Dr. White gets off to a bad start with his banner of "Honesty, Integrity, and Accessibility." That is a fusty logo of ancient political vintage. It takes most candidates a little time before they revert to such threatbare rubrics of politics-as-usual.
Dr. White goes from bad to worse in continuing his spiel on his Web site. It is gaseous hokum of the type that a person presents when he is too unsophisticated and too dishonest and too contemptuous of voters to say in plain English what he would do on the school board. We must watch the gentleman with a jaundiced eye.
In his favor is Dr. White's handsome family: Barbie, his pretty wife, two adorable little girls, and one precious little boy. How fortunate is this school-board obfuscator to have such a family if not accessibilty, honesty, and integrity.
I don't think Dr. White knows anything at all about the immoral running of the schools by the current board despite his having served his local schools in various capacities. My guess is that he does not want to know. He shows all the signs of being a congenital round heels. If he gets on the board, going along to get along and obeying Ms. Elia's edicts without blinking an eye will be his trademark.
All three board members during Gonzalez's hiring still hunker on the board--Olson, Lamb, and Kurdell. They rubber stamped Gonzalez's employment by Earl the Pearl Lennard. Earl the Pearl hired this third-rate legal specimen with no competition. The board did not advertise the job. The Pearl simply handed the board-attorney plum to Gonzalez with a wink and a nod in good-ol-boy fashion.
Three board members who were original rubber stampers of this legal C student's employment --Olson, Lamb, and Kurdell--have never questioned Gonzalez's bloated pay. Nor have the four others, who have since joined the board and continued this outrageous misuse of public funds: Griffin, Valdes, RIP Falliera, and Ethridge. Not one has demanded a review of Gonzalez's employment because they suspected the board was overpaying him and wanted an accounting of the situation plus an accounting for the violation of the equal-employment opportunity laws in his hiring that they aver they follow. No board member has asked Mr. Valdez to do a salary study of state board attorneys to compare what Gonzales gets to what other school board attorneys get.
I have observed Mr. Gonzalez's performance for over two years. I recall a case's dealing with a wall's falling down in a newly built school. Apparent was that Gonzalez did not read the fine print of the contract so did not advise the board to get sufficient insurance. Who paid for that piece of legal carelessness? the taxpayers, of course.
It's not just whopping tax payouts for his louche legal advice with which taxpayers get stuck. Mr. Gonzalez messes up smaller things as well. Teacher Steve Kemp's job was on the line via a false Professional Standards charge for "child abuse," filed with the sheriff's office. At the same time, an administrator at King High who called pubescent boys into his office, ordered them to take off their shoes and socks, and demanded that they present him their feet to fondle would have got away with this outrage but for some fortuitous circumstances. The ToeCracker--probably because of a newspaper story-- had a sheriff's charge filed against him too.
When the charges--one with a professional-standards charge against teacher Kemp, one without a professional-standards charge against the administrative Toe Cracker came back from the sheriff, the sheriff's recommendation was identical for both the Toe Cracker Fetishist and Teacher Kemp. But Mr. Gonzalez's not reading even these brief pieces of school-business prose resulted in his maintaining they were different. This outback mouthpiece got into an argument with the SPT reporter who had written that the Kemp and Toe Cracker charges were identical.
Alley OOp Gonzalez did not apologize to the reporter?
The administration refused to have the Foot Fetishist Administrator get a valid psychological examination until a parent told the King principal he would file a lawsuit against the schools for negligence of children's safety if the administration did not have such an examination of the ToeCracker.
The Pinellas County school board attorney makes $175,00 a year and has a contract that outlines his duties. He is a full-time employee. Gonzalez does his work on the hourly plan whose rate he sets himself and then feeds into the tax-money machine the bloated amount he claims he has earned with no board supervision. Gonzalez has a written contract with USF and lord knows whom else. But the Hillsborough County school system is too naive and too indifferent to wasting tax money to require a lawyer contract to protect itself and citizens' money. And the board lets this legal leech suck money from the taxpayers without oversight.
I don't believe Gonzalez reads the board-related work on which he should to render valid opinions. Why should he? Nobody checks. I have been trying to get the folder under public information to read his opinions and work record for the schools. So far the excuse is that it does not exist, that he does everything orally. Does that make sense to the average citizen? Aren't taxpayers entitled to a written record to catalog this guy's claim of $275,000 per annum for his "work"? I will pursue this situation further under public information. Thank God for the public-records laws.
If the Hillsborough County board discharged Mr. Gonzalez, advertised the job as Title VII requires, and picked the best candidate, there is no reason why the taxpayers would not save at least $100,000 a year and get better legal representation. So much for the board's chorus of "saving every penny of taxpayer money."
For over 100 years the nation, the city of New York, and the state of Florida have all benefited from my family’s long and rich tradition of public service. My Grandfather was a NYC firefighter; my Uncle and Cousin were veterans of the NYPD. My father, a veteran of three wars, served this nation for over twenty-three years while another uncle served his country as a Special Agent for the FBI.
I decided to enter this School Board race in order to make a difference and to serve the community in which I have lived since 1966. I offer a proven record of accomplishment and service as an instructional leader. In 2006 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Quality Assurance review team said of my leadership at Freedom High School, “Mr. Bartels is a highly qualified, strong and decisive individual with a vision for academic excellence.”
I am a native of Brooklyn New York; the son of a career serviceman, I lived in the Far East for five years. I attended military dependent schools in Japan and Okinawa, as well as public schools in Pennsylvania and Texas.
I earned my bachelors (BA) degree from the University of Tampa and my masters (MA) degree from the University of South Florida. I did additional graduate work at USF earning certification in Educational Leadership.
For nearly fourteen years I taught a myriad of Social Studies courses in the Hillsborough County Schools. In 1984 I was appointed Dean of Students at East Bay High School. Three years later, I was selected to become the first Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Bloomingdale High School. The then Superintendent, Dr. Earl Lennard, asked me to transfer to King High School, where I was appointed to the principalship.
During the 1,000 days that I served as Principal, King High School accomplished the following:
1) Newsweek ranked King as one of the top 100 schools in the nation.
2) Our school grade improved from a “C” to an “A” in 2001.
3) Additional Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses were added and the curriculum was strengthened.
4) Daily student attendance improved from 86% to 93%.
5) A Naval JROTC program was established
6) Enrollment in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program increased with 78% of IB graduates earning an IB diploma.
In 2002 I was selected to become the charter principal of Freedom High School. During my tenure Freedom accomplished the following:
1) Newsweek ranked us as one of the top schools in the Nation.
2) Our school grade improved from a “B” to an “A” in 2008.
3) Twenty Advanced Placement (AP) courses were offered.
4) A Naval JROTC program was established.
5) Freedom’s school newspaper was selected as the best HS paper in the Southeast.
6) 10 Million dollars in academic, athletic, and Performing Arts scholarships were awarded in 2008.
The only problem I see with the Bartels candidacy is that he was part of the school system while the board and Dr. Earl the Pearl were savaging Mr. Erwin for asking them to do something about the crime he had discovered emanating from ROSSAC. Mr. Erwin got no support from anybody in the schools. Members of the school family were scared to utter a peep of protest or to contact Mr. Erwin and at least give him verbal support. Courage is the least prominent virtue of the human race. After spending my professional life in colleges and universities, I can attest that high intelligence does not equate to high courage. The good news, however, is that without any inside support, Mr. Erwin won his whistleblower law suit against the schools, got $165,000 for the board's and the Pearl's crimes against him--paid by the taxpayers, of course, and escaped to the arcadian fields of bliss in South Georgia.
Tiger Bay kicked me out for asking harsh questions of the pols who showed up and for being "unladylike." lee