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.
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 amd many other residents feel has been sorely lacking in local media for many years. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura, but we keep our eyes and ears open about other places, too, thanks to many well-informed "sources."

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic gridlock, 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, local government and its bureaucrats couldn't be farther from the sort of results-oriented, strong work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. Yet 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, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency, indifference and cronyism under Mayor Joy Cooper are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, Hallandale Beach is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of City Hall's myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and its well-educated populace, the majority of whom long for it to be the kind of quality city it ought to be now, but clearly isn't. Its citizens have become almost numb to HB City Hall's frequent ethics and performance outrages and screw-ups as a result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of basic foresight and oversight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners of this city 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.

Before I started this blog in 2007, I used to ask myself, and NOT always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters in South Florida who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to finally 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 demand.

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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coral Gables planning firm Dover, Kohl & Partners is focus of mounting taxpayer anger in Arlington County (VA) -their charrettes are "charades"


Link
Well-meaning but gullible Arlington County residents attending a charrette on Saturday in the
Columbia Pike neighborhood of Arlington County (VA), who don't understand that their role in this particular "planning" process: cameo appearances. The pro-development and patronizing Arlington County Board is going to ram high-intensity development down their throats whether they like it or not, regardless of how many suggestions they make on the docs and maps at this charrette or how impassioned and logical their comments. The narrative has already been written -they're just props! And in this case, it's been captured on video here by a front group that's paid for by Arlington County Government. i.e the taxpayers. IF Arlington residents in this neighborhood don't want the unhappy future of more people and traffic congestion that the County Board has in store for it, that's tough. That's how they roll.
http://youtu.be/IUGPi9ggVBw

Coral Gables-based planning firm Dover, Kohl & Partners is the focus of mounting taxpayer anger in Arlington County (VA), where beleaguered residents believe they are trying to
Link ruin their neighborhoods along the Columbia Pike Corridor with MORE intense development in the future, altering the fundamental nature of the neighborhoods and the reasons why some people move into them -and leaving them hefty living expenses tabs in the meantime.

http://www.doverkohl.com/

http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CPHD/forums/columbia/current/Columbia_Pike_LandUse_Housing_Study.aspx

Columbia Pike Form-Based Code: http://www.doverkohl.com/project.aspx?id=9&type=1

The savvy, well-informed and heavily-taxed citizens of Arlington County, including many of my friends still living up there, have already been calling the company-led charrettes "charades" for quite a while now, and when taxpayers are paying $5,000 a day in hotel costs for the visitors from
South Florida, as some opponents allege, it's REALLY galling.

Hallandale Beach Blog favorite Arlington Yupette and her blog's readers are all over the story and they are NOT mincing words about their disgust and anger, even as the Washington Post is -surprise- completely under-reporting the depth of that animus.
http://arlingtonyupette.blogspot.com/

Monday's post is a perfect example, but there are ample examples:

Pike Corridor Post-Redevelopment 'Open Space' : Your Front Lawn

Hi, Yupette,

Talk about a planning charade, tonight's open space planning meeting at the Career Center was a hoot. The County's open space planning consultants talked parks and playgrounds, but the reality is that there won't be much open space left after in-fill yuppification for anything but Pike Corridor residents to hie to existing parks and recreation centers (including the future aquatic center, indoor soccer area, and boathouse) and use single family residential neighborhoods for their parks and recreation.
Read the rest of the post at:
http://arlingtonyupette.blogspot.com/2011/06/pike-corridor-post-redevelopment-open.html

According to reports, Arlington County Yuppie/Infill Czar and Commissioner Chris Zimmerman was present at some of these meetings in order to keep the high-paid consultants in line and not veer from County Board orthodoxy, which is Moscow-on-the-Potomac, circa 1974.


http://audreyclement.org/2011/06/21/recycling-on-columbia-pike/

While it's true that a
collaborative community process yields better communities, what you have in Arlington County is a top-down planning process that allows unelected people to have far too much power and influence, and since those people are selected by elected officials to do their bidding, where's the checks-and-balances?

And more importantly, what's the point of participating if you are just a prop and the process is a charade?

The above is not just the favorite template of Arlington County but also the favored plan here of Hallandale Beach under the ruinous reign of
Joy Cooper/Mike Good/Mark Antonio & Company.

In Arlington County, because the county government don't miss a single trick -
and wants to try to crowd-out opposing points of view- they have even created a 'front' organization that is supported by taxpayer dollars called the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization -CPRO. They're the ones who made the video at the top of this post.
http://www.columbia-pike.org/


See this story at Greater Greater Washington blog about problems encountered by some residents in the affected area and how they heard about it from the county's top-heavy information distribution system:

I've told you all before in this space a little about about the over-size ego and relentless patronizing and condescending tone of Zimmerman, and what's happened to Arlington under his reign of ruin, where middle-class people have to flee.

In South Florida over the past year-and-a-half there have been all sorts of newspaper articles, TV newscast segments and blog posts, esp. by Big Labor-types, calling for liberals to create a group that would be the liberal alternative to the popular Tea Party movement that has fundamentally changed American politics.

But the problem they have is that when you gather lots of people who actually believe in LOTS of government spending -if not more than current- without lots of scrutiny and oversight, much less, a stacked deck of a public policy process, you quickly chase away anyone who knows how to run a successful small business because they know what the reality is of more rules and regulations -less jobs.
And what are you left with?

Lots of patronizing people who want to tell others how to live their lives.

Arlington County is full of these sorts of people, befitting one of the most liberal places in the entire country, but even there, liberal people with successful businesses of their own and who actually have to meet a payroll, have come to see see the reality that the Arlington County government's spending and chronic edifice-complex is beyond out-of-control as that term is generally understood in the U.S., and seems more Soviet-like than even I and others have pointed out from different political and writing perches over the past 15 years.


At some point, as no doubt some of you are already saying to yourself, you run out of people to tax to build your castles in the sky.
And who are tired of being told what to do by others.

For all their talk about diversity, how is shutting-down one of the few low-to-middle class housing sites in the county so that wealthy people can move in -and build and pay lots of taxes to the county- an actually strategy?
But there it is and was discussed by Yupette
in the recent past, as I've noted here

See also:
http://piketowncenter.com/2011/03/plenary-group-eyes-greenbrier-apartments-for-redevelopment/

What happens when liberals who are forever patting themselves on the back with their boasts about their commitment to diversity, chase all the actual living and breathing diversity out of the county, only making it Richer and Whiter?

A lot of things, but in Arlington, heartfelt remorse is NOT one of them.

And seriously, when almost all of the county administrators involved in the planning and bureaucratization of normal social life in Arlington live elsewhere, how can there not be a real dis-connect between County Hall and the average Arlington taxpayer, who seems to be paying for everyone else's needs but their own?


Well, we will see the answer to those questions in Arlington County, because eventually, the people with the golden goose get tired of gold-plating everyone else's neighborhood but theirs.

Keep up the good work, Yupette!

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August 2016 update about above: As I could have predicted, once again, the fake candidate failed to file the appropriate paperwork and fee with the City of Hollywood, and so his name will NOT appear on ballot.
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Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

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