Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Can Deerfield Beach's Commission Meetings get any worse?

Last night’s (May 18) commission meeting was an embarrassment for our city. I know, you are saying so what else is new? But this may have hit an all time high.

Deerfield is the butt of too many jokes as it is. The city has indicted officials. The city has suspended employees involved in legal investigations. The Kessler report to the city found so many violations in its first investigation that the city is paying them up to $100,000 more to check on other departments. The city had to send $95,000 of our general fund (yup, our taxpayer dollars) as a fine to HUD because of poor record keeping, etc. etc. We can’t even say, “At least we’re not Hollywood” anymore with a straight face.

A room full of family, friends and neighbors of those to be honored by having a street named after them filled the commission chamber; some came from very far away, only to hear Mayor Peggy Noland question their paperwork. It got downright nasty and took away from the joy the people deserved in knowing their ancestor would be honored. Finally they were approved, rightly so.

Then I was stunned by the absurdity as I listened to Commissioner Popelsky argue with Commissioner Poitier about who was the one who voted twice to approve a contract for Sun Recycling that would cost more than $230,000 over the other choice. They were bragging and happy that they voted to waste taxpayer money. Popelsky corrected Poitier when she said she voted for Sun the first time, she forgot she hadn’t. They bickered like 5 year olds. He crowed, no Sylvia you didn’t, and he boasted was the only one who voted for them in the first vote.

(See below posts for a description of the craziness involved in the choice of Deerfield’s recycling company.)

I still have not heard one valid reason from Popelsky, Poitier or Noland for their yes vote. Joan Maurice pushed for an answer but got nothing but some verbal abuse. At least Commissioners Miller and Ganz had some sense and some responsibility to the voters of the city, they voted against the Sun contract. As I said, I see no justifiable reason to pick the Sun Company; even with Sun coming down in their price so we were only wasting $60,000 instead of $230,000. Could the clueless three have something to gain personally? It certainly raises the question. It also raises the question of exactly who they are representing, certainly not the residents.

Remember the $15,000 paid to the consultant who did a workshop for our commissioners to develop a vision, and all that developed was an understanding that our commissioners couldn’t get along with each other. At the end, they vowed to play nice. Well, that’s worn off. Sylvia, passionate about the Mango Festival, rudely interrupted other commissioners at least 12 times by my count, I may have missed some, Bill, understandably, showed some temper, through it all Peggy did almost nothing to maintain order; this was a meeting that should have taken at most an hour and a half, and went on, and on, and on….

To the commissioners: Be ashamed, be very very ashamed!!!

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