Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Should the Deerfield Beach Commission be in Harmony? Nope.

Harmony? In each of the recent candidates’ forums lately we have heard a lot about harmony. The candidates were quizzed about how they would bring harmony to the dais. I’m pretty sure that is not what people really mean, I don’t think harmony is even a good thing among commissioners.

Let’s think about that a bit. Remember back a few terms ago when we had a commission that was in harmony about everything, votes were taken quickly and unanimously with almost no discussion. We had a commission of bobble-heads. It was a very rare event when the vote was anything other than 5-0. Was that a good thing? I think we can all look around and know it was not. We had to force them by referendum to restore the building codes they eliminated to favor developers. They were the ones who proposed giving the main beach parking lot to developers time after time. Only a lot of hard work by alert residents prevented our beach from becoming Coney Island complete with a massive pier banquet hall.

A commission should discuss issues long and hard; sometimes they need to be loud. They must investigate the ramifications of a proposal, discover who benefits from its passage, make big noise about taxpayers’ money expenditures, cross examine each other’s motives, make sure staff tells the whole story, and make damn sure that anything that is approved is what is good for the quality of life of Deerfield Beach.

Commissioners should NOT always be in harmony. The only harmony the commissioners should aim for is harmony with the desires of the people they represent. Personal cheap shots should be condemned sure, having to sit through meetings that are an hour longer than they need to be because of childish rants and other nonsense is what has people frustrated and calling for “harmony”. Grow up commissioners, it is not all about you, in fact it should not be anything about you, it is about the residents. Check out the dwindling number of people who attend meetings, guess why.

However, arguments about issues should be encouraged; Florida is a Sunshine Law state. The only place that the commissioners are allowed to discuss issues among themselves is on the dais so I say go for it. I look forward to more loud “discussion” about how to better our city.

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