The $15,000 handout from Broward taxpayers to a Mirmar non-profit appears to be good news for Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness (D-Can I Join Your Board) and his campaign donors. Last week, the Broward County Commission voted 8-0 to give the Community Access Center, Inc. $15,000 to help celebrate Haitian Cultural Heritage Month. The Commission will chip in $1,700 worth of printing and postage. Sue Gunzburger had the common sense to be in the ladies room when the vote was taken.
The Daily Broward reported Commissioner Holness is the vice president of the Miramar-based Community Access Center, Inc. (CACFL). The CAC looks to be a conduit for costly government social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, free HIV testing, free pregnancy tests and services, voter registration, and immigration services. For some reason, the Commission’s only Republican, Chip LaMarca (R-Hahahaha) voted in favor of this item which Stacy Ritter (D-Bon Apetit) called “pork”.
Last week, the CAC website was a bare-bones deal with very little information. This week, they added a link to buy tickets to their “Women’s Empowerment 2013″ event on May 18, 2013 at Memorial Hospital. Tickets are just $22.09. Is that why they needed $16,700 from Broward taxpayers? For a continental breakfast at a hospital auditorium seminar? The event claims it will “unleash the potential of emerging Haitian women leaders, and to create opportunities for more effective and successful careers and lives.” According to its Federal tax records, the CAC ain’t creating much of anything except rent payments for the landlord.
The 2011 Form 990-EZ, shows the CAC had $30,358 worth of revenues. Great, the County Commission just gave them half of their normal take. Way to go, Chip. The CAC claimed $29,711 worth of expenses. Professional fees and payments to independent contractors amounted to $1,165. Printing and postage costs came to $2,610. “Other” expenses were listed as $5,624. But the CAC’s biggest expense was rent, utilities and maintenance which came to $20,312.
The CAC says its headquarters are located at 8910 Miramar Parkway Suite 208 in beautiful downtown Miramar. Records over at the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office show the building at 8910 Miramar Parkway is owned by Palm Lakes II Associates, Inc. The State of Florida says the President of Palm Lakes II Associates is Jesse Dalen. Mr. Dalen is associated with other businesses including K.M. Buschbaum, Glendale Properties and Investments, Inc., Suriname Investment Group, Inc., and Prime Time Real Estate. Guess who gave big fat $500 checks to Dale Holness’ political campaigns?
On May 29,2008 the Holness campaign received $500 checks from Glendale Properties, K.M. & Buschbaum and Jesse Dalen. On June 18, 2012 the Holness campaign received $500 checks from Prime Time Real Estate, Suriname Investment Group and Palm Lakes I Associates.
Dale Holness likes to give almost as much as he receives…on June 27, 2012 he gave $500 to CAC to sponsor one of their events.
Holness promised the Commision a budget would be submitted by the CAC. Let’s hope so. Perhaps the Commissioners would be wise to ask how much the CAC pays in rent? According to their tax filings, the CAC didn’t spend much on their programs. Under program expenses, the CAC listed $65 for mental heath counseling, $235 for legal services and $2,005 for translation services.
Maybe Chip LaMarca can use their translation skills when he tries to explain his role in this boondoggle to Republican voters?