So, the long awaited FEMA repayment amount seems to be in.
According to the letter received by the City of Deerfield Beach, the final amount the City has to make in restitution to FEMA is about $1.65 million dollars, instead of the original $3.9 million that I wrote about in my post "City of Deerfield Beach Taxpayers May Be on the Hook for Over $3 and Half Million in Penalties to FEMA", which can be read here.
Now, if you notice the date of the letter (March 23, 2012), it would appear that the City has known the final repayment amount for almost a month now and yet there has not been a single mentioning of it in the news. Instead, the City chose to write a full page editorial in the Observer disputing allegations made by former Mayor Jean Robb at a City Commission meeting.
Now if you are like me then you are probably wondering why the Commissioners, especially Bill Ganz who so passionately stated that the City needs to "put the information out there" to keep the public informed, (Which, I believe, is what inspired the City's need to defend itself against Robb's statements or their need to "SPIN" their version of the truth so they don't look like total douches and liars), why would they again intentionally keep this information from us.
I had submitted numerous public records request to ascertain this information on the repayment amount and the last one from Hugh Dunkley stated that "no such document existed" and the clerk's office advised me that they apprise me of new developments. Well, they had this since March and why did I have to submit another prr to get the full letter. The City doesn't like following the law... If they spent more time following the law and less time trying to find loopholes to circumvent it..maybe our City wouldn't be in the financial ruin they claim it is in.
They are so quick to tell us other information, but why hide this particular information. Especially since the City Manager and Bill Ganz basically called me a "liar" when I originally posted that this repayment was a possibility.
This is an article in from the Pompano Pelican, which can be read here, that details the City Manager's and the Commission's responses at a public meeting when I asked first asked for answers. Although I was misquoted..you get the point and you can see which one of us had a grasp on reality and which one of us was trying to save his own A$$.
Why has there been no news coverage about it...again I have to wonder especially since they bombarded us daily with the accounts of the HUD OIG audited which was about 4 times less than this repayment.
Is the City's government and the news media in collusion with each other to highlight the positives and sweep the negatives under the rug???
I don't know, but it would seem so. Either that or the local news reporters just SUCK!!! Either way the citizens are pretty much screwed and should demand answers.
Last year, Bill Ganz stated in response to my allegations about this possible repayment and the possibility of the City attempting to befuddle this information that the City could have used this as a selling point for the Utility Tax, but because the numbers kept changing (in the same manner as the possibility was there with the HUD repayment, but the City and the news media kept us inundated with information about that) they didn't want to "shout fire" and then it be a lesser amount.
Well, again the City has had this since March and yet they have not made an attempt to "inform the public" about this huge sum of money that they would have to pay back. If I remember correctly the OIG report indicated City Staff errors which caused the repayment and yet all the Commissioners have been doing of late is praising the Staff blowing smoke up our arses and handing out
Now, the Commission, under the directive of Mayor Peggy Noland is trying to allow and give "tourist" and tailgaters the right to buy alcohol before 12pm on Sunday's as if that is super important when our tax dollars are going to this repayment. I don't know about you, but I would much rather they discuss..how this happened and what protocols have been or will be put in place to avoid another major "F-up" like this from happening again. Also, finding out who was responsible and making sure that those individuals are made to answer for their mistakes...just like they did with HUD report. Instead, they are initiating proceedings just so Mayor Peggy Noland and her Klan can get liquored up and wasted on Sunday's.
Yeah, that's more important Peggy!!! (Sarcasm alert)
Anyway, I would just like answers and not more smoke and BS, as they usually serve us. Maybe Joan Maurice can have another outburst and Peggy, Bill, or Burgess can explain it to us.
The City doesn't have enough money to provide the yellow stripping on residential roads in District 2, it doesn't have the funds to provide for the safety of it's citizens in District 2 by installing those "pretty little lights" at Hillsboro and MLK, it doesn't have enough money to avoid all the UNIONS and employees from taking a 10-20% pay cuts, but it has enough surplus of money for Burgess Hanson, City Manager, to hand out generous raises to folks who may have caused the City to have to make a $1.65 MILLION dollar repayment to FEMA...
Hey, Diane, Judy, Elizabeth where are the news reports about this...Hey Chaz, why have you not been talking about this like you all did the HUD repayment...I understand the roadblock of your plans, Sylvia Poitier is no longer on the dias...but just like you kept us abrest of that situation you should be doing the same now...we are talking about Millions and not just a few hundred thousand.
Is this the type of continued despotic government that we need here in Deerfield Beach???
No, I don't think so!!!
The next cycle of local elections in Deerfield Beach can't come soon enough...hopefully Peggy, Bill, Joe, Ben, Marty, Burgess, and Keven haven't destroyed our City before we have a chance to correct our errors, which was electing them in the first place.