Update: Latest On Sunrise Garbage Dump


The word is that Sunrise City Commissioners have been warned not to discuss the garbage transfer dump publicly.

City Attorney Stuart Michelson reportedly told them that any debate might come back to haunt the city if the case ends up in court.

So next week’s discussion of the dump formally called a waste transfer station — is most likely off.

One city hall insider predicts that the dump’s developer will attempt to stop Commissioners Sheila Alu and Joey Scuotto from voting on the project.  The argument will be that Alu and Scuotto prejudged the dump by opposing it before they allowed the developer to present his case.  

What?  Commissioners can’t oppose a garbage dump publicly and then vote against such an odious development later?

If that’s really the law, it needs to be changed.  If that’s really the law, how did Broward Mayor Ken Keechl promise to ban paving over golf courses in his 2006 campaign and then vote against such projects after being elected?

If this proposed dump ends up in court, will it be defended by Michelson? 

Michelson’s wife is County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman,  the head of the county’s resource recovery board.

Lieberman has a Rolodex full of contacts in the waste industry and recently has been pushing a $1 billion no-bid deal which would benefit Waste Management. Lieberman’s law practice is run out of her husband’s office.

And at least two of the Sunrise commissioners three, say sources — have worked in the waste industry.

This mixing of government and special interest is not unique to Sunrise.  Sadly it is the one constant in Sunrise that never ends, no matter who is elected.  

There is never any reform in Sunrise.  There is just another set of piggies at the trough.

Mayor Roger Wishner is one of those who has worked in the waste industry.

Wishner may try to delay this garbage dump deal until after his November election, so he doesn’t have to take sides. 

Voters need to get him on-the-record in writing where he stands.

And voters need to ask the same question I asked in my previous post: 


17 Responses to “Update: Latest On Sunrise Garbage Dump”

  1. Ace Waste says:


    Answer: It benefits three residents, Wishner, Rosen and Schofield. Im sure a few other like Marty as well.

    As for as a previous question, do a public records request with the County, Resource Recovery, ILA for any records, emails, reports, investigations, videos on this company, officers and connections with any elected officials.

  2. Richard J. Kaplan says:


    If it is a quasi judicial matter, it is the law. We can’t give our position on such matters until after all information is presented under oath. I don’t know if this is or is not such a case, but it could be.

    The reason Keechl could talk about something like this before being elected, was that he wasn’t elected. Once he was, he couldn’t if it is quasi judicial.

    I know it sounds strange, but that is the way it has been explained to us. Just to go one step further, if during a re-election campaign a quasi judicial matter comes up during a debate between candidiates, the challenger can say whatever they want, but the incumbent legally shouldn’t. I have been put in this position, and the public isn’t happy you can’t give them a straight answer.

    Lastly, and I am not sure of the results, if an elected official does violate these rules, they can’t abstained from voting cause it isn’t a conflict of interest. However, they have opened up their city/county for a lawsuit if the petitioner loses cause of the vote of that individual.

  3. Nosebleed Seats says:

    Hey Buddy: Is it just me? or does Mayor Kaplan, aside from being in the same league as Mayor Keechl you know, boring have a keen sense of how to split hairs in a way only another lawyer elected to office could? You know, it’s “legal”, but it smells bad and leaves a sour taste to everyone else and makes the rest of us lawyers who earn a living helping people seem like the rest of the elected douchebags? Let’s get down to what’s really important, because beyond this blog and the few who follow it, nobody cares about all the douchebags elected to office in this County and all the “legal” crimes they commit…the electeds aren’t the real problem! It’s the other 1.8 million people who either don’t vote, do vote for these felons, or do vote for these felons who hire soon to be felons (Michelson and spouse)to work for them. Everyone in Sunrise knows that Leiberman is the real City Attorney and that neither of them do any work, the work get’s done by the associate. It’s a law firm after all, just ask Kaplan – he know everything – just ask him, he’ll tell ya!!!!

  4. Games Being Played says:

    Well, that explains why that lawyer was trying to pick a fight at the last Commission meeting. It was clear he was trying to speak without even being on the Agenda and not a City of Sunrise resident. Probably trying to tempt them into saying something. Makes you wonder what is really going on here. Must be millions of dollars at stake if that lawyer was trying so hard to pick a fight with Scuotto and Alu.

    Fortunately, from the video record, dont see where anyone prejudged anything. Looks like they restrained themselves. Looks like they were following the advice of the staff who said it isnt allowed and as far as I can see there is no petition or request to overrule that — it isnt even on the agenda.

    But, IF they were to try to get Alu and Scuotto to be disqualified, and 2 of the remaining 3 voted for a dump or transfer station or whatever they wantto call it, you can bet the cost would be high politically. Moreover, the inquiries from every direction would begin in ernest.

    Buddy: what does that lawyer or the property owner have to say about this project and where are the documents to show what this is all about?

  5. Change is needed says:

    What is most disturbing about this story is the distrust of government that is perpetuated. It is out in the open, this wound. Shamefully, Sunrise is a good city with alot of good people and alot of stuff to offer. BN’s commentary is insightful and makes you wonder can their ever be change. Can you have a candidate that doesnt take money from all these interests? Now, it will only get worse that the supremes are unleashing corporate dollars into elections. Sadly, the damage is done by the fact that noone can trust what is really going on and the questions alone are damaging to the system. Can anyone bring about some change for this city!??

  6. alert says:


    Just for your info,our City Attorney determined that the Mayors race is in August and the Commision races is in November.
    Like Mel Allen used to say.”how about THAT”

    FROM BUDDY: As I have written before:
    Because of the questions arising out of the choice of Stuart Michelson as city attorney, every decision he makes will be viewed through a political prisim.
    (1) No other attorney was considered.
    (2) Michelson was the treasurer of the then-Mayor Steve Feren’s judicial campaign.
    (3) Michelson had done private legal work for at least two other commissioners– Roger Wishner and Sheila Alu.
    (4) MIchelson’s salary of more than $400,000 put him “at or near the top of the highest paid city and county attorneys in the state,” according to the Miami Herald, June 25, 2008. He says he pays expenses out of this salary, including another attorney to help him.
    (5) According to the Herald, he automatically gets a raise of up to 4 percent a year. He doesn’t have to give up his existing clients, whoever they may be.

    Those voting for Michelson were Wishner, Alu and Don Rosen.

    I know Michelson had a history of representing Sunrise. But did the fact that his wife Ilene Lieberman represents west Broward on the county commission hurt his chances for the city attorney’s job?

    The hiring of Michelson looked to me like another Sunrise inside deal…just like the garbage transfer station, or dump as I prefer to call it.

  7. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    I never gave an opinion to what is happening in Sunrise. I only specifically addressed the law the Buddy was questioning in his article.

    “What? Commissioners can’t oppose a garbage dump publicly and then vote against such an odious development later?

    If that’s really the law, it needs to be changed. If that’s really the law, how did Broward Mayor Ken Keechl promise to ban paving over golf courses in his 2006 campaign and then vote against such projects after being elected?”

    For the record, I don’t like the law on several levels. I think its bad too. I suspect a lot of elective officials have problems complying with it. It isn’t what they thought the job would require.

    But the other side is that since it is the law, I want to protect the city and its residents I was elected to serve. Causing lawsuits, and wasting taxpayer dollars in court with bad results isn’t what voters want from us.

    If Nosebled Seats is really a lawyer, I would think they would recognize the law and understand the situation (if they really are any good as a lawyer).

    PS I don’t really know Mayor Keechl that well, and didn’t even know he was a lawyer. Is he?

    PPS I don’t mind being boring. At least the public appreciates my work (2004 Florida Mayor of the Year, among numerous other awards, and 7 times re-elected).

  8. August Race Benefits Who says:

    Who does the race in August benefit? We know it will be a dismal turnout. Wonder if there is a legal challenge to that opinion because that is gonna cost the city money to hold a separate race. Ridiculous. Has anyone seen the city attorney’s legal opinion on that?

  9. kwitcherbelyaken says:

    You’re living in a cave, August Race. The Mayor’s race will cost the city exactly ZERO extra. Nada. Not a penny.

    The polls will be open, anyway since August will be full of judicial primaries and partisan primaries. Just another name or two on the ballot which has to be printed anyway.

  10. August Race Benefits says:

    Gotcha. just no one will show up, right? not like November elections. Great. Means those folks will elect a mayor with few people voting. perfect.

  11. alert says:

    why not have all the paces at the same rime in november,typical Sunrise politics,get the mayor elected in august,so he can hrlp his buddies in november.may he rip but Lomelo was a boy scout compared to these people

  12. alert says:

    sorry the word should be races not paces wrong key

  13. kwitcherbelyaken says:

    Statistically, there will be probably five more people that will show up to vote than would have voted in March elections. So what’s the question? The law basically stated, (opinion or no) that the election would occur at the next citywide election. Resolve all the races scheduled for August and the Mayor’s election will move to November. If you’re going to blame someone for this “conspiracy” blame the geniuses who wrote the charter in the first place and the voters who approved it.

  14. Little Birdie says:

    Little Birdie says “It is back on the Agenda and guess who asked for it to be on the Agenda at the last minute?”

  15. alert says:

    Well the present geniuses have done nothing to correct it,but the garbage dump is a priorty,ok then leys have the mayors race in november so everybody gets to vote in the city election for all seats

  16. Little Birdie says:

    Little Birdie says again “A commissioner has requested this to be on the Agenda tomorrow night and it will be discussed”


    There is an online petition to stop this proposal. Please take the time to sign it.

    There is a large opposition to this project. There is an elementary school in walking distance to the site. Not to mention various businesses that will also be affected.