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Friday, October 9, 2009

Broward LWV's upcoming forum on Amendment 4, i.e. Hometown Democracy; Herald-Tribune: Managing growth a hot button topic

Yesterday, I wrote to the very-friendly
Carol S, Smith of the Broward League
of Women Voters
, whom I first met at
the Broward Charter Review Commission
meetings early last year, about this item
that intrepid Genius of Despair ran at
Eye on Miami yesterday morning.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/
Thursday, October 08, 2009

Amendment 4: Panel Discussion in Broward 10/26. By Geniusofdespair

Carol's quick response to my query is below.

After reading today's Herald-Tribune article
below about Amendment 4, I'm even more
inclined to attend, but...

The political culture down here being what it is,
where elected officials and pols think nothing
of regularly raiding taxpayers funds to engage
in what they jokingly call "awareness" campaigns,
but which you and I might more accurately call
one-sided campaign electioneering, I can't help
but wonder to what lengths they and their pals
at the Broward League of Cities and the
Broward School Board will go over the
next year to defeat Amendment 4.

No doubt they'll once again use public schools
at night for their one-sided pep rallies that they
euphemistically call "forums," where as I wrote
here last year, they intentionally don't invite
opposing points-of-views, which, in this case,
will be anyone from Hometown Democracy.

In advance of this coming issue campaign war,
it'd sure be nice to see some stories in the press
about what Florida cities spend on these sorts
of poorly-supervised activities, from a
historical perspective -and whom they hire-
since it's clear that whatever those numbers
were in the past, they'll likely be surpassed
over the next 13 months, as folks like
Mayor Cooper and Co. rally their cronies
by making sure their lobbyist/campaign friends
get involved to keep citizens at bay,
just like they did last year with certain proposed
Constitutional Amendments.


What's a little 'walking around money'
from taxpayers for pols' pals to engage
in one-sided campaign tactics?

Obviously, given who Hallandale Beach's
mayor is and her frequent use of City
Commission meetings to run pointless
resolutions past about internal
League of Cities and Mayors Conference
matters that actual Hallandale Beach
citizens and residents could care less about,
forcing city staff to waste their time
-and hence our money- on matters
designed solely for Cooper's personal
and professional benefit, to curry favor
and earn brownie points from her
fellow elected pals, this small city of ours
will likely be one of the first to cough-up
taxpayer funds to defeat Hometown
Democracy
.

If you doubt what I say here, consider
this fairly recent example of Cooper's
use of HB City Commission meetings
for butt-kissing.

Ask yourself why it was so important that
it HAD to come before the HB City
Commission, but the actual re-hiring of
the HB City Manager, the HB Police Chief
and the HB Fire Chief, DIDN'T come
before them in front of the public.

As you all know by now, THAT actually
happened up on the 2nd floor of HB City
Hall, away from TV cameras, without
ANY legal formal notice.

That's no coincidence, it was done
that way intentionally by the mayor
and the city manger so that HB citizens
like you and I COULDN'T speak
about their very unsatisfactory
performance the past few years.



A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, in Support of Frank Ortiz's
Nomination for Second Vice President of the National League of Cities
(Staff: Acting City Clerk)(See Backup)CAD #008/09 (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)

What's that?

You say that the mayor of Pembroke Pines
is really named
Frank Ortis, not
Frank Ortiz, as he is constantly
referred to in these official HB city docs?
Yes, I know.


After all, Ortis' name
is constantly
in the newspaper or mentioned on TV,
given that Pembroke Pines is the second
largest city in Broward County.
My sister even lives there, so I know its
good points and bad.

You'd think that
Mayor Cooper would've
noticed something like that, wouldn't you,
since it was entirely her idea for this
parochial
matter to come up before the
City Commission
in the first place.

I
mean it's a known fact that Ortis succeeded
her as head of the Broward League of Cities,
which makes her failure to even notice this
all the more curious
.

But just as she does far too often with
genuinely important matters in which
she does have a say, she's barely paying
attention to what's right in front of her,
which explains the piss-poor state of
the city we see every day,
where the
same simple problems fester
for weeks,
months and years.


But she doesn't see it and neither does

the Rubber Stamp Gang.

The city commission does such a poor
job as it is in actually doing their own
homework, and taking their duties seriously,
since 4/5ths of the Commission seems
barely aware of self-evident problems
and unresolved issues in our own city,
much less, ones located elsewhere in the
county or state.

Their lack of curiosity and unwillingness
to actually exhibit
any initiative or oversight,
independent of City Manager Mike Good
and his staff, makes me think of baby chicks
in a nest waiting to be fed.

It's hard to go to lots of city meetings
in South Florida like I do and not come
away with the vivid impression that many
city officials who are deeply involved with
the
League continually manage to direct
their own city's attorney and staff to do
the
League's bidding, since you rarely
-if ever- will find an amicus brief filed
by a city that is not 100% aligned with
whatever the League espouses,
either locally or statewide.
Coincidence?
I don't think so.

For instance, why did HB file an amicus
brief here?

Just to grab power?


http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/flsupct/sc04-990/04-990ans-amicus.pdf
http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Jan%202009/01-28-09/4D02-3636.reh.pdf

It's typical of the anti-democratic
mindset at Hallandale Beach City
Hall and the League of Cities.

Mulligan v. City of Hollywood
it reads
The "FCFA" provides that "[i]t is the policy of this state that law enforcement agencies shall utilize the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act to deter and prevent the continued use of contraband articles for criminal purposes while protecting the proprietary interests of innocent owners and lienholders.." (Emphasis supplied.) Such is an express preemption by general law of municipal criminal contraband forfeiture (impoundment) laws.

Later, it picks up this point:
Inasmuch as the "FCFA" requires a felony to forfeit a vehicle, any ordinance that purports to authorize the forfeiture of vehicles used in connection with a misdemeanor is in direct conflict with
the Act's limitation to felonies.

What do you suppose the people of this
city or Hollywood would think if they
knew that their City Commissions and
City Attorneys/outside counsel were
urging such a thing, i.e the city trying
to pre-empt state laws in favor of their
own self-serving ordinances,
which would make it easier for cities
to seize personal vehicles and be left
unable to exercise their legal rights,
but instead be forced to deal with the
city's own
regulations?

Well, as it turned out, the professionals
behind this particular municipal power
grab LOST!

Judges ruled Hollywood's ordinance was
constitutionally deficient, as among other
things, it violated both the separation of
powers and due process clause.

But sadly as we've seen time and again,
those particular concepts mean little to
the folks who run things at Hallandale
Beach City Hall.


When you read the proceedings, you can't
help but wonder how in the world they ever
thought they'd pull that off.

By the way, there's one other thing that's
particularly noteworthy about this case of
Colon Mulligan v. City of Hollywood,
and
I know that this will not surprise the
majority of you reading this one bit.

Having checked their archives today,
I can tell you that neither the Miami
Herald
or the South Florida
Sun-Sentinel have ever written a
single updated story on this case since
July 7, 2006, by Marc Caputo.

Which is to say that they have NONE
of the important questions about how
the case was finally decided against
the City of Hollywood has ever appeared
in either newspaper.

Which also explains why there is so
much bad information about this case
all over the Internet.

If everything goes as planned,

I'll have a blog post this weekend

about Attorney General candidate
Dan Gelber getting a Rogue's
Gallery
of anti-democratic Broward
pols to endorse him, per this

Broward Politics blog post from
Wednesday by the
Sun-Sentinel's
Anthony Man.
http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/2009/10/gelber_rolls_out_more_broward.html

My comments will highlight this common
anti-democratic element shared by these
other folks, as well as Mayor Cooper's
well-known aversion to public transparency
and accountability.

For example, her galling chutzpah in suing
a HB citizen for trying to access public
records he's legally entitled to examine
by virtue of the Florida Constitution,
which Cooper knows full-well will
reveal her personal carelessness,
a
nd her very troubling behavior with
regard to ethics,is a gross insult to all
Hallandale Beach citizens and taxpayers.

Mayor Cooper has quite a lot to
worry about, as you will soon be
hearing and reading about.

I'm also planning to finally post
that much-delayed post that really
hammers the seemingly clueless
and oblivious Gulfstream Park,
which, to be charitable,
seems to
be a serial sleep-walker.

----------
Carol: Can you please fill me in on the Amendment 4 meeting you all are hosting on the 26th?


Dave,
This is a public information forum on Amendment 4, Hometown Democracy, which will be on the ballot in Nov. 2010. This will be a pro/con panel discussion. To my knowledge, League has not yet taken a position on the Amendment but we provide these forums to bring out all the issues. Hope you can come. It will be in Ballroom C of the Wynmoor Clubhouse.

Carol
---------------
Broward County League of Women Voters:
www.lwvbcfl.org
---------------------------------
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Managing growth a hot button topic
By Dale White
October 9, 2009

The vote on a ballot measure giving residents more say in how their local governments manage growth is still a year away. Yet it is already shaping up to be one of the most contentious issues ever placed before Florida voters.

That volatility was evident Thursday as nearly 300 people watched the battle lines being drawn during a fiery debate at the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20091009/ARTICLE/910091040/2055/NEWS?Title=Managing-growth-a-hot-button-topic

Reader comments at:
http://forums.heraldtribune.com/eve/forums?a=dl&f=3941081465&s=3341001365&x_id=910091040&x_subject=Managing+growth+a+hot+button+topic&x_link=http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20091009/ARTICLE/910091040

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