Pam Militello - 03/18/09
Pam Militello served the city and District 1 well for four years. Her numerous achievements were capped off by the passage of a code of ethics which she sponsored. Militello's code was the first effort of any city commission to address the right conduct of public officials of what some journalists label as the region's most corrupt city. If the code is seriously flawed, as some critics allege, it is that the political will did not sooner yield to a discussion of ethics and consideration of legislation of this magnitude.
When the Supreme Court ruled that cities could use their power of eminent domain to seize the homes and property of residents for "economic development," Militello proposed a charter amendment that prohibited the city from exercising its eminent domain authority to take private property where the purpose was to transfer the property to other private owners. Militello's amendment also prohibited the city from selling or leasing city properties obtained by eminent domain to private persons within 10 years, unless the sale or lease was first approved by a referendum.
Militello also proposed a charter amendment which was calculated to protect residents of Crystal Lake and those similarly situated, where developers proposed to convert golf courses into residential or other use categories. The amendment provided that such land-use changes could be approved, but it would require the vote of four commissioners rather than the usual 3-2 vote.
Both of these proposals were adopted by the commission and ratified by voters in 2006.
Mrs. Militello started her public life as a member of the beach activist organization, the Original Save Our Beach. The SOB's, as they call themselves, took on the city and developers, and defeated the LÚpine proposal for a beach front hotel, the Ocean Park referendum, and the plan for a mammoth parking structure on the Main Beach Parking Lot. The OSOB also takes credit for the charter amendment that forced the Ocean Park referendum vote, and for charter amendments that rein in beach area construction.
It's too bad that District 1 voters in 2009 did not vote to keep Pam Militello in office for another two years. It would be easy to take the sore-loser attitude and say that east side residents will regret this decision. It's always true, said or not, that voters get what they vote for. Whether Militello will seek office again is probably a question even she does not know the answer to at this point. But Deerfield Beach could use more educated, conscientious public officials like her who work for the people and not developers or special interests.