earlier this evening.
Originally, since attending the December 9th,
2009 public meeting of the county's Ethics
Commission, and seeing certain things emerge
in the meeting and in the interim, my plan had
always been to post some things today on
Tuesday morning's Broward County Commission
meeting and the high-visibility ethics vote they'll
I thought I'd describe some of the historical context
and the peculiar cast of characters who have brought
us to the point where, as a precursor to whatever
rules and operating structure the county's appointed
Ethics Commission comes up with to govern the
County Commission's behavior, the County
Commission will have to either vote Yes or No
on collectively drawing a firm line in the sand about
the ethical behavior of and expectations on County
employees, and say, "Here, and no further."
Tusday's agenda is here; ethics is item # 36
But since last week, as I started getting more and
more emails and phone calls from interested people
around the county about what I had heard or thought
was going to happen, I came to the realization that
I was going to change plans.
Because until something actually happens, it's all
just talk, and that's what Broward's citizen taxpayers
are completely fed-up with: pols talking about doing
the right thing instead of simply doing it and setting
the right example.
One of my resolutions for the New Year was to stop
wasting so much of my time and energy on certain
people, especially elected officials or people with
influence, talking about doing something -presumably
positive- and instead, expend that time and energy
by writing about what they actually do -if anything-
and explain as best I understand, why I thought
things had either failed or succeeded.
Here, as anywhere else, you learn a lot by actually
showing-up, though that's a lesson many erstwhile
reporters down here seem to ignore.
Another resolution of mine concerns my frequent
emails around the South Florida area, especially
prior to an event I believe is of some importance.
That's now ancient history.
If the local TV stations or newspaper reporters
or columnists want to ignore the story, that's their
choice, and in South Florida, as we all know from
experience, that's always their default position
anyway: doing nothing and then being surprised.
Frankly, in the face of self-imposed personnel
cuts -or in the Miami Herald's case, consistently
refusing to send reporters or photographers to
events, meetings or forums in Broward County
that would merit coverage in most parts of the
country as journalism has traditionally been
practiced- I don't see my particular civic role
while living in South Florida as simultaneously
playing the roles of Paul Revere, TV station
News Director or Assignment Editor, for
TV/print reporters and columnists.
That's especially the case when so many
reporters have consistently chosen to either
ignore or downplay the significance of verifiable
information or easily-understood stories I've
given them on a silver platter, despite their
claiming to me that they want to be kept
"in the loop" on what I know or hear.
Actually, they don't.
They just like to have the illusion they do.
There's no need for me to name names here,
but that's precisely why I'm deleting so many
newspaper/TV people from my email list,
including many people who are getting this
Additionally, within the next few days, I plan
on finally -FINALLY!- editing the video
I made of that Dec. 9th Broward County
Ethics Commission meeting, which featured
the public testimony of the Broward Workshop's
(Dubious distinction: I was the only member of the
public for a good portion of that morning meeting
on December 9th, while Scott Wyman of the
Sun-Sentinel was THE only South Florida reporter
who bothered to swing by in-person for even a
few minutes. Additionally, I was actually on time,
even early, while MANY members of the Ethics
Commission showed-up late.
Very Hallandale Beach-like!)
To make it easier to follow, I broke my film
up by subject, and that's how I plan on putting
it onto my YouTube page.
I'll be there in person at the County Commission
Chambers on Tuesday morning, and hope you'll
make plans to be there, too.
Wimps of the Roundtable and Other Challenges for Journalism Schools