A clever new commercial from State Senator Chris Smith hits controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness on his phony residency claims. Both men are seeking the District 9 seat on the Broward County Commission. Three years ago, this reporter exposed Holness’ false claims to reside in the district he represents. The evidence showed Holness lived outside the district he represents, though Article II, Section 2.01 A(3) of the Broward County Charter clearly states each commissioner “must be a resident of the particular district upon election.”
Holness claimed he lived in a run-down Lauderhill townhouse near the Florida Turnpike.
In May 2013, records from the Broward County Supervisor of Elections (SOE), stated Holness was registered to vote within District 9 by claiming to live in a small, older 940-square foot townhome in the Royal Oaks townhome development at 2630 N.W. 52nd Avenue in Lauderhill. Property records from the Broward County Property Appraiser (BCPA) show Holmes owns the small home but does not list it as his primary residence for his homestead tax exemption.
Property records listed the mailing address for Holness’ home as 4325 West Sunrise Blvd in Lauderhill. This is the business address for All Broward Realty, Inc., a company owned by Holness.
As Media Trackers Florida reported, the 2006 Central Lauderhill Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) master plan shows Lauderhill officials targeted the Royal Oaks for a dramatic makeover funded by federal and state grants. The plan says Royal Oaks is in disrepair and in need of landscaping upkeep. The entire neighborhood was part of an ambitious plan to build parks and improve roads and sewers. The Royal Oaks neighborhood was identified as properties suitable for acquisition, demolition and redevelopment[.]
As vice mayor of Lauderhill in 2006, Holness wrote the Central Lauderhill CRA master plan. Florida Department of State records show Holness has been an official of the Royal Oaks Condominium Association since 2000.
One month after our story, Bob Norman of Local 10 News visited Holness’ townhouse. Norman described the unit as, “A small run-down housing unit in Lauderhill stacked to the ceiling with furniture and boxes. A realtor’s locked box hangs from the door knob. The refrigerator isn’t plugged in and its door is wide open.”
“Nobody lives there,” said Herbert Fray, a handyman who tends the yards there.
Seeking answers, Bob Norman visited Holness at the Broward Government Center.
“Well, sir, we went to that home and there’s no way you live there. Do you live in your district?” asked Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman.
“I do,” Holness replied before leaving without answering any more questions.
Since those reports, Holness and his wife have moved to a home in the upscale Plantation neighborhood surrounding the Fort Lauderdale Country Club.
SMITH COMMERCIAL TAKES ON RESIDENCY
Chris Smith’s new ad takes on Holness’ residency issue by giving viewers a tour of all the places Smith has lived. Smith visits the homes he grew up in, the schools he attended and the home he currently lives in with his family. Smith points out that all of these homes are located in District 9.