Broward Politics Tough For Republicans: GOP Leaders Run For Meaningless Water Board






Things are really tough for Republicans in blue, blue Broward.

After several losing campaigns, two former Broward Republican Chairs have sunk to running for seats on an almost unknown soil & water board that has no real functions.

Former local GOP Chairs Richard DeNapoli and Rico Petrocelli are currently campaigning for the Broward Soil & Water District board.




Richard DeNapoli (left) and Rico Petrocelli


DeNapoli lost a Florida House race in Sarasota two years ago, while Petrocelli failed in attempts to be elected to the Plantation City Commission. Apparently the only corridor left for them is the Broward Soil & Water District…two non-partisan races way down near the bottom of the November ballot.

The Broward Soil & Water What!!!????

Almost nobody knows what the Broward Soil & Water District does and for good reason.

They do nothing.

At least the district does nothing that costs money.

The district has had no income, no expenses and no debt for the past three years, according to local government finance reports it filed in Tallahassee.

The district also has no website, despite state requirements that it maintain one, another state report indicates.

When I investigated this board for the Sun-Sentinel nine years ago, it met in a tiny, battered office in a Davie office building. It kept sketchy minutes of its meetings. It had opaque finances.  Nobody could explain why it existed.

Yet I reported that the district managed to receive $281,520 in government grants in the fiscal year ending 2005. Much of it was spent on administrative expenses, a lame half-baked environmental project and a smattering of flyers urging preservation of sand dunes.

State records indicate that now those grants have dried up. Maybe because Broward County government already does the functions that this district was created years ago to perform – protect the environment, preserve the ecosystem, reduce flooding and defend waterways and beaches.

This group is a relic of Broward’s rural past. It was created when county government was weak and special districts were needed to perform services.

The continued existence of the district is a prime example of why people mistrust government. Despite the fact that it has no function anymore, the Broward Soil & Water District refuses to go away.

If it was a private business it would have dissolved years ago.  But the Broward Soil & Water District is government and government almost never disappears. So the district lurks out there, with its members hoping that one day somebody will pour good tax money into it again.

If two longtime conservatives like DeNapoli and Petrocelli win, they could do Broward a solid. They could work to abolish the Broward Soil & Water District.

Or maybe the Broward Legislative Delegation should take it out of their hands.



22 Responses to “Broward Politics Tough For Republicans: GOP Leaders Run For Meaningless Water Board”

  1. Bruce Edwards says:

    They will be horse shit testers to make sure no steps in it. The both are experts in that arena

  2. Zowie says:

    Buddy—-so what do these fine fellows stand to earn or make if they win the jobs? Salaries, benefits, what?

  3. Thanks guys says:

    I really appreciated the robo calls last wee while preparing and worrying about the hurricane.

    I hear they have a catch slogan

    Making Broward Soil and Water Great Again!

  4. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Better yet, voters could reject those two unqualified political hacks and elect two highly qualified candidates instead (at no cost to the taxpayer; both these seats are UNPAID positions) – candidates who might actually be able to secure grants for Broward County and create real accomplishments for Broward’s citizens!

    Look closely at candidate Jelani Anthony Harvey! This is a very smart, super-qualified young man with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and he is running for Broward Soil & Water Conservation District Seat 3.

    Jelani Harvey’s Biography: I currently work on payment delivery models at Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield where I help providers decrease health costs while also improving quality of care. Before moving to South Florida, I lived in Baltimore for four years. While in Baltimore, I obtained a Master’s of Public Health from Johns Hopkins where I was also fortunate to gain an internship at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. I have a degree in American History from Columbia University and grew up in Miramar, FL.

    Jelani Harvey’s website explains what he plans to do for the citizens of Broward County:

    Fred Segal is a candidate for Broward Soil & Water Conservation District Seat 5.

    Vote Jelani Anthony Harvey and Fred Segal
    for Broward Soil & Water Conservation District!

  5. Old Timer says:

    Will they want to be called Commissioner?

  6. Floridan says:

    The continued existence of the district is a prime example of why people mistrust government.

    I doubt the Soil & Water District, which costs taxpayers nothing and has no regulatory powers contributes to mistrust of government.

    Whether or not it is outdated is another matter.

  7. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    This Board was part of the New Deal’s programs to re-start the farming economy and it is useful for rural areas of Broward County with Farms or Ranches. There are no benefits to Commissioners except I believe reimbursement of expenses tied to the work of the Board.

  8. Why? says:

    If it’s such a do-nothing board, why did Mr. Jelani spend the money on such a nice website? (Link is in comment #4)

  9. Which is it? says:

    These two guys remind me of Keechl, because they’re perennial losers that don’t get the message.
    What is really interesting though is that this blogger (Nevins) has had a change of heart on the Broward County Board of County Commissioners if he uses them to make his point. He says “Maybe because Broward County government already does the functions that this district was created years ago to perform – protect the environment, preserve the ecosystem, reduce flooding and defend waterways and beaches.” He also goes on to say “It was created when county government was weak and special districts were needed to perform services.”

    Just a few months ago Buddy opined on how useless the county commission was because all they did was manage libraries and buses, and Rico Petrocelli was all too happy to pile on. Too bad Buddy’s a hypocrite now and he’s trashing Rico Suave.

  10. Jelani H says:

    Hello All,

    The elected board will be known as “Supervisors” and since the position is a volunteer one, the board members will be unpaid with no benefits. There is a lot of work to do, so if you have questions or ideas please feel free to send me a message on my Facebook group below. I look forward to helping Broward’s environment any way I can and to hearing your feedback.


  11. Count GFYS Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz Jr says:

    @ 4

    You should be paying for the add space.

  12. Callem as you see em says:

    PAL Petrocelli and his boy Fredo DiNapoli

  13. Rupert says:

    DePietro is one of Donald Trump’s first and foremost supporters in South Florida. I bet he hopes Trump and his people will replace the influence he lost when he pissed off Rick Scott by interfering with the investigation of Broward Health and helping ruin it.

  14. Trump = Petrocelli and DeNapoli says:

    Petrocelli and DeNapoli are Trump volunteers and campaign leaders. Trump is a climate change denier and doesn’t believe in scienceThese two Trump guys want to be on Broward environmental board. THE WORST CHOICE EVER!

  15. Don't forget Di Pietro/Trump says:

    Di Pietro, Di Napoli, Petrocelli and probably trolling in the background, LaMarca….Paisans for Trunp

  16. Truth says:

    By my count DeNapoli has lost only one election …a primary In Sarasota. He just won in a landslide for Broward State Committeeman on a countywide ballot in August. Facts is facts. Heck…this is the most attention the Soil and Water district have gotten in years lol.

  17. Disgusted says:

    Go Trump….Killary should go to prison.

  18. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Yes, with Donald Trump’s Campaign becoming a joke in bad taste the Republican Party in Broward looks powerless and somewhat tacky, the fact is Congressmen Alcee Hastings and Ted Deutsh who represent my part of Broward live in Delray Beach and Boca Raton respectively in PALM BEACH COUNTY! The long time Party Chairman, featured on Democratic leaning MS NBC lost to the second wife of a former County Commissioner for the minor job in thYese political universe of County Clerk, albeit it has great patronage implications. To be blunt it is NOT JUST THE REPUBLICAN PARTY in Broward County that has become a joke, but THE WHOLE POLITICAL CLASS IN BROWARD COUNTY.
    The Republican Party is declined because it has become the mouthmpiece of old White Racists of limited education, but the Democrats have cowtowed to leftists and yes none White minorities especially UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE UNDER 30 like the despicable anti-Semitic Black Lives Matter thrugs so that turns off educated Whites leaving the Democratic Party activists in Broward County with a pool of people the normal educated working people rich and poor wouldn’t go near wih a ten foot pole. Yes, the Republicans are a joke, but so are the “leaders” of the Democratic Party.
    There is a reason we have Trump vs Clinton, two of the least popular people who ever ran for office. BECAUSE THE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP OF BOTH PARTIES IS FROM THE GUTTER.

  19. Mail order bride... says:

    #17Thanks Richard

    you won resoundingly against a former corrupt cop who was believed to have had inappropriate contract with a young girl. Huuuuuuuuge Win

    You had Marco Rubio and most major Republicans come out against you in Sarasota. Also, a lot of Broward money was donated to your opponent, that was how unlinked you were in Broward.

    You were run out of Broward, ran out of Sarasota and now you are back looking for crumbs.

  20. Fred Segal says:

    The elected supervisors receive no pay and no benefits or reimbursement. The district has a purpose but has been hampered by actions taken back in 2006 that expire this year one of the areas it needs to work on is education of best management practices for agriculture. Yes there is still a lot of at in Broward.


    There are 14,497 acres of agricultural land in Broward County, according to the USDA. Of that, 48.5% are pasture land. I would bet a good deal of that pasture is land owners are hoping to develop someday and meanwhile, using it for agriculture to pay lower taxes.

    Yes, there are folks who grow orchids, ornamental plants and a few other farm products in Broward. There are a number of ranches for horses, too.

    Regardless of these few farmers and ranchers, Broward is one of the most developed counties in Florida.

    What can this board do that can’t be done by the county government or the University of Florida/ Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which has an office in every county in Florida including one in Davie?

  21. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @20 Buddy – This Board will be working to help the people of Broward County and it will be neither paid or reimbursed for doing so.

    Both county government employees and UF/IFAS employees require paychecks.

    Haven’t you ever heard the old saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”?

  22. Truth says:

    I’m not DiNapoli, #19. Just pointing out the facts. He wasn’t run out of Broward – he got a job promotion. He got another promotion and came back to south Florida. And looking at the records, Only a few thousand was raised by DiNapoli’s Sarasota opponent in Broward. And since his opponent was a doctor it’s not surprising that all that money was from fellow doctors. DiNaps actually raised about $100,000 mostly from Broward while running for a seat in Sarasota. Impressive if you look at it that way. He’s a force to be reckoned with or you probably wouldn’t be talking about him. Fact is also there really isn’t much for a republican to run for in Broward.