The Westside Gazette

Should the term Commissioner be changed to ‘Con-missioner’

coverShould the term Commissioner be changed to ‘Con-missioner’

Capasso, Grant and Barrett

By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.     

      Let’s see if we can move in the right direction this year by first cleaning up the mess that was created in December of 2016 by Broward Health Commissioners; concerning the firing of Ms. Pauline Grant as CEO under the possibility of a criminal investigation. Then, let’s get out and vote on January 16th to remove all of the city commissioners who are in favor of giving the City of Fort Lauderdale over to developers as well as sending a message to those who may have other political ambitions.

“Stay Woke!”

I’ll start with the nonsense of the sitting CEO of Broward Health, Beverly Capasso. Ms. Capasso continues as CEO of Broward Health; even though the governor took no actions against the board who took no action on CEO Capasso, or General Council, Lynn Barrett.

Capasso seems to misrepresent the truth a lot. She claims to have met with community leaders after they commented at the Board meeting this past December. I have reached out to at least four, including myself, and ALL have said that it is not true.

It appears to be business as usual as Broward Health Commissioners filed a motion of prosecutorial misconduct on Michael J. Satz, Florida’s State Attorney for 17th judicial circuit for his call to bring charges against them.

Florida Senator Perry Thurston’s comments at the latest meeting on December 20th of this year which, outlined every word from the mouths of Broward Health sitting Commissioners on Dec. 1st 2016 meeting to terminate Ms. Grant on the spot, seems to not mean anything to those who were actually indicted and still functioning as leaders for Broward Health.

Excerpted from the Dec. 1, 2016 meeting where Board members made statements about putting the organization first, and how it would be impossible to have an executive under criminal investigation remain in charge at the District.

Obviously, two Board members, the CEO and the General Counsel are all under criminal indictment following a Grand Jury investigation.  Based on remarks made by some of the same Board members involved, there should be no question as to Ms. Capasso’s continued status as CEO, to Ms. Barrett’s status as General Counsel, and the remaining indicted Board members’ status.

The hypocrisy of the Board on this matter is conspicuous in that not only does Lynn Barrett continue to be employed, but that she is aggressively involved in (and principally in charge for) directing the District’s litigation in these and related matters even though she has been personally charged criminally and sued civilly.  The charges against her suggest that she caused the Board to violate the Sunshine law, and yet she remains actively employed and directing the District’s litigation and recommending the Board actions.

Given the Board’s comments just last year as to putting the organization first, how can that be?  Furthermore, Ms. Capasso positively advocated for “making tough decisions” and “making it right” before she voted to terminate Ms. Grant as CEO under the prospect of a criminal investigation, but it doesn’t give the impression that she’s made any energies to willingly step aside in her role as CEO when she herself is under a criminal indictment.

Will she be willing to do so now?

According to Senator Thurston’s comments, “Commissioner Ure said last year at this time its decision is not about Ms. Grant. The Board’s sole focus is on what’s best for the organization and protecting the organization under any situation.  Does he still feel this way?

“Under their own comments, this shouldn’t be about Ms. Barrett or Ms. Capasso or the charged Board members as individuals, but about what’s right for the District.”

Some of the statements made by Commissioner Capasso from December 1, 2016 meeting pertaining to Ms. Grant are: “We have to take corrective action in order to protect the institution.”

“There is no way that our CEO can be under a criminal investigation and still be in charge of the facilities. As distasteful as it is, I agree wholeheartedly; and I guess that, unless someone has another way of handling this, I think that we’ve got to — to ask Ms. Grant to step down.”

“It’s none of those — it’s not a personal vendetta. It’s not an attack. It’s normal operation procedure for a hospital company in a system, and I don’t see any other way to handle it.”

Other Commissioners joined in as sharks do when they smell blood in the water.

“What she is going to do is — we don’t know whether the — whether there will be a full-blown criminal investigation or not, but we can’t sit by and wait for that to happen, if it does happen. We have to move forward with this institution, and we have to take decisive action. There’s an awful lot of other issues that are going on here, and it has to be taken. We don’t have a choice.”– Commissioner Robison

“I want to stress that this board is not here talking about Ms. Grant. This board is here focused with its sole focus on doing what’s right for the organization and protecting the interest of the organization, under any situation,”– Commissioner Ure

Maybe this comment from commissioner Robison sums up the duality of what appears to be which, no one has said UNCONCEALED RACISM: “Look, guys, we don’t have a whole lot of choice here. The CIA is completely clear, and, you know, I — we can’t try this in the public forum.

“We can’t have “I did this,” “we did that.” We are not a trier of fact. We are not. We are looking at the institution only, without individuals being involved. I know the Institution cannot function with a CEO who is under criminal investigation. I hope that it won’t go that far, but we can’t sit around and talk about it.

“ We cannot have a major executive of our organization being potentially exposed to ongoing investigations of violation of the Anti-Kickback statute while, at the same time, being employed by the — by the institution.”

If this fiasco is not one of double standards from the Broward Health Commissioners, then what is?

Now, pertaining to most of the City of Fort Lauderdale Commission, grandma used to say if you don’t have anything good to say about somebody, don’t say nothing–mum is the word, almost.

When you have a sitting Commissioner who’s willing to take business from Black owned businesses in his district because they do not agree with him, that’s a problem and it should be a concern to voters who he has pandered to.

If you don’t believe me, ask for his record on it and see the people who used to get business from the City of Fort Lauderdale and now they don’t. Some city employees who fear retaliation won’t say it publicly that he stopped it and then ask the business owners themselves.

What compounds this issue is that others on the commission supported him by saying that they don’t interfere in other commissioner’s districts.

Wrong is wrong and anyone who supports wrong is wrong and does not deserve to be in office serving a selective group of people—check out Donald John Trump.

Any person running for office and falsely leads people to think that they are of a different race to try and get their votes by not putting their photo on their signs in selective neighborhoods is not worthy of anybody’s vote.

According to some prospective voters in the Melrose Park neighborhood, they think that one candidate for mayor of Fort Lauderdale is Black-wow!

One of the issues that stands out the most for me is regentrification: where will the people go when neighborhoods are taken over for the sake of progress. That progress doesn’t take them into account. There was a commercial that once said, “If that’s progress, then I don’t want to go.”

The question now is, “where would they go?”

Ask yourself this question, “After all of these years, what has made the City of Fort Lauderdale pay this much attention to Black neighborhoods now? Sprucing them up by putting in infrastructure to move raw sewage from streets and yards, making bike ways, increase police presence and yet the property value of its current owners/residences isn’t considered worthy enough to be of equal or near equal value of neighborhoods just across the east tracks? Could these new and improvement for those living there now or is the future looking Whiter, I mean brighter?

Voters beware! Even those that profess to be from the hood are sold out to those who are pushing the people out.

Check the contribution list of those candidates and see for yourself who is running to control the city.

A play on the lyrics from the “Five Man Electric Band song– Signs: Signs, signs everywhere a sign blocking out the scenery and trying to confuse my mind.”

Yard signs in the Black community are over abundant why; have the citizens been asked if those signs could be placed in their yards? Why is it that some of those running have not put their faces on the signs in certain neighborhoods; is it because they want to leave voters guessing about what they look like because they can hide what they act like?

We also need to pay close attention to those who have termed limited out of office to follow their political careers and when they don’t deserve to be in office. Don’t revote them back in-no matter where they are trying to go.

A few questions that should be asked of all candidates are: what percentage of your dollars is going to minority businesses in general and Blacks in particular, and the number of Blacks in management of your campaign personnel. Secondly, what percentage of Blacks serving on important boards have you placed and are Blacks receiving the same pay for performing similar jobs as Whites?

While at this point, we, the Westside Gazette, will not tell you who to vote for; however, we will ask you not to vote for: Robert McKinzie, Bruce Roberts and Marie ‘Peaches’ Huntley!

As it stands now the Westside Gazette gives our endorsement to Donna Guthrie for the City of Fort Lauderdale District 3 Commission Seat.




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