From teachers pay, to politics, to fire consolidation.
"Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ touches those bases Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7.
Jonathan Tuttle, executive director of the Collier County teachers union, discusses whether there is enough money from the state for decent raises this year, and the public schools staff retreat on Marco Island. Lavigne Kirkpatrick, 2014 candidate for Collier County Commission District 4, discusses how she would she get along with Commissioner Georgia Hiller. Fire board members Jeff Page of East Naples and Kevin Gerrity of Golden Gate give an update on merger plans.
* Video highlights will be posted Monday at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.
Lytle: Gov. Rick Scott lobbied for and the Legislature approved what we were told was going to be money for raises for all the teachers. That’s the way it was it was packaged. But when it’s coming out the other end, it’s going to be a lump of money. Collier County gets about $8 million and that’s subject to negotiations.
Lytle: OK. Now my question to you is, will there be enough money to go around for the size of the raises we heard about, because they are more people than teachers involved.
Tuttle: Right, and that’s the difficulty. You’re right. As they start off the session, the governor’s initial proposal before the Legislature got together was $2,500 for every classroom teacher. By the time that money made it through the Legislature, as you said, that pool expanded. So now it includes all instructional personnel; it includes building administrators and it includes charter school teachers. But the size of the pot never increased. So you’re going from this $2,500 that’s been planted in everybody’s mind down to probably closer to, I don’t know, $1,600, $1,700.
Jeff Page and Kevin Gerrity
Lytle: Tell me, what can we look at going forward for the rest of the year? What’s going to be the headline in your world?
Gerrity: Well, the next big thing we’re working on is, we’ve actually saved enough money here that we are evaluating whether we can open another fire response unit in an area that will provide additional service to both districts.
Lytle: In another station?
Gerrity: Another unit in an existing station that will serve an underserved area ... We’re looking the area of Santa Barbara and Davis boulevards for that.
Page: Gee, you know, there’s an Emergency Medical Services station around there.
Lytle: A viewer, Mark Teaters of Golden Gate Estates, has a question. He wants to know your thoughts on term limits?
Kirkpatrick: Well, I believe in self-imposed term limits. I believe I would serve two years as county commissioner.
Lytle: Two years?
Kirkpatrick: Not two years, excuse me, two terms. I think that you need to have new perspectives. Our world is changing so quickly. We have people bringing new innovations, and new fresh ideas, and we need that. And that lowers some of the issues you may have with corruption, quite frankly.