Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Attention: Cooper City Taxpayers

South Florida

Want to stop the county and city tax trains?
Learn how they work and start early
December 17, 2008

It's getting to the point where almost everyone, sooner or later, lobbies local governments. Everyone joins a long parade of people who troop before our city councils with their hands out. Most everyone only has a "want," which they swear is a "need." Special interest groups constantly press for more, more, more taxes.

So, municipal officials experience only incessant upward pressure to raise taxes, from people who feel they are entitled to the fruits of someone else's sweat.

The result? Many local governments show no backbone and tend to cave in to the pressure. It's easy to understand why: Rarely do residents come before the various councils to protest the overall tax burden.

But there's a way citizens can stop higher taxes. It starts with understanding how governments build up an unstoppable head of steam for their tax trains.

Local governments fire up their tax locomotives very early each year, usually in January. Staffs meet and start drafting budgets, calling for requests and hiring wish lists from all departments. This is done quietly, often without the input of elected officials.

By spring, the tax train has picked up speed. Preliminary plans and budgets are set, usually including raises and other benefits for the staff. The bureaucrats make sure they are taken care of financially in the blossoming budget process.

By summer, the tax train is a juggernaut. At some point, the staff starts briefing the electeds on budget needs. The staff makes sure the electeds understand how "dire" the consequences will be if the recommendations are not followed. Most of this planning takes place well before public input is sought.

Your only chance to reduce your city's taxes is to organize and get vocal. Put a group together and develop a strategic tax rebellion plan that must begin very early, before government staffs begin their earliest meetings. For advice on organizing, contact or

Insist on meeting early with the chief administrator of your city, and set up a regular schedule of meetings. Ask to be put on mailing lists. Be prepared to make specific recommendations.

Few local groups publicly criticize the overall level of taxes in the county. You can step forward. If so, your work must start Jan. 1.

John R. Smith is chairman of Palm Beach County's BizPac and owner of a financial services company.

Copyright © 2008, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is the Fourth Estate Missing in Cooper City?

Having received several emails regarding the following Letter to the Editor originally published by the Davie and Cooper City Gazette we thought others might find it of interest. [ ED.]

Where’s the press and free speech?

While Cooper City’s dictatorial administration is flaunting their power by trashing the public’s right to speak against them, where’s the press?

At our last commission meeting, reporters covered the search for a new city manager, missing an issue that is the hallmark of the American pres: exposing when government is stealing people’s right to free speech. All ignored this constitutional violation.

Recently, the present commission unceremoniously threw out the long term city manager and city attorney, replacing the attorney with a friend and neighbor. They then decided on new rules of speech, assuring that only good things be said about them. The new city attorney, backed up the mayor’s undemocratic position, perhaps because he and his law firm both gave the maximum contribution to the mayor’s last campaign, then suddenly receiving this new job.

The dictatorial abuse of power, and the destruction of the public’s right to free speech is being ignored. I, and a former commissioner were denied our right to speak in full because the mayor decided arbitrarily that she didn’t like what we had to say. Where was the press, whose constitutional responsibility for their freedom of press is to help assure the freedom of the public to speak against abuse of power. Without this freedom there can be no democracy.

Our Founding Fathers gave the press greater protection so they would be the voice for those whom government is trying to silence. Our Constitution doesn’t say political speech must be favorable to those in power, in fact, it was developed to challenge those who are misusing their positions.

The press is supposed to exist to help stop such abuses, not to look the other way, either because you endorsed the wrongdoers, are afraid of their politics or because you support their future run for higher office. You need to be our voice now.

Diane Sori
Cooper City

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cooper City Frivolous Recall Abandoned

Posted on the Politics

Cooper City recall effort abandoned

Posted by Anthony Man at 9:55 AM
Residents intent on removing John Sims from office because of anti-Semitic Web postings have dropped the recall effort, saying the city can't afford it.

The residents started the rare recall move against the city commissioner last month to hold him accountable for a now-defunct, controversial blog registered to him that posted anti-Semitic statements about Mayor Debbie Eisinger.

Elliot Kleiman, a recall committee organizer, said Wednesday the group collected more than the needed 1,900 signatures, or 10 percent of the city's registered voters. He said he could not provide the exact number of signatures because he stopped counting when they reached the required amount.

Kleiman said the group hoped to hold the recall in November to coincide with the presidential election, but the process would likely take longer and force Cooper City to conduct two special elections. Doing so would cost the city about $55,000 apiece, according to City Clerk Susan Bernard.

"Based on the economy and all the problems with city budgets, we just determined that it just wasn't worth it," Kleiman said.

In January, the Broward Sheriff's Office started looking for evidence leading to those responsible for anti-Semitic postings about the mayor on a now defunct blog. The Sheriff's Office considered the incident a hate crime. They have not charged Sims or anyone else with a crime and have suspended the investigation until they get more information.

Sims, 49, whose term ends in March 2010, has said he had nothing to do with the Eisinger postings. He said Wednesday he thought the recall petition "was a big joke."

"I wanted to take them to court and show what a frivolous recall it was," Sims said.

-- Staff Writer Elizabeth Baier

Let's get this straight!

There were NO anti-semitic comments on the blog that Lori Green created !

There was NO hate crime committed on the blog that Lori Green created !

There were only ALLEGATIONS of hate and anti-simitism against Comm. Sims !

There was no PROOF of Sims being involved per the BSO Police !

The petition was not legally sufficient to sustain the charges which were so vague and uncertain that Commissioner Sims could have no conception of the particular act or acts which substantially related to the alleged cause(s) of removal from office and would not have been able to eve formulate a response. Therefore, the baseless allegations contained in the Petition for Recall could not constitute malfeasance, misfeasance or neglect of duty. The legal requirements were not met where the statement(s) in the petition were nothing more than conclusions or opinions without any tangible basis of facts. There was absolutely no truth, factual allegations nor justification to any of the false charges levied against Commissioner Sims by the Recall Committee (Yes, that Committee includes EVERYONE who signed it) by an ex-Commissioner who rarely showed up sober for a Commission meeting.

I am glad the majority of voters showed support for Commissioner Sims' dedicated service to the community by not signing the ridiculous petition.

The lie told by the Green's and Esiinger's wasted alot of Elliot Kleiman's time and money...

Posted by: morons | May 30, 2008 11:00 AM

I don't believe the recall committee got the required number of signatures. Shredding the list seems to be the best evidence that they didn't get the signatures. This mean-spirited group of peabrains would have moved forward had they had the signatures. Heck, only 2 weeks ago Eliott was up at the podium at the last commission meeting doing his recall rant. If they had the signatures, they would have moved forward. What a bunch of losers.

Also, Elliot told me they didn't have even half of the signatures required as of last Saturday. There is no way in HE!! that they got over 1,000 signatures on Memorial Day weekend. You are a liar Recall Elliot. He told me that he did not have the signatures. Sounds like Judy Stern/Debby Eisinger spin to me to save face. Elliot also told me that more than half of the people said they didn't care about his stupid recall and the other half called him a sore loser (and a senile old drunk). Even people on the recall committee told me that they didn't get all of the signatures.

If they did, prove it, don't shread them. You can't tell me they shredded all of the signatures...for what? I can assure you that if you did indeed get enought sigs, that you all would have pressed forward. Since when did Elliot care about spending money? You are all a bunch of liars. The recall was a big lie. The blog posting accusing Sims was not a hate crime, nor was it anti-semitism and was all a big lie.

What improper things has SIms done, please tell us in detail, because it certainly wasn't spelled out in the fake petition. They were nothing but false allegations with no facts whatsoever. BSO did NOT find that he owned the blog. They said, and I quote "The blog was REGISTERED to Sims". How about I 'register' a blog under Elliot, yours or Debby's name and start bashing Christians? What would happen then when the tables are turned? Sims will indeed prove he was not involved and win his lawsuit. You people are all ignorant and the scum sentinel is biased...

Thank God Sims is in office.

Posted by: Elliotsux | May 30, 2008 11:04 AM

Thank You, Lori Green, Debbie Eisinger, Greg Ross, Elliot Kleiman and many others including those who signed the petition. You have done more to embrass Cooper City than anything
John Sims allegely did. Your lies, half truths and malicious political attacks have not done anything more than to make Cooper City the laughing stock of Broward County.
If you had real cause to recall the effort would have successed with the support of the decent citizens of Cooper City not the loud mouth hatemongers.

Posted by: I hate CC | May 30, 2008 11:07 AM

This whole thing, and their statement makes absolutely no sense to me. IF Sims were even involved and if he or anyone else had committed a crime, the Governor would have removed him or there would be charges filed. Cooper City would STILL have to PAY for a special election. IF Sims did anything wrong, which he DID NOT, then why go through all of this effort to embarrass the city and not follow through with all of the threats and attacks? Mr. Kleiman! You are a hypocrite and a liar...

To Commissioner Sims, if you read this, MAZEL TOV!

Posted by: gosims | May 30, 2008 11:09 AM

For another view of this despicable attempt to circumvent the legal if not the right way to deal with this please view .

Posted by: CC Insider | May 30, 2008 11:11 AM

It failed because it was based upon a false premise. The lie told by the supporters had traction in Embassy Lakes Cabal only. The majority of residents in the rest of Cooper City relied upon the law enforcement people
to determine if a crime had been committed not a group of religious fantanics whipped into a mob by the lies and half truths feed to them by the likes of Debby Eisinger, Lori Green and 'Former' Commissioner Kleiman, who was voted out by the electorate due to his indiscretions (drinking on the job) which were readily visible on video tape. The resident with good common sense smelled the foul oder of deceit on this one. Particularly when he told a candidate for city commission recently that this was 'payback' for Sims allegedly being involved in the law and disorder scandal, which he was not...

Posted by: No way | May 30, 2008 11:14 AM

They did NOT get hardly any signatures! This is Bull S***! Elliot Klieman is a LIAR! They did this simply as payback to Sims for the Law & Disorder drinking debacle...and he wasn't even involved!

Former ousted Commissioner Kleiman told many people that this was 'payback' on many occassions. Too bad our Mayor Debby Eisinger got involved and was on the recall committee.

In regards to the Recall effort by The Recall Committee, Elliot Kleiman, Lori Green and Mayor Debby Eisinger,

The actions of the Recall Committee should be very troubling to everyone in Broward county. I don't agree with the tactics that were used against Sims by the Recall Committee, Elliot Kleiman, Lori Green, Greg Ross and Debby Eisinger among many others.

The recall effort was nothing short of frivolous and it was
deceitful just to get signatures. This was just one of many tactics designed to continue to discredit Sims through character assassination because the recall committee doesn't like what he has to say, nor do they like free speech outside of the commission chamber's walls, much less inside, and we all must admonish these political and morally reprehensible tactics. Yes, Judy Stern!

It was alright for the Mayor to allow ‘free speech’ and personal attacks against her opposition up until election time, and then afterwards it was again permitted by her cronies.

Sims was falsely accused of Anti-Semitism by the Mayor and Elliot Kleiman. He was slandered and defamed by them. They created this conspiracy. I hope Sims will seek justice and unfortunately, the citizens of Cooper City will have to pay dearly for that.

If reports in this piece of sh*it paper are to be believed, then we must all admonish those who created this debacle which has been nothing short of disgraceful.

This in and of itself is concerning. Although no crime was committed by Sims or by the actual perpetrators of the so-called 'hate blog' of which Sims was falsely accused of creating, one of the basic tenants of American law is that you have the right to know who your accuser is, and that you are indeed innocent until proven guilty.

These are all true statements. I know, I was part of the inside group that promoted the recall...

Posted by: No Recall | May 30, 2008 11:15 AM

Now that it is over, they should re-group and hang on a good drunk (at the taxpayers expense of course) and go back to work or whatever it is that they do!

Posted by: Chang | May 30, 2008 11:16 AM

Recall the Recall.

It has ended. Not to be left hanging the perps have one last message (read lie) to attempt to feed us. The recall is being withdrawn. Yes, that is what we are being asked to believe.

First, let’s really look at some of the facts of the petition withdrawal. We are being asked to view this petition process as one of benevolence. The process is being halted as it would cost Cooper City $110,000 to continue. The figure head leader of the effort had been the former commissioner Kleiman who had stated when he withdrew his support just a few weeks ago, that it appeared to him that the basis of the petition was in fact very weak and probably not founded on any real facts, only allegation or suggested supposition.

This is after a resident of Cooper City, the Rev. Bob Sands took Mr. Kleimen to task on the concept of hypocrisy.

We have it on very good authority that he then received a blistering phone call from the originator of the petition action, the infamous if not notorious Lori Green, campaign manager for Mayor Debby Eisinger and companion while both were seen walking of the streets of Embassy Lakes knocking on doors to obtain signatures as the petition drive lost its steam.

With that in my mind we are being asked to believe that it is the cost that is the primary consideration for the withdrawal.(Cooper City has at least $22 million in liquid assets. Based upon the last 5 commission meetings, the Mayor has a dummy on either side, ready, willing and quite able to approve any expenditure that she may desire.)

Secondly, the time frame of this process was well known to all who can read (including the lawyers leading the pack) and some of the time line discussion by the backroom manager Lori Green is really just a subterfuge.

It is simply verbal condiments added to the meal of a failed petition needed to feed the hunger mob at Embassy Lakes that so passionately drank the ‘Kool Aid’ of lies, half truths, slanderous and malicious attacks upon a Commissioner who did not follow in line as the previous group (Roper and Valenti, want another beer, brother) did in order to satisfy a political agenda of the power hunger and control freak Mayor of Cooper City, Debbie Eisinger.

Last, but by no means least, the truth that was being told by a few staunch supporters and ‘Thanks’ to a perceptive and thoughtful segment of the population of Cooper City who were able to see through the vitriolic rhetoric of the boisterous if not obnoxious Greg Ross, well known ambulance chaser of the more seedy Broward streets, the hypocritical commentary of (dismissed by the voters and discarded by the Mayor) commissioner Elliot Kleiman, and the tragically flawed arguments of the well meaning group of Embassy Lakes residents who had been sucked into the mob mentality without looking.

They had accepted on faith,(ponder the pun) the allegations as truth based upon a false propositions of bigotry and anti-Semitism, propagated and perpetuated by the real source of this disgusting misuse and betrayal of Judaism, Lori Green.

We, the nonjudgemental and concerned citizens, hope the lesson here is ‘Look and think before you accuse‘.

P.S. It is particularly note worthy that many unsolicited comments were made by the residents of this embattled city that we live in a country in which the process is 'one is innocent until proven guilty'.
Kudos to the residents of Cooper City whose common sense and decency
brought this horrendous nightmare to end.

Posted by: recall the recall | May 30, 2008 11:18 AM

Bravo for John Sims. Seemed like a witch hunt to me.

Posted by: No witches | May 30, 2008 11:19 AM

What do you expect from a senile old drunk (Kleiman) who never showed up at a commission meeting sober? And that Lori Green...They are the real Jew hatemongers!

Don't even get me started about Debby Eisinger and Judy Stern!!!!!! ARRGGHHHH!!!!

Posted by: no more | May 30, 2008 11:21 AM

I denounce Elliot Kleiman and his use of the Kiwanis name to promote the fake Recall Petition at Founder's Day at the Kiwanis Booth. I saw it on Channel 7 (WSVN) news and was appalled that the Kiwanis would sponsor such hate, libel, slander and defamation of a sitting outstanding Commissioner. Demand that Elliot be removed from his office and copy the TV news stations and newspapers.

Posted by: No Kiwanis | May 30, 2008 11:22 AM

Quote by a Recall Volunteer on Topix - "I saw the pages of signatures. They had not been approved by the elections dept, that I will give you all. Someone involved,told me in an election year, this effort would not be a priority to verify each signature which would take longer."

This is absolutely not true. The Clerk has merely a ministerial duty to either reject or accept the petition. If the petition was sufficient in regards to the number of signatures, the Supervisor of Elelctions MUST continue with the effort.

I read the Petition and as a matter of law that the grounds stated in the recall petition were insufficient to invoke the recall election. That is not for the Clerk to decide.

The reasons for recall whether true or false do not affect the proceeding. Their truth or sufficiency is not for determination by the Clerk.

The grounds for the action was contemplated to be something stronger than a belief or an idea; and the ones set out in the petition amounts to no more than either one of these.

The recall petition in no way apprised the Commissioner of the charges he would be expected to respond to were the recall election held, nor would any elector participating in such an election know what issues were intended to be drawn.

The recall petition constituted nothing more than the statement of a conclusion or opinion without any tangible basis in fact. No one reading it could tell what was in the recall committee's minds or, for that matter, whether they were of one mind or each had a different reason for setting the recall effort in motion.

The grounds in the petition did not sufficiently set forth a violation of some duty to the electorate which could be sufficiently identified for the electorate to determine the truth of falsity of the charges; nor did the grounds apprise the Commissioner of the charges he would be expected to meet were the recall election held. It constituted nothing more than a statement of conclusion or opinion.

The ground stated in the petition drastically failed to form a foundation for a recall.

Let us assume that the motive of each signer was of the loftiest character; we still have only an opinion. Let us suppose any issue where the sentiment of the community has been sharply divided, one segment feeling sincerely that a certain course would be "to the best interests of the citizens," the other feeling as strongly that an opposite course would be.

As soon as the Commissioner became allied with one group and exerted himself in their behalf, the opposing group could, doubtless conscientiously, swear that the official had engaged in activities inimical to the best interests of the citizens simply because they entertained the belief that the wrong group had been chosen or elected.

Sims has a property right in the office to which the people had elected him and he could not be forced into a recall election to determine whether he should be ousted, but a few months after entering his term, in the absence of a substantial compliance with the law prescribing the procedure for such drastic actions.

Because the petition failed utterly to form a foundation for the recall, the petition would have been enjoined by a court of law.

The Supreme Court has pointed out on several occasions that an officeholder has a property right in his office and that this right may not be unlawfully taken away or illegally infringed upon.

The law states that the petition under consideration absolutely imposes upon the city clerk or some other appropriate officer the duty of ascertaining whether the recall petition has been signed by the requisite number of qualified voters, no more and no less. Upon the certificate of such officer that a sufficient petition has been filed, the duty of the municipal council to call a special election is purely ministerial.

Clearly the City and the Supervisor of Elections cannot pass upon the sufficiency of charges contained in a recall petition. The Clerk and Supervisor has an interest and indeed a legal responsibility to see that a recall committee follows the proper procedures when a public official is so challenged and sought to be removed from office and that responsibility is strictly a ministerial one without any room for decision-making on their part.

There should be a real foundation for such a harsh test as a recall election, that the charge against an official sought to be recalled is related to the performance of his or her duties of his office, and that the grounds of the action should be something stronger than a belief or an idea.

The grounds as stated in the petition constituted nothing more than the statement of a conclusion or opinion without any tangible basis in fact.

Posted by: Recall Attorney | May 30, 2008 11:25 AM

So the lynching party is over, it's about time saner minds prevailed! Now the residents should question their Mayor, about the insider deal her and her hubby did with the Montera fiasco. That smells of a REAL CRIME!

Posted by: West Hollywood Dissident | May 30, 2008 11:33 AM

We will see how stupid Debby Eisinger, Elliot Kleiman, Greg Ross and Lori Green are when they are hauled off to jail for civil conspiracy. Commissioner Sims WILL prove the blog was not his in court. Just watch & wait. He will be a rich man at Cooper City taxpayer's expense when this is all over...

Posted by: Go Sims | May 30, 2008 11:35 AM

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just a Empty Lot in Cooper City

To Cooper City Commissioners:

What 'valid municipal purpose' would the purchase of this land at the taxpayer's expense serve? If the purchase is not for a 'private' post office, then what is it for?
To allow only a few 'anti-postal dissident's' to get their mail forwarded to a 'new' zip code, which the USPS says is unwarranted?
Shouldn’t $4M should be used for more Police & Fire, and to uphold the city's obligations for tax reductions since the money was in actuality a 'surplus' ?
No public purpose exists for which public taxpayer funds should be expended to purchase this (or any) USPS property in the context of the city's business.
In the case of municipalities like ours, our State Constitution provides that their powers are limited strictly to those subjects which have, as their object, a valid municipal purpose.
In addition, while municipalities are granted broad home rule powers by the State Constitution, their powers are restricted in the area of matters preempted to the state by general law.
It is the taxpayers money and should be spent on something that will benefit all taxpayers not just a few selected ones south of Stirling Rd.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kudos to the Editor of Davie & Ranches Magazine

We were provide an e-mail that we thought worthy of your viewing.
It represents a position of a true patriot.
Thank You,
Jared Blaut
Davie & The Ranches Magazine

"Forgive me for stating this last part "publicly," but I feel it must be addressed. There has been some controversy surrounding anti-Semetic campaign activities which, depending on who you ask, were either perpetrated with Mr. Sims' knowledge, or were the result of anti-Sims opponents hacking into a website. Some have asked whether we would continue to run Mr. Sims' articles in light of this.
It's been the toughest one-person jury situation I've faced with the magazine. I'm Jewish, and find baseless hatred directed towards anyone, particularly for political gain, repulsive. but I'm also American, and in this country we are supposed to presume innocence unless proven guilty. And to date Mr. Sims hasn't even been charged with a crime, much less been found guilty of one. There are others in our area who have in the past been accused of unfortunate behavior, and most certainly they asked for the evidence (such as it was) to be carefully considered. It is POSSIBLE that Mr. Sims approved of the anti-Semitic acts, but it is also POSSIBLE that he did not and that others are to blame. He states on his website: "The anti-Semitic comments and illustrations were not authored by me, and I vehemently condemn any such act or participation in any such act, which depicts an affront to any member, or, any part of our civilized society." It is only American to give him the benefit of the doubt until such time there is definitive proof of guilt (should that time ever come). And so that is what I am going to do. All the best, -- "
Jared Blaut Owner/Editor
Davie & The Ranches Magazine (954) 384-9666 (o)
(954) 599-2617 (c)
(954) 206-0481 (f)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Talk about Turnabout

Recent Cooper City Commission meeting was a drama of Histroical portions. That is to say, we saw a turnabout for former Commission Elliott Kleiman, who now knows what it is to be denied the right to speak and be heard by the city commission. Subsequently, Elliot has become a strong advocate if not a harden dissent regarding the right to free speech. He feels so strongly about the First Amendment rights that he posted the following on his website. As he is absolutely right on
we feel it is only fitting that the First Amndment review he offerred should be shown.
(more on this subject will follow.)

The following is from the website -->Wex The Legal Information Institute (LII) is a research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School. Popular collections include: the U.S. Code, Supreme Court opinions, and Law about.

First amendmentent: an overview
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message.
Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

[Thank You Elliot]

As always your comments are welcomed. Remember, no foul language or salacious commentary.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The E-Mail Battle of Truth

From: Elliot Kleiman []
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 8:29 AM
To: Rev Bob Sands
Subject: Shame on you.

Bob, Shame on you. A man of the cloth promulgating half truths, innuendo and worse.

I thought you were consecrated to act on a higher plane and to tell the truth.

I had always told people that in spite of your support of John, you were an ethical person. Many people said I was wrong about you.

I guess they were right.

FYI: The statements John made in his email to Kiwanis District and to International and others about my use of the Kiwanis booth at Founder's Day to promote the recall petition is a total fabrication and I can prove it. Of course you probably don't care to hear the truth.

From: Bob Sands []
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 11:05 AM
To: 'Elliot Kleiman'Subject:
RE: Shame on you.


You surprise me, you really do. My ethics are called into question because I point out hypocrisy and support someone with whom you disagree personally and politically? The “many people” that said you were wrong about me don’t even know me, my reputation or my ministry. I’ve been told that “hanging around” John was bed for my reputation. So is hanging around the likes of Judy Stern and others. I have had better than you or them level criticism at me. Furthermore, I did not say anything that wasn’t true, especially about the “Law and Disorder”. John never told me anything about Kiwanis. The booth was seen in the background of the TV interview and several witnesses observed you asking folks to sign the petition while in front of it. I hope they weren’t correct Elliot. And if it isn’t true, I stand corrected.

One more thing, don’t try and play the “clergy” card on me again. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you certainly doesn’t mean that they are unethical. I will put my record and reputation up against yours or any of the politicians in Broward County any day. You just name the time and place and I’ll show up.

Elliot, you have done a lot of good things in this city. Don’t let them be overshadowed by revenge or sour grapes. I think you are better than that. As for the truth, that’s all I want. If you have it then show it to me. I will be glad to meet with you anytime. Just let me know.

Kind regards,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Email to the Ex-Commish (Elliot Kleiman)

This is an important message for you from The Cooper City Insider Blog. Below is an e-mail sent to Elliot Kleiman from Rev. Bob Sands. At the request of Rev. Sands we are providing this e-mail for all to review.(originally sent Wednesday, April 30, 2008 11:16 AM)

Dear Elliot:

Thus far, I have tried to steer clear of all the political maneuvering in which you and others are participating. But I can no longer be silent while this city continues to be ripped apart. For you to issue a recall of John Sims is the height of hypocrisy. You, yourself told me at the Davie-Cooper City Chamber that you did not think that the picture was "meant to be anti[s]emetic". While the picture was distasteful and reprehensible, it is not a hate crime like that which was perpetrated on Mr. and Mrs. Green. Yet we hear more about the picture than we do the Swastika that was etched in Ms. Green's car. Where is that outrage? I think that needs to be given equal investigation time, don't you?

You are correct that you have the right as a citizen to participate in a recall. I agree. I also agree that all of us have the right to free speech no matter how vile we may think another's is. I will defend the atheist right to free speech because if he looses his rights I can also loose mine. Let's just call this what it is, Elliot. This is nothing more than another group of opportunists that have taken this horrific picture and turned it into a personal and political vendetta because they don't like Commissioner Sims. That's fine, you have that right.

Elliot, I must remind you again (you seem to have forgotten this!) that you were part of Commission that violated public trust. You got caught and didn't like it. You spent my money to go out and eat and drink and you did it repeatedly. Did we call for your removal? At one point, a recall for all five of you was being considered, but we decided to wait until the investigation was over and let the FDLE and the Governor have their say. In the end, there wasn't any further investigation. That is the case with Commissioner Sims. Just as all the evidence, including video and receipts pointed to the guilt of all of the commissioners, so all the evidence is pointing to him, but the investigation has been suspended. Right now, there is a media feeding frenzy but the true investigation is at a stand still. I would urge you to reconsider this. Let the Governor have his say. In the end, the truth will prevail. Or is it that you really don't care about the truth?

Additionally, as a fellow Kiwanian, I was appalled at the apparent use of the Kiwanis booth to front your agenda. I trust that you will issue an apology to our entire Kiwanis district for your lack of judgment. Unlike others who want to be removed from your list, I want you to keep me informed every step of the way. After all, we all want what's best for Cooper City, right?

Bob Sands

Rev. Bob Sands is the Senior Pastor of Community Bible Church in Dania Beach, Florida. He is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, Certified Professional Consultant and the Chaplain for the Florida Funeral Directors Association. He is a frequent speaker at various churches and other venues around the U.S.

BIO:Former Commissioner Elliot Kleiman served one term on Cooper City Commission during which he became involved in a "Dining and Drinking scandal", AKA "Law and Disorder". Drinking just before commission meetings and staunchly refused to acknowledge any wrong doing denying any responsibility and refusing to repay taxpayers, to which the voters responded by not reelected him.

If you wish any further information please visit
Thank You

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Everywhere but Cooper City

With the impending Workshop we present the Following:

Just food for Thought
The courts of the state of Florida on construing the law have read into the concept of an open meeting the right to be heard. In Board of Public Instruction of Broward County v. Doran, supra at 699, the Florida Supreme Court stated:

"The right of the public to be present and to be heard during all phases of enactments by boards and commissions is a source of strength in our country. . . . "Regardless of their good intentions, these specified boards and commission, through devious ways, should not be allowed to deprive the public of this inalienable right to be present and to be heard at all deliberations wherein decisions affecting the public are being made."

(e.s.)And even more expansively, in Town of Palm Beach v. Gradison, 296 So.2d 473, 475 (Fla. 1974), the Supreme Court expostulated:
"Every meeting of any board, commission, agency or authority of a municipality should be a marketplace of ideas, so that the governmental agency may have sufficient input from the citizens who are going to be affected by the subsequent action of the municipality. The ordinary taxpayer can no longer be led blindly down the path of government, for the news media, by constantly reporting community affairs, has made the taxpayer aware of governmental problems. Government, more so now that ever before, should be responsive to the wishes of the public. These wishes could never be known in nonpublic meetings, and the governmental agencies would be deprived of the benefit of suggestions and ideas which may be advanced by the knowledgeable public."

(e.s.)The Court in Gradison at 475 went on to state:
"The taxpayer deserves an opportunity to express his views and have them considered in the decision-making process." See also, Krause v. Reno, 366 So. 2d 1244 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979), describing this public participation as the "citizen input factor" and stating that this public input was an important aspect of open meetings. And see, AGO 73-170, noting that the purpose of notice of a meeting subject to s. 286.011 is "to apprise individuals or the public generally of the pendency of matters which may affect their . . . rights, and afford them the opportunity to appear and present their views."

(e.s.) Thus, the right of the public to participate in open meetings, to present their views and to have some input into the decision-making process has been recognized by the courts of this state and by this office.

This informal advisory opinion was prepared by the Division of Opinions in an effort to be of assistance to you; it should not be considered a formal opinion of the Attorney General.Division of Opinions
Craig Willis Assistant Attorney General

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Public Input

Successful Public Participation

Public participation will not succeed if it is not genuine—that is, if decisionmakers are using it as a way to sell a predetermined plan or solution and do not truly care about stakeholder concerns. Public participation is not a one-time event such as a public hearing.

Public participation processes fail miserably when they have been carried out as a one-way communication or are done behind closed doors or in an environment that promotes defensiveness, distrust, self-protection, or power-brokering. The most common pitfalls associated with public participation are processes that are too little, too late, or too negative or unsafe to be constructive to anyone, either the participants or the decisionmakers.

Successful public participation takes adequate time, resources, and flexibility. Public participation is constructive when all partaking listen to each other, make positive contributions, gain a deeper knowledge of the issue(s), and develop trust and respect for each other, even when there is disagreement.

As public participation continues to be initiated and carried out successfully, three things will likely occur: (1) more informed decisions will be made; (2) the skills to work cooperatively will be enhanced, thereby increasing civic capacity; and (3) the willingness of people to engage in public participation will increase because they found it to be a rewarding and safe experience.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Truth is coming out

Copied from the New Times/Bob Norman May 1, 2008

Muddy Politics
A sure-fire technique to rile a city: Accuse people of anti-Semitism
By Bob Norman Published: May 1, 2008

Eisinger knows how to scare up some votes.

It's been reported in both the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald unquestioningly as "anti-Semitic." The Broward Sheriff's Office agrees and has gone as far as using subpoena power to investigate what it says may be a hate crime.

What is it? A Hitler mustache and the words "Nazi bitch."

The offending material appeared on a political blog in Cooper City during the height of the election season in January. A post on the blog pictured Mayor Debbie Eisinger with a square of scribble on her upper lip and the epithet included.

This, of course, isn't anti-Semitic on its face (so to speak). Think about it: Whoever posted it was comparing Eisinger – who is known as a power-hungry politician in Cooper City – to the most reviled dictator of all time and certainly not in a favorable light. If anything, it's anti-Nazi.

Bloggers compare George W. Bush to Hitler quite a lot, and, while some might call it distasteful and wrong, I've never heard it called anti-Semitic. And I've certainly never heard of any instance where it was investigated as a potential crime.

Except in Broward County, where deputies took the extreme measure of sending subpoenas out to Google and AT&T to uncover the owner of the blog, which was called "Save Cooper City" and is now defunct. The blog's owner, according to deputies, is Commissioner John Sims, who is now the subject of a recall petition organized by the mayor and her political backers.

Their cry: "Anti-Semitism!" My cry: "Anti-Americanism!"

The pro-mayoral forces are led by former commissioner Elliot Kleiman and Eisinger's campaign manager, Lori Green. Also lurking in the background is big-time Broward lobbyist Judy Stern, a paid political consultant to Eisinger who is blamed, rightly or wrongly, for some of the more extreme tactics employed by Eisinger and Co.

And together they are trying to overturn a democratic election based on a spurious argument that Sims hates Jews. It's an emotional heart-tugger of an accusation that is sure to get pens to wagging on petition forms.
If you ever met Kleiman and Green, you would notice immediately that they seem to be perfectly nice and reasonable people. But the blood sport of politics has obviously gotten under their skins.

They are holding meetings to encourage people to hound Sims at City Hall until he gives up and resigns, and they are distributing all kinds of personal information about the commissioner in an attempt to disgrace him further.
"To save him the embarrassment of being recalled, he can resign," Kleiman told a group of citizens at a recall meeting last Tuesday. "And I think we should remind him of that at commission meetings."

This coming from a buttoned-down and bespectacled former professor whose main issue, prior to losing his election in March, was lowering the speed limit in Cooper City neighborhoods.

All indications are that he's become obsessed with destroying John Sims. And though Sims is certainly no saint and has likely brought a lot of this upon himself, no one deserves the underhanded beating he's being given.

In addition to leading the recall drive, Kleiman has a personal website ( that is all about Sims, all the time. Ironically, it's the only place in town where you can see the original post that compares the mayor to Hitler.
The recall group is also handing out information about a domestic battery charge filed against Sims back in 1991, when he was going through a tough divorce and was accused by his ex-wife of pushing her and trying to pull the wedding ring off her finger.
Involved in that case was a psychological evaluation that basically found Sims has some psychological problems, including a penchant toward narcissism and an inability to deal with stress but that he didn't seem violent by nature.
The court documents, by the way, are actually recycled news. Kleiman's son, Scott, himself a former commissioner, trotted them out during Sims' campaign last year, and it didn't keep the candidate from winning.
"I wasn't even aware my son was going to present that to the commission, believe it or not," says Elliot Kleiman of his son's rather low political tactic. "And I didn't want to distribute the stuff about his past. But [the recall committee] elected to do so."

The animosity between Sims and the members of the recall committee goes back to a CBS-4 report in 2006 that included undercover footage of Kleiman, Eisinger, and other Cooper City officials drinking prior to commission meetings. It was a sizable scandal that shamed Eisinger and may have led voters to oust Kleiman during the last election. Kleiman blames Sims as the source for the story, but both Sims and the reporter on the piece, Mike Kirsch, deny that.

Ed Wooley, a retired freight executive with an MBA from Harvard who lost his bid for election, says the real reason for the recall is simple: Eisinger wants to get rid of Sims so she can have the necessary four votes to decide who will be named city manager (longtime city manager Chris Farrell recently retired).
"I don't believe this is really about anti-Semitism at all — it's all a red herring," says Wooley, who has been active in Cooper City politics for the past decade. "And they've roped some people into believing it."

The mayor's campaign manager, Green, says it's about the reference to Hitler.
"This is above and beyond criticism, this is referencing an atrocity in international history under the Hitler regime," she says. "This is on the same level as a noose or a cross burning."

Green, who like Kleiman is Jewish, says the blog posting doesn't constitute a hate crime — yet. "Right now there is no legislation against Internet bullying or hate," she says. "But I absolutely think there should be."

Obviously the blog posting isn't a crime; it's free speech if ever there was such a thing. So why did the BSO investigate it? Well, that's where this case gets very interesting.

After the blog posting appeared on January 12, Green and the rest of the Eisinger camp were up in arms. Green says she didn't speak with deputies about it but that someone from the campaign might have. Bottom line: There was nothing that could be done about the Hitler mustache. Six days after the blog posting, a car owned by Green was vandalized in her driveway in the upscale and gated Embassy Lakes neighborhood. Apparently someone had scratched a swastika into it with a rock.

No one can ever remember such a thing ever happening in Embassy Lakes before. Green complained to deputies and told them about the "Nazi bitch" blog posting and gave them the Web address. She also told deputies that she and Eisinger had "political enemies" who might be responsible.
That's when Cooper City investigators turned to BSO's sex crimes unit, which is adept at obtaining IP addresses, and subpoenaed the information from Google and AT&T. It's similar to a political case in Deerfield Beach where another blog (Deerfield Beach Insider) was exposed by deputies after comments were posted that were critical of the city and deemed to be threatening. No arrest was made in that case, thankfully, and no arrest has been made in this one either.

The swastika also remains a mystery. Some, including Sims and Wooley, say it was either a kids' prank or that someone from Eisinger's camp did it to get sympathy votes for the election. Green emphatically denies that it was a campaign ploy, and there is certainly no evidence that it was one.

Sims, for his part, says he had nothing to do with the swastika or the blog, even though BSO claims it was started on his computer. He says he has lawyers working on a lawsuit that he intends to file against Eisinger and other members of her camp.

"Judy Stern and Debbie Eisinger are masters at this kind of thing," he says, adding that he thinks it's all payback for the CBS-4 piece. "I look at the people they are tied to in this campaign against me and it scares the hell out of me. The target on my back just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

"I'm going after these people. It's pretty serious what they have done here. We're talking about civil conspiracy, defamation, you name it, it's happened."

His last word on the subject: "I'm not going anywhere."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Anti-Simsitism Hits Cooper City

Copied from the New Times/ Bob Norman's Blog
Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:58:40 AM

The Sun-Sentinel's Elizabeth Baier reports this morning on the scheme to recall
Cooper City Commissioner John Sims and I think it stinks.
Most recall efforts are bunk. Unless they are truly based on crimes of corruption (that perhaps a certain state attorney might have ignored), I don't want to hear about them. Why? Because the people voted and a few politically motivated players with a clipboard and propaganda campaign shouldn't be allowed to undo democracy. The effort to recall Steve Gonot in Deerfield Beach, for instance, was a sham and a disgrace.
And so it is with this recall campaign in Cooper City. The grounds for recalling Sims are generally pathetic (failing to be prepared for meetings? you have to be kidding), but throwing in the charge of anti-Semitism should get the ol' kick-the-bastard-out-juices going, eh? And what is that based on? A blog that was registered to Sims that apparently depicted Cooper City Mayor Debbie Eisinger with an Adolph Hitler mustache.
First of all, that isn't anti-Semitic on its face. It is, however, American free speech. I don't think the alleged anti-Semitic comments that appeared on the blog have been published, so I'll withhold judgment on them until I see them.
It was a BSO subpoena that proved the blog was owned by Sims, who says somebody else put up the offensive stuff. BSO is saying that the blog postings constitute a hate crime, according to Baier. What utter nonsense. The fact that it's vile doesn't mean it's a crime. BSO threw the Bill of Rights out the window on this one, just as it did in Deerfield Beach when it subpoenaed Google to reveal the owner of another political blog (under the guise that it was part of a sex crimes investigation, no less). They are tying it into an incident where Mayor Debbie Eisinger's campaign manager's car was apparently vandalized with a Swastika. Now that looks like a hate crime -- but there's no evidence tying Sims to it. Why would a man running for commission (and with enough popular support to win) do such a thing? It makes no sense.
Look, the voters can decide what they think about John Sims. They don't need former commissioner Elliot Kleiman to tell them what to do. Voters already decided what to do with Kleiman -- they kicked him out of office. Now he wants to return through a back door. This isn't about anti-Semitism -- it's about anti-Simsitism. It's a move by the Eisinger-led old guard to regain power and put the dissident Sims out to the curb.
Let's hope the residents of Cooper City don't fall for it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sour Smell of Secrecy

A Palm Beach Post Editorial

Another misguided bill in Tallahassee seeks a major exemption from Florida's exemplary open-government laws.
Current law correctly lets elected officials meet privately to discuss tort litigation, such as a personal-injury claim, filed against a government. The proposed change would let local politicians and their attorneys meet in private to discuss lawsuits that haven't even been filed, an idea that would invite abuse.

Senate Bill 1510, sponsored by Minority Leader Steve Geller, D-Cooper City, would allow private meetings as soon as someone provided notification of an intent to file a tort claim. Now, a transcript of any closed-door litigation meeting becomes public once the litigation is concluded. Under Sen. Geller's proposal, what would happen if litigation is never filed? There's no trigger for releasing the record of closed-door meetings to discuss potential litigation.

"The bill really stinks in that there's no opportunity for public oversight," said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation. "As currently drafted, the bill violates the standard, and we would first ask for a veto" by Gov. Crist, who last month praised the state's public-access rules, which collectively are known as the Sunshine Law. "If he failed to veto, which I sort of doubt, then we would certainly consider a constitutional challenge in court."

Not surprisingly, given Mayor Lois Frankel's efforts to control information, West Palm Beach supports the proposed exemption. But she's hardly alone. The Florida League of Cities also favors the exemption, which would give public officials new excuses to conduct the public's business in secret. This bill never should get out of the Legislature. If it does, surely the governor who says repeatedly that the people are the boss wouldn't make it harder for the bosses to know what their employees are doing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cooper City: Open Government

Open government is good government
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
By Gov. Charlie Crist

The early leaders of our country held widely divergent views on many topics, but their writings reflect a common appreciation of the importance of the right to know.
These leaders recognized that, in order for the new democracy to survive, public access was essential. As James Madison wrote: “[A] people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
Sunshine Week celebrates the people’s right to access the records and proceedings of their government and continue a centuries-old tradition of public access in America. Some might say that the need to safeguard the public’s right to be informed about their government is no longer as important today as it was to Madison and his contemporaries.
I would argue that the mandate of government agencies to be stewards of the public trust has not changed. In fact, the standard may be higher. The agencies are larger, their duties are more complex, and a vast number of lobbyists are now part of the process.
In the end, government is still responsible to the people. Public access laws give the people the means to hold government accountable for its actions. This fundamental reality continues to be as significant today as it was in the early years of our nation.
More than 100 years ago, President Lincoln recognized that the people’s will is the guiding force in a true democracy. Strong open government laws help to guarantee that President Lincoln’s extraordinary vision of a government of the people, by the people and for the people will stand the test of time.

Charlie Crist (R-Fla.) is Florida’s 44th governor.