Brow. Commissioner: I Can Save Teacher Jobs



It isn’t in his job description, but Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom may have found a way to save teacher jobs.

John Rodstrom

Rodstrom believes that the school system should restructure eight bond issues which could provide $60 million extra over the next two years. There would be a smaller savings in later years when the economy is expected to recover.

“How many jobs would $60 million save?…This is a no brainer,” Rodstrom says.

The idea is complicated, but it is basically like taking a 15-year mortgage and changing it to 30-year mortgage. Yearly payments go down, leaving a lot of additional cash on the table.

The school system is suffering more than county government.  That’s because schools not only face a decline in property taxes, but also a cut in per-pupil money from Tallahassee, the county commissioner says.

An investment banker who specializes in municipal bonds, Rodstrom says flatly that he is NOT seeking business from the school system.  “It was important that any hint of me making money from this was removed,” he says.

His idea, which was contained in a report presented to the Board Tuesday, was done “pro bono” and because he is a life-long Broward resident.  The east Fort Lauderdale resident spoke to the Board for three minutes in the part of the meeting set aside for citizen’s comments.

“The people before me were speaking about their music teacher being fired so my comments were timely,” he says. “I’m more than an investment banker.  I’ve been a policy maker for a long time. I wanted to give them information that could save jobs.”

School Board members will examine his proposal.

Rodstrom was a commissioner and vice mayor of Fort Lauderdale.  He was then appointed mayor of Sunrise for a short time before being elected to the county commission in 1992.

15 Responses to “Brow. Commissioner: I Can Save Teacher Jobs”

  1. suzanne says:

    Genius! I want details.

  2. Lynne Helm says:

    Wow … is there anyone on the school board with brains enough to take a look at this?

  3. no one rides for free says:

    Is there anyone who has followed Rodstrom who does not know he has made his whole political career crapping on city and county employees which in my opinion is similar to teahers. His kid went to private school. This is just grandstanding to impress the folks over at NSU where he is trying to win a job.

  4. Long Time Educator says:

    Mr. Rodstrom is the only local politician who has shown enough interest to do something. He is trying. Where is the School Board?

  5. fyi says:

    Wasnt Rodstrom against making Martin Luter King Day a holiday for employees when he was a Fort Lauderdale Commissioner? If true, you know he has Ann Murray’s vote.

  6. This Is Disgraceful says:

    Thank you Commissioner Rodstrom. Every resident in this county should be outraged and ashamed of this school district. They just fired 1400 teachers because they could not afford them yet don’t know enough to restructure debt they can’t afford, incurred by building tons of schools for which there are no students. Meanwhile they graduate 60% of our children meaning that 4 in 10 have no fair chance to make it in this world. It is a total outrage but I blame us as residents more than them because we tolerate it.

  7. Not True says:

    Plenty of local politicians have tried giving the school board advice on common sense matters. It is a waste of time. They consider themselves too high and mighty to. Advice from the “outside” is never given any serious consideration. A thing that happens when you get elected a school board member. You start off on the right foot and very quickly are converted into a manipulated zombie like the rest of them. None seem to escapt it. There isn’t an original thinker in the bunch.

  8. electricjack says:

    Great idea extend the debt out an additional 15 years what a fool. Ask any mortgage broker for the end result of a 15 year versus a 30 year mortgage…about 200,000 dollars on a 150,000 house another fool screwing the taxpayer again…………..

  9. watcher says:

    good idea but dont think he’s not a politician,,,i’ve seen him give a favor…get a favor

  10. do something useful says:

    If John cares about the teachers/kids, maybe he should start by being something more than a wishy washy politician and lay it out WHY the SB is where it is, instead of trying to fix the problem with out addressing how it got there.

  11. DeeDee says:

    I can not understand all these people dumping on John Rodstrom. All he did was propose an idea. It should be considered.

  12. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    Hold on there and reread ElectricJack.

    Why would you extend debt payments where the total outlay could me far higher than the short term savings? Isn’t this what many foolish people did years ago on doing refis and ending up much higher in debt to pay off short term expenses?

    What will be the costs and payments to the financiers after all of this is done? Why should we make those kids who graduate years fro now be burdened with a never ednnig bond issue debt instead of being bond free?

    Isn’t this what many idiot states did to fill in gaps years ago and they now have massive debt service issues?

    It would make sense to do a refi where the years remaining do not increase, but lower interest rates save money. We did that with our HOA clubhouse loan when interest rates fell.

    I refi’d from a 30 to 15 and will have the house paid off just when I near early SSI and can say FU to the county and SFLA if they increase debt for residents to pay off.

    On a different subject. A few days ago I heard Steve Kane’s young ward, Brian Craig on the radio declare that he does not believe that Dinosaurs ever existed.

  13. Dear DeeDee says:

    Here is why….

    Anyone who has dealt with Rodstrom over the last 20 years he has been an elected knows that John Rodstrom makes moves that benefits John Rodstrom.

    Secondly, I think it is more than a coincidence that his grandstanding attempt to cure the ills of the SB budget and save our teachers probably has something to do with his seeking the job to be COO at NSU. Considering that John’s whole business experience is being a dais day trader and bond salesman, what really qualifies him to be COO of large local university? Of course the timing would be perfect if he could save our teachers at the same time he is being considered for the position of COO.

  14. A closer look says:

    Rodstrom is suggesting that the district restructure the debt on their capital dollar expenditures. That money cannot be used to pay teachers but it can go to fix Hallandale High School and may other schools in desperate need of repair. Is it possible he doesn’t know the difference between an operating and capital budget?

  15. The Blame Goes To... says:

    Rodstrom has some great ideas. However, we don’t see anyone brave enough to identify the cause of these 1400 teachers. That blame rests with the BTU President. They are the group that denied the $37M from the Race to the Top grant from the Federal Government. Their reason was that they did not want teacher evaluation. Guess what? We got it anyway thanks to Tallahassee. How stupid do the union leaders look now? I feel for the teachers because their leadership has let them down.