School Superintendent Runcie Accused Of Breaking Bond Promise







Last November, $800 million in new school bonds were approved after Superintendent Robert Runcie made a lot of promises to the public.

It didn’t take long — just seven months – for Runcie to be accused of breaking a key pledge he made during the bond referendum campaign.


Robert Runcie

Robert Runcie: Is he breaking a promise to voters?


Runcie vowed that there would be “total transparency” in spending the $800 million to assure the public that contracts would not be steered to a few favored vendors as in the past.

“Whatever we need to do as a community and a school system, whatever transparency needs to happen, it will take place,” vowed Runcie to the Sun-Sentinel.

The school system is currently considering what private firm will manage the huge construction project.

Is the process as transparent as Runcie swore repeatedly it would be?

Runcie insists that the all-important project manager initially be selected by his staff, bypassing the long-established Qualification Selection Evaluation Committee (QSEC). That’s the group which under School Board rules helps pick construction-related vendors and consultants.

Until now.

QSEC: Members of the public, along with staff.

What Runcie’s wants: 100 percent staff members reporting to him and zero percent from the public.

Why is Runcie so insistent on not allowing the committee with member of the public on it to vote on this?

After all, any preliminary vote is only a recommendation.  The School Board has final approval.

Runcie really hasn’t explained himself…at least publicly.

The School Board has gone along to date with what some are calling a betrayal of their earlier promises, too.

Here is Board member Rosalind Osgood assuring Channel 7 before the referendum that the bond money would be spent wisely:

“I see the effort of being equitable and being transparent.”

Runcie and his retinue were uncertain at the beginning whether they would even allow the public to attend the project manager’s selection by staff.  When it was first debated at a recent School Board meeting, the selection process was opened after the superintendent was warned that it fell under the Sunshine Law.

Now, Runcie would argue that permitting the public to watch the selection of the project manager is transparency.

But the public will not be allowed to participate.

Excluding the public from helping to recommend who becomes project manager leaves the schools open to allegations that the deal is being steered.

Truthfully, Runcie has appeared to never have much use for public. Or the School Board.

Just months after arriving here, Runcie proposed cutting in half the number of School Board meetings.

Yet the School Board—with the exception of members Nora Rupert and Heather Brinkworth — repeatedly puts up with Runcie’s shenanigans and misrepresentations. Other Board members act like teenagers with a crush rather than bosses when dealing with Runcie.

An e-mail written by parent activist Nathalie Lynch-Walsh sums up what’s being called a sad betrayal of a promise.  The e-mail was widely circulated within the School Board HQ. Lynch-Walsh is the chair of another parent committee appointed by Board members to monitor facilities.

“A district preaching about the virtues of transparency shouldn’t ask taxpayers for $800 million dollars then turn around and look for semantic technicalities to remove said taxpayers from the selection of the companies that will be managing the $800 million,” she e-mailed. “…The question the district needs to ask itself is–how does removing five members of the public while adding two more staff members to the committee charged with selecting the companies that will oversee almost $1 billion in construction projects funded by taxpayer money support the goal of increasing public trust through transparency?”



28 Responses to “School Superintendent Runcie Accused Of Breaking Bond Promise”

  1. Sam The Sham says:

    What a shocking surprise! Who could have seen this coming?

    Friends, please join me in a moment of prayer.

    Dear Lord,
    Please deliver us from dishonest, power hungry bureaucrats, weak minded and greedy politicians, but mostly, deliver us from the idiot voters who put them there.


  2. Not Fooled says:

    He is a charlatan. Just look at Miami Dade and Carvalho. Runcie could not hold Carvalho’s briefcase. The School Board are so dumb they do not see they are being fooled with smooth talk.

  3. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    This is why I stated they should kick rocks w/ this 8oomill bond that we are paying for. From there lame excuses that these kids were learning on ten yr.old computers etc. So Mr.runcie wants full control. Listen to School Bd member Dr>Osgood(PH.d did we pay for that to-shame on you not giving the cops a second chance, you where given plenty)stating oh we will account for every dime. This does not surprise me. also probably same crap w/ the Childrens Services also got plenty of doe. Boy a lot of you residents were awful generous at the polls last Nov(how about GovScott(Goober) w/ the mess he has w/ the Feds over the Medicaid money(another one told to kick rocks(good). BrowardHealth shitin in their pants over this-Special session Jun 1(God help us)….

  4. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @1 – Sham, weren’t you planning to deliver yourself from those voters?

    …My voice really counts for very little. A voice crying out in a progressive Democrat wilderness. I would like to see Broward County turn around and have some sensible government but I realize that there are too many brain dead, low info voters here. It really is a lost cause. I am biding my time to move to a more sensible area.

    Good riddance you say? Well, I can tell you, after almost 60 years here I am sick to death at what the libtard N.E. idiots have done to my Broward County. I will gladly shake the dust from my feet when I leave. (Sham, 12/12/14)

  5. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr Sam the sham puts the blame where it belongs – on the lazy. Ignorant, stupid, selfish VOTERS who elect not second, third. Or fourth raters but FIFTH rsters to office then approval huge bond issues n tax raisers to keep them in power thru OUR MONEY! The useless county school board is ELECTED! The State Senate n Senate is ELECTED! Of course not on merit buy by racisl, ethnic, religious biases not on anything like individual worth or qualifications.

  6. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    Transparency is certainly an abused word from the Chicago criminal element. Runcie and Obama. What do you expect? That is all they know.

  7. Mia says:

    I can’t believe that ANYONE trusts staff at SBBC. Keep it up Mrs. Rupert!!! Exposé the idiots

  8. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Nathalie Lynch-Walsh deserves a lot of credit. She is currently the chair of the Facilities Task Force. She has volunteers tirelessly in bringing issues forward. If it wasn’t for her this issue might have quietly missed by the media and this 800 millions dollars would be blown with out evening fixing half of Runcie’s promises.

  9. Teach for free with SBBC says:

    This guy is a cronie and treats teachers like garbage. How the hell does he get a raise as well? 15 years in this county and this pencil neck weenie has been the worst thing to hit BCPS, teachers and students… Shame on him, the weak minded school board (except the 2) and the crummy Union. All in bed together while screwing the people who put cash in their pockets… Thanks for this atrocious hire of a superintendent and his lack of understanding of what going on in classrooms. I can’t wait till he leaves!!! Please Jesus, get rid of this scumbag!!!

  10. Alice McGill says:

    I could absolutely cry for the school system in Broward County. There never seems to be any improvement in how things work within the system no matter who is Superintendent. Years ago, the gang from West Virginia ran the “good old boy” network which kept buddies in charge for years. The central Broward area has been controlled by black bigwigs who have hired only their like kind as principals for decades. Now many elementary schools are still failing to educate their students. Out of towners such as Petruzello (sp?) banned employees from talking with anyone except those on their own professional level. Till tried to play politics and lost. Notter was afraid to take on the black Mafia that ran the bus service. Runcie plays Chicago politics. And the students continue to lose.

  11. Sam The Sham says:

    @Ha Ha Ha,

    Have you been waiting all these months to reprint my lament? That seems like a slightly unusual obsession on your part, but thanks for the extra ink.

    Don’t worry. Only 2 or 3 short years to accomplish a few personal goals and I will be out of here. Not a great deal of time in the scheme of things. Who knows? Maybe I will win the lottery and be out of your hair (and head?) sooner than that!

  12. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr. Ha ha must consider EVERYONE in BOTH South Florida AND New York City at one time or another SCREAMS I can’t stand this place! And to dig up such a quote is a semi-cheap shot.
    Sadly with the end of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans politics is mostly unworkable because no one political theory applies in EVERY situation. This national lack of accomplishment becomes a discouragement at the local – city and county – level for
    People to vote or run for office And we get a clown school board n county commission.

  13. Amazing Karnack says:

    Karnack foretold the second coming of the puppets and their lack of brains. Karnack says they are no longer the property of the voters who put them there as RunDMC is pulling their strings now. Karnack says the second coming will meet the same fate as their predecessors. Public shame and embarrassment as one fact set after another will expose their failure to hold DMC accountable. Karnack says RunDMC and his merry band of old and new facilitators have lost spin control as people chosen to review and recommend improvements have lost all hope for honesty and transparency. Karnack says now others who have a fiduciary responsibility to the public will scrutinize their activities unfazed by their half truths and weak excuses so eagerly swallowed by the puppets. Karnack says that train has left the station. Karnack says the train goes clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.


    Good to hear from you, Karnack.

  14. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @11 – No, but I remembered your post and spotted what looked like an inconsistency, thus my question.

    Also, there have been times when I have agreed with you – a good recent example is our mutual endorsement of Jeff Atwater for re-election as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.

    If I recall correctly, I’ve only suggested relocation to one BB commenter (“West Davie Resident”), to a hypothetical place (“West Nowhere, Kansas”) – and then only in response to that commenter’s suggestion that I relocate to Venezuela (which is a very poorly governed country that I would never even consider living in).

  15. James Edison says:

    The vote to approve the bonds was an acknowledgement that something needed to be done about our schools and to help our kids. It was not approval of Herr Runcie

  16. Becky Blackwood says:

    As I was recently told by someone when I happened to mention “why doesn’t the District learn from their mistakes and correct them”. I was told it is because those in control want to continue what they have been doing for 20 years.

    When the Board allows the job description for a Chief Facilities Officer to be an advanced college degree and removes the requirement to be a degree in Construction, Architecture or Engineering, what do you think the result will be. Our current CFO has a degree in psychology and a one year MBA with experience in construction in a Midwestern city on a freshwater lake. Let’s see, is the Florida Building Code the same as in Chicago? Does Chicago have hurricanes and therefore does not require the stringent building codes we have here in South Florida? Does the Illinois Department of Education have a separate administrative and design criteria code like the State Requirements for Educational Facilities here in Florida? These distinct changes require an extreme effort to learn what building codes the State of Florida requires instead of ignoring them.

    How about our CFO’s idea of changing the District’s Physical Plant Operations (Maintenance) into a construction company?

    Outsourcing the Program Managers and the Owner Representatives will costs the District at least 2x or more than having their own staff.

    Just as the Board goes along with whatever the current Superintendent demands without demanding the right credentials for a position that will be directing an 800 million dollar, the selection of these companies must have public input to insure the best qualified candidate. These contracts will be renewed ever 3 years. The current staff of project managers will now become the resources for these vendors and will no longer be project managers (at more than $100,000 per year). These outsourced contracts will only require companies with 5 years experience to provide a proposal. Why exclude the public from being part of the selection committee? For what reason is there such resistance to exclude the public? New computer programs are being promised that will incorporate the 25 year old Compass (Maintenance) computer program information into the new computer system but it will take years to add historical data to it.

    Our Board Members need to read these RFP’s that will offer $75 million the first year in contracts, not rely on staff members that have been in place through 3 Grand Juries.

    In the real world, if you made a $500,000 or $700,000 mistake, you would not fired or laid off. Why doesn’t that every happen in the School Board of Broward County Facilities Department?

    The CFO will be responsible for both the Facilities Department and the District Maintenance or Physical Plant Operations. Is that why PPO is becoming a construction company without abiding by the State Requirements for Educational Facilities $300,000 cap for any project performed by PPO and in many cases, no permits?.

  17. Becky Blackwood says:

    Meant to say, if you made a $500,000 or $700,000 mistake in the real world, you would be fired or laid off.

  18. John Henry says:

    A big thank you to Mike Ryan for all his help on getting this $800mil slush fund passed.

  19. modeengunch says:

    The guy is cut from the Obama cloth. What sort of transparency did you expect?

  20. carolina says:

    Don’t forget – this school board, with the exception of Nora & possibly one other, voted to extend the contract of this import from Chicago until 2019 after his being here for a short time. There is an old saying – “A fool & his money are soon parted”. I predict we will see that come true sooner rather than later. The ones who extended his contract are the fools & the money that will be parted from the fools is our taxpayer money. mr Runcie will be sent packing, back to Chicago, with a big buy-out (our money), probably on the private jet of the other fool in Florida – our governor.
    Nora & Heather, hang in there for us; we need you – our kids, our teachers, our entire educational system in Broward County. You are our only hope. We thank you for all you are trying to do for us. Keep up your good work!

  21. It is I.......... says:

    The Bus Operators were mislead as Well. Were told how important they are and they would be brought you to a better level of payment level. Bus drivers are at least 7steps away meaning 7yrs. behind on raises.
    Yes, they use to love coMing to work, but now it’s about survival. The families are suffering and NOBODY NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE.
    SO many drivers are being forced out to retire early or just walk away do to Misleading, Misrepresentation,Malicious Action, Personal Sabotage and Shenanigans.
    Hours have been cut and opportunities are few.
    Why has this been allowed for so long.
    Someone need to think, if the drivers don’t move then the buses don’t move.
    They Are Important, But Robert Runcie, Patricia Snell Not Eric Chisem gibes a dam about drivers…
    One of the Worse Terminal Managers ever to run a terminal:: I nominate. Rick Rothberg (North Area)

  22. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    We told you so. Becky, you supported the bond issue so you owe a mea culpa.

  23. Becky Blackwood says:


    I worked in those schools. Our kids cannot learn in most of those environments. I am giving my time to the Facilities Task Force and we are bringing information to the Board regarding the need for transparency and not administrative control on the bond without any oversight. It is my understanding the Tools for Schools project which was instrumental in eliminating a lot of the mold and mildew I and my inspectors brought to the public’s attention in the early to mid 2000’s has been dropped without completing the program in all schools and without further monitoring of the existing schools that were a part of the program.

    When the Board begins to make an effort to lay off staff who commit large errors; quit changing the job descriptions to hire less qualified administrators and look for people who understand Florida’s State Requirements for Educational Facilities code restrictions as well as the Hurricane Wind Load requirements of the Florida Building Code, we might make some progress. Until then, what would have happened to our schools if the bond wasn’t passed. I am an optimist and will keep trying to make it better. Could use some help from the parents of these children as well as our community activists to put pressure on the Board and the Superintendent.

  24. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Your plea for help should have gone out while the district was using tax dollars to push the bond, asking them to vote no until the district reformed. Too late now.

    The only thing that will change things is a state oversight committee.

    Nice that you’re an optimist, but the district is ear deep into corruption.

    Yes, they stopped Tools for Schools in spite of the FTF’s repeated requests to re-activate it. They don’t give a rat’s toochas about the public good.

  25. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Who are we kidding? As long as middle class White kids like my several sets of third cousins’ kids let alone my wealthy cousins go to private school like politicians’ kids including school board members south Florida schools will be a dumping ground for Blacks, emigrants, and the really, really, really poor Whites! If you are rich or people think you are rich like crooked Scott Rothstein you can get Cadillac treatment, if you are an hourly working stiff or come from a poor or working class you sre tried like a serf!

  26. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Look, I see this as ONE issue! Liars, and people stepped out to vote for this with NO accountability! I have asked for Runcie to say good bye to Broward since May 2013! Tomorrow, I will tell him again! Broward schools in 10 years will be destroyed! The financial disasters today (and there are OH so many) lead to no money in the future. They are SO over extended now that some vendors end up speaking publically…pay me One man is owed money back to 2008! how much is wasted? As a former teacher in Broward, I can tell you it is disgraceful! But people accept it, refuse to be involved and then become upset when it happens to them. It is TIME for the people of Broward to UNITE and protect ALL children in Broward! Protest…vote..Speak at a meeting! Do SOMETHING!

  27. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Preaching to the Choir here though!

  28. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Count’s spot on.