TIME TO SEND EM PACKING …. OUT OF POLITICS … ONCE AND FOR ALL …
Dear Readers …below are excerpts from the Sentry online…(link for full text below)… It includes a list of those they endorse for the primary and the judge races ….This writer wholeheartedly agrees with their stance on local “perennial” LBTS politicians former Mayor Oliver Parker and Beverly Kennedy…and has some differences of choice on the others …
Former Mayor Parker http://www.oliverparker.com/ has repeatedly stated he researched his opponent Judge Ken Gillespi http://www.retainjudgegillespie.com/ and did not know he was black…either it shows his competency in doing his homework or he is being less than honest in his claims… In any event of late his role in many deals made while he was on the dais have come back to haunt us here in town…in this writer’s opinion…Those include the SRC sewer subsidy…the SR Lakes property on A1A…the Wings parking lot…the Esther Colon contract…and of course the Palm Club sewers…
On the subject of the Palm club sewers…this writer came upon the minutes from 2005 conference meeting and the Reg. Comm.meeting as I was doing research on another subject…Long before his claims in 2007 of not knowing the property was private behind the Palm Club gates…and claiming he found out when he looked at a property to purchase…the minutes provide a very different picture…Palm Club is addressed under Old Business after the sewers for Sunset Lane which was also a private street… After that is the 2007 minutes…which lead up to the January 2008 municipal election and the vote held shortly after the new CIC majority won the dais and proceeded to stop the sewers from being installed …. (the Palm Club is currently in litigation with the Town and amended their complaint along with their 3 other properties for height and sewers …the Town answered and made a motion for dismissal )….We wonder how many Palm Club voters will vote for Parker’s challenger Judge Gillespi next week….Once again, we also hope the signs in the LBTS yards for Parker are there out of deference to his wife and once inside the voting booth those same “friends” will vote their conscience…We have seen so many times in LBTS the signs in the yard and the outcome are not always the same!….
PALM CLUB SEWERS ….2005 ….2007
TOWN OF LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA
“Town Commission Agenda Conference Minutes April 26, 2005
• Old Business
13D. Sanitary sewers on Sunset Lane
Town Engineer Kevin Hart explained a fee proposal had been presented for review to include Sunset Lane into the first phase of the sewer project.
Town Attorney Cherof affirmed it had not yet been reviewed.
Commissioner Wessels discussed utility easements on private property and questioned whether the Town would do the same for condo units.
Mayor Parker responded in agreement with Town Engineer Hart adding that a condo was a single building normally, and the line would run up to their property and they would be responsible to put in the system and connect. He further explained that the single family homeowner was now responsible to abandon their septic tanks and make their connection. The trunk line will only run up to those properties within the limits of the utility easement.
13E. Palm Club as a third phase in the sanitary sewer project
Town Commission Agenda Conference Minutes
April 26, 2005
Town Manager Baldwin stated the cost would be no more to do at this time; only the cost of the project itself would be raised.
Commissioner Wessels inquired of the cost associated with Palm Club to which Town Engineer Hart responded $1.1 million to do 119 houses.
Commissioner Wessels asked if there were a lift station involved, and Town Engineer Hart replied affirmatively and added it will be located within a public easement.
Vice Mayor Kennedy stated we are committed to do the work and indicated that it made sense to include as many parts of the project as possible, rather than return to do them later.
Town Manager Baldwin added that the Commission had not really budgeted money for the project, but when the funds were drawn down, there was enough.
Mayor Parker added that the streets of Sunset Lane and Palm Club were private property and the good citizens of those areas were willing to repair and maintain the roads at their own expense. He further explained that per the pre-annexation agreement, the Town agreed to sewer the entire Town at no expense to the taxpayers.
Commissioner Wessels stated that in most instances, in these kinds of situations, private property was assessed for the improvement. He believed that there had been an opinion that those properties were considered as donor properties. If we were going to go on these kinds of properties then we need to do this for everyone that has private property. Mayor Parker disagreed stating that right now those residents had septic tanks which are a threat to our public water system. He explained why the federal government wants septic tanks eliminated.
Commissioner Wessels agreed that the elimination of septic tanks was a priority and reiterated his concern was regarding the costs involved.
The were no objections regarding items 13A and 13B, with Commissioner Wessels holding his decision until the final vote at the regular meeting.
Town Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
April 26, 2005
13. OLD BUSINESS
D. Discussion and/or action concerning sanitary sewers on Sunset Lane (Manager Baldwin) (continued from April 12, 2005)
Uli Brandt provided some history on the annexation of the North Beach area and indicated that although he had no objections to the actual improvements, the Commission should also consider the improvements that were needed in the south part of Town. He felt that the needed improvements in the south side should be addressed before the improvements to Sunset Lane.
In response to Mayor Parker’s inquiry, Attorney Cherof advised that Mr. Hart had agreed to the following amendments to the agreement:
• Delete the hourly rate for expert testimony and court appearance on page 5. Services will be billed at regular hourly rate.
• Delete the clause regarding hourly charges which provides for an increase in charges beyond the firms normal business hours 8:00 to 5:00.
• Delete the clause regarding a lump sum fee increase of 1% per month after initial term of six (6) months or until the completion of the work.
• Delete the clause regarding a separate payment of $150.00 fee for affidavits.
Vice Mayor Kennedy made a motion, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Clark, authorizing the installation of sewers in Sunset Lane as part of Phase One at no cost, and directing Attorney Cherof to prepare a resolution to that effect. In a roll call vote, all voted in favor. The motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner Wessels felt guidelines for improvements on private property should be set, adding it is compelling as a public service to rid the Town of septic tanks. He also suggested looking at several areas; must factor costs into budget; tax increases; where improvements will put other capital improvements; will it be economically feasible to divide sewer improvements; timetables.
Vice Mayor Kennedy stated that the priorities of the Town, regardless of their location, were infrastructures that had to do with environmental concerns. He indicated that the Town’s demographics are changing radically and issues such as this had to be addressed immediately. Vice Mayor Kennedy emphasized the importance of eliminating the division between north and south as the Town had to be viewed as one.
Mayor Parker stated that part of the annexation agreement was that the Town would provide sewer improvements in that area. He also explained that it should be a Town requirement for all properties hook up to the Town’s sewer system.
Mayor Parker requested another motion authorizing the Town Manager to sign the contract on behalf of the Town by Craven Thompson inclusive of the following amendments:
• Deleting the expert witness testimony charge
• Deleting the court appearance charge
• Deleting the paragraph title “Hourly Charges”
• Deleting the paragraph title “Lump Sum Fees”
• Deleting the first sentence of the paragraph title “Affidavits”
Vice Mayor Kennedy made a motion, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Clark, authorizing the Town Manager to execute the contract as amended by the Town Attorney. In a roll call vote, all voted in favor. The motion carried 4-0.
Town Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
July 24, 2007
11. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Approval of Palm Club Sanitary Sewer Project Design Budget and
Preliminary Construction Budget (John Olinzock, Assistant to the Town
Item 11A – Approval of Palm Club Sanitary Sewer Project Design Budget and
Preliminary Construction Budget (John Olinzock, Assistant to the Town Manager)
Mayor Parker agreed there was a public health purpose to put in sewers but had a
problem with spending money on repaving private roads. He asked whether there was
an alternative to repaving the roads with Town funds. Attorney Cherof advised a special
assessment could be created under statute for everyone to pay their proportioned
share. He said another option would be to allow the residents the opportunity to repave
their own roads, within the same standards, at their own expense.
Commissioner McIntee made a motion to approve the sewer project design budget and
preliminary construction budget cost. Mayor Pro Tem Clark seconded the motion. Brief
discussion followed regarding the re-pavement of roads on Sunset Lane and in Palm
Club and whether the Town could do a special assessment in arrears. Attorney Cherof
agreed to research that option.
In a roll call vote, the motion carried 5-0.
Town Commission Regular Meeting Minutes
October 9, 2007
12 f. Special Assessment for Palm Club or in the alternative deed the road to
the Town (Mayor Parker)
Mayor Parker said the agreement was to supply sewers and redo the road. He pointed
out that the Palm Club roads were private roads. He believed that if the roads were
upgraded at the public’s expense then the roads should be made available for public
Mayor Parker made a motion to propose a choice be given to Palm Club to pay for the
improvements or deed the roads to the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and open
them to the public. Mayor Pro Tem Clark seconded the motion for discussion.
Mayor Pro Tem Clark suggested to tabling this item to November 27, 2007 as the
people with the decision making authority for Palm Club was not available for
Commissioner McIntee said he spoke with the Vice President of Palm Club and pointed
out that Sunset Lane was also a private roadway. Commissioner McIntee asked Mr.
Thompson to search his memory as to whether discussion was made on the Palm Club
sewers when the North Beach Civic Association Agreement was made. Mr. Thompson
said his recollection of the agreement was signed August of 2000, and in October 2003
the Town Engineer talked about the Palm Club and Sunset Lane, and also two lift
stations on the other side of A1A. He said the Mayor had indicated at that time that it
was coming off the agenda. Mr. Thompson indicated he had minutes that contained a
report by Vice Mayor Kennedy that said Palm Club would get their sewers but would
have to pay for the roadways.
Mayor Parker said the understanding during the annexation was to bring sewers to the
front of the road of every property owner in North Beach. He said Sunset Lane was 10
or 12 lots in a row and the only way to bring the sewers in was to tear up the road in
front and put them in. Mayor Parker added that even though Sunset Lane was a
privately owned road, it was not a private road and was open to the public.
Mayor Parker admitted that when he understood the agreement he understood it wrong.
He said he was led to believe that Palm Club was divided into 100 different lots and that
the sewers could be put in the utility easement, which was publicly owned. Mayor
Parker said when he noticed the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea was resurfacing their
road at a cost of one million dollars, he talked to Town Engineer Kevin Hart who
explained they had to put the sewers in the roadway because they could not be put in
the utility easement.
Commissioner Silverstone thought Mayor Parker was too smart not to know the facts
regarding Palm club. He believed Palm Club should be made responsible for their
Commissioner McIntee made a motion to table to November 27, 2007. Mayor Pro Tem
Clark seconded to second the motion. In a roll call vote, the motion carried 5-0
Town Commission Regular Meeting Agenda
November 27 2007
13 OLD BUSINESS
a Discussion aonrd action Mayor Pro Tem ClarkMayor Parker Tabled from
the October 9, 2007 meeting
Picot Cassada represented Palm Club and distributed copies of Resolution 2000-1458
He referred to the agreement with the South Beach Annexation page 3 marked as
page 1 which spelled out the details of the agreement Mr Cassada wanted those
Mayor Parker summarized that the Town was obligated to put sewers to the point of
connection at the property line and not on private property Lengthy discussion
followed as to the agreement made with Palm Club and who was responsible to pay for
Mr Cassada said the Palm Club wanted to be treated the same way the rest of the
Town was treated
Commissioner Mclntee motioned to table this item until after the January 29, 2008
election Commissioner Silverstone seconded the motion Mayor Parker requested
discussion from the public.
Mr Cassada said they paid for their own garbage collection their own street lights and
if the Town were to replace their roads the Palm Club would maintain them as they
Mayor Parker opened public discussion.
Roland Reiche said they take care of their own roads pay for their lights their schools
and pay top dollar on property taxes.
Mark Brown encouraged the Commission to keep in mind that septic tanks were the
biggest environmental threat to the Town of Lauderdale By The Sea and was an issue
that affected everyone in the Town.
Tom Warden said the Palm Club was the same as Bel Air and thought the Town was
making a lot of money on them
Unidentified resident remembered Mayor Parker promised Palm Club would get the
Henry Overton wondered what the difference was between Sunset and Palm Club
Mayor Parker explained that Palm Club had private roads and private access He said
if the roads were made public then the Town would have to put the sewers in Mr
Overton said the Palm Club was private property since the 5os and did not believe that
the Mayor did not know Palm Club was private at the time the deal was made
Vice Mayor Yanni said he was keeping the promise made to Palm Club and was not
happy with the negative remarks in regards to the Old Guard not keeping their
Roseann Minnet said the future did not endorse any Mayoral Candidate for the
upcoming election She said she wanted to read the Annexation agreement before
making any comments.
Anthony Antonicello thought the sewers should be brought to their house also
Ted Freed was there when the Palm Club was wooed into the sewer deal.
Larry Gipeta President of the Palm Club said all they wanted was what was agreed to
Unidentified resident that was not a resident of the Palm Club stated that she had to
pay the cost of connecting the sewer lines to her home and would be very upset if the
Town paid to connect the lines at the Palm Club.
Barbara Cole heard that Sea Ranch Lakes decided to keep their septics She believed
the cost should come from the excess revenues Ms. Cole thought the Town Manager
should look into what those revenues were before proceeding.
L Peanuts Wick asked about ad valorem monies that were collected and wanted to
know where the money went that was $1.75 million out of $3.4 million He wanted to
know why the Town did not contact Broward County for funds Mr Wick did not like the
fact that the Burt J Harris Act would come into play.
John Thompson was a member of the annexation advisory committee and Vice
President of the Citizens Initiative Committee at the time the agreement was made with
the Palm Club He remembered asking the Commission to keep him advised of the
Palm Club Sewer Project.
John McMillan said he always looked up to a man who kept his word and said lived by
that He thought the Commission should keep their promises.
With no one else wishing to speak Mayor Parker began Commission discussion
Mayor Pro Tem Clark said when the agreement was made the intent was to give
sewers to everyone He said Municipalities were not allowed to spend tax dollars on
private property unless it was determined that it was for the common good
Commissioner Mclntee said he could not give the Palm Club his word that everything
was going to be alright He indicated that he would prefer to table this item until after
the January 29, 2008 election.
Otis Herb addressed the issue of keeping the roads private so that outsiders could not
get in He stated that when the sewer went down in Sunset Lane the Palm Club broke
their fence to allow everyone on Sunset Lane to use the road.
Mayor Parker supported putting sewers in Palm Club at the Towns expense until he
discovered it would cost 1 million do repave Palm Clubs roads He said that at the
time of the agreement he was under the impression that the Palm Club was like most
Home Owners Association and not individually owned Mayor Parker said the Town
had kept their promise as the sewer lines were brought to the property line He said it
would cost $35,000 per household and the property taxes paid from each household
would not cover the costs Mayor Parker believed an Ordinance was passed that
required Palm Club to pay for the hook up to their properties He asked Attorney
Cherof to check on that.
Vice Mayor Yanni said no one should be on septic tanks in 2008 Vice Mayor Yanni
stated that everyone paid taxes and the Town should give the Palm Club the same as
give everyone else.
Commissioner Silverstone looked at the contractual agreement with Pompano Beach
that included Palm Club Terra Mar Island and Bel Air He said the contract mentioned
that 118 individual units had to have separate sewers He believed the entire
annexation agreement was a disaster and should not have been done Commissioner
Silverstone requested Attorney Cherof to look into Palm Clubs bylaws and perhaps
divide the land to become public roadways and become a part of the Town He
believed this item should be tabled until this idea could be looked into
Mayor Pro Tem Clark said Palm Club was part of the Town He said when the South
Beach Civic Association voted to annex with Lauderdale By The Sea the options were
to go to Ft Lauderdale Pompano Beach Lauderdale By The Sea or become their
own municipality He stated that the majority chose Lauderdale by the Sea partly
because of lifestyle Mayor Pro Tem Clark said had they chosen to be annexed with
Pompano Beach the sewers would have been done with no cost to the north part of
Town He wanted the project to go forward as intended.
Commissioner Mclntee wanted to put this on the December 11 2007 agenda to
negotiate with the Palm Club to designate a path to the beach and use of the parking
lot for beach access.
Mayor Parker suggested another solution would be to give the roads to the Town
Mayor Parker said there was a reason for not doing the sewers at at one time He said
that the project at Pelican Square was not properly supervised and not done well and
the only way to make sure the sewer project was properly supervised with quality
control the Town had to do the sewer projects individually
Commissioner Mclntee made a motion to table to the December 11, 2007 meeting
Commissioner Silverstone seconded the motion.
Mayor Parker asked if the motion to table passed without taking the item off the table
how would the Commission bring up the item negotiating for the sewers Attorney
Cherof inquired as to the nature of the negotiation Commissioner Mclntee said it
would refer to the future of the Palm Club and how it could be made a safer
environment Attoney Cherof advised that the item on the agenda was regarding a
special assessment for Palm Club or in the alternative deed the roads to the Town He
said if that item was tabled then the negotiation of the Palm Club could not include
those two items.
Commissioner Mclntee withdrew his motion
In a roll call vote the motion to table to February 12 2008 carried 3- 2 with Vice Mayor
Yanni Mayor Pro Tem Clark dissenting.
BC- On to Beverly Kennedy … http://www.beverlykennedy.com/ the Sentry repeated some of what has been written in the Sentinel concerning all the races she has entered and lost…For this one she has entered as a Democrat while her husband, former LBTS VM Ed Kennedy is a former Broward County commissioner and is currently Broward’s state Republican Party committeeman…. This writer’s last encounter with Mrs. Kennedy was in Jarvis Hall on the night she went up to the podium to announce her run for the Town Commission despite the rules not allowing it… She made it clear to me that she was running because she did not want candidate Edmund Malkoon to run from the north…I told her point blank she would lose and the Town in my opinion did not want to do a repeat of the past elections with old familiar names …She was angered…which was not surprising and eventually dropped out after candidate Scot Sasser came forward to run …He was more to her liking and it was clear UOT was going to endorse him… For this writer after having that exchange with Mrs. Kennedy …and her opponent in this race being BC Mayor Ken Keechl http://keechl2010.com/ it sure makes me wonder if one of her reasons for opposing him is the same as it was prior for Malkoon… she feels he is “too weak”….. We have not heard of much support within our town for Mrs. Kennedy…perhaps that is because if she were to win her opponent would be Lighthouse Point Commissioner Republican candidate Chip La Marca!…. http://electchip.com/
I do have some tugging back and forth on the candidates for Ellyn Bogdanoff’s seat in the House… and think it will be a tight race for George Moraitis http://www.electgeorge2010.com/ and David Maymon http://www.davidmaymon.com/ … as well as for Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff http://www.ellynbogdanoff.com/ and Carl Domino http://votecarldomino.com/ …. Of course I am backing Judge Rebollo http://retainjudgerebollo.com/index.html after looking into his record upon hearing from those I trust within law enforcement of their strong support for him on and off the bench …. The reasons given in the Sentry for backing Rep. Ron Klein’s http://klein.house.gov/index.html opponent Paul Renneisen http://www.renneisenforcongress.com/ are the same I have heard for quite a while and must be taken into account…although he and his Democratic opponent will have a hard race against Republican Col. Alan West http://allenwestforcongress.com/ … Included in the Sentry endorsements was the following …”Incumbent Congressman Ron Klein has been a serious disappointment, blindly supporting ObamaCare and wasting taxpayer money in the so-called stimulus and other unsustainable spending. Klein has been representing the Democratic Party – not his constituents, and seems to be avoiding voters during the August recess.”….
In full disclosure though, I am unable to vote in the August 24th primary or this election for judges due to being in Chicago and being remiss in getting my absentee ballot in time…I cannot recall when I last missed an opportunity to cast my vote… and I am saddened I let the opportunity slip away…to make my “smart” vote count…..
THE SENTRY ENDORSEMENTS ….
Democrat – Kendrick Meek
Republican – Marco Rubio
Democrat – Paul Renneisen
Republican – Allen West
Democrat – Alex Sink
Republican – Rick Scott
Democrat – Dan Gelber
Republican – Ellyn Bogdanoff
State House – District 91
Republican – George Moraitis
County Commission – District 4
Democrat – Ken Keechl
Group 2 – Kenneth Gillespie
Group 4 – Elijah Williams
Group 6 – Carlos Rodriguez
Group 9 – Susan Lebow
Group 15 – Matthew Destry
Group 22 – Carlos Rebollo
Group 23 – Barbara Anne McCarthy
Group 24 – John (Jack) Luzzo
Group 47 – Lisa Porter
Group 51 – Sandra Perlman
Group 53 – Eileen O’Connor
Group 1 – John Robert Howes
Group 3 – Peter Skolnik
Group 4 – Edward Merrigan, Jr.
Group 12 – John (Jay) Hurley
Group 13 – Linda Pratt
Group 14 – Mary Rudd Robinson
Group 15 – Mindy Solomon
Group 20 – Kenneth Gottlieb
Group 26 – Nathaniel Klitsberg
District 2 – Kevin Tynan
District 4 – Dave Thomas
District 7 – Nora Rupert
District 8 – Nicholas Sakhnovsky
Primary Election more important than ever
Tuesday, August 24th is Primary Election Day, and this year’s primaries are more important than usual. Why? Because we will be electing 20 judges under rather unusual conditions. There are also some other primary races to be considered, but the judicial races make this election crucial.
Judges are very powerful people, who can ruin or salvage business and lives. It is critical to our way of life that judges are unbiased and incorruptible, as well as knowledgeable and experienced. An electorate which is ignorant or uncaring about judge’s qualifications is in jeopardy of creating corruption.
It is unprecedented in Broward County that so many incumbent judges are being challenged, especially when these incumbent judges are qualified, unbiased, and are serving the legal community with integrity. And why? Because a group of lawyers are annoyed that they cannot influence our sitting judges. And that’s a travesty.
Circuit Group 2
Probably the worst example is the Circuit Judge race in Group 2, where former Lauderdale-By-The-Sea mayor Oliver Parker is challenging incumbent Judge Kenneth L. Gillespie. Gillespie is a black judge who was thoroughly screened after serving as a General Magistrate, as a senior trial attorney for a federal government agency, and as an assistant state attorney (prosecutor). Gillespie has a strong reputation among trial lawyers.
By contrast, Parker has been primarily a transactional attorney (as opposed to a trial attorney), and who served as mayor in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, before being ousted by voters after a scandal. The scandal involved the City Clerk altering commission meeting records, changing what Parker had publicly stated.
At a commission meeting, Parker said his recollection of what he had said was what was in the altered minutes, leading citizens to believe the attempted alterations were instigated by Parker. LBTS citizens initiated a recall.
Parker sued to block his recall, and avoided removal when the City Clerk refused to implicate Parker, “taking the 5th Amendment” 14 times in Parker’s lawsuit.
As for Parker’s justification in challenging a sitting judge: “I thought he was vulnerable.” Hopefully not. In a poll of trial attorneys, 78% favored Gillespie, the widest spread in all the judicial races. We would love to see the votes break the same way.
Circuit Group 24
The reasons for challenging incumbents in other judicial races do not have significantly greater justification. For example, Judge John Luzzo has served with distinction since 1981, serving in both the civil and criminal divisions. Challenger Olga Levine’s experience has been defending criminals (like most of the judicial challengers) and mentally ill youth. Her claim to fame? She speaks Spanish fluently, and a number of criminal defense lawyers want judges who have been criminal defense lawyers – which Luzzo is not.
Luzzo has presided over 500 or more jury trials, while Levine has had . . . well, we don’t know. But we do know that she’s not happy with losing cases for her criminal clients. Endorsements for Luzzo include the Miami Herald (the Sun-Sentinel made no endorsements), the Broward Police Benevolent Assoc., the Fraternal Order of Police, the TJ Reddick Bar Assoc (black lawyers), the Broward AFL-CIO, and a number of prominent people in both major parties.
Circuit Group 6
Carlos Rodriguez, another well-respected judge, is being challenged by Frieda Goldstein, a semi-mystery candidate who has managed to avoid candidate debates and appearances. Many believe she is trying to use her ethnicity to sneak onto the bench, hoping that Jewishness will trump Latinicity (not to mention Rodriguez surviving the scrutiny of the Judicial Nominating Committee).
County Group 4
Ed Merrigan, Jr. has 20 years of experience as a trial attorney, and was appointed to County Judge a bit over a year ago. Like Rodriguez, Merrigan succeeded in passing the sometimes over-strict scrutiny of the Judicial Nominating Committee, and screening by the Governor’s staff. He is also a war hero, earning the Bronze Star for service in Iraq as an Army reservist. He is being challenged by Lloyd Harris Golburgh, who is a criminal defense lawyer.
The interesting thing about nearly all of the challengers is that they are members of the criminal defense bar, which has decided to intimidate sitting judges by putting up opposition when sitting judges are up for election. Many mainstream attorneys think that is despicable.
And the stories go on and on.
We at The Sentry believe that sitting judges who are NOT doing a good job SHOULD be challenged. But a massive challenge to nearly every judge by an organized group is politics at its worst, especially because an independent and unbiased judiciary is a critical component of our freedom. It’s even worse when the sitting judges are competent and serving with integrity.We note that Oliver Parker is an exception to this intimidation effort, because he is not a criminal defense lawyer. If elected, he will have to learn his way to the Courthouse, and we view him as nothing more than an unqualified opportunist with lots of political connections.
The Sentry therefore joins with the South Pompano Civic Association in endorsing all incumbent judges for re-election.
County Group 26
For another husband-wife fiasco, County Judge Dale Cohen’s wife tried to unseat incumbent Pedro Dijols in 2008. Mardi Anne Levey Cohen, or is it Mardi Anne Levey, has a penchant for running against Hispanic judges and successfully edged him out, but just enough to get herself into a runoff with Marina Garcia-Wood. Wood won.
Actually Mardi’s official name with the Florida Bar is Mardi Cohen, and lawyers are supposed to get permission from the Supreme Court to change their name. Most lawyers felt she was not an especially good lawyer, and she drew a 29% approval rating in the Bar poll.
Add an ethics penalty for displaying her judge husband’s picture on her law firm website, and a “minor misconduct” penalty against her husband for “stopping by” in the 2008 election recount (she had edged Dijols by 72 votes – getting her into a runoff against Wood).
I think we can do without Levey or Cohen or whatever Mardi’s official name is.
Of the three candidates for open seat 26, Mardi should be the last choice. Of the two other candidates, Nathanial Klitsberg appears to be the better qualified.
Circuit Group 51
That said, we note there is one race for Circuit Judge that is technically an open seat. The two candidates are Lee Jay Seidman, a sitting County Judge, and Sandra Perlman, a public defender.
Perlman, who outpolled Seidman by 2 to 1, has an impressive array of endorsements, most of whom are prominent attorneys. We make an exception and endorse this assistant public defender, because she has also served as a prosecutor. She understands both sides, and has also practiced civil law. We need this kind of experience. Add her service as a law clerk to a prominent appeals judge, and you have superb credentials.
Both Lee Jay Seidman and his wife, Laura, are running for circuit judge (different seats). We are not opposed to a married couple serving as judges. The most recent couple were Herbert and Estella Moriarty, both of whom were well-respected judges. However, in the case of the Seidmans, we think the County will be better off with their respective opponents.
County Groups 1, 15, 20
There are three other open seats for county judge. We have reviewed their qualifications with our legal expert, and have recommended the better qualified candidate in each race.
We urge you to review our list of recommended judges, and join us in striving for a qualified, unbiased, and apolitical judiciary in Broward County.
We’re not fond of Democrat Ken Keechl for County Commission, but the alternative is Beverly Kennedy, who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 for Clerk of Court on a platform of raising salaries and cutting fees. That was an interesting concept in the face of Howard Forman’s austerity measures when the County Commission was not willing to increase funding to the Clerk’s office, while the County was receiving all the income from public recordings (recording in other counties is handled by the Clerk of Courts, which then receives the fees from recording).
Kennedy accused Forman of concealing a cash flow of over a billion dollars with a budget surplus of $10 million, over three years, and delivering that surplus to a public corporation “chaired by Forman.” That was false or misleading (or both). Clerks’ budgets are public records, maintained by the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corp. (FCCOC), a creature of the Florida Legislature. Forman’s office had a deficit the year reporting began, and over the next three years reported a budgeted surplus of $3.35 million. Clerks of Court were mandated by the Legislature in 2003, to pay funds to the FCCOC, and a portion was also required to be remitted to the General Fund. The only demonstrably true statement was that Forman served as chair of the Corporation’s committee. FCCOC is managed by a paid employee, and Clerks of Court sit as a board of directors.
Kennedy seems to be a perennial candidate for something, and is now running for county commission as a Democrat. Kennedy is the wife of Ed Kennedy, a Republican insider and former county and LBTS commissioner, and both were political allies of Oliver Parker (the LBTS mayor involved in the records-changing scandal).
The Republican contest for State House, between George Moraitis, Jr. and David Maymon, looks like it could be a close one.
We think Moraitis’ military background and legal training gives him experience and a perspective that is better for residents than Maymon’s activities with some civic organizations and charities.
Moraitis is not to be confused with his father, a well-known, highly respected, and prominent attorney.
Early voting and absentee ballots
On election day, August 24th, you must go to the polls in your assigned precinct. But you have the option of requesting an absentee ballot, or going to an early voting location.
Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, is opening only 11 early voting locations, because of budget constraints. Pompano does not have one of those. She says she gave careful consideration to availability of parking and costs, in choosing the 11.
The nearest early voting location for voters in Northeast Broward is the North Regional Library at Broward College, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd.
Two other not-so-near alternatives are the Northwest Regional Library, 3151 University Drive; and the Main Library at 100 South Andrews Avenue.
Any voter may vote at an Early Voting Site from 10 am to 6 pm, Mondays through Saturdays, Aug. 9th through August 21st. You’ll need both a photo ID, and an ID with your signature. A driver license works well.
You can still get an absentee ballot, but its risky that you’ll get it in time unless you act immediately. You can get a form on-line at the Supervisor of Elections website (BrowardSOE.org – look for ‘Absentee Ballot Voting’ in the left margin under ‘Voting Methods’; or call (954) 357-7050.”
Full Text.. http://flsentry.com/
more to come…