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.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Part 1 of 2: Ann Murray -she's a phony, a bigot and a no-show. Consistently. That's what voters have seen of her tenure on Broward School Board so far -she needs to go!; update on projects at Hallandale High School

Ann Murray -a failure in every way that counts for southeast Broward taxpayers & parents 


Because of how poorly I think the South Florida news media has been covering the Broward County Schools and the dysfunction junction of politics, policy and taxpayers dollars that exists at the Broward School Board, and the important matters that continue to be ignored by that snoozing press corps, my next two blog posts here will consist of emails that I have either written, received or commented on since last Friday that concern Broward School Board member Ann Murray, its current Chair, who is supposed to be southeast Broward's representative.


In my opinion, and as the available public facts have shown for quite some time, Ann Murray isn't just a phony -who was first elected running as a reformer but who has shown she's anything but one- she's also a genuine bigot, not to mention, a constant no-show at public events in the community where concerned parents want honest answers and accountability from their elected officials, but she's missing-in-action, MIA. 


Copies of this were sent to roughly 150-175 concerned Broward school activists, policy makers, residents of Hollywood and Hallandale Beach and others who closely follow politics, government, civic affairs and education policy in Broward County, the fourth-largest county in the U.S.'s fourth-largest state.


For those of you who don't know, Hallandale High School also draws its student population from next-door Hollywood, not just kids from Hallandale Beach.


The only thing that I've changed or removed from below are personal phone numbers and email addresses.
-----

January 27, 2012

I've chosen to copy & paste my friend Catherine's email of this afternoon here so you could see the last time I mentioned this sore subject, seven weeks ago, and the links I mentioned, though there are several others.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Catherine Kim Owens 
Date: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM
Subject: Hallandale High School's SAF meeting on Monday, 1/30/12, at 7pm, will give us an update on the projects at Hallandale High School.
Sorry for the delay in this email.  I've been out w pneumonia while still negotiating several real estate contracts.... I had this email drafted a couple of weeks ago, but didn't get to edit & send out earlier, as I had planned. 
The Diversity Committee had requested a re-visit/tour after upcoming Monday's SAF meeting when I chaired the Site Visitation Committee, but as you might have heard, School Board member Ann Murray unceremoniously removed me, with no advance notice nor cause, from the Diversity Committee.  And, even though she has only filled 2 of 3 appointments for the Diversity Committee, she has not responded to my email nor to other numerous emails of support from leaders of this community, who were kind enough to send emails of support for my advocacy for equitable quality education. 
As a parent of a high schooler in one year, and a resident of Hallandale for 13 years, it greatly concerns me, along with hundreds of other parents of this area, that this High School is still only receiving a C grade, when the Elementary School has been an A school for years, and Gulfstream Middle now has a fantastic STEM lab and a B grade.  Our HHS Task Force brought public & media attention to Hallandale High School in order to achieve some gains, and we were making progress.  It is up to all of us to attend this meeting and voice our concerns and keep the pressure on, despite Ms. Murray's attempt to quiet James Sparks' and my active voice for this and other schools of South District. 
The parents of my son's graduating class of 104 students will all have to make a tough choice for the selection of a high school next year.  Many of his friends are thinking of going to Cooper City (out of this area) in order to ensure that they receive the kind of education they deserve.  And, thus, the perpetuation of under enrollment of inner city and underfunded schools and over-population of suburban, well-funded schools continue... 
If you care about the values of your homes, and you care about the quality of residents that come to live here, please get the word out to your friends, associates, neighbors, church fellows, and let's all attend this meeting.  Show Ann Murray she can't cut down the voice of our community nor our dedication to our kids
 Catherine Kim Owens 

Appointments to:
Hallandale Beach Education Advisory Committee
  Chair of Hallandale High School Task Force
  Graduation Task Force
2nd Vice Chair of Commission on Women's Status-Broward County

---- My earlier forwarded message, which I've previously posted here on the blog------

Date: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 11:41 PM
Subject: *FYI: Lesson learned! More re Payback time at the Broward School Board? Diversity activists accuse Chair Ann Murray

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 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 -more than thirty!- can be found here:

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