had a spy of its very own... paid for with your tax
dollars to, among other things, spy on you and
other residents, especially those that opposed
the status quo at City Hall?
To report back to City Hall what you and others
said and did at public meetings and maybe even
whom you talked to?
And to support City Hall's policies and positions
when they made their way around town under
the guise of a 'cover."
You'd hardly expect someone in that morally
compromised position to be honest about what
they really did, now would you, since admitting
it would open up a can of retribution and karma
among the many people you've conned and
Well, in this case, you're 100% right.
Ladies and gentlemen, as Thomas Francis'
post below makes clear, Joe Kessel has
slipped into 'silent running' mode!
Hallandale City Manager Under Fire for Payments to Real Estate Agent
By Thomas Francis
April 5 2010
Do you know this man?
This story resonates because it's precisely
the sort of story about Hallandale Beach's
uniquely creepy mixture of crony capitalism
and incompetent corruption that packs a
wallop, because it comes with a hook that
anyone in South Florida watching this story
on local newscasts can easily understand:
unaccountable government run amok
trying to use taxpayer funds against
their own citizens.
It will cause a ripple that turns into an ethical
wave that reaches far beyond the bunker
mentality at 400 South Federal Highway.
(As it happens, as I've remarked here before,
I actually have an ancestor who was a real-life spy,
during the Revolutionary War, which is how he
came to own some land in the Ohio Territory
before Ohio became a state in 1803. Which also
explains why my father was born in Ohio just
a few miles from where that homestead was
first created 135 years before.)
One way or another, everything about Kessel's
longstanding duplicity and covert spying in
this ocean-side city is going public in a big way.
And guess who has him on video from
February and March, pretending that
he isn't, in fact, a paid agent of HB City
Yes, yours truly, Hallandale Beach Blog.
This week's tentative plans include a formal
public letter of complaint and protest to the
Broward County Attorney, the Broward
County Commissioners, et al, about him
being an unregistered agent for the city
who has repeatedly testified without
the proper legal public disclosure.
You know, lobbying regulations?
I should mention here that more than
a few people at the March 23rd Broward
County Commission meeting knew all
about Kessel's unique favored status
before he ever walked up to the microphone
to speak in favor of the incompatible
Diplomat LAC, as I'd spoken to them
in advance of the meeting, even bringing
some docs along, just in case they needed
some friendly persuasion.
Most of them were, quite naturally,
astonished by the brazen gall of it all.
I watched intently while Joe Kessel
huffed-and-puffed about "naysayers"
and they all took his performance
in while shooting daggers at him!
Hallandale Beach City Manager Mike Good's
failure to publicly reveal the details of a
financial relationship he entered into with
Joe Kessel while ALSO recommending
that the HB City Commission give taxpayer
or CRA funds to corporations or entities
in which Joe Kessel is or was a participant
or director, positively screams conflict
of interest that ought to shock even the
conscience of the most jaded South Florida
The fact that Hallandale Beach's CRA has,
in the opinion of many, including myself,
been used as an ATM by HB City Hall for their
friends like Kessel or Anthony Sanders'
myriad acolytes, without actually doing
anything serious to alleviate poverty or blight,
is going to come out sooner rather than later.
Among other things, Kessel is the past president
of the HB Chamber of Commerce, a dubious local
organization that is a financial orphan, dependent
on City Hall for sustenance in the neighborhood
of $50k a year.
Hard as it may be to believe, I was actually looking
at the city's so-called Current Development
Report again over the weekend, something you'd
think Kessel would know something about.
That city report is like a portal into the past,
as it's currently over 21 months old, and
includes many properties that have long since
been either foreclosed upon or completed,
but which the city STILL shows as active.
The last time it was updated, the information online
then was also almost 18-months old.
Notice a pattern?
I guess I hardly need to say that in many American
communities, that sort of report, complete with
renderings, is often used to impress developers
and business interests considering activity in that
city, and is kept up-to-date on a weekly or monthly
basis in order to show that the city is genuinely
business-oriented, forward-thinking and on top
In fact, in a normal city, the Chamber of Commerce
would constantly be putting the necessary pressure
on City Hall to keep the city clean and competitive
with others in the region and would actually try to
bring JOBS to the city, instead of just condos, a la
They'd also insist that the online city docs be
kept accurate and up-to-date, for obvious reasons.
Here, though, because the HB CoC has had
morally myopic people the caliber of Kessel
as the "brains." they are nothing more than
a voice-less eunuch, a truly embarrassing
appendage to the Mike Good and Joy
Cooper's City Hall that does nothing but
clap in unison and support whatever they say.
So what did Kessel and Company do with
that $50k of taxpayer dollars exactly?
Nobody asks and there are zero tangible
Well, to be fair, these days, Panera Bread
likes the Chamber, because from what I hear,
they have standing orders almost daily and
spend pretty freely with your tax dollars.
For Joe Kessel, City Hall is a source of HB
CRA loan money for a ridiculous purpose
that is so damn laughable on its face that
no bank would even think of giving him and
his pals a loan.
And they didn't.
But when you're a longtime crony of the
denizens of HB City Hall, CRA tax dollars can
be showered on you and your pals like rain
-for old times sake.
More on that soon!
Compare operating in the open to how things
are routinely done in HB.
Quite a contrast!
What do you think is the first and second
impressions of serious business people when
they see that Hallandale Beach's official
Current Development Report is SO old
that it STILL includes information on the
long-since completed condo towers of
The Beach Club?
How is that current exactly?
And what about when they drive around the
city's main streets and see the haggard,
disheveled way things look?
The city signs that are either broken,
twisted, chronically obstructed from
view or never put up in the first place?
See the same old things here neglected for
months-and-months that in well-run cities
in the year 2010 are fixed quickly and
They get impressions of incredulity and
negativity, borne of improper attention
to detail by city officials.
So why would you consciously choose to deal
with such incompetent people that actually
repel visitors and businesses to the city?
You wouldn't and therein lies the rub.
Money down a rat hole!
Coming later today, my videos of Joe Kessel
speaking at the Broward Planning Council
and Broward County Commission in favor
of positions that are -surprise- identical
to that of his paymasters at 400 S. Federal
Get your popcorn ready!