Photo leads to election inquiry

 

Photo leads to election inquiry

 

Date: February 25, 2010
by: Robin Roy | City Editor

 
 

Following the rejection of his initial elections complaint against the Sarasota County School District, Walt Augustinowicz, head of the political-action committee Better Sarasota Schools for Less, received some ammunition he wanted to use to file a follow-up complaint.

A parent sent a photo to one of Augustinowicz’s supporters that appeared to show a Brookside Middle School employee handing out a yard sign that read: “Preserve our schools … Protect our quality of life! Vote YES March 16!”

Claiming it was a violation of state law for an employee to distribute such a sign at work during work hours, Augustinowicz inquired about filing another elections complaint, but found he was getting nowhere.

“I’m getting roadblocks,” he said.

Augustinowicz called the Florida Division of Elections, Florida Elections Commission, the State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of State. Each agency directed him to another agency.

“Finally, someone at the Department of State told me that it would take three-to-nine months for the Florida Elections Commission to conduct an investigation,” he said.

The school-tax referendum, which would renew a 1-mill tax across Sarasota County, will be held in three weeks.

Augustinowicz filed a complaint with the Elections Commission earlier this month, claiming the inclusion of a pro-referendum group’s Web site on a flier sent home with school students violated Florida statutes.

The commission dismissed the claim the following week.

“I’m resigned to the fact that the school district is going to do everything it can to stretch the rules,” Augustinowicz said.

School spokesman Scott Ferguson said that is not the case.

“We recognize that (our employees) get a little overzealous,” said Ferguson. “We have reminded them not to use school resources to push the referendum.”

SHARE
Login Register now

Currently 0 Responses

Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
Password
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!

Classifieds

YourObserver
Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2014 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved