Trails In The Sand by Peter Traceit, the Street Detective
Ol’ Peter Traceit has debris from head down to and between my toes this week. Dragging through the sand has been a 20-hour a day deal with all the grit and grime that is happening in Broward.
The Street Detective has been trekking through the county as some are attempting to shovel pals of white beach sand on the head and reputation of Robert “Bob” McKinzie. Some are telling Traceit that dirty politics are at play after McKinzie buried Bob Dubose ten feet under in the recent County Commission race. Dubose and McKinzie once played extremely well in the sand with Dubose actually endorsing McKinzie when he ran for the city of Fort Lauderdale Commission seat. But fast forward a couple election cycles later, Dubose is reporting he regrets even getting in the sand pool with McKinzie and is throwing all kinds of mud on his name both publicly and privately.
So, as the story goes, someone is complaining that McKinzie may have possibly violated the ethics of his office when the city held the Summer Jamz End of Summer concert at Mills Pond. The budget for the event is more than $425,000 and when all bills are eventually paid, it will easily exceed a half million dollars. While McKinzie wasn’t the only elected city official who was involved in this event, Peter Traceit is being told that all four fingers, a thumb and five toes of blame are pointed at McKinzie.
The Detective uncovered some facts from the sand that Dubose complained that McKinzie and dozens upon dozens of others wore McKinzie campaign shirts to city sponsored concerts and McKinzie took to the stage wearing his campaign shirt and promised concert goers even more extravagant events once he becomes County Commissioner. It is not difficult to believe that Dubose, who lost, would have sand in his eyes because he was simply outsmarted at this event. Nothing stopped him from having his supporters to show up in his campaign attire.
But interestingly, others who would not ordinarily have such a strong opinion are not just throwing sand in the direction of McKinzie, but are taking aim by hurling rocks. Mayor Dean Trantalis, who at other times professed he doesn’t insert himself in the sand boxes of other commissioners, has been vocal in his disapproval. Trantalis only expressed his disgust after fists were thrown, though he was privy to the rising costs of the event himself through communications. Might there be another reason for him kicking up sand. Something is smelling fishy in the sand corridor.
Traceit would not accurately trace it if he didn’t dig up dirt with the School Board. There is much conversation around the two District 5 candidates who are in the November runoff. Each candidate is seeking the endorsement of the five who were knocked out of the running in August. While no one has officially endorsed, Detective Traceit has snooped out some pretty interesting news that a certain State Senator who barely escaped being suspended and removed from her District 5 School Board seat still has her nose deep in the sand of this race. While the Senator herself has not endorsed either candidate, trails in the sand led The Street Detective to two interesting discoveries. Oz has planted some unfavorable seeds in the sand that don’t sprout so well for Ruth Carter Lynch. Oz is sharing her disapproval of Carter Lynch’s strong ties with the charter school industry but has failed to mention that she herself has taken money from charters to support her run for her Senate Seat. Oz seems so desperate to ensure Carter-Lynch does not replace her, she reportedly asked US Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick to endorse Jeff Holness for the District 5 School Board seat. Cherfilus-McCormick responded with the same raunchy “hell nawl” that Sophia spit out when Miss Millie asked her to be her maid. Isn’t Jeff Holness related to the Dale Holness that Cherfilus-McCormick buried in quicksand, not once but TWICE?
Oz is known for hurling rocks and hiding her hand. But, my question is why doesn’t she endorse Holness? It seems Oz is about to meet Toto and have the curtains pulled exposing the games being played. She probably should focus on her own fate in the State Senate… unless it is all somehow tied together.
The Street Detective discovered that Super Cartwright did three quarters of her job last week when she responded to the State’s request to address district staff who were named in the infamous 122-page Grand Jury Report. Ron Morgan, Assistant Chief Building official; Jeff Moquin, Chief of Staff; and David Watkins, Director of Diversity and School Climate where each was dragged bare-bottom across the sandpaper last week and slapped with a resignation offer or told they would face an investigation. They all chose to resign.
Jody Washington, a former principal who did a short stint at Westwood Heights Elementary, is stepping in for David Watkins and Ernie Lozano, the Executive Director who only supervises one person on the organizational chart, is reportedly task assigned for Jeff Moquin.
Wait. What? Shaking my head at Cartwright and her hiring decisions.
Mary Coker, Director of Procurement Services, was also targeted for removal but Traceit has learned that snitches don’t get stitches in this case. The Super did a sharp “about face” when Broward Member, Daniel Foganholi publicly announced that Coker was the whistleblower whose snitching led to the indictments of Robert Runcie and Barbara Myrick, among other things. Coker’s department is mentioned in the Grand Jury Report but not Coker by name. In Coker’s case, being “The Mole” paid great dividends.
Interestingly, Traceit has learned that one person mentioned in the report escaped the public dragging. Judith Marte, Deputy Superintendent of School Operations under Super Cartwright and Chief of Finance under former Super Runcie, was rumored to be removed but mums the word. The chatter is that while Cartwright is none the wiser with some of these poor hires in ESE, Facilities and Teaching and Learning, she is not as dumbfounded as she looks when it comes to knowing that she doesn’t know manure about finances. For now, Marte is safe because she is desperately needed. The Budget Workshop was on Tuesday, September 13 and how would Cartwright have survived it with the new Board without Marte. But, if Marte is smart and I think she is, she should be soon dragging the sands with Ol’ Peter in search of employment. What we do know for sure about Cartwright is that everyone is dispensable to her except Anna Fusco of the Broward Teachers Union.
Ol’ Peter Traceit, the Street Detective will keep dragging the sand in search of clues.
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