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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss -the apple doesn't fall far from the Mike Good tree in Mark Antonio; Hallandale Beach NEEDS an outsider as CM

Three-quarters of the 2010 Hallandale Beach Rubber Stamp Crew that have made this dysfunctional ocean-side South Florida community a perennial laughing-stock, in large part by keeping its own citizen taxpayers in the dark and on the outside looking in, while Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good did whatever they pleased.
Above, as they appeared in a 2008 campaign flyer, left-to-right:
William Julian, Dotty Ross and Joy Cooper.
Rubber Stamp: Anthony A. Sanders.

The predicates for my blog post today have been evident for days now, but on the chance that you haven't seen them all yet, they are the following:

Hallandale Beach to take another look at city manager
By Amy Sherman,The Miami Herald
May 6, 2010


Hallandale Beach city commissioners voted Wednesday to bring back an item in two weeks that could lead to firing City Manager Mike Good.

Commissioners said Good has been unresponsive and preoccupied with personal problems that Mayor Joy Cooper said included "back problems, cancer, a daughter falling victim to easy access to pain clinics, an ailing grandmother . . . and of course the continued stress of dealing with the antics of Commissioner London."

Commissioner Keith London is the pony-tailed commissioner who has challenged the status quo and often been at odds with Cooper and Good.

Good told commissioners that his family issues had been resolved, and suggested that commissioners evaluate him again in six months.

"The mayor is right in the fact that I have had a lot of issues," Good said.

Under his contract, Good, who is 49, would get nine months of severance pay and health insurance for himself and his family until he is eligible for Medicare.

Commissioner Dorothy Ross was the only member to vote against the motion.


Hallandale Beach firing chronically absent city manager
By Jennifer Gollan, Sun Sentinel
May 20, 2010


Longtime Hallandale Beach City Manager Mike Good is being fired after failing to show up for work off and on since January. He is entitled to a severance package that could cost taxpayers $306,893, according to the city.

City commissioners cited chronic absences, an uncommunicative work style and questionable contracts as reasons for his dismissal.

Good, 48, could not be reached for comment despite three messages left at his home and office.

"It is long overdue," said Commissioner Keith London on Thursday. "The untold secret all around town is that guy does not show up for work."

Indeed, Mayor Joy Cooper said Good's ouster was somewhat delayed because he refused to schedule it for commission discussion over the last six weeks.

City commissioners on Wednesday night suspended Good for 45 days. He has five days to request a public hearing to appeal the decision. If he does not respond, the commission will likely move to fire Good in the next 30 days.

Assistant City Manager Mark Antonio was named interim city manager. The city is working out how much he will earn as part of a new contract.

Good joined the city in March 1985 as a welder and rose through the ranks, becoming city manager in November 2002. His total compensation last year for salary, pension, health benefits and other insurance and car allowance was roughly $275,139.

He drew stiff criticism in December 2008 when he grossed $422,373 in salary and benefits. That sum included $176,054 in accrued vacation and sick time he collected after he resigned, only to be re-hired days later. At the time, the city reasoned it would save money by halting contributions to his pension plan, which promised retirees a set benefit.

Commissioners on Wednesday offered Good five months of severance worth roughly $88,547. He is also entitled to health insurance for him and his family until he is eligible for Medicare at 62, and tuition and books so he can complete his masters degree in public administration.

Good is not owed any money for unused sick and vacation time, Antonio said, adding that it is not clear how many unpaid days Good took.

The deal is still pending Good's approval.

In a telephone interview, Cooper said Good stopped consistently turning up for work in January and then he took family medical leave for two weeks, using sick and vacation time. His attendance failed to improve, leading commissioners to take preliminary steps to fire him Wednesday.

London said he was also troubled by some of Good's actions. For example, he said Good approved a yearlong contract worth at least $36,000 with consultant Joseph Kessel but failed to inform the commission. City rules require the city manager to report such expenditures to commissioners each month.

"The city manager's obligation is to report to us when he uses his spending authority," London said. "He is breaking the city ordinance. This is city taxpayer money."

The July 2008 contract calls for Kessel, a Realtor with Keller Williams, to assist the city manager with finances, public relations, growth management, and strategic planning.

Prior to becoming a Realtor, Kessel was a chief operating officer for Esat Corporation, a Melbourne-based healthcare technology company that went bankrupt in the dot com bust; and an executive vice president at Sequoia Corporation, a healthcare technology company bought by Fort Lauderdale-based Citrix Systems, Inc.

London said he had asked Good for documents showing how much Kessel has earned, but never received them.

Cooper said she had "no issue" with the contract.

"I was aware that Joe Kessel was doing work under contract," Cooper said. "He was contracted with the city manager to work on the purchase of a property for Sunset Park a year and a half ago. And he also worked on redoing the Golden Isles Tennis Center."

Cooper said she could not explain why other commissioners did not know about the contract, not could she provide details on how Kessel helped clinch either deal.

In an interview, Kessel said he received only $4,200 around the end of 2008.

"I don't know what the big to-do is," said Kessel, who also serves on the Hallandale Beach Area Chamber of Commerce board.


South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Mayo on the Side blog of columnist
Michael Mayo
Hallandale Beach city manager Good on chopping block
Posted by Michael Mayo on May 19, 2010 09:07 AM

The Hallandale Beach city commission is poised to fire longtime city manager Mike Good.

A resolution to be considered at a 7:30 p.m. meeting tonight cites Good's "repeated and ongoing failure to report to work during normal business hours, failure to maintain communication with the city commission and city staff, and his resulting failure to adequately perform his duties and responsibilities as city manager."

Read the rest of the post at:


BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes
Handsomely Paid Hallandale City Manager Had 50 Percent Attendance
By Thomas Francis, Thursday, May. 20 2010 @ 10:14AM

During last night's Hallandale Beach Commission meeting, Vice Mayor Bill Julian cited documents indicating that over the past six months, City Manager Mike Good came to city hall on only about half the work days.

That spotty attendance record made it hard to meet with city staff, business owners and other members of the community. Julian said it was one of the primary reasons he reversed his past support of Good and voted to continue moving toward terminating Good's employment.

Read the rest of the post at:


BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes
Hallandale Vice Mayor Speaks About Firing His "Friend," the City Manager By Thomas Francis, Thursday, May. 20 2010 @ 2:32PM

Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian says that he considers Mike Good a "friend" but that the city manager's absenteeism made it necessary for the commission to find another person for the job.

At the meeting yesterday, Julian pointed to documents that showed that in 2010, Good only made it to work roughly half the time.

Read the rest of the post at:


South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale Beach's proposed exit deal for Mike Good
7:02 PM EDT, May 20, 2010


Total annual compensation: $275,139

Base salary: $212,972

City contribution to 401(k): $30,754

Health, life, dental and disability insurance: $19,413

Car allowance: $12,000

City's exit offer: $306,893

Severance: $88,740

Health insurance: $16,554 a year until age 62, for a total of $215,000.

Tuition and books to finish masters degree in public administration (he has nine credits left): $3,153

SOURCE: City of Hallandale Beach


BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes

If a City Manager Is Hit by Scandal and the Dailies Don't Report It, Did It Really Happen?
By Thomas Francis, Friday, May. 21 2010 @ 9:07AM

Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian says he was "not concerned" about reports of an ethically dubious contract between City Manager Mike Good and a local real estate agent because those reports did not appear in the Miami Herald or Sun-Sentinel. They appeared here in Juice and in a print edition of New Times.

The city is finalizing its termination of Good, but Julian's remarks illustrate the difficulty that the region's major newspapers have in performing watchdog duties, given their dwindling resources and economically frail condition. If they cannot, the question is how that affects local government.

Read the rest of the post at:


A couple of things for you to consider after reading the above:

First, addition-by-subtraction works in local government as well as it does in sports, and this situation proves that, since people can actually imagine a future where information is not kept by the hired help (staff) from both the elected officials and the citizens of this community.

Second, the next few months are going to be
VERY DIFFICULT for quite a lot of people in this community who have become quite accustomed to taking a lot of things here for granted, not least, in some cases, their job at HB City Hall, whether elected or otherwise.
This is all for the -wait for it- GOOD.

Many of my friends and I plan on having a lot to do with that.

People who have supported and winked at the ruinous Mike Good & Joy Cooper Regime without question for years
without ever uttering a single independent thought are going to find themselves under the microscope.

I won't name them all here, but some of them are named Alexander Lewy, Patricia Genetti, Joe Kessell and the Brown family, the latter of whom seems to have been the lucky recipient of more HB taxpayer grants and CRA loans than seems either reasonable, logical or desirable.

Their condescending words and brazen behavior, along with their complete unwillingness to deal straight-forwardly with the citizen taxpayers of this community, plus the generally
questionable -and perhaps even illegal- way things have been done for years at HB City Hall under Good & Cooper and the city staff, leads me to state publicly here what I've already expressed in emails around the region over the past year: these particular people, along with their many pals, clones and acolytes around town, should be prepared for their words and behavior to get the full-airing before the community its long deserved but heretofore avoided.
Me, I'm happy to help make that a reality!

As some of you who communicate with me fairly often already know, the two HB City Hall apologists who have the most to fear most immediately from Hallandale Beach voters knowing what their real words and behavior are like are Alexander Lewy and William Julian., both candidates for City Commission in November.

This summer, their own foolish and condescending words and brazen behavior will be like a hanging noose they self-administer, while the rest of us just watch.

Trust me, the more you know about these two, the more that you will see why they are like poison for this community: TOXIC!

Are the beleaguered citizens of Hallandale Beach honestly supposed to believe that all this dysfunctionalism at HB City Hall was going on for years without ANY other Broward elected officials noticing what was happening on U.S-1, when it was patently obvious that everything that happened there happened ONLY with the direct approval of Mike Good and Joy Cooper?

So nobody at the Broward County Commission, the Broward League of Cities, the Broward MPO or the South Florida Regional Planning Council had any idea?

Of course, in the recent past, as she has always been so quick to remind everyone without any prompting, Joy Cooper was the head of the Broward League of Cities, so perhaps that explains why the elected officials over at that not particularly taxpayer-friendly group looked the other way.

Do you think that Joy Cooper being in charge at the LOC is the reason that she told Mike Good in 2008 to get some money together and build her a brand new office up on the second floor of City Hall, even though there was nothing physically wrong with her old office?

Other than her being the city's presiding officer at meetings and being able to call emergency Commission meetings, under the city's charter, Cooper has no more power that any other elected commissioner.

So why is it that more than 16 months after Cooper got her brand new office, her name does NOT actually appear anywhere on the building's directory downstairs when you first walk into the building?

That's taking government stealthiness to a new low, but then that's what Hallandale Beach City Hall specializes in.

Are there other City Halls in South Florida that don't actually mention where the mayor's office is located on a bldg. directory?
Me, I get around the area and keep my ears open, but I'm not aware of another one.

At consecutive meetings over a few months this Spring to decide the future of the Westin Diplomat's incompatible LAC proposal, I reminded the Broward Planning Council and the Broward County Commission that Mike Good, Joy Cooper and Commissioners William Julian, Dotty Ross and Anthony A. Sanders had consistently rejected calls by the community to put the developer's documents on the city's third-rate website for citizens to read them and see what was in them, as they consistently refused to second Comm. Keith London's common sense motion to do so.
Mike Good and Joy Cooper didn't like that idea, so it died, over-and-over.

The logical result of this thoroughly anti-democratic, anti-transparency behavior was that HB citizens could only see the public docs on the city's website 28 hours before the first vote in the city took place, before the HB Planning & Zoning Advisory Board.
And the very next day, the City Commission voted.

That's Mike Good and Joy Cooper's view of government transparency in a nut-shell: keep relevant public documents away from citizen taxpayers until the last possible minute, even while meeting and speaking constantly with the developers, lawyers and lobbyists who already knew everything in them.

While the Broward Planning Council, Broward County Commission and their staffs had weeks to examine the docs, 4/5ths of the city's elected officials and the City Manager who is SUPPOSED to work for them decided that they didn't want the people they work for to know what was in those documents.

That wasn't by accident, that was THEIR plan from the beginning to help the developer get the project approved over the wishes of the majority of the community.

The larger question of public officials looking the other way while something wicked or creepy was happening right in front of them is an especially uncomfortable question for people who have actually had an office located in Hallandale Beach City Hall while Mike Good has been City Manager and Joy Cooper has been Mayor -people like Joe Gibbons and Steve Geller and Eleanor Sobel.

Their complete silence for YEARS about what's been going on at HB City Hall will definitely have some negative consequences for them in the near-future, as they fully should expect well-informed citizens to ask some hard questions about their rather convenient laissez-faire attitude towards incompetency and sleazy corruption on the taxpayer's dime.

For instance, can you name one city in the State of Florida besides Hallandale Beach wherein the City Commission has hired their City Manager, Police Chief and Fire Chief WITHOUT that action ever:
a.) being placed on a public agenda in advance of the meeting,
b.) being approved without ANY citizens being present to discuss the matter, and
c.) taking place in a room where the vote was not videotaped?

That doesn't happen by accident, that's intentional.
That's THEIR plan.
Keep Hallandale Beach taxpayers in the dark and on the outside looking in.

As to the ethical fitness of interim HB City Manager, Mark A. Antonio, who already makes just under $200,000 a year in salary and benefits as an Assistant City Manager for this small ocean-side city of under 4.5 square miles, the apple doesn't fall far from the Mike Good tree.

For more info on Antonio's less-than-transparent management style, please see these previous posts:
It speaks for itself.

Hallandale Beach's pro-reform citizens desperately want an outsider brought in as City Manager who will work diligently and cooperatively with the community to make it the prosperous city it ought to be in fact.
An outsider who'll uphold the spirit and letter of the state's Sunshine Laws and who will fire city employees who evade it.

Because Hallandale Beach City Hall needs cleaning from top-to-bottom, Hallandale Beach's pro-reform citizens DON'T want to recycle one of the city's high-paid apologists for the ancien régime.
Mark A. Antonio is NOT part of the solution, he's a systemic part of the larger problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment

#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's yet another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

A post shared by Bebe Rexha (@beberexha) on