I am happy to say that Coralsprings.com is now officially 8 months old. I use the word “Officially” because that has been the source of much thought as other websites in Coral Springs try to compete with this one. What other websites? Good question. The only other one is the City Government Website, Coralsprings.org, which used to be known as www.ci-coralsprings.fl.us.gov.la.la.la.whocares.isntthisrediculous.com
What have we learnt over the past few months of operation? Simple. The City of Coral Springs government is strange. Their website and their newspaper ‘the Citizen”, is no more than a source of propaganda for their viewpoints. The front page on both should always have a yellow round ball in it with a smile! They remind me of the stuff that you see in the rerun show called “The Prisoner”, where everyone is happy, and they call everyone by numbers. They keep brain washing us with the line “The City of Coral Springs, the Premier City to Live Work And Raise a Family”. Don’t believe me? They have a recording saying this all the time 24/7. Just call 344-1000.
From the onset of our website, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. I elected to put on our site some challenging ideas and thoughts, criticizing the City Commissioners but at the same time bringing forward some of the better aspects of living in Coral Springs. This is after all a free country. I wanted to make a difference. I was tired of seeing what appears to be an omnipotent city administration continue unopposed at their socialistic ideology.(Big words huh?) I believed and still do that what we have here is a classic case of In Your Face City Government. They want to be all things to all people and at the same time run our social events, establish our social guidelines and spend our money along the way.
Our first article dealt with the Covered Bridge. Wasn’t it nice? The 2nd Article dealt with the amusing way in which this city holds commission meetings. I felt that a strong satirical article would show that in every serious matter we can always find a little bit of humor. Well the City Commissioners missed the point , and I was told they were extremely upset and that I hurt their feelings. Even the City Manager stated to me that he knew my motivation behind the website. It was to be such a pain in the behind that the commissioners would tell him to buy me out! (OK, the price is now $250,000).
My article prompted the City to invite me to a private meeting with the City Attorney. I spoke to my attorney, Jeff Sarrow, to see if I need legal representation at that meeting. He laughed. He said “What will your Virtual WebSite pay me with ? Virtual Money?” There I went without representation. I liked the fact that the City took me so seriously. They didn’t get the point of the article. I was told to change it. I said no. I was told that they might sue me. I said that I know “Sue” and she’s a nice girl. I told them there is something about this Freedom of Speech thing, and the First Amendment, and the right to speak out against government..you know the stuff that this country was built on. I sort of got the message that they really didn’t like me. They didn’t bring out Sue. Too bad. She’s a nice girl.
They wanted me to state on the top of my website that we weren’t the City of Coral Springs Website. But we are, I proclaimed. No you’re not they said. “Yes I am”.”No you’re not”….you get the point. They didn’t . I agreed to place on the top of the website ‘We are not the City of Coral Springs Government Website..click here for ci-coralsprings.fl.us”, if they placed on their site “We are not the City of Coral Springs Commercial Website.Click here for Coralsprings.com”. They weren’t amused. They figured that they better get a new name. They did. Coralsprings.org. Pronounced “Coral Springs dot oh are gee, (or orgy as we like to say in the industry). Even though I was here first, and that their use of Coralsprings.org can be deemed an infringement of my rights with respect to Coralsprings.com, I haven’t said anything….yet. But isn’t it quite odd, that we have links to the City of Coral Springs government website but they do not link to Coralsprings.com? Are they afraid of Coralsprings.com?
Attending one of the commission meetings I was given the City Budget. That was great. I noticed the City Center line item. That was also great. I noticed that the City Center was losing money. I noticed that the budget didn’t show all the information concerning expenses. I published my article titled “City Center:White Elephant”. Now that was the last straw with respect to the City Commissioners. I just can’t go ahead and attack the policies of the City! No way! I shouldn’t be allowed! Let’s give him a fair trial and then let’s hang him!.. I thought , where are we, Phoenix? … So they sent me a message via their legal outside counsel that makes $40,000+ from the city per month, and never goes to court (another article that I wrote). He sent me an attorney’s letter indicating that I was criticizing them and that the information that they gave me that I printed was wrong…so change it or we’ll sue. There goes “Sue” again and she’s a nice girl. I laughed. They didn’t ..and so continues our relationship.
I keep getting the message from the city commissioners as I bump into them from time to time that they are very unhappy with me. I write only bad articles they say. I am terribly insulted as I thought my writing style was in fact good. Maybe I missed their point. Maybe I’ll never get a Proclamation or my own day for that matter.
Certain people in the City have been actually told not to talk to me. Others have put the word out that associating with Coralsprings.com is not good as we are ‘too Controversial’ . That struck me as odd. Is this site too controversial or do the City Commissioners make themselves an easy target? I don’t make up the stuff I write about. They hand it to me on a silver platter. Perhaps the controversy lies within the city commission themselves and the way they operate and make decisions. In that case, maybe doing business with the City is too controversial.
I sort of figured out what is really bothering the commissioners about my website. It’s too honest. The articles I write speak too clearly. There are too many facts, too many too’s. They are not used to being criticized, let alone publicly. They do not want opposing viewpoints, as they don’t get paid enough money to have this kind of aggravation. I say, let’s pay them more money so we can give them more aggravation! I have always stated and will continue to state that any commissioner that wants to speak their mind on any subject, even criticizing my website, may do so. I will publish their article as is.
In what direction do I see Coralsprings.com heading? I think we are are getting better at displaying a balanced viewpoint of life within Coral Springs. We will continue to carry articles as they come up as well as allow people to speak their mind, and show off their talents. We cannot be all things to all people, but rather a breath of fresh air, considering the other sources of media.
What about my title for this article, “Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” I think you figured it out already. Certainly the City Commissioners can’t .As they huff an puff and fail to blow the house down…..