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Date: Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 4:17 PM
Subject: I'm inviting you to see a City Commission that doesn't believe your Wed. column -they're giving a $15,000 bonus to an Interim City Manager for doing nothing
To: Jackie Bueno Sousa
Cc: "Gyllenhaal, Anders", "Schumacher-Matos, Edward",
Thursday August 5th, 2010 4:15 p.m.
Thursday August 5th, 2010
Dear Ms. Sousa:
I'm writing to you today after having considered doing so many times in the
recent past after reading one of your telling, spot-on columns.
The specific reason I'm writing now, though, is your column of yesterday,
If government cries poverty, take a close look
It might surprise you to know that despite the lip service given by many
South Florida public officials to matters of tightening belts and other
budget cliches, there are, in fact, still many more cities in South Florida
that are largely in denial about both the current economy and their
own fiscal responsibilities in that new era requiring tougher choices,
and actually having to say NO occasionally.
In short, the need to spend taxpayer's money wisely in a logical and
responsible fashion with a modicum of oversight, is still a rumor to them,
as they much prefer to remain in 'laisssez les bon temps rouler' mode.
I know this because I live in one of those cities in denial:
On Monday night, the HB City Commission is preparing to give a
$15,000 bonus to the interim City Manager, Mark Antonio,
who has been a placeholder for barely two months, a few WEEKS
of which he was actually away on vacation, apparently, out-of-the-
country, so I'm told.
Antonio's salary and benefits already total just under $200,000
as an Ass't. City Manager for a city that's 4.2 square miles.
The last CM, Mike Good, an incompetent and unprofessional person
who was living proof of the Peter Principle, was fired by the City
Commission many years after he SHOULD'VE BEEN, on account of,
well, he simply wasn't showing up for work.
And when Good showed up, he was often late for meetings that
couldn't start until he was present, and I'm not talking about showing up
late as a negotiating tactic with a union.
No, for years he was often completely unavailable by phone to both
the City Commission and his own staff -completely incommunicado.
His wife often claimed not to know where Good was when she was
In fact, as Comm. Keith London noted at the time, Good was even late
for the special City Commission meeting that HE requested to discuss his
over-the-top golden parachute that was larded with things that nobody
in South Florida could get, and that for a city of HB's size, were shameful.
But the City Commission caved-in
Again, in the opinion of myself and many other pro-reform citizens
in HB that want genuine accountability and transparency at City Hall
instead of the stealthy and unethical behavior that's been the M.O.
for years, Good should've been fired for cause years ago, but
Mayor Joy Cooper ignored his longstanding problems because
Good allowed her to do whatever she wanted to, with nary a discouraging
word about her misguided policies or her routinely violating the state's
Sunshine Laws up in Room 247, away from the view of TV cameras.
This unethical and unprofessional behavior was going on for years at
HB City Hall, not that the Herald ever felt the need to see it or share
the news with your readers, since there has only been a Herald reporter
present at an HB City Commission meeting only once since June of 2008,
a complaint of mine and other HB residents that I've discussed frequently
in the past with Mr. Gyllenhaal.
(That reporter was Breanne Gilpatrick and she was only there
because it was a joint City Commission meeting with Hollywood,
her beat at the time.)
It might interest you to know that at the time that Good was fired, the
collective HB City Manager's office salaries were more than that of
next-door Hollywood, despite Hollywood being more than three times
as large in size physically, and three times as large in population.
And what do we have to show for it?
Giving that much extra money -for what exactly?- to the same person
who just a few months ago, illegally orchestrated an effort to prevent
me from accessing a public city meeting in Room 247 at City Hall,
and then canceled it while I tried to make my way upstairs to be the
only citizen present, is a non-starter.
If anything, Monday night should be an opportunity for HB residents to
finally purge themselves of all the angst and anger they've been having
to carry around all this time, and to describe in detail, in front of the entire
community, ALL the longstanding problems that have STILL NOT been
fixed or resolved to anyone's satisfaction by the City Manager's office
over the past few years, despite plenty of notice.
(Ones that are thoroughly examined in detail on my blog, complete
And since you're not in a position to know, it's a City Manager's
office that has included Mark Antonio ALL that time.
I'm contacting you to formally invite you to come up here on Monday night
for a 'fact-finding trip,' so you can see for herself what really happens with
You will see that more than is true in most places, in HB, seeing
REALLY is believing.
Then, you can compare HB's version of "pain" to what you wrote about
in your column yesterday.
I'd be happy to talk or meet with you in the days prior to the meeting if
it's your intent on attending, and even have some other pro-reform folks
available to speak to you if you wish, since it's likely to be quite a scene
on Monday night.
This meeting is the proverbial 'last straw."
From: Keith London
Date: Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM
Subject: Special City Commission Meeting Agenda for the$15,000 bonus for Interim City Manager and a Charter Change August 9, 2010 at 6:00 PM
To: "Commissioner, Hallandale Beach - Keith London" <email@example.com
Please note there is a special City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, August 9, 2010 at 6:00 PM in city commission chambers.
Attached please find a copy of the Agenda as well as the back-up information.
The first agenda item is a fifteen thousand ($15,000) bonus to Interim City Manager Mark Antonio. This was approved on a 4:1 vote after midnight on Friday, July 30, 2010 during the city's budget workshop. The item was discussed after the Channel 78 broadcast of the meeting had ended.
I suggested to my fellow City Commissioners that this item be discussed only with proper public notice. They unanimously agreed and the issue will now be discussed at this meeting.
The second item for discussion is the hiring of an INTERNAL AUDITOR. There will be a discussion and decision regarding amending the City of Hallandale Beach Charter to allow the City Commission to hire an additional employee. This individual will report directly to the City Commission, just like the City Manager and City Attorney do now.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me on my cell phone or by email.
Keith S. London