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, Europe 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.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
As predicted, the other shoe has dropped in the battle over the Diplomat LAC before the Broward Planning Council on Thursday
Well, as was quite predictable, the other shoe has
finally dropped in the battle over whether or not
and the high-powered and well-connected
attorney/lobbyist team for the Westin Diplomat
Resort & Spa and their owners, the Plumbers
& Pipe Fitters Union, will be able to cram
a large development project into a family
neighborhood in Hallandale Beach -that borders
and directly affects residents of Hollywood-
where their absurd and grandiose plans for multiple
27-story condo towers on secondary streets
are completely incompatible with the character
and nature of not only the neighborhood in question,
but directly contrary to the City of Hallandale
Beach's own adopted Master Plan of last year.
To wit, a completely calculated partial-retreat
in order to appear reasonable in their requests.
Below is the letter from Greenberg Traurig
attorney Debbie Orshefsky that was transmitted
to the Broward Planning Council yesterday
in advance of their Thursday morning meeting
to decide the Diplomat's application.
I believe you already know who most of the
Neighbors and residents of HB and Hollywood
have no problem with them ACTUALLY doing
what they are legally entitled to do NOW,
since nobody wants them to close the Diplomat
Country Club, but the Diplomat management
-Starwood- and owners has only to look in the
mirror to see who's actually responsible for them
being in the economic bind they are currently in:
they have a particular product few people
Their property is not just poorly-marketed, but,
for the current market, charging far-too-much
for such an undemanding and uninteresting
It's that simple.
Consumers with plenty of choices vote with their
feet and with their wallets everyday and this is
Currently, consumers are making themselves
heard, but the Diplomat and Company
is NOT listening to that evidence and customer
That's their problem to resolve, and not one
to be borne by neighbors and residents of HB
and Hollywood, who, after all, DON'T owe the
union a profit, no matter how much their
well-financed PR team has tried over the past
few months to paint a sky-is-falling scenario
if they don't get their way on this application.
This issue is truly an example of where the
more you know the true facts at hand,
as well as the historical context for those
particular facts, the more you realize how
truly flimsy the Diplomat's arguments are.
Meeting starts Thursday promptly at 10 a.m.
Below, some recent past paid ads opposed to
the Diplomat LAC.
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...
This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.
Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.