Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jolivet Letter WRONG!

 The letter to the editor on March 12 about the Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) sponsored referendum,  a citizens' ballot initiative in which thousands of people participated as petitioners, was factually wrong.  

The 55-foot height limitation was already in the Deerfield Beach Development Code before the Referendum.  Many years ago fearing what would happen to the beach, building height limits were passed for the beach area.  The accusation that the referendum is responsible for the 55-foot height limitation is false.

 Also false is the accusation that the referendum was the cause of the Soleil 460 Condominium project failing and the property being sold to a drug rehab company. The truth is that this beautiful, unique project was enthusiastically and unanimously approved by the commission in April 2006, when I was the District 1 Commissioner.  The claim that this project was denied is absolutely false. 

The truth is the owners bought at the top of the market when they bought it in 2002! 
The truth is that by the time they wanted to build this condominium, the economy was tanking and they could not get financing. The property values across the country were dropping and many property “investors” who bought during the peak lost big time during the recession. 

Accusing the referendum of causing the value loss of any property is ridiculous and completely false. The comment about having “no choice but to sell to…drug rehab facility” shows that property owners who choose this path are so greedy for an unrealistically high price for their properties and that they don’t care about their neighbors or the quality of life in the neighborhood.  No one is forced to sell to anyone.  Don’t blame the referendum, or the 75 percent of voters who voted for it, for a decision to sell to a drug rehab company.
Far from stifling development, the current codes carefully encourage responsible, profitable development, as witness the many exciting new projects in the beach area. The owner of one of the new projects said he located his building in Deerfield Beach: “for its timeless qualities…low rise building landscape and its devotion to natural beauty,"

The residents of Deerfield Beach do NOT want the beach area to be OVER-developed.  They do not want buildings built high and wide on the beach.  They know if the current building codes that mandate larger building setbacks the higher the building goes are eliminated, we will be signing the death knell of the lovely gem of a beach that we have. 
Pam Militello, OSOB
 
 
****************


Editor's note: here are 3 of the many new projects by the beach,
a Vacation Rental Building next to the Billabong...

 
the Elysian...
 and the Fordham...
 
these builders had no problems with the codes and all were supported by members of the OSOB.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lessons learned in the March 10 Deerfield Beach Election:

1.    Sometimes the good guy wins.  In spite of a negative campaign run by his opponent, the people of District 1 saw the benefit in keeping Joe Miller in office.
 
2.    Coddington learned that flaunting election laws with improper disclaimers, jeopardizing St. Ambrose’s not-for-profit IRS status by putting signs on the church property, and bragging about having hundreds of black absentee votes in his pocket, didn’t endear him to the voters. 
 
3.    Sometimes the good guy loses.
 

4.    Sometimes you can fool enough of the people all of the time so they will vote against their best interests.
 
5.    District 2 voters learned that they will have to live with the result of not re-electing Ben Preston, who has done more for his district than any District 2 Commissioner before him has done.  Wonderfully, the district has seen great improvement which will be his lasting legacy.
 
6.    Madam Mayor learned that she will not have a rubber stamp to wreak her havoc on the city. 



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Deerfield Beach Black Heritage AND Women’s History Banquet a Winner!

Last night (March 7) I had the honor of attending the Deerfield Beach Black Heritage AND Women’s History Banquet.  There was a sold out crowd.  Many last minute ticket buyers were there to support Ben Preston and the city’s honoring of Avis Swenson and to make a statement to Mayor Jean Robb that she was wrong in boycotting the event.

It was an inspiring presentation, talented young musicians played beautifully and Hometown Heroes were honored.  The speaker, a young black woman, Danielle Knox, told the heartwarming story of her childhood and how she came to be a renowned Television news anchor. 

Commissioner Preston was a super host, encouraging all to mingle and get to know each other, he was passionate about his efforts to unite the city and spoke from his heart about how distressed he was that the Mayor and her cronies are feeding divisiveness.   
Yes, the Mayor of the city decided to use the event as a political statement.  Her thinly disguised bogus excuses kept changing every time she opened her mouth.  “They shouldn’t honor a white woman at a black event.”  After it was pointed out that at last year’s event she attended and honored a white woman she tried weakly, “They didn’t involve residents in the choices of who to honor.”  Really! How do you think the honorees were discovered?  Her lamest excuse, that she was not going because the District 2 Commissioner was emceeing the event, was perhaps the closest to the truth she came.  She is a vocal supporter of Gloria Battle who is opposing Preston in the election. The white woman being honored is a Preston supporter. So in some kind of twisted rationalization she made a big deal of petty things, blew them up all out of proportion and played the race and political card. 

Madam Mayor is all about revenge and spite, if you are not with her you are against her, so she sees someone supporting another candidate to be an enemy, and saw this as a way to get back at her. 

Because she was hiding her real agenda, her excuses for the boycott made her look like the worst kind of racist, as Mike Mayo said in his scathing article against Robb, what would have the reaction been if she had boycotted a white group who chose to honor a black woman.  Think about it.
Guess what will happen if this vindictive, person’s two pets, do-nothing-anti-city-ethics-law Battle and anger-management-needed-potty mouth Coddington, get in.  There will be chaos in the city, she has stated many times that she wants to get rid of City Manager Burgess Hanson, and many other top staff.  What will the city be like with 5 or 6 top staff all leaving at the same time.  These are outstanding employees who made the mistake of not kissing the Mayoral Ass. Whether she fires them or they choose to leave an unendurable situation, they will be gone and the city will suffer the consequences.   
 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Jeff Has it Right!

Decision Time - 03/06/15   www.deerfieldbeachusa.com

In my 30 years as a resident and voter in Deerfield Beach, I can't recall an election quite like this one in Dist. 1. It's a grudge match, vicious, not many real issues.

At the center of it all is Mayor Jean Robb. Ron Coddington in Dist. 1 and Gloria Battle in Dist. 2 are her tools. If Robb gains control of the city commission, she not only can advance her agenda, but she can get even with everybody who's ever "done her wrong," not done her bidding, or failed to acknowledge that she's the person in charge. Or just people she hates — and there are plenty.

What will happen if Coddington and Battle are elected? This is what I think will happen. The first move will be to fire Hanson and the top city administrators. At the same time that Robb and her loonies attempt to reinstate the fire department to city control — to say the least, a complicated process — the city will be thrown into chaos. Back to the '80's. Is that what voters want?

The fire department issue, in my opinion, is bogus. Nobody cared about this issue until Coddington raised it up as the main plank of his campaign. In my opinion, Mr. Coddington, if elected, can form a committee to look into this issue, but bringing the fire department back under city control will not happen.

Mr. Coddington also proposes a long-term plan for Deerfield Beach stretching out over 30, 40, or 50 years. A good idea, maybe, provided the planners understand (1) that Deerfield is not an isolated town, but is part of a very large metropolitan area both to the south and the north, and (2) that outsourcing or ceding of municipal services, including public safety, to other cities, the county, or a regional authority to be created is the future. This is also now — the city contracts out a lot of work, not just the cops and fire services — and the charter provides for it.

It's only a matter of time before the powers propose a county-wide or even region-wide municipal reorganization, supplanting the 31 Broward cities. This is already happening in urban areas all over the country and in Florida (Jacksonville). Fifty years from now, Deerfield Beach as we now know it (the City of) may cease to exist.

The plan to "demerge" the fire department runs against this trend and is backward, not forward, thinking, in my view.

If there are as yet unspecified problems with the level of services the BSO provides, these are issues that can be resolved. Ending the arrangement with the sheriff is not a sensible or practical course of action.

With respect to the beach area, Mr. Coddington says he favors preserving the "village" feel of the barrier island neighborhood. This was part of the reason I supported him in 2011. But Mayor Robb wants to repeal the charter amendments that more or less protect the area east of the Intracoastal from overdevelopment. Coddington has not repudiated Mayor Robb's proposal to call an election on this issue.

Nor has Coddington said anything about ethics. Will he hold Mayor Robb accountable for her violations of the charter and state ethics laws?

This is important because at the bottom of this election, Mayor Robb hopes that Coddington and Battle, if elected and in her camp, will help protect her from the possible consequences of her own misconduct, as documented by the Inspector General report OIG 14-017. While neither candidate has addressed this issue, we know exactly where Miller and Preston stand, as we do the other commissioners. They are plainly disturbed by the allegations of misconduct, as any clear-thinking voter should also be. Where does Coddington stand? We just don't know, but this we do know: Jean Robb is Coddington's chief supporter. She must expect something in return.

It's pure speculation where the investigations will lead. Will Mayor Robb be charged with a crime? Will the governor suspend her from office if she's found guilty of ethics violations? Will the city commission consider forfeiture?

Joe Miller and Ben Preston aren't perfect. I don't agree with either 100 percent of the time. But both respect the rule of law and have worked diligently with other commissioners and the city manager to represent their districts and all the people of Deerfield Beach, to make right decisions for the residents. The city has made real progress over the last few years to achieve civil and ethical city government in Deerfield Beach. We still have some distance to go, but retreat is not the answer. Bring in Coddington and Battle, voters will pay the price because both have proved by their actions and words, they don't have much respect for the law when the rules inconvenience them. Pretty much the same as Mayor Jean Robb.

The Pelican newspaper had it right: "Joe Miller and Ben Preston . . . have shown the ability to work together to bring significant progress to Deerfield Beach. They each deserve another four years on the dais."

I'm not willing to cast my vote for people whose goal is to return to the old ways and turn this city upside down, mostly to bring revenge on people they don't like.

Mr. Miller is not very good at self-promotion. Coddington is an expert at this — in fact, he's an expert on just about everything. Just ask him.

Coddington's style, the Pelican notes is "combative and accusatory," and "he does not exhibit the ability to play well with others."

It's up to voters. Do they want someone on the commission who works well in a collegial setting and can move the city forward on a steady course? Or do they want someone who runs away from a problem if things don't go his way (see "Election Memo #8"), conducts a hate-filled campaign, never admits a mistake just to show a bit of humility, and is controlled by the mayor?

On Mar. 10, Miller gets my vote.

Response to a clueless commenter

Ben is a refreshing change over what was in District 2 before he was elected. What did he do? How about:

1. Established communications between constituents and commissioners. Answer phone when constituents call and hear their concerns and respond.
2. Rename Westside Community Center to the Johnny Tigner Community Center
3. Developed New City Resolution for the public to be heard the old policy was 3 minutes; the public can now speak for 4 minutes straight, an additional minute may be granted at discretion of mayor.
4. Renaming S.W.10th Ct. to Bethlehem Ct.
5. Established GED Program (Project Second Chance)
6. Drop off lane at high school to ease traffic congestion on S.W.15th Street
7. Appeals board for volunteer coaches
8. Little league baseball field at Westside Park
9. Worked with BSO to increase patrols
10. Adult baseball field at Westside Park
11. Light industrial park business center (Butter's Corp)
12. Donation of a community center by Butter's Corp
13. People Trust Insurance Co.
14. S.W. 15th Street Beautification Project
15. $25,000 donation from People's Trust Insurance for S.W. 15th Street beautification project
16. S.W.11th Dr. repaving
17. S.W. 15th street repaving
18. Renaming of S.W.15th Street to Buck Pride Way
19. Chicken removal from neighborhood
20. Sprinkler system for median
21. Taking youth to see the movie Red Tails
22. Essay Contest on the movie Red Tails. A true Red Tail pilot presented awards
23. District 2 cleanup x 2
24. Elimination of illegal dumping in district-2
25. Installation of sidewalks in North Deerfield
26. Restriping of school crossing lanes for student safety
27. Provided transportation to and from football game for the Packer Rattlers
28. Developed communication with police in regard to elderly intimidation
29. Assisted with developing growth in the Teen Center
30. Creation of debate teams in elementary and middle schools
31. Owls on Patrol program (Football players from FAU ride with police as examples of positive role models)
32. Historical achievement Martin Luther King Day Parade crosses Federal Highway for the first time in the history of having the parade
33. Trophy display case at City Hall for city achievements to be displayed
34. Had Pot holes in cemetery repaired
35. Had columns to entrance of Westside park pressure cleaned
36. Had basketball courts at Westside Park resurfaced
37. Had loitering at Mayo Howard monitored at watch for drugs sales
38. Had time line moved up for repairs at Johnny Mc Keithen Park
39. Had drug activity eliminated at Johnny Mc Keithen park
40. Provided for more focus on park clean up in district 2
41. Saved solicitation with citywide ordinance
42. Had Martin Luther King Blvd extended beyond SW 10th St.
43. Clean up of Deerfield Country Club back area (Butters Corp.)
44. Left turned lane installed at Hillsboro Martin Luther King
45. Had time line moved up for state DOT project
46. Commission approved workshops to begin in 2015 for restoring Westside park.
47. Music festival named for Oveetta Mc Kiethen
48. Had park named for Pastor W.J. Ford 49. Street resurfacing in college park division
50. Street resurfacing in Natura

Ben Preston making a Difference, a refreshting change for District 2


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nextdoor Cove Site not very neighborly

The truth seems to take a battering on the nextdoor.com – Cove website.  Let’s get things straight; what was posted there about Joe Miller was a lie, not a misunderstanding, a flat out lie!

 Joe Miller has NOTHING to do with the fake Ron Coddington website and/or Chaz Stevens. Chaz delights in pointing out Ron Coddington’s shortcomings; this is right up his ally. By default he is supporting Joe, but check his past posts and you will see Joe has no reason to like Chaz. 

 Both Joe Miller’s site www.vote4joemiller.com and the MAOS sites are built using WordPress, but so are many, many other sites including the NY Times, CNN and 76 million others, which using warped thinking means that Chaz and CNN are in cahoots. Ridiculous!!

 Stretching the truth even more, it was said that both sites are on the same server, this also is far from reality, Miller’s site is at “72.47.244.127” and MAOS is at  “72.47.244.140” easy to check on,  if you are going to lie, don’t make it so easy to disprove.

It was said that both use GoDaddy to host the site.  OMG, that is like saying that they both have a Mazda, and all Mazda owners know each other.  Check on line and you will see that thousands of political sites choose to use GoDaddy services. 

If Stevens was building Joe’s website it stands to reason that he would use the same framework, it makes it so much easier to throw up a site with an already familiar framework.  But, Joe’s site has no pre-made framework, it was built from scratch. 

Why bother to point all this out?  Because the people on the Nextdoor.com  site should know the truth. 

Think about it for a minute, it makes no sense to any rational person that ANY politician would ask such a controversial and mercurial person such as Chaz to have anything at all to do with his campaign.  That would be political suicide for sure.  Just look at how Joe’s opponents have taken this lie and run with it.

Read the IMPARTIAL Pelican newspaper endorsement to see why Joe is important for Deerfield Beach:

“Miller offers a rational and reasoned approach that brings order to a sometimes chaotic atmosphere. He stays close to his constituents and more than once has admitted to changing his mind because they are on the other side of an issue.

With six years under his belt, Miller has acquired the knowledge to see things judiciously and to take the long view rather than go with knee jerk decisions. He is an advocate of bringing new investment to the city while maintaining smart growth.  He is willing to talk on the issue of beach erosion rather than take a firm stand against trying to improve the damage apparently being caused by the city’s groin system. He favors more parks and green space.
He brings a collegial attitude to the matter of government”.

"His opponent, Ron Coddington has a totally different style, one that is combative and accusatory. Although he possesses much technical knowledge, he does not exhibit the ability to play well with others. Electing him to this particular city commission would be a mistake and impede the progress the city is making in redevelopment, finance and community imaging.”