Archive | November, 2012


Rick Scott Wants Continued Charter School Expansion in Next Legislative Session

Re-published: November 12, 2012

Original published November 9, 2012

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Purple Musings

From the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Travis:

Gov. Rick Scott told members of the state Board of Education on Monday that his priorities for education in the coming year include an increase in K-12 choices and a drop in college costs for Florida families.

In a meeting held at Boca Raton High School, Scott said because competition helps improve education, he supports an expansion of charter schoolsicon1.pngincluding lifting enrollment caps that districts can place on how large charters can grow.

He also wants to see districts give parents and studentsicon1.png more options. He said that during a statewide swing, residents supported the idea of school choice as long as all schools were held to the same standards.

“They want to make sure it’s fair for everybody and we ought to live by the same rules,” he said. “When you have competition, prices come down, quality goes up and service goes up.”

Emphasis mine at the end.  At times  I feel that Scott has evolved a bit in the job. He’s afterall been the one who has had to deal with the disastrous infrastructure  of the state’s accountability system. But his frequent slips into predictable sophomoric business speak to justify his charter school fetish shows he’s yet to grasp the complexities of education. Schools aren’t competing fast food chains.

Original article:

Posted in Contributors, Education, Scathing Purple Musing0 Comments


City of Doral Mayoral Debate

November 5, 2012

The following is an editorial recap of City of Doral Mayoral Debate – 10/29/12.

By: MP – Community Writer

The City of Doral will soon have a new mayor to be voted on the November 6th election.

The candidates are Frank Bolanos, Luigi

Boria, and Pete Cabrera.  Who wins the people’s vote and trust, will face serious government challenges and determine the city’s direction.

First, Mr. Bolanos resume unveils a well educated individual with corporate and government experience along with strong measurable ethical and integrity values.  Second, Mr. Boria, not present at the debate, is well known as

Frank Bolanos

a successful business owner.   Finally, Mr. Cabrera stated that he is one of the few City officials that institutionalized Doral’s government nine years ago, which has been highly effective in maintaining high quality lifestyle standards in the community.  In all, each candidate will bring their own unique governing leadership style to lead Doral to a new phase in its young history.   More important, the winner of the Mayoral position will contend with a $59 million budget to be allocated to its different social programs such as the community’s cultural integrity, education, environment, parks and recreation, and business activities.

On a professional level, we got to see a glimpse of each candidate from the usual quarrels.  For instance, Mr. Bolanos described Mr. Cabrera as confrontational, “waged war against Mr. Bermudez” (the current major) for not agreeing on issues instead of cooperating at council meetings, and mentioning “pending lawsuits”.   Mr. Cabrera pointed out that Mr. Bolanos is a follower of Mr. Bermudez and his policies.   Unlike himself, Mr. Cabrera described himself as self-directing to do what he felt is needed for the community.   However, both candidates agreed that the next mayor of Doral needs to be fluent in English, unlike Mr. Luigi who’s not and questioned his motivation for not attending the debate.   Last, from the question on forensic audit, Mr. Bolanos wants look to the future and Mr. Cabrera wants to look to the past as a metaphor in their governing style as stated by the former.

Luigi Boria

On the issues, Debate moderator, Tony Calatayud, was direct and with the utmost professionally timed and purposeful inquiries with reference to city’s direction, international business activity, attract and retain businesses, parks and recreation, government transparency, issue of bonds, U.S. Command, and use of school facilities.  Most important, both candidates agreed on “no piggyback on government”.   On the financial issue, Doral’s direction to thenext level for Mr. Bolanos’ vision starts by protecting “what we have” which serves as a “model for the entire nation” and celebrating local ports and culture.  The ports provide the means of international economic activities along with cultural diversity for the exchange of ideas with police protection

and sense of safety.   Mr. Cabrera envisions Doral as a commercial leader and center within international trade via South Florida and Panama Canal connection.   Second, with regards to international business activity, Mr. Cabrera see Doral as the gate way to the Americas and office center, by inciting economic interest and advertisement for its 2600 businesses with approximately 80 different nationalities.  Mr. Bolanos sees human resources in free trade between the American continents benefiting the city’s residents through commercial trade for economic growth.   Third, on the question regarding attracting and retaining businesses, Mr. Bolanos wants to make Doral the business base without giving “tax incentives”, but do provide South Command employees and their families incentives such as affordable housing.

As ambassador of the city, Mr. Cabrera similarly does not want a “tax incentive”, market the city, and lower fees.  Fourth, Mr. Bolanos suggested on expanding the city boundaries and not increase taxes making it a center to engage and motivate in local activities.   Likewise, Mr. Cabrera suggested annexing the SW quadrant for similar reasons.

On the cultural side, starting with parks and recreation, Mr. Cabrera want to

Pete Cabrera

develop a multifaceted regional 80 acre park with self contained facilities for families, that involves the participation of the county.   A $100 million dollar bond is priority to jump start the project.   Mr. Bolanos similarly would integrate the multifaceted park in a general public partnership for the community at large with the approval of bonded referendum.   He also suggested finding ways on use of public school facilities for private use.

In closing, Mr. Bolanos described his work ethics were meant to unify in the spirit of cooperation.  Similarly, Mr. Cabrera does not want division but to work together in resolving issues.

In sum, the debate went smoothly and for the most part amicably between both candidates.  Both shared similar visions for the city of Doral with the only noticeably difference being Mr. Bolanos concern for its residents where as Mr. Cabrera concern was increase economic activity.   So, it’s going to be difficult for the residents of Doral choosing their next Mayor.

Good Luck!

Posted in Community Writer, Contributors, Miami-Dade Politics0 Comments

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