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Cooper City Government Issues

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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#121 | Posted: 17 Jun 2007 09:40 
Cooper City changes spur deep concern

As gated communities have transformed Cooper City, a handful of longtime residents in the older eastern neighborhoods say they feel cast aside, a story familiar to many areas after decades of fast growth.
Cooper City doubled in population between 1980 and 1990 -- from 10,000 to residents to 20,000 -- and now stands around 30,000.

They objected to the Monterra mega-development, citing concerns over crowded roads and schools. The City Commission approved it anyway.

They decried the takeover of the Cooper City Police Department by the Broward Sheriff's Office. It happened anyway.

They have sidewalks in need of repair; trash on the roads.

''We don't seem to get the respect that we're certainly due one this side of town because we're not that shiny brand new section,'' said Gladys Wilson, a former city commissioner who has lived in east Cooper City for more than 20 years.

Mayor Debby Eisinger and some city commissioners said most residents seem happy with the city, and she attributes discontent to a small group.

''There is no east versus west Cooper City,'' she said. ``We are one Cooper City.''

Residents in older neighborhoods throughout the United States see signs -- sometimes real, sometimes imagined -- that they are being ignored in favor of newer developments, said Frank Schnidman, a senior fellow for the Center for Urban & Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University.

In Broward, residents from Miramar to Davie to Plantation say they have found themselves in that situation.

''The older areas have the feeling that they're the second cousin and they're being abandoned for the pretty, new face on the block,'' he said.

Developers who fund improvements for their new communities, active homeowners associations that direct city attention to their newer subdivisions and cities that are distracted by approving permits and plans for undeveloped areas can all lead to ''feelings of abandonment'' in older communities, Schnidman said.

Like most cities in South Florida, Cooper City has changed significantly in recent decades, as new roads and rapid growth fueled western development.

Anne Culotta, who has lived in Cooper City for 40 years, still remembers when Stirling Road was unpaved and there were no houses or shops beyond what is now Palm Avenue. But she doesn't share the view that east side is neglected.

''I don't feel left behind,'' Culotta said. ``I'm pretty included.''

The eastside started to get restless as the Rock Creek and Embassy Lake subdivisions were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s, opening a new frontier for the city out west. In the past few months, some eastern residents have spoken out, showing up at almost every City Commission meeting since November to complain.

The scandal over commissioners gathering for drinks before their official meetings may have pried the lid off a festering wave of discontent.

It showed in the voting patterns from the March election, in which two incumbents were un- seated.

Challenger Lisa Mallozzi won with more than 70 percent of the vote in the eastern half of Cooper City, compared with just 52 percent among the newer western subdivisions.

Mallozzi said she encountered discontent on the east side during her campaign.

''There are a lot of people that were upset that the older neighborhoods were not as well looked after as they could be,'' she said.

The differences prompted a group of east Cooper City residents, including Culotta, to break away and form their own East Cooper City Homeowners Association last year, a move that led to a bitter dispute over legal rights to the name.

The first group, led by Wilson and formed in 2001, now calls itself The Original East Cooper City Homeowners Group. Both are voluntary associations with low membership fees.

Sometimes it doesn't matter whether discontent is based on reality, Keller said.

''What people perceive is real in its consequences,'' she said. ``Perception is very important.''
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#122 | Posted: 20 Jun 2007 05:20 
Cooper City law that allows seizures under emergency revised


By Georgia East
Sun-Sentinel.com

June 20, 2007, 12:35 AM EDT



COOPER CITY -- A controversial law that allows the city to seize personal property in a state of emergency was tentatively softened to give property owner more rights.

But some city leaders said the city was simply playing with semantics and that the modified version of the law, which they will vote on again in July, still needs to be tweaked so that it's intent is clear.

The proposed change approved 4-1, removes a section that says the city can make use of peronal merchandise and equipment during a disaster. It replaces it with language that says if property is seized under the executive order of the governor, it must be returned within 30 days of the state emergency being terminated.

But commissioner John Sims, who has been an opponent of the city's seizure law, said he was confused by the proposed changes, and felt it was unclear if the city had authority to seize property.

"It's very ambiguous,'' said Sims. "Who is confiscating the property?'' under this proposal, he asked.

Mayor Debby Eisigner said the city had spent a great deal of time on the ordinance and that the city can't keep revisiting it. Under the compromise reached by the commission, however, the city will allow its attorney to suggest more language to addressed concerns raised at the meeting.

"I think it's time we put this to bed,'' Eisinger said. "I don't think we need to invest any more legal time on this.''

Last year, in anticipation of hurricane season, the city passed a measure giving it the right during a disaster to seize vehicles and equipment belonging to residents, so it could quickly assist others in need.

City officials said it piggy backed off a state ordinance that deals with declaring an emergency and the city's intent was to ensure the health and safety of all residents.

But it triggered a debate over property rights and a city's authority. Some resident said they didn't feel comfortable knowing the city could decide to take their equipment to help others.

"We don't have any right to take anone's property without a court order,'' said Sims. "If they [government] need equipment, they need to buy it.''

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman suggested that the city add more language to the ordinance to specify that they would only seize property that a resident was not using in a dire situation.

"People are coming in and saying we're going to steal their generators. That's nonsense,'' Kleiman said.

City leaders cautioned however that by making the law too wordy it could raise more questions.

Aside from giving the city authority to make use of personal property, the law also allows the city to declare private roads public in the event of an emergency, a necessary step to aid people who live in homeowners associations. It also gives the city a chance to declare a state of emergency if there's a citywide disaster.

"This affords our residents more protection because it outlines specifics,'' Eisinger said.
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#123 | Posted: 21 Jun 2007 12:26 
COOPER CITY

REDUCTION IN SPEED LIMIT WILL START SOON

Drivers soon will have to slow down in Cooper City.

The speed limit on residential streets there will drop from 30 mph to 25 mph next week.

Major roads, including Palm Avenue, Pine Island Road, Hiatus Road, Stirling Road and Griffin Road will not be part of the change.

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman had lobbied for the reduction for more than a year, saying he was inspired by the national campaign whose slogan was ``Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25.''

Statistics from the Oklahoma-based organization shore up the logical conclusion that a person is more likely to survive being hit by a car if the car is traveling at 25 mph instead of 30 mph.

Cooper City requested the lowered speed limit late last year. Broward County's Traffic Engineering Division approved the change this spring.

Broward Sheriff's Office District Chief John Hale said the change will help, but it won't stop all speeders.
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#124 | Posted: 22 Jun 2007 05:14 
Cooper City leaders debate seizures under emergency law


Cooper City leaders consider property seizures



By Georgia East
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 20, 2007



COOPER CITY -- COOPER CITY City commissioners debated late into the night Tuesday a controversial law that allows the city to seize personal property in an emergency.

Commissioners are considering a change that would remove the provision allowing the city to make use of personal merchandise and equipment during a disaster.

The proposed new law would mandate that if property is seized under an executive order by the governor, it must be returned within 30 days after the order is lifted.

"This affords our residents more protection because it outlines specifics," said Mayor Debby Eisinger. "Should we need to use anyone's personal property to save a life, it provides for specific reimbursement."

But some say even with the proposed changes, the measure still gives the city too much authority.

"We don't have any right to take anyone's property without a court order," said Commissioner John Sims, who called the law frivolous. "If they [government] need equipment, they need to buy it."

Last year, in anticipation of hurricane season, the city passed a measure giving it the right during a disaster to seize vehicles and equipment belonging to residents, so it could quickly assist others in need.

City officials said it piggy-backed off a state ordinance that deals with declaring an emergency and the city's intent was to ensure the health and safety of all residents.

But it triggered a debate over property rights and a city's authority. Some residentssaid they didn't feel comfortable knowing the city could take their equipment to help others.

Sims said the city should yield to the state and not have a separate law.

But city leaders say the law is still necessary because it allows the city to declare private roads public in the event of an emergency, a necessary step to aid people who live in homeowners associations. It also gives the city a chance to apply for federal funding for work done in private residential communities.

Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi said she was torn on the issue.

"There are always going to be some people unhappy no matter what," she said.
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#125 | Posted: 3 Jul 2007 15:15 
Cities propose canceling parties, pruning payrolls


In Miramar, people might be walking through higher grass and attending fewer community events. Cooper City residents might be saying goodbye to one school resource officer and driving over more potholes.

These are the choices city leaders will be making now that budget season is underway and state-mandated tax cuts are forcing many cities to tighten the screws on spending. And although most Broward residents will see lower tax bills next year, they also will see cuts to city services, as a result of a property tax reform plan approved last month in Tallahassee.

In June, residents in Weston learned that next year's Fourth of July parade, spring concert and holiday lighting display might disappear with proposed cuts.

And in 2008 Pembroke Pines might cancel its city-run day-care programs, along with its Independence Day celebration, and its annual Pines Day anniversary party.

Davie residents might see fewer community newsletters and higher fees for youth sports and city celebrations.

Budget information released Monday in Miramar and Cooper City revealed tough decisions in those cities as well.

The property tax plan adopted by the Legislature requires almost all local leaders to keep the amount of property tax money collected the same as last year, with only a little extra for new construction.

ADDITIONAL CUTS
On top of that, most have to make additional cuts based on a state formula that factors in how much extra money they brought in during the recent real estate boom.

In Miramar, where city leaders need to cut property tax collections by 9 percent, one plan is to mow the grass 36 times a year instead of 42. Canal maintenance would decline from three times a month to two; and trees would be trimmed only once a year, not three times.

The city's $900,000 special- events budget also might be cut by more than half, leaving the city with $400,000. So unless the city can get a corporation help pay for CaribeFest or the tree-lighting ceremony, those celebrations might disappear.

Also, Miramar won't be buying new police cars or new generators. And officials plan to use incentives to encourage 25 employees across different departments to leave.

''Our goal is to ensure there is no disruption of essential services,'' City Manager Bob Payton said.
Cooper City might revise its Broward Sheriff's Office contract and cancel planned road resurfacing to prepare for an estimated $515,000 in state-mandated tax cuts, according to a proposed budget released Monday.

LOSING EMPLOYEES
The city won't be cutting any uniformed deputies from its $23.1 million general fund budget.

But City Manager Chris Farrell has proposed cutting one school resource officer, two code enforcement officers and two dispatchers to help make the required 5 percent tax cut.

Under the plan, Griffin Elementary would keep its school resource officer and the remaining elementary school deputy would spend time at both Cooper City and Embassy Creek elementaries.

Miramar also could cut the number of elementary resource officers in half, if commissioners want more savings.

Davie leaders have discussed cutting school resource officers as well, but haven't yet put them on an official list.

But for homeowners, the cuts will mean a lower tax bill.

In Cooper City, for example, the owner of a home worth $250,000 last year with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $115 less in property taxes compared with last year, under the new lower tax rate proposed by the city.

In Miramar, the owner of a similarly priced home would pay almost $250 less in taxes.

NUMBER CRUNCHING
Those numbers assume the homes' value increased by 2.5 percent, the largest allowable increase for owner-occupied residential property in Florida.

Some city leaders have argued the budget cuts don't go far enough, saying there's plenty more fat to cut.

''It think it's OK for now, but I think we need to cut even more,'' Cooper City Commissioner John Sims said.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#126 | Posted: 6 Jul 2007 17:55 
Service cuts in Cooper City's budget proposal draw criticism


Three jobs, road project could be cut



By Georgia East and Annie Greenberg
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 6, 2007



COOPER CITY The city plans to eliminate two code enforcement officers, one school resource officer and a roadway resurfacing project under next year's proposed $34.6 million budget.

But the proposal, which must be voted on by city officials, is already drawing criticism.

Cooper City must cut property tax collection by five percent as a result of state-mandated tax reform and is expected to take in $500,000 less than last year in property tax revenue.

City staffers say the cuts are necessary but Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi said she doesn't support eliminating a school resource officer and instead wants to look more closely at some city workers' salaries.

"School resource deputies are very beneficial," Mallozzi said.

But other city officials said the city has to make tough decisions.

"I'm not happy about eliminating the position of a school resource deputy, but it's a reality," said Mayor Debby Eisinger. "If I could put back one specific position, it would be that."

Under the proposed budget, the tax rate for next year would be $4.70 for every $1,000 of assessed value, down from last year's rate of $5.40.

Under the proposed rate, the owner of a $350,000 home with a standard $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $1,527 in city taxes next year a savings of about $228.

"This is the third time in four years we're reducing the tax rate," Finance Director Horacio Montes de Oca said. He said this year's budgeting was challenging because of the uncertainty about how the state changes would affect Cooper City.

More than half the city's current budget goes to police and fire services. Under the proposal, the city would spend $8.4 million on police and $4.7 million on fire services.

The city is expected to collect $10.3 million in property tax revenue next year, a decrease of about $500,000.

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman said he doesn't plan to micromanage the city's finances.

"You have to make cuts even though it hurts sometimes," he said.

Residents can see the proposed budget in the finance department at City Hall and can get a copy for a fee. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 at City Hall, 9090 SW 50th Place.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#127 | Posted: 9 Jul 2007 19:51 
Service cuts in Cooper City's budget proposal draw criticism


Three jobs, road project could be cut



COOPER CITY The city plans to eliminate two code enforcement officers, one school resource officer and a roadway resurfacing project under next year's proposed $34.6 million budget.

But the proposal, which must be voted on by city officials, is already drawing criticism.

Cooper City must cut property tax collection by five percent as a result of state-mandated tax reform and is expected to take in $500,000 less than last year in property tax revenue.

City staffers say the cuts are necessary but Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi said she doesn't support eliminating a school resource officer and instead wants to look more closely at some city workers' salaries.

"School resource deputies are very beneficial," Mallozzi said.

But other city officials said the city has to make tough decisions.

"I'm not happy about eliminating the position of a school resource deputy, but it's a reality," said Mayor Debby Eisinger. "If I could put back one specific position, it would be that."

Under the proposed budget, the tax rate for next year would be $4.70 for every $1,000 of assessed value, down from last year's rate of $5.40.

Under the proposed rate, the owner of a $350,000 home with a standard $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $1,527 in city taxes next year a savings of about $228.

"This is the third time in four years we're reducing the tax rate," Finance Director Horacio Montes de Oca said. He said this year's budgeting was challenging because of the uncertainty about how the state changes would affect Cooper City.

More than half the city's current budget goes to police and fire services. Under the proposal, the city would spend $8.4 million on police and $4.7 million on fire services.

The city is expected to collect $10.3 million in property tax revenue next year, a decrease of about $500,000.

Commissioner Elliot Kleiman said he doesn't plan to micromanage the city's finances.

"You have to make cuts even though it hurts sometimes," he said.

Residents can see the proposed budget in the finance department at City Hall and can get a copy for a fee. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 at City Hall, 9090 SW 50th Place.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#128 | Posted: 18 Jul 2007 09:47 
Cooper City weakens law allowing it to seize property during emergencies

By Georgia East

Sun-Sentinel.com

6:19 AM EDT, July 18, 2007

COOPER CITY

A controversial law that allows the city to seize personal property in an emergency was softened Tuesday night.

The debate over the changes had centered on whether the law affords residents enough protection. To quiet some of the law's opponents, city leaders removed the word seized and replaced it with "acquired.'' They also pointed out that property could be taken only after an executive order by the governor.

But commissioner John Sims voted against it calling it, "a miscarriage of justice.''

"It's too ambiguous,' Sims said, adding that the city was overstepping its authority.

Commissioner Bart Roper however, said the law wasn't ambiguous and he pointed out that it calls for residents to be reimbursed for property seized within 30 days of an emergency being lifted.

"I know we've been discussing this for a long time,'' Roper said.

Last year, in anticipation of hurricane season, the city passed a measure giving it the right during a disaster to seize vehicles and equipment belonging to residents, so it could quickly assist others in need.

City officials said it piggy-backed off a state ordinance that deals with declaring an emergency and that the city's intent was to ensure the health and safety of all residents.

Some have argued though, that the city does not need its own ordinance and should just yield to the state ordinance.

But city leaders say the law is needed because it allows them to declare private roads public in the event of an emergency, a necessary step to aid people who live in homeowners associations. It also gives the city a chance to apply for federal funding for work done in private residential communities.

Mayor Debby Eisinger, who recommended removing the word seize from the ordinance and replacing it with acquired, said it was time to put the issue to bed.

"We spent enough time and taxpayer's money,'' on the issue, she said before casting her vote to support it.
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#129 | Posted: 23 Jul 2007 16:44 
Cooper City's January election already drawing candidates
BY SHANNON PEASE
After a controversial term, three seats on the Cooper City Commission will be up for grabs next year, and the races already are creating some excitement.
Five people -- two incumbents and three newcomers -- have opened campaign accounts so far in preparation for the Jan. 29 election. Voters will choose commissioners representing Districts 3 and 4 and will cast ballots for mayor.

Incumbents who have already announced their intention to run again include Mayor Debby Eisinger and District 4 Commissioner Elliot Kleiman. Three challengers have opened accounts in District 4 so far.

The campaigning comes on the heels of a tumultuous term.

Last year, hidden cameras captured the mayor, Kleiman, District 3 commissioner Bartlett ''Bart'' Roper and other city officials gathering at local bars and restaurants before City Commission meetings for dinners where alcohol was consumed -- all at taxpayer expense.

While under inquiry by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for the gatherings, Roper was arrested on a DUI charge in a separate incident.

FDLE cleared city officials of criminal wrongdoing for the dinners.

''The coverage of this 15-year tradition has overshadowed the numerous good deeds and accomplishments in our great city,'' Eisinger said in a written campaign statement, citing increased police and fire services at reduced cost, expansion of sports and recreation programs and the purchase of land for a passive park with county bond money.

Eisinger, who put a stop to the dinners, said she remains focused on such issues as property tax reform legislation.

As yet, no one is opposing her for mayor.

Kleiman, who has served for one term and helped form a volunteer-based community emergency response team, said he'd like to maintain the quality of life in Cooper City. Family Circle magazine recently placed the city in the top 10 small cities in the country for families.

''I'd like to keep Cooper City a nice place to live,'' Kleiman said. ``I can do that based on my experience and background.''

Early challengers to Kleiman for the District 4 commission seat are political newcomers Lisa Conlon Dodge, James Curran and Diane Sori.

Dodge, a fourth-grade teacher at St. Mark Catholic School in Southwest Ranches and former Virginia Gardens police officer, said she wants to see residents' concerns addressed more.

''I think things are scattered with everything that has gone on with city government,'' she said.

''Cooper City is someplace special to live,'' Dodge, 48 and a mother of two, said, referring to the city's motto. ``It's community and family. I think we've lost a little of that and I'd like to get that back.''

Curran, 45, a building operations supervisor for Cooper City High School and a supporter of Monterra, the massive mixed-use development under construction on the former Waldrep Dairy site, and the new parks recreational complex, said he would like to represent the entire community.

''Every neighborhood will count,'' the Embassy Lakes resident said.

Sori said her main issues are halting runaway development, striking a fair balance between code and compliance, and government reform, with open dialogue between the City Commission and citizens.

''I want the city to let the residents be more involved in the running of the city,'' she said. ``You need that to be an effective administration. Without the input of the citizens, you don't know what's going on on a grass-roots level.''

As of Wednesday, no one had opened an account for the District 3 seat.

Individuals must qualify for the race -- by proving residency and being a registered voter -- by noon Nov. 16.
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#130 | Posted: 27 Jul 2007 04:07 
Words aside, Cooper City seizure law is a mess

July 27, 2007

ISSUE: Cooper City tweaks seizure law.

When Cooper City commissioners came up with their ludicrous "property seizure" law last year, critics rightfully called it grandstanding.

Unfortunately, when commissioners had a chance to correct their mistake last week, they didn't go nearly far enough.

The law as originally passed last fall gave the city the right to seize residents' personal property for use in an emergency, such as after a hurricane. Forget the fact the state has a similar law, but no state official could ever remember Florida using it. Cooper City officials decided to give themselves the right, in emergencies, to take a truck or chain saw or whatever, for up to 30 days.

After citizens understandably became upset, the commission tried to soften the law, finally voting 3-2 to change the word "seized" to "acquired."

All of which is, again, semantic grandstanding by officials who should have something better to do. The commissioners should have swallowed their pride and simply gotten rid of it. Instead, it took them time to change the wording, while also pointing out that the property could only be taken after an order by the governor.

All this law does is add another layer of unneeded bureaucracy, while possibly setting the city up for nasty confrontations or lawsuits if they actually try to take somebody's property.

Commissioner John Sims, seeing through the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, voted against the change in the law, saying that it was a "miscarriage of justice" no matter the wording.

Commissioners have already wasted enough time on this, but they should take a few minutes and dump the law where it belongs in the trash.

BOTTOM LINE: Law should be dumped, not altered.
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#131 | Posted: 31 Jul 2007 18:43 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
I was searching the 'net and found a new blog on Cooper City. No profile or user's name, so we shall see what gets posted here...and no, I can assure you it's not my blog.

http://coopercityinsider.blogspot.com/
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#132 | Posted: 31 Aug 2007 07:37 
Cooper City commission meetings become more combative

By Georgia East

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

August 31, 2007

COOPER CITY

Upset over how the city manager addressed her at a commission meeting, activist Gladys Wilson filed a complaint with the governor asking him to intervene and make sure the meetings are run properly.

Mayor Debby Eisinger also was concerned with restoring order when, at two different City Commission meetings, she called for a recess during public comments that had become too raucous.

Then, last week, City Commissioner John Sims apologized for his conduct at a prior meeting, when he tried several times to overrule the mayor.

"Believe me when I tell you that all of us have heard just how poorly the last commission meeting was managed and conducted and how poorly we all, including some residents, conducted ourselves," Sims said.

Things have changed in a city where, not long ago, commissioners dined together before meetings as a way of building camaraderie at public expense.

That practice, since halted, became an election issue and helped political newcomers Lisa Mallozzi and Sims oust two incumbents.

The tenor of the commission meetings quickly transformed, with debate over issues becoming more combative. And with another city election in January, some expect it will get worse.

"I have never experienced such disrespect and poor decorum," said City Manager Christopher Farrell, who has been city manager in Cooper City for 28 years. "Some people are using government as a forum to unleash hostility."

Now some residents are concerned the heated exchanges are hurting Cooper City's image. Others say they're concerned the discord is taking the focus off larger issues, such as looming cuts in services because of state-mandated tax relief.

At a recent meeting, Donna King, who sits on the city's education advisory board, urged officials to put their differences aside.

"I hope you can work together as a cohesive group because there are a lot of things coming up," she said. "We can get things done in Cooper City if we move forward in a manner that would please everyone."

Ann Culotta, who has lived in the city for 40 years, said there are a lot of positive things happening, but a few detractors are getting most of the attention. "You always have a few," she said, "but they don't have the majority."

City leaders acknowledge the tone of meetings has changed.

Farrell, who rarely comments at meetings, jumped into the fray in mid-July after activist Wilson accused him and Eisinger of politicizing an issue related to an informal proposal to develop Cooper Colony Golf Course into single family homes.

Farrell and Eisinger said after hearing that a developer was going door to door they quickly informed residents and the developer that the land is deeded open space and the city intends to keep it that way.

But Wilson said Farrell and Eisinger had other motives for responding the way they did.

"Our mayor and city manager are attempting to make the golf course a political issue. It is not," Wilson said at the meeting.

Farrell disagreed with a passionate rebuttal. When she stood up during his comments, he asked the audience if Wilson's behavior was ladylike.

Within days, Wilson wrote Gov. Charlie Crist's office, saying, "I don't feel I deserve to be yelled at by a city employee."

Rex Newman, a citizens officer with the governor's office, responded in writing, saying he was sorry to learn about her unhappiness with the commission's actions.

"Those dissatisfied with a local official's performance can always make their views known directly to those officials, or they can do so when they vote," Newman wrote.

On Aug.21, Wilson demanded that Farrell apologize. The apology never came.

Still, Wilson vowed to continue to express her opinion and keep residents abreast of community issues.

"I will not have my First Amendment rights violated," she said.
http://www.floridahomesteadservices.com

Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#133 | Posted: 19 Sep 2007 14:52 
Cooper City commissioner in court on DUI

By BREANNE GILPATRICK

Cooper City Commissioner Bart Roper will likely work out a plea deal with the state after a Broward County judge refused early Wednesday to prevent a jury from seeing evidence of Roper's roadside sobriety test.
Roper's attorney, Raag Singhal, tried to have the evidence withheld, arguing that certain roadside tests are not recommended for people older than 55 or 60 or more than 50 pounds overweight. But Davie police Officer Jeff Arndt testified that he did modify the tests to account for Roper's age and weight.

Wednesday's hearing was Roper's first court appearance since his DUI arrest late last year.

Davie police arrested Roper, 69, last November after he was found slumped over the wheel of his truck along Pine Island Road.
When paramedics roused him with a rap on the window, he flashed a vulgar gesture at them, police said.

Roper refused a breath test, but was charged with driving while intoxicated after failing a field sobriety test.

A 20-minute dashboard police tape released in February shows Roper struggling to perform the tests for two Davie police officers.

On the tape, police spend several minutes trying to get Roper to hand them his driver's license. At least five times, police ask Roper for his license. Each time, Roper pulls an empty hand from his pocket and insists he's holding it.

Roper pleaded not guilty in January. The next hearing is set for Oct. 18.

THE JURY CAN SEE THE VIDEO HERE:
http://cbs4.com/video/?id=29923@wfor.dayport.com
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#134 | Posted: 19 Sep 2007 14:54 
Cooper City gives spending plan initial OK

At their Monday night meeting, Cooper City commissioners tentatively approved a proposed budget that would mean a lower city property tax bill and some minor service cuts for most residents.

Under the proposed budget, the owner of a $250,000 home would see the city portion of his tax bill decline by about $115. That figure assumes the resident's home receives the state's $25,000 homestead exemption and that the home's value appreciated by 2.5 percent -- the maximum increase allowable this year under the state's Save Our Homes amendment.

Cities throughout Florida have been required to scale back their budgets after a property tax reform plan was approved by state legislators earlier this year.

The reforms forced Cooper City to trim property tax collections by about $500,000.

The city plans to postpone scheduled road repairs and make slight reductions in its tree-trimming and grass-cutting schedules. But city employees say most cuts will not be noticed by residents.

Commissioners will take a final vote on the city's $23.1 million general-fund budget at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Cooper City Hall, 9090 SW 50th Pl.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/broward/v-print/st ory/242717.html
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Author johnbsims3
Admin Male

#135 | Posted: 19 Mar 2008 18:09 | Edited by: johnbsims3 
You can read my views on my blog at

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More memories (and lies) can be viewed HERE and HERE
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#136 | Posted: 1 Sep 2008 13:32 
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Author johnbsims3
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#137 | Posted: 14 Jul 2010 05:57 
FDLE Will Examine Allegations Of Improper Meetings In Cooper City

POSTED: Thursday, November 9, 2006

COOPER CITY, Fla. -- Gov. Jeb Bush has requested an investigation into allegations the city's government leaders violated state law by having a private dinner before City Commission meetings, authorities said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct a "preliminary inquiry" to determine whether criminal charges should be filed, FDLE spokeswoman Heather Smith said. The request was made Wednesday.

Under Florida law, government meetings where public issues are discussed are supposed to be open to residents.

Bush's general counsel had written to Cooper City Mayor Debby Eisinger on Friday asking for information about the dinners. Eisinger responded Wednesday in a 12-page letter. She denied allegations officials drove under the influence of alcohol and violated Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law, which bars leaders from discussing city business in private.

Eisinger reiterated statements by city leaders that the dinners are a long-standing tradition meant to build relationships. She blamed "dissidents with their own agenda" for the allegations.

Bush's request for information came after WFOR-TV in Miami reported that the mayor, four other city commissioners, the city manager and other senior staff members of this Broward County suburb met in restaurants and bars before meetings. Some were seen holding wine glasses in the television report.

A message left after hours by The Associated Press at the commissioners' office was not immediately returned.
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Author johnbsims3
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#138 | Posted: 14 Oct 2010 19:32 
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