Tycoon Ron Bergeron: Plantation Commission, Mayor Ignores The Environment

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

One thing about Ron Bergeron: He is not shy about telling folks how he feels.

Bergeron took the unusual step — I haven’t seen this done before — of blasting Plantation commissioners in a letter to each of them and the mayor for choosing competitor Waste Management for various disposal contracts because the company fails to meet state recycling goals.

Sun/Bergeron, a joint venture of Bergeron and a Palm Beach County waste hauler, offered Plantation a deal which met the state’s 2020 recycling goals.

The real estate/rock pit/road building/hurricane recovery/waste recycling tycoon said he wasn’t upset that he lost the Plantation contract.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life.  I’ve lost bids before and won them. What concerns me is the city’s lack of concern for the environment,” Bergeron told Browardbeat.com.

A member of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Bergeron dedicates about half of his waking hours to preserving the Everglades and the environment. The multi-millionaire owns a nature preserve in Hendry County of roughly 6,000 acres.

Ron Bergeron at his Hendry County preserve

The letter he sent to commissioners and the mayor, supplied by trash recycler Sun/Bergeron’s public relations firm, is self-explanatory.  No response yet from the city or the commissioners.

The good news for Bergeron is that Plantation has two new commissioners as of Tuesday’s election.

Here’s the letter:

 

 

Mayor Diane Veltric Bendekovic

City of Plantation

400 NW 73rd Avenue

Plantation FL 33317

 

Dear Mayor Bendekovic:

I write to you today not as a successful businessman, but as a father, grandfather and proud fifth-generation Floridian who works tirelessly to preserve the natural resources we all enjoy. In my many years of involvement with government entities, I was never as disheartened as when Plantation Commissioners abandoned their role as environmental stewards on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

City Commissioners had an opportunity to lead and protect the environment. Even when Sun Bergeron was ranked #1 in disposal of construction and demolition (C&D) because we were less expensive and process the C&D to achieve a high recycling rate of 93%, the Commission chose status quo.  Sun Bergeron’s recycling facility for C&D is second to none and recycles C&D at a rate of 93%. Our competitor’s proposal of burying or burning materials that are highly recyclable and reusable is outdated and environmentally unsound.

This isn’t about the finances, nor should it be. Sun Bergeron’s recycling plan for C&D, Bulk and Vegetative Debris would have cost a resident of Plantation just pennies-a-week more. This is about a shortsighted decision that will result in damage to our environment that will impact our children and grandchildren.

Safeguarding natural resources is something I deeply believe in.  It’s why I devote half of my waking hours to preserving the environment and safeguarding the Everglades. It’s why Sun Bergeron’s business plan includes a dozen state-of-the-art waste reprocessing stations, while our competitor burns waste in incinerators built three decades ago and then dump the leftover highly toxic ash in landfills.

My partnership feels so strongly about recycling that we freely disclosed our rates for every commissioner and member of the public to see. Our competitor never disclosed its recycling rates, the question is, why didn’t they?

Losing a contract isn’t what disappoints me. I have lost my share over 50 years. What is disappointing is that preserving our environment is apparently not a high priority for the members of this Commission.

Plantation Commissioners could have chosen to be leaders in conservation on Wednesday. If they had, then all of Plantation’s C&D would be reused for everything from clean fill in public projects to new construction materials. But they did not, so Plantation’s C&D will continue to be buried in a landfill.

They could have lead Plantation toward achieving and exceeding the State’s statutory deadline of 2020 to achieve 75 percent recycling. Unfortunately, the Commission did not make this decision. They chose a plan that will lead to expansion of landfills in our County, odor and air pollution violations, as well as water contamination risks to our neighbors to the north.

Wednesday’s decision saddened me because it was a missed opportunity to do something with lasting value for our community.  It was a setback for our environment.

Very Truly Yours,

Ron Bergeron



17 Responses to “Tycoon Ron Bergeron: Plantation Commission, Mayor Ignores The Environment”

  1. Ghost of the past! says:

    One might think that Bergeron is spewing sour grapes because his company lost the bid with Plantation. I don’t buy it. Actually a good ole S. A. investigation might be in order. Landfill’s usually smell bad, but not as bad as the Plantation deal.

  2. Tax Watcher says:

    Paid Political Adv. bought and paid for by RB and Company. Sold out by Buddy Nevins.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    @Tax Watcher.

    Yeah boy! You go with that Wheelabrator attitude.

    Maybe we’ll all be lucky enough to be like Saugus or the San Jacinto River.

    Don’t be lazy, look it up. Learn something, instead of just making fucking insipid remarks, you tool.

  4. BCDevelopment says:

    looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, must be a duck….Sun/Bergeron lost a contract bid w/ a local gov’t and is obviously not happy about it…But to hide behind this lame letter about the environment is really pathetic…..It just screams “sore loser”… even if SB are truly concerned w/ all things green and are an eco friendly group
    this letter to the Mayor & Council cheapen the credibility of that effort.

  5. residentinwaiting says:

    I have been observing this commission for a long time. It is not just their shortsighted position on recycling, but their practice of not testing the market and having one vendor (Waste Management) with a contract that has never been let out since I can remember and is older than I am.

    I have watched this commission make decisions guided by their attorney Don Lunny who has been there (and his father before him) forever as well.

    I believe that this city needs to clean house- start by looking into how much money Lunny and his firm makes and how much work they refer out, and then pick off commissioners that are stale and old and hold this city back.

    As a plantation resident, I can only tell you that I am sick and tired of staff and politicians that have been in place so long they have lost touch with the residents. I for one, for my kids who are in grade school, want a city that has a more progressive view and places greater importance on things that I care about.

    The benefits package is killing us. Changes need to be made, not for those who have 25 years invested, but for those that are there 10 years or less. Our taxes are too high and these benefit packages have to be readjusted like the rest of the markets (real estate, bonds…)

    Plantation needs new blood and people that can take us to the next level and who are aligned with conserving resources.

    FROM BUDDY:

    The current city attorney’s father Donald Lunny was hired by Mayor Frank Veltri as Plantation City Attorney in 1975. 1975!
    I would hope that the new commission majority take proposals from other legal firms to see if the city could save money. Commissioners will never know unless they ask other firms.

  6. Plantation Resident says:

    Plantation, yes the grass is greener… in another City.
    I saw that meeting and the demeanor which Lynn Stoner displayed was atrocious. It was clear she was in the bag for Wheelabrator.
    Sharon Moody also acted like a nimwit, good riddance.
    The rest of the Commission were cowards because they knew they were not doing the right thing.
    It was shameful.

  7. plantationitesunite says:

    A call to action by citizens of Plantation-
    All citizens please attend the budget hearings in Plantation

    Start asking questions

    Good point is raised about longevity of some folks in city hall

    goodbye and good riddance to Sharon Mooooooody- hee heee heeeee

  8. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Residentinwaiting: The change you are looking for is closer than you think. As your former councilman I asked that the city attorneys contract be looked at. He doesn’t have a contract!2 Decades for one Family? When I did question the “establishment” I was attacked, and the city attorney wrote a check to my opponent, Pete Tingom, because he would go along with Rae Carol, and now Diane.

    Elections also need to go to November. Dania Beaches elections were on page 2 of the ballot, not buried as everyone says. We could save a huge chunk of money, and have more input from the residents. Plantations March elections were designed to keep the incumbents in office when it only took the condos and Lauderdale West to win.

    The popular Mayor system has to go also. You can like the past Mayors, but none were actaully qualified to run a city of our size as it stands now. A city manager, who answers to the entire council, not just the Mayor would bring us to the level of surrounding cities with similar populations and issues.

    So Buddy we agree again? WOW, Write the date down!…lol

    Rico

  9. Plantation Historian says:

    November Elections favor the incumbents, anyone with any political savvy would know that. Cost of running an election to a much bigger voting pool, name recognition, having to hire a campaign mgr to run such an election is just some of the hurdles for a newcomer.
    The reason the elections should be moved to November is the cost to the City for March elections……period. Rico do your family and what few friends you have left a favor, get a job, stop talking, and stop going to City Hall and embarrassing yourself. On that Buddy may agree!

  10. watchin' says:

    Thank goodness the few Plantation residents who did come out to vote were smart enough to get Rico off the Council. He’s certainly not qualified to run a city of our size (and apparently not his own personal finances either). Allegations of corruption and impropriety follow him everywhere.

  11. Han Solo says:

    This is just a pennies issue. If you want to save some money look at the Police Department, dispatching, etc… Look at the pension obligations and forget about Ronnie B!

  12. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Hiding behind anonymity takes real courage, but I forgive you…

  13. Ghost of McLovin says:

    A guy that paves everything in sight and shoots anything that moves blasting somebody as anti-environmental. Hilarious. How many of those earth-movers, dump trucks and garbage trucks use clean energy?

  14. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    >> This is just a pennies issue.

    A penis issue, you say? Speaking of which, where’s Bob Nichols these days.

  15. frank says:

    Bergeron said it was a pennies issue. But more importantly he said isn’t the environment worth a few pennies. The same with Rico(the clown), isn’t getting your message out and having credible candidates not drowned out by low information voters worth a few pennies. Republicans are supposed to be the party of government closest to the people or is that another split you had with the party now that you need a bailout.

  16. Guardian Amgel says:

    The PD has had raises four of the last 5 years. Apprixmately 5%-8% each year. One year they skipped a raise and it was double the next year to make up for it. The Public Works, Utilities and Parks and Rec staff, from a maintenance I up to the Directors had received 3% total over the same five year period. YOU try to raise a family on $11.67 an hour. $24,372 (gross) a year less three unpaid furlough days to save expenses. At the same meeting the council voted AGAINST giving themselves three unpaid days. The Maintanance I staff, for the very most part are loyal, dedicated people that work hard and take pride in their jobs and the results of what they do. How much more can we take from them?
    Just because taxes were not raised gradually over 5 years and the reserves were depleted, now the numbers are skewed. Rip Petrocelli, Fadgen and Uria that sat on thoe council those years and wanted to look like heroes amd allowed the taxes to remain the same while our resreves were being devoured to where we were turned down for a bond!. Get your facts straight. Your taxes are NOT HIGH! Plantation is still in the bottow third in Millage in Broward county and gives you top third service. It’s crmiminal what people write without knowing the facts and depending on the naysayers to get thier informtion. God bless Plantations, it’s residents and the workers that work so hard to give you A great city while struggling to pay their electric bill. Don’t single out the top people. Look at the suffering lower echelon.

  17. pennies envy says:

    some comments ignore the fact that there are residents in plantation that really care about he environment. some of us want our children to learn about conserving natural resources and improving our environment. recycling is important to our community. the choices we make to day are important. I will join the plantationunites group to make sure we have a commission that reflects the views of all residents. disregard for the environment will not be tolerated. out with the old in with the progressive forward thinking electeds!!

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