© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Below, a letter of mine that made the rounds on Monday to myriad in-boxes all over Hallandale Beach and media in-boxes all over South Florida.
Monday August 24th, 2009
Fellow Hallandale Beach citizen taxpayers, once again, un-elected Mike Good is making deals and not just spending money poorly, as is his usual wont, but literally giving it away like he's a benevolent free-spending Santa Claus with an unlimited expense account.
And you're paying!
Without the proper amount of HB City Commission input or scrutiny or the public being told about it until after-the-fact.
And to show how serious City Manager Good is about public safety, especially on weekends when most HB residents use their boats -and he's back home with his family in Cooper City- he is proposing to effectively kill the HB Marine Patrol for lack of money, even though
that amount is actually LESS than the amount that he is giving away in his role as Santa Claus.
Giving away city funds to individuals whom the general public not only doesn't know, but who lacked even the common sense, class or gumption to show-up in person at HB City Hall before the City Commission and public to make their case.
Yes, yet another Mike Good back-door deal, to the tune of $25K.
And now, Mayor Joy Cooper, for the first time as as mayor, is asking the public to come to
her house Tuesday night to talk about the city's budget?
Even before you consider the sad-but-inescapable fact that an unelected person like Good and his staff and not the elected (Rubber Stamp) City Commission are driving the whole process, ask yourself this obvious question:
Why is Mayor Cooper inviting the public to come to her house at night, when she's someone who has personally always argued for keeping City Commission meetings in the day, even though common sense informs us that more citizens, taxpayers and residents could attend and participate if all the proceedings were held at night?
(So, having wasted months and months this year, when is the ONE-and-ONLY public budget workshop? During the day, of course.)
The sad but obvious answer is because Mayor Cooper is a thin-skinned hypocrite of the worst sort, which is the sort that NEVER EVER learns from history and experience, and almost always makes bad problems worse because she is unable to admit that she might've been wrong in the first place.
Consider OUR own collective history with her the past few years, where her illogical mis-steps, mis-statements and false assertions could literally fill a book.
(Or a blog!)
Aren't the pages of recent HB history replete with examples upon examples where she's shown that she doesn't care what actual HB citizens and residents think, as long as her close pals, cronies and supporters around the city, county and state -and at the local and state League of Cities- think she's doing a good job.
It's the appearance she's concerned with, not the actual results.
If you don't think her getting her own new office at City Hall for just under $4,000 back in January, when there wasn't anything physically wrong with her old one, wasn't proof, then why don't you ask her some time why she and her cohorts are keeping it a secret?
Her city hall is so incompetent that more than SEVEN MONTHS later, her name STILL does not appear on the building directory when you walk in downstairs.
These are the same geniuses I remind you, who left former State Senator Steve Geller's name on the directory for SEVEN MONTHS after Eleanor Sobel had been elected, and made it her district office, too.
Good luck to the hapless constituent looking for her office.
But to be fair, though it took HB City Hall employees over seven months to actually put Sobel's name on the directory, they did so.
One month before Sobel & Company moved out!
Of course, if Sobel and her staff were actually paying any attention to genuine constituent concerns instead of the frivolous ones she's been consumed with so far -tanning beds, tattoos and Shylock- something they've not seemed esp. keen on doing, it would seem, they'd have noticed it right away, the same way that you and I have, since the public HAS to walk right by it in order to get into the building.
But because the Cooper & Good tag-team don't ever learn from history or pay any attention to what's actually going on around them, there's still nothing on the directory about Joy Cooper new office.
(Personally, I've got plenty of photos of all this chronic HB City Hall incompetence since Election Day, but you may want to snap a shot of your own on Wednesday on your way in.)
But if you think spending tax dollars for a new City Hall office for Joy Cooper when she doesn't really need a new one seems like small potatoes, consider for a moment the logic of ALL FIVE members of the City Commission of a town of under 38,000 going to Orlando on the taxpayers' dime two weeks ago, for the recent League of Cities confab,
There's your HB City Commission at work.
But if you think that's just too 'inside baseball,' let me return to one of my favorite and most obvious examples of the collective longstanding failure of the Cooper, Good & the Rubber Stamp Crew: the so-called "community center" under the HB Water Tower on A1A and Hallandale Beach Blvd..
The one that I've told you about so many times in emails and on my blog -complete with photos- that you and haven't been able to use for over two years now,
To quote myself, imagine what sort of hoops land-locked South Florida cities like Pembroke Pines, Coral Gables, Hialeah or Miramar would jump thru in order to have a nice two-story public building for their residents, just steps from the beach?
That they didn't have to pay for.I have and so have you.
Yet here in Hallandale Beach, under Cooper, Good & the Rubber Stamp Crew, we've had such a PUBLIC building for 105 weeks and counting.
You all know from the dozens and dozens of photos I've taken of it over the two-plus years, there is NOT now nor has there ever been so much as a sign anywhere on the building telling you that it
a.) belongs to the citizens of this city, or,
b.) WHEN it will be open for use by taxpayers like you and I, not just used by the PALs and cronies of Hallandale Beach City Hall, who think they're VIPs..
These are all things that I've told the city manger and his staff, in person, many times over the years, including LAST YEAR'S budget meeting..
Cooper's rank hypocrisy at asking the public to come over to her house Tuesday night, in an obvious PR stunt, when she's the person who has continually sleepwalked for months as other South Florida communities have made good faith efforts to host numerous public budget meetings involving their citizens and residents, knowing full well when the legal deadline is, could hardly be more self-evident.
Instead, Cooper chose to do NOTHING and took the summer off.
Now, with a deadline breathing down upon the city, she wants to invite you over so she can try to finesse you.
Beware, for if you let her, she may try to wave a magic wand over you when you're not paying attention so she can erase your common sense, curiosity and sense of propriety about how things are supposed to be done in a representative democracy that's actually accountable to the people.
Well, you can go to chez Cooper Tuesday night if you wish, but I'd really be remiss if I didn't advise you that I've already seen this movie before, a few times, actually, so let me give this SPOILER ALERT.
The shallow, thin-skinned witch and her coterie of dim-witted flying monkeys holed-up in their redoubt will NEVER ever admit they're wrong, and will only use the time to verbally attack the very people who HAVE actually been paying attention, as they have so many times before.
Yes, attack the very people who have been telling their friends and neighbors the true facts about what Cooper & Co. have been doing at HB City Hall and environs .
Or NOT doing.So, all these various elements, plus the mayor's strange attempt to engage in damage-control,
promise to make Wednesday a day to remember in Hallandale Beach.
Please make plans NOW to be there in person to speak your mind and bear witness to what
happens when the truth finally comes out, as it surely will.
And don't forget to bring as many of your friends as possible, along with your camera
or camcorder, too.
Otherwise, it's verbatim.
And still hard to believe -but all-too-true.
From: Barry Webber
Subject: Hallandale Beach Marine Patrol
To: "Joy Cooper" <JoyCooper@aol.com>, "Bill Julian" <firstname.lastname@example.org
>, "Keith London" <email@example.com>, "Dottie Ross" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
Cc: "Mike Good"
Office@hallandalebeachfl.gov>, "Tom Magill" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, August 20, 2009, 10:06 PM
Dear Mayor and Commissioners,I have read the summary memorandum of the proposed 2009-2010 Fiscal Year Budget submitted by the City Manager's Office. I am once again extremely disappointed to see that they recommend elimination of the Marine Patrol. The recommendation is located in the first paragraph of page 6 of the document. I believe the recommendation is based upon incorrect information as well as a lack of historical perspective which I want to bring to your attention and to the attention of the City Manager.The memorandum states that "for the past several years thehas operated a Marine Patrol with the assistance of a County-funded grant". In fact the City has participated in the grant program every year since the programs inception in 1994. The program was started fifteen years ago for the purpose of ensuring that the entire throughout Broward County would have sufficient law enforcement officers on the water to protect the public safety. At the time of the commencement of the program in 1994 the City did not have a Marine Patrol. The City applied for a grant for the purchase of the boat to be used for this purpose. The City was awarded a grant for the purchase of the boat and started it's participation in the program. It has applied for and received funds to operate the boat on weekends and some evenings, every year since that time, including applying for a grant for the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year. In this years application the City acknowledged that over the years since 1994 it has received funds for the purchase of the following equipment.1) 23 foot Intrepid vessel2) Twin 150 hp 19973) Twin 150 hp 1999 OMC engines4) Twin 150 hp 2003 Yamaha engines5) Construction of a boat dock with a boat lift6) Construction of a Marine Storage Facility7) Panasonic laptop computer which is currently used for warrant and registration queries
There have been a great deal of funds awarded to the City recognizing the importance of this public safety issue. Every single portion of the Intracoastal Waterway is patrolled by various law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over their portion of the waterway. If theabandons it's waterways as proposed it will be the only portion of the waterway in all of Broward County which will have absolutely no law enforcement presence.
The budget memorandum states that the total cost to operate the Marine Patrol is $78,665.19 of which $39,680.00 is reimbursed by the County and the City expends $38,985.19. The City Managers office was apparently given inaccurate information. According to the Broward County department that administers the grant, the amount awarded to the City for the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year is $52,416.00, not $39,680.00. I am sure that you will see that as unexpected good news, as the actual cost to the City will not be $38,985.19 as thought, but will actually be only $26,249.19 which is approximately the same cost as last year. The actual cost to the city will be $12,736.00 less than was thought. Since the grant is paying double what the City is paying for this important public safety service, the city will be losing the right to receive two dollars for every dollar it spends. I fail to see how this makes economic sense in this very difficult budget year. I can't imagine any situation where the City gets more bang for the buck for funds expended for a very significant public service to insure the public safety.The memorandum states that only two citations were issued in this fiscal year. I would bring the following to your attention concerning this issue.
1) Issuing citations is not the purpose of the patrol. The purpose of the patrol was articulated very well in the City's grant application. In the application which covers the City's portion of the waterway, which is described as Zone "X", the City stated the following: "High visibility in Zone "X" will serve as a deterrent to speeders and other violators. Continuous public contact, including boating inspections, educates the public and provides for a safer boating environment".2) There is no question that City could write a great many citations. This is apparent to anyone who spends any time observing the Intracoastal Waterway. The Police Department however, knows their purpose is to discourage bad boating behavior and educate the boaters.3) As part of the City's application they are required to provide information as to their activities on the water during the last full fiscal year. The City represented the following information on their application for the fiscal year 2007/2008.PUBLIC CONTACTS --------------1,410SAFETY INSPECTIONS -------- 74WARNINGS---------------------- ----- 250BOAT ACCIDENTS ---------------- 0CITATIONS --------------------------- 18Obviously they are a very active unit and a very important presence on the water in this city.4) Citations issued on the Intracoastal Waterway to enforce state statutes do not provide revenue to the City. The fines that are paid, are paid to the State of Florida. The EMLEG grant program was never set up to provide revenue from citations. It was created to assist law enforcement in providing for the public safety.Finally, the memorandum states that the boat is in need of replacement. Just last year, the Sergeant that is in charge of the Marine Patrol stated at a meeting of the City's Marine Advisory Board that the boat was in good condition and was only in need of cosmetic work. The engines were also operating well for the boats mission. There is no reason to believe that the boat went from good condition to needing replacement in less than one year.The City of Hallandale Beach has a responsibility to protect it's citizens and the boating public traveling through the City. I know that each one of you takes this responsibility very seriously and works hard to protect your residents. I would urge you to fulfill this responsibility and not leave the City's waterways totally unprotected. Please don't leave the waterfront residences of your citizens totally unprotected from water born criminal activity. Please don't throw away over $52,000.00 in this critical budget year and please do not tell your residents that they are not entitled to protection by their police department. The benefits provided by the Marine Patrol are great, the cost is small. I would urge you to provide for the Marine Patrol in the 2009-2010 budget.I would be happy to discuss any of these issues with you. My numbers are listed below.Sincerely,Barry Webber
Michael is the person behind the fact-based website, Change Hallandale Beach
From: Michael Butler
if there have been so many opportunities to discuss the budget, why then does she have to have something at her private home?
why isn't this a public meeting?
why wasn't adequate discussion and time provided by the city at the official budget
and if the city commission takes July off, then why wasn't the first budget workshop
scheduled earlier in August instead of the last week?
why is her meeting scheduled in the evening and not during the day like the official
workshops, which should be in the evening as well?
speaking of misleading the residents, why were Good's numbers wrong on the
if the budget issues is so important, then why has she scheduled this meeting with
ONE DAY'S NOTICE?
NOW she decides the budget is important enough to have a meeting at her private home?
I have been writing articles on a weekly basis to keep everyone informed. Regretfully again Commissioner London has been sending out information that is not 1000% factual and are lies about commission actions.
and residents, keep in mind that the absurd situations he describes, which I've been a
witness to and described here in this space, is what passes for normal at Hallandale
Beach City Hall under Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good.
Wrap up of the City of Hallandale Beach City Commission Agenda for Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:30 PM Meeting
| London, Keith <KLondon@hallandalebeachfl.gov ||Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 8:18 AM|
To: "London, Keith" <KLondon@hallandalebeachfl.gov