I've always felt that Broward County land heir and powerbroker Miles Austin Forman was nothing but a menace to society. But I might be wrong -- he may only be a part-time menace to society. So I'm laying down a challenge:
Somebody, anybody, give me an example of something good Forman has done for this town. Anything.
Because I've never seen any indication that he cares for anything but expanding his own inherited fortune. He leeches off of government while the politicians leech off his money. He's one of the most powerful people in the county yet he hides behind a wall of silence -- his policy is to never speak publicly about anything.
There was the World Trade Mart debacle. And the $900,000 building of his that Broward taxpayers paid $2 million for. He was involved in some outrageous insider dealing at the North Broward Hospital District before his sweetheart deal for a medical office building was exposed and stopped by the feds (I'll steal some credit for that).
The dude, put bluntly, has been bad news.
But his actions -- and lack of action -- at the Palma Nova trailer park may be the worst yet. The mostly impoverished residents there have getting contaminated water from the Forman's Ferncrest water utility plant for years and years -- and the Forman family knew about the problems dating back to the early 1990s ("baloney" they called it then). Now a lot of people are sick -- and on top of that, Forman is shutting down the park and putting the families out.
I just re-read Amy Guthrie's story about it and ... well, it pissed me off. Frank Capra could have made a classic about this thing -- and there's no doubt that Forman would make a great model for a more virulent strain of Mr. Potter (hey, it's the best Xmas-related reference I could think of).
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You know, Broward County doesn't necessarily have to be a flaming pit of cravenness and corruption. Does it?
Below is a video based on Guthrie's story but I implore you to click above and read the real thing.