School Board Shenanigans: Dinnen Versus Hope


School Board member Phyllis Hope should be hopping mad today.

In a final move to put her stamp on our deeply-flawed School Board, outgoing Board Chair Maureen Dinnen has engineered a coup to keep Hope from being the next vice chair.

Hope had been promised the honorary title last year.

Dinnen now wants member Ben Williams instead of Hope.

The move is brilliant in one way.  By picking Williams, Dinnen cannot be accused of racism for stealing the job from Hope.

Both Williams and Hope are black.

The reason for the coup:  I believe Dinnen wants Williams because he is friendly to the administration and controllable.  Hope is more of a maverick.

What’s incredibly sad is that these members spend so much time jockeying for a meaningless title.

The final vote is Tuesday.

26 Responses to “School Board Shenanigans: Dinnen Versus Hope”

  1. Broward voter says:

    Hope is a maverick, LOL! That’s putting it nicely Buddy! Phyllis Hope is an idiot – she’s rude, condescending, and just plain incompetent! Maureen Dinnen, as well as her colleagues and staff, were all scared to death at the prospect of Hope being vice-chair, or worse yet Chair next year. It’s a meaningless title until the person is representing the board in public, running meetings and setting the agenda! It probably won’t make a difference if they had let her be vice chair because she won’t get re-elected and will never have the chance to serve as chair.

  2. Kwitcherbelyaken says:

    Buddy, you need to tell us who made the vice chair promise to Hope. I have my suspicions.

  3. InTheKnow says:

    I sure as hell hope (pardon the expression) Broward Voter is right. Phyllis Hope couldn’t find the agenda with a road map. I keep hearing that Miriam Oliphant was smarter.

  4. buddy nevins says:

    To Broward Voter:
    Thank you for your comment about Ms. Hope.
    Rude and condescending. Boy, that could describe Maureen Dinnen, too. I’ve seen her snap at the public more than once.
    Members were “scared to death” about Miriam Oliphant and Darla Carter being chair, too. Oliphant was called stupid and Carter was thought to be erratic.
    They both worked out fine as chairs.
    And remember, this is only vice chair.
    I find it an insult that the woman is being snubbed. The voters saw fit to elect her.
    An aside: Nothing I wrote should be read as a knock on Ben Williams.
    My wife, a retired teacher, worked with him at one point and says he is a fabulous educator who knows the system. He is the only member of the School Board who spent considerable time in the schools.

  5. Get serious says:

    Carter and Oliphant were “fine chairs” come on!! Oliphant was a moron who had to be coached by Alan Schreiber and Carter was the rudest bitch that ever sat on the School Board. Phyllis Hope couldn’t find an eraser on a pencil!

  6. Resident says:

    Actually Oliphant was the worse Chair I have ever witnessed. It was outright embarrassing to see.

    During boundary line hearings she allowed the Board to do whatever they wanted, including having most of them leave the dias while the public spoke, including herself at times. She didn’t control the meeting, the meeting controled her. Anyone talked whenever they wanted, even over members of the public with their few granted minutes. She didn’t have a clue how to do her job.

    Half way through parents giving their right of public input supposedly before the vote, she announced the Board had just voted. She was kind enough to tell the remaining parents that they could continue to express themselves.

    The parent who was speaking at the time this happened then asked what the vote was, and what was the purpose of having the public even speak anymore. Oliphant announced the vote but didn’t care beyond that. The rest of the parents decided to just leave then. What was the point of sticking around?

  7. Witt Stone says:

    What this appears to me is racism against Phyllis Hope. She may not be a genius. Maureen Dinnen is no genius, either. Nor is any of the other Board members.
    I don’t think they can find one person in Broward County who thinks they are doing a good job.
    They are afraid that Hope will embarrass them. Well, their conduct in the past four years embarrasses them far worse than anything Hope can do.

  8. Broward voter says:

    Buddy, you know the story of why voters elected Hope. Let’s not give her too much credit.

  9. Parent Without Hope says:

    Buddy: Did you use the word Maverick with Hope in the same sentence? Where did that come from? Honestly, I love your site, but you lost me on that one. What vote or idea has she come up with as a “maverick?”

    Hope demonstrates a fundamental inability to communicate on the important issues to and for parents. I believe she is incapable of explaining any matter of complexity because she does not engage enough or doesnt understand the complex issues. In my opinion, she is rude and self-aggrandizing beyond her capability. She appears to be more concerned about being releected than the issues.

    This is the same Hope that everyone let off the hook for going to the holiday party put on by the FBI, who later couldnt even understand why people were concerned that she went to a luxury boat party put on by construction folks. Then, only after Chaz pounded the issue for a week did she file her gift report LATE.

    If Hope is upset it is only because she wont be able to use the title as she runs for re-election, a race she will surely lose as parents in her district recognize her lack of ability.

    Oh yea, go look at the “maverick’s” elections contributions and expenditures.

    She has received donations from lobbyists and construction folks (more of the same) AND she has no problem taking the maximum permitted from the election account for her own petty cash (hard to imagine she is spending that much in petty cash given the fact she has cancelled fundraisers).

    Maverick. I think not. Perhaps you were trying to understand why Dinnen would pass her over and speculated as to her motivations. Other choices to speculate about: Clueless, perhaps. Unable to understand the issues sufficiently to be vice chair, more likely. Embarrassing for having taken the FBI Boat Trip, certainly. Extraordinarily unlikely to be re-elected, agree.

    But maverick, no way at all in any sense of the word.

  10. Hope-Less says:

    I dont know if Williams a good choice for vice-chair or not.

    But, most assuredly, Hope would be a terrible choice. Dinnen at least got that part of the equation correct. No way could or should she be the voice of the Board when the Chair is unavailable nor should she EVER be in line to be Chair.

    Saying that Dinnen chose Williams to avoid cries of racism is fairly incendiary. That is a serious accusation. Very negative implications for both Dinnen and Williams.

    Wouldnt it FIRST be better to discuss whether or not Hope is EVER deserving of being vice-chair before throwing out on the table the race card? Don’t you first have to get over that hurdle? Seriously, you do not spend any time discussing the merits of the choice (and the one not chosen) before specualting about the motivations and calling up race. Not the grandest moment on BrowardBeat I am afraid.

    I absolutely agree with your comment that the School Board members should discuss whether Hope will ever qualify to be vice chair. They don’t have the guts to do it.
    My comment on one of the reasons that Williams was picked was echoed by at least one Board member who I spoke to.
    The School Board is very sensitive to charges of racism. I guarantee that if they passed over Hope a second time for a white (She asked for the vice chair job last year, too. She was passed over for Gottlieb. Gottlieb and Hope were elected at the same time and thus have the same seniority.), some of her supporters would have yelled racism.
    Why aren’t they giving the vice chair job to Bob Parks? Or Robin Bartleman? Or Stephanie Kraft? Or to Ann Murray?
    (I know I will get letters about Kraft being under investigation, but she hasn’t been charged with anything. Who isn’t under investigation at the School Board? Didn’t Dinnen take money from Neil Sterling to start her “political action committee?”)

  11. No Hope for Hope says:

    As an employee for the SBBC for the past 6 plus years, I have witnessed many board members and their behaviors. Carter was dynamic, a little harsh at times, but it just showed that she really cared for the kids and the education system here in Broward. Have you ever really listened to Hope speak on any issues? I have never heard of an educator that uses double negatives in the same sentence more than her. Her pronunciation of words makes us all squirm in our seats. Have you also looked at her criminal background? If you have, you would be shocked as to what you would find out. Is this the person that we want as a Vice Chair? It would be an insult to our teachers to have someone like Hope be in charge of the board. We all know that after your term is up as Vice Chair, your pretty much a shoe in to become Chair, most of them do it the year that they are being re-elected just to have their name recognized more in the public eye. Also, the really reason why Hope was elected was become the business community was really upset with Marty for voting to fire Till. If you can recall that election year, both Marty and Hope ended up in a tie and it took another election to determine who the winner was.

    I’m not defending Hope’s qualifications to be vice chair. I just found it interesting that Dinnen took it upon herself to make sure Hope wasn’t appointed. Obviously others have strong feelings about it, too.

    I have comments on some of your allegations above:

    As far as Hope’s criminal background (welfare fraud, I believe), she got a full pardon and had her rights restored.

    I covered portions of the Hope versus Rubinstein race. Both were highly flawed candidates, as is often the case with School Board candidates. The job often doesn’t draw the best and the brightest.

    Your recounting of the race is not accurate.

    Rubinstein came in first in the primary — roughly 46 percent to 25 percent. But a runoff was necessary because Rubinstein didn’t get 50-plus one.

    Hope crushed Rubinstein in the runoff: 53 to 47 percent.

    There was a lot of talk about Hope being financed by those upset with Rubinstein’s vote to fire Frank Till. If that is true, it didn’t do much for her.

    She received $41,000 in donations to Rubinstein’s $141,000.

    Rubinstein lost because residents of his district wanted a change. I guess voters believed that he didn’t do a great job as a School Board member.

    Hope also benefitted from the changing demographics of the district. It is these same demographics that will make it harder to beat her next year.

  12. Kwitcherbelyaken says:

    I suspect Buddy will not reveal who made the “promise” of vice chair to Hope simply because it will expose someone to violation of sunshine, including Hope herself.

  13. Hope-Less says:

    Witt-Stone: Huh? Have you seen her speak on any issue of complexity? Please. Until you actually watch a Board meeting or listen to Hope, don’t defend her. You diminish any argument you make otherwise.

  14. corrector says:

    Phyllis Hope defeated Marty Rubenstein because Mr. Rubenstein appointed Right Wing, Anti-Gay radio host Steve Kane to the School Board’s Diversity Committee & refused to back down. The GLBT community mobilized against him, & he was toast. The only base Rubenstein had was in the condos, & the turnout there was paltry compared to other elections. Minority voters & GLBT voters & supporters provided the margin for Hope. She also benefitted somewhat from the name of a judicial candidate with the first name Hope (Bristol) who some people confused her with. 53-47 is not a rout, by the way, especially with a low turnout.

  15. InTheKnow says:

    Wrong, Buddy, absolutely wrong.

    I was out there on election day in 2006. Explain why Rubinstein won the primary so decisively over Hope yet lost the general.

    As I said, I was out there. Voters at the polls were complaining about Till’s firing and asking if he was the one who voted to fire him. Many of these were the very same voters who voted for him in the primary.

    Were they dissatisfied? I guess so, but the real explanation stands out like a sore thumb.

    I was present when one teacher walked by him and told him “we’ll fix you!”

    He was sandbagged by the unions, especially the teachers. I have yet to figure out why he still advocates for better teacher pay when he knows they screwed him royally.

  16. InTheKnow says:

    Corrector is living in a fantasy world. The gay community was so anti Rubinstein that they’d back anybody. First choice was Lee Mirsky, the whacked out commissioner from Lauderhill. Talk about flawed candidates. Read her campaign report file.

    One of the main reasons that Paul Eichner lost the race against Darla Carter in 2002 was his vote to support the GLSEN agreement. The county is not so enthralled with the gay community as Corrector would have you believe.

  17. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Rubenstein lost cause he fire Till. Plain and simple.

    If he had voted to retain Till, or had the vote delayed until after the election, he would have won.

    Hope won because she was in the right place at the right time. She didn’t win the election, Rubenstein lost it.

  18. Buddy Nevins says:

    On Hope versus Rubinstein:

    I find it hard to believe that the 27,012 voters who cast their ballots for Hope cared about Frank Till. Or even knew who he was.

    Some readers say they were at the polls during the 2006 election and talked to dozens of voters. That is anecdotal evidence at best.

    The fact is that no one knows why Rubinstein lost. The only way to find out is to do a statistically accurate survey of the district voters.

    Everything else is speculation.

    There are all kinds of intangibles in voting.’s pollster Jim Kane has told me many times that only a minority of voters actually study the issues and know something about the candidates. This is especially true in a race as low on the ballot as School Board.

    The rest vote for reasons that are often imponderable.

    There are anti-incumbency feelings evident in every race.

    Statistical evidence has show that some voters will chose a woman over a man, especially in a School Board race.

    Some might just like the name Hope over Rubinstein.

    Some blacks may vote for Hope, while Jews might vote for Rubinstein.

    Some might just not like Hope’s appearance. Or Rubinstein.

    What began this debate was my answer to another person’s comment. The comment above is: “The really reason why Hope was elected was become the business community was really upset with Marty for voting to fire Till.”

    My answer is that the “business community” has only one way of influencing races: campaign contributions. I pointed out that if the “business community” was really so upset, why did Rubinstein collect more than three times the money?

    Also, Rubinstein got almost every endorsement including the pro-Till Sun-Sentinel, the unions and most of the business community.

    Rubinstein did exactly what many candidates do in a primary: Hit his high point.

    He got almost the same percentage in the primary as the general 46-47 percent.

    Hope picked up the anti-incumbent vote.

  19. Mr. Jay says:

    People get real! Dinnen was put on the board to be the mouth piece of BTUseless. You folks seem to forget she was the state union president for many years.

    She wants Hope because she can be pushed around and maybe controlled by Dinnen and BTUseless!

    As far as past chairs, remember Carter was pushed out by BTUseless because she would kiss their butts so Gotlieb was pushed in!

    We need fine folks like Carter who will not bend to special interest and work for the people who elected them!

  20. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Buddy, I disagree with you to a point. This does not reflect on Hope’s abilities or support, but only from a statistical analysis of the election results.

    Statistically, Hope went from 25% in the primary to 53%. Rubinstein essentially stayed the same at 47%. This means that Rubinstein kept all of his votes, and virtually 100% of the other votes went to Hope. This would then means that Hope was everyone’s second choice. I don’t believe this. Voting patterns don’t work that way.

    In normal situations, without other influences, these votes would be split, with a minimum of 20% going to any particular candidate. More likely 30%+ minimum. If so, Rubinstein, even at 20%, easily wins. This did not happen. In many cases I’ve reviewed it is typically more towards a 40/60% split.

    I can’t show another election that this type of result occurs without a significant event occurring. Particularly a negative event to one of the candidates. One case in Broward County years ago was the arrest of a city candidate (who had been an interim appointment) the night before the election. Buddy, you probably covered it. The candidate otherwise would probably had won, but the final numbers showed a major drop in votes on election day, going to 2nd to last out of 11 candidates. There was significant press coverage on this even though a city election. Just like this situation. I know of no other reasonable explanations.

    The only action that occurred in this time period was the firing of Till. I also recall a lot of press coverage on this firing, and it was the talk of many voters. Phyllis Hope, in this time period did not have a major positive shift or event in her campaign to explain such a large change towards her. Therefore I concluded Rubinstein lost the election.


    I don’t believe that the vote between the primary and the general are always split. When challengers are running against an incumbent, their supporters go with the remaining challenger. Obviously these voters didn’t like the incumbent.

    What you should look at is the percentage of votes for the incumbent in the primary. There is no reason that the percentage would differ in the larger voter pool brought out in a general election.

    Actually, Rubinstein gained a lot of votes between the primary and runoff/general election.

    Just not enough.

    He had roughly 6,700 in the primary and increased the total to 23,600 – 16,900.

    Hope gained more, about 23,400 votes between the primary and runoff/general.

    There have been lots of campaigns where the leading candidate in the primary stayed with exactly the same percentage in the general election. I checked out just one—Lawton Chiles’ 1970 U. S. Senate campaign against Ferris Bryant.

    Chiles increased his percentage from something like 26 to 66 percent between the primary and runoff. Bryant went from 33 to 34 percent.

  21. jane doe says:

    Phyllis Hope is illiterate. She can hardly write on her own and that is why her secretary has to write for her. She must have learned awfully fast to get that Lexus.

  22. Broward voter says:

    have you ever had a conversation with Phyllis Hope? She’s been on the school board for nearly 4 years and still doesn’t have a clue as to what she’s doing. Having her there is bad enough, having her as vice chair or chair would have been outright embarrasing! How can we have a leader who is making decisions for our school children who can’t even speak correctly?

  23. buddy nevins says:

    Marty Rubinstein has an opinion on this thread. Read it at

  24. Floridan says:

    Hope is by far the weakest member of the School Board and should never be given any more authority (even symbolic) than required.

  25. shortlist says:

    what a joke…MS. Dane Ramson lives for these things, gets teachers all pumped them out, then sells them out. She has been seen with one of the board membrs and several administrators..
    She does not care about teachers, all she needs is that 108,,000 for field repping and the other 30,000 or so for negotiations!

  26. cindy says:

    Ms. Hope is doing a great job. As for her being the weakest link, look what super intelligence got the board: swamp land, hubby large contracts, nephew jobs, etc. Why don’t you HATERS have super intelligent Scott Rothstein tutor Ms. Hope.