Friday, September 30, 2011

A Call to all Citizens in Deerfield Beach to Demand Accountability from City Hall to the Halls of Congress

I, along with local elected officials, news media, etc..., received the below letter from an anonymous "concerned citizen" asking for help from the City, local/state/Federal elected officials, investigative teams, investigative news journalist, reporters, and anyone else who could come shed some light and bring accountability to the City of Deerfield Beach.

As a concerned citizen I would like to know why HUD is allowing the City of Deerfield Beach to sit on and/or  redirect desperately needed CDBG funding from the low income areas of Deerfield Beach (specifically District 2).  For years there have been people on waiting list for their homes to be repaired and to receive homebuyer assistance but the program has been shut down.  The City had no problem firing over 100 employees claiming budget cuts some of whom are residents of the City; these same people have mortgages and rent to pay but the City Manager and City Commission are busy trying to find ways to take more money (CDBG funds) away from them to fix parks and roads that do not benefit the target areas where the low income residents live.  They are also paying salary for employees to run the CDBG programs but who are doing nothing because no one is receiving assistance. 
The City is also wasting NSP money by sitting on about 7 - 9 homes they bought with NSP funds but have not sold any; they are paying insurance, property tax and money to keep up the yard.  How many thousands of dollars is that can be used to help someone in the community?  They have refused to sell the houses to low income residents even though that is what they told HUD that is what they will do telling people they cannot afford to buy the houses.  The City should not be trying to make profit off of these houses.   Look at the Pompano, Palm Beach or other neighboring City’s NSP houses they have good sustainable material that would last a long time.  Why don’t the people who are in charge of the money in Deerfield Beach want to give the same to the Deerfield Beach residents?  Is it because the houses are mostly in District 2 the predominantly black, low income area?  They don’t debate and discuss for hours on end when they are spending millions of dollars over in The Cove; they willingly spend our money (tax payers) on the people over there.  They push to get money going over to East and West Deerfield but the mid- section of the city zip codes 33441, 33442, 33064 they prefer to shut down the programs almost 2 years now than to help the most needy of the community. 
There needs to be a complete over haul of the City of Deerfield Beach and how they are using HUD/taxpayers money.  People are running programs they cannot explain to anyone who asks, I sit in Commission hearings and listen to them fumble over questions relating to the various CDBG programs.  They are not as “familiar” with the programs as they want people to believe and if you are in the audience you may even be convinced that they do until you acquaint yourself with HUD’s guidelines and regulations.  It appears as long the City Manager and the City Commission can be convinced the money will be used for who and what they deem worthy of it they will buy any sorry explanation.  You can go on almost any City in Broward County website and get a clear understanding of what is going on and how they are using HUD’s money but go to Deerfield Beach’s website and it is like a scavenger hunt trying to find any information and when you do find it is not up to date or correct.  Is that a deliberate attempt to deceive/hide things from the public?
I need to know if anyone cares what’s going on in this City and if not why is that?  Deerfield has a long history of black people or to be politically correct “African Americans”, most of whom are originally Bahamian and now Haitian.  As a result there are lots of people in the community who are related by blood or marriage they have close family roots and connections they are not going anywhere.  Other people who come to the City from West Virginia, New York, and other places across America and outside of Deerfield Beach to collect big salaries off the backs of the people and to further their political careers need to be taught acceptance and should be trained in community affairs before they are allowed to serve.   I hope that those in position of power don’t think that by not helping this section of the City that the people will eventually move out so that they can have a more homogenous Deerfield, people who look like them.   Government employees whether Federal, State or local especially the elected ones are there to serve the people of the community ALL THE PEOPLE that’s why they are called public servants.
This is a call to HUD, Elected Representatives of the Deerfield Beach area, the media and all concerned citizens to do something about the injustices that are going on within the City of Deerfield Beach; make the City Manager and his colleagues responsible and accountable for what is going on.   There should not have to be an election to reach out to the people. 
Submitted by Anonymous

I do know that Senator Allen West ran to the City's side and requested a HUD Audit be conducted on the DBHA, recently.  Maybe he will be the first to act on the citizens and his constituencies behalf and request an audit and investigation of the entire City of Deerfield Beach Operation.  As it has become apparent to many of the residents and taxpayers that something has been and continues to be running afoul up at City Hall and we demand to know what.

I know in April through June I had contacted his office, as well as many other elected officials, regarding having them help shed some light on the situation that was occurring here which led many of the minority residents to assert that their Constitutional rights were being violated, which can be read here, and was basically told that there was nothing Senator West could do to help the Minority Community of District 2, which can be read here.  A couple of weeks later it was news to me to see that he was now helping the City and Chaz Stevens with their witchhunt and what I now believe "red herring" case about the DBHA, in the City's attempt to hide the fact that it had screwed up major with taxpayer and Federal funds to the tune of over 3.9 million dollars ($3,928,753 to be exact in FEMA Federal fund payback).  So basically, the same exact charges of mismanagement and corruption that they are asserting is occurring over at the DBHA, can and should be brought up against the City of Deerfield Beach and it's management staff.  However, Senator West has been reluctant to come to the aid of the residents/voters and his constituency.  I wonder why???

I do know that all of these events from the past few months and even the issues that the employees, well ex-employees, were/are having with the layoffs was communicated via email and telephone to all of the local media outlets, elected officials such as Allen West, Kristin Jacobs, Alcee Hastings,  Marco and Gwyn, along with a slew of many many others and no one has lifted a finger to help us (except US Senator Bill Nelson, who filled our complaint with the Department of Justice, which is still ongoing and can be read here.)  Now over 6 months later and we are here again, begging for help and hoping that some of these elected officials will see the fire through the smoke and initiate a full and thorough investigation into the City of Deerfield Beach and it's management team.  With elections coming up really soon and the nationwide disdain being felt by the electorate towards these elected officials and government in general it will be amazing to see how many incumbents survive the election chopping block.  

Voters are becoming tired of being placated with slogans and single issue champions who spend their entire terms feeding from the tax funded troughs and degrading the public trust one speech, one scandal, and one public disservice at a time. (A great article by a CNN writeabout this was written and can be read here.)

It is time "We the People" demand more of our elected officials and those that seek employment in the public's service.  It is time we put down these banners of Democrat or Republican that only separate us further on issues until we as a whole entire civilized and advanced country get nothing accomplished. (A great article about this can be read here.)

Let us begin this transformation into a true democracy, where the best interest of the citizens and residents are taken into account first, right here in Deerfield Beach and demand that our local government is accountable for what it has done and that it becomes responsive to "We the People", instead of just "We the elected few and our buddies".  I urge all concerned citizens to get involved, get informed, and speak out and let your opinions be known.  For far to long "We the people" have set back and watched this City and our Country ignore us, use us, tax us, and then do little to nothing for us, it's time we demand accountability at every level.

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