Deals With Insiders Continue At School Board


The Broward School Board might be suffering financially, but work must go on.

That includes deals with insiders.

The School Board is scheduled on Tuesday to renew a multi-million dollars lease for a 115,000-square-foot office building in Sunrise owned by the Stiles Corporation though two limited partnerships.

Stiles is CEO Terry Stiles and President Doug Eagon.  They are leading members of the downtown Fort Lauderdale business establishment and big time players in politics.

The property is at the Sawgrass Technology Park just south of Sunrise Boulevard and west of NW 136th Street.  

The building will be used by 689 administrators and support staff.

The Board considered using portables in Lauderhill and in Pembroke Pines instead of renting the space. 

Using School Board math at a June meeting, administrators said that leasing Sawgrass would save $3.9 million over the portables.  The total cost of the lease over three years is more than $6 million including maintenance.

At the same meeting, The Board was told by the staff that they couldn’t find any other acceptable property to lease during a three-year search.

The reason?  “Limited opportunities  for total square footage needed and the leasing costs were more expensive than Sawgrass, according to a PowerPoint presentation to Board members.     

It is true that 115,000 square feet is a lot of space as big as more than 30 nice-sized single-family homes.

It is also true that Broward is filled with vacant space.  Winn Dixie is just one of the firms that recently closed stores here. 

Who said that all the staff has to be housed in one building, which they haven’t been in the past?

I’ve been watching the School Board long enough to be very suspicious of the staff’s contention that it “couldn’t find any other acceptable properties during a three-year search. 

Then I got to thinking.  Three years of “work by some School Board administrators is like three months for the rest of us.  So maybe they couldn’t find the property.

The item is on Tuesday’s School Board agenda.

15 Responses to “Deals With Insiders Continue At School Board”

  1. Lori Parrish says:

    A better quesiton would be what do we need 689 administrators and staff for? They are obviously not connected to the schools.


    Good question, Lori. You are right. These people are as far from the classroom as you can get.

    The administrators and staff in the building will be from the South Area Superintendent’s Office, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Capital Budget and Financial Reporting Departments, the Office of the Chief Auditor and the Facilities Office. At least some of the employees would be moved from the KCWright HQs to the new building.

    The South Area Office is responsible for schools in South Broward so it really makes sense to put the office in Central West Broward. Not! They will be spending a lot of time on the road if they intend to visit schools.

  2. Sunrise Resident says:

    If you want to see your tax money at work, spend some time at the Sawgrass Mills during the day. The place is filled with School
    employees who are stupid enough to wear their ID badges and are from the office park across the street. They are not just eating lunch, unless trying on shirts and buying purses at 10 in the morning is lunch.

  3. Floridan says:

    So what are you saying here?

    That there is something underhanded going on between Stiles and the School Board?

    That the School Board administrators’ report to the School Board is wrong or misleading?

    That the School Board would be paying above market rate for what they need?

    That the School Board doesn’t need this many administrators? (If not, which ones do they not need?)

    That you have information the School Board staff does not have regarding office space needs?

    As it is, your post seems like a exercise in “shoot anything that flies; claim anything that falls.”

  4. I'm Just Beachy says:

    As Sonny & Cher sang, And, the beat goes on…

  5. Lori Parrish says:

    My comment is based on the “mission” of the School Board. I have read the capital budget has been reduced and contracts in progress cancelled. How many facilitiy staff employees are now needed? In the early 80’s area offices were housed in schools which were under enrolled.

    Many schools have laid off their “special” teachers(media specialists, art, music, phys ed, etc) in tough times I believe the priority should be funding only what has a direct impact on a teacher and a classroom of students.

    Someone needs to take a serious look at what has been spent on the “new” payroll system. Does it work? How many staff members does it take to function? What was the projected cost vs the actual cost?
    Would it have been cheaper to hire a payroll company?

  6. Harold Thathal says:

    My business is real estate. The leasing of space by government is something that should be investigated. Nobody pays attention, least of all the elected officials. Too often it is simply a pay off to political supporters plain and simple. The idea is not that the rent is market rate, but that the government is filling space that would otherwise go unfilled and other cheaper options are not even explored.

  7. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Lori, as always, you hit the nail right on the head….

  8. Bob Bekoff says:

    Lori for Superintendent. Get rid of the board. Remember the Port Authority. Make it a charter position. You can bet she would kick ass, take names and save $millions. And not raise taxes.

  9. S only says:

    As a taxpayer, I find this senario very wasteful. There is plenty of space in underenrolled schools. Divide the “administrators” and put them in the schools. Let them lend a hand to the real purpose of the schools: educating children. Let them be visible and maybe even mentors. Half probably are redundant paper pushers anyway. As for Lori being the superintendent—Not a bad idea–these administrators would be thinned out for sure…a definite need.

  10. North Lauderdale Resident says:

    Hi Lori,
    We’re you on the taxpayers dime when you sent a comment at 1:44 PM on Sept 17th?

  11. I'm Just Beachy says:

    Let’s get real here.
    We go through this sickening cycle whenever schools, on the whole, want to rid themselves of many of the more “challenging” , so to speak , staff, not just teachers.
    Layoffs then recalls, surplus processes, and rehires, all simply shuffle these folks around to other places due to union watchdogs or weak area office staff.
    The various school boards, as well as the area /supt. offices, in the past, as well as now, serve as blatant cowards when it comes to supporting principals who jump through hoops, often for years trying relentlessly, to either get the person to improve to the standard or leave, and often reps of the very peer groups these challenging employees are from, want them removed or disciplined. Often it is sad but true, the “shadow powers” hover, and work behind the scenes to make it seem as if there is support but in fact, the support lies with the union reps working deals behind the scenes.
    This, all in accordance with rules, procedures and timelines designed to safeguard the due process rights of these employees who hold our students and school hostage… Yet, what of the numerous students who are forced to endure their miserable job performances over this time period?
    No one really addresses that.
    The kids always come last on the priority scale.
    How do they continue to skirt their responsibilities year after year, neglecting to advance student gains in learning, protect and advance our student’s safety and instead offering continuous exposure to their highly negative, destructive attitudes. The mission of not just the board, but the schools as well, is not at the heart of their teaching or employment. Politics and power and greed are. Such a farce.. Such a Shame.
    As Buddy is well aware and has addressed over the years, so many outstanding employees over the past years, have left or been forced out foolishly.
    They were among those who worked hard in accordance with the true mission, who in fact helped create the mission over the years, and brought our county to the huge increase over the past ten years in student test scores and school grades, yet were thrown out with the bathwater.
    They often were those who may have made errors in judgement that equated to issues that should have been handled in house but instead were treated with disrespect and ridicule, admonished far beyond what was needed, and often forced to protect themselves needlessly for fear of severe, unwarranted retribution.
    For all these reasons and so many more, I am all for the idea of Lori running the place! She came from it and learned from it and continues to excel. Even under criticism, Lori responds in ways we understand and can often accept because she is one of us and never forgets that.
    She is fair and very intelligent, wise and a loyal friend to our county and to our students.
    Lori go for it! If anyone can do it, Lori can!

  12. Lori Fan says:

    If Lori Parrish can do for the Schools what she did at the Property Appraisers Office, she needs to be hired. The office has been modernized under her. The school system needs to be shaken up and Lori is the one to do it.

  13. SimpleMan says:

    Lori was at he school board at one time and was not so hot. Lori must be backing some other property holder. How about the old lauderhill mall? How about getting rid of all the old political hacks who go from one board to the other like Lori, Lois, Wasserman, Sobel etc?

  14. Floridan says:

    SimpleMan: “How about getting rid of all the old political hacks who go from one board to the other like Lori, Lois, Wasserman, Sobel etc?”

    I believe that’s what elections are for.

  15. Lori Parrish says:

    No I was not on taxpayers’ time. I also sign my own name to blogs because I am not afraid to use it. How ’bout you?