City Council needs to pass an ordinance requiring a nose/mouth covering

The city council needs to pass an ordinance requiring a nose/mouth covering when entering any enclosed place open to the public similar to what President Trump required of the West Wing White House staff in May after some of the staff tested positive for Covid-19.

The ordinance would make the word “should” mean “must” when it comes to the CDC guidelines for Jacksonville regarding face masks. People are interpreting “should” to mean “not required.” Strong people should care about their neighbors.
CDC guidelines:

  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

“We continue to caution that reducing the likelihood of additional outbreaks will require individuals and business owners to be vigilant with personal protection, wearing masks and practicing proper hygiene, and instituting strong workplace safety measures,” Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at CHOP and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, said.

Health professionals, including Dr. Larry Feinman, chief medical officer for 18 HCA hospitals in west Florida, pushed for a mask requirement. Feinman said he is more “terrified” to walk through a Publix grocery store than through any of the 15 COVID-19 units in the chain’s hospitals.

“I’m begging you to mandate masking,” Feinmann said. “It is effective.”

Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the Florida Department of Health, said recent studies are “showing the masks are effective” in fighting the virus.

Most people (even Mayor Curry) now agree that if everyone wears a mask in public buildings, then the spread of the novel coronavirus will be lowered.

What about this compromise?

Ask the city council to pass an ordinance requiring masks (until a safe and effective vaccine is available) while inside an enclosed building open to the public with the below caveat.

The following establishments could be exempted if they agree to post the following warning at all entrances

“Covid-19 can cause hospitalization and death. It is highly contagious. The CDC has advised that if everyone would wear a mask, then the risk of contracting Covid-19 would be reduced. We do *not* require masks so enter at your own risk. We assume no liability if you contract Covid-19 from being exposed to the virus in our building.”

These types of businesses can be exempt from mandatory masks if they’ll post the sign in huge letters at every entry point:

Restaurants, Bars, Churches, Political Rallies, Concerts, Theaters

Under this compromise, the people who don’t feel they are vulnerable to a severe case can go to restaurants, etc. And those of us who fear having a severe reaction if exposed to the virus can go to grocery stores being assured that everyone will be wearing a mask.

It seems like a great compromise, yes?

Link to article about West Wing requirements in May:https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/vaping/news/20200619/masks-no-longer-required-in-west-wing
Link to article with David Rubin quote:https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-florida-next-epicenter-pandemic/
Link to article with Doctors Feinmann and Choe quotes:
https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/06/18/pinellas-county-inches-closer-to-requiring-face-masks/

Link to CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Please use the term “publicly funded schools” not “public schools” and then add an descriptive adjective such as all, charter, private, neighborhood, magnet, or district-run

There is a reason for

Article 1 Section 3 of the Florida Constitution

Religious freedom.—There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

Does Kimberly Daniels want her bible study class to be a required elective in all publicly funded schools? My guess is no. Publicly funded schools aren’t the place to teach religion. There is a reason for Article 1 Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Hopefully her bill will die before reaching the full House.

It isn’t always clear what legislators mean by “public schools” now that they are funding charter schools and private schools with taxpayer dollars.

HB 463 (implicit bias training) needs to be changed so it applies to all publicly funded schools.

The sponsor of the bill needs to suggest this amendment to HB 463:

***Each charter school governing board shall require charter school instructional personnel to take the training specified at 943.1716 and 1000.05.

***Any private school receiving taxpayer dollars must require members of its instructional personnel to take the training specified at 943.1716 and 1000.05.

Summary of HB 463 which amends 943.1716 and 1000.05:

Implicit Bias Training: Requires Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission to include implicit bias training in instruction dealing with diverse populations; requires SBE to develop requirements for training for all K-12 instructional personnel & administrators in recognizing & overcoming implicit bias; requesting Supreme Court develop training requirements for judges on implicit bias.

Legislators need to contemplate why ALL publicly funded schools aren’t included when the legislature makes rules for the district-run schools. If the rules aren’t necessary, then why make the district-run schools follow them? If the rules are necessary, then ALL schools that receive taxpayer dollars should be required to follow them.

2020 SB 184 and SB 56 aim to make non-discrimination laws apply to all publicly funded schools.  

2020 SB 154 (Human trafficking) and HB 463 (implicit bias training) need to be changed so they apply to all publicly funded schools.

I spoke about SB 184, SB 56, and SB 154 when I spoke to the Duval Legislative Delegation. I had not yet read HB 463 at that time. Here is the link to my two minutes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDSB9ICU7hI

Here is the link to my two minutes when I spoke during the public comment period at the FLDOE meeting making a similar point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZUQZdx5SM

HB 463 is an important bill. The Nickel Boys by Colton Whitehead was based on a true story.  It should make all of us wonder how to prevent the cruel incidents (on which the story was based) from happening again.    

A quote from an interview that Colette Bancroft had with the author of The Nickel Boys :

In 2014, they were exhuming the grave sites in Tallahassee, Florida. … When I found Ben Montgomery’s reporting, it was the summer of Ferguson, of Michael Brown being shot, of Eric Garner being killed in Staten Island. It was the same indifference to black lives, to the poor, to people with no power who cannot defend themselves. … That kind of brutality occurs whenever powerless children are failed by the system that’s supposed to protect them.

Link to article: https://www.tampabay.com/books/colson-whiteheads-novel-the-nickel-boys-draws-power-from-a-real-florida-story-20190718/

Link to article about the incident on which the novel was based:   https://www.tampabay.com/investigations/2019/08/18/they-went-to-the-dozier-school-for-boys-damaged-they-came-out-destroyed/    

People throw around the terms “choice” and “public” when they are talking about schools. But what do they mean?

Legislators need to use the term “publicly funded school” not “public school” so it’s clear what they are talking about.

I wish we’d all want all the publicly funded neighborhood schools to be great. I wish we’d fund each one so they would have adequate staff to serve the community, employ tutors, offer vocational, music, art, debate, lots of choices within the publicly funded neighborhood school.

The majority of the taxpayers should also have a choice about how our tax money (public funds) is being spent. We don’t want our public money funding schools that discriminate or refuse to teach skills that help us to get along with each other. 

Any school receiving taxpayer dollars needs to follow at least some of the same rules that the publicly funded neighborhood schools must follow. They certainly should have to follow the rules mentioned in SB 184, SB 56, SB 154 and HB 463.

Should the city council fire Jason Gabriel?

Currently the way our (Jacksonville) charter is written, the general counsel is hired and fired by the mayor. The hired attorney (the general counsel) is supposed to represent all of the constitutional officers of the local government. He has a staff of 40 attorneys. I posit that he is not fairly representing all of the constitutional officers.

How does the current general counsel interpret “any activity” as used in 21.04? JEA is not keeping the city council informed about activity related to the sale of JEA which seems to me is a violation of our city’s charter. Quote from 21.04:

“ provided, however, that JEA will not enter into any activity … without first providing written notice of such activities to the council auditor no less than 30 days before the commencement of such activity.”

The city council and the school board (not the mayor) should hire and fire the general counsel. According to 3.01 of our city’s charter, the voters would have to approve the change. Please ask the city council to put that option on our March 2020 ballot, i.e. the sooner the better before the general counsel does further damage to our city by blocking the elected city council and the elected school board from carrying out their duties.

Our current mayor was elected by 14% of the registered voters. We have seven school board members each elected by a school board district and each tasked with following Florida’s Constitution Article IX which calls for a quality free public education system. We have 14 city council members each elected by voters in his or her particular district. And we have five at large city council members elected by all of Jacksonville. The general counsel is supposed to represent all of them but appears to favor the mayor. The general counsel needs to be hired by the city council and the school board not the mayor.

Let’s posit the following:
1. The mayor wants to sell JEA (the city owned utility) to the highest bidder but the majority of the city council does not.
2. The mayor wants control of the school board’s budget but that is the responsibility of the elected school board per Florida’s Constitution.

What harm has the general counsel done regarding the sale of JEA (the city owned utility)?

If the city council had its own attorney, what advice would the attorney have offered when JEA started taking steps to sell? At the beginning of this fiscal year, the mayor and the JEA board—appointed by the mayor— aggressively started spending money to sell JEA. Consultants were hired. Agreements were made guaranteeing executive bonuses and the city absorb the pension debt if the sale should take place. Bid requirements were drafted without the city council’s knowledge. The city council has now hired its own attorneys, but is it too late? How much money has been wasted if the voters ultimately don’t approve the sale? Or worse, what if the mayor with the help of the general counsel finds a way to say the voters don’t have to approve the sale? In other words, will the mayor sell JEA whether the voters want it or not?

What harm has the general counsel done to the elected school board?

In May of 2019 the OGC (Office of the General Counsel) interpreted “shall” to mean “doesn’t have to” thereby stopping the school board from getting a dedicated revenue stream to repair the neighborhood schools. Florida Statute 212.055 (6)(b) reads as follows:

The statement shall conform to the requirements of s. 101.161 and shall be placed on the ballot by the governing body of the county.

Parents of kids in crumbling school buildings are suing to say that “shall” means “must.” Hopefully the courts will agree and the school board’s referendum will be on our November 2020 ballot. However, the delay will be a huge cost to the school board’s budget. The delay was caused by the general counsel advising the city council that they didn’t have to put the school board’s referendum on our November 2019 ballot.

Another example of how the general counsel is harming the elected school board is the two versions of State Representative Jason Fischer’s J-1 bills. They were both written by the general counsel’s office and they appear to be another attempt by the mayor to take over the school board’s budget. The first version suggested a change to our (Jacksonville’s) charter that would allow the mayor to appoint the school board. I assume that was withdrawn because of the outcry that it violated Florida’s Constitution Article IX Section 4. The second version of the J-1 bill made the suggestion that the city’s charter be changed to take away the ability of the seven elected school board members to hire and fire the main administrator that runs the school district. The city council wouldn’t make that change for the mayor so he asked Jason Fischer to do it via a local bill called a J bill. The problem is that J bills are a way to ask the state legislature to exempt Jacksonville from certain state laws. They are not a way to change our city’s charter, which is up to the city council, citizen initiatives, and to a limited extent the elected school board. Jason Fischer has been saying it is Florida’s Constitution Article VIII Section 9 that gives his J bill authority. The general counsel drafted a memo offering the same opinion.

However, Article VIII Section 6(e) clearly states Section 9 is no longer valid once Jacksonville has a charter, which we do. I hope someone sues to make that clear, i.e. Representative Fischer’s J-1 bill has no authority since Section 9 is no longer valid.

Our (Jacksonville) city council can put a referendum on our ballot to ask the voters to change our charter. It is time for a change in the way the general counsel is hired. When someone abuses power and reveals a weakness in the rules, it is time for a change.
I asked the city council not to confirm Gabriel back in July as did the second speaker in this clip:

https://youtu.be/hoVv4-ZtNbY
Article about the general counsel and the sale of JEA:

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20191106/city-council-hears-it-canrsquot-rsquopull-plugrsquo-on-jea-sale-negotiations

Screen shot of our charter

PHOTO OF CHARTER-7.02

 

Fischer’s J-1 bill has no authority

 

I summarized this blog post during the public comment period of the November 1st Duval Legislative meeting. Audience members were limited to two minutes. I included Ms. Smith’s two minute talk in the below clip, i.e. I am the second speaker in this clip:

 

Here is the two minutes of the leader of the local Women’s March chapter also asking the Duval Delegation to vote no:

 


Many people spoke during the comment period asking the Duval Delegation to vote no.  But Fischer, Bean, Daniels, Wyman, Byrd, Daniels voted yes on Fischer’s J-1 bill.  Please consider voting those 6 out when they run for re-election. Fischer’s J-1 proposes putting something that will change our city’s charter on the November 2020 city ballot. The thing he wants on our ballot: change the Superintendent from appointed by the 7 elected school board members to elected by the voters who show up at the polls.

  • In most major cities the elected school board appoints the superintendent similar to the way other administrators are appointed by elected officials. The elected officials are able to do a nationwide search for the most qualified person.
  • We don’t need Fischer’s proposal on our November 2020 ballot. Voters will have enough other things to be considering.
  • Placing items on our city ballot or changing our city’s charter is the job of the city council, citizen initiatives, and to a limited capacity the elected school board. Certainly the state legislature can pass laws that may make parts of our charter inconsistent with state law, but it is up to the city council to fix the charter when that happens.

Below are quotes from various places that make it clear that the Duval Delegation isn’t supposed to usurp home rule by suggesting changes to our charter as Jason Fischer has done with his J-1 bills–version 1 and 2. Yet he did it anyway.  And 6 of the 8 Duval Delegation voted to let his suggestion move to the House of Representatives. If the city council wants to put the option mentioned in the second version of the J-1 bill on our ballot, they have the authority within our Charter to do that but the Duval Delegation does not.

  1. House Rules for local bills
  2. Article VIII Section 6(e)
  3. Duval Delegation Rules

1. Quote from the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2019 – 2020 LOCAL BILL CERTIFICATION FORM:

(1) The members of the local legislative delegation must certify that the purpose of the bill cannot be accomplished at the local level;

The form can be found at the website for the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. What J-1 proposes can be done at the local level. The city council can propose ordinances to put things on our city’s ballot. Therefore, I don’t see how the Duval Delegation is going to be able to answer yes to question #1 on the local bill certification form. Below is the link to the committee’s website where you can find the link to the form:

https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?CommitteeId=3025

2.  Florida Constitution Article VIII Section 6(e) CONSOLIDATION AND HOME RULE:

… Sections 9 (FN 1)… of the Constitution of 1885, as amended, shall remain in full force and effect as to each county affected, as if this article had not been adopted, until that county shall expressly adopt a charter or home rule plan

The authority that Jason Fischer has given for local bill J-1 is Article VIII Section 9 but Article VIII Section 6(e) says Section 9 is no longer valid once Jacksonville has a charter which we do.

3.  Delegation Rules of Procedure:

 It shall be the policy of the Delegation *not* to consider any matter which is within the authority granted by the Charter of the Consolidated City of Jacksonville.

Putting things on our ballot is within the authority granted by our charter to the city council and to a limited degree to the school board so even the Duval Delegation’s own rules should have told Fischer not to propose J-1.

https://www.coj.net/departments/duval-legislative-delegation/docs/11-30-16-delegation-rules-of-procedure-(1).aspx

Below are other items related to this issue


As an addendum, I feel I must also say that version 1 of Jason Fischer’s J-1 bill was particularly outrageous as he tried to say that a J bill could exempt Jacksonville from Florida’ Constitution. Article IX Section 4 of Florida’s Constitution says that the school board must be elected. Fischer’s first version of his J-1 bill suggested the Mayor appoint the school board rather than allowing the voters to elect a school board member for their school district.


ARTICLE IX

SECTION 1.Public education.

(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure that children attending public schools obtain a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that:

 SECTION 4.School districts; school boards.

(a) Each county shall constitute a school district; provided, two or more contiguous counties, upon vote of the electors of each county pursuant to law, may be combined into one school district. In each school district there shall be a school board composed of five or more members chosen by vote of the electors in a nonpartisan election for appropriately staggered terms of four years, as provided by law.

(b) The school board shall operate, control and supervise all free public schools within the school district and determine the rate of school district taxes within the limits prescribed herein. Two or more school districts may operate and finance joint educational programs.


The attorney for Jason Gabriel’s Office of the General Counsel didn’t answer the question (in the below email) in this memo which is dated October 30th:
screen shot of CRC web page for OGC memo
Note it says that it is dated 9/17/2019 but the memo was updated from its original form and is now dated  October 30th. You can find it at this link:
https://www.coj.net/city-council/charter-revision-commission

———- Forwarded message ———
Date: Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 3:38 PM
To: <PJohnston@coj.net>
Ms. Johnston,
Does Article VIII Section 6(e) say that Section 9 is no longer valid since we have a charter?


Local bills are used to ask the state legislature to exempt a city from a state statute. However, neither one of Jason’s J-1 bills aim to do that.
Even though the 1968 amendments to the state constitution were passed in November 1968 and the voters voted in August 1967 to consolidate as of October 1, 1968; that doesn’t negate the fact that Section 6(e) says Section 9 will no longer be valid once we have a charter.

This is how 6(e) reads now:

(e) CONSOLIDATION AND HOME RULE. Article VIII, Section 9 (footnote 1) … of the Constitution of 1885, as amended, shall remain in full force and effect as to each county affected, as if this article had not been adopted, until that county shall expressly adopt a charter
Please ask an attorney available to you about 6(e) and if it says Section 9 is no longer valid once we have a charter. Jason Fischer needs to quit saying Section 9 is still valid and gives him the authority to suggest things similar to his J-1 bills.
link to 1968 changes:

https://fall.fsulawrc.com/crc/conhist/1968amen-nov.html


 

If our sales tax money is given to charter schools, can it be recouped if the charter school should close?

212.055 only mentions schools.  It doesn’t say charter schools or private schools or district run schools. Is it implied that the sales tax money will only go to school district owned property? I wish someone would assure me that if our sales tax money is going to a charter school, then money and assets can be 100% recouped if the charter school should close.

Below are excerpts from the Florida Statutes

Parts of 212.055 (6) SCHOOL CAPITAL OUTLAY SURTAX.—
(a) The school board in each county may levy, pursuant to resolution conditioned to take effect only upon approval by a majority vote of the electors of the county voting in a referendum, a discretionary sales surtax at a rate that may not exceed 0.5 percent.

(b) …  The statement shall conform to the requirements of s. 101.161 and shall be placed on the ballot by the governing body of the county.

(c) The resolution providing for the imposition of the surtax shall set forth a plan for use of the surtax proceeds for fixed capital expenditures or fixed capital costs associated with the construction, reconstruction, or improvement of school facilities and campuses which have a useful life expectancy of 5 or more years, and any land acquisition, land improvement, design, and engineering costs related thereto. Additionally, the plan shall include the costs of retrofitting and providing for technology implementation, including hardware and software, for the various sites within the school district. Surtax revenues may be used for the purpose of servicing bond indebtedness to finance projects authorized by this subsection, and any interest accrued thereto may be held in trust to finance such projects. Neither the proceeds of the surtax nor any interest accrued thereto shall be used for operational expenses.

Here is the full 1002.33 (8) (d)

When a charter is not renewed or is terminated, the school shall be dissolved under the provisions of law under which the school was organized, and any unencumbered public funds, except for capital outlay funds and federal charter school program grant funds, from the charter school shall revert to the sponsor. Capital outlay funds provided pursuant to s. 1013.62 and federal charter school program grant funds that are unencumbered shall revert to the department to be redistributed among eligible charter schools.

In the event a charter school is dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.

Any unencumbered public funds from the charter school, district school board property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public funds, or financial or other records pertaining to the charter school, in the possession of any person, entity, or holding company, other than the charter school, shall be held in trust upon the district school board’s request, until any appeal status is resolved.

1013.62 Charter schools capital outlay funding.—
1(1) For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist of state funds appropriated in the 2018-2019 General Appropriations Act. Beginning in fiscal year 2019-2020, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist of state funds when such funds are appropriated in the General Appropriations Act and revenue resulting from the discretionary millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2) if the amount of state funds appropriated for charter school capital outlay in any fiscal year is less than the average charter school capital outlay funds per unweighted full-time equivalent student for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, multiplied by the estimated number of charter school students for the applicable fiscal year, and adjusted by changes in the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States Department of Labor from the previous fiscal year. Nothing in this subsection prohibits a school district from distributing to charter schools funds resulting from the discretionary millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2).

 

Charter schools are publicly funded schools.

Charter schools are publicly funded schools.

Note that the below excerpt from the statute says “district school board property,” but what if the building and land are owned by private investors even though the public funded the purchase?  Are any charter schools housed in a district school board building?

Florida Statute about charter schools:
http://leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1002/Sections/1002.33.html

Quotes from Florida Statute 1002.33:

In the event a charter school is dissolved or is otherwise terminated, all district school board property and improvements, furnishings, and equipment purchased with public funds shall automatically revert to full ownership by the district school board, subject to complete satisfaction of any lawful liens or encumbrances.

(a) A charter school shall operate in accordance with its charter and shall be exempt from all statutes in chapters 1000-1013. However, a charter school shall be in compliance with the following statutes in chapters 1000-1013:

Scott Shine

I have received no response to my email.  What should I do now?
Listening to Aaron Bowman discuss the school board’s referendum at city council meetings on July 16, I am more worried than ever about his appointments to the Charter Revision Commission.

The city council designee needs to call out how the council members are voting when the vote is taken via a hand raise. They didn’t do that with the motion to defer the vote on Scott Shine. IF a vote was in violation of the sunshine law then it is deemed void.  That means the motion to defer the vote on Scott Shine is still open.  With that motion still open, then I assume the actual vote on Scott Shines’ appointment is also void.  Yes?

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Susan 
Subject: Sunshine Law Violation
To: <JGabriel@coj.net>

Office of the General Counsel Jason Gabriel,

The vote to defer the vote on 2019-353 was in violation of the sunshine law or so it appears to me.  The cure is to retake the vote.
According to an article I read about the Sunshine Law:
The manual says that because the Sunshine Law requires meetings to be open to the public at all times, the person who tallies the votes should announce the names of the board members who voted and their votes. … if a public meeting becomes “covert, secret or not wholly exposed to the view and hearing of the public,” then that part of the meeting is not “open to the public at all times” as required by the Sunshine Law.
Via a public records request, I asked for the names of the 8 of the 15 council members present who voted NOT to defer the vote on 2019-353. Cheryl Brown and Scott Wilson told me they didn’t know.  I was offered a video link but you can’t see who did or didn’t raise their hands in the video.  In other words, the raised or not raised hands were not visible in the video.

I watched the video at this link: http://jaxcityc.granicus.com/player/clip/724?view_id=1 . You can see the votes being counted by hand at around the 54 minute mark. You can hear CM Wilson say one of the council members changed their mind. But you can’t tell who raised their hands and who didn’t. The person who tallied the votes should have announced the names of the board members who voted and their votes. The cure is to take the vote again. 

On Jul 1, 2019, at 5:12 PM, Susan wrote:

Carla Miller,
I contacted Scott Wilson who was conducting the meeting that night.  He told me he didn’t know who voted to defer the vote on Scott Shine.  No one has told me who voted to defer.  You can’t tell from the video who voted to defer.  Someone on the staff counted the hands up BUT did not call out the names of the people that had their hands raised.  That seems in violation to the Sunshine Law.  In other words, you can’t tell from the video and no one called out the names of the people that were voting to defer. I think you need to correct the error by taking the vote again.  And if 8 out of the 15 people that were present want to defer the vote on Scott Shine, then you need to invalidate the confirmation of his appointment.  Yes (in case you’re wondering), I do find it troubling that people that wanted to defer the vote, then voted yes on his confirmation.  BUT how many people would have voted NO to the confirmation IF there was more time to investigate Scott Shine’s collection of his school board pay check while he missed so many school board meetings?

According to an article I read about the Sunshine Law:  Petersen said if a court ruled the Sunshine Law was violated by using anonymous ballots, the action taken as a result of that vote would be voided “as if it never happened.”  The cure is to have another vote.  The manual says that because the Sunshine Law requires meetings to be open to the public at all times, the person who tallies the votes should announce the names of the board members who voted and their votes. The Sunshine Law manual’s section on written ballots cites an attorney general’s opinion that if a public meeting becomes “covert, secret or not wholly exposed to the view and hearing of the public,” then that part of the meeting is not “open to the public at all times” as required by the Sunshine Law.

Visit to Jersey City and Manhattan

 


If you’re not in great shape, I suggest sitting down every hour or two.
You can sit in one of the many parks or a local cafe for a cup of tea or lunch or dinner.
The other thing I would suggest is to study the website of the museum you plan to visit and prioritize which floors and exhibits you want to see before you get there.

Here are some of the things we did in our week there.

Sunday
Arrive
Food shop at Shoprite
Visit the Liberty Harbor RV Park where Ken was staying
Walk to Breakfast at B18 Kitchen
Longingly look at the spa and make a mental note that I want to come back for a massage
Check-in to the AirBnB in Jersey City–great little studio apartment

Every morning we had coffee and granola in our little studio apartment before we headed out.  We did one major thing each day that we were there:

Monday: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tuesday: Museum of Modern Art
Wednesday: bought the tickets via TKTS (the discounted place on the day of the show) Broadway-Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus at the Booth Theater
Thursday: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island–rode the ferry there
Friday: Guggenheim Museum
Saturday: Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium and
Dark Universe and fly home

Other things we did but not sure which days
Rode the ferry to New York City
New York Public Library
Irish Hunger Memorial Park in Battery Park City
Rode the subway many times–cured of my subway phobia
Walk in Greenwich Village
Bleeker Street
Minetta Tavern
Bought a scarf
Grove Street Farmer’s Market
Grove Street Bizzar
Razza for dinner in Jersey city(JC)
Luna for dinner (JC)
Porta for dinner (JC)
Sole for dinner (NYC)
Shubert Alley
Junior’s for lunch
Lunch in the 4th floor Dining Room at The Metropolitan Museum
Carriage Ride from 59th to the Guggenheim mostly thru Central Park
10 minute back and shoulder massage in Central Park
Listen to the street musicians in Central Park
Cafe Overlooking Central Park in the Guggenheim
Walk in Theater District
Walk 14th street
14th Street Pizza (Susan–no one else wanted a pizza)
Walk Across Central Park from 5th and 89th to 72nd and Broadway: Police Station, Reservoir, squirrels, bird watchers
Walk from 42nd and 7th thru Times Square to 72nd and Broadway: Wollman Rink, chess and Checkers, artists, Carousel, Dairy, gift shop, Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, Imagine Mosaic, where John Lennon walked the mall, the Dakota, Ken’s former place,
911 Memorial

THINGS WE DIDN’T GET TO DO:
Strand Bookstore
Walk across Brooklyn Bridge
China Town
Canal Street
Battery Park
off-Broadway
High Line
Whitney Museum
Frick museum
American Indian Museum
Art Galleries
Wall Street
Macy’s
Cloisters
Jazz club
Walk spiral at Guggenheim
Eat at Gray’s Papaya
Walk inside St. Patricks Cathedral
Go inside 911 museum
See all of the American Museum of Natural History
So much more!!

Letter to Aaron Bean about using our taxpayer money to bring guns into the classrooms

April 18, 2019

Senator Aaron Bean
405 Senate Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

Honorable Senator Bean,

Funding for school safety should not be limited to armed personnel.  The school district should have more flexibility in deciding how to use funds to secure their schools.  Please advocate for amending SB 7030 to allow the school districts to spend the money however they choose to reduce risks.

My understanding is that YOU want the school districts to have the option of letting teachers bring guns into their classrooms. Most school districts are going to choose NOT to let teachers carry guns while they are teaching.  Please amend SB 7030 to delete the language that implies that the appropriated funding must be used exclusively for weapons to be brought into the classroom.

Panic buttons or metal detectors might be a better use of the funds. Please let each school district
decide how to use the money.

guns in schools

Lines 234 to 238 of SB 7030 currently reads as follows:

The sheriff conducting the training pursuant to subparagraph 2. will be reimbursed for training-related costs and for providing a one-time stipend of $500 to each school guardian

Charter schools and private schools receiving voucher money should make do with whatever per student funding that the legislators have already allocated to them.  And it should not be more than 70% of what the neighborhood schools get.   Neighborhood schools act as hurricane shelters, adult schools, parks for the neighborhood, etc.  Plus my belief is that most parents want their kids to go to a school close to their home. Please make all the neighborhood schools GREAT before you subsidize the private schools with my taxpayer money.