Friday, February 06, 2009

Still on the Trail of the Hamilton Lobbying Racket

Thank you, Ms. Champion and Aimee for these data. Would you be kind enough as well to tell me what state and federal funds the State Association of School Administrators has?

Lee Drury De Cesare

15316 Gulf Boulevard 8-2

Madeira Beach, FL 22708

From: Ashley, Aimee []
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 5:26 PM
Subject: Response from the Florida Department of Education

Dear Lee:

Commissioner Smith has asked me to respond to your question about financial support for the state superintendents’ association.

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents collects revenue for its base budget from membership fees assessed by the Association on its members. In addition, the Association receives federal and state funds for professional development and continuing education.


Linda Champion

Deputy Commissioner


Aimee L. Ashley

Division of Finance & Operations

Florida Department of Education


Get Ready for Some Loud Squawks About the Budget

There are no members of the board with enough courage and civic-mindedness to stand up for voters, teachers, and students on the board podium. They rubber stamp Elia and took as many tax-paid trips as possible to gad about the country on larks.

When Ms. Elia created a $140,000 job for Dr. Hamilton when he was supposed to retire but wanted a paid hiatus until he could cold-call enough sucker clients for his school-lobbying racket, she did so and rolled it past the complicit board members on the consent agenda. Not one asked for the proposal to be pulled off the agenda for discussion. Now they are concerned about their own money from the tax kitty may be reduced, and all of a sudden they are interested in finance.

I have asked three times that the board investigate this soaking of the taxpayer with not a one doing so. The board is in on all the waste of money but does nothing. They all need to go.
They aren't board quality. A quality board member will ask questions, make demands, pry into cabals.

Neither does the press help the situation. I wish we had a National Inquirer in Tampa to give people the real news instead of the innocuous piffle that the press prints. The Tampa Tribune is the worst, but the SPT is not far behind.

Lee De Cesare From: William Birdsall [] Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 6:16 PM To: lee de cesare Subject:

School Board Pay Cuts Pressed By Legislature By ADAM EMERSON As school districts consider layoffs and salary cuts, the Legislature is asking elected school board members to think about reducing their own pay. The House and Senate on Wednesday passed a measure empowering school board members to voluntarily cut their salaries or reject a raise. Though some board members say they are putting everything on the budget-cutting block - including their pay - some say their compensation is being unfairly targeted. Hillsborough County School Board member Candy Olson said she would be willing to reduce her salary - members earn $40,887 a year - if the board asks other employees to do the same. That hasn't happened, Olson said. She thinks lawmakers are trying to deflect attention from their failure to find other sources of revenue. The Legislature has left a $500 million hole in the current budgets of school districts statewide. Hillsborough alone could face a $55 million deficit this fiscal year. "Would I give up my salary today? No," Olson said. "I think we need to look at a huge range of things. Everything is on the table." Initially, she and other board members were not supposed to have a choice. Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican who is chairman of the Senate's PreK-12 Appropriations Committee, sought to cut school board pay by 5 percent. "We took a 5 percent cut," said Wise, referring to a cut lawmakers took in 2008. Salaries of board members statewide range from $23,116 to $40,932. Even if they all took a pay cut, the money would cover only a fraction of the budget hole deepening across Florida. Hillsborough County School Board member Jennifer Faliero said some lawmakers are trying to make a statement. "We haven't cut anyone else's pay," she said. "It seems to be somebody taking a cheap shot." Wayne Blanton, the executive director of the Florida School Boards Association, said he sought a compromise with Wise: letting school board members decide. Wise relented but said he hopes some board members will volunteer. "In this kind of economy," he said, "their leadership is extremely important."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Citizen Request for Information

Ms. Olson,

I received a communication from a reader which says that you got a divorce in Sarasota and that you are no longer living in the district of which you are the board member.

The divorce is sad. A lot of people jump the shark on that one. I have flunked shark jumping, however. I have been married to the same guy for almost 52 years, whole decades of which I hoped he would disappear into the sunset so that I would never have to see him again. But here he is sitting on the Stratolounger every night in front of whatever sports agon is running on TV, waiting for me to create some food in the kitchen, where all of us liberated women spend far too much of our time.

Sometimes he rouses himself after answering his elbow-located phone to yell the name of one of our ten grandchildren and then reveals that the darling has “called to say she or he loves granny and grandpa.”

I am a walking refutation of the misogynist’s slogan that no man will marry a feminist. The trap I occupy is that I am a Georgia girl, and all girls cook in Georgia. And they are all good cooks. Georgia girls can’t beat the men off with a stick due to their seductive cooking ability.

That's why so few get divorced in my home state: food.

Couples stay together and do what they should do: make the lives of their partner as miserable as possible. They refer to each other in the ultimate romantic terms of “my old man” and “my old lady.” One sees misalliances at family reunions each year casting baleful looks at each other across their plates of Southern fried chicken, collard greens, and ambrosia when my Georgia family has dinner on the grounds of the cemetery and little church that it established in the 1800s. The family's Civil War dead are in the back of the cemetery while the civilian Drurys are in the front. The most revered family member is Cecil Drury, the town schoolmaster who remained a bachelor, bought timberland, and left a bunch of his nephews and nieces quite rich. They are, according to my cynical Uncle Kenny, now dead and resting in the front of the cemetery, “people with more money than sense.”

The best thing about the cemetery is that one of my randy distant married cousins acquired a girlfriend who, in her passion for this sneaking-around wretch, went to the cemetery and dumped over the wife's headstone in the until-death-do-us-part pair the couple had set up when they were fonder of each other. My cousin actually left his wife and married this firebrand. A few months after the marriage, he up and died and now rests in peace beside the dumped-over headstone of his abandoned but still living former wife.

I hope I live long enough to see what happens to the dumped-over head stone when the wife--or better yet, the girlfriend who became the second wife--dies. These are the kind of sagas of passion and passion spent that the denizens of little Southern towns on the edge of civilization live for. The Drury family has done its part for the entertainment of its neighbors with this cemetery fracas.

I am always sorry to hear of divorce. Studies show our children suffer from their parents' divorce to the end of their lives. No matter how much parents hate each other, children want them to stay together. In Georgia, they do.

My condolences on your divorce, but please let the public know whether you are still living in the district. Ms. Ferreira tried slipping out of Brandon into the local faux posh community of South Tampa. I lived there twenty years and could have told her that the South Tampa people are the same as the ones in Brandon or even Seffner-- maybe worse. They gossip and wander around the streets drunk after dark just as they do in all communities.

I would appreciate a speedy response to my residence question. I bet other citizens would too.

lee drury de cesare

Monday, February 02, 2009

Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Danielle Dee (;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;*;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Dear Manatee School Board:

I understand that Manatee is one of seven school-district clients of Dr. James Hamilton, former administrator at the Hillsborough County School Board. He serves as your lobbyist.

As a citizen taxpayer, I oppose this appointment and urge you to pull Dr. Hamilton’s contract. My reasons appear in the appended files.

I would like to know as public information whether you advertised this job; I would like to see the ad and the names of the publications in which it appeared and how long the ads ran. I would like copies of the applicants’ applications. I would like to see the board secretary’s notes during the discussion of this appointment. I would like a list of Manatee’s federal contracts.

Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Now Comes the Language That Needs Close Parsing

"Mr. De Cesare" in the Reply--Whatever: a Man's Name Gets More Credit;
Cc: 'Diane'; 'Judy';; 'AlWilliams'; 'Judy';; 'Al';;;;;;;;;;;; Bill Montford;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Angela Freeland; Joy Frank;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Mr. De Cesare:

I received a copy of your e-mail to our President Dr. Margaret Smith requesting information regarding the hiring of Jim Hamilton as a lobbyist for the association.

However, Mr. Hamilton is not an employee or consultant with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS).

Angie Freeland (Angie Freeland)

Office Manager/Executive Secretary to CEO

Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS)

208 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Phone: 850/488-5099

Fax: 850/921-5273