Broward Commissioners Snub Jamaican American, Republican Colleagues

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

 

Commissioner Tim Ryan would have us believe that his Broward County Commission colleagues are so unified that they should be holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

Here is what Ryan said Tuesday’s meeting:

“When we talk about what’s happened so frequently in Washington and the disfunction where Democrats and Republicans can’t get along, I think we see a different type of mindset here on the Broward County Commission.”

Then here is what Ryan’s all-Democratic colleagues did Tuesday:

  • They blackballed their colleague Commissioner Chip LaMarca once again, refusing to give him the ceremonial titles of mayor or vice mayor simply because he is Republican.
  • They rejected Commissioner Dale Holness once again for the ceremonial vice mayor’s post simply because they don’t like him.

LaMarca and Holness should have been named because of their tenure alone. Both were first elected in 2010.

Outgoing Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief was also elected in 2010.

And Ryan, another former mayor, was first elected in 2012.

No one has served on the County Commission longer than Holness and LaMarca without being mayor or vice mayor. Does that sound like fair treatment from a unified commission?

LaMarca said publicly Tuesday he had given up trying to be vice mayor or mayor. He was told a year ago the jobs would never be his because he is a Republican.

It must be noted that LaMarca was elected twice as a Republican, so his eight Democratic colleagues apparently believe they know better than the voters.

The repeated partisan snubs of LaMarca is bad enough.  The spurning of Holness is inexcusable on a different level, too.

Black and a Jamaican American, Holness represents two of the fastest growing ethnic groups in Broward. His repeated rejection insults these communities.

Commissioner Michael Udine realized Tuesday the unfairness of robbing Holness. He nominated Holness as vice mayor, upsetting the carefully choreographed plan to name Bogen.

Knowing something about unfair treatment, LaMarca seconded Holness’ nomination.

“The question hasn’t been answered why Commissioner Holness hasn’t been mayor not once, but twice,” LaMarca said.

The question was more rhetorical than real. LaMarca knows the answer: Holness hasn’t followed the Commission’s traditional playbook.

 

 

 

Dale Holness (right) and Alcee Hastings

 

 

He has run candidates against his colleagues. He has struggled with Sharief and others over who will inherit the political leadership of Broward’s black community mantle from U. S. Rep. Alcee Hastings someday.

Are those good reasons for blocking Holness from the honor of being vice mayor or mayor?

Commissioners Nan Rich and LaMarca and Udine answered that Tuesday by voting for Holness to be vice mayor. Holness voted for himself.

Wearing the black hats are Broward Mayor Beam Furr, Steve Geller and Bogen, Ryan and Sharief.

A 5-4 vote against Holness, which is not the portrait Ryan paints of an unified commission.

Sadly this ill treatment of Holness took place on a day of sorrow for the commissioner.  At the start of the meeting he announced the death of his son, David Andrew Holness, 28.

The next time Ryan feels the need to preach about how the Broward County Commission is so united, here is a suggestion:

Look down the dais, Tim.

See Holness and LaMarca? They are your colleagues and a traditional honor has been stolen from them because petty politics has divided commissioners.

 

 



23 Responses to “Broward Commissioners Snub Jamaican American, Republican Colleagues”

  1. tom James says:

    I don’t think anyone deserves a vice mayor spot based on the fact they are a republican or Jamaican.
    This smacks of tokenism at best and not what America is about.

    FROM BUDDY:

    This is about Democrats who proclaim their support for identity politics when campaigning, but who ignore the representative of those communities when picking a mayor.

  2. Sad but true says:

    Thank you very much for your post and the forum to comment. The duplicity and bias of the seven junior electeds is despicable and now on the record. Furr clearly was not going to take the high road and decline the nomination.
    Please note Sharieff has worn the mayor hat twice now.

  3. Le Peerman says:

    I happen to agree with you Buddy. This constant bypassing of the two is not only childish but shows the character of our county commissioners.
    Very disappointed once again
    Le

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Yes Buddy i agree with u 100%.I even went down there last year to voice exactly what u just stated.Yes,i signed up to do a citizens delegation.I here u loud and clear.Also speaking of Chip Lamarca and him running for state rep and his open comm.seat.

    Here in ft.lau with the three running for mayor im willing to bet win,lose or draw either Bruce Roberts and or Charlotte Rodstrom or Dean Trantalis could run. Dean here although.not in the county district could very easily saw move in…the Galt…..Or Roberts who actually lives in the district. Rodstrom could run also.She could lease an apt. in a New York minute.

    Or on the other take Jack Seiler.Although i think he has his eye on becoming the first elected mayor of broward.This is the route i see Seiler going.

    As far as Dale Holeness getting the shaft.Its the same old Bs per usual.I like Dale and he is in my prayers with the loss of his son.Have faith God will get u through this tragedy..

  5. Tired of self serving politicians says:

    Tim Ryan, who represents Dania Beach, just ripped a page out of that city’s political playbook. Ryan demonstrated total disrespect for fellow commissioners in the same manner that Walter Duke, a resigned commissioner from Dania Beach, did when he was in office.
    Duke, as mayor, failed to work with fellow commissioners to replace a commissioner who resigned.
    Duke prevented fellow commissioners from attending state level meetings.
    Duke tried to kick a fellow commissioner out of office when that commissioner was hospitalized with a life threatening medical problem.
    Duke blocked citizens from serving on city boards, making it difficult to reach a quorum.
    Duke showed disrespect for the voters who elected him by resigning from office with 8 months remaining. Evidently, he wants to continue the same circus he ran in Dania Beach in Ft. Lauderdale.

  6. Floridan says:

    As long as the County Commissioners are elected in partisan contests, I don’t see any reason they shouldn’t deny the minority member(s) the opportuity to serve as the figurehead of that body. (I say this as someone who has great respect for Commissioner LaMarca).

    This is no different than what is going on elsewhere — would the Republicans in Tallahassee elect a Democrat to a leadership position. Or would the Congressional GOP? Of course not.

    The possible solution is having nonpartisan elections for the county commission.

  7. Reality Check says:

    Dale Holness would have been VM and Mayor long ago if he didn’t meddle in his colleagues elections and run people against his colleagues. Buddy you conveniently forgot to mention that Dale Holness had his daughters bf run as a write-in candidate in the D2 2014 election, specifically to lock up the primary to give his candidate a better chance. First he lied about knowing this guy, but when he had to testify in court it was revealed that he was in fact Dales daughters bf! And he does things kinds of tactics in many other of his other colleagues races EXCEPT Chip, Nan and Udine.. coincidence? I think not..

  8. Ryan Ross says:

    With all due respect to the winners, I’ll be doing everything I can to create a vacancy in the Vice Mayor seat. Let’s hope after the defeat of Mark Bogen in the primary, we can vote for someone with a history of service to their communities and constituents.

  9. Kevin Bolling says:

    Mickey (Michael Udine), has a long list of NOT DOING THE RIGHT thing. Parkland is not better, because he was Mayor, but his friends made lots of money. He seems to have bigger dreams, so puppet stuff is up his ally. He lives in our community,I like him personally but may be the worst Public Servant I’ve ever known.

  10. Michael Udine says:

    Kevin, not sure what you are talking about, but thats ok. From my perspective, I always tried to do the right thing. Personally, I think many great things happened over the last decade in Parkland. You are entitled to your own opinion on any issue that you can think of and thats cool. You told me many times over the years you weren’t happy with how you were treated with your business in Parkland. You kept telling me you were going to run for office and run against me. You should have! None of these elected offices belong to anyone, take your shot and do a better job! I like you and your family as well and I respect you using your real name, says quite a bit about your character. Enjoy the weekend.

  11. Bernie Sanders didn't win? says:

    Lol.. Ryan Ross you have about as much chance of beating Mark Bogen as Bernie Sanders had of winning the Democratic primary.. your dreams are cute though! Reach for the stars I guess right? Lol jokester!

  12. Let's Be Honest says:

    This is my first time commenting on your article. In short, your article is so wrong and misleading.

    There is only one person responsible for Dale Holness not being put in a leadership position like Mayor or Vice Mayor. That person is Dale Holness himself.

    Please tell me why any of the commissioners would vote to have him in a leadership position when he works against his own Democratic commissioners at election time. He supported Barbara Sherif’s opponent; He supported Beam Furr’s opponent and not only did he support Bogen’s opponent but he put his daughter’s boyfriend as a write in candidate in Bogen’s race and forced the election to be postponed and decided by the Supreme Court.

    So, lets not be naive and act like this is a surprise. He has been passed over year after year only because he has been trying to oust his fellow Democratic county commissioners. Maybe he should learn to stay out of their election and they will support him.

    As for Lamarca – he has been quoted in the newspaper saying he is the only fiscal responsible commissioner and at times has criticized his commissioners. And he wonders why he does not have all of their support? Are we pretending to be naive?

    It will be interesting to see if Nan Rich and Michael’s Udine’s support of Holness comes back to bite them when they want to be Vice Mayor or Mayor. What a stab in the back to their fellow commissioners for voting with Holness. Maybe Holness should put someone in their race and we will see how fast they change their tune.

    Buddy – you have been around a long time. I did not think you liked National Enquirer journalism…because your headline is really misleading. Whether it is Tallahassee, Washington or Broward County – you certainly know that Holness’s ethnic background has nothing to do with his not getting to be Vice Mayor or Mayor.

  13. Chaz Stevens says:

    @Kevin

    I have a long track record of nailing shitbags in office.

    Hell, Jean Robb’s last official act, on the day she passed away, was to provide the Florida Commission on Ethics a check for $1000 and her acknowledgment of five ethics violations.

    Paperwork filed admitting her guilt, and 6 hours later, she’s dead. That’s some righteous fucking comeuppance right there. Almost makes you believe in Jesus H. Christ.

    As to Udine, he’s one of the good guys, the type of politician you want in office. For you to say otherwise clearly demonstrates your lack any experience with the Robbs of the world.

    Get off your ass and run. Get out in the real world and let Social Media skin you alive. I triple dare you … it’s not fun at times.

  14. Chaz Stevens says:

    Also speaking of Chip … isn’t he yet under FBI investigation? That house payment of his … quite fucking suspicious there Chip.

    Reminds me of your misuse of the company credit card.

    Some boyo, you will get yours … and it will be fucking glorious.

  15. Rolling my eyes says:

    Mr. Udine when did you develop a conscience? I don’t remember you voting for Chip last year. If you “always try to do the right thing” you would have.

  16. Buddy says:

    After this article was posted, a County Commissioner contacted me to point out that Chip LaMarca was several times on the tail end of a 8-1 vote on important measures. Denying LaMarca the commission chair post stemmed from such votes.

    You wouldn’t expect us to support someone for chair who doesn’t represent the majority, this commissioner said. Its not that he is a Republican, but that he has a different philosophy than us, said this commissioner, who acknowledged that four colleagues disagreed.

  17. Come on now says:

    I was reading this article and comments. FIrst of all how childish is it about who
    Did or did not get to be Mayor or Vice Mayor. It’s like high school all over again. A bunch of political hacks crying for a title that has no power. All about ego.

    As for the comments about Udine, I use to live in Parkland. Udine and his commissioners ruined a once great open city. Udine allowed every developer except maybe one to do everything in Parkland. Of course Udine got all of their legal business. The more developments the more real estate closings for Udine. Nice way to use the system. How about the shooting last year at the airport ….. when the Sheriff was giving a press conference. Did you see the only commissioner standing there behind the Sheriff?? Oh. Yea – Udine – standing there to get his face on camera. Same thing with Hurricane Irma, Udine had to be standing in the background! What a joke…. if you’re not going to be speaking, then why are you standing back there?

    Buddy – don’t let yourself be used by these insecure elected officials who have an ego a mile long and only want publicity. Many of our commissioners are so unethical or egotistical – lets not forget LaMarca trying to make money influence peddling with the hospital district (and he acts so ethical) or Geller recusing himself because he is representing too many interests in the county or Holness trying his power grab throughout the county by trying to get his cronies elected. Nan Rich and Beam Furr seems to be the only ones who are out for the people and not for their own pocket.

    FROM BUDDY:

    It must be noted that Michael Udine was elected and reelected. It should also be noted that I have no proof, other than this anonymous reader, that Udine benefitted in anyway from Parkland development.

    On another point, it was Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief who tried to steal the news spotlight surrounding the airport incident. She was criticized for getting on TV and then making inaccurate statements.

  18. SAM FIELDS says:

    Glad to see Buddy dog whistled the “race card” by describing Dale Holness as a “Jamaican American” in reporting on his denial OF the Mayor’s seat.

    A bit surprised that he failed to call Chip Lamarca “Italian-American”.

    Holness obviously does not have the confidence of a majority of his fellow commissioners.

    He would not be the first one. In the 80’s Democrat Howard Craft spent two terms on the BCC and was denied the Chairman’s gavel (the name before they started calling the positIon Mayor) because they didn’t trust him as far as they could throw him.

    In the Florida counties that that run partisan I do not know of one that selects a member of the minority party to be the face of the county.

    I have not done the research, but I doubt that when the Republicans controlled the BCC they gave the gavel to a Democrat.

    Maybe Buddy should ask the GOP to pick a Democrat to be Speaker in Tallahassee or Washington.

  19. Chip LaMarca says:

    After seven years and two elections in a district that leans DEM by almost 10%, I have to thank Sam Fields for finally showing me the reason why my “colleagues” have chosen not to appoint me to a ceremonial post. Clearly they’re anti-Italian 🇮🇹! That must be it. As for the example of how a partisan County Commission can get it right and get along, please see my friend Steven Abrams (R) who was elected and served as the Mayor of Palm Beach County.
    To correct the phantom commissioner that called Buddy, just like Steve Abrams, I am very rarely on the other side of my colleagues on votes that are not budget or tax/fee related. Do the research and let this commissioner know that HE is not being honest. Of course not being a longtime Broward resident, it’s hard to keep up and learn that most of the votes we take are just not partisan.
    Happy holidays to all!

  20. Michael Udine says:

    “Come on Now” Your comments are off base.

    Local elected municipal officials are part time positions in South Florida. I am a practicing attorney and I represent individuals in South Florida. I do not represent any of the developers in Parkland or South Florida. Here is an email from 2014 from my city attorney confirming that I was allowed to work. Plus,under RESPA, individual buyers are free to select anyone they want to represent them in a real estate matter. Saying I personally benefited because Parkland grew is simply not correct. If I owned a local restaurant in town and the population increased the same argument could be made, it simply has no merit.

    (As to being present at the Airport Shooting aftermath and being active and visible after the Hurricane, I believe that is part of my job as a County Commissioner.)

    From: Andrew Maurodis [mailto:andy@maurodislaw.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:40 PM
    To: Michael Udine
    Subject: RE: Ethics Requirement

    Spoke to Grey Shaeffer, staff attorney at Ethics Commission and he confirmed.

    From: Michael Udine [mailto:michael@udinelaw.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:50 AM
    To: Andrew Maurodis
    Subject: RE: Ethics Requirement

    Confirming our numerous conversations. You have advised me, as a practicing attorney and title agent for old republic title, there is no problem with me representing buyers or sellers of residential real property in customary real estate transactions throughout South Florida, including Parkland.

    As you further advised, while I can represent individual purchasers of homes in Parkland, I cannot (and will not) represent any of the developers.

    I would of course disclose and/or recuse myself if in the future any of those individual buyers or sellers came before the commission on any other matter in the future.

    Thanks.

    Michael I. Udine, Esq.

  21. Chaz Stevens says:

    @20

    When the hurricane was coming our way, I called Michael Udine and he walked me off the ledge. In the midst of panic, Michael Udine was the voice of calm and reason.

    He was, as he said, just doing his job.

    Personally, I’m way okay with Udine’s mug on the TV. He’s doing a great job representing us.

    As for an anonymous troll, grow some balls, sign your name, and enjoy the limelight.

    FROM BUDDY:

    One of the things I admire about Chaz Stevens is that he always signs his own name to his own opinions.

  22. Chaz Stevens says:

    One other point.

    With my escapades, I’ve ended up on The Daily Show, Colbert, Fox, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT, WashPo, and literally every single news outlet (TV and media) in America.

    There were thousands of articles written about me.

    And do you know how much that earned me? Not a goddamn penny.

    So, when you’re griping about Udine being on TV, just keep those fucking silly insipid remarks to yourself. They literally make you as stupid looking as we believe you to be.

  23. Chaz Stevens says:

    @21

    Come here Buddy, I want to give you a hug.

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