Tag Archive | "Publisher’s Perspective"

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Publisher’s Perspective: 180,000 Potentially ineligible voters in Florida

Posted on 16 May 2012 by LeslieM

David Royse, with the News Service of Florida, reported over this past weekend that the Florida Division of Elections plans to verify the eligibility of nearly 180,000 registered voters in the state. Earlier last week, state election officials forwarded the names of about 2,600 registered voters whose citizenship is questionable to local supervisors of elections for further scrutiny.

Whenever a foreign citizen who is a resident in Florida applies for a driver’s license, they are automatically asked if they wish to register to vote. No attempt is made to confirm that the person is a U.S. citizen and many of them respond in the affirmative – without understanding the question – and suddenly become registered voters. When election time rolls around, they receive a ballot to vote by mail and if they do not know any better, they may then vote illegally.

I recently attended a party at a neighbor’s home and I met a young man originally from Nicaragua who has an application for U.S. citizenship pending. Somehow we got on the subject of politics and he told me that he was once sent a ballot to vote, even though he was not yet a citizen. He knew better and, therefore, did not cast the ballot. He wondered out loud how many other noncitizens may have received the same ballot and ended up voting.

Over 30 percent of the residents in Broward County have come here from a foreign country. Many have become citizens and many have not. Our democracy is in jeopardy whenever a non-citizen casts a ballot in one of our elections. This is potentially a big problem that needs to be fixed immediately.

If you agree and love this country, you need to get involved. Tomorrow may be too late.

David Eller


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Publisher’s Perspective: Historical Essay No. 71

Posted on 12 January 2012 by LeslieM

Since our family, the Eller family, has lived in Deerfield Beach since 1923, I’ve often been asked to put in writing some of the history of the area, either experienced personally or that I heard from my parents or grandparents. For some of you old timers who might be worried about certain old “scandals,” don’t worry. I won’t be writing about those (smile). To read previous historical essays, go to www.observemewspaperonline.com and click on “The History of Deerfield.”

David Eller, Publisher


Birth of a newspaper

Deerfield Beach got its first newspaper in 1930 called the Deerfield News.

The first issue was on July 4, 1930. My father, Marlin Eller, 14 years old at the time, was featured in the first issue on the front page with his picture and a caption for having built a large model military airplane.

There was also a lot of local news like “Mrs. Butler had guests from Texas, the Longs, visited her last Thursday.” The Deerfield News folded after a short time.

Deerfield’s current  newspaper, The Observer, was founded in 1962. In reviewing some of the early Observer 1963 issues, the big stories included the fact that Hillsboro Boulevard, which had been dead-ended, was being extended with a crossing over the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks going directly west, rather than having all the traffic winding around Dixie Highway to head west, as it had been before. Hans Pufahl, Deerfield’s mayor, dressed western style in a cowboy hat, is shown cutting the ribbon, along with State Senator A.J. Ryan and Broward County Commissioner Bill Stevens.

The event was further celebrated by declaring it the “Westward Ho Day” with participants, including  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parton, who had recently founded the Deerfield Beach Country Club, shown (right) in front of the Deerfield Furniture Company Store. Their nephew, Bob Parton, is the current president of the club.

Learning about stockings in college

Meanwhile, this writer, a son of Deerfield, was still off in college in northern Florida, first at Stetson University and later the University of Florida, studying engineering, but also learning much about certain social graces.

My first date in college was arranged by my roommate, Bob Hutson, who had a date and wanted me to go with his dates’ roommate to a drive-in movie in DeLand, Florida. Bob was driving, so my date,  a girl from New York, was in the back seat with me.

We had hardly settled in to watch the movie when I felt her hand take my hand and put it on her knee. The skin on her knee felt funny, kind of like snake skin, so I pulled my hand away.

A little while later, she did it again, and I pulled my hand away again. This continued a few more times until she gave up and left me alone. I thought the evening would never end.

Finally, we took them back to their dormitory. As I’m walking her up to the door, I finally got the nerve to ask her, “What’s wrong with the skin on your leg?” She said “What do you mean?” I replied, “It feels very rough, like scales!” She started laughing at me and said, “I’m wearing stockings, you idiot!” I must have turned bright red in the face. After all, Florida-bred boys didn’t know anything about girls wearing stockings.

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Publisher’s Perspective: Obama wants more jobs?

Posted on 01 December 2011 by LeslieM

He needs to decrease taxes … for everyone!

The politicians used to say, “It’s the Economy stupid.” Now Business owners are saying, “It’s the high Taxes (stupid)!”

The formula is really quite simple:

Increased taxes = increased costs = increased prices = decreased business = decreased jobs

Decreased taxes = decreased costs = decreased prices = increased business = increased jobs

Therefore, it should be obvious to the President and his advisers that if they want more jobs, they need to decrease taxes on the people who produce the jobs.

He apparently is willing to consider that, but stubbornly wants to limit it to those making less than $1,000,000. That probably sounds reasonable to most people. However, what he and “they” don’t understand is that if a businessman is fortunate enough to “make” $1,000,000, very little may be left for him to live on after he pays his taxes and, typically, a bank loan from those funds.

For example, assume a businessman or woman borrows $5,000,000 for a business to employ 100 people. First, he would probably need to have saved at least $1,000,000 to invest in the business in order to get a $5,000,000 loan. So he has $6,000,000 invested in the business. But now, he must make enough money from the business to pay back the bank loan and interest. Assuming the loan is at 6 percent, and he has 10 years to pay back the bank, he has to make $300,000 just to pay the bank interest, plus another $500,000 to pay the bank loan principal. If he is successful and “makes” $1,300,000 from the business, he pays the bank $300,000 in interest leaving him $1,000,000 in taxable income. He pays income taxes to the U.S. government of approximately $330,000, leaving him $670,000. From that, he has to pay the bank $500,000 principal on the loan, leaving him $170,000 to live on. To some, he may look rich. However, in order to get that big loan, he probably had to sign away everything he owns, including his home. If business slows down and profits are squeezed, he may lose everything he owns to the bank, including his home. That actually happened to a good friend of mine recently.

However, under Obama’s current plan, it gets worse. If someone grows their business and hires more people, their tax rate will increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, for a 13.1 percent increase in tax rate, which equates to a $46,000 tax increase, reducing his net income to $124,000. The employer has taken a lot of risk to try to make that money, and the risk goes up as the tax rate increases, which also decreases the amount of money the employer can pay their employees.

Thus … increased taxes increase costs, which increases prices, which decreases business and decreases jobs.

Whereas … decreased taxes decrease costs, which decreases prices, which increases business and increases jobs.

Bottom line is you can’t increase, or threaten to increase, taxes on the people who create 90 percent of the jobs in America and then wonder why they don’t go out and hire more people. No wonder folks are worried. They ought to be.

Our political gurus need to study the effects of the Kennedy and Reagan Tax decreases. In both cases, the U.S. economy took off, the government income increased substantially, and we obtained essentially full employment for everyone who wanted to work.

David Eller, Publisher

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Publisher’s Perspective: Historical Series No. 69

Posted on 30 June 2011 by LeslieM

Since our family, the Eller family, has lived in Deerfield Beach since 1923, I’ve often been asked to put in writing some of the history of the area, either experienced personally, or that I heard from my parents or grandparents. For some of you old timers who might be worried about certain old “scandals” don’t worry. I won’t be writing about those (smile).

— David Eller, Publisher


College life was good, but not always fair

In my last Historical Essay, I shared about my first day in college at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where I played a guitar with my new friend, Bob Bidwell, learning rock and roll. I then went out and pigged out on green olives the first evening, making myself sick.

My first roommate in that dorm turned out to be a rather difficult fellow named Dale from New Jersey, who did not want to be there and was determined to make both our lives miserable. He succeeded for a few days before I was able to arrange to get a new roommate who was more compatible.

David Eller and Bob Hutson

His name was Bob Hutson from Tampa, Florida, a quiet type fellow engineering student whose family owned an orange grove and who could have been a twin of the movie star Tom Selleck. We soon found out that he could attract the ladies with his tall good looks and I would schmooze them along with personality and guitar. We made a good team and had a great time the rest of our five years together in college as engineering students, 2½ at Stetson University in DeLand and 2½ at University of Florida in Gainesville.

Since I was on a scholastic scholarship, however, I had to make exceptional grades to keep my scholarship. Fortunately, I had had a high school teacher named Joe Calis at Pompano High School who had given me some good advice. He told me, “David, when you get to college, it is very important for you to make really good grades your first semester. If you make mostly A’s your first semester, the professors the second semester will know you are a good student and will ‘carry you’ going forward, giving you the benefit of the doubt and blaming themselves if you’re not doing quite as well in their class. They will grade you up. Meanwhile, most of your freshmen classmates will be partying their first semester, many flunking out. So, their second semester, they will have to study all the time and you can ‘take over’ their first semester girl friends. It’s a win/win for you.”  He was right, and it worked. Life was good.

Wally Smith was another friend I made on our dorm floor. His nickname was “spider” because he was real skinny with long legs and could literally walk up the wall in the hallway by spreading his legs out to each wall and jerking each leg up in spurts until he could touch the ceiling with his hands. He once bragged that he could get us good seats on Saturday night in the normally crowded theatre in downtown DeLand. When we got there, he bought a small bag of popcorn and water which he mixed together and took it up to the balcony of the theatre, telling us to stay below. He then leaned over the balcony, over the best seats in the theatre, and made loud “throw up” noises as he scattered the wet popcorn on the people down below. They started jumping up and running to the rest rooms to remove what they assumed to be nasty stuff. Wally ran down and directed us college boys to assume the great seats, which had just emptied. We tried not to look at them or smile when they came out of the bathroom and went down to find new seats down front.

Life was good, but not always fair.

David Eller


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Publisher's Perspectives 2008

Posted on 04 December 2008 by LeslieM

George Will – Shame on you! – paid by Japanese to diss U.S. car manufacturers

4 Dec 2008
Last week George Will, the famous syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, wrote a stinging editorial entitled “Bailout won’t fix the dying auto industry.” Reading on, I realized he actually meant the U.S.-owned auto industry should be shut down in America, and not the foreign-owned auto industry operating here.
Being a fan of George’s for many years, I read on with some concern as he gave reason after reason why our government should not do anything to prevent our U.S. car manufacturers from collapsing. Finally at the end of his editorial, there was the following disclaimer: Disclosure: Mrs. Will is a public relations consultant for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
That really made me mad. And frankly it should make all Americans mad to know that a famous columnist like George Will had been bought and paid for by the Japanese to trash their American competitors, and suggest the American car companies should be put out of business. This proves without a doubt that the U.S. automobile manufacturers, their employees, retirees, investors and bond holders have been operating in a very unfair competition situation. The U.S. government, using money taxed from the American people and companies including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, was right there to help pay for rebuilding the Japanese, European and Korean automobile companies after their countries’ wars. Now some of these same foreign companies are trying to prevent the U.S. government from helping our own U.S. car companies to rebuild!
That is outrageous. Doesn’t the term “conflict of interest” have any meaning to Mr. Will? By writing this editorial slamming Detroit, he is providing direct assistance to his wife, who is paid by the Japanese to promote their cars.  And now knowing the Japanese have hired George Will to dump on our American companies, how many more of our press, opinion leaders and politicians have been compromised? I now suspect it is not just a few. No wonder our economy is in shambles.
But looking to the future, hopefully the U.S. car manufacturing executives will come up with a plan for continued viability that Congress can support. And if it requires the executives and union members to lower salaries and perks to survive, they should get on with it. Furthermore, since the foreign car companies are subsidized about $1,500 per car for their employee’s health costs paid for by their governments, something should be done by the U.S. government to equalize that playing field for the Americans.

Congratulations to Obama!

— and all our African-American friends, too —

13 Nov 2008
If anyone had any doubts about the status of racism in the United States, his or her doubts should now be answered. Martin Luther King started the peaceful march against racism, but it was Obama who finally crossed the finish line. Hopefully race will not be an issue in future Presidential contests, or any other elections either, because of him. That is wonderful, and makes me proud to be an American.
The only fly in the ointment is those who keep harping about the amount  of money he spent  to get elected, and where it came from. I wish they would leave him alone about that.  It was only $200,000,000 — about a third of the total money he raised, in small amounts – for which he hasn’t identified the donors. Why does it matter where it came from? Remember how popular he was when he traveled overseas? And besides, he is really busy organizing things right now!
But seriously, he needs to get that question behind him as quickly as possible or it may jeopardize his Presidency. If there is nothing to hide, just release the names of all of his contributors like John McCain did, and George Bush did, as well. If some are foreign, illegal, or unidentifiable, the money should be returned or donated to charity. If he has to make a special fund-raising effort to make up the difference, we will understand, praise him for doing it, and make a contribution.
Hopefully he will get the air cleared on this matter so he can go about running the country and get everyone fully behind him to help.
Furthermore, John McCain should devote the remainder  of his career in the U.S. Senate to closing the loophole that now permits candidates in federal campaigns to raise unlimited amounts of small credit card contributions via the Internet with absolutely no record as to who is making the contribution, where they reside or whether they are even qualified by virtue of U.S. citizenship or a Green Card to make any contribution.
David Eller, Publisher

Which Presidential candidate will be best to protect you and your loved one’s job?

30 Oct 2008
That is an easy question to answer: If you work in the private sector, Obama’s proposals to increase taxes on the people who own businesses could cost millions of people their jobs. If you work in the private or even the government sector, the job loss could possibly be yours.
The formula is relatively simple. Every business requires a certain amount of working capital, i.e. money, to operate. The amount varies depending on the type of business. For instance, the manufacturing industry, which I know about, requires an average investment of about $125,000 per employee for buildings, machinery and working capital. Most of that money typically has to be borrowed. To employ 20 people, therefore, a company has to find a bank willing to lend $2,500,000, which the bank typically wants to have paid back over a 10-year period, or $250,000 per year. Add interest at 7 percent, or $175,000, and you have a minimum obligation of $425,000 per year or  $35,400 per month.
The $175,000 per year interest is deductible from taxes on any profits the business might make. But the additional $250,000 principle they have to earn each year to pay the bank back is taxable, less depreciation, before they get anything for themselves. That tax is already one of the highest in the world at 35 percent, and Obama is proposing to raise it!  Consequently, many small business owners already make less in actual take home pay, after paying the bank and the government taxes, than many of their employees. I know because I am one.
Now, Obama promises to make it worse by raising our 35 percent taxes higher. Either he doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care, that a lot of people are going to lose their jobs because of that tax increase. Jimmy Carter had our taxes at 70 percent; people got laid off and our economy collapsed. Reagan lowered them to 26 percent, our economy boomed, people got hired and the U.S. government received more in taxes the next year than it ever did before.
Incidentally, to those of you in government jobs, when we in the private sector lose our jobs, there is less tax money to pay for you or fund your pensions. Therefore, guess what? You’re next! Think about that before you vote next Tuesday.
David Eller, Publisher

If you liked Jimmy Carters’ Foreign Policy, you’ll probably love Obama’s

23 Oct 2008
Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden said last week that he expects a serious international crisis to occur within the first six months of the next U.S. President’s term. Let’s reasonably assume that it involves Israel, since that country has been threatened over and over again with annihilation. For instance, Iran could acquire a nuclear warhead from Pakistan, mount it on one of their long-range missiles and strike Israel. It would be a sneak attack to try to completely destroy Israel and knock out Israel’s ability to retaliate.
If this possibility concerns you, who do you want to be President of the United States at that time? Who might our enemies fear the most as our President? Who would, hopefully, keep such a scenario from happening in the first place? I suspect our enemies would fear McCain the most … which is a good thing!
Remember when Iran took dozens of Americans hostage during Jimmy Carter’s administration? The Iranians did not respect or fear Carter, acted accordingly, and the American people suffered the consequences. Reagan had not been sworn in as our President for 5 minutes when the Iranians let our people go. The Iranians admitted later that they were afraid of what Reagan was going to do as our new President. That’s called respect. It is not saying “I will sit down with [terrorist nations] and negotiate,” as Obama is fond of saying.
All due respect to Joe Biden, but it would not be his call to make as Vice President — how to retaliate. It would be the President of the United States’ responsibility as Commander in Chief. If elected, Obama would be the only one ultimately making the decision on what to do … if anything.
Meanwhile Obama’s Chicago neighbor and [friend] Jesse Jackson was at the World Policy Forum at a French lakeside resort last week, where Jackson was quoted as saying: [that under Obama] “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end.
Jesse should know. Jesse knows him well. He calls him his “neighbor.” He says, “We helped him start his career;” and says his daughter went to school with Obama’s wife Michelle. Therefore, we can assume that Jesse knows what he is talking about.
So the bottom line is: If you liked Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy, you’ll probably love Obama’s. And if you really care about Israel, the choice is clear.
David Eller, Publisher

McCain made a good choice…

18 Sep 2008
in selecting a woman as running mate
but must realize he can’t treat her as he might a man
”In revenge and in love, woman is more barbarous than man”
–Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1865
My wife, who doesn’t normally like politics very much, called me excitedly last week.
”McCain has just announced he has selected a woman, the Governor of Alaska, to be his running mate!” I frankly was surprised by my wife’s reaction, even though we’ve been married 40 years.
She continued:  “and she has five children, including a son in the military going to Iraq, three daughters and recently birthed a baby son who has Down’s Syndrome!”
“Wow,” I responded.
“And that is not all,” she continued, “She got into government to clean up the mess and corruption some men had made. Even though some were in her own political party … she exposed them, ran against them and won with about 80 percent of the vote!”
“Wow,” I said again.
“Sounds like superwoman to me!”  “Yes,” she said. “She even looks like superwoman!”
“Wow.” I said again.
“I can’t wait to see … uh … hear her!”
Thus was my introduction to Governor Sarah Palin. Later, when I got a chance to listen to Sarah Palin speak, heard her joke and saw the twinkle in her eye, as she obviously was enjoying herself, I could understand my wife’s enthusiasm.
There are those who say she doesn’t have the experience to be Vice President. However, she is the only candidate of either party who actually does have the executive experience of running something: Alaska, the largest state geographically in the United States. And before that, she was a mayor, i.e., chief executive of an important city in Alaska. Compare that to either of her current political opponents, who have zero executive experience between them, yet aspire to be chief executives of the land.
John McCain, who also lacks executive experience, was wise to pick someone with executive experience to help him run the government. However, if he and Sarah win, President John McCain and his staff better be careful. His Vice President, Sarah Palin, has a proven record of going after members of her own party and administration if she sees them abusing their positions in government. Therefore the “good old boy network” in Washington might be in for a shock.
Now how about that for a change and some fresh air in DC?
David Eller, Publisher

Warning, Non-Citizens who vote could go to jail along with those who assist them

21 Aug 2008
Publisher Perspective: Warning, Non-Citizens who vote  could go to jail along with those who assist them
I was sitting in my office just west of Dixie Highway a number of years ago, when a middle aged lady, who worked for the Broward County Welfare Office as a bus driver, came to see me. Their office was located in a building we had just bought for the Observer. She immediately apologized for the interruption, but said “I’ve just got to tell someone what is happening.” She went on to explain that she drove a bus for the county, and her bosses were having her drive the bus around for them to find people to register to vote.
What was bothering her was that it appeared her “bosses” were intentionally registering non-US citizens to vote. She said they would pull the bus up to areas where foreign workers were apparently known to congregate, and where “runners” had already gone out ahead to gather them up. The “runners” were being paid by the number of people they brought to the bus. She noted that most of the people being brought to the bus did not speak English. Once on the bus her “boss” would tell them loudly in English: “Raise your hand if you are a U.S. citizen.” Most of them, according to her, would just look confused. So her “boss” would hold up a box, as though she was going to give them something of value, and repeat the question, simultaneously raising her own hand in a motion for them to mimic. Those who raised their hands were immediately given a voter registration card application to fill out with the help of the “runners” and the “bosses.” My informant then begged me not to confront her bosses about this as she would certainly be fired.
So, the next day I drove down to the Supervisor of Elections office in Ft. Lauderdale to find out what could be done about this. I talked to Easter Lily Gates, who at the time was  Supervisor of Elections and an old friend of my father’s. A kind, matronly looking lady with a hat on, she explained to me that it was against the law for them, the supervisor or her staff, to even ask someone for proof that they were a U.S. citizen. Anyone who applied for a voter’s registration card was automatically given one with no proof of citizenship required.
Flabbergasted, I personally spent years trying to get the system changed to make sure only citizens could register and vote. It was finally changed a few years ago here in Florida, but only after it was discovered that eight of the 19 September 11 hijackers were registered to vote in either Virginia or Florida. It was determined that the registrations were obtained when they applied for driver’s licenses. So now if someone who is not a U.S. citizen registers and votes, it is a felony crime. Do your part to make sure our elections are fair. If you know of someone who is not a U.S. citizen, yet has registered to vote, contact the Supervisor of Elections office and let them know.
David Eller, Publisher

The British love Deerfield…..to visit

17 Jul 2008
My wife and I recently took my wife’s mother, Julia Ackerman Frey, on a cruise to the Norwegian fjords to celebrate her 85th birthday. The Princess Cruise Line ship we were on, departed from Southampton (SP) England and went through the English Channel to carry us all the way up the coast and islands of Norway. We went way north of the Arctic Circle. Although the ship was huge, approximately 100 yards long and 15 stories high, and carried about eighteen hundred passengers plus hundreds of crew, it was able to venture all the way up a number of these Norwegian fjords. The fjords, some 60 miles long, were formed by glaciers cutting their way through the rocky mountains of Norway thousands of years ago as the last ice age receded. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, consisting of rock cliffs as high as 3,000 feet on each side with snow still on the top melting, thus creating waterfalls tumbling down the mountain into the crystal blue water of the fjord. I counted twelve waterfalls in one scene as we came around a bend. Being a boatsman myself, I was also worried about the ship running aground until the captain assured me there was no danger of that, since the water was at least 450 feet deep, even at the mountain end of the fjord.
The captain also shared that our cruise passengers were about 50 percent British, 25 percent American, 5 percent Canadian and the rest from some 20 other countries.There were many occasions, of course,  to engage in conversations with our fellow passengers. At first I would simply identify myself as being an American. The British would never allow me to get by with that. They wanted to know where in America. When I said “Florida,” I nearly always got a “I’ve been there!” reaction, with a “where in Florida?” follow up question.  When I responded “Deerfield Beach,” it was amazing to me how many of them knew our city and some of them knew it well.  One fellow said he generally stays at the Embassy Suites and likes to jog in that neighborhood. There seemed to be two main reasons they chose to come here: shopping was first, and our beach was second. The shopping part proves the truth of my Economics 101 class (taken long ago) that people typically will go to great lengths to save money. Thus, Britain’s high taxes on clothes and other items drive their citizens to Deerfield Beach.  When I suggested he might want to buy a place here, he declined, saying “your property taxes are too high.”   My Economics 101 professor was right again. Our city and county politicians need to take note!
David Eller, Publisher

Changes at the Observer

3 Jul 2008
It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Ric Green will be leaving us as editor of the Observer. The first emotion is one of sadness as we have grown to love and respect his work here. The second emotion, however, is one of happiness for him. As the newly appointed CEO/President of the Chamber of Commerce for Pompano Beach, Ric will have the opportunity to use his enormous promotional and personality skills to help take that organization to its next level. As a native son of Pompano Beach, this is certainly a win-win for both Ric and the greater Pompano Beach area.
We at the Observer are fortunate to have a professor of Journalism, David Volz step in as our new editor. David has lived in South Florida since 1980 and with a masters degree in Communication from Fla. Atlantic University has taught in both Miami Dade and Broward, including Nova Colleges. In addition to teaching and writing, David devotes much of his time to his wife, Nancy. We look forward to receiving David’s leadership and guidance as we take the Observer forward to serve you even better in the future.
David Eller, Publisher

Moses in the Bible tried to warn Eliot Spitzer “be sure your sin will find you out”

13 Mar 2008
In HIS Holy Scriptures the Lord God has given us humans a lot of good advice. HE used Moses as HIS instrument to write much of it. For example, in the Scripture’s Old Testament Book of Numbers, Chapter 32, Verse 23, it is written: “if ..ye have sinned against the Lord, be sure your sin will find you out.”
It has been both amusing and scary to watch events of this past week play out in regard to former chief prosecutor, Attorney General and Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer. As the chief law enforcement officer of New York he famously pursued many people and businesses, including prostitutes and their organizations, to enhance his own reputation. It was a strategy which he obviously intended to use to promote himself to higher office. It is said he even planned next to run for President of the United States.
Now that he has been caught using prostitues, his name will be famous all right. Want to call someone “two-faced”? Just refer to them as an “Eliot Spitzer”. Want to call someone a “demagogue”? An “Eliot Spitzer” will do just as well.
To some that will be amusing, and well deserved. However, it is not amusing to many of you, and us, who are trying to encourage the young people in our society to reach for higher goals. How many people, young and old, may now make dreadful decisions, negatively affecting their lives, while maybe even sub-consciously thinking of Eliot Spitzer and justifying it as “everybody does it”. That’s the scary part.
Well…everybody doesn’t do it! And if you want God to bless you, you must live your life in a way that is blessable. Watch what happens to Eliot Spitzer in the future. You can be sure it will be the opposite of blessed.
David Eller, Publisher

Prayer at city hall?

14 Feb 2008
In reviewing this week’s letters to the editor, and one particular column by my friend, columnist Herb Siegel, I am reminded of Rodney King’s lament a few years ago saying “Why can’t we all just get along?”
It all started last week when Pastor Dr. Joseph Guadagnino of South Florida Bible College, located on Federal Highway here in Deerfield Beach, attended the Deerfield City Commission meeting with about 100 fellow Christians requesting that the City Commission re-instate clergy-led prayers to open their meetings. He went on the say that, “For a time, Pompano Beach did not allow clergy-led prayers, but they do now. We oppose your decision to not have clergy-led prayers. I am offended. Christians are under attack.”
Mayor Capellini then read a letter from the ACLU suggesting the organization would sue the city if clergy-led prayers were not halted. An attorney in the audience offered to defend the city free of charge if that happened. Commissioner Pam Militello asked what was wrong with one moment of silence?
As a matter of coincidence, before I came into the Observer office that morning, I had been watching the U.S. Congress on C-Span. They opened their session with a prayer by a minister. Why isn’t the ACLU threatening them? Could it be because they know they would lose, maybe already have lost, and find it much more convenient to go around with bully tactics threatening towns like Deerfield Beach?
God bless Dr. Guadagnino and his congregates. I’m not one of them, but I appreciate what he and his congregation are doing to shine some light on this matter.  And Herb, God bless you too! But incidentally, you were wrong when you assumed Christians don’t study the Old Testament. I know they do because I teach it at my church.
David Eller, Publisher

Vote “Yes” on Amendment 1

24 Jan 2008
Don’t think about going to the polls next Tuesday and trying to comprehend the meaning of Amendment 1. Here are four simple reasons why you should vote YES:
1. Your “Save Our Homes” is not only protected, it is doubled to $50,000. School taxes are not affected at all and even inexpensive condos will still pay full taxes on the appraised value between $25,000 and $50,000, as well as on everything above $75,000.
2. Passing Amendment 1 will finally allow you to transfer your accumulated “Save Our Homes” benefits to a new homestead. This will free up homeowners who are now trapped in their homes and will spur the real estate market, which is the backbone of the local economy.
3. It will create a $25,000 exemption on assessed value of tangible personal property and this will be a big benefit to small businesses throughout the state.
4. It will limit assessment increases for specified non-homestead real property to 10 percent each year.
Amendment 1 is a good start at much needed reform and deserves your full support.  You can look forward to voting on a revenue cap amendment sometime in 2010, which will end, once and for all, the out-of-control spending habits of our local governments.
You should be aware that there is considerable confusion about one provision toward the end of Amendment 1 that would provide for “homestead exemptions to be repealed if a future constitutional amendment provides for assessment of homesteads ‘at less than just value’ rather than as currently provided ‘at a specified percentage’ of just value”.
Regardless of this provision, Florida voters will still always remain in control of maintaining their “Save Our Home” benefits and will never vote to eliminate them.
Vote Yes on Amendment 1 next Tuesday, January 29.
Presidential Preferences
This is undoubtedly the most “open” Presidential election since 1952 and for the first time in our history, prospective voters have been absolutely deluged with information about the Republican and Democrat candidates for President. Between the candidates’ websites, the Internet, mailings, personal appearances, news articles and the numerous debates, every voter can know exactly what position a particular candidate has taken on a possible issue. Because of this unprecedented access each of us has had into the “minds” of each candidate, we do not deign to recommend one Republican or one Democrat over another.
Next Tuesday, the choice is yours. You know what kind of world we live in. Choose the candidate who can best lead us in the next four years.
David Eller, Publisher

How Long Do We Have?

17 Jan 2008
A guest Editorial by Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minn.
About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in
1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of
Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000
years earlier:
‘A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.’
‘A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’
‘From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.’
‘The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years’
‘During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage’
Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul,
Minnesota, points out: The United States is now somewhere between the ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation’s’ population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency ‘ phase. If Congress or a future presidential administration grants amnesty and citizenship to 12 million or more illegal criminal invaders and they vote, then we can say goodbye forever to the USA as we have known it, as the USA follows the Athens Republic over the historical cliff of “has been” nations.
David Eller


3 Jan 2008
Now that we’re “out” with the old and “in” with the new year, it is a good time to reflect on life, and among other things, make sure we do not take ourselves too seriously. For example, my good friend and first-grade classmate, Janice Brown Rogers, recently wrote the following to this publisher:
Dear Publisher and friend David Eller,
“For the last several months I have enjoyed reading your articles ‘Publisher’s Perspective: Historical Series’. Having grown up in Deerfield, I am amazed at your memory of events. I have reminded myself that these are the historical views, embellishments, and memories of a child and not necessarily fact!
You have indicated you were a mighty force to reckon with in fights. I don’t remember your boyhood altercations but I do recall, and as you have admitted yourself, to you pushing the girls off the sidewalk into the sandspurs……”
Janice goes on to challenge my memory on other issues such as the number of boys in grades one through three, and claims that Dewey Bennett didn’t arrive in Deerfield until fifth grade, not third grade as I had written.
Well Janice, as it would happen, Dewey’s sister Carol was in town this week and verified that her family moved to Deerfield when Dewey was in third grade, and she (Carol) was in fifth. So I stand on what I had written. However, I did enjoy the copy of our “6th Grade Will” you sent that was dedicated to the 5th graders behind us in school. Please note the following two bequests:
“David Eller wills his sweet disposition to Billy Hall.”
“Janice Brown wills her habit of arguing to Maria Stevens.”
I guess some things just never change. I love you Janice and dedicate the following funny stories about elementary age children to you:
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, “When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah.” The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?” The little girl replied, “Then you ask him.”
A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing,the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast to her brunette head.  She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of  your hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.” The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”
To Janice and all our Observer readers and advertisers:
David Eller, Publisher

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Publisher's Perspectives 2007

Posted on 06 December 2007 by LeslieM

Immigration is number one issue

Published: 6 Dec 2007

A few years ago an American friend of mine, who had bought a Holiday Inn in Bimini, Bahamas, that included a marina for boats to park while their guests stayed at his hotel, called me. A three-day storm with winds exceeding 50 mph had blown a significant amount of sand from the ocean into the marina channel accessing his hotel, blocking boats, mostly American tourists, from entering or leaving. His business was in a crisis mode, and he was frantic to get the sand removed. He knew that our company had pumps capable of pumping sand. So he called me insisting I come over immediately to give him advice on what to do.

I arrived the next day at the Bahamian airport on a commercial airplane. I filled out the arrival forms and started through customs. I had a tape measure and a sight level (a six-inch engineering device for estimating elevation differentials) in my travel bag. The customs lady asked me about them, and I explained that I needed them in order to help my friend who needed some sand removed from his marina. She said: “So you are here on business!” I replied that I didn’t know whether I would actually be doing any business or not, but that I needed the instruments in order to make an estimate for my friend.

She asked me if I had a business permit for doing business in the Bahamas. I explained to her that I wasn’t doing any business yet, simply taking a look at a potential project, and assured her that if we actually did any business we would go through the proper channels to get all of the required permits. Suddenly she started shouting, and called for a policeman. She told the policeman that I was trying to do business illegally, and should be put in jail. The policeman, much more polite than the customs lady, took me by the arm and led me to a holding cell at the airport.

I couldn’t believe it. I asked the policeman if I could make a phone call to the Holiday Inn. He said I could, and took me to a phone. I called my friend and told him my predicament. He was as surprised as I had been, and said he would go get the chief of police for the island to come with him to get me. Within an hour my friend showed up with the Bimini police chief, who instructed the jailer to let me go.

I share this story because it is typical of what every other country in the world does when it comes to people entering, trying to get work. Other countries protect their own citizens’ jobs. Whether it is Haitians trying to get into the Dominican Republic, Central Americans trying to get jobs in Mexico, or Taiwanese trying to get jobs in Canada.

It is outrageous that our government has allowed over 12 million people to come here illegally and take jobs from Americans. That undoubtedly is why our local hero last week, Mark Spradley, was still unemployed. Some person here illegally has taken the job he otherwise would have had. It is time to stop the nonsense. Working Americans need to wake up and direct their votes in the next election to the candidates and political party who will best protect their jobs from the effects of illegal immigration.

David Eller, Publisher

Lower property taxes… by raising sales taxes

Published: 25 Oct 2007

A Realtor friend of mine recently lamented that our elected officials need to act soon to substantially lower property taxes. Otherwise, those of us who own homes, rental properties or businesses here will find ourselves on what he called… a sinking ship. He went on to give his opinion that our local city and county governments have loaded us down with so much real estate “tax cargo” that unless something is done, many more people will be forced to abandon this beautiful place called South Florida.

A local restaurant manager shared the same concern, with a slight twist, saying that people seem to be eating out less as the property tax burden has taken more of their money. It is a bit of a Catch 22 as our city and county employees who live locally also have to pay the same tax increases. Therefore, our local governments may have to consider outsourcing more to increase their overall efficiency, as many private companies have been doing.

The legislature keeps coming up with variations of “tax reductions.” However, it seems to have gotten very complicated as they apparently are trying to satisfy too many special interests. So what do we do?

I recently asked for a show of hands from a group of about 40 local citizens who were in attendance at our local Kiwanis Club meeting. I asked how many of them would support raising our sales taxes a cent or two, if ad valorem taxes were reduced proportionally and locked into place permanently? Every hand in the audience went up!

If you agree, cut this out and mail or fax it to your representative whose addresses are listed in the shaded box.

David Eller, Publisher

Florida Power and Light: A modern day robber baron?

Published: 6 Sep 2007

Last week was an expensive week in our household.  We received a $927 electricity bill from FPL, some 21percent higher than the same month last year. This was the result of the electric power rate increase which FPL was granted by the Public Service Commission, as a type of surcharge, to pay for their expenses for fixing lines and poles blown down during the previous hurricane season. In addition, last week we paid over $30,000 for a large electric generator to give us backup power.

A friend of our family who still works for FPL and used to be a lineman for them, shared with me that higher management pulled him and others off of regular pole and line maintenance a few years ago to do other chores. In fact, FPL reduced their workforce by a third, from 14,510 to 9,800. I don’t remember our bills being reduced any, but I have noted how FPL management brags in investment journals about their being one of the most, if not the most, profitable power companies in the United States. No wonder. They have cut their expenses by simply not maintaining their power poles and lines!  This is why you and I are suffering more power outages and having to spend hard-earned money on generators!

Then to add insult to injury, FPL brings in outside contract employees at $100 per hour to actually repair the lines and poles, and adds it as a surcharge on our bills!  It is a financial gimmick they have come up with to soak their customers, while paying huge bonuses to their management. In fact, Chief Executive Lewis Hays pays himself over $6 million per year!

This wouldn’t be happening if we went back to an elected Public Service Commission. When our governor Charlie Crist was running for U.S. Senate in 1998, he called for returning the PSC to elected positions as it was back in the 70’s. Legislation calling for an elected PSC has been filed several times in the legislature, but as soon as the FPL lobbyists get to work, it never gets out of committee. In fact it’s been reported that FPL maintains the highest number of lobbyists in the State.  It’s past time for the customers of FPL to get some relief, by reestablishing an elected PSC.  We all need to lean on our legislators and Governor to make it happen– sooner rather than later.

David Eller, Publisher

Get the shotgun Honey, and call 911

Published: 2 Aug 2007

Early last Sunday morning, about 1:30 a.m., I was sleeping lightly in our house near the waterway, when I heard a strange “thump, thump” noise coming from somewhere inside or outside of our house, and near our bedroom.  I turned on my back in order to hear well. I thought it may have been a squirrel. But when I heard it a second time near a different bedroom window I decided to wake my wife. We both lay still. Suddenly a louder sound came from just outside our bedroom wall in the living room area next to our indoor swimming pool. My wife jumped out of bed, threw on her robe, and before I could stop her, opened the locked bedroom door, flipped on the living room light, and shouted loudly: “Get the shotgun Honey, and call 911!” While I was getting my shotgun from the closet, my wife heard another loud sound in our patio area as furniture was being knocked over.

I grabbed my chrome plated, Winchester, pump action 12 gauge shot gun I keep in the closet and rushed through the bedroom door to protect my wife. I always keep it semi-loaded with four shotgun shells. The first shot would be a slug bullet, about 3/4 inch diameter, which is plenty big enough to bring down the largest man up close. The second and third are buckshot loads good for deer hunting in case I miss with the slug. The forth is bird shot, which shoots a wide pattern in case my first three shots miss. I stepped through the door and immediately pump-cocked the gun, which was already loaded but left in a half-way cocked position. “Ke-chunk, ke-chunk” it went loudly, which has got to be the worse sound a thief could hear. I stood there at the bottom of the stairs leading to our upstairs, and faced west toward the sliding glass doors, so I could cover both the stairs and the sliding glass doors going out to our patio and pool area. At that moment we actually thought someone may have already gained entry and were upstairs. Not seeing anything immediately, I gave my wife the gun (she’s actually a better shot than I am) and proceeded to the phone to call 911. I admit my voice was a little shaky as I told the operator, who answered after only two rings, where we were, what had happened, and could they send a deputy sheriff immediately.

I stuck another gun, a 38 caliber pistol in my pocket and came back out of the bedroom, taking the shotgun from my wife as she went to the front of the house to wait for the police. Two deputy sheriffs were at our house within five minutes. Deputy Bishop went upstairs first, searching thoroughly before declaring it “clean”. We then started looking around the patio and found the place the thief had entered. It was a sliding glass door at the corner next to our bedroom which we had neglected to properly secure, as it was covered with a large stained glass piece of art work my wife had made many years ago. The thief had popped open that door and pushed the stained glass piece forward about 10 inches. Unfortunately for him, we also have a baby grand piano in that corner which he was also pushing against. The piano slowed him down long enough for us to get up and into the same room. My wife’s flipping on the lights and shouting “Get the shotgun, Honey…and call 911!” apparently had its desired effect and he, or they, decided to make a quick exit, stumbling over patio furniture on the way out. The police found two other places they had tried to enter before selecting that particular sliding glass door.

Are there lessons to be learned from this experience? There sure are. The first is making sure you have complete security in ALL windows and doors. Thieves are experts at finding an unsecured opening.  We had extra locking pins and round wood blocking barriers in all the other sliding glass doors. It was only this one door, because it was covered by my wife’s stained glass work, which we did not have properly secured, and the thief quickly found it. Lesson one: Make sure all doors are properly secured.

Lesson Two: Although we have an alarm system, we had not armed it before going to bed. Big mistake. She thought I’d done it, and I thought she’d done it. Don’t make such assumptions. Set up a system and follow it. Lesson three: Be careful who knows when you are going to be away. My wife and I had been on a trip Thursday and Friday celebrating our 38th wed-ding anniversary. There were construction workers working on the outside of our house and our next door neighbor’s on Friday. Some of them knew we were gone. If it was related to one of them, they probably thought we’d be gone the whole weekend. Make sure no one knows except trusted neighbors or family when you’re going to be away.

And last, but not least, Lesson Four: Make sure you have the means to protect yourself if need be, and know how to use it. I’ve owned my Winchester chrome plated 12 gauge shotgun for about 30 years, but have not actually shot it in several years. For a moment, standing at the bottom of our stairs thinking I might need to pull the trigger, I was worried whether I had the safety on or off. It was off and ready to fire. But for a moment I was uncertain, and that moment might have made a big difference had the thief decided to stay and charge me. In other words, if you’re going to have a gun, you need to know how to use it, and practice occasionally. You also need to let the police know when you call that you have a gun in hand, so they don’t mistake you for an adversary and act accordingly.

Finally, even though I didn’t have to use it, I was sure glad to have that 12-gauge on my side last Sunday morning, Thank you, Mr.Winchester.

David Eller, Publisher

Uncontrolled immigration problem needs to be fixed!

Published: 28 Jun 2007

George Bush, Ted Kennedy and all the other politicians in Washington, D.C. are nuts! How dare they legalize at least 12 million people who have come here illegally! If they do that, there will be another 50 million illegals here ten years from now. Our country and lifestyle will eventually collapse without a limited immigration policy to regulate entry at our borders. This is what happened to Rome nearly 2000 years ago and we unfortunately seem to be on the same path. If you agree, you better let Senators Martinez and Nelson know this week as the Senate is expected to vote on it this week. Contact information for Senator Martinez is U.S. States Senate, 356 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC, phone 202-224-3041 and fax 202-228-5171. For Senator Nelson, U.S. States Senate Building, 716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC, phone 202-224-5274 and fax 202-228-2183.

David Eller, Publisher

Now is the time to speak out

Published: 17 May 2007

“If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.”

Solemnization of Matrimony

The Holy Bible book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 puts it this way:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;…..a time to weep, and a time to laugh…a time to get, and a time to lose….a time to keep silence, and a time to speak!

Now is the time to speak out if you are concerned about the property taxes on your home or business. The State Legislature just adjourned without resolving the issue, but will meet again in June for final discussions and a vote on the matter. Several options are on the table. The House of Representatives seems poised to possibly eliminate all ad valorem (property) taxes on our homes and business in exchange for an increase in sales tax to as much as 8 ½ cents on the dollar.  The Senate, on the other hand, seems unwilling to give any substantial property tax relief except over an extended period of time of about five years.  The question, therefore, is whether people and our economy can hold out for several years under the Senate plan, while people are stuck with high taxes and not being able to sell their homes. Apparently, many people are not willing to wait on the Senate, as “For Sale” signs seem to be sprouting up everywhere.

If all this affects you in some way, then now is the time to act. Your State Representatives and Senators are listed below.   Speak to them by email, letter or in person now, or you may as well “forever hold your peace”!

David Eller, Publisher

I’m proud to be an American…a Deerfield Beach American!

Published: 15 Mar 2007

Congratulations, citizens of Deerfield Beach. You stood up to one of the largest assaults ever attempted to take over a city in local modern history. Because you went out and voted (nearly 20 percent of our citizens here went to the polls, compared to half that in surrounding communities), you saved over $50 million in existing firefighter related assets from being taken over by out-of-town special interests; plus another $25 million in bonds they thought you would be foolish enough to borrow and give them!

Frankly, I’m embarrassed for my friend Sheriff Jenne, who badly overestimated his popularity and power in trying to take over our fire department and its substantial assets; and who raised and spent close to $53,000 from out-of-town interests in the losing effort. For what it is worth, the “locals” spent less than $3,000 to beat him!

I’m also embarrassed for former Mayor Robb, as well as members of the “Original Save Our Beach Committee” who jumped ship from “saving” our Deerfield Beach assets to support giving them away! I’m a little embarrassed for the large daily newspaper south of us that endorsed all the ballot positions that lost, and declined to run stories on the destruction of campaign signs taking place.

But most of all, I’m embarrassed for our firefighters, who were led into overreaching by their union leadership. Most of them are fine citizens, but some apparently participated in stealing and destroying thousands of dollars of their opponents’ legal campaign signs, while posting illegal campaign signs of their own on private and public property.

Now the City Commission and Mayor have heard from the citizens of Deerfield Beach. I’m sure they got the message.

Vote ‘NO’ On #3!

Published: 8 Mar 2007

Special interests out to get Deerfield’s fire department–

And they are out to get it on the cheap!

“Show me the money!” Cuba Gooding, Jr. shouted over and over again in the movie Jerry Maguire. “Show me the money!”

In a variation of that theme, Deerfield Beach taxpayers need to start shouting to our elected officials, “Follow the money! Follow the money!”

If they do follow the money, they will see that special interests outside of Deerfield Beach, mostly located in Sheriff Ken Jenne’s hometown of Hollywood, Florida, are financing this campaign to take over Deerfield’s fire department! Specifically, as of last week, $34,250 had been donated, with 95 percent, $32,500, coming from businesses in Hollywood, obviously aligned with the sheriff. Almost none is coming from Deerfield Beach, and that ought to tell you something!

Those special interests obviously intend to make lots of money on this deal, otherwise they would not be financing it. And what a deal it is! Deerfield taxpayers turn over some $55 million of buildings and equipment to the sheriff, which we still have to pay for, plus another $25 million if No.2 passes, for a total of $80 million. The sheriff and special interests get control of our buildings and equipment, but Deerfield Beach tax- payers still have to pay all the costs (over which we now have no control, including more lucrative pensions) for the firefighters!

This, of course, makes no sense and would never be happening were it not for the second main special interest pushing this: certain firefighters, most of whom do not live in Deerfield Beach, who stand to double up on their pensions if it passes.

Therefore, if you follow the money, you will see it is being taken from your Deerfield Beach pocket and flowing to special interests in Hollywood, plus fire-fighters, most living in other communities. It’s a bad deal for Deerfield Beach residents. Therefore, you need to call your Deerfield Beach neighbors and get them to join with you next Tuesday and vote “NO” to No. 3!

David Eller, Publisher

Vote “Yes” for more parks

-on March 13 Referendum Item No. 2-

Published: 1 Mar 2007

It is going to be difficult for many people renting or owning property in this city to vote to further increase their expenses to live here by increasing property taxes for any reason. However, if there was any expense that might be approved during normal times, it would most likely be related to adding additional parks and recreational facilities.

The timing of the referendum is unfortunate, however, as many people here are already in “tax shock.” Hopefully, the Florida Legislature will find a way soon to re-adjust the taxing methods to relieve property owners, renters and businesses in general. Meanwhile, available property on which to build parks and recreational facilities is dwindling. It will require an act of faith on the part of voters to trust our city’s elected officials to spend the money wisely if they vote to proceed on taxing themselves more to pay for some $30 million for additional parks in Deerfield Beach.

David Eller, Publisher


-on March 13 Referendum Item No. 1-

Published: 22 Feb 2007

“Thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he (they) killed it and opened it only to find………nothing”

–Aesop, 550 BCE

Here we go again. The Deerfield Beach firefighters are again overreaching and trying to kill the goose that lays their golden eggs. The firefighters’ very politically active leadership may lead them over the precipice this time, possibly forever, as they seek to intimidate the public about this latest bond proposal. To his credit, the mayor voted against it, but the other commissioners questionably put on the upcoming ballot what is a horrendously bad deal for Deerfield Beach citizens and taxpayers. Specifically, they are seeking voter approval to borrow $25 million to be spent for additional firefighter related assets, and then, if the ballot passes, give it all, plus another $55 million in Deerfield assets we already own, to the Broward County Sheriff’s Department! That’s an $80 million transfer from the City of Deerfield to the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, with the City of Deerfield taxpayer stuck with the bill!

Sheriff Ken Jenne, who I admit is a friend of mine, is no fool. He was smiling sheepishly as he and I spoke recently about him receiving what amounts to a huge windfall for his organization. He told me that although he could not pay anything to Deerfield to actually buy those assets, he is willing to pay some rent. He further admitted that he has not seen any financial information from the city, and therefore could not speak to what amount he could justify paying in rent.

This, of course, makes no sense unless you look at it from the standpoint of some of the senior firefighters in Deerfield Beach who are pushing it. They are already the recipients of one of the most generous retirement benefits at an early age imaginable, but they still want more. Many are already receiving, and many more looking forward to receiving soon, from the taxes placed on our homes and businesses, in the area of $70,000 per year in retirement while still in their forties or early fifties. However, if they can get the Broward County Sheriffs Department to take over Deerfield’s Fire Department, these individuals can start accumulating a second pension benefit from us as Broward County taxpayers, while simultaneously receiving their Deerfield pension income. They can, therefore, substantially increase their current income from the Deerfield pension fund, while double-dipping on the same taxpayers for their new Broward County pension! As I’ve said before, we simply cannot afford to have more financial burden put on our homes, businesses and rental properties. After all, you can only get so many golden tax dollars out of the geese in this town. And speaking of birds, this Referendum Item No. 1 is a turkey, and Deerfield citizens need to get to the polls en masse on March 13 and shoot this turkey down!

David Eller, Publisher

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