Letters it smacks of trickery and deceit. – opinion – daytona beach news-journal online – daytona beach, fl

The Constitutional Revision Commission’s Style and Drafting Committee approved a plan to group 24 of the CRC’s proposed changes to Florida’s Constitution into 12 amendments for the ballot this fall. The committee chair argued that bundling the proposals would save voters time in the voting booth. These amendments now go to the full commission for review.

Bundling amendments on the ballot is a terrible idea! It smacks of trickery and deceit under the guise of making the ballot easier and quicker for the poor, dumb electorate. These are amendments to our state constitution, for God’s sake. The commission has a duty to the people of the state of Florida to be honest and straightforward.


I will vote “no” on every bundled amendment.

The Constitution Revision Commission is finalizing the constitutional amendments that will appear on November’s ballot. Currently, the CRC is considering a proposal reflecting Tallahassee politicians’ attempt to hide their agenda to undermine and privatize our public schools. This time, they are using the CRC to put forward an amendment that connects three different proposals — mandating school board term limits; mandating civics education; and granting power to an unelected, unaccountable state board to oversee charter schools.

This nebulous state board would replace the locally elected school board and would have free rein to create new charter schools whenever and wherever it wants. In a clear effort to mislead the public, the amendment does not mention charter schools explicitly but “permits the state to operate, control, and supervise public schools not established by the school board.”

If such a radical change stood alone on the ballot, there’s little question voters would reject it. That’s why the politicians are packaging it with a mandate for civics education and term limits for school board members. We don’t need a constitutional amendment to require civics instruction — it is already required. The decision to retain or dismiss school board members should remain in the hands of the local electorate.

As director of employee relations for a Fortune 100 company (over 60,000 employees), I created and managed a successful workplace violence prevention program. Research indicated that employees and management tended to “tiptoe” around when encountering an employee who was making threats and showing potential for violence, avoiding direct intervention. The motivation was: “Don’t disturb the employee for fear of provoking him/her which might cause a tragic incident.”

Research further indicated, however, that this course only allowed the potential for violence to grow and passed the problem down to others, later faced with a much bigger problem. Conversely, facing problems firmly from a position of strength, skill, and confidence successfully defused and resolved potential for violence.

This critical lesson can be applied to many situations in life, including dangerous international tensions and threats. Case in point: North Korea and Kim Jong Il and currently Kim Jong Un. Arguably, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama passed that threat down for years by trying to appease and “buy” North Korea’s commitment to terminate its nuclear program. Clearly, after our wasting billion(s) of dollars, North Korea defied agreements, buying time to develop even a more formidable nuclear threat. President Donald Trump and his staff are now confidently standing firm, refusing to be bullied by a madman dictator. Regardless whether your sensibilities might be offended by Trump’s style, thankfully a true leader is finding a way to avoid international violence. (Remember Ronald Reagan with Mikhail Gorbachev?)