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Cooper City Government Issues

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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#61 | Posted: 13 Dec 2006 13:23 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Cooper commissioner urged to step down following DUI arrest

By Thomas Monnay
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted December 13 2006


COOPER CITY Angry residents pushing for the removal of two-term Commissioner Bart Roper were told Tuesday night that city leaders have no power to take such action.

Pressure to oust Roper, who did not attend the city commission meeting, has been mounting since his drunken driving arrest Nov. 28 in the 5700 block of South Pine Island Road. Police say they found the 69-year-old retiree asleep and slumped over the wheel of his 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck.

City Attorney Allan Ruf said Cooper City's charter doesn't address the second-degree misdemeanor.

Ruf said only Gov. Jeb Bush has the discretion to intervene. A spokesman for the governor has said Bush would not act because Roper isn't charged with a felony.

Several residents at the meeting expressed outrage because the incident occurred while state investigators are looking into whether the five commissioners broke any laws at private dinners held at taxpayers' expense. The meals were before commission meetings during the past few years.

Those dinners also involved drinking, but commissioners have denied they were intoxicated. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's inquiry is ongoing.

"He knew he was under watch, he should have been on his best behavior," said Lisa Mallozzi, an eastern Cooper City activist and former commission candidate. "I want to know what happened." John Sims, whose inquiries sparked the investigation into the whole commission, said he would initiate a petition drive to help remove Roper.

Raag Singhal, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney representing Roper, said last week Roper would plead not guilty to the drunken driving charge.

Commissioners did not comment publicly on Roper's arrest. However, in an e-mail last week to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Mayor Debby Eisinger said, "Driving in an intoxicated state is not acceptable behavior for anyone, and I certainly do not condone Commissioner Roper's behavior. ...While I do not know much about Commissioner Roper's personal life, I believe that he has always attempted to act in the best interest of the residents of Cooper City in his capacity as an elected official."

###

They've Done It Again

Well, well, well, here we go again. A DUI and the "Universal Sign of Brotherhood" flashed at the police and the media by another one of our illustrious commissioners, Bart "The Finger" Roper. Who, by the way, was slumped over drunk at an intersection. That's the first response isn't it? Well, it is if you are an elected offical who is seemingly above the law in Cooper City.

When asked about this our shameless mayor said, "It's a personal matter." Not anymore Ms. Mayor. Not when the police charge you with a crime. Not when you flip them off. And not when you respond, "It's only once. They (the citizens the don't like the fact that commissioner Bart Roper was charged with DUI) can move." Can you believe that he (Commissioner Roper) said that? How much longer will we, the people allow them to get away with this travesty?

They have thumbed their noses at us, the residents, Governor Bush, the media and a myriad of other people. It's time for action. While the investigation [is still moving forward] with the "drinks and dinner" debacle, Commissioner Roper has clearly broken the law. There are several possible actions that can be taken. I am awaiting a call from the city clerk to determine what the legal remedies are for us as citizens. I don't know about other residents, but I for one am outraged that they have turned our "Someplace Special" into something else.

###

Cooper City Commissioner Charged With DUI

POSTED: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
UPDATED: 12:53 pm EST November 29, 2006



Bart Roper
DAVIE, Fla. -- A Cooper City commissioner is charged with driving under the influence.

Bart Roper was arrested Tuesday by Davie police.

Police said they found Roper, 69, sleeping behind the wheel of a pickup truck in a turn lane at about 11:30 p.m.

According to the police report, Roper was rousted "by knocking on the driver's door window. When he saw paramedics, he smiled and gave them the finger."

The police report stated Roper's eyes were "bloodshot and glassy" and that he had a "very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" coming from his face.

When Roper got out of the truck, "he staggered and fell against the door frame," the police report claims. He also admitted he had "a few drinks in Cooper City," the police report said.

Police said Roper failed numerous field sobriety tests and refused to take a Breathalyzer.

Roper was released from jail Wednesday on $500 bond. When asked about the arrest, Roper said, "It's only one. You can move."

He has been on the Cooper City commission since 2002.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#62 | Posted: 18 Dec 2006 16:22 
`Confiscation' law is weakened


City now can `appropriate' private property

By Thomas Monnay
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted December 17 2006


COOPER CITY In hopes of appeasing critics, commissioners have weakened an emergency law that gave city officials confiscation power.

Under the new law, approved by a 4-0 vote Tuesday night, the phrase the city could "confiscate" private property has been replaced with "appropriate or make use of merchandise, equipment, vehicles or property needed to alleviate, prevent or curtail an imminent threat of personal injury or loss of life. ..."

The new law also took away the city's power to "prohibit public possession or display of firearms."

"The wording was too harsh," Commissioner Elliot Kleiman said. "The idea of confiscation implied that we could go out and take things away. I don't think that was right."

The move followed sharp criticism by residents Tim Wilder and John Sims, who said the city was infringing on people's rights.

Kleiman questioned whether Cooper City needs the emergency law, saying: "We have police power now granted by the charter."

He said the governor generally declares a state of emergency before a hurricane strikes, giving municipalities the power to protect their residents.

In another development, commissioners gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would require developers to equip new buildings three stories or taller with backup generators to run during extended power outages caused by a disaster.

Existing buildings would be grandfathered in under the proposal, which was sent back to the city's Planning and Zoning Board for further review.

The city is following the example of Hallandale Beach, which requires backup generators for gas stations and high-rise condominiums to ensure fuel stations are operational and building occupants are not stranded after a hurricane.

Thousands of South Floridians were without electricity for weeks after Hurricane Wilma last year, and many fuel stations couldn't operate.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#63 | Posted: 26 Dec 2006 19:46 
Cooper City Citizens Get Few Answers At Meeting

(CBS4) COOPER CITY - Dec 12, 2006 11:44 pm US/Eastern

CBS4 News was able to get a few brief comments from a Cooper City commissioner and the mayor regarding the drinking scandal exposed by CBS4's Mike Kirsch.

Cooper City leaders held a commission meeting Tuesday night, but Commissioner Bart Roper, who bailed out of jail after being arrested for alleged DUI, was absent. Citizens went up on the podium asking for answers and telling the politicians that what they had done was deplorable. The commission did not respond to the comments, but CBS4's Tiffani Helberg caught up to Commissioner Elliot Kleiman, who was not happy to talk to us.

He told us he would be happy to answer questions to individual residents, but not to the media, claiming they had distorted all the news regarding Cooper City. Kleiman is not only refering to Roper's arrest, but to the CBS4 exclusive investigation "Law and Disorder", which caught some commissioners drinking alcohol at a restaurant before conducting public commission meetings.

At one point Kleiman tried to cover our camera lens with his hand as he talked to a citizen in the commission chambers.

Helberg also had to run after Mayor Debby Eisenger, who did not want to comment regarding the issue, but she did give a brief statement about Commissioner Roper before running off.

Governor Bush has ordered an investigation of the city commission regarding this matter.

"By State law, the only person who can take action against Commissioner Roper is the governor," said Eisinger. "The city commission cannot call for his resignation."

Governor Bush has ordered an investigation of the city commission regarding this matter.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#64 | Posted: 9 Jan 2007 21:42 
Cooper City commissioner: I won't quit

BY BREANNE GILPATRICK
bgilpatrick@MiamiHerald.com

Cooper City Commissioner Bart Roper returned to the dais today, saying he will not resign following his November DUI arrest.

Roper's lawyer, Raag Singhal, said earlier today that the commissioner wanted to apologize, but the Fort Lauderdale attorney told him not to.

''It's just the way it's gotta be,'' Singhal said. 'You gotta tell them, `I know you want to apologize, but you can't.' ''

In fact, Singhal said he advised Roper to avoid talking about the case at all.

Singhal said he also advised Roper to skip the commission's Dec. 12 meeting, the first one following the arrest.

''I just thought it would be better if he let things settle down,'' Singhal said.

At today's commission meeting, five residents criticized Roper for not resigning.

''If Mr. Roper had any moral decency or conscience, he would spare the city further humiliation, and resign tonight as a gentleman,'' resident Diane Sori said.

One resident spoke in support of Roper.

Davie police arrested Roper on Nov. 28, after officers said they found him slumped over the wheel of his truck on Pine Island Road.

When they roused him with a rap on the window, he flashed a vulgar gesture at paramedics, police said.

Police said he failed a field sobriety test, refused a breath test, and was charged with driving under the influence.

His arraignment is set for Jan. 22.

Roper's arrest came just weeks after Gov. Jeb Bush requested a Florida Department of Law Enforcement inquiry into taxpayer-funded pre-meeting dinners at local bars and restaurants.

Some residents said these dinners, which sometimes involved alcohol, violated Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law. The law generally bars elected officials from discussing city business in private.

FDLE also is examining claims that city officials drove under the influence of alcohol at those dinners.

City officials have said no laws were broken during the gatherings
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#65 | Posted: 9 Jan 2007 21:45 
A little contrition from finger-wagging city official would be nice

Published January 9, 2007


If politicians had nicknames in the tradition of mobsters, he might now be known as Bart "The Finger" Roper. Or maybe "The Birdman of Cooper City."

Roper, a Cooper City commissioner, allegedly flashed his middle finger at a paramedic who found him passed out in Roper's pickup truck on Nov. 28. He made the same obscene gesture to journalists the next morning, when he bonded out of jail after his arrest for driving under the influence.

When he returns to the dais tonight, here's hoping he doesn't let his fingers do the talking.

Roper said Monday he would attend tonight's commission meeting, his first appearance since his arrest.

He skipped last month's meeting on the advice of his lawyer.

"That December meeting came up so soon after the arrest, I just felt it would be better to let things settle down," said Raag Singhal, Roper's defense attorney.

So here we are, a month later, and Roper still hasn't offered any explanations, excuses or apologies for his actions.

"I'd rather not talk at all about the situation unless my attorney says it's OK," Roper said Monday.

Is there anything sadder in life than a politician muzzled by a lawyer?

I mean, if Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis could stand up and pledge to "do a better job" as a role model after his recent DUI arrest in South Beach, couldn't we expect a little more contrition from a public official?

Even by lowly South Florida standards, one raised finger hardly seems enough.

On the bright side, we've been spared blame-shifting sob stories along the lines offered by fallen former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley or former state Rep. Ralph Arza after they torched their political careers last year with stupid acts.

I got the sense Roper wanted to talk on Monday, but Singhal wouldn't clear a full interview.

When I asked Roper about the middle finger he flashed when he left jail, he said he was goaded into it by "comments from the press."

When I asked for specifics, he said he couldn't say anything more.

"You can make me out to be the bad guy," said Singhal, noting Roper's arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 22.

OK, but Singhal wasn't the one allegedly found passed out behind the wheel of his pickup truck while parked in the turning lane of a street in Davie, keys in the ignition. And Singhal wasn't the one under fire at the time for being part of a commission that liked to eat and drink on the public dime before meetings.

Whatever his attorney advises, Roper should remember that he is a public official. He is entitled to the same legal rights as any other citizen, but he also has greater responsibilities. His constituents are entitled to answers, if not an apology.

"He asked, `Can I issue an apology at the meeting?' and I told him not to do it," Singhal said, explaining it wouldn't be legally prudent. Singhal said Roper would give a brief statement, thanking residents for their support and pledging to work hard in the coming year.

Because the charge against him is a misdemeanor, Roper gets to keep his commission seat while the case plays out. Singhal said Roper would not resign.

Singhal said Roper has not undergone any treatment or counseling for alcohol abuse since the arrest, and he is not aware of Roper, 69, having an alcohol problem.

Between Roper's arrest, the state's inquiry into the taxpayer-funded dinners for city officials and the arrest of a Cooper City High School student government leader in a grade-changing scandal, this bedroom town now finds itself with an image problem.

Embarrassment isn't just for all those big Broward County coastal cities anymore.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#66 | Posted: 10 Jan 2007 06:23 
Cooper City commissioner won't resign after being found passed out in truck

By Thomas Monnay
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted January 10 2007


COOPER CITY -- At Commissioner Bart Roper's first public meeting since a paramedic found him passed out in his pickup truck, he said nothing about his recent brush with the law, but stated he won't be stepping down from the dais.

"I have spent the past 16 years working to help the citizens of the city," Roper read from a prepared statement at Tuesday's commission meeting. "I still have much to offer to the citizens and intend to continue to serve as a commissioner."


There was no general response to Roper's statement, but a few individuals spoke up during the public comment part of the meeting.

"I hope that you get the help that you need," said Lisa Mallozzi, a candidate for the District 2 commission seat.

Stan Neumann, of the Rock Creek Homeowners Association, said Roper has been working hard to improve living conditions in the city. He said people should stop criticizing Roper about his "private problem."

Roper, 69, didn't attend last month's commission meeting, which came two weeks after his Nov. 28 arrest on a charge of driving under the influence.

On Tuesday he thanked supporters who have encouraged him through e-mails and phone calls, saying, "It has meant a great deal to me and my wife."

A court hearing is set for Jan. 22 on the DUI misdemeanor charge.

Roper, who is retired, said he's been dividing his time between checking on municipal business at City Hall and landscaping his backyard.

His driver's license was automatically suspended because he refused a breath test. Davie officers said they found him asleep and slumped over the wheel of his 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck in the 5700 block of South Pine Island Road, about four miles from his home.

Roper's fellow commissioners generally have refrained from commenting on what they call a personal matter.

"When he's up for re-election next year, if he chooses to run for re-election, we'll see how the voters react," said Mayor Debby Eisinger. His term ends in March 2008.

Roper's arrest occurred in the midst of an inquiry by state investigators into whether city commissioners and other officials broke any laws at private dinners involving drinking that were paid for with taxpayers' money.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#67 | Posted: 10 Jan 2007 21:25 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Three mayors in Broward win at starting gate

The local campaign season is officially on, though many Broward politicians were elected unopposed.


BY AMY SHERMAN
asherman@MiamiHerald.com

Qualifying candidates

Three Broward mayors were automatically elected on Tuesday when no one had challenged them by the noon deadline: Miramar Mayor Lori Moseley, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher -- previously a city commissioner -- and Pembroke Park Mayor Emma Shoaff.

Pembroke Park and Coconut Creek reelected their entire commissions without opposition, saving those cities the cost of holding an election.

Many other politicians celebrated their lack of opponents Tuesday, including Davie Council Member Mike Crowley; Oakland Park Commissioner Steven R. Arnst; Plantation Council Members Jerry Fadgen and Sharon Uria; and Sunrise City Commissioner Sheila Alu.

Fadgen and Uria in Plantation won reelection on Friday, when qualifying closed in that West Broward city.

A dozen Broward cities will elect leaders on March 13. Hollywood holds a special election Feb. 13 to replace suspended City Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom.

In other races, political hopefuls begin the two-month dash to get voters' attention, on issues including dwindling open space, traffic and -- in Cooper City -- the drinking habits of commissioners.

Cooper City's two incumbent commissioners who were up for reelection drew opposition after widespread publicity about a state inquiry into taxpayer-funded ''commission dinners'' held at bars and restaurants last year.

John Sims, one of the most vocal residents criticizing the pre-meeting drinking, will run against Commissioner John Valenti.

'I have people constantly asking, `What's wrong with your city?' '' said Lisa Mallozzi, who is challenging Commissioner Linda Ferrara. ``And it's embarrassing.''

In Davie, continued fallout from a financial scandal around former Town Administrator Chris Kovanes led six candidates to qualify for two Town Council seats.

Kovanes was fired last year and is awaiting trial after being accused of stealing roughly $500,000.

Dania Beach will hold a primary Feb. 13 to knock out one of the five candidates running for two seats.

The primary will cost $66,000 for poll workers, equipment and other expenses; the March election will add $41,000 to the tab.

Dania Beach City Commissioner Anne Castro wants the city to consider moving future local elections to November -- a growing trend in Broward. The county picks up many of the costs when local elections coincide with state and national races.

Municipal races are technically nonpartisan, but the Democratic and Republican parties typically weigh in -- sometimes behind the scenes -- with help for some candidates.



Miami Herald staff writers Ani Martinez, Natalie P. McNeal, Breanne Gilpatrick, Jennifer Lebovich and Todd Wright contributed to this report.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#68 | Posted: 15 Jan 2007 14:21 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
COOPER CITY -- Jan. 15, 2007

Cooper City dinners may put heat on incumbentsResident anger about Cooper City's pre-meeting dinners could create a couple of hotly contested races in the normally quiet suburb.


BY BREANNE GILPATRICK
bgilpatrick@MiamiHerald.com

SPOTS AT STAKE: Both Linda Ferrara and John Valenti face challengers for their commission seats. While many Broward mayors and city commissioners sailed to automatic reelection last week, two Cooper City leaders weren't so lucky.

Challengers filed last week to run against both of the incumbents whose seats are at stake in the city's March 13 primary.

In both cases, the challengers cited the City Commission's recently discontinued practice of holding private dinners before the public commission meetings. An investigation of the meetings aired in November on Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4.

Florida's Government in the Sunshine law generally forbids commissioners from discussing city business at a private meeting. But commissioners have said no city business was discussed at the meetings, although they were paid for by the taxpayers.

Then-Gov. Jeb Bush asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the dinners to see if any laws were violated.

INCUMBENTS

The situation might not bode well for incumbents Linda Ferrara and John Valenti, said Mitch Ceasar, Broward's Democratic Party chairman.

''Incumbents generally only lose when there is some scandal with his or herself, or the city as a whole is embroiled in scandal,'' he said.

In fact, officials in some cities automatically won reelection when no one filed to run against them by last week's deadline.

Miramar Mayor Lori Moseley, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher and Pembroke Park Mayor Emma Shoaff all were automatically reelected.

Contested races on March 13 will include a Miramar City Commission seat and contests in Dania Beach, Davie and Hallandale Beach.

Hollywood will have a special election Feb. 13 to replace suspended Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom.

In Cooper City, frustration about the commission dinners helped persuade John Sims to join the race on the final day of the qualifying period, challenging Valenti.

The dinners also led Lisa Mallozzi to challenge Ferrara.

Since November, Sims and Mallozzi have attended every City Commission meeting to condemn the dinners, even writing to Gov. Jeb Bush about the gatherings.

`TARNISHED IMAGE'

''This is nothing personal,'' Mallozzi said at the Jan. 9 meeting. ``I feel that Cooper City needs a new image.

'I want to see Cooper City become `Someplace Special' again,'' she said, quoting the town motto.

Both Ferrara and Valenti have said they're going to let FDLE complete its inquiry before discussing the dinners.

And Ferrara said she'd rather focus her campaign on issues like road safety and school quality.

But the dinners weren't the only reason Sims decided to run, he said.

He said he also would like to see more dialogue between the city and its residents.

SPEAKING TIME

For example, Sims said he'd like residents to have more time to speak at commission meetings. ''If it takes until 1 o'clock in the morning to listen to what everybody has to say before we make a decision, I think that's what we should do,'' Sims said. ``I have no other agenda than returning the government to the people.''

The city now limits public comments to 30 minutes, with more time allowed at the end if the meeting ends before 11 p.m. Residents also have the opportunity to speak about an agenda item when the commission prepares to debate it.

But even if the dinners do become a major issue, people frequently forgive elected officials, and voter memories often are relatively short, said Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University.

The catch: voters usually want an apology first. And as Cooper City commissioners have said, they haven't apologized because they don't feel they've done anything wrong.

''If you come out and admit you've made a mistake, people are willing to forgive,'' Jarvis said. ``We are very into notions of forgiveness.''
Linda Ferrara & John Valenti, Incumbents
Linda Ferrara & John Valenti, Incumbents
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author GrumpyJim
Participant Male

#69 | Posted: 17 Jan 2007 13:42 | Edited by: GrumpyJim 
How did it come to This?The Mayor and Cooper City Commission is acting like "The Corrupters" that run "Hollyweird" to the South of this city.
Freedom is dead.

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#70 | Posted: 17 Jan 2007 18:42 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Grumpy Jim,

Thanks for the post. We (the residents of Cooper City) allowed this to happen! No one else is to blame. It's politics as usual here. That's why I am running for commissioner, to bring back the city to the people, not special interests. Freedom does not exist unless you take it back.

John
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#71 | Posted: 22 Jan 2007 07:35 
Commissioners' raises in doubt

By Thomas Monnay
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted January 21 2007


COOPER CITY A beautification project planned for Stirling Road has taken a huge bite out of a controversial salary increase earmarked for commissioners, raising doubt about whether they will get a raise at all.

Commissioners on Jan. 9 agreed to use $25,000 of $29,000 budgeted for their raises to pay for a landscape design plan for medians between Pine Island and Flamingo roads.

The money would have covered salary increases from March to September. But with only $4,000 available, it's unclear whether commissioners will bother making their raises official.

Although the money has been set aside in this year's budget, commissioners had to wait until after the March 13 election to get their raises. They also would have to conduct a public hearing and vote twice on the issue.

Commissioner John Valenti, who is running for a second three-year term, suggested spending the money on the landscaping project.

"It's been sitting out there," Valenti said. "We have to do something with it. Why not put it to good use?"

Valenti didn't oppose a pay raise during last year's budget hearing but now says he would support only a 4 percent raise for commissioners.

"People are concerned about the issue," he said.

John Sims, Valenti's opponent in the District 1 race, said Valenti is playing politics.

"I think it was a political move on his part because I've been vocal on the issue," Sims said. "Otherwise, I seriously doubt it would have happened."

Commissioners were criticized last year when they approved a $40.16 million budget, including a 178 percent raise for the mayor and a 150 percent increase for the four commissioners.

The March raises would have increased the mayor's salary from $7,200 to $20,000 a year. Commissioner pay would have gone from $6,000 to $15,000 a year.

A charter review committee suggested a raise, but city staff proposed the amounts.

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman, who called the raises excessive, said commissioners must come to terms with residents' disapproval.

"I have always been opposed to the raise," he said. "As long as I'm a commissioner, I'll vote no."
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#72 | Posted: 22 Jan 2007 07:36 
Then Mr. Kleiman...why did you vote yes at every opportunity?
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#73 | Posted: 22 Jan 2007 08:42 
Cooper City official pleads innocent to DUI

BY BREANNE GILPATRICK
bgilpatrick@MiamiHerald.com

Cooper City Commissioner Bart Roper's attorney has entered a written plea of not guilty in response to the commissioner's November DUI arrest.

Davie police arrested Roper on Nov. 28 when they found him slumped behind the wheel of his truck while parked along Pine Island Road.

When they roused him with a rap on the window, he flashed a vulgar gesture at paramedics, police said.

According to police, Roper was charged with driving while intoxicated. After refusing a breath test, he failed a field sobriety test.

His arraignment was scheduled for 8 this morning, and no new court date has been set, said Roper's attorney, Raag Singhal.

Roper's DUI arrest came just weeks after former Gov. Jeb Bush requested a Florida Department of Law Enforcement inquiry into Cooper City's taxpayer-funded premeeting dinners.

FDLE is examining resident allegations that Cooper City commissioners drove under the influence after those dinners.

The agency also is looking into possible violations of Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, which generally bars elected officials from discussing city business in private.

Roper has declined to comment on the specifics of the case but said at the city's Jan. 9 commission meeting that he has no plans to resign.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#74 | Posted: 1 Feb 2007 13:42 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Response to Elliott Kleiman's idiocy:

You sir are not telling the truth. The video shows you with numerous "highballs", not beer & wine, and you lied again at the last meeting. We watched it on TV. More spin. You're getting bad advice (obviously from your unethical lawyer son-yes, he was brought up on ethics charges as a Cooper City Commissioner) to respond like this.

In response:

TRUTH: At no time did any member of the Commission, or any member of the city staff, ever consume an inappropriate amount of alcohol or ever become intoxicated at the pre meeting dinners !

FACT: A lie. Irrelevant anyway. You were drunk on the job. A state DUI instructor even says so. Others were heard saying to a few of your "friends" at the bar "Haven't you had enough?".

TRUTH: There has never been a violation of the Sunshine law by any member of the Cooper City Commission at any time anywhere!

FACT: A lie. Your group were overheard talking about how to get the revenue up. That will come out in the investigation.

TRUTH: The tradition of dinner before commission meetings has existed for about 15 years, long before your current commissioners were elected

FACT: That doesn't make it right. It's the citizens tax dollars you are wasting. Other past city officials have denied this also.

TRUTH: At a public workshop in March of 2005, I ask the city legal counsel if there was anything wrong with having the dinner gatherings. He said there was not as long as no city business was conducted

FACT: Mr. Ruff has publically stated he isn't going to rock the boat and bite the hand that feeds him. You discussed city business.

TRUTH: Pre-meeting dinners have included special guests, such as members of the state legislature, representatives from the county, regional and state agencies, as well as to honor employees for special achievements. One purpose was to develop rapport and working relationships with the attendees.

FACT: None of these video taped meetings were done with any of these so called employees, guests or otherwise.

TRUTH: Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, a Tallahassee watchdog group, said that it is not illegal or unethical for two or more members of an elected body to socialize

FACT: Not when you are on your own time and your own dime.

TRUTH: The dinners were not clandestine, there was no bar hopping and I believe the dinners were paid for out of the public relations budget

FACT: There was bar hopping...Outback, Land Lubbers, Vinnies, and more. I hope the bar bills show up soon to really see who paid. Word has it the Utilities Director paid on a city card

TRUTH: Until the CBS4 questioned the practice there was never a complaint from anyone.

FACT: There were complaints but no one on the commission cared.

TRUTH: Due to controversies that have occurred in other cities, Cooper City no longer hosts these dinners and the practice ended prior to the CBS4 piece.

FACT: That may be true, only because you knew it would be aired. Bart Roper even went out on his own and drank before the last meeting. It's on tape.

Not much can be shown on a 10 minute show, but there is more to this story I assure you.

Great reporting Mike Kirsch. These commissioners are arrogant and should all be prosecuted. I can't wait till the rest of the tapes get reviewed by the prosecutors and they are shown to be lying about the Sunshine violations.

Love "the commish" on the yellow Vette. How much Viagra does that guy take anyhow?
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#75 | Posted: 6 Feb 2007 16:07 
Cooper City commissioners cleared of breaking state's Sunshine Law

By Buddy Nevins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted February 6 2007, 5:30 PM EST


A three-month investigation by state law enforcement agents Tuesday cleared Cooper City commissioners of breaking the law by eating and drinking privately on the taxpayers tab.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced they were closing their files on the probe without finding any criminal wrongdoing. The agents had investigated misspending and possible violations of the state's Sunshine Law, which require discussions on public business be done at public meetings.


"This inquiry found no evidence that any member of the Commission or other City officials committed any criminal violations," said a statement from the FDLE .

Commissioners, who had maintained they broke no laws, said they were thrilled by the outcome. "I'm obviously delighted," said Mayor Debby Eisinger.

"I have always maintained that we did nothing wrong," said Commissioner Elliot Kleiman.

The FDLE inquiry was ordered by then-Gov. Jeb Bush after reports on CBS 4 (WFOR-TV) that revealed commissioners were meeting in local restaurants to eat and drink before their meetings.

Commissioners spent $5,531 on the dinners in the two years ending in November, 2006, an investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel found.

The meals, which had been going on for 15 years, were discontinued immediately after the television report.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#76 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 10:51 
Ok...so the FDLE may or may not have done their job. That remains to be seen. We still need to improve our image in Cooper City. The current Mayor and Commission are very biased and have been seemingly deceitful to all of us. The appearance of impropriety has tarnished the image and has created public distrust in the current administration.

The administration needs to be unbiased and above and beyond reproach at all times. Attacks upon commission members are fine by residents during citizens concerns, but to allow citizen toward citizen attacks while the city's business forum is taking place is unethical, does not conform to the rules of order and out right disgraceful.

I have not attacked anyone personally, and do not intend to. To do so would be an exercise in futility. I also commend Mr. Valenti, Mr. Roper and Mrs. Ferrara for keeping their personal comments to themselves, and not resorting to personal attacks, speculation and untruths about their opponents and to the public at large. Mr. Kleiman and Mrs. Eisinger need to learn from them.

We need to clean up our City's very tarnished image today, and set an example for all of our citizens to follow, and do it with order, honesty, consistency and tact. The current unethical and unlawful practices, bias, ethics violations, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Injurious Falsehood, Negligence, Negligent Misrepresentation, Defamation, Libel, Slander, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and all of the other wrongs committed by a select few in the current administration must be swiftly and severely dealt with not only by the public, but by the courts.

The current administration has severely undermined the integrity of the city at large, its employees, the administration and its residents, and has knowingly and willfully engaged in spoken and written deceptive practices and false pretenses seemingly in order to keep things 'status quo'.

The current administration (and some of their relatives already charged with ethics violations) have failed to adhere to guidelines set forth by law and the relevant general statutory provisions that have been adopted to prevent the misuse of public resources and public office for political purposes, which are in place to ensure compliance with the legal and ethical requirements for maintaining the separation of political activities from their work.

The antics of a select few in the current administration are voluntary and were/are intentionally performed with specific intent and bad purpose which violate or disregard the requirements of the law, and are a direct and willful attempt to sway votes in violation of the ethics rules which forbids a public official from using his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of influencing another person's vote, for which severe reprimands should take place.

The select few on the current administration have shown a reckless disregard for their prohibited acts, have wholly disregarded the law without making any reasonable effort to determine whether their acts are lawful, and are aware of the provisions of the law and ethics rules which prohibit their actions.

It is essential to the proper conduct and operation of all levels of government that public officials be independent and impartial and that public office not be used for private gain other than the remuneration provided by law. The public interest, therefore, requires that the law protect against any conflict and standards have been established for the conduct of elected officials and government employees.

The current administration has failed to adhere to the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, which contains a general prohibition on the corrupt misuse of their official position and public resources, along with statutory provisions which contain prohibitions on specific campaign-related conduct.

Hopefully the personal attacks by this current administration, and uninformed residents, will cease and the real serious issues facing every resident of Cooper City will be fully and completely discussed and addressed before March 13th.

John Sims
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author GrumpyJim
Participant Male

#77 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 11:33 
When is a crime not a crime ? When an investigation by the FDLE asks
the accused, Did You break the law? what do We expect for an answer,
De-De-De! I guess the Fox is still in charge of the Henhouse.

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#78 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 12:26 
DEE DE DEE! is right!
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#79 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 19:00 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Inquiry: Cooper City Commisioners Didn't Break Law

Carey Codd
Reporting

(CBS4) COOPER CITY A three-month state inquiry has cleared the Cooper City Commission of any criminal violations at its taxpayer-funded pre-meeting dinners that involved alcohol.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement wrote in a Tuesday evening release of its findings that there ``is no evidence that any Cooper City official committed any criminal violations.''

The dinners had become disputed at town meetings and a major issue in the campaign for two open City Commission seats. The election is March 13. Residents alleged that city officials misspent city money, broke the state's public-meeting laws and drove under the influence during and after the gatherings.

Then-Gov. Jeb Bush requested the inquiry after CBS4's Mike Kirsch broke the story with his undercover investigations in which he aired a hidden-camera report in November that showed commissioners, the city manager and several department heads gathering at local bars and restaurants before commission meetings.

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman said he wasn't surprised by the inquiry's findings. ''It's what I expected,'' he said. ``And it's what I've told people all along."

During the inquiry, FDLE agents interviewed city and county officials, including Mayor Debby Eisinger, city commissioners and City Manager Chris Farrell. They also spoke with managers at three restaurants where the dinners took place.

Based on these interviews and the lack of breath tests or roadside sobriety tests, agents concluded there was no evidence anyone ``consumed an excessive amount of alcohol during the dinners.'' FDLE agents also concluded that none of the dinner conversations broke the government's Sunshine Law, which generally bars elected officials from discussing city business in private.

Commissioners attended 23 dinners, totaling more than $5,500 -- all at taxpayers' expense -- over the past two years, according to expense accounts and credit-card receipts obtained last year by The Miami Herald.

Since November, commissioners have said no laws were broken and that the dinners were a city tradition.

''I'm thrilled,'' Commissioner John Valenti said. ``I can get back to the business at hand of running the city of Cooper City.''

See the video report here:
http://cbs4.com/video/?id=29603@wfor.dayport.com
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#80 | Posted: 7 Feb 2007 19:28 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
I love the investigative report quote: "There is no evidence that any Cooper City official committed any criminal violations.''

Maybe that's because the investigator didn't subpoena all of the surveillance videos or interview the person serving the drinks, or maybe its OK to drink and drive, but only if you are a city official with the Chief of Police as an escort. The question is...how deep does the corruption go?

Like the Governor said: the concerns of the citizens of Cooper City should be dealt with at the ballot box...
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#81 | Posted: 8 Feb 2007 07:12 
COOPER CITY

Cooper City pre-meeting dinners were not illegal, inquiry finds Cooper City leaders have not violated DUI or public meetings laws, according to a state inquiry.

BY BREANNE GILPATRICK
bgilpatrick@MiamiHerald.com


A three-month state inquiry has cleared the Cooper City Commission of any criminal violations at its taxpayer-funded pre-meeting dinners.

In a report released Tuesday evening, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said there ``is no evidence that any Cooper City official committed any criminal violations.''

The dinners had become a constant source of controversy at town meetings and a major issue in the campaign for two open City Commission seats. The election is March 13.

FDLE examined residents' allegations that city officials misspent city money, broke the state's public-meeting laws and drove under the influence during and after the gatherings.

Then-Gov. Jeb Bush requested the inquiry after WFOR-CBS 4 aired a hidden-camera report in November that showed commissioners, the city manager and several department heads gathering at local bars and restaurants before commission meetings.

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman said he wasn't surprised by the inquiry's findings.

''It's what I expected,'' he said. ``And it's what I've told people all along.

During the inquiry, FDLE agents interviewed city and county officials, including Mayor Debby Eisinger, city commissioners and City Manager Chris Farrell. They also spoke with managers at three restaurants where the dinners took place.

Based on these interviews and the lack of breath tests or roadside sobriety tests, agents concluded there was no evidence anyone ``consumed an excessive amount of alcohol during the dinners.''

FDLE agents also concluded that none of the dinner conversations broke Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, which generally bars elected officials from discussing city business in private.

Commissioners attended 23 dinners, totaling more than $5,500 -- all at taxpayers' expense -- over the past two years, according to expense accounts and credit-card receipts obtained last year by The Miami Herald.

Several meals cost taxpayers almost $400 per dinner.

Since November, commissioners have said no laws were broken and that the dinners were a city tradition. They said they spent the money to help the city build relations with county and state leaders, making them legal under Cooper City rules.

DINNERS CURTAILED

The city has since stopped the dinners, and the mayor suggested an ordinance banning them. As of Tuesday, no ordinance had been passed.

In the past decade, officials in more then 20 cities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties have been accused of Sunshine Law violations.

In most cases the claims have been dismissed, as they were in Cooper City, because law enforcement agents often are left with little more than circumstantial evidence.

In the Cooper City inquiry, the only evidence FDLE found was witness testimony that an ''unknown member'' at an Aug. 22 gathering said ``we need to shorten the agenda to get the issue passed.''

With the inquiry closed, commissioners said they look forward to governing the city without the controversy to distract them.

BACK TO BUSINESS

''I'm thrilled,'' Commissioner John Valenti said. ``I can get back to the business at hand of running the city of Cooper City.''

The inquiry also prevented Valenti and Commissioner Linda Ferrara, who are both running for reelection, from answering voters' questions about the dinners.

But Ferrara said she never focused on the dinners.

''I've been campaigning on my strengths,'' she said.

Both John Sims and Lisa Mallozzi, who are challenging the incumbents in the election, have said the issue isn't dead.

Just because FDLE has decided the dinners weren't criminal doesn't mean they were ethical, Sims said.

''It's something that still needs to be addressed,'' he said. ``They spent our tax dollars on their parties.''
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#82 | Posted: 14 Feb 2007 08:21 
Wining and dining in Cooper City

Editorial-The Miami Herald Feb. 14, 2007

OUR OPINION: FDLE FAILS TO SUPPORT INTENT, SPIRIT OF SUNSHINE LAW

The best proof that pre-commission-meeting dinners by Cooper City's mayor and commissioners were wrong is the fact that the dinners have been stopped. City officials abruptly abandoned the dinners shortly before WFOR-CBS 4 exposed the practice last November. The mayor and commissioners knew it was wrong and changed their behavior.

It's too bad that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has come to a different conclusion. After a three-month inquiry, FDLE concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to recommend charging the mayor and commissioners with violating Florida's Government in the Sunshine law. FDLE interviewed the mayor, commissioners, the police and fire chiefs, Miami Beach police officer Robert Jenkins and others who attended the meetings.

Insufficient evidence

FDLE interpreted the law and facts in a way that cut a wide berth for the actions of the mayor and commissioners. ''There was no witness or evidence to prove that any Cooper City official engaged in discussions regarding Cooper City business,'' the report said.

To reach this conclusion, FDLE found that Officer Jenkins' statement that he overheard a commissioner saying, ''we need to shorten the agenda to get the issue passed,'' was insufficient evidence of a crime. FDLE also found that Broward County Vice Mayor Lois Wexler's statement that she discussed county projects that affected Cooper City at a meeting wasn't sufficient to prove a Sunshine law violation. Ms. Wexler said she discussed a $2 million land preservation bond allotment and the dedication of a Cooper City school. The Sunshine law prohibits two or more elected officials from meeting to discuss matters that might foreseeably come before their board. Thus, the commission would be violating the law if members ever discuss the new school in an official meeting.

Long-time tradition

Other than note that the dinner meetings had been a tradition for many years, FDLE's report did not comment on the peculiarity of commissioners meeting so faithfully just before commission meetings. The mayor and commissioners have said that the meetings were social gatherings designed to allow them to get to know each other better. Social gatherings by elected officials are permissible under the Sunshine law. We support and encourage such gatherings, and many elected officials find that picnics, ceremonies and other events are an important part of the job.

Cooper City Mayor Debby Eisinger has said that she supports an ordinance banning the dinners. She should follow through with this offer. FDLE's overly generous interpretation of the Sunshine law is disappointing. The agency failed to support the intent and spirit of the law.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/editoria l/16692719.htm
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#83 | Posted: 14 Feb 2007 17:52 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Cooper City Commissioner's Road Side Sobriety Test

Video was released by Broward State Attorney's Office


DUI Arrest Took Place Nov. 28, 2006

http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_045154511.h tml

(CBS4) FT. LAUDERDALE The Broward State Attorney's office has released video from a police dashboard camera taken on the night Cooper City Commissioner Bart Roper was arrested on DUI charges and CBS4.COM has obtained the video.

Bartlett ''Bart'' Roper, 69, was arrested on November 28th, 2006 after police said they found him passed out and slumped over the wheel of his truck on the side of Pine Island Road in Davie. When they woke him up with a rap on the window, he flashed an obscene gesture at paramedics, police said.

The video shows an officer conducting a road side sobriety test, which he failed. He also refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, according to police.

After he posted bond the following morning and left jail, Roper was asked whether he was heading to a commission meeting, and he flipped the crowd of reporters the same obscene hand gesture as he did earlier before being driven away.

In January, Roper's attorney entered a written plea of not guilty at a court hearing, which Roper did not attend.

Roper's arrest came a few weeks after CBS4's Mike Kirsch's investigation "Law and Disorder", which revealed several city commissioners, including Roper, dining and drinking alcohol before holding public commission meetings.

At the time, Roper declined to comment to CBS4'S Mike Kirsch about the video and the undercover investigation. If public matters were discussed, those meetings would violate Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law, which requires commissioners to discuss city business only in public.

City officials called the dinners a long-standing city tradition and said they were neither intoxicated nor discussing city business.

However, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement ruled on February 7th that there ``is no evidence that any Cooper City official committed any criminal violations.''

Roper has declined to comment on the specifics of the case but said at the city's Jan. 9 commission meeting that he has no plans to resign.


Watch the video of the roadside sobriety arrest here:
http://cbs4.com/video/?id=29923@wfor.dayport.com
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#84 | Posted: 15 Feb 2007 07:33 
Posted on Thu, Feb. 15, 2007

COOPER CITY

Cooper City commissioner's DUI arrest taped

A dashboard police tape reveals details of a Cooper City commissioner's DUI arrest.

BY BREANNE GILPATRICK
bgilpatrick@MiamiHerald.com

WALK THE LINE: Camera taped Cooper City Commissioner Bart Roper doing a roadside sobriety test.

The Broward State Attorney's Office on Wednesday released a dashboard video of Cooper City Commissioner Bart Roper's roadside sobriety test, administered shortly before his November arrest on DUI charges.

In the tape, which lasts about 20 minutes, Roper struggles to perform several roadside tests for two Davie police officers, sometimes losing his footing and stumbling when he tries to walk.

Roper declined to comment about the release of the tape Wednesday.

Davie police arrested Roper on Nov. 28 when they found him slumped behind the wheel of his truck while parked along Pine Island Road.

When they roused him with a rap on the window, he made a vulgar gesture at paramedics, police said.

Roper was charged with driving while intoxicated, after refusing a breath test and failing the field sobriety test.

The tape reveals a confused Roper arguing with police for several minutes over surrendering his driver's license. One officer asks Roper several times to pull out the license, while Roper insists the license is in his hand.

''Where's your license?'' the officer asks Roper, on his fifth attempt.

''In my hand,'' Roper replies, showing the officer his empty left hand.

''It's not in your hand,'' the officer said.

Later in the tape, when asked to move his eyes back and forth, Roper instead swiveled his head, while swaying slightly.

The end of the tape shows officers securing Roper's hands behind his back and reading him his rights.

Roper's attorney, Raag Singhal, entered a written plea of not guilty a few weeks after the arrest.

Singhal could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Roper's next court date is March 2, according to the Broward County Clerk of Courts. He has declined to comment on the specifics of the case since the arrest, but said in January that he has no plans to resign.

Roper's DUI arrest came just weeks after then-Gov. Jeb Bush requested a Florida Department of Law Enforcement inquiry into Cooper City's taxpayer-funded pre-meeting dinners at which several -- including Roper -- were videotaped drinking.

FDLE last week dismissed residents' allegations that commissioners drove under the influence after those dinners and violated Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, which generally bars elected officials from discussing city business in private.

The report, released Feb. 6, said there was ``no evidence that any Cooper City official committed any criminal violations.''

Watch the video of the roadside sobriety arrest here:
http://cbs4.com/video/?id=29923@wfor.dayport.com
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#85 | Posted: 15 Feb 2007 07:49 
Broward County news briefs

Posted February 15 2007 -- Sun-Sentinel


COOPER CITY

Commissioner's DUI arrest shown on police videotape

The State Attorney's Office on Wednesday released a videotape of the drunken driving arrest of City Commissioner Bart Roper.

A two-term commissioner, Roper was found Nov. 28 asleep in his truck, which was parked in the 5700 block of South Pine Island Road in Davie, police said. The truck had a flat tire. Its keys were in the ignition, but the engine wasn't running.

Roper, 69, made an obscene gesture when confronted, said the paramedics who awakened him. The video depicts Officer J.R. Arndt asking Roper to walk in a straight line. Roper stumbled and was charged with driving under the influence, a misdemeanor. The case is pending.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#86 | Posted: 16 Feb 2007 08:58 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
COOPER CITY

MAYOR FACES ETHICS COMPLAINT


2/16/2007 - The Miami Herald

A state ethics complaint has been filed against Cooper City Mayor Debby Eisinger by a former city commissioner who says Eisinger lied about holding a moment of silence for a slain Broward Sheriff's Office deputy.

John Sims, now a candidate in the March 13 election, requested the moment of silence on Nov. 14 for BSO Deputy Brian Tephford, who was shot to death Nov. 11 during a traffic stop in Tamarac.

In the ethics complaint, former Commissioner Gladys Wilson wrote that Eisinger denied the request, and that when Wilson criticized Eisinger for the decision at the commission's Jan. 9 meeting, Eisinger lied about the denial.

Wilson's criticism came after the commission held a moment of silence for Broward School Board member Carole Andrews, who died last month.

In her complaint, Wilson also wrote that Eisinger ''really lost her temper and yelled and pointed her finger at me and threatened to have me removed from the room,'' charges that were substantiated by a reporter's observations.

Eisinger has denied Wilson's claims.

''Gladys Wilson, who filed the ethics complaint, has persistently been disruptive at City Commission meetings by chuckling, heckling and making disruptive remarks when citizens attempt to speak in opposition to her position on issues,'' Eisinger said in an e-mail. ``Her allegations regarding me are false.''

Because of technical problems, the city does not have a video of the Nov. 14 meeting. A Miami Herald review of the audio recording and the minutes from that meeting was inconclusive.

The state Ethics Commission is reviewing the complaint.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#87 | Posted: 22 Feb 2007 12:30 
Ethics is a top priority for our citizens and it should be for Cooper City officials. In response to all the stories of corruption and unethical behavior in Cooper City government, the citizens of Cooper City should demand that the powers that be create a local ethics commission. Subsequently, the local Commission on Ethics & Public Trust ("Ethics Commission") must be created to combat the negative perception of government. Its mission should be dedicated to restoring public trust in the administration of government, especially in light of recent scandals in our city, and the studies indicating that public trust in government is at an all time low.

The Ethics Commission must be put in place to investigate allegations of unethical behavior in government, to render legal and ethical advice to government employees and officials and to raise awareness in the public and private sector about the ethics laws.

As a proactive measure, the Ethics Commission must facilitate an ethics training program for all City employees. Government 'blue collar' employees are concerned about maintaining integrity and high ethical standards in the workplace and identifying unethical practices that may occur. By understanding the various State and County rules and regulations governing ethical behavior, government employees and officials would be at a minimum, placed on notice and be best prepared to act in accordance with them.

There are a lot of things that are not illegal, but they don't pass the smell test. Like drinking on the job, squandering taxpayer dollars for dinners, opening doors and using political office and influence to help a friend or fellow Commissioner maintain a commission seat, campaigning for the incumbents while spreading lies and falsehoods (Yes, the Mayor and Mr. Valenti's daughter, you've been accused by many). I think we'd be well-served by having an ethics commission with a broad charter that would weigh in on the appearance of impropriety, right here in someplace not so special anymore, Cooper City.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#88 | Posted: 2 Mar 2007 07:41 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Voters don't trust county with money for courthouse

Mitchell A. Blanken
Pembroke Pines
Posted March 2 2007

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/letters/s fl-brmail733mar02,0,1390400.story

Why all the wonder about the defeat of the issue to build a new courthouse? Examining the voters' decision not to fund this with a tax is a no-brainer. Why vote money for a courthouse when we all know from sad experience that the funds would not go where they are supposed to go? Look at the funding for the restoration of the Everglades. Where did it go?

There are just too many criminals running this state to be trusted with half a billion dollars. And for what? To more efficiently imprison people who do not belong in jail?

And why is the building in the shape it is in in the first place? Which crook in office pocketed the funds for the maintenance contracts over the years?

Sorry, but just look at the local politics here: Hollywood does not understand eminent domain, the mayor and commission in Cooper City drank hard liquor before city meetings, and the mayor of Fort Lauderdale does not believe in global warming. And to blame the voters (as regards the courthouse) is insulting to anyone with intelligence. Legislators and petty bureaucrats are to blame for the lack of trust in Florida government.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#89 | Posted: 3 Mar 2007 06:43 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Posted on Sat, Mar. 03, 2007

http://www.miamiherald.com/454/story/30030.html

The Miami Herald recommends

COOPER CITY: FOR CITY COMMISSION DISTRICTS 1, 2


It's a pity voters can't throw out the entire City Commission and mayor in this West Broward bedroom community. A lackluster probe by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement didn't find enough evidence to justify recommending charges against commissioners for pre-meeting food and drinks, but the stench of violating Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law remains.

Although they have since stopped the meetings, commissioners and Mayor Debby Eisinger continue to defend themselves. Not surprisingly, the controversy has produced credible challengers to incumbents John Valenti, 63, and Linda Ferrara, 51, of Districts 1 and 2 respectively.

DISTRICT 1

In District 1, John Sims, 48, a telecommunications technician, is a populist-minded candidate whose main priority is to revise City Hall thinking so that it is, in his words, ''the customer -- or resident,'' who comes first. Mr. Sims says the city administration can be overbearing toward residents at times. He is adamant that growth must be paired with infrastructure expansion.

For Cooper City Commission District 1, The Miami Herald recommends JOHN SIMS.

DISTRICT 2

Lisa Mallozzi, 42, describes her occupation as being a mother. She is that and more. When her Army Reserve husband was called to active duty in 2006, she coordinated family support for his unit, helping families in five states.

Ms. Mallozzi ran for a commission seat in 2004. Her primary reason for running again is because commissioners and the city administration often are ''unresponsive to residents.'' She would seek ways to improve communications between residents and city employees. Ms. Mallozzi strongly emphasizes the city's need to increase its commercial business to keep residential property taxes reasonable.

For Cooper City Commission District 2, The Miami Herald recommends LISA MALLOZZI.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#90 | Posted: 3 Mar 2007 06:55 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
Populism, by its traditional definition, is a political doctrine or philosophy that aims to defend the interests of the common people against an entrenched, self-serving or corrupt elite.

Leaders of populist movements have variously promised to stand up to corporate power, remove "corrupt" elites, fight for the "poor people of the country", and "put people first." Populism incorporates anti-regime politics.

They represent the majority of the people. Many populists appeal to a specific region of a country or to a specific social class, such as the working class, middle class, or farmers or simply "the poor".

Populism is characterized by a sometimes radical critique of the status quo, but on the whole does not have a strong political identity as either a left-wing or right-wing movement. Populism has taken left-wing, right-wing, and even centrist forms.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

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