BY BUDDY NEVINS
Is the school bus snafu the end of Superintendent Robert Runcie’s honeymoon?
It looks like it when member Robin Bartleman publicly demands answers from him.
Runcie can’t seem to get his flunkies to fix the buses.
Worse yet as far as the School Board is concerned, he can’t put a lid on the bad PR.
Bartleman, who I must note here is running for re-election and on the November ballot, broke quite publicly with Runcie this week.
She took her questions to Runcie public. She usually handled such questions quietly in the secluded confines of the School Board headquarters.
By public, I mean she copied them to the media, including Browardbeat.com .
In politics (and often in life) where every action has a hidden meaning, this is a big deal. The retiring Bartleman, who is pathological about shying away from disagreements in public, is taking the issue public.
She is sending a big signal to Runcie.
By demanding that he start revealing the number of complaints and the time frame for resolving any issues, she is putting pressure on him to solve the bus blunder.
Demanding Runcie provide answers is unusual for this Board. Members Nora Rupert and Patty Good have been the only ones to consistently question some of Runcie’s more fanciful pronouncements.
The Board has been Runcie’s obedient puppies to date, satisfied to follow wherever the superintendent leads.
How is that working out for you Laurie Rich Levinson?
Member Levinson is Runcie’s chief cheerleader.
In my opinion, Levinson has washed her hands of her School Board responsibilities repeatedly. She apparently prefers that the fast-talking Runcie take care of everything, while she collects whatever perks remain from being a School Board member.
Levinson was the chief cheerleader when Runcie boosted administrative expenses and tried to hide it through phantasmagorical hocus-pocus.
She seems little better to me than Bob Parks in a dress. I would explain the Parks’ philosophy as: Hire a superintendent and let him do whatever he wants, as long as you get to take the benefits and call yourself a School Board member.
Well, the chickens in the form of angry parents have come home to roost. I hope they are tying up Levinson’s phone and confronting her in Publix.
Unfortunately for the public, Levinson has two years before her next election.
Bartleman is not so lucky.
Here is her e-mail to Runcie demanding answers: