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Sunday, September 25, 2011

More on the upside-down world of Hallandale Beach public policy from Comm. Keith London; continued funding of 'Eagles Wings' no matter the facts!

Above, Hallandale Beach City Commission at dais. July 19, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier
More on the upside-down world of Hallandale Beach public policy from Hallandale Beach Comm. Keith London; continued funding of 'Eagles Wings' no matter the facts!
It's been a few months since I posted one of Hallandale Beach Comm. Keith London's post-Commission meeting commentaries, and I apologize for that as I had really planned on trying to be more consistent about posting these, since it gives a perspective on what goes on here that, even given the lack of meetings in August, provides nuance that others can't offer.
Everything below is just as written and received by myself and several hundred other citizens and interested parties, with no edits.

One thing before I go, though, and I'll be discussing this issue MUCH more in-depth in the near-future here on the blog, with photos, financials and maybe even video.

I draw your attention to Comm. London's eye-opening comments regarding the September 7th City Commission meeting and the matter of the city's continued funding of the so-called Eagles Wings group, the source of so many blog posts here in the past, and a rather secretive little group that the larger community here in Hallandale Beach is becoming EVEN MORE suspicious of as they continue to receive city funding despite LACKING many of the basic elements one has come to expect from a non-profit in the year 2011 to assure everyone the money is being spent appropriately.

Especially for a non-profit that gets taxpayers funds, and in this city, to be perfectly honest, in my opinion and many others, they've become an insular group that has come to believe that they are entitled to taxpayer funds, despite hardly any positive accomplishments to speak of that can be verified by third-parties.

Especially for a non-profit who has as a 'director' the wife of one of the HB City Commissioners -Jessica and Anthony A. Sanders.

As I've stated previously here on the blog, in the year 2011, Eagles Wings, unlike other legitimate non-profits that receive taxpayers funding from Broward cities, including the City of Hallandale Beach, STILL lacks a website that describes the exact scope and nature of their activities; who the administrators are and their qualifications to have their position; a list of any directors; or anything any of us could even remotely call an attempt to provide transparency or oversight.

Try to get a copy of the IRS Form 990 for Eagles Wings.
Go ahead, I dare you.

(That includes you, sleepwalking South Florida news media. You have been asleep on this story for YEARS!
Especially the Miami Herald, which actually endorsed Sanders in 2008, unaware of how truly dis-connected he really was to the city as a whole. Something Sanders continues to be, as every City Commission meeting continues to prove to anyone paying attention in the Chambers or watching at home.)

In fact, the highly-paid city employees running things at HB City Hall in the City Manager's Office and four-fifths of the elected City Commission are SO defensive about that 'pet' organization -the one that is unable to answer reasonable questions about how much they spend on administration and how much they spend on the actual clients; hint: it's nowhere near the appropriate level recommended for non-profits- that when the Confederacy of Dunces that is Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew of Commissioners Dotty Ross, Anthony A. Sanders and Alexander Lewy had the chance at the September 7th Commission meeting, they pretended that there was a legitimate reason for NOT publicly naming them as the recipient of Comm. Lewy's post-Midnight largess.

When Comm. London proposed a common sense motion actually putting the name "Eagle's Wings" in the request of Lewy, rather than the vague description that they had specifically employed -that read like something you'd see in Congress in an effort to subtly steer money or tax incentives toward a campaign contributor's company or firm- to make everything perfectly clear, not a single one of the four would second the motion, preferring the intentional vagueness.

Are you really surprised?
You shouldn't be if you've been reading this blog for even a small amount of time.
This is the caliber of these four individuals representing the city's taxpayers on the Commission:
Cooper, Ross, Sanders & Lewy.

They actually think they are pulling the wool over the city's taxpayers when all they are accomplishing is proving my oft-made point here that they are unbelievably shallow, mendacious and morally and intellectually unqualified for the responsibility they currently hold.

They prefer the upside-down world of stealthiness and deceit, even when it blows up on them as it did here.
And lest you think otherwise, they not only never ever learn a lesson, they are completely unbowed.
These four will try the same approach sometime soon on some other issue, and then as now, show no remorse about what they are attempting to do.

This typically duplicitous post-Midnight move by Comm. Lewy was the subject of my August 1st blog post titled, While you were sleeping: Comm. Alexander Lewy's budget chicanery & Liberal Guilt just cost you another $200,000-plus. For what and for whom, exactly?

Some of you out there in the blogosphere, especially those of you closer-to-home to this ocean-side city that ought to not only be much-better managed, with a much-higher Quality of Life, but be much-better represented on the City Commission as well by engaged and well-informed people who take their financial oversight responsibility seriously, may want to refer to that post from time-to-time.
Think of it as a small reminder of how truly preposterous the idea was of Alexander Lewy ever changing his spots was, once he was elected.

I sized him up to a 'T" three years ago -and last year.
Some of you should've listened to me more closely last year since Lewy is now our city's collective self-serving, know-it-all albatross to bear, dispensing taxpayer's money to his allies, regardless of their lack of accomplishment.
He is just the newest member of the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew.
(Not a political machine, of course, more like a group of orchestrated puppets.)

Well, to be more accurate, I should say, albatross to bear for a few more months, at least until a recall from office campaign against Ross and Sanders likely gets going officially and throws Lewy into the mix for reasons that are perfectly self-evident.

The three of them together, The Rubber Stamp Crew, are an embarrassment to any well-informed Hallandale Beach citizen's idea of representative democracy, and their collective and continued myopia and incompetence in being an effective check-and-balance against Mayor Cooper and City Manger Antonio's never-ending series of bad ideas and schemes only put citizen taxpayers and business owners farther behind the eight-ball.
They are completely useless, even for comic effect.

----

Everyone,

The following is two updates of agenda items and other issues discussed at the Wednesday, September 7, 2011 City of Hallandale Beach Commission Meeting and the Wednesday, September 14, 2011 City of Hallandale Beach first reading of the budget for FY 2011/2012.

Highlights of this Wrap – Up

· Commission receives a “DRAFT” copy of the special audit report – Mayor Cooper and City Manager Antonio go ballistic…

· Commissioner London requests the Commission to reconsider the initial motion (see below) made by Commissioner Lewy to allocate $203,000 to Eagles Wings (the wife of Vice-Mayor Sanders is a director of Eagles Wings) NO SECOND

· Commissioner London makes a motion regarding Building Services and receives NO SECOND – five minutes later Commissioner Lewy makes the same motion (the one he voted against in July 2011)…and receives a second!

· Commissioner London made a motion to lower the City Manager’s CRA spending authority from $200,000 to $50,000 – FAILED

· City Attorney search committee is now seated

· Charter Review Committee Meetings are currently in process – please find time to attend

· Visit www.ChangeHallandale.com Recently awarded The New Times “Best of 2011 Award”

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

REGULAR AGENDA

CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

http://www.hallandalebeach.org/files/2011-09-07/Agenda%20Outline%20for%202011-09-07%2013-00.htm

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 1:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

3. STUDENT CITIZEN OF THE MONTH AND SCHOOL ACTIVITY UPDATE

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - Items not on the Agenda (To be heard at 1:15 PM)

· David Krohn, Bruce Feder, Willie Robinson, John Ryan, Suellen Fardelmann, Wayne Gudger, Frenchy Roy, and Joseph Mauiro spoke regarding Item 8F – Outsourcing Building Services

5. PRESENTATIONS

A. Presentation of the 2011 ClinCon Annual Competition Award

B. Presentation of the Florida Law Enforcement Challenge Award and Click It or Ticket Challenge Awards

C. Presentation of the" Bill Julian Annual Food Drive Award"

D. Proclamation Proclaiming September 11, 2011 as "Patriot's Day: September11th Remembrance"

E. Presentation Regarding Activities at the Village of Gulfstream Park

6. CONTINUATION OF CITY BUSINESS FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS

7. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Approval of Draft Minutes - Special City Commission Meeting Minutes of July 18-19, 2011, and Regular City Commission Minutes of July 20, 2011

· While reviewing the minutes from the July 19, 2011 meeting, Commissioner London requested the name “Eagles Wings” be added, in lieu of “a not-for-profit organization located in the City ofHallandale Beach”. It is very apparent to everyone (it was even discussed prior to the motion) that this funding would be directed to Eagles Wings. – NO SECOND

· Please review the video (attached link) from the City Commission meeting where Mayor Cooper, Commissioner Lewy, and City Manager Antonio do everything possible to ensure Eagles Wings receives $203,000 in funding. At 8 hour and 07 minutes of this video the CRA discussion begins, at 8.34 Vice Mayor Sanders begins to provide his comments, and at 8.50 Mayor Cooper begins her lengthy ongoing discussion which ends almost 25 minutes later at 9.14.

http://view.liveindexer.com/ViewIndexSessionSLMQ.aspx?ecm=634470129642348879&indexSessionSKU=O5rB5ifdepPAM4U8+iWZgA%3D%3D&siteSKU=LYS9WltnFkPvRKQjohvxcQ%3D%3D

· Commissioner London also requested his vote be changed on the $203,000 in funding from the July 19, 2011 meeting. At the time of the vote, he was out of the room. City commission rules dictate that his vote is automatically considered a vote with the majority. But the Commission accepted this change of his vote to NO. It is officially on record Commissioner London does not support this item.

· Commissioner London voted against minutes and will continue to vote against minutes until we return to summary minutes. The residents deserve to have transparency in their government

· Passed 4:1 London No

8. CITY BUSINESS

A. Approval of Proposed Procedural Rules for City Commission Meetings (Staff: City Clerk)

· Passed 4:1 – ROSS NO

B. Presentation by PFM Management, LLC of the Quarterly Investment Results for Surplus Funds for the quarter ended June 30, 2011. (Staff: Director of Finance)

· The report was accepted by the Commission

TO BE HEARD AT 2:00 PM

C. Pursuant to Chapter 23, Section 105, Award of Contracts, of the City of Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances, Request Authorization to Award RFP # FY 2010-2011-007, A1A Landscaping Improvement FDOT Grant Project, to the Lowest Responsive, Responsible Bidder, SFM Services, Inc., in an Amount Not To Exceed $422,607.00 for Landscape Services. Furthermore, Authorize a 10% Contingency for Unforeseen Circumstances. (Staff: Director of DPW, Utilities & Engineering)

· This item pertains to the landscaping project on A1A and is the first of multiple projects refreshing, repairing and replacing over the next 2-3 years

· Passed 5:0

D. Consideration to Purchase a Portion of the Property Located at 233 NE 14th Avenue as Part of the Northeast Drainage Flood Control Project (Director of DPW, Utilities & Engineering)

· The City is purchasing a small piece of property from Meadowbrook Condominium in order to install deep well injection pumps to help resolve drainage problems in the area

· Passed 4:1 – ROSS NO – stated she did not understand what was going on

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

E. Discussion and Consideration of each City Commissioner to provide the name of a representative to serve on the City Attorney Selection Committee (Staff: Director of Personnel/Labor Relations)

· Each member of the Commission selected individuals as follows:

o Commissioner London – Mark Goldstein, Esquire

o Commissioner Lewy – Rachel Alters, Esquire

o Commissioner Ross – Bill Julian

o Vice-Mayor Sanders – Murvin Wright

o Mayor Cooper – Eudyce Steinberg

· Passed 5:0

F. Building Division Strategic Plan - Improvement of Services (Staff: Director of Development Services)

· The Building Division submitted a 43-page report. The report didn’t have appropriate documentation, and is lacking any current performance levels, performance benchmarks, or an improvement plan. It has unrealistic revenue expectations.

· After Commissioner London questioned the 25% increase in their budget, which translated into only a 5% increase in productivity, he made the motion to TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS THAT WILL INCLUDE SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE MEASURES AS ESTABLISHED BY THE CITY MANAGER, A ONE-YEAR PROTECTION GUARANTEE FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE DIVISION, REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SELECTED CONTRACTOR TO UPGRADE THE COMPUTER HARDWARE/SOFTWARE SYSTEM FOR THE DIVISION; AND TO ALLOW THE CITY’S BUILDING DIVISION TO PARTICIPATE AND COMPETE IN THE PROCESS. A reiteration of the same motion he made at the July 19, 2011 Commission meeting – NO SECOND

· Commissioner Lewy made the exact verbatim motion 5 minutes later, which was seconded by Commissioner London immediately

o If Commissioner Lewy felt this issue was so important, why didn’t he second London’s motion 5 minutes earlier? Was he trying to appease the Mayor, or take credit for the idea?

o This behavior exhibits a lack of concern for what’s in the best interests of the City of Hallandale Beach

· Passed 4:1 – ROSS NO

G. Presentation by ETC Institute on the Business and Resident Survey Results (Staff: Director of Finance)

· The result of a city-wide general survey was provided. 800 of 2,500 surveys sent to residents were completed, and 200 of 850 surveys sent were completed by businesses.

· It was relayed to the Commission that any negative result over 25% requires attention. It should be reviewed and potentially amended; for example, Red Light traffic cameras received a 43% negative rating.

· Please go to the following link to view the survey: http://www.hallandalebeach.org/files/2011-09-07/Item%208G/index.html Be on the lookout for Mayor Cooper to cherry pick those results that promote and support her agendas

TO BE HEARD AT 7:20 P.M.

H. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach Florida, Authorizing the City Manager to Implement a Roth Provision within the Deferred Compensation (457) Plan and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute all Necessary Agreements with the International City Manager's Association - Retirement Corporation Incidental to the Administration of the Plan. (Staff: Director of Personnel/Labor Relations)

· Passed 4:1 – LEWY NOT IN CHAMBERS

I. A Resolution of the City Of Hallandale Beach, Florida, to Authorize Application for and Execution of a Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) Grant Agreement Under The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority's (SFRTA) General Authority to Make Such Grants. (Staff: Director of DPW, Utilities and Engineering)

· Passed 4:1 – LEWY NOT IN CHAMBERS

J. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Authorizing the City Manager to Amend the Street Name for SE 3rd Street to Chief Tom Magill Way/SE 3rd Street and Implement Beautification Enhancements Along this Corridor. (Staff: Director of Public Works, Utilities and Engineering)

· This resolution pertains to renaming SE 3rd Street in honor of Chief Tom Magill

· Passed 5:0

9. COMMISSION PLANNING AND TRAVEL REQUEST

NONE

10. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - Items not on the Agenda (To be heard at 7:00 P.M.)

11. PUBLIC HEARINGS (To be heard at 7:15 P.M.)

12. COMMISSIONER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

A. COMMISSIONER LEWY

B. COMMISSIONER LONDON

· Commissioner London requested staff to do additional research regarding the additional senior citizen $25,000 property tax exemption

· Commissioner London expressed his condolences to the Posnansky Family for the loss of George in July 2011 – A Dedication to George will be held on Friday, October 21, 2011 at City ofHallandale Beach Cultural Center at 5:30 PM

C. COMMISSIONER ROSS

D. VICE MAYOR SANDERS

E. MAYOR COOPER

13. CITY ATTORNEY COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

14. CITY MANAGER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

15. ADJOURN

Highlights of the Special Meeting

· Commissioner London makes a motion to remove RED LIGHT Traffic Cameras in accordance with the recommendations from the city-wide survey – NO SECOND

· Three Islands Safe Neighborhood District - $357,000 in this year’s budget and they have $690,000 in reserves - Commissioner London votes no for additional monies

· Golden Isles Safe Neighborhood District – mismanaged and not complying with the rules – Commissioner London requested they provide answers as to why they are not in compliance with the rules

· After $200,000 is allocated to the Hepburn center, with no possibility of Eagles Wings receiving the money, Vice-Mayor Sanders –VOTES NO AGAINST APPROVING THE CRA BUDGET. (Vice Mayor Sanders’s wife is an Eagles Wings director).

SPECIAL MEETING

CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 6:00 PM

http://www.hallandalebeach.org/files/00362/Agenda%20Outline%20for%202011-09-14%2018-00.htm

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

4. CITY BUSINESS

A. Discussion and Consideration of the Public Relations Specialist position for the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Budget. (Staff: Director of Personnel/Labor Relations) (See Backup)

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

5. PUBLIC HEARINGS

A. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Levying a Tentative Ad Valorem Tax Millage for the 2011-12 Fiscal Year (First Reading)

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

B. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Adopting the Tentative Annual Budget for the 2011-2012 Fiscal year, Including the Golden Isles and Three Islands Safe Neighborhood Districts Budgets and the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Budget. (First Reading)

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH GOLDEN ISLES SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT ITEMS #4.A . and #4.B.

· Commissioner London discussed and requested information regarding the Golden Isles Safe Neighborhood District (GISND) as follows:

o The correct number of Board members; no one was certain how many exist – 11 or 13 members?

o Since there are approximately 11 – 13 members it is incorrect and inappropriate for the GISND to vote on issues and conduct business when they have an average of only 4-5 attendees per meetings; hence no quorum.

o When was the last date and time there was an election for officers?

o The last date and time the Chair of GISND, Susan Lewis, had a quorum at a meeting

o Why are meetings scheduled for 9:30 AM on Monday mornings when the majority of individuals work and will not be able to attend?

o A copy of the GISND governing documents

o To receive meeting minutes in a timely manner as 3-5 months after meetings is unacceptable

· Passed 3:2 – LONDON & LEWY NO

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE THREE ISLANDS SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT ITEMS #4.A. and #4.B.

· Resident Joe Sher requested information as to who decided to discontinue the manned guard gates in Three Islands

· Commissioner London provided Mr. Sher with the meeting minutes from March 27, 2011 when the decision was made by the Three Islands Safe Neighborhood District Board – unfortunately this decision was not communicated to the residents.

· In July 2011 the City Commission directed City Management to send out a letter informing residents which did not go out. A letter is being drafted as we speak months after the first meeting and City Commission direction.

· The new safety plan for the Three Islands Safe Neighborhood District is as follows:

o A roving patrol with an accredited security firm (i.e., Navarro, etc) will be present from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

o An off-duty City of Hallandale Beach Police Officer will be on patrol and roving from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM.

· This year’s budget is approximately $357,000 and there currently exists $690,000 in reserves

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT DISTRICT ITEM # 4.A.

· A funding opportunity of $203,000 was directed to the Hepburn in lieu of an RFP for a local not-for-profit located in the NW section of the City (aka Eagle’s Wings) – See Commissioner Lewy’s Motion from the July 19, 2011 meeting below:

o BY DIRECTOR LEWY, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR ROSS, TO ALLOCATE THE $203,000.00 FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD EMPLOYABILITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (NEEP) TO A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH AND WITH A PROVEN RECORD AS A PROVIDER OF JOB TRAINING AND PLACEMENT SERVICES

· Vice-Mayor Sanders was extremely surprised and expressed his dismay with the funding going elsewhere

· Passed 3:2 – LONDON & SANDERS NO

C. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Establishing the Total Sum of the Annual Fire Protection Services Special Assessment; Setting the Amount Assessed Against Each Parcel of Property for the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year; Providing for the Continued Use of the Uniform Method of Collection (Staff: Fire Chief)

· Passed 5:0

D. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Establishing the Total Sum of the Annual Lot Maintenance and Clean Up Assessment; Setting the Amount Assessed Against Each Affected Parcel of Property for the Calendar Year 2010 Through June 30, 2011; Providing for the Use of the Uniform Method of Collection(Staff: Director of Development Services)

· Passed 4:1 – LONDON NO

E. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Adopting Corrections, Updates and Modifications to the Capital Improvements Element of the Hallandale Beach Comprehensive Plan to Reflect the City's Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Budget; Providing for Conflict and Severability (City of Hallandale Beach Application #53-11-PA) (First Reading) (Staff: Director of Development Services)

· Three corrections were made to the budget

6. COMMISSIONER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

A. COMMISSIONER LEWY

B. COMMISSIONER LONDON

C. COMMISSIONER ROSS

D. VICE MAYOR SANDERS

E. MAYOR COOPER

7. CITY ATTORNEY COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

8. CITY MANAGER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

9. ADJOURN

Keith S. London

City Commissioner

Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office

954-494-3182 Cellular

www.KeithLondon.com

http://www.facebook.com/KeithSLondon


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