At last weeks commission meeting, Commissioner Dale Holness (D- Bully) gave a clear picture of whom he thinks runs the Broward County Commission- Himself. In addition to that delusion, he also seems to believe that the rules of decorum and polite speech that govern most other elected officials and Americans don’t apply to him.
Throughout the weekly meeting, Holness (D-Browbeater) frequently interrupted the regular queue proceedings, interrupted Mayor Barbara Sharief, broke in on other Commissioners comments, and in numerous instances attempted to, by force of volume, drown out another Commissioner’s questions.
The issue being discussed was an adjustment to land use zoning in a portion of unincorporated Broward, in order to allow the use of a “permanent mobile” food truck (a BBQ trailer) on one of the empty lots. Various Broward residents came to speak from the podium regarding the “permanent mobile” food truck, including convicted and disgraced former Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion, who seemed to have some familial tie to the primary “food truck” provider.
The food truck would be operating on limited days, and for limited hours, and would be preparing both fried foods and BBQ. The empty lot is in a primarily minority district based on county demographics. The discussion and debate continued on the dais, with Holness interrupting, restating, and often answering behalf of the constituents called upon. As the Commissioners were stating their final points on the matter, Holness uttered a particularly insulting statement:
“… BBQ in the Black community is like sushi is to the Japanese…”
Apparently the Commissioner took the stunned silence of other present in the room to mean that he was making profoundly poignant (rather than insulting) comments. He continued speaking stating that “A lot of folks in this community love barbeques – love them on the weekends especially” quickly followed by “if we take this away from their community, we’re taking a lot away… and this is what we’ve really done – we’ve taken away something that is practically natural…”
One commissioner commented later to a Daily Broward staffer, “Imagine if another Commissioner had said that? It’s totally inappropriate what he said, and racist…”
It seems that the despotic attitude Holness has towards the things he says further extends to his actions and interactions with constituents he favors. Holness had, by his own admission, been in extensive communication with the constituents, and seemed especially chummy with the convicted Eggelletion. Holness continuously reffered respectfully (or perhaps reverently) to Mr. Eggelletion as “The Commissioner” or “Commissioner Eggelletion”. Let’s not forget that Holness showed no hesitancy in running over the protocols and procedures of the County Commission (even when it was politely pointed out to him by Mayor Barbara Sharief). Additionally, he has seemingly been trying to grab power in Broward by putting up candidate Alexandra Davis to run AGAINST Mayor Barbara Sharief – perhaps he doesn’t like being told ‘You have to follow the rules… or at least the queue’.
What does Holness’ imperious attitude indicate about the way he is representing constituents in Broward? Well, if you’re one of those whom he’s fond, he’ll probably be a bully on your behalf. If you’re not? You may find yourself with yet another candidate in your race, or possibly you will just be told “go eat cake”.
At least, that’s the way I see it, hopefully you do too.