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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is a coup plot afoot in Hallandale Beach? The past is always prologue when it comes to HB mayor Joy Cooper -Golden Isles Overlay & Alex Berkovich


I know, I know. It LOOKS normal enough from the outside, but...
June 22, 2011 photos of Hallandale Beach City Hall and the Planning & Zoning Advisory Board meeting by South Beach Hoosier.



The curious case of the Golden Isles Overlay & Alex Berkovich.
Is a coup plot afoot in Hallandale Beach regarding the make-up of the City Commission?
The past is always prologue when it comes to Hallandale Beach mayor Joy Cooper.

Never more so than when it involves the gated Golden Isles neighborhood of HB that Mayor Cooper and her husband live in, which is also where many friends of mine also live, including HB Comm. Keith S. London, Michael Butler, Arturo O'Neill, Rob Raymond and Judy & Robert Selz to name but six.

Below are some emails and excerpts of letters I've sent and received since last year concerning a troubling situation that discerning Hallandale Beach citizens -and well-informed Broward County activists and pols- are watching, even if everyone else, including the South Florida press corps is losing their head this sweltering summer over the presumed guilt or innocence of alleged murderer Casey Anthony, the federal debt limit and the latest film in a series of popular films regarding British teens with magical powers that I have never seen, based on popular books I never was interested in reading in the first place.

I've deleted some extraneous commentary and dialogue on other matters to try to cobble this together in away that both informs and educates, though for some of you, it may seem a little dry: property rights and who gets to decide whether the strict zoning of a particular self-taxing district should continue to be enforced?

The homeowners, whose contracts specifically stipulate that ONLY when more than 50% of the hundreds of them vote to change it, may any change result -which the city and its code enforcement division has supported and enforced since that development was created in the 1950's- or, as Mayor Cooper wants, whether these hundreds of people can have their voice and votes regarding what for most is their family's major investment, overturned by the whims of just three of five members of the HB City Commission?

The thing is, Mayor Cooper really, really, really wants that change made, and will do whatever it takes to accomplish.

This, even though the proposal is overwhelmingly unpopular among the actual homeowners who legally would be asked to vote on it, something she knows full well, even if she won't publicly acknowledge it.

Put that's the thing about facts in Hallandale Beach, they hardly matter: Mayor Cooper doesn't care and doesn't want a vote.

She wants to take that legal property right away from them and have three people decide something that is NOT currently their right under the city's charter, and you can bet that she will be one of the three.

Owing to the amount of anger, frustration and resentment that Mayor Cooper has engendered, riling even people who generally stay away from the HB City Hall scene, this is my attempt to give you some context on something 99% of you have never heard of -the Golden Isles Overlay.

Oh, and the part about a possible coup on the city commission?
Reading this is necessarily the predicate for better understanding that coup talk and why it could happen.
-----
June 22, 2011, from me, early that morning, incorporating several other emails by others from 2010 and 2011, wherein I have necessarily removed personal email addresses and phone numbers.

Above, the printed agenda as it appears at HB City Hall, which I photographed on Monday.

The Arrogance of Power: Why is Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper trying so hard to abrogate the legal rights of single-family home-owners in HB?

This afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at the Hallandale Beach Planning & Zoning Comm. meeting in the HB Commission Chambers, Mayor Joy Cooper and the city's high-paid administration begin the first of their three efforts to turn logic and reason completely on their head in an attempt to force an entire single-family neighborhood here to surrender their legal rights, because that's what SHE and a handful of her pals and cronies want.
Including the father of one of the P&Z members -one that she appointed.
Really.

The contracts that homeowners sign in Golden Isles all have something in common that could hardly be more crystal clear.
Change to aspects of zoning in that special self-taxing district must be approved by a "MAJORITY VOTE" of the homeowners, NOT by three votes of the HB City Commission, which Cooper has one vote on.
In the abstract, should there ever be a reason for a vote, she and her husband as homeowners have vote.

But one vote among hundreds of property owners, not one of only three that count, and yet she is now attempting to use her official position to gain something that she could not win in a fair vote of homeowners, and in the process, she's blowing-up other citizens' rights that are NOT legally hers to assign or abrogate.

And not for the first time, Mayor Cooper's ego and selfishness are not just turning the law and this city on its head, but once again making it a laughingstock. AGAIN.

Using her sheer will in a way that is not only completely contrary to good public policy, but in a way that will require the rest of the city to suddenly incur additional expenses.
And for what?

And City Manager Mark Antonio, well, he's just standing there like a waiter, ignoring the public's overwhelming opposition to this effort and instead, he's placating the mayor.

Why? Because he knows that in a little over a year, he's leaving this chaos behind in the rear-view mirror, getting a ton of money and then, it's someone else's problem.

I'll let this chain of well-informed emails below connect-the-dots for you.

In my opinion, IF Cooper continues this illegal effort of hers to intentionally abrogate the legal
rights of Florida homeowners, she needs to be removed from office, preferably by Governor Rick Scott.
Failing that, thru a recall election ths Fall.

Many of the docs below are ones you may've already received from me or other parties, but others, well, you'd be surprised at who's publicly calling-out Mayor Cooper.

Someone whose name I've never mentioned before in emails or my blog.
That should tell you something.

And be sure to look at the attached petition, too.

-----
Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:33 PM
FYI: Why won't Mayor Cooper follow the rules and let the people in Golden Isles vote? Some rare logic & reason re the 10/19 Golden Isles meeting

Wednesday October 20th, 2010

I commend to you the common sense email, below, from attorney David Barnett, a resident of Hallandale Beach who seems able to see what most of the city residents attending last night's meeting at HB City Hall could see with their own eyes: an attempted hijacking of democracy by a small clique under the guise of maintaining high-property values. http://www.hallandalebeachfl.gov/index.aspx?NID=680

Mayor Joy Cooper and Comm. Keith London, both of whom live in Golden Isles, were precluded from speaking publicly on this issue at last night's meeting -which I videotaped- because it could/will come before the HB City Commission in Dec. or Jan. if approved by the HB P&Z.

Not that this stopped Harry Cooper, the mayor's husband, from speaking and blaming Comm. London, who was responsible for the large turnout of residents last night by informing and educating people about the possible long-term ramifications of what is being proposed, which from Harry Cooper's personal p.o.v., necessarily, makes his wife look bad.
But if that is the reality, and it is, it's true whether he likes it or not.

Having carefully read the documents provided, including the covenants involved, it's pretty clear that there needs to be an election of the homeowners in the Golden Isles taxing district, which will be approved if 51% say yes.
In fact, it says EXACTLY that.

The powers-that-be among the two self-selecting Golden Isles groups that met last night at City Hall are chock-a-block full of Joy Cooper supporters, and don't think they can reach that low threshold -and even said so.

But rather than follow the proscribed rules, and take their chances with an election, they are trying to go thru the backdoor and have the city take care of things, even though that will be an expense that the entire city will be asked to pay for.

Naturally, thanks to the mayor's efforts at mis-direction, the rest of the city doesn't know anything about this, or that they are going to have to pay for the enforcement of these Golden Isles-specific rules that they no longer do, as Mr. Barnett correctly states below, despite how many times Cooper family friend Jerry Natelson calls them 'the same rules.'

As it happens, his daughter, Sheryl Natelson, is on the city's P&Z Board.
(Guess who appointed her?)

She's one of the two geniuses on the city's P&Z board who threatened to have me removed by Police from a public P&Z meeting last year for taking photos of the Board at a public meeting! From 75 feet away.

At a public meeting where I was one of only three citizens present in the entire HB Cultural Center.

Natelson's yet another attorney in HB who doesn't understand or doesn't like the state's Sunshine Laws, just like City Attorney David Jove, who for years has looked the other way at what was going on right in front of him, regardless of how badly it illegally disadvantages the citizen taxpayers of this community, because that's what Mayor Cooper and former
City Manager Mike Good wanted.

I'm hardly sharing Breaking News when i tell you that it's the opinion of the majority of concerned and well-informed people in HB that Jove's number-one priority is keeping his job. Period.
Just saying...

If this situation is going to be handled fairly and legally, the residents of that special taxing district need to have their referendum, plain and simple, and the two Golden Isles groups and Mayor Cooper need to STOP trying to bypass THEIR OWN RULES.
And any pretense at fairness and transparency.



Why won't Mayor Joy Cooper follow the rules and let the people in Golden Isles vote on the matter?
There's your story


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Keith London
Date: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 12:12 PM
Subject: FW: 10/19 Meeting


Everyone,

Please read the attached email from one of your neighbors concerning the meeting last night.

Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, comments or responses of your own.

Regards,

Keith

Keith S. London

City Commissioner

Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office

www.KeithLondon.com


From: barnettandlerner@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 8:19 AM
To: jcooper@hallandalebeachfl.gov; klondon@hallandalebeachfl.gov
Subject: 10/19 Meeting

Barnett & Lerner, P.A.

Fighting for injured workers

Dear Keith & Joy:

It was a pleasure seeing both of you last night at the Safe Neighborhood and Overlay meeting. As you know, although I am extremely busy with my law practice, once in a while I do find the time to go to a meeting to learn about what is happening in our little town.


I found last nights meeting offensive in that there seems to be an attitude of superiority exhibited by both "voluntary" boards. I thought they were volunteering their time in order to make our neighborhood - Golden Isles - better. Rather, it is apparent there are political and power issues behind everything. With these political and power issues come costs - both hard and soft costs.


At the beginning of the Overlay meeting, Gerry Nadelson started by reminding everyone that we are a volunteer homeowners association with volunteer dues of $20.00. He went on to tell everyone that we need to have this City Overlay done in order to protect the residents of Golden Isles from the threat of litigation. Gerry stated that if we (I guess he means the ENTIRE community of Golden Isles) get sued, our dues would not provide enough money to pay an attorney to defend the lawsuit. I do not know the statistics, but I know that I am not the only attorney living in our neighborhood and I am sure that if there was a threat to Golden Isles, there would be plenty of resident lawyers who would be there to maintain our little waterfront community.


As someone who has been involved politically, on both a state and national level, it scares me to hear the "threat of litigation" as a basis for change. What we found out however, is that in 56 years, there has been maybe one (1) lawsuit. Thus, based on the foregoing, a question needs to be asked - What is the motivating factor for this requested change? The answer, although not disclosed, is very simple to see.

As everything stands now, if we, the residents of Golden Isles, have a problem or a concern over a neighbor regarding deed compliance, it is up to us as individuals or as a community to retain our own lawyer to enforce the restrictions by suing the non-compliant neighbor. Nobody wants to get sued, and quite candidly, over 56 years we have been able to keep Golden Isles residents fairly compliant with deed restriction.


By adopting this Overlay, what will really happen is that the City Attorney will now be the free private "retained" attorney by the activists within our neighborhood without any direct costs to those individual activists. We already have individuals who drive up and down the streets, inspecting everyone's home and invading privacy while others get on their boats and inspect everyone's home from the water. Essentially, we have a group of our own "SS" within our community. These individuals constantly complain, but they will not fund a lawsuit against a non-compliant neighbor either because they cannot afford it or they are concerned about the repercussions that will develop within our neighborhood. To give them access to a "free" attorney with anonymous deed compliant complaints is very scary!


If we adopt this Overlay, our Golden Isles SS group will have unlimited access to the City Attorney, at no expense to themselves individually, but rather to the expense of not only Golden Isles, but also the ENTIRE city of Hallandale Beach. Has this volunteer Overlay Board of nine actually conducted a cost analysis of this Overlay proposal. Do ALL the residents of the CIty of Hallandale - beyond justGolden Isles - know, and are they aware and in agreement, that this Overlay will result in additional costs to the City, which will have to be placed within the City budget. Where is this money going to come from - our taxes! How many more attorney's will the city need to hire in order to be responsive to the demands of the Golden Isles SS group for enforcement litigation? We need to see a true, independent, cost analysis of this Overlay, before we proceed further.


I certainly understand the frustration that Gerry, Joy and Alex may have over the home near the end of Holiday which is falling apart and is a blight on the neighborhood, but the methodology they are bringing forth is very dangerous. Not only will there be real financial costs (City attorney budget will have to go up) associated with the City Overlay, there will be the soft, emotional costs on our neighborhood. Gerry said that we "need" this Overlay as it will increase the "value" of our homes! I heard the same garbage about Gulfstream how our homes would go up in value and the people that promoted it most were actually on the payroll of either Magna, Gulfstream or Forest City, which they never revealed. In any event, values did not go up but rather, we have all experienced about a 40-50% decline in home values (I know the economy has a lot to do with it) This Overlay will NOT increase the value of our homes. I hope that this statement is challenged and I would like to see an impact study supporting such a statement. Rather, I see the value of our homes dropping with this Overlay as the Overlay will pit neighbor against neighbor when the Golden Isles SS overwhelm the City Attorney with anonymous complaints about residents of Golden Isles. Thereafter, the City will be forced to flood the Courthouse with suits filed by the City Attorney against residents of Golden Isles. This is offensive, crazy and shows the lack of insight, common sense and good judgment.


We all moved to Golden Isles because we did not want to live in a structured condo type community. We have had a nice neighborhood for 56 years without the Overlay. I do not see any upside to this proposed Overlay, only problems. This madness has to stop and we need your help to stop it.

Very truly yours,


David C. Barnett, Esquire

Barnett & Lerner, P.A.
2860 Marina Mile Blvd; Suite 105
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
954-920-7400
954-920-9492 fax
888-732-7425 US Toll Free
www.injuredoverseas.com

-----begin 2011 emails-----

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Keith London
Date: Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Subject: "Golden Isles Overlay" Mayor Cooper Spins and Distorts Again
To: Barbara Miller


Barbara,

It’s very interesting there have been NO problems in 60 years but the Mayor and her very “small” group of cronies know better than you. In addition, over 170 of your neighbors are not smart enough to ever possibility understand. That is the way I read her response and honestly it’s insulting.

Regretfully many have been misinformed. The Mayor does not provide one bit of information backing up her statements as usual….it’s because she said so and she thinks she knows best and everyone should listen to her. It would be extremely refreshing if she actually listened to the “majority” of her neighbors/residents/constituents…..but she never does.


Through propaganda being distributed and fear mongering that this ordinance is to change our neighborhood. There is no propaganda; only facts. And if the current system in place is not broke then what is she trying to fix?


It is intendend to protect and preserve our. From what, please tell me what you need protection from? There seems to be some hidden agendas here but no one knows what they are.


Please remember I live in GI and the GIBOB are our neighbors with the same intentions. This goes right to the heart of my original email about the “voluntary” Golden Isles Homeowners Association. Questions that are never answered include:


Who are the voting members in the Golden Isles Home Owners Association?

Why do they meet behind closed doors in a private home?

When have they ever distributed the minutes to the closed door meetings for review of all the property owners?

When was this small group authorized to speak on behalf of all the Golden Isles homeowner’s property rights?


This does not change any existing code. Then why are we doing this? Because the Mayor promotes as she herself states fear mongering and many have been misinformed by her.


Please request the Mayor provide you some real facts not her usual attempt to spin the facts and intimidate individuals!


Keith S. London

City Commissioner

Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office


www.KeithLondon.com

From: Cooper, Joy
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2011 11:28 AM
To: Barbara Miller; Lewy, Alexander; Ross, Dotty; London, Keith; Sanders, Anthony
Cc: Jove, David
Subject: Re: Oppositon to #02-11-TC

Hi Barbara,

Regretfully many have been misinformed. Through propaganda being distributed and fear mongering that this ordinance is to change our neighborhood.
Quite the contray.

It is intendend to protect and preserve our
Neighborhood.

Please remember I live in GI and the GIBOB are our neighbors with the same intentions. This does not change any existing code.
Joy


From:Barbara Miller
Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2011 10:47 AM
To: Cooper, Joy; Lewy, Alexander; Ross, Dotty; London, Keith; Sanders, Anthony
Cc: Jove, David
Subject: Oppositon to #02-11-TC


Unfortunately, my husband and I will be not be at the hearing to speak out in opposition to the overlay district because we will be attending The Florida Bar convention in Orlando Wednesday. I have been following this issue since it was first proposed and had hoped that it was dropped long ago. I was surprised that it is still an issue. I know that the majority of my neighbors want us to remain just as we are. My husband and I moved into the area about twenty years ago after living in Hollywood for twenty eight years. We chose this neighborhood and this home to live in for the rest of our lives. We do not want the city commission to impose any more restrictions or changes now or in the future.


I know that the majority of the single family homeowners in Golden Isles have signed a petition against this overlay district. I have spoken to some of you, city commissioners, who have said that you will respect the wishes of the majority. I expect your word to be good and that you will not support #02-11-TC. I don't think you should "fix" what most people do not see as a problem.


This is a very important issue to me because I want our neighborhood and my home to remain as is and want to be left alone. I object to the imposition of new standards, signage, etc. I am happy with what is. Those who have proposed this and favor it just have a different viewpoint, but it is one that I strenuously oppose. I am asking you not to vote for the overlay and to vote against #02-11-TC.

Barbara Miller, Hallandale Beach, FL


From: Keith London
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 10:15 AM
Subject: Golden Isles Overlay
Importance: High


Everyone,

Many of our neighbors have contacted me regarding the letter mailed to Golden Isles Property Owners by Hallandale Beach City Manager Mark Antonio. First and foremost, please see: the attached PDF petition signed by an overwhelming majority of Golden Isles property owners who are TOTALLY OPPOSED to the proposed overlay.


Here are some facts and additional information:

· The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) Meeting is on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

· The P & Z Board is a advisory board whose decision will NOT be binding on the City Commission

· The City Commission has the final vote on this issue regardless of the recommendation from the P & Z Board

· City Commission First Reading on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM

· The City Administration is moving forward regardless of the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation, meaning even if the P & Z Board recommends this project NOT go forward, they will still bring this issue in front of the City Commission to be voted on

· City Commission Second Reading on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM

· The City Administration has scheduled a second reading of this proposed ordinance as they must feel very comfortable the Overlay will pass and move forward to schedule the second reading


1. What can YOU do as a Golden Isles resident? PLEAE READ THE DEED RESTRICTIONS.

Particularly page.19 PART C GENERAL PROVISIONS Subsection C-1.

You may find them at the following link: http://www.keithlondon.com/images/hallandale_beach_info/Golden%20Isles%20Ordinance%20820.pdf


Now that you have information that explains the conditions the neighborhood has lived with for over 60 years and the rules we all agreed to when we purchased our properties, please make sure you are well informed and participate in voicing your opinions regarding this very important issue that will have a great impact on you and the community in which you live.


Owning our homes is probably our biggest investment in our lives and it is vital to be informed and for everyone to participate. The changes advocated by the small group involved in the Golden Isles Homeowner’s Association and by a vote of 3 or more City Commissioners may have a potential negative impact on how we all live in this community.


The following are several questions you may want the answers to:

Who are the voting members in the Golden Isles Home Owners Association?

Why do they meet behind closed doors in a private home?

When have they ever distributed the minutes to the closed door meetings for review of all the property owners?

When was this small group authorized to speak on behalf of all the Golden Isles homeowner’s property rights?


2. Send an email to the Director of Planning and Zoning Christy Dominguez Cdominguez@hallandalebeachfl.gov and insist your "vote" be included in the back up material. Next contact all the members of the Hallandale Beach Planning and Zoning Board and tell them what you think of this plan. Their contact information is as follows:


PLANNING & ZONING BOARD

(7 Members)

Appointment of Mayor Cooper Appointment of Mayor Cooper

Sheryl Natelson Irwin Schneider

Appointment of Vice-Mayor Sanders Appointment of Vice-Mayor Sanders

Vacant Eudyce Steinberg

Appointment of Comm. London Appointment of Comm. Ross

Michael Butler Arnold Cooper


Recommended by Mayor Cooper

Appointment of Comm. Lewy ALTERNATE

Seymour Fendell Terri Dillard


3. Contact your City Commissioners and the City Manager to voice your opinion and again insist your "vote" be included in the back up material. When contacting these individuals via email, please cc:everyone to ensure this information becomes part of the official back-up material concerning the issue: Their contact information is as follows:

4. Again what can YOU do! Come to all the meetings and bring your friends and neighbors take the time and get involved in “OUR” neighborhood.


Thank you,

Keith


Keith S. London

City Commissioner

Hallandale Beach


954-457-1320 Office

954-494-3182 Cellular

www.KeithLondon.com

http://www.facebook.com/KeithSLondon


Golden Isles Overlay Petition 6-11.pdfGolden Isles Overlay Petition 6-11.pdf
392K View Download
-----
One of the responses to the David Barnett email to Mayor Cooper and Comm. London was this one from the previously referenced Jerry Natelson, who, for all his claimed sensitivity, seems not to be aware of the fact that a few years ago, while in Room 257 for the continuation of a City Commission meeting, his close friend, Mayor Cooper, referred to her opponents in this city -including me- as "Nazis" and to Comm London as "a Hitler."

Dear Mr. Barnett,


I have received a copy of your letter dated October 20, 2010. This letter was sent to Mayor Cooper and Keith London. It was then surprisingly sent out enmass from Keith London; but I realize you would have expected that. As you are aware, Keith loves to incite others with complete lies.


David, I am personally disappointed with your insensitivity to the Jewish people. Your innuendos as to Keith London being a Nazi SS is really not fair to the Jewish People. Over the years, I have met many holocaust survivors and to even compare our neighbors or anyone as being a Nazi SS officer is cruel.


Although you are an attorney, I still do not believe you understand the issue at hand. Prior to November of 2009 , the city defended Golden Isles Covenants under Statute 820. There were many instances when this had occurred. The homeowner board was made known by City Attorney Jove that due to case law, the City of Hallandale Beach could no longer defend a voluntary association's covenants. The sole purpose of the meeting the other night was to ask the city to adopt our covenants into the code overlay. That was the only reason; not to address the misrepresentations of Keith London. As an attorney and neighbor, you should have realized there were essentially no lawsuits due to the City enforcing our codes prior to the November 2009.


I understand that you are a competent worker's compensation plaintiff's attorney, but to offer your services as a municipal attorney would not be fair to you or your neighbors.


I also want you to know that Keith London attended all meetings and knew exactly about the results of a neighborhood survey. He acted and portrayed the part of a innocent bystander. Keith is actually a wolf in a lamb's coat.


Prior to this meeting, I have never seen you speak or volunteer for any activity. Your wife Stacey volunteered and we were greatful to have her. It was a shame when she felt she had to resign due to your children attending public school outside of Hallandale.


I sincerely hope you will refrain from comparing any of your neighbors to Nazis. I sincerely hope you will continue with your start of neighborhood responsibility. I just hope you will do your homework a bit more carefully and be more astute to the outright lies and banter of Keith London.


Sincerely,

Jerry Natelson.


-----

June 22, 2011, from me, after the 1:30 p.m. Hallandale Beach Planning & Zoning meeting.
The under-the-radar Alex Berkovich for HB City Commission effort was hurt badly on Wednesday when P&Z deferred Golden Isles Overlay vote 'till October

Berkovich is so cocky that he actually showed-up at Wednesday's P&Z Board no doubt expecting them to just approve the city's anti-democratic plan, despite the fact that he'd done so little homework and preparation that he couldn't convince even one person -besides himself- to come and speak in favor of it.

Just like the Diplomat LAC that he publicly supported in 2009 and 2010, the public was overwhelmingly against it, but this time, without the money and resources that the developers and their consultants had, the only person who spoke in favor of it was... Alex Berkovich.

Michael Butler brilliantly seized the moment and made a motion to defer, which passed 3-2, thereby throwing a big monkey-wrench into the plans of the mayor's pushy, know-it-all pal, Alex Berkovich to get onto the Commission dais.
Berkovich even appeared to antagonize some of his own friends sitting next to him.

-----

June 28, 2011, from HB Comm. Keith S. London

Everyone,

Below is an update / wrap-up on the Hallandale Beach Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting last Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

First, I want to acknowledge the 25-30 Golden Isles residents who attended the meeting. Many thanks to them for their participation!

In addition, I want to recognize the hard work of Dr. Bob Selz, Rob Raymond, Gary Schwartz, and the others who spoke with our Golden Isles neighbors and collected about 170 signatures of residents against the overlay. The survey clearly showed the majority of property owners do not want an overlay in Golden Isles.

Nine Golden Isles residents spoke about the Golden Isles Overlay; eight were against it. Following are a few of the quotes as I heard them:

“The Golden Isles Homes Owners Association is a voluntary organization and has NO legal standing to represent the Golden Isles property owners”
“If the City Attorney, David Jove, has an opinion that the deed restriction can not be enforced, can the City of Hallandale or the Planning and Zoning Board seek another legal opinion?”
“Why were the residents never provided all the information?”
“Who authorized the survey last year and what was the purpose?”
‘Who in the City of Hallandale Beach is pushing the Golden Isles Overlay?”
“If the P&Z board or the City of Hallandale does not like the residents survey, the why not have a neutral third party hired by the city perform a simple survey allowing neighbors to vote for or against the overlay?”
“Who in the City asked former City Manager Mike Good and soon to be former City Attorney David Jove for information on the legality of the protective convents?”
“The residents do not trust or have confidence in the City Commission to not change the deed restrictions in the future by simply changing the Ordinance”

The only person who spoke unequivocally in support of the Golden Isles overlay was Alex Berkovich of 212 Holiday Drive, President of the voluntary Golden Isles Homeowners Association.

Here are just a few phrases from Alex Berkovich:
At all the closed GIHOA meetings in his house the board of directors never approved the survey the residents went around and had signed by fellow residents.
The survey sent out a few years ago was the work of Alex in collusion with former City Manager Mike Good.

P&Z Board Member and Golden Isles resident Mike Butler, after listening to the speakers overwhelmingly speaking out against the imposing of an overlay on their neighborhood, asked for a motion “to defer the item until more information is provided and the questions posed today are answered to the residents of Golden Isles”. Terry Dillard, P&Z Board member, seconded the motion and it was agreed the item will not come back to the P&Z board until October 2011 at the earliest.
This is probably the best news the neighborhood could have hoped for at this time for the following reasons:

Although the board was probably going to vote NO on the motion to support a Overlay in Golden Isles, any vote would have moved the Overlay to the City Commission for vote in September or October at the latest

Currently, the item will not be on the City Commission agenda until November or December at the earliest

The next City Commission election is November 2012 when Mayor Cooper, Vice Mayor Sanders, and Commissioner Ross will be up for reelection

City Attorney David Jove has resigned effective Friday July, 29 2011

Time is now on the side of the residents of Golden Isles

Please stay vigilant in protecting our property rights. Please feel free to share this email with all your friends and neighbors who live in Golden Isles. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Warm regards,
Keith

Keith S. London
City Commissioner
Hallandale Beach
954-457-1320 Office


-----
July 7, 2011, from HB Comm. Keith S. London
Golden isles Neighbor calls Mayor Cooper's bluff


Everyone,


Following is an email from one of our neighbors responding to Mayor Cooper’s recent letter regarding the Overlay.

For those of you that did not receive it, I am attaching a copy of Mayor Cooper's letter. The envelope of the letter included a label asking “your response is requested”.

Mr. Jackowski did respond, and took Mayor Cooper to task with details she is never capable or willing to debate.


I want to thank everyone again for your interest; many of you wonder why the Golden Isle Overlay has become an issue.


What is the motivation for a very small group, when the majority of residents (170), “our” neighbors, have signed their name to a petition in opposition to the Overlay?

Will Mayor Cooper respond to the attached email with facts rather than attempting to intimidate or distract?


Please feel free to respond to this email, or if you have any of the other questions regarding the Golden Isles Overlay.


Thank you,

Keith


Commissioner Keith S. London

Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office



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From: Andrew Jackowski
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2011 3:38 PM
To: Cooper, Joy
Cc: Dominguez, Christy; London, Keith; Lewy, Alexander
Subject: Golden Isles Overlay District


Dear Mayor Cooper,


It is real hard to understand why you and a small group of others waste so much time on this largely meaningless issue.


Lets just look up the individual items:

1. Architectural Review Committee requirement has been rejected by 64 majority in the survey.

Why results of the survey are ignored and this is still included?


2. Dock Size is restricted by the Deed to 2 ft period. What does it mean in your presentation

2 ft & 5 ft into waterway? Is it total of 7 ft ? Could you explain it?


3. It is true that RS-5 Zoning permits churches and synagogues not less than 75 ft plus 20 ft

landscape buffer from residential property, without allowing for a parking lot.

Who in his right mind would build church or synagogue under those conditions?


4. Minimum Lot Size: all lots on Golden Isles are plotted 85 ft x 135 ft (11,475 sq ft) and

can not be subdivided without violating city code (75 ft min ).


5. 4 hours restriction for commercial vehicles cannot be enforced.

City Code prohibiting overnight parking is much more practical.

6. I don't care if somebody plants 3 15 ft trees or 5 10 ft trees. In few years they will grow

to 30 ft or more.


7. 4 ft high fence will not be approved by city inspector if there is a swimming pool.


The remaining items are pretty much a duplication of the City Code and should be eliminated.


With regards,

Krystyna and Andrew Jackowski

---------
July 12, 2011, from me


By the end of the week, I will also have up the post about the Golden Isles Overlay/Alex Berkovich, which may well be two separate posts, possibly including the incriminating video I shot recently AND last year, when the Cooper Cronies, including her husband, tried to verbally brow-beat everyone into submission at that wacky Standing Room Only meeting at City Hall, surely THE weirdest of several very weird meetings I have been eyewitness to here in eight years.

-----
Those of you wanting to know more about Joy Cooper and Alex Berkovich should try reading this nearly four-year old article. Read the reader comments and see who has her back!

Broward-Palm Beach New Times
Storming the Castle
Hallandale Beach and a Broward judge are trying to drive a man from his home
By Bob Norman
published: August 23, 2007
http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2007-08-23/news/storming-the-castle/#Comments

-----
Once you have read that NewTimes story, you probably won't be too surprised to see this excerpt from what I wrote in an April 18, 2010 email about the Diplomat LAC issue titled The Broward County Commission meeting re Diplomat LAC on 4/27 at 2 p.m, a very unpopular project that Alex Berkovich supported also, along with Cooper and her cronies.

That's why they've tried so hard to fix this process from the very beginning, and to keep the germane information out of the public's hands, something I reminded the Broward County Commission myself when I got my chance to speak last month.
It wasn't by accident, it was City Hall's plan all along.

I hope you'll be able to find time to attend Comm. London's Resident Forum
meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m., as I fully expect that it will be full of residents eager to hear more details about what's really been going on behind-the-scenes with the HB City Hall spies, Diplomat apologists and dupes of Mayor Cooper -like her friend Alex Berkovich's not-so-subtle performance at last month's meeting, where he actually got-up from his chair about thirty minutes into the meeting and went out to the hallway to talk to Mayor Cooper, and then came back a few minutes later and said that he had "heard" that the the Diplomat was, perhaps, willing to modify their position.
I guess a little bird told him.

Many of them will likely show-up anyway, despite what we already know about them, or have learned subsequently, because, quite frankly, they can't help themselves.

Plus, of course, NONE of the other HB City Commissioners are willing to actually meet citizen taxpayers in regularly-scheduled monthly meetings without City Hall staff present to whisper in their ears.
Except Comm. London.
(Perhaps Debbie Orshefsy and Suzanne Friedman and their PR
worker-bees will even make another appearance, just like in January!)
------
Since I always bring my camera with me to Comm. London's monthly Resident Forums, it was at this part of the blog post that I had always planned on dropping a few photos of the spy-in-plain-sight Alexander Berkovich in attendance at that March 2010 meeting about the Diplomat LAC proposal, wherein he was the only person present in favor of it.

Yes, I'd planned on posting some shots of him in his chair on the aisle in the middle of the room, then walking to the back of the room rather matter-of-factly, and speaking with Mayor Cooper at the back door.
Then, going out in the hallway for a few minutes, complete with a shot of her later sticking her head in the room to eavesdrop, like a little kid who thinks nobody can see them.
(But I see you! In fact, everyone can!)

But somehow, don't ask me how, Berkovich imagines that none of us in the room saw anything at all, no doubt, because he's SO stealthy and sly.

It was so obvious what was going on, but he persisted in playing the charade 'till the very end, informing us that HE had "heard"...
LOL!!!

I can see it in my mind as clearly as day.

Unfortunately, after looking for about an hour and plopping lots of DVDs into my computer to double-check the dates on them, despite the fact that I have dozens and dozens of DVDs of photos and videos organized in chron order of the events I have attended the past few years, that damn DVD of that March 2010 meeting is not where it should be.
I'm so pissed!

The view from here.

My intention, dear readers, was to use the photos on that DVD to show you and everyone else the past degree of close cooperation between Cooper and Berkovich in their efforts to thwart the will of the vast majority of this community, not only on that Diplomat LAC proposal, but more recently, the Golden Isles Overlay.

Leading great credence to the HB grapevine and word actually being spoken aloud that following HB Comm. Dotty Ross not attending City Commission meetings for two months in a row -a couple of meetings a month- and her earlier announcement that she wouldn't run for re-election next year. Cooper would pressure Ross to resign soon so she could try to shove Berkovich down our throats the same way she did three years ago with Anthony A. Sanders when Fran Schiller suddenly decided to resign.

Which has led to this exchange... which is both complete emails and excerpts

July 15, 2011, from me

Keith London was initially appointed to the HB City Commission on an interim basis using the city's written rules for selecting replacements following the 2006 election of Joe Gibbons to the FL House.
That process consisted of, among other things, filling out an application and actually being interviewed by the entire commission.
(Back when Gibbons actually lived in Hallandale Beach, and NOT in Jacksonville with his wife and kids.)

Less than two years later, when it was inconvenient to her to follow the city's actual rules, Mayor Cooper disregarded them and nominated Anthony Sanders before anyone
from the public in the Chamber could speak, practically daring anyone to stop her.
Lapdog city attorney David Jove, who is retiring on July 29th, just say there like a bump on a log, earning his pension.
Hear no evil, speak no evil ad infinitum...

Even before Cooper finished talking, and before she ever uttered Sanders' name, as I have recounted here on the blog a time or two, my friend Arturo O'Neill blurted out from his seat next to me exactly what she would do.
His prediction was 100% correct.

For those of you unfamiliar with some of the details of what happened then, here's a copy of a Herald article that explains the process that was NOT followed when Fran Schiller
resigned in August of 2008, though her resignation was effective almost a month later, plenty of time for the two regularly-scheduled city commission meetings to take place
and have the process take place.

Joy Cooper didn't want to follow the rules -period.

-----

Miami Herald
14 SEEK COMMISSION SEAT
By Jennifer Lebovich
November 2, 2006

Hallandale Beach officials will have to whittle down a field of at least 14 to decide who will fill a soon-to-be vacant commission seat.

The commission must find a replacement for Commissioner Joe Gibbons, who was elected to represent state House District 105.

His resignation is effective Nov. 7 at midnight.

SERVE TILL MARCH

The four remaining commissioners will appoint someone to fill the seat until March, when Gibbons' term would have been up.

In the event of a tie, the city charter allows the mayor to vote twice.

``It's a difficult decision to make,'' said Mayor Joy Cooper. ``We are going through such a crucial time in Hallandale Beach. We need someone that knows the city, understands the issues and has some involvement in our community.''

Commissioners will meet Nov. 8 to discuss the candidates. Each person will be able to make a five-minute presentation followed by time for commissioners to ask questions, Cooper said.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, two hours before the deadline for applications, the following people had submitted their names for the interim job:

* Patricia Brennan, 65, works part-time in records at the Hallandale Beach Police Department, after retiring in 2003 as the supervisor of Miramar's Code Enforcement Division. She serves on the board for the city's Police Athletic League and is on the board of the Golden View condominium association.

DELIVERYMAN

* Ernie Cheesman, 53, works as a delivery driver for Carini's Pizza & Pasta and is a former real estate agent. He is president of the Hallandale Beach Kiwanis Club and a volunteer with the Hallandale Police Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

* Terri Dillard, 44, works as a senior store manager at Pier 1 Imports in Fort Lauderdale. She founded People For Change Inc, a nonprofit group that acts as a liaison between city government and residents.

* Tala Engel, 73, is an attorney in private practice specializing in immigration law. Engel moved to Hallandale Beach in 2003.

* Ann Henigson, 60, has served on the city's Beautification Advisory Board, is a member of the Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce, and volunteered with the police department.

* Lejanet Herrera, 28, works as a teaching and lab assistant at Florida Atlantic University.

ENTREPRENEUR

* Suzanne Herrera, 51, owns Gourmet Pooch Delights Co., an upscale dog-food company. She has lived in Hallandale Beach since 1989.

* Joseph Kozer, 79, served as a commissioner in Skokie, Ill. for 28 years before moving to Hallandale Beach five years ago.

* Alexander S. Lewy, 25, works as a congressional aide for Congressman Kendrick Meek. He is a member of the Community Outreach Advisory Board at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

* Keith London , 44, owned Sterling Process Services Inc. He serves on the city's Marine Advisory Board and produced and hosted The Keith London Show, a public-access cable TV show dealing with Hallandale Beach.

ATTORNEY

* Anthony Musto, 55, an attorney and a professor at St. Thomas University School of Law. Musto spent about two years as a commissioner.

* Arturo O'Neill, 35, runs his own mortgage brokerage and works as a real estate agent for ReMax. He serves on the Hallandale Beach Civil Service Board and is past president of the Kiwanis Club of Hallandale Beach.

* Irwin H. Schneider, 80, president of the Venetian Park Condo 1 Association and serves on the city's Planning and Zoning Board. He helped found the Hallandale of Tomorrow Community Organization.

* Mary Washington, 73, retired in 2004 after 30 years as head of Hallandale Beach's Human Services Department and administrator for the Austin Hepburn Center.

Two others, former commissioner Arthur ``Sonny'' Rosenberg and Carlos E. Simmons, submitted letters of interest but had not completed the application packet required to be considered by the commission.

---
The past is prologue!

Dave

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Csaba Kulin
Date: Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 1:16 AM
Subject: Re: FYI: Odds and ends: another Joy Cooper coup plot in the making?
To: "Hallandale Beach Blog"


...I would not be surprised about a Cooper coup. I seem to remember that whoever is named must stand for re-election in 90 days. Here you see the portion of Municode about vacancies (3.09). I do not know if the City has any procedures as to how to select someone to "appoint".
Filling of vacancies. A vacancy or vacancies in the city commission shall be filled as provided in the following:

(a) Appointment. Whenever there is a vacancy in the commission and there are less than twelve (12) months remaining before the next regular city or general election, the commission, by a majority vote of the remaining members, shall choose a successor to serve until that election. If, after a week of deliberation, a majority vote cannot be reached, the mayor, or in his absence the vice-mayor, shall cast an additional vote.

(b) Special elections. If no regular city or general election is scheduled within twelve (12) months, the commission shall schedule a special election to fill the unexpired term held not sooner than sixty (60) days, nor more than ninety (90) days following the occurrence of the vacancy or vacancies. In any special election held for the purposes of this section, the provisions for nominations and elections contained in article IV of this Charter shall apply.

(c) Term. The term of office for vacancies filled by election shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of the office in which the vacancy exists. When more than one (1) vacancy exists to be filled by election and the unexpired terms are of unequal duration, the person or persons receiving the greatest number of votes cast shall be elected to fill the longest term or terms.

Csaba

--- hallandalebeachblog@gmail.com wrote:

From: "Hallandale Beach Blog"
Subject: FYI: Odds and ends: another Joy Cooper coup plot in the making?
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 00:15:18 -0400

..Also, as Comm. London mentioned the other day, we ALL need to be extremely vigilant about Mayor Cooper trying yet another end-run around the city's own written rules and
.
policies regarding selection of replacements to fill open Comm. seats, replicating what she did in 2008 with Fran Schiller and Anthony A. Sanders, in order to install a crony
of hers, likely Alex Berkovich.

He's the character currently leading the feeble army of Cooper sycophants in town attempting to stand common sense -and written property contracts- on their head by cramming Cooper's
laughable idea for a Golden Isles Overlay thru the city commission, despite overwhelming opposition.
How overwhelming?

At the last HB P&Z meeting, Berkowitz was the only person in the entire city who spoke in favor of her plan, making him -yes- an Army of One.

Make no mistake about it, Alex Berkowitz is no fan of reform, accountability or govt. transparency in this city and is certainly no friend of ours

If Dotty Ross resigns by 5 pm on Friday or says she will be retiring prematurely -before some of us can have the great personal satisfaction of recalling her from office- the city legally has to place the item on next Wednesday's agenda.

But that assumes that the rule of law or even their own written rules matter, of course, and we know from experience how that goes, since in 2008, they finessed what Schiller did, claiming
that she only decided to resign AFTER 5 p.m. on a Friday night, so they didn't have to tell anyone.
Really.

And guess who just happened to be free to come over to her condo on the beach to write HER note of resignation?
Yes, our old friend, Mike Good.

Well, Cooper wants to pull a coup like that again.

I know what you're thinking, why not have the States Attorney office on speed dial.
Yes, if we lived elsewhere, that might be a logical and simple option, but we live where
we live, and with whom we have in that office, so it's not a viable option.

If Joy Cooper tries another illegal coup, we need to ignore locals and be ready to contact FL Attorney General Pam Bondi's office in Tallahassee directly.
How pathetic is it that we even have to consider doing that because our mayor intentionally ignores rules and laws she doesn't like?

But the good news is that Pam Bondi will push back -HARD.
And then some...
In that regard, Joy Cooper ought to be careful what she wishes for.

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