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14 posts from December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

New Broward sheriff hires Lisa Castillo as chief of staff

Lisa Castillo, wife of Pembroke Pines City Commissioner and former Broward House CEO Angelo Castillo, will serve as the  new Broward Sheriff Scott Israel's chief of staff. Israel, a Democrat, beat Republican Sheriff Al  Lamberti in November and will be sworn in  Jan. 8.

The transition team released a list of command staff hires today. Angelo isn't on that list but Ron Gunzburger, Israel's general counsel, said that Angelo will be hired for a senior position in the Department of Administration. (Read more about Angelo Castillo in the Miami Herald's coverage of the Broward House scandal in which his successor was ousted.)

Lisa Castillo previously worked for Republican Jim Scott when he  served in the state Senate and as  a Broward County Commissioner.  She also worked in the past for campaign consultant Judy Stern.

Israel's Command Staff draws heavily from those who have worked for the Fort Lauderdale police department where Israel spent most of his career. Here are a few of the other hires:

* Robert Pusins, executive director of community outreach. He retired as a major from Fort Lauderdale after 30 years.

* Veda Coleman-Wright, acting director of media relations. She has been at BSO since 1996.

* Jim Chinn, executive director. Former BSO employee has taught criminal justice for decades, currently at FAU. He has a doctorate in math from  FAU.

*  Anthony Stravino, fire chief. He is currently Margate's fire chief and spent decades at the Deerfield Beach fire department.

The news release did not include salaries.



Miami-Dade commissioners shrink Jackson board

The board that governs the public Jackson Health System will soon shrink, following a decision Tuesday by the Miami-Dade County Commission.

The Public Health Trust will be reduced to seven members, from 17, in May. The smaller trust will be the same size as the Financial Recovery Board that has been temporarily overseeing the financially troubled Jackson system since the spring of 2011.

“The smaller number... definitely is a step in the right direction,” Marcos Lapciuc, the financial board chairman, told commissioners after they approved the change.

While Lapciuc had argued that a smaller trust would make Jackson more nimble, Martha Baker, union president of SEIU Local 1991, had opposed the reduction, in part because the nominating council that would appoint trust members would be made up of current financial board members.

But the proposal was amended to include the president of the South Florida AFL-CIO, or his or her designee, on the nominating council. The nominees will then be approved by county commissioners.

A divided commission only narrowly moved the measure forward in a preliminary vote in October. They deferred another vote scheduled for earlier this month.

But on Tuesday, without discussion, commissioners gave the plan final approval with a 7-3 vote.

More here.

Scott proposes elections changes on CNN but still won’t touch gun policy

Gov. Rick Scott appeared on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien this morning, where he frustrated the morning show host by refusing to give any specifics on policy shifts he could support in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

It was in the final four minutes of the seven-minute long interview that the conversation shifted to Newtown. As O’Brien asked Scott to give specifics and the governor avoided providing them, the host expressed her frustration.

Scott said that he feels sympathy for the families affected by the shooting, that he had directed Florida schools to re-evaluate their security plans and that he supports the Second Amendment. But, even when prompted with specific examples, he refused to say which gun proposals me might support and repeated that that policy debate will come later.

“My approach on things like this is to, one, respect the families, mourn their losses, make sure our schools are safe and then start the conversation and then listen to the Floridians,” the governor said. 

O’Brien vented a bit, saying she wanted politicians to say what they’re going to do and take action before there is another tragedy.

“I actually think that I’ve covered enough of them that if we wait until we bump up against the next tragedy -- and there will be one, there’s no doubt about it -- so I guess I would like to hear from elected officials what are you willing to change,” she said.

The interview started out friendly enough, with Scott praising O’Brien for the care she has shown in covering the mass shooting in recent days. Then they talked for several minutes about the long lines in Florida during early voting and on election day and what Scott is doing to fix the problems.

Continue reading "Scott proposes elections changes on CNN but still won’t touch gun policy" »

Q Poll: Rick Scott's ratings are "just plain awful," Charlie Crist most-popular possible challenger

From a press release:

Florida voters disapprove 45 – 36 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing, continuing his almost two-year run of negative scores, and, as he enters the second half of his term, voters say 52 – 30 percent that he does not deserve a second four-year term, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters say 55 – 29 percent, including 53 – 30 percent among Republicans, they would like another candidate to challenge Gov. Scott for the GOP nomination for governor in 2014, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Republicans, however, give Scott a positive 63 – 19 percent job approval rating and say 55 – 26 percent that he deserves a second term.

Continue reading "Q Poll: Rick Scott's ratings are "just plain awful," Charlie Crist most-popular possible challenger" »