Broward School Board’s Beachfront Junket




Every year the Broward School Board goes whining to the Legislature that it needs more money.

Everytime something goes wrong in the school system, Board members blame the Legislature for not being generous enough.

Then it goes and does something like this:


Ritz Carlton ad



A Team Building session! At the tony beachfront Ritz Carlton in Naples!

This is a resort that describes itself like this on its website:

“With spacious Naples hotel rooms, luxurious suites and impeccable service, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples offers guests an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.”


This could be a School Board member’s room that you are paying for:



The cost is $116-a-night per room, a bargain rate at the upscale Ritz Carlton.  The price tag doesn’t stop there.

Mileage, food and extras such as parking  could add to the cost for a system, which has over 200 schools where this could take place.

If it needs to take place at all.

In this case, Team Building translates into Taxpayer Screwing.

Or as the Sun-Sentinel put it:

“For taxpayers who just received higher school tax bills because of rising property tax values, plus the $800 millon bond referendum passed last year, the Board’s optics don’t seem so super duper.”

And although I’m not an attorney, the meeting that far out of town might violate Florida Law. The relevant law appears to this untrained legal eye to restrict the School Board to meetings in the county.  

1001.372 District school board meetings.


(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), all regular and special meetings of the district school board shall be held in the office of the district school superintendent or in a room convenient to that office and regularly designated as the district school board meeting room.

(b) Upon the giving of due public notice, regular or special meetings of the district school board may be held at any appropriate public place in the county.

A meeting that far away could violate the Sunshine Law.  According to the state’s Sunshine Law manual:

 “(A) school board workshop held outside county limits over 100 miles away from the board’s headquarters violated the sunshine law where the only advantage to the board resulting from the out-of-town gathering (elimination of travel time and expense due to the fact that the board members were attending a conference at the site) did not outweigh the interests of the public in having a reasonable opportunity to attend. Rhea v. School Board of Alachua County, 636 so. 2d 1383 (Fla. 1st DCa 1994)….(quoting the court decision) ‘[t]he interests of the public in having a reasonable opportunity to attend a Board workshop must be balanced against the Board’s need to conduct a workshop at a site beyond the county boundaries.’” 

(After this was posted, School Board Chair Donna Korn said the School Board Attorney assured her that the team building session was legally kosher because “we were not doing business.”)

Aside from the location, you might want to know why the School Board needs a Team Building session at all.

If you can’t get along with co-workers, do you get a Team Building session at the Ritz Carlton?

School Board Chair Korn, who planned the junket, explained it like this to the Sun-Sentinel:

“There has to be a cue when other Board members can say something – without insulting or hurting the feelings of that person – that we’ve all heard this. Either add something new or let us weigh in and make a final decision.”

That sounds suspiciously like Team Building is designed to be a training session to silence dissent.

Building the School Board into a team is the wrong goal any way.

The School Board shouldn’t be a team, bleating one note.

The Board should be a vigorous debating society publicly airing many points of view. That’s the way government works best.

The School Board has a lot of problems they need to talk about. Team Building is not one of them.

There is a lesson in this.

The next time Board members are in Tallahassee grumbling that Broward Schools need more money, legislators should remember two words:

Ritz Carlton.









13 Responses to “Broward School Board’s Beachfront Junket”

  1. A Parent says:

    You missed the most important fact, Buddy. By holding these two-day make-work sessions like “team building” they prevent any working person from being a School Board member. This is just one of many daytime meetings that are meaningless. Nobody in business or who has a job can be a School Board member and meet constantly in the daytime. So what you get is a group of school non-working Mommies looking for something to do. The Board is not diverse in that none of them have a real job. The vast, vast majority of the public works. That is the major reason the Board is so bad.


    Some of them may have had a job before joining the School Board. For instance, I believe Donna Korn is/was a real estate agent.

  2. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    They actually got a good deal on the room rate. Travel by any elected official always generated a lot of interest. I know when I do a PIO request(you abandoned me like Judas-its ok I will always survive that’s for another day(I was good to you guys) its sparks a lot of interest. I think its because the elected official etc. is not paying but yet we would have to pay full rate at a place like this etc. It brews resentment. I’m waiting for one or several of you to go to DC so I can open a barber shop at the Mayflower(yes)….

  3. In the know says:

    It totally absolutely without question violates the Sunshine Law and I’m shocked that the Board Attorney allowed this. A simple glance at the Florida Sunshine Law manual would find (page 40) that not only are out of town meetings frowned upon, but meetings held over 100 miles away were found to violate the Sunshine Law. According to my map program, the Ritz is 113 miles away.

    Even if the Ritz was just under 100 miles away, it certainly violates the spirit of the sunshine law. It doesn’t surprise me, knowing Runcie’s obvious distaste for transparency, but I am really surprised at the board members for allowing this to occur.

    Given all the bad press the school board has had over the recent years, why even flirt with the appearance of impropriety? If they wanted the Ritz, the Fort Lauderdale Ritz is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

  4. lol says:

    and Donna Korn was supposed to be the fiscal conservative Republican on the Board.

  5. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    Ohio has Joe the Plumber.

    Florida has Walsh the Felon Barber.


  6. dad to three says:

    The School District violates Sunshine and Public Records Laws all the time, they just figure parents and citizens are too dumb to know any better

  7. Shocked? says:

    I am shocked that “In the Know” is shocked! Take a look at the Org chart. The “Board Attorney” also reports to Runcie. He “advises” board members to do what is best for the Superintendent and his agenda. If they can have a “team building” conference away from constituents, they may be less likely to speak up when they disagree with a colleague or the Superintendent. This “Board Attorney” is the same guy that tells the Board they have to vote yes! Surprised he allows them to violate Sunshine? He sits up there while the Superintendent IGNORES and VIOLATES policy. How many 4.9 policy violations have come back to haunt them? No one is shocked by this. I’m only shocked that no one has advised Donna Korn to stop giving statements to the press.

  8. Hal says:

    Isn’t there a Ritz Carlton in Fort Lauderdale?



  9. Talks like a politician says:

    The parent groups at Northeast High and at Stranahan could fill up 2 buses, one for each day at the Team Building event, and attend the “meetings”. Road trip!

  10. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack says check Florida case law. Karnack says this tried before by other district puppets. Karnack says check with Fort Lauderdale City auditor. Karnack says he told Run, his harem and the stooge barrister about it in email. Karnack says team building with these clowns is really a meeting to determine how to break up slush fund in private.

    Karnack says what happened to the board whisperer. Karnack says we wasted money for him to come to us now the want to go on a paid vacation to the beach using same old excuse.

    Karnack says team building with Run and harem…..ewwww. Karnack says harem like a pack of felines in heat. Karnack says they will do or say anything to get what they want through Run. Karnack says ewwwww.

    Karnack says where is the management team under Run. Karnack says that is the team that needs to be built.

    Karnack says string bean will be making at least one more trip back to FLT. Karnack says Run funding his lawyer plus paying him extra to come back and defend himself. Karnack says the train has left the satiation.


    Thanks, Karnack. This would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad.

  11. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Maybe a comment from one of the board members would be good. To get their take on this. (oh by the way to Mr.Stevens yup convicted felon-who saved the city of Ft>lau over 300g a year(401a). Convicted felon who if anyone, resident, staff, etc has an issue who do they come to ,who, Robert Walsh-(enough said)…

  12. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Well, now, all someone from Broward has to do is file a complaint with the SA and I’m sure the taxpayers will get satisfaction.

    Which should be long as you’re willing to wait for Godot.

  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Look, we have State Attorneys and U.S. District Attorneys, we have two general interest daily newspapers and one business daily, plus news operations at the local television stations of the Four National Networks.
    The politicians go to fundraisers and public events continually.
    And, while we are at it, Miss Greenbarg and Mr. Landanowski both I believe were on the Facilities Committee – WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY SAW SOMETHING STINKY?
    Speak to the Sun Sentinenl or Miami Herald reporters or editors?
    Go up to elected officials at Fundraisers or public events?
    Write letters to public officials and the press.
    WHY NOT?
    Because NO ONE CARES!