School Board’s Maureen Dinnen Still Doesn’t Get It!


Eight Broward School Board members seem to get it.  They understand that the public demands a change in direction.

Then there is Maureen Dinnen.

Board members voted for a new general counsel Monday, choosing outsider Paul Carland from Hernando County to shake things up.

Dinnen was the only vote on Monday for the status quo.  She was the only vote to hire Marylin Batista McNamara as the new general counsel.

Batista McNamara was former General Counsel Ed Marko’s deputy for years.  Batista McNarama would have been more of the same.

The general counsel’s office under Marko was accused of being soft on developers and playing politics.

No wonder that the Board overwhelming rejected Batista McNamara.

Five picked Carland,  chief lawyer for Hernando County school’s since 2005.  He was raised in Broward and has a law degree from Nova Southeastern.

Voting for Carland were all four new Board members elected in November and veteran Robin Bartleman.

Three Board members wanted Sharron Pitts, who has held a number of executive jobs with the Atlanta schools.

Carland now has his work cut out for him:

  • He got a bare majority of the nine member Board.  The vote was 5-3-1. I assume, however, that all (except Dinnen?) will be firmly in his corner because they voted for someone new.
  • The Broward School system has 10 times more students than Hernando.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Carland was repeatedly praised by his bosses in Hernando, which is outside of Tampa.

Carland lives in Homosassa with his wife and two school-aged children.

Here is the Broward school’s news release announcing Paul Carland’s selection:


DATE: 4/25/2011

SUBJECT:  Broward School Board Selects General Counsel

Broward School Board members selected J. Paul Carland, II to serve as the next General Counsel to The School Board of Broward County, Florida. The announcement was made at the conclusion of today’s Special School Board Meeting to interview the three finalists for the General Counsel position.

Carland’s appointment follows the December 31, 2010 retirement of Edward Marko who served as General Counsel for the School Board for nearly 40 years.

Carland is currently General Counsel to the Hernando County School Board in Brooksville, Florida, where he has served since 2005.

In a 5-3-1 split vote, Carland was selected over the other finalists, Sharron M. Pitts, chief of staff for Atlanta Public Schools, and Marylin Batista-McNamara, currently serving as interim general counsel for the Broward School Board, who received three and one vote, respectively.

“On behalf of the members of the School Board, our decision today was based on recognition of Mr. Carland’s proficiency in the field of education law and the respect and admiration held by others in the field,” said Board Chair Benjamin J. Williams. “We look forward to his joining our Broward County School System family.”

Carland received The Richard “Spike” Fitzpatrick Award from the Florida School Board Association in December 2010 as the top School Board Attorney in the state. The awards inscription reads in part, “For your life-long service to your community, to the Hernando County School Board, and to the students in your district.” He also received recognition as past President of the School Board Attorneys Association.

“In addition to being well respected at the state level, he is highly regarded and respected at the local level for his knowledge of educational law,” said Hernando County School Board Chair James Yant on Carland’s behalf.

Also speaking on his behalf, Hernando County School District Superintendent Bryan Blavatt said, “Paul Carland is an exceptional attorney who will be truly missed by our school district. He is and will be a tremendous asset for any district that is fortunate enough to employ him.”

At today’s Special School Board Meeting, School Board members authorized Board Chair Williams, to enter into negotiations with the selected candidate to determine a contract and benefits package.


7 Responses to “School Board’s Maureen Dinnen Still Doesn’t Get It!”

  1. Not Quite says:

    To say the Board overwhelmingly rejected Batista is a bit of a stretch. If that were the case then she would have not even had been offered an interview in the first round of interviews let alone be one of three who made it to a final interview.

    Eight of nine voted for somebody else.

  2. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    to “Not Quite”:

    Like, Man, you are an idiot. What does 8 of 9 rebuking her, say to you. What shit are you smoking, because you need to share, dude…. are you related to Tommy Chong or Cheech Marin? are, like “WOOOOOOOOOW”.

    REmember, your mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  3. Undertaker says:

    Batista must know where Ms Dinnen has buried a body or two. There is no other explanation for her to have supported Batista.

  4. Not Quite says:

    @Stone Cold

    Like Buddy you missed my point. Why did Batista make it so far into the selection process if the Board overwhelmingly rejected her? They did not overwhelmingly reject her, they selected two finalists above her. If those finalists turn down the job, the Board will have the option to offer her the job or open up the application process for a third time.

    If they had overwhelmingly rejected her as Buddy stated, then when they named her Interim General Counsel it would have been with the stipulation she would not be considered for the job permanently. At the minimum, she would not have been one of the final nine applicants who were offered a first interview let alone make it to the short list of three finalists who were interviewed for a second time.

    Since I have never met you I will refrain from questioning your level of intelligence, but I will offer you some advice; put some thought into what you read and not just take it at face value.


    I totally disagree with you.

    You look at it one way. I look at the final vote, when they totally, overwhelmingly rejected her.

    The difference of interpretation doesn’t mean that our “level of intelligence” should be questioned.

    Here are two possibilities:

    *In my coverage of government, sometimes electeds put individuals in a shortlist just to fill it out. They have no intention of voting for them, but they want the process to look more competitive and fair.

    *Maybe they put her in the mix because she was the interim general counsel and they wanted to keep her happy. That would be the same reason they didn’t stop her from applying. Who wants an interim general counsel who is disgruntled and angry?

    In the end, I believe they overwhelmingly rejected her. Eight of the nine picked somebody else.

  5. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    to Not Quite:

    Whoa, pawdner! I damned well and should take what you write at its face value…Who the hell do you think you are, Confucius, with layers of meeting above, below and beyond…naaah, maybe we can call you David Caradine and I can be Grasshoppa’ and you school me in the subliminal messages from you and the Far East..naah’, with you, it woud be the “Far Reach”….and I won’t call you Confucius, I’ll call ya’ “ConFuseUs”…

    Nimwit, join the world we all call REALITY!!

    …and that’s the Bottom Line ‘cuz I said so!

  6. Not Quite says:

    Buddy – I was not quesitoning your intelligence, I responding to being called an idiot in a previous post by an internet tough guy.

    Agree to disagree – done with subject

  7. Mr. G says:

    First off having known Maureen for years even when she was state union president, she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
    She has always had a hidden agenda what is good for her and the folks that put her in the position. Let’s face it she is a mouth piece and pawn for BTUseless.

    I have to say from experience she did what BTUseless wanted her to do.