Tell the city council: Let us vote in 2019 so the repairs can begin in 2020

Posted by SusaninFlorida

I hope the school board hangs tough and doesn't succumb to the extortion tactics of the city council. The school board members were elected in some cases by more people than elected the city council members.

I have head that several parents of kids who attend classes in dilapidated school buildings and in portable structures are suing the city council to force the city council to let the people vote in 2019 so the repairs can begin in 2020.

Florida Statute 212.055 is what authorizes the school board to levy the sales tax upon approval of the voters. ​A friend told me that the statute doesn't specifically forbid per student funding which is what that city council member (see speech below) is asking for. ​Per student funding doesn't make sense for capital outlay funding because the sales tax money is to repair old school buildings. Newer schools got capital funding (that the old schools didn't get) when they were recently built. The school board's plan for renovations isn't based on per student, it is based on the age of the school and the condition of the school

No one thought the city council had the kind of power being assumed by this city council member. Did they? He doesn't want to let the people vote on the school board's plan to raise revenue to repair the old school buildings. If I am correctly understanding him, this is a summary of his speech:

1. I asked the school board for a plan that would include a large pay out to charter schools. They refused.

2. ​Some on the city council have​ been asking for more money for charter schools. Support for the ​surtax referendum has decreased from 73% to 56%. [He doesn't seem to make the connection that perhaps most people don't want their sales tax money to go to charter schools and those people are starting to fear the city council will get their way with their extortion tactics].

3. He talks about the big stake holders which, in his mind, are not the kids in dilapidated school buildings or in portable school buildings.

Here is ​the link to the YouTube video of ​the city council member​'s speech:

https://youtu.be/4piyWxRhgTM

​On another note

Here is a YouTube video of Matt Carlucci's speech saying "Let the People Vote" at a July 16 city council meeting:

​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jTDGdiAfI0

Here is a YouTube video of Council Member Brenda Jackson saying "Let the People Decide" at an August 29 city council meeting:

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

For your reading pleasure, here is Florida Statute 212.055 (6)

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 resolution shall include a statement that provides a brief and general description of the school capital outlay projects to be funded by the surtax. 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. The following question shall be placed on the ballot:

FOR THE CENTS TAX

AGAINST THE CENTS TAX

(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.

(d) Surtax revenues collected by the Department of Revenue pursuant to this subsection shall be distributed to the school board imposing the surtax in accordance with law.

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