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, July 4, 2009

Illusory Hallandale Beach budget cuts equal no fireworks, but we are not fooled by HB City Hall's lies and deceptions

July 4th, 2009

Have been watching and listening all afternoon to some
very interesting and troubling news stories today via
Britain's Channel Four, while trying to get some work
done on some overdue emails and the blogs, before
heading up to Hollywood Beach later for their fireworks,
since Hallandale Beach cut them out this year on
account of costs.


Right, that poor excuse for HB City Hall's perennial bad
planning and haphazard management that has proven
so ineffectual to anyone paying attention, like citizen
taxpayers, business owners and investors.

And speaking of looming budget cuts, what tangible,
concrete results do city taxpayers have to show for
the $50,000 that the HB City Commission gave the
Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce, which
effectively buys the silence of those involved from
ever publicly criticizing HB City Hall, and the very
people who run things so poorly?

I mention this as budget meetings draw near because
I'm going to be finding out over the next few weeks thru
some public records requests, phone calls and questions
at hearings and ask for evidence they deserve ANYTHING
in a year of supposed budget cuts that saw fireworks
cut, one of the few things every year that actually lures
usually apathetic HB residents over to the public beach,
except for when friends or family come down to visit
during holidays.

I'll share the results of what I find out with you here on
the blog, because, thus far, in the time that I have been
observing things here in HB, they seem every bit a
laughingstock, literally, a perpetual motion machine.

A perpetual motion machine that bears little resemblance
to the issues and work that other Chamber of Commerces
did in other towns and cities I've lived in, where being a
member doesn't deprive you of your tongue at City Hall,
as seems to be the case here without exception.

From City Hall's bunker perspective, what better and
more emphatic way to attempt to show (deceive) the
city's populace that you're serious about your budget
cuts than lopping off Fourth of July fireworks?

But IF that's so, then explain to me why the city could
and would spend almost $3,700 on a new office for
Mayor Joy Cooper back in January, even though there
was nothing physically wrong with her old one?

She just asked for it and it was done, end of story.
Adios $3,762!
What about the perceptions six months ago?

For details on costs and expenses associated with
Mayor Cooper's new office, see

IF costs and public perceptions are NOW so suddenly
important, explain to me why, as the Sun-Sentinel's
Jennifer Gollan chronicled, Mayor Cooper made the
conscious decision to stay overnight for a few days at
a downtown Miami hotel of some note and expense,
The Intercontinental, at taxpayers expense, for an
event she was attending.

This despite the fact that according to the city's own
website, she's right next to everything here.

For more on that particular Joy Cooper fiasco, complete
with the original news articles and true facts, see my
January 25th post aptly titled:
My mayor went to the Inaugural but all I got was
the bill and her imperious attitude!

It includes this truly classic Joy Cooper bluster, after
having had her behavior and attitude publicly exposed.
I repeat it here, word-for-word:

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Broward County officials are traveling on your dime

Conventions are only miles from home, but South Florida

officials bill taxpayers for luxury hotels and chauffeured rides

By Jennifer Gollan
January 11, 2009

Although the national mayors convention was only 34 miles from his home, Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan decided it would be too difficult to commute. So he billed taxpayers $995 to stay five nights in June at the four-star InterContinental Miami hotel.

"I would have to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to miss the rush-hour traffic," Kaplan said. "It gets to be very time-consuming."
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper also attended that convention. Instead of making the 20-mile trip, she charged taxpayers $796 for four nights at the hotel.

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis, with a commute of 25 miles, billed taxpayers $889.48 for four nights.
When asked about it six months later, Ortis said "it doesn't make any sense to stay overnight in Miami," and reimbursed the city for his hotel bill.
Indeed, while not expressly prohibited under their formal policies, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach and Lauderhill generally bar employees from staying overnight in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Cooper, however, declined to repay the city for her stay, saying it was a business-related expense.
"I am not there fluffing my own feathers," she said. "Rather than dragging through traffic it was just easier to stay overnight. ... Why would I reimburse the city for part of my job?"
Honestly, could I make that up?

For the record, here's the exact distance from Hallandale
Beach City Hall to the hotel that Mayor Joy Cooper
couldn't manage:

Driving directions to 100 Chopin Plaza,
Miami, FL 33131
17.7 mi – about 26 mins
400 S Federal Hwy
Hallandale, FL 33009
1.Head east on SE 5th St toward S Federal Hwy/FL-5/US-1
7 ft
2.Turn right at S Federal Hwy/FL-5/US-1
Continue to follow FL-5/US-1
0.9 mi
3.Take the exit toward NE 203rd St/FL-854
0.3 mi
4.Turn right at NE 203rd St/FL-854
Continue to follow FL-854
1.2 mi
5.Turn left to merge onto I-95 S
14.4 mi
6.Take exit 2C & 2A on the left towardBiscayne Blvd
0.7 mi
7.Merge onto SE 3rd St (signs for Biscayne Blvd/SE 3rd St)
0.2 mi
8.Slight left at S Biscayne Blvd/FL-5/US-1/US-41
233 ft
100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131

"Costs" also doesn't explain why -yet again!- the
American flag has been missing from in front of the
Hallandale Beach Fire/Rescue station next to
the public beach on State Road A1A for MONTHS,
as a walk by there yesterday afternoon quickly
confirmed, just like my previous 20 visits before that.
(See photo below.)

Yes, yesterday, July 3rd, 2009, which was the 23rd
straight month that the so-called 'community center'
beneath the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower
was closed to the regular taxpayers and residents of
Hallandale Beach, with ZERO citywide public meeting
or Forums on it ever having been held over those two
years under Mayor Cooper or City Manager Good.
And there's nothing currently on the horizon, and that's
not by accident, folks.
That's how little they think of you!

See my April 14th post about that, complete
with photos, which I called, and for good reason:
Hallandale Beach -An interpretive house of cards
that falls apart at the slightest touch of rationality
and evidence

Consider whom we have at the helm as city manager
and mayor, Mike Good and Joy Cooper, two people
with, at best, a tenuous grasp of both reality and the
obvious, which the rest of us see very clearly, even
if it's unpleasant, but which they are forever blind to.

Examined thru that prism, it all begins to make a
certain amount of sense in a 'Garbage In, Garbage
Out' city structure, where continued poor performance
and inability to accomplish something on time and
on budget, or demonstarted poor relations with citizens
is no serious barrier to keeping your job, or even
getting a raise.

Seriously, at this point, you think I'm surprised that
they don't have an American flag flying at the entrance
to the public beach for the Fouth of July weekend?
Nope, not me.

They perform predictably and incompetently, just as
I and so many other people in this city interested in
genuine reform and civic improvement could've predicted
days ago.
Oh wait - I DID predict this early Monday evening
over at Starbucks!

More telling and embarrassing photos of the city's dirty
and unkempt public beach will be here over the next
few days.

Looking south on State Road A1A towards the
HB Water Tower and The Beach Club from the
Hollywood side of the cityline.
July 3, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Looking due east from State Road A1A towards the
HB Water Tower.
July 3, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

So where, exactly, the day before Independence Day,
is the American flag on that city flagpole next to the
public fountain, which has also been empty for weeks?

The same place it's been for MONTHS: Missing in action

What do you know, that's the responsibility of HB's new
DPW Director, John Chidsey, the same fellow who still
hasn't responded to my email of April regarding the Dept.'s
poor performance and the rather self-evident embarrassing
condition of the public beach, that caused even the
Miami New Times to mention it.

Is it true that less than five months on the job, Chidsey
has already gone on vacation?

Answer: On my way to run an errand this past week,
I ran into someone -a very trustworthy and well-informed
person at HB City Hall, an oxymoron- that Chidsey
wasn't around this past week, but ought to be back on

Sure, because why would you want to actually go over
to the public beach you're responsible for, before the
first time so many taxpayers and residents show-up there
for the city's smaller-scale Fourth of July celebration,
and actually walk around a bit and make sure that it
doesn't look like crap? So he didn't.

That's how much he and his father-in-law care for you,
Hallandale Beach.

The day before Independence Day, the public beach
in HB looked no different than it did last week, last month
and last year.
Which means things are definitely getting worse.

The flies were really out in force yesterday at the South
Beach, no doubt because the city STILL uses garbage
cans without lids at the windiest place in the city, which
I noticed as the flies made bombing runs at my bagel
from Panera's.

And, shocker, just like last week and last month and
last year, there were zero light blue recycling bins
up at crowded North Beach.

And in case you were wondering, there were lots of
aluminum cans and garbage all over the supposedly
protected plants, as well as the usual piles of hundreds
of cigarettes that the city never actually cleans up or
sifts, preferring instead to just cover them over with sand.
They don't clean the beach so much as level it!

But there were three empty light blue recycling bins over
on South Beach, lying on their side next to the park-side
of the public restrooms.
Hm-m-m... must be some kind of experiment, huh?

Yes, the John Chidsey Experiment that Isn't working
out for Hallandale Beach taxpayers or beach-goers.

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