Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Florida in the Year 2060

A moderately sophisticated predictive study of what Florida is likely to look like in the year 2060 was released today by "1,000 Friends of Florida." The Miami Herald reports the study was conducted by the University of Florida's GeoPlan Center and underwritten by the St. Joe Company (which is busy developing the eastern Florida panhandle) and A. Duda and Sons, identified as "one of the state's biggest agribusinesses."

The full report (in pdf format) is here. An executive summary is here.

Some results of interest:
  • "Only the Panhandle would not be facing build-out in 50 years." That, and Miami-Dade County, which is trying to encourage fill-in development rather than continued sprawl.
  • Florida's statewide population essentially will double from the present 17.8 million to 35.8 million by 2060.
  • Nearly 7 million acres of agricultural or undeveloped land will be needed to accommodate the exploding population.
  • Except for small pockets in Northwest Florida, the state will become mostly one big, continuous city.
  • In the "worse case" senario, "this will leave conservation lands completed isolated, surrounded by a sea of urbanization."
  • Of the 67 counties in Florida, Santa Rosa (think Gulf Breeze, Milton, and Pace) is likely to be among the top 8 fastest-growing counties. If present population trends continue, it will expand from the Year 2000 Census of 117,743 to 704,149 -- becoming almost the same size as all of Jacksonville is today.
As the "1,000 Friends" report explains, its future projections are based on "four key assumptions."
  1. "Moderate" population projections by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. (In other words, things could be a great deal more crowded.)
  2. The "gross urban density" of developed lands in every county "will remain the same." (That's about as likely as the number and height of Pensacola Beach condos remaining the same.)
  3. Newer residents will settle on lands "determined to be the most suitable using a set of eight criteria such as proximity to existing urban areas, road density, and absence of wetlands. (Again, as much a fantasy as Portofino's promise to restore the wetlands it destroyed and the wildlife it evicted.)
  4. No new conservation lands being set aside by the state over the next half century. (This one could be probable, if we keep electing politicians who've sold their souls to the developers.)
And that's before taking into account scientific projections of what will happen to Florida if we don't soon find a way to stem global warming.

It's curious, at best, that the "1,000 Friends" report makes no mention of rising sea levels when it peers half a century into the future. Just yesterday, scientists reported that the Arctic Ocean is likely to lose its year-round ice cap in only forty years, well before 2060.

As an older study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council warned four years ago:
Florida’s valuable coastal property and key tourist resources will be damaged by the most obvious result of global warming: rising sea levels. In low-lying areas, anticipated sea level rise could force water to flow horizontally as much as 400 feet or more inland—flooding shoreline homes and hotels and eroding Florida’s famous beaches. Attempts to block rising seas through sea-wall projects and erosion control will be expensive and will almost certainly fail to protect undeveloped shoreline.
Scientists at the University of Arizona have been hard at work mapping likely changes in the U.S. (and Florida) coastline under a variety of scenarios ranging from a sea level rise of 1 to 6 meters. Free software to do your own modeling, wherever you live, is available here.

A more recent interactive map developed by NASA scientists and Google shows what would happen to Florida (or anywhere else on Earth) under a variety of climate change scenarios ranging from an average sea level rise of 1 to 14 meters. All you have to do is navigate to the part of Planet Earth you're interested in, input your preferred depth of disaster, and you'll get a result similar to this one, based on our own optimistic expectation of an average sea level rise of 3 meters.

Under even the mildest of scenarios, the millions who live in south Florida -- and, sorry to say, much of Pensacola Beach -- will need to learn how to live and work under water, as these static maps developed by scientists at the University of Arizona show: So if you're the optimistic type, as we are, there's good news as well as bad news in today's report by "1,000 Friends of Florida."

The good news is over-development of Florida likely won't happen quite like they predict. The bad news is that's because we'll all be up to our belly buttons in salt water.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Today Surfside, Florida has elected officials who talk green but who are beholden and controlled by the overdevelopment crowd, the special interests. Just another place with skewed priorities and lies told to taxpayers and homeowners. It used to be different, when Surfside was an example of doing things RIGHT.

Surfside, Florida emerged as a leading community in serving the public interest rather than special interests. Courageous, honest, and productive leadership was the hallmark of the Town of Surfside from 1992 - 2004. During that time, Mayor Paul Novack and the then serving Town Commission unanimously enact budget corrections and fiscally responsible policies and every year for 12 years the town operated under balanced, stable and efficient budgets, with production of increased levels of town services, and numerous capital projects undertaken and completed that upgraded the parks, playgrounds, streets, drainage system, business district, Veterans Park, Town Hall, and much more, all with no debt, no bonds, and with the building of significant town surplus funds to serve the town's present and future. The town attracted a new Publix and many new restaurants and shops for the business district and made improvements and expansions to town parking facilities. Plans were made for a new town library and hi-tech information center to go on newly acquired property on the west side of Collins Avenue. The town was internationally recognized as a model community, and in 2003 Novack was honored as the state-wide "Community Steward of the Year" in Tallahassee.

Paul Novack received the Community Steward Award for his steadfast advocacy for effective growth management in Surfside. In 1992, Surfside residents overwhelmingly supported a referendum to prevent a twenty-story beachfront condominium. For more than a decade after then, Novack has served as mayor of this small Dade County community for the grand fee of one dollar per year. Throughout his tenure, Novack and the town's commissioners have consistently denied any requests for height and density variances, maintaining heights at twelve stories east of Collins Avenue, and five stories to the west. Nominators wrote that, thanks to Mayor Novack, "the town's zoning code has been consistently, fairly and effectively enforced." Besides that, Novack has maintained a balanced budget without raising property taxes, there is a one-minute emergency police response time, and garbage is picked up six days a week for a nominal fee. During the selection process, 1000 Friends was impressed with Mayor Novack's steadfast determination to uphold the planning and development standards needed to maintain Surfside's distinctive character and scale, noted Pattison. "With his dynamic leadership abilities, commitment to sound planning, and concern for the residents of Surfside, Mayor Novack exemplifies the qualities of a true community steward."

Mayor Novack was elected by the voters six times to serve as mayor, not one variance for height or density or setbacks or uses were ever approved during his tenure, and he retired from office in 2004 with official tributes from the Florida House of Representatives, the Governor of Florida, Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and an official entry into the United States Congressional Record, and honors and thanks from many others from throughout the world.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the above comments on Surfside, I agree. Just look at what they want to do to the Town Community Center that is a historic landmark and should be declared so, but no they have plans to tear it down.

Regis94 said...

The beautiful and UNIQUE community center was certified as structurally sound. So what did the new city politicians do? Demolish it. No plan for a new building. No money to build a new building. No need for a new building. Now the lies come to light. And there is more. Mayor Burkett, Vice Mayor Imberman, Commissioner Howard Weinberg, Commissioner Steve Levine, all PLUNGED their own community into financial DISASTER by taking a healthy sound balanced city budget and savings reserve and SQUANDERING IT for private gain not public good and now the city of Surfside is a financial basketcase in 2008 after just two years of their failed leadership and mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

Surfside was a great place! Its government had always been fantastic examples of smart progress that was good for the residents of the community! What has happened now with new officials who are really out of their minds? Less facilities and services? More taxes? Big debt when there was none? Finsncial disaster? The worst elected officials in the country, and that is a hard record to make!

Anonymous said...

Surfside Florid used to be the fantastic example of how a municipality can be run for the PEOPLE not for the developers, not for the greed, but for preserving and enhancing a great coastal community. Research it! Now in 2007 Surfside has sold out. Its new town officials cover their tracks and pretend to be one thing while being the monster in reality. Opening up zoning codes. Increasing density in a coastal evacuation and environmental protection area. Using deceptive language and misleading the state and the citizens. The zoning changes being made by Burkett Weinberg Imberman and Levine are disguised and deceptive. State audit needed. Local zoning changes inconsistent with comprehensive plan. Violates state policy. Its all a con job. Will Florida Department of Community Affairs do something or sleep though it?

Anonymous said...

Now in 2008 half of the savings reserve has been squandered, down the drain with nothing to show for it. Where did it go? The town had bigger annual budgets in these last two years than ever in any two years ever and in addition to the fattest annual budgets it also mismanaged itself into wasting away half of its long saved reserves! Red ink in Surfside is becoming a tidal wave. Taxpayers deserve an investigation and audit. Who is getting all that money? Where has it gone? Put Charles Burkett and Howard Weinberg and Marc Imberman and Steve Levine UNDER OATH and get to the bottom of this ugly pit.

Anonymous said...

2060 Surfside Florida long since bankrupted and forced to lose its identity and merge into the quicksand of metro government and the demise of the fine community was owing to its distracted and diverted town government of the burkett and weinberg and imberman years so it was sold out and squandered and wasted and slided away before the truth was known about the flush pulled off by burkett and weinberg and imberman

greentrail said...

Florida investigation audit needed in Surfside Florida where a big scam hits the rocks and gets exposed. Auditor General. Inspector General. Forensic Audit. Florida Revenue Department.

poolgone said...

Turns out that three sets of engineers were right - the Surfside Community Center was structurally sound. Actually it was very hard to demolish! And demolishing it was probably the dumbest decision ever made by a local government in Florida or anywhere else for that matter.

Standsurf said...

Surfside is getting FAMOUS for dumb decisions, the specialty of Mayor Burkett! In August he directed the city beautification committee that it should "recommend" that the city get rid of the historic cannon at Surfside Veterans Park because he thinks it is an "ugly symbol of violence." Sick.


Surfside has a long and strong history in matters relating to the defense of our nation and those who serve on the front lines of protecting freedom and democracy. In WWII, Surfside was a place for training of soldiers who would fight - and some who would die - in service to America. There are photographs and documents that still exist to show the Town of Surfside's role in homeland security long before those words had common familiarity. Certain leaders of the Town in subsequent decades did great honor to Town and Nation through an expansive demonstration of sincere, continuous patriotism and support for veterans and for America itself.


Surfside representatives respectfully sought a display piece to help honor American veterans and American history. Town officials worked for three years for the Town to be granted that memorial display 1998 - 2001. Personnel from the Town, including the Town Commission and administrators, veterans, reservists, and active duty men and women from virtually all branches of the military were involved in the effort. The Town made formal requests in accordance with all proper procedures. The Town's sincere and demonstrated appreciation of all veterans through many programs, projects, events, and other efforts was recognized at all levels. The howitzer was made available in 2001 and conditionally donated and provided to the Town by the US Army and the United States of America on the agreed condition that it be displayed where it now is at Surfside Veterans Park as a memorial and tribute to those who serve and those who have served. Prior to the arrival of the display, the Town renovated Veterans Park, installed new landscaping, irrigation, pavers and flagpoles and made vast upgrades to the site. Surfside proudly accepted the howitzer and brought it from a distant depot to South Florida and installed it properly, with a community ceremony and visitors from near and far, and the Surfside Veterans Park Cannon remains on display today. It is a symbol of our community's respect, admiration and appreciation for those who have served and sacrificed to protect and defend our nation and the freedom that our citizens enjoy.



1992 - 2006

(Mayor Paul Novack 1992 - 2004)

(Mayor Tim Will 2004 - 2006)



Surfside created, presented, supported, and participated in many, many efforts to honor veterans and to sincerely thank them for their service. Examples include:



Memorial Day Ceremonies

Veterans Day Ceremonies

Pearl Harbor Remembrances

Surfside Military Discount Program Honoring all active duty and veteran personnel

Honoring the Fleet Week, USS Bataan, Avon Park Bombing Range, Richmond Naval Air Station, FTL Naval

Air Station, and South Florida Military History projects

Support for local JROTC programs at public schools

Renovation of Surfside Veterans Park

Recipient of Howitzer Display Piece from US Army

Cooperative projects with the US Coast Guard and CGAux.

Visited by Vice Commander, USSOUTHCOM

Visited by Admirals, Generals, and Senior Officers of All Branches

Cooperative International Relief Projects - Town and Military efforts

Participation in local military ceremonies and tributes

----(((((())))))-----

2006 - 2008
(Mayor Charles Burkett, Vice Mayor Howard Weinberg, 2006 - 2008)

Then in 2006 a new group of people got elected to office with a whole different perspective on virtually everything. They knew everything, no one else knew anything. That began two years of financial, management, facilities, and tax rate disasters. They spun their way to reelection in 2008, demolished the Town's historic and beautiful Community Center, and set their sights on getting rid of Surfside Veterans Park. At the same time, the true extent of the Town's financial crisis has begun to leak out. Diversionary issue or just plain ignorance and disrespect for veterans and taxpayers both?

Sadly in the summer of 2008 the current group of Town officials decided to tell the Town's Beautification Committee that the howitzer memorial display at Surfside Veterans park should be given away ("gotten rid of") and that the Park should be renamed and that the cannon and veterans memorial were "symbols of violence" and "inappropriate for the entrance to a community" and more nonsense. Town officials of 2008 think only of themselves, and do not represent the sentiment of most Surfside residents, but town officials keep town residents in the dark about many things that are going on. So, Surfside Veterans Park and its Howitzer - Veterans Memorial Display are threatened by the poor judgment of local politicians. But people are standing up against the denigration of Surfside Veterans Park and everyone can weigh in on the issue.

STAND UP AGAINST THIS DISGRACE.

Anonymous said...

Florida is great but some of its leaders are - well - not great. Unbelievable how misguided the elected officials are in Surfside Florida for example what a sick example of selfish ploys over being honorable and helping others. Surfside has really gone down the tubes in 2008 it used to be Florida's pride now its Florida's embarrassment. Search the net for the town's public face and its real face - the mean and phony one that runs the town into the ground and takes the taxpayers for a scary ride.

28 standing up - enough is enough said...

28 RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OF SURFSIDE
SURFSIDE, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA


November 11, 2008

David W. Martin,
Florida Auditor General
Tallahassee, Florida

Re: Town of Surfside

Dear Mr. Martin:

We are residents of the Town of Surfside, and we have major concerns about the financial status and integrity of our Town. Statements from Town Officials reflect major issues that require prompt and in-depth examination by the State of Florida.

The Town has failed to prepare and file the annually required independent comprehensive financial audit within the deadlines set by the State, and there have been statements at town meetings about their inability to reconcile accounts, about vastly depleted town surplus and reserve funds, and about conflicting information about the remaining level of town funds.

In the last two and a half years, there have been many questionable expenditures and procedures, and an absence of the open and accountable manner that is the standard of municipalities in Florida. Now with the failure to file the required outside audits over a year late, and significantly rising taxes, utility fees, and all charges made by the Town to the residents, we are worried that our formerly efficient, open and accountable Town has become quite the opposite.

The failure of the Town to comply with state mandated deadlines and auditing is the most recent in a long series of actions by the current Town government that create deep concerns amongst residents about what is actually going on with our public funds here. An awful lot of money has gone somewere with nothing to show for it. Please review the situation and get to the bottom of it. Thank you.

Sincerely,

28 signatures
Taxpayers
Voters
Citizens

CHECK IT OUT AND JOIN THE WAKE UP CALL

factsemerge said...

They changed the zoning to suit developers and special interests but then the officials couldn't sell it because of the weakening economy. Then their decisions on town budgets and spending blew up and threw the town into a financial tailspin - a crash in the making. Deficits in administration, law department, tourist department, and overspending in many areas.

Entering 2009 Surfside Faces Bleak Financial Outlook

Taxes are up. Water rates are up. Garbage rates are up. Sewer rates are up. Utility taxes are up. The town budget is the biggest its ever been in town history. Lawyers fees are up. Consultants fees are up. Outside contracts are up. Money is flowing. Its our money.

The huge town budget, and most of the town's surplus savings account, has been squandered. Nothing to show for it. And the town's elected officials keep trying to put the town into bond debt o30 year on top of the red ink they have massively created by spending down the town's reserve savings fund to fill huge gaps in the town's operating funds which have not been balanced since this gang took office.

weRgettingRippedOFF said...

Something is terribly wrong in Surfside. Its elected officials are throwing so many lies and cover ups and diversion stunts at residents that the smoke and haze are getting so thick that they think no one can see thru it at all. They are wrong, the dirt they stir up sticks only to their own faces. Surfside under Weinberg and Burkett and Calderon and Imberman and Levine is going down the drain.

Look at your tax bill, water bill, and garbage bill. Surfside’s elected officials, what are they DOING? When this gang got into office they said lots of lies about their predecessors in office. The old “blame game” politics of stupidity. THEN they said they were going to LOWER TAXES and BUILD A NEW COMMUNITY CENTER. Its all about their bloated egos, and it is ALL based on lies. The current officials found that their predecessors had wisely saved into a town surplus reserve fund while operating an accountable, productive local government with balanced budgets and annual independent outside audits. They did not want to talk about any of that. So they told lots of lies instead.

What did they do next? Bring in their own personal cast of characters and gave them town jobs. Then they rapidly depleted the town surplus reserve account – in just 2 years they wasted millions of dollars from town’s savings accounts. Then without any vote of the people, they demolished the Community Center facilities. Then they announced that to build a new community center the voters would have to approve their plan (scheme) to put the town into debt with a 30 year bond issue of $16.5 million which would cost far more than 30 million dollars to pay back with additional assessments onto our property taxes. Voters said NO.

Now they want more of our money anyway. We must continue to stand up and say NO. Then town officials were very late and incomplete in filing financial statement, and they gave many conflicting statements about how much of the town savings reserve was still left after they wasted millions on a “charette”, on vastly INCREASED spending for lawyers, planners and consultants, on architects to design grandiose plans for a new community center complex never to be built, and on themselves – town officials paying themselves for the first time in town history. They pay themselves and hike up All Taxes And Fees on residents. What a deal – for them!

Now Town officials want to eliminate the town library and the town garbage department. They want to continue to dismantle Surfside. They have raised taxes and fees, bloated the town budget, and delivered nothing. We are paying much more and getting much less. SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE.

Anonymous said...

''You've already knocked down the community center, and now we're voting on a way to fund it?'' said Brett Ellis. ``Something is backward here, and I think a pool and snack bar is what we really need.''

had enough on Froude said...

Looking at records is the right way to go.
Objective factual outside review.
Caught again saying one thing and doing another. And all those lies they tell about people who were in office before them! What incredible hypcrites and liars are the Burkett gang!
Charles Burkett and Howard Weinberg and Marc Imberman promised to lower taxes and increase efficiency. So what did they decide for the Surfside budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year year?

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

Anonymous said...

Howard Weinberg and Marc Imberman lead(?) the way in Surfside to jack up sanitation and water and sewer fees? Triple the cost to all town residents? And they high five themselves with their lies and propaganda? How insane is that, especially with Mayor Burkett starting all the evil and then trying to “position himself” along with his usual hypocrisy?

Surfside in November of 2008 sees its elected officials moving towards cutting the town sanitation department by firing all of its loyal long term employees and giving a huge contract to a ‘favored’ outside company for a big big big amount of town money. In 2008 the Surfside Town Commission is all about greed and incompetence. Surfside used to be a model for great government! Now it is a model for incompetence and corruption. 2009 looks to be the worst year in the town' history, financially and ethically. The people in Town Hall today are essentially trashing the town, but it was not always that way, just under the regime of lies orchestrated by Howard Weinberg and his pack of ego maniacs.

Here was the town report in 2004, look at the facts from then, not long ago, and compare with the current state of crisis in all departments, which now includes red ink, fiscal fiasco, and now firing all sanitation employees, and so much more not yet in the public eye.

From just back to 2004 here is what it WAS: from official publications:

"2004 Keeping Surfside Clean and Attractive"

The Town of Surfside places a high priority on keeping the community clean and attractive. In fact, Surfside’s sanitation services have been lauded as among the best in America. The Sanitation Department does an excellent job under the management of the Town administration and the policies of the Commission.

The Town takes great pride in its Solid Waste service and the cost at which it is provided. The Town picks up garbage (household wastes) and trash (bulky waste and properly disposed of yard waste) every day of the week except Sunday. The cost for this is only $155 per year for a single-family home. Condominium units pay only $145 per year for the same service and schedule. Most other municipalities provide much less service for much more money. All of the Town’s streets are swept regularly, and continuous attention is paid to all public areas including parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, recreation areas, public facilities, drainage systems, and underground utilities.

The Town is also a leader in promoting clean, save and attractive public beaches. Environmental, recreational and public health priorities are essential to the Town’s management of all public areas. The State, County and Town are now cooperating on the removal of non-native, intrusive plants from the beach, in improving cross-over paths to the shore, in enhancing the views and protection of the beaches’ natural state, and in planning for improvements to the walking path.

The Town continues to prevent any commercial activities or businesses from operating on the beach. The sand is cleaned and maintained by Miami-Dade County, and the beach areas are monitored and patrolled by Surfside. Our beaches are amongst the most beautiful and tranquil beaches in the world. Our public beaches are used by residents and visitors every day of the year.

Recycling is provided to the Town by Community Recycling through a county wide effort, and costs $19 per year for single-family and condominium units and most businesses. Every Wednesday, newspaper in one bin and mixed plastics, glass, aluminum, and ferrous metals in the other bin are picked up. The Town is proud to recycle well over 500 tons of material a year and that number is increasing each year. Surfside also recently initiated a pilot program in composting with volunteers working together on creating this additional means of participation in environmental conservation and preservation efforts.

Surfside leads the way in efficient, outstanding services in the areas of sanitation and environmental protection. Surfside’s level of service - amazingly high - and its cost - low and efficient and understood as one of the Town’s priorities for overall results - the facts speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

If anyone ever deserved to be recalled from office and put out, and replaced, for the sake of fresh air and honesty and saving a really nice town, the crooks and cronies of Surfside now deserve to be put onto the ballot and then put out of office for good. For the good of everyone other than themselves! They pay themselves more and money while they put Surfside into bankruptcy, how inane is that?

oy veh said...

municode.com

it says right there

the law is that town officials get paid one dollar per year

nothing more

its in the city charter

so what is this about the officials just paying themselves with town money of at least 500 dollars every month plus their expenses for hotels and food and car mileage and plane tickets?

surfside trying to out-scandal the scandalous governments elsewhere?

who will bail out the people of surfside?

should have been insulated from the economics of the times, and it would have been saved from the stress of all that, if not for the amazingly inept decisions of a small group of people who snuk themelves into office under false smokescreens then found themselves way over their heads and completely unable to really lead and manage a city

so the homeowners and families suffer the consequences

all for egos of aspiring politicians who are really very very useless and now known to be fakes

thanks charles david marq kathy barbara richard ken elizabeth steve howie and the whole ship of fools

epid said...

Weinberg's severe insecurity - coupled with his total emersion in himself and his deceptions - keeps flaming him out - he craves the chance to spin lies and tales and throw verbal attacks against others - believes his own propaganda!?! What a combination of incompetence and egomania. Its so sad and so costly for taxpayers who have to endure the consequences of his horrible judgment. Higher taxes, demolished community center, evaporated town savings funds, eliminating library, tearing Surfside apart. All in a day's work?

Anonymous said...

2006-2009 Surfside government lives by the example of

Rumsfeld: "Free people are free to make mistakes, and to commit crimes."

townoverboard said...

Surfside Florida town officials have crashed the town's finances and they now crave a bailout from taxpayers in the form of a series of bond issues that will saddle the town with debt for generations. It will be money for capital projects like a new community center but it will be money to be siphoned off as well. Town officials have wasted a big surplus fund saved by their predecessors for proejects and emergencies. Now its gone. Sinking the town into debt will give the current officials a big source of cash to keep the town hall afloat on. In the mean time they jack up taxes and fees on Surfside Florida town residents and taxpayers.

In addition to a huge bond debt these crazies in town hall just put on the taxpayers back a lead straw of multiple facets:

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009
Total taxes and fees are by FAR the highest in the history of the town - despite all the smoke and mirrors portrayed by official town publications and communications. Its as if the elected officials think that all town residents have no brains at all.

And with all the crash and burn economics the current town officials demanded the demolition of a historic, beautiful, functional community center.
Its dust now.

And so is the financial health of Surfside Florida.

Anonymous said...

Pensacola and Surfside and Cocoa Beach and Deerfield Beach and the Florida Keys and so many communities - BEAUTIFUL, HISTORIC, MAGNIFICIENT, NATURAL communities are under attack by greed and a strategy that anything goes in order to clear the path for profits. Besmerch good public officials and replace them with cronies. Lies. Distractions. PR and Smoke and Mirrors and playing the media like a videogame. Surfside is going down without most of its residents knowing what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Howard Weinberg and Charles Burkett IV have put out lots of campaign flyers and lots of claims about their qualifications. Has anyone bothered to check out the truth? Is Weinberg the law professor he claims to be? Is Burkett the presevationist he proclaims to be? Do either have the ethics they pretend to have? Is there an indepth look at these fantasy hallucinations of policitians? Oh yea, and why does Imberman spell his name three different ways, is it to sidetrack finding out what his background REALLY is?

lightson said...

Conspiracy of Howard Weinberg and Charlie Burkett and Marc Imberman have resulted in the permanent loss of the wonderful historic fun and uinique Surfside Community Center. Now their lies start to cause them to banter with each other. Horrible corrupt disgusting example of politics at its very very worst. Surfside will always, always, remember how it was deeply damaged by the dumb corrupt and morally reprehensible charade of politicians 2006-2009.

Anonymous said...

Surfside used to have leadership with brains and integrity.

That was before Burkett Weinberg Imberman Levine Calderon.

No more.

Now its so obvious that there are no brains and there is no integrity.

Surfside is crashing.

New leadership needed. How to get good folks into stepping up? A town with an amazing history of leadership, that has now fallen into the gutter with some bad decisions on officials, can now we climb out of the mess and the smog created by what we have in town hall now? Can we safely stand up to the lies and tyranny of the spinners Burkett Weinberg and Imberman?

Anonymous said...

Howard Weinberg and Steve Levine say they will privatize everything they can using everyone they can do get it done? Why?

open message to surfside town officials

does not look good that you play so loose with taxpayers money

Mayor and Commissioners, please stop.

Your march towards privatizing everything in Surfside is bad for this community, bad for its taxpayers and bad for its quality of life.

You have already privatized so much, giving countless outside contracts for companies to do what should be done in house by public employees. Tonights push to privatize the sanitation department is another step in your plan and while it may fit your own agenda it is wrong, unfair, and detrimental to our town.

To say that some of the sanitation employees only work a few hours a day is a distortion, because it does not disclose what they are getting paid or what their job actually is. The fact is that these people are getting paid so low, that the town gets more than its money’s worth and is right to allow them to mow lawns and have other secondary jobs just to be able to make ends meet. Their town salaries are very, very low. Once the town has been cleaned, the garbage and trash removed, they have done their job. Why insult and criticize them? You should be thanking them for a job well done.

Another fact is that you have just hiked up the garbage fee, and by privatizing, you would be guaranteeing many future fee increases for the people of Surfside. Don’t try to fool us with a bait and switch for an initial low price that will soar up in years to come.

Surfside has an effective, efficient, productive sanitation department. Is that why you want to get rid of it, step by step?We get superb service for a traditionally low rate. Most cities have their residents pay much more, to get much less service. The cities that have privatized pay the most and get the least. Surfside does not have to go that route. We also have an advantage after storms, hurricanes, and events to have our own sanitation workforce, an advantage we would never have again if you privatized and gave out another fat contract to an outside company.

Please stop. You tore down the community center. You want to close the library. You want to privatize and eliminate the Surfside Sanitation Department. You have squandered the town’s surplus savings accounts. You’ve done all that harm without any permission or support from the residents and taxpayers.

You want to get rid of these loyal, and lowly paid employees. But at the same time, you have highly paid employees and consultants making over 6 figures per year, and they are also not here most of the time! If you want to save money, look at the top. Even look at how you pay yourselves an awful lot more than the town charter allows.

This town is headed in the wrong direction because of some very bad decisions made by this commission. Please do not make another one in this push to get rid of the town sanitation department.

Anonymous said...

Florida 2060 is hard to imagine. Will it be the product of selfishness, greed, exploitation and abuse of the public?

Can Florida's communities find their way to protect themselves from the evil of those who have no roots other than connections to maximizing personal profit?

holeintheconeofsilence said...

Florida is YES based on its local communities.

But there used to be hope, like the former leadership of Surfside a town on the southeast coast. WOW what an example it set for greatness and forward looking. But then WHAM a new slate of officials buys their way into Town Hall and puts into play a plan designed to destroy quality community in exchange for cashing in for a few insiders.

Surfside Florida politicians gone wild.

Should be a "reality" show.

Its definitely a show!

The lies, drama, deceit, smoke screens and publicity stunts have made Charles Burkett and Howard Weinberg and Marq Imberman INFAMOUS already. And the ultimate cohesive ignorance of Steve Levine and Elizabeth Calderon completes the cast!

How does a community go from greatness to despair and bankruptcy in a few short years? Elect Burkett Weinberg Imberman Calderon Levine Blumstein and empower henchmen Arnold, Ioacobaci, Steinfeld, Degraves, Wiescholek, Ott, McGlaughlin, Verzura, Wasserstein, Tourgeman, etc etc etc etc what a gang

self service at its murkiest

Manateespirit said...

Biggest problem of all is that people can read about the real situation but they still don't want to do anything about it. DOn't want to go to town meetings, take the microphone, and say STOP you "officials" are wacko. Can know what is going on but can't seem to find the time to tell neighbors, to write letters to editors, to say STOP ruining a real American legit community for your personal cache of lies and sneaks and in-your-pocket deals.

Its never too late to stand against even MORE insanity.

fliesrebound said...

Investigation needed to follow the money into the holes it goes to in Surfside Florida.

Surfside officials 2009 'rise' to new levels of incompetence and hypocrisy and pomposity! What a combo.

The latest numbers are in, millions of dollars in town reserve savings accounts squandered in the last two years, cost of outside contracts anbd vendors and consultants rising very rapidly, deceipt culminating in the destruction of the structurally sound oceanfront town facilities - the incalculable loss of the unique surfside community center, and

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

and financial disaster looming, with political promises budgeted for pension increases, paying salaries to commissioners, laying the groundwork to decimate the town charter and swing the doors of exploitation WIDE open, its all afoot in the most corrupt place in Florida. Horrible ..... liars scammed their way into office after years of honorable government ... now the scammers are reaping the results of their plotting.

Anonymous said...

Burkett and Weinberg

Plotted it all along

Now they pretend to be at odds

Its all about the drama

And the corruption

Surfside sinking

Money gushing out

Anonymous said...

Yes they are nervous, the tide of truth is rolling in and will expose Burkett and Weinberg and Imberman and Levine for what they are

Anonymous said...

Regulators did nothing while Bernie M. did his deeds. Apparently it was obvious but left untouched.

Similarly regulators (Aud. Gen. FL) (Joint Legis. Audit Comm.) do nothing despite deep serious problems with finances and integrity in Surfside FL.

Those who know but do nothing.

Anonymous said...

State government turning a blind eye to fiscal skullduggery in Surfside Florida? So much smoke, yet state officials do not peek into the fire? See no evil, hear no evil, is that how it goes in Florida? One can only imagine what the future will bring.

Anonymous said...

Would knowledge, the seeing of a lot of smoke, complaints from taxpayers, missing deadlines, incomplete and evasive information, bring it to a state/local conspiracy?

Anonymous said...

Surfside Florida where town officials wasted huge amounts of public funds then pinned their hopes on a federal bailout and deceiving voters into bond issues

surfside taxpayer said...

http://restoresurfsideshonor.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Surfside city officials hiding deep fiscal irregularities to cover up their own misdeeds. So many no-bid contracts spending millions on getting nothing back.
Surfside Florida is a city crashing into a financial hole. Total mismanagement and failed leadership leads to huge hikes in costs and taxes and fees on all residents and on top of that city officials want to borrow tens of millions of dollars to bail themselves out from utter incompetence but at the cost of putting the taxpayers into public debt.

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

Anonymous said...

Charles Burkett, Howard Weinberg, Marq Imberman, Steve Levine, Elizabeth Calderon. Shame, shame, shame. Came into a financially strong, beautiful, great community. Took it down the drain. Now its a financial basketcase, ugly with no enforcement of any standards, they demolished the fantastic Surfside Community Center, and they seek only what is good for themselves, the five officials, instead of what is good for the community. Sick. Shameful.



These officials made a series of horrendous decisions over the last few years and now they want to bail themselves out with a bond issue and charter changes that would expand their power over the future of Surfside, raise taxes, and sink the town into a deep hole of debt. Town officials are scheming to put bond debt and charter changes onto a unique summer election – when many residents will be unaware of the election or out of town. And they are rushing to get it all set up as quietly as possible. Town officials with personal agendas that are ruining the community with shady plots and deals.



Town residents are struggling to make ends meet. Surfside officials are so out of touch with the residents and taxpayers that they continue to siphon off the town’s savings and push ahead with plans that harm rather than serve the public interest. Town officials remain oblivious to the economic crisis. While other cities are scaling back capital projects and non-essential expenses, Surfside officials are spending more and more even though many town departments are already running into red ink. They cover it up but many departments are already in deficit. No wonder the 5 looks for a bond bailout. Its part of the coverup. There should be a forensic audit to find out why and how this group of town officials have taken a financially strong and stable community and crashed its finances into the ground … where did it all go? – its disgusting.



Surfside’s spending on projects that show no results, and its incredible legal fees, consultants, and dozens of quiet, no-bid, big money contracts, are a lead weight that is sinking the town. Current town officials created the biggest & most bloated budget in town history. They constantly try to impose debt upon the residents, change the charter to up their own power, and change the zoning code to open Surfside to overdevelopment.



After raising combined taxes, water, sewer and garbage bills this year to the highest level ever and decreasing service levels (pay more & get less) town officials now plan to deplete the remaining reserve funds that were saved up over many years – and plunge the town into tens of millions of dollars of debt that will raise taxes and the burden on residents for decades to come. Surfside has never had any debt! And once they get approval for the first bond, the hook is in, and cost “overruns”, staffing, insurance, furniture, equipment, utilities, etc. will force the town into additional debt just to try to finish the project. It’s a sink hole!



The Community Center bond scheme does NOT disclose the expense of the bond issue (fees and expenses and commissions) and it does NOT disclose the amount needed to insure, staff and operate any new Community Center and it is an iceberg with most of it hidden from the public by ---- public officials.

EmersonSon said...

Surfside's budget has blown up in the last few years because of incompetence and greed and self serving politicians who whack the public wallet every day.

Surfside used to be efficient, now its crazy upside down with a tidal wave of red ink.

January 2004 TOWN OF SURFSIDE INFORMATION

WORTH COMPARING TO TODAY 2009 FOR EDUCATIONAL/UNDERSTANDING PURPOSES?

"Surfside has completed many public projects including renovation of the Town's parks and playgrounds, business district, and Town Hall; the rejuvenation of properties along A1A, roadway, drainage and landscaping improvements, commuter traffic control measures, infrastructure repairs, and the renewal of Town Hall. Surfside's public service levels are at an all time high, but taxes and fees remain low and stable. The Town's garbage fee remains one of the lowest in the nation, with a level of sanitation services that is recognized as one of America's best. Surfside's zoning policies, our safety and security programs, recreation programs and special events, sanitation standards, and our overall efficiency have become models for other communities and our home town can look forward to continued success."

At that time Surfside had subjected itself to annual independent outside comprehensive financial audits of all accounts and all funds, assets, and liabilities and in addition submitted annual comprehensive reports to state authorities and agencies and published its full budgets and audit reports for officials and residents and taxpayers to see all of the details, line by line. In 2004 Surfside had experienced 12 years of such scrutinized and balanced budgets, incurring no bond or load debt of any kind, and bringing the town from red ink in 1991-1992 and small dwindling reserves to sound financial operations in 2004 with highest ever level of services and facilities plus savings into reserve/emergency/project accounts when possible, keeping town expenses conservative and controlled while producing project success, productivity, results, and savings for the town's future.

demolishedtowncenter said...

Surfside Florida is being horribly misled by a group of politicians who have ruined the town’s financial status and trashed its integrity. The present Surfside administration either has the collective I.Q. of a chimpanzee or that they believe that “we the people” who put them in office do. For example: Would you demolish your house before you consulted with your family and residents if it was a good idea and whether they approved?

Worse yet, would you demolish your house before you ascertain and arrange where you are going to get the money to build a new one and how much is going to cost? Maybe you would also want to know how long it would take?

Well, guess what: those questions were too profound for our present officials and they proceeded to demolish our community center building and now they want us to pay for their ineptitude. Remember when they promised to give the residents a chance to vote on either renovating or demolishing/replacing the community center? That was before they unilaterally demolished the facilities as part of underhanded schemes. They lied their way into office and they continue to try to deceive us today. The first thing they did upon taking office was to eliminate the town’s effective ethics and conflict of interest ordinances and to replace them with a swiss cheese excuse for ethics laws. And they got worse and worse as this group of officials have steered the town into red ink and deterioration and more taxes. Their actions and decisions are proof that the present officials are at worse corrupt and at best totally incompetent.

First they asked us to vote on an outrageous bond issue of $ 16,000,000.oo which our residents were smart enough to vote against it in the November election. Bond issues are a burden that would translate in more outrageous taxation with the worst timing possible. Now they have the Machiavellian idea that they will get the bond issue approved by a confabulated new election on July 14 to take advantage of resident travel and absence. They want to quietly get a small minority of voters to impose a huge debt upon the entire town. All the officials now care about it to siphon off the town’s money and to put their names on a plaque in the a building, at our expense. 9 million, just to start!

What the gang at town hall today have done with our community center is only one of the many pathetic blunders they have carried out with public property and public money. We put them in office to represent our interests and needs and not to self-serve and aggrandize themselves. So, now it is OUR JOB to get them out of office in the next commission election in March 2010. Needless to say we all need to vote on July 14, 2009 against their ill contrived new proposal to get a bond issue for $ 9,000,000.oo for 30 years approved. And expenses for furnishings, computers, finishes, even staff will all be extra, bringing past the 20mil mark easy before its through. Let them go gamble somewhere else – and with their own money. The cabal at Surfside town hall have acted disgracefully and some accountability is overdue.

Anonymous said...

THE MASTER PLAN FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF SURFSIDE AS AN INDEPENDENT TOWN OF INTEGRITY, TO PUT IT INTO FINANCIAL DESPAIR AND TO SIPHON ITS MONEY OFF TO GLADHANDERS AND CASH PASSERS, TO RUIN ITS CHARACTER AND INSTALL CRONIES AND CROOKS, ALL A PLAN OF KENNY ARNOLD AND HOWIE WEINBERG, WITH SUPPORTING ROLES FROM CHARLIE BURKETT AND MARC IMBERMAN AND A HOST OF UNSAVORY HENCHMEN.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Pensacola!
Struggling to survive against greed and corruption.
Surfside and Pensacola and lots of other coastal communities.
Find the "restore Surfside's Honor" page and the information about Surfside on the net. Under siege from greedmongers and profiteers and worse.

Anonymous said...

Surfside officials are pushing ahead towards submerging the town in debt. Two tracks, one on the "down low" and one more - but not completely - visible. One push is to take huge loans or bonds for sewer system work and the officials plan to pledge the utility tax and sewer/water fees as collateral (and they plan NO referendum just to impose it) -- note that these are the utility taxes they promised to eliminate and now they are bloating them, raising them, and pledging them towards DEBT! and the other track is to keep trying to get debt (bonds, loans) to build a community center than can no longer be afforded because officials squandered and wasted the town's surplus accounts, spending wild on their lawyers and consultants and no-bid contracts. Its a sick world at Surfside Town Hall these days.

Anonymous said...

State officials did not listen, town officials went wildly irresponsible with public money, and now look what has become of the town budget and town money ....... here's the letter sent to the State last year with signatures of dozens of Surfside residents and taxpayers:


November 11, 2008

David W. Martin, Florida Auditor General
111 West Madison Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Re: Town of Surfside

Dear Auditor General Martin:

We are residents of the Town of Surfside, and we have major concerns about the financial status and integrity of our Town. Statements from Town Officials reflect major issues that require prompt and in-depth examination by the State of Florida. The Town has failed to prepare and file the annually required independent comprehensive financial audit, and there have been statements about their inability to reconcile accounts, about vastly depleted town surplus and reserve funds, and about conflicting information about the remaining level of town funds.

In the last two and a half years, there have been questionable expenditures and procedures, and an absence of the open and accountable manner that is the standard of municipalities in Florida. Now with the failure to file the required outside audits, and significantly rising taxes, utility fees, and all charges made by the Town to the residents, we are worried that our formerly efficient, open and accountable Town has become quite the opposite. The failure of the Town to comply with state mandated auditing is the most recent of a long series of actions by the current Town government that create deep concerns amongst residents about what is actually going on with our public funds here. Please initiate all possible action to review the situation and get to the bottom of it. We sign below, and give you our names and addresses of the attached sheet. Thank you.

Signatures and Addresses of Individual Surfside Residents and Taxpayers

Anonymous said...

SURFSIDE VOTERS ARISE

SAVE OUR LIBRARY!

ACT NOW OR LOSE OUR LIBRARY FOREVER ON OCTOBER FIRST.

THE TOW MANAGER PROPOSES NO PAY CUTS FOR DEPARTMENT HEADS-CONTINUED
BLOATED BUDGET FOR RECREATION BUT COMPLETE ELIMINATION OF OUR LIBRARY.

THIS IS THE SAME ADMINISTRATION THAT DEMOLISHED THE COMMUNITY CENTER SO THAT WE, THE RESIDENTS, WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR A RENOVATION, SPENT OVER $1 MILLION IN “PLANS” FOR THE TAJ MAHAL ON THE OCEAN-NEVER TO BE BUILT-OVER $3 MILLION FOR “CONSULTANTS” AND HAS DRIVEN OUR TOWN INTO NEAR BANKRUPTCY. LET THE MAYOR AND COMMISSIONERS KNOW THAT OVER 60% OF US HAVE LIBRARY CARDS AND REGULARLY MAKE USE OF THE FACILITY.

IT PROBABLY WONT CHANGE THEIR MINDS NOT IF THEY HAVE THEIR MINDS MADE UP BUT BOMBARD THEM WITH E-MAIL, PHONE CALLS AND LETTER S TO LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. IT IS OUR LIBRARY WE PAY FOR IT AND WE USE IT AND THEY CANT KEEP DEMOLISHING EVERYTHING GOOD ABOUT OUR TOWN WITHOUT US TELLING THEM TO STOP.

Anonymous said...

Surfside Florida: new owners: Calvin Giordano

nursery plants said...

We are state certified tree nursery specializing in native plants and trees, shrubs, fern, and perennials as well as pond plants and wetland mitigation species.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech under attack by government of Surfside Florida do internet search for: WHO CONTROLS SURFSIDE and youtube search for LONGTIME RESIDENT SURFSIDE see videos and SAVESURFSIDE the films, documents, reports expose an abusive deceptive government selling out fast in 2011 to complete the deals that have been made. Officials attacking blogs and trying to crush dissent and stop the facts from coming out into the light of day.

Anonymous said...

Look up the latest information about Surfside Florida.

Who Controls Surfside.

Save Surfside.

Florida's future?

Anonymous said...

Sad to live in Surfside and watch the leaders lead all of the residents right down the drain. We (residents) just sit on our behinds and let the leaders (officials) sell the Town of Surfside out to SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS. Why? Because we're too busy with our own lives to be bothered with doing something about it. WAKE UP SURFSIDERS! GET INVOLVED BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE? STOP THE CRAP THESE POLITICIANS ARE HANDING US? OUR BEAUTIFUL LITTLE TOWN WILL SOON BE JUST LIKE ANY TOWN! AS AN EXAMPLE! WHAT ABOUT HIALEAH? It's not impossible. Now this manager (Roger Carlton) will probably get his way to put Surfside even further in debt and help to create an asphalt jungle by building a garage in the Abbott parking lot (not needed) by coincidence just across the street from where the Young Israel's of Bal Harbor will build their "New Home". Strange, since they will need loads of parking spaces to accommodate their parties, etc.
WAKE UP SURFSIDERS? STOP THEM? FIGHT THEM?