Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Chilly Reception at HB City Hall: "Are you a reporter?"

Don't have the time to recount the whole story here now -but will be posting in MUCH more detail soon- on a chilly encounter I had Wednesday afternoon at HB City Hall with a representative from the city's Code Compliance office, Corrine Yoder, the Sr. Code Compliance Specialist.
Ms. Yoder is a woman with whom I'd previously spoken to on the phone last year about habitual illegal dumping on US-1 & S.E. 7th Street, directly across the street from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino. At a minimum, I wanted to see some warning signs erected, since it was a weekly routine to go by there and see all manner of junk dumped by lazy area residents and contractors alike.
For more on that, see my April 3rd post:
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/hallandale-beachs-failure-of-illegal.html.

I'd initially come by City Hall Wednesday to get some answers to nagging questions about the final disposition of the city's complaint against the owners of the Sage Bagel Plaza strip mall on the 900 block of Hallandale Beach Blvd., across from the Bank of America branch.
This is an area of the city that I've probably gone past at least twice a day since returning to the area in late 2003 from the Arlington County suburbs of Washington, D.C., where I lived for 15 years.

The sign was severely damaged after the multiple hurricanes of Fall 2005, and clearly posed a mortal threat to pedestrians and drivers along east-bound HBB for months and months, not to mention, not only the customers using the complex parking lot, but people waiting for the bus at the bus stop just a few feet away.

Long story short: Fines began March 13th, 2006 at a rate of $200 a day when the owners didn't comply by the previous day. Eventually, on May 8th of this year, the fine was reduced by 90%, from $17, 200 to $1,720 by HB City Manager Mike Good.

When I attempted to find out whether or not the property owners had to give a specific reason why they should get a reduction in their fine, or whether it was just assumed that one was wanted, Ms. Yoder got very terse and asked if I was a reporter, as if that would somehow explain whether or not public information should actually be made public and dispersed to the greatest number of people who are interested in the subject, no matter how arcane.

Trust me, I've sat on a lot of incriminating photos of HB mismanagement and incompetency for months, but friends, I think the gloves have officially come off!

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