"Hallandale is pretty much like a cruise ship tied up to a deck, and that ship is going nowhere."
-Hallandale Beach City Commission candidate Thorn E. Shay in Feb. 26, 1997 Sun-Sentinel
Thirteen years later, it STILL is!
That 'ship' of state is STILL "tied up" to the dock, still going nowhere in particular after ten years of the ruinous reign of mayor Joy Cooper.
But she isn't alone in this gross mismanagement of the city -she has plenty of help, if you can call it that.
Above, October 24, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier outside the HB City Commission chambers, Hallandale Beach, FL
Her loyal Rubber Stamp Crew of puppets on the City Commission, disinterested in engaging in anything resembling the sort of serious discussion of public policy issues that are commonplace in other nearby City Halls, disinclined to even doing a minimal amount of homework and preparation so that they are familiar with issues at the meeting, and unwilling to stand up to both Cooper's never-ending list of bad or self-serving ideas/agenda items or the city manager and his staff, are quite something to behold.
Among many other problems, the HB City Commission under Joy Cooper has a very troubling and weak record of actually standing up for citizen taxpayers against Christy Dominguez's Planning Dept. or Richard Cannone's Development Services Dept., particularly in demanding that they make information publicly available to HB citizen taxpayers at the same time they do to developers and lawyer lobbyists.
Instead, HB citizens continue to get the proverbial shaft, always finding out important public information at the very last minute.
That's NOT by accident, that's the plan, both under Mike Good and Marc Antonio.
But guess what?
Now, thanks to the diligent efforts of myself and many of my pro-reform friends here, the elected officials who really matter in Broward County government and other Broward cities, as well as the South Florida reporters and columnists who readers.viewers trust most, ALSO KNOW what's been going on in this city for years and years with nary a peep from Messrs Julian, Ross & Sanders.
It's now widely-known that those three individuals do NOT enjoy the trust or respect of the people in this community who most pay attention.
They've been exposed for the Rubber Stamps they are.
Three of the commissioners -Julian, Ross & Sanders- prefer that the mayor and the unelected city manager run everything, rather than do any heavy lifting.
As if they're just the spare tire in the car trunk, going along for the ride, wherever that is.
And then they wonder why nobody trusts them or respects them?
You can see the disastrous but logical results of that sort of unresponsive and disinterested behavior everywhere around you in this city, whether at public meetings, where those three always seem to be the last ones in the room to know something that's common knowledge to the whole room, or, in the shabby appearance of so much of Hallandale Beach, due to unsatisfactory maintenance or performance of city employees who seemingly have no fear of punishment or accountability.
Just like the quote at the top said in 1997, the city is still needlessly "tied up" in unresponsive bureaucracy, where even self-evident mistakes on the homepage of the city's third-rate website can stay there for a year without anyone "responsible" for it actually noticing -and fixing it!
So what are they doing exactly?
Well, if you come to this blog often, you know they are spending your tax dollars in ways that are odd, short-sighted, fool-hardy, myopic, pound-foolish... and likely to cause you nothing but trouble in the future.
Since the past is predicate, here's the 1997 story where that quote at the top of this post originated, so you'll have all the context you need.
HALLANDALE RACES FOCUS ON AGE - CANDIDATES FORUM RAISES ISSUES OF SENIOR SERVICES AND LIVING CONDITIONS
February 26, 1997
THOMAS MONNAY Staff Writer
The five commission candidates had a chance to get personal with voters Monday night, promising more than 100 senior citizens to improve living conditions here.
The three incumbents and two challengers differed sharply on how they plan to fulfill the promises, and candidate David "Israel" Marmor, 45, continued to make the age of existing commissioners an issue.
Anne Leon, a voter who has attended the Hallandale United Citizen's forum for 20 years, called the event "one of the best we've ever had. It was fair; it was very informative."
Hallandale United Citizens, a local civic association that claims 600 members, sponsored the forum at the Hallandale Public Library for the candidates vying for three commission seats in the election March 11.
Incumbent Mayor Arnold Lanner and incumbent Commissioners Arthur J. "Sonny" Rosenberg and Gilbert "Gil" Stein -all who stress their achievements and community service involvement- say they can attract new businesses and encourage redevelopment by updating city codes.
"Don't be fooled by those who say they will cut taxes," said Lanner, warning that reductions might affect fire and police services.
Marmor, a mortgage broker and banker, said he would cut taxes, downsize government and get the city to pick up trash twice a week instead of once a week.
"I don't know why we need such a big government as in Hallandale," said Marmor, who also would hire a lower-paid city manager than R.J. Intindola who earns $100,000.
The other challenger, Thorn E. Shay, 52, called again for sound infrastructure, including drainage to alleviate flooding and a new road to ease traffic on Hallandale Beach Blvd. Shay accused the incumbents of spending enterprise funds on "pet projects."
"Hallandale is pretty much like a cruise ship tied up to a deck," Shay said. "And that ship is going nowhere."
Marmor, 45, who ran unsuccessfully in 1989 and 1991, said Hallandale needs new leadership, saying the incumbent commissioners are too old and lack the energy that they need to do the job.
"It's something to do with performance," Marmor said. "That's why we need some new blood in the city."
Vice Mayor Dorothy "Dotty" Ross, whose four-year term expires in 1999, is the youngest commissioner. She is 71.
The oldest commissioner, Hy Cohen, 81, will be up for re-election in two years.
Rosenberg, 77, is serving his 20th year on the commission; Stein, 76, is completing a second 4-year term; and Lanner, 75, is concluding his first 4-year term.
Lanner and Stein told the Sun-Sentinel that they would not seek another term if they got re-elected. Rosenberg was not sure whether he would retire after serving another term.
Commissioners are elected citywide in Hallandale. The two-highest vote-getters will serve four-year terms, and the lowest vote-getter will serve two years
As most of you know, all HB City Commission seats are for four years, as is the mayor's term.