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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Csaba Kulin adroitly calls out HB Mayor Joy Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew for their anti-democratic vote for "business as usual"

To me, it's very interesting as well as very, very troubling for Hallandale Beach residents, that in the very same sweltering week in South Florida that Hallandale Beach Comm. Alexander Lewy was nominated by Broward County Comm. Barbara Sharief to serve on the Broward County Historical Commission, Lewy once again voted inappropriately and proved that one of the most-repeated maxims of all time -George Santayana's about those not learning from history being condemned to repeat it- is, in fact, a maxim that Lewy HASN'T yet quite mastered the meaning of.

Despite the occasional word or two on the dais from Lewy since November about increased public accountability and transparency of Hallandale Beach City Hall, or the occasional vote that shows at least some possibility that Lewy won't be a lost cause for another 41 months, when you add up what he's actually said and done, it all seems like either a poorly thought-out ruse or an exacerbating exercise in futility that will only frustrate HB voters for another few years until they can finally kick him to the curb.

For all his preening self-confidence, Lewy far too often shows no sign of either having or soon acquiring the common sense to actually learn from recent history -and Hallandale Beach history in particular.

He seems oblivious to the fact that one of the main reasons that former HB Comm. William "Bill" Julian is now a "former" Commissioner -besides his general unfitness for public office, chronic lack of knowledge about what was going on in his very own city, and his longstanding habit of illegally parking in disabled parking spots, often taking the only one- is precisely because of Julian casting FAR TOO MANY of the kind of wrong-headed, anti-democratic, anti-transparency votes that were exactly like the one Lewy cast himself on Comm. Keith London's common sense resolution Wednesday night, as part of the four-member Joy Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew on the five-member City Commission.

Lewy, one of my personal bête noires in South Florida and a person so much discussed and rightly criticized and ridiculed in this blog over the past three years for the things he, himself, has personally said and done, often in particularly ham-handed, self-serving and self-aggrandizing ways, is one of the four-member Rubber Stamp Crew criticized by my friend and fellow HB/Broward civic activist Csaba Kulin in an email that he sent out after the meeting to the commission and to others in the community.

Wednesday night, Lewy the faux-reformer, Lewy the faux-man-of-the-people, showed that for all his attempts to try to change the conversation and general public perception in this community about him -which is why so many well-informed people in this community were viscerally offended by the very idea of his candidacy for office- showed precisely why WE said what we said about him in this space.

An
d why we were right all along about him, his duplicitous behavior and his bad judgment.

Below this description of agenda item 8F taken from the city's own agenda and website, is the email from Csaba that connects-the-dots.
Expect to hear more about this issue in the coming days and weeks.

And where in all of this, exactly, is Broward States Attorney Michael Satz and his team of legal eagles, who are supposed to make sure that cities here follow the spirit and letter of the law?
As they have been so many times over the past seven years here, with more than enough strange and illegal things going on here, Satz & Company are completely missing-in-action.
Satz needs to be replaced!


* Additional material was added to this blog post after it first went online this morning-
A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Requiring in the Absence of an Emergency the Specific Delineation on the Agenda, with Appropriate Backup Information, For Any Matter to Be Voted on by the City Commission. (Commissioner Keith S. London) (See Backup)

-----
Honorable Mayor Cooper,

I was very happy with your response bellow but not very happy with the change you supported last night and voted in favor of.

You had in front of you a very simple resolution long awaited by the residents of our City. Here is the main part of the Resolution.

SECTION 1. The City Commission finds that as a matter of good public policy that in the absence of an emergency, all items which are to be voted on by the City Commission shall be specifically listed on the agenda and the City Manager shall provide appropriate back up information to enable the City Commission and members of the public to analyze the item to be voted on.

By inserting "over $25,000.00" between "all items" and "which are to be voted on" the second part of the sentence reads "all item over $25,000.00 which are to be voted on by the City Commission shall be listed on the agenda".

This Resolution, as modified, is a major step backward "as a matter of good public policy".

We, the residents are worse off than before the Resolution and it cannot be allowed to stand.

The fact that you, Mayor Cooper, Vice Mayor Sanders, Commissioner Ross and Commissioner Lewy all voted for this resolution will be remembered and talked about for a long time to come. There is no way to explain away the negative ramifications of this unfortunate Resolution.

This just reinforces that "business is as usual" in Hallandale Beach.

Csaba Kulin

-----
*I've deleted the email addresses from below-
----

From: "Cooper, Joy"
To: Csaba Kulin

Subject: Re: Agenda Item 8F.
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 12:05:29 -0400

Thank you - have no objection to not voting on expenditures under other.

I am sure you will be please with some other suggestions I have to improve the system


From: Csaba Kulin
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:24 AM
To: Cooper, Joy; Vice Mayor Anthony Sanders, Ross, Dotty; London, Keith; Lewy, Alexander
Cc: Antonio, Mark; Rafols, Nydia M
Subject: Agenda Item 8F.


Honorable Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Commissioners,

I strongly encourage you to vote YES on Agenda Item 8F. We have been asking for a Resolution like this for a few years.

We, the residents, should have the opportunity to know in advance items you are going to vote on, inspect all supporting documents including financial impact of the legislation. A well informed public is a major ingredient of "good public policy".

We have been asking you not to vote on any item under "OTHER", especially matters involving expenditures. We have been asking that all votes take place in the Council Chambers. Even when you have a few members in the CC Chambers, once you go upstairs they feel uncomfortable to follow you. Many times video recording and TV broadcasting also suspended while you are upstairs.

This Resolution solves most of the above issues and I ask you support it.


Csaba Kulin


-----

*At 3:46 p.m. today, Thursday, I received an email from Comm. London that included the following comments:



Everyone,


Please take a few minutes to review the resolution I prepared preventing the Hallandale Beach CityCommission from spending ANY money without placing the item on an agenda and notifying you the general public to provide the public the opportunity to comment.


I had to vote NO on my own resolution after the other four commissioners voted to change the dollar figure from $0 dollars to $25,000.


I provided information to the entire City Commission showing three other municipalities in Broward as well as the Broward County Commission do not allow business (when dealing with expending of funds) to be conducted under “other”.


Please take a moment and send an email to all your elected officials demanding all issues dealing with expending “OUR” funds be placed on the City Commission Agenda along with the appropriate back-up material.


Thank you,

Keith


RESOLUTION NO: 2011 -

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH, FLORIDA, REQUIRING IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EMERGENCY THE SPECIFIC DELINEATION ON THE AGENDA, WITH APPROPRIATE BACK UP INFORMATION, FOR ANY MATTER TO BE VOTED ON BY THE CITY COMMISSION

WHEREAS, the spirit of the Sunshine law is to provide citizens with open government and the opportunity to be heard prior to their representatives voting on important issues, and

WHEREAS, it is well established in the City of Hallandale Beach that residents often contact City Commissioners prior to meetings to voice their views on upcoming agenda items, and

WHEREAS, it is equally well established that residents of the City will often only attend City Commission meetings to be heard on a specific agenda item of interest to them, and

WHEREAS, unless an item is listed on the agenda the City Commission, members of the public and the press, cannot intelligently research the matter and consider all of the ramifications of voting on such item.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF HALLANDALEBEACH, FLORIDA:


SECTION 1. The City Commission finds that as a matter of good public policy that in the absence of an emergency, all items which are to be voted on by the City Commission shall be specifically listed on the agenda and the City Manager shall provide appropriate back up information to enable the City Commission and members of the public to analyze the item to be voted on.

PASSED AND ADOPTED on June ___, 2011.

____________________________

Mayor-Commissioner

Attest:

____________________

City Clerk

Item #8.F.

June 15, 2011

CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

MEMORANDUM

DATE: May 04, 2011

TO: Mark Antonio, City Manager

FROM: Commissioner Keith London

SUBJECT: Discussion of Conducting Business under “Other” during City Commission Meetings

Commissioner Request (CR) Requesting an Agenda Item discussing doing business under “Other” during City Commission Meetings 5-4-2011

City Manager Antonio,

This is a Commissioner Request (CR) requesting an Agenda Item discussing doing business under “Other” during City Commission Meetings.

Please see the below attached Resolution that I would like to accompany the agenda item.

Please include this complete email when logging my Commissioner Request and provide me with a CR number to track this request.

If you feel this CR will take more than the eight (8) hours allotted please contact me so I can modify my request.

If you have, any questions about this CR please feel free to contact me.


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