School Board Blocks Attempts To Curb Waste


The School Board’s audit committee reminds me of the Little Dutch Boy with one big difference.



The Little Dutch Boy saved his country by putting his finger in a leaking dike.   The audit committee’s attempts to plug holes to stop wasted money from pouring out of the school system has largely failed.

That’s because the audit committee can only make recommendations.  When their recommendations ruffle the feathers of the School Board’s campaign contributors, the idea ends up in limbo.

The School Board may not do education well.  But it does limbo real well.

Here is how it works.  Or really, how it doesn’t work:

Let’s say the audit committee discovers that a developer owes the school system money by failing to fulfill a contract.  They recommend the money be collected.

The recommendation goes to the School Board.  The developer’s lobbyists go to work. 

And the School Board delays collecting the money.  And delays collecting the money.  And delays collecting the money.

Thousands, maybe millions, are owed the school system by businesses– almost all of them campaign contributors.  The money goes uncollected year after year after year.

Today’s October audit committee meeting was a good example of what these well-meaning committee members face.

On the agenda was a $52,500 bill owed the school system by an accounting firm.  The firm got paid for work it never did.

When the audit committee pointed out last year that the money was owed, the firm huffed and puffed.

The firm offered $10,000 as a settlement. Then they withdrew the offer.

Now School Board Attorney Ed Marko wants to forget about the debt.  Too much trouble to collect the money.

The audit committee heard all this and member Mary Fertig had a suggestion:  Why doesn’t the School Board hire a cadre of collection attorneys?

The attorneys would work on contingency. They would only get paid if money owed the School Board was collected.

Veteran audit committee pitbull Charlotte Greenbarg loved the idea.  So did Superintendent Jim Notter. The committee approved it unanimously.

There was only one problem in the recommendation. The decision on whether to call in a collection attorney will be largely left up to Marko. 

Let me tell you something about  Marko.  He was hired by the Board in 1968 and probably should have retired years ago.

Over the decades, Marko has become the only person who can shamble, shuffle and stall better than the School Board. 

So collection attorneys shouldn’t expect work from schools any time soon. 

Because Marko does limbo real well.

6 Responses to “School Board Blocks Attempts To Curb Waste”

  1. nottinamazesme says:

    The SBBC plays all kinds of games with money. They don’t even distribute money equally among all Broward school children. They are totally inept. We need to thoroughly clean out the house from the Board Members down to Notter, and from Directors and Ass’t Directors downtown to the school administrators. There’s just no two ways about it!

  2. Kwitcherbelyaken says:

    “School Board Blocks Attempts To Curb Waste” – or so the headline reads.

    Well, well, so the School Board took no such action at all. That might be a future headline but it certainly isn’t the case now. Are we attempting to rake a little muck?

    Yes, you can blast Marko and maybe you should. But the reality is that Marko works for the Board. The question is: does the Board have enough testicular fortitude to move that agenda?

    Time will tell.

    FROM BUDDY: You are right: “The School Board took no such action.”
    That’s the problem. They stall any action on all this money owed taxpayers.
    Marko works for them. The buck stops with them.

  3. Marge says:

    has anyone looked into the perks Marko might be enjoying, and from whom? His time is long gone. Get rid of him!

  4. School Employee says:

    The problem is on one level the school staff. Garretson in particular has allowed corruption to flourish in the construction division and contracts were handed out to the favorites of School Board members, rather than the most qualified. Just look at how Beverely Gallagher was easily able to manipulate the system while taking bribes. The School Board is elected to make the decisions on the staff and if the Board wasn’t so concerned about its reelection, it would make more rational economically sensible decisions. Throw the bums out!

  5. Hammerhead says:

    Marko is proof positive that the board members are beholden to the special interest. Here is the rationale…

    Marko immediately attempts to protect the interest of the vendors who owe the district money; like architects, contractors, materials suppliers, lobbyists…oh, I guess I should just say “campaign contributors” as an umbrella statement.

    Hey, now that I think of it, Marko does represent the school board’s interests. I just realized that the board and the contributors are one in the same. Oooooooppppps!!!

  6. Hey Buddy says:

    What would it take legally for us to recall all the school board members, establish a completely new board, even if some ran for re-election, so that they could bring total reform to the school system?

    I think that short of that our kids won’t get the education they deserve, and the problem is they are only young once. We don’t have time to waste on this.

    What do your attorney friends say is necessary for us to just start from scratch with a brand new group in charge of public education?