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 and Europe, especially the UK 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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Csaba Kulin's reasonable questions to Joy Cooper about city spending result in another Bob Norman post that highlights the anti-taxpayer culture here

The iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower on State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive & Hallandale Beach Blvd. April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Well, I can't honestly say that I'm surprised, given what I've seen here the past seven years. If seeing isn't believing in Hallandale Beach, Florida, it isn't true anywhere I've ever lived.

Wednesday's post by BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes columnist Bob Norman in his must-read The Daily Pulp blog, chronicled the to-and-fro of an email that my friend and fellow HB activist Csaba Kulin sent to the Hallandale Beach City Commission and mayor Joy Cooper recently about spending practices and patterns here, and compared them to the city that he and his wife lived in before spending most of the year here: Strongsville, Ohio.

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BrowardPalmBeach NewTimes
The Daily Pulp
Hallandale Beach Mayor Defends City in Sloppy, Error-Filled Email
By Bob Norman
April. 27 2011 @ 8:54AM

Ever heard of Strongsville, Ohio?

Neither had I, but it's apparently a suburb of Cleveland and a place where Hallandale condo president and activist Csaba Kulin used to live.

Kulin is amazed at the bloated cost of Hallandale Beach's budget compared to that of Strongville and recently wrote a letter about it to the City Commission.

Read the rest of the post at:
http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2011/04/hallandale_mayor_joy_cooper_budget.php

Rather than re-invent the wheel here, I'll simply re-post below the (slightly-expanded) comments I added to the mix shortly after Midnight, in reference to one reader's comment that you couldn't really compare the spending levels of a city near Cleveland and one in tropical South Florida.


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For the record, since you refer to us being an ocean-side city, HB's beach is actually about the smallest beach in this county and NOT fun, attractive or even well-maintained despite being so small.

This despite the fact that in most Florida coastline communities, the beach is, to a large degree, the visible symbol of the city, and when people see things there that appear troubling, it only causes them to wonder even more about the aspects of city government that they don't or can't see.


Here in HB the problem is made worse because the city so clearly couldn't care less what the citizens or visitors think otherwise they'd... well, for one, NOT leave the maintenance equipment right in the middle of the beach -on North Beach- instead of storing it nearby where it's out of the way.
April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

That equipment, by the way, consists in large part of rusty poles and large comb of steel which seems straight out of 1920's-era Soviet Russia, and doesn't clean the beach so much as level the sand, as if that were more important than actually cleaning and sifting-out debris.
But here, under the current regime, it is.

Rust never sleeps... or goes out of style in Hallandale Beach, though it should.
April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Above, the lifeguard stand at Hallandale Beach's North Beach, the area north of the three condo towers of The Beach Club on State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive.
The simple information board on the south side of the board seems like a very simple item, and yet it took well OVER A YEAR for the city to replace the damaged ones here and at South Beach that were no longer usable. Not replace the lifeguard stand, just the board.
The sort of thing that in the 21st Century, other modern cities can order and replace within days or a week. Here in Hallandale Beach, that process took over one year, so everyday for a year, visitors to the beach saw not just scratched scrawl marks and graffiti on the side of the guard stands, but a physical reminder that this city is poorly-managed and can't do something very simple. April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
On Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Hallandale Beach City Commission Chambers -400 S. Federal Highway- is the city's citywide forum on the 2011-12 budget, and there is every reason to think there may well be more (and better) fireworks on display there than on the Fourth of July.

To promote the city's NE Quadrant meeting on April 11th at the North Beach building that took three years for the city to open to the public -three times longer than it took to build and given to the city for free- HB city's employees showed for the millionth time the sort of half-assed second-rate effort that passes for satisfactory and normal here which makes citizen taxpayers simmer.
April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


A simple sandwich board was placed underneath the overpass above A1A/South Ocean drive. But rather than being placed where it was visible to traffic stopped at traffic lights going either north or south, or even by pedestrains walking to or from the beach, it was placed where it couldn't be read legibly by anyone.
For days, including the very day of the meeting. SNAFU!
April 11, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

My friend Csaba Kulin's reasonable questions are important ones that he and I and many other concerned HB citizens have been raising and discussing in earnest since early last year, yet are routinely given the run-around, lip-service and attitude by the city's largely oblivious elected officials and staffers, save Comm. Keith London, who is, after all, just one of the five voting members. The ones who, in theory at least, set the public policies of the city, NOT the unelected City Manager, Mark Antonio.

For even deigning to ask what in almost any other city in America would be considered reasonable questions, my friend has been verbally attacked by a city commissioner -Dotty Ross- even before he got to the microphone to say anything.

Yes, the very same woman whose incompetency and helter-skelter dedication to the job she took an oath to perform, was captured perfectly last year by Thomas Francis in The Juice blog of The NewTimes, when she refused to come down to the Chambers from her office for a Special City Commission meeting on Mike Good's future as City Manager.

Meeting on Hallandale City Manager's Fate Canceled After Mayoral No-Show
By Thomas Francis, Fri., Apr. 30 2010 @ 10:50AM
http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/juice/2010/04/hallandale_special_meeting_mike_good_canceled.php

Her willful refusal to appear while she was in the building forced the meeting to be called-off for lack of a quorum.
My post on that embarrassing spectacle was simply titled, Comm. Dotty Ross hiding in plain sight at Hallandale Beach's "Special Meeting" on City Manager Mike Good's employment; "Recall" is in the air!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/comm-dotty-ross-hiding-in-plain-sight.html

What you see here in print via the mayor's tone-deaf response is but the tip of the iceberg at HB City Hall.

If you doubt that, come to the public meeting on Saturday morning and see for yourself.

Coincidentally, Saturday will ALSO be the one-year anniversary of the self-disappearance of Comm. Dotty Ross.
A growing number of HB citizens think a successful recall campaign against Comm. Ross (and Comm. Anthony Sanders) in the Fall or early Spring of 2012 would be just the sort of disappearing act we'd all applaud, financially and policy-wise -addition by subtraction!

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