Tuesday, March 31, 2009
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them to stop this.
Florida lawmakers marching to developers' beat
BY MYRIAM MARQUEZ Miami Herald
More than 300,000 empty houses and condos in Florida are waiting for a buyer.
Big box stores like Circuit City -- the nation's second-largest consumer electronics retailer -- closed for good on Sunday, giving pink slips to thousands.
Linens 'n Things, Home Depot's Expo Design Centers? All goners.
Empty homes, empty stores, growing unemployment. Whom do we blame?
Why not blame the state's rules governing growth, the ones meant to protect Floridians' quality of life?
That's what some lawmakers in Tallahassee are doing. Egged on by developers desperate to make the math work for their new projects at a time when credit is super tight, lawmakers have come up with a wild plan to ''fix'' what ails us: Dismantle the Department of Community Affairs, loosen rules on building in swampland and let local governments do their thing without the state's check and balance.
THE DEVELOPERS' MANTRA
Because, hey, we're in a recession, buddy, and we need to build everywhere!
Except growth-management rules haven't tanked Florida's economy. We all know there was hyper-growth the past five years based on speculators swooping in and building on a whim and a loan. Nobody griped about growth management then. Now the banks have bailed and the credit has dried up, and legislators want to pretend the problem is the Department of Community Affairs?
It's crazy. The DCA keeps locals honest when they want to skip ''little'' things. You know, like ensuring our water supply remains adequate and that new subdivisions don't overwhelm schools and cram ever more cars on already jammed roads -- or that our waterways don't die from seeping sewage from too many homes and businesses built in the wrong place.
Protecting Florida's pristine areas and its residents from hop-scotch growth isn't a liberal idea. Under Gov. Jeb Bush, a proud, card-carrying conservative, the Legislature passed Florida's first growth-management overhaul in years. Under that law, counties are required to plan growth with their local school districts. And local governments have to make sure there's enough drinking water before a new development is given a green light.
And under that law, some rules also were streamlined to help move construction along and not add to the costs.
So what's really behind this push to disband the DCA?
Florida has thousands of acres available for building within designated areas that don't require state review. Ah, but that's not enough for greedy speculators who want cheap land far away from water and sewer services, and would love for the taxpayers to pick up the tab by ditching developers' responsibility to pay for those services through impact fees.
A GOOD STEWARD
DCA Secretary Tom Pelham has been a good steward of Florida's land -- which may be what's behind this Greedy Developers Act. His agency has blocked megadevelopments in the middle of nowhere that want to scrimp on schools or roads and ignore wetland rules meant to protect the quality of our waterways.
Gov. Charlie ''The Green Man'' Crist wants to combat climate change, too, and the DCA is working energy efficiency into Florida's building code and transportation networks so new buildings don't waste as much energy and so vehicles run on cleaner fuel.
In poll after poll, the vast majority of Floridians say they back The Green Man. We want our Florida lifestyle protected while there's still one to protect.
Our views: Playing with fire
New moves to abolish Florida’s growth management laws cannot stand
State lawmakers in Tallahassee are playing with fire, and residents along the Space Coast and throughout Florida could get seriously burned.We’re talking about the newest moves in the Legislature to dismantle the state’s growth management laws and abolish necessary safeguards that taxpayers have supported for a quarter century to try to control development. And make certain they don’t get stuck with the bill for building more roads, schools and other infrastructure and watch helplessly as growth consumes dwindling drinking water supplies and asphalt replaces wetlands.
Facts of life
Brevard County citizens were all too familiar with — and angry about — before the recession and will likely confront again when the economy recovers and growth inevitably returns.
However, the powerful development lobby and its legislator allies — including at least two from Brevard — continue using the recession as a guise to gut oversight, falsely claiming the rules hamper growth and that removing them will magically help turn Florida’s economy around.
The true picture
Here’s the truth:
Most of the state’s permitting regulations were in place during the recent boom and didn’t stop growth.
Instead, speculation-fueled development triggered a binge that has stuck Florida with 300,000 homes now vacant, state figures show.
In all, even with the Growth Management Act, the state’s population has risen from 11 million to nearly 19 million in the past 25 years, showing the disingenuous nature of the development industry’s rhetoric.
Brevard alone saw development swallow about 35 square miles of forests — an area the size of Melbourne and Cocoa combined — between 1995 and 2000, according to a study by the St. Johns River Water Management District.That’s ignored in the Legislature, where Republican-led efforts are gaining momentum to abolish the Department of Community Affairs, which was created in 1985 as part of the landmark Growth Management Act to prevent irresponsible development.
The bill recently passed the House Military and Local Affairs Policy Committee with State Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, among its supporters.
The measure would shift what remained of the agency to the Department of State, which knows nothing about controlling growth and is busy with elections, corporate records and other matters.
Damaging the state
DCA Secretary Tom Pelham has warned the switch would “eviscerate the growth management process to the detriment of our state,” the St. Petersburg Times reported. He also said neither the Senate or House has even bothered to conduct a thorough review of what the agency does.
Smart-growth advocates have similar concerns.
Phil Laurien, executive director of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, of which Brevard is a member, says while growth management laws do need sensible reform, killing the Department of Community Affairs is not the way to do it.
He’s also concerned about a bill co-sponsored by Brevard GOP Sen. Mike Haridopolos that would end state-mandated reviews for developments of regional impact. Among them is West Viera, which could add 26,000 residents during the next 20 to 30 years.
The studies do a good job of evaluating a project’s impact on roads, the environment and surrounding cities and should be continued, Laurien says.Meanwhile, other legislative proposals include eliminating impact fees that require developers to help pay for roads, sewers and schools, and cutting in half the time necessary to examine permits to wipe out wetlands that are crucial to replenish fast-shrinking drinking water supplies.
Taxpayers would suffer
These efforts should not be confused with common sense initiatives to speed up local planning reviews and building permits to lure critically needed new manufacturing and high technology industry to Brevard.
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is advocating that approach and it deserves the backing of local cities and the county to recoup the thousands of jobs that will be lost when NASA’s shuttle fleet retires next year.
But, with momentum growing elsewhere to gut needed growth management safeguards, it’s time for Gov. Crist — who has a strong pro-growth management and environmental protection record — to say they won’t stand. And that he’ll use his veto pen to kill them if necessary.
Residents in Brevard and statewide know how difficult it is to manage growth with the laws already in place. Removing them wholesale would be a disaster for which taxpayers would pay a very steep price.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
When Inconvenience is Convenient - Cove Update - 03/27/09
The purpose of Commissioner Miller's Workshop on the Cove project on Tuesday, according to a Sun-Sentinel report, is "to get us up to speed on what's happening" (quoting Mr. Miller).
We are going to spend a lot of money on the Cove, he said, and "I want to make sure that's what we should do."
But that's not exactly what he told the local rag, apparently. According to them:
Miller wants to hear from store and restaurant owners and professional offices regarding the effects that work on the parking lot and sidewalks would have on their businesses. He wants to hear from members of the public. He is concerned that such work would disrupt their business during a down economic time.
... "I will ask the building owners if they will participate in changing the façade to the Key West theme."
Miller emphasized that he is not biased one way or another on the project. "I just want to hear from the business owners who will be directly affected by the implementation of Phase I of this improvement," he said.
Fair enough, if we believed him. But wasn't this all hashed out at the meetings on the Cove renovation and at the charette? Haven't the business owners, the property owners and the public had ample opportunity to make their views known over the last two or three years?
If you know anything about the Cove project, you know that these very people were the ones who contributed the most to the plan (see, the article following).
Of course, Commissioner Miller did not attend any of those meetings.
It doesn't take a meeting to figure out that the work will be inconvenient for a while. This will be the case if the work starts tomorrow or next year. It occurs to us that inconvenience is a convenient excuse to delay the project, perhaps out of existence.
This would be very convenient to a handful of people whose interests are not well served by the Cove project.
Also: since when is inconvenience a reason to delay or not to do a public works project? The streetscapes along the beach front inconvenienced thousands of beach goers and residents for weeks. Ditto, for the sidewalks along A-1-A. Remember that summer the bridge was repaired? For months, beach residents had to go all the way to Pompano or Boca to go to work or the store. Then, lest we forget, the work on Hillsboro ongoing right now that will take a year-and-a-half to complete.
I can't help but feel that Commissioner Miller has found a compassionate sounding way to help out his friends who don't want the Cove project to proceed. He should know -- everybody knows -- that if this plan is put on hold for any extended period of time -- or if we wait for a parking garage to be built -- the plan will die.
Ten years from now, fifteen years from now, some whiz kid new commissioner on the block will come along and say, let's have a meeting and see what we can do at the Cove.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Nova Southeastern University offers a new master's degree in real estate development.
BY LISA BOLIVAR
As the real estate market crashes with the economy, Nova Southeastern University is rolling out a new degree program to help the next generation of developers respond to a recovering market.
The master's degree in real estate development launched this year as a specialized program designed to hone a student's skills over 18 months and 40 credits, said Wayne Falbey, the program's director.
Nova previously offered an MBA with a concentration in real estate development, but this course goes further. (Read the rest at: http://www.miamiherald.com:80/news/education/story/959355.html )
Some of the course work:
Creative Political Contributions 501
Who, How and When to Bribe 511
Flipping Without Flopping 521
Graduate Seminars in: Kissing up to elected officials and How to lie your way to fiscal security.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
By Thomas Francis in Broward, Politics
Thursday, Mar. 19 2009 @ 10:33AM
Goff convicted; for those who thought losing his house meant he was a bad business manager, Don Cleveland gets the last, albeit bitter, laugh. Below excerpts; read the rest at Tom Francis' blog. http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/juice/
...an Alabama jury had declared Goff guilty of precisely the same kind of fraud Cleveland describes happened to him...
...On the campaign trail, Cleveland explained that the foreclosure was the result of his being victimized in an embezzlement scheme. John W. Goff, says Cleveland, lied about how he was handling money -- a Ponzie scheme with insurance rather than investments. The con cost Cleveland his $22,000-per-month income, which he relied upon to pay his mortgage.Cleveland thinks he was portrayed as a bad businessman, when he ought to have been treated in a fashion similar to those who lost their fortunes to Madoff: a conscientious person with the misfortune of crossing paths with a diabolical mastermind...
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
At last night’s commission meeting after a standing ovation to outgoing Commissioner Pam Militello, her 4 years of hard work getting a consensus by the business owners and area residents for a makeover of the Cove Shopping Center looked like it could be in trouble.
Looks like the new commission may be getting ready to spit in the eyes of the people who took hours and days to work on the plan.
New District 1 Commissioner Joe Miller asked for a special meeting to address the Cove. This is the man who did not attend any of the many workshops already held on the Cove, did not know there was a plan, and had to scramble to come up with something bad to say after he found out about it.
The plan, which was not dictated from city hall or pushed through as a result of a developer’s greed, was crafted by the business owners and residents of the area, is approved by the commission and ready to go to bid.
There is a new restaurant now going in the shopping center, the Station House decided to locate there BECAUSE of the new design, BECAUSE the parking lot was soon to be an attractive draw with a new monument sign attracting shoppers and diners.
Miller’s criticism of the plan is that there is no parking garage; he had trouble parking to go to dinner one Friday night so he thinks the entire plan is no good. He has been seen talking to the architect who failed to win approval for their plan.
That failed plan had a large garage right in front of all the stores, no business owners or residents wanted that. This architect is reportedly very pissed off at losing the contract for the design. I am also told that Miller thinks the businesses should upgrade first and then do the parking lot. With the current look of the parking lot, what incentive is there to upgrade?
This plan progressed through many, many, workshops and meetings which were advertised in the paper and announced at commission meetings, the attendance was excellent (except for Miller who had no clue it was going on):
- Meetings of area businesses and residents for a concept, the overwhelming majority wanted to retain the small business cozy feel of the Cove, but agreed that a facelift was needed.
- Using that information a design was developed
- The design was presented to the residents and businesses at workshops
- Feedback from the public was used to change the plans
- Again the designs were presented for feedback at workshops
- And again the design was changed reflecting the residents and business opinions
- The feedback resulted in a 2 phase plan
- The first phase is to upgrade the look of the center, restripe the parking and add landscaping and extra parking for business workers behind the stores, and create a Key West palette of colors and styles for store facades, to be phased in as businesses upgraded.
- The second involved putting up a parking garage in the north east corner when funds and space is available.
The first phase has funding and is being implemented.
The current commission adopted plan is shovel ready and poised to go out to bid. Plans are ready, drawn by the winning architect. Money and hours of citizen and city staff time has been spent on this plan.
The rational is that by quickly improving the appearance of the city owned parking lot, new business will want relocate there and current businesses will be motivated to upgrade.
Businesses all over the country are now struggling to survive; this attractive setting will give the small business owners in the Cove an edge. The improvements will add to the value of homes in the area as well as increase shopping convenience.
Any change which would retard the implementation of this plan by the new commission would be a slap in the face to the caring residents who trusted that their city would follow through on promises made.
The commission meeting about the Cove will be at 6:00 p.m. on March 31st in the commission meeting room at city hall. I urge you to attend.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Memories are made -- and shared -- on the Deerfield Beach dais
By Eric Weiner
…Australia, along with Belgium, is the only "mature democracy" that requires its citizens to vote and actually enforces the law. Australia is also a nation we Americans can relate to. We share similar historical narratives (outcasts fleeing Mother England), a frontier spirit, and a laid-back nature that drives Europeans nuts. So Australia makes an interesting test case for an intriguing question: Could mandatory voting work in the United States?
Australians have been required to vote in federal elections since 1924. Concerned that voter turnout had dipped below 60 percent, parliament enacted mandatory voting after only 90 minutes of debate, and it's gone largely unchallenged ever since. Polls regularly show 70 percent to 80 percent of Australians support mandatory voting. Lisa Hill, a research fellow at the University of Adelaide, explains it this way: "We're quite happy with some forms of coercion that others may not be happy with."
…Mandatory voting isn't politically neutral. It's bound to affect which parties do well at the polls and which do not. In general, political scientists believe the practice gives a slight edge (2 percent or 3 percent) to liberal parties, since presumably the poor and disenfranchised, once forced to the polls, tend to vote liberal…
So, might mandatory voting work in the United States? It's a tempting quick fix to our low levels of voter turnout. Also, imagine our political parties freed from the burden of having to energize their base. Candidates could focus on converting voters, rather than trying to get them to the polls. As for concerns that mandatory voting represents government coercion, one might argue that our government coerces its citizens to perform many duties: pay taxes, attend school, serve on juries and, in times of war, fight and die for the nation.
In the end, though, mandatory voting is extremely unlikely to work in the states. An ABC News poll conducted this past (2004) summer found that 72 percent of those surveyed oppose the idea. The results are almost identical to a similar poll conducted by Gallup 40 years ago. Why such resistance? Perhaps because we view voting as a right, not a responsibility, and nothing is likely to alter that bedrock belief.
Also, mandatory voting would probably cause a further dumbing-down of election campaigns, if such a thing is possible. Motivated by a need to attract not only undecided voters but also unwilling voters, candidates would probably resort to an even baser brand of political advertising, since they would now be trying to reach people who are voting only out of a desire to obey the law and avoid a fine.
Mandatory voting would be a nightmare to enforce and would rob us of an important barometer of public interest in politics. If everyone were required to vote, then nobody would be excited to vote.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Popelsky will fight against that, as he now has embraced ethics, but he will have at most two votes.
I am sure Noland will try make it seem logical to do away with a code enacted by “un-elected and ex-commissioners”. I also believe that many will be swayed with the democratic appeal of having a citizen’s committee to craft an ethics code, but however much lipstick is put on that pig, it is still wallowing around in the slimy mud.
Obama spoke today about having to pass a flawed budget and railed against the pork hidden in it. He was insistent on transparency and disclosure. He is sick, as are we, of abuse of power. He has enacted an ethics code, which he spelled out, and it sounded very like the one Deerfield Beach now, has.
The commission must obey the ordinance as it exists and sign the code. Give it a fair trial, and then if it needs tweaking, let the city attorney with input from the city manager and the commissioners, who are the only ones effected by the code, do the job, citizen involvement would come during the public hearings. Thinking a citizen committee has the requisite expertise to craft a legal document is ludicrous.
The cost of having and enforcing such a code is infinitesimal compared to the damage done to Deerfield Beach by past abuses of elected office and the damage that could be done in the future if there are no consequences to unethical behaviors. You can’t legislate how a person behaves, but, using an Obama phrase, “you sure as hell”, can make certain they know the penalties if caught.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 at 8:50 pm
Ethics Commitments By Executive Branch Personnel
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 21, 2009
- - - - - - -
Section 1. Ethics Pledge. Every appointee in every executive agency appointed on or after January 20, 2009, shall sign, and upon signing shall be contractually committed to, the following pledge upon becoming an appointee:
"As a condition, and in consideration, of my employment in the United States Government in a position invested with the public trust, I commit myself to the following obligations, which I understand are binding on me and are enforceable under law:
"1.Lobbyist Gift Ban. I will not accept gifts from registered lobbyists or lobbying organizations for the duration of my service as an appointee.
"2.Revolving Door Ban -- All Appointees Entering Government. I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.
"3.Revolving Door Ban -- Lobbyists Entering Government. If I was a registered lobbyist within the 2 years before the date of my appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 2, I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment:
(a)participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment;
(b)participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls; or
(c)seek or accept employment with any executive agency that I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment.
"4.Revolving Door Ban -- Appointees Leaving Government. If, upon my departure from the Government, I am covered by the post-employment restrictions on communicating with employees of my former executive agency set forth in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, I agree that I will abide by those restrictions for a period of 2 years following the end of my appointment.
"5.Revolving Door Ban -- Appointees Leaving Government to Lobby. In addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 4, I also agree, upon leaving Government service, not to lobby any covered executive branch official or non-career Senior Executive Service appointee for the remainder of the Administration.
"6.Employment Qualification Commitment. I agree that any hiring or other employment decisions I make will be based on the candidate's qualifications, competence, and experience.
"7.Assent to Enforcement. I acknowledge that the Executive Order entitled 'Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel,' issued by the President on January 21, 2009, which I have read before signing this document, defines certain of the terms applicable to the foregoing obligations and sets forth the methods for enforcing them. I expressly accept the provisions of that Executive Order as a part of this agreement and as binding on me. I understand that the terms of this pledge are in addition to any statutory or other legal restrictions applicable to me by virtue of Federal Government service."
Sec. 2. Definitions. As used herein and in the pledge set forth in section 1 of this order:
(a)"Executive agency" shall include each "executive agency" as defined by section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and shall include the Executive Office of the President; provided, however, that for purposes of this order "executive agency" shall include the United States Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission, but shall exclude the Government Accountability Office.
(b)"Appointee" shall include every full-time, non-career Presidential or Vice-Presidential appointee, non-career appointee in the Senior Executive Service (or other SES-type system), and appointee to a position that has been excepted from the competitive service by reason of being of a confidential or policymaking character (Schedule C and other positions excepted under comparable criteria) in an executive agency. It does not include any person appointed as a member of the Senior Foreign Service or solely as a uniformed service commissioned officer.
(n)"Government official" means any employee of the executive branch.
Sec. 4. Administration.
(b)With respect to the Executive Office of the President, the duties set forth in section 4(a) shall be the responsibility of the Counsel to the President or his or her designee.
(c)The Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall:
(1)ensure that the pledge and a copy of this order are made available for use by agencies in fulfilling their duties under section 4(a) above;
(2)in consultation with the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President or their designees, when appropriate, assist designated agency ethics officers in providing advice to current or former appointees regarding the application of the pledge; and
(3)in consultation with the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President or their designees, adopt such rules or procedures as are necessary or appropriate:
(i)to carry out the foregoing responsibilities;
(ii)to apply the lobbyist gift ban set forth in paragraph 1 of the pledge to all executive branch employees;
(iii)to authorize limited exceptions to the lobbyist gift ban for circumstances that do not implicate the purposes of the ban;
(iv)to make clear that no person shall have violated the lobbyist gift ban if the person properly disposes of a gift as provided by section 2635.205 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations;
(v)to ensure that existing rules and procedures for Government employees engaged in negotiations for future employment with private businesses that are affected by their official actions do not affect the integrity of the Government's programs and operations;
(vi)to ensure, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, that the requirement set forth in paragraph 6 of the pledge is honored by every employee of the executive branch;
(4)in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, report to the President on whether full compliance is being achieved with existing laws and regulations governing executive branch procurement lobbying disclosure and on steps the executive branch can take to expand to the fullest extent practicable disclosure of such executive branch procurement lobbying and of lobbying for presidential pardons, and to include in the report both immediate action the executive branch can take and, if necessary, recommendations for legislation; and
(5)provide an annual public report on the administration of the pledge and this order.
(d)The Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Counsel to the President, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, or their designees, report to the President on steps the executive branch can take to expand to the fullest extent practicable the revolving door ban set forth in paragraph 5 of the pledge to all executive branch employees who are involved in the procurement process such that they may not for 2 years after leaving Government service lobby any Government official regarding a Government contract that was under their official responsibility in the last 2 years of their Governmentservice; and to include in the report both immediate action the executive branch can take and, if necessary, recommendations for legislation.
(e)All pledges signed by appointees, and all waiver certifications with respect thereto, shall be filed with the head of the appointee's agency for permanent retention in the appointee's official personnel folder or equivalent folder.
Sec. 5. Enforcement.
(b)Any former appointee who is determined, after notice and hearing, by the duly designated authority within any agency, to have violated his or her pledge may be barred from lobbying any officer or employee of that agency for up to 5 years in addition to the time period covered by the pledge. The head of every executive agency shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, establish procedures to implement this subsection, which procedures shall include (but not be limited to) providing for factfinding and investigation of possible violations of this order and for referrals to the Attorney General for his or her consideration pursuant to subsection (c).
(c)The Attorney General or his or her designee is authorized:
(1)upon receiving information regarding the possible breach of any commitment in a signed pledge, to request any appropriate Federal investigative authority to conduct such investigations as may be appropriate; and
(2)upon determining that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a breach of a commitment has occurred or will occur or continue, if not enjoined, to commence a civil action against the former employee in any United States District Court with jurisdiction to consider the matter.
(d)In any such civil action, the Attorney General or his or her designee is authorized to request any and all relief authorized by law, including but not limited to:
(1)such temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate to restrain future, recurring, or continuing conduct by the former employee in breach of the commitments in the pledge he or she signed; and
(2)establishment of a constructive trust for the benefit of the United States, requiring an accounting and payment to the United States Treasury of all money and other things of value received by, or payable to, the former employee arising out of any breach or attempted breach of the pledge signed by the former employee.
Sec. 6. General Provisions.
(b)If any provision of this order or the application of such provision is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and other dissimilar applications of such provision shall not be affected.
(c)Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(1)authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(2)functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(d)This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(e)This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(f)The definitions set forth in this order are solely applicable to the terms of this order, and are not otherwise intended to impair or affect existing law.
THE WHITE HOUSE, January 21, 2009.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sadly, the atmosphere inside the Chamber of Commerce voting site for District 1 is most inhospitable. First they tried to tell the workers that they couldn’t come in to use the bathroom because we had on candidate’s shirts.
When shown a copy of Rule 1S-2.034, Florida Administrative Code, and a printout stating that Secretary of State Kurt Browning's office sent clarifying letters to all 67 Florida election supervisors: "Merely going to the polls wearing campaign paraphernalia is okay," it said.
We were then admitted. BUT, then they barred us from the bathrooms saying we weren’t voters. Then the city clerk was called and told the poll workers to let us in.
Nope, Janyce didn’t want that, she is against Pam, and most of the sign holders are for Pam, so she sent the word to not let us in because they were private bathrooms for the chamber only.
Voters and poll workers can pee in the chamber pot, just not us.
That’s how it stands. I will get in touch with Brenda Snipes, this is just WRONG.
Monday, March 9, 2009
By Thomas Francis in Breaking News, Broward, Crime
Monday, Mar. 9 2009 @ 3:31PM
BSO just made public its interviews with James Rosa and Anthony Russo, the two 20-year-olds who were among the four charged with petty theft in connection with stolen campaign signs.The report indicates that both Rosa and Russo implicated Thomas Noland, the son of Deerfield Beach mayoral candidate Peggy Noland, along with another friend, Jake Dighton.Peggy Noland told Juice earlier today that her son was "not involved."
By Thomas Francis in Crime, Politics
Monday, Mar. 9 2009 @ 12:07PM
Deerfield Beach mayoral candidate Peggy Noland is beating back an 11th hour campaign scandal -- early this morning her son Thomas, a Deerfield Beach firefighter, was arrested on charges of criminal mischief for stealing campaign signs of ex-Mayor Al Capellini.
CLICK ON THE TITLE LINK TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Yesterday he received Holy Communion. Oops, that’s a no-no, as a Protestant, especially as an ex-Catholic (automatic as soon as he joined his Protestant church) he should know better. He says taking communion was okay as he was baptized Catholic, and raised Catholic. But, he isn’t Catholic any longer. He gave up the right to call himself Catholic when he joined the Presbyterians.
Father Dalton, I was told, when asked why Joe was allowed to receive communion, said, “They can do whatever they want, but we can’t”. He got it wrong too, Joe’s church may not care if he takes communion in the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church cares if he does, they have a rule against it:
"Canon Law # 844.1:
"Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments only to Catholic members of Christ's faithful, who equally may lawfully receive them only from Catholic ministers." [Can. # 844.1]
Only those who belong to Rites in communion with the Roman Catholic Church can receive communion within the Catholic Church. This excludes all the Protestant Churches because they do not hold the Catholic belief regarding the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist."
Saturday, March 7, 2009
After reading it, I guessed Lother left out one school on his resume; Lother must have graduated from the Al Capellini School of Advertising. Remember Al’s mailer which said CAPELLINI will be CLEARED, with the “will be” in such small letters that anyone over the age of 50 needed their +300 magnifiers to read it. That little “fact” filled goodie blanketed Century Village. What was Al thinking; that the CV seniors would miss the little print? Yup, you are right, yes, he was. Well Lother is following in his mentor’s footsteps.
(However I am guessing that today’s Sun Sentinel article will put an end to Al’s hope of election. No one who cares about the city would vote for him now that his hearing has been put off until April, because, as I understand it, if he wins, he would have to resign, and then the new vice mayor would be mayor and we would have to have another commissioner appointed; and then a new expensive election, and then higher taxes to pay for it, and then…..)
Reporter Linda Trischitta wrote, “On District 4 candidate Gary Lother’s resume, the former state licensed firefighter lists “Florida Atlantic University (1976).”
When told the school did not have a record of his graduation, Lother, 53, said, “I didn’t say I graduated from there.”
Hey, Gar, yes you did! When you write the name of a school, and you DO NOT put in “attended” and then you do put in a date, that is the same as saying you graduated. This is not an ethical thing to do. This is meant to deliberately mislead voters.
The accepted form is to state your degree, what it is in, and the school name and location followed by the date graduated, like this:
M.A. Educational Administration, Kean College, Union, New Jersey, 1993
M.A. Reading Specialist, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, 1977
B.A. Elementary Education, Magna cum laude, Kean College, Union, New Jersey, 1974
But, if one simply writes Hard Knox University, 1973, one implies that the person graduated from there.
Gary, you might want to go to this site for candidates:
They give steps to follow before running, this is Step 4:
“Update your resume. Much of a campaign’s written material includes personal and professional data from the candidate’s background. Therefore, you should update your resume…Your resume must be completely accurate because the press will certainly scrutinize every detail. Exaggerating your background will be a costly mistake.”
Oops, too late!!!!
Friday, March 6, 2009
“thinly veiled propaganda rag” the Observer is doing its “Candidate Pros and Cons” I thought I might put in a couple of things they left out.
Clueless Joe Miller – District 1
He lives in Deerfield Beach.
(The way I hear it, the Chamber and Eller couldn’t get any of their cronies to run for office so they talked poor Clueless into being their puppet.)
Miller has never, in all the years he was debugging Deerfield, showed a scintilla of interest in City Hall goings on.
He never, never ever attended any commission meetings before he started running.
Never came out to protest the giant restaurant on the pier,
never walked the streets trying to get signatures for the referendum to reinstate the building codes dumped by Capellini and Noland’s commission;
never served on any city board;
never protested turning the green spaces of Crystal Lake golf course into a housing development;
never attended any of the District 1 meetings to decide how to upgrade the Cove Shopping Center, and still doesn’t know what the plans are;
never protested against turning the main beach parking lot into a private hotel/shopping center.
His reason for running, I guess he is bored; his sons are going to take over his business.
He is so clueless that he came to the last commission meeting (yes, I know he is unfamiliar with the format, after all it is new to him) to stand up and protest against the ethics code and call for a public hearing.
Yes, this was the public hearing on the ethics code, said right there in the agenda,
PUBLIC HEARING – 2nd READING. Complained it was being rushed through and he had no time to read it, the first draft was presented in January. I know some people are slow readers, but…
Pam Militello – District 1
As commissioner for 4 years she has brought a breath of fresh air to the commission. She knows what needs to be done and how to do it.
As this is a 2 year term, caused by Pam's introduction of Term Limits and staggered terms, we need her expertise to carry out what she has started.
Pam instated a practice of having District meetings after 12 years of no meetings by Peggy Noland, (topped off by 1 meeting held just before elections).
Pam introduced a meaningful code of ethics.
Pam initiated 4 charter amendments.
Pam has proven business leadership and experience.
Pam spearheaded, finalized and got approved the Cove Shopping Center Plan.
Pam seeks resident feedback for all issues.
Pam fought against turning Crystal Lake golf course into a housing project.
Pam is known for open communication with residents, and is easily available to residents.
Before becoming commissioner, while holding a full time job, Pam attended almost every commission meeting.
Pam helped fight turning the main beach parking lot into a private shopping center.
Pam protested against the giant pier restaurant.
Pam walked the streets getting signatures for the referenda.
Brought up a code of ethics early in her term and was unable to convince her other commission members that one was necessary, this was before 2 of them were indicted.
And, during some of last year, after holding District and special issue meetings and Cove Shopping Center meetings, let a few extra projects fall to the wayside as her husband was dying of cancer and her grandson died.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
BY BUDDY NEVINS
This post by Buddy Nevins starts out giving a heads up to the County, but it has ramifications for city officials also, Buddy starts out this way:
Broward County commissioners have been warned: Be honest.
Or the feds might throw you in jail for up to 20 years!
In a startling three-page memo from County Attorney Jeff Newton, commissioners were told in writing how to avoid being snared by a wide ranging federal corruption law.
It has come to this, folks.
Broward government is so shady that commissioners need advice on how to be ethical....
Further on down in the article he posts:
“As construed in recent cases, when a political official uses his/her office for personal gain, he or she deprives his/her constituents of their right to have him/her perform his/her officials duties in their best interest.
“Public officials inherently owe a fiduciary duty to the public to make government decisions in the public’s best interest.
“If the official instead secretly makes a decision based on his/her own personal interests, as when an official accepts a bribe or personally benefits from an undisclosed conflict of interest, the official has deprived the public of his/her honest service.”
Under this law, government officials from all over Broward could be jailed."
Click on the title link for the rest of the article, well worth the read for any of us, a MUST read for elected officials.
Some of the comments posted after the article have the FBI roaming the County Commission halls.
Looks as if Pam's Ethics Code is a VERY GOOD idea after all.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
By Bob Norman
Tuesday, Mar. 3 2009 @ 4:04PM
Halfway through this post Bob gets so angry that he has to stop and catch his breath. I can just picture him writing, pounding the keys and gritting his teeth; righteous anger and frustration making him all thumbs, as he then sits back and gets a grip, and goes on. And how he goes on, you must read this.
The Firefighters chose to support Miller when they discovered that Pam would not agree to vote their way on pensions and salaries. They were not happy when, during the last four years, she tried to get some relief for the taxpayers during firefighter union/city contract negotiations. Pam refused their endorsement anyway. So they picked Miller. Hah, I say! Miller must have fed them some BS, and told them what they wanted to hear, because he is Eller’s puppet, Eller was heard in the men’s room tutoring Miller, telling him what to say, at a recent forum.
And, boys and girls, Eller is not a friend of the firefighters’ union. Again, I say, hah!
Anyhow, back to the narrative. A couple of the fire boys drove what I think is Miller’s golf cart, complete with Miller sign, on the street (no, I didn't see a license plate) a-whoopin' and a-hollerin', and then drove it into the fire station. Gives rise to musing about if they are storing campaign materials in the firehouse; the cart is a violation just being there. Another fire boy was out waving a sign, turned and pulled off his campaign shirt, under which was his uniform, and went into the fire station. I must wonder, was he on duty? Sure looked like it. I don’t care what they do on their own time, but if they are using city property and time for campaigning,
SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE TO STOP IT!
Hey, Mikey, wazzzzz-up with this.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I guess his is appetite was whetted for Deerfield’s local shenanigans because he has a new posting about Capellini’s campaign mailings. He terms Capellini’s ‘Deerfield Beach Dispatch’ a “thinly veiled propaganda rag” and “Truly the most cynical campaign ploy of 2009”. He also says it should not be confused with “another thinly veiled propaganda rag called the Deerfield Beach Observer, which last week presided over a candidates forum so biased it was deemed a "disgrace" even by the prevailing community standards in a city where crooked politics is an enduring tradition.” Ya, really, really gotta love that kid.
Go to the New Times web site, and click on BLOGS and then go to THE JUICE, Francis’ blog. Read the post, you will ROTF and LYAO. But then you will stop laughing, because you will, along with Francis, start to realize that Capellini is counting on the voters being sheep as Francis says Al’s message is, and scarily, he may be right.
Another commentator, on http://www.deerfieldbeachusa.com/ writes, “Bob Norman, whose exposés all but put Capellini in jail, believes that the instant charges are just the tip of the iceberg. Big Al's business deals with mobsters and convicted drug dealers could bring additional charges -- that seems to be what Norman is implying. We don't know for sure that the pending charges in any way close the book on Al Capellini. It could be that this was the easy case filed now just to get Capellini out of office. Bigger charges could be on the way.”
So campers, if the “sheep” buy into the Observer’s absurd position that Al’s (according to the State Attorney) indictable felony was just a little oversight, and vote him in, start thinking about higher property taxes. With Al in the slammer, we will have to fund a new election.
Or, if Al and Lother get in (think of the millions in law suits Gary cost the city) the city of Deerfield Beach should institute a new yearly fee, something like the fire fee, and call it the “Unethics Fee) after all, if you don’t do your homework, you get what you deserve.