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.
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 Kessler report, 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 other to 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 Kessler report, 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 our municipalities 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.