OpEd: Sleight of hand is the motto
Having just seen the posted actions from the L Lakes CRA Meeting last night, we just had to go look.
Of particular interest to us was the infamous CRA Forebearance Agreement with the City (aka- the old “rubberstamp” after the fact to cover up the use of $2.6m in CRA funds for City operations so Broward County and the others do not demand their money back). We had heard that the City/CRA was attempting to extend the debt out another 13 years from 2015 to 2028. And remember the City Commission and the CRA Board are one and the same.
If you look at CRA Resolution 2012-08 (Atch 1) approved last night (September 18, 2012) you see that the “balloon” payment ($2.3m of the original $2.6m) due in January 2015 was extended to January 2019. This was not what we heard through the gravevine so we went checking further.
From the City Commission Meeting of September 11, 2012 (Atch 2), Resolution 2012-104 was approved to authorize the amendment of the CRA Forebearance Agreement. Looking at the agenda cover, “City is requesting yearly principal payments of 150,000 on or before January 15 of each year until the debt is fully satisfied and paid off.” Nowhere in the agenda cover or in the resolution itself is there a mention of only moving the Jan 2015 balloon payment to Jan 2019.
City Commissioners/CRA Board Members not reading the agendas- guilty probably as in the past. But maybe there is something more sinister here. On the Sep 11, 2012 Comm Meeting, Resolution 2012-104 was buried as the last item in an emotion packed agenda. Maybe so no one would notice it and actually read it? Certainly not the Commissioners.
So has City Manager Jonathan Allen (aka lil Jon) and sidekick-mentor-cohort Comm Eric Haynes (aka Deadbeat Dad) struck again? Has Government in the Sunshine for L Lakes taken another hit? Gone by the wayside like public records? Someone recently mentioned that EH was still the CRA Chair and running the CRA while Ben Williams was only a figurehead.
We have our opinion, you can judge for yourselves. Do you like the “Trust me, this is best action now” philosophy of Allen and Haynes now at L Lakes?