Thing are actually worse than I thought!
That's the only conclusion a reasonable, well-informed person like me can draw from the latest news made public Friday by Buddy Nevins at his Broward Beat website. News that has left most of the concerned Broward civic activists, bloggers and elected officials I know and trust dumbstruck by the sheer scope of this scandal, and in my case, for a rare time, left me almost speechless. Almost.
Auditor blasts loose @visitlauderdale tourism spendinghttps://t.co/VtAH0aoPq0 @browardpolitics @SaintPetersblog #Sayfie @NakedPoliticsFL— Buddy Nevins (@Buddynevins) May 5, 2017
Broward’s tourism and convention bureau routinely violated the county’s and state spending rules for years, according to a critical audit released this week. Among the shocking findings:
The audit of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism and Convention Bureau began in June 2016. Grossman retired after 21 years the same month and was replaced by Stacy Ritter, a former county commissioner.
- Former Tourism Czar Nicki Grossman handed out $178,000 in sales commissions over two years to 14 members of her staff – extra pay based on hotel rooms sold — without having any proof of results, the audit stated.
@Buddynevins Great post, Buddy! So much detail leaves me & others in #Broward wondering what's the next shoe to drop involving incompetency/corruption. 🤔— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) May 5, 2017
For those of you who don't know, the Greater FTL CVB has long been a bête noire of mine, in large part because for so many years, it has seemed clear to me based on all the available evidence that they were able to consistently get away with frequently saying and doing things publicly that could not be substantiated or proven by facts or data more than probably any other group in South Florida.
Not #Vegas - %age of avg. hotel occupancy 4 Greater FTL CVB: DECREASE 📉 9 of last 12 months. ☀️🌴🏖️https://t.co/3LpAhrmAn3 #Broward #tourism— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) April 6, 2017
Should the Broward Convention Center be moved? https://t.co/x0SGz8LB98 @redbroward @browardpolitics #Sayfie— Buddy Nevins (@Buddynevins) April 18, 2017
But it's true that they are NOT able to book larger corporate or industry conventions because of that very same problem. It's a genuine problem that won't solve itself.
We also have in county-owned Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport a place that as we all saw to our dismay and shock in January, quite literally, is full of people who do NOT know what to do in case of a real emergency, like a shooting.
The County and the airport actually had people in-place there that day who made a horrible situation MUCH WORSE... and given the airport a much-deserved black eye.
What went wrong: How the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting spun out of control https://t.co/16MaFIAm4Z— Larry Barszewski (@lbarszewski) April 21, 2017
Months after the FLL airport shooting, we're learning what went wrong in the chaotic aftermath. Changes are needed. https://t.co/iAdWTXKpMe— Sun Sentinel Opinion (@SoFlaOpinion) April 27, 2017
I have been publicly urging for years that the Broward County Commission create an Airport Citizen Advisory Board that can be a voice for the people of this community, who are, let us not forget, also the airport's main clients.
We are the customers.
Crumbling Broward Fl courthouse finally being demolished https://t.co/D83IzJpolM @theflabar @browardpolitics @NakedPoliticsFL #Sayfie— Buddy Nevins (@Buddynevins) April 28, 2017
Yes, to quote myself from this blog several months ago, we could definitely use someone as capable, savvy, hard-working and ethical as former Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober as Broward County Mayor when that title really means something tangible.
.@Buddynevins Bombshell! Auditor's report re Greater #FTL #CVB💰leaves #Broward civic activists/bloggers/Electeds dumbstruck. 🤔🌞🌴🏖️https://t.co/bVsMfjW0SJ— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) May 7, 2017