Letters for April 14-20, 2005
Lost at a Cost
Save us George... if you dare: Regarding Trevor Aaronson's April 7 article, "Curious George Sails the River of Red": As a long-time resident and civic leader, I feel there are a number of reasons for the City of Fort Lauderdale's financial problems: 1) Some of the politicians have private agendas; 2) they are working against one another, and it is costing the city; 3) the city manager is a person who thinks he knows best, appears to take things personally, and gets upset until he enforces his will. And he gets away with it.
Because the City Commission lacks control, accountability, and direction, we are going to be lost. And that will cost more money.
Mills on Martinez
That critic rocks: Michael Mills has doneit again... His April 7 profile on Enrique Martínez Celaya, "Away from the Buzz," is informative, concise, and affectionately written. His elegant prose captures the artist's complex personality and imagery with flair and aplomb. Keep up the good work!
Jorge H. Santis
Curator, Museum of Art
The Wizard of BSO
Put a pin in the man behind the curtain: Shannon O' Boye, Paula McMahon, and Jaime Hernandez of the Sun-Sentinel and Wanda Demarzo of the Miami Herald have done an excellent job reporting the recent scandals involving the Broward Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Jenne. In regard to the Sentinel, however, one always got the impression its editorial board isn't reading the stories. The few times the e-board actually responded, commentaries were tepid, to say the least. The Herald's columnists have had no such issues -- they've strongly criticized Jenne's never-ending, power-grabbing, and deceitful antics.
Welcome Bob Norman to the fray; in his March 31 column, "The Corrupter," he has done a masterful job of wrapping items into Jenne's tangled web, highlighting the high jinks that have existed within BSO since the sheriff was appointed, elected, and reelected. Politics as usual? I think not. Jenne is the master politician of Broward, maybe even South Florida. How else could he have created the empire that is now BSO?
Well, it's about time the smoke and mirrors of Jenne's BSO were brought out into the light. Now if only the rest of the citizens of Broward would open their eyes and give a darn instead of simply handing over jurisdiction after jurisdiction and agency after agency to Jenne. After all, that's our $600 million in taxes being spent every year by the sheriff, and there isn't an elected official around with the chutzpah to challenge him about it.
How much did you pay for that cocktail parasol, you cheapo? Wish I had read Gail Shepherd's March 31 review, "Going for Broke," before our trip to Tatu. She was right on target. I ordered a Stoli Martini on the rocks. When the bill came, I discovered they had charged $7 for the vodka, $2 for the martini, and $1 for the ice! I asked to speak to the manager and was promised, very nicely, that she would appear in a minute -- three times. Our group left, never to return.
Bob Is a Rancher
They treed this guy like a cat: Bob Norman's March 24 article, "Cash Cow," was not only informative but accurate to the letter. Thank you 1,000 times... Thank you! Norman brought to light a deplorable, unethical, rampant disregard of the public by the elected and nepotistic public officials in the Town of Southwest Ranches.
I have been a resident of the Ranches since 1967, and I am not in the clique. However, in November 2002, I offered the Town of Southwest Ranches a donation of 228 live oak trees to use in a beautification program. The town administrator came to my nursery, inspected the trees, and readily accepted the donation. I immediately removed them from the market so that the town would have them when it was ready to plant them. For more than a year, town officials visited my nursery, sent out bid proposals, and assured me that the trees would be used for the beautification project.
One year later, an article appeared in the local community paper, the Southwest Rancher, with a picture of Mayor Fink thanking Alyn Kay for his donation of 600 live oak trees. Since they had not yet begun to remove my oak trees, I contacted the town program manager. I was told that the town had changed its mind and would not be using my donated trees.
As Norman stated accurately in his article, Kay went on to collect $105,000 for his volunteer work. So, of course, since the town had accepted my donation of the live oak trees and then changed its minds after I had maintained them for a year, I billed the Town of Southwest Ranches $5,000 (twice) to recover my maintenance costs and losses. Not only was my bill never paid but I didn't receive a response from the mayor or town administrator.
I hope your article "wakes up" some of the residents of the Town of Southwest Ranches. If California was able to recall a twice-elected governor, Southwest Ranches residents should grab their brooms and sweep this disgrace right out of town.
He's no rube: I read "Cash Cow" with great concern, as I am a 24-year resident of Southwest Ranches. Being a farmer, I am not a politically minded person, but the article kinda scares me.
Is it possible for the governor's office to step in and check this thing out before it goes any further? Thank you for the article, and I sincerely hope you continue to follow up on this.
Curtiss W. Epps
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