Anti-Airport Activist Accused Of Breaking Lobbyist Law

BY BUDDY NEVINS

Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter has taken aim at Broward’s chief anti-airport activist Brenda Chalifour, charging Chalifour misleads the public and the county commission by not registering as a lobbyist.

Chalifour has been paid by Dania Beach to campaign against the expansion of the runway, but tells commissioners when she speaks at the meetings she represents herself.

Ritter believes that violates the county law which require lobbyists to register.

The mayor made that charge at Tuesday’s county commission meeting based on a document I obtained at the county Government Center.

At one point, Ritter ordered Chalifour’s microphone turned off at today’s meeting as the two women clashed. This happened right after Chalifour attacked Ritter’s reputation: “If there is a God, you will look fabulous in pinstripes, according to writer Scott Wyman at Sun-Sentinel.com.

The internal document is entitled “Is Ms. Brenda Chalifour a Broward County Lobbyist.

No author is cited in the document and I have no idea who prepared them. I obtained it from the county commission office, where it was being circulated.

Chalifour has been a thorn in the side of county commissioners for years.

A lawyer, Chalifour calls herself as “an environmental consultant for Dania Beach.  The document questions whether that title is “misleading.

Chalifour has been appearing at the county commission for years to oppose any expansion of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

“Despite considerable compensation from the City of Dania Beach, Ms. Califour always claims that she is speaking for herself, states the document.

The document questions whether Califour “misrepresented her role to the Board of County Commissions and to the public?

It cites two invoices dated July 27 and 31, 2007 on file at the City of Dania Beach.  In the invoices, Mrs. Charlifour stated that her activities include “consulting with government agencies and others associated with these issues (e.g., Broward County Aviation and Port Everglades).

The document also notes that Chalifour was quoted in the Daily Business Review on June 22, 2007 that “her $3,500 retainer from the City of Dania Beach is for the airport expansion fight.

Violations of the county lobbyist registration law could cause Chalifour to be banned from speaking at the county commission.  Commissioners could also impose a fee of $50-a-day for every day they believe Chalifour didn’t register.  

 



10 Responses to “Anti-Airport Activist Accused Of Breaking Lobbyist Law”

  1. What Did They Think says:

    The airport has been in its present location for more than 60 years. It can’t remain the same forever. This is a bigger area with more people using the airport. What did these Dania folks think was going to happen?

  2. Go Stacy says:

    Mayor Stacy put that woman in her place. Good work.

  3. Broward Resident says:

    Regardless of your views on the airport expansion, Ritter’s behavior was despicible. Chalifor never “made a personal attack” against Ritter until Ritter started throwing stones. Ritter is a disgrace to Broward County. That being said, I think a legal opinion may be in order as to (a)whether pro bono clients need to be identified, and (b) whether such violates the County’s weak lobbyist ordinance. I DO find it comical that Ritter would reference the county lobbyist law, I didn’t think she knew that it existed. PS – I was present at the Commission meeting yesterday, and Ritter’s acting skills leave much to be desired.

  4. Broward Savvy says:

    I was there too. Brenda Chalifour has been making rude and inappropriate personal comments to commissioners for years. She was finally called on the carpet. She has worked for Dania Beach and Hollywood for a long time and never disclosed it. Ritter is the only one who had the guts to call her out. And it wasn’t stone throwing. Brenda finally got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Brenda is the despicable one. She should be banned from speaking to the commission again.

    There are plenty of lobbyists out there who don’t register and violate the law. Maybe they are next?? Does Stacy have a binder on them??

    Your implication that Ritter is being deceitful is without merit. You KNOW Russ doesn’t lobby the county and when he did, she always recused herself on any of his client issues and still does when it’s a client of his elsewhere.

  5. Davie Resident says:

    I don’t know anything about this Chalifour woman. I can tell you that Davie is against any expansion of the airport because the planes fly right over our homes. There is too much noise already!

  6. Dania Beach Resident says:

    Guess BCC is always on edge when it gets exposed for what is really behind this airport exp.

    Maybe they don’t go to the beach or JL Park, may be they don’t care if anyone stays here…. just fly in get on a boat sail out , fly out.

  7. Todd Jaeckel says:

    Over the 15 or so years I have lived in both Daina and Hollywood/Ft Lauderdale and reguardles of the people that are on one side or the other of this WAR the facts remain the same. This project should NOT be happening. It is a waste of tax dollars to a magnatude that the county can seem to get ther heads around. The true facts are that all airline have been and are continuing to Down size. In both the size of the aircrafts that are flying and the amount of flights in general. LEts not forget the FACT that the air trafic controlers union states over and over again that the air space is already over taxed. The idea that if you build it they will come is a JOKE. You can only put so many plaines in the air over Florida at the same time. The county board should pull their heads out of sand. Remember bigger is not always better. Just look at ORD,ATL,CLT and MIA.

  8. Get Over It says:

    Dania Beach is one of the most trashy cities in Broward. They should be jumping at the chance to be bought out of those homes – especially in this economy. Whether they like it or not, this will happen. Those who don’t like it can simply leave. Broward is not what it was when the airport was built and it is never going to be that way again – EVER. So let’s put away our nostalgic daydreams about what once was and face reality and progress as a county.

    Barbara Chalifour is a JACKASS and Ritter should be applauded for calling her out point blank. I remember watching that meeting, smiling from ear to ear.

  9. Taxpayer in Hollywood says:

    I understand Dania Beach is paying her $4,500 a month now; that’s over $50,000 a year; for what? What has the City gained by paying her all that money.

  10. Broward Commissioner and Lobbyist Husband Aggressively Accost Investigator | Media Trackers Florida says:

    [...] who opposed the Commission’s attempt to expand the airport runway.  According to published reports, the file, entitled,  “Is Ms. Brenda Chalifour a Broward County Lobbyist” questioned [...]

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