For School Board: Robert Mayersohn, Robin Bartleman, Franklin Sands

Although I don’t have endorsements to make in all the upcoming races, I want to give my highest recommendation to three school board candidates — Robert Mayersohn, Robin Bartleman, and Franklin Sands.

Robert Mayersohn for School Board District 4

First, I want to recommend my friend Robert Mayersohn for School Board District 4. District 4 covers Coral Springs, where I live, as well as Parkland and Tamarac. There are several other high energy candidates in this very competitive race, but I believe Robert is the one with the most relevant experience and the best temperament to make a difference on the school board. Having raised a son who was born with cerebral palsy and guided him through the services available through the Broward County Schools, Robert is probably best known as an advocate for the disabled. One of the main things he learned from his personal experience was how to make needed changes in the school system – not by yelling and screaming, but by working the issues methodically and with determination.

I know Robert doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a one-issue candidate, however. As a parent activist, he has served many volunteer advisory positions with the schools, taking on the broad issues of budgeting and governing education in this county. He has gone to Tallahassee to fight the good fight. After many years as an activist and volunteer, he wants a seat at the table – an opportunity not to just advocate for education, but to have a vote and make the choices that make a difference.

Robert knows how the system works (and how it doesn’t), and he is the candidate best equipped to go to work immediately as an effective school board member.

If you live in the district, please vote for Robert. If you know people who live in the district, please encourage them to vote for Robert and help his campaign. Because I’m working with him on some online stuff, I should also put in a plug for http://www.mayersohn4kids.com and https://www.facebook.com/mayersohn4kids

Robin Bartleman for School Board Seat 9, At Large

Robin Bartleman is an incredibly dedicated school board member, who has held one of the at-large seats on the board since 2004. A former teacher and assistant principal, she has a legendary record for service to schools throughout the county and for constituent service. In a few important situations where we had trouble with the school system that we couldn’t resolve any other way, we asked Robin for help, and she made a big difference. My wife and I think the world of Robin, and we would walk across hot coals if that was what it took to get her reelected.

Robin is such a hard worker that it’s hard for me to imagine her not being reelected, but she does face a serious challenge this year. I encourage you to give her your support any way you can. Continue reading “For School Board: Robert Mayersohn, Robin Bartleman, Franklin Sands”

Endorsement: Dave Thomas, School Board District 4

This is my personal endorsement for Dave Thomas for School Board District 4. I voted for another candidate in the first round of voting back in August, but in some ways regretted not voting for Thomas, whom I had learned to like and respect. In this runoff election, I believe Thomas is the clear choice.

You can learn more about him at http://www.davidthomasforschoolboard.com/ (although he doesn’t win any awards for web design). He became a teacher after a career in the Navy and a stint with the Broward Sherrif Office. If elected, he will be stepping down from his role as a history teacher at Taravella High School.

Dave Thomas has the intelligence, experience, independence, and integrity required for the job. I strongly urge you to give him your support.

Notes on My Election Recommendations

I voted early, so these are my final decisions, including those for the local races from my base in Coral Springs:

Top of the ticket:

Kendrick Meek for U.S. Senate
Congressmen Ron Klein and Ted Deutch for reelection
Alex Sink for Governor
Dan Gelber for Attorney General
Loranne Ausley for CFO

I’m not in the right district to vote for Klein, but I believe his is the most important race in this election cycle for people in our area, partly because his Republican opponent would be such a disaster.

Marco Rubio will be a disaster, too, if he is elected to Senate — which unfortunately looks all too likely in a 3-way race. I understand the argument in favor of Crist but don’t find him trustworthy. So I voted for Meek, and I’m hoping he pulls it off against all odds.

I don’t know why Alex Sink versus Rick Scott is even a contest. How could voters seriously consider making a governor of someone so closely linked to a huge Medicare fraud case? Either he was complicit in the fraud, or he’s an incompetent leader for failing to know about it. But the polls remain close, and Alex deserves all the support you can throw her way.

Continuing down the ballot:

State Senator Jeremy Ring
State Rep. Ari Porth
Dave Thomas for School Board
Roy Gold for Mayor of Coral Springs

Yes on Amendments 5 and 6, the Fair Districts redistricting reform initiative. If there is any justice in the world, these will pass with a big margin. This assumes voters are smart enough to figure out why there are two parts to it (one for federal and one for state offices).

No on Amendment 4, the Hometown Democracy one on voter approval of big land use changes. I had a hard time making up my mind about this one, but ultimately had enough doubts about the unintended consequences it might cause. I think the opposition was guilty of exaggerating and distorting the likely results, but I could also see the potential for good intentions to produce bad results.

Yes on Amendment 8, another difficult one. Alters the rules imposed under the class size reduction amendment of 2002 and provides more flexibility for how class sizes will be calculated. Intended to lessen the budgetary impact of hiring more teachers, reshuffling classes. The original class size amendment has been sabotaged by lack of funding from the state, and the only way to change it is to change the leadership of the state. Rejecting this amendment would not solve that problem; it would only mean more trouble for our screwed up schools.

BTW, Dan Gelber says he wants to sue the Florida Legislature for failing to fund the quality public education promised in the state Constitution. Don’t know whether it will work, but it’s one reason I was happy to vote for him.