Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. 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 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.

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.

, 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...



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





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




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



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


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



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


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)


· 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)


· 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



· 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.)


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.)



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



No comments:

Post a Comment

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 and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'dALREADY 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.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, theCity of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester forYEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they 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.
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 that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, 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. 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 here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials.Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl


The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.