Sunrise Dumps The Dump Despite Wishner


Now that the Sunrise city commission has dumped the dump, Mayor Roger Wishner should find a good chiropractor.

The mayor needs an adjustment after bending over backwards for waste industry types who want to build a dump in his city.

Wishner’s machinations did no good.  The project was crushed by the overwhelming opposition of Sunrise residents.

Still, last night’s hearing at Sunrise City Hall could lead one to believe that Wishner was getting paid more by the waste industry folks than their own attorney, Dick Coker.

I have seen dozens of NIMBY hearings since the 1970s.  Believe me when I say that Coker did a pitiful job trying to justify why Sunrise needed a dump, formally called a waste transfer station. The veteran lobbyist appeared unprepared.

Wishner jumped in to save Coker and his clients, Green Now.

The mayor was a better advocate for the project than Coker. Unfortunately, he is supposed to be an advocate for the people of Sunrise, not a handful of waste industry execs.

Leading Coker through a series of questions that appeared rehearsed, Wishner pointed out that there was already a waste transfer station in Sunrise that had a permit to process all types of garbage.

Wishner made the proposed dump appear benign by comparison, because Coker promised Green Now will only process “dry cardboard, paper, metal and glass.

The waste would be dumped on the floor of the proposed facility, sorted and shipped out at some point.  The waste processing station would operate for 16 hours-a-day “initially,” said Coker.

Green Now had their supporters in the audience, who were wearing green t-shirts with white lettering.  The letters on the back said: Alu Bad.

It referred to Commissioner Sheila Alu, who has been outspoken in her opposition to Green Now.

At one point in the evening, Alu looked at the green shirts in the audience, raised her voice and said, “Sheila is not bad. Sheila is good.

Applaused erupted in the chamber drowning out a smattering of boos.

Wisher and Deputy Mayor Don Rosen seemed to favor the project before the final vote against it.

Rosen’s consulting company does business with a waste company allied with Green Now.

There is a word for what Rosen is. It starts with a “w, ends with an “e, contains five letters and rhymes with more.

Rosen should have kept his mouth shut because of the conflict, but he didn’t. He tried to justify the waste project. Shameful.

Alu openly opposed the dump and Commissioner Joey Scuotto appeared against it.

That left Commissioner Larry Sofield as the swing vote. Sofield was appointed and is running in his first election.

“I’m done with it, before the election and after the election, Sofield vowed.

Wishner can count.

And he saw the handwriting on the wall: The public was firmly against a garbage dump in their city and the mayor is running for re-election.

“At this moment in time, I don’t see support for this project, now or in the future,” Wishner conceded.

The commission voted 5-0 not to consider the Green Now project.

21 Responses to “Sunrise Dumps The Dump Despite Wishner”

  1. Scumrise Resident says:

    The whole thing made me sick- Rosen and Wishner pandering for this guy. Their “questions” were lobbed at Go Greens attorney like big softballs that he STILL could not hit. Sofield copped on first and made a smart move by loudly barfing on this thing. The highlight of the whole evening, however if you stayed long enough was an 86 year old WW II vet who slapped Wishner around like a tow headed schoolboy. BRILLIANT!!

  2. Ace says:

    Good night Mr. Feeley, don’t bother coming back for the Solid Waste Contract. We had enough of you and your cloneys.

    Wishner and Rosen have lost all crediblity with us.

    Rosen, wonder how long before your agreement with Ace terminates, was it worth selling your soul?

    Thank you Sheila, Joey and Larry.

  3. One Less Ace says:

    You can thank Sheila and Alu but Dum-Dum Larry? C’mon! He only stabbed his master(Wishner) in the back because if he went ahead even a moron like him knew that ANYBODY would beat him in the next election. He’s dumb but not stupid.

  4. Resident says:

    Sofield may have saved his candidacy (to early to tell), but at least he didn’t completely sink it (it was close). Wishner, if he gets a decent opponent may be now be vunerable. Rosen is only lucky he isn’t up for re-election (or voted so he won’t get an ethic violation charge. Larry did him a favor on this). As it is he may be a lame-duck.

    What I found interesting was residents of Sunrise, Tamarac and Lauderhill, plus the officials of Tamarac and Lauderhill (and Scuotto and Alu), were so strongly against it. Only a few supported it, mostly from those outside Sunrise (plus Wishner and Rosen). You can’t keep saying its the peoples government when you clearly demonstrate by your pre-decided actions that it isn’t.

  5. Patty says:

    Great reporting Buddy. You helped mobilize the people of Sunrise and that’s a good thing. Congrats!

  6. not ANYBODY says:

    Larry Sofield betraying Roger Wishner on this was quite a political surprise especially since Roger appointed him just for votes like this! You mean to tell me that Don Rosen had more guts than Soffield? But again Rosen is not up for election.

    As for that, One Less Ace, ANYBODY can’t beat Soffield because Roger orchestrated his appointment over supremely more qualified guys like Michael Ryan and Andrew Lewis and Roger Wishner will be backing his puppet all the way. But even with Wishner’s fervent support nothing can save Soffield if either Andrew Lewis or Michael Ryan decide to go against him.

  7. Wishner Must Leave says:

    Roger Wishner has proven he does not stand up for Sunrise residents. He must be defeated.
    Sheila Alu for mayor.

  8. appreciator of great comedy says:

    to not ANYBODY:

    Andrew Lewis more qualified than Larry Soffield or anybody, for that matter. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are funny, you must have trained under Seinfeld and/or George Lopez and/or Tina Fey!! Great one, i just called my surgeon to sew up my side, which just split wide open from guffawing so hard….wow..

    I don’t know Michael Ryan, is he of the same caliber as .. HA HA HA (sorry, hard to stop laughing) as Andrew Lewis?

  9. HA says:

    Sheila Alu for major, i almost choked!

  10. Michael Ryan says:

    I did not put my name out on this blog but let me outline my position on this issue. The very first night the City Commission discussed pushing forward on this project, I warned all the Commissioners I would be organizing the families of Sunrise against this project. I explained that the Commission had a choice to vote against any discussion, and some chose the wrong path. I explained the roar would be loud. I made clear I knew this was not a project that our residents wanted.

    So, I organized because I believe in the power of the grass roots efforts. I worked to understand the project better. I made public records requests (which someone still unidentified from the City told the garbage owners verbally what I was doing). As I read the documents, learned about the economics of garbage, and followed the reporting on relationships, I became more convinced this was not a project I wanted, nor could I imagine the residents would want a garbage transfer station in our City.

    Like many other residents, I then went and spoke against the project, emphasizing the core values of schools and places of worship must dominate over garbage. With 11 schools in our City, populated by over 11,000 students per day, and at least 26 places of worship where thousands of families come to celebrate their faith each week, our City had to value schools and places of worship over a garbage facility.

    There were many compelling, heart-felt, persuasive and even some funny presentations Tuesday night. There were many more people by a factor of multiples prepared to speak and keep the meeting going until the break of dawn,. if necessary. It was a galvanizing event, bring together people of all faiths, races, and socio-economics to oppose something that astonishingly got as far as it did. Yes, there were also some presentations that directly scolded those Commissioners who let this go forward; the lectures by other elected officials was interesting, but credit to the residents who had the tenacity to go to the podium, and lecture the Commissioners that voted for this as a discussion item.

    Sincerely, go see all the other wonderful, passionate, and courageous presentations by the residents who came out to oppose this project. They are a collective force of inspiration. When you lose faith or believe the electorate will not respond to something that is just wrong, go back to this video. It is also great theater and you can judge for yourself which Commissioners were still trying to push this project even though the temperature in the room was boiling. Hopefully, there were many lessons learned about governance and the power of the grassroots against monied interests. You can see my short presentation on the City Website:

    and go to around 3:32; it was shorter than I had intended because so many others had powerfully expressed our collective sentiment — sometimes, even if you could do something, it is just plain wrong.

    Now, our collective energy is on making sure the Charter is amended to guarantee this type of private solid waste transfer station is NEVER in our city and no more schools, churches, synagogues, mosques or any place of faith have to worry about something like this being put next door. We can not rest.

    So, Tuesday night at 6 PM, we will be back out to make sure the City Attorney has drafted a Charter amendment to guarantee a future group of Commissioners does not scare the residents into believing a project like this might even come to our City. As one of my fellow PTA presidents said, we should not have to watch over you to make sure you do not have your hands in the cookie jar…but, we will.

  11. still confused says:

    I’m still trying to understand why a place of worship would build in the middle of an industrial park to begin with? That isn’t a place for children! How was that not taken in to consideration? If its not green now it will be something else that they will be opposed to.

  12. Melodramatic Fan of Michael Ryan says:

    to Michael Ryan:

    violins playing, orchestral music blaring, apple pie, flag waving, CHEVROLET LIKE A ROCK in the background…..

    Michael, please, you worked hard against an issue you didn’t like, good for you, ….stop the Richard Simmons tear jerking bullshit, stop the melodramatic pat yourself and yours on the back crap…if you don’t like something you fight it, great but don’t do it for the “self adulation we’re better than they are, we’re so perfect” nauseating self-swill..

    Michael, maybe we should name a street after you, you’re so great…yawn, doze off…

  13. Hate Player Haters says:

    To your uncalled for negative comments about Mike Ryan: Stop being jealous and “player-hating.” He took the time to do the math and the research. He takes a lot of time and sacrifice to do a number of things — which he NEVER writes about to the public — to help those who do not have a voice (or even know they have one, for that matter).

    Efforts like the one Mike Ryan put forward here should be praised, not resented.

    Respect the democratic process. Respect the opinion of the residents. Respect yourself — and make sure you keep your hands out of the cookie jar too!

    A witness to the behind-the-scenes integrity and character of Mike Ryan

  14. Michael Ryan says:

    To Anonymous Satirical Fan: Let me be clear — I did not put my name out on this blog nor did I inspire anyone to do so. But someone did and I was not going to let my position or my part of effort to ever be misunderstood. More importantly and more to your point, this tremendous grass roots effort was NOT about me. It was about an overwhelming and galvanizing response of residents to a bad idea.

    Ignore my post above and go watch what the public said starting at 3:02 [ and go to February 23rd video]. Even if you take the time to watch, you will not be able to fully appreciate the level of commitment in that City Hall (and from those outside watching through windows with even more residents over at the Civic Center watching a live feed). 1 was but one of probably over 400 people opposed to this project who took alot of time to organize and to come out to make clear our opposition. It worked — our elected officials had to vote 5-0 to end discussion of the project and directing City Attorney to draft language prohibiting such a project from our City.

    Make no mistake, I did work hard to organize as did some others. The moment the majority of the Commission voted to give the project time for a presentation, I warned the Commission I would be organizing residents against this project. But, irrespective of what you may think of my efforts, the relative value of those efforts, or my post above, it was terrific to see residents get involved in their local government.

    Since I did not write down names of everyone presenting, there is no intent to lessen the importance of those not listed below. Go see for yourself:

    * Commissioner Alu exposes March 2009 memo showing the original intent of the project (1:11:30)
    * Commissioner Scuotto goes on the offensive against the project (1:50)
    * Mayor of Tamarac opposes the project forcefully (2:11);
    * Mayor of Lauderhill lectures the Commission on respecting public will (2:27);
    * Commissioner Sofield (despite initially voting to permit the discussion) shows he understand the public sentiment, and makes clear his opposition to the project (2:51:20);
    * Public Comment begins (3:02) — some really great speeches in here and worth watching;
    * Laurel Love, long time PTA/PTO/PTSA leader in Sunrise public schools (4:02);
    * Steve Ostroff, long time PTA/PTO/PTSA leader in Sunrise public schools, lectures the Commission (4:10)

    I stand behind my support of the public grass roots effort. I will not apologize for working very hard against the project and bringing attention to the success of our collective effort. If you knew me you would be certain I did this because I opposed a bad idea, not to garner accolades (real or satirical).

    So, post your real name rather than using an anonymous moniker and we can visit. If you do not feel comfortable posting your real name, email Buddy and I will email Buddy my contact information so we can visit.

  15. Melodramatic Fan of Michael Ryan says:

    to Mr. Ryan:

  16. Melodramatic Fan of Michael Ryan says:

    to Michael Ryan:

    Listen, it gets old listening to self adulating behind the mikers go off about how great they are. interestingly enough, most (95%) never go run for public office. it is alot easier to spout off from the public side of the mike than it is to go get elected and make difficult decisions that impact citizens’ lives and the corresponding weighing of business interests, jobs and tax base. you’re probably a nice man and congrats on your position being voted for by your commission. BUT commissioners who don’t agree with you deserve the respect they have attained through getting elected and listening to individuals (many and most in non respectful tones, hurling insults) downgrade everything commissioners do. I humbly ask you and others to run more and complain less and/or respect commissioners’ positions, whatever they are. if you don’t like the votes or stances of your commissioners, run against them and let the voters’ chips fall. Last I checked, everybody but your newest commissioner has been elected by your residents, all more than once. and i don’t have a position either way on your dump issue, don’t know enough drill down detail to formulate an EDUCATED opinion.

  17. Michael Ryan says:

    To my satirical fan: Points well taken in many respects, with a few tweaks.

    In the enormous bundle of democratic rights, a resident also has the right to complain about their elected officials even if they never get involved or only get involved once. Of course, it is hard to understand if that is the greatest use of the democratic rights so many have fought to provide and preserve — which I think is your point in some respect. Stop complaining, and get involved, right?.

    You and I probably agree that there is an obligation to be involved, But we have to also recognize not everyone shares that view or commitment to the benefits of democracy and not everyone has the luxury to be involved often. The sacrifice can be difficult for many, particularly in these hard times. Even though they do not get involved to level of elected office, that does not mean when they do complain or make their voices heard, they should be ignored. Heck, there are some who are heard often and their voices may carry less weight than the one who never comes out but this one time.

    I am not sure about the officials always deserving “respect” automatically or simply because they were elected once or perpetually. But, if I am understanding your real point, I do agree that the discourse does not have to always be nasty or personal simply because there is an honest disagreement.

    That being said, when an elected official takes a position that clearly does not or will not represent the overwhelming will of the people, they should be called out on the deviation from their solemn responsibility. Similarly, if an elected officials is taking a position out of some personal benefit or to help monied interests over the will of the people (something we have seen all too often lately), then the language chosen will naturally reflect the gravity of that violation of solemn duty. Even if I would not phrase the criticism in the same way, and as much as I would like to keep all debates cordial, such violations do not always lend themselves to polite prodes, guidance or exchanges.

    I do disagree with one major implication you have raised — that one should run more and complain less in order to prove their commitment to democracy. I disagree not because I do not believe more quality candidatea should not run. Instead, I differ in that a resident does not have to run for office to make a real, meaningful and lasting difference. I know there are many who make a difference in the community who never ever think of running for office.

    Not everyone needs to run for office to prove their bona fides or their commitment to responsible and transparent government. Not everyone has to endure the pettiness that sometimes is associated with politics to support democracy and advocate for their community. Not everyone needs a title to be a leader. Some may even believe you can make a bigger difference at times by not running.

    All that said, you are spot on if this was your ultimate point — if you do not like how things are going, get out there and make a difference in the way you think you can: run for office, support a candidate, convince elected officials to change course, advocate for your positions, organize, or talk over the back fence and convince a neighbor to run for office.

  18. Melodramatic Fan of Michael Ryan says:

    to Mike Ryan:

    There are those who do nothing but compain and it gets old listening to them, meeting after meeting, just show up, yell and complain, and then go home and call their neighbors and complain with a resulting big complaint fest. in addition, many of these folk never see or recognize the myriad of good things commissioners do and just focus on what they deem negative.

    all that said, you sound like a nice man. i hope you take time to recognize positive things happening in your city. and i hope you realize within the commission (and i am basing this on only what i have read about the issue, so i might stand to be corrected), there were 2 originally outright against the issue, that were on “your side of the issue”. one of these individuals seems to be a grandstander, who beats the chest as a holier than thou do gooder, but has been involved on the wrong side of many issues and been involved with not so good people yet these issues, these relationships are not covered or chosen to be ignored. as it regards your issue, this person most likely had no interest in the citizenry and was just taking your side to further the very wrong public saint side this person so slickly tries to push p.r. wise, with so many other reasons, many visceral and personal and vendetta driven….in other words, don’t trust who you dance with, it’s never for pure, heart felt reasons.

    be good, Mr. Ryan.

  19. Power to the People says:

    To Melodramatic Fan of Michael Ryan: You just don’t get it. Michael Ryan is not a commissioner he exercised his rights in the community as a citizen. If he chose to run for office he would be exposed for what he is…the nice man you alluded to! He is in his 3rd year as PTA president of Sawgrass Elementary and sits on the school advisory board for the City of Sunrise (an insider indicates he does so without accepting the monetary stipend allowed). I assume this is because he cares more about others than himself. I personally, have no problem with recycling in the community. The problem is the underhanded politics and financial gain of the insiders that come off the backs of the taxpayers. This is outrageous. Your “don’t trust who you dance with” comments are spot on…but I don’t think Mr. Ryan is oblivious to this. He seems intelligient enough to understand that people don’t always agree on everything…they did stand together on this issue.

    And the only one who is complaining is you . And you admittedly stated you don’t know enough about the issue to drill down on it…Why don’t you find someone or something to do in your own community? Or is it easier to take pot shots at someone else who is making a positive difference in our community? You seem to be the self adulating grand stander…

  20. melodramatic Fan of Michael Ryan says:

    to “Power to the People”:

    I agree with and/or see the meritorious backdrop for some of your points and on other points, respectfully disagree i.e. we all should consider ourself “Browardites” so an issue in Sunrise/Tamarac extended, does impact on all of us.

    Anyway, i wish you and Mr. Ryan well, if both of you are really not the chest thumping complaining types, and will take you on your word, including the thoughts you took the time to explain above. I also hope you see where someone like myself is coming from, it does get old to listen to “complainers, who complain for the sake of complaining” and hope you will acknowledge there are many of them.

    take care.

  21. Imogene Ferguson says:

    I was at the hearing and absolutely agree with your summation of the evening. My fear is that the “dump” will be re-visited as soon as they can possibly get away with it afer the election.
    At this point Wishner doesn’t acknowledge any opposition, therefore may feel free to let the matter rest for now, but be ready to bring it back after August 24th.