Unlike Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Bill Julian, my father obeys the law.
How many times have we seen it?
The able-bodied person who thinks that their time and comfort is much more important than everyone else's, much less, polite society's tenuous moral claims on them, even when it comes to one of the most egregious social taboos of all -parking illegally in a handicapped reserved space.
In contemporary America there are few things that a person can do in public that engenders more universal contempt, instant condemnation and outright anger, than seeing an able-bodied person intentionally parking their car in a handicapped reserved/access parking spot.
Yes, even in most though not all of South Florida, where thwarting or tweaking society's norms
is a common everyday thing for some to either do or witness, for most South Florida residents, THAT is one step beyond which they will not go, and risk instant social outcast status among polite society.
Nobody wants to hear the alibis or the excuses, you just don't do it -period!
Oh, yes, polite society, I remember you.
We got along famously when I was at school at IU in Bloomington, and then then Evanston, near the beautiful Northwestern University campus, then next-door Wilmette and Chicago in succession years later.
Even on brutally cold days after work, when you were tired and exhausted of being tired and exhausted, you simply NEVER EVER sit down in the "El" train seats reserved for the disabled, handicapped or senior citizens, rather than standing.
Polite society was much more fragmented in Washington, D.C. when I lived and worked there for 15 years 'til 2003, outside of certain neighborhood on Capitol Hill, Tenleytown and in Arlington County, but still, regardless of age, race, class, ethnicity, party affiliation or sexual persuasion, that same aversion to becoming an instant social pariah existed when riding around on the Washington Metro system, which I did everyday on my way to and from work, year-after-year.
Some things are just NOT done, and if you want to see a sedate crowd of multiple ethnicities, classes and educational accomplishment crowded together by happenstance in the D.C. area come together in a flash, you just watch what happens when some lazy teenagers try to sit in reserved train seats while senior citizens are standing nearby on the train.
People vocally crack the whip!
I've personally witnessed it dozens and dozens of times and been part of the voice of reason and derision, and seen the sheepish look on the teenagers when they saw that they were henceforth considered persona non grata -UNCOOL!
So with all that said, and knowing that few South Florida pols, even in relatively puny Hallandale Beach, would actively seek to earn society's scorn and enmity for something so completely un-necessary and avoidable, little prepared me for my discovery one day at the public North Beach area of HB off of State Road A1A and Hallandale Beach Blvd. that HB Vice Mayor Bill Julian had a bit of a problem.
Actually, it was a big problem.
Or, would a better term simply be an addiction to a sense of entitlement?
Well, whatever you want to call he's nothing if not consistent, our Vice Mayor, Bill Julian.
When he finds something that he likes, he will keep doing it over-and-over, regardless of time or season or fashion.
Simply put, what I had stumbled upon that afternoon, was that defying all common sense and logic -not a first for Julian by any means- Comm. Julian intentionally broke the law with both impunity and a certain reserved nonchalance, the kind that comes from doing something for so long and nobody saying anything about what he was doing, least of all, the Hallandale Beach Police Dept.
After all, they hardly ever come by the beach, unlike other cities with a beach.
"Yes, but doesn't he works with charities or something? I think I read that somewhere."
Hmm-m-m... so that makes it okay, then?
And so it is with his particularly creepy and egregious pattern for years of abusing his office by habitually illegally parking in disabled/handicapped/access parking spaces.
As if his government ID badge left prominintly on the dashboard, was some sort of powerful 'force field' that rendered nearby people blind to what was happening right in front of them.
Did I mention that part that he's been doing this for YEARS, yet?
Oh, okay, just wanted to make that clear.
I have literally dozens of photos of Bill Julian and his car illegally parked in reserved handicapped/access spaces all over Hallandale Beach, as well as No-Parking zones, but the most damning are those at the public beach, near The Beachside Cafe, where he is the resident... well, something.
I'm not really sure of the word, even after all these years of seeing it.
For lack of a better phrase, I'll say presiding judge.
Yes, that's it, because that's where he holds court while his car breaks the law.
For many years he has parked his car in what until very recently was the one-and-only public parking space there reserved for folks who are handicapped, whether residents or visitors.
(Why did it take so many years for the city to finally have three?)
But Julian and his friends, who were, themselves, not above taking advantage of this "Friends Plan," would not get upset if someone with a legitimate disabled/handicapped parking space license plate or permit was parked there before they got there.
No, they always had a backup plan.
They would simply park in the handicapped access spot next to it for hours instead.
The space that has a fine that is the exact same as for illegally parking in a handicapped spot -$250.
Anything, so long as Julian was close to the bar & restaurant he so dearly loves to hold court at.
The same establishment with a lease with the city that expires soon and which should be put out to bid so that others can improve the area's reputation.
The same establishment that for years, despite city policy, has recklessly and wantonly thrown their recyclables into the nearby garbage dumpster, which anyone who goes to that beach has often heard as the glass and/or aluminum cans landed with a glass-breaking thud.
Yes, the very dumpster that has not had a wooden fence or partition around it, like is required for every other dumpster in the city, but which the city's Code Compliance keeps NOT seeing.
despite how obvious it has been for years.
Rules about recyclables? What rules?
When you are talking about Bill Julian's personal convenience, while the public parking lot -lots and lots of rocks and gravel- or the city's cheap public parking garage under The Beach Club might be good enough for you and me, they were simply too far for Julian.
Julian's car needed to be where it could be as close to the beach and the bar as possible.
By any means necessary.
I guess it's true what the Outhouse Gang says: It's Julian's world, we just live in it.
As if beach regulars and life guards didn't know exactly whose car it's been parking there illegally for years, depriving someone with a legitimate and legal right to park there from actually enjoying the public beach.
And did I mention that the city's public garage doesn't have an elevator?
Well, now I have!
Week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after-year, Bill Julian has used his official status as an elected official to trump common sense, polite society's rules of conduct and state law. You remember state law, don't you?
It's the thing that Julian and his cohorts on the City Commission took an oath to uphold and respect, though we know that that is a lie from all the accumulated evidence that's passed before us in this city over the past seven years.
Mea Culpa at Midnight
I'd originally planned on posting a lot more here, including numerous photos from my archives of Julian and his trusty familiar car -and his law-breaking pals- illegally parking in disabled/handicapped/access spots, esp. over at the beach, but owing to some time constraints -overdue need for sleep- and some unexpected things that came up Sunday night that required my immediate attention and concentration, I'm not going to be able to finish in time before going to sleep.
Instead, I'm going to show some good judgment here and post what I have now, and simply add the rest to it over the next few days to give it further definition and contrast, until it looks like what I've always envisioned in my head.
Trust me, you won't lack for details.
Photos of, well, let's see...
There's his car, of course; the actual spaces he parked in illegally; the posted warning signs he ignored with impunity advising what the fine was; the HB govt. ID badge he left in plain view on the car dashboard for everyone to see, and yes, even photos of the Hallandale Beach Police Dept.controlled surveillance cameras that somehow never seemed to quite see Julian's car
parked illegally for years, despite it being directly in view and instantly recognizable by most people who are paying attention to things in this city.
Yes, the city surveillance camera that lacks a required posted warning/notice sign so that visitors know they are being watched.
Just like all the missing legally required Warning/Notice signs all over the City Hall complex, years after they were installed.
See ya back here soon!
316.1959 Handicapped parking enforcement.--The provisions of handicapped parking shall be enforced by state, county, and municipal authorities in their respective jurisdictions whether on public or private property in the same manner as is used to enforce other parking laws and ordinances by said agencies.
History.--s. 6, ch. 85-227.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR HANDICAPPED PARKING?