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The Town of Southwest Ranches, Corrections Corporation of American (CCA), and DHS / ICE want to build one of the largest immigration detention centers in the nation within walking distance of thousands of homes; thus, reducing the quality of our life and our community. We do not agree with the federal government privatizing our immigration detention centers throughout the nation when there is clear evidence that privatizing our prisons creates a clear public safety threat. For ICE to continue to privatize these institutions and bring this safety threat through their "secure communities Initiative" to our community is unacceptable. Depriving someone of their liberty is a non-delegable governmental function and privatizing of such a function is infecting our nation like a virus.

The Town of Southwest Ranches has now entered into it's THIRD Fire Contract within the last year now with the Town of Davie, costing taxpayers $120,000 in ramp up fees. They are now closing several roads in western Southwest Ranches charging the tax payers $80,000 for the gates. They have paid an unknown amount of money for lobbying with ICE regarding this prison. They have several lawsuits against the Town, 1- Involving Open Meeting Violations on a November 5th meeting concerning the ICE Detention Center, 2- Open Records Violations, and 3- The Town is putting together a lawsuit to sue Pembroke Pines for breach of contract because the City utilized their exit clause and cancelled for convenience their Fire/EMS contract which included water and sewer at the last minute for the CCA prison. In the contract it states that there should be no third party beneficiaries. CCA would be a third party in this instance.

CCA has also filed suit in Federal court against the City of Pembroke Pines saying they are denying them water however the City had never seen a water application. The City did file for a Declaratory Judgement in State Court but that has been put on hold until the Federal Court hears the suit from CCA.

Is ANYONE CONFUSED as to why the Pembroke Pines/Southwest Ranches Fire Agreement was cancelled? The Town Attorney Keith Poliakoff attempted to "slip" into the agreement a portion that guaranteed water for the prison at CCA's request. This is something that should have been brought up separately. CCA should have brought it forward on their own in a water application. This is slide of hand that CCA and the Town attempted to do because they were so afraid of CCA being on the Pembroke Pines agenda.

As of June 2012, ICE put out a statement that the site selection was no longer needed due to the fact that the extra bedspace was no longer needed.
READ UPDATE HERE!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pines Fire/EMS Termination: Deja Vu All Over Again

Pembroke Pines Commission Meeting
March 7, 2012, Wednesday, 6:30 pm
Pembroke Pines City Hall,
10100 Pines Blvd
First Floor Commission Chambers

Also note that at 2:00 PM workshop on
legal issues regarding termination will
be held at same venue.
CANCEL THE FIRE/EMS AGREEMENT
ANOTHER VOTE TO DEFER, IS A VOTE FOR THE PRISON AGAIN
It's time for our elected officials to do what we elected them to do.  Some of them are fearful of legal entanglements and others like the money from CCA and SWR.  Some of them must actually want the prison.  The time for fear in the case of lawsuits, greed in the case of selling one's principles for blood money, or just plain stupidity in the case of those that actually want the prison, is long over.

The characters portrayed in this movie are fictional.... Any similarities are purely coincidental.
On November 16, 2011, Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis and the Commission shafted Iris Siple, opponents of the CCA prison, and of any attendees who wanted to send a message to both Pines and Southwest Ranches for plotting to build a prison behind our backs.  We wanted the commission to exercise the termination for convenience clause of the 2011 Fire/EMS ILA (draft copy at link) between Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches.

Almost 4 months later, on March 7, 2012 there will be a replay of the November 16 discussion at the Pembroke Pines commission meeting.  Iris Siple is bringing the same two resolutions up for passage.
THE FIRE/EMS AGREEMENT FACILITATES BUILDING THE PRISON
Why is it important to the anti prison movement to have the clause cancelled?  We believe the prison will do irreparable harm to our community and to our property values.  Unfortunately, Pembroke Pines has not always been so stridently against the prison, so they all voted for a Fire/EMS agreement that contained the following clause:
22.21   Jail Facility:  CITY acknowledges that it has sufficient capacity to deliver emergency medical protection and fire prevention services to the TOWN’s future 2,500 bed penal institution/deportation facility, located on property currently owned by the Corrections Corporation of America.  CITY agrees to timely provide Broward County, upon request, any documentation that Broward County may require to acknowledge that Pembroke Pines has the capacity, ability, and the willingness to service this facility under the terms and conditions contained herein. In the event the TOWN’s annual call volume increases by more than twenty-five percent (25%) as a result of the jail facility, and that additional call volume is being handled by the CITY’s personnel, the TOWN agrees to reopen contract to renegotiate cost. 
Worse yet, the original draft copy that's on the Pines website was modified at the last minute to include the following clause before it was presented to the Commission.  This paragraph is not contained in the agreement on the Pines website:
Section 22.20  City agrees that it has sufficient capacity to provide water and sewer services to the Town’s future 2,500 bed detention/corrections facility (approximately 500,000 gross square feet of floor area), and that it will expeditiously approve a water/waste water utility agreement to provide such service at the City’s then prevailing rate, in accordance with state law (City’s rate + surcharge).
We see Pines and SWR plotting against their residents to do whatever they can to facilitate the building of a immigrant prison / deportation processing center practically on our back porches and school football fields in west Broward.  Politifact agrees and gave a "mostly false" assessment of Ortis' cries. They "voted" for the prison, yet again.  Pines and SWR slid in the water clause at the last minute.  Are these honest people looking for public input?  This water/sewer provision has nothing to do with the Fire/EMS contract and Pines and SWR have nobody to blame but themselves that they've aggravated and mobilized their residents against anything Prison.
"...an absolute unqualified right to terminate a contract on notice pursuant to an unconditional termination clause without court inquiry into whether the termination was activated by ulterior motive."
We feel that termination of the ILA for Fire/EMS/Water will cripple the effort to put a prison in.  Think of the regulatory bodies that CCA will have to court and file applications with to get approval to punch wells in the aquifer or to set up a sewage treatment plant right next to 550 houses.  I'd like to see Angelo, et. al., allow that to happen.  Good luck.  CCA has telegraphed that this agreement is very important to them.   Nelson has done so too.

It was adopted in a duplicitous and questionable manner.  It's Keith Poliakoff and Jeff Nelson's continued nefariousness and gaming the system.  Plus, having to scramble to put together a fire department or another contract in 9 months will tie up every last minute of SWR Town Manager, Ken Fields and Poliakoff for the next few months when they could be working on the prison.  It makes immense tactical sense all around.

Follow The Money Angle
The sophisticated parliamentary maneuver was crafted by Commissioner Angelo Castillo.  (He recently told a constituent that "you residents don't run this City, I do.) Review this video from the November 16th meeting where he undercut Siple and pushed the decision off to a later date.


Last month, Castillo told us exactly how he felt about the legal situation, road closures, and his feeling on the Fire/EMS/water agreement.


At the end of his soliloquy, we learned that Angelo had an epiphany; second thoughts.


Mr. Castillo has nearly hurt himself patting himself on the back for his dignity pledge and other immigration minded reform principles  He also is walking around as a lefty, in mind, because he'd cut off his right arm to stop the prison.
 From: "Castillo, Angelo" <acastillo@ppines.com>
To: [redacted] <REPLY_TO@[redacted]>
Sent: Thu, October 20, 2011 11:48:49 AM
Subject: RE: Detention Center

I would cut my right arm off it that would make a difference.  But sadly, doing that would only make me a lefty.  You are a resident in SW Ranches.  Your Town Hall is responsible for this decision.  If you can't make a difference there, what in the world do you think I can do?

Angelo
We are aware that CCA is pulling all email communications, and this is part of the public record, so we do not feel it breaks any confidence of Angelo to publish this.  He knew it was a public record.  Here's Angelo's current position.
From: Castillo, Angelo <acastillo@ppines.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM
Subject: RE: Fire/ems/water agreement
To: Southwest Ranches Resident <notprisontown@gmail.com>

I see no need for termination.  We get all the benefits of termination by staying our current course and no loss in revenue.  You'll see.

Angelo
We see no reason beneficial at all to defer a decision to terminate the ILA.   The thought that President Obama will come in and save the day because of the POTUS resolution is completely ludicrous.  Does anybody actually believe that line?  He's as likely to change his mind as Debbie Wasserman Schultz is (long time recipient of CCA money and ardent supporter of immigrant prison).

"Lefty" Castillo is selling out for the money.  It's been marvelous political theater seeing him divert attention from the Fire/EMS/water agreement over the past few months.  But, it's a game.  The money isn't what CCA claims it is in their expensive, slick, corporate propaganda. At a recent town hall meeting, Manager Charlie Dodge stated that only $200,000 a year from water sales will go to the general fund, for example. That's it.  Is that worth a prison?

Fear of Lawsuits
Angelo and others are fearful of lawsuits. Nearly four months have gone by.  There have been two independent counsel review which were spearheaded by Angelo Castillo.  The first opinion from Usher Brown, et. al, is here: First Brown Opinion The March 1st opinion is here: Second Brown Opinion

The key point is from the second opinion is shown here:

 
Now we are hearing that the Commissioners are still fearful of getting sued by big, bad CCA.  This is after twice going back to the independent counsel and getting the same answer twice.

Interestingly, they never addressed the termination clause in the contract.  Even the simplest of laymen, of which we are, understand that there is no way a termination clause like this can be illegal and subject the City to lawsuits.  Both parties to the agreement, SWR and Pines signed this contract.  They were free of duress.  While we respect Goren, et. al., it's inconceivable that a firm of their caliber could possibly be so remiss as to allow such an apparently fear inducing clause be put into this contract.  Why didn't he protect the City?
18.2 In addition to and notwithstanding any other provisions of the Agreement, this Agreement may be terminated by the CITY for convenience upon providing the TOWN with nine (9) months written notice as provided for herein.
A quick google search brings up a number of citations.  We aren't lawyers and are not practicing law, but they are. What exactly does Terminate by Convenience mean? K&L Gates wrote in a 2007 article:
The termination for convenience provision is one of the most unique provisions in construction contracts.  It allows an owner to unilaterally terminate the contract with or without cause, or even if the owner itself is in default, without incurring a breach of the contract.  Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “convenience” as “something conducive to…ease.”  This definition is consistent with the holdings of many courts that a party has “an absolute unqualified right to terminate a contract on notice pursuant to an unconditional termination clause without court inquiry into whether the termination was activated by ulterior motive.
It's pretty clear to us that even if we didn't like the color of a house that Pines had to serve, they would be completely legally entitled to engage this clause and terminate the contract.

Commissioner Schwartz, we have one expectation of you now.  Jack McKluskey is unable to "second" a motion to defer Iris Siple's motion to terminate the fire agreement on Wednesday, as he is no longer a commissioner.  If you read our record, you will find this betrayal was the determining factor to target Jack for defeat in the January 31st election.  It was a betrayal, because it did not allow for Iris' motion to move forward and have the floor open for public comment.  We have posted the relevant clip from that very meeting for all to review. We want you to listen to the unhappiness of the people when they realized that Ortis and Castillo had cleverly maneuvered the public out of the commentary on Iris' proposals.
Feb 15, 2012 Swearing In Ceremony for New Pines Commission
If you have an opportunity to provide a second to bring Siple's motions to the floor for both public comment and for an up or down vote by the commission, we expect you to allow us our voice.  This is a democratic, bedrock principle that is open and honest.  We are not telling you how to vote.  We want the opportunity to address the commission, on the record, over this issue.  And we want to see how each and every one of you vote when it comes to your last and final "vote", as Politifact called it, on the prison.

So, I think the commission needs to grow up and stop either being afraid of being sued or using this as an excuse.  Tell CCA to bring it on.  They aren't even party to the agreement.  Tell them that their disruption and degradation of our community is not welcome.  It's what your constituents want and it's what you were elected to do.

Contact your officials and let them know how you feel.  Also, the workshop is at 2:00 and the Commission meeting is at 6:30 this coming Wednesday, March 7, at Pines City Hall.

Clearly CCA is scaring the hell out of these guys.  But, you have a vote.  CCA doesn't.  Never forget that.

A vote to defer is a vote for the prison.  A no to termination is a vote for the prison.  Don't let them get away with "voting" for the prison again.
  • Iris Siple, isiple@ppines.com, 954-436-3266
  • Frank Ortis, fortis@ppines.com, 954-435-6505 
  • Angelo Castillo, acastillo@ppines.com, 954-436-3266
  • Jay Schwartz, jschwartz@ppines.com, 954-436-3266
  • Carl Shechter, cshechter@ppines.com, 954-436-3266
  • Charlie Dodge, cdodge@ppines.com, 954-431-4884

4 comments:

  1. Due to all the compiled information we have accumulated. A vote to terminate the FIRE/EMS agreement, will be step in the right direction to save TWO GREAT COMMUNITIES from DESTRUCTION!!!! If SWR cannot muster up the GUTS to do it. You will be the SAVIORS!!!!!!The DETENTION CENTER will not only entail 4WALLS, Locked doors and BARBED WIRE. It will also mean FURLOUGHED CRIMINALS into the surrounding neighborhoods.WHO IS GOING TO MONITOR THEIR WHERE ABOUTS??????WHAT CRIMES WILL BE COMMITTED????WHO WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY???? VOTE NO to terminate the FIRE/EMS contract!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope you mean vote YES to terminate the contract. It sounds like what you are saying.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hope you mean vote YES to terminate the contract. It sounds like what you are saying.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These commissioners have no credibility. they should learn from their residents how to grow a set and stand up for what they believe in instead of being scared of big bad CCA.

    ReplyDelete

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