Forcing the city commissioners to ask our
permission before they spend millions of our dollars
Coral Springs, Florida 03/05/2014 Anyone in
politics will tell you that the best friend to politicians that
are sitting in office is apathy. Creating apathy is really not
that difficult. You pass resolutions that they hate and then
tell them that they cannot do anything about it. Then , you
change the time of city commission meetings to 9 :00 am in the
morning so that most people who work cannot attend them. You
then proceed and poll certain few people and then make claims
that everyone is happy with the decisions you are making. When
people feel they have no say in what is happening around them ,
they become apathetic, feeling that even turning out to vote is
a waste of time, because the guys in power are still going to be
No greater feeling of helplessness is in watching our city
commissioners bypass accepted process and make decisions that
will greatly affect our city. The new city hall is one of those
decisions, where the city estimates a total expenditure of
$30,000,000. They are bypassing the citizens in asking their
permission by not going out for a regular bond issue where it
would be on the ballot for this coming election. Instead they
are going after a bond that is based on our ability to cover it
out of our general fund. What this translates into is that we
are loaded with money and rather than reduce taxes and tighten
belts at the city, they will carry enough money to cover the
cost of $30,000,000 bond issue.
Now of course we all have the right at the elections to replace
any of the city commissioners and elect new ones. However there
is no way of really knowing that any new city commissioner would
not simply carry the same flag and bypass the population on this
and future decisions. Furthermore, as in the case of the
$30,000,000 city hall project, the damage can already be done as
the city commissioners commit us to contracts binding us to
pay. Nothing for instance can prevent the city commissioners
from selling our parks, or buying the hockey arena other than
the threat of a population that rarely shows up to vote. This
is what happened in California when a city commission out of
control voted themselves large salary increases. So what can
be done to stop this type of action, and provide the proper
oversight needed at the city commission level ? Petitions.
A petition by the population does quite a lot. It forces issues
to be placed on the next general election ballot for the
population to vote on. The petition if successful in the vote
then needs to be implemented by the city , forcing it into law.
More importantly, it puts the city commissioners on notice that
decisions that they make may be overturned by the population,
and that our city is not a fiefdom for them to do as they wish.
According to the
Florida State Statutes 166.031 (click here) , in order to
put forward any petition, and since there are a total of 78,000
registered voters in this city, 7,800 signatures would be
needed. Of course to get these amount of signatures would be no
easy task, but not impossible if the issue is as important as
the one described. So what would the petition look like to
stop city commissioners from over extending our city commissions
in voting for monuments for themselves ?
"Be it resolved that any purchase, sale or lease of real estate
by the city commissioners in excess of $100,000 must be
presented as a referendum before the citizens of the city of
Coral Springs at the next election. "
We need controls put into place to prevent current and future
city commissioners from abusing their powers and more
importantly making decisions that affect our pocketbooks without
asking our permission. How about a petition to spend money to
buy computers for our children in our school, or remove red
lights, or perhaps change the city charter to put city
commissioners in geographical districts where each commissioner
represents the interests of a particular area of our city
instead of the 5 seat city wide commission we have.
As citizens, the power of change is in our hands if we elect to
use it, and if of course no politician lulls us to sleep
freezing us in an apathetic state.
AND CITY MANAGER MAKE $19 MILLION MISTAKE
BUILDING SOLD FOR $11 MILLION AND THE CITY COULD
HAVE BOUGHT IT
As said in the article
about the city commissioners giving out single
source contracts, the City has missed out on the
deal of a lifetime by not purchasing the
black larger Preferred Exchange Tower commonly
know in this town as the " Darth Vader"
This building, 3111
University drive has more than 202,000
square feet of space and was built in 1985. It
sold in 2005 for $33 million dollars. It sold
this month for $11 Million dollars.
This is only $3 Million dollars more than the
single source contract they just gave to
Motorola this week for the police radio
system upgrade. In other words,
they had the money but not the smarts.
This is obviously mistake by
both the city manager and the city commissioners
will now cost us
$19 million as they could have bought this
building for the new city hall. Instead the city
now will place $30,000,000 of new debt on
the taxpayers as they go ahead with their lavish
plans for a the new city hall in a location
across the street from a building that they
could have had at half the cost.
That is what happens when
lack of experience is not taken into
consideration when the voters cast their ballot.
Car Traffic Accidents in
A Safer Time
To Drive: Yes!
The Coral Springs Police Department
gave us some great data to analyze concerning traffic
accidents at our major intersections. We found
interesting trends some of which are obvious and others
are remarkable. Here are the top Five facts:
Most accidents happen on a Friday compared to other
Most accidents in Coral Springs occur in the
The unsafe time to be driving in Coral Springs is 5
pm to 6 pm.
Travelling from 6-7 am is safer then 8-9 am ( leave
the house early?)
Leaving after 9:00 a.m. -10 am is safer than 7 - 9
am or 10 - Noon.
So what does all this mean? It means that if you adjust
your driving habits or make yourself aware of peak
traffic accident times you can decrease your chance of
getting into an accident at our intersections ( not
eliminate them of course).
(editor note - Many thanks to CSPD
for providing us with the information)
Coral Springs residents that
are experiencing culture shock at the fact
that the previous years' two 30 gallon
garbage pickup is now a single 64 gallon
container, are not told about a secret clause in
the contract of the new garbage disposal
provider, WASTEPRO. The secret ? WastePro
will upgrade your 64 gallon container to 94
gallon container for free, allowing you more
garbage at your disposal than you ever dumped to
the previous garbage collector. Now that's
a lot of trash!
Seniors have the ability to
get a smaller lighter garbage container making
it easier for them to roll out. The previous
garbage collector had Side Door Pickup, which
many seniors took advantage of. The city
commissioners took this out of the contract with
WastePro, who operates more efficient garbage
collection using mechanical means rather than
There is no extra charge for
picking up the larger container. However
you must call them before April to get the new
garbage bin for free.
CALL WASTEPRO AT 954
282 6800, Tell them Coralsprings.com sent