Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Eleanor Sobel, Broward pol who wanted -and got- Hollywood taxpayers to pay $30k for her new FL State Senate office in 2009 now asks FL legislature for audit of Hollywood!

Pol who wanted -and got- City of Hollywood taxpayers to pay $30k for her new FL State Senate office in 2009 now asks FL legislature for audit of Hollywood!

Oh, "that's Rich."

No, that's just Eleanor Sobel being Eleanor Sobel!

What brings this to mind is this blog post today by Steve Bousquet of the St. Petersburg Times:

Legislature OKs audit of city of Hollywood

TALLAHASSEE -- The Legislature on Monday approved a request by Sen. Eleanor Sobel to step in and audit the city of Hollywood's shaky finances. Sobel appeared at a meeting of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee in the Capitol to ask for the audit, citing the city's declaration of a state of "financial urgency," a recent 11 percent property tax increase, lucrative pension and health benefits for city employees and overly optimistic revenue projections.

Read the rest of the post at

Plus, at the time, April of 2009, Sobel's name was already STILL on the same building across from Hollywood City Hall -where Rep. Elaine Schwartz's office was/is also located- from when Sobel had used it as her temporary pit-stop of a Broward School Board office when she pretended to care about kids for a few months while waiting for Steve Geller to be term-limited out of the state senate.

I was at the Hollywood City Commission meeting when this self-serving effort got pushed thru -even updating my photos before going inside- and Balance Sheet Blog co-editor Sara Case was the only member of the public with the integrity to publicly say that Hollywood taxpayer funds should NOT be used in this manner, esp. for a woman who could well afford to pay for it herself, or, even rent one of the dozens of empty storefronts in Downtown Hollywood.

I thought Sara was particularly good in zeroing-in on the problems in her comments that day before the City Commission.
I have to admit, though, I was somewhat confounded that Mayor Peter Bober, having brought up some spot-on reasons that I hadn't even thought of to justify voting against it straightaway, or, continue it to the near future, along with some modifications to it and some added clarity on the ethical and financial issues, then voted FOR it.
I found that confusing on his part and some arguments by Comm. Richard Blattner, and I don't think I was alone in the Chambers in that sentiment.

Until it was mentioned at that meeting, in passing, I didn't know anything about Hollywood taxpayers also having spent $20,000 in 2006 on improvements to Rep. Schwartz's office.

Sara's point in her then-editorial about the real answer to the problem being that they leave their government cocoon and rent a downtown storefront is, of course, something that was completely lost on the woman from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Instead, this was a done-deal from the word "go," and it passed despite the gaping holes in logic and questions about propriety and extraneous spending.

R-2009-072 - Resolution - A Resolution Of The City Commission Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Authorizing The Appropriate City Officials To Execute The Attached Agreement Between State Senator Eleanor Sobel, State Representative Elaine Schwartz And The City Of Hollywood For Lease Of City Office Space And To Reallocate Funds For The Renovations For New Offices For Senator Sobel In The Old Library Building. PASSED

Good to know that Sen. Sobel is trying to re-pay the PBA members' past help by expressing her new-found concern with extraneous government costs.
But where were those concerns of hers before when it involved her? MIA.

The photos above, all taken by me on September 20th, with the first showing the offices of Rep. Schwartz and Sen. Sobel and the second showing part of the view when you walk out of their office, looking west, at Hollywood City Hall.

In the next few days, once I find those old photos, I'll add them here for an Eleanor Sobel office compare-and-contrast.

Some contemporaneous articles about this story are:

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Broward Politics blog

Sen. Sobel to taxpayers: Spend $30k cleaning rat-infested space for my office
Posted by Brittany Wallman at 10:57 AM

By Ihosvani Rodriguez, Staff Writer
State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, wants new office digs in Hollywood, and it will cost city taxpayers about $30,000 for starters.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hollywood to rent office to state Sen. Sobel
By Ihosvani Rodriguez
6:12 PM EDT, April 1, 2009

Read the rest of the post at:

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