When Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams became chairman of the commission in December, he felt he needed another, more important title to get more attention and respect. He decided that “Mayor” of Palm Beach County would do it. I suggested “King Abrams” for even greater attention to his big ego.
At the most recent commission meeting, King Abrams made two edicts:
More than 200 Century Village West Palm Beach residents who came early to speak on a very important topic — rezoning of the golf course next to Century Village — were told they would not be allowed to speak and should sit quietly and behave, while the commissioners decided on allowing the construction of homes and commercial buildings on the golf course. Also the recorded public agreement stating that the Century Village golf course would remain a golf course in “perpetuity” would end with the vote of four county commissioners. The opposing three commissioners did not stand a chance, because of the very shrewd manner in which King Abrams controlled and directed the discussion.
King Abrams has forgotten that all county commissioners are public servants and that we still are a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” The “kingdom system” in this country ended in 1776.
JESS R. SANTAMARIA
Royal Palm Beach
Editor’s note: Jess R. Santamaria is the District 6 Palm Beach County Commissioner.
Rand Paul for
Hooray for Rand Paul and the other 13 senators who had the courage to stand with him in the Wednesday night filibuster against the drone bill.
Sen. Paul and several of the others reached the Senate thanks to support by the tea party. We need more members of Congress who will embrace the Constitution and not follow the crowd, as would a bunch of lemmings. The tea party is true to the tenets of the Constitution, which means that I will continue to embrace its leadership and vote for those individuals it endorses.
Many of us feel there is no longer hope for our country’s survival as a republic. Leaders with Sen. Paul’s abilities and his inspirational qualities give us some hope. Is it time to launch a Paul for President 2016 campaign?
DARYL L. UNNASCH
to ‘The Biz Z’
Florida Atlantic University can avoid the stigma of having its stadium named after the GEO Group, whose business activities are repugnant to many, by instead honoring the loyal alumnus who was influential in getting his company to come up with the $6 million.
If the “gift” is truly philanthropic, the donors should readily go along with calling it Zoley Stadium, which undoubtedly would quickly be shortened to “The Big Z.”
Holzman, a fresh
voice for change
Regarding The Post’s endorsement for mayor in Boynton Beach “Holzman over Taylor,” 10 years ago, my wife and I moved into a house next door to one her grandfather built, having visited Boynton Beach since the 1950s. We’ve seen a lot of physical and economic changes in the city, but it has always been business-as-usual politics that ran the place. Now former Mayor Jerry Taylor wants a chance to do more of the same.
We are concerned that unless we learn from the past, Boynton Beach will have to repeat it. In the last two years, we have been impressed with the intelligence, clarity and fresh vision that Steve Holzman has brought to city commission meetings. He has been a signal voice of reason in a sea of get-along-go-along sycophancy. Boynton Beach residents need leadership that puts our interests first. That means voting for Holzman for mayor.
It has been variously attributed Albert Einstein and Yogi Berra, but if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
GAYLE C. KRANZ
GEORGE M. GREIDER
Fix how clerk of
courts are funded
For more than 150 years, the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers were funded by fines, fees and service charges we imposed and collected, until a constitutional change was adopted in 1998 and implemented in 2004. It required the state to fund the court system. In 2009, the Florida Legislature required the clerks to be funded through the general appropriations process and diverted revenues used to fund the clerks to other state purposes.
We are asking lawmakers to switch to an approach that would cap the clerks’ budgets at a continuing level set by the Legislature and allow for a possible limited adjustment factor based on increases in workload. The clerks are also proposing to allow for the transfer back of the filing fee that was redirected in 2009, and want the Legislature to recognize that the 8 percent service charge imposed on the state trust fund is not applicable to the clerks’ trust fund. Additionally, we are proposing that any excess amount from this redirection of revenue would revert to the general fund.
Understanding the critical role we play in the court and judicial system, we believe that this restructure is the best solution to creating sustainability and stability for our offices across the state while still allowing for accountability to the Legislature. Floridians deserve timely access to their records, their local clerk’s office and an efficient court system – all of which can be achieved with this legislative change.
Editor’s note: Karen Rushing is the Sarasota County clerk of court and legislative chair of the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers Association.
for high-tech corridor
The Post’s in-depth report on Palm Beach County’s economy (“County’s recovery trails neighbors to the south”) quoted economist Tony Villamil as saying, “The tri-county area doesn’t cooperate … and that hurts all the counties.” That could not be more true than in the high-technology sectors.
We are in competition with technology centers around the country. What is important is not how well we are doing relative to where we were a few years ago, but how well we are doing compared to our competition. The good news for South Florida is that our region already has enough assets — companies, start-up activities, academic and research institutions and even investors — to compare favorably with competitors like Austin, Tex., Boulder, Col., and Northern Virginia. However, those assets are spread across the region. There are not enough assets in any one county to compete effectively.
We need to find ways to collaborate. To do that, we must overcome a history of parochialism. The greatest centers of high technology transcend political boundaries and work toward common goals. If South Florida is to achieve high-technology greatness it must do the same.
West Palm Beach
Loria’s track record
provides little faith
Regarding Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s open letter to fans, remember the Montreal Expos? They were owned by the present Marlins owner. Any previous Expos fan knows about Mr. Loria and how he dumped the team.
A letter-writer hit the nail square on the head when he stated that “for Mr. Loria’s plan to be credible, there needs to be some type of financial investment in players the fans can believe give the Marlins a legitimate chance to compete.” Mr. Loria’s record shows that he pockets the money while expecting the fans to trust him. I don’t think so.
West Palm Beach
Research gun laws
before spouting ideas
Gun-control extremists like the writer of the letter “Why was the sniper hailed as a hero?” and those described in your article “Grassroots efforts grow to control gun violence” share some false assumptions.
They think that reducing guns in the hands of the law-abiding would decrease rather than increase gun deaths. They falsely assume that they care more and know more than the writers of the Second Amendment. They often assume that if you oppose their policy, you are pro-violence.
After calling attention to the death of a Chicago teenager, President Barack Obama did not take the next logical step of investigating what is responsible for the huge discrepancy between gun murders in Chicago and New York. A prudent man would investigate first and “shoot off his lip” later before calling for ineffective gun controls.
West Palm Beach