School Board’s Beachfront Junket Canceled





The School Board has canceled its “team building session” at the beachfront Ritz Carlton in the wake of a stinging newspaper editorial and a pointed post on

School Board Chair Donna Korn told that despite getting a “very good rate,” the perception of meeting at an upscale Naples resort was unfairly overshadowing the goal of the meeting.


donna korn

Donna Korn: Junket called off


A training session will now take place somewhere else at sometime in the future, possibly run with the help of the Florida School Boards Association.

Korn took full responsibility for planning the session.

She said it was designed to train the nine members to communicate better with each other.

“I picked Naples because it was far enough away to avoid distractions, but not too far,” she said.

She said she got a substantial discount on the regular hotel rate, paying only $116-per-night, plus $12 parking. The hotel threw in the training room for free.

“A number of members were paying for themselves,” she said.

The Naples meeting got the blessing of the School Board Attorney, who said it wouldn’t violate the Sunshine Law because no formal business would take place, Korn said.

A training session in Gainesville in 2011 caused no controversy.  Korn quickly found out that public perception of a meeting at the Ritz Carlton is not the same as a trip to Gainesville.

“When I first saw the name Ritz Carlton, I was concerned,” she said. “But I couldn’t justify spending more money just because of the name.”

In an editorial September 15 sprinkled with the lyrics of the Irving Berlin song “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, The Sun-Sentinel criticized the team building session’s “optics” and asked why the Board couldn’t find “a tony-but-inexpensive alternative close to home?”’s post this week is here.


20 Responses to “School Board’s Beachfront Junket Canceled”

  1. Broward Native says:

    Buddy, great job on shining a light on this and the other crap the SBBC continues to pedal on the public. Keep up the good work!

  2. Pembroke Pines Commissioner Jay Schwartz says:

    The City of Pembroke Pines has great venues for the School Board to meet. 954-431-4884

    We would love to host you.

  3. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    How about the new Coconut Creek Hampton Inn?

  4. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Hang in there Board member Korn. I am willing to bet the Ritz on the beach here in Ft>alu. would have been more expensive(point that out Ms.Korn). Boy, Buddy how effective you were w/ your blog. If this was your intention to squash this trip ,well you accomplished it..I commend you Buddy for informing your readers I always find your blog very informative.

  5. Talks like a politician says:

    This proves there is a need for newspapers and especially for sources such as browardbeat. Sometimes “transparency” has to be forced. Too much smoke and mirrors in politics at every level hide the facts.

  6. New Venue says:

    Maybe they should hold a weekend team building retreat at Stranahan High School. They could meet in the media center and dine under the tent.

  7. Parent says:

    Thank you buddy !! You did an amazing job once again ! Looks like this train is staying in the station for the moment. What another AMAZING moment when the board changes direction! The decision to not go on this little trip is almost magical. Brings music to my ears like clickty clack.

  8. Independent says:


    Are you saying they already did this in 2011 in Gainsville? Did they meet out of the Sunshine or take at least minutes so they said it was an offical meeting? Was the meeting posted as a Public Meeting? Wouldn’t that have violated the Sunshine Law in 2011 with those that met there?

    If true, I can’t wait for Chaz to now file a Sunshine Violation on every elected official who went to it.

    The Sunshine Law is far more then meeting to discuss business. It is about being able to discuss anything that reasonably may come up at a meeting. That can be interpreted many ways and Florida has very liberal interpretations for these laws. I think that could include how you would approach developing or voting on a subject, how money could be spent, how to handle problem situations, on and on.

    I think Korn just opened up a can of worms.

  9. Sam The Sham says:

    Ya done good, Buddy.

    Too bad Korn still does not get it. The Skool Board is NOT supposed to act as a team. They are supposed to represent the taxpayers in their districts and the children and parents of the schools. The Skool board has no need to communicate with each other except in public on the dais.

    I have an idea though. How about we send Runcie to a re-education camp, er, I mean a training seminar? That way he could learn that his job is to communicate better with his bosses on the Skool Board.

  10. dad to three says:

    Mr. Carland the School Board Attorney takes great liberties with his interpretations of Sunshine Law.
    You get nine school board members in the same Hotel and they’re not going to talk shop?

    LOL nothing changes

  11. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    In 10 years sharing Florida/Duesseldorf flights with Naples residents I never saw anyone that wasn’t a White Christian Republican like Board member Korns crowd. Hardly representative of the county’s population or of the students demographic. The idea that Naples prices are cheaper than Ft Lauderdale’s is in the minds of people who have never stayed in both places.

  12. F says:

    I think the Stranahan High School venue is the best idea!!

  13. vangork says:

    let’s be clear, runcie b.s. harvard, business admin. northwestern….no background in education. $276K

  14. Dragon Inn says:

    Welcome to Dragon Inn!! Free of charge!! We could hold the BCSB Meetings in the Auditorium (cross our fingers that the a/c doesn’t break or a fire doesn’t erupt since we still do not meet fire code – a.k.a. no fire sprinklers); Team Building Sessions in the gym since there’s enough seating (unlike our football field, and definitely no pool use since it’s still down) however if we have a community member that wants to attend in a wheel chair, they’ll have to enter through the back since the front is STILL out of ADA compliance; Working Lunches in the cafeteria (again, let’s hope community doesn’t attend because we would have to separate them between the two incredibly small dining rooms in a building that was made for an elementary school – 350 Capacity for 1,500 kids); and last but not least, Brainstorming Sessions in our 1950’s Media Center (maybe the theme could be TBT – How to improve Broward County’s OLDEST SCHOOL BUILDING – Stranahan High School)!!!

  15. juliet hibbs says:

    Donna Korn is SO out of touch that she dididn’t think it was a big deal. Like hey, the people can just drive over. It is time for these futile ladies of Broward to actually do their damped jobs. Hold lea Der ship accountable. As of this moment Robert W. Runcie has been insubordinate to the order since June 2012, when he was ordered to investigate Jon Marlow and theven criminal leadership there! They need a retreat to learn how to better communicate. Let’s start by holding the lying, criminals accountable for all the lies and mismanagement?
    I think the retreat SHOULD be at Stranhann. They those stupid, useless idiots can experience what staff and students deal with everyday. And if Dr. Korn didn’t think this was that big a deal, why not advertise it in the Sun Sentinel and NOT the Miami herald! All just smoke and mirrors so they can. Learn better techniques to protect their criminals in leadership and how to promote themselves. …one example..past tense was dr. Osgood and the dress code for parents. She spoke on talk radio all over the country. This is shameless self promotion…..these women are (mostly) completely useless and. Waste of tax payers money. They do nothing but protect themselves and the MANY criminals in leadership positions

  16. Broward Beat gets it done! says:

    Thank you Buddy Nevins and browardbeat! Great comments here and Chaz, that 2011 meeting is just begging for your attention and an ethics complaint.

  17. Adam says:

    Great work Buddy. Broward schools don’t have enough textbooks for all the high school classes but the Board is willing to blow money like this. They can meet at any Starbucks and the damn meeting should be open to the public.

  18. Layne Walls says:

    I was going to suggest Northeast High School but Stranahan would work too!

    I get the retreat because clearly communication is a problem but I think it is with the public not each other so do it here.

  19. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    If those who would do so haven’t yet taken the time to become certified by the state they wouldn’t need to “team build.”

    Sunshine precludes acting as a team but when did that ever stop any of the majorities, in spite of several Grand Juries?

    If it weren’t for Broward Beat, none of the dreck that goes on would ever become widely disseminated.

  20. Gary Banks says:

    They are still holding their “team building” session and wasting money. They just aren’t going to Naples. When is the FBI/State Attorney/state auditor/anybody in authority going to put their foot down?