Back in the blackboard jungle, Nick Wright’s letter in yesterday’s Shame on you, Andy Griffiths – Florida Keys school board candidate post is in The Key West Citizen today:
Incumbent is quick to deflect the blame
A politician doesn’t stay in office 20 years without learning to point the finger of blame. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the longest tenured politician in Key West was swift in assaulting teacher Mary Maxwell’s opinions. Using the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” defense, the career politician this time decided to:
Blame the teachers! In this letter, the incumbent indicated the teachers are to blame for school finances. After all, the district is broke and those pesky teachers keep demanding that their contract be honored. Clearly, School Board members spend their own money on supplies, and work around the clock to keep the district’s “A” rating while lazy teachers hide in offices all day. But in an election year, with teacher morale as a prime issue, perhaps it would be better to:
Blame the superintendents! In his interview on U.S. 1 Radio, the incumbent indicated that previous superintendents could not be held accountable. While the School Board approves the budget, the incumbent holds no responsibility for embezzlement. Although our School Board member recruited “Carpetbagger” Burke at the Homestead Cracker Barrel, he is not responsible for Burke’s wake of destruction. However, as we have a new superintendent to impress, perhaps it would be better to:
Blame the Recession! In what he describes as “the greatest recession of all time,” the district’s finances have crumbled. State championship teams beg for change and teachers endure unpaid leave. Times are indeed difficult. Although millions were wasted on Marathon Manor, and regulators commandeered his post at Keys Federal, the chairmen of the board can’t be held responsible. … Well surely there is someone else to blame.
Whether he is firing Kathy Reitzel for blowing the whistle, dismissing the Audit and Finance Committee for revealing the truth, hiding from students marching for education or laying off maintenance and cafeteria workers, the School Board’s career politician will be quick to blame your teachers, your neighbors and you! Our children deserve someone who will take responsibility.
Nick wrote to me about what I had attributed to him in yesterday’s Shame on you, Andy Griffiths – Florida Keys school board candidate post:
Thanks for printing my letter this morning Sloan. It was also good to finally speak with you. I would love to fill you in on anything I can of both my saga, and other tidbits accumulated… Fridays are generally the best day for me to meet, as tutoring is slow those days. Not to criticize, but if I might make a few corrections in this morning’s comments… – “this repulsed some of Nick’s students.” – No student ever complained about my teaching methods or content. No student spoke or wrote a negative comment about my teaching during this saga (Possibly the back of some chairs at KWHS share some choice expressions – I was a teacher for nearly a decade). In fact, the only person to speak against my teaching was Ms. Axford – the complainant. – The approval of my firing by the school board was not unanimous. Ron Martin & Robin Smith-Martin voted to allow me to continue teaching. John Dick and Andy Griffiths voted to support Superintendent Burke. Absent from the meeting and listening – occasionally – on the telephone, Duncan Mathewson contradicted his previous statement (that firing was too harsh a punishment) and broke the tie in favor of dismissal. Thanks again Sloan
By the way – I was on the UTM (United Teachers of Monroe) negotiating team up until I was suspended. I was in all meetings with Jara, Kineer, Holly, Leon and Burke when performance pay, race to the top, the state of the budget, etc. were discussed. I was quite clear that the district didn’t have the money to pay for performance pay, and that teachers were going to be labelled greedy for accepting a raise. I raised these issues adamantly in the negotiating sessions, and as acting secretary of UTM, I had minutes written for all meetings on my school computer. Immediately after raising these issues, my computer was seized by Ms. Axford, and the witch-hunt to discredit me began….
Hi, Nick. Very interesting, I did not know you were on the union’s negotiating team, the timing of that with your dismissal also is interesting. Will publish both of yours tomorrow. Apologies to you, and to Robin Smith-Martin and Ron Martin, for writing today that they went along with Burke’s decision to fire you. I was not of the impression any of your students complained in your classes, but at home a few students complained, according to what I recall reading in The Citizen. Please free to add more, if you wish. Sloan =============================
After the school district’s CFO Michael Kinneer told both sides of the contract negotiations that the district didn’t have the money to fund the contract, he did not attend any more bargaining sessions. I wrote a few times before, if the union negotiating team knew the school district didn’t have the money to fund performance pay, why did the union team agree to a contract with performance pay in it? And, I have to ask again, if both sides of the contract negotiations knew the district did not have the money to fund performance pay, why didn’t the school board members know that also? Surely the school board members were hearing how the contract negotiations were going? Surely they were dialed into that drama daily? Apparently not. However, before the school board members ratified the contract, Audit & Finance Committee member Larry Murray told them that he didn’t see where the money was in the district to fund the contract. There also was the wee matter of the district over-estimating local tax revenues more than a little bit, as the result of the school administration relying on Tallahasse estimates of the school district’s local tax revenues, instead of checking with the county tax collector’s office to see what their estimate of the district’ local tax revenues would be. Larry Murray did check with the local tax collector’s office, like anyone with even 1/10 of a brain would do. The school administration just naturally liked Tallahassee’s higher estimates of the school district’s local tax revenues, because that meant not as much budget-cutting. Ever since, we have been reading all about that multiple financial SNAFU, in which Andy Griffiths was up to his eyeballs despite his campaign rhetoric to the contrary. At candidate forums this year, I heard Andy take full credit for hiring new Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter, but I have yet to hear Andy take full credit for recruiting Joe Burke to replace Randy Acevedo. Joe Burke, whom I heard assured everyone there was enough money to fund the collective bargaining agreement, which time quickly disproved. Thank you, Andy, for talking Joe Burke into being our superintendent of schools.
In another quadrant of The Asteroid Belt, a person on my email hit list, also a member of Last Stand, wrote to me yesterday:
Sloan, Have not heard your voice lately. You OK? Deb
Hi, Deb Do you mean you have not heard my voice at government meetings? Haven’t attended many lately, other than a couple of school board meetings. I’ve been sounding off at candidate forums, now concluded, although my voice is a bit different and comes and goes after the throat surgery about two months ago to remove most of a benign growth on my vocal left vocal chord. My pen runs off at the mouth daily about this and that, which goes onto the goodmorning websites and you and others receive by email. I suppose after the election next week, the angels will show me where to focus. Meanwhile, I’m scheduled to be on US 1 Radio with Bill Becker this Thursday at 8:55 a.m. I’m going to drive 5 minutes up to the radio station and use a microphone, because there is no telling how my voice will come across in a telephone interview. Maybe I will use yours and mine in tomorrow’s post, to alert other people who have not heard my voice in a while, how they can do that Thursday morning. 5 minutes isn’t much time to cover school district issues, but perhaps a few important points will be made. Hope all okay with you. Sloan
I just wanted to be sure you weren’t ill
Well, often I’m in an ill mood, but who wouldn’t be, and ill, too, who stays angel-immersed up to his eyeballs in lovely Keys politics? Yesterday, Naja ze Terribla, according to some, sent me USA’s motion to dismiss in the Federal Court lawsuit filed by Roger Bernstein’s to quiet his company’s title claim to Wisertia Island. Did you see the motion to dismiss yet? If not, here’s the lead-in, which summarizes USA’s position. I wrote back to Naja that it don’t seem USA is rolling over and playing dead.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA CASE NO. 12-10072-CIV-MARTINEZ/MCALILEY F.E.B. CORPORATION, Plaintiff, vs. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant. ________________________________________/ DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
Defendant, United States of America, by and through the undersigned Assistant United States Attorney, hereby moves to dismiss Plaintiff F.E.B. Corporation’s Complaint [D.E. 1] for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1); and, in support thereof, states the following:
I. This Action Was Brought Beyond the Quiet Title Act’s 12-Year Statute of Limitations: The Court Lacks Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Plaintiff sues the United States to quiet title to a piece of land located off the coast of Key West, Florida1 pursuant to the Quiet Title Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2409a. Under the Quiet Title Act, the United States waives sovereign immunity to allow a private party to sue only when the party brings the cause of action within twelve years of when the party—or the party’s predecessor in interest—knew or should have known of the claim of the United States.
Where the party attempts to quiet title after the twelve-year statute of limitations period, the United States has not waived sovereign immunity and the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim. In the present case, it is undisputed, and the record evidence establishes, that Plaintiff’s predecessors in interest had actual knowledge of the United States’ claim of ownership over the property in question as early as 1951 (and prior to the first purported transfer of ownership). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claim is well outside the twelve-year statute of limitations, and this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s purported claim.
1 “The property in dispute constitutes approximately thirty-nine acres of submerged lands, . . . including a spoil island encompassed by the thirty-nine acres of submerged lands known as Wisteria Island or Christmas Island (‘Wisteria Island’), all of which are located northwest of the Island of Key West in Monroe County, Florida.” Complaint [D.E. 1], ¶2
If the U.S. District Court rules it does not have jurisdiction, and if that ruling is upheld on appeal, I wonder where Roger Bernstein will be able to try to quiet his title claim to Wisteria Island? If he cannot quiet the title, I don’t see any way he can get Wisteria Island developed. Thus her name, Naja ze Terribla. The angels who kept pushing me to push Naja to keep digging into the history of Wisteria Island’s title probably ought to be called Ze Angels Terribla, for that, and for the way they push me. Sloan
Deb’s reply: Yup I saw it. Glad you are OK
OK is relative. I can’t imagine anyone living in my skin feeling OK much of the time. Besides the usual internal commotion, not a day and night pass that the angels don’t do something to turn me upside down and feel the earth is yanked out from under me again. Makes me want to grab beer, run like hell. LOL