Keeping it real the City of Deerfield Beach Fire Department handles about 9% fire and about 91% emergency medical services, so keeping it real do we really need (per your number) 120 dually trained firefighter/paramedics, I think not! If our City was really interested in looking at all viable cost saving(s) ideas then they would look at all the models and all the possibilities. Our City does not and have not done that.
Look at the City of Plantation, which is an affluent community of lawyers, doctors, business men (basically all the people with degrees, education, and disposable cash that Bill, Peggy, and Marty wish would move here), who has about 84,955 residents over 22.8 sq miles compared to Deerfield Beach 75, 018 over 14.9 sq. miles (of which 1.5 is covered with water). Plantation has a full volunteer fire department of about 150 firefighters (many with over 25 years of experience) and they have a City rescue service comprised of about 52 fully trained paid paramedics on three man crews.(as of a 2000 report http://www.psd.plantation.org/Fire/docs/AnnRpt4.pdf) Their numbers and stats are comparable to Deerfields, resulting in both cities having the same ISO score of 2. The main difference between the cities however is the cost that is paid to achieve the same goals, Plantation $7,585,223/ Deerfield $20,000,000+? So, unless Plantation cheated on the test (this is highly unlikely and can’t be brought up without discrediting the whole system and all the scores), then their more than qualified volunteers are providing the same service for less than $8 million that we are paying $20+ million for. Now Chief Brocatto will indicate that when he was volunteer fire fighter at Coral Springs the thing he hated most was sitting waiting on a volunteer to come before being able to help someone, insinuating that the volunteers contribute to longer wait times, inefficiency, etc…and therefore we shouldn't even look at that as a possibility for Deerfield Beach. Well, if the educated and affluent people of Plantation are satisfied with volunteers, why should Deerfield Beach not even consider it or at the very least have report done. We pay for reports for everything else, why not this. Ganz actually indicated that he holds public safety in high regards and would not look into risking a life to save a buck. Wow! The arrogance of this man is appalling. Since when did looking at a report risk lives. That mentality explains why this City is in the shambles and financial ruin it is in now because they refuse to look at the reports and all cost saving avenues available. They would rather tax and burden the residents than actually do their jobs and that is to represent the will of the people in the operations of the City. The City Manager is supposed to handle the day-to-day operations of the City and do what is in the best interest of the City, not just the best interest of a three commissioners pockets. One commissioner gets a legacy and can have a park eventually named for him...I am sure Popelsky is looking forward to the completion of Tam O'Shanter so he can have it changed to the Popelsky Memorial Park or something equally selfish. Ganz is trying to be Mayor and thinks that green spaces and baseball fields will somehow make him a good human being...it won't Ganz, your personality killed that. And Noland, well if the fact that at the Budget Workshop held on June 8, 2011 is any indication she is just "ready to get out of here and go get a drink". Her words not mine! Seriously, though she is just trying to ensure that her hubby and son keep those great pay, benefits, and pension options at the Fire Department they have come to know and love in the last 20 years. Not to mention the fact that her daughter works for the City also and they have the nerve to talk about the nepotism of Poitier, at least Poitier's people were qualified for the positions they held. As I hear hit, Nolands husband had a job he wasn't even qualified for and when it was found out, none of them face a penalty. But these City folk have the nerve to even speak the words ethically challenged. WOW!!!
This is not how to run a business and definitely not how to run a City. The City Commission has lost something and that’s common sense and practicality. These two items are apparently in short supply at City Hall, now. Until they are returned this City will never move forward financially, ethically, morally, or any other way.
This City Management (obviously at the behest of Ganz, Noland, and Popelsky) has attempted to balance a budget on the backs of those who can least afford it. All the while touting that somehow this is so everyone is paying their fair share. Yet, they don’t give out the reports to prove their assertions, when questioned they label people pedophiles and threats to the community and try to have them black listed from City Hall. They hinder people’s rights to request public records under the Sunshine Law, and other heinous activity unbecoming of elected officials, and then they shout in public that we should respect them. Did anyone notice the lack of respect shown to Florida House of Representative Gwyn Clark-Reed by Ganz and the others; Gwyn, actually advised them that this was disrespectful to her when they did not even contact her about this or return her calls. Ganz actually told her she was useless as a Commissioner. This is the same man who wants the public to respect him. It's obvious they do not respect the public and they do not respect elected officials who in the hierarchy of government out rank them. So why should we show them in courtesy that they themselves will not show us or their superiors. To address Gwyn comments indicating that the public can be heard. Florida State Senator, Joe Negron of District 28 and Florida State Representative, Eric Eisnaugle District 40, both proposed legislation under Senate Bill 2011310 and House Bill 285 to amend Florida Statute 286.011 by clarifying the language and extending the public’s right to be seen and heard at all public meetings. Both the Senate and House Bills were killed respectively on 5/07/11 during the 2011 Congressional and Senate Sessions. I don’t know what Florida House of Representative Gwyn Clark-Reed read, but these are the bills she indicated that were killed in committee and as you can see these two bills looked to extend the public’s right to speak at public meetings because without them the public does not have the right. So, to Gwyn, please make sure you read your bills before making comments that are counter-productive.
I digress, so let’s go a step further and look at the blatant disregard those Commissioners showed to Publix, a major business in this City, who provides employment, services, and other in this City was apprehensible. When Publix Energy Manager, Patrick Harris, who drove all the way from Lakeland to attend this meeting and speak up for Publix and against this tax, advised that this was bad for business. He was met by Marty Popelsky with disdain and ridicule. Marty basically yelled at him and told him that Publix cannot tell the City what to do, if they want to provide relief for the people lower their grocery rates. Now, I took liberties with Marty’s words but barely…he did tell them to lower their rates, though. That in itself is outrageous!
These Commissioners have become to entitled and believe that they are beyond reproach of the citizens, but they need to remember that they are to represent the will of the people and not their own self-interest. When it suits them they appeal to the people, then when the people’s will does not mirror their wishes then they take the stance that the people don’t know what is best for them. They impose the utility tax by saying that all they heard last year was complaints about the parks so they are now trying to listen to the people by imposing this tax, but then when the people tell them no we don’t want a tax or that we, the people want to actually have a say in the tax, they tell us that only they and the City Manager know what is best. WOW! The audacity and sheer contemptuousness of their words and actions bring pause and despair to anyone who lives and anyone who thought about living in Deerfield Beach. It is time that the people stand up to these bullies and bring common sense and practicality back to the Commission. It is also time to open up these Commission Meetings and allow the public to be heard. We need to get rid of back door deals and this coven of Ganz, Noland, Popelsky and certain city staff. We need to have a commission that is willing to look at “ALL” cost savings ideas to save this City. We need to bring practicality back and common sense. When the funds are not there for big expenditures, you just don’t make big expenditures and apply for credit cards. You just don’t do it! This City Commission’s priorities are off and it’s time for us to get back on track.
Thankfully the lone Joe Miller, seems to be the voice of reason and is now actually asking the questions that should have been asked years ago. So, thank you Joe for thinking about the citizens and not just your own self-serving desires. Joe Miller, a man of the people, for the people, by the people.