29 Jan Howie kicked some ass, he did.
Hey Mr. Tim Donnelly, Mr. Howard Finklestein, and the boys/girls at the OIG;
Did you happen to catch the recent Help Me Howard episode regarding the Lauderdale Lakes canal situation? As much as I respect and admire Howard, his segment missed the real travesty / story.
Lauderdale Lakes City Manager :JA: was identified in a felony bid splitting complaint in regards to Manny Diez, a former City employee, and his company ADA Engineering.
Allen hired Diez to run Public Works, but passed it off as capital project work. Diez also drafted a master Stormwater plan for Allen that was used to jack up Stormwater fees by 160% in 2012. This plan benefited Diez and his company, ADA Engineering, by guaranteeing future work- planning, not real canal bank work.
So if the rates have gone thru the roof and there’s grant money to fix the canals, then what gives?
Simple really. The cash went to shore up the General Fund – like all of the special assessment money and the CRA money. Where is the Stormwater money? What about all of the Stormwater fees? Don’t look at the City auditor Rod Harvey- he does not know. He could not straighten out all of the cash being moved around and needed our help to finally figure it out.
And don’t look at the County- Allen fed them so many false reports signed by Mayor Russell that Stacy Ritter finally had to say that is enough.
Old cronies :LW: and :HR: have teamed up trying to limit the scope of any review so there excesses and abuses will not be revealed. (Hint- trips, donations to certain groups, sponsorships, lobbyist fees, etc.). :EH:, the grand master of the $20M CRA debt has disappeared and is now laying low in Weston or Orlando- take your pick but certainly not in L Lakes. :GR:, the CRA Executive Director is AWOL.
The only thing constant is Allen and the huge debt and outrageous fees. Highest taxes in State, fire fees up by 33% and over legal limit, Stormwater fees up by 160%, banking enormous solid waste fee reserve, but absolutely no work being done. Streets, canals, canal banks, you name it- they are all a disaster. You can see the picture. He is even trying to sell off City Hall and the Parks.
Neither Williams not Rogers want the audit to go too far back (5 years or so) to uncover their abuses- trips, donations, helping out special interest groups, from both City and CRA. Like I said, Haynes is nowhere to be found.
The rats are definitely started to flee.