Plantation Athletics League’s “Election” Is A Farce


At least Cuba and Iran go through the pretense of holding an election.

Not the Plantation Athletic League.


PAL elected a new board “by acclamation after the nominating committee ruled only their hand-picked candidate for each position was eligible.

Their action was greeted by protests from parents lining the walls in the small meeting room. Several left grumbling after the vote.  One man pushed his way out the door uttering “What a farce!

He was right.

Okay, Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong.  The ball is in your court.

These folks  — who elected old board members against your orders are a disgrace.

Armstrong told them last month to either clean up their act, or lose the contract to operate youth athletics at city fields and facilities.  The mayor cited misspending of parents money and the refusal of PAL to share information with the city as the reason.

She ordered PAL to elect a new board and tighten its controls over its $1.5 million in annual revenues.  Or they would be given the boot.  

Well, its time to dust off those steel-tipped boots and use them, mayor. Kick the PAL rascals out.  Even if the dispute ends up in court.

The current PAL has no intension of cooperating with the city.  That’s clear from what I witnessed Tuesday night.  

After almost four decades of covering meetings, I still can’t believe what I saw.  It was an “election held in Bizzaro World.  Or in North Korea.

About 35 attended the meeting in a two-story city building in Plantation’s sprawling Central Park.

It’s the same park where PAL hosts many of their youth athletic programs.  The non-profit serves 6,000 members whose kids play in PAL sponsored athletics.

The “election by proclamation was over in five minutes. The board proclaimed the winners after a short justification based on its own interpretation of the bylaws.

Former President Evan Krakower’s resignation speech was longer than naming a new board.  Krakower pulled himself out of the election because he said running PAL took too much time.

He suggested PAL hire a fulltime chief executive and a fulltime bookkeeper.

Krakower dismissed the dispute with city hall as “city politics.

Dan Petrovich is the new president.  He was on the previous board, almost guaranteeing further trouble with city hall. 

The question is this: 

Does a bunch of self-appointed PAL directors run the city.

Or does the mayor.

I say the mayor should run the city including the youth athletic programs.  At least she is voted into office in a real election. Not by proclamation.


Previous posts on PAL are here.   And here.

42 Responses to “Plantation Athletics League’s “Election” Is A Farce”

  1. insider says:

    Buddy Nevins seems to be one sided. Great reporting a hole

  2. insider says:

    Bert Nevins is a hack reporter. Who works for a rag.Good job loser.

  3. insider says:

    Good answer. Why don’t you address the question. How come you did not interview anyone on the board. I will tell you because you are not a good reporter.

  4. PAL Friend says:

    Buddy – You probably have seen some of my replies on here, so you know I’m not a fan of the old board. But Insider is right. You should have interviewed somebody from the board.

    The President and Vice President did not run for re-election. The previous president resigned sometime last year. This is all good for the program.

    The new president Dan Petrovich served only one year on the board as recording secretary. The treasurer had only served one year with the board also. So, they weren’t really part of the problems of the past.

    The two other new exec board members are longtime volunteers and capable individuals.

    These are major changes. I don’t necessarily agree that certain people were prohibited from running, but honestly speaking, the changes should be enough for the mayor to gives these individuals to prove that this indeed a new era in PAL.

  5. admin says:

    I did interview somebody from the board.
    You may not agree that certain people should be prohibited from running, but that is what the mayor wrote in her letter. That was her decision.
    The meeting was a heavy-handed joke. It appeared designed to keep some of the old structure and people in place.
    And, by the way, why doesn’t PAL produce the documents the city is seeking? Why is city hall forced to threaten PAL with a law suit because they refuse to cooperate?
    If that is indicative of PAL’s new era, its the wrong era.

  6. Pal Volunteer says:

    What are the names of the new board members?


    PAL Friend,

    I would like to clarify for you:

    The newly “elected” president failed as a baseball commish so bad that the former prez had to remove him.

    The newly “elected” VP has never been a commish and is very rarely seen at the field. Neither is the Prez… neither one of these guys is either a coach, or a PAL parent, thus have no connection to the games, teams, fields of play, etc…..

    The newly “elected” treasurer clearly snubbed the Mayor’s request for a new Exec Board by running again…… not to mention that she/ her husband is also the treasurer for the travel soccer program which has turned into a profit center……….at the expense of free usage of the PAL fields…..

    The newly “elected” Recording Director is a mystery. Just elected in one year ago as Softball commish and has now bailed on softball to get ugly in politics……… why???

    All of the above is water under the bridge since the mayor is already terming the contract as we sip our coffee this morning…

    thanks for ruining the program!!

  8. PAL Parent says:

    I was one of the stunned and frustrated parents at last night’s meeting. Yes, the members serving as commissioners on the board are very dedicated and hard working. The problem is that someone who put their name in to run for the position of president was taken off the ballet although he met ALL of the qualifiations to run for the seat. The nominating committee (comprised of a very small number of board members) decided that this person could not run for the seat because of some abstract reason even though he met the qualifications listed in the by-laws. This is the problem with the PAL board. They are blatantly disregarding their own rules to serve their purpose. Putting in an executive board of their own choosing against their members desires is clearly illegal and improper and negates any good the rest of the board is doing.

  9. PAL Parent says:

    Bravo Buddy!!

    The “Nomination Committee” decided who could run by manipulating the by-laws, then adjourned the meeting by declaring the new board in place without an ounce of respect for what the parents or other board members were saying.

    What a joke that Dan, who is on the Nomination Committee, saw to it that he was the only name “eligible” to run for President!

    Since when is what is written on the web-site as criteria for eligibility as meaningful as the BY-LAWS!! The web-site can be changed at anytime on a whim and without vote!

    They are supposed to follow BY-LAWS… that’s what they are for!

    They kept the same faces and names on the board, just shuffled the seats.

    This is not what the mayor meant by A NEW PAL BOARD!!!

    A farce is right Buddy, you rule!

    All we can do now is wait for the mayor to do the right thing…

  10. Jupiter Lady says:

    The crowd wanted Jim Murray as a choice for president even though he is a quitter. If the kids leave a program they are black balled for a year. Jim Murray did worse he left his position as ETHICS adviser took his ball and went home. Good choice. One thing for sure people are stupid!

  11. cody says:

    Slow day Buddy??? 6000 members in PAL and 35 show up for an election in which 20 where part of the administraion…Yeah must be big time problems in PAL .. The ground swell is overwhelming… Just shows how a few disgruntled people and a hack reporter can ruin a perfectly fine program and turm a mountain into a mole hill

    FROM BUDDY: The number of people at the meeting did not have anything to do with the interest in the issue.
    PAL’s leadership used the oldest tricks in the book to tamp down criticism. They held the meeting in a small room that was overcrowded with 35 people in it. The room was located in an isolated section of the park, far from the parking lots and in the middle of the athletic fields. There were no notices anywhere that the meeting was being held.

  12. Bill Bzdek says:

    For the record the position of marketing director posted on the website was vacant for 6 months , Why? Its work.

    The fact is being on the board or being an administrator in a sport is a whole bunch of damn hard work , can’t please everbody , and your thank you is to have people throw darts and criticize your performance.

    Anyone pro or con in these blogs knows how much work it is.
    Many a PAL widow or widower out there!

    There were a number of positions up for relection , yet no one put their name in for most of the positions. Fact.

    35 people present , does that include the board members?

    Might be a record turnout !! Fact

    There are over 6,000 voting members ! Fact

    Does not sound like they are to concerned about all of this drama.

    And Buddy the most amazing thing here is you call PAL names like Cuba and Iran then you say its the Mayors decision who should be on the board . So she must be Castro, Chavez, and Abrmanajin.

    The mayor , over 60,000 registered voters in Plantation , less than 10% vote.
    Why has she fought to keep elections in March?
    Manipulation of the vote.
    Whoops November more people vote and we can’t control it . How do you get elected ? Old Plantation Politics!!!!!

    And its costs the city $100,000 and more ( Dr Snipes).

    Thank you

  13. Bill Bzdek says:

    For the record the position of marketing director posted on the website was vacant for 6 months , Why? Its work.

    The fact is being on the board or being an administrator in a sport is a whole bunch of damn hard work , can’t please everbody , and your thank you is to have people throw darts and criticize your performance.

    Anyone pro or con in these blogs knows how much work it is.
    Many a PAL widow or widower out there!

    There were a number of positions up for relection , yet no one put their name in for most of the positions. Fact.

    35 people present , does that include the board members?

    Might be a record turnout !! Fact

    There are over 6,000 voting members ! Fact

    Does not sound like they are to concerned about all of this drama.

    And Buddy the most amazing thing here is you call PAL names like Cuba and Iran then you say its the Mayors decision who should be on the board . So she must be Castro, Chavez, and Abrmanajin.

    The mayor , over 60,000 registered voters in Plantation , less than 10% vote.
    Why has she fought to keep elections in March?
    Manipulation of the vote.
    Whoops November more people vote and we can’t control it . How do you get elected ? Old Plantation Politics!!!!!

    And its costs the city $100,000 and more ( Dr Snipes).

    Thank you

  14. Pal Volunteer says:

    Get a life Bill. Take the beagle for a walk.

  15. Bill Bzdek says:

    Basset Hound

  16. Floridan says:

    I served for many years on the board of a youth sports organization (not PAL), and it is hard work that goes largely unappreciated (or at least unrecognized) by the majority of parents.

    Most of the work, however, involves developing and enforcing rules, with attendant paperwork, to keep coaches and parents from trying to secure an unfair competitive advantage.

    Those who are willing to volunteer often end up becoming petty autocrats, spending an inordinate amount of time in Machiavellian efforts to maintain their power.

    There is no complete solution, but one way to moderate the problem is adopting term-limits for youth sports officers.

  17. pal parent says:

    What a shame! PAL is a program to develop and enrich our children’s lives. It is not a political situation. I guess when there are questionable finances and shady dealings it does become political. PAL-open your doors and let people who really care and have children in the program participate in the decision making. It is a sin that Jim Murray was not allowed to run due to some “ego and fright” of the current board. I think we may leave PAL and have our kids play sports elsewhere due to this fiasco.

  18. PAL Friend says:

    Bill Bzdek – Based on your posts, you like to cite “facts!” I wonder if you’re willing to dispute the following facts:

    a. FACT – When you were an executive board member, the treasurer stole over $100,000. When he was caught, he was told to repay, but somehow payment wasn’t fully made, and the amounts stolen was removed from the book. UNDER YOUR WATCH.

    b. FACT – When you were president, you engaged your friends to perform consulting services. They were paid over $32,000 and there were no signed agreement and NO WRITTEN manual submitted for services rendered. What was given to the auditor? The bylaws that was loaded online. Tell us Bill… What in the website is worth $32,000?

  19. PAL Friend says:

    I saw somewhere, at least on 2 blogs that the PAL was formed so that parents can file their complaints and not take up city time.

    Why and when did PAL become so independent and consider the city as adversary? Unbelievable.

    Over the past years alone, my kids have been on 15 different teams. Basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, flag football. Each time, we were just happy to play, be on the fields and go home.

    Who really needs the board? Most parents don’t enough they exist and certainly, no one really knows what they did. Honestly, we can do what Coral Springs does. Each sport is run separately and they report to the city.

    I would prefer that the present system PAL be maintained. But if this baloney going on doesn’t cease, then we all have to make changes.

  20. PAL Friend says:

    Bill – I just saw the audit report that supposedly “passed with flying colors.” Would you like some “facts” about it?

  21. Bill Bzdek says:

    Hello Pal Friend , seems my facts are under my name and they are facts . I suggest if your facts are facts own up. Then if your facts are wrong that would be called slander . Easy to throw darts and lies when you you use a cover.

    I think I would call your blogs cowardly at best.

    Not sure where the consultants work is posted today , not my friends or my company as Mr. Thomas Y Jimenez stated ,but a whole lot of work was done in every sport and the board. All In place when I left . PAL Friend that is a fact. And a great big deliverable report and manuals for every sport was the outcome!FACT!
    No money lost on my watch . Fact!

    As to audit report I would hope it gets posted , public record.

    Will be at Webby’s Monday Nite 8 pm . I will buy you a beer just to show no hard feeling, Bill

  22. Pal Volunteer says:

    The Thousands of Parents dollars spent on the consulatants is a joke, Not one sports commissioner on the PAL board has ever looked at the so called manual for their sports.
    Another frivilous example of people spending other peoples money like drunks. PAL Friend has you and the board pegged.

  23. PAL Parent says:

    Why would the board deny the eligibility of a PAL parent, who has a long track record as a great coach? He served on the board before, and respectfully resigned in good standing because of the obvious BS. He has the passion, the skills, the dedication, the business sense, the smarts, the good of our children at heart, and has had both feet in the program for almost 10 years. He is willing to VOLUNTEER his time to better this program, and yet he is denied. Go figure.

  24. Jupiter Lady says:

    Pal Volunteer people that complain the most do the least!

  25. Pal Volunteer says:

    I think we can all agree, including Basset Hound Bill, that if had been a forensic audit, heads would be rolling in the streets. Fortunately for the guilty parties, classy Mayor Armstrong always “Takes the high road”. She gave the group an opportunity to step away gracefully. Hopefully they recognize that and PAL will clean up their act under new leadership and complete their mission statemnt.

  26. TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE !! says:

    Jupiter Lady

    You are so clueless!!!!

    Go walk your dog…………

  27. PAL Friend says:

    Bill – So I saw the docs going around.

    First: Based on the June 2008 where Jimenez stated that he didn’t think there was misappropriation, & from the laundry list I read, he was questioning the overall mismanagement of PAL and based on the on the audit, he was right.

    Second: Guess what? Your name wasn’t mentioned at all. From what I was told, the only people who named you as the culprit who engaged those consultants, were the previous board people. They threw you under the bus. You’re defending the same people throwing you under the bus! Incredible!

    Third: I am not being cowardly. I just don’t want you to lose focus and find ways to attack me and divert attention instead of defending yours and the board’s actions.

    ONCE AGAIN, you don’t even acknowledge the $100,000 stolen while you were an executive board member. You know and I know that there is no work product submitted to PAL that is worth $32,000. May I suggest that you ask your friends what “deliverable report” was submitted to the auditor?

    Finally, if you ask me to give you my take on the audit, and you still think the board did not mismanage, then I quit. If on the other hand, you agree that they mismanaged PAL money, I will send you a $100.00 gift certificate to take your wife out to dinner, along with my “Let’s all get along card” with my real name and signature! Not a bribe, but a thank you note.

  28. PAL Friend says:

    I changed my mind…. I will send along with my card, a $100 donation to the ASPCA in your name.

  29. Jupiter Lady says:



  30. Plantation Mom says:

    Jupiter Lady, now you are calling Jim Murray a liar? Interesting. If you know so much about what is going on, the players, the internal memos, blah blah blah…why don’t you stand up and answer the question about the $100,000 stolen from PAL that others skirt around? And, why didn’t you stand up and do something about it? All I can say is that PAL would have been much more organized, ethical and respected with someone like Jim Murray at the helm. Water under the bridge now. Hopefully, Dan P. will do a better job as President than he did when he was in charge of the baseball program.

  31. PAL Friend says:

    Plantation Mom – I hope that Dan P. indeed does a good job. I don’t know enough about his time as baseball commissioner.

    I hope that the new board at least addresses the issue of the concession money that wasn’t reconciled. The audit stated “Since the funds were commingled with the other concession income from PAL, it was not possible to reconcile the differences.”

    What other concession income was there? Not baseball or softball, that’s where the $1,000 monthly payment came from. I don’t think it’s soccer, they have separate accounting. If it was commingled with football and the auditor couldn’t reconcile, then the football system was deficient. I don’t think it was football.

    So, I’m curious what other cast transactions there were, other than registration, that 6 or 7 monthly $1,000 payments were commingled with.

    So, I hope that Dan P and the rest of the board looks at this issue at least.

  32. PAL Friend says:

    PAL Volunteer – You are right about the commissioners not knowing about any manual. According to the report of the auditor, “An actual manual from “*** Consultants” may be in storage but was not available for my review.”

  33. PAL Friend says:

    Bill Bzdek – According to the audit, PAL gave out $9,644 in gifts. $3,500 to city employees and the rest of $6,144 to PAL volunteers. and $3,544 has no record of who received it.

    Again, this may be in accordance with the then guidelines, but was it necessary, especially since PAL lost $76,000 in 2008 alone?

    I understand the mayor has asked the PAL to stop giving these gifts to city employees. But there was no mention of the PAL gifts to volunteers. The auditor merely recommended that such gifts be documented.

    BIl – Should I go on? Would you like to know more of what else went on that makes it difficult to understand how the audit “passed with flying colors?”

  34. Pal Volunteer says:

    A copy of the manual may be in storage? = $32,000 of PAL parents money? Another disgrace !!

  35. Bill Bzdek says:

    Okay I guess no one wants a beer at Webbys .

    Fact: In 2002 we engaged a local respected consulting firm to work with every sport every board member and our outside accounting firm to put together processes , procedures , controls for the entire organization.

    Outcome; After a lot of hard work for busy volunteers and with many not wanting to do it., A procedure and process manual and guidelines for each sport was finally completed and each one was voted and approved by the board . In fact once approved any real changes to a sport or procedure would require board and sport approval.

    Goal: Elimate the potential of one person becoming the king or queen of their sport( personal fiefdom )
    If after approved you want to change it must vote on it.

    Why did we do this ? The minutes of the Park and Advisory Board , of which I gave a PAL report at every meeting will reflect how we were trying to improve the organization to correspond with the new contract we were trying to forge with the city.
    Pat Roberts for sure knows as not only was he on the Parks and Advisory Board from 2001 till now but was John Odenweillers Assistant along with Dan Kurzawill.

    The consultant was on a retainer and the process took almost 3 years not sure it was $32,000 but might be close. However I am suprised it was not more as getting some of the sports commisioners and administrators and travel programs to do it was like pulling teeth.

    Why it went in a closet and was taken off the website after I stepped down in June 0f 2006 you would have to ask Joanne Greenwood , Jim Murray , Compliance , Pat Roberts .

    It was complete , excellent final product , incuding financial guidelines and it was delivered .

    For the record if there has been any failures of the past boards it is the fact that somehow it was abandoned however I would strongly urge the new board to contact Ray Semanski, or pull it out of the closet and dust it off update it and use it for what it was designed for .

    For the organization to survive it must have processes , procedures and guidelines . Dynamic but you must have a baseline.

    Example : took down the goalposts on field 1,2,3, after young flag player almost killed himself headfirst no helmet. Fact.

    Guidelines for the flag procedures developed with flag and consultant addresses this , yet less than 2 years later flag was going to spend money to put goalposts back up . MADNESS!!!

    The sports guidelines where also developed to give a new commisioner a roadmap and for parents a clear roadmap as to what always was a mystery.

    How does a draft work?
    How does sponsorship work?
    How does travel soccer operate?
    Who are our vendors ?
    And on and on and on!

    Any more questions see you at Webbys 8 pm Monday. Bill

  36. PAL Friend says:

    Hi Bill – where exactly is Webby’s?

    Out of curiosity, will you be addressing that $100,000 stolen while you were a board member? Or will you continue to completely pretend that no one is asking you? It’s really a yes or no question.

  37. PAL Friend says:

    Oh, by the way Bill, you seem to know exactly what that consulting agreement was all about.

    Does that mean that you have actually seen the deliverable report that you said existed?

    Was it more than 50 pages, 100 pages? I mean, you actually saw the final product, right?

  38. Plantation Truth says:

    Bravo Bill for actually answering these SCHMUCKS!
    Now, I know they will say I too hide behind the cloak of the Internet, which I am…but….
    it is these “complainers/changers” that dont even take the time to attend a Council meeting or PAL meeting to voice their concerns.
    For the record, I am not a parent, have no kids in PAL and am only a concerned citizen.
    But, it is these vocal people, that jammed the city council debates to hoot and holler like children every time Rico got up to speak and attributed every issue back to PAL. the funny thing I find now is that the “corrupt’ Rico is gone, but the PAL fiasco still persists!
    So now, what do we have….Pete Tingom….I did give this man a chance but so far….lame duck and boring…..oh yeah….Armstrong/Bendekovic lackey.
    Well guess what people, Rico is gone, Tingom is in and all of you concerned “citizens” have not been able to fix/correct or better yet IMPROVE the city’s relationship with PAL…..
    You know why, that would mean you would have to take time out of your lives to get invovled…..
    Instead, the city is going to sue PAL for breach of contract….and you know who makes out on that…the Law Firm of Brinkley, Morgan, Solomon, Tatum,
    Stanley & Lunny, LLP…..DON LUNNY

  39. PAL Friend says:

    Plantation Truth – Referring to Blog #19 which I posted, I keep asking myself the question, what is the purpose of the board?

    It was first set up to handle parent complaints. Then it became it’s own good ol’ boy network. For just about every sport need, it has to be the city anyway that gives the permit.

    The city has a sport supervisor who represents the city, and nowadays, this supervisor is involved in giving permits, helping in scheduling, and making improvements.

    What do we need the board for? I suppose that they are in charge of the money. But in 2008, maintaining the board cost PAL over $100,000. C’mon now. We could use that money to get better equipment or upgrade the facilities.

    I say go ahead and eliminate the board, and let each sport be run by the volunteers. Let’s be realistic, the sports commissioners on the board care first and foremost about the sport they represent. And these commissioners have always said that they attend meetings to make sure that the board doesn’t mess around with their sport.

  40. PAL Friend says:

    Plantation Truth – would you mind asking Bill Bzdek a question? Did the treasurer of the board during a period when he served as an executive board member, in fact steal over $100,000 and ordered to pay it all back. Then could you ask Bill if the amount was removed from the books? Maybe he’ll answer you.

  41. Plantation Truth says:

    PAL Friend
    I think that question has been asked and it is a valid question and deserves an answer…..
    Once again, where the heck has the City been all of these years. Regardless of wether PAL is a volunteer orginization, the city has alot of oversite and responsibility. Where was Jim Romano and his employees, where was the Parks and Rec Advisory Board. If that amount of money was “stolen”, and the city knew this, why hasnt there been an investigation conducted by the PD for Grand Theft/Fraud?
    Now we have the city taking an offense posture when they should of been defensive the whole time and looking out for the kids and the city

  42. Plantation’s Armstrong Is One Tough Cookie : says:

    […] PAL held a confused “election” in June for a new board.’s post on the story is here. […]