More Trouble For School Board’s Bob Parks

By Buddy Nevins

School Board candidate Nora Rupert has announced she collected 1,311 signatures on a petition to qualify for office, a move that indicates she has significant support.

Qualifying by petition saves her campaign a $1,560 filing fee.

Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has not certified the petition yet, so it is not official.

Rupert is challenging School Board member Bob Parks’ re-election.

This is the seventh School Board campaign for Parks and is shaping up as his toughest ever.  He has been in office since 1986. 

Rupert’s news release is filled with hints on how she will campaign against Parks, seeking to portray him as a tool of lobbyists and special interests:

 “I am thrilled to be the first School Board candidate in recent memory to petition onto the ballot instead of soliciting campaign contributions from lobbyists and special interests to pay the filing fee of $1,560.00. 

My Opponent, Bob Parks, has already taken thousands upon thousands of dollars from the same lobbyists, contractors and venders that he has supported with his votes and who have funded his current and past campaigns and he will use their contributions are enough to pay his filing fee.

Our grass roots, district-wide effort to get the required 1133 valid Voter Petitions actually obtained over 1311 signed petitions from Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Margate, and Deerfield Beach registered voters who want to change the priorities of the School Board. 

My campaign is all about refocusing the priorities toward achieving student excellence and increasing graduation rates, rather than rewarding lobbyists and special interests.

Rupert is a teacher at Piper High School in Sunrise.

21 Responses to “More Trouble For School Board’s Bob Parks”

  1. Throw the Bums Out says:

    She sounds perfect to me. Drastic change on that board is long overdue.

  2. Floridan says:


  3. Garfish says:

    hehe Floridan, of course she could have said moneylendors. Vendors, lenders, either way I applaud her going the petition route to qualification.

  4. nottinamazesme says:

    We don’t know who wrote this story, but either way, who cares if there’s a typo? She’s not running for the spelling bee.
    The fact is this happens to be someone who is coming from the front line of duty, albeit not too much experience, but even a little is better than none. And she may help a lot in getting rid of the egocentric Parks. Applause, applause!!

  5. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Duh and/or hello?

    She might not be running for the spelling bee, but she’s running for the School Board.

    You know… Reading, writing, arithmetic?

  6. Floridan says:

    OK, forget about the misspelling.

    What about this sentence? “My Opponent, Bob Parks, has already taken thousands upon thousands of dollars from the same lobbyists, contractors and venders that he has supported with his votes and who have funded his current and past campaigns and he will use their contributions are enough to pay his filing fee.

    It seems to me that someone who is vowing (albeit without specifics) to clean up the school system should be paying attention to details. After all, it is a lot easier to put together a well-written press release than it is to oversee a billion-dollar educational operation.

  7. SimpleMan says:

    Hey Chaz,
    Usually I support what you have to say, but this time you are being no genius. Sure, school is about reading, writing, and arithmetic, but being a School Board memeber is not about those things. It is all about business, and her opponent, Bob Parks, has long been in the business of pushing money to his business associates that could have been used to really help our students and communities. If you think a misspelled word is more important than ethics, you are certainly no genius, and if you think that Bob Parks has the right ethics to serve the public interest, then your judgement will really be called into question. Look at the financial reports from Bob’s 2006 campaign on the Broward Supervisor of Elections web-site to get a flavor of where Bob is coming from. I am looking forward to your coming insults. I will even feel a flash of pride that you will respond to me.

    SimpleMan, a simple man

  8. SimpleMan says:

    To see how Bob parks has whored himself out, here is a link to his financial report from the last election cycle, when he ran unopposed!! Soon there will be links to transcripts of contractor selection meetings showing how he manipulated the selection process and how he bragged about it. Too bad Bob is incapable of feeling embarassment, because he would sure be feeling some soon if he could. All that dirty laundry and so litle time. If you take the time to read the financial report ask yourself what interest each contibutor and their spouse and their political action committee and their consulting firm have in furthering education and reducing costs. It ain’t pretty Bob, but it is you.

  9. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Bottom line it’s time for Bob to go. He was sitting on the dais while all of the facilities mistakes helped take the system down the drain. Sure they approved new schools, additions etc., that looked like they were appropriately priced according to bid…..THEN the change orders in many cases were almost half of the original approval.

  10. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    And by the way, if Bob stops suddenly, Notters nose would be right up his butt.

  11. Dear Floridian says:

    Both Vender and vendor are proper English. Look in the dictionary.

  12. Esther says:


    You keep saying that this campaign is shaping up to tbe the toughest for Bob Parks. Although nothing would please me more, why are you saying that? This woman doesn’t seem to have the resources that Parks has and will muster (unfortunately). Could you quantify your statement–nothing would make me happier than to see Parks fired.

    Parks hasn’t had an election in 12 years.

    He is older and naturally has less energy.

    He is up against a candidate with considerable grass roots and political support.

    That alone makes it a very tough race.

    Bob Parks was first elected in 1986 easily against minimal opposition to an open seat formally held by member Tom Evans. He won that first election 5 to 1.

    He had a contested race in 1994 against Martin Lee Zisholtz characterized by misleading campaigning by Parks. He sent out brochures that said he was the only candidate supported by teachers, yet it was Zisholtz who got the teacher’s union endorsement, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

    Parks was heavily favored to win in 1998 and did against a largely unknown candidate, John Griffin.

    All indications are that this year anti-incumbency will drive voters. Parks is the incumbent.

    That should overcome much of the advantage the money will give him.

    In addition, in the more than three decades I have been a journalist in Broward I have never seen such distrust of the School Board.

    And for good reason.

    Members of the Board and their staff are under investigation for:
    *Inside dealing on construction contracts.
    *Misspending and overspending on the same contracts and others.
    *No-bid deals
    *Buying swamp land unsuitable for construction with the help of their lobbyist friends
    *Favoritism in hiring
    *Outright bribery.

    It has gotten so bad that an independent group was appointed to suggest new ethics rules for the Board.

    A malignancy has metastasized at the School Board and it needs to be cut out. That’s what elections are for.

  13. Floridan says:

    DF: “Both Vender and vendor are proper English”

    Yes, of course, I’m sure she was consciously using the obsure “variant” of the word. Likewise, I’m sure the bad grammer was to make us slow down and think about what she was communicating.

    Or something like that.

    FROM BUDDY: I’m sure that Bob Parks knows how to spell vendor to your satisfaction.
    He should. He has had a lot of practice. After all, he is a subsidary of the school system vendors.

  14. Hammerhead says:

    Keep up the good work Buddy. Parks simply must go…although I’d prefer it be in handcuffs. Maybe we’ll have a pre-election miracle.

  15. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Money doesn’t take the horse race. Two years ago Ann Murray with minimal monetary support beat the heck out of “The Chosen One” Rick Saltrick. His war chest was full of Barbara Miller and Neil Sterling associates.

  16. SimpleMan says:

    I hate to bust your bubble but Ann Murray’s war chest is now pretty full with special intere4st money too. Check out her level of support from West Palm Beach aRoyal Concrete. The citizens of South Broward county should feel special knowing that so many folks up in West Palm Beach care enough about educating their kids to give thousands of dollars of support to their board member. Much like the citizens up in Bob’s district should feel special knowing that all the architects. engineers, contractors, lawyers, and accountants from outside his district and the county are more interested in the education of their kids than they are, after all, outside contributions accounted for about 90% of his financial support in the 2006 election cycle, when he rean unopposed. Bob has taken a lot of contributions from special interests over the years and they continue to give it to him. It must be a good investment.

  17. G.B. says:

    @ SimpleMan

    Ann Murray does not have a “pretty full war chest” so you are incorrect.

    Beth the Bounty Hunter is correct that Ann Murray beat Rick Saltrick, who had $160,000.00+ with just $35,000., most of it being Ann Murray’s own money.

    That margin of victory was over 9,600 votes…a record victory in a School Board race. Could all those voters be wrong about her and you be right?

    Ann Murray has not collected any money since November 7, 2009 and her “war chest” as you inaccurately call it has about $9,000.00 in it right now.

    To even mention her name in a post about Bob Parks is grossly unfair.

    It was Ann Murray, who shortly after her election, called for a moratorium on all school spending and was voted down by the old guard majority.

    It was Ann Murray who proposed the policy that no School Board member sit on the QSEC Committee and was voted down again by the old guard majority. Bob Parks & Stephanie Kraft, wanting to sit on QSEC, were rabidly against that proposal. They think they should decide both who contractors are and then vote on the projects as board members too despite the fact it represents a clear conflict of interest.

    It was Ann Murray who appointed long-time School Board watchdog and activist Charlotte Greenbarg to the Audit Committee literally hours after she was unceremoniously kicked to the curb by yet another member of the old guard majority Maureen Dinnen, who did not want her snooping around any longer.

    It was Ann Murray, who just last week voted against naming the Athletic Track at Coconut Creek High after Bob Parks, another member of the old guard majority.

    I could go on and on, but the fact is, contributions are not as important as how elected officials vote on issues brought before them.

    Have you even bothered to take the time to examine her voting record before criticizing her? Have you ever spoken to Ann Murray? I suspect you have not.

    Ann Murray had not even decided to run for School Board when most of the issues currently being criticized were voted on and passed by the old guard, yet you are lumping her in with them simply because she is an incumbent?

    Ann Murray is one of the leaders of the new guard and represents one of your your best chances for positive change on the School Board.

    The change has already started with Ann Murray, Kevin Tynan and others…some yet to be elected.

    Once that old guard majority vote that has been stifling all positive change is gone, things will be different.

    Please do not be so “simple minded” as to not allow Ann Murray the opportunity to influence that much needed positive change.

  18. nottinamazesme says:

    Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    May 21st, 2010 at 6:16 am
    Duh and/or hello?

    She might not be running for the spelling bee, but she’s running for the School Board.

    You know… Reading, writing, arithmetic?

    Chaz, my man. If you think the Board has anything to do with the three core subjects you mentioned….. boy, do you need a reality check!!!

  19. SimpleMan says:

    I refute your assertion that I am incorrect about Ann Murray’s campaign finances. Here are some facts from the Supervisor of Elections web-site.

    Ann Murray has raised $19,540 and lent her campaign $1,500. She has spent $10,220.27 and should have a balance of $10,819.73. Her contributions are mostly from the construction industry ($11,750) with $6,000 of that coming from Palm Beach County and Hamilton Ohio. $2,600 comes from the typical local political hacks like Judy, Mitch, and Becker Poliakof.

    While the fullness of her “war chest” is subjective, there is no room for debate concerning the bulk of her financial support. It comes from the same type of sources that funded her previous opponent and fund Bob Parks, special interests. Much of her construction contributions come from the fundraiser so graciously hosted by Royal Concrete up in Palm Beach County last summer (June 2009). In an unrelated incident, in her very first Board meeting, December 9, 2008, Ms. Murray was part of a unanimous vote to award Royal Concrete a $5 million dollar contract to provide concrete classroom buildings.

    By the way, and I am not blaming Ms. Murray as Royal concrete was already doing work for the district, the Royal Concrete buildings are absolute garbage and represent some of the worst work done for the district. Granted, Ms. Murray walked into this mess, but I find it remarkable and somewhat hypocritical, that only 6 months after being swept into office by a grassroots campaign as a “salt of the earth” candidate, Ms. Murray is attending a fund raiser in Palm Beach County and raking in special interest money from the construction industry and appears to be heading down the same path that took Bev Gallagher from activist mom to disgraced former board member/convicted felon.

    Also, I have looked at her voting record. It is available on the School District web-site in the meeting minutes section on the School Board page. The School District does not make it easy to research, but it is possible. I have done some perfunctory analysis and have not yet found a non-bid contract construction that she voted against, but to be honest, I have only researched her first few months on the Board, where the evidence I found shows she voted for every TPM and CM@Risk project in front of her. While she may have voted to get the Board Members off of QSEC, she was still voting for everything that came out of it.

    Finally, I did meet Ann Murray and tried to talk to her about the mess in the district concerning the budget and the construction projects, but she expressed no interest in what I had to say and never called me to follow up. She came across as a typical politician. Maybe not how you know her, but I did not know her before she was a sitting Board Member taking trips to Palm Beach for fundraisers held by companies that bring business before the Board. Now she seems a lot more like Beverly and Bob than the grassroots candidate that won election in 2008.

  20. Taxpayer Joe says:

    I was at a meeting where Parks was. He was extremely rude to the parents and would only talk to a few administrators from the school board. When I I tried to ask him a question about the school, he walked by me without answering or looking my way. This man has forgotten who he works for, us.

  21. SimpleMan says:


    You just don’t understand how Bob works. If you want him to work for you, you need to pump a few thousand dollars into his campaign funds. Go to the Supervisor of Elections web-site and look at Bob’s campaign’s financial information, and you will get the lesson you need to learn how to get Bob to work for you.

    If you do, you will find people like Ira Cor ($500), Real Estate Broker who profited when the Board bought the unusable swampland that Bob voted for.
    Ron Book ($500), who lobbied for Ashbritt, the company that overbilled the district for Hurricane Wilma work for close to a million dollars, Ron Book’s wife ($500), and of course, Ashbritt ($500). Other lobbyists and political insiders were also generous: Tripp Scott ($500), Judy Stern ($500), Bernie Friedman($500), Mrs. Friedman($500), Neil Sterling, Lobbyist, gave $1,000, and of course, many very successful firms that wisely and profitably employed the legions of lovely local lobbyists, such as, Vista Health Plans, which received a huge increase in premiums, gave at least $1,500, Pirtle Construction ($500), who reaped the benefit of a construction program run amok, by corralling the lion’s share of the non-bid, unneeded, illegally authorized, overpriced TPM classroom additions, Zyscovitch($500, Architects for many of the aforementioned TPM projects, Recreational Design ($500), who was awarded two stadium projects in Bob’ District, and a slew of contractors, architects, and engineers that received huge fees for contracts that Bob voted for, as well many more CPAs, Lawyers, Brokers. For example, Rubin Consulting (Richard Rubin), who coincidentally happened to get work from the district when the Deputy Superintendent for Construction manipulated compliant Administrators into circumventing proper procedures in order to steer design work to him, gave $500.

    The list goes on. Check it out for yourself. Bob reliably voted for these folks over and over for the last 24 years. Over the years they invested thousands of dollars in Bob, and in return they received millions. You should try it. You don’t hear any of them complaining about Bob.