Runcie claims sabotage

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Lindner with Runcie back in May.

In the ongoing saga of the Broward school bus meltdown, Superintendent Robert Runcie has gone to an extreme measure -- he's now blaming the mess on "sabotage" from employees.

Runcie made his claim in the Sun-Sentinel this morning. Either he's on to something -- the facts will eventually come out -- or this is a new low for leadership at the school board.

There's no doubt the employees, the union, and Runcie are at odds. There's no doubt, too, that Runcie has taken some steps to try to clean up that department and deserves credit for weeding out nepotism there and cutting costs. The department was a mess.

But at the same time the kids in the past always got to school pretty darn efficiently. This year thousands of parents and children have been left stranded by the transportation department. And a look at the problems, and Runcie's own words, indicates most of the problem stems with management, not the bus drivers. The thousands of bus cards that didn't go out to parents wasn't the fault of bus drivers. Runcie himself has cited problems implementing software as the culprit there, a management issue. The faulty routes and the lack of preparation over the summer doesn't fall on bus drivers either. On Friday Runcie laid a good deal of the blame for the bus route mess on a serious shortage of drivers. Again, that's a management problem.

Did some drivers intentionally follow faulty routes to make management look bad? That's the question I'm asking today. More coming on this one.

South Florida Grandstand

A big storm without political grandstanding is like a big wedding without a few bad drunks; you just feel like something is missing without it. And Isaac had its share. Here's a few of the grandest examples:

1. Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss helping out with sandbags -- that he stamped, each and every one, with his own name. That's his way of saying, "I'm helping you ... and don't you forget it!"

2. Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti gave a press conference of his own on Isaac. Why he did this we still haven't figured out (though he is running for office right now). He said he could "sense" the public's "panic." Thankfully Uncle Al was there to calm everyone down. "There's no need to panic," he said. "Two words come to mind, common sense. That's what we need to be doing right now." 

3. Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho held a press conference in which he not only called off school but told parents how they might care for their children during that special time. "We are asking parents to turn Monday into an educational day," Carvalho said. "... Parents can also read with their children during Monday." Thanks for the tip Alberto.