“Readers have asked me explain the Broward Soil and Water Conservation District.
An election for a District 2 board member of the obscure group is on the ballot, pitting David Kout against Cynthia Crawford Thomas.
I know something about the group since I did some stories about it while I was at the Sun-Sentinel.
I wrote this more than three years ago and maybe the group changed its ways. I hope so.
Here is some of my January 2007 story:
‘A key concern centers on payments to the group’s administrator Russell Setti, a real estate broker who oversees grants for the state-created public agency. The state and federal grants are used for irrigation conservation programs, beach restoration and other projects.
Since 2000, Setti has paid himself more than $467,000, using money from the grants even though he had no written agreement allowing him to do so, according to documents obtained by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel…
The district has no guidelines on how much or how little he gets paid from each grant.Setti is also on the ballot – running as an independent against County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger.
‘There are no maximums or minimum payments … I’m like a general contractor. I make all the decisions on the job,’ said Setti, who couldn’t say how many hours a week he worked for the group…”
The group really duplicates county environmental functions. It shouldn’t exist, but it does.
So the best thing to do is elect someone who will question what has been going on there.
Kout told another website that he was asked to run by another District Board member. Thomas, wife of School Board candidate Dave Thomas, told the same website that she just decided to run for the job.
What the District needs is an outsider. Thomas appears to be that person.”
“JUST DECIDED”??? Ummm…