Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Right Thing

Friday, December 19, 2014

Moment of Silence or Moment of Ridicule for Deerfield Beach

Some years ago the Deerfield Beach commission heard from some residents that they would like a moment of silence instead of a prayer in the beginning of commission meetings.  This caused many religious residents to attend the next commission meeting and demand that the prayers continue, which as a result of the uproar, they did.

Now, in reaction to court decisions, there is a movement to have the invocation delivered by those of non-traditional beliefs, all legal according to the courts.  The people who are making these unusual requests are hoping to stage a publicity stunt trying to make the point that government should not be in the business of religion, and that many attendees of commission meetings feel ostracized by the current type of invocations.

Not wanting their invocations turned into a media circus many cities have done away with invocations entirely; other cities, have decided to have a moment of silence during which people can pray silently or not as they wish. 

I don’t think Deerfield Beach is ready to do away with a spiritual moment before our meetings, but a moment of silence will eliminate the possibility of the invocation time being turned into a moment of ridicule, and go a long way toward eliminating the feeling by many residents that the city is not one of inclusion. 
COMMENT BY DAVID COHEN (This was sent to the city commission):
The Five Electees Serving on the Deerfield Beach City Commission were elected To Represent All Constituents, Not Just Christians
The diversity in our town underscores the need to replace the divisive sectarian invocations at civic gatherings with unifying Moments of Silence. 

Scriptures of major creeds support this practice.   Quotations provided upon request.   
Consider also, in sharing that moment of silence for prayer and/or contemplation, non-believers can, at last, attain their due civil rights — HUMAN RIGHTS — to be treated as the equal citizens that they are. 
This is yet one more time for me to invoke the spirit of Rosa Parks.   I insist that you will no longer shove me to the back of the bus.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Letter to Blog-by-Bett from David Cohen:

December 5, 2014 in a commentary  along with his typically brilliant abilities to analyze facts and conditions and to eloquently express well-founded opinions; the author, Jeff Sayles, is a gentleman.  In this case I feel that he’s been overly kind.  

I too, once had a telephone and Email acquaintance with Jean Robb — it doesn't seem to have been anywhere nearly as close or enduring a relationship as Jeff describes his.  That is at least partly due to my feeling of repugnance engendered by her contentious and abrasive manner and her regressive (way out of date) attitudes toward social issues.

Like some who supported Jean when she ran for office, in this century and in the last, Jeff can still bring forward such kind and sweet words for the motives and conduct of a person whose performance is clearly marked by a belief — a belief that being nasty and dirty, and everything that that implies such as lack of integrity and fairness, ruthlessness, dishonesty, deceit, vindictiveness, and meanness as well as a Machiavellian approach to governing — all attributes shared by a true misanthropist — justifies the trust of the people enough to get her elected. 

So it has been.  Rather than proceeding as one elected to serve as a commission member with a ceremonial role in accordance with the city charter, she has behaved like an anointed despot with all of those characteristics that we’ve listed.  Fortunately her conduct was moderated by a diligent city manager, by the Broward County Inspector General and by city commissioners.  CHAOS checked.

Robb has supporters/fellow travelers.   Each time that some of them speak or write, we are struck by the fact that they seem to see life through a straw — far narrower than tunnel vision with eyes that see but do not observe, ears that hear but do not listen.

 Add to this, tongues that express respect for the words of naive and credulous sheep who venerate a shepherd — skilled but flawed but fail to speak to an issue at hand.

I have much respect for Jeff, but I cannot condone giving that woman a "Queen's pass' any more than I would give a pass to the conniving of any such person.  There is no end to the chicanery to which we've been and are exposed in our town.

 Vermin cannot be controlled with sweet words.  They respond to kindness as a weakness.  Vermin must be — nullified — defanged, quarantined where they cannot pollute with their poison. Then, we can be merciful FROM A DISTANCE.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Deerfield Beach Mayor Censured

At last night’s (Tuesday, December 2) commission meeting, in reaction to the OIG report, the commissioners voted to send a message to Mayor Jean Robb that her unethical behavior was not going to be tolerated by passing a motion to go on record that Robb’s conduct is unacceptable and is an abuse of power and should cease immediately. 

Her answer was to make snide joking remarks about the $500 checks and the Little League bus.  The one commissioner who voted no on the resolution did so because he thought it was too weak.  He was in favor of a vote to suspend her.  Given her reaction, which was to speak up and deny that she violated the charter in spite of being advised by her VERY high priced attorney not to say anything, perhaps a suspension should have been the motion.

Strangely there were people in the audience who were urged to come and speak because they thought that Fr. Dalton of St. Ambrose Church was being accused of something.  Bill Ganz made it plain that that was not the case, but many got up and extolled the priest’s and the school’s virtues anyway.  The situation is not that anyone in the church asked for favors, it is that Robb overstepped her authority by demanding a city employee parking sticker be given to Fr. Dalton and that the church parking lot be cleaned by the city, those are not her decisions to make. 

It seemed that the good church people were OK with a violation of the charter and the code of ethics as long as the church benefited.  Or, maybe if they actually knew the circumstances behind the actions they wouldn’t be OK with it.  They seemed to be nice people who had no idea of the facts of the situation and had no clue what was happening which made what they did say seem quite surreal. 

Others spoke basically saying that because the mayor meant well, what she did was all right.  That kind of thinking leads me to believe that those people would be OK with an elected official stealing, lying, taking bribes and abusing their position as long as something they liked benefited.   We have laws, charter provisions and ethics laws for a reason into which I need not go as it is quite evident why. Elected officials MUST follow the rules even when they are inconvenient. 

Instead of acknowledging that what she did was wrong, apologizing and correcting her behavior Mayor Robb is living in denial.  The OIG report was specific, she did it. 

The reason the report exists at all is due to Robb’s inability to correct her behavior.  The reasons behind the drastic move of complaining to the Office of the Inspector General lie solely on her shoulders; she brought this upon herself by refusing to comply with city laws even after being corrected time after time by the city manager, the other commissioners and the city attorney. This last-ditch effort to get some relief from her behavior and to bring her misconduct out in the public paid off in the findings of the OIG report.  Her feigning innocence will not convince anyone who reads the report that she is not totally guilty.  If going forward she continues to act as in the past I hope the Commission, or the State will take much stronger measures. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014