August 7, 2016

Your recent front page article, “Lottery Expansion Draws in the Poor” is very true. This, and many other ways of raising money for government activities through taxation, will have a negative impact on working class people and the poor.  The latest initiative of two, half penny sales taxes will also have a negative impact on poor and lower income people.  The proposed taxes will affect the poor, as a higher percentage of income, more than the upper middle class and the rich.  I look forward to a Sun-Sentinel editorial opposing the new taxes as it is a heavier burden on the people least able to pay them.  

June 26, 2016

Whether it is a ½ cent “Transit” tax favoring the county or a 1/2 cent “Infrastructure” tax favoring the municipalities, each is wrong-minded and should be soundly defeated.  Obviously our leaders are tone deaf to the desires of the taxpayers and voters in this community.  Those desires include fiscal responsibility, rightsizing government, lowering taxes and sun-setting government programs that do not work. 

Last year, Broward had a tax windfall when tax revenues were higher than expected due to increases in property values. Did the county commission use this unexpected windfall to focus like a laser on our infrastructure or transit?  No they didn’t.  The Sun Sentinel reported the county commission decided to increase library hours and replaced library positions that were cut in previous years.  If they were serious about fixing our infrastructure or expanding transit, the windfall would have been a nice place to start and would have given them some credibility w...

June 17, 2016

As the investigation continues into the mass shooting in Orlando, so does finger-pointing.  Guns, radical Islamic terrorists, political parties, and others are all being blamed for the actions of one misguided and deranged individual.  

While the political debates continue, what we must do at a local level to prevent further attacks like this is relatively simple.

We must ensure that our law enforcement officers are trained and properly armed to deal with a similar attack in our community.

A similar attack at a Sea Port or Airport could result in hundreds of casualties.  In South Florida, there are hundreds of soft targets where a single terrorist or a group of terrorists can easily rain mayhem and carnage on untold innocent Americans.

In most communities, law enforcement officers will be severely outgunned, which was clearly demonstrated in all of the most recent active shooter terrorist events.

Our law enforcement first responders to these terrorist attack...

May 25, 2016

Good afternoon Jeff and Christina.

 

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak to the International Union of Police Associations representing the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) employees this afternoon.   Please share this email with Joe, Patrice, and Larry as I did not get email addresses from them.

 

Here is a recap of the items we discussed today and my positions:

Christina shared a comparison of law enforcement officers’ pay scale. The document compares entry levels and supervisor minimum salaries with other municipal departments and county agencies.  As I stated, I strongly support budgetary actions to improve BSO’s uniform personnel’s salary increases to make the agency more competitive. We must attract, hire and retain the best and brightest to fill vacancies in each of BSO’s Departments. 

 

We discussed a recent proposal for 2%, 2% and $1000 as the latest position in contract negotiations. I believe BSO employees have been traditionally underpai...

May 25, 2016

 

Well sort of. On Monday, I said the Broward Commission was voting to place a sales tax increase on the November ballot. To everyone's chagrin, the Commission placed two tax increases on the ballot. Neither one deserves your support. 

 

An initiative originating with the municipalities will, if approved, increase the sales tax from 6 to 7 cents on a dollar spent up to $5000. Most of the money raised will go to the cities to spend on maintenance, repair, replacement, and new infrastructure. So many of the same people who for years have failed to allocate money from the budget to maintrain, repair and replace infrastructurethe are asking for more money. Finally they are interested in infrastructure after years of kicking the can down the road. Now the tough decision is on our shoulders, the voters. I am not supporting this tax and suggest you consider working with me to defeat it.

 

Now for the second tax increase placed on the November ballot. The County proposed a 3/4s of a ce...

May 6, 2016

On December 13, 2015 a Sun Sentinel Editorial titled, “Alarm bells about firefighter legislation” provided a good review of the employer and worker compensation insurer concerns with this proposed legislation. However, the article in my opinion fell short by not presenting the risk of cancer to our first responders who are exposed to poisonous gases including carcinogens multiple times over their careers.

 

The proposed legislation (Senate Bill 456 and House Bill 345) would place the obligation on the city or county to demonstrate a first responder’s cancer was not caused by job related exposures. The question I advance is whether our first responders or the insurance companies should have the burden of determining whether the cancer was job-related or not?

 

Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and EMS workers who responded to the World Trade Center attack on September 11th, 2001 were initially exposed to poisonous products of combustion while performing firefighting and re...

May 6, 2016

A County Commissioner is tasked with passing laws that improve our everyday lives as well as prioritizing and allocating funds.  One of the key requirements is to properly fund law enforcement. Our law enforcement officers protect us from crimes against our person and our property.   Also, a critical aspect of our protection arises out of Homeland Security assessments.  Until the first bombing at the World Trade Center most of our threat assessments and activities were focused and conducted outside of the continental United States.  That has changed.

 

While there are many criminal challenges being faced at the county level, we must not lose sight of the fact that there are ominous and nefarious foreign elements that could pose a threat to our American way of life.

 

Followers of a radical form of Islam, specifically ISIS and Al Qaeda, have sworn to destroy America, and have made it clear, they want to target Americans at home....