Mayor Robb, when phoned by Channel 10’s investigative reporter Bob Norman, and told that workers had to carry water jugs while working, said, “I don’t think people should be treated like they are back on the plantation and I think a few heads should roll in terms of people in charge.”
This was a bizarre thing for the mayor of a city to say. This was a very provocative statement. She didn’t say she would look into the allegations, she didn’t say our city provides a water truck for our outdoor workers - this must be wrong, she didn’t say I will check with the city manager to get to the bottom of this, she didn’t even say no comment until I know the facts.
She snapped that the city was at fault and she jumped to firing “people in charge”. What mayor would do that, and why? It smacks of prior knowledge and that she knew the workers were black. The mayor played the “race card”.
Again, why? The workers were black, however, so are their supervisors. Was her comment a ploy to try to make Chaz Steven’s 1958 history lesson irrelevant, and take the heat off? Many think so. However, putting such a personal agenda ahead of facts and the good of the city shows Robb’s priorities. Suspicions that she was involved with Sandra Jackson to produce a scandal are a bit farfetched.
Perhaps Jackson wanted to show that Jean Robb was not racist and took it upon herself to point out that black workers were being oppressed hoping that Jean would get the credit for helping them. This event needs a thorough investigation.
Some are saying that the other four commissioners are wrong in pointing the finger at Jean all the time and bringing up her faults. They should concentrate on running the city. Lofty goal, but sadly Jean cannot bring up an issue without causing dissention. As much as some of the commissioners tried to facilitate a compromise and/or point out the reasons her issue was not a good idea, nothing worked and a divide has been created. No meeting goes by without a Jean Robb caused disturbance. Jean has published her desire to replace Miller, Preston and Ganz. That unquestionably leads to a divisive commission. This atmosphere causes everyone to look for gotcha opportunities.
Don’t blame the commissioners for standing up for themselves, and taking commission meeting time to do it, due to open government laws they have no other venue.
Commissioner Miller objected to being yelled at by Jean, on the phone, Commissioner Rosenzweig is still waiting for an apology from Jean for accosting his wife, Commissioner Preston was accused by Jean of making remarks that Dr. Robb, Mayor Robb’s late husband, was racist. Ben never ever said such a thing; in fact, no one has done that except Chaz Stevens who published on his website old newspaper stories.
Jean has created the impression that Bill Ganz is out to get her because he doesn’t personally like her. That is nonsense. His great sin is caring about the finances and the running of the city, and having a bit of a temper. At first he carefully explained why the ideas the mayor had were not feasible, why certain items had been fully discussed at a prior time and were now being carried out and should not be changed. His logic was correct. All Jean heard was NO. And after stubborn refusal after stubborn refusal by Jean to listen to reason, he started pointing out her inconsistencies.
What happened after that has led to where we are now. The residents who supported and still support Jean Robb have personified their anger and are focusing on Bill Ganz as the bad guy. Hey, folks, you are living in a big glass house, quit throwing stones.
What Bill has done is he has pointed out that Jean’s bypassing bidding procedure is not a good idea, that the fire station should not be sold without a serious study of the finances, that it is not fiscally responsible to bring the fire department back to our city, that eliminating the CRA would lose 15 million dollars for the city, that the CRA could still buy the A1A hotels if they were within the city’s price range and also complete the Sullivan Park improvements, one is not exclusive of the other, that eliminating the beach building codes placed in the charter by the OSOB referenda would be harmful to the city, and, well, I don’t have to go on, you get the idea.
Jean seems to believe that the provisions of the Deerfield Beach Charter don’t apply to her, recently I heard her say that she sent a check to two charities from a donation, if the donation was to the city, she alone is not allowed to decide where money goes, that is a decision that must be made by the whole commission. She has admitted in public that she has ordered city staff to do her bidding, again illegal, and another violation of the charter.
Someone who has not seen the evolution of the current atmosphere of the commission may well blame everyone on the dais, to them I say, go back a year, before Jean’s election and watch a few videos of those meetings and then say it isn’t Jean’s fault.