Friday, October 19, 2012

Response to Threats Against Cooper City Staff and Commission

October 19, 2012

RE: Written threats against Cooper City staff and commission members

To Whom It May Concern, 

During a recent review of the Cooper City attorney’s invoices and fees (they are outrageously substantial and are roaring completely out of control, with the city attorney given a recent hefty pay raise) I encountered an invoice from the city attorney substantially charging the city and taxpayers for review of an ‘anonymous letter’ threatening and alleging some sort of attack against the city and one or more city official(s), which was apparently in the possession of the Mayor and was being reviewed by the city attorney at her request. The city attorney never responded to the Mayor but was paid very handsomely. 

Given the times we all live in, I was initially shocked that this alleged written threat had never been brought to the staff or the commission’s full attention. Furthermore, as I thought of the possible implications of such a serious threat, the more concerned I became. Several questions began to arise in my opinion that I found almost incomprehensible, yet realistic and somewhat frightening. 

Why was this potential and serious alleged threat to the city, city official(s) and presumably city employee(s), not brought to the immediate attention of the city manager, chief law enforcement officer and the rest of the members of the city commission? Why was there no investigation of such a potential damaging letter and its inherent imminent threat? Why was there no initial warning of a possible threat to all persons who might be the target of such a threat? I thought immediately of many of our city employees are working outdoors who are most susceptible to possible dangers from person or persons who might seek to harm them.

I have now asked the city manager to investigate this letter, if it actually exists, and to report to the city commission on what occurred and allow the commissioners to ask questions of why no awareness was made regarding this threat. This request was made weeks ago and no response has been provided as of today. This is a serious breach of duty in my opinion. 

Most of all, I am appalled that Mayor Debby Eisinger showed so little concern for those of the city staff and her fellow commissioners that she did not take immediate action to protect them against a potential and serious threat. While in retrospect it may now turn out to have been merely a false or meaningless threat or childish attempts to scare someone, I can’t comprehend that the Mayor would simply dismiss any alleged threat based upon her selfish and personal interpretation of the alleged letter. The comments by the city attorney did not indicate that he recommended any action, nor did he advise anyone else of the threat. In fact, his response to me was that he never even responded to the Mayor’s concerns which I find incomprehensible. This of course follows the City Attorney’s long and contentious track record of not responding to commissioner’s questions, requests and demands which is a very serious issue in his line of work. 

I am clearly relieved that this threatening letter has not yet result in any harm or damage to anyone…yet. That notwithstanding, I am quite disturbed that Mayor Debby Eisinger, and for that matter the City Manager and City Attorney, lack the responsibility if not the ‘common sense’ to take the minimal steps of advising the law enforcement officials as well as the city staff and commission members to ensure the safety of all of the potential persons placed at risk by this perceived threat. 

I can only hope that my fellow commissioners will join with me and immediately demand that an action plan for any such further occurrences of this nature be developed and be available for implementation should this ever happen again. I also hope that my fellow commissioners will join with me in severely reprimanding the Mayor and City Attorney for this type of blatant irresponsibility and unconscionable behavior.  

The safety of all persons within our city, especially those who proudly and diligently serve our city need to know that their safety and welfare are foremost in our minds, hearts, and actions whenever a threat, no matter how insignificant it might turn out to be, will be treated with the upmost of urgency and seriousness, more so with the current turmoil in the world in addition to the political hatred that most of America has for incompetence, irresponsibility and lack of action to resolve problems in government at all levels.
John Sims
City Commissioner, Dist. 1
Cooper City, FL 

CC:       Cooper City Commission
             Cooper City Staff

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