A Second Look At Kevin Tynan


No one is more surprised about Kevin Tynan than me.

I was wrong to write him off so quickly when he was appointed to the School Board last month.

After watching Tynan this week, I believe he has a chance to make a difference. 

He can become a force for change at an institution that badly needs change.

kevin tynanKevin Tynan 

It’s up to him.

I didn’t expect much from Tynan when Gov. Charlie Crist named him to fill suspended member Bev Gallagher’s seat.

He had been a tepid Republican party chair.  He lost two elections in the past to the Pembroke Pines City Commission.

Tynan’s performance this week for instance, his vote on the future of General Counsel Ed Marko indicates he is flexible and realizes the Board needs a new direction.

Shortly after he got appointed, Tynan said he wanted to let Marko stay two years longer.

Then he read the letters from parents protesting against Marko.

Then he heard school activist Ernestine Price describe Marko as part of the School Board’s problem for the past four decades.

Then he paid attention when fellow Board members like Stephanie Kraft and Jen Gottlieb said it was time for Marko to go. 

Tynan listened.

He changed his position. He voted with the majority to give Marko only one year more.

Tynan listened.

Listening is exactly what the School Board needs to do more of.  They need to listen to their customers,  parents and the taxpaying public.

I still believe Tynan has a long, uphill struggle to win re-election.  His political history, as I pointed out here, is not one that instills confidence in a future victory.

Tynan still has a chance if packaged properly.

Voters will be looking for change at the scandal-ridden School Board. They will be looking for somebody new.

Tynan is just what the Board needs. He’s a Boy Scout.  He is a lawyer who specializes in ethics violations by other lawyers.

Ethics is his specialty. He knows ethics.  He knows where to draw the line. 

His expertise is badly lacking at the School Board, where ethical boundaries are very, very fuzzy.

Tynan can be sold to voters as Mr. Ethics.

The Republican appointee will still have a fight on his hands.  The district has approximately two Democrats for every Republican.

But miracles do happen.

After all, GOP Sheriff Al Lamberti won election last year.in a heavily Democratic year.in a heavily Democratic county.

16 Responses to “A Second Look At Kevin Tynan”

  1. Lard Boy says:

    I’m not sure whether it should be a de facto disqualification for a seat on the school board, but refusing to send one’s children to Broward public schools — as Tynan did — sends the wrong kind of message, something along the lines of “don’t do as I do, do as I say.”

    Had he not chosen to send them to parochial school, his kids would have gone to Flanagan. While not a stellar high school, it is far from a horrible one, and it is certainly a place where one can get an education given interested parents and self-motivation. (I note that the Herald’s Bridget Carey is a fairly recent Flanagan grad.)

    I’m wondering if someone who is comfortable but not wealthy — who in Pembroke Pines is? — yet who makes the financial sacrifice to send two kids to private school (okay, parochial school, but that still costs a not insubstantial sum) can really have at heart the best interests of those parents and students who are not so fortunate.

  2. InTheKnow says:

    I’m a fan of politicians who believe in public education putting their children in public schools. But…

    Beverly Gallagher sent her children to Broward Schools. What good did it do for Broward children?

    Stephanie Kraft sent her children to Broward Schools. What good did it do for Broward chidren?

    Maureen Dinnen has no children. Would that disqualify her too? (forget for a moment that she’s a tool for the teachers union.)

  3. Buddy Too Quick to Apologize says:

    Buddy is too quick to apologize for his earlier insightful comments on Kevin Tynan.

    Tynan has a very uphill battle to wage in order to win election. Voters in that district were betrayed after having given Gallagher another term. They should feel like the idiots they are, but none of them chose Kevin Tynan. He was imposed on them by a Governor who is increasingly unpopular in that area.

    Listening is a good first step but not nearly enough. If he wants to impress anybody then he has to become a true change agent within that entrenched and corrupt school bureaucracy to impress anyone. Problem is that’s not his style.

    The rap on Tynan is that he’s too layed back to get anything done and is too easily manipulated. He is going to have to acquire new skills if he is going to make the cut. The Marko example shows how the rap on him is true.

    What he needed to do with Marko was get rid of him, not suggest giving him two more years. Going down to one saves him some face.

    But the fact is that Marco’s decades old spell still works on new school board members like Tynan. It shows that Marko is still capable of producing the status quo he wants, that Marko is the one in charge, and that Tynan is both easily manipulated and too easy to fool. A man’s character is his fate. Ethics is nice but what we need in school board members right now is the balls to implement change. He needs to show those voters that he has the balls to be different and good. Otherwise, they will throw him to the curb at his first election.

    Mark these words. He has no shot unless he does a number of extraordinary things there. To date he is off to a very unimpressive start.

    As I wrote, “it’s all up to him.”
    I’m just not writing him off, yet. I think he has a wonderful opportunity. Let’s see if he is up to it.

  4. anonymous1 says:

    The best thing about Tynan is that he is not part of the group of Democratic Party campaign contributors who run the school board. I agree with Buddy. He can help the board to change if he stands up against the status quo.

  5. Patty says:

    I am a middle-class Democrat mom who sacrifices to send three children to parochial school. I do this not because our designated schools are substandard, but because I want them in a faith-based learning environment. That is a very personal reason. It certainly does not mean that I don’t care for the state of our public schools. A well-run, healthy learning environment impacts the entire community.

    I take issue with the first comment – that Mr. Tynan does not have the best interests of his district at heart because he sent his kids to private school. He is showing that he is doing his homework. Give him a chance!

    Maybe what we’re looking for in our representatives is the anti-politician. Buddy is right, we need electeds who listen to the people, not the special interests or the lobbyists.

  6. Nobody44441 says:

    Listening at the School Board is key. Many concerned and informed people take the time to be able to give their 3 minutes of advice to the School Board. What does the Board do? Mostly they leave (or haven’t arrived yet) or write emails or read their mail or talk to each other, and never engage in any conversation with the speakers. Why bother? It is insulting to the residents who obviously have something to say and deserve an answer, or at least a nod? Look at their minutes. All they even record about the speakers is their names.

  7. Not Enough says:

    I look at this another way. I had HOPED he was going to be mechanism for dramatic change. A “maverick” since the republican still like that term, perhaps.

    However, (1) the fact that he wanted to keep Marko for another 2 years proves that he did not even understand this very public “controversy” and (2) he had to be persauded by others to join a MAJORITY vote. Come on. Think about that second point — the new blood on the board had to be convinced by the “old” blood to vote in the majority for “change”. To my way of thinking, that is proof that he has a huge learning curve and there is NO indication at all that he understands the public education issues facing this particular School Board. This vote and subsequent reversal simply proves that the appointment of a nice guy who everyone says is honest and beyond reproach is NOT enough. There is nothing about this presentation that even leads us to believe he will be a maverick — he was more of the same UNTIL the majority of others said “come on, Marko has to go”

    And, we are still at the same point when we should be asking why appoint someone with no education experience and apparently not understanding the unique dynamics facing this Board?

    . I agree that it is good he listened to persuasive arguments, but let’s not canonize him because he voted to get rid of Marko and realized his prior lack of understanding on the issues.

  8. Chaz Stevens says:

    He once represented Steve Gonot. Enough said in my book.


  9. My prediction says:

    I predict that you will see Phyllis Hope, Ann Murray, Jen Gottlieb AND Ben Williams join Kevin Tynan as the NEW majority at the SBBC.

    I believe these folks know that they not only must do this to survive politically, but that it is the correct thing to do.

    Just my prediction, but hey…

  10. Alvin Entin says:

    Thank you for recognizing that you were a bit hasty in writing off Kevin Tynan. You do not have to be a bombastic, bigger then life figure to be an effective and dedicated public servant. The people in this County have been treated by the Governor with a gift in Kevin. Incredibly decent, honest and competant he will grow in office and make everyone around him better. He will lead by example and not by news bite. Isn’t it about time we had people like that in office?

  11. Not Enough says:

    To Alvin: Seriously? That vote on Marko was an example of leading by example? Believing that Marko should have another 2 years was avoiding a “news bite”? Yikes. Seems like the standard apparently is pretty low for KT because he is liked, nice guy, and honest.

    Hopefully he will learn from this and get a better understanding of the issues facing the School Board. Remember, according to news reports saying his kids dont go and haven’t gone to public schools. Therefore, he would have some catching up to do since none of his kids have been impacted by ANY of the decisions of the SB. They havent had to deal with busing, or FCAT, or supplies in the classrooms or the teachers union or security issues, etc. Perfect choice for on-the-job training.

  12. Karen Moss says:

    I agree. It is too early to judge Mr. Tynan. I’m just happy he replaces Beverely Gallagher who only listened to builders. I tried to call her this year and couldn’t ever get her to answer me. Even her secretary wouldn’t call me back.

  13. Alvin Is From Mars says:

    Alvin, you are a gift from God with your perspective. A good man for sure, from heaven. From Mars.
    But not from Miramar, or Pembroke Pines, or Cooper City, SW Ranches or any of the places in that school board district.

    We want red meat. We want absolution for being so stupid as to give Bev Gallagher another term knowing as we should that she was a crook. We want the corruption out of the school board. We want change there.

    We want Kevin Tynan to be like Rambo in that seat, not like Mother Teresa, and if he can’t do that then we need somebody else.

    It’s that simple. Either he delivers in that job or he’s in the way of progress. Nice guy you say? Nobody here cares if he beats his mother so long as he brings change to that rat infested school board.

  14. Hammerhead says:

    @ My Prediction,

    You are probably correct on 4 out or 5 but Ben Williams will not be one. His near dementia-like act has grown old. His only angle is that everything is about the “process” so much so that other board members joke about it. Williams occassionally laughs about it too, knowing that it is one of the only ways he can keep the public fraud from looking premeditated. If it is all about the children and part of the process, then how can it be fraud or criminality. He is crazy like a fox. He is also greasy and old school. Stay tuned and you will see.

  15. yeah right! says:

    Yeah right! All you liberals out there are the one’s who voted in the corruption year after year, now you rip Tynan and haven’t even given him the opportunity to be a Rambo. You all are corrupt! I hope the FBI throws every damn one of the school board members in jail. Start with your boy Notter!

  16. look at the facts says:

    The biggest single contributors to Broward County School Board campaigns are not parents, teachers or activists, but companies and their lobbyists seeking part of the school’s $2.3 billion in construction over the next five years. Incumbents Carole Andrews, Darla Carter, Stephanie Kraft, Marty Rubinstein and Robert Parks received 21 to 46 percent of their campaign contributions from businesses such as builders, architects, engineers and others that benefit from school construction, a South Florida Sun-Sentinel analysis found. proof they are all corrupt!