Best Quote (2006)

Mara Giulianti

The past year was filled with so many memorable utterances perfectly reflecting the place and time in which we live that choosing a winner is pretty tough. First, there was Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, who earlier this year threw a hissy fit during a City Commission meeting about those opposing plans for building the 66-acre Village at Gulfstream Park. With a straight face, the mayor of the most overdeveloped, strip-malled, condo-canyoned town in the county howled, "Hallandale finally has an opportunity for crucial economic development." Then there was this honey from Randy Johnson, a state representative shilling for a law that would penalize municipalities for failing to trim trees in front of billboards for the sake of beauty. "Tourism," he declared, "depends on billboards, not on trees." But the winner has to go to that most quotable of public officials, Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti, who keeps alive the dream of squelching government by and for the people. In an effort to expel a synagogue from a residential area, the City Commission met behind closed doors to avoid any public debate and "pre-decide" its vote. Earlier this year, a transcript of that meeting was made public through a lawsuit filed by the congregation. Giulianti instructed her colleagues: "Let me ask each person, because we don't put it on the agenda for us to decide until we know we have some kind of consensus. Otherwise, we have an argument until 6:30 in the morning and a whole bunch of people getting up and talking about it."

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