Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is the Black Church Dead in Deerfield Beach???

 In April, I wrote a post to all of those individuals creeping around District 2, shouting at us that we need a change.  This group of people apparently are so hurt and jaded at our current leadership that just to see something new they would vote for an individual that may not have our best interest at heart.  They may vote for an individual who supports the Utility Tax, which the City imposed upon us so we can chip in to pay for ball fields at Quiet Waters and to help construct Tam O' Shanter a half Ball park half memorial also out West.

The funny thing is a few of these people that I have spoken to have indicated that when I first started doing this they were excited, but apprehensive because to them I was supporting someone who they wanted out of the seat.  Well, I have spoken on that many times and have given my reasons for supporting Sylvia Poitier over say someone like Ben Preston in the last election.

If you know me then you know that I never just take someones word as gospel.  It`s just not in me to do that. I want to see the proof and if you can`t provide the proof then I will go out and find it.  If I cannot substantiate your claims then I don`t believe them.  Unfortunately, many in my community just go by gossip and words  and they do not go out and find the facts.  Way to many times do our community fall victim to schemes and plots because we don`t look for proof or substantive information.  We are, after all, a religious group for the most part and that has been to our benefit and our detriment because the thing with religion is it trains you to not ask questions and to have "blind faith" that GOD will take care of your needs.  

With that said, I would like to remind everyone that Martin Luther King could not have made the difference that he made without the help of the churches.  Back in the day, the black community was filled with religious institutions our preachers preached from the pulpit and they also talked politics from the pulpit.  This kept the black community involved and informed on what was happening in their communities.  The Black church actually had power, political and spiritual, but unfortunately today many black churches have turned from religious institutions into a big business with many churches receiving grants and funds from there respective City's which basically ties the hands of the church and forces them to either stay out of the political arena from fear of biting the hand that feeds them or they just ignore the communities that they are supposed to serve.  Either way they have become as ineffective as the church bell calling people to service.  These new churches with their highly educated pastors and preachers who have stopped shepherding their flocks as they are to busy at the bank cashing their checks.  I know that this will offend many people, but the truth needs to be told.

In the last 6 months in Deerfield Beach's black community, which is filled with numerous churches on almost every street corner, it has been almost mission impossible trying to contact each church and then an even harder task is to get them to help with civic activism that doesn't outright benefit them personally or their church.  I have to go back and think about all the stories that I have read and heard about the Civil rights movement.  This movement was so effective because everyone was involved, especially the churches.  Back then the churches did more in the communities because they were lead by community leaders who were called to the Ministry for a higher purpose.  To many of today`s ministers are from the school of thought that I just need to put on a good show at the pulpit and preach hard and keep at least the people on the first 7 pews from going to sleep and I am doing the Lord`s work.  When I am finished I will go and cash my pay check and buy an Escalade and buy my wife some big obnoxious hats so she can outshine the other women in the church, she is the first lady after all.   With this new school of preachers, what is left out is the community.  The young people who need someone to look up to and someone to lead them to the Lord, will usually fall by the wayside because they don`t trust this new style preacher who is all about judgement and condemnation instead of acceptance, love, and community service.  These types of preachers are only interested in the community service that the government and Law Enforcement entities will give them grant money to provide and then only 20% of that goes towards actually helping the community and usually you will find that the only people who ever benefit are either church members or the family and friends of the prominent church members.  The majority of the community is left out and the preacher and his family get richer and richer while the majority of their congregation is getting poorer and poorer.  You have to look no further than right here in Deerfield Beach, where we have many examples of this type of new style church and church leaders.  How many times have you seen any of these churches actually working together, serving our GOD?  I think it may have happened once or twice, if at all.

How many of our Church leaders have expressed the need to it's congregations to vote in these last local elections, how many have expressed the need for their flocks to go to City Commission Meetings or Community meetings.  Now, these same leaders can get their flocks to do almost everything else, choir rehearsals, bibles studies, midnight masses, almost anything that our community will make time for, but they seem unwilling to utilize their considerable gifts to lead the people to do their civic duties.  Many people say they do this because of the doctrine "Separation of Church and State".  This is Man's doctrine and is not found in the Bible.  The bible actually tells us about taxes and civic duty:

Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.  Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.  (Romans 13:5-7)

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.  For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.  Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.  Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.  (1 Peter 2:1317)

The main human institution is that of Civic Duty, which demands that the people be involved in  politics and voting at every level.

These new shepherds have led their flocks astray and we have been willing sheep to follow.   They would have us stick our heads in the sand and not do our civic duty, thus holding us back and negating the good works of Martin Luther King and others, just so they may cash on our blind faith.  How many of our churches help those who are not members.  How many of our churches go out of their way to help in the community.

And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'  "This is the great and foremost commandment.  "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."  (Matthew 22:37-40)

How many of church leaders go above and beyond if they are not getting credit. 

"And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. (Matthew 5:41)

Now with that, I ask you how many of these churches celebrate their Pastors continuously throughout the year, given the pastor undeserved glory.  Far to often our churches want to be bigger better than this church or that church.  This should be self-evident by the fact that we have two ministerial alliances and yet neither has been really affective in the community at-large.  It  would seem, from the lack of care or assistance with the simple task of informing their respective congregations on the happenings in the City and getting as many people as possible involved,  that they are both working with the City to keep us ignorant.  If we don`t ask questions then we will never see behind the curtain at the people pulling the strings keeping us and our District back.  The only time they encourage their congregations to get involved is on events and issues that will negatively affect either the church or their paychecks and sometimes both.  Like last year when the City wanted to assess the churches and non-profits the Fire Assessment Fee, which would have cost many of these churches thousands upon thousands of dollars.  Now, more recently with the Utility Tax issue, how many churches actually advised their congregations of this issue from the City, that would have an adverse impact on our District most.  Many of them didn't even show up to the Commission meeting to discuss it, and the ones that were there, outside of Ford, didn't even talk up against the tax.  So, I have been boiling over this since June 7 and I know that many people will be highly upset with me, but I don`t care.  These things need to be mentioned.  Many in our community agree with me, but from fear of being ostracized from their groups will not publicly admit this information.  

So, I say to any out there that will condemn me for this post.  Prove me wrong, show me the proof that anything that I have said here is a "false statement".  I already know that there are some "Ministeries" that do not fall into these categories and that is wonderful.  However, almost every church in our City has fallen short in it's Glory as of late and that has contributed to the despair, lack of communal spirit, lack of Godliness in our homes.  I personally believe that this lack is because our churches have "no works", many within the church have "faith", but "faith with no works is dead".  The faith in many of our Churches is Dead and until these churches bring back the works they will continue to lead their flocks astray, I have been praying for an awakening or resurrection of the black church for years, since I was about 6 or 7, only recently have I seen proof beyond a shadow that the black churches need a resurrection of their faith and the only way to do that is to include works that benefit all of God's children accovding to his law and his commandments.

James 2:17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works. Faith that has no power to bring one to obedience and to sway the life is as worthless as good wishes which end in words.

Is dead, being alone. It cannot stand alone and be of any avail. Only when it shows its power in works is it of the slightest value.

People's New Testament

Once we get that back, the black churches can again be the effective catalyst for change that they were when Martin and others used them to help obtain Equal rights for all people here in the United States.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deerfield Beach, via Chaz Stevens, Comes Up With Land Banking.

A few suggestions to City Folk when talking to Chaz Stevens:

Peggy Noland- Put the bottle down!

Bill Ganz- the world is a stage, and you'll never be the actor in life that you are in your own head.  That's showbiz for you!

Keven Klopp- Don't gloat, yet!  This game ain't over.

Burgess Hanson-Cut the strings, already!!!

Oh Land Banks, EH?  My question is you 5 wouldn't be considering utilizing Federal Funds to purchase properties in District 2, to what end exactly?  

The City already has enough properties it owns in District 2 that are contributing to the blight, so no thank you if I am at least apprehensive of letting this City get control of more properties that they allow to derelict and contribute to an already increasing problem.  

According to some they wish to have a regime change over at the DBHA Commission and Board.  Peggy will help to install a new board under the tutelage of Chaz Stevens (Insert glass shattering scream here) and utilize the considerable Federal funds to begin Land-banking, where the City will gobble up as many vacant/foreclosed/for sale properties as possible, change the land usage and eventually all of the historical residents of District 2 will be pushed to some other corner of the City or out of it, altogether.  

Ask your grandparents and great-grandparents what happened in Deerfield Beach the last time the City started "land-banking" in the black owned community.  We were pushed from the Beach area and East of the railroads to where we are now.  Yes, that's right!  The black community in Deerfield Beach was not always quarantined off in this EAST/WEST corridor along I-95 and the railroads with an added buffer zone of warehouses.  Now that this land has become very attractive to the City's and Counties because our communities are generally centrally located close to all major highways and industry would love to be situated there and a new type of resident brought in to create a greater tax base.  Look at Delray!

So, I caution anyone when the City comes knocking on your door, unless they bring an offer like they did Ms. Vonette Vestor, who owns the last piece of property privately owned at Pioneer Park, which the City intends to purchase for $70,000 after getting a what I would call more than generous appraisal at $44,000 in fair condition and that's w/o examining the inside of the structure b/c from those pictures it doesn't look like fair condition to me and the three properties they compared it to was not comparable in the very least.  But, hey I am not a property appraisor, but I did look up the property and Broward County's property appraisal of the property has the Just Market Value at 36,080.  Hey, they may have left out some things that the private firm who appraised the same property at $44,000 included.  So, why would the City who is claiming that it's broke move to purchase a property for almost twice it's worth according to another Gov't Entity.  That I don't know you would have to ask Staff who recommended this purchase and indicate somehow that it is in the best interest of the City to do this.

Anyway, I just wish Deerfield Beach would expend funds to clean up their properties like St. Louis or Detroit. Chaz, you can get them to do that?

Also, is anybody else concerned that any person on the Commission would appoint Chaz Stevens to the DBHA is beyond me.  It would seem as if the first time something doesn't go his way he will begin a campaign to assassinate the character of that person or entity or throw a plan ol' temper tantrum as he so frequently does.  Personally, I think it would be a toxic relationship, not good for the new Commissioners, not good for the people who that entity would help, and definitely not good for this City.

Anybody, Peggy Noland, who would even consider appointing this man to any City Board would have to be nuts, drunk, or scared.  Oh, Peggy did it the first time and she is who Chaz is after to do it now..Welp, we got the nuts, drunk part and according to Jeff Sayles over at, we may have all three.  Everyone in the City knows about the shady dealings of Peggy Noland and her Fire Fighter husband, but only Chaz Stevens had the balls to go out and get the proof and then take some of that proof and show the DIAS and the City.  Then when it suited him in several blog post he insinuated to Peggy Noland that he could bring trouble to her life, like tax problems and that little workmans comp fraud issue.  Since it would seem that Peggy has everyone else under her thumb except Chaz Stevens, given the fact that her son was caught committing political sabotage and nothing happened and then her husband caught on camera possibly committing workman's comp fraud and nothing happened, then her husband is removed from a position that he was not qualified to have and nothing happened, oh something did happen.  Peggy had the City Manager, Mike Mahaney, fired for that little incident.  You don't "F' with the Noland's, I guess.  But, now it would seem that Peggy is now the victim of the same tactics she so frequently used to have her will done on this City. I guess there is a new power couple in town Chaz and Chaz Stevens and in there first political moves have taken down at least three political figures, have made a puppet of the Mayor, Peggy Noland, and has made all of those City Hall folks willing participants in this charade.  

This has to stop!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deerfield Beach Fire Department, Mafia or Totally Blameless...

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to update everyone on a post regarding the Deerfield Beach Fire Department, especially since on June 21, 2011 Bill Ganz stated that we shouldn`t blame the Fire Department for the $20Million plus, of our City`s budget that they get.  Let`s look at it shall we...

The Fire Department and it`s friends, I will not name names, but I am sure that we all know who they are, donate monies to almost all of the politicians in Deerfield`s history, or should we say about really the last thirty years, or so.  I have even heard it mentioned that you can`t get elected in Deerfield Beach without the help of the Fire Department and it`s friends and supporters.  

Wow!  That`s really depressing news.

I have even been warned against talking about the Fire Department, as if it was some sort of Deerfield Beach Mafia or something.  That really would be a scary thought, but since I have not heard back from the Plantation Fire Department and Chaz Stevens, friend of Deerfield Beach Fire Chief Chad Brocato and Bill Ganz, has already indicated that I probably wouldn`t be hearing back from Plantation it made me wonder and it actually gives credibility to that sentiment.

Is Deerfield Beach Fire Department really like the Mafia???

I don't know if that is true, but if I get wacked in the next few months then we will all know.  Character assassination has already been implemented by Chaz Stevens, friend of the Fire Chief and Bill Ganz, as he has called me everything in the book, including insinuating that I poisoned his dog and his latest brain child that I am a pedophile.  So, it doesn't shock me at all at the possibility that they have managed to somehow quiet the Plantation Fire Chief from even addressing the benefits or negatives of a volunteer fire department, comparable to that of Deerfield BEach in service rendered, but not comparable in the amount it cost it's respective City.  Plantation is about $9 million per year and Deerfield Beach is about $20 plus million per year.

Why is it that the Deerfield Beach Fire Department is so scared of anyone even asking the City to do a report or look into their operation for more cost savings.  Bill Ganz actually made my point even clearer by stating that the courageous men and women of the DBFD are not to blame for the amount allocated to them by the CODB, he even went further to say that all of us would have taken the benefits, salaries, etc...offered to the firemen by "politicians" of Deerfield's past, in about the last 20 years or so.

Hey, didn't Chief Brocato mention something about the Commissioners in the last 20 years being correct in their actions to implement the DBFD as it is now.   

 Looking into all possible avenues of cost savings is fiscally responsible, if this would be something that could benefit Deerfield Beach in this time of financial crisis.  So again, I ask what are Peggy Noland and family, Bill Ganz, Chief Brocatoeall, and many, many others so afraid to commission a report looking into changing the structure of the DBFD for cost savings.  Is it because they know what we will find.  Because I know there has to be a more cost effective and better way than what we are doing now and I know this because we have to look no further than the City of Plantation.  

I think that little warning I received about the DBFD holding the key to one's political aspirations is incorrect.  Any elected official that is looking to get elected in the near future in Deerfield Beach will have to look at all the possibilities for cost-savings because the citizens are fed up with footing the bill for continued fiscal irresponsibility on behalf of 20 years of bad choices.  For Bill Ganz to state that we shouldn't blame the Fire Department and should look at Sylvia Poitier as if she was the only politician doing the bidding of the Fire Department (I don't know if this is true, but if it is then shame on her) and its cronies for 20 years is ridiculous.  The fact is she wasn't even on the DIAS when the major bull happened (Defined Pension and the Drop program) but Peggy Noland and Gwyn Clark was part of that dream team who saddled this City with it's current financial burden.  So, with that said, Bill Ganz wants us to not blame the Fire Department, but put sole blame on Sylvia Poitier because she made a comment in 2011 during an election forum, but he would have us stop looking into the Fire Department because Chief Brocato and 20 years of Commissioners, Fire Chiefs, and City Managers thought it was a good idea.  

Boy, he surely gets a lot of use out of his Theatre degree from FSU, because he surely puts on a great show.

Apparently, the best thing that came from the last 20 years, was the fact that the Federal program, whose intended goal was to help inner city and low income neighborhoods be redeveloped through an equal financing program, was their decision to put the Cra on the beach (where the money is) and leaving District 2, the inner city and low-income district, to remain underdeveloped and leaving it's residents at the mercy of the non-profits, who held so tight to the information that monies were available that hardly no residents, except a select few ever benefited from their programs.  

Heck, even to this day residents who could have utilized portions of that $200,000 the City just "re-programmed" for street re-surfacing from CDBG funds, where left out because of a mandated timeframe by HUD which states that funds had to be expended by August 1, 2011 or the City would lose the funds.

Why nobody is talking about that is beyond me.  Maybe because the City has red herring us with everything else, even turning neighbor against neighbor with the utility tax and it's suggestion that everyone was not paying it's fair share.  When the only people not paying their fair share is the Fire Department and the Commissioners, and their buddies.  We the taxpayers, from District 1 through District 4 have been paying through the nose for their incompetence and greed for years.  That is what we as a City should be thinking about, it is time for a change in Deerfield and we need to start by being open and honest with ourselves on every issue and stop allowing these blatant betrayals of the public trust to continue.

The City has expended hundreds of thousands of dollars on reports, surveys, and investigations into everything from who stole the cookies from grandma's cookie jar to Kessler's various costly reports which only accomplished to point out that 20 years of Commissioners, City Managers, and other City Officials have been wrong and have not done their jobs properly and have cost the taxpayers billions in misappropriated, misused, and mishandled tax dollars and not only when it comes to Non-Profits in District 2, but throughout the entire City.  I personally believe that the entire City needs to be under investigation because their are many of residents and businesses tired of footing the bill for these mistakes.  Oh did I mention that Peggy Noland has been a involved as an elected official for about 20 years.  Oh and she benefits from the Fire Department and the lavish City Benefits, employment packages and gifts through her husband and son, why is no one talking about this??? That's politics I guess and I would like to thank Chaz Stevens for dropping the ball on this, as our local corruption fighter he has left us open to more corruption by not finishing what he started with Mrs. Fire Department herself, Peggy Noland.

I mean it would seem that they are scared down to their flame-retardent boots about anyone looking into other ideas to save the City money when it comes to Public Safety.  Chief Brocato even stated that to even suggest it would mean that 20 years of Commissioners, Fire Chiefs, and City Managers would have been wrong to enact and not alter orestructure DBFD and the current Public Safety system in Deerfield Beach.  

Well, I for one would love for a report to be done.  Maybe they can take it out of the Non-Departmental Fund which they are about to use to purchase the last privately owned parcel of land at Pioneer Park for $26 thousand dollars above market value.  Wow!  That's great for the owner of that property to get what she is asking for in this market, but it's okay because the City wants that property...

I think it's not that the DBFD is the Mafia, it's just that the City wants what the City wants, i.e. Peggy Noland and her buddies wanted something and they didn't care how they got it.  Now, they have Bill Ganz championing for them and with his statements I think it safe to say that he's not going to look into resolving the problem or looking to rectify it, since it is now obvious that he realizes that there was a problem with the structuring of the salaries, benefits, and pensions of DBFD.   

So, I say to you Bill Ganz, if you really want to be Mayor of the City of Deerfield Beach, do you continue to bow down to a select few Fire Department and keep making your little comments to draw attention to the fiscal irresponsibility of previous Commissioners, Fire Chiefs, and City Managers. Basically, telling us that Peggy Noland help to screw up this City and now that she is the Mayor, she is doing her darnedest to keep up that tradition.  Or do you take a really hard look at the City and be open to researching all major cost saving avenues at all levels and all departments and if after a report comparing the way we have been doing things, catering to the DBFD, and other models means cutting at the DBFD or even a restructuring then so be it, if it is determined that that is the best interest of our City and not just rely on Brocato's word that what we do is better because he has you yourself stated would he want to be Chief of a Combination Fire Department making considerably less salary and a reduction in benefits and staff.

No, I don't think so!  And it's time that everyone chips in to support the City and wasteful spending should be curbed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meet Andre Samuels, Candidate for District 2 City Commissioner

I know some people might find it strange that I am posting information from someone, who they may see as some sort of "competition".  I have heard this comment and many others like it with regard on how highly I speak of Andre Samuels and some of the other candidates to the public.  What people don't realize is even when I was working with Sylvia Poitier on her campaign, I was still continiously helping the other candidates.  Gloria Battle and Annette Scott-Woods, I would've helped Ben Preston, but he never answered my phone calls back then.  

The reason I chose to do this is because it's needed in my community.  When I got involved in this political "game", it became very obvious to me that information was the key.  The people with the information benefited most and those without it were left behind or worse left out.  So, I took the necessary steps to try and get that information out to the residents of District 2 and get them involved.  This was and is the key to getting District 2 an equal seat at the table, because when we are all honest with ourselves, for whatevereason the residents of District 2 have never had an equal seat at the table.  It is time that we do what needs to be done to reach that goal and that begins with  full participation and education in the politics of Deerfield Beach.

So, I would just like to state what should be obvious by now, I do not see Andre, Gloria, Ben, or Anthony as competition.  This is not a derogatory statement in the least.  What it is and if you have ever spoken to me personally, or seen me speaking out in the streets, or have been following this blog then you know that I do this for the betterment of my community and I believe that each and every candidate running has the best intentions for their community.  All of the candidates bring their own flare, personality, attributes, credits, ideas, etc... to the political arena that is Deerfield Beach.  I believe this wholeheartedly!  Of course, I have personal favorites with me being the top choice because I know and trust my own thoughts and ideas for the progression of D2 into the future as an equal partner with the other districts within the City of Deerfield Beach.   

With that said, let me tell you a little story, this is around 1997-1998 at Deerfield Beach High School.

Guy struts into a choral room with a thousand books in his hands, an overstuffed bookbag, and the ugliest and tightest pair of jeans I had ever seen.  The first thing I thought was, geez, I really hope he is just delivering a message and not looking to join, but as the Chorus President, I walked over and introduced myself and the conversation went something like this. (Please note I have taken a few liberties.)

Me:  Hey, how you doing, my name is David. Can I help you?

Guy: Hello!  My name is Andre Samuels. I spoke to the chorus teacher and she told me about this group and I was wondering if I could join?

We all noticed that he was a little bit timid and a bit to reserved, which for a guy singing in the school chorus, this is a negative and if you watch GLEE then you know why.  If I had to describe our personalities back then  based on characters from GLEE, then he would be the male version of Tina Cohen-Chang 1st Season and I of course was a mix between Kurt, Mercedes, and Rachel. 

Me: Sure, what grade are you in?

Andre: I'm in your 1st hour AP English class, so 12th.

In my defense,  I was only in this AP English class for about a month before returning to the Honors Track, so I really didn't get a chance to learn all of the new faces, plus the AP kids had known each other for 4 years and I honestly, outside of a few exceptions I really didn't try to get to know them because I was playing catch-up with the course work and there just no time.  Also, the Honors kids and AP/IB kids really didn't mix or associate with each other all that much.  I think it had something to do with their workload, I could be wrong.  

Me: Oh!!!  OK, yeah sure you can join.  What is your range?

This initial conversation was interrupted by the chorus teacher and suffice it to say Andre and I became friends from that day forth.  

Anyway, both Andre and I share the same vision for this community.  We have taken different paths and different avenues, but I do believe that our travels in this political arena will always lead both of us back to our main goal which is the betterment of District 2 and Deerfield Beach.

Speaking of goals, since my main goal is to educate the people and give them the information they need to make informed decisions.  I would like to start off with introducing Andre Samuels and some of his ideas to the readers of this blog.  Some of you know him, some of you don't.  So now is your chance to get to know him and his vision for this City if elected as District 2 City Commissioner.  

To Andre, sorry about the

So without further ado, Andre Samuels...

Friends and Neighbors,
As a life long Deerfield Beach resident, I was raised to contribute to my community. I attended Deerfield Beach High school, before receiving my Bachelors of Science in Biological Engineering. I owe my community for supporting me and teaching me the values I grew up with. I am running for the City Commission because I believe that our community stands at a cross roads. Our district has been Under-fundedUnder-resourced, and at times Ignored. But I believe that Our Future Can Be Much Brighter! We must put the past and old grievances behind us and look towards our future. We must build new relationships and new partnerships that unify our city and strengthen our district. The goal of building A Better District Requires a Plan! As voters, we cannot afford to accept the empty promises of politicians. If we wish to Change The Direction of Our Community, we need to plot a new course. We need to know where we are going, and how we are going to get there. I am running for city commission because I believe that our community needs answers, and I believe that I have a plan that addresses the most pressing issues in our community. My plan is not a laundry list of empty promises. It is a step by step agenda. If you elect me, I will follow this road map. You will not have to wonder what I will accomplish while in office and you will not have to wonder how I will reach our goals. You will know precisely what issues I will address and you will know exactly how Our District will be different, if I am elected. As a voter, you deserve to know this from every candidate. Please take the time to read through this plan and learn about my vision for this community. I know that we can rescue our community. I know that we have the talent, drive and energy it takes to solve these problems. We just need to choose the right leadership! 


Deerfield Beach High-school
Bachelors of Science: Biological Engineering

Community Work

Member Deerfield Beach Cultural Committee
Founder of The Legacy Project- an effort to record Deerfield's Black History
Philanthropy Fundraiser Winter Wonderland Toy-Drive
Message Coordinator For City Commission Campaigns- Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville
Volunteer in Campaigns for State House of Representatives
Volunteer in Campaigns for State Senate
Volunteer Al Gore Presidential Campaign
Volunteer John Kerry Presidential Campaign

Andre can be reached at (954) 425-2365 oe-mail: 

To all District 2 residents, whether you vote for me or one of the other candidates, like Andre Samuels, the important thing is that you VOTE!

You can go to the polls on July 19, 2011 and cast your ballot or you can contact the BSOE at and fill out a request form for an absentee ballot or you can call the BSOE at 954-357-7055.

Stay tuned, I will be profiling all the other candidates within the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Deerfield Beach District 2 Community Meeting June 21, 2011

Last night’s community meeting went really well.  I would have liked more District 2 residents to have attended, but you have to be grateful that at least a few of us are interested in working toward a better future for our community.

The meeting was called to order at about 7:05 p.m. with the opening prayer by Mr. Ben Preston, candidate for District 2 City Commissioner.
We began with a discussion on the CODB Commission Agenda for Tuesday June 21, 2011.  We discussed the below agenda items:

#12 RESOLUTION-FIRE ASSESSMENT FEE: The City renewing the annual rate of $135 for residents and the rates for commercial, institution, and industrial/warehouse.

The City Manager is hereby directed to prepare, or cause to be prepared, an updated Assessment Roll for the Fiscal Year commencing October 1, 2011, in the manner provided in the Ordinance. The updated Assessment Roll shall include all Tax Parcels within the Property Use Categories, including those Buildings located on a parcel of Institutional Property whose Building use is wholly exempt from ad valorem taxation under Florida law, which properties have been exempted from the Fire Rescue Assessment program in the past, but will be included within the definition of Assessed Property for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2011. The City Manager shall apportion the estimated Fire Rescue Assessed Cost to be recovered through Fire Rescue Assessments in the manner set forth in this Preliminary Rate Resolution.

I have spoken with Miguel Agustin, CODB Assistant Finance Director, and he indicated that the above language related to the inclusion of properties, namely churches and non-profits, that were previously exempt from the Fire Assessment Fee in the assessment roll was an oversight by the City and these properties will not be included in the assessment roll and therefore will remain exempted from the fees.  I went by the City this morning and obtained a copy of the revised ordinance from the City Clerk.

#13 RESOLUTION-PRIVATE CLUBS: The City is looking to impose a mandated closing time for establishments that qualify as “private clubs”, such as the Legion Hall, to close by 2am and to make all owner/operators of said establishments responsible for removing loiterers who intoxicated from their premises.

          SEC. 6-35. PRIVATE CLUBS.
Private clubs at which alcoholic beverages are, or are available to be, sold, dispensed, consumed, possessed or offered for sale or consumption on the premises shall be required to be closed between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 12:01 p.m. on Sunday.
It shall be unlawful for any intoxicated person to loiter in and about the premises used or occupied by a private club, and it shall be the duty of the operator of the private club to remove such intoxicated persons from the premises.

#33 GENERAL ITEMS-RESOLUTION/QUALIFIED TARGET INDUSTRY: The City of Deerfield is looking to approve Federated Precision, Inc,  a manufacturer of  aviation parts, funds to entice them into setting up their headquarters here in the City through this program, which provides a tax refund of $3,000/job created in a qualified area to the company.  The tax refund is shared between the Federal Gov’t, the County, and the City.   Federated Precision Inc. has stated they would bring 66 jobs to the local economy.

Approval for participation in the QTI program would allow Federated Precision Inc. a $3,000 tax refund per qualified, high paying job created and a $2,000 per job bonus for creating jobs in the highly desired manufacturing sector. The expense of the tax refund is shared through a partnership between the host city, county and state, with the State of Florida contributing 80%, Broward County contributing 10% and the City of Deerfield Beach contributing the remaining 10%. Federated Precision qualifies for $330,000 in QTI tax refunds. If approve d, the State of Florida would contribute $264,000 while Broward County and the City of Deerfield Beach would contribute $33,000 each.  These funds are paid out by the   three parties over a period of between four (4) and six (6) years, depending on the rate of job creation by the company. This translates into payments in the range of from $5,500 - $8,250 annually, depending on the rate that new jobs are created. Additional job creation above and beyond this agreement is not included in this approval.  The City of Deerfield faces no financial risk of not receiving return on its investment as this is a performance based program. In other words, if the company doesn’t create jobs, the City of Deerfield does not pay its contribution   toward the incentive. The company will recruit heavily locally and will also rely on job training and referrals through Workforce One and local colleges and universities.  The company is ready to make a facility location decision based on the outcome of the City of Deerfield’s commitment to participate in the funding of the QTI incentive. The City must make its commitment via Resolution to begin the process.  If approved, a similar request will be placed on the 6/28/2011 Broward County Commission Agenda for consideration.

This would seem to be a good thing as long as the job creation actually benefits the local economy.  At this time there is no safeguard in place to ensure that this happens.  The company just has to go through the process of local hiring, but no guarantees are made that they hire locally. 

Following the discussion on these agenda items a small impromptu forum was held between Ben Preston, Gloria Battle and me. 

The question was related to the QTI ordinance.  Ben Preston started it off by stating that if he were District 2 Commissioner and resident he wants D2 to be able to compete on the same level as the other three districts.  To accomplish this he would speak with City Manager to implement an aesthetics project to beautify the District and then he would talk to Chief Sudler to ensure that BSO would increase patrols to ensure security and safety for the businesses and the residents.  He stated that he would offer potential new businesses tax incentives to get them to locate to D2.  He gave an example of a graduated tax scale for the first 4 years with the business being exempt from (City) taxes the first year and bringing them to 100% full tax payments within a set time span.  He also indicated that he would sit with the businesses and the City Manager to suggest that the majority of new hires come from within D2 and Deerfield Beach. 

Gloria Battle spoke next and she indicated that would put a strong emphasis on the Dixie Highway Corridor, which she indicated still has parcels of land that are privately owned by D2 residents whose families have had the land for years.  She indicated that she would like to see the land leased by the land owners to potential businesses, that way both parties benefit.  The business benefits from obtaining the prime real estate in D2 and the resident/landowner benefits because it becomes a revenue source for them and their descendants as long as they maintain ownership of the leased properties.  She indicated that she would look to impose a mandated hiring requirement that a percentage of new hires must come from D2 and Deerfield Beach on any new business to the district to ensure that D2 employment candidates are seriously considered for hiring.  Ms. Battle also indicated that District 2 is primarily composed of Single and Multi-Family residents and the Commercial properties are limited, so we have to capitalize on the available land in the district.

I advised that I agree with both their ideas, however, what both left out is a discussion with the residents.  I advised that we need to go “back to the basics” because BSO and the City can only do so much with regard to aesthetics and security.  Aesthetically, the City can do many things in the district, but if the residents are not on board with the decision(s) then vandalism and crime will continue deterring businesses from coming to the district.  I advised that the Duly-elected Commissioner has to be willing and able to communicate with “ALL” their constituents and explain to them in no uncertain terms that if you want jobs, we have the opportunity to have businesses come to our district but the City needs our help.  We have to begin by cleaning up our yards and if need be help in our neighbors yard and the City will begin properly maintaining its properties in the district.  An Open and Honest conversation must be had explaining that businesses, and therefore jobs, will not come if they are afraid of our community.  This open dialogue must be initiated to ensure the growth and prosperity of the district.  I continued on to say that while this is being done, we must bring in businesses that will service the community and that will provide a benefit, job opportunity and a service to the residents of the district, as well as appeals to the needs of Deerfield Beach.  This will bring needed tax revenue for the District and the City.  I went further to indicate that at the June 7 City Commission Meeting when the City Manager stated that figures in ad valorem revenue per district he did not explain that district 2 is comprised of residents and does not have as many commercial properties and businesses as the other districts.  We as residents of district 2 have to go back to the basics and rebuild our foundation to compel the City and entice potential new businesses to seriously consider our district for business development, but this must be done sensibly and with the best interest of the current residents in mind.

After the candidates spoke, the floor was opened up to the public and a discussion ensued.  Pam Millitello addressed the group and advised that when she was Commissioner, before the redistricting when part of the current District 2 was included with District 1, she drove her district and she saw the blight located on City owned properties and she persistently contacted the City Manager and Public works to have it cleaned.  She indicated that only because she was adamant about the City taking care of the problem on their land did something happen.  David Cohen spoke and advised that the problem is not the City’s, but the residents and the people who are dumping.  He indicated that the residents of District 2 need to clean up after themselves.  It was made abundantly clear to Mr. Cohen that many times the residents are not the culprits behind the dumping, people and businesses come from different districts and dump in open spaces and on City property.  I explained to Mr. Cohen that regardless of who did it, it is the City’s job to clean up the swells, their land, and all other properties that our tax dollars are paying for them to clean.  I referenced the scenario given by Bill Ganz about the complaints he received from District 4 residents about their bulk trash being scattered by unknowns and it making the area look bad.  He indicated that Sanitation still comes by and picks up the mess to ensure that his district remains aesthetically pleasing.  We all pay the same in garbage fees and therefore we should all receive the same service.  David Cohen protested and stated that the residents of District 4 clean up their properties and I advised him that per Ganz’s story he indicated that the Sanitation Dept. cleaned it up not the residents with their bare hands that Mr. Cohen would have us believe.  He then asked “what do you do about the abandoned properties?” and I explained to him that this is also the City’s job.  We have Code Enforcement for that and therefore, it is the City’s job to clean it up and then go after the property owner, not just leave the property blighted because they can’t bill someone.  Mr. Cohen agreed and told a story about an incident that happened to him when dealing with Code Enforcement.  It was brought to the group’s attention that the City also has properties that are not up to code with regard to the height of vegetation, i.e. overgrown weeds and grasses, which would get anyone else cited by Code Enforcement.  We finished this topic with the understanding that the City contributes to the blight in District 2 and that it will be up to us, the residents, to ensure the City begins enforcing its own code on the offending people, residents and itself. 

[I will be going out and taking pictures of the City properties that are not up to code, to show the City at the next meeting in August.]

I advised the group that no matter who wins, the City and any and all groups that receive Federal monies need to do a better job in advertising their programs to “ALL” the people who the funds were intended to benefit.  Historically, this has not been done affectively and therefore those who would need the assistance most have been left out.  This lack of free-flowing information has contributed to the environment within “our little town” that has seen three elected officials jailed and other organizations investigated for possible fraud and corruption.

I also explained that the City’s public meetings need to be opened up to the public for input, like all major cities in Broward have done.  Although the law under Florida Statute 286.011 does not explicitly give the public the right to speak at “public meeting” under the Sunshine Law, many Cities have implemented a process for the public to be included in the decision making process and since Deerfield Beach does not have an actual rule on the books limiting the the topic of public speech at Commission Meetings (see resolution 2007/052), the public needs to be allowed to participate in the decision making process.  The Deerfield Beach Commission has a historical record of not doing the right thing, as made evident by the June 21, 2011 statements made by Bill Ganz about the lack of “intestinal fortitude”.  The current process discourages the public from participation and when it should be encouraging us.

We also discussed the need for District 2 residents to get on and vote and Absentee ballot request were handed out.  I advised that the deadline to request absentee ballots is Wednesday July 13, 2011.  I informed the group if they need to they can call me or one of the other candidates and we will pick up the completed, signed, and sealed ballot and deliver it to the BSOE office.  We, all three candidates in attendance, agreed that it would be in the best interest of our district to have a good voter turnout so we can regain our power within Deerfield and show that we are ready to participate and deserve an equal place at the table in this municipality.

Meeting adjourned at 8:28pm