Friday, March 18, 2011

To: Deerfield Beach - For the Record

O.K. Ignoring Chaz Stevens didn’t work; all he did was poke the stick harder. I guess he is frustrated because all the sturm und drang he has stirred up over the last few years has resulted in absolutely no positive gain; no one convicted and all complaints dismissed. He has caused the city a bundle of money and his smearing public officials and candidates has made good people think twice about running for office. Even his famous Kessler Report resulted in a big zero; lots of inflated hyperbole, but almost no substance; nothing worth the cost, nothing that Burgess Hanson wasn’t already handling.

So, why does Chaz keep trying to get a rise out of me? I don’t know. Considering his “professed” wish to make the city better he should be in agreement with everything the OSOBs and I do.

His latest post about a rumor that I will run for mayor is ludicrous. Anyone who has ever talked to me or any of my friends knows very well that I have no intention of running for office. There is no such rumor. He must have had a slow day and an overactive imagination.

Unlike well educated people who value experience, he thinks “old” people should fade away as he constantly mocks anyone older than him. He also has a hang-up on physical appearance, he thinks no one who is overweight or less than magazine cover beautiful should exist. Check the mirror Chaz.

What crimes does he say have I committed? I thought it was a good idea to work toward resolving the differences among groups of residents. I was appointed to the Broward County Planning Commission by Ken Keechl who, knew I was a supporter of keeping open spaces such as golf courses free of development. I supported Amendment 4 which would have given residents a voice in what happens to land use in their cities. Oh, yes, I supported Ron Coddington for District 1 commissioner. Ron is a strong proponent of clean water, and sensible development.

What have I done for the city? I don’t shout from the housetops every time I take a drive. But some things I have done are: in addition to my OSOB commitment, I am a member of CERT, during Wilma I spent days at Westside Park helping the Salvation Army serve dinners, I work for the Relay for Life project, I am a member of the Broward County Sierra Club and a member of the Wildlife Foundation, and I am first vice president of the Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach whose list of charitable donations is pages long.

Recently I helped the OSOBs make sure that attendance at the CRA meetings, discussing what to do at the beach parking lot, were well attended. The city was not getting the word out about the plans, so we did.

If not for the Original Save Our Beach committee, the city of Deerfield Beach would have:

A seven story, city commission proposed, 240 room hotel-condominium complex on the main beach parking lot.

Or a mixed use commercial development project misnamed “Ocean Park” also planned for the main beach parking lot.

The giant restaurant complex planned by Pete Boinis for our city owned pier. Because we fought and won against this we now will have a beautiful city owned beach facility in scale with the pier.

Because of the OSOBs:

The entire 28 acre beach area was prevented from being rezoned as a RAC which would have allowed much higher density and commercial development on the entire beach.
     We lost this fight at the city commission level but when we took it to the Broward County Commission a study was undertaken and they agreed that this was a bad idea and because of our actions banned RACs on all barrier islands.

The Crystal Lake Golf Course will remain open space. Over and over we helped the residents fight against changing of land-use category from recreation to residential to allow a large housing project. The owners and the residents now have a great solution worked out by mutual agreement.

As a result of residents’ outrage about golf course conversions county wide, Ken Keechl sponsored a change to the BC Land Use Plan, for which, as a council member, I advocated. As a result, the Broward County Planning Council added a provision to its land use code which “strongly discourages” golf course conversions in the County.

Except for unashamedly greedy projects such as above, the Original Save Our Beach ( committee favors developments which meet code; we encourage business growth and redevelopment. We will fight against development which ignores the will of the residents and the building codes. Above all, to us, the quality of life of Deerfield Beach residents is paramount.

Our tactics are simple, find out what the residents want and work toward making that happen. We depend on volunteers to get the message out. We attend commission meetings and workshops to keep up with what is happening in the city.

We are the ones, representing a membership of over 300, and by extension the entire city, who show up at all commission meetings, budget workshops, CRA meetings and city events. We pay attention for you.

Unless it is simply his inflated ego and he is upset at being ignored, what Chaz’s beef with this is completely beyond me.

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