Friday, February 23, 2007

Publisher's Perspective

The following are excerpts from a Deerfield Beach Observer article dated February 22, 2007, along with corrections and clarifications regarding the reporting in the story.

"...Specifically, they [Deerfield Beach City Firefighters] are seeking voter approval to borrow $25 million to be spent for additional firefighter related assets, and then, if the ballot passes, give it all, plus another $55 million in Deerfield assets we already own, to the Broward County Sheriff’s Department! That’s an $80 million transfer from the City of Deerfield to the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, with the City of Deerfield taxpayer stuck with the bill!"

CLARIFICATION: Mr. Eller remains among the most respected members of the Deerfield Beach community, and as such his voice is a valuable one in the public dialogue. He and Sheriff Ken Jenne remain close colleagues. Yet with regard to Mr. Eller's editorial, it is important to clarify a few items. In cities where the Broward Sheriff's Office provides fire rescue service, Sheriff Ken Jenne contracts with municipalities as a service provider to provide fire rescue services. The fire stations used by BSO Fire Rescue continue to be owned by the cities, remain the property of the cities and its taxpayers and there is no transfer of ownership to BSO. The fire trucks, rescue units, etc. that come from the cities remain in the cities to serve the taxpayers that paid for them. In addition, in the cities where BSO provides fire rescue services, BSO (not the city's taxpayers) pays for the maintenance and repairs of the equipment for the duration of the contracts. In the event a contract is not renewed BSO does not keep the equipment. The equipment is returned to the cities.