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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brittany Wallman is on top of the Broward MPO scandal. Where is rest of South Florida news media?

Early this morning, I sent this email below about a jaw-dropping blog post about the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) written at the Sun-Sentinel's Broward Politics blog by Brittany Wallman to about forty people in South Florida.

All of them are transportation professionals or people who work for the State of Florida or local/county government in areas involving long-term planning and/or transportation, including some usually well-informed elected officials.

By the time I checked my email for the first time today, somewhat later than usual, there were over eight responses waiting for me, all saying variations of the following:

"There's SO much more behind this story. I'd love to fill you in on the details!
Clearly, this story on the inner workings and petty machinations of Broward's bureaucracy will have legs, and I'll try my best in the future to tip you off as to who in the local news media is doing a good job of connecting the dots on this story, so we can all find out what the true facts are, since it seems clear that for now, facts are at a premium.
So far, that entire news media list consists of Brittany Wallman.

1:15 a.m.

There are two articles below worth your attention.

I'm too tired and dumb-founded by the first story to say anything terribly original now, but even by South Florida's traditionally low standards, this definitely seems like something that taxpayers should've been hearing something more about this issue before it actually happened.
Like maybe actually being mentioned on the 11 o'clock TV newscasts, perhaps?

Not to say I told you so... but a few months ago, I noted on my blog
that in my opinion, Broward Commissioner Kristin Jacobs getting named to the SFRTA Board was not the greatest news in the world for people who genuinely want to see this area move forward and get out of the dysfunctional past.

Nothing personal, I just didn't think she was qualified, and still don't.

This criticism of mine obviously bothered her, much to my surprise, because one of her staffers actually kept calling me for a few days to complain about what I'd written.

The problem for
Jacobs and her staffer was that what I said was 100% true - that for all her talk about being interested in transportation policy, Jacobs had a funny way of showing her interest.

She has been an invisible presence at every single major regional Transportation summit, forum and what-have-you that I've attended for the past 5-6 years, where I have met and spoken with so many of you, both publicly and privately afterwards.

The internal logic of my point couldn't be rebutted by her staffer, especially when I named the many transportation events I'd been at that
Jacobs was AWOL for.

Call me old-fashioned, but showing up is
Job One for an elected official, and a County Commissioner like her showing-up at least once in a while is the very least we can reasonably expect.

But to my mind, she's failed even that simple test.
And judging by what Brittany Wallman has written below, I'm not at all surprised to read that Kristin Jacobs has once again said something that was so easily dis-proven when reality came knocking.
Broward Politics

County: MPO is laying off some employees, then bumping up salaries

Posted by Brittany Wallman
May 19, 2010 08:30 PM

UPDATED 8:30 p.m.
One day soon, 24 of the 25 county employees working for the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) will get pink slips. And one day soon after, the 17 employees who are fortunate enough to be employed there will enjoy a pay raise.
The head of the MPO, executive director Gregory Stuart, says the facts have been twisted and that the reality is not as bad as it looks.

Read the rest of the post at: 

See also:
http://www.broward.org/mpo/ -Current Broward MPO webpage that will likely change soon!
http://www.broward.org/mpo/orgchart.pdf -Broward MPO organization chart
-Broward MPO Board Membe

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