LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 22 January 2015 by L.Moore

Teen deaths – call for body cameras

Dear Editor:

The massive public reaction to the tragic deaths of three black teens at the hand of white police officers [in 2014] has led to a national call for the use of body cameras to record and prevent any future mistreatment of suspects.

There is ample precedent.

Animal protection activists have used body cameras to document egregious atrocities and safety violations by workers in the meat, dairy and egg industries.

The resulting videos have led to a number of corrective actions, as well as felony convictions, meat recalls, and even a $500 million civil settlement.

How ironic then, that agribusiness interests in seven states – Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah – have now enacted “ag-gag” laws imposing severe penalties for using body cameras in their agricultural facilities.

The language is typically drafted by the anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Let’s hope that other vested interests do not impose similar restrictions on the use of body cameras by law enforcement officers.

Dimitri Olsak

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 08 January 2015 by L.Moore

Thank you, BSO

Dear Editor:

In view as to what has happened in New York, I felt compelled to write this in support of the men and women of our police department [Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO)].

The city of Deerfield Beach is blessed to have a superior law enforcement team protecting and serving the residents of our city. If, perhaps, Sheriff Israel and I have not always seen eye to eye, he must be applauded for his outreach programs that have included all of the residents of the community.

Since the commission that I worked with in 1989 chose to merge with BSO, it is probably one of the smartest moves that any politicians have ever made, even for Deerfield Beach.

It is with our sincerest thanks that we let the men and women of BSO know that they have our support and gratitude for keeping us safe.

Jean Robb,

Mayor Deerfield Beach

Pulled over motorist treated with kindness

Dear Editor: On Saturday, Nov. 29, I was in the parking lot of Federal Hwy. Self Storage, 415 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield. A police officer was pulling into the parking lot with the lights on.

When the lady in the car got out, I noticed that she was a bit older and was on oxygen. I truly felt sorry for her as the officer approached her. I witnessed the nicest act of kindness when Deputy Gary Toth took a renewal sticker from an envelope for Lorraine Esposito’s car and, without hesitation, bent down and placed it on her tag. I had to approach them and take this picture.

I thought how horrible this could have been, but in a split moment, witnessed an act beyond words.

That decision that was made by Deputy Toth will make an impression in my mind that I will never forget.

Let’s think about our actions this year and leave lasting footprints.

Thank you Deputy Toth!

Jayne Hafer

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 25 December 2014 by L.Moore

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Dear Editor:

The holiday season is finally here!

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you in District 4 for helping me make Deerfield Beach such a great place to call home.

It has been a busy year and we’ve tackled numerous issues. One thing is certain, I am committed to doing what is in the best interest of our City and our District.

I hope all of you get to make some wonderful new memories this holiday with those you love and I look forward to seeing many of you in Commission Chambers after the holiday.

I wish you and your families a blessed Holiday & Happy New Year!

Bill Ganz

District 4 Commissioner

Kudos to City and CRA

Dear Editor:

Kudos and thanks to the City of Deerfield Beach and the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

You have done a super job of bringing extra holiday joy to our great city with the lights and silhouette displays (Brandano & Company) on the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier and all along the beach walkway.

How exciting to see many, many people and families walking the beach at nighttime and taking photos of the displays, along with checking out all the great food establishments by the pier.

Thank you, too, for the new displays by the Deerfield Beach Fire Dept. at Hillsboro & Federal Highway, and the beautiful tree and menorah in The Cove Shopping Plaza.

What a wonderful city and beach to call “home”…. you have made the holidays extra special this year!

Happy Day!

Emily Lilly

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 11 December 2014 by L.Moore

Not enough Holiday spirit at Dec. 2 commission mtg.

Dear Editor:

Such wonderful presentations and speeches at the start of the last commission meeting.

The beginning of that meeting made me feel proud to live in this city.

How too bad that it was so well attended for many of the wrong reasons.

As a citizen of Deerfield Beach, I know that the good folks at St. Ambrose church are the best of neighbors and contribute much to our community. Father Dalton is known to almost all.

The reputation of both is not questioned in the recent report from the OIG [Broward Office of the Inspector General]. The mayor’s actions completely apart from St. Ambrose’s involvement make up the report.

Her good intentions cannot be considered when it comes to the letter of the law and our form of city government. It makes no difference whatsoever that there has been cooperation between the city and St. Ambrose in the past nor that there will be in the future. (There should be, if you ask me). Our system of city government must be followed at all times. There cannot be exceptions.

Further, it appeared to me, that the death of a valiant serviceman from Deerfield Beach was used in an attempted “Gotcha” moment by those who should hang their head in shame. The lengthy prepared remarks and the several who delivered them were totally transparent. How repugnant and misguided they were.

The mayor mentioned our brave fighting men in her remarks at the (wonderful) Ocean Way Holiday event.

All the commission members and city staff worked tirelessly on our Veteran’s Day events. Never would someone have been deliberately excluded. I cannot imagine why someone would hold back information regarding a fallen hero. What a terrible way for that few to conduct themselves during this holiday season.

Sally Potter Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 20 November 2014 by L.Moore

Veteran’s Day at Century Village

By Sid Burns

This is a very special day, when the United States entered WWII, the men and women who volunteered, as well as those who were drafted, signed a blank check to the people, up to and including their life.

The Jewish War Veterans of the newly named Daniel Agami-Elizabeth Jacobson Post #265, held special ceremonies in the Century Village Clubhouse theater, to commemorate Veterans Day and the official re-naming of Jewish War Veterans Post & Ladies Auxiliary #265.

The ceremonies opened with the posting of the colors by members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. A short welcome was given by Broward Sheriff Scott J. Israel. Following the Sheriff’s talk, Commander of Post #265, Commissioner Richard Rosenzweig paid a special tribute to local members of the military, who paid the supreme price: Specialist Daniel J. Agami, USA; AFC Elizabeth N. Jacobson, USAF and Major Stuart A. Wolfer, USA.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 13 November 2014 by L.Moore

American Principles

Dear Editor:

I believe Republicans favor America’s principles more than the Democrats. This confirms it: There was recently a vote on whether the United States would enter the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. The U.S. Senate voted 53-46 to oppose the treaty.

Why? Because the UN “calls for member states to collect weapons and to disarm UN countries.” Every private gun owner in America would be affected.

Moreover, the UN mandates an international gun registry on all private guns and ammo.

In opposition, our Senate voted to uphold our Second Amendment rights and to prevent the United States from entering into the UN’s arms treaty.

Interesting enough, all Republicans voted against this UN takeover, but most Democrats voted for it. Now, knowing the United Nations for what it is, you tell me –who gives American principles top priority: the Republicans or Democrats?

Jim Moore

Tallahassee

Powerline Road construction

Dear Editor:

I’m sure I am not the only Deer Run resident that would’ve like to have some notice of what kind of construction was going to happen on Powerline Road this week!

The sign was up saying construction started on the 18th but I didn’t see anything in any paper or online when trying to look it up. I would have taken another route instead of sitting in my car for almost 40 minutes getting from Green Road to SW 4 Street.

We were also not informed about not being able to turn south onto Powerline Road.

It may have been discussed at a District 4 meeting but not everyone is able to go to these meetings. It’s gonna be a fun couple of weeks trapped in the neighborhood!

Lauri McGuire

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 06 November 2014 by L.Moore

City employee makes residents feel at home during memorial

Dear Editor:

On Oct. 3, a few dozen of us met at a local bar by the pier to have a small memorial for my brother-in-law Jimmy Wade, who had recently passed away from cancer.

ALL of us grew up here and discussed the changes the city has made. Most of us are not happy that our “little” Deerfield is now trying to be just another revenue-collecting beach mecca.

We loved it when it was more “our” town, and continue to raise our children here. However, this letter is not about our likes and dislikes but about a city employee who made all of us feel that hometown feeling again.

As we all walked to the end of the pier to toss a rose, tell a story and say “goodbye,” the pier attendant named Diva announced over the loud speaker that the group walking down the pier were walking down to honor a brother, uncle and friend who had passed. As we walked, people removed their hats and smiled.

So, although the night was special, Diva made us all come closer for just a moment, made us all smile and ultimately made us feel that this was our “little” Deerfield once again.

With customer service so poor or non-existent nowadays; PLEASE, as you pass the pier, thank Diva for being a wonderful city employee … we think she is.

Corey and Dana Wade

Little Harbor

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 23 October 2014 by L.Moore

Good deeds

Dear Editor:

No good deed goes unpunished! This is what we are looking at here.

The Deerfield Beach mayor recognized a person in the community who is selfless in administering to the needs of others (sick and dying, lonely people, feeding the hungry, teaching the young to be good citizens, supporting other churches and schools that need support)– doing all this and battling cancer himself!

The mayor indeed recognized this man and gave him a little perk. There are more men and women in Deerfield who deserve a perk also. Thank you, mayor, for recognizing Father Dalton!

John Morrell

Hillsboro Beach

p.s. Runners up: David Eller, MWI Corp; Perry Smith, Publix.

Hello members and friends of DBICA

Dear Editor:

Hope everyone had a great summer and welcome back to all our island snowbird members.

Since we have a District 1 meeting [See pg 1] there will be no official Deerfield Beach Island Community Association (DBICA) meeting in October.

Instead, if you could make the Oct. 29 District 1 meeting that would be great! DBICA will be presenting a check to the Deerfield Beach Parks and Recreation Dept. for 3 exercise fitness stations along the south beach area. If all goes well, the stations should be installed by end of the year with signage thanking our association. Hope all can make the meeting!

Our first DBICA meeting will be on Nov. 13.

Following are the dates for the balance of the meetings during the season. (We will not always be meeting on the third Thursday this year, in order to obtain the church meeting room and a 7 p.m. time slot.) 2014-2015 DBICA Meeting Dates 11/13,12/11,1/22,2/26,3/26,4/23.

We will be meeting at the Community Presbyterian Church (address below) at 7 p.m.

Community Presbyterian Church

1920 SE 4 St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Hope all can attend with great ideas on how to improve our island living. See you soon

Mark Dryer

President, DBICA

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 16 October 2014 by L.Moore

Commissioners’ health insurance

Dear Editor:

At the outset of discussion at the Oct. 7 Deerfield city commission meeting about the ordinance regarding health insurance, the city attorney, at the request of the District 1 commissioner, gave a brief but clear summary of the proposed alteration of the 2002 ordinance. For clarity, here it is.

City Attorney: “This is an ordinance to amend the existing ordinance to limit insurance benefits to future commissioners (those who are not vested, having served in consecutive years.). They will still have the right to that health insurance benefit, but they will have to pay for it on the same basis as other retired employees.”

Characteristically, the mayor interjected. “I’m not happy with that!”

Following this, the public spoke.

Despite the city attorney’s clear and careful review, virtually all of the speakers addressed the original ordinance of a dozen years ago with no mention of the proposed changes by an entirely different commission.

There was some discussion by the commissioners, all of whom seemed to agree with making the changes, but they also took issue with trivializing the quality of their service and the amount of time they spent serving the city that they had heard from some of the public. Their speaking out about that has been grossly misinterpreted.

The mayor declared, “Now it’s my turn,” and went on to disparage the quantity and quality of service performed by the commissioners by relating it to her comparatively superficial ceremonial duties. Then she told of her experience with a health insurance issue.

I retired in 1993. At that time, the very persons who voted for this thing were on the commission at that time. When I asked if I could stay on the city’s health insurance — my husband had died and I was no longer covered on his policy — I offered to pay the premiums myself. They said ‘no.’ They refused, and pushed me over to COBRA.”

The District 4 commissioner responded by pointing out that there was no such insurance plan available for ANY ELECTEE in 1993 and for clarification, asked the mayor if she meant that she applied to be included in the city’s health insurance plan nine years after having left office in 2002.

No. no,” she said, I said that when I was out of office in 1993.”

You can see and hear the entire dialogue on the city’s website/commission/video. In any case, the mindset of the commission who passed ordinance.

2002/004 was very different from the current one — men who enjoy serving. They serve long hours without complaint — until their integrity is impugned.

David Cohen

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 09 October 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Health insurance benefits for DB Commissioners

Dear Editor:

This is regarding the Oct. 7 [commission] meeting agenda item for changes to retired commissioner’s health insurance payments and commissioner compensation.

A city such as Deerfield Beach benefits from the participation of qualified individuals in city government. Ideally, short terms and term limits help provide for a regular cycling of the politicians in this city to avoid “dynasties” from coming into power.

Service as a commissioner or mayor is voluntary and should not be done for the money or salary of the job.

For this reason, compensation should be minimal and not have long-term beneficial payments in the form of pensions or lifetime health insurance.

Lifetime benefits to commissioners or the mayor is expensive and beyond the reach of city budgets. At least one city commissioner benefits from a city pension resulting from his full-time job with the city for years, which he earned, so further benefits are redundant.

Lifetime benefits that include health insurance can cost upwards of $700 per individual per month, depending on age and health status.

Especially detrimental to the city budget process is lifetime payments to younger politicians where the benefit may result in payments for over 20 or 30 years. Remember, current provisions pay the commissioner’s spouse the same lifetime health benefits.

Payments as currently in place also provide for commissioner benefits that are not available to city employees and may result in problems with union and employee bargaining where such limitless benefits may be sought by collective bargaining units.

Long-term benefits, pensions and health insurance for city commissioners are wrong and should be discontinued immediately.

This public service should come from dedicated city residents who have a desire to help the city, not for commissioners who took the oath of office for a job or pension.

Payment of excessive salaries and benefits make this a job, not public service.

Also at the [Sept. 15] commission meeting, several commissioners stated that they receive “part-time pay for fulltime works”.

This statement shows the failure of the commission to act in a decisive and fair manner with respect to city management. Commissioners are there to set policy. Daily operation of the city is the full- time responsibility of the city manager. The current city manager, this may come as a surprise to many residents, has never been evaluated in his performance of running our city. In fact, when I questioned city officials, I find that no one in the city is “evaluated” in his or her performance on the job. Any employee for any company deserves a fair and regular evaluation. How else can an employee know he or she is doing what is expected of them? When a city commissioner or mayor has to get involved with regular day-to-day city issues, it reflects negatively on city management. In fact, if a commissioner has to work full-time, as some have stated, it suggests that the city manager and his staff are not performing in accordance with the expectation of the city commission, and the system has failed us.

In a properly-run city, political service is ceremonial as stated in part in the city charter, not a regular functioning job description.

It is not a full-time job!

If commissioners or the mayor are being forced into fulltime work, the city is failing at its job, in the eyes of the residents. Ask any resident who has been forced to complain to a commissioner and you will find it is an issue with how the city staff has handled a particular complaint.

It’s well past the time to initiate an employee evaluation procedure that starts with the city manager.

How many city residents have ever worked at a full-time job that did not perform regular employee evaluations? You can be sure that none of the professional-run city businesses in our town neglect or ignore the importance of regular employee evaluations.

Ronald J. Coddington, P.E.

Deerfield Beach

Local activism group Deerfield Dreams

Dear Editor:

Are you interested in helping to make Deerfield Beach a better place to live?

Deerfield Dreams is an experiment in local activism. The idea is to create a new forum for neighbors to get together to make our city a better place.

This gathering is not political in nature. The goal is to come up with good ideas through brainstorming, to gather support, and to create a plan for implementing them. It is an exciting opportunity for residents to be an active part of improving our city in a less formalized environment.

We hope to see you at our next meeting on Saturday, Oct.11 at 10 a.m. at the Old Schoolhouse at City Hall.

Join the Dream Team! Please bring a pen, notebook paper, and any fresh ideas you might have. See you there!

Anthony Dispenziere

Deerfield Beach

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