I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Escambia County School Board Deducts one Member's Share from FSBA Dues Payment for 2016-2017

....And although the discussion was intense and it ended with a substitute motion that squeaked by and barely passed 3-2--at the end of the day the desired result, the one that comports with pending legislation, was reached in my opinion.

 For the first time in the recorded history of the Escambia County School Board, so far as I can tell, the Escambia County School Board will not be sending their full dues membership payment in to the Florida School Boards Association.

As a result of a passionate discussion (see the debate under VB 2A3 "Membership Dues Assessment from the Florida School Boards Association", within this video ) Patty Hightower made the motion that my individual portion ($4,353.20) of the exorbitant yearly FSBA dues $21,766 be held aside for

 consideration later this year after the election that determines my successor in the District 1 seat.

I disagreed and voted against the measure because I felt it was presumptuous and was by design a liberal majority over-running a conservative minority, so I voted against the measure and I still have an issue with it.  As I described in the video, the fiscal liberals on the board, in the rush to pay a bill 3 1/2 months early, attempted to overrule the one conservative on the board that wanted to hold off on sending dues anywhere before 7-1-2016 given the pending legislation.

And Hightower's motion would have handcuffed the one conservative on the board, me.  Hightower's motion would have left me with the untenable Hobbson's choice of either:

1.) staying a member of FSBA or

2.) having no advocacy representation for the remaining time I spend in this seat.

Neither choice was acceptable to me--The motion was punitive and petty.  That's why I voted against it.

However, because of the congeniality demonstrated and the leadership displayed by Superintendent Malcolm Thomas toward me given this motion (a motion that would have been challenged after 7-1-2016 in circuit court and overruled), a workable compromise was brokered which allowed this issue to move forward without additional gnashing of teeth.

Mr. Thomas displayed the courtesy that our master board training imparted to us--and I greatly appreciated his accommodation and his willingness to lead the board to a solution.

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