Above, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott at a Broward League of Women Voters event in Coconut Creek, FL on January 24, 2013. Below, four of the five Hallandale Beach citizens who found time on a busy weekday afternoon to drive up to Coconut Creek in northwest Broward County to listen to and ask some questions of Mr. Scott. Pictured left-to-right are Keith S. London, Dr. Robert Selz, Dr. Judy Selz, and Csaba Kulin. Not pictured: me! January 24, 2013 photos by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
Below is a copy of my email this afternoon to Hallandale Beach's two reps on the Broward County Commission, Sue Gunzburger and Barbara Sharief, about the independent Broward Office of Inspector General relative to an issue that I've previously mentioned here on the blog and in numerous emails around the area, almost of which have elicited the same perplexed and unhappy reaction among concerned citizens upon first learning of it.
The email speaks for itself.
I should mention here that as of 8:00 p.m. tonight, in advance of Tuesday's important County Commission meeting in Fort Lauderdale with an agenda item re an audit of the HB CRA by the County Auditor's office, Comm. Sharief has not publicly made her opinion known, while Comm. Gunzburger has made clear to everyone that she is going to fight very hard for it.
I sincerely hope that Comm. Sharief will show the same good judgement and pro-citizen sentiment that she's consistently shown the past few years on many issues, including the controversial red-light camera issue, where she has been one of the very few bright spots among all of Broward's pols, city officials and public policy pundits.
Comm. Sharief has been a consistent opponent of the overwhelmingly pro-RLC County Commission and Broward Legislative Delegation's knee-jerk votes on this issue, the very same people who have been so VERY quiet the past few weeks about the #shortyellow issue in Florida, where the Florida Dept. of Transportation lowered the required length of the yellow traffic light below the Federal standard of 4.5 seconds, without contacting the Florida Legislature and its leadership, in order to capture more cars on camera and generate more revenue for Florida cities.
That's entirely in keeping with the long-time strategy of the taxpayer-supported Florida League of Cities, many of whose individual members received considerable campaign contributions last year from the companies engaged in this so-called service, which is exactly what happened here in Hallandale Beach.
As you regular readers of the blog will recall, Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions and Mayor Joy Cooper have become the best of friends the past few years after she and the City Commission forced this on city residents a years ago despite their consistent opposition, in order to generate more funds for the city.
The mayor received thousands of dollars in campaign funds from ATS after writing a pro-RLC essay in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and it's largely because of her that Hallandale Beach has became so infamous around the state on this issue.
While I'm hoping for the best since it seems like such an obvious thing to vote YES given the damning IG report on the HB CRA, personally, I believe that a vote against an audit by Comm. Sharief on Tuesday would do long-lasting damage to her public standing in Hallandale Beach, especially among its more well-informed and most-concerned residents, all of whom are super-voters.
But its her vote, so she's going to do whatever she's going to do, and if she votes NO, she will have to live with the resulting negative consequences.
Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving millions of dollars at the HB CRA, why has Broward IG's Office refused to hold a single public outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while meeting with other Broward groups?
May 31, 2013
RE: Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving millions of dollars at the HB CRA, why has Broward IG's Office refused to hold a single public outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while meeting with other Broward groups that were NOT directly affected?
Dear Commissioners Gunzburger and Sharief:
to have normal and effective operating quality controls over millions of dollars in place, or even pretend to have actual public accountability and thorough follow-up to ensure that public funds were spent for their intended if ill-founded purposes, a motion that I support 100%, due to the HB City Commission/CRA Board's longstanding refusal to have a thorough audit of the entire HB CRA, i.e themselves, I'd like to bring to your attention a related issue involving the Office of the Broward Inspector General.
Since The Commission authorized the creation of that Office a few years ago, you won't be surprised to hear that it has held several public meetings with various civic groups, affinity and social groups throughout Broward County to get their "message" out.
It's actually entirely what you'd expect.
Included among those meetings was one that was hosted in late January by the Broward League of Women Voters in Coconut Creek featuring IG John W. Scott.
I and four other very-concerned Hallandale Beach citizens actually attended that get-together at a condominium, despite its lack of proximity to HB.
But despite my personally having provided the IG's Office with a LOT of verifiable information regarding unethical and illegal conduct and behavior involving individuals in this community, esp. regarding the HB CRA, and Mr. Scott's own publicly declarations that he believes getting his office's message out is an important function -and it being brought-up at that very meeting- his office have refused to hold a single public community meeting with citizens of Hallandale Beach since his office initiated its investigation of the City of Hallandale Beach involving its missing-in-action supervision under former HB City Managers Mike Good and Mark A. Antonio involving so much mis-spent millions and missing documents, to say nothing of the missing professionalism HB taxpayers had a reasonable right to expect but never received. Despite the fact that this city's residents and taxpayers have been personally affected by what has happened.
I have personally written to Mr. Scott on several occasions and have brought up the issues of his Office showing some good faith to this community by actually following-up on his OWN public declarations and do so for all of the most-obvious reasons.
That includes a written request to him over a week ago, yet his office has been completely, and rather curiously, non-responsive on this matter.
I strongly urge the two of you as representatives on the County Commission of this community's beleaguered citizens to contact the IG's office and remind them that they have a logical AND moral duty to speak directly and publicly with the citizens of this directly-affected city.
A duty that is at least as strong as it is to all of the many Broward groups that the IG's Office has already spoken to that are NOT directly affected at all.