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, Europe 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. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 28, 2011

If you think your City Hall is screwed-up, read Hallandale Beach City Comm. Keith London's review of a recent day at the office -and it's all true!

The following comments are an email that I and many other Hallandale Beach citizen taxpayers and residents received from City Commissioner Keith London about the last City Commission meeting, most of which I was present for.
From my perspective, they ring 100% true.

If anything, I should've started posting these review comments of his years ago to give you all a more complete idea of what well-informed people in this city who favor genuine financial accountability, public policy transparency and simple common sense, are up against in the form of mayor Joy Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew, and the maladroit City Manager Mike Antonio.

Antonio is quickly losing his few remaining supporters in this city thru his frustrating and inscrutable decision-making that consistently puts this city's citizens on the bottom of the political pyramid.


Antonio
is NOT elected and does not make the public policy of this city but rather is supposed to carry out the entire commission's will, not just do the bidding of the mayor, including getting items on the agenda, yet his longstanding amnesia on this simple point is getting harder and harder to explain away -even among people who supported his getting the job.

He consistently makes decisions that are either NOT his to make, or which leave the public on the outside looking in, with little to no information, even when it's supposed to already be public.
Just like his predecessor, Mike Good.

From my conversations with people all throughout the community, the upcoming city Quadrant meetings here are looking to be pretty brutal for Antonio, as well as for DPW Director John Chidsey and some other city high-profile employees, as they have precious little positive to show for what they've done the past year, especially at their salary levels and benefits packages.

By no stretch of the imagination are HB taxpayers and business owners currently getting a dollar's worth of performance for every tax dollar going straight into city paychecks, or, being doled out to contractors for services "supposedly" rendered.


Antonio
, Chidsey and other Hallandale Beach city employees are continuing to perform in a completely unsatisfactory manner, and they can pretend all they want, but they're in for a major shock in the coming months as the public scrutiny on them and their behavior, words and professional performance only increases.

Wheels are definitely in motion...


---------

Everyone,

The following is an update of agenda items and other issues discussed at the Wednesday, February, 16 2011 City of Hallandale Beach Commission Meeting.

Highlights of this Wrap-Up

· Commissioner Lewy undermines yet another one of Commissioner London’s motions

· City Manager Antonio adds supplemental agenda item at last minute to discuss multi-million dollar contract

· City Commission authorizes the spending of $38,750 without any back-up information

· Mayor Cooper states the City of Hallandale Beach only has a “dog-run NOT a park”

· St. Borromeo’s Church is still for sale

· No second to have Public Meeting with NE residents prior to moving forward with two way traffic on NE 8th NE 10th Avenues

http://www.hallandalebeach.org/files/2011-02-16/Agenda%20Outline%20for%202011-02-16%2013-30.htm

http://www.hallandalebeach.org/files/Supplemental%20Agenda%20Item%207E%20_02%2016%2011%20.pdf

REGULAR AGENDA

CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 1:30 P.M.

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (to be heard at 1:35 P.M.)

· Dr. Judy Selz spoke regarding not being provided information regarding charitable contributions and the Mayor’s/Commissioners travel expenses.

o Commissioner London commented on a document that was provided to Dr. Selz by the City Manager and had information redacted

o Providing documentation in this manner makes the City look like they are trying to hide something; hence not being transparent and accountable

·

5. PRESENTATIONS AND REPORTS

A. Proclamation Proclaiming March 6 - 12, 2011 as Problem Gambling Awareness Week (PGAW)

B. Proclamation Proclaiming February 20 - 26, 2011 as National Engineers Week

C. Parks and Recreation Summary Report

D. Presentation of Certificates in Recognition of the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award Nominees

TO BE HEARD AT 7:00 PM

E. Recognition of Armin Lovenvirth as the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award Recipient.

TO BE HEARD AT 7:00 PM

6. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Approval of Draft Minutes - Regular City Commission Meetings of September 1, 2010, September 15, 2010, November 17, 2010 and February 2, 2011 and Special City Commission Meetings of September 15, 2010, September 27, 2010 and September 29, 2010

· Commissioner London made motions to revise/clarify the meeting minutes as follows:

o September 15, 2010 meeting – include comments from Commissioner London stating he wanted the City of Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce to become self-sufficient; and the storage trailer at the Upper Deck Bar and Grill should be allowed to remain on the premises

o September 29, 2010 meeting – include the statement that Commissioner London has never received meeting minutes from the Golden Isles and Three Islands Safe Neighborhood Districts advisory boards

· As I have repeatedly stated, I will not approve minutes that are more than 30 days old

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

B. Pursuant to Chapter 23, Article III, Authorize the City Manager to Approve Additional Engineering Services to Tank Engineering and Management Consultants, Inc. (TEAM) to Perform Detailed Engineering and Design on a New Pipe Section for an Inlet Pipe for the City's Elevated Water Tank, in an Amount not to Exceed $2,000.00. (Staff: Director of Utilities and Engineering)

· Passed 5:0

7. CITY BUSINESS

A. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Authorizing the City Manager to Enter Into a Construction Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for Hallandale Beach Boulevard and NE 8th Avenue and NE 10th Avenue Intersections Improvements Project (Staff: Director of Utilities & Engineering)

· Commissioner London requested City Manager Antonio answer the following questions regarding this project:

o Residents wanted to know if the two-traffic project was planned prior to the Ben Gamla School proposed project - ANSWER: the two-way traffic project was proposed prior to Ben Gamla

o Did the Northeast Quadrant residents have a community meeting regarding this project? – ANSWER: NO

o What is the source of funding for this project? – ANSWER: CRA $150,000; Transportation Fund $630,00; General Fund $100,000 – Total approximately $1 million and total monies spent thus far is $60,000

o The Hallandale Square Project, according to their development agreement with the City, is supposed to contribute approximate $335,000 towards the cost of this project which has not happened to date; if the City commences this project now, will the City lose this money? ANSWER – No concrete answer was provided

· Please click on the following links for studies showing that One-Way Streets are Safer and Better than Two-Way Streets

o http://debunkingportland.org/onewaystreets.htm

o www.Independenceinstitute.org/cad.aspx

o www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3876477

· Commissioner London made a motion to delay going forward with this project until the City holds a Community Meeting regarding this project – NO SECOND

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

B. Discussion of Converting the Temporary Lane Modifications at Hallandale Beach Blvd and Dixie Highway to a Permanent Change. (Director: Utilites & Engineering)

TOBE HEARD AT 2:30 P.M.

· Item deferred

C. Discussion on Allowing Dogs at Joseph Scavo Park (Staff: Director of Parks and Recreation)

· This item was sent to the Parks Advisory Board after the January 18, 2011 meeting on a 3-2 vote (LONDON and ROSS NO) to discuss a plan and location for a dog park

· Mayor Cooper was adamantly in favor of this project as she stated there currently are no dog parks located in Hallandale; only a dog run in Golden Isles

· The Parks Advisory Board agreed unanimously NOT to move forward with a dog park until the Parks Master Plan is complete. (Commissioner London suggested that at the January 18 meeting)

· Commissioner London stated he supports a dog park in the City as long as it is developed appropriately and properly and ends up being an area that enhances the City

· Motion to Delay this project until the Parks Master Plan is complete - Passed 4:1 – Cooper NO

D. Discussion of Establishing a Charter Review Committee (City Attorney)

TO BE HEARD AT 7:20 P.M.

· The City will be forming a Charter Review Committee

· This Committee is appointed every eight (8) years to suggest changes to the City Commission

· This is a seven (7) member board of which the Mayor and Vice Mayor will appoint two members each and the remaining Commissioners have one appointment

· The Board sunsets after six (6) months

· If the Commission votes in favor of any changes/revision, it is then placed on an electoral ballot for the residents to have final say.

· Please feel free to provide any suggestions or comments as it relates to the Charter and City of Hallandale Beach when these public meetings are held

· Please click on this link if anyone has interest in applying to be a member of the Charter Review Committee: http://www.hallandalebeach.org/forms.aspx?FID=60

8. COMMISSIONER REPORTS

9. OTHER

· Commissioner London made a motion to establish five (5) Vision Commission retreats (as suggested by a consultant to the City) – NO SECOND

o Commissioner Lewy offered a friendly amendment to change the number of retreats from 5 to 3 – Friendly Amendment not accepted

o Mayor Cooper stated she did NOT want any vision retreats

· Commissioner London asked City Manager Antonio when the Commission would start receiving a budget advisory report from the City Manager – ANSWER: The City Manager stated he decided we did not need one

· Commissioner London asked if St. Borromeo Church was still for sale?

o This is the property that Mayor Cooper and former City Manager Mike Good wanted to buy for $3,000,000 with no plan. Both wanted us to act immediately because the archdiocese stated there was another buyer. That was approximately one year ago.

· The City Manager brought forward an item to fund a citizen survey at a cost of $38,750 without any back-up material

o Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

10. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (to be heard at 7:00 P.M.)

11. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Summary of City Commission Action Taken During the Afternoon Portion of the Meeting

12. PUBLIC HEARINGS (to be heard at 7:15 P.M.)

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA #1

7. CITY BUSINESS

E. A Resolution Ratifying a Contract Between the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, and the Hallandale Beach Professional Fire Fighters Metro Broward Local 3080 District 10 Affiliated with International Association of Fire Fighters, Relating to Relations Between the Employer and the Fire Union Employees of the City of Hallandale Beach

· This was a last minute agenda item provided to the City Commission less than 48 hours before the meeting

· There was no fiscal impact statement, no actuarial study attached as well as pertinent back-up information to discuss an item of this magnitude

· This is a multi-million dollar contract with the City’s Fire Department and approximately 60 pages long

· This is inappropriate to bring this item forward to the Commission or “OUR” residents without adequate time for review and questions

· When asked, the City Manager stated he brought this forward quickly because he promised the Fire Department he would do so for them

· As much as I support the City of Hallandale Beach’s Fire Department, I do not support the manner in which this item was brought forward; this does not represent transparency and accountability!

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

I welcome and will gladly add those individuals who may not currently be included on my email distribution lists. Please feel free to forward those email addresses and contact information to me.

Please contact me if you would like unsubscribe to any future emails.

For all you who are unable to physically attend and participate at the City Commission meetings, these meetings are replayed on Comcast Channel 78 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday @ 12:00 P.M. and Mondays and Thursday @ 6:00 P.M.

Commission Meetings are now being web streamed and archived. Please visit: http://fl-hallandalebeach.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=717

You are always welcome to contact me with questions or suggestions and I encourage you to contact the rest of the City Commission with your questions or comments.

Other good contact information:

Keith S. London

City Commissioner

Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office

www.KeithLondon.com

http://www.facebook.com/KeithSLondon

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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