BY BUDDY NEVINS
Now that the Sunrise city commission has dumped the dump, Mayor Roger Wishner should find a good chiropractor.
The mayor needs an adjustment after bending over backwards for waste industry types who want to build a dump in his city.
Wishner’s machinations did no good. The project was crushed by the overwhelming opposition of Sunrise residents.
Still, last night’s hearing at Sunrise City Hall could lead one to believe that Wishner was getting paid more by the waste industry folks than their own attorney, Dick Coker.
I have seen dozens of NIMBY hearings since the 1970s. Believe me when I say that Coker did a pitiful job trying to justify why Sunrise needed a dump, formally called a waste transfer station. The veteran lobbyist appeared unprepared.
Wishner jumped in to save Coker and his clients, Green Now.
The mayor was a better advocate for the project than Coker. Unfortunately, he is supposed to be an advocate for the people of Sunrise, not a handful of waste industry execs.
Leading Coker through a series of questions that appeared rehearsed, Wishner pointed out that there was already a waste transfer station in Sunrise that had a permit to process all types of garbage.
Wishner made the proposed dump appear benign by comparison, because Coker promised Green Now will only process “dry cardboard, paper, metal and glass.
The waste would be dumped on the floor of the proposed facility, sorted and shipped out at some point. The waste processing station would operate for 16 hours-a-day “initially,” said Coker.
Green Now had their supporters in the audience, who were wearing green t-shirts with white lettering. The letters on the back said: Alu Bad.
It referred to Commissioner Sheila Alu, who has been outspoken in her opposition to Green Now.
At one point in the evening, Alu looked at the green shirts in the audience, raised her voice and said, “Sheila is not bad. Sheila is good.
Applaused erupted in the chamber drowning out a smattering of boos.
Wisher and Deputy Mayor Don Rosen seemed to favor the project before the final vote against it.
Rosen’s consulting company does business with a waste company allied with Green Now.
There is a word for what Rosen is. It starts with a “w, ends with an “e, contains five letters and rhymes with more.
Rosen should have kept his mouth shut because of the conflict, but he didn’t. He tried to justify the waste project. Shameful.
Alu openly opposed the dump and Commissioner Joey Scuotto appeared against it.
That left Commissioner Larry Sofield as the swing vote. Sofield was appointed and is running in his first election.
“I’m done with it, before the election and after the election, Sofield vowed.
Wishner can count.
And he saw the handwriting on the wall: The public was firmly against a garbage dump in their city and the mayor is running for re-election.
“At this moment in time, I don’t see support for this project, now or in the future,” Wishner conceded.
The commission voted 5-0 not to consider the Green Now project.