Ritter Already Making A Difference On Courthouse


Stacy Ritter is proving to be a Broward mayor who is making a difference.

Mayor for just one week, Ritter announced Tuesday a priority during 2009 will be finding a way to fix or replace Broward’s crumbling courthouse.

Her comments came two days after a massive leak closed the aging courthouse, postponing trials for everything from murder to child custody.

The courthouse has been falling apartment for almost a generation.  There has been some stopgap measures.  Commissioners have avoided dealing with the issue, except to propose an unrealistic $450 million bond issue that taxpayers wisely turned down.    

Browardbeat.com has two posts on the decades’ long problem –yesterday and today.

Ritter will appoint a task force to come up with solutions. 

The task force will be made up of the folks who know the problems the best a prosecutor, a public defender, a representative of the clerk’s office and court administration and at least one lawyer.

The lawyer will be familiar with the courthouse and not be one doing business with the county commission.

The group will also include county administrators and commissioners, who must find a way to pay for any improvements.

One idea floating around the commission — a new referendum to pay for a courthouse as early as March, 2009. This is a premature idea in the midst of a recession. 

Ritter recognizes the problem and is doing something about it.  I’m not a big fan of task forces, but sometimes they produce results.

With Ritter at the helm, this one has possibilities.

5 Responses to “Ritter Already Making A Difference On Courthouse”

  1. Roger Wilbanks says:

    Anything to get rid of that dump would be okay with me. Mayor Ritter is right to place this as a priority seeing it is long overdue

  2. H. T. Kaltinborne says:

    What would make sense is to move part of the courts out of downtown Fort Lauderdale to cheaper land (See De Groot’s item). The powers-to-be will never let it happen since they all live in Fort Lauderdale and own land downtown. How many county commissioners live in Fort Lauderdale or own land downtown?

  3. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I agree with you Buddy, task forces take forever and hardly reach an agreement. I also agree with the person above….the courthouse won’t move west because m ost of the attorney etc., have moved their offices downtown to be close. I’m not sure there are a lot of warehouses along the railroad track that could be leveled to build a brand new courthouse and still be downtown.

  4. court says:

    The courthouse is so badly damaged that it will impact the ability of the criminal courts to provide speedy trials, resulting in freedom to perps that make such demands. It will have a deleterious effect on the business community, which takes up to 80% of a civil judge’s docket. Forget the impact to children and families – devastating! The inability to run an efficient courthouse will have a lasting economic impact on Broward County, and will ground our criminal justice system to a slow crawl, making our streets and neighborhoods less safe. So, instead of just biting the bullet and coming up with a new plan that will implement new facilities within the next year, the county commission will just send it to another task force to do another “study”, put it up for vote to the public – so that the commissioners don’t take the risk of public ire, and we will all pay.

  5. Jack Springerland says:

    I don’t want my tax dollars spent on a new courthouse. It’s a waste of money. These lawyers and judges want luxury offices and environs in which to work. That’s the bottom line. Water pipes break all the time in older buildings–fix it and get over it. Trust me when I say my views reflect those of the electorate. Put it to vote of the people and it will never fly.