I took a brisk walk on the Riverwalk this morning and stood in front of the Duval County School Board building. It’s a nice building, seems to be in great shape and the view is spectacular!

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Duval County School Board

Year after year there are discussions about the School Board moving off that prime riverfront property and it is still there.  The reason is simple:  It’s paid for and they have no big rent payments to make.  With the big news this week of crumbing schools, (read more here about that:  Schools are crumbling), it would not make sense for the School Board to incur overhead costs to house their employees.  It would send a messy signal and create a lot of political ill will towards the board and the leadership if they got a brand new building while the schools remain in disarray.

The employees at the School Board have a beautiful view.  The Jag stadium is right outside their windows and the river walk is a great place for them to take a lunch break and a brisk walk.   It’s a pretty good gig and a beautiful place to work.

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View from the Duval County School Board Building

It would seem that piece of property would be better served as river front condos or some other tax-paying entity.  The School Board is tax-exempt which means we are losing a lot of money.  And our city needs a lot of money!

Whoever decided to put that building on the river (and the jail on the other side of the river) should explain to us — “WHY?”  What were they thinking?  Where was their vision?  Was a “deal” made and did someone benefit from the deal?  We know there is a background story on these questions but alas it does not serve us well to dwell on the past.  The future is here and we encourage the new leadership at the Duval County School Board to do what they can to fix it.

It’s time to stop kicking the can down the riverwalk and figure out how to move out of that space, get some good money for it, use the funds to find new office space and then fix our schools for our children.  We encourage the leadership to Create a Vision for the best run school system in the South.   They have a long way to go and our children are counting on them to make some good long term, strategic decisions.

Remember…a Vision is the key to a successful life, business and a city.   And a school system!!

 

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Billie Tucker has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles. She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics. In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway. That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies. With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America. She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money. She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts. She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America. Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed: “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

 

 

 

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