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Friday, May 27, 2011

Keith London's Wrap Up of the City of Hallandale Beach City Commission Agenda for May 16, 2011 and May 18, 2011; Sadly, it's all true!

City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, May 18, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


To quote and paraphrase myself from February:

If you think your City Hall is screwed-up, read Hallandale Beach City Comm. Keith London's review of two recent days 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 two City Commission meeting, most of which I was present for.
From my perspective, they ring 100% true.
Sadly, all-too-true

The second meeting referenced below, of May 18th, started at 6 p.m. and didn't finish until after Midnight.
I left after 9 p.m.

I don't know about where you live, dear reader of the blog, but in this city, with its particular population and problems, it SHOULDN'T take six hours to conduct a public meeting when there is NOT some 'Code Red' issue before the commission involving dozens and dozens of members of the public speaking.
Especially for only four elected officials.

The ridiculous length of these meetings, as well as Mayor Cooper's longstanding inability to let someone speak without instantly giving her take on whatever they say as soon as they are finished, are exactly the sort of things that cause Hallandale Beach citizens and business owners to stay away and NOT participate.
It's for those reasons and so many others that I say with disdain, with the current crew in charge, there is no such thing at Hallandale Beach City Hall as a "time certain" agenda item.

I've edited the email below to erase lots of empty space, otherwise, it's as received -nothing added.

------
Everyone,

I have included both wrap-ups in one email from both of last week’s meetings.

The following is an update of agenda items and other issues discussed at the Monday, May 16, 2011 City of Hallandale Beach Commission City Manager/City Commission Workshop.

Highlights of this Workshop

· Hallandale has a “Deficit of Open Space”…insufficient parks to support the population.

· City Commission approves $17 to $39 million in expenditures on the Parks Master Plan.

· Commissioner London makes a motion to change the way Hallandale calculates “Public Open Space”. Currently, waterways are included in the calculation despite the fact that most residents do not have access to our waterways. - NO SECOND

· The City’s Beach Renourishment Project is on hold due to lack of funding!

· The next Commission meeting discussing the Final Summary Report of the Parks Master Plan is Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM


· Visit www.ChangeHallandale.com to read the latest about City finances

· Please visit www.KeithLondon.com to read the latest news article regarding Hallandale Beach Marina

--------------

CITY MANAGER/CITY COMMISSION WORKSHOP AGENDA

MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 6:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

4. PRESENTATIONS AND REPORTS


A. Presentation of the Parks and Recreation Summary Report

B. Presentation of the Police Department Quarterly Report

C. Discussion of Utilities & Engineering Construction Projects


· The Commission learned the Bluestein Park water tower has been so badly neglected over the last 10 years (during the Mike Good and Mayor Cooper tenure) it may be more cost effective to have it removed. If this had been properly maintained, this would not have happened.

· Unfortunately, much of the City’s infrastructure has deteriorated thanks to poor regular maintenance.

· A $4 million beach renourishment project will not move forward because the City of Hallandale Beach was not awarded a matching $2 million grant.

o The City has $2 million budgeted for this $4 million project.

o The City consultant is still measuring the sand on the beach to provide a baseline in case we experience a hurricane or other natural disaster.

o The City will continue to look for funding sources.


5. CONSENT AGENDA

Approval of Draft Minutes - City Commission/City Manager Workshop of April 13, 2011

· Commissioner London again voted against minutes and will continue to vote against minutes until we return to summary minutes in support of government transparency.

· Other City meetings use summary minutes; why doesn’t the most important, the City Commission?

· Please go to the link to see what Hallandale summary used to look like


· Passed 3:1 London No. Ross absent


6. CITY BUSINESS

Presentation of Final Parks Conceptual Master Plan Designs
· Commissioner London makes a motion to make the residents’ petition part of the official record and minutes

o Some Hallandale Beach residents took it upon themselves to establish a petition with hundreds of resident signatures to voice their displeasure of a 4-story parking garage proposed to be built on South Beach in Hallandale

· Commissioner London’s Motion Passed 4:0 – ROSS Absent

· Commissioner London made another motion to include correspondence/petitions/information pertaining to agenda items dealing with development in the City (i.e., above petition) in the official back-up materials received by the City

· Commissioner London’s Motion Passed 4:0 – ROSS Absent

· The following individuals spoke regarding the Parks Master Plan in the different areas of the city:

o Keenan Johnson

o Gloria Jarvis

o Linda Cox

o Dave Smith

o Csaba Kulin

o Josephine Alongi

o Catherine Kim-Owens

o John Patchen

o Emma Pushton

o Etty Sims

o Marshall Frankel

FINAL SUMMARY

· At the end of the day, there are truly no winners or losers as far as the Parks Master plan is concerned

· Issues voted on and any decisions made will not take place any time in the near future due to lack of funding for all projects included in the plan

· This was an exercise of a big picture but not a reality

· The reality is the City of Hallandale Beach does not have the funding to implement any of these projects in the near future

· The financial scope of funding necessary to accomplish the goals of the Parks Master Plan shown ranges between $17 – 39 million

· Currently, the City has $5.5 – 7.5 million to fund this project

· No decisions were made on how to spend the actual funding available

· It should be understood, any decisions discussed and voted on during this meeting are not binding on future City Commissions

· The next Commission meeting discussing the Final Summary Report of the Parks Master Plan is Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM


B. Pursuant to Chapter 23, Section 23-107(5), Exception to Bid Requirements, Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances, Request Authorization to Enter Into an Agreement with Ballard King and Associates in an Amount Not-To-Exceed $40,500 for the Development of a Parks and Recreation Operations and Management Planning.
· Passed 4:0 - ROSS Absent

7. OTHER

· Commissioner London discussed his idea of increasing the amount of open space throughout the City with little to no additional costs to the current residents

· Commissioner London expressed the need for the City to become more proactive in our Comprehensive Plan requiring developers to either provide land or money to upgrade our parks and open space

· Commissioner London made a motion to amend the Comprehensive Plan to achieve these goals – THERE WAS NO SECOND TO THE MOTION BY ANY OTHER OF THE 3 COMMISSIONERS

· City Manager Antonio agreed and thought the concept was worthy of discussion

--------------------------

Everyone,

The following is an update of agenda items and other issues discussed at the Wednesday, May 18, 2011 City of Hallandale Beach Commission Meeting.

Highlights of this Wrap – Up

· Vice Mayor Sanders has a $25,000 conflict of interest!

· City Attorney Jove does nothing about conflicts!

· The Commission voted for an additional $20,000 to continue the City’s CAFR audit – “red flags” have been found

· Chabad of South Broward to receive a $200,000 loan to upgrade/enhance their buildings


· The next Commission meeting discussing the Final Summary Report of the Parks Master Plan is Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM


· Visit www.ChangeHallandale.com to read the latest update regarding the City of Hallandale Beach’s finances

· Please visit www.KeithLondon.com for any and all updates


REGULAR AGENDA

CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2011 6:00 P.M.


1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (to be heard at 6:15 P.M.)

· Dr. Bob Selz spoke regarding Agenda item 8A and his desire for the NE 8th and NE 10th to remain as one way roads and not spending unnecessary dollars to make changes

· Dr. Judy Selz asked the following question pertaining to CRA loans:

o What is the percentage of the City’s loans forgiven? – ANSWER – 15%

· Gerald Dean spoke regarding Agenda item 8D supporting RDC as a contractor for the proposed building on Foster Road.

· Csaba Kulin asked the following questions of the City Commission:

o What is the status of the development of the citizens’ budget advisory committee proposed by Commissioner London last year? – ANSWER – City Manager Antonio stated he provided a report and stated he felt this concept was not beneficial for a city the size of Hallandale Beach

o What is the status of the special internal audit? – ANSWER – It is 75% complete

5. PRESENTATIONS AND REPORTS

A. Recognition of Hallandale Beach Veterans for their service in the Armed Forces

B. Proclamation Proclaiming May 2011, as Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month

C. Proclamation Proclaiming May 2011, as Florida Building Safety Month

D. Proclamation, Proclaiming May 21-27, 2011, as National Safe Boating Week

6. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Approval of Draft Minutes - Regular City Commission Meeting of May 4, 2011

· Commissioner London again voted against minutes and will continue to vote against minutes until we return to summary minutes so the residents have transparency in their government

· Other City meetings use summary minutes; why doesn’t the most important, the City Commission?

· Please go to the link to see what Hallandale summary used to look like


· Passed 3:1 London No Ross Absent


7. PUBLIC HEARINGS (to be heard at 6:30 P.M.)

8. CITY BUSINESS

A. Pursuant to Chapter 23, Section 105, Award of Contracts, of the City of Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances, Request Authorization to Award Miller Legg and Associates, Inc. a Task Order for Additional Engineering Services for the NE 8th and 10th Signal Modification Analysis in Accordance with RFP #FY2007-2008-004, Continuing Services and Comprehensive Services, for an Amount not to Exceed $12,200. (Staff: Director of Utilities and Engineering)

o Passed 4:0 – ROSS Absent

B. Discussion of Acceptance of Calculation Report by D. Moss and Associates Providing Calculation of Economic Value of Access to Groundwater Located in the City of West Park. (Staff: Director of Utilities & Engineering)

TO BE HEARD AT 6:30 P.M.

o This item was deferred at the request of City Staff

C. Discussion of Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Presentation to Commission. (Staff: Director of Finance)

TO BE HEARD AT 6:45 P.M.

· A report/information was provided by the City’s new auditor as follows:

o The auditor requested an additional $50,000 to complete the audit

o During the course of the audit, many red flags have come up during the test cycles of the city’s books

o The auditor required over 40 journal entries be fixed

o The auditor is requiring the City to provide an actuary study for their professional management retirement plan – the city has never performed an actuary report on this before

· This auditor performs audits for more than 30 municipalities in South Florida

· Normally, 1,000 hours is budgeted for this type of audit; yet the first year they budget 1,300 hours for the initial audit

· They are currently at 1,800 hours for the City’s current audit – obviously showing a tremendous need for the City’s finances to be scrutinized

· The auditor stated if they are going to continue servicing the City they will have to revisit/revise the contract

· The Commission authorized an additional $20,000 in payment

· Csaba Kulin spoke and asked the Mayor to request from the auditors the type of “red flags” found – MAYOR COOPER NEVER RESPONDED

D. Pursuant to Chapter 23, Section 105, Award of Contracts, of the City of Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances, Request Authorization to Award RFP # FY 2010-2011-001 Foster Park Community Center Construction Project to Recreational Design & Construction Inc. in an Amount Not-To-Exceed $1,589,600; furthermore, authorize a 10% Contingency for Unforeseen Circumstances. (Staff: Director of Public Works)

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY AGENDA ITEM #3.B.

This item pertains to a proposed civic building at Foster Park
There has been little to no discussion of how this building will be utilized – hence what is the true need to spend $2 million on a new building since the Hepburn Center is two blocks away
Because of a conflict of interest due to financial incentives in the project directed to Weed and Seed (Jessica Sanders, Vice Mayor’s wife, is the site coordinator) and Eagles Wings (operated and controlled by the Sanders), Vice-Mayor Sanders had to recuse and remove himself from Commission Chambers during this discussion and was not able to vote on this item
The bidders receive additional ranking points for this project if they utilize local vendors/workers in the area to work on the project to hopefully stimulate the local economy and provide jobs
During the presentations from the two contractors present, the following information was provided:
$25,000 was to be provided to Weed and Seed to Bond and Insure workers for this project who could not obtain bonding independently
$24,000 was to be provided to Eagles Wings to employ part-time workers to train individuals in the concept of affordable housing
There are some red flags evident for payment of these services to both of these organizations for the following reasons:
Weed and Seed is not trained or authorized to issue both insurance and/or bonding
The training in the concept of affordable housing by Eagles Wings has no impact on the construction of a civic building at Foster Road Park
These financial incentives to both of these organizations are questionable at best!!!
Passed 2:1 – LONDON NO – ROSS ABSENT - SANDERS RECUSED AND UNABLE TO VOTE ON THIS ITEM
Final Summary

Commissioner London voted NO on this topic for the following reasons:

As much as it is nice to construct a new building in the NW section of town, we first need to refurbish and take care of the civic buildings already in existence (i.e., Hepburn Center located two blocks away)
There is only so much funding available at the City to fund projects, and there is no money allocated for projects in this facility once constructed
Currently, the Hepburn Center does not have adequate funding to provide the services asked of them
This money could be better utilized to fund needed programming at the Hepburn Center, as well as refurbish its existing structure
The Parks Master Plan consultants explained the City of Hallandale Beach has more than enough buildings and structures throughout the City; what is vitally needed is more services
It is necessary for the City to be fiscally prudent and not just spend money on a new building to win elections!

E. Consideration of an Application by Chaya Aydel Seminary, Inc. for funding in the amount of $200,000 through the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency's Business Incentive and Enticement Loan Program. (Staff: CRA Director)

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY ITEM #3.C.

· The Chabad of South Broward requested a $200,000 loan from the City’s CRA to upgrade their facilities

· This will provide approximately 20 additional jobs at this facility

· Commissioner London asked some of the following questions:

o Does this meet the constitutional requirement of separation church and state? – ANSWER – City Attorney Jove responded it does if the money is utilized for the building

o Is the City obtaining a first or second mortgage for this loan? – ANSWER – the City will not be 1st or 2nd but more like 3rd or 4th

· Chabad of South Broward will provide quarterly payroll documentation to ensure the creation of 20 jobs

· Passed 4:0 – ROSS Absent

9. COMMISSIONER REPORTS

10. OTHER

· At 11:00 PM the Commission unanimously voted to continue the meeting until midnight

· At midnight the Commission voted 3:1 – LONDON NO to continue until 1:00 AM

· Commissioner London left the meeting at 12:10 AM–

· This City Commission should be more efficient and able to utilize the time to accomplish the completion of all six City Business agenda items

Keith S. London
City Commissioner
Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office

www.KeithLondon.com

http://www.facebook.com/KeithSLondon
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