Collier County Has Lost Its Mind on Affordable Housing

Collier County Commissioners have voted to reinstitute an affordable housing trust fund.  It would have a “linkage fee” that developers have to pay, theoretically “linking” their project to the work force that  must serve it.

Commercial-retail-industrial developers would have to pay $1 per square foot toward the fund.

Residential developers would have to either donate land, construct 15% of their project on-site as affordable housing, or donate a whopping $200,000 per unit for those 15% of units toward the trust fund!

This is utter insanity.  These theoretician-bureaucrats have no clue about business, pro forma budgeting, or profit margins.  They see developers as a cow they can just milk for their benefit, failing to recognize when the milk cow has become a beef cow for slaughter.

This is also an indirect tax on the people of Collier County, including business owners and customers who will be paying higher prices for goods and services to cover the increased rent businesses pay for a Landlord’s pass-through cost of the trust fund surcharge.

Collier County has lost its mind on affordable housing.  Government intervention in the marketplace typically backfires and leads to further distortions.  Left alone, the marketplace will adjust on its own.

There has been lots of discussion of an affordable housing problem – but where is the study backed by meaningful data showing the need?  Doesn’t that come first?

E-mail to Superintendent Patton: “Why Do You Propagandize School Test Scores?”

On August 21, the School District published an Assessment Brief regarding its Cambridge advanced testing scores for students.  (click here).   The Assessment Brief “highlights” those subjects where district students performed well, but fails to mention the low scoring subjects.  In follow-up, Steve Bracci sent the below e-mail to Superintendent Patton:

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:27 AM
To: ‘Kamela Patton’ <>
Cc: ‘Roy Terry’, ‘Erika Donalds’, ‘Kelly Lichter’, ‘Erick Carter’, ‘Stephanie Lucarelli’
Subject: Cambridge test results

Superintendent Patton –

Why do you repeatedly insist on propagandizing the district’s scores?  The Cambridge AICE scores you posted on the website are an example.  You cherry-picked the “highlights” showing the top scoring categories, but overlook the categories where the District does poorly. (25% in Biology, 36% in History, 29% in English literature, 0% in Chemistry, 0% in Math).

In fact, in each of these non-highlighted categories, the district’s test performance dramatically decreased year-over-year in these core subjects:

Biology dropped from 33% to 25%
History dropped from 38% to 36%
English Lit dropped from 56% to 29%
Chemistry dropped from 30% to 0 %
Math dropped from 29% to 0%

By your strategy, it seems you think the public is either (i) too stupid or (ii) too lazy to read the data that follows the highlights.  It also seems you are more interested in “marketing” the school district than real classroom success.  Sad!

Sincerely, Steve Bracci

This is posted not to criticize the performance of students or teachers, but rather, to demonstrate the dysfunctionality of a behemoth school district administration that is so hell-bent on aggrandizing its own image, that it distorts the truth about school-based performance.  If Superintendent Patton feels the need to twist statistics to show constant success, without recognizing areas where there needs to be improvement, then Patton is the problem, not the solution.

Those who support the Superintendent without calling out such falsehoods are engaging in politics of an unhealthy sort, with an agenda of protecting the Superintendent at all costs, at the sake of student performance.