LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 10 April 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Deerfield POLITICS

Dear Editor:

I just read the newest issue of the Observer newspaper that was delivered today [April 3] only to read [on page 1] how some malcontents want to recall [District 4 Commissioner] Bill Ganz.

I have lived here for over 10 years and, in the past 5, I have seen this city go from a quasi political fiefdom to an actual functioning government that held slackers and time wasters accountable for our tax dollars paying their salaries.

I have known Mr. Ganz since he first ran for office, when he introduced himself on a weekend before the Election.

In him, I felt we had someone like myself, a hard working resident who wants the best for his community.

He has NEVER disappointed me! He is very visible and responds rapidly to issues residents may have, this I have experienced many times, getting a call back from him.

To those clowns who wore the T shirts: Do us all a favor and stay out of District 4! You are not welcome!

I surely hope Mr. Ganz or one of the other two commissioners being targeted run against the current mayor. Her time of cronyism and washing style of politics have to go. Style politics has to go.

Ira Goodstadt

Deerfield Beach

RE: Deerfield POLITICS

Dear Editor: Respect has to be earned, not voted on. Commissioners Bill Ganz , Joe Miller, Ben Preston and Richard Rosensweig [the four Deerfield Beach city commissioners] have earned my respect.

Mayor Jean Robb has not.

How the city functions has changed since Mayor Robb was last in office. We now have a city manager who oversees the daily running of the city.

Each commissioner who represents a fourth of the population each still has the power and the obligation to vote on all matters that concern the whole city.

The mayor also has one vote. She seems to think that her will and vote counts more than the rest. That is not true. Her conduct has become belligerent toward all who disagree with her and she constantly violates Robert’s Rules by interrupting anyone who disagrees with her. That does not get you Respect.

Her comments that all who speak against her will did not vote for her does not bode well. Did she open mail-in ballots or sneak into the polls to get that information? Her ethics need improvement and her tolerance for those who either disagree with her proposals or vote against them must improve — or we, the citizens, who demand decorum and dignity at City Hall, will move to replace her.

Bernie Parness, civic-minded citizen

Deerfield Beach

RE: Metering The Cove Parking Lot

Dear Editor:

This letter shall serve to address the Letter to the Editor which ran in the April 3, Observer written by Anthony Dispenziere concerning metering The Cove Parking Lot.

Saying that the business owners should be able to buy the parking lot so that the commission can focus on more pressing matters than car parking is simplifying a much more complicated issue.

What Mr. Dispenziere fails to understand is that the revenues derived by metering The Cove Parking Lot are desperately needed to replenish the city’s reserves.

Let’s not forget that the city commission was forced to raise our millage rate, which is now one of the highest in Broward County due to financial shortfalls.

Moreover, the Fitch Rating Agency was forced to reduce our credit rating and city employees were laid off due to lack of funds.

The fact is, that the city has few options in order to raise revenues.

Similarly, The Save Our Beach referendum has stifled any development in the city that can produce additional revenues on the beach — which is our most valuable asset.

460 South Ocean is a clear example of how the Save Our Beach referendum halted the development of a proposed condo development called “soleil 460” by refusing to lift current restrictions on development and, consequently, today, there sits a dilapidated drug rehab facility.

Unless this city is able to turn this ship around and produce revenue, our future will be subject to higher real estate taxes, lower property values and more drug rehabs occupying properties on the beach that can no longer be developed due to the Save Our Beach restrictions.

The income [that would be] derived by metering The Cove Parking Lot is a necessity and not an option.

I have not heard of any other option that can immediately produce the revenues for this city, other than metering.

To illustrate this point clearly, metering of The Cove Shopping Center can produce revenues of close to $3 million per annum.

If you were to put a valuation on that income stream at 10 percent, it would put a value on The Cove Parking Lot to be approximately $30 million. I do not think that businesses in The Cove Shopping Center are prepared to pay that price, nor do they have the ability to do so.

I believe that the above scenario dismisses any notion that purchasing this property is a viable option for the retail tenants in The Cove Shopping Center.

The only option that this city has to produce immediate revenues in order to help offset our financial shortfalls is to meter The Cove Parking Lot as soon as possible. Thank You!

Patrick Jolivet

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 03 April 2014 by L.Moore

RE: The Cove Car-park Conundrum

Dear Editor:

Is The Cove Parking Lot an untapped revenue source for Deerfield Beach or the primary utility for the conduct of The Cove’s various businesses?

The city [commission’s] answer to that question will ultimately guide the course of action taken toward resolution of the unsettled parking lot issues currently plaguing both the city and The Cove business and property owners. Make no mistake – these two conclusions currently could not be farther apart.

On the one hand, the city could create an additional revenue source where only maintenance expense and hassle currently exist. On the other, the city could manage the lot in the best interests of business and property owners.

Charging customers for parking in a dead-end cul-de-sac business plaza would do great harm to most of the plaza’s businesses by driving customers to the city’s other pizza parlors, florists, and bagel shops — where they are not charged to park.

Regardless of the amount charged, costs to customers will be driven up, and profit margins and traffic will be reduced. After all, The Cove, while charming in its own right, is not Las Olas Boulevard.

Charging to park [in The Cove Parking Lot] will likely create a spillover effect, and revenue projections will probably fall short once customers are driven away. People who want free beach parking will simply seek other areas like Sullivan Park or the Publix plaza instead of paying to walk a half-mile to the beach.

Conversely, if business owners (who do not currently pay maintenance costs for the lot – an unusual arrangement compared to most plazas) carry the day, we’ll likely have valet parking and large, threatening tow-away signs for unwanted beach-parking-fee fugitives.

What to do? Let’s take a middle course. The city should not own and operate a parking lot that exists primarily to service private businesses.

Its parking lot ownership should be restricted to public areas like beaches, parks, and City Hall.

Also, business and property owners should not get a free and well-maintained parking lot on the city’s dime.

The city should sell the lot to a newly-created Cove Property Owners’ Association, which would charge business owners to maintain common areas; a common arrangement for most plazas.

This way, the city earns income while business owners can manage the lot in their best interest.

The city attorney must negotiate a property release from the heirs of the original owner to get around the issue where the deed reverts to the original owner if the city relinquishes the property.

This is the only viable option that benefits all parties and allows the commission to focus on more pressing matters than car parking.

Anthony Dispenziere

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 27 March 2014 by L.Moore

RE: R*E*S*P*E*C*T

Dear Editor,

Deerfield Beach Commissioners and Mayor, you need to take action. Stop sitting by when you see a wrong. Allowing a resident during a commission meeting to rant about a woman being gang raped on a pool table in a bar was deplorable.

When only one of you, Commissioner Rosenzweig, tried to say he should be stopped, the mayor shut him down; shame on him and the rest of you for not forcing a stop to the ranting. If the mayor cannot use her gavel, it should be taken away from her and used by one of you who has some common sense.

This is not a freedom of speech issue. It is a respect for a forum issue, a respect for the audience issue. What is legal is not always right, and this was very much NOT RIGHT. For a man who claimed to be giving a lecture on respect, he was outrageously disrespectful to his audience and the commission.

His graphic description in front of an audience with children and possibly people who might have been victims of sexual assault themselves, who would be forced to relive their attack in a public commission meeting, was beyond shameful; it was bordering on actionable.

At the very least, the public is owed an apology from the resident, who should be banned from addressing the Commission ever again. The Mayor should apologize for allowing his rant, and the rest of you should apologize for not standing up for your audience and shutting him down.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

 

RE: Relay for Life says thanks

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Relay For Life of Deerfield Beach/ Lighthouse Point & Hillsboro Beach, we want to express our sincere thanks to the Kiwanis Club and Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach for their support of our efforts to fight cancer. These organizations truly represent the spirit of our community working together.

Kiwanis invited Relay For Life to have a presence at Founders’ Days with a booth, allowed us to have time at two of the concessions, included our first annual “Walk a Mile for a Cure” on Sunday morning and provided the breakfast for the walkers. From these, we raised over $2600 and acquired several new teams and sponsorships for Relay.

We also wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach for opening their hearts and doors to us on March 8 as we held our very first annual fundraising event entitled “My Big Fat Relay Wedding.” This wonderful mock wedding held a reception of 120 guests. The evening was nothing short of magical with its lavish décor, ambiance and delectable food. The event proved to be a huge success, raising over $6000.

Please join us on April 5, at Quiet Waters Park, Pavilion #10, beginning at 4 p.m. This is our community coming together to Finish The Fight!

Nona Breitenstein,

Event Chair & Ilene Busey, Team Captain of Hope Blossoms Relay Team

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 13 March 2014 by L.Moore

Sawgrass Expressway Expansion mtg. TODAY

Dear Editor:

Some of you may have read [in the newspaper] that the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (M.P.O.) will be discussing expanding the Sawgrass Expressway through 10th Street at their next meeting TODAY, March 13 in the Trade Centre South building, 100 W. Cypress Creek Road, Suite 850, Ft. Lauderdale at 9:30 a.m.

This is being brought forward by the Vice Mayor of Coral Springs, Larry Vignola.

Obviously, this will have a tremendous effect on our city.

Many of you have shared with me your concerns regarding this type of expansion. I too am very concerned with the impact this will have on our quality of life. I recommend to those of you who wish to express your feelings on the matter to contact Coral Springs Vice Mayor Vignola at lvignola@coralsprings.org.

While I encourage you to be passionate in expressing your concerns, and while I recognize that many of you share my passion for this issue, I implore you to be respectful and courteous to Vice Mayor Vignola.

Bill Ganz

District 4 commissioner

Deerfield Beach

 

Beach renourishment, ELECTION

February was a very eventful month in [Broward County] District 4.

From Pompano’s Unity in the Community event, Lighthouse Point’s Keeper Days, Deerfield Beach’s Founders’ Days weekend, to the many celebrations for Black History Month, it was a great month to be out and about in our community.

While it was great to see so much civic involvement, an issue that continues to be at the forefront of my agenda has been the renourishment of our beautiful beaches.

Our economy relies heavily on the strength of our beaches and critical time passes each day that we do not have the necessary federal permits in hand. The good news is that we have all of our necessary permits and approvals from the State of Florida.

Last year, we received nearly $10 BILLION in our local economy from the 13 million visitors who came to Broward for our beautiful beaches.

As it currently stands, we are awaiting the biological opinion from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries).

I traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to advocate for our beaches and returned with renewed hope that they understand the critical nature of our project and are motivated to issue our permit.

Persistence is key to our success and I will not stop until I see the trucks hauling sand to our beach.

We now need your help in contacting all of our federal elected officials in Washington, D.C. Please contact each of their offices and respectfully urge our representatives to do the following:

Please urge the Secretary of Commerce to ensure that the biological opinion of the Segment II Beach Project is completed as soon as possible.”

You can find your federal representative by visiting www.house.gov and clicking on Find Your Representative.

ELECTION

March is Election month for many of Broward’s municipalities and Tuesday was Election Day. It is often said that the government closest to the people governs most effectively.

For most Broward residents, your city and county elected officials comprise your local government that provides the majority of your essential services.

As a former [Lighthouse Point] city commissioner, I know all too well that voter turnout is key to a successful election.

If there is anything we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org. Or visit our website www.broward.org/district4,

As always, it is my honor to serve you.

Chip LaMarca

Broward County commissioner, District 4

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 27 February 2014 by L.Moore

RE: ‘Walk a Mile for a Cure’

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much to those who participated in the Walk a Mile for a Cure Beach Walk [early Sunday morning, Feb. 16, during Founders’ Days.]

There were 108 participants of all ages and we raised $1,770 for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The weather was beautiful and I think everyone had a great time getting fresh air and walking the beach, followed by a delicious breakfast of donuts, bagels and fruit … all for such a worthy cause!

Hopefully, this will become an annual event and, for this reason, I would love any comments you would like to share … anything you liked or thought could be changed for next year … your input is appreciated!

Christie McVay

Youth Engagement Chair

Relay for Life of Deerfield Beach/Lighthouse Point/ Hillsboro Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 20 February 2014 by L.Moore

RE: “Medical” marijuana

Dear Editor:

The “people” are asking to legalize MEDICAL marijuana at this time and not asking to legalize it as in Colorado and Washington.

To the publisher: I truly see your plight with your workers and with your business.

However, when it comes to medical marijuana:

1) When it is used for people who are having seizures, especially children who have up to 300 a day, the pill they take is a purified Cannabidol.

( www.medicaldaily.com/fda-approves-marijuanabased-epilepsy-drug-usekids-clinical-trials-261998)

It has NO THC in it. It does not get the patient “high.” Children who have taken it end up seizure-free.

2) As for medical marijuana in a rolled form, let me tell you that one of the biggest attorneys in the U.S., name withheld, smokes up to 10 cigarettes of marijuana a day. His disease is then under control and he functions normally without pain or distress. He is not lounging under some palm tree, high as a kite!

Regarding cancer and emphysema, they have tested but four men, who also smoked tobacco and claim it MAY have helped cause, but was not the only cause it. Same went for lung cancer. However, studies cannot be done properly, as marijuana is an illegal substance. Therefore, it is hard to test.

(Statistics www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Causes_of_Death#sthash.pbJretph.dpbs)

Besides seizures, glaucoma and epilepsy, someone’s mother, sister, father, daughter etc. is suffering from cancer.

They receive chemo and lose weight. The more weight lost, the weaker they become and the less the drugs and chemo will work.

MEDICAL marijuana (a different grade, which is watched closely by the government) not only helps these victims of cancer by easing their pain, but helps them with their appetites, which chemo takes away and affords them the chance to GAIN weight, making the chemo and drugs more effective, thus SAVING lives.

This is a medical marijuana issue and NOT one of legalizing it to all.

I urge people to do your research before fighting against it. Your vote could save a human life.

Dana Wade

Deerfield Beach

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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE: It is now time to stop the charade…about “medical” marijuana

Posted on 13 February 2014 by L.Moore

If you truly have Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis or certain types of cancer (the main “legal” reasons now being mentioned), and your doctor recommends for you to smoke marijuana for relief, be sure to get it in writing from the doctor. That is so that when you suffer the negative consequences of smoking marijuana, such as emphysema or cancer, there is someone else to blame and perhaps sue.

It is shameful how this issue is being manipulated by certain politicians, especially a certain former governor, who is proving again that he has no shame, and will do or say anything to try to “win” an election.

Negatives far outweigh any benefits from people smoking pot, at least based on my experience as an employer. One of my first negative experiences a number of years ago was when I sent three of my young mechanics down to a Caribbean Island to install some of our equipment on a sugar plantation. The job should have taken a week.

However, three weeks went by and we had not heard from them. This was before cell phones. Therefore, I called the customer, who checked on them and complained that my guys were just sitting around smoking “pot.” I ordered them back home, fired them immediately and sent a supervisor with some others to finish the job. That one incident cost us tens of thousands of dollars and lost a multi-million dollar customer. Lunch time started becoming a problem as some of our folks began indulging themselves in their pot smoking during lunch and came back to work causing accidents. Our workers compensation rate doubled, then doubled again before we figured out what was causing the accidents and took proper action with drug tests, etc. However, just one of the after lunch “accidents” put a man in the hospital for several months and cost over a million dollars in medical costs.

As a final example, a few years ago thousands of brochures on our products had to be thrown away when our man in charge got high on pot and changed the instructions to the printer to weird colors which made them unusable. We fired him, of course, but thousands of dollars were lost, as the brochures had to be corrected by others and reprinted.

These are just a few examples, and we are just one small company. The Florida Supreme Court recently agreed to put the issue on an upcoming statewide vote requiring only 60 percent approval. Certain special interest entities who will make big money are positioning themselves already to finance pushing it through. If it passes, and I’m being told there’s a good chance it will pass, many people will lose their jobs as many employers will simply “throw in the towel” and invest elsewhere.

David Eller, Publisher

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 13 February 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Charter changes

Dear Editor:

The mayor of Deerfield Beach wants to do away with the codes that protect the beach from over-development, codes that were overwhelmingly voted in by the residents.

She seems to think that allowing larger development on the beach will eliminate drug rehab and “sober” houses, in her words, in last week’s Observer, “what is being proliferated in the beach area today” on the barrier island.

These establishments are a protected use, according to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Blaming the current code for this is beyond absurd. The argument that property owners are being forced into selling their properties to the rehab folks just doesn’t hold water. No one can be forced to sell or rent to someone if they don’t want to.

The mayor wants the commission to “step up and create its own new ordinance to deal with the changes in the beach area.” She doesn’t say what she wants in the ordinance. She may have forgotten, but the city attorney, and the commission, put in place all the legal restrictions they could in regard to group homes.

Allowing codes that would allow higher and wider development on the beach goes against everything the residents of Deerfield Beach want. As a witness, the 75 percent vote count in favor of the referendum on building codes. Beach property owners are able to build 55 ft. tall buildings, which should be enough for anyone to make a big profit in 2014, as well as in 2002.

Far from threatening development on the beach,Charter Section 11.01 is protecting what we have and allowing rational building, as witnessed by the new hotel on the beachfront, which is built to code.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 06 February 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Charter changes

Dear Editor:

It is time to clarify what I was proposing with the rescinding of Ordinance 11.01. For those who vehemently oppose eliminating that from the City Charter, it is time to take a look at what is being asked.

The reality is that what was good in 2002 is not adequate to protect the beach development in 2014.

Are these same people happy with what is being proliferated in the beach area today? Or are these same people unaware of what is threatening the development of our beach under the current restrictions inaugurated in 2002? Time for this commission to step up and create its own new ordinance to deal with the changes in the beach area.

I sat through multiple protestations at the Jan. 28 commission meeting.

I am not too old to realize that change is inevitable, and what was deemed acceptable in 2002 does not hold water in 2014.

Jean M. Robb, Mayor

DeerfieldBeach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 30 January 2014 by L.Moore

RE: North Pavilion

Dear Editor:

I am writing concerning the disappointing new change to the sticker parking locations.

My family frequents the beach 4-5 times a week. We park at the pavilion lot north of the pier using our Deerfield Beach parking sticker because it is a short way to walk when my three kids are carrying their surf board and beach items. Furthermore, there is a restroom, showers and cover if a storm decides to roll in.

One of the perks of being a local is being able to park at this most convenient parking lot using our annual sticker. However, because the beach is so crowded with tourists and people from other cities who come to visit our beautiful beach, it is practically impossible anymore to find a spot there without waiting for someone to leave.

But to make matters worse, now the city has decided to take that little local perk away from us and change this lot from a sticker/meter lot to a meter only lot.

Because of this change, I, a Deerfield resident, can’t even park there unless I am willing to pay the $20 it would take to cover our beach time for the afternoon.

Furthermore, Deerfield has made the rule that there is no surfing on the south end of the beach.

You have limited the surf area to the north side of the pier. So the only group of people who have limitations are the ones you make walk the furthest?

I can assure you, many of the local surfers have stickers and this makes no sense.

Please reinstate the pavilion as one of the sticker parking lots. We are losing so much. What a shame to lose this too, the one little perk we have left.

Yes, a city runs on money.The city will get its money from all the meters at the beach. But a city also runs on its people. Happy people, happy city. Trying to squeeze more money out of its residents is just causing dissension and, frankly, is unnecessary.

This may be a small, petty thing to you, but I can assure you, it is VERY important to those of us who call that lot our home.

Carrie Patten

Deerfield Beach

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