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Here’s The Scoop…LBTS….2/10/09… Commission Meeting # 9…Call Us Irreplaceable

“WE  (THE 2-HATS) ARE THE VFD”….AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT…

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/bestselling-movies-2006/2983-1.jpg

Did you know the VFD was 60+ years old…it ran before the “2-Hats”….and it will run after the “2-Hats” unless they bring it to its knees…wiping it out on their way out the door….

2/10/09…New Business item 16-f….Discussion and/or action concerning the adoption of the Miami-Dade code of ethics ordinance…Comm. Dodd

http://www.miamidade.gov/ethics/plain.asp

Commissioner Dodd brought this forward to discuss and use as a guideline to possibly enact our own ethics ordinance and to include members of public safety organizations to deal with the conflicts of interest seen by many over the past 3 years with the rise of the “2-Hats” on the dais leading to multiple ethics complaints…and findings that were met with a “slap on the wrist” and words of warning when “Probable Cause” was indeed found…for both…no matter how many times they try to say otherwise!…Now the result is to wait for the other shoe to drop…play the system by using the “we don’t get a dime…so they can’t touch us”…game…

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Here’s The Scoop

June 13, 2008 by Barbara | Edit

Press Release from the State of Florida Commission on Ethics …. 6/11/08

www.ethics.state.fl.us

Probable Cause was found to believe Jerome S. McIntee , LBTS Commissioner, had a prohibited conflict of interest that could interfere with the full and faithful discharge of his public duties to the Town by virtue of his position as both Commissioner and Deputy Fire Chief for the VFD. The Commission also found Probable Cause that McIntee had another prohibited conflict by virtue of his services as Chairman of the Town’s CIC while he was a member of the Town Commission. Probable cause was found to believe that McIntee had a voting conflict concerning a number of votes that benefited the VFD, however because the Respondent was not acting to benefit himself and because the action of the Commission in this matter will serve future conduct by Respondent, the Commission will take no further action on the alleged violations. Dismissed with No Probable Cause finding were the allegations that McIntee had a voting conflict when he participated in discussions on the measure which would terminate the Town’s contract with Broward County Sheriff’s Office and reinstate the VFD. Also dismissed were allegations that he had a voting conflict on a measure regarding a lawsuit between the CIC and the Town. McIntee was cleared of charges that he acted in his public capacity to purchase services from the VFD or that he sold services of the fire department to the Town.

Probable Cause was found to believe that another LBTS Commissioner, James J. Silverstone had a prohibited conflict of interest that could interfere with the full and faithful discharge of his public duties to the Town by virtue of his simultaneous service as Commissioner and Fire Chief of the VFD. In addition, Probable Cause was found to believe that Silverstone had a voting conflict when he voted on several occasions to benefit the VFD. However, because the preliminary investigation revealed the Respondent was not acting to benefit himself and because the action of the Commission in this matter will serve to correct future conduct by the Respondent, the Commission will take no further action on the alleged violations. The Commission found No Probable Cause to believe that Silverstone had a voting conflict when he made a motion to terminate the Town’s contract with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and reinstate the VFD. Silverstone was cleared of charges that he acted in his public capacity to purchase service from the VFD or that he sold services of the fire department to the Town.

2/10/09….

Commissioner Silverstone-” You preface Commissioner Dodd by saying the only changes you would like to see would be the ones you refer to um, this I think is a slap in my face. Basically um, what you’re basically saying here is because anybody who’s a member of the VFD cannot be also Commissioner. This town has been founded on, you go back to the history of the Commissions almost every Commission had a member of the , you know it was founded that way there’s always been a member of the VFD. The question of ethics (CS-says ethnics) comes into play as a benefit received. Um, that’s been cleared up specifically because the Vice Mayor and myself we don’t receive a penny from ah, for ah, certain for volunteering on the department. Um, um, this is primarily you taking a county ethics (CS-ethnics) ordinance and you’re trying to make it work into a small town of seven thousand people. I think it’s totally outrageous! But let’s talk about it, that’s my feelings, thank you.”

VM-” Ah, Commissioner Dodd this is a Miami Dade ordinance I believe, ah, a completely different world down there. You want to see five or six hundred people in here screaming at you just start messing with the VFD and it’s members and they’ll be an uprising. This town was some of the greatest people in this town, the Karleys, the uh,”

BC- the VM could not think of anyone!…A whisper is heard from Comm. Silverstone “Barbara”….for Joe Barbara the former Commissioner in the 1980’s…who spoke for the 1st and only time to this writer at the memorial service for Mrs. Karley…informing me distinctively…decisively and in no uncertain terms…McIntee ruined the VFD!….Could that be why the name did not come to the VM?….Oh, yeah…what about longtime- former VFD member-AMR employee…and former Commissioner Rev. Jim Pollock?…OOPS!

VM-” all sorts of Fire Chiefs ex- Commissioners. I think there’s something like eleven or fourteen that’s our history that’s part of the foundation of this town. We don’t attack history. I mean we’re doing something wrong the State’s got an ethics law that’s pretty aggressive and I know because complaints were made and I responded to them all and they came back, no problems.”

BC- The VM stopped glared at the audience …hearing some snickers to his “no problems” statement…he then glared over to the Mayor…( scroll up again…to probable cause…6/11/08)

Mayor-” Excuse me, let’s all, it’s getting late I know, I want to ask that we all be respectful”

VM-” You know, you I tell you what, I’ll be glad to support, put this on a referendum. Let’s put it on and talk about a referendum.”

Comm. Dodd- responded he would if the VM would like…adding he was talking about the Commissioners not the VFD….that was his object of his wanting this discussed…

VM-” Your object is to remove Jimmy and I from the fire department, that’s the bottom line. You’re taking a safety factor from this town that Jimmy and I are very hard workers and out of the bed, I’m in the middle of the night making, and we try and help this town and want nothing for it. ”

BC- Some disruption was taking place on and off the dais….

VM-” Let me finish Mayor, this , and we, we care about the town and we’re, we’re ah, experienced , well what I’m saying you don’t,”

BC- The Mayor interrupted again to ask for an extension of the meeting past eleven …she thought all agree, bu Comm. Dodd did not…passes 4-1…after the VM- made a motion to extend to eleven fifteen…

VM-” To take the most experienced people, the fire department is a group of great people and they’re all looking toward each other for support and help and some of us have more knowledge than others and to try and remove the people with the most knowledge could put the whole town in a more dangerous situation. We should be happy that we have the experience we have up here. We can give it to our troops. I, I would suggest you talk to the firemen that are active out there and ask their personal opinions. But I think you’re just going after ah, you want to go for a referendum, I’ll support that no problem. But this is a sort of witch hunt in my book and I’m being as honest as I can and it’s nothing personal, it’s business. So I yield.”

Comm. Clottey- thought that including public safety was discriminatory…

BC- Question…does that mean the VFD Constitution currently being violated…that states…without defining what kind of officer…that a VFD officer may not be an elected official in town…is discriminatory?…

Mayor-” Point of information Commissioner Silverstone, you said you don’t take a penny? Are you pensionable? Doy you get a pension from the VFD?

CS-” Based on my prior service, yes.”

Mayor-” Okay, only from your prior service , not from”

CS-” Well I have tenure, the State ruled on that saying that’s ah, that’s ten dollars a month for each year of service and after ten years I get a hundred dollars a month. That’s what it comes out to be and the State’s already made the decision on that stating it’s insignificant , they don’t use it like that as a point.”

VM-” You ask me that question too Mayor? In fairness so Jimmy doesn’t get isolated?”

Mayor-” I just asked him.”

VM-” I don’t get any retirement because”

Mayor-” I did not recognize you Vice Mayor.”

VM-” Well, you shouldn’t be selective like that Mayor, that’s a cheap shot at the Commissioner.”

Comm. Dodd – again went over his points of why he wanted this discussed…again spoke of his support of the VFD and tried once more to make the “2-Hats” understand the conflict he (Dodd) felt indeed existed in the voting …and also said the following to them…” You have made the decision the hat you wear first and foremost is the VFD and not the duty of this Commission.”

CS-” Speak for yourself!”

CD-…spoke again about a code of ethics….

CS-” This is something that I still ah, ah, ah don’t believe it’s  being presented before us as even a thought. Once you have our primary issue is right Commissioner Dodd is safety and you have two representatives up here who probably know more about the VFD and the police department than anybody’s probably been up here before except for maybe the ex Mayor McKane who was also a police officer in Oakland Park, I think it was but that’s another example of somebody being in service”

BC-Former Mayor McKane…was a police officer in Sunrise…elected in 1982…needed to resign to run…http://election.dos.state.fl.us/opinions/new/1990/de9019.pdf.

CS-” But you always bring up the two hats issue as something negative and I always retort by saying that’s something positive. A small town there’s only so many hats to go around. Only so many people to wear those hats and all the things we do up here all the things we volunteer everything we get involved with, to hinder that and to demotivate that’s is, is dangerous that takes away the spirit and the heart of the town and that’s just unfathomable to me, that thought process can be initiated up here. That’s just, I don’t get it.”…

BC- next Commission meeting…look for a return of ethics discussion…going to referendum….and a take a look at Deerfield Beach today…Sentinel….http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/news/deerfield_beach/sfl-flb4bdig02180sbfeb18,0,2802081.story

more to come……

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