Yes, the very same folks who've nursed a variety of petty grudges for years and who firmly believe that Hollywood's beleaguered taxpayers DON'T properly understand them or appreciate them enough -or pay them enough.
Speaking of over-the-top, to say nothing of creepy, one policewoman in particular, Hollywood Police Detective Stephanie Szeto, shows very clear signs of suffering a persecution complex.
That is, if we can believe what SHE SAYS HERSELF.
But not every taxpayer in this part of southeast Broward County is rolling-over for the Hollywood cops and firemen and their tales of financial woe.
Some people can STILL distinguish fact and fiction.
That is, if this excerpt of a communication I had with an upset Hollywood resident and blog reader a week ago is any guide.
As if speaking to these very same City of Hollywood employees, he stated,
"My wife and I don't go to work in the morning so that Hollywood city employees like you can retire before you're age 50, and leave us on the hook for another 30 years. Sorry, we're just not.
You're going to have to work longer and harder before you buy that second home in North Carolina. Or, start making better investments..."
(Teproff previously covered North Miami Beach -NMB- the city my two younger sisters and I largely grew-up in. As I've written here previously, she wrote some pretty devastating pieces on the rampant corruption and ethical minefield there on N.E. 19th Avenue/Victory Park, a place I lived just south of in 1969, age eight, when that part of NMB was very different then now. That was one year pre-Don Shula for those of you who need a better time approximation.)
In that article, without citing any specifics or sources, she stated that because the percentage of voters participating was likely to be low -which is true- Hollywood city employees living in the city could very well tip the final vote.
But she did so in a way that seemed to imply that Hollywood actually has more city employees living there than the average South Florida city does, even while providing no hard numbers or percentages.
But is Hollywood really the home of city employees to a larger extent than other Broward cities, save perhaps Ft. Lauderdale, the largest city?
I think not.
For your edification on the employee pension issue being decided Tuesday, I'd like you to compare and contrast the difference in tone between two recent Hollywood-based blog postings I've read. It's rather instructive.
Some, like me, would even say "Night-and-Day" as Hoosier-native Cole Porter might as well -and did.
The first blog post, at Balance Sheet Blog, http://balancesheetblog.wordpress.com/, written and edited by Sara Case and Laurie Schecter, gets the benefit of the doubt from most well-informed people in the community -including myself- because it's been observing the goings-on at Hollywood City Hall in-person for years, writing about what's going on there -good and bad- appropriately critiquing/complaining long-and-loud when it was necessary, and doing so with great specificity and a reliance on facts about bad public policy, insular thinking, questionable votes, et al.
Last Monday, they posted this:
Balance Sheet Online
Pension Referendum – Sept. 13
September 5, 2011, 9:24 PM
HOLLYWOOD SPECIAL ELECTION – IMPORTANT – SAVE JOBS!
WHAT: Pension Referendum
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011
This is no time for voter apathy. Our city has a budget crisis that could lead to bankruptcy. As a partial solution, the referendum proposes reducing future pension benefits for members of each of the three unions in city government: General Employees, Police, and Firefighters. These reductions would save the City some $8.5 million and set the City on a more sustainable course for the future.
Note: the referendum would not touch any pension benefits employees
have earned to date; only future benefits would be subject to new
rules if the referendum passes.
I have no idea who or what is behind it because they never identify themselves.
I draw your attention to the fact that many of the reader comments are directed against the one elected official in the city who was sounding an alarm many years ago for city taxpayers about Police and Fire pensions eating up a disproportionate share of city spending, spending that would only increase unless modified: Hollywood Comm. Beam Furr, a high school teacher.
It's hardly a secret that the Hollywood Police and Fire unions -i.e Jeff Marano and Daniel Martinez respectively- have had it out for Comm. Furr for many years, seemingly, since I moved back to South Florida from the D.C. area in 2003.
This animus by the Police and Fire unions against Furr is so well-known that, well, yes, even the Miami Herald has been forced to publicly mention the subject time-after-time on the front page of their awful State & Local section, including mentioning the unions' attempts to embarrass school teacher Furr on the issue of ethics.
Yeah, not exactly scintillating, hard-boiled film noir material.
As IF no union employee in Hollywood had ever taken advantage of his or her accrued days for a reason like going to a Miami Heat playoff game or Miami Dolphin Monday Night Football game or a day-trip to The Bahamas.
Yes, this call for an investigation came from the same union crews that have long defended and tolerated the tactics and hot-headed behavior of some of the worst rogue cops in all of Florida, whose nefarious and mendacious exploits the people in Hollywood and South Florida have all seen and read about in the newspaper and on TV newscasts after they were finally arrested.
Oh, you thought I forgot that?
In particular, I draw your attention to the absurd comments of Stephanie Szeto, a Hollywood Police detective -a fact not mentioned in her comments but easily discovered- who manges to show what an insensitive dumb-ass she is by comparing herself to a victim of physical abuse.
This, despite our forever hearing and reading about and being lectured by the news media on the dangers of fanciful exaggerations diminishing the real meaning of certain words and phrases.
For your consideration, from the upside-down mind of Hollywood Police Detective Stephanie Szeto:
I am sorry that we residents have had to accept this outright intimidation from these people. They have met the criminal definitions of thieves and blackmailers. I hate to ask what is next. Sadly I have to take the cuts as an employee and the tax hikes as a resident.
I feel like a victim in a violent and abusive relationship...
Oh, then I guess it's okay for you to equate your status as a city employee in the year 2011 to a woman who has been beaten black-and-blue in a criminal act.
Hey, Keystone Kop Szeto, didn't you understand the part where you could always just quit your job?
Quit without being hunted down?
Note to self: if Szeto is fired as a result of this referendum going down, make sure that the City of Hallandale Beach Police Dept. does NOT hire her.
They already have more than enough morale and management problems of their own -and how!- without adding someone with a persecution complex.
And I end this blog post of mine with more sheer nonsense from Szesto, who concluded her dalliance in public therapy-cum-political theater in that blog today:
I think I must begin to find a way out of this abusive relationship and
seek shelter and a way to end this relationship for my own health and well being.
To which I simply say, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out the door!