We decided to bring a little comedy to you as the elections approach and we reflect on the fight in the Town of Southwest Ranches David Letterman style.....
We're going to highlight some of the big whopping lies that Mayor Jeff Nelson managed to tell everyone during the past year his constituents and their neighbors in Pembroke Pines fought the proposal to let a private prison firm, Corrections Corporation of America, build an Immigration Detention Center on their non-contiguous parcel of land. Without further adieu we bring you the...
10. ... and is readily accessible via ground transportation options including bus, Amtrak and Tri-Rail allowing convenient access to detainees. -- This whopper was garnered from a letter the Town (approved by Nelson) drafted for Senator Nelson and Representative Wasserman-Schultz's endorsement letter and was later reduced to "... is accessible by bus, Amtrak and Tri-Rail." The nearest bus station with limited availability is at the FIU/Pines Charter High School campus over 3 miles away. We wondered how these families were supposed to get to the detention center from the bus station? Walk? This is clearly reaching!
9. The site is also bordered by two major arterial roadways including United States Highway Route US 27 and State Route 822, a six lane divided state roadway commonly known at Sheridan Street. As such, none of the facilities traffic will impact any of the local roadways. -- Another one taken from the same draft letter. I don't know how you get to work in the morning, but I'm pretty sure that at least half of the Ranchers take Sheridan to work or to drop the kids off at school. Do you know where there are six lanes? Right by the entrance and exit of I-75 and Dykes. It quickly drops to 4 lanes and then drops again to 2 lanes across just after 184th. Commuters getting to and from school and work would definitely be impacted, so this is just plain false!
8. The Detention Center is too far along. (WPLG Interview - Dec 2011) - In this "excuse" he refers to the fact that there were agreements with Pembroke Pines... Our guess is that he's referring to the Fire/EMS agreement that included a stipulation to provide water to a 2500 bed facility. The size we believe CCA would ultimately wish to expand to, but an agreement that had a 9-month cancellation clause that Pembroke Pines chose to utilize. Interestingly, it seems as though the water servicing the facility was KEY to the Town to sneak in because according to the Town Attorney's emails, he was very relieved when he was able to put that piece into the agreement.
7. CCA can just dig a well! (November 5th ICE Meeting) - Now the Town wants to sue the City of Pembroke Pines because they haven't approved the water contract. If they can dig a well, why is there a problem? Here's yet another inaccuracy from the Mayor. How can we believe him?? Doesn't this guy realize he's just being used as a prop? Where are the strings for the marionette? That's right, he was promised so much money for his reelection bid that he would say whatever they wanted him to say.
6. WE HAVE AN EXISTING CONTRACT. IT WAS SIGNED IN 2000. (WPLG Interview - Dec 2011) -- We believe he is referring to the CCA contract that the council approved in 2005. If my memory serves me, The Town was incorporated in June of 2000 so where is this infamous contract that he's referring to? NO one has ever seen this? In addition, during meetings this contract was always discussed as a simple "marketing contract". The official contract wouldn't even come into play until the Town received the IGSA from ICE. Which was NEVER RECEIVED.
5. THEY ARE BUILDING AN ACCESS ROAD -- (Dec 2011) -- Really? Where is it? We can't confirm this statement anywhere either.
4. There is nothing we can do... (WPLG Interview - Dec 2011) -- Another one of those mind numbing propaganda statements. Did they really think that this would stand with us? Mayor Nelson has said this repeatedly. The Mayor of the Town with the "marketing agreement" with CCA can't do anything. This was proven false again and again. In order for CCA to exercise their Land Rights, they have to get the Town to sign an IGSA (Inter-Governmental Service Agreement). It's a federal loophole that basically lets ICE contract with these private prison companies instead of having to go through a whole bidding process. So ICE contracts with these different municipalities throughout the country where CCA or Geo-Group own land and the towns get a cut of the per-diem for being a "host" to these facilities. We have found that there was always something the Mayor could do. He could not approve the IGSA between the Town and ICE. Until the end, while the other Council members may have swayed from their original stance later saying they wouldn't approve the IGSA unless it was financially beneficial to the Town, Mayor Nelson was adamant that there was no way out, why do you think this is?? In addition, the Mayor went so far as to try and combat the oppositions efforts by writing to ICE Director Gary Mead and President Obama trying to minimize and undermine the opposition the people felt towards the project. What kind of Democracy does Mayor Nelson live in? This type of excuse may work in countries like Iran, Russia or China, but we the people will not stand for this type of representation.
3. CCA IS PULLING PERMITS! -- Permits for Excavating?? Not permits to build. Anyone who knows anything in business, no one is going to build a multimillion dollar facility unless the contract ink has dried. Did he really think we were that stupid? As we saw tractors out there we knew that without a contract, they would not be building. That just didn't make good business sense. In the end, they were just PUSHING DIRT because the Town Attorney Keith Poliakoff kept telling them to!
2. THE CONTRACT FROM ICE WILL BE HERE IN 2 WEEKS!
-- We had been hearing this since December... It never arrived did it?
1. THIS IS A DONE DEAL!! -- How many times did we hear him say this? Well, it's done now... isn't it??
REMEMBER, CCA still owns this property. They are like a silent disease waiting in the wings to spring up. Don't forget how the CCA Plat Note was rigged! We need to elect people into office that are going to urge CCA to sell their property now that it is known that the people do not want a prison. Based on your experience with the Mayor, do you think Jeff Nelson will do this? CCA is NOT GONE! Look at Mayor's Nelson's Campaign report! CCA Attorney's Sam Poole and Leonard Samuels BOTH gave money to him! ALL of Bergeron's Companies gave money to him! Along with all the other Contractors/Special Interest Groups for the Town. I will leave you with that.
Don't forget to VOTE NOVEMBER 6th! You can register to vote until October 9th, 2012!