FLORIDA POLITICS
Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary

 

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The Nelson Thing
Deep, Dark Secret
Smart Boy
Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight
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Not in the Concrete
The Tamiami Trail


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Crist Praises Schiavo Judges
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And So It Begins

Katrina Spin

Only one force in nature delivers more dangerous winds than a hurricane - the suffocating hot air produced by the Republican spin machine.

As overpowering as it is dishonest, most people agree that it's one of the real advantages Republicans have over Democrats. And that dangerous delivery of disinformation was in full force after the criminally negligent handling of Hurricane Katrina.

I know this blog is, as the name says, about Florida politics. So I won't use it to ask people to help the victims (although you should and I imagine many already have). I don't even want to directly discuss the politics of the historically inadequate rescue and recovery debacle. Those implications are as sweeping as the tragedy itself.

But I do want to call out Republicans on their rhetoric that has, unfortunately, ensnared Democratic political leaders and pundits and turned some of us into unwilling allies in their quest to absolve Republicans from blame.

Their first successful sidestep was during the disaster's most dire hours. Instead of speaking about the lack of rescue capabilities, medical provisions and other life-saving supplies, the Republican spin machine fed the media stories of looting.

According to the Republican spin masters, Jeb Knows Hurricanes. He does hurricane preparedness the right way. So when he has an opinion about hurricane looting, he has my rapt attention.

And Jeb, you may surprised to learn, just doesn't think looting is an issue.

Just a few precious months before Katrina crossed Florida en route to Louisiana and Mississippi, Jeb, the Republican Hurricane Governor, relied on his vast experience with hurricanes to veto a bill increasing criminal penalties for ... wait for it ... wait for it ... looting.

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Earlier this year, Governor Bush vetoed House Bill 207 raising penalties for looting after hurricanes.

Never mind that House Bill 207 passed the House by a vote of 111-0 and sailed through the Senate 40-0. (Kudos to Democrat Senator Dave Aronberg for sponsoring the Senate version, SB 282, before the Republicans decided to pass the House Bill instead so Republican Holly Benson could get credit).

Before Republican leaders like the Governor of Mississippi were droning on about "zero tolerance" for looters, Hurricane Master Jeb decided looting after hurricanes isn't really a big deal.

But that stunning display of hypocrisy didn't stop the Republican public relations "hurricane" from anointing Jeb and His Greatness Mayor Rudy Giuliani (any coincidence that it sounds like a 2008 ticket?) as the disasters-done-the-right-way twins.

Even before food and water arrived, Republican operatives and apologists began chanting that the Katrina failures existed at the "local, state and federal level" - using Jeb and Giuliani to make their case for the way it should have gone.

Republicans, they were saying, obviously know how to handle disasters and the federal government (and the President) would have done the job this time too if those Democrats in New Orleans and the Governor's mansion didn't screw it up.

But to say that the failures were "local, state and federal," isn't just spin, it's crap.

Even after the twin towers fell, Giuliani still had 85% of his police force, nearly 90% of his fire department, a city hall, operational communications, working hospitals and open transportation routes in and out of the disaster area. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, had none of these.

You'll get no argument from me that four hurricanes in one year is no picnic. But not one of them was anything close to Hurricane Katrina which displaced about 30% of Louisiana's population.

A similar event in Florida would displace the entire populations of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Or put another way, Katrina's comparable impact on Florida would have been removing every resident from Clearwater and St. Petersburg through Tampa along the I-4 corridor and all of Orlando.

Now I am sure Jeb Bush is competent but no Governor in any state can afford to lose nearly a third of their state in one day. There's just no way to prepare for that.

Had FEMA waited for days to respond to a similar disaster in Texas, I have no doubt that the Governor there would have freely admitted to failures in his state government. After all, he should be able to lead the charge under similar circumstances - that is to say if Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso and Lubbock all fell into chaos on the same day.

In California, a Katrina impact would have been equal to devastating every one of the state's top 15 cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Riverside, Stockton, Bakersfield, Modesto and Fremont.

Arnold is an action hero, I know. But I think even he would have needed an assist from the feds if something like that happened in California.

I am sure it's hard for Republicans to understand this (since they see no role for government, ever) but this is why we have FEMA and a federal government.

One thing Republicans do understand is shifting the blame. That's why they've been leading vicious attacks of against the two Democrats in Katrina's path. Google Mayor Ray Nagin or Governor Kathleen Blanco. I dare you.

When we allow Republicans to blame local and state leaders, we let them off the hook. When we repeat their absurd arguments, we let people believe that the mistakes were non-partisan.

They weren't.

Republicans ran for and won office based on their supposed ability to be stronger than Democrats in times of crisis. Hurricane Katrina was a test. And they failed it - with tragic human consequences.

Now they're trying to cover their tracks with tales of looting and by spreading the blame around to those who could do little or nothing about it.

As Democrats, we don't have to help them.

44 Comments:

9/22/2005 4:43 AM, by Blogger Florida Politics

About Mayor Nagin, from Wikpedia:

"Before his election as a Democrat Nagin was a vice president and general manager at Cox Communications, a cable communications company and subsidiary of Cox Enterprises with little political experience. Nagin had given contributions periodically to candidates of both major parties, including President George W. Bush and former Republican U.S. Representative Billy Tauzin in 1999 and 2000, as well as to Democratic U.S. Senators John Breaux and J. Bennett Johnston earlier in the decade. ...

Nagin also made a controversial endorsement of current Republican U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal in the 2003 Louisiana Gubernatorial Runoff over current Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco, and only reluctantly endorsed U.S. Senator John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential race."

 

 

9/22/2005 7:08 AM, by Blogger Stacy

Wow. Derek, I thought there might be some hope for a rational thought from you, especially as a fellow Dem political consultant. I guess I was wrong.

If you can't see the failures on the local, state and national levels, and only see the Republican failures, then that is being short-sighted and intellectually dishonest.

NO ONE is off the hook for what happened in New Orleans. Nagin, Blanco, FEMA, and the President all screwed up. Spin it to make the Democrats look good. Use what the Republicans say, and their actions, against them. But is there blame only on one side? No way.

 

 

9/22/2005 7:42 AM, by Anonymous Mr. C

Boy, your liberal anger about the pervasive and persistent failure of liberalism is really coming through loud and clear. Way to pull up those bootstraps and get to work!

I can't believe you wrote an article blaming Republicans for blaming democrats. Where's the logic in that?

 

 

9/22/2005 8:05 AM, by Blogger DerekTNG

Mr. C,

It was noted that you didn't deny or even refute my charges. Just blame the messenger. Again.

For conservatives, that passes for responsibility these days.

But thanks for reading.

 

 

9/22/2005 10:30 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Typical liberal drivel.

Katrina exposed the results of 40 years of failed democratic party give-away politics.

The democrats have created a caste of people solely dependent on the state for their existence. Forget initiative and personal responsibility.

The democratic party's welfare-for-votes strategy is the real katrina effect. That is why Mayor Nagin is so desperate for his black constituents to come back to New Orleans. Nagin's political career depends on them coming back.
No brothas, no votes.........

Without the black vote, the democratic party in Louisiana would lose, and the state would go Republican!!

 

 

9/22/2005 11:23 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Looks like from the last post that David Duke is now posting here!

 

 

9/23/2005 2:10 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

It's so obvious when you hit a nerve with Republicans - their true colors come out.

 

 

9/24/2005 8:39 AM, by Anonymous spencer

Mr C is getting wingnuttier by the day, I see . . .

Boy, your liberal anger about the pervasive and persistent failure of liberalism is really coming through loud and clear.

Considering Bush's track record in both government and private industry, I don't imagine you really want to be using the phrase "persistent and pervasive failure." Those four words are perhaps the most succinct way to describe the man's entire career.

 

 

9/26/2005 3:42 PM, by Blogger lisajackson89457255

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9/26/2005 6:19 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Great post. It's very obvious Bush and his cronies screwed themselves on this. The Repubs began blaming the Gov. while the people were still starving to death at the convention center.

They continue to blame Blanco, but no one cares becasue she doesn't represent us. They look stupid trashing her. Nagin is basically a Republican and he deserves the attacks.

Seriously, Bush is getting the blame for how pathetic he has made FEMA with his political cronies. This won't be forgotten. And it will only get worse for him, because insurance is not paying.

 

 

10/04/2005 5:34 PM, by Anonymous Troll

Sad how u guys feed on tragedy. That's not the social liberals I used to know.

 

 

12/18/2005 6:58 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Re: Airboaters Had Been "Stalled by FEMA"

I am with the Florida Airboat Association, the subject of the above described post and I am writing in regard to the rejection of civilian airboats for the New Orleans flooding disaster.
We were able to get over 100 airboats into New Orleans despite the bureaucratic boondoggle.

Through my intimate experience, it is my personal opinion that the whole New Orleans fiasco was not the fault of the federal government. Rather, the responsibility lies with the Louisiana state government and Governor Blanco.

I personally made several calls to the Governor's office attempting to get authorization for the airboaters to enter Louisiana and New Orleans without success.

Later, attempts were made through Washington, D.C. to get through to Louisiana senators and congressmen to get their attention. I even got one senator's aid out of bed at 5:30 am.

It should be understood that the U.S. Government, FEMA or other federal agencies, particularly the military cannot enter a state without a specific request of that state's governor . . . in the case of New Orleans, Governor Blanco.

The fact of the matter is that the Florida Airboat Association had over 300 airboats and operators prepared and willing to respond to New Orleans. Many were only a matter of 8 hours away and the Louisiana state government refused to accept and utilize them.

In addition, those civilian airboaters who did travel to New Orleans and provide their services did so at their own uncompensated expense.

Many of the volunteer airboaters sustained damage to their vessels that exceeded $2,000 per boat.

That, in addition to the uncompensated fuel and expenses, became quite costly to the good-ole-boy working man that sought no other reward then the helping of his fellow man in a time of need.

Each civilian airboater that responded to New Orleans knew that he/she had an valuable and unique resource that was inherently suited to perform the job and was unmatched by any other non-military entity.

Those volunteers risked their health and safety and well being to help those in need.

When speaking directly with officials of the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, attempting to get their authorizaton, it was their response that the State of Louisiana would be gladly to accept the volunteer efforts of the airboaters, but the State would NOT provide them with fuel or other compensation.

Their response was that “it was not in their budget.”

Those airboaters who did get through and assisted the State of Louisiana did so at their own expense, shouldered the cost of damages to their vessels and foraged for fuel for their vehicles to make the return trip home.

Further, to date the State of Louisiana has yet to recognize the volunteer airboaters for their efforts, while the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries continues to take credit for the rescues and evacuations.

Robert Dummett
Chairman, Safety Committee
Florida Airboat Association

 

 

1/21/2007 5:48 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Everyone has just GOT to see what is going on in the Town of Surfside. Check out the "Corruption in Surfside" blog. Town officials have been busy at their personal agendas: Deleting ethics laws, closing important town facilities, greasing the zoning variance process, forcing out honest town employees so political hacks can be put into jobs instead, its amazing what they are getting away with. Town of Surfside, Florida, the new example of how a local government should NOT ever be. Government for the special interests, by the special interests, of the special interests.

 

 

5/27/2007 9:04 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Sufside offers so many lessons to communities all across Florida, and up the eastern coast, in this day and age. The situation has changed because of non-local power and money.

Today Surfside, Florida has elected officials who talk green but who are beholden and controlled by the overdevelopment crowd, the special interests. Just another place with skewed priorities and lies told to taxpayers and homeowners. It used to be different, when Surfside was an example of doing things RIGHT. Communities all across America can learn from what has been done to try to protect one small community that was targeted for profit maximizing overdevelopment. Now the attack continues but hides behind deceptive labels and tactics. Surfside today is no longer an example for protecting communities. A new mayor and commission have changed the rules to facilitate law changes in favor of developers. Now they are trying to get their terms extended from 2 years to 4 years so they can figurately sell the town out against the best interests of its own residents.

Surfside, Florida had emerged as a leading community in serving the public interest rather than special interests. Courageous, honest, and productive leadership was the hallmark of the Town of Surfside from 1992 - 2004. During that time, Mayor Paul Novack did actual, meaningful public service on the local level and even was a model looked at troughout the western hemisphere. Then, in Surfside, the Town Commission unanimously enact budget corrections and fiscally responsible policies and every year for 12 years the town operated under balanced, stable and efficient budgets, with production of increased levels of town services, and numerous capital projects undertaken and completed that upgraded the parks, playgrounds, streets, drainage system, business district, Veterans Park, Town Hall, and much more, all with no debt, no bonds, and with the building of significant town surplus funds to serve the town's present and future. The town attracted a new Publix and many new restaurants and shops for the business district and made improvements and expansions to town parking facilities. Plans were made for a new town library and hi-tech information center to go on newly acquired property on the west side of Collins Avenue. The town was internationally recognized as a model community, and in 2003 Novack was honored as the state-wide "Community Steward of the Year" in Tallahassee.

Paul Novack received the Community Steward Award for his steadfast advocacy for effective growth management in Surfside. In 1992, Surfside residents overwhelmingly supported a referendum to prevent a twenty-story beachfront condominium. For more than a decade after then, Novack has served as mayor of this small Dade County community for the grand fee of one dollar per year. Throughout his tenure, Novack and the town's commissioners have consistently denied any requests for height and density variances, maintaining heights at twelve stories east of Collins Avenue, and five stories to the west. Nominators wrote that, thanks to Mayor Novack, "the town's zoning code has been consistently, fairly and effectively enforced." Besides that, Novack has maintained a balanced budget without raising property taxes, there is a one-minute emergency police response time, and garbage is picked up six days a week for a nominal fee. During the selection process, 1000 Friends was impressed with Mayor Novack's steadfast determination to uphold the planning and development standards needed to maintain Surfside's distinctive character and scale, noted Pattison. "With his dynamic leadership abilities, commitment to sound planning, and concern for the residents of Surfside, Mayor Novack exemplifies the qualities of a true community steward."

Mayor Novack was elected by the voters six times to serve as mayor, not one variance for height or density or setbacks or uses were ever approved during his tenure, and he retired from office in 2004 with official tributes from the Florida House of Representatives, the Governor of Florida, Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and an official entry into the United States Congressional Record, and honors and thanks from many others from throughout the world.

 

 

12/31/2007 4:16 PM, by Anonymous Waverider93

Surfside has changed though under its newest mayor - Charles Burkett - who has pushed honest town employees out the door - who has pushed the town to the brink of being deeply in debt - who has ignored all of his campaign promises and governed in a dictatorial style - who has persecuted citizens who have opinions different from his own -- who has plunged a great town into darkness and who has acted as if he is accountable to no one - and helped his own cause by eliminating the town's model ethics code and conflict of interest ordinance so he can do as he pleases no matter what the right or ethical or moral thing would be.

 

 

1/17/2008 10:27 PM, by Anonymous Nichols

So many residents who guided planning and zoning decisions and policies in Surfside Florida STILL live there because it is their HOME TOWN so they did what was right - the members of the Planning and Zoning Board over a time of more than a decade, they did their UNPAID job in a fair and HONORABLE way because they upheld codes that protected the town. TODAY its all about money. But there are heroes still living in SURFSIDE that helped preserve it for SO long So well

 

 

6/10/2008 8:33 PM, by Anonymous hemispheregps

And the amazing details of the risk filled, volunteer, productive successful! public relief projects done by Surfside for Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and its outreach projects done with no public money because all by volunteers at own expense to so many places and helping so many people Surfside made history in the 90s

 

 

7/05/2008 1:27 PM, by Anonymous Audit Surfside

Huge money has gone missing in Surfside Florida. Surfside had a 14 million dollar surplus reserve. Stable town with balanced budgets. Savings for emergencies. Savings for future projects. That was 2006. Then Mr. Burkett and Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Imberman and Mr. Levine were elected. Now in 2008 half of the savings reserve has been squandered, down the drain with nothing to show for it. Where did it go? The town had bigger annual budgets in these last two years than ever in any two years ever and in addition to the fattest annual budgets it also mismanaged itself into wasting away half of its long saved reserves! Red ink in Surfside is becoming a tidal wave. Taxpayers deserve an investigation and audit. Who is getting all that money? Where has it gone?

 

 

7/07/2008 8:01 PM, by Anonymous bondo

Florida community economic disaster brought on by errors, poor decisions, crazy political schemes, and deceiving residents. New officials took a financialy solid city and drove it into the ground in less than three years. Surfside 2008 financial crisis. Departments bleeding red ink. Numerous operational deficits being temporarily covered with surplus reserve savings built up over many years. Town in financial nosedive. Mayor and officials looking for bond issue bailout. Full court press PR spin soon to commence to convince residents to support the bond bailout even though it will saddle taxpayers with higher taxes and debt for generations.

 

 

7/12/2008 3:51 PM, by Anonymous Coaningham

What were Surfside's total expenditures for its 2005 fiscal year? 2006? 2007? 2008?

Are the numbers going UP or down? Is the town government spending more or less? How MUCH more or less?

Is the town government taking money out of town savings reserve accounts at the end of budget year 2007? How MUCH? 2008? How MUCH?

Will Town Officials disclose it truly? Or are they just too embarrassed by the truth?

 

 

7/14/2008 7:29 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

How did a Florida community go from open government and solid financial management to a financial basketcase facing bankrupty deficits red ink and total waste of taxpayer money in just 2 1/2 years? Well to do that all you gotta do is vote for Charles Burkett IV and Howard Weinberg and Marc Imberman and the rest is all rushing downhile to disaster because of ignorance and selfishness and ego mania

 

 

7/14/2008 7:32 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Spin is too kind a label for the kind of lies and hatetread spewn by people like the commissioners and mayor of Surfside Florida in 2008 its amazing and disgusting but there it is local politics of the worst kind Surfside is in financial ruin with huge debt looming just because of the dumbest group of officials ever ever ever and they think they are great what a joke HA Burkett Company lunie toons you aint got any success because you aint got any sense just greed and self service

 

 

9/02/2008 7:55 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

By David Cho
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2007;
The widening credit crunch is making it harder for cities and school systems to
get money for buildings, ballparks and other vital projects from the $2.5
trillion market for municipal bonds, a sector of Wall Street that rarely sees
trouble.
That is leaving them with a tough choice: either put off the projects, or pay
higher interest rates on their bonds, a cost that ultimately would fall on the
backs of taxpayers.

Despite that news, the administration in the Town of Surfside, FL is attempting to push through a bond issue in the amount of $17 Million by paying a PR firm (Marketing Magic) almost $8,000 to get initiate a public relations project aimed at passage of the bond issue.

 

 

9/06/2008 9:03 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Burkett/Weinberg/Imberman have vowed to get Surfside into bond issue debt no matter what it takes. No matter how much of the taxpayers' own money they will use to force the town into 30 years of debt as a cover up for the incredibly dumb mistakes they have made in their two years in office. They hate Surfside and its obvious. Once they cash in, they will cash out, and leave.

 

 

9/11/2008 5:27 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

The fact is that they hate AMERICA and everything it stands for. Not only have they taken away citizens rights in favor of their own interests, now they want to remove VETERAN'S PARK to spite AMERICA'S HEROS who fought for the right of these WAR PROTESTERS. Don't you dare take that park away.

 

 

9/19/2008 6:14 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Howard if you would kindly consider concentrating on your day job / and leave Surfside alone / we'd all be much better of. It's OK and one thing to emararass yourself - but quite another thing to embarrass the entire Community!

 

 

9/19/2008 6:42 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Surfside had taken a nosedive because of the lies and ignorance and outright incompetence of its elected officials with everything going down hill since they got elected in 2006. Surfside had a 14 million dollar surplus reserve. Stable town with balanced budgets. Savings for emergencies. Savings for future projects. That was 2006. Then Mr. Burkett and Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Imberman and Mr. Levine were elected. Now in 2008 half of the savings reserve has been squandered, down the drain with nothing to show for it. Where did it go? The town had bigger annual budgets in these last two years than ever in any two years ever and in addition to the fattest annual budgets it also mismanaged itself into wasting away half of its long saved reserves! Red ink in Surfside is becoming a tidal wave. Taxpayers deserve an investigation and audit. Who is getting all that money? Where has it gone?

JUST SOME OF THE TOWN CHECKS PAID TO HOWARD WEINBERG:

He actually signed his own checks and got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

October 2006: $415.15 (hotel bill)
October 2006: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
October 2006: $205.00 (hotel bill)
November 2006: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
December 2006: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
January 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
February 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
March 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
April 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
April 2007: $205.00 (hotel bill)
May 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
May 2007: $229.00 (restaurant meals)
June 2007: $1,148.98 (???)
June 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
July 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
July 2007: $703.57 (hotel bills)
August 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
September 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
October 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
November 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)
December 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

 

 

9/19/2008 9:33 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Surfside because of Mr. Weinberg and Mr. Burkett gave away the Town Santa - unique huge wonderful attraction for kids of all ages - gave away a multimillion dollar surplus - and now gives away a cannon donated to the town by the US Army, the town officials today have no, none, respect for community, country, veterans, service, or honor. What an example of horrible politics and politicians.

 

 

9/25/2008 9:02 PM, by Anonymous fly@9301Harding

Mayor Charles Burkett and his gang of Marc Imberman, Howard Weinberg, Steven Levine and Liz Calderon, promised to lower taxes and cut the budget.

Sad they fattened the budget to record levels instead. In September 2008 they decided on things for Surfside's 2008-2009 financial details and budget.

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

The best that can be said of Surfside town officials in 2008 is that they are incompetent.

 

 

10/11/2008 12:53 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

To get more on the Corruption in Surfside, Fl please read this blog:

http://restoresurfsideshonor.blogspot.com/

 

 

10/29/2008 7:00 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Surfside Florida 2008 - 2009, disaster strikes Surfside Florida resulting from corrupt, incompetent, wasteful, awful town government decisions and policies. The last few years with these town officials from 2006 to now has dug a huge horrible hole. Debt, bond issues, squandered savings, hidden money flows, paying town officials contrary to town charter, its a sink hole already.

In addition to a huge bond debt these crazies in town hall just put on the taxpayers back a lead straw of multiple facets:

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

And they demolished a historic, beautiful, functional community center.

Disaster at the local level produced by the worse local government in America. That is the product of Charles Burkett, Howard Weinberg, Marc Imberman, Steve Levine, and Elizabeth Calderon. If they all resigned immediately it would not be soon enough. If there was only a 911 to save us from these cretins.

 

 

1/03/2009 8:56 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

In the economy of 2008 - 2009 ???

The direction of elected town officials and their decisions?

Budget fiasco?

Financial disaster coming?

Bond issue debt sinkage into deep deep deep mud?

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

Bond debt coming to cover up for operation fund lies?

 

 

1/03/2009 8:59 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

SO OBVIOUS THAT SURFSIDE MAYOR BURKETT AND VICE MAYOR IMBERMAN AND COMMISSIONER WEINBERG HAVE LIED THEIR WAY INTO PUTTING THE TOWN OF SURFSIDE INTO A CRAZY HOLE OF FINANCIAL SMOKE AND LIES AND SELF-SERVING LIES OVER THREE YEARS?

EVERYONE AT TOWN HALL IS IN FEAR FOR THEIR JOBS. NO ONE WANTS TO TALK. THE CLAWS ARE SHARP AND CUT AGAINST OPEN GOVERNMENT NOW.

 

 

1/17/2009 9:33 PM, by Anonymous ustooo

Comes down to the voters too. If Surfside voters and residents and taxpayers did not appreciate the good government they used to have, and did nothing to stand up and recognize its service and record and results and honor, then if voters and residents and taxpayers were silent while greedy selfish deceivers got elected to office and plunged the town into disgrace and near bankruptcy, then what can be done to avoid the ultimate crash of a great community?

 

 

1/28/2009 5:23 PM, by Anonymous Froudeawake

Surfside Florida politicians gone wild.

Should be a "reality" show.

Its definitely a show!

The lies, drama, deceit, smoke screens and publicity stunts have made Charles Burkett and Howard Weinberg and Marq Imberman INFAMOUS already. And the ultimate cohesive ignorance of Steve Levine and Elizabeth Calderon completes the cast!

How does a community go from greatness to despair and bankruptcy in a few short years? Elect Burkett Weinberg Imberman Calderon Levine Blumstein and empower henchmen Arnold, Ioacobaci, Steinfeld, Degraves, Wiescholek, Ott, McGlaughlin, Verzura, Wasserstein, Tourgeman, etc etc etc etc what a gang

self service at its murkiest

 

 

2/22/2009 7:51 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Check out the RESTORE SURFSIDE'S HONOR web page / blog

 

 

3/04/2009 6:50 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Town Clerk and Public Information Office fired in Surfside for trying to do her job? Why did the mayor and commissioners and their hired management team get rid of the public information manager and town clerk was it because they are scared into slamming the door on making public information ----- public? Why is the whole thing so secret?

 

 

3/10/2009 6:58 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Indian Creek Village
Bay Harbor Islands
Bal Harbour Village

 

 

3/10/2009 7:00 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Taxes UP
Fees UP
Service DOWN
Integrity ABSENT
Ethics ABSENT
Accountability BANISHED

 

 

3/19/2009 4:18 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Charles Burkett planning to run against Sally Heyman for Miami-Dade County Commission. After trashing a sound municipality Burkett plans to trash a county with over 30 municipalities. Talk about "sanitation" it ain't in that guy!

 

 

7/04/2009 6:52 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

The lies that Burkett and Weinberg and Imberman told about their predecessors have been exposed, nothing but lies from liars. Gutter politicians. Fakers. They abuse their position of public trust and abuse public money as they churn Surfside into a personal profit from a public disgrace.

Surfside Community Center bond issue is the biggest scam of the Town's history. They set up money to flow but get nothing done for the Town. Watch that flow.

If a candidate running for Surfside office would have told the voters that their plan for improving the town was to:

- demolish the community center

- deplete the town of it’s entire savings account

- raise taxes and all garbage, sewer and water fees

- spend $3.5 million just for consultants and lawyers

- not accomplish a single project they proposed from their charette



they would have been the laughing stock of Surfside.



Instead, we the voters are the fools.



The “breath of fresh air” we were promised was at best “hot air” and at worst a corrupt attempt to profit from no bid contracts and bond issues.



The hole in the sand we are left with is a glaring reminder of the utter incompetence of the commission that has been in office since 2006.

Our economy is in shambles. Even without the bond issue for the community center, we are all going to pay more taxes in 2009 to the county, school board and Surfside. The bond issue vote was conveniently scheduled in July before the commission discloses how much it will raise taxes for next year and to take advantage of low voter turnout in the summer.

We must vote NO on July 14th. We cannot allow runaway tax increases at this time and a plan that depletes the entire town reserve just to pay for one project.

The worst incompetence and worst corruption. Sinking such a nice place. Lower and lower they take us for their benefit.

 

 

8/19/2009 7:01 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Charles Burkett
Howard Weinberg
Marc Imberman
Steve Levine
Elizabeth Calderon
Mark Blumstein
Ken Arnold
Eli Tourgeman
Richard Iocabaci
David Steinfeld
Barbara Macglaughlin
Martin Weischolek
and the whole GANG
Thanks you? For going out of your way to destroy Surfside and ruin a nice community because you saw $$$ bucks to be made?
You sure covet hypocrisy and greed but you sure fail in the honesty and integrity and decency categories

 

 

8/19/2009 7:03 PM, by Anonymous jazzermei

Copy and paste and sign and send, fax petitions to 305-861-1302 and 305-376-5287:

Surfside residents and all citizens who care about government running wildly irresponsible and brazenly abusing public office:

• We object to your intention to close the Surfside Library.
• We know that the cost of continuing the operation of the Library is far less than the cost of the Charette, the biggest waste of money in the town's history (thank you Ken Arnold - NOT)
• We know that the cost of "take home cars" is more than the cost of the Library.
• We know that the cost of in-house and outside attorneys is far more than the cost of the Library.
• We regret and object to the needless demolition of the Surfside Community Center without a vote of the people.
• We know and respect that the people of the Town have repeatedly rejected having the
Town go into debt of any kind.
• We know that elected town officials pay themselves with taxpayer money $500 per month plus "expenses" even though the Town Charter specifies that they will be paid only $1.00 per year.
• We know that despite any decrease in property values, the Town will actually receive 25% MORE total revenue next year than it did five years ago, and that while there is no actual budget crisis there is a spending crisis and a waste crisis.
• We know that the Town has paid millions of dollars to one single outside contractor
that has been given dozens of contracts mostly without any bids, and we know that town officials have made many transfers of town savings funds into town operating accounts just to keep their spending habits going. The town reserve has been siphoned.
• We know that town officials have refused the public pleas of town residents for a
forensic audit of town expenditures from 2006 – 2009.
• We object to the improper priorities of town officials and we petition for a reversal
of course on all of these items including the planned imminent closure of the Library.
• We urge all town officials to stop their ill conceived plans and to end the red ink spending, end the waste, and keep the library open.

 

 

4/18/2010 6:14 AM, by Anonymous Anonymous

marc imberman former vice mayor has a criminal record. approx 7 years ago he was arrested stealing many boxes of baseball cards from a retailer. when the police had him open up the trunk of his car it was full of baseball cards. a thief in his personal life as well as his profession - politics.

 

 

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