Monday, December 31, 2012

Special Commission Meeting "Public Safety" and Sudler

Below is an email, forwarded to me, with more information from the Cove Neighborhood Watch about special Deerfield Beach Commission Meetings being called about safety and Chief Sudler. 

The first meeting is January 2, 6:30 at City Hall.  I hope everyone goes to the meetings.  The second one, Jan. 15,  is for Public Input.  I have some questions I hope will be answered about the creation of an Emergency Management Department.  
 
  • As much as I like the Chief and want him back, should we be creating a department just so he can have a job, is this the reason, is this a knee-jerk reaction?
  • Is this department/job creation a reflection of the lack of confidence our commissioners have about the new Sheriff? 
  • If BSO liaison is part of the job, could he be effective considering the problems between him and Israel? 
  • Was this department in the planning before he was told he would be fired?
  • Is it in reaction to the Ohio/Connecticut School shootings or is this a rationalization? 
  • Wouldn't the Board of Ed be the one to pay to increase school safety; don't we already do part of their job by paying for a school safety officer?  
  • Exactly what is the thinking behind the creation of the department/job?
  • Shouldn't we have another tactical team (Sudler was asking for this) or another cop on the beat, if we have that kind of money?   
  • Will city residents be happy to hear this solution, or mad about the expense?  
 
I will attend to hear the details so I can make up my mind, just now all I have are questions and a suspicion that it doesn’t seem to pass the smell test.
 
 
From: DFB Cove Neighborhood Watch
Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2012 5:36 PM
Subject: DFB Cove Neighborhood Watch Update

Good afternoon-

Here is the latest update I have on Chief Sudler-

As some of you have read in this week's Observer, a Special Commission Meeting is scheduled for Jan 2nd at 6:30pm to discuss, in light of the recent shootings around the nation, a creation of a Public Safety Dept. to oversee the emergency management and infrastructure security. The removal of Chief Sudler will also be discussed. The Chief will be there, but they will not be allowing residents to speak. This would be a great chance to show Chief Sudler your support and appreciation of what he has done for our community.

There will also be a regular City Council Meeting on Jan 15th at 6:55pm in which Chief Sudler and his family will attend and he will be speaking. Sheriff Scott Israel will also be attendance and will be introduced to the city as the new Sheriff. Any person wanting to speak will be able to if you do a request to the city in advance. (Please do so as soon as possible). This will be the second meeting on the proposed Department of Public Safety.

Unfortunately, with the loss of Chief Sudler we have lost our updates and direct updates on what is happening in the Cove through BSO. If you know of a crime that has happened in the neighborhood, feel free to email me and I will pass it along to the other residents.

Thank you for all your support and if I hear of any other updates, I will pass it along.



 Best,  Michelle  (Head of the Cove Neighborhood Watch)

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sudler Gone, OMG!! Canned by the new Sheriff

Chief Pete Sudler was told, I hear, if he didn’t resign by January 8th, he would be fired.   My phone has been ringing all day; Deerfield Beach residents are looking for their figurative pitchforks with which to storm Scott Israel’s office.  Everyone asks, "What can we do to get him back?"

OK, the new broom sweeps clean, but there is such a thing as common sense management.  Even the President of the United States kept some Republicans on as he saw they were doing excellent work. 

Well, Pete Sudler is nothing short of excellent. 

One resident told me he posted this on Sheriff Israel’s Facebook page:
“Dear Sheriff elect Israel,
I have been a part-time resident of Deerfield Beach since 1979 – full-time and a Florida voter since 1985. In all that time, Deerfield Beach has never had a more effective chief of police. Not only do we know that we are safer, in just a little over two years he has he has made powerful strides toward unity in our city. He is a remarkably skillful communicator — social worker.
His summary dismissal through one of your campaign supporters is tearing our community apart. I have spoken with our city commissioners and with the mayor, none of whom were aware that you were going to take this action.
I am one of many many citizens who would like to know for what reasons you could take such action without consulting with the leaders of our city.
We await your reply. Thanks."
When I contacted Ron Gunzburger, (General Counsel-designate, on behalf of
Broward County Sheriff-elect Scott J. Israel)
 this is what he emailed me: 
“This was a decision made by the Sheriff-elect, upon consultation with community leaders, elected officials and his own incoming Command Staff leaders. We are appreciative of Chief Sudler's service to Broward County, but the new administration is simply moving in another direction. Be assured, nothing will ever be done to compromise the safety of the community. When the Sheriff-elect reveals the name of his choice for the new Chief, we believe the community will be very excited about and supportive of the person.”

As far as I can determine Israel only talked with Mayor Peggy Noland who tried to convince him not to fire Sudler.

I don’t see the community being excited about the new Chief, no matter who the “person” is, all we see is disappointment that the kids' programs, the outreach, and goodwill engendered by Chief Sudler is being flushed down the drain.
 
How many years will it take to get back to that level in the off chance that the new “person” is anywhere as good as Chief Sudler?  We shouldn’t have to wait years for what we have right now. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deerfield Beach Pier - Restaurant Redux – Ridiculous!

 AGAIN!  Some people just can’t take rejection; good sportsmanship says when you lose, bow out gracefully but when $$$$$ are in the mix that doesn’t happen. 

 First Eco-Eatery Inc. which couldn’t follow directions in the proposal took up city time and money by protesting their elimination. Now the BurgerFi people are doing the same thing because the commissioners dared to second guess a staff committee. Suck it up, guys and forget it!!

The staff ranked the candidates for the pier restaurant then the commission looked at the ranking but with the residents’ wishes in their minds they saw that the top staff-ranked candidate BurgerFi (really not a good name for a Deerfield Beach pier restaurant) didn’t live up to expectations.  

Our commissioners did the right thing.  They looked over the three finalists for the running of the pier restaurant.  Keep in mind that the residents of the area, in meetings and workshops made it abundantly clear that they wanted above all:

·         A small family and fisherman friendly place

·         a place where early beach goers and fishermen could get a traditional breakfast

·         a decor that would reflect the beach area, not ultra-modern

·         a menu priced for young families’ pocketbooks

The BurgerFi menu in their proposal was very light on breakfast items, (fishermen I know usually don’t want bananas and yogurt.)  Their current protest that they would be glad to offer regular breakfasts couldn’t fairly be considered as the choice must be made on the presentations given.  Hey, guys you didn’t do your homework, or read the fine print in the RFP.  Imagine if a vendor could tweak and add and alter and reword their RFP at will.  No choice could ever be made.

The pier redesign hit a home run, upper decks, sail like awnings, outdoor seating and, above all, a small footprint.  Of the 3 mediocre restaurant presentations, the commission picked the one closest to the wishes of the residents.  Isn’t that what being a commissioner is all about? 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Toys at the Salvation Army

Sorting Toys at the Salvation Army. 


If you have time this week and/or next give the Salvation Army a call, contact Alyse Gossman, Volunteer Coordinator, The Salvation Army, Fort Lauderdale, 954.712.2435   Alyse_Gossman@uss.salvationarmy.org, they need help sorting and bagging toys for the many needy children in Broward County.  They also have other volunteer opportunities.
 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Deerfield Beach's new Pier Restaurant hits a HOME RUN!

The pier renovation ribbon cutting was on Friday, it was jammed with people, mobs all the way out to A1A; it was super to see.  The Original Save Our Beach committee ( OSOB)  got a big thank-you from both Vice Mayor Bill Ganz and Mayor Peggy Noland at the dedication ceremony. Without us, they both said, this would not have been possible.

A big HOORAY to the city for carrying this out; a bigger HOORAY to the residents of the city for forcing the city to do what the people wanted. 

It was refreshing to see another city project carried out that had the commission considering the results of resident input; looks like we have a winning streak going with the Cove Shopping Center and now the pier. The OSOBs and people like us will keep an eye on this commission and future commissions to make sure they continue to do what is right.


The design of the new restaurant is perfect; the architect hit a home run.  It is a pleasing combination of upscale design and down home beachy atmosphere.  The upper deck is nothing short of breathtaking, I can’t wait to get my lunch and go up there; the view will make anything from a bagged lunch to a bought feast taste better.   They are catering to the wet bathing suit beach crowd so families on the beach will have a really superb new place to eat and picnic.

Because the OSOBs and Bill Ganz prevented the city from putting dune grass and high dunes along our main beach like in Del Ray and on our south beach which blocks the view, we have a great view of the ocean for a mile on our main beach and, thanks to the new restaurant and pier renovation we now can see the ocean from the street all down the length of the pier.
 
When Kelly's was there we saw less of the ocean than we can now. Then the pier was blocked, and we now have a great family restaurant on our beach that will make us proud.  Also, we have retained the parking for the fisherman which was a major consideration of the residents, and supported by Commissioner Ben Preston, an avid fisherman.
 
 I have heard grumbles from some that the new restaurant is more over-development, well, many things have been done that OSOB is not happy about, but this is not one of them.  The beach and CRA area would be a million times worse had it not been for us and those commissioners who cared about the wants and wishes of the people of Deerfield. Go to http://www.originalsaveourbeach.org/OSOBtimeline.htm to see a history of our beach.

Perhaps if those who are complaining now had been this concerned 10 years ago, some of the development they keep carping about might not have happened.  But their saying we had a better view before the pier restaurant renovation just doesn’t ring true.  It seems those people are living in a past of their own imagination.
 
A resident, who has lived here for almost 28 years, told me that there was never a view of the ocean from across the street. Before Oceans 234, there was the Ranch House and before J.B.'s, there was a gas station.  The pier structure, also, was there, at least from the '70's, if not before. He said Flanagan's was a ramshackle biker bar and the site where the office building is now was a dumpy row of fast-food joints.

Of course instead of Oceans 234 or JBs, a park-like area would have been better, that was once proposed, but it didn't come to pass. It's water under the bridge, irreversible. The pier is great. Let's move on. The commission did a good job with the new pier and the restaurant. Let's move on. Past commissions made some mistakes, no question. BUT, let's move on.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Deerfield Beach to Allow Clothing Bins, YAY!!

This editorial (see below) ran in Today’s Sun Sentinel.  Good timing!!

At last night’s Planning and Zoning meeting approval was given to allowing not for profit (legitimate charities) to have clothing donation bins in Deerfield Beach.

Jim Moyer, mentioned in the article below, was in attendance and spoke about the need the Salvation Army has for donated clothing as did other residents and I. 

As you know from reading this blog, I have been pushing the city to do this for over a year, ever since they told the Salvation Army that they COULDN’T place their bins, and I saw all the illegal for profit bins around the city. We need to give our city high marks for making this happen. 

South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
Help Salvation Army, Goodwill help us
December 7, 2012

The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries are good charities that do good work in our community, and they are in urgent need of political champions who will help them overcome the threats posed by for-profit companies whose copycat donation boxes are cutting into collections.
Turns out there's big money in donated clothes, with 70 percent of the world clothed by used garments from the West. So in the last couple of years, a slew of for-profit companies have begun placing drop-off boxes in parking lots across South Florida — at least 100 in Broward, as many as 300 in Palm Beach, the Sun Sentinel has reported.
In most cases, these boxes violate local ordinances against outside storage, a regulation reluctantly followed by Goodwill and Salvation Army, even as they seek changes to allow more drop-off bins.
The end result is that two important community treasures are losing significant business, and if the trend continues, the effects will be felt by local governments, neighborhoods and families.
For with your donations, these charities assist people with disabilities, help struggling families and put homeless people back on a path to society's mainstream.
And unless political leaders step in to help, we'll find a much bigger public problem on our doorsteps, one that calls for taxpayer help.
In Broward, donated clothes are the sole source of income for the Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center, which houses and treats 100 otherwise homeless men who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. The charity estimates it's now losing two 50-foot tractor-trailer loads of donated goods a month to for-profit drop-off boxes.
In Palm Beach, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries says its collections are off about 25 percent this year.
It shouldn't be so tough to solve this problem, which is two-fold.
First, the charities need help getting their drop-boxes in more places because convenience is key to donations.
But the Salvation Army only has five drop-off boxes in Broward because so many municipalities have ordinances prohibiting outside storage. Only Davie, North Lauderdale and Hollywood currently allow the boxes. And during the summer, Broward County Public Schools allows boxes in four parking lots.
Second, local governments need to enforce their laws. These for-profit companies are flourishing without consequence, often by paying businesses to place drop-off boxes in their parking lots. It's no coincidence that the boxes are painted the same red-and-white colors of the Salvation Army, or Goodwill's blue, misleading people into believing they are donating to a charity.
Jim Moyer, the Army's donor program manager, says that when he alerts local communities about illegal boxes, some take action, including Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Pompano Beach, Lauderhill, Oakland Park, Lauderdale Lakes and West Park. But Tamarac, not so much.
However, Moyer says it shouldn't take him making a complaint before government acts, and he's right. Because of lax enforcement, almost as soon as a drop-off box is removed, a new one pops up.
State legislation was proposed last year to significantly fine lawbreakers, and limit donation boxes to organizations that spend at least 50 percent of funds on a charitable cause. But it went nowhere. Meanwhile, local municipalities resist state legislation under the banner of local control.
But splintered local control has translated into no leadership.
We all have a stake in the success of the Salvation Army and Goodwill. If we allow them to wither and die, the social ills they help solve will fall into the public's lap.
These organizations need champions — from Broward and Palm Beach county governments, from the League of Cities and from South Florida's legislative delegation.
Model legislation is available that would require clothing recycling companies to register, provide daily pick-ups, regulate box sizes, ensure hurricane-strength tie-downs, impose fines for violators and require labeling to inform the public who's behind them.
The Salvation Army and Goodwill never ask for much. But they need our help now.
Will anyone step up?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Deerfield Beach Cafe - the OSOB Vision

It has been a long hard fight.  The former owner of Kelly's was approved for a place that would have been twice as large as what we have now, I am glad he never built it. Then we had a proposal by Pete Boinis for an over 18,000 sq. ft. monster banquet hall.  The OSOB committee and others in the city took to the streets, to defeat that proposal.  That would have been the kiss of death for the beach.

 The city then (with a giant push from the residents) undertook to renovate the pier and find someone to run it.  The pier restaurant will be “The Deerfield Beach Café”.  It is not the company the appointed search committee chose. 

Looking over the choices some of our Commissioners were not happy with the committee’s top choice, they wanted to make sure the pier restaurant was reflective of what the people who  live here want, a family friendly, "beachy" restaurant. They were not certain that the “BurgerFi” was the one that would reflect that aim.  (What kind of name is BurgerFi for our pier restaurant; just for the name alone I would have axed them.) 

So, the Commissioners decided to look over the 3 proposals themselves and rank them with the people of the city and the results of the public workshops in mind.

Remember those workshop meetings and what we said, NO upscale pricy restaurant, but a place to go with the kids in a wet bathing suit and flip-flops.

 I didn't get a chance to look over the proposals but I heard that the BurgerFi was slim on breakfast offerings. All three proposals were OK, but the decision to go with the Cafe was unanimous, and, that is a good thing. 

We now will have a small Deerfield Beach owned restaurant which will bring in revenue.  I am all for this and think it is a great deal for the city and the taxpayer.

The money spent was CRA money, earmarked for capital improvements in the CRA area and couldn't be spent anywhere else, what better use of the money than this cozy beach restaurant that will serve the families on the beach with not only a place to buy food, but a really nice deck to bring their picnic lunches to eat if they like, or just a place to sit and look at the ocean.

To see how closely the OSOB vision for a pier restaurant   is to the new project go to:  http://www.originalsaveourbeach.org/OSOBPier.htm 

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Letter to the Editor from Pam Militello

The new, beautiful, family friendly Deerfield Beach pier facility will soon have its grand opening.
 
Let’s not forget that back in 2004, we nearly lost this public treasure to an individual who almost got a 54 year lease on the pier property and was going to build an 18,000 square foot massive restaurant and banquet facility right at the pier entrance.
 
The members of the Deerfield Beach Original Save Our Beach committee (“OSOB”) found out about this and sprang into action to protect the pier. We fought a long hard battle to prevent this “taking” of our public property.
 
We had the full support of the people of Deerfield Beach, who were adamantly against the idea of giving away our pier area.
 
Due to our love of the beach and pier area and our firm belief it needed to be preserved for future generations, we fought the battle and the residents won.

So, as the city and its residents celebrate the opening of the new pier facility, remember that if it had not been for the “OSOB” committee and our supporters, this beautiful, family friendly pier facility would only be a dream. www.originalsaveourbeach.org.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Flori-duh elections again!

  Why all the trouble.  Who’s to blame?    Were the elections supervisors ready for an onslaught of 60% of registered voters coming out to vote?  Isn’t it sad that 60% is considered a large number of voters?

 What happened?  Don’t blame the election supervisors; it was Gov. Scott and the legislators who messed it up; here’s how:

·         Putting 11 (almost 12) Looooooong amendments on the ballot.  NONE of the proposals should be in the constitution; the three that passed were feel good proposals that would have done perfectly well as laws, not constitutional amendments.  Long ballots are time consuming both by the voter reading it over (some for the first time if you can believe that!) and time consuming by the time it takes to scan the pages, often causing the machine to jam.

·         Changes from the legislature that caused more provisional and absentee ballots for example, people who had changed their home address couldn’t cast a regular vote. Both kinds of ballots take much more time to scrutinize.

·         Governor Scott (we need to vote him out) cutting early voting days (14 to 8) and refusing to extend them when the numbers zoomed.  Supervisors, to their credit, tried to alleviate that by allowing walk-in voters to submit absentee ballots, again a time consuming solution.

·         Tons more absentee ballots to count because of the short early voting days. The Sun Sentinel reported that in Broward, 761,072 people voted this year compared with 739,861 in the last presidential election in 2008. But the county had to count 168,170 absentee ballots — 30,000 more than four years ago.

Incoming Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford told a Tallahassee radio host Friday that he and his fellow lawmakers might be responsible.

ROTFLMAO…MIGHT be, no maybe about it, they were the culprits, read over the text of the amendments and see their agenda.   Good bye environment, good bye women’s privacy, sayonara health care, toodles to fixing our infrastructure, hello to zooming property taxes, ta-ta impartial judges, ciao quality schools.

So, our legislature was salivating over the prospect of all those stick-it-in-the-eye of everyone who isn’t big business proposals passing and didn’t give a thought to how voting on a ballot that long and confusing would be implemented.  They did make a good run at disenfranchising a large segment of the voters. 

Our elected officials go so fast from election promises to SERVE the residents to sticking it to them.  But this time the voters got the last laugh, and saw through most of the amendments for what they were.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What is the Price of Sprawl?


The website “Price of Sprawl” http://www.priceofsprawl.com/  has been expanded and has many more cities.  Visit the site to see how much the population would increase if build-out occurred, (read the difference between built out and build out) how much land is vacant, how much water is available, property value increase or decrease, spending on education, and road costs.    Go to the Price of Sprawl website, point your curser to one of the buttons on the map of Florida to get the data for a particular city.   For the information in an easy to read table: http://www.priceofsprawl.com/data-table.html

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

About the Bid Protest by Boinis trying to get his proposal put back into the mix for the running of the new Deerfield Beach Pier Restaurant.

  At Monday’s special Deerfield Beach Commission meeting Pete Boinis’ lawyer tried to convince the commissioners that it didn’t make any difference that there was no letter from a bank in his proposal stating that the bank would issue a letter of credit.  He tried to make the request for that letter seem irrelevant, and he did it with a PowerPoint presentation and hammering away at all the “stuff” he did have in the RFP and how, even though the RFP clearly called for a letter, it really didn’t matter that his client hadn’t included one. 
 
David Santucci, Purchasing Manager for Deerfield Beach was masterful in his rebuttal, he left no room for argument that Boinis’s proposal was in error and incomplete, and therefore had to be thrown out.  The rules gave the city no choice. 

He not only explained the process the staff went through vetting the proposals, but read portions of the minutes of the pre-proposal meeting.  He read over and over how the restaurant representatives were told what must be in the RFP.  The letter was mentioned many times, and as a wrap up he read the warnings from Andy Maurodis, city attorney, to all present that each item called for must be included, that it is up to the respondent to look through the proposal for the items and include them even if they were not touched on in the meeting. 

During Santucci’s presentation, both Boinis and his lawyer looked dismayed as well they might.  However, there was a court reporter there typing away to have a record of the hearing which is needed if there is going to be a suit against the city.  So, this may not be over. I hope he decides that he has no chance and won’t sue, as he has cost the city enough money.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deerfield Beach Beware! You will not believe this!

OK everyone; get your symbolic pitchforks in tune for the special commission meeting at 6:30 Monday, October 29.  Chucky Boinis is back and stirring the pot again.  Deerfield Beach, in no uncertain terms, told him no, about his idea for a monster pier restaurant and then the city spent over $500,000 buying his little spit of land on the beach to get rid of him completely, or so we thought.

We now have an brand new, “Old Florida" style, restaurant that will be for beach goers - hot  dogs and burgers, wet bathing suits and sandy flip flops as a dress code; cute as the dickens, but not a pricy upscale eatery.  We have enough of them on the beach already.

Who’s going to run this little operation is now the decision being made. 

Requests for Proposals went out and there were a handful of returns.  Following city guidelines, the RFPs were opened and checked.  Those with missing or incorrect data were tossed, and the others were ranked as to suitability.  The top 3 will get to do an in person presentation then a final decision will be made.

So, what’s the problem?  Well, some people think the rules don’t apply to them, or they just like to spend city money and time whining about how they are being picked on because they don’t know how to read directions.  Who knows? 

Two of the companies which were “unresponsive”, meaning not fulfilling the requirements of the RFP have filed a protest against the city, and Pete Boinis’ outfit is one of them.
 
What a jerk.  Hasn’t he caused enough trouble on the beach with his stupid no trespassing signs and his demands for an outrageous amount for his strip of sand?  I wouldn’t hire him to run a concession stand let alone a restaurant.  Remember this new restaurant is a LEEDS restaurant with a “green” focus, what is Pete’s record on the environment? 

Hmmmm.  He:

·         Proposed a monstrosity on our beach with no regard for what it would do to the surroundings or the quality of life of the residents.

·         He said he was considering donating the strip of beach he owned to the city.  But after he was turned down for his massive project he stonewalled.  Then he put a ring of no trespassing signs around it totally unconcerned about the harm he was doing to the city, until he convinced enough wishy washy commissioners to give him his price.  

(If it had been me in charge he would have had to keep paying taxes on it until he came to his senses and gave it to the city.  There was nothing anyone could do with the land anyway; in effect it was worth $0.  Yes we would have had to wait a little while to redo the pier, but it would have been worth it.)

Now he has the nerve to apply to run the restaurant.

 He didn’t respond fully to the RFP.  End of discussion, he’s out, reading directions may not be his strong point, but should be something someone who wants to run a business is good at.  Bye-bye Pete. 

Oops a bid protest from him.  Huh?  What good does he think that will do? Ah, well at least his lawyer will be benefitting from this, certainly neither he nor the city will.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scam ignored, BSO not interested.

We got a phone call from a Dr. Benjamin 231-709-9420 who told us that we had won $3,500,000 and a Mercedes, after he tried to get $10,000 front money and having us talk to an “IRS agent” he settled on having us go to Wal-Mart and buy four $500 gift cards which we would give them when they showed up with the check and the car.  The contact person was Daniel Walters, 218 E. 217th St., in the Bronx.  Of course we knew it was a scam and wrote all the particulars down so we could report it to the police. They made it seem so real that some people might be taken in.

We called BSO, and they were NOT interested, they just said don’t talk to them.  They didn’t want the information.  I am confused about this.  Why wouldn’t they want to arrest the scammers. When we showed up to collect our phony check and stolen Mercedes wouldn’t that be a perfect opportunity to lock the Florida based group up?  Are the ranks of BSO so thin that they have to pick and choose what crime to investigate? 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shame on Mayor John Rodstrom

Broward County Mayor John Rodstrom has proposed that the code of ethics be changed. This is the agenda item he is proposing.
 
MOTION TO DIRECT Office of the County Attorney to draft an Ordinance amending Section 1-19 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances (the Broward County Elected Official Code of Ethics) to delete Section 1-19(c)(6), which, with limited exceptions applicable to municipal elected officials, prohibits elected officials from serving as or appointing the members of any Selection/Evaluation Committee in connection with any prospective procurement by the elected official’s governmental entity. (Mayor Rodstrom)
 
This is the email I sent him:
 
Shame on you for even considering rescinding any of the ethics code. This type of thinking is exactly why a code is needed. Did the mandated ethics classes not sink in. Do you not know what a commissioner is supposed to do - REPRESENT THE RESIDENTS, not the lobbyists, not the interests of the commissioner him/herself, this cannot be news to you. So I am left with the only reason that any commissioner would want to be on a selection committee, why he or she would want to override staff recommendations, it must be personal benefit, perhaps a job opportunity after the next election, perhaps donations for some future office, but there is some personal reason. Sad that an elected official, term limited or not, puts personal interest ahead of ethics and doing the right thing. REMOVE THIS FROM THE AGENDA NOW!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

All Deerfield Beach Elected Officials Should Read This

While browsing the  www.cityethics.org  site I found their "Quote of the Day"

"[With respect to ethics,] I always say the law is the floor, not the ceiling.”
—Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, and author of the Her Honor blog, quoted in a Friday New York Times article. This is a good way to put this essential difference between law and ethics, a concept that is far too little recognized or understood."

by Judy Nadler, in describing her the City Ethics site linked to an article in the New York Times titled "Doing the Right Thing, Whatever That Is"  I loved the title, and also loved the article, please click on the link and spend 5 minutes or so learning what Ethics is NOT as well as how to be as ethical as possible.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What are they thinking?

Looking at the overgrown weeds and vines on the formerly pretty landscaping on the sides of the Deerfield Beach Hillsboro Boulevard Intracoastal bridge I wondered how they were allowed to get to such a state.  Who made the call to let them get all overgrown rather than keep up with the trimming?

 How much was spent on the Hillsboro Boulevard streetscape?  Why? To make it look nice, to give a nice appearance to the entryway of our beach.

 So here is our DUH???? Moment.  Shouldn’t the landscaping stay looking nice, shouldn’t the landscaping be kept trimmed, shouldn’t the trees and bushes we paid for be allowed room to live?

Now that they are in such a state it is going to take a massive, costly effort to trim them and get them back into shape.  Then what, let them go again?  I was told a couple of weeks back that the trimmers are working from west to east killing the vines and weeds, it's a pretty slow trip, the weeds are growing faster than the grounds crews are moving.

I’m guessing this is going to turn into a job like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, by the time it is finished it has to be started all over again.

This mess brings to mind some time worn but still valid sayings:

·         A stitch in time saves nine.

·         An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

·         There’s no time like the present.

·         Penny wise, pound (dollar) foolish.

 Budget concerns are one thing, but I have trouble believing that this is cost efficient.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is Character


Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking.  There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.  ~J.C. Watts

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Help for Voters

Need help wading through the glut of voter information, and some pros and cons on the Amendments for the upcoming election.  This may help. 


It's a link to the League of Women Voters’ Voter Guide, they say:

This Voter Guide will give you nonpartisan information on the statewide candidates and the 11 constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot.

 Do the research you have time for and simply make the best choice you can. Otherwise, you will allow others to make the decision for you. And it is a decision that affects the future of Florida’s economy, jobs, housing, health care, education, natural resources and families. America is the land of opportunity and relies on you, as a citizen, to help pick our leaders.”

 In this Voter Guide, you will find information on all three branches of government: executive (U.S. President), legislative (U.S. Senate) and judicial (Florida Supreme Court).

Candidates were asked to submit either a vision statement (U.S. President) or responses to the League’s questionnaire (U.S. Senate). Questions for the candidates were developed by League members using knowledge of recent events and issues that are important to Florida voters.

Candidate’s submissions were published without substantive changes.

Closer to home here is a link to the Broward County Supervisor of Election’s look up page where you can determine your voter status, or using the links on the left, find out all about voting in Broward cities.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cove Shopping Center stores getting a facelift.

The dream of Cove area residents and former Commissioner Militello is coming true.  Their idea was to retain the small village feel of the Cove Shopping Center; to make it a unique area retaining the mix of small businesses. 

The theory, which is coming true, was that after the city landscaped the parking lot and made the area attractive, businesses would take advantage of the CRA funded matching façade funds and update their properties and make the center into a gem of a Key West Style attraction.  A fresh, attractive gateway to the beach, accomplished with joint city/property owner creativity.

The Station House Restaurant was a nice addition as is the fresh paint and awnings on other stores.  Now the owners of Sondros (2stores), Paul’s Barber Shop, The Place Hair Salon, and Val de Loire restaurant are going to make significant upgrades to their stores.  The owners propose to paint the buildings, install new awnings and building signage, make structural repairs to roof overhangs and upgrade to impact glass on the storefronts.
 
Way to go!!  (Yup, I’m saying I told you so, again.)

We have heard nothing about whether the Green Market will be run in the Cove again this season; it is really way late to round up participants so it may not happen.   If it doesn’t perhaps some other events, music, dancing, chowder cook off, or something, can be done to attract attention to the center.

The sign at the front of the Cove is a lovely yellow tower, but it really isn’t a sign, just a cute gazebo, it doesn’t help inform anyone that there are stores and restaurants.  Shouldn’t there be something on it to tell visitors what’s what? 

We hope that this is not a harbinger of loss of interest in the Cove by the city.  Some of the landscaping is already looking unkempt, what’s up with that.   At least the pavers are scheduled to be power washed and sealed in September. It is nice to know the city is taking responsibility for that.  All the businesses have to do is hose the sidewalks clean in between washings.  

 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Heeeeeee’s baaaack. Boinis that is, not Chucky.

What’s Pete Boinis up to now?

City hall better get ready for an angry pitchfork toting crowd picketing if Boinis is awarded the contract for the Pier restaurant. 

Hard to believe, but his is one of the outfits who submitted a proposal. 

Remember Pete Boinis, he paid $200,000 for the spit of sand under the beach toilets by the pier. He supposedly said he would donate the property to the city. He wanted to turn our pier into a giant banquet hall restaurant, building it high and wide and covering the whole fishing parking lot.

BUT, after his monster restaurant idea was shot down he was stuck with the little property. There was nothing he could do with it, it couldn’t be built on or used for anything, so he wanted the city to buy it from him. 

The commission balked at his price (He refused to take the $310,000 grant amount.  He wouldn’t sell for less than $510,000.)  So, he put no trespassing signs up around his property in a stupid ploy to force the city into buying it from him. 

The commission caved in.  Residents were furious, and Boinis laughed all the way to the bank.  He had no problem squeezing the city for the extra money.  The pier renovations couldn’t start without that property and I am sure he knew it. 

He should have donated the land, at worst, he should have taken the two hundred grand it cost him.  But no, I guess he was mad and wanted revenge.

Now he wants the city to award him a contract.  Get real!!!

Proposals from:

1) Class Act LLC

(2) Red Barron Entertainment

(3) DH2 Incorporated

(4) Give me a Burger Incorporated

(5) Eco-Eatery Inc. – Pete Boinis

(6) Brewzzi Incorporated.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

DONATIONS NEEDED!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!

The Salvation Army needs help.

We are waiting for the Deerfield Beach Commission to set a policy on clothing donation bins so donations can be made in our city.  But right now the Salvation Army is in trouble, and they can’t wait.

I received a note from Jim Moyer the donations director and he said,

“…clothing donations at this point in the summer are virtually nonexistent.  We (the Salvation Army) will probably have to send people in our clothes sorting department home early for the first time ever…”

The closest donation center to Deerfield Beach is the Salvation Army store on Copans Road in Pompano.  It is just east of Dixie Highway.  There is a white trailer in the parking lot; donations are accepted at the rear of the trailer. 

Take them all those clothes you haven’t worn in 3 years, by the time you fit into them again they will be out of style.  Clean out your storage area, if you haven’t used it in a year, you don’t need it, mostly you don’t even remember you have some of those things, let's recycle. 

PLEASE, they will take anything, clothing, household goods, books etc. etc.  If you had a garage sale, don’t throw away the left-overs, pile them in the minivan and haul them over to Copans Road. 

You all know I am a fan of the good work the Salvation Army does, and how penuriously they use their money.  They do lots of good for lots of people, so now let’s us do some good for them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This stinks! A commission spits in the faces of residents.

Our Friend, Lynn Anderson, in Lake Worth spent weeks in the hot summer gathering petitions for the referendum, and now has to put up with being insulted by the developer friendly commissioners. 

This is a nasty example of commissioners representing their own interests, not the residents. 

Hmmm, let’s think, why would the commissioners want this to fail? What do you think is in it for them? $$$$$$$$  

Write to the paper and the Lake Worth commissioners and let them know this stinks. (Also, leave a comment after this article at the Palm Beach Post)

Editorial: Lake Worth goes low in delaying height-limit vote

It’s not easy to rationalize postponing a vote that residents demanded, but some Lake Worth city commissioners seem to have found a way: condescension.

This summer, more than 1,700 of Lake Worth’s 35,000 residents signed a petition calling for a citywide vote on whether to impose new height limits on buildings. That’s enough signatures to require a referendum, but city commissioners get to decide when in the next several months the vote takes place.

The most logical and obvious choice is the Nov. 6 general election, when city elections are planned and the presidential election will ensure high turnout. But commissioners passed on that, deciding Saturday in a contentious 3-2 vote to hold the referendum in March.

Not only does this guarantee less participation, it will require a special election, which will cost the financially ailing city $30,000. The only reason commissioners gave: a November referendum would not have given voters enough time to educate themselves on the issue, which Commissioner Scott Maxwell claimed would be overshadowed by the presidential and congressional elections.

The suggestion that voters will be too overwhelmed to vote intelligently on a height-limit referendum is not only condescending; it’s disingenuous. Height limits are not health care reform. They are relatively simple propositions with fairly predictable outcomes. Three months is more than enough time for residents to figure out where they stand.

The referendum would ask voters whether to impose a 45-foot limit east of F Street and a 35-foot-limit to the west. City rules already limit heights on new buildings to 45 feet in the downtown entertainment district, but commissioners recently voted to allow buildings up to 65 feet east of Federal Highway along Lake and Lucerne avenues.

We see no need for voters to alter these height limits. A 65-foot building (about five or six stories) east of Federal Highway would not be out of character with the Gulf Stream Hotel and the condominiums around it, and limiting heights to 45 feet could needlessly discourage redevelopment. But residents are entitled to vote on the issue as promptly as possible.

The obvious reason for pushing the referendum down the road is that the commission majority — Mr. Maxwell, Mayor Pam Triolo and Commissioner Andy Amoroso — believes that it might pass in November but might not in March. Their delay shows cynical disregard for the public.
Andrew Marra
for The Post Editorial Board

Friday, July 20, 2012

My, my, what is this world coming to? Imagine, crooked politicians.

A comment on the Trenton NJ raid from City Ethics .org
”The timeline is like a mural of a poor local government ethics environment. It shows that various kinds of ethics violations are not isolated acts or matters, but rather parts of a whole. It also shows how many people are willing to go along with or contribute to a poor ethics environment, when it is to their personal advantage.

This is why an ethics commission should not be limited to dealing with one violation at a time. When there are reports of multiple acts of misconduct, an ethics commission should deal with the environment itself, calling the government's leaders before it, getting all the facts on the table, using the situations as teaching opportunities, and making it clear to them, their appointees, and the public that the next time the mayor or his appointees or supporters appear before the ethics commission without having sought (and followed) advice from the ethics officer, the penalties will be severe.”

FBI raids embattled mayor's home in NJ's capital

July 18, 2012, 4:11 p.m. EDT AP
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — FBI agents staged a middle-of-the-night raid Wednesday at the home of Trenton's mayor, whose administration of the state's impoverished capital city has been marked by accusations of cronyism and reckless spending. They also searched the home of his brother and a convicted sex offender who was one of his biggest early campaign donors.

Mayor Tony Mack, emerging later in the morning from his home, denied having corrupted his office.
"We have not violated the public trust nor have I violated any of my public duties, and that's all I have to say on the matter," he said.

The FBI declined to provide any details on its investigation.

Mack's administration has been in turmoil from Day 1, staggering from one crisis to another. A housecleaning of staff at City Hall opened the door for Mack's own appointees, who quickly turned it into a revolving door. Some left over questions about their credentials, others to face criminal charges.
Under an agreement reached last year, the Democrat can hire department heads only from a pool of applicants the state offers or he risks losing $6 million in state aid.

Two years after winning office, questions have also lingered about how Mack financed his campaign at a time of personal financial problems. His home and other properties have faced foreclosure.
One of his early backers was businessman Joseph Giorgianni, who went to prison in the 1980s on charges of carnally abusing and debauching the morals of a 14-year-old girl in the back of his sandwich shop. The case gained notoriety because of weight-related health problems that got Giorgianni, a steakhouse owner who once claimed to tip the scale at over 500 pounds, released and led a prosecutor to charge he "ate his way out of jail."

Tax records showed Giorgianni's home was one of the other addresses searched by the FBI, along with the home of the mayor's brother, Ralphiel Mack, a high school football coach.

Phone messages left for both on Wednesday were not returned.

Giorgianni donated thousands of dollars to Tony Mack's campaign and was on hand in March for his annual State of the City address. The mayor, criticized for his association with Giorgianni, told The Times newspaper in 2010 that Giorgianni was "a decent person that made a mistake."

Mack lent $20,000 to his campaign when his home was in foreclosure. In an interview with The Times, he denied any of the money came from Giorgianni, which would have violated campaign finance law.
In June, the mayor, his brother and Giorgianni were listed by the city as being late in paying property taxes.

In just Mack's first year in office in Trenton, a city of 85,000 residents, he ran through a string of business administrators. The first resigned after a month, saying the mayor didn't believe in "good government." Another resigned just ahead of pleading guilty to embezzlement on another job.
Mack's housing director quit after it was learned he had a theft conviction. His chief of staff was arrested trying to buy heroin. His half-brother, Stanley "Muscles" David, pleaded guilty earlier this year to official misconduct for directing Trenton Water Works crews to perform private side jobs using city equipment and billing the city.

Late last year, a parks department employee sued the mayor, claiming she was let go after refusing to dole out jobs for the mayor's friends, refusing to give federal grant money to people who didn't apply and inquiring about city funds she said were missing.

Attorney George Dougherty, who represents that employee and two others in wrongful termination lawsuits, expressed relief that authorities had taken action against Mack.

"My reaction today was finally we can all stop saying when will government react to what's been very obvious to us," Dougherty said.

Dougherty, who worked as a city attorney from 1971 to 1990, said Mack has left the city government in disarray.

"Maybe what happened this morning will bring an end to that," he said. "Let's hope."

Councilman George Muschal, a retired police officer who had initially supported Mack but then became a harsh critic, said he didn't know the focus of the investigation but said "when the feds come after you, they come after you for a good reason."

A year ago, Muschal told The Associated Press that City Hall had become corrupted by the Mack administration.

"It won't stop until someone takes him out in handcuffs or he's removed by recall," Muschal said at the time.

Trenton ranks as one of the nation's poorest state capitals, with about 20 percent of the population living below the poverty line.

Mack, who has a master's degree in public policy from Fairleigh Dickinson University, has spent most of his adult life working for municipal government and as an elected county official.

The mayor of neighboring Hamilton Township, New Jersey's largest suburb, also is the target of federal investigators. Mayor John Bencivengo, a Republican, pleaded not guilty in federal court last week to charges of extortion and money laundering.