During the October 6, 2010 meeting, we observed near the end during the Town Attorney comments that the town clerk stopped taking the minutes. The subject of CCA was brought up at time stamp 3:32:30 of the meeting. Mr. Keith Poliakoff said that he met with CCA and that they said there were "unique housing opportunities within the town." One would be think that they were talking about Section 8 low income housing. Certainly, most residents had never heard of CCA, never mind knew for what the initials stood. Even when you spell it out -Corrections Corporation of America- unless you're in law enforcement, you wouldn't think they were in the business of prisons.
He goes on to tell the small audience that Council Members Doug McKay and Aster Knight had attended this meeting and hung out in the back of the room, but did not speak; they just "happened to be at the Town Hall". We wonder if Mayor Nelson was at this meeting, as well, as he seems to sit in on all of the contract negotiations with Town Attorney Keith Poliakoff. Does this go against sunshine meeting laws? We'll worry about this later.
He continues to tell the Council that a lot of modifications to the 2005 agreement between CCA and the Town are required. That the Town would "essentially be requesting a grant from the Federal Government" and that "we'd be bringing in a partner (CCA) who would actually be running our facility." This portrays it that the Town would actually own the jail. In addition, he adds that the Town would need to "take the security risk level out of the contract." The 2005 contract did not allow for maximum security prisoners to be held at the facility in question. Mr. Keith Poliakoff states that "when it's an illegal alien, they could be there for a multitude of reasons, so we would have to take the security risk out."
We then viewed the October 20, 2010 meeting. Again, this item is the last item on the agenda, Item number 11 which changes ULDC (section 55-080) where it discusses "Manufacturing and Industrial District" which Mr. Keith Poliakoff points out, "effects all the penal institutions in the Town." The changes were to delete the limit of beds and increase the square footage allowed. The full text with deletions noted in strike through is shown below taken off the agenda from October 20, 2010 meeting:
055-080 - (H) Penal Institutions and correctional institutions.Mr. Keith Poliakoff then goes on to tell the Council that this change "gets away from the restriction on the beds and the square footage." Again he touts that the Council "would have to approve the site plan anyway," just like he did in the December 2010 meetings and "if it's not approved, it would prohibit us from applying for the ICE proposal." We have to wonder if this this rigged too? See Plat Note Delegation Rigged? Emails dated September 30, 2012 between Sam Poole (CCA's atty), Michell Mellgren (Town Planner) and Keith Poliakoff show that this is being done at the instruction of CCA's attorney Sam Poole. This email is very interesting as a normal homeowner has to wait an average of 10 months for a permit, yet CCA can come in and request the town code to be changed!! WOW!
(1) The minimum distance separation is two thousand five hundred
(2,500) feet from any plot in an agricultural or rural district.
(2) The maximum size is seven hundred fifty (750) beds and one hundred thousand (100,000) square feet of gross floor area.
(3)The minimum plot size is twenty (20) acres.
He then discusses the letter he received back from ICE in which it said that they (ICE) would like Southwest Ranches to submit a proposal to them. We’re not sure, but since when do you reply to an RFP (request for proposal) and they write back a letter inviting you to give them a proposal. Wouldn't that have been what you were doing when you originally responded? Mr. Keith Poliakoff then asserts his position that "this has to be adopted to make sure that we are in line for the possible GRANT OPPORTUNITY." A GRANT OPPORTUNITY? Since when is an IGSA (Inter-Governmental Service Agreement) considered a GRANT OPPORTUNITY? Note, that such an important item is the last item on the agenda, that there weren't many people present and that there was NO PUBLIC COMMENT on this item or any real discussion. It passed UNANIMOUSLY! Nelson, Knight, Fisikelli, McKay and Breitkreuz all voting “YES!”
The Town Attorney’s got more spin than any politician we've seen! Where does the Town attorney end and the Lobbyist begin? Guess that comes with the territory, when you have a lawyer whose firm also doubles as a lobbying firm for your town. That one way to tweak the situation of the federal government wanting to put one of the largest immigration detention centers in the state (to possibly house the BULK of all the state of Florida's illegal immigrants) and he spins it as a GRANT OPPORTUNITY? We have to wonder if he's practicing as a lobbyist for CCA or as the Town's Attorney? Where do his loyalties lie?
With all that we have seen in the October 2010 and subsequent meetings, we have to wonder who exactly is running the town- the elected town council members or the unelected town attorney? One way to start cleaning house is to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
Sam Poole RemovingBedLimit&SqFt