reform: limiting the period of campaigns; limiting amounts any single entity can give; limiting the definition of an entity for only, for example, natural persons; someone controlling the "bundling" that enables many natural persons to be goaded into being used as a controlling bloc for a candidate (e.g., as Rothstein did, as Pumbers and Pipefitters union did for Hollywood's Mayor Mara, bundling checks from individuals around the nation for a small mayoral race). I surely do not have all the answers, but the problem is high, wide and systemic.

Anyone else want to jump in with some ideas?

Model Citizen
Model Citizen

To whom are you speaking? No one has advocated that.

Bubba
Bubba

I agree with you. However, it is interesting to note that the churches and "civic associations" provide the non English speaking and poor English speaking and reading voters with crib sheets for the elections. They do not encompass the whole ballot and only list the few candidates that the special interest groups have a vested interest in getting elected. It took most people about 5 minutes to fill out the ballot. Those with the crib sheets were taking about 1-2 minutes, since they only had to fill out a few choices.

Citizen apathy and these special interest voters are really harming our ability to elect good candidates (when there are any).

I still think that this is the best system around and we need to spend more time educating the voters with more than sound bites.

Laid off by BCSB
Laid off by BCSB

I was laid off too. Guess what? My former boss kept employees who were newer, quite unproductive, and several of whom, have been banned from multiple sites due to abusive behavior. The union did not lift a finger to help me and others like me, who had seniority but were let go so that bosses could keep cronies. We were told we did not have job families. The union bumping process was agreed to by the BCSB as well, but people forget it takes union and management to sign off on any labor agreement.This year's layoffs should start with the useless union employees, who used to be at the Crystal Palace brown-nosing. They are corrupt, lying do-nothings and should be the first to go.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Why not take it up with the union??

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Please, Gator,

What planet are YOU living on? An electorate that continues to elect criminally indicted candidates could be rationally called incompetent.

An electorate that does not take the time to read about issues and politicians' stands on them could rationally be called ill, or un-informed.

An electorate that blindly votes based on what their condo, association, or political club leaders tell them could rationally be called morons.

An electorate that votes based on the possible ethnicity indicated by the first, middle, or hyphenated last name of a candidate could rationally be called prejudiced.

If the election of Rick Scott as governor of Florida does not give you pause, does not make you doubt the intelligence of the FloriDUH voter, does not make you wish that YOU had done more to examine the candidates, then YOU, my friend, are one of the voters that our Pulpmaster is speaking of.

Justice
Justice

Did Lamedirty resign yet?

Ministry of Truth
Ministry of Truth

Reply to Curious:You came to the wrong conclusion but it was not clearly explained to you. The experience listed was for their total years in law enforcement-not just at BSO. Pesquera did about 5 years at BSO after a long highly commended career at the FBI. Atkinson retired from the Marine Corps, did several years as an outstanding Chief of Police before doing 10 yrs. with BSO. DeFuria followed a 29 year police career with 10 years at BSO. And all left due to corruption by Lamberti.

Another Voice
Another Voice

Check Websters: Next to the definition of imbecile incompetence, you will find Donnie Carter's picture. I don't think even out board is that stupid. Carter was there as the sacrifical lamb to be sent out at the right time. A useful idiot. Problem is events to on a life of their own and the plan could not be executed.

Listener
Listener

Goldi,You are absolutely correct except for that nasty decision from our Supreme Court which now allows corporate entities to make unlimited contributions to politicians. Wait till that stroke of genius hits the local level. In Broward about 50 bucks can swing an election. We don't even have high priced gaft here, it's all cut rate. The answer is in the people who still do not realize their true power.

OneMansTrash
OneMansTrash

I've suggested this before, the answer isn't limiting what they can raise, rather limit what they can spend. If there are 100,000 votes available in a political race, then they can only spendlet's say $.50 per vote, then the amount raised can only be $50,000. All candidates would be on even footing and maybe the positions could come before the voters not the cute, of clever, or negative ads.

LaidoffEmployee
LaidoffEmployee

BTU-TSP is being run as a racket by Wayne Trasher and his hooligans Paul Giordano and Marchetti

Gatorfl
Gatorfl

Patty,

I live in Palm Beach County, so the same planet as you. I agree with the gist of what you're saying. But I think the alternative--political appointments--are far risker than letting voters decide. I see below that DF3 set you straight, which is a good thing. YOU are the kind of sheeple that apparently goes along with the next "great idea."

Interestingly I attended a session last night titled "Leading for Ethical Transformation." The speaker, Dr. Craig Johnson, spoke at length about the issues in Palm Beach. We're not out of the woods yet up here but the culture change is well on its way. I'm certain in a matter of months Broward will hold the state title of "Corruption County."

DF3--thanks for pulling Patty's head out of her ass. Friday morning cranialrectalrosis is a drag.

On the side lines
On the side lines

So then we should rely on the Commission, who truly has the best interest of the taxpayers at heart. Wake Patti Lynn, what planet are you living on? The Commission is riddled with corrupt, kickback taking slime.

I would rather swallow the mistake of having the candidate we the peole choose be the wrong choice than to give absolute power to those Fascists the Commissioners. Remember, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely".

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

With all do respect, the voters make the choice THEY want. I am not saying that we always elect the best candidate, That said who's to say that you, me, pulp, or anyone's singular opinion about a candidate is more valuable than that of an electorate.

In Pulp's scenario the County Commission makes "hires" the constitutional officers instead of them being elected. Let's take a look at the decisions the County Commission has made and tell me that wouldn't be a political mess.

A majority of this current school board are considered corrupt. Do you want them making the choice as to who the super should be? Except we elected them.

This is a complex issue than comes up when dealing with a representative democracy. What happens is only those politically active "Sheeple" GOTV. The "Sheeple" are generally guided by one political party... For the last 20 years in Broward it has been the Democratic Party, We see where that has gotten us. Now the Tea Party activists are GOTV. I watched a great reference to the Tea Party(ers) on Bill Maher the other night. A guest said they are using Abby Hoffman tactics to get to a Norman Rockwell existence.

Our problem as a society as I see it... We are complacent and lazy. The everybody gets a trophy, no more try-outs is making us as a nation weak. I have been doing a little personal history project and learning about my family roots. This road has taken me to about the turn of the 19th century. We were once a great nation. We dealt with harsh truths. We want to shield ourselves from those truths. We no longer sacrifice as a nation for our civic duty. What would happen if this generation had to endure what our parents/grandparents did during WWII? There is a reason we call them the "greatest generation"

How can we as a nation have lower and lower test scores and higher and higher grades? Why is it that only 38% of americans can pass the citizenship exam and we have more college graduates/attendees than ever before.

I remember in Jr. High they gave this archaic test to see what you should do with your life. They asked questions about what your favorite subject was, what you like to do, how long you want to go to school etc... That test said I should be a cop/firefighter/forrestry agent.

Some real truths, not everyone should make the team. In a contest there is only one winner (unless a tie and then a playoff is in order). Not everyone has the intellect to be a doctor/lawyer/executive... Not everyone has the skill to be a mechanic/plumber/painter/landscaper.. Quoting Judge Smails, "The world needs ditch diggers too" Not everyone deserves to go to college.

What is the value of something if everyone has one?

I am not saying that you shouldn't live your dreams. If you really want something then work for it! (and teach your kids the same.

Maybe the electorate is incompetent but it is made up of all of us, They are your children... what did you teach them?

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

I also stand corrected here, based on thinking about what DF3 said.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

Okay, I'll stand corrected. I just wish that people would pay more attention to the records of those that are seeking office. So, DF3, are you saying that it all balances out in the end?

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