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 CafĂ©”.  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