LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 10 November 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Type of government – LHP

Dear Editor:

[Mr. Bentz is seeking to change the form of government in Lighthouse Point from a “strong mayor” system to a “city manager” based system, which he feels is more modern. He presented his points at a Nov. 8 commission meeting].

I have copied below a portion of our City Charter that sets out the powers and duties that a newly elected “strong mayor” must be ready to assume and to carry out.

1) Supervising, directing and coordinating the activities of the city’s executive branch including its operating departments.

2) Enforcing within the city the provisions of the charter, city ordinances and all laws of the State of Florida.

3) Exercising powers granted to him in this charter and the laws of the State of Florida, concerning the appointment and removal of certain administrative employees and members of boards, commissions and committees.

4) Submitting annually to the commission for its consideration an operating budget and a capital improvement program and budget.

5) Exercising such other powers and performing such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter, by ordinance or resolution, or by applicable laws of the State of Florida.

6) Unless otherwise provided herein, the mayor shall be the appointing authority of all officers in the executive branch, subject to the approval of the city commission.

What would the average business person, with no prior government management experience, know about our charter, our hundred plus pages of city ordinances and all laws of the State of Florida?

If I asked all our former mayors, most of whom were former commissioners, if they ever read our charter or code of ordinances before or after being elected, I am sure the answer would be no. Most of our mayors have been persons with full-time jobs or professions and with families to raise. How much time do you think they could devote to administering and being responsible for the activities of 50 or so employees and their department heads. At least our current mayor is a CPA and he may understand the internal working of our entire budget.

Think about our residents willing to seek election and serve as our new mayor. They should not be held responsible to cure the errors or mistakes that were made by prior mayors.

Leo L. Bentz

Lighthouse Point, FL

RE: Caboose’s rails moved

Dear Editor:

On Saturday, Nov. 5, we moved three 30 ft. sections of historic vintage railroad trackage from the old Florida East Coast Railway/Deerfield Builders Supply siding to the grounds of the Old School House Park.

Once again, the dynamic duo of Bill Muenzenmaier and Dan Bogner led the charge starting at O-dark thirty [at the site] with FEC Rail security and safety staff on-hand.

Abundant thanks to Joe Williams and Allegiance Crane for their seamlessly professional lift out, transport and spotting on the new rail bed at City Hall.

Again thanks to the Florida East Coast Railway for their generosity in donating the rail trackage.

As anticipated, many (actually most) of the 70-90 year old railroad ties did not survive the lift out and we’ll need to replace approximately 40. We have the ties on site at old Deerfield Builders Supply and will need to transfer them to Old School House site and mobilize labor to lift the track sections and position and spike in the replacement ties. Volunteers anyone?

The caboose’s interior has been completely gutted (thanks Bill and Dan!) and prepared for its ultimate restoration.

Roof repairs, already underway, will be completed during the next 10 days and then we’ll be ready for the big move.

Many thanks again to Charlie DaBrusco and his crew for the perfect site preparation. Outstanding!

Ed Dietrich, Jr.

Deerfield Beach Historical Society

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 03 November 2016 by LeslieM

Dear Editor,

In answer to Mr. Forman’s letter of last week, I wish to state I am in agreement with him when he says that in the past District 3’s commissioner forgot about at least half of the district. That has to change. Where a commissioner lives is not the problem, but how he thinks and acts is. Too many years have passed where a policy of us against them has been the accepted way you have been treated. We have to be united with each resident having equal representation. That way we can grow the District to be the best it can be. When all of District 3 along with Commissioner Ganz delayed the 10th Street project from starting by banding together and fighting to protect our whole district, we succeeded.

Bernie Parness

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Election

Editor’s Note:

The election is less than a week away. This year, it seems more than ever, lines have been drawn and people have adamantly declared their affiliations in harsh rhetoric, or they have, with frustration, said “none of the above.” Who you vote for is a personal decision and a right in our democracy not to be taken lightly. Who you choose will come down to what matters affect you and your family. Take the time to do the research for yourself on each issue and candidate to help you make the decision that best meets your needs and reflects your personal values. On page 7, there is a ballot for your reference showcasing issues and candidates that affect our area. The recommendations made do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all of The Observer staff.

 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 27 October 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Districts

Dear Editor:

I sat through last night’s Oct. 18 Deerfield Beach Commission meeting and started to wonder, “What happened to our elected officials?” The commissioners complain about their having a “full-time” job with only “part-time” pay and being overworked. Then, when the time comes to do something about it, they voice their opinions to stay with what we have now for our district boundaries. They could have added two new districts, and their workload would be reduced significantly, but no action was taken on their part.

We were told by Mayor Robb at the outset of the presentation by Mr. Scott Burton, or Meehan Burton Assoc., that our “population,” and not our voter registration count would be the only criteria used in drawing these new district boundaries. That certainly is one of the factors that should be used here, but I feel there are other very important factors which need to be considered, and were ignored by the commission.

Ask yourself this question: If you lived in the District 3 today, would you be happy with our current boundary lines? We’ve had a Century Village (CV) commissioner/dominance for as far back as I can remember, and that only goes back 20 years. City government can’t allow this inequity to remain any longer. Most District 3 quarterly meetings are held inside the CV complex, and that’s in spite of the fact that we’ve annexed Crystal Lakes a few years ago with all its problems. We have almost half the “population” of District 3 living outside Century Village, and yet we’re still “attached” to this unfair arrangement.

There’s something very wrong with a commission that will not address this serious problem of CV dominance in District 3 when given the opportunity for change. It looks like a “stacked deck,” and a “done deal” for the commission not to take some action when now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their community.

Fred Foreman,

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 12 October 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Trump, the business man

Snopes and PolitiFact, the “go to” fact checkers are not very good at fact checking when it comes to reporting the correct number of Chapter 11’s relative to The Trump Organization. Easily evidenced by checking with the appropriate state filings for the Trump Organization, The Trump Organization filed only four bankruptcies, including and limited to Trump Taj Mahal, 1991; Trump Castle, 1992; Trump Plaza & Casino, 1992, and Trump Entertainment and Resorts, 2009. The Plaza Hotel was sold, and the Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts underwent a name change to be Trump Entertainment Resorts and were not part of any bankruptcy.

Besmirching Donald J. Trump’s business reputation has become a full-time job for both televised and print media in an effort to derail his Trump train in route to the White House as the 45th President of the United States.

As a builder and an all-around businessman, Donald J. Trump has successfully negotiated transactions worldwide for years, and some folks erroneously believe that he would not be able to deal with foreign officials. Donald J. Trump has been rubbing elbows with a lot of those same folks for decades, often as an invitee to soirees and in other cases conducting business. Donald J. Trump started with one and a half million dollars given to him by his father. With all the business experiences that have come and gone, tens of thousands of jobs provided by the organization, and Donald J. Trump at the helm, he now sits on assets totaling over several billions of dollars. It is naïve and even ridiculous to claim that this man is not a smart, top-performing, most successful and qualified businessman. Donald J. Trump is exactly who we need as President of the United States, particularly during these financially challenging times. Help make America Great Again – vote Donald J. Trump. Visit www.donaldjtrump.com for policies and updates.

Rosie Reid

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Hurricane clean-up

A great big thanks of appreciation to the city and all its staff for working overtime in preparation for Hurricane Matthew and the aftermath clean-up. It was very well-coordinated and everyone did a fantastic job, especially cleaning the beach area. The beach rake did a great job cleaning and leveling the beach. The city workers did a very good job cleaning up additional trash and extra sand. We feel that everybody in the city put forth their best efforts in this challenge of getting everything back in order, also in other areas in the city, that includes the lifeguards, police, firefighters, paramedics, store owners, restaurant owners and many others. We live in a truly great place. Our paradise is Deerfield Beach!

Phyllis Mavrikis and

Ellyce Plotkin

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Monkey Business

Dear Editor:

My name is Nicole Davis, a property owner in Deerfield Beach. I am a small breeder of marmoset monkeys, a class 3 animal under the Fish and Wildlife code. I have been registered with Florida Fish and Wildlife since 2013, and maintain a license that is renewed once a year to possess and sell class 3 animals at my home address: 606 NE 2 Ter., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.

In August 2016, code enforcement for the City of Deerfield Beach sent me a courtesy notice stating that I was not allowed to possess monkeys according to City Ordinances, and to remove them immediately. I contacted Fish and Wildlife who told me that no city in Florida has the power to create any ordinance which contradicts the state laws on wildlife, set and governed exclusively by Fish and Wildlife as per the Florida Constitution. They provided me with a copy of the law and over 20 pages of case-law on the subject showing that many cities have tried to fight against the state law, but none have won.

After speaking to FWC, I made a trip to City Hall where I presented my Class 3 license (issued to my current home address) showing I was in compliance with all state laws and legally able to possess the monkeys on my property; however, the code enforcement officer was not present. I left a copy with the office and called the code officer, Angelica Morales.

A few days later Angelica called me to tell me that despite reviewing my license and state law, she would follow the city code which states I am unable to possess monkeys and thus I needed to remove them in accordance with the notice she sent me.

Angelica Morales is fully aware of the law, as it was sent to her, yet, despite knowing the law, she has chosen instead to disregard it and has continued to harass me about my monkeys, to the point of issuing me a court hearing notice. I spoke to her supervisor Bernard Pita at the same contact number. I informed him of the state law and that the City of Deerfield Beach has no authority to create ordinances that conflict with state law. I informed him that attempting to prosecute me based on an illegal city ordinance created in defiance of state law was in and of itself illegal. He sided with Angelica and stated that he did not answer to the state, rather the city of Deerfield Beach and thus I needed to remove my monkeys immediately.

The city has further threatened me that if I did not remove my animals by Oct. 6, the issue would proceed to a court hearing and I would be assessed any costs related to the city’s expense of prosecuting me, despite the fact that the city is choosing to prosecute me in defiance of state law and is acting with authority they do not have. I am now scheduled for hearing and have had to hire a lawyer to assist me in fighting against these rogue code enforcement agents who are enforcing an illegal ordinance and turning a blind eye to state law.

Nicole Davis

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 08 September 2016 by LeslieM

RE: “The Branding of an Island”

Dear Editor:

Please inform the people trying to give Deerfield Island a name that it already has one – see this page on broward.org

Also let them know the island’s birds, protected sea turtles and other wildlife said they don’t need any bumper stickers or frisbees to identify with their home. [This is in reference to an article in last week’s Observer].

Eileen Lovre

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Signage

Dear Editor:

At the last City Commission meeting, I proposed a simple but important feature for all present or future signs on buildings. They should all feature in large letters the address of the establishment or residence. As you ride down the street looking for an address right now, it is almost impossible to find a location either because the address is too small to read or non-existent. This simple remedy would make finding any address a lot easier and would benefit all.

Bernie Parness

Deerfield Beach, FL

Re: Chuck Sussman

Dear Editor:

This week, we lost one of the good guys. Former Town of Hillsboro Beach Mayor Chuck Sussman passed away just weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chuck is the stuff legends are made of. With a gruff voice and a hearty laugh, this self-made, successful businessman would be the first one to hitch up his suspenders and roll up his sleeves to get a job done. He was as down-to-earth as they come. Hillsboro Beach was fortunate to have his official guidance for a remarkable 18 years, and I was fortunate to have him as my next-door neighbor and friend for the past decade.

Chuck opted to retire from politics in 2007 when he decided his “just-git-‘er-done” style of doing business was no longer the order of the day. “Retirement” gave him the opportunity to travel and spend more time with his family, his beloved Harley-Davidson and his antique car collection, but he always carried a soft spot in his heart for our Town.

With so much controversy in our world today, I just wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a man who made the world a better place.

Chuck Sussman was one-of-a-kind, and he will be sorely missed by many in Hillsboro Beach.

Deb Tarrant, Mayor

Town of Hillsboro Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 25 August 2016 by LeslieM

Be informed at the voting polls

With the primary election at the end of the month and the general election only three months away, I wondered, “What should I know before casting my vote?” I should be prepared to know who and why I will make my choice for that next senator, [congressman], circuit court judge, school board candidates [and the sheriff]. In addition, there is an amendment on the ballot — Amendment No. 4 — that will need our decision.

For most of us, there is no valid excuse for not making informed choices. With the aid of the Internet and newspapers, plus the many political advertisements crowding our mailboxes, we can do a little research to help us read up on the candidates and make those informed choices at the voting poll.

Working up to the General Election, there are a lot of speeches and debates to help us make up our mind. All it takes is a little willingness to get started. After all, this is about our government, folks, and how we want our country to be run. So, we need to get busy.

Does anyone remember the old Jay Leno “Jaywalking” skits on “The Tonight Show” years ago? Jay played “the man on the street” and he would walk around in Hollywood, CA interviewing people. He would ask them general questions about the government and the Constitution and he would get the funniest and most bizarre answers, which were so wrong. One of the funniest responses he got from a young, college girl was when he asked, “What is the first amendment of the Constitution?” Her answer was “Never cheat on your wife!” The answer to who said “give me liberty or give me death?” could be any response from John Hancock to Colonel Sanders. Of course, when one is put on the spot with cameras glaring at you, it is easy for the mind to go blank.

Now is the time to get involved and know who will be your choice for this election. Let’s exercise our right to vote and keep America the great nation that it is.

Mary “Franki” Klemyk

Lighthouse Point

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 18 August 2016 by LeslieM

RE: Pompano Dog Park

I enjoy taking my little dog to the Pompano Dog Park [Canine Corner Dog Park, 1101 N. Federal Hwy]. There are seven benches in the park. Five of them are fine. But the two new ones have horizontal slats instead of being grated like the other five, so it is very dangerous for little dogs like mine because when they jump up, their paws go right through. It is okay to have those types of benches in the big dog park, which they do, because big dogs will be okay when they jump up. But, for the little dogs, it is very dangerous. I have contacted the park about this, but have heard nothing. I have stopped going to the park because it is not worth my dog getting hurt. You can’t watch your dog every minute and the whole point is to let your dog run free. I know a lot of other dog owners who have also stopped going because of this. I am hoping this letter will get their attention and they can fix the bench situation so I, and others, can return to the park. The park should represent a safe haven.

Stan Freeman

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 11 August 2016 by LeslieM

RE: NO Deer Trace

Dear Editor:

The Deer Trace Project has been denied/rejected by the Planning and Zoning Board. Why are we entertaining this again? Please read the minutes from the May 1, 2014 Planning and Zoning Board Meeting. [Over 300] apartments on Dixie Hwy between 14th and 15th Street? This is so incompatible. Wrong location. Do we not trust the judgment of the Planning and Zoning Board? (Search Application 13-R-169 on City’s website). [Editor’s Note: The P&Z Board makes suggestions to the commission. They did recommend denying it. But, the city government, on 1st reading, voted to move ahead. They have to do a second reading, which is also to be a Public hearing, on Aug. 23.]

I live in the neighborhood and do not want a rental community of this size near me … too many apartments, too many people and too little space; drama and trouble. Of course, all the usual trappings of traffic, crime and environment, etc., also apply. I think this density ratio will exceed any other in the city. Would you want this in your neighborhood?

Do you really think professionals will want to live in this location with 300+ other tenants around them – and pay $1100 – $1500 per month? What happens when they can’t rent them all? Lower rent and allow “another element” to move in? We may be left with a rainbow monstrosity greeting the new trains – All Aboard Florida and Tri-Rail Coastal Link.

And about those flex units, what will be left for other projects?

I do want to see Dixie Highway developed and that can be done with fewer apartments and more businesses as the DBR [Dixie Business Residential ] currently allows. Many in the neighborhood appreciate the new Dollar General and not having to cross a major intersection to get there. It would be nice to have a bank, pharmacy or restaurant near as well.

— Cheyenne Stubbs

Deerfield Beach

RE: YES Deer Trace

Dear Editor:

A proposed 60 to 100 million dollar development project called Deer Trace Residences on Dixie Hwy, by H&S Development Group, Inc. was unanimously approved by our city government and now some of the commissioners are trying to stop this development project. This project will not only beautify and bring security to the area, it will trigger growth, and will bring needed housing. It will also create jobs that will be first offered to qualified residents of Deerfield Beach, and bring in much needed tax revenue into our city.

This type of beautiful, clean, modern housing development revitalizes neighborhoods, decreases crime and improves communities. Our city is in desperate need of projects like this. Our neighborhoods are deteriorating because of lack of city revenue. This project alone would give the city approx. $450,000 per year in tax revenue, and close to $400,000 in one time impact fees. This, in turn, would lower our taxes.

Reputable investors who are willing to invest multi-millions of dollars to improve our neighborhood should be welcomed and not harassed by some of our commissioners. Again, our city has one of the highest tax rates of any of the major cities in Broward County, with one of the lowest property values, highest millage rates and deteriorating infrastructure.

Neighboring cities have clean streets, well-maintained infrastructure, low crime rates, better schools and lower taxes than Deerfield Beach. We have to better our city. Do not allow our city to become like many other once great U.S cities that are now deteriorated.

This is the greatest opportunity for the City of Deerfield Beach and District 2. Do not let this opportunity pass by. Contact the elected officials to support the Dixie Hwy. Deer Trace Residences Development and to Vote “Yes” on Aug. 23 for Deer Trace.

— H&S Development Group

[Editor’s Note: For those with questions or concerns about this project, attend the Talk to the Mayor event, which will be held Aug. 16. See Pg. 15 for details. Look for more on this topic soon in The Observer].

RE: Trash on beach

Dear Editor:

Why do people dispose of trash/garbage/litter on the beach? Who is doing this? Is it the young who are ignorant to laws against littering, or is it young adults who are just interested in partying without cleaning up afterward? Or is it tourists? Or is it just careless individuals?

I remember back in the day of elementary school where we learned about littering and how bad it is for the environment. Teachers drilled this into our heads. Don’t people care anymore?

Examples of items found recently on our beloved beach: numerous beer glass bottles, plastic bottles, cans, bottle caps, straws, lids, plastic silverware, cups, balloons, food wrappers, toys, clothing, pizza boxes, Dunkin’ Donuts box (complete with donuts for the taking), cigarette and cigar butts, condoms, diapers. These items are not only harmful to fish, birds and turtles, but also dangerous to humans (i.e., broken glass, rusty bottle caps).

This social problem, unlike many others, is very easy to solve. Just stop doing it!

But in the meantime, you can help. Whenever you go to the beach, take along a plastic grocery bag and pick up whatever you see in your immediate area. If everyone does this on a daily basis, it would surely help. And if you do not have a bag, get a little bit of exercise and use the numerous trash containers already there.

And to those who say, “The litter is everywhere.” Well, that’s just it; we want Deerfield Beach to be exceptional and pristine. Deerfield Beach is truly a special place. Keep Deerfield Beach as our paradise!

We appreciate your assistance.

— Phyllis Mavrikis and Ellyce Plotkin

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 21 July 2016 by LeslieM

Hurricane Season 2016

Dear Editor:

Hurricane Season is here once again and I would like to take this opportunity to offer a word of caution to the residents of Deerfield Beach.

We have been fortunate these past few years to have escaped the wrath of a hurricane; it would be foolish to let your guard down [now]. Just a few months ago, we saw the damage that severe rainstorms left behind in some of our neighboring cities. We must remain as vigilant as ever in our preparation.

Go to the city website and under the Residents tab check out the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide for 2016. There is very important information in the guide, such as checklists of items you should keep stocked in your home in case of a hurricane and a list of shelters in your area. Under that same tab, register for CodeRed, the City emergency notification system. These tools will help to protect you and your family in the event of a storm or other major crisis.

It is always better to be prepared, my friends! Keep your family safe this season.

Jean M. Robb, Mayor

Deerfield Beach

Check out the Observer’s Hurricane Center including the 2016 Hurricane Update!

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

RE: SW 10th St. Improvements

Dear Editor:

There was a notice in our building that a meeting would be held [regarding the SW 10th St. improvements] on Sat, June 18 in our [Century Village] clubhouse party room at 10 a.m. No meeting has ever been held in Century Village. Nothing was set up for a meeting when we arrived. There had been no notice of a change of location either on our condo bulletin boards or in the clubhouse. I was later told a bus was sent at 9:15 a.m. and was in the parking lot until 10 a.m. No one told us about that either. [The meeting was held at Deerfield Beach High School]. Do you really think anyone wants to hear from the residents that face SW 10th Street?

We hear specious arguments from those who go-along to get-along — how necessary road widening is or even an overpass. Normally, there will always be increased traffic. Does that mean it has to be dumped here? It already seems that trucks are being redirected here. We are a community of retirees and handicapped, with an assisted-living building across from us. We, the most vulnerable, live with enough dirt and noise as is. I wonder if our wood storks will continue to find this place a haven. We certainly won’t.

As to the sidewalk being proposed, most people here won’t cross Hillsboro. They think it too dangerous. Some won’t even cross Military Trail because of those drivers in FL who only recognize lights at intersections and pedestrians, not at all. Other than a few bikers, who do you think would cross 10th Street with additional lanes of traffic?

I find it unconscionable that new projects are being funded when the country’s bridges are in such disrepair. Why isn’t anybody talking about our abysmal transportation system?

Shirley Scimone

Deerfield Beach, FL

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