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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thoughts on the Diplomat LAC proposal, now scheduled for April 27, and the economic threats the Westin Diplomat is now making. How low can they go?

From: Diplomat Properties, LP
Sent: Mon, Mar 29, 2010 11:24 am
Subject: Diplomat Returns to Broward County Commission for Final Vote on April 27

Diplomat Banner
The Diplomat LAC will return to the Broward County Commission for a final vote in the next few weeks. This follows a 4-4 tie vote at the public hearing on March 23, with one Commissioner not present.
Throughout the public review process, plans have continued to evolve in response to community and public officials' comments. Most recently, the residential buildings planned for parcel B have been reduced to 5 stories.
As a supporter, you understand how crucial the residential component is to preserving the golf course. Please help us get this message out. There will be no new hotel without a residential community within the project and there may be no golf course without the LAC.
We hope that you will e-mail or call the county commissioners whose no vote indicates that they don't yet appreciate this crucial linkage. Ask that they vote Yes to allow this important project to move forward. (Commissioners Jacobs, Wexler, Gunzburger and Keechl voted no; Commissioner Lieberman was not present.)
We appreciate everyone's support and will let you know the new County Commission meeting date as soon as it is confirmed.


I've told you all in previous emails and blog
posts here that the the union that owns the
Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, as well
as the Golf Course, the Plumbers and Pipe
, as well as hospitality management
company Starwood and the high-paid
lawyers, lobbyists and myriad consultants
they've retained, would engage in serial lies
and misrepresentation in order to get their
way, and they have.
Now, you can see it for yourself, above.

"There will be no new hotel without a
residential community within the project
and there may be no golf course without
the LAC.

Yes, they'll huff and they'll puff and they'll blow
the Diplomat's golf course up if they don't
get their way.
Cue the the Three Pigs!

The next vote on the Diplomat LAC will take
place before the Broward County Commission
on April 27th at 2 p.m., not the 13th as was
stated here earlier

So when is the South Florida news media
going to cover this story in a way that equates
to its actual importance to the community's

That's a good question.

After a number of conversations with people
in the area and around the county, I'll have
some thoughts to share in the next two weeks

on how we all think the Diplomat LAC proposal
-which you'll recall that Hallandale Beach
City Hall placed on the city's dreadful
for citizens to read
28 hours before the first
vote in mid-Decembe
- may affect interim
Broward Commissioner Albert C. Jones'
political future, as he seeks to get elected
to a position he was appointed to by
Gov. Charlie Crist


was one of the four votes for the
last Tuesday, yet curiously,
as of this afternoon, his
name still does
not appear on the posted candidates list
of the SOE.


So am I the only one who wonders why
are there no news stories about Comm.
Diana Waseerman-Rubin
, whose District
actually includes a small part of NW Hallandale
Beach, and how she barely(!) understands
what she is voting on with respect to this
matter, and why is she making no effort
to come to the actual area to see what's
at stake for local residents?

Is it because she thinks Hallandale Beach
City Comm.
Anthony Sanders has magical
powers that will ensure a huge turnout for her,
assuming her name is even on the ballot?

I'm sure that
Sanders political and campaign
support came up when she met Sanders
(and City Manager Good?) in person at the
city's Hepburn Center two weeks ago today,
but, days later, actually turned-down an
invitation from residents in the affected HB
neighborhood to see it from their ground-level

She had no problem in driving east to Hallandale
Beach to meet with Comm. Sanders, but actual
HB residents, well, she made them come to her
office in West Park, one week ago today.

I guess she was afraid that if she really saw
what the residents were up against, it would
make it much harder for her to vote for the
Diplomat and against them, huh?

Better to keep their legitimate concerns as
an abstract idea, instead of real homes where
real people live.

Why isn't that curious choice of her's a
news story that serves as an entree into
the larger Diplomat story?

That's another good question.

Or what about Hallandale Beach mayor Joy Cooper
actually telephoning Diana Wasserman-Rubin
and telling her NOT to listen to the HB residents,
saying that they were naysaying "mavericks."


No, just citizens of a city where the domineering,
thin-skinned mayor brooks no dissent, actively
engaging in participatory democracy despite
her disapproval.

That participatory democracy thing is something

she is, herself, deadly afraid of, which is why
she's okay with a City Hall-paid spy attending
meetings throughout the community for $2-3,000
a month, and reporting back to HB City Hall.

Wow, Joy Cooper speaking poorly about
HB residents behind their back, go figure?

But then if she's willing to call political opponents
of hers "Nazis" on City Hall property, inc. me,
and calling HB Comm. Keith London "a Hitler"
just moments later, it's really not so surprising.

That's how Joy Cooper rolls, as I've only been
saying here for years...

I spent some time over the weekend editing
all the
photos and hours of video I shot of the
Broward Planning Council meeting of
February, and last Tuesday's Broward County
, so that I can post them online
here and my under-utilized YouTube page
over the next few days,
so that not only the Hallandale Beach and
Hollywood communities can see what they
missed out on, but greater South Florida as well.

Perhaps they'll even pick-up on the general tenor

of the meetings, as well as the often mis-leading
information offered-up by many of our opponents.

That's especially the case with many local folks,
some of whom claim to have a connection to the
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, who said
they were SO concerned about the economic
health of HB, but most of whom you and I have
NEVER seen before, not even at Hollywood
City Commission or CRA meetings, which I
frequently attend.

I don't really mind the people supporting the
Diplomat so much as their rather transparent
attempts to buffalo us in this process in such a
very condescending way, while acting like
they were the ones looking at "the big picture."

Yes, "
the big picture" that you might otherwise
recognize as your family's daily existence
hereabouts and their future.

No, actually, we were the ones doing that "big
" scenario, they were the local opportunists
and butt-kissers looking at self-enrichment,
which is one of the reason that I found it so easy
to take some verbal shots at some of them during
my public comments, specifically referring to them
as "water carriers" for HB CIty Hall and the

That's what they were,
Ann Taylor pantsuits
or not.

It was their smug attempts to seem intellectually
elevated that I found grating, especially since
you know they'd never tolerate multiple 25-30
story condo towers next to their own home in
a single family residential area.

Guess what?
A new idea is close to coming to fruition
with regard to this particular underdog effort.
After some preliminary conversations with
some well-informed citizens and civic activists
from both HB, Hollywood and beyond, who,
frankly, have grown tired of these artificial
of HB's economy speaking on
behalf of their personal greed, wallets and
purses, I've agreed to create a handy roster
here on this humble blog that will allow those
of you following this effort from the comfort
of your own home to know whom some
of the players are.

I'm going to create a list of the local people
who have spoken on behalf of the Diplomat
at government meetings and ridiculed the
legitimate concerns of the affected
neighborhood's citizens.

That list will likely include their name as well
as the name and location of their business,
if any.

If they have a business located in Hollywood,
Hallandale Beach or Aventura, I will endeavor
to take a photograph of that business so that
you all will be able to recognize it and associate
that particular business in your mind with
someone who's
perfectly content for your area's
Quality-of-Life to go
down the tubes.

In fact, felt so strongly about it that they said so
publicly. That's their choice.

Of course, some of these folks work in enterprises
where they are heavily-dependent on taxpayer
for funding.
They sure don't act like it though.

Such an example is the Hallandale Beach Chamber
of Commerce, which last year got a brand new
office at taxpayer-built HB City Hall.
It's that room next to the HB City Commission
Chambers in the breezeway at City Hall.

The group's head
Patricia Genetti, whose
organization receives $50,000
of taxpayers
funds this year, much of it going towards
salary, has been an outspoken proponent of
the Diplomat's case.

Unlike the case in many parts of the country,
where these sorts of govt. financial relationships

require public disclosure whenever compensated
individuals speak before govt. agencies,
Patricia Genetti
has chosen to keep quiet about
that $50k of taxpayer loot, as she has spoken
in favor
of the Diplomat LAC before the
HB Planning
& Zoning meeting in mid-December,
the HB
City Commission meeting the very next day,
the Broward County Planning Council meeting in
late Febraury, plus last week's important Broward
Commission meeting that resulted in a
4-4 tie vote.

That's four separate meetings that I can think of
just off the top of my head, plus Genetti also
at length at the so-called informational
public meeting
the Diplomat was required to
hold at the
HB Cultural Center last year, where
she also
decided to keep mum about the taxpayer
she gets while speaking against the
of the majority of HB's citizen taxpayers.

Some people will find this information valuable

and some will not, just as some may choose
tell friends and family about it and decide
that they
want to boycott those particular
businesses while for others, it has no practical
effect whatsoever.

It's your choice, of course, but now you'll have
information you need to decide whether
you want to
patronize those businesses or
boycott them.

You're welcome

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