Thursday, April 16, 2009

Special Magistrate in Cooper City...a done deal before it was started?

It is unfortunate that the special magistrate ordinance passed 4-1 last Tuesday night. Only 27 cases, none of which were code enforcement related as per the attached memo to the ordinance, went to county court last year. I made my amendments without so much as a second (With one commissioner stating "I didn't know..." in regards to a second being required for discussion), and was dismayed at the ‘done deal’ attitude of the rest of the Commission, which has transpired a lot lately.

The ordinance is not fully vetted nor properly written, in my opinion, and I have placed it on the next agenda for further discussion. It also shouldn't have been written based on politically favored reactions to recent and few abuses, but on what is "reasonably expected" of the residents and public officials. If future discretions are found to occur, and are outside of those ‘unwritten’ standards (similar to the unwritten rules that continually arise on an as needed basis), then clear and actionable severe repercussions could be available. Not a good way to treat our valued shareholders, I'd say.

The majority of the Commission has not acted like true professionals on this issue, but more like unskilled amateurs, particularly in Parliamentary procedure, and are no longer interested in any meaningful dialogue, nor have they been intent on listening to each other’s opinions outside of their own in a meaningful manner in its recent agenda discussions. There is no real leadership at city hall, so I guess that means that this is the way we will continue to operate.

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