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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Code Red! Follow-up to my 'red flags' in Draft audit report, troubles in Hallandale Beach; HB City Manager Mark Antonio: Oblivious or Ignorant?

Above, looking northwest at the Hallandale Beach City Hall and Police Dept. HQ, 400 S. Federal Highway,Hallandale Beach, FL.
On this one block alone, there are several examples of graffiti, much of which has been there for YEARS.
Shh-h-h! Don't wake (tell) HB City Manager Mark Antonio. He doesn't know anything about it, despite working in the building since it was opened over ten years ago. August 7, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Code Red! Follow-up to my post re 'red flags' in Draft report -Audit troubles in Hallandale Beach; HB City Manager Mark Antonio: Willfully Oblivious or Ignorant?

Below is an excerpt from an email I sent out Tuesday afternoon to the well-informed citizen taxpayers of Hallandale Beach who strive to be kept abreast of what's really going on in this city, something they don't get from local TV station newscasts or the Miami Herald or South Florida Sun-Sentinel, as they know better than anyone.

Would those entities zero-in on HB City Manager Mark Antonio's glass jaw: his seemingly neverending ignorance of the city he is responsible for managing, a person who, quite literally, CAN'T or WON'T see what is right in front of him?
In my email, I didn't use these photos below, which I'm sure if they knew it, would come to the dismay no doubt of HGS, Kadian, Doloe Greys and est, the main graffiti 'authors' you see EVERYWHERE in Hallandale Beach's 4.2 square miles.
It's hard to imagine that they don't laugh everyday as they drive thru town and see their handiwork no matter what part of the city they're in, at HB City Hall and the HB Police Dept.'s laughable half-assed efforts to eliminate it. Meanwhile, the City Manager, Police Chief and Mayor keep their heads buried deep, deep in the sand.
But Hallandale Beach's citizen taxpayers are NOT LAUGHING!

I've held off writing about the Draft audit report prepared by Marcum Rachlin on my blog until this article came out, which I originally thought was going to be next week.
I did so despite the fact that the Broward Bulldog had used photos I took and have used on my blog without my permission, because the story here about all the troubling 'red flags' in the audit is more important than my personal pique.

Broward Bulldog
Audit report shows missing records and disarray in Hallandale Beach’s redevelopment agency
September 27, 2011 at 6:14 am
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org

Hallandale Beach has failed to properly track city land acquisitions, developer agreements and loans to businesses, according to a draft of an audit obtained by the Broward Bulldog.

Suspecting there were problems, city officials in August 2010 ordered the audit by an outside firm to review management of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), which handles agency-owned property and provides loans to businesses.

Read the rest of the post at

That said, you all missed an unbelievable HB City Commission meeting last night, the second and final reading of the city's FY 2011-12 budget.

It featured more lies, half-truths and flat-out mis-statements of fact being, uttered on the dais than you usually hear even at a Miami-Dade County or City of Miami meetings, and having gone to plenty of those over the years...

Though I hadn't planned on speaking, once City Manager Mark Antonio said something I knew from experience was untrue about the city's (non-existent) effort to fight graffiti in the city, I got SO upset that I found myself going up and letting him know in no uncertain terms that I was personally insulted by his willful ignorance of self-evident facts that are all around us.
The facts we see everyday living in this city with so much promise but, which stays at unsatisfactory mediocrity, on purpose, because of who runs things at Hallandale Beach City Hall.

I specifically reminded Antonio -and everyone else in the room and watching on TV- that it was common knowledge that there has been graffiti on every single light pole and county/FDOT sign on U.S.-1, on the west side, from in front of Gulfstream Park Race Track down to the Aventura/County Line, including in front of HB City Hall for YEARS.
Including the Entering Broward County sign and the Lawton Chiles sign.

The "Entering Broward County" sign that's also been at the top of this blog since it was created in 2007. (Except I use the clean graffiti-free one of 2007.) Below, the Lawton Chiles Trail sign.
You encounter them on north-bound U.S.-1/Federal Highway as you leave the City of Aventura and Miami-Dade County and begin your cosmic journey thru Broward County by going past Gulfstream Park Race Track and the Village of Gulfstream Park retail center -and lots and lots of graffiti!

Over two years ago, every single street light pole and sign from the Dade County line north to the S.E. 3rd Street entrance of Gulfstream had graffiti on it, with some having multiple 'tags,' including ones directly across from HB City Hall and the Police Dept. Yes, I still have those photos.
As you may've heard, Broward is NOT the Land of Lincoln. August 14, 2011 photos by South Beach Hoosier

I mean I've posted many photos of it on the blog since starting it and have even included it in emails to some of you.
Until last night, I didn't know a single soul who didn't know all about it.
Now I do: HB City Manager Antonio.
He doesn't see the signs in front of his own building.

Despite having worked at HB City Hall since that building was built, Antonio expressed complete surprise that such a thing was true.

I told him and everyone else that all they had to do was walk out the door -you can hardly miss it.

My friends, it's all still there as of 2:30 p.m. today and I will be posting about a dozen, or so hard-to-miss examples of this on the blog this weekend, including some graffiti, on a HB Police car that acts as a scarecrow off U.S-1 that just sits there week-after-week, month-after-month.
(Yet another example of crony capitalism & favoritism?)

Guess what?
You don't have to be a member of an elite DOJ anti-gang task force to know that when people feel completely free to place graffiti on the side of a city police car, knowing that everyone will see it, you are clearly losing the war, in part, because the leaders of the city: City Manager (Mike Good & Antonio) Mayor Cooper, the former and current Police Chiefs, Magill and Fluornoy, are SO oblivious.
Oblivious being the word I used to describe Antonio to his face last night.

Graffiti welcomes you to historic Old Hallandale Beach City Hall on West Dixie Highway & S.W. 3rd Street, Hallandale Beach, FL. This bit of longstanding graffiti is on the east side of the old HB City Hall, which is next to the current HB Fire/Rescue Dept. HQ. Not that you can find a single directional sign in the entire city telling you where THAT is.
That's how they do it here! August 7, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Taking a peek thru the rusty wrought-iron fence you can catch a glimpse of the Old World Charm that surely must've been old Hallandale Beach City Hall. That computer monitor has been there on the ground for at least four years that I know of. It's broken though, perhaps a casualty of the move to the new building over ten years ago. August 21, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Because if you aren't oblivious, guess what, then you're knowingly lying to the community, and failing to do your job.
Appeasement and willful ignorance like Antonio's is not a public policy that works, and our current unsatisfactory reality proves that more than anything I can say.
It's right there for everyone to see.

More of what the Rubber Stamp Crew running Hallandale Beach don't see - graffiti on the Mardi Gras casino directional sign on north-bound U.S.-1/Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, FL. Keep it to yourself, okay? August 21, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier

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