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.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hallandale Beach Blog Time Machine: August 2006

What follows is a copy of an email that was sent to a handful of local print and TV reporters of my acquaintance, all of whom were more than familiar with some of my concerns about public safety in Hallandale Beach, as well as its governance, and who shared my concerns.
I sent this to them following my being an involuntary eyewitness to an egregious example of the kind of incompetent bungling that's an everyday occurrence here in Hallandale Beach.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Subject: Oh, not again... Another case study of Hallandale Beach ineptitude ? Oui!

Dear X:

What: three-car accident
Time: Today, about 4:10 p.m.
Place: South Federal Hwy. & S.E. 5th Street intersection, directly in front of the Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex

Context: I'm on my way over to the Bank of America branch on Hallandale Beach Boulevard (HBB), but see what's happened, and ask the three people leaning against their cars if any one's been hurt.

They say no but it's been 5 minutes and no cops yet.
I walk into the Hallandale Beach Police Dept. lobby and tell the officer behind the security glass
what's happened, number of cars involved, etc.
Response: "We'll call dispatch."

Knowing from experience how chronically unreliable and incompetent the city employees are here, I blow-off going to BoA, and instead use this an an opportunity to head into the adjoining City Hall complex and try to solve a problem that' also on my "To Do" list.

There, I spend about ten minutes trying to get straight answers out of an information employee about some longstanding problems, specifically, the DPW NOT being able to reliably furnish
the appropriate supplies in the restrooms over at North Beach by Friday afternoons, esp. prior to three-day holiday weekends, when the beach will be tremendously crowded.

It's sort of a problem when by Saturday morning, there is NO toilet paper or paper towels for the hundreds of patrons who'll use the facilities, and, oh, by the way, most of the faucets don't work, either.

Question: Chicken or the egg: No towels because most of the water faucets don't work?
In any case, I know if I don't say anything, nobody from the city is going to come by to resolve the problem.

The information employee is well-meaning, but can't answer even basic questions, much less, tell me which particular DPW employees can help resolve the problem over at the beach.
It's like pulling teeth!

I walk back out into the east-side of the muni parking lot and it's like time has stood still.

There are still no HB cops out there, even though it's now been about 10-15 minutes, and one of the cars is blocking southbound traffic in the extreme left lane, and traffic is, well, expanding by leaps and bounds. Just in time for rush hour!

Lots of honking and sounds of screeching brakes.

Another day on U.S.-1.

I'm tempted to borrow the large orange cone near the Post Office parking lot shrubs, and place it on U.S.-1 myself, behind the cars affected.
But I don't.

Instead, I walk back into the Police Dept. and ask what's going on, since, as I repeat to the officer, "it's right in front of your own building."
Response: "We'll call dispatch."

I leave shaking my head and wondering why I expect anything different, given the lackluster leadership of the city's elected officials, and the general sense of malaise mixed-in with a culture of See/Hear/Speak no-evil amongst the city employees. http://searchwarp.com/swa2800.htm

Around 6: 40 p.m. tonight, I swung by the Hallandale Beach branch of the Broward County library to return some books and noticed that while the cars involved in the original accident have been moved, there's still plenty of broken glass and plastic in the intersection, apparently waiting for the cover of darkness to make someone else an innocent victim, since that busy
intersection is pitch black at night due in large part to the geniuses over at City Hall.

[Hallandale Beach Blog note: this foreshadows the outrageous situation in 2007, where from mid-January thru late September, 85% of all the street lights on U.S.-1 between HBB and the Aventura-HB city line are out, making it a virtual black hole.
Yes, including right in front of the HB City Hall and HB Police Dept.

That included Election Day, a point that I mentioned to several of the poll workers, who were quite interested in knowing more about this blog.
And the number of street lights out within one block of the city's busiest intersection, U.S.-1 and HBB?
A frightening number that exceeds 90%.]

Not to belabor the obvious, but in thinking about all the ways that I might help advance the larger public safety interest for other HB residents and gain some degree of public accountability from the responsible(?) officials, there's always the age-old question a citizen must ask them self:
Do I use a scalpel, or do I go 'old school' and use the 36'' Louisville Slugger to get their attention?

Up 'till now, I've decided to go the magnanimous route and use the scalpel, telling them about the self-evident problems first, hoping they'll take the suggestion or constructive criticism and resolve the actual problem.

But after witnessing yet another egregious example today of their gross incompetency, laid out in such a matter-of-fact way for everyone to see -and draw their own conclusions- including people from Aventura and Hollywood, well, I can't help but wonder if I should abandon the 'nice guy routine' and simply start that blog I've spoken to you about, and make that my baseball bat.
No more free consults, capisce?

Please let me know what you think, and if you have any good suggestions or targets that I should consider putting under the microscope, send 'em toute-de-suite to yours truly.

C'est la guerre!


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