We discovered just a few years ago that failure to follow moral principles resulted in a catastrophic hit to our school district.
State auditors found that accounting irregularities started a decade ago. Deficit spending grew annually; illegal spending of designated funds became a normal activity.
This isn't speculation; it is a known fact as evidenced by the district's forensic audit and subsequent state audits seeking to understand how a $30 million deficit could occur.
We discovered that the former administration was unethical; it behaved with malfeasance. It was comprised of individuals with no personal integrity and certainly no ethical values.
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It was willing to deceive the public -- and for a decade, that deception occurred, festering until the fraud could no longer be concealed.
Our schools bore the consequences of the moral turpitude inflicted upon the district by leadership that lacked personal integrity.
However, today we are faced with a choice that might pull us back to those corrupt days: we are faced with school board candidates who have started their campaigns based on deception.
Mary Cantrell is homesteaded in St. Petersburg while Frank Brunner is homesteaded in Palmetto. Neither candidate resides in the district they seek to serve but are squatting momentarily as renters in order to establish a false "image" to temporarily meet residency requirements.
Any candidate who willingly deceives the public and acts without integrity in the simplest of requirements is going to exemplify vacant moral standards if elected.
Do we want to return to the moral turpitude of the former administration?
Take a stand for integrity and condemn these unethical practices! Push back against moral turpitude and reject these individuals; reject their candidacy, and spread a message to all you know that our community stands for integrity and ethical conduct.