Another Questionable School Board Deal!

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

The Broward School Board is paying 20 percent over the average appraisal for a vacant building whose owner was no longer using it.

Because the Board wanted to pay more than the appraised value, it required approval by more than a simple majority under state law.  Board members fell in line easily, passing the purchase by 7-2 earlier this month.

The building owner, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County, had a lot of political clout on its side. The group’s supporters are some of the biggest campaign contributors in South Florida including entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga, developer Ron Bergeron and auto sales tycoons Rick Case, the Moran family and Ted Morse.

Case spoke at a Board meeting in favor of the deal.

The building was appraised twice, for $1.5 million and $2.5 million.

The average appraisal was $2,005,500.

Yet, the Boys and Girls Club is being paid $2.4 million for the 18,257 square foot building.

The land is not part of the deal: Broward schools already owns it!

A complex deal cooked up in 2003 during Superintendent Frank Till’s administration allowed the Boys & Girls Clubs to construct and own the building. The school system received $1-a-year for the land.

Guess where Till landed when he was fired as superintendent in 2006? He was hired as chief executive of the Boys & Girls Clubs!

Till is long gone from that job.  But the building remained on school land and Boys and Girls Clubs demanded a premium price for it.

 

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Nora Rupert: Money would have paid for five more teachers

 

 

More galling to School Board member Nora Rupert is that the building has been vacant for years. The youths who once used it moved from the area after a nearby mobile home park closed in 2009.

“We were in a power position…They needed to sell the place,” Rupert argued at the April 23 meeting.

Then Rupert pointed out something that should alarm any taxpayer: The school system doesn’t use a real estate expert or a professional negotiator to hammer out property deals.

Board member Patti Good also was upset the system doesn’t use professionals to negotiate for property.

School Board staff told Board members that the property was worth the price because it would be used to expand technical training programs for non-college bound students.

Staffers also excused the expense because the money came from a state workforce development fund and not from the local budget.

Rupert fired back: “If that price came down $200,000, that’s five more (technical training) teachers.”

Rick Case and club chief executive Brian Quail gave two more reasons for paying so much for the property.

One, the Boys and Girls Clubs has its own appraisal for $3 million.

Two, the Boys and Girls Clubs does good work.

“This isn’t a donation,” Rupert said. She said it was “an acquisition,” and the schools should handle money more carefully.

Rupert and Good were the only votes against the sale.

The School Board hopes to get a new bond issue approved by voters next year for construction and land acquisition.

Board members are making the job of selling a bond issue harder with deals such as this one.

 

32 thoughts on “Another Questionable School Board Deal!”

  1. The Boys and Girls Club has ZERO prospects of selling this building to anyone other than the School Board. Nice that the big political players can force the general public to subsidize their pet projects. They knew when they built the place it was money in the bank that they would be able to extort extra value out of the School Board.

    Someone should go back in time and kick Frank Till in the ass, along with all the old Skool Bored members.

  2. If only the School Board members would pretend they were using their own money, and do that each and every time they spend money, the outcome would be different.

  3. SB Member Donna Korn is one of the most successful commerical realtor’s in town and she voted for deal, that says enough for me. Why? Because none of those big shots gave her money to her campaign and she knows her stuff.

    Where is it written again that those selling property are supposed to give the SB the lowest price?

    Ruppert is another blowhard that complains about everything and brings no alternative solutions. Considering that they only way you could say her campaign kickoff event was a success was if you counted the waitstaff and bartender from Maguires as attendees, she should spend more time hoping she doesnt get an opponent.

    FYI Dave Brown dont throw up a bunch of pro Nora posts, your game is well known. How is Franklin doing? Go fetch him another tissue or at least let him wipe his tears on all those $100 bills you made off of him.

    FROM BUDDY:

    Indeed, Donna Korn voted for the deal. She told me it was a reluctant vote because, “It was a fair deal. It was not a good deal.”

    Korn also expressed extreme displeasure in the way the school staff negotiates such deals without experts to help them.

    Her desire to provide more technical training opportunities for Broward students finally swayed her to vote for this. She held her nose as she cast that vote and would like to see changes in the process in the future.

  4. how quick we forget
    circa Feb 2009

    http://www.browardbeat.com/frank-till-out-at-boys-girls-club/

    “….The(Boys and girls) club, like many charities, is struggling in the tough economic times and Till’s salary was said to be more than $200,000 annually.

    “Its hard to raise money when even those with deep pockets have lost one-third of their net worth,” said a source…….”

    So the current and continued tough economic times four years later demands giving the Boys and Girls Club way over the appraisal price for the building which likely has very limited re-use not to mention
    its now 10 years old and possible design to the old building codes. Smart move on B&G Club part – they probably maxed out their depreciation on the balance sheet and need to unload it

    is the SBBC that dumb? Or just assumes we taxpayers are? there will never be a School Bond approved by taxpayers come November 2014. And to be sure of that when the true costs of the new courthouse construction is publicly disclosed 18 months from now as we go to vote, the voters DEFINITELY won’t approve a school bond

  5. Nora (or David)

    Isnt it true that the money used to buy this land was from a source of money that could not be used for hiring teachers?

    If true, may I ask, when you made the comments about using the money to hire more teachers was it based on ignorance of where the funds came from or were you grandstanding on an issue you knew to be factually untrue?

    I will bet the second one, typical Dave Brown bs. No surprise Nora supported Franklin Sands over fellow Board Member Donn Korn.

    I hope LHP Commissioner Lysengen runs against Ruppert. Even if she is a Republican, who cares? Look how well Dave Brown did with Franklin Sands against Republican Donna Korn. Korn was out raised a zillion to one and still wooped Sands.

  6. That deal was neither fair nor good and Korn still voted yes even though she’s the the most experienced out of the bunch to see through this. Buddy, your article should have had a listing of who received campaign contributions from the above corporations and charities.

  7. FROM BUDDY:

    There is something else I though of after posting the above article.

    Why is the School Board leasing land for $1-per-year for 40 years? Who elected the School Board to favor one non-profit charity over another by giving them School Board land?

  8. None have them have made political contributions to school board campaigns in years. That is why he hasn’t listed them.

  9. David

    Is that the best you have? Forget the past, are you willing to say Nora will not take money from special interests or coporate donations? lol, didnt thin so. It is not like big dave works for free.

    FYI, Can you really questions anyones contributions in light of Franklin Sands. Who didnt he take money from. Then again the past is the past you got paid right Dave.

    mike

  10. @FROM BUDDY:
    There is something else I though of after posting the above article.

    Why is the School Board leasing land for $1-per-year for 40 years? Who elected the School Board to favor one non-profit charity over another by giving them School Board land?

    Thanks for asking the obvious!!
    The same reason that city of fort lauderdale is leasing south side school to nova se university for $1.00 a year for twenty (20) years. stupid dealmakers for us taxpayers
    the city BOUGHT the south side school from the SBBC for $3,000,000.00 or so, then sunk another $8MM or $9MM into it. still not done or occupied and now a sweetheart handoff to nova.

  11. Often time these two board members take their TV time to go after staff just for their own personal political gains. No one is perfect. Does the citizen of Broward aware that Rupert was elected on the shoulder of Pat Santeramo (who stolen hundreds of thousands from the Broward Teachers Union’s coffer)?

    All she is trying to do is to gain some ground for her reelection bid. All they care about their own power and fame.

    I do not understand why these two keeps attacking staff? Staff is hired because of their educational and professional expertise. If they feel that they are better than staff then why they cannot get the job and serve tax payers better?

    I believe vast majority (except few high school graduates closely tied to the union) of the staff are competent and qualified to do their job that they supposed to do. In most situation staff recommendations are based on what the politicians want, which often time filter down via Superintendent.

    In the April 23, 2013, board meeting this article featured board member lied about additional information related to a board item. She told that she found the information by GOOGLING a staff name on the internet when she was asked by another board member about it. I tried and I did not find that. It is clear that she obtained that information from a staff who is feeding her and Patty Good since the two were elected to office.

    So, Broward voters, what do you think about lying by an elected official to her colleagues in the TV in front of public?

    Should not you vote with your feet for the two in 2014 reelection!

  12. This building purchase is another example of the bungling of executive decision-making in SBBC covered over with lots of wasted taxpayer dollars. Plenty more are coming in future Agendas. Keep watch.

  13. Yet another outstanding example of an opportunity to outsource.

    There were so many deals done before the Grand Jury rode into town that your heads would spin if you saw them. Just one big happy family circle making chits to call in when it became profitable.

  14. Those of you that think Mrs. Rupert is ignorant should really get a grip! She is one of the smartest of the lot. What’s wrong with you?? Afraid of honesty and integrity???

  15. Rupert dares to question. That is a quality second to none-especially considering the history here. Her main flaw is David Brown. That is worth a challenge alone.

  16. @Charlotte Greenbarg
    you are SO right
    we are always on the screwed end and nothing changes
    is there anything that can stop the abiuse by power brokers?
    we cannot fight with our wallets like when when we shop (or go elsewhere)

    please send help

  17. Oh, yes. I remember Nora Rupert was always in bed in Pat Santeramo before running for the School Board. In 2010 (I think it was the same year Buddy you busted Pat on your blog), during our BTU leadership training at Seminole Hardrock Pat introduced her as his close friend.

  18. Rupert met Santoramo in 2010 same time as levinson and thomas. I was at the seminole training. What benefit are you getting from slandering her? If patterns stay same it will just motivate her more to uncover more corruption. Rupert , Good and Korn are fearless in the quest for transparency. Also on camera rupert walked Dr Osgood through how to find hidden documents. Maybe you could call Osgood for a tip.

  19. osgood better get with the program of watch dogging our tax dollars and stopping the mismanagement and corruption or she will be a one termer come nov 2016
    follow the lead of Rupert and Korn and figure out how to open and read the back up docs

  20. The only difference is Ruppert was Pat’s girl. She even brought him into her one on one interview for the superintendent’s position. Santeramo didn’t like Runcie so Ruppert pounds on him and his staff every chance she has just for the sport of it. She is still carrying the unions and Capo Santeramo’s water.

  21. The biggest problem here is that people will slander Board Members like Rupert,Korn and Good. Do you know why? They are SMART women asking questions! There is a lack of respect for women from staff and even from the “most high” . Rupert wasn’t a good friend of Pat’s.. No one was!

  22. Where is the big mouth Abbey now!! The I’m going to clean up dirty practices and would never do anything shady because I worked at th Penegan!!!! Another liar!!

  23. @Charlotte Greenbarg

    I see that this is not the first time you are advocating outsourcing. Do you know outsourcing only help big corporation? And that is very effective tool to bust labor unions.

    I thought you love union and you love big union honcho – Mike Marchetti??

    Are you lost or is this your age effect?

    Are you a republican like Romney but in disguise as democrat like Jeremy Ring??

    Just checking….

  24. I can smell desperation coming from your posts@rupertfan. Really.. A speeding ticket 20 years ago, a plaintif case for a dr and an accident? Wow…you really have to be afraid of Good, Korn and Ruppert uncovering you secret nest eggs. Remember this stuff just motivates them. Why don’t you leave your name and dept and then they can start investigating you.

  25. One of the alternatives could have been to keep paying the $1 for 40 years versus the two million dollar plus purchase price and use one of those vacant school properties for a construction high school.

    Miami Dade County Public Schools has one of the most successful high schools in the United States in the Design and Architecture School of Design. Couldn’t Broward provide a similar project including architecture, engineering and construction in one of these schools with centralizing their carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and inspection programs at the same school? Arthur Ashe Middle School is supposed to be closing.

    Ten years ago the Association of General Contractors suggested a construction high school in a Facilities meeting I attended. They offered to help with the financing. In my recent campaign, the Associated Building Contractors were interested in a construction high school to further their construction classes for their Boys and Girls club attendees. I also spoke with Union officials who were interested too in providing skilled labor forces for our area construction projects. It would also provide students with an entry into unions as apprentices where they could earn much more than minimum wage. My stepfather was a union electrician here at local 728 and the union assisted him in finding jobs here and all over the United States to allow him to work throughout his career. Wouldn’t this be an opportunity for those almost 30% of dropouts we have at Broward County Schools with the loss of $6750 costs per student?

    FROM BUDDY:

    A construction industry oriented high school is a terrific idea considering the importance of that field to Florida’s economy.

  26. nice that the AGC and ABC member companies wanbted to help since most of them got repeat multimillion dollars taxpayer funded contracts over the last 25 years

  27. Are u serious@rupertfan? I can not believe that anyone could be so foolish! If that is the “dirt” you dig up on Mrs. Rupert you must need a life! Thank you for giving me an incentive to work on her campaign! Broward County could use an entire board of people like her! Seriously.. Find a better way to waste your energy!

  28. What is next for you? Cleaning toilets of those three board members?? These three have their personal agenda behind their high jumps and hop steps. I am sure you will find out

  29. To Oh Really,

    Maybe we could get some of that taxpayers money back, educate and train students who would normally drop out of school and add some skilled laborers to our local construction projects. To do something about those overpayments, there would have to be some serious changes in personnel in the Facilities Department which no one seems to want to address.

  30. ” To do something about those overpayments, there would have to be some serious changes in personnel in the Facilities Department which no one seems to want to address.”

    GFL
    nothing has changed of any significance in that dept for years and years
    DH still running the show, JC, and the incompetent licensed pros after the ex. dir/arch retired and moved up state

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