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Larry Murray sent this yesterday:
Article 11 of the contract between the Monroe County Board of Education and me provides as follows:
Termination of Contract. This agreement may be terminated by School Board only for cause as defined in Florida Law. This agreement may be terminated by Employee upon giving thirty (30) days written notice to the School Board
Please be advised that I intend to terminate the agreement on April 5, 2013 at 5 pm.
Previously I have communicated with Superintendent Porter as below and am willing to consider an earlier departure from the district should an acceptable agreement be reached.
From: Mark Porter
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2013 2:24 PM
To: Michael Kinneer
Subject: RE: Non-renewal of contract
I will need to forward this information to legal counsel for further advice and consideration. I just wanted you to be aware of this before doing so. Please let me know if you have an objection. Thank you. I will add, prior to receiving further legal advice, that I am reluctant to leave the district short-handed at such an important stage in our planning for 2013-14. My early notification to you, and others, was out of personal respect for the magnitude and significance of the situation. I knew I ran the risk of “lame-duck” perceptions, but felt it was the right thing to do. I don’t know that we should let the opinions of a true minority, despite how vocal they are, dictate our actions.
At this time you are not relieved of your duties as of 5:00 PM today.
We can talk more soon. Thank you.
Mark T. Porter
Superintendent of Schools
Monroe County School District
241 Trumbo Road | Key West, FL 33040 | O: (305) 293-1400 x53323 | F: (305) 293-1408
E: Mark.Porter@KeysSchools.com | W: http://www.keysschools.com/
From: Michael Kinneer
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2013 2:13 PM
To: Mark Porter
Subject: Non-renewal of contract
Your decision to not renew my current contract with the District has put me in an very untenable position at great risk to my personal reputation and career opportunities during the next four months. Already, the naysayers and bloggers have started to hypothesize about sabotaging the district and its operations by the ‘walking dead’, speculating that those of us who are not going to be renewed have motivation and reason to work against the interest of the district. This is absolutely untrue but knowing the way that this contingent operates it will be only a matter of time until the subject once again arises and is spewed across the county. Accordingly I am asking that you relieve me from my duties at the district office, assign me to my home with specific duties throughout the remainder of my contract.
In the alternative, I ask that the approximately 43 personal, sick and vacation leave days that I have accumulated while employed with the district be applied toward the thirty (30) day notification of termination of contract provided for in article 11 of the contract between the district and me that my official date of resignation be 43 days hence and that I leave the district office at 5 pm today with the understanding that no further services are to be provided.
I’m hoping that we can discuss this in person but wish to retain a written record of this communication.
I wrote to Larry, and will copy all of this to Mark Porter and Michael Kinneer.
In Michael Kinneer’s shoes, I probably would do the much the same. Looks to me this ain’t going the way Mark Porter thought it was going to go. Ought to make for great reading in the local comic strips. Maybe there is something about it in The Key West Citizen today. I’m gonna save this and take a look.
Nope, nothing there today.
Oh, I see reference to this in your other email, a Keynoter article, but the link in your other email doesn’t work. No problem, voila -
School District’s Kinneer leaving before contract ends
By KeysNet Staff
Posted – Wednesday, March 06, 2013 04:27 PM EST
Michael Kinneer, director of operations for the Monroe County School Board, on Tuesday told the board he wants to end his contract effective April 5. It comes just four days after Superintendent Mark Porter told Kinneer and two other director-level administrators their contracts will not be renewed. Kinneer’s $120,000 annual contract runs through June 30, and Porter said he would need to review the situation with district legal counsel. Porter wrote to Kinneer, who was hired in December 2009: “I am reluctant to leave the district shorthanded at such an important stage in our planning for 2013-14. My early notification to you, and others, was out of personal respect for the magnitude and significance of the situation.” Porter continued: “I knew I ran the risk of lame-duck perceptions, but felt it was the right thing to do.” Porter also told Director of Finance Ken Gentile, hired in 2009, and Director of Human Resources Cheryl Allen, hired in 1983, that their contracts would not be renewed on, respectively, April 18 and June 30.
Not as juicy as the relevant emails you provided, will get the news out in a bit, thanks for making this a brighter more fun morning, I needed an uplifting, been kinda down in the dumps, or maybe I should say down in the dumpster. Maybe I should name today’s bombing run, “dumpster diving in the Florida Keys blackboard jungle?”
Larry wrote back:
No, I don’t think the “Friday Night Massacre” is evolving quite the way “Poor” Mark Porter anticipated. With Kinneer gone on April 5 and Gentile gone on April 18, who will be running the shop?
Meanwhile, down at the tip end of the Asteroid Belt … where the nights are gay and the city government often doesn’t seem too terribly bright, either, in The Key West Citizen today:
Balfour-Beatty issue smacks of corruption
I’ve been following the Balfour-Beatty property tax issue with a great deal of interest. I find it difficult to believe that the state Legislature would consider legislation to exempt Balfour-Beatty from paying their share of local property taxes.
The residents of Monroe County and others affected by this issue should be outraged. Do they realize that they are going to have to make up the difference in revenue?
In my opinion, this entire issue smacks of corruption and should be investigated. State Rep. Holly Raschein and others involved in this scandal should be recalled.
Russell L. Ingalls
I think maybe down in Key West, they prefer walking the plank and keel-hauling. I think maybe Holly Raschein got caught with her drawers way down below her ankles, dancing on a table top in a den of iniquity. But maybe, after seeing the light, sort of a like a deer what got caught at night in a pickup truck’s headlights, Holly was quick and nimble enough to snatch the British and the US Navy’s defeat out of the jaws of their victory.
Someone set the mayor straight on tax issue
Thank you for your columns by Rep. Holly Raschein and local business leader Ed Swift on the taxation of private rental housing in Peary Court. Also, you reported accurately about Holly’s meeting with our property appraiser, as well as Commissioner Jimmy Weekley’s initiative with the Key West City Commission to object to the special property tax exemption.
All of this communication has borne fruit. Up in the Tallahassee bubble, Holly responded to powerful and well-funded private sector lobbyists trying to get themselves a tax break by fooling lawmakers into thinking they were supporting military housing, not general rentals.
Back in her home county, Holly responded to private communications and media discussion by understanding the new law from her constituents’ point of view. And she has brilliantly crafted an amendment that will allow our military to rightly house themselves without local taxation, while making sure that private developers of civilian housing, like Balfour and Southeast, do not screw private landowners or deny our local governments the property tax income they are rightly due. This is the way representative government and the Fourth Estate are supposed to work.
Now how can we get Mayor Craig Cates to read some newspapers or his constituents’ emails? Your quote from him on Wednesday as the only dissenting vote on the City Commission against Jimmy Weekley’s resolution against the special exemption shows Craig has no idea that the Peary Court units we want taxed are not for military use. Would somebody he listens to please talk to our mayor?
One has to wonder if Rick will vote for Craig this year? My impression is, Craig doesn’t listen to anyone but himself and his wife, who I think maybe is a Realtor.
The referenced article:
Commissioners blast Peary Court exemption
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
The city of Key West will send a formal complaint to state lawmakers who want to give tax exemption status to private companies who build housing on military-owned land.
At issue is the county’s dispute with Southeast Housing, a company that partners with the Navy to provide housing subdivisions on five parcels of federal land in Key West, including Peary Court, which is home to some civilians.
“This resolution asks our elected officials to stand their ground and honor the request of the city,” said City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who sponsored the agenda item. “In this case, it’s right that housing that has been transferred to a private individual should be paying taxes.”
Where’d you ever get that idea, Jimmy? Oh, my bad, I got this situation mixed up with that situation when you sat on the City Commission and voted for the City Attorney to grind Duck Tours into dust, to protect Ed Swift’s conch trains and trolleys from unfair competition, which dust-grinding ended up costing the city taxpayers $8,000,000 and change, and I ain’t yet heard you apologize for it. Maybe the Navy selling Peary Court to a British company, instead of giving it to the City of Key West for affordable housing, is more quack quack karma. Even so, I hope the Florida Legislature doesn’t let the British company, why am I thinking of British Petroleum (BP) right now?, get away with it under the guise of increasing Navy housing, when all this deal is doing in Key West is decreasing Navy housing and making a British company rich. How many more times do we have to fight the British, to be free? Maybe some karma in that, too. Read on.
In a 6-1 vote Tuesday night, city commissioners approved a resolution opposing two state bills that arose after the county property appraiser’s office slapped $11.3 million in liens on five military properties in Key West that the Navy owns in partnership with Southeast Housing, part of the corporate giant Balfour Beatty.
Southeast is suing the property appraiser’s office in local circuit court over the liens, which cover property taxes, interest and penalties dating back to January 2007, when the private company bought the buildings.
The Navy owns the land while Southeast owns the buildings.
The resolution came in response to newly elected State Rep. Holly Raschein’s support of the bill. Raschein, a Republican, has said that military families deserve improved housing even at the expense of local government.
Raschein was among 13 members of the state House of Representatives’ Veterans and Military Affairs Committee who voted last month in favor of the bill.
See, Rachein indeed had her drawers way down below her ankles, dancing on a table top – before she knew it was all on candid camera.
But before the City Commision meeting on Tuesday, Raschein announced she will propose an amendment to House Bill 531.
“I have listened to the input from both my constituents and the city of Key West and will be submitting a bill amendment when it reaches the Economic Affairs Committee, on which I serve,” Raschein said in a prepared statement.
“I suggest we approach this diplomatically and continue having a good relationship with the U.S. Navy,” said City Commissioner Tony Yaniz, who nonetheless supported the resolution that opposes the bill.
Weekley said that Key West will continue to have a healthy relationship with the Navy and that the resolution is about what is fair for the city.
Somehow, Jimmy, I’m getting a sense lately that the Navy doesn’t give a rat’s behind what is fair for the city, and I ain’t too optimistic that the politicos in Tallahassee are all that concerned, either. Hope I’m wrong.
Only Mayor Craig Cates dissented, saying he wasn’t certain Tuesday if the resolution represented the majority opinion of Key West residents.
“I agree they should be paying taxes, but the thing about it is, if we weren’t the city that was going to benefit from those taxes, would we feel the same way?” Cates asked rhetorically. “A lot of people feel the military needs to be able to supply housing for our military personnel and they need that tax break to be able to do it.”
Where is this military housing being built? And what has that got to do with Peary Court, which is to be demolished and turned into a high-end civilian housing development?
Commissioner Teri Johnston said that the resolution reflects the changing times, when the military is deciding that it doesn’t need as much land for housing as it once did.
The Navy is selling its surplus housing, instead of giving it away to cities and counties, because the Navy’s budget is under pressure in Washington D.C. That’s also why the Navy wants a bigger piece of the action on cruise ship disembarkation fees at the outer mole. The Navy is done making charitable contributions. Ed Swift, the Spottswoods, Pritam Singh, etc., could have bought Peary Court from the Navy, if they had wanted it badly enough. So could Key West have bought Peary Court, $8,000,000 + would have made a nice down payment. I don’t imagine it helped much, that the Navy gave Key West Truman Waterfront, instead of selling it to one of the aforementioned developers, and the city didn’t do anything with it for over a decade, but talk it to death.
“It’s a good tool for communication,” Johnston said of the resolution. “This exemption was awarded based on a set of criteria and conditions. When the conditions change, then you have to go back and revisit that.”
In addition to Peary Court, Southeast owns housing on military land at Trumbo Point, Sigsbee Park, Truman Annex and the Navy hospital in Key West.
Ah, it’s far worse than it first appeared. I imagine Craig’s wife and all the other Realtors in Key West are salivating over all of that Navy real estate being recycled into condominium units they can sell, and re-sell, and re-sell, which they sure can’t do with surplus Navy housing, which is given to the city and made into affordable housing projects.
Speaking of recycling
Also on Tuesday night, the City Commission:
• Voted unanimously to direct city staff to purchase 13,000 64-gallon wheeled recycling carts for residents within the next two months.
Maybe the city voters should consider not recycling Craig Cates into a third term. But then, maybe they like the way he thinks they think like he thinks, like Realtors think.
Looks like Craig also thinks like cruise ship companies think. Maybe it’s genetic.