Thursday, May 08, 2014

The most recent pandering by County Commissioner Lynda Bell: THIS SUCKS … guest blog by Ann Hinga

Part 2 also see Part 1:
 
Lynda Bell at May 6th County Commission Meeting.

In 2000, Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan to restore the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Among the conditions placed on CERP by Congress, CERP implementation required the maintenance of then-current flood protection levels.

Since CERP was authorized, some agricultural interests, some development interests, and some elected officials have sought to misrepresent the authorization and claim that CERP is meant to provide enhanced flood protection. This is untrue. Yesterday, Miami Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell actively participated in this misrepresentation by putting forth a resolution she claims was in support of full implementation of the C-111 CERP project and the Modified Waters Delivery Project (which is a foundation ecological restoration project that was meant to pre-date CERP). If her intention was truly to forward these critical CERP projects for ecological restoration, LYNDA BELL would not have included the language highlighted below:
RESOLUTION URGING THE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT AND U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO FULLY IMPLEMENT AND OPERATE THE MODIFIED WATER DELIVERIES PROJECT AND THE C-111 PROJECT TO END FLOOD IMPACTS TO AGRICULTURAL PROPERTIES IN SOUTHERN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CAUSED BY WATER MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES 
The full resolution language is available here.

You can view the webcast of the hearing here, it comes at 3:28 on the counter:

Some things to keep in mind as you review the resolution and video…

1) This resolution did not go to a Board of County Commissioners committee and thereby avoided public hearing.

2) This resolution was on the 4-day rule portion of the agenda, meaning Commission Lynda Bell's colleagues did not get the required four days needed for adequate review. Any of the other Commissioners could have asked for a deferral for the simple reason they did not have enough time for review. Unfortunately, the other Commissioners are not fluent enough in CERP and did not recognize the bait and switch Commissioner Bell was pulling.

3) Commissioner Lynda Bell claimed she contacted environmental groups prior to putting this forward. Another lie. Only one group - the Everglades Foundation - acknowledges they were contacted, but their representative gave public comment earlier in the day that they could not support the project because it created false expectations of flood control. (see 1:48 min. on the webcast link for the comments by the Everglades Foundation.)

4) The only non-elected person that spoke on the item was MDC Agricultural Manager Charles LaPradd. No professional staff from DERM, nor anyone that could speak about the environmental issues, provided any testimony.

5) Commissioner Bell acknowledged right at the beginning of her comments that this was related to discussions she had with the Farm Bureau and some of the South Dade growers.

Ironically, as if a well-choreographed dance, south Dade resident James Humble was at the combined Water Resources Advisory Committee / South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force meeting also asserting that south Dade is entitled to enhanced flood protection under CERP. This meeting was at the same time as the Commission meeting; one reason why the environmental groups were not present in Commission Chambers when Bell's item was heard.

If Commissioner Lynda Bell and the south Dade agricultural interests really want to advocate for full implementation of CERP, it's time for them to get real and start developing strategies to help them adapt to restoration - if adaptation is really even needed. It's more likely that full implementation of CERP is needed to protect ground water resources for their benefit and the benefit of the ecosystem.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lynda Bell lies so easily. She should get censured by the other commissioners for misleading them.

Pat said...

Mr Mayor: Veto this because it was passed in a very unsavory manner. I know you like Vice Chair Bell but you might consider liking honesty and openness more. One thing they always say about you: "at least he is honest."

Anonymous said...

FBI, FBI, FBI!

Anonymous said...

The real issue is lying about contacting environmental groups when none, except the Everglades Foundation, said she did. And a Representative from that group said earlier that she did not agree with this proposal. So none for on board. If you can't trust your county commissioner elect a new one, Daniella Levine Cava, the most ethical woman I know.

Anonymous said...

Sally Heyman was right on this. The system needs to change so this can't happen again. The rest of them are lemmings.

Anonymous said...

OY -- it does get worse and worse - and she is the worst of all. I though you were on vacation but am glad you got this out. May it backfire on her big time. and may the Mayor show some courage and veto it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above. Lynda is just doubling down on her pro-ag support and trying to put lipstick on a pig, which is her prerogative The problems is with her method. Lying and manipulating the system soley to avoid public input. But unlike her fence ordinance, this is too esoteric for the average voter to get worked up over but will payoff big in ag $$ support. Her only risk is Daniella will call her on it in a debate but again, pretty esoteric for a sound bite.

The issues are cut and dry. (no pun intended)

In the end it will be which side can produce voter turnout and can Bell's AB machine operate at will. A classic grassroots vs the incumbency battle where lots of bodies can overcome lots of cash.

Anonymous said...

I thought Barbara Jordan pulled this item. Why was it heard? I left because it was pulled.

Geniusofdespair said...

Pulled just means that it's not approved as part of the consent agenda when they set the agenda in the morning. When an item is pulled it's then called later for discussion and movement and either approve or denial or deferral.
Sent from my iPhone

Anonymous said...

Tropical Audubon Society was present and provided comments on this resolution as well, so ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS WERE PRESENT & GAVE COMMENTS DESPITE THIS NOT BEING A PUBLIC HEARING ITEM! This Resolution was PULLED from the agenda, the Commisioners voted on the pull items and set the agenda.
5 hours later, the item was brought back in... They let it linger enough time to make sure both Tropical Audubon and the Everglades Foundation had left the room, completely tasteless.

Moreover, misquoting Audubon of Florida's letter and drafting a resolution that plainly lies about the goals of the two restoration projects is audacious to say the least. The fact that the ENTIRE COMMISSION just sAt there and took Bell's word for it is incredible and terrifying!! This item was added to the agenda the day before close to 5 PM, meaning: NO COMMISSIONER HAD ENOUGH TIME TO REVIEW THIS ITEM AND SHOULD HAVE ASKED FOR THE ITEM TO BE BROUGHT AT A FUTURE MEETING.

Come on!

Anonymous said...

She is corrupt to the core. She was evidently provided courtesy of her colleagues, who expect it in return. this one shows her lyin cheating nature even as to process. here was no need thrush this resolution through, no urgency, so her violation of the public trust is pretty well laid out for all to see. Use the "courtesy" and the system to slip a Resolution through, avoiding public scrutiny. her MO. you would have thought she wouldn't be so stupid as to use her old tricks when she is being watched so closely. But she is that STUPID!

Anonymous said...

To the above alon. stupid yes, on the grand scale, but at this point she may not care what the eco crowd thinks anymore, she knows they're not supporting her and she is operating in pure survival mode. Time is running out, other commissioners can sense fear and are just giving her all the rope she wants.

Anonymous said...

Lying to the commissioners is not the Eco crowd. She aalso lied about the chAin link fence company --2 strikes.

Celeste De Palma said...

For the record, Tropical Audubon Society was never contacted by Bell's office. We did not receive a copy of this resolution and she did not consult with us.

We meet with Bell regularly to discuss conservation issues and we were surprised that she did not contact us, as we would have advised her not to present this resolution.

Tropical Audubon opposes this resolution.

Celete De Palma
Conservation Outreach Coordinator at Tropical Audubon Society

Anonymous said...

Commissioners are suppose to represent their district in an ethical way. Anyone who is not honest with fellow commissioners and the public should be censored at the very least. Who would want to vote for someone who is not acting in an ethical way.

Anonymous said...

Even though the opportunity was missed to 4-day rule this item, it is still subject to RECONSIDERATION. Anyone who voted for this item can make a motion to Reconsider it at the next meeting of the BCC. Go get some of the Commissioners who were misled to make a Motion to Reconsider at the May 20th meeting.

Anonymous said...

Charles LePradd worked for and was hired by Bell when she was on dais in homestead. He knows too well her vindictiveness and ill treatment of staff. Therefore, he will never oppose her anywhere or anytime. Plus, his wife used to work with the farmers filing government insurance claims... If she is still working there, the LePradds don't need the farmers complaining to the feds about her as their own retribution for Charles lack of cooperation.

Mindy Dickman said...

Protecting south Florida's environment should be every residents top priority, including its farmers, and especially its elected officials. Bell should be working closely with environmental groups AND farmers to develop solutions in sustainable farming and win-win proposals. Because she has proven time and time again of her ineffectiveness, myself and other District 7 residents are committed to helping Daniella Levine Cava win her seat as county commissioner in District 8.

Farrell said...

If an item has not been delivered to the Commissioners 4 business days in advance of the meeting, any individual Commissioner can "invoke the 4-day rule" and have the item removed from the agenda. There is no debate or discussion of the decision...if any Commissioner invokes the rule, the item is off the agenda.

They all were a afraid of Lynda's wrath and wouldn't do it.

the Sage of Ojus said...

Since Commissioner Bell has been found to be not telling the truth, perhaps she should be tagged Lyin'da Bell