Notter’s New Commission Laughable


The Broward County School Board is under federal investigation because of the tangled political web tying Board members with lobbyists.

So who does School Superintendent Jim Notter appoint to his new three-member commission to clean up the Board?

A lobbyist and two politicians!

Earth to Jim Notter.  Do you know what’s going on down here?

 jim notter

Oblivious Notter

Notter’s new  Commission On Education Excellence consists of former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, Mayor Jack Seiler of Fort Lauderdale and lawyer W. George Allen.

They will examine the practices, procedures and policies of the school system and make recommended changes.

One problem I already see:  Allen is registered lobbyist at both the School Board and County Commission.  Will Allen be willing to rock the boat that carries him to the bank?

True, Allen hasn’t been accused of any involvement in the current scandal.  But he is a lobbyist and the School Board has a lobbyist problem.

Couldn’t Notter find anybody else? 

It just goes to show that the public school system is so out-of-touch, officials like Notter can’t even see the problem.

Here are some more questions for Notter:

  • How come two of the three are lifetime politicians Butterworth and Seiler?  Doesn’t the School Board already have too much politics?
  • How come no women?  Or Hispanics? 
  • How come no educators?
  • Why didn’t you  reach out to the business community? 
  • Why not tap the many experts in the universities and law schools?

This commission should be expanded. It needs include women, Republicans, Hispanics, members of the business community and parents with kids in public schools.

Notter’s committee is nothing more than the same Good Ol’ Boys club.  And it was the Good Ol’ Boys ways of doing business that got the School Board in trouble in the first place.

14 Responses to “Notter’s New Commission Laughable”

  1. Check Your Facts says:

    Jimmy, Jimmy Jimmy…

    Whadda ya thinkin’?

    You’re NOT thinking is what it is.

    Notter needs to GO, plain and simple!

  2. Resident says:

    Butterworth is worthy of the position being a former Attorney General, and if there were 2 others to balance the board, it would be fine.

    The problem is that a lot of qualified people have been, or are presently elected, including Judges.

    Norm Ostrau, while previously elected a long time ago, has been held a defender of ethic issues, and could be a good choice. An educator from outside Broward County would be an improvement too.

  3. D. Barry says:

    Oblivious Notter would be a good name for a punk rock band.

  4. Michael Ahearn says:

    Who else knows where to find the dirt than two politicians that have never had a hint of scandal while in elected office. If anyone knows the good and bad regarding lobbiests in Jack and General Butterworth. Say what you want about Mr. Allen but no one has ever hinted that he was involved with anything corrupt. There can be no better picks because they are electeds and lobbiests who had always done things above board and will know right where to look for the bad guys.

  5. InTheKnow says:

    Really, now. Business community? You mean the likes of Alan Levy?

    Levy was Till’s front man, who was also behind the effort to shill the $749 million bond issue to the public.

    Education community? You mean like former Board member Abe Fischler? You know Fischler… The consultant who’s gotten his company millions in no-bid contracts from, you guessed it, the School Board.

    Better to tap Charlotte Greenbarg and other community activists. Oh, wait, a woman!

    FROM BUDDY: Charlotte would be good.
    There are plenty of people in the business community who have nothing to do with the system, except they send their kids to school.

  6. Karnack and Scorekeeper says:

    Look, Allen has old time business ties to Ben Williams, Henry Robinson and Ronnie Bergeron. The fact that he is a known and registered school board lobbyist is just the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake on top of the hand that is scratching my head right now.

    Notter speaks in buzzwords. Transparency and ethics are two of them today. But what about benchmarks, accountability, checks and balances, due diligence and best in class???

    If Notter wants those words to sound like anything less than a joke, he will disband this group of henchmen and allow some input from others to include women, educators, republicans, independents (as Buddy recommends)…in other words, real independent people with a fighting chance of understanding the meaning of ethics, transparency and due diligence.

    Notter is out of touch and his never ending string of buzzwords may have been enough to get him into the big chair, but with the feds knocking it is important for all of these life-long public teet suckers to realize that this may have never happened in their lifetime and may even seem unreal, but the place is about to go down and not a moment too soon. The American way is dependending on this waste being scraped and chiseled away until there is fresh surface to begin with. Otherwise, when in Rome……………Jim, this is not a group of citizens at Cooper City or Margate in a town hall setting. Jim…these are the FEDS.

  7. Lawman says:

    Everybody knows Mr. Ahearn, who commented previously, is tied at the wrist to Jack Seiler. Ahearn and Seiler also are apentages of lobbyist Judy Stern, who ran Seiler’s campaigns over the years and has his ear.
    Buddy is right. There is no diversity on this commission. They are all establishment figures.

  8. Thom G says:

    They need an independent auditor. The auditor should be hired directly by the School Board from a list prepared by a community group. It should take an extraordinary vote of the School Board to fire any auditor. Maybe to be really independent, the auditor should be appointed by the governor or the Legislative Delegation, since the state provides so much of the money that the School system wastes.

  9. Old Pol says:

    Actually Ahern ran Seiler’s campaign for Mayor. Mike is a too much of a fan of Seiler to be objective but he does make a good point that the three appointed have never been accused of wrong doing and would have inside knowledge where to find wrongdoing. On the other hand electeds always seem to protect electeds. These three are fine but there should have been a coyple more people to balance the group out.

  10. Moral Citizen says:

    Well, I am a bit amazed at Mr. Notter’s attempt to, well I’m really not sure what his goal is but I don’t think it is to send the dogs in to flush out the fox. Don’t all these people know each other? Is Notter trying to fix things to make them right or is he trying to keep things the way they are but make it LOOK like it’s fixed? It reminds me of when Bush and Cheney invited all of the nations oilmen behind closed doors to map out the nations energy plan. Wasn’t it strange that the only business that is and was doing well was the oil industry… If you want things to be fixed you need to have people from outside the inner circles of Broward politics. I’m sorry but this Education Commission ? is a joke and I’m sure the money will keep flowing into the pockets of the sneaky and not into the education system where it belongs.

  11. Seiler's Burden says:

    I agree with Mike Ahearn, known to one and all as Jack Seiler’s Puppet. Jack Seiler knows where to look for the bad guys, since they are all listed on his campaign contribution reports for his last five campaigns.
    Check the web!
    Seiler has raised at least $600,000 in his career. In most of the campaigns were unopposed.
    The money came from those Mr. Ahearn called “bad guys”. These are the same “bad guys” who corrupt the School Board.
    Mr. Ahearn is Seiler’s puppet. When Seiler isn’t pulling the strings, there is Judy Stern. Stern controls everything left in Ahearn’s brain that Seiler didn’t wash.
    Seiler is the wrong person for this commission. He is too close to the problem.

  12. Hillstrom says:

    I have had many dealings over the years with Mr. Seiler and can only say he is a fine public servant and a class act. He will make a fine addition to this group.

  13. Norm Ostrau, Nice Guy But says:

    Norm Ostrau is nice guy. A former elected official, he went to work as a county attorney and was there for years.

    Never a proponent of high ethical standards at the county, he did all he could to keep ethics reforms away from the commission. His real boss in the days was Scott Cowan. Ostrow took all his marching orders there.

    He brought no ethical renaissance to the State when he served as chair of the ethics commission. Ostrau is trying to make a comeback as Mr. Ethics but he does not deserve that title based on his past record.

    He is also a lobbyist who works for Jim Blosser. No lobbyist has an interest in ethics reform.

  14. Floridan says:

    I have never been involved with or donated to any of Jack Seiler’s campaigns. However, I do know enough about him to know that he is an honest person.

    To assert that all politicuians should be automatically disqualified from serving on this committee is an indication of intellectually laziness.

    There are plenty of elected officials serving in Broward County that are fine public servants.