If anyone really believes that our 2014 city election is nonpartisan, then I can sell you some swampland in the Everglades. Come to think of it, we are in the everglades.
The Coral Springs nonpartisan election for is nothing more than a farce that uses nonpartisanship to hide the true identities of those in our city that form a single gang in order to maintain their hold on the city.
The election in November 2014 for three city commissioner and a mayor seat are at stake. In a nonpartisan race, a candidate’s party affiliation may not be on the ballot. However, in a city where the majority of the voters are registered with one party, the gang’s hiding of their true colors, allows them to fool everyone. This is quite evident since the gang is basically a right wing radical subset of the party that they not only support, but they are at the head of the leadership. They would not have won in the last elections, if voters really knew their true colors.
All one has to do is Google any of the current city commissioners to see exactly who endorses them. For the typical voter who may not be paying attention to local candidates in a nationwide election, one ends up with four out of five commissioners of one party, now the gang. That is why you need to pay attention.
The Gang Defined
A farce is defined as something done or a way of behaving that is not genuine but is meant to deceive other people. This farce is so evident with the current gang party of four commissioners made up of the mayor, the vice-mayor, and two of the three other commissioners. Only Claudette Bruck offers independent thinking and is truly nonpartisan. Unfortunately for this city, Claudette is termed out and offers no threat to the gang’s legacy whose members think that being a big fish in the small pond of Coral Springs feeds their ego. Let there be no mistake. The gang wants full control over the city and are joining forces to stop any nonmember.
There is no doubt that after reading this article the gang will try their best to attack it, or try to dismiss it as tomfoolery. However, the facts speak for themselves:
1. The gang members all belong to one political party.
?2. Two members of the gang are leaders in the one party.
3. They award each other at every city commission meeting. The outgoing Mayor swore (more like Knighted) one of the members as Vice-Mayor.
4. They appoint their friends to the committees and place them in key authoritative positions. All of these appointees listen to the gang and follow the gang’s wishes. Case in point is that the gang wants to increase term limits allowing them to stay in office four more years, and the committee in charge (Charter Review Committee) said it was a good decision. The gang wants salary increases and the committee also agreed.
5. The gang handpicked candidates who will do their bidding and placed them in two seats where other independent thinking candidates are running (seat #4 and seat #5). They vowed to destroy the other candidates and do all they can to make sure their new to-be gang members are elected.
6. Two leading members of the gang were suspended from the city commission by the Governor for violating the rules of the Sunshine Act by meeting in secret with two police union members without public notification. They were reinstated later, with still questions remaining. Once back in office, they conspired to remove their opposition, namely City Manager Mike Levinson, someone who brought this city to two Malcom Baldridge Sterling Awards for Excellence. They then pivoted and pushed out Chief of Police Duncan Foster. Finally they forced out the City Attorney Sam Goren, who had been with the city for more than 20 years. Their coup d’état now complete, they then focused on getting into power other city commissioners that are affiliated with the same political party and are now members of their gang.
7. The gang continued to wage their war, going after previous Mayor Rhon Ernst-Jones, who supported another candidate. Mayor Ernst-Jones owned a civil engineering company that worked for water districts. The Gang influenced the water districts, who quickly cancelled his contracts, affecting his business. Then they went after the president of the Sunshine Water Control District who was serving in his 6th year. Together with two other affiliated gang members (who are also on committees) pushed him out to put their own candidate in power.
8. The gang then shifted their attention to Mayor Roy Gold, who did not support them during the time they were expelled. Openly confronting him at commission meetings, they blocked Roy’s recommendations to go ahead with a new city hall. A few months later, after Mayor Gold finished his term of office, the gang member who became mayor quickly pushed for the very same city hall they opposed. To insure their legacy, the gang, despite opposition from the public and not asking any of the voters’ permission, committed the city to a $30 million bond issue moving forward with the project. They could have saved the citizens $10 to $15 million had they simply bought the predominantly vacant large black office building on University Drive near the Charter School and moved city hall there. Now, they gamble with other people’s money as they double down at the roulette wheel.
9. At the city commission meetings, they openly gang up on Claudette Bruck, the only independent commissioner that is not a member of their gang.
10. The candidates they support are of course their partisan clones who share their agenda. If you don’t fit that profile, you won’t get their support.
A city that has gang rule, is a city in trouble discounting healthy differences of opinion. For its citizens, the mistakes the gang makes could cost us all dearly. A gang is no different from a political party. It is not in keeping with the spirit of a nonpartisan election.
Let’s end this farce and either have partisan elections, or stop the formation of cliques and gangs that remove any independent thinking which allows our city commission to be the best it can be.
About the Author
Howard Melamed is the owner and editor of Coralsprings.com, a local website. As a resident of Coral Springs for 23 years, Melamed has written over 200 articles, and has recently published a book titled “the Science of Opportunity” available on Amazon.com. He an expert in cell phone technology and is the CEO of CellAntenna Corporation, a multinational multimillion dollar company that is headquartered in Coral Springs. Howard has appeared on radio, television and has been quoted in newspapers around the world.
Howard Melamed is running for Coral Springs City Commissioner Seat #4, in a nonpartisan election. More information can be found at howardmelamed.com.
Want to be a guest columnist? Submit your editorial to Coral Spring Talk