Seeing Joe Miller forcefully stand up for his position was almost worth the agony of the long drawn out session Tuesday evening. It gave me a glimmer of the person he could be if he continues to think for himself with his constituents in mind, and stops trying so hard to make the commission into one happy family.
Marty Popelsky won the evening with his clear thinking about the BSO proposal. He was absolutely right to question the amount of savings the merger would bring, and to want to move forward with the proposal to see the hard numbers. His reasoning was spot on. We need to see the numbers and get a complete understanding of what a merger would entail. We should know all the pros and cons. No one, neither the commission nor the public, in the event of a vote, can make a decision without seeing the proposal.
I agree with Bill Ganz that voting on the property use (which would be, in effect, a vote yes or no to merge with BSO) is a good idea, but I was persuaded by the argument by the city manager and the city attorney that the intent of the original referendum was not to prevent the city from allowing governmental use of the buildings. The intent was to prevent city owned property from being leased or sold to developers without the approval of the voters.
I know the budget crisis calls for innovative fund raising ideas. But, I still think giving the sheriff long term control over 52% of our budget is a mistake. Marty said he is a fan of home rule, again I agree with him.
(To watch the video of the discussion go to: http://deerfieldbeach.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2
click on June 7, video and scroll down on the agenda items to agenda item #26)