When I came onboard the New Times, the editors asked me “not to drop f-bomb laced public record requests.” Seem their reporters had a hard enough time getting the intel as it was.
“Okie dokie, ” I said. “I’ll mind my P’s and Q’s.”
I’ve been chasing down a Lauderdale Lakes story for the NT… Wanting to get :JA: on the record, I fired off this email:
Mr. City Manager;
I’m in the process of writing a story regarding your ongoing Miami-Dade SAO investigation, the recent call for a State audit (by Commissioner Stacy Ritter), and the $100,000 no-bid library parking lot contract.
I would like to hear your thoughts.
Feel free to respond back to this email.
Chaz Stevens, Freelance Journalist
Prompting this reply:
Happy New Year! I would be more than happy to meet with you and respond to any questions related to these matters. Please advise when it is convenient to meet with me. Thanks!
Jonathan K. Allen, MPA
City Manager | City Manager’s Office
Cool deal, I am thinking … I’ll finally get to hold Allen accountable to his word (pun!) with this email:
City Manager Allen;
I am writing a story for the New Times regarding the City of Lauderdale Lakes. In that regard, I have the following questions. I ask that you reply back to this email with your answers, to avoid any possible misquotes.
I am on deadline.
1. Commissioner Stacy Ritter has called upon both the Attorney General and Legislative Auditing Committee to investigate your city’s finances. What are your thoughts on that matter.
2.You proposed the $2.5 million forbearance agreement between the CRA and the City. Why did you think the use of that money by the City for City services met the requirements of FS 163 for the use of CRA money?
3. In the 2013 budget for the CRA you only budgeted less than $200k of the CRA surplus (fund balance) of $3.4 million. Why did you think that met the requirements of FS 163 that a CRA budget all of the fund balance or refund it to the payers of the TIF?
4. Why did you put a $330k repayment of the BSO debt in the Fire Special Assessment Fund starting in the 2013 budget and a transfer of $75k to the General Fund? This fund has a $1.7 million deficit in fund balance and is already paying over 70% of the BSO contract to include part of the EMS service which is illegal under FS.
5. You failed to follow FS in processing budget amendments and in fact used a resolution in 2012 to add the building dept after the fact versus an ordinance with two readings, a public hearing, and posting to the website? Why do you think your actions met the requirement of the FS?
That email was sent three times over the span of two days. And no joy, as they say. Therefore, onto Plan B.
Commissioner Gloria Lewis;
Good day to you Madam.
As we’re both interested having these questions answered, but since only one of us is Mr. Allen’s boss, perhaps you would be so kind to direct him to provide us his written answers. I’m pretty sure email is still being delivered to Orlando (just in case Commissioner Haynes finds himself there), so if need be, Mr. Allen can “phone a friend.”