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Who will pay $2,000 to hear Mayor Ritter?

Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter will give a ''first annual state of the union address'' at the ''prestigious'' Riverside Hotel on ''fabulous'' Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale at 7:30 a.m. June 10, according to a news release from the South Florida Chamber.

The chamber is seeking sponsorships for the event -- the most expensive is the gold sponsorship which for $2,000 buys 24 VIP seats, a plaque and company logo featured on all news releases.

Typically the county mayor gives an annual address -- for free -- at County Hall when the mayor passes the baton to the next mayor. Residents can attend the chamber event for free, said a spokesperson for the chamber, who wasn't certain whether the chamber gets the proceeds. Stay tuned.

Expect Ritter to talk about the county's discussions about cutting up to $160 million from the budget. But with four months to go before the next fiscal year, commissioners have made scant progress toward cuts raising this question: will they really cut or pick another option which could include dipping into reserves or raising taxes?

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Cosmo Kramer

The US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida

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