Friday, April 29, 2011

Is McAllen, Texas Truly an Answer to Deerfield's Problems??

Have any you ever heard of McAllen, Texas?  


Well, neither had I until I read through Deerfield Beach Budget Workshop Minutes from April 29, 2010 that are up for approval at the next City Commission Meeting.  

I thought it was of interest for everyone to get to know the town (McAllen, TX) that our City Management staff admittedly used as a model for our 2010-2011 budget.  

So, I took the initiative to locate a comparison of their city and ours.  I used the 2nd most populated zip codes in both cities, but if you decide to use the most populace zips then feel free. 

(BTW, they are 33442 (us) and 78501 (them))

I hope you took the time to review the comparison chart.  I will not expound upon what I saw because I don't want anyone to accuse me of leading to any specific conclusions, but I am quite positive we all came up with the same conclusions.

Now,  I am going to attach some links to articles about that McAllen and I want you to read them and also read the comment sections, because in the comments you get a feel for what the actual residents think.  So, you get a cross-section of governmental supporters, the average Joe, and then the dissidents.

These are just a couple of articles that I found in my search.  I suggest you look around on the internet and see what you find.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Outsiders, scream their choice for District 2 City Commission. Will we listen???

Am I the only one who feels like, all of the news outlets and other blogs in Deerfield Beach are screaming at District 2 to vote for Ben Preston.  Why, do they know something that we don't know.  

Oh Yeah, Ben Preston.

See the following:

Apparently back in March we had "clear choices" and it could have been a "turning point" for District 2.

District 2 has a chance to "vote again in a city election and get it right".

District 2 should elect "a new face--not part of the old order".

I guess Jeff Sayles, a non-District 2 resident, is screaming at us (if you listen closely) to vote for the new face who appeared as a clear choice back in March.  Well, Annette has my vote.  Thanks Jeff! 

Oops, I think he meant Ben Preston.

At this point, No Thank You! 

What a clever fellow, that Sayles.  Sneaky... Sneaky...  

I will tell you like I told Mr. Preston, tell me how you will make changes to benefit district 2, a community that you have chosen for about thirty-five years to totally ignore.  Do you know anything about us, besides we are all  considered the same race.  That is not to say that you had to be on Mango, Coach at Westside Park, go to church in District 2, or even attend a party at the Legion Hall.  When these types of statements are made they are made because We are wondering why have we not heard of him until he ran for office.  

Many of you already know my problem with Ben Preston...I will repeat it here as to get it straight for all of others and for Ben Preston himself.

If you are a local historical figure of the black community, such as say The First Black Firefighter, why is it that in 5 years of my attendance at Deerfield Park Elementary School and three years at Deerfield Beach Middle School and then High School, did I never hear of you.  If I didn't go to Middle School with his kids I would have never known who he was, and even though I attended school with kids I didn't know of his historical importance to our community until 2011.  I had 12 years of schooling that held black history exhibits each year and still I had never heard of him or his historical title in Deerfield Beach until 2011 when he needed something from me.  My Vote!

You chose to dodge all questions about this change you could provide while on the campaign trail and any attempt in the heart of District 2 to talk to you or ask you questions was met with contempt and accusations that you were being set up.

By the way, did any of you see Ben at the last 2 City Commission meetings, cause I know I didn't.  Even though Mr. Preston told me personally on March 8, 2011 that no matter who won he hoped that we would all work together.  If it is Sylvia he hoped that she would accept his help as a consultant."  

Yeah, Ben I remembered!  

After that statement, I even told Larry Barszewski that had you talked to us before it may have swayed my vote.  Ask him!  You almost had me fooled.

Well, it seems like we are the ones being set up here for the okie doke!

Oh, look who else is screaming Ben's name

Yep, that's Chaz Stevens given Good Ol' Ben a shout out!  Weird huh!

Wait, wasn't  isn't Beulah Hill a champion for Ben Preston???  

I guess since she couldn't deliver him the District 2 seat the first time.  His team has decided to cast her off like some old soiled sheets.  It's ashame, too!  I thought she really supported him.  At least she kept trying to convince me to vote for him, one late Saturday afternoon.  After which I had to take my gloves off (wink wink).

Deerfield Beach District 2, CAT Community Meeting!

A Westside Renaissance in Deerfield Beach District 2, Challenge Accepted!

Mr. Sayles, I just read your article at  entitled "A Westside Renaissance and I do believe you have some valid points.  However, since I am a member of CAT, why would you not contact me and find out for yourself what we are about.  I have not seen you at any of our meetings (of which we have had one and Poitier was not even a subject), so how could you make a judgment like that.  

Al Capellini, four-time Deerfield Beach Mayor, elected by an at-large vote. Steve Gonot 8-year Commissioner District 4. I guess all of Deerfield Beach is the same.  It's just that some should really know better and others just didn't give a hoot."  Let's not be hypocritical!

On this blog I make judgements on things I have read about, not just conjecture.  I, a thirty-one year old black male from the Westside District 2, have just recently gotten involved in this whole political game.  I do, however, thank you for writing this article because what better way to get people motivated than to piss them off.  Thanks to the lay-offs, Chaz Stevens' incessant heckling, union negotiations, talks of more lay-offs and privatizing, and now your article, I think that that renaissance you were talking about just got more fuel added to the fire.

You asked where CAT was during the last election.  Well, we were here as individuals and many were and are Poitier supporters and when people such as Ben Preston, Gloria Battle, Annette Scott-Woods were advocating "CHANGE" we were asking them "What Change Are YOU Talking About?".  (Ask fellow blogger, Wayne Adams, what I kept asking him when he himself was advocating change)  An answer to which none of them could provide or expound upon, least of all the Ben Preston people. We all know that "CHANGE" for CHANGE sake is not good.  I believe there is an old saying that sticks out in my mind right now "The grass is not always greener on the other side". 

I personally asked each candidate what type of "Change" they were proposing and I did not get a response worth mentioning   and that is not say that is just wasn't what I wanted to hear, it was basically just air!  Go back and look at some of their campaign literature, nothing, more than resumes.  No solutions, no strategies, no answers.  So I stuck with Poitier and she may not be perfect, but at least I knew when it boiled down to it she had District 2's best interest at heart.  These newcomers have to prove their worth to us.  None of them, not even my cousin Gloria Battle, did a good job of proving herself and expounding on the idea of change that they sought...other than that of a new commissioner.

Check out the below links you'll see where my head was at during said election.  I was asking the pertinent questions that people like you didn't want us to have the answer to.  You thought you could just speak negatively about a candidate and that would be enough to turn us away from that person, when what you should have been doing is reporting the facts about each candidate so we could make an informed decision.  Now, you are calling for a fresh face, maybe we not only need a fresh face in our government, but our media as well.

People inside and outside of District 2 say we are apathetic, we don't vote and we keep following the same institutions.  All of this maybe true, but if you want us to change we want to know how you plan on doing it.  I invite you, Mr. Sayles and anyone who shares your opinion, to one of our Community Meetings, (The last one, Bett Willett and others from outside of District 2 attended, as it was open to everyone) so you can see for yourself what we are all about.  The next one is May 2, 2011 at 7pm at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church.   Attend and then make up your own mind.  Like I say to all my naysayers, this is not about Poitier, this is not about me, it's not about you, it's about "US".  

I actually find it funny that you wrote this piece, especially after all of the information that I have sent you to expound upon.  You say that you are so much better than those of us who would call out another blogger and the information they post publicly, but are you really.  You take this high moral stance and then denigrate those of us who would see change and give possible solutions on how to go about doing it.   FUNNY!!!

Do you read my blog at all?  Yes, I may have criticized Chaz and Wayne and yes I called out Klopp/Hanson and Peggy Noland, but what I do is give people the links to the same information I have access to for them to make up their own minds.  You write about us like we are the enemy to the other districts of Deerfield and as if we are ignorant and our duly elected leaders do less for us than a horse could.  How should we take that?  I for one will not take that sitting down. 

Many of our residents do not have college educations, do not have high school diplomas, but they have common sense and the ability to learn and be and do better.  How many times in the past has anyone from the City or even within the community itself, honestly (I say honestly because I know the effort has been made, but many gave up at the first sign of resistance) attempted to educate our residents on civic duties and actually get them involved.  Do you place blame solely on the Commissioner of that district?  Do you blame the ill-informed residents?  Or do you get off your butt and step from behind the laptop keyboard and get out there and work for the change that you want. 

Yes, their are obstacles, but if your true purpose is to educate and elevate, then you do what is necessary.  If I am wrong for thinking that then, please feel free to correct me and point me in the right direction.

The young people in this community (not just District 2, I might add) are plagued by many disadvantages& obstacles that cause them to distrust the government and therefore do not have an eagerness to get involved.  CAT is trying to help with that and I am trying to get my classmates and fellow young residents involved so that we don't continue in that "oldway" that has seen us to this point.  

I was one of those young people and like I said at the my first commission meeting, if it wasn't for Ms. Poitier I would have never been interested in politics and the municipal government.  I would have continued about my life voting in elections and then taking a hands off approach and never giving a second thought to making sure my elected officials were doing what they needed to do for me.  Now, I have taken an interest and am fully engaged, aware, and ready to change this community and I believe I even asked for your help once.  This is what I get! 

Thankfully, I am stubborn and hearing the word no only drives me harder to prove people like you wrong.  So again I thank you!  I wonder who in your opinion (even though it really doesn't matter because you don't get a vote in our district) we should consider as "a new face who is not part of the old order" to start the as you say "new era--a Westside Renaissance."

I do look forward to watching you eat every word you wrote in this article and reading about it when I do prove you wrong, it may not be this afternoon and it may not be this year, but mark my words it will be in this generation. 

So challenge accepted!

David Cody
Blogger/CAT Team Captain 


I will actually like to take this time and thank, Ms. Finnegan of Deerfield Beach High School American Gov't and Civics Honors 97/98, she knows what she did for me and I never said thank you!  

So to Ms. Finnegan, THANK YOU!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BSO *vs* Deerfield Beach District 2 Resident and Broward Judge Ilona Holmes

The Black Perspective Up Close And Personal Unbought And Unbossed! Challenging Authority!: Judge Ilona Holmes

Wow, hopefully some good can come from this.  I think they may have bitten off more than they can chew this time.  I hope she throws the book at them, literally!

I just had to comment first about the above article.  

This article is about a black family cleaning up their house after Easter dinner, when they get a phone call alerting them that a burglar may be in their vicinity, then an ominous tap at a glass window.   When the shade was pulled up a man standing their with a gun pointed directly at them.  Scary!  Then one of the women inside the home fearing that the burglar is outside with a gun pulls her legal firearm and announces that she is "Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes".  The individual at the window continues to point his gun at the women and then yelling for them to exit their home with their hands up.  All the while the woman with the gun, Judge Holmes,(fearing that this situation can easily get her and her family shot even though they are the victims) continues to announce who she is and that she is armed.  The residents exit from the side of their house and onto the lawn where they are greeted by several BSO Sheriff Deputies with guns, pointed directly at them.  Judge Holmes and her sister, Carmita, advise the police that they are the homeowners and that the woman with the gun is a Broward County Judge, but this did not deter the BSO deputies from treating these ladies like common criminals.  In fact, according to some reports, it seemed to anger the Deputies more.  Fortunately, for Judge Holmes, one of the high ranking BSO Sheriff Deputies recognized her and advised the other officers to lower their weapons.   This probably saved their lives because, it is sad to say this, but presently in Broward County and neighbouring counties the Police seem to have a questionable pattern of shooting first and then asking questions later, especially when they are called are in the black neighbourhoods.

The difference between this instance of obvious abuse of power that the police demonstrate and have been demonstrating for years towards Deerfield Beach District 2 residents and African-Americans in general is that this time they have done it to a Broward County Judge.  That Judge, just so happens to be a graduate of Deerfield Beach High School, and her sister a resident of District 2 (who admittedly has never had a run in with the law).  Maybe with this high profile volatile incident between a Judge of the Law (Ilona Holmes) and the on scene Judges of Fact (The BSO Sheriff Deputies), residents of Deerfield Beach District 2 may finally get an open-minded audience to hear their complaints about the BSO in Deerfield Beach.

I don’t think it is coincidental that little less than a month ago, Maximo Gordan, an African American male who had many run ins with the law prior to his arrest last year, gave testimony in front of the Deerfield Beach City Commission and Chief Sudler about the abuses of power that his deputies were involved in.  Apparently, either his words were not heeded or little to nothing was done and the result is this cluster**** (insert expletive here), which in many eyes, is a black eye to the BSO. 

This blogger thinks that all of the officers involved as well as those stationed in the City, should be mandated to take some form of racial sensitivity class, anger management, or something along those lines and the financial responsibility to cover the cost of which should be bore solely by the officers and not the taxpayers, who already foot the bill for the excessive abuses, as clearly demonstrated here to a Broward County Judge no less.

I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.  Hopefully, Judge Holmes will utilize any contact she may have in the Internal Affairs department down at BSO to have this matter and any other instances that may come up fully investigated.   It is also my fervent wish that she and all the other victims of Deerfield Beach BSO Sheriff Deputies attend the May 3, 2011 Deerfield Beach City Commission meeting, which starts at 6:55pm and tell her story.  If not for herself, but for the peace of all of those in District 2 that may have never spoken up without this incident shining light on the subject.

So, if any of you readers see Judge Ilona Holmes and/or her sister around town, please beg them to attend the CC meeting to share their story so our elected officials and City Management will hopefully finally take our warnings before this situation gets worse and people actually end up dead.  I would hate to think that is what it will take before something is done about this hot button issue.

*****I posted the following as comment on the above article link************

Well, hopefully this Deerfield Beach High School Alum (Judge Holmes) will take the plight of her people a little more seriously. Actually, hopefully the City will take the plight of the District 2 residents more seriously. This type of Shenigans and blatant disrespect and disregard happen on a daily basis in this town and complaints fall on deaf ears. Our residents do not want or ask for trouble with our police, but some for reason they always seem to find a reason to search us, stop us, question us, harass us. Well, I hope Broward County Judge Ilona Holmes and anyone else in Deerfield Beach will come to the Deerfield Beach City Commission meeting on Tuesday May 3, 2011 at 6:55pm and tell their stories. Poor Maximo Gordan of Deerfield Beach, he and others complained to our City's Chief at the last Commission meeting and it's obvious that nothing happened Maximo went to jail on some trumped up charges (just because he had a past) and now an actual Judge gets to see first hand what many of our residents deal with daily. This is a tale of the convicted criminal and the hononer Judged, both of whom Deerfield Beach BSO showed disrespect and disregard just because of the color of their skin.

Just to point out at the end their when Carmita is asking the officer who pointed the gun at her through a closed kitchen window...he said he felt threatened, is that a blanket excuse that they are being trained to use just so they can pull their sidearms and shoot first and ask questions later. I just sincerely hope that Deerfield does not end up like Miami. I have relatives out there grinding and I don't have time to be putting on the black suit every weekend just because a cop "felt threatened" and open fire on an unarmed individual, as so often happens.

Something needs to be done. racial sensitivity classes, anger management, something but it should be paid for by the officers, not the city or BSO. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Deerfield Beach, Legislation Without Representation...

I just got off the phone with the City Clerk's office and we were discussing the impending Special Election for Deerfield Beach District 2.  The City Clerk, Ada Graham Johnson, in my mind is more than capable of working within the law to see that "we" get the fair and equitable election that is called for under the law.  My concern is not Mrs. Graham Johnson, but her bosses who could potentially utilize the law to delay and postpone our Special Election.  Now this is just conjecture and I have no proof, but a case can be made for improprieties on behalf of the City to have reason to intentionally delay this election.  But again this is just me playing devils advocate...

Keeping that in mind, I have been advised that the idea is now being tossed around that because our City's charter, which requires a special election no sooner than 45 days and no later than 75 days, does not provide an adequate time-frame to adhere to state laws regarding notice, polling place contracting, hiring poll workers, etc... that our Special Election may not take place within the 75 day City Charter prescribed time-frame.  Now, this is reasonable and sounds good,  almost as if the City has the interest of fair and equitable in mind when planning this event.  I won't hold my breathe, though.

Ada Graham-Johnson insisted that she is doing her best to ensure that a fair, equitable, and timely election is held for District 2.  I have no doubt in my mind that Ms. Johnson, who has family who resides in District 2, would do her best to ensure that this takes place as soon as possible.  Ensuring that District 2 gets the duly elected representative that the people want, in the most cost effective and timely manner.  My concern is that it is possible to draw this out and every effort and every avenue needs to be exhausted to make sure that our City Charter is upheld and it's people get the prescribed remedy to this situation in as timely a manner as possible.

Due to past events that have adversely affected District 2 (including acts of the City Manager(s), City Mayor, and others), and my perception of the attitude shown by certain City Commissioners towards District 2, I have no confidence in our City Commissioner and our City's Management to do the truly fair and equitable thing.  They have not in the past, so why should we expect them to now.  

Now, that they have exactly what they wanted.  A City run without all the voices of the people being represented.  I for one am appalled and afraid that Deerfield Beach is now going to be run Business as Usual.  Which if past practice serves as a guide, means we better all be mindful before our City Coffers are bare, our Beach and Pier will be owned by a developer, all of our City employees will be laid-off in favor of privatized services, our Fire Department will belong to BSO, and our police well, that's another story for a later date. 

I want most desperately to believe that our City is working for the betterment of all of the City's residents, but far to many instances have occurred that tell me to be careful and wary of the City bearing gifts. 

We understand that this is an unprecedented event and our City Clerk's office is doing their due diligence to adhere to state and local statutes and ordinances to pull off this election in a fair, equitable, and timely manner.  At the time of this post no concrete date has been set, but I will keep you posted.  I have heard that it might be July 19, 2011, which is about 96 days from the date of the removal.  

*If no Commission Meetings are cancelled or postponed and they continue having them as scheduled once every other Tuesday, then "WE" citizens of District 2 will have had no representation for about 7 City Commission meetings.  All I know is that we better be as vigilante, watchful, and mindful as possible while they pass legislation without our representation.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Deerfield Beach, What Card Should We Use??? AmEx or the Black Card...

I posted the following to the below listed post on The Miami Herald's "In My Opinion" by Fred Grimm.  In this article, he recaps Poitier's sorted past, detailing events that were never brought up in a court of law and to the fact she was never found guilty of.  It seems to me that many of the news publications have joined the rank and file of Anti-Poitier reporting.  

Posted on the above site 25/4/2011:

I laugh at the people on this post and the writer of this article because $400,000 was never attributed to Poitier. It was about $150,000, which the WDBA apparently had already given back to the City and was held in escrow account. About $160,000 of that was attributed to the City itself for mismanagement of funds. Paying salaries to individuals with no documentation on the deservedness of said salary. This information is well documented in HUD's OIG report, which for some reason is not available on the City's website (BTW they do allow access to the Kessler report, which does blame Poitier..hmmmm???) That same Kessler report showed a mismanagement of funds by the other Festival in town "Founder's Day", but for some reason no one is discussing that. The City Leadership along with certain Gadfly's have targeted this Commissioner and her constituents as crooks and thieves, but oddly enough the same attention to detail is not showed towards the other side of the tracks.

Don't get me wrong, I am not condoning the use of any card, except the card that would allow fair play and justice to be seen across the board in the City of Deerfield Beach. Many of the people who posted here have no clue of what is going on in my city. Even if Poitier is convicted the people who have and are feeding from the taxpayer trough are still in office and in management positions. I do believe that corruption is rampant in this city and the fact that Poitier may be going down for a few misdemeanors is obvious that a this was a stretch for the SAO to come up with. I mean 22 ethics complaints were supposedly filed and yet this is what they came up with. I am the only one sensing something is wrong here. I have heard many people say "it's about the money", but where is the money in this case? Even the same Gadfly has recently been back paddling on his accusations against Poitier and is now saying that she may get a slap on the wrist. Which is a departure from his assured heckling as she turned herself in. These things make you think.

The same gadfly who shed some very damning light on the City's mayor, but no one is talking about that. 2009 was a corruption filled year for said Mayor and yet no charges were ever brought. Her son was found guilty of destroying an opponents campaign signs and he got a slap on the wrist. Her husband may have committed workers comp fraud, She voted in the affirmative to give a company where she allegedly had worked occupancy rights of city owned property. That same company was a major contributor of her 2009 campaign, for which neither filed state required disclosure forms. Talk about Conflict of Interest, money actually changed hands. But we are sitting here talking about the possibility of corruption. but no one is talking about that. I for one would love to see the Florida Ethics Commission responses from where said Gadfly submitted the complaints. Since these majority and most damning of these possible ethic violations happened in 2009 the 5 year limitation has not expired. The difference I see in these three cases is only one thing.

You tell me what you see!!!

Go back and read the blogs and the newspaper articles for this city in 2008-present and you tell me what you find. I think the real response to all of this should be a city-wide audit by forensic auditor, not Kessler. Our City has a firm that does it or we could even reach out to national firms to audit all of the departments. I think a precedent has been set with three elected officials being indicted in 4 years, several department heads being fired for possible corruption, missing money up the ying yang, 2 City managers fired with corruption scandals behind them. This should be the time to stop gloating over the arrest of Sylvia Poitier and a whole investigation should be initiated into the City's workings and dealings. The words common sense come to mind after looking at the totality of the city's history regarding corruption.


I do firmly believe that the reporting is good because it highlights that a "zero-tolerance policy" by the SAO has possibly been instituted, but with knowing and seeing what I do in Deerfield Beach, I have to point out that this policy only affects a few and is not meant (at least in past and current practice) for all elected and appointed officials.   It is easy for some to say that this is not about race and I truly want to believe that our society has moved past the color of ones skin.  But in seeing the giddiness of most of the political players and side-liners in this City at the indictment of Poitier,  I truly wonder if we as a City have moved pass the past or are we stuck in the same mindset that attributed to the racially motivated assassinations (of character) of the past.

As a District 2 resident, when I look at the Kesslereport, the attacks on the Housing Authority, Mango and Brazillian Festivals, and the 2010 layoffs I can't help but to see race.  As all of these are directly related to District 2 , minorities and then namely Sylvia Poitier.  Is it fair for the caucasion citizenry of Deerfield Beach and otheto expect the "us" to not jump to that conclusion when looking at the totality of the situation here in Deerfield Beach.  We have the Caucasian commissioners and city management voting and initiating a forensic investigation into the commissioner, departments, and festivals directly associated with District 2, which has a majority of minority residents.  We have the Kesslereport, which indicated that there was financial wrong doing on the part of all of the festivals and yet they zero'd in on the minority's festivals.  We have several departments that all of our citizens know are a little shady and yet the focus ison the minority related departments.   Our City is facing budget deficits and the departments that are targeted for layoffs are the departments that have a majority of minorities and District 2 residents employed.   How should we react?  Should we accept the City's explanation for these events on face value?  Or should we ask for more of an explanation as to why this seems to only affect "us"?  Is there no corruption in the other parts of the City or is this whole thing a smoke screen for a more nefarious plan?  

Our City management and elected officials have opened up a can of worms and we as citizens have to muddle through the mess that has been created to find the best avenues for all of us to come through on the other-side.  At this point, we all look like idiots, not just District 2 residents (as some posters and bloggers would suggest) for our voting habits and apathy to oumunicipalities government affairs.   

I think a full audit of the entire cities operations is called for, given the totality of our City's entire situation.  We can pay for it with the City's AmEx Card or we can allow this city to pay the expense of balancing it's budget with the Black Card.