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@FLGovScott #RemoveHer #HallandaleBeach mayor & town bully #JoyCooper

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My coda to "Broward cities need tougher ethics laws, not self-serving pols"; Debby Eisinger's curious fact pattern

This is a logical and necessary follow-up to my earlier post of today titled, Broward cities need tougher ethics laws, not self-serving pols like Gary Resnick & Debby Eisinger, whom we need like more bad restaurants, more ruined-views of the beach... -NOT at all!

I had hoped to incorporate what follows into that last blog post, but for a variety of reasons, came to realize that I'd not be able to do so, so consider this post a bit of a coda to that last post on the question of ethics in Broward County at the municipal level.

Since this blog was first created five years ago this month, I've had certain key anchors or guideposts that have stubbornly remained on it, despite how much space they take up, or how much criticism I have received from others who complained about my keeping them here.


They are there to indicate to first-time readers that this blog, regardless of whatever particular subject matter I'm writing about on that day, or whatever subject may've led the visitor to come here in the first place via a search engine, is committed to certain things.

Stricter, easier to-understand and more-enforceable common sense ethics laws -with teeth!- in state, county and local government is one of those basic elements I support and am personally committed to.

That sentiment is best captured by one anchor in particular that recounts a moment I bore witness to more than three years ago here in Hallandale Beach, and which I re-post here to make the larger point about elected municipal officials aversion to increased public scrutiny and tighter laws that maintain an ethical floor beyond which there is no publicly acceptable conduct and behavior:

"WHY DO THEY NEED THAT IN THE BROWARD COUNTY CHARTER?"
"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt." -New York Times, September 22, 1851
"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

As problematic as Cooper and her regal and all-too-frequently condescending attitude have been and continue to be for concerned taxpayer citizens in Hallandale Beach, it's not just Joy Cooper, of course, who is the problem in Broward when it comes to notions of public accountability and transparency, it's the veritable phalanx of willing elected officials and their friends, acquaintances and family members who are contractors or lobbyists in Broward, who willingly want to make like Gen. George Patton and drive a tank thru any possible weak spots -loopholes- and keep it open for good, that are the problem.

Another elected municipal official in Broward who, like Joy Cooper, has seemingly had her doubts for years about stricter ethics laws and what the public was entitled to expect from people in authority is someone whom I've written about a number of times here, Cooper City Mayor Debby Eisinger.

Eisinger's very visible antipathy towards stricter ethics laws is NOT just a recent thing, nor is it a function of her and her colleagues in Cooper City having been involved in so many disturbing and ethically-questionable situations over the recent past that have made her fodder for local TV and newspaper reporters, who barely had to say much more than tell the basic facts or roll the hidden camera video, before readers and viewers were recoiling at the thought of what she and her pals were doing.

Most notably, the commission's former habit of routinely getting together for drinks at public establishments in the Cooper City area -before scheduled City Commission meetings.

You don't have to be paranoid to understand that serious questions arise about the very appearance of such get-togethers, much less, if you are a legitimate party with an item on their agenda that night or just a regular concerned citizen wishing to speak about that agenda, who reasonably wonders what might have been discussed about that item away from any public scrutiny, in violation of Sunshine Laws, and without you having any means of rebutting what was said, especially something factually inaccurate or intentionally misleading.

And what about the complete lack of any initial apparent remorse on their part when they were caught in 2006 by Channel 4 News/WFOR-TV, and the video of some members the Commission, including Eisinger and some of her acolytes in a bar, was a CBS4 sensation, one that was both self-evident and a jaw-dropping tale of un-democratic notions of privilege and refusing to follow the existing laws, simple as they were.

For me, this point was brought home thru Eisinger's own choice of words and her arguments as a member of the Broward County Charter Review Commission a few years ago, many of whose meetings I attended in-person, including the final meeting that decided what would and would not appear on the November 2008 ballot.

It should not come as a shock to anyone that despite how much I had followed their activities closely, my mouth was often agape at the things I heard and the condescending points-of-view I heard expressed at those meetings among what were said to be a good cross-section of Broward's leading lights. 
Repeatedly.

Consider this exchange from 2007, direct from the Summary Minutes of Discussion, Broward County Charter Review Commission, Administrative Issues/Governance Subcommittee Meeting of Tuesday, August 15, 2007
pp. 6-7
Ms. Eisinger stated that the format of Strong Mayor or Elected Executive is that that Mayor is in charge.  She stated in certain circumstances it could work well, but she can’t support it because you don’t know who is going to be that Mayor, and it is going to be left up to the Electorate.   
She explained that sometimes the voters don’t always know who is the most qualified. She advised that it becomes a popularity contest and who runs the best campaign, and is not necessarily the most qualified. 
As I've stated here on the blog several times previously -and keeping the info above in mind as yet more of the same from her- it should come as no surprise that when push came to shove on the question of whether or not Broward voters could be treated like adults and decide for themselves whether they wanted to have an elected county-wide mayor of Broward County, not continue the charade of county commissioners voting for one another as mayor for one year, Cooper City Mayor Debby Eisinger voted to deny Broward voters that choice.


How does an elected public official justify voting against elections that allow citizens to determine their own form of govt. structure?

Exactly, but that's just what Debby Eisinger did.

Yes, whether as mayor of Cooper City or as the current President of the Broward League of CitiesEisinger's demonstrated track record of anti-democratic behavior and votes against increased public accountability is clear for all to see.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Broward Politics blog
Cooper City Mayor Eisenger to charities: Complain about county ethics law
By Brittany Wallman 
October 10, 2011 02:34 PM

Broward League of Cities President Debby Eisenger sent out an email to non-profit groups in Broward, urging them to complain -- if they so wish-- about the coming new public ethics law.
It was sent to "various non-profits,'' League Executive Director Rhonda Calhoun told her mass e-mail list recipients.
Read the rest of the post at:

And as I mentioned in my last post, given the above, and the unanimous vote in October by the Broward County Commission to have these necessary tougher ethical standards hold sway at local city halls, Eisinger actually has the chutzpah to drop this memorable quote in last Saturday's Ariel Barkhurst article:

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

County ethics law already changing Broward's city governments

By Ariel Barkhurst, Sun Sentinel

11:11 PM EST, December 31, 2011

"I've already seen people backing off from being involved in charity," said Cooper City Mayor Debbie Eisinger.
Yeah, I wonder why? 
Hmm-m... perhaps it has to do with your own orchestrated campaign...

It's like Eisinger, after all that she has done, is in such denial that she can't even admit to herself that she was NOT part of the reform effort to fix the longstanding problems, like my friend, Charlotte Greenbarg, president of the Broward Coalition, Eisinger was part of the crony capitalism crew desperately trying to sabotage the effort to give Broward voters what they have been clamoring for for years.

(But then as the only member of the public in all of Broward to actually attend that first meeting of the IG Task Force last year, that later chose John W. Scott, I'm in a position to know what I'm talking about, which is why I can mention that there were no members of the news media present at that first meeting. Surprise!)  
And lest we forget, when she was on the Charter Review Comm. she actually tried to make the lack of funding for an Inspector General's office the problem.

Take note folks, Debby Eisinger never quits trying to sabotage things for the worse for citizens in Broward County who are interested in genuine transparency, accountability and ethical probity.
And from the looks of things, she shows no evidence of losing that condescending attitude and smirk of hers, either.

Citizen'sFree Speech Quashed By Cooper City, FL Commission

Related article:
BrowardPalBeach New Times
Daily Pulp blog 

"All of You Deserve to Be Taken Out Behind the Woodshed and Beat the Living Shit Out Of"

By Bob Norman

September 29 2010 at 6:08 AM

-----
There's a treasure trove of Debby Eisinger-related stories in the archives of the  BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes 

Of the many there, I commend to you these two Bob Norman-penned pieces from 2010 in particular:

Plus, to better understand how insidious the corrupt political culture is here in Broward, take a look at this one on the doings of so-called ethics watchdogs: 
Sad but true.

-----


CBS4 News video: Correspondent Carey Codd speaks with Broward's new Inspector General, John W. Scott, on his responsibilities in a county that has seen a tremendous number of corrupt county and municipal elected officials. September 14, 2011. http://broward.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=700

Office of the Broward Inspector General

One North University Drive, Suite 111, Plantation, FL 33324

Tips Hotline at (954) 357-TIPS


1 comment:

  1. It was Debby Eisinger who would not support my (no less than) three attempts at implementing a local ethics law in our great city of Cooper City. Mayor Debbie Eisinger stonewalled, fought using personal attacks toward me (standard SOP-modus operandi), and numerous ‘politicks’ to squash several attempts by her fellow commissioner, John Sims, to have a code of ethics at the municipal level that would ensure the integrity of the actions of everyone.

    Now Mayor Eisinger resorts to the lowest level of using the code of ethics as a deterrent to the fundraising efforts of charitable organizations. I wonder how many donations to organizations have been made as a “favor” to certain elected officials. Her need to eliminate the presence or appearance of undue influence or conflicts of interest and restore faith in our local governmental leadership should have started before she became a self-serving career politician...

    ReplyDelete

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