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Here is a link to the city-produced sound video of last Tuesday night’s city commission meeting.
The now widely-heralded rumble, starring City Manager Bob Vitas, City Attorney Shawn Smith and city commissioners and the mayor, over the golden parachute Vitas gave to retiring Assistant City Manager David Fernandez, begins about 23 minutes into the meeting, and goes on for a while. To hear it okay, I had to turn the video’s sound and the sound in my lap top up all the way.
Also in that video, starting around the 2 hour and 27 minute and 30 second mark, is one of the lower Duval Street merchants targeted by the new city ordinance which prohibits him (and business owners like him) standing in front of his store and aggressively panhandling (understatement) passersby, especially women passersby. After watching this self-proclaimed local nobleman carry on for three unforgettable minutes, I thought to myself that he proved beyond any doubt that the ordinance very much needed to be passed. Seeing and hearing is believing, though, and stay tuned for the ensuing laughter from the city commissioners and mayor, and their unanimous vote approving the much-needed ordinance. I have a feeling this fellow and his ilk may not retreat quietly from the sidewalk into their hustle dens. It’s not in them to go quietly – they are 100 percent testosterone. What part of the word NO do you not understand? is not in their vocabulary.
Next in the video is citizen closing comments, where you can watch and hear 4 Angela Street/Meadows neighborhood women residents and me speak on City Planner Don Craig and the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARC) trying force-integrate (rape) Angela Street and Meadows crossing streets into Peary Court. After that comes imperious comments from Don Craig, and concerned comments from city commissioners and the mayor, and city attorney Shawn Smith’s advice.
I swan, if parts of city commission meetings aren’t getting as much fun as going to the movies. Maybe the city should start charging for admittance.
floated into my Facebook account yesterday.
Sloan Bashinsky Be careful what you ask for
A man and his wife were sitting in the living room discussing a “Living Will” “Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.” His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all the beer.
Must of been something in the wind yesterday.
After filing the candidate’s oath (a politician’s oath is about as good as, hmmm, dang if I can think of anything), I moseyed over to Centennial Bank on Whitehead Street, where I bank, to open a candidate bank account. But nobody was there who could open a bank account, she would be back from her lunch break in about half hour. So, I moseyed over to Centennial Bank on Simonton Street, where I also bank, but the fellow there, who could do it, was stacked up. So, I moseyed back over to the Whitehead Street branch, to wait there, thinking something was really screwed up in the spirit and not being happy about that.
I didn’t have to wait long, it got handled fast, efficiently and pleasantly. Then, I moseyed back over to the Supervisor of Elections office to finish the filing.
In came Stuart Kessler,
who is running for the school board seat coming vacant due to school board member Robin Smith-Martin’s “retirement” from the blackboard jungle locked ward.
Since Stuart had run for the County Clerk position in 2012, which was the year I ran for the school board and learned I was seeking a seat on a locked ward, I said back in 2012, I’d heard that Amy Heavilin had filed to run for County Clerk and it wasn’t going good for her. Then, folks in the Sheriff’s Department where Amy was basically the comptroller told her to be quiet and let them take care of it, and they got her elected County Clerk. And the pay off for that was splashed in the Citizen earlier this week: definitely not pretty. Former County Clerk Danny Kolhage, now County Commissioner Danny Kolhage, who ran a really tight ship when he was County Clerk, must have had to reach for heart medicine, a stiff drink, or something.
Anyway, the conversation shifted to Stuart’s school board race this year, and that brought several people in the Supervisor of Elections office unto the conversation; especially, they were brought into it after Stuart said, if elected, he will increase FCAT scores pronto. He said he had been the head of the school board several terms, when he lived up north on the mainland, and he knew how to shape up school boards and school districts.
Boy, did Stuart get an earful about the FCAT! I mean, WOW! KOWABONGA! SHAZAM! KAPOW! An earful from mothers. An earful from fairly recent high school graduates. All the school district and teachers do is teach to the FCAT! They aren’t teaching anything else! The look on school board expert Stuart’s face was … interesting.
I said, What? You didn’t know parents and kids hate the FCAT? Hello? Where you been? You wanna stand a chance of winning, you tell parents and kids you gonna start putting emphasis on teaching kids what they need to know, which ain’t what’s on any FCAT. You tell parents and kids that you gonna emphasize kids being stellar college freshman candidates or stellar ready to go to work and earn a living high school graduates.
Then, Stuart heard from the mothers and former students how it used to be kids down here were taught shop courses and gotten ready to go to work, but now they don’t get taught anything they need to know. Then, it was said lots of kids aren’t even learning to read; seventh graders can’t read. A former student said, reading isn’t even a required course anymore. Only English is a required course. I said, I was reading and writing in first grade, and doing arithmetic in first grade.
Stuart said, there must be some test to catch kids not being able to read. Howls ensued. Tests?!?! How about first grade teachers on up stop being quiet about their students not being able to read?! How about first grade teachers on up being allowed to teach course work and not have to spend so much time filling out reports and attending meetings?! How about first grade teachers on up simply teaching, and how about bad teachers being fired?!
I said, finally, I have talked with people who actually know what’s going on in the school district and what needs to be done about it. Stuart said his feelings were hurt. I said he’d just been shown what needs to be done and how to campaign.
Stuart’s been on the school board’s audit & finance committee since its inception. The audit & finance committee has nothing to do with teaching children how to read and write and do arithmetic and get ready go to college or to work.
A mother told Stuart, if he gets elected, and if he pushes for the reforms he heard from us, he might win over another school board member, and then another one. I said, yeah, in six terms. I said I was thinking of six-term school board member Andy Griffiths. A mother said she couldn’t understand how Andy Griffiths had been able to stay on the school board that long. He had no business being on it. I said she ought to run for school board. She said not a chance.
The impromptu school board candidate “seminar” called by the angelas ended. I left, thinking to myself that I’d had to take longer at the bank branches than I’d wanted to take, so I would arrive at the Supervisor of Elections office when Stuart arrived, so that ladies night out readin’, writin’ and rithmatic’ seminar could happen.
Sloan Bashinsky, political terrorist
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”