Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lesson learned! A final slap in the face! How countless hours of hard work & persistence are rewarded by Broward School Board's Ann Murray

Below is a copy of an email I sent out late Monday night regarding what I believe is the incredibly shabby and disrespectful way my friend and fellow Hallandale Beach activist -and LONGTIME education volunteer- Catherine Kim Owens was treated within the past week by disreputable Broward School Board chair Ann Murray, the subject of so many blog posts here over the past few years -and never for a good reason.

For those of you who come to this blog often and pay attention, it's a sad and familiar refrain about what passes for the sorry state of education policy and community involvement in Broward County, where no good deed goes unpunished.
And who is the elected leader of this Crew?
Ann Murray.
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Monday December 5th, 2011

Payback time at the Broward School Board? Diversity activists accuse Chair Ann Murray

I've known about this situation for a bit now, and had been planning on posting something about this situation in the coming days, but overall, this article is pretty complete.
Still, I'd like to raise a point or two that isn't mentioned but which bears mentioning now.

Whatever happened to that public meeting that our SE Broward School Board rep Ann Murray promised the Hallandale Beach and Hollywood community months and months ago, when she was surprised to find both lots of concerned parents AND some unexpected people from WFOR-TV/Channel 4 present at a February meeting she was at, armed with a TV camera and asking serious questions that she had no interest in answering?

(The meeting held just days after that debacle of a public meeting that she and Jennifer Gottlieb held up on Hollywood Beach re the Beachside Montessori School that was specifically mentioned by the grand jury.
The one that was made up in large part by Montessori Soccer Mom apologists for her and Gottlieb and the school?
The parents with the attitude that as long as they got their's, they didn't want to know the embarrassing or sordid details about how the process was handled.
Thankfully, due to the efforts of Hollywood city commissioner Heidi O'Sheehan, the federal govt. took an interest in that curious case of student selection, privilege and lack of diversity.)

In a word: NOTHING.

But even now, despite everything that has happened and come out publicly, Murray's remaining army of apologists -esp. in Hollywood- can't wrap their heads around the idea that she completely conned them when they supported her with their votes and campaign contributions.
She sold them an illusory bill of goods they wanted to believe -the reformer who wanted increased accountability.

Yet over-and-over, Murray has done precious little to reform the system and has done almost everything in her power to burrow-in and make herself part of the status quo that has made the Broward Schools such a public laughingstock and deserved object of ridicule.
Something that a PR representative CAN'T spin when concerned residents and voters know the true facts, despite whatever Supt. Runcie may believe, based upon his time in Chicago.

And lest you forget, when a public meeting was finally held in Hallandale Beach in June about the abysmal longstanding conditions at Hallandale High School, a meeting that was, quite literally, YEARS in the making, and largely driven by Catherine's own hard work and resilience, who were the prominent no-shows from the Broward School Board?
Correct, our local representative, Ann Murray, and Hollywood resident and At-Large member Jennifer Gottlieb.
What a slap in the face to the SE Broward community!

(The Channel 10 video link there is dead.)

While Gottlieb and Murray could both find time in their schedules for a meeting in next-door Hollywood, where they knew they'd have 'home-field advantage' and plenty of "ringers" in the room who would verbally attack and challenge anyone who asked hard questions about Montessori and their own actions, the prospect of actually facing angry constituents who want hard answers and the truth caused Murray and Gottlieb to make like outlaws and hide-out.

And now, the final slap in the face, we see how Catherine's countless hours of faithless hard work and persistence in the face of bureaucratic resistance and obfuscation has been rewarded by that mockery of a public servant, Ann Murray.

And you wonder why the public in Broward County doesn't want to have anything to do with the people in charge of Broward Schools?
Trust me, lesson learned!

My previous blog posts mentioning Ann Murray in some fashion or another-more than thirty!- can be found here:

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If I can find the time, later today I will try to post on this post some of the many photos I snapped of Murray and Gottlieb at that Hollywood Beach meeting that my friends Catherine, Csaba Kulin and I all attended.

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