Just Say No to SBBC Renewal Referendum

A Message From The Publisher

By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

Last week I told you that Broward’s Superintendent, Vickie Cartwright, behaves like someone else is her boss, not the Blind Nine Board members who appointed her to the office. Furthermore, not ONLY did they turn a blind eye to her actions, they all seem blind to the Super’s disregard for them.

It is fair to say and glaringly so that Cartwright has made camp in the pockets of the BTU. It is not so difficult for her to move with unabated freedom to wreak havoc because she is the puppet and Fusco is the puppeteer. There is a good saying that reflects these relationships: “politics make strange bed fellows”.

Does Cartwright so desperately needs this job that she will align herself with anybody or anything that assures her continuance? IT’S apparent that it has absolutely nothing to do with kids nor hiring the most competent for the job. Simply put, the dysfunction is all a function of her maintaining employment . She is aligned with those who she believe will keep her employed. To hell with the district and the kids.

Since I have already established who Cartwright works for, I want to turn my attention to who the Blind Nine work for.

They work for you.

They work for me.

They work for the constituents.

But, like Cartwright, the Blind Nine are not behaving like they work for their constituents. Or what appears, they do not behave like they work for constituents that look like me.

When they are running for public office, they make all kinds of campaign promises to represent the interests and will of the people. But, they get into office and get selective amnesia and seem to suffer from C.R.S.. Lucky for most of us, my memory has not succumbed to bureaucratic bovine excretions (BBE), and I am here to remind you of the power you have in your VOICE and your VOTE. Allow these two powerful influences to be your defense against BBE.

In just a few short weeks, ballots will begin arriving via US Mail and Early Voting will begin. There is power in your voice and vote.

For those incumbents who have selective amnesia and not lived up to their promises from the last election, refresh the memory real quickly for it at the ballot box. For those challengers who are using their ‘gift of gab’ and running their chops, pay close attention to their pledges and where they spend their monies. Remind them IF they are elected they TOO will be held accountable to their promises.

     In two weeks, the Westside Gazette ]will endorse candidates for the August races. Today, I am providing an opinion to NOT vote for School Board of Broward’s Next Generation Renewal Referendum.

In 2018, SBBC went to the voters to ask for monies to pay for additional security, mental health professionals and teacher bonuses. The monies will run out in a year and the Board is asking homeowners to renew by paying additional property taxes.

I say VOTE NO and here are my reasons why.

Has anyone been paying attention to what’s happening around them? Gas is almost $5 for regular octane. A gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, ox tails and chicken wings by the pound have almost doubled in six months. In this economy, it is borderline criminal to ask people who can barely keep food on the table to foot the bill for what should be paid for by state funding. If the state requires it in legislation, they should fund it. Oh, snap! I forgot governor De Satan is in charge.

Did someone say additional security – how exactly will schools be secured come August?

Hint, hint privatizing? Cartwright brought on a new Safety Chief, Jamie Alberti, but sources say it is a ghost town in the department. There are over one hundred school security positions needing to be filled and the question is who will fill them and how and when will they be trained? Hint, hint privatizing? According to Cartwright, school security is moving from a centralized model back to the way it was previous to the MSD mass shooting where school principals were in charge of security. Be reminded that the security person at the MSD gate allowed Nicolas Cruz to enter the school premises knowing he didn’t belong there, and he did not call a code because he didn’t know he had the authority to do so. This is what was happening when school security was the responsibility of school leadership, and Cartwright wants to return to this model, and she wants you to pay for it.

Let’s see who has left the security department in the last three to four months.

Fred Stolper, Director, resigned; Tracy Neal, Director, resigned; Michael Medina, Director, resigned.

Dr. Leo Nesmith, Acting Chief of Safety, demoted to principal after he agreed to become the acting Chief Safety Officer when Brian Katz vacated the job shortly after Runcie left. No one else who qualified would take the job. Dr. Nesmith agreed to do it and guess how Cartwright repaid him for his loyalty to the district: She twitched her nose and demoted him to principal.

Chief Alberti doesn’t have the institutional knowledge or staff support to get safety and security off the ground, yet Cartwright is asking taxpayers to support a sure failure.

I say Vote NO on this referendum.

Broward also reports that monies will be spent on Mental health employees. Mental health is a serious issue that needs to be supported. What I find so brutal is how the Board seems to ALIGN itself to the mental health crises of its students and employees. It has a bullying policy, yet the Board remains mute in the midst of bullying of its employees and students. A teacher used the N word 10 times in a classroom, laughed about it and said it made her feel good to say it. The Board and Superintendent have remained mute. Principals have been harassed for doing their jobs and cadre directors demoted for providing them with support. I received a copy of an email that went to the Board from Lisa Maxwell of the BROWARD Principals and Assistants Association (BPAA). The truth is stranger than fiction. She details to the board principals, namely black females, who have been targeted relentlessly by the BTU. The Board and Superintendent have remained uncomfortably silent. They want you to pay for the mental health crises of students and employees, but they are contributing to their trauma. Sadly, it may be them who need to access mental health services.

I say Vote NO on this Referendum renewal.

And lastly, this Referendum renewal is supposed to provide bonuses benefitting teachers. While everyone I’VE spoken with are all in favor of teachers earning additional monies, the devil is in the details.

First, this money is NOT a raise; it is a bonus. Now, what does that mean? It means that IT’S only recurring as long as they continue going back to YOU to renew the referendum. Also, a bonus DOES not COUNT TOWARD the salary of the teachers. This means that it is not benefitting their retirement.

From what I understand The Florida Retirement System (FRS) takes an average of the employee’s top five salary earning years to configure retirement income. When teachers get these nice bonuses each year, it is good for the now but is horrible for them in the long run. The money does not impact their salary, SO IT does not count toward their top five years.

Teachers in Broward make significantly less than those in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. How is this so when the state funds them using the same formula? There’s some transparency needed here in understanding how teacher salaries are determined. Teachers from Broward often transfer to the North and South counties for better pay, but Broward cannot attract teachers from the North and South because the pay cut is too steep for the teachers. Broward needs more transparency with teacher pay and NEEDS to pay teacher salaries competitively before looking for a referendum to give bonuses.

I say Vote NO on this Referendum renewal.

Hold your Board members and State responsible for funding education properly. When they do better and the economy gets better, it might be the right time to ask homeowners to make a sacrifice. The time is NOT now.


I say Vote NO on the Referendum renewal. 


About Carma Henry 20550 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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