folks in my network of concerned South Florida
citizens and to some of the reporters who've written
about this subject over the past week.
December 2nd, 2009
Regarding some of the recent articles and blog posts
-at bottom- on State Rep. Joe Gibbons and lots of
'huffing and puffing' about changing the dates of the
special FL legislative session on public transportation
issues because of some conflicting logistics over the
National Black Caucus annual meeting to be held
in FTL, that Rep. Gibbons is speaking at tomorrow
-a little local perspective goes a long way.
I think I sent it to many of you originally as a bcc,
but just in case I didn't, back in June, I wrote an
email and subsequent blog post on June 4th that
gets to the heart of the problem as it involves the
state's many transportation issues and what
seems to be a clear fact pattern of Joe Gibbons'
somnolence here in his own district on those
I include it below for your perusal, along with
some other pertinent facts that seem worth
mentioning now that he is expecting the entire
legislature to change their plans because of his
That is, in case facts actually still matter.
Because of my longtime interest in transportation
and public policy issues, I have been to every
SFECC meeting held in Gibbons' own district
since he was elected, both here in Hallandale Beach,
as well as meetings in next door Hollywood and
And I've been to ones in Miami and in Fort
I've seen engaged county and city commissioners
from South Florida like Sue Gunzburger,
Beam Furr, Keith London, Zev Auerbach,
But no Joe Gibbons.
I think it's fair to say that I've been to every major
public transportation meeting held in South Florida
over the past 3-4 years, whether the Regional meeting
I reference above, the one held in Dania last Fall
on funding sources for Tri-Rail and commuter rail
in the state, or the one hosted by Broward County
three years ago at the Broward County Convention
Center, all of which had hundreds of people
I was even at the somewhat impromptu meeting
held over a year ago at Hollywood City Hall hosted
by Rep, Elaine Schwartz and Sen. Eleanor Sobel
on Tri-Rail funding and related transportation problems,
that drew a few dozen concerned citizens from this
part of Broward County and Northeast Miami-Dade
That doesn't make me an expert, of course, just
a concerned citizen who pays attention to what
is and isn't happening.
Given his position, a State Representative and
the Chair of a Committee that deals directly with
transportation, why is it that at these meetings,
ALL held within minutes of Joe Gibbons' district,
he's NEVER seen?
Not even at the ones NOT held during the
regular legislative session?
That seems like a reasonable question a real
reporter might want to ask him one of these days.
At some point, it's perfectly fair to say that he's
a no-show on this issue in his own area of the
That time is now.
And please, if you can, explain to me why House
Minority Leader Sands and Gibbons won't
answer the basic question of what would happen
to the special session if the legislature actually
waited until Monday to start and run head into
We know the answer to that, don't we?
The predictable hue and cry that we would arise.
And yet for their own purposes, Sands and Gibbons
feign ignorance and act like they don't know that
holiday is on calendars in everyone's house and
That attitude certainly explains a lot of why things
are the way they are in this state.
Second-rate, backwards and half-assed.
So what, exactly, is their clever alternative to the
To start on Monday and then stop on Wednesday
for a few days for the holidays and have everyone
leave town, then come back the following Monday?
And to what, use Christmas as a cudgel and
That not only doesn't make sense but means the
public will once again be forced to listen to
Members complain about how difficult it is to get
to far-off Tallahassee from South Florida,
a tiresome complaint that doesn't elicit any
sympathy from anyone not related to them,
esp. since taxpayers are stuck paying the
ridiculous sum of $600 for Members' round trip
flights to Tallahassee because of the Legislature's
inability to run logically even during the Regular
If Joe Gibbons is genuinely concerned about
transportation issues in South Florida, why,
to the best of my knowledge, has no-show Gibbons
and his State House Committee never held a single
field-hearing in South Florida, the scene of the
crime, if you will?
In his representation of me and other constituents
in this district on these important economic and
Quality-of-Life issues, at a certain point, it's fair
to say that it's exactly what it looks like: somnolence.
He's now morphed into Rip Van Gibbons.
Black legislators' caucus meeting in Lauderdale