Bradenton Times News Articles
To say that the Manatee County School District has faced a complicated array of challenges over the past couple of years would be a criminal understatement. From multimillion dollar budget errors to misusing bond revenue and other funding sources, the district has dug itself into a hole that has left taxpayers scratching their head. Board members and administrators often vent frustration as to the public's inability to understand the issues they are enraged over, but if they want to impact the dynamic there would be no better way than a dose of local government civics in the curriculum.
Florida counties that do not adopt their own charter have county commissions that include two “at-large” or countywide seats. The intent is to make them more representative of constituents, but in practice they seem to do little more than ensure that special interests maintain a majority of the vote, while also costing taxpayers a significant amount of money.
Democrats were ecstatic when news broke earlier this month that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) had inconceivably lost his Republican primary to an obscure college professor. But what exactly were they cheering? If elected, Cantor's opponent, a Tea Party extremist who actually ran on the idea that Cantor of all people was too far left, would only make it more difficult for Democrats who already complain that right-wing obstructionists are ruining Washington. More to the point, instead of gloating about Cantor's well-earned demise, they should be asking why their own base is so comparatively ineffective when it comes to party politics.more»
Faced with declining revenues amid a real estate collapse and ensuing economic recession, Manatee County began slashing funding to its libraries in 2009. With the budget recovering and library usage at an all-time high, it's time to start putting money back into a community resource that has the potential to deliver a unique return on investment.more»
At the Tuesday School Board meeting an announcement was made that went somewhat unnoticed. Barbara Harvey announced she would not seek re-election after having serviced 16 years. I’ve observed her thru most of those years and although I didn’t agree with all her actions (or inactions), thru rain or shine, health or illness, she has faithfully served our community as a school board member.more»
I write this letter to each of you as a member of our shared community, as a voter, as a parent of school age children in our district public schools, and as a veteran educator with over twenty years in the classroom.more»
As a veteran, I am appalled by the idea that those who have served our country and sacrificed themselves physically in doing so would have received anything less than adequate health care through the VA. As a recipient of that care, however, I can attest that I have never received anything but competent and professional treatment from skilled and dedicated employees and physicians. VA treatment is held to an incredibly high standard that is incomparable to the private sector. If it's not fulfilling its stated mission, then let's focus on making sure the resources are in place to do so and that investment and performance expectations are sensibly aligned.
Wednesday, Florida's redistricting trial came to a close, with lawyers agreeing to submit closing arguments in writing next week. Whatever the ruling, it's sure to be appealed and we'll be lucky to have it sorted out by the 2016 elections. What the trial did give us, however, was an inside look at how little regard the corrupt Florida Legislature has for the very constitution it is sworn to uphold.
This week, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office's Red Light Camera Analysis Team gave a presentation to the Manatee County Commission that seemed to validate the lead criticism of red light camera opponents, that being that their chief function is to create revenues rather than the promotion of safe driving.more»
When I'm out and about, I'm often hit with complaints about the media in general, its various actual or perceived biases and how often we seem to get the facts wrong. There's certainly some fairness in such criticism and far more often than I'd like to admit, I wind up embarrassed by things that occur in my industry. But there's also the flip side to that coin, which can in many ways be seen as driving the problem. For too many readers, it seems as if the truth is ultimately secondary to the position they're ideologically aligned with.