A simple street naming ceremony may end up costing Broward taxpayers big bucks after County Commissioner Dale Holness and Sheriff Gregory Tony turned it into a political photo opportunity. On Saturday, Holness and Tony hosted the family of the late Congressman Alcee Hastings at the African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale. Holness and his allies across Broward pushed street renaming proclamations in Hastings honor in what insiders see as a naked ploy to curry favor with voters.
The controversial Holness is running in a crowded Democrat field to replace Hastings.
The Saturday morning event featured nearly zero members of the general public. In addition to the Hastings family, Holness and Tony, the other participants included Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Broward Vice Mayor Michael Udine, Lauderhill Commissioner Ray Martin and Coral Springs Commissioner Nancy Metayer.
The African American Research Library is owned by Broward County. Who paid to rent the small dance studio/ conference room? Broward taxpayers? The Holness campaign?
Four blocks along Sistrunk Boulevard and Northwest 27th Avenue were blocked by Broward Sheriff’s Office personnel so Holness and Tony could march to a street post to erect the new Alcee Hastings signage. Who paid for the BSO presence.
Nearly a dozen BSO deputies were on hand for security along with a federal protection detail for Congresswoman. Wilson. Who paid for the security?
Sheriff Tony announced that those unable to walk the four blocks could ride in a BSO golf cart. A polite gesture, but why is taxpayer funded equipment being used for a political photo op?
At the end of the ceremony, Dale Holness gathered the Hastings family and the politicians for a group photograph. Holness singled out his staffer along with staffers for an absent Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Wilson and the official BSO photographer. He wanted to make sure each photographer had an opportunity to get them looking directly at the camera.
Who paid for a Broward County Commission aide to spend her Saturday taking pics?
Who decided to make an elaborate production out the street renaming? Why was it held midday on a Saturday in the scorching heat instead of the air-conditioned confines of the Broward Government Center?
Perhaps Dale Holness and Gregory Tony don’t care about costs as long as Broward taxpayers are picking up the bill?