Fields’ Ways To Solve Lamberti vs. County Commission Fight

Guest Columnist

If the Sheriff  Al Lamberti thinks the county commission wants him to take a hit that is too big, then he has a few options.

First of all, he can listen to me.   I have to lean toward the commission in their fight with Lamberti.  

Everyone is taking a big hit, so why not him?

But if he doesn’t want to listen to me, he has at least three other options:

1.  Publicly tell commissioners specifically where they should cut spending outside his department.

 2.  Call on commissioners to raise taxes to cover his department by naming the millage amount.
 3.  Remove the Broward Sheriff Office from the Broward County budget by setting up a special BSO taxing district run exclusively by the Sheriff.  That way he can set his budget at anything he wants. 

Of course, he will have to personally set the tax rate, which means he will have to go out to the public to justify those taxes.  When the annual tax notice goes out, his name will be on it showing each and every taxpayer how much BSO is costing them.

My personal guess is that we will get a leaner BSO and the city contracts will no longer be subsidized sweetheart deals to promote empire building.

16 Responses to “Fields’ Ways To Solve Lamberti vs. County Commission Fight”

  1. No Cuts says:

    “Everybody is taking a hit…”
    Where has the county commission cut? Nowhere.
    They point their fingers at the only Republican in office and fail to economize themselves.

  2. Ann says:

    I tend to agree with No Cuts

    I haven’t read anything about commissioners, their staff or county personnel taking pay cuts for the coming year and eliminating pay raises.

    Instead they seem to be taking a meat cleaver approach. Let’s close a library. Eliminate a few police cars.

    They seem to miss the BIG picture

  3. Sam Fields says:

    These responses are why we are in the trouble we are in. The facts are that even in good economic times the County Commission fought with Jenne, Cochran, Navarro, etc. Reps and Dems.

    They don’t want to raise taxes for anyone—R or D.

    We have five Constitutional Officers. The state picks up 90% of the cost of the Public Defender and the States Attorney. Budget wise the Supervisor of Elections and the Property Appraiser are small potatoes. The Commissioners and their staff are chump change.

    The Sherriff is well over half the county budget.

    As a commissioner you are being asked to raise taxes for another politician. He negotiates a contract with the unions and then asks the Commission to pay for it. When they balk he and the deputies flood the Commission meeting screaming about safe streets.

    The buck should stop with the Sheriff and not the Commission.

    From the perspective of the County Commission the BSO is a $700 million albatross. From the Sheriff’s perspective the Commissioners are nine civilians who don’t understand the needs of law enforcement and detention.

    My suggestion solves both their problems.

  4. No Cuts says:

    So if it is half, lets see the county commission cut their half.

    What Sam Fields and the county commission doesn’t understand is that law enforcement is different than running the parks or doing building inspections. It is public safety and is necessary for the publics safety. There is not one other thing the county commission does that is as important. The sheriff got elected to run public safety in this county. He should be sllowed to do so without the micromanagement from the commissioners.
    How about the commissioners deciding exactly what Lamberti can cut and then they will take the consequences when crime rises?

  5. Sam Fields says:

    Dear No Cuts

    We do not disagree. Let the sheriff set his own budget and taxes.

    Or do you love poltical infighting for the fun of it.

  6. Sam Fields says:

    Dear No Cuts
    Let me add a thought. I am guessing you work for the Sheriff and are terrified that if he had to defend a tax increase to the public, and not the County Commission, things would pucker up in two ways—the budget and the sheriff’s sphincter.

  7. Plantation Truth says:

    Sam Sam Sam…
    Maybe it is you who is defending the Commission or better yet, is somehow connected
    What No Cuts is saying, those Commissioners make over $90,000 per year for an elected/part time job.
    Not ONE of them has lead by example by cutting their salary or at least foregoing raises.
    And why is it that the Commission can question him, but how dare anyone question them….
    Ill bet if we poured over their budget, line item by line item, we’d find plenty of waste. We all know there is tons of waste in goverment, the problem is 99% of the voters only care when their taxes are getting raised. Its us 1% who seem to fight a loosing battle with Goliath.
    What amuses me so about this website and Blog is that its like how dare we the public question you almighty journalists…..ive asked buddy a couple of questions and he doesnt answer….will you Sam?????

  8. Resident says:

    I really like option 3, if the County Commission can give up the sense of control. Actually the Commission could look really good since they will finally be able to run what they truly control. It will also be a much smaller government.

    It probably would be the Sheriff’s worse fear since now they will be directly accountable to the public, especially including taxing.

  9. Floridan says:

    The obvious solution is to make the Sheriff an appointed office — there is no good reason for it to remain the way it is. Certainly, there is no historic evidence that electing a Sheriff insures an honest and competent individual at the helm.

  10. Sean says:

    From the Broward County website:

    “Approximately 25 percent of every tax dollar raised by Broward County goes to pay detention costs.” There’s your problem. I agree the Sheriff should have his own taxing district. Then there would be a valid reason to have it an elected position. Nice idea, Sam.

  11. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Plantation truth
    From time in memoriam politicians have buried favors in the budget. As a self-proclaimed 1%er you should look into these things. The budget is a public record. If you identify waste in any government budget you can give it to Buddy on his tip line ( and I am sure he will even give you credit if you so desire to give up your anonymity.

    For a good story Buddy will rat out his wife and kids. He has attacked/insulted me more than once and I give him free mangos from my tree.

  12. Sunrise Resident says:

    Agree to disagree, Sam. First, the County’s budget and the Sheriff’s budget are apples and oranges. That being said, I, like you, would like the Sheriff to dig a little deeper.

    Unfortunately, the County Commission and the previous Sheriff (ex-con Jenne) are MOST responsible for EMPIRE BUILDING. Jenne went agressively to the cities, with cut-rate police and fire-rescue contracts, that were ABSOLUTELY subsidized by the General Fund. I sat through three County Commission meetings in 2003 & 2004, in which the Commission, led by Wasserman-Rubin and Parrish, fell all over themselves to give the Fire Department to Jenne. Most of the budget problems (not all) trace back to the Commission.

  13. Sam's Groupie says:

    Not only is the Sheriff and his budget an albatross, the whole thing is a public relations nightmare. You can’t win a PR battle with the men who have the guns. Taxpayers fear crime more than the loss of libraries or parks. I think your suggestion of making the Sheriff his own taxing entity is brilliant. (But, as I am your biggest fan, I may be a triffle prejudice.)

  14. Sam Fields says:

    Dear sunrise Resident,
    Yu are right the respective budgets are apples and oranges.
    That’s exactly why the sheriff should stand on his own two feet and set his own budget and tax millage

  15. Two Ways says:

    Sam’s way can work where the Sheriff has direct accountability to the people not just for his job but also for his spending. The other way is that the Sheriff becomes an appointed department head of the county. That way you can hold the county commission accountable for the spending.

    But for the Sheriff to do things like give the PBA a 5% raise, or hire former opponents, when he knew darn well the money wasn’t there, in exchange for their endorsements so he could get elected is over the top. For him to then casually present that tab to the county and hide behind public safety is way over the top. That’s just not accountable.

    The Sheriff needs to be accountable to the public for spending just like everybody else we elect. This current system is not appropriate.

  16. Crime watcher says:

    True Story
    60% of the sherrif’s office sit at a desk, doing what? 30% can be cut period!