The Co-Knucklehead of the Day award Part Five
Yes we have five, not four as I previously announced. It was just too good to leave any of these candidates out.
Our fifth and final Co-Knucklehead of the day is Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom. Commissioner Rodstrom must have been in a hurry to be in contention for the 2006 Knucklehead awards. He won one last October. For there is no other explanation for this. Needing eight Commission votes to extend a property tax discount in wake of Hurricane Wilma, Rodstrom voted present effectively killing the tax relief. All other commissioners present voted yes.
What was Rodstrom thinking? He says he voted present because it would have granted him a discount. Seven commissioners voted yes. There is no explaining this man's vote. Thousands of taxpayers are going to pay out for this stupidity. For that, John Rodstrom is one of today's Co-Knuckleheads of the day.
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog, Bright & Early, Right Wing Nation, Bloggin Outloud,
An angry Republican state representative lashed out Wednesday at Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom for blocking a vote on extending the 4 percent property tax discount because of the recent hurricanes.
Rodstrom's abstention at Tuesday's commission meeting caused the tax break to fail because of a parliamentary requirement in state law. He said he abstained on the issue because he would benefit by paying $250 less in taxes.
Because the measure failed to pass, Broward County property owners must pay their taxes by today to be eligible for the discount. The measure would have extended the discount period to Jan. 31.
"He denied thousands of people a tax break," charged state Rep. Adam Hasner, the Delray Beach Republican who sponsored the bill extending the discount period.
The bill was designed to give Florida residents, who face huge payments to repair homes from this year's series of hurricanes, more time to pay property taxes and still get a discount. The bill covers counties affected by the storms and was filed by state Sen. Jeff Atwater, a North Palm Beach Republican who represents northeast Broward, in the Senate. The bill was passed by the Legislature in a special session last week and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush.
Hasner, who represents a portion of northeast Broward, said Rodstrom misinterpreted the laws governing a conflict of interest and that the commission didn't have to abstain from the voting. His interpretation was bolstered by Rodstrom's colleague, Commissioner Ilene Lieberman.
She equated voting for the tax break to voting for a decrease in property taxes, from which any property owner, including Rodstrom, would benefit.
"It would have to be a unique benefit to require an abstention. He would get the same benefit as thousands of other Broward residents," she said.
Rodstrom said he was not persuaded by Hasner and Lieberman.
"I pay my taxes in January so my vote would have had a direct benefit to me," he said. "I'm not going to do what I feel is wrong."
Rodstrom's abstention killed the tax break in Broward County because it was being considered as an emergency measure without the required advertising to notify the public. State law mandates that eight of the nine county commissioners approve waiving the advertising requirement. Since Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin missed the meeting, leaving only eight commissioners, Rodstrom's vote was vital to waive the rules.