Hollywood’s Shame: Hands $78k Hauling Contract To City Commissioner






Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober gets it.  Commissioner Richard Blattner gets it.

But the rest of the ethically blind, deaf and dumb commissioners believe there is nothing wrong with handing a $78,645 contract to fellow Commissioner Peter Hernandez.


Peter Hernandez

Peter Hernandez


Hernandez’s Govea Trucking has had a contract to haul sludge from Hollywood’s water plant for 12 years. Apparently nothing has changed since he joined the commission in 2012.

The heavy in this story is not Hernandez, who abstained. He is just trying to make a buck.

The villians are Hernandez’s colleagues — Patty Asseff, Kevin Biederman, Traci Callari and Linda Sherwood.

By voting earlier this month to approve his contract, these four proved that they just don’t understand the meaning of The Appearance of Impropriety.

Bober and Blattner opposed the Hernandez deal.

Asseff has been on the commission since 2008. That’s long enough to remember former Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom, who was convicted in 2007 and jailed for having a financial ties to a company winning a $18 million city contract.

By crying that it wasn’t reasonable for Hernandez to give up his city contract, Asseff proved she learned nothing from the Wasserstrom affair.

Hernandez “still has to make a living… To take the money away is not fair,” she whined.


Biederman noted that Hernandez’s company won the contract after a sealed bid.

Really? Is Biederman that naive?

Mayor Bober tried to explain the real world to Biederman.

When a company sees it would have to compete against a commissioner, “it might decide not to bid,” Bober explained.

Bieerman didn’t get it.

The proof that Bober was right and that other sludge haulers believed the fix was in:

  • There were only two bids, although other cities like Davie have had much more competition for sludge removal.
  • The second bid was suspiciously more than double the bid from Hernandez’s company. Davie’s several bids were all within a few thousand dollars.

Hernandez Attended Meeting


Hernandez also attended the bid meetings personally.  Those were meetings run by people who work for him.

What the Hollywood Commission needs is a strict prohibition by commissioners and staff doing business with the city.  Bober said he wanted one enacted immediately.

It should have been done years ago when Wasserstrom was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, the mayor conceded.

Commissioners banned from doing business with their own cities is a no-brainer.

Blatter said he wasn’t “comfortable with any elected official having a contract with the city.”

The taxpayers aren’t comfortable with such insider deals like the Hernandez contract, either.  They may be legal, but they don’t pass the smell test.


19 Responses to “Hollywood’s Shame: Hands $78k Hauling Contract To City Commissioner”

  1. Sean Atkinson says:

    Mr Nevins – you seem to be getting good at receiving clicks, but worse at research. If the writer took the time to look into the price of the product contracted by the city, and objectively assessed whether the city was getting it’s moneys worth, you would not have to rely on inflammatory adjectives like “villains” or “ethically blind, deaf and dumb”. Do you research properly, so we may come to these conclusions ourselves, if warranted. However, you did not, which makes you another adjective: an invective moron.


    I read the bids, the bid packet and watched the City Commission debate. I am satisfied I understand the situation, which is as simple as this: four Hollywood commissioners gave their colleague a contract. If he wasn’t bidding, we have no idea what the price would have been.

    Regardless, a city commissioner, his business or his family should not be doing business with the city. Such an arrangement smacks of cronyism common in the Third World.

  2. HillaryIn2016And2020 says:

    “When a company sees it would have to compete against a commissioner, “it might decide not to bid,” Bober explained.”
    Why is this true? If any hauler company wanted more business they could have easily submitted a bid. No one held a gun to their heads and heard: “Don’t bother bidding.”

    There were sealed bids submitted. This is America. If you don’t bid -there is no chance you will win the contract!


  3. charlie says:

    Clear violation of sections FS 112.313(3) and 112.313(7). Where was the city attorney when all this went down?

  4. golfcartsforfree says:

    How is this different than Stacy Ritter getting hired by her boss to pump up her pension into a cushy high paying job at the county?

    They do not deserve our money with a sales tax increase.

  5. Sue O'Hara says:

    Does the same apply when a Commissioner applies for a government job? Example: Broward Commissioner Stacy Ritter applicant for GFLCVB CEO position. One of the most coveted positions in the hospitality industry and only 50 people apply? And don’t you think being a Commissioner influenced the headhunter??? A search firm who is used by the county (commission) to search for executives?? I question how much YOU really get it? No offense.

  6. f says:

    Thanks Buddy. This is so wrong. The four commissioners need to re-think their votes.

  7. WELL SAID says:

    Very interesting….I wonder what Pembroke Pines thinks of this type of suspect action……did they not successfully sue Hollywood for miss-management of the Regional treatment Plant awhile ago? Perhaps it is time to sue again……

  8. Talks like a politician says:

    A few days ago, Hollywood was talking about changing its name.

    Suggestion: Just change the city logo to a bunch of bananas.

  9. Follow up Questions says:

    You state he has had the contract for 12 years and joined the commission in 2012, why wait 4 years for the outcry?

    Was there a significant jump in the contract amount from before and after he joined the commission?

    How many bidders were there in the previous years he was awarded the contract?

    I can see questioning the contract approval if you are talking about $800,000 or if the $80,000 was to provide paper clips and toilet paper, but $80K for sludge removal from their water plant doesn’t sound unreasonable.

    I never met the man, but I somehow doubt his intentions for running for office were based on gaining an advantage on a contract he has held four 8 years in fear he may lose it.


    The amount may indeed be cheap. That’s not the point.

    Wrong is wrong whether it is $78k or $78 million.

    Here is another point Mayor Bober rightly made at the commission: If a commissioner does business with his own city, what effect does that have on the staff that supervises the contract? Would the staff be inclined to police contracts given to their bosses as diligently as contracts given to outsiders?

  10. Hollywooditis says:

    Dear Mr. Nevins:

    I respect your opinion and the opinion of your commenters, but for one of them to suggest this was a criminal act as in the violation of a State Statute and Constitution is unreasonable- no absurd! I looked up the citations quoted by one of your commenters and that is subject to interpretation and in fact the City of Hollywood City Attorney did just that. He advised that this situation was NOT in violation of any of the Statutes or the Florida Constitution.

    As far as I am aware, during the City of Hollywood’s bidding process, there is no list of current bidders until AFTER the closing date of the “Sealed Bids”. This is evidenced on the Procurement Section of the Website at http://www.hollywoodfl.org. So as for the suggestion that other companies will not bid due to the fact that an elected representative’s company bids is also meritless. That is a subjective opinion.

    Sir, Hernandez’s company followed the proper procurement practices and was in fact the lowest bidder and thereby saved the taxpayers of Hollywood a lot of money. THERE WERE NO INSIDER DEALS and that was unfair to state. It would have been also fair to mention that the services had been provided by this company to the City for the past 12 years- when he was NOT a Commissioner and the service was impeccable.

    I argue that the appearance of impropriety lies with a Commissioner who does not declare a conflict- which he did and neither participated in dialogue or voted on the matter. Wasserstrom’s situation was completely different and for you or the Mayor to even enter in his name is misleading the public. Mr. Hernandez’s company simply submitted a sealed bid, as any other company was invited to do in order to provide the same service.

    Now for the shaming: You completely insult your readers of a different opinion when you author adjectives within your article such as “villains” “naïve” and “explain the real world” implying that your opinion and that of Mayor Bober’s is that of scholar’s and we of a different opinion and our elected representatives are pre-school level and just don’t understand a thing (I accept your apology for insulting me). I assure you sir, they understand. They understand that it is ludicrous to suggest that the City of Hollywood pay more in services (quality services no doubt) because we don’t want to appear as though the City did not follow the correct procurement process, when indeed the City did.

    Perhaps there would truly be a perception of impropriety if Mr. Hernandez’s company was not the lowest bidder and was awarded the City contract despite that fact. Only then would your article make sense. But, in fact, the City saved money for a service provided by a reputable local company with absolutely NO improprieties.

    As a tax-paying citizen. I know the City of Hollywood could use that excess money for some capital improvement projects in my neighborhood!

    PS- I usually agree with you, but I respectfully disagree this time and will not call you naïve.

    Thank you.

  11. WELL SAID says:

    I so do wish Pete Brewer was still around……

  12. Charlie says:

    (3) DOING BUSINESS WITH ONE’S AGENCY.—No employee of an agency acting in his or her official capacity as a purchasing agent, or public officer acting in his or her official capacity, shall either directly or indirectly purchase, rent, or lease any realty, goods, or services for his or her own agency from any business entity of which the officer or employee or the officer’s or employee’s spouse or child is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor or in which such officer or employee or the officer’s or employee’s spouse or child, or any combination of them, has a material interest. Nor shall a public officer or employee, acting in a private capacity, rent, lease, or sell any realty, goods, or services to the officer’s or employee’s own agency, if he or she is a state officer or employee, or to any political subdivision or any agency thereof, if he or she is serving as an officer or employee of that political subdivision. The foregoing shall not apply to district offices maintained by legislators when such offices are located in the legislator’s place of business or when such offices are on property wholly or partially owned by the legislator. This subsection shall not affect or be construed to prohibit contracts entered into prior to:
    (a) October 1, 1975.
    (b) Qualification for elective office.
    (c) Appointment to public office.
    (d) Beginning public employment.

  13. HillaryIn2016And2020 says:

    Hey Buddy, how about this? How about if he submitted a contract bid that was JUST for cost? Absolutely no profit! ZILCH PROFIT!!!! That he did that because he loves his city so much. Would you then be OK with that?



  14. Charlie says:

    (a) No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.A

  15. Hollywood tax payer says:

    Thank you Buddy for pointing out yet another example of our elected officials taking advantage of their position.

    What business person is going to bid on a contract with a city when a commissioner has held the contract is also bidding for a new one? Only one who wants to do business with the city in the future.

    Mr. Hernandez needs to make a decision: does he want to be a city commissioner or does he want to be a vendor to the city. It is wrong to try to have it both ways, no matter what his fellow commissioners say.

  16. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Mayor Bober n Mr Nevins live in the REAL WORLD where as soon as a Public Official their family member or a large contributor or close associate EVEN SHOWS INTEREST IN A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT all normal businesses STAY THE HELL AWAY!
    Without naming names, how many local firms DO BUSINESS ALL OVER THE NATION BUT NOT HERE IN SOUTH FLORIDA WHERE THEY HAVE THEIR HEADQUARTERS? Why? Because they know certain FIRMS ARE JOINED AT THE HIP TO SPECIFIC GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS usually elected public officials they bundke for. HAVING AN ELECTED OFFICIAL OWN A CONTRACTOR or VENDOR is way way over the top!

  17. Sean Atkinson says:

    It really bugs me how people are posting anonymously. If you have an opinion, like I do, or the author of this piece, have the integrity to have it in public.

  18. Sean Atkinson says:

    I think that as long as the service provided met the contract (it did) and the price was in fact the lowest (it was), asking the lowest bidder, that has already been providing the service for years, to stop bidding is a monumental waste of money. Aside from the fact that bringing this up now reeks more of a hit job than unmotivated journalism,when Hollywood City hires Hollywood contractors, the money spent stays closer to home. If we did what Mr Nevins seems to suggest we would both be spending a lot more money, and sending it out of town. Finally, I am sure Mr Nevins would have no problem reimbursing the city for the difference in price the city is getting now and the one it would end up forking out on another supplier. Talk is cheap, Mr Nevins. Finally, when Kevin Biederman does not agree with you, he just disagrees with you, it’s not that he “doesn’t get it”. Like other posters here, we all “get it” just fine, we just disagree.


    The bid appears to me to have been rigged to favor Hollywood Commissioner Peter Hernandez, who attended the bid meetings. This deal stinks as much as the sludge they will be hauling.

    You have no idea what the bids would have been and what firms would have done the hauling if Hernandez hadn’t been bidding. The city should have a prohibition against commissioners doing business with the city.

  19. North Lakes says:

    Interesting that today’s Sun reports
    $20M shortfall.. can’t explain it..”it’s complicated”… lol

    Maybe they will think twice before stupidly giving $4M to the Homeless King Conini who lives in a mansion himself.

    Vote out those involved,,,starting with Patty Assef.