Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who's to Blame for Sylvia's Arrest?

When I heard about Commissioner Poitier’s arrest I thought that it was long past time for her to step down it is just a shame that it has to be this way.

District 2, deserves a representative who is actively involved in the entire city, someone who makes the residents proud of his/her behavior, someone who takes the time and effort to comprehend the agenda items and understand what is going on in the entire city, and who is a role model for residents. Sylvia, unfortunately, has not been that for quite a while. Sylvia has no one to blame but herself if her actions prove to be illegal.

True, until recently, elected officials could almost ignore the laws governing their actions. Capellini’s frequent trips to the boys’ room, when certain votes came up, is a prime example. Because of this lack of oversight, officials had almost no risk of being taken to task. This neglect led to a lot of abuse of power county wide and almost universal complacency among elected officials.

I think a couple of things combined recently to change this attitude of law enforcement neglect. Maybe it was the Feds taking jurisdiction and cracking down on bribery, (the Chait developers in Tamarac e.g.). That made the residents (voters) furious that it took the feds coming in to make arrests, so then County Attorney Satz, seeing the writing on the wall (elections coming up), nabbed some baddies, and started acting like someone who gives a damn.

Whatever it was, the time of winking at lobbyists giving bribes and ignoring commissioners voting for personal gain turned into a time of let’s nail the bastards. Finally residents’ complaints were taken seriously. Unlike a couple of years ago when I filed complaints, which went nowhere, recent filings have been investigated.

So, who’s to blame for Sylvia’s “troubles”? To be sure Chaz Stevens dug deep into transcripts and minutes to discover the most minute whiff of smoke, hoping to find a bonfire. But there should NOT have been anything to find. Not only does the state hand out its ethics code to every elected official, Deerfield Beach holds workshops which detail what may and may not be done. There is no excuse for anyone on our dais not knowing about conflict of interest, or sunshine laws or gifts and bribery laws. No excuse, none.

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