Conflicts With Commissioners and Campaign Contributions

Powers-Daley-WastePro

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Something smells funny and it’s not the garbage.

Since 2011, Mayors and City Commissioners have a had a new code of ethics that regulate what they can and cannot do. The code forbids taking anything, including a meal, from lobbyists, contractors or vendors or taking gifts greater than $50 in value from anyone at all.

The one thing that elected officials can take is money for their campaigns – from anyone.

For instance, both commissioners Tom Powers and Dan Daley are up for reelection in 2014; Powers is running for Mayor and Daley is running again for his commission seat.

In June, the commission voted on a 15-year deal with Waste Pro for garbage service, and before the contract was even set to commence on January 1, 2014, Waste Pro donated both Powers and Daley $500 each towards their reelection campaign.

Another example is on September 23, Powers received a $500 donation from the Metro-Broward Professional Firefighters Local 3080. Now their collective bargaining agreement is on the agenda for Wednesday night’s meeting. I’m sure that Powers will recuse himself from the vote, but knowing this would have come up, the contribution shouldn’t have been accepted in the first place.

While these may not have been a breech in the code of ethics, this gives off an implied conflict of interest, and the city should enact rules preventing commission members who are candidates from accepting contributions from contracted companies during their campaign cycle.

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.

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  • Elect Howard Melamed

    If it smells, don’t do it. Great advice of course . Anyone can view contributions to the campaigns of the city commissioner position by going to: http://coralsprings.org/CityClerk/TreasurersReport/2013/index.cfm . I welcome any questions regarding contributors to my campaign. They are definitely not in the garbage business 🙂

  • MrJay

    So, commissioners, is this what our city has become?

  • Marblemania

    SOmehow I doubt that this is how government is supposed to do business.

  • Le Peerman

    What Coral Springs voters should be looking at is you have candidates that don’t seem to be able to read the canidate handbook. If you can not read the bible for candidates and follow simple instructions DON’T RUN. The job will require you to do more than just simple campaign finance reports. The arguement about who should candidates take money from or not has been going on since the beginning of elections. What I have found is voters tend to be more demanding that you vote the way they want than any company I have ever recieved money from. Matter of fact no company that gave me money has ever asked anything from me but I have been threatened by the you are not getting my vote if you don’t vote my way since day one. $5 gets you the same as $500, a good commissioner. A good commissioner will make decisions based on what is good for the residents and the city. If you think the contracts are “fixed” look at them and see if the residents are taken care of, don’t spend the time looking at campaign contributions, you won’t find the truth there.
    Le

  • Mike Rump

    What smells is trashing candidates for following the law. The writer clearly states ” The one thing that elected officials can take is money for their campaigns – from anyone.”
    If you don’t like the fact that people contribute money to candidates campaigns, then you have quite a bit of work to do to change the law. But to complain about about very good public servants following the law as written clearly shows a desperate need to find fault. Hmmm, I wonder if there is something motivating these complainers??? Just a thought!!!