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?