Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Chapeau) and Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief (D-Miramar) have been invited to speak at the Women’s Empowerment Conference organized and paid for by the Community Access Center.
This is the same Community Access Center that got a $16,700 taxpayer bailout from Broward County Commissioners at the behest of Dale Holness (D- Bailout) . 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.
Stacy Ritter (D-Bella Sera) called it “pork”. Sue Gunzburger called it a “slippery slope.” Chip LaMarca (R-Guffaw) loved the idea. Barbara Sharief gave her “full support”. Sharief told the Sun-Sentinel, “Utilizing funds from our reserves to fund community programs is just a give-back to the people who provide those funds in the first place, and the people who sit out in that audience [watching the commission] are taxpayers. They are contributors to this community.”
The $16,700 of taxpayer dollars is coming from “commission reserves,” which County Administrator Bertha Henry said are “‘used for any major crisis that we may have.'”
Guess the CAC sponsored Women’s Empowerment Conference is considered a “crisis?” A flyer for the event just popped up on the CAC website. It lists Congresswoman Wilson as the keynote speaker. Sharief is listed as a speaker at the event. Both women are running for re-election in 2014.
So the questions then begin to accumulate. Had Sharief been invited to speak at the event prior to that vote? How much of the $15000 in taxpayer dollars is going to fund the event? Most of the CAC events are taking place in Sharief’s district. Why? Did Sharief already know this? Did Holness plan this? Is Holness backing Sharief or does he have an opponent in mind?
CAC chief MagalyPrezeau said she expects to spend $50,000 on the Haitian Cultural Month event. This amount includes the taxpayer bailout. She told the Sun-Sentinel she hopes sponsorships, none of which have yet come through, and in-kind donations, will cover the rest.
“I’m very appreciative of the county contributing to Haitian Culture Month. I don’t see why there should be any controversy, because it does benefit the community and all communities of Broward to share the diversity that does exist,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to putting a great month of Haitian cultural events together for everyone to enjoy.”
Uh oh, sounds like Holness and the CAC may come back for another bailout.