A well-connected appointee of County Commissioner Dale Holness received a percentage of a government funded bicycle sharing program in Broward. Dickey Consulting Services, Inc, owned by Sheryl A. Dickey, helped fulfill the minority participation component of the County’s agreement with B-Cycle of Wisconsin. Nothing in Ms. Dickey’s resume and work experience indicates knowledge of bicycles or bicycle sharing programs.
REDBROWARD reviewed an October 2010 Broward County Commission agenda item awarding a $311,000 Florida Department Of Transportation grant to B-Cycle, LLC. The agreement called for the “development and operation of a public bike sharing program in Broward County similar to those being operated in Europe and several large U.S. cities.” The money would be used to purchase 75 bicycles and place stations across Broward County.
The County hoped the program would serve as a “Means of reducing traffic congestion by providing an inexpensive mobility option” for residents and visitors. The five-year agreement would include five-year renewal option.
The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development determined this program required a minority participation component. The Office, “Established a County Business Enterprise (CBE) participation goal of 10% for this agreement.” B-Cycle LLC agreed to the ten percent participation goal.
In a contract dated March 15, 2010, B-Cycle LLC agreed to give 5% of the contract to Dickey Consulting Services, Inc. The Broward B-Cycle program officially launced in December 2011. A press release stated the B-Cycle program was “spearheaded” by Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who presided at the opening of each station.
DID DICKEY DISCLOSE HER INTEREST IN PROGRAM?
During this time, Dickey was reappointed to the Broward County Small Business Development Advisory Board by Commissioner Dale Holness. It appears she was originally appointed to this committee by the disgraced Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion. Dickey served on numerous committees and boards throughout Broward.
In January 2011, Dickey was the vice chair of the City of Fort Lauderdale Economic Development Advisory Board. The chairman was Dev Motwani, a developer and campaign treasurer for Chip LaMarca. At this meeting, Kathleen Gunn, a city staffer, discussed the B-Cycle program. Ms. Gunn said, “She is also working on a project called B Cycle that is intended to ‘green the City.'” Gunn told the board a vendor had offered to purchase bicycles and place them at stations in dowtown Fort Lauderdale and along the beach. Then, according to the minutes, “Vice Chair Dickey added that businesses such as hotels might want to consider hosting a rental station, as all sites currently under consideration are on public property.”
The minutes do not indicate Dickey disclosed her financial interest in the B-Cycle program.
The B-Cycle program came up during the December 14, 2011 meeting as well. By the time this meeting was held, Dickey was now the chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board. According the minutes, Dickey tried to get her fellow board members involved in the program. Dickey said, “B Cycle is being rolled out in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Pompano; part of the rollout is an offer for a reduced rate for annual membership. [Dickey] encouraged the members to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Once again, the minutes show no indication Dickey disclosed her financial interest in B-Cycle. Also, while it is unclear if the board voted on any matters regarding the program, the issue was brought before the board more than once.
Dickey serves as a member of the Broward Metropolitan Transportation board. This board has discussed the B-Cycle program on numerous occasions. The program is advertised in Broward MPO literature.
Currently, Dickey is listed on the Broward County website for the airport runway construction. Dickey is listed as a “subcontractor.” The minutes from a September 2012 County board meeting list Dickey as an “acoustical consulting team member.”
Dickey Consulting Services website claims it “Provides staffing for invoicing, accounting, documents control, and small/disadvantaged/County Business Enterprise coordination.” Dickey even admits serving as a middle man for politicians. The website states, “Our firm performs liaison services on behalf of government officials by creating partnerships with the community, businesses and policymakers, before implementing proposed initiatives.”
Dickey does not list any experience in “acoustical consulting.”
FORMER PARTNER OF BROWARD ELECTIONS OFFICE ATTORNEY
In August, REDBROWARD revealed the Broward County Office for Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) rushed through the application of another well-connected Broward attorney. Records show Broward County officials rushed the Federal minority small business certification process which helped Burnadette Norris-Weeks land a million dollar concession contract at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Norris-Weeks is the attorney for the Broward Supervisior of Elections Office (SOE).
Ms. Norris-Weeks has recently represented SOE in cases involving County Commissioners Kristin Jacobs and Dale Holness. In July, RED BROWARD reported Holness and Norris-Weeks attended the Airport Minority Advisory Council conference. Norris-Weeks attended the conference to promote her company Right Consulting LLC.
Norris-Weeks and Dickey were formerly business partners in the Right Development Group, LLC.
In 2012, Sheryl Dickey hosted a fundraiser for Holness at her offices on Sistrunk Boulevard. This year, Holness and Dickey at part of Judge Ian Richards’ “campaign committee.”
Sheryl Dickey did not respond to a request for comment.
Once again, it appears government programs and contracts with a minority participation component are being awarded to individuals connected to Broward politicians. Both Dickey and Burnadette Norris-Weeks land contracts involving transportation and the airport, even though they have no experience in those fields.