Opinion Roundup; FSCJ Board Still Can Do the Right Thing

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It's never too late to do the right thing, even for a board that has made two big mistakes.

The board of the Florida State College at Jacksonville never should have extended the contract of President Steve Wallace for four years in June when there were serious problems emerging with the Pell Grant program and external work by Don Green.

Then over the summer as the implications of the problems at the college became clear, the board allowed Wallace to basically write his own severance package with just a few minor exceptions.

But there still is time to fix that mistake because the board has not approved it.

What should the board do? Make a clean break. Cut the consulting contract and its $477,000 cost.

And give him a standard severance befitting his 15 years of service; let's say six months' to a year's pay.

Wallace already was being paid generously.

HOUSING STRUGGLING

It's fair to say that the economy won't be back on track till we stabilize the housing market.

Home equity is where many Americans held their savings.

A new report from Realty Trac indicates that 65 percent of housing markets nationally are worse than four years ago, The Miami Herald reports.

YOUR VOTE MATTERS

The Times-Union is receiving letters from all over the country on the presidential election. Yesterday we received letters from Massachusetts, California and Colorado.

Why? Because Florida is one of the most important of the swing states. For most of the states, election results are predictable. But not in Florida - again.

National polls are showing the race tied. And most of the polls in the swing states are within the margin of error. Turnout is likely to make a decisive difference on the election.

And if Barack Obama nearly splits the vote in Duval County with Mitt Romney, he can be predicted to win the state and thus the election.

So if there were ever a time to vote, it's now. Duval County - Ground Zero for the election.

And as this newspaper reported Wednesday, the ridiculously long constitutional amendments - thanks, legislators - are likely to make voting a chore.

You can study the 11 amendments or just do what our editorial board has recommended: Vote no on all of them. Most are minor and don't belong in the constitution.

A few are major - like tax reform - and require far more public discussion.

Check the newspaper's Election Guide on Sunday.

And also check our Opinion Page Blog for straight information and videos of candidates in key races.

Remember that early voting starts Saturday. Avoid long lines on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

THE COST OF MEDICAL MISTAKES

A physician gained fame in recent years by writing that medical staff in operating rooms could learn something from pilots in airplane cockpits - using a checklist. …