Making A Monkey Of The Mayor




Broward County’s staff has left Mayor Kristin Jacobs with egg on her face.

Jacobs told residents last week that they would have plenty of opportunity to protest the 21-acre expansion of the stinky Waste Management landfill in North Broward.

Then she found out that the permit to expand the landfill had already been approved…almost on the sly.

The staff snuck the approval through during the Christmas Holidays when nobody was watching. Her office received an e-mail, but there was nobody their to read it during the winter break.

Jacobs was left looking like a liar to her constituents when she assured them not to worry yet about expanding the landfill.

The mayor’s district includes almost all the residents living downwind from the dump.

How the mayor found out.  This chronology was sent her late last week (click to enlarge): 


“To say I’m ticked off is an understatement,” Jacobs told

The landfill just east of Florida’s Turnpike in North Broward is euphemistically called Monarch Hill by its owners – Waste Management subsidiary Wheelabrator Technologies. Monarch is supposed to evoke images of Monarch Butterflies rather than a smelly dump.

Many residents were never fooled by the corporate spin. They prefer the old nickname of Mount Trashmore.

With its reputation for fouling the neighborhood – some neighbors complain the stench is so bad they can’t use their backyards at times – there were folks who wanted to comment on any expansion.

It’s too late for that!

Notice to approve the permit was published in the legal section of the newspaper December 24, starting the 14-day comment period.

No comments were received so the permit routinely went into effect on Jan. 7 – one day before Jacobs assured the residents they would have a chance to protest the expansion.

“I was just floored when I found out,” the mayor said. “You’ve got a bunch of regulators who don’t realize the impact of what they are doing.  This has been the most nontransparent process I’ve ever seen.”

In an obvious attempt to save face, Jacobs plans to thrash it all out at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

She also will suggest some new rules to guarantee bureaucrats can’t sneak through important approvals in the future.

To me, it sounds like closing the barn door after the horse ran out.

And to this cynical journalist it is too much of a coincident that one of the most controversial approvals in Broward slipped through the cracks over the Holidays. After all, this is a community where Waste Management has long had its tentacles wrapped around the flanks of county government.

The whole deal just smells to me.

But not as much as that expanded landfill will smell to Northwest Broward residents in the future.


The essential part of a memo from County Administrator Bertha Henry taking the blame for the landfill snafu (click to enlarge): 

19 Responses to “Making A Monkey Of The Mayor”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    My understanding is Jacobs office was one of the three parties noticed.

    Buyers remorse here?

  2. Just Beachy says:

    So long as that escaped horse is lassoed and marched right back into the corral before it devours too much fresh hay and grasses, and the farmer begins to micromanage better in the future to assure new practices are actually followed, AND we get the promised opportunity to speak up before the real final decision is made, ahem, again, our mayor might turn this into a bit of a sin rather than the mortal one in place now. Thanks, Buddy! Stay on em, kid!

  3. all that glitters... says:

    To say that this couldn’t have happened to a nicer person is a massive understatement. Going to the Congressional swearing in tomorrow Kristin?

  4. Independent says:

    You know there is a rule. If you don’t know or understand something, ASK. And not wait until a meeting to ASK because then it is often too late. Preparation is a necessity.

    Obviously she doesn’t do her homework and lets things slide. The only one that she should blame is herself. She should have known.

    It is not the administration’s responsibility to make sure she knows, it is hers.

    It makes you wonder what else she let go by without doing her homework.

  5. Gimme a break says:

    Jacobs as usual blames everyone but herself. Just because the BCC is not having meetings does not mean your office still does not run. How much are we paying her staff? Not one of them was assigned to check emails or regular mail? Kristin can claim she is a victim here but facts are facts her and her staff took their eye of the ball. Commissioners and Staff make a lot of money, unless her and her entire office were using their vacation leave, then they were still on County time. Do your job Kristin and staff.

  6. retirement says:

    Since we are talking farm analogies, its time to put Mayor Jacobs out to pasture.
    Or if it truly is a failure by county administration, I expect her to motion for Bertha Henry’s firing at Tuesdays meeting. To embarrass a board member like this is unacceptable.

  7. Inquiring Mind says:

    Well said GIMME A BREAK. THANK YOU Buddy!!
    She makes +/-$92K plus travel and other perks, has at least 2 staffers with a +/-$300K budget to pay them and run her show and has been at this for 10 years term limited come 2014. So that sounds like a FULL TIME job to me, not to mention the “Mayor Crown” she gets to wear for a year. She knows after 10 years in office that the ‘dirty deals’ and others get snuck thru when no one is minding the store. OOPS!! Does she or her staffers ever ask what hot button items are coming up? Contract renewals? licensing renewals? Permits application renewals? Sometimes the most important thing a person on BCC can do is ASK QUESTIONS! Say what you will about Ilene Lieberman Esq. but she ALWAYS asked questions. Maybe she liked to ‘grille’ the responders, like steaks, but she is an attorney, not a chef, and in depos and court a Good and Great Attorney ASKS QUESTIONS, usually knowing the answer they will get as the old adage goes. So Jacobs has more than egg on her face. And she wanted to be a rep in Congress? What did she think that would entail? Lunches at the Capital caferia? For any that whine about attorneys in elected office, there is a reason they are good at their elected office – because they are trained to ask questions, dig deep and do due diligence. Or delegate to very competent trusted staff. What are the QUALIFICATIONS of Jacobs staff? Or the other 8 BCC for that matter. BCC and staff are NOT ceremonial positions.
    A similar ‘fast deal’ was done maybe 10-12 years ago in Pompano Beach and Buddy, the astute reporter and historian you are may recall. A property that had some kind of chemical or oil transfer or dumping facility on the east side of Dixie around Sample Rd was on the agenda and up for approvals. seems the EQC or other county environ-type staff missed the notice, it may even have been in Jacobs district, and it slipped under the radar as no one sttended meeting and tracked it, if you can imagine, with the pack of attorneys and staff involved. No one asked questions or picked up the phone to make an inquiry. Deal got done. I believe it was Jacobs that made a fuss as it was near the wells for potable water for Pompano/Deerfield customers. So she has learned NOTHING in the last 10 years on dais.
    I’ll dig for more info on this as its pre-internet docs I have. Buddy your assistance would be appreciated.

  8. Christine says:

    A mayor on vacation that doesn’t have her smart phone sending her emails? What does she think this is- 2001?

  9. Janitorincloset says:

    This is truly a fix! Waste Mgt is a Bully but
    I’m sure Dave Rivera in Creek could have called his Broward Mayor or was he away at a fat farm with his buddy Greenstien paid for by WM?

  10. I agree says:

    I have always heard that she was not the brightest bulb in the box, guess they were spot on.

  11. Floridan says:

    It may be Kristin Jacob’s error that no one picked this up, but the idea that she connived with Waste Management to sneak this through is just another crackpot conspiracy theory.

  12. Stop the Expansion of Monarch Hill Landfill says:

    How does a landfill expansion get approved with current pending Notices of Violations and a settlement agreement that have not been finalized?
    How does expansion get approved when there are ongoing water well testing results that are showing contamination that are noncompliant with the law?
    How does this permit get approved when there is an entire grass roots movement afoot in direct opposition to this expansion?
    It seems to me that Waste Management are the ones running the County not the Mayor or Commissioners.
    The Board and Staff are complicit in this disastrous event as they sat idly by while the settlement agreement was passed last week as they listened to lies being told before them about the quality of the ground water at the site.
    This will be a negative impact on the residents of this community for years to come.
    The fact they are destroying a water retention pond to enlarge the landfill will only compound these groundwater issues with increased runoff from the site.

  13. Wednesday ThursdayFriday says:

    This sort of shenanigans is why the rumor mill churns about corruption in Broward County! It certainly appears that the rumors are, in fact, truth! It stinks worse than Waste Management’s air quality violations!

  14. WM Worst Company in Broward says:

    Maybe the Mayor should not be trusting a company that lies to her face and does dealings behind her back that make her look bad while they curry her favor at the same time.

    Ah Waste Management.

    They over charge the County for decades for disposal and the County continues to do business with them.

    The County asks for them to provide a fair price in their extension agreement for waste disposal and they say go fly a kite.

    Miramar puts out its own bid to get a lower price and WM sues Miramar for awarding it to another vendor.

    Waste Management negotiates a noncompetitive procurement with the County behind closed doors and goes out and offers sweeter deals to municipalities with cash payouts for awards.

    Waste Management operates its landfill out of compliance for a year and gets rewarded with a slap on the wrist settlement agreement.

    Waste Management pollutes the Groundwater and Nothing happens.

    Meanwhile BROWARD COUNTY is literally hawking their backroom deal with WM for them just to preserve a department in their bureaucracy.

    Yes it does look like Waste management wears the pants in this relationship and the residents of Broward are getting screwed in the process.

  15. The Truth says:

    The Truth is that Kristin Jacobs always claimed she is an enviromentalist. The Truth is that environmentalist means something different than I always thought. The Truth is that to Kristin environmentalist means bigger landfills in the middle of Broward County.

  16. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    An interesting sidebar is how the mayors of Deerfield and Coconut Creek were both miffed.

    Cut out of the loop.

    The idea, I am told, is that 10% of the unincorporated area is for the landfill, and the rest is supposed to go untouched.

    Not according to Broward County planners.

    And like a previous commenter mentioned, tons of violations, and to be hit with $90K in fines. WTF man?

    I applaud Miramar and Davie. Hopefully more towns will wake up to this new reality.

  17. Watcher says:

    Floridan is right…pushing thru something when people might miss it would get someone fired where I work…

  18. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Oh Mayor(appointed-lucky-you left us for dead to run for congress-lose and then demand to be appointed Mayor-again you ar e lucky because I would have by passed you and put Comm.Shariff-in that chair-its true). She is batting a thousand here. Also to point out what is your proplem w/ Comm.Larmarca. First of all oh about a month, two, whatever Comm.Jacobs states to Comm.Larmarca what wa s your smart ass comment”at least some of us pay are bills etc” Then at her Comm. reports she states like a mouse she w/ this goofy smile states to Comm.Larmarca “I’m sorry for saying that-you know how heated things get sometimes(hee-heee-he). Then why did you say it to begin w./ Then last week Comm.Larmarca apparently doesn’t vote the way she wants him to and states (very snarley and w/ no make up on to boot) you never vote for anything I suggets anyways. So basiclly who cares what you say” Honest to God. Who do you think you are? Mind your own business chair the meeting, and leave Comm.Larmarca alone.By the way Comm.Larmarca has been a perfect gentleman to her. Me, Robert Walsh I woul d state to her right on the Comm.Floor listen whats your proplem??/ . Enough……

  19. Dear Walsh says:


    I hear Chip’s Chief of Staff is leaving soon, you so should apply for the position. Chip needs someone like you to have his back.