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.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Latest unethical lowlight at Hallandale Beach City Hall leads to cancellation of public Audit meeting

Above, the public notice posted at Hallandale Beach
City Hall that prompted the most recent ethical
low-light and anti-democratic action by City Manager
Mike Good and his highly-paid staff, who seem to
never quite recall that they work for me and other
HB taxpayers, not the other way around.
They're the hired help.

This afternoon I attempted to attend the city's publicly
scheduled meeting of the Evaluation Committee looking
at hiring an auditing firm, which has come about as
a result of a new state law.
This meeting was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in
Room 257.


But a not-so-funny thing happened when I tried to
get to the meeting via the building elevator, which
requires you to exchange an ID for a security card
to access the control panel inside.

I don't particularly like this arrangement of requiring
the public whose taxes built this hideous building
to have to hand-over ID in order to access public
meetings, but it's the system in place, and I've
got bigger fish to fry.

In any case, I've done this drill dozens of times
before over the years for public meetings,
esp. budget meetings, without any melodrama,
as the employees at the desk closest to the
elevator, involuntary key holders if you will,
recognize me on sight.
I even know their names, too.

But today, with someone else sitting there, I got
nothing but grief, as HB City Hall employees tried
to prevent me from accessing that publicly noticed
meeting thru deliberate obfuscation and an equal
mix of incompetence and unprofessional conduct.

It wasn't by accident, it was entirely
intentional.


After waiting more than 15 minutes in the ground
floor lobby, after TWICE calling the City Manager's
office to complain about my being forced to miss
the beginning of what might only be a half-hour
meeting, each time being assured that someone
would be "down in a minute," I called Comm.
Keith London
to tell him about what was going
on with city employees trying to prevent the public
from getting to the meeting.

Well, it turns out that he had interesting news of
his own, too.
That was even stranger than mine.

He said that he was upstairs at the actual meeting
and that the meeting had just been cancelled by
the city staffers.

When I asked why, figuring that maybe one of
the vendors bidding for the job hadn't shown-up
or something like that, he said that the answer
was far different.
But much easier for me to understand given where
we live.

The city's public meeting was over because
Comm. London had shown-up -and was going
to observe
only- and, perhaps, because I,
a member of the public, was trying to attend
their public meeting.

Apparently, the city's staffers on the Committee
hadn't counted on someone other than them
showing-up.

And rather than be honest, transparent and
ethical, they chose to do something else
-cancel the meeting.

I will have much more details about this later,
either tonight after the first of the city's myriad
Quadrant meetings, at the Hallandale Beach
Cultural Center at 6:30 p.m., or tomorrow.


Above, Room 257 at Hallandale Beach City Hall this
afternoon as it appeared after legally-mandated
public transparency met Hallandale Beach City Hall's
entrenched and brazen unethical and incompetent
management.

This being Hallandale Beach, of course, the guys
wearing the black hats, led by Assistant City
Manager Mark A. Antonio, won this skirmish.

But there are clearly going to more battles to come
in the months ahead with this crew, and I wouldn't
be at all surprised if the Florida Ethics Commission
and the Broward State Attorney's Office were
contacted and looked into this matter, just the
latest outrage imposed on this city's beleaguered
citizenry.
Actually, you can count on it.

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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.
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