City Commission ‘Rat Pack’ Give themselves 1/2 million Bucks out of Taxpayers pockets

Commissioner Calhoun Refuses to Be a Burden

by Howard Malamud
06/09/02 rev1

The Rat Pack


mayor john sommerer


Maureen berk


alan polin

At the last city commission meeting , the city commissioner Rat Pack, made up of  Berk, Polin and Mayor Sommerer  voted themselves lifetime health insurance subsidized by taxpayer money. This will cost the citizens of Coral Springs more than 1/2 million dollars or more just for the commissioners sitting now, and many millions more for those that follow.  This happened despite Commissioner Calhoun’s classy appeal to the commissioners ‘Not to be a Burden’ on the citizens.

The Rat Pack  are the same people that voted to disregard the public referendum regarding term limits and give themselves an extended stay in office. Now, they want to make sure that they are well taken care of when they retire from office, provided they don’t vote themselves an extended stay in office again. 

Not only did they increase the taxpayers burden currently, they also decided to make it retroactive so that their friend,  past member of the Rat Pack, Commissioner Straddling, can benefit from their moves as well. In what turned out to be a disgusting display of money grabbing, The Rat Pack  made their position clear: ‘We’re here for the  money.’

Rhonda Calhoun has been a city commissioner for a long time. Her

 debating platform on this issue sent a clear message that she didn’t believe that part time employees , like the city commissioners, deserve to be treated like full time employees as in the case of the police officers. She further stated that the other commissioners have full time jobs that can afford them health care. Polin is an active lawyer in Coral Springs. Mayor Sommerer is an accountant. Berke runs a store. Of all the people sitting in the commission , she said that she was the only one with no job to afford her health care. Even so, she believes that there is no reason to burden the citizens of Coral Springs with a debt into the future. She didn’t take the job of Commissioner because of the Health Benefits. ( Calhoun for State Senator?) 

The Rat Pack Member #1, Mayor Sommerer, responded that he did take the job because of the benefits. In fact it was a strong reason why he ran for Mayor in the first place.  That is good to know. Our Mayor is in it for the money. And I thought it was for the glory…

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Rat Pack #3 , Commissioner Polin, was at his best. Even though no one could understand a word that he was saying, the overall point that  he was making seemed to hover on how he is a charitable individual that gives thousands of dollars to charity. He claims that he eats, sleeps and constantly thinks about the city and the citizens of Coral Springs and he should be rewarded for his thoughts. That alone qualifies him to be a burden on the rest of the citizens of Coral Springs. ‘Let them pay for my charitable donations?’ He’s in it doing it for the money too.

Rat Pack #2 Commissioner Berke said that it was very noble (pronounced as ‘ NO BULL)  of Calhoun to suggest that no commissioner should be a burden on the citizens. But she considers herself a full time employee getting paid part time.  In fact, she claimed that she spends more than 30 hours a week doing city business. Listening to her, one gets the impression that she has to spend 30-40 hours a week doing city business. She is a part time employee who needs to spend full time at this job. She says that she deserves to be a burden on the citizens of Coral Springs. Just for those reasons. No Bull. She thinks.

Commissioner Brook played the ol’ political game of claiming ‘ No Mas’ . He said he couldn’t vote on an issue that affects his financial well being. It would be a conflict of interest.  So Brook abstained from the vote. He added nothing to the debate since it seemed he was playing both sides of the fence. He’ll eventually learn that sitting on the fence usually results in falling off to one side or the other.  The Rat Pack was very unhappy with the abstention. Rat Pack #3 ‘Polin’ couldn’t understand why it is a conflict of interest. In fact he couldn’t understand anything that Brook was saying, because Brook was actually talking in full sentences.

The Rat Pack  consider themselves full time employees of the city just like the people that the city hire to work fulltime. The real city Employees are every one that devotes their full time (40 hours or more) and gets paid full time. None of these workers can work at anything else while employed by the city. In fact, an employee of the city who is considered to be full time has to work full time. Makes sense doesn’t it? Well according to the Rat Pack, they want to be called fulltime even though they work part time, all of the time.

The Rat Pack members have other jobs that are full time and they only do this commissioner stuff part time. Berke, Polin and Sommerer are allowed to do their thing during the time they are doing the city thing. In fact, they all benefit from them being City Commissioners and the Mayor. They make sure to tell their  future customers that they are in fact “City Officials”.  Of course we all know that it shouldn’t  make any  difference to any businessman in Coral Springs or anyone else wanting to establish themselves here in our city.    

The real employees of the city cannot work part time as they will loose their benefits. They become city employees because of the benefits and the job security that it entails. All employees of the city should be insulted and appalled that the part time City Commissioners would consider themselves the same as full time employees.  I know how they really feel, but of course they can’t say anything for fear of losing their jobs.  The only comfort that they have is the knowledge that the city has so much money to burn on part time commissioners, that the next time they ask for a raise the City Manager can’t use the excuse “We have no money”.

The Citizens have one last chance to at least let the Rat Pack know how they feel. They can come out to the next City Commission meeting. The ordinance has been past at first reading and has one more reading to go before it becomes law. 

Meanwhile, as the Rat Pack continues to sing the song of ‘I Got the World on a String’ will no one stop them as they rape and pillage the city bank account  and empty the pockets of the taxpayers? …..before they leave town of course.


Author: HelpMeHoward