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.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dr. Judy Selz zeroes-in on wasteful city spending, angering Comm. Lewy; Keith London's take on Hallandale Beach City Comm. meeting of Dec, 7 2011

Below my own comments is the email that I received just this afternoon from Hallandale Beach City Comm. Keith London, whose monthly Resident Forum meeting I attended last night at the HB Cultural Center, which had at least a dozen new faces by my count of concerned HB citizen taxpayers who desperately want this city to be MUCH BETTER managed than it is now.

As always, it was good to see people want to get more involved and better informed about what is going on -in their name and with their wallets and purses- at Hallandale Beach City Hall.

It was indeed heartening to see actual proof of the victory of well-informed enthusiasm over the entrenched dysfunction and cynicism that has held away in this city for so many years, esp. at this time of the year, when people often have many choices to make about how they spend their time.

All had stories of their own about their great dis-satisfaction with the way the city is currently being mis-managed, and most were really appalled to hear many of things that yours truly and others attending shared with them about what passes for "normal" here in Hallandale Beach with respect to govt. planning, maintenance and public policy.

I've already heard from some of them today about what they heard last night: lots of eye-opening true tales of mis-management, incompetency and lack of common sense as S.O.P. here in the SE corner of Broward County.

The highlight of the evening may well have been listening to tireless, longtime HB civic activist Dr. Judy Selz describe her continuing attempts to get straight answers out of the City Hall bureaucracy about many things, including the un-necessary and expensive storage lot on Ansin Blvd. -that cost just under $3 Million for land, construction and maintenance- which I have written about here many times, along with incriminating photos.

That's a city enterprise which directly competes with two existing storage facilities in that warehouse district, located just east of I-95, south of Pembroke Road and north of Hallandale Beach Blvd., which causes these owners to have to lower their own prices just to compete with a city that doesn't need to make a profit to continue to exist.

Dr. Selz's info is below in Comm. London's wrap-up of last week's meeting, which ended after Midnight.

Speaking of the victory of well-informed enthusiasm over cynicism, last night also afforded everyone attending the meeting an opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Selz about HB Comm. Alexander Lewy's great displeasure at hearing her speak at a City Comm. meeting about trying to get to the heart of why HB taxpayer money continues to be wasted on things when they are NOT needed or desired.
Lewy didn't like that one bit!

The fact that the city continues to waste money on this un-necessary storage facility has been proven conclusively to me time-and-again when I drove past it myself or with friends over the past two years, as there were often less than a handful of vehicles there, sometimes as few as 2 or 3, as I have documented with photos.
(Now, the city places about 12-18 unused HB Police Dept. vehicles there, but taxpayers continue to pay for them even while they sit and gather dust.)

This episode and Comm. Lewy's wrong-headed, antagonistic and insulting attitude towards well-informed citizens of this community deigning to want the truth, proves -ONCE AGAIN- that he's the very same person I said he was when he first ran for office four years ago and then again last year.
Then as now, Lewy is his own worst enemy and appalls and antagonizes citizens with equal measure with his actions and words, as if citizens here can't observe them and hear them.
But they can.

As you may have heard at some point in your own childhood, actions have consequences, but for whatever reason, Lewy, as well as Mayor Joy Cooper and the rest of her Rubber Stamp Crew of Comm. Dotty Ross and Comm. Anthony A. Sanders, seem never to ever have learned this basic lesson in understanding how people and society work.

The almost complete rejection of Lewy by people who know what really goes on in this city is proof that they have learned what he so clearly seems unable to.

Some free advice to 2012 Broward Sheriff candidate Louis Granteed, currently Assistant Hollywood Police Chief, per conversations he's had with friends of mine in Broward at various events:
You might want to strongly reconsider constantly praising Lewy to the hilt when you meet citizens from Hallandale Beach. If they are an informed person, chances are great that they are already more than hip to Alex Lewy and what he is all about.
Your praise only serves to draw attention to how little you know about him.
Just saying...

* The only things that I have changed below from the original email I received from Comm. London is removing some of his forced indents, so that it would be easier to read here on the blog, since otherwise, there would be large gaps in the text.

-----
Everyone,

The following is an update of agenda items discussed at the December 7, 2011
City of Hallandale Beach Commission Meeting.

Highlights of the Meeting
* Mayor Cooper does not support a second senior exemption (cost to the city tax rolls approximately $57,000)

* Mayor Cooper insists the Hallandale Pops Symphony is included in the next City Agenda for reconsideration of $25,000 of funding - even after the City Budget has been approved and ratified

* Mayor Cooper votes to approve $20,000 for production a 5-minute commercial

* City Manager Antonio informs the Commission of negotiations to purchase property from DeSoto Park South along Three Islands Boulevard

* Diplomat Golf Course is still open two years after the developers representatives stated that the course would close if they were not given rights to develop approximately 1,000 new condominium units, please see the following link to reserve a tee time.

* Commissioner Lewy wants to limit "Public Participation" from people like Dr. Judy Selz - please see her questions below

* Commissioner London requests an agenda item to discuss whether or not the city should be in the storage business after hearing Dr. Selz questions regarding the City's $3 million dollar lot which is 2/3 empty



REGULAR AGENDA
CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 07, 2011 1:00 P.M. & 7:00 P.M.


1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

4. STUDENT CITIZEN OF THE MONTH AND SCHOOL ACTIVITY UPDATE

5. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - Items not on the Agenda (To be heard at 1:30 PM)

6. PRESENTATIONS

A. Presentation Regarding Activities at the Village of Gulfstream
(Suzanne Friedman, Development Representative, Village of Gulfstream Park)

B. Presentation on Capacity Building Program by Mister Nonprofit Consultancy (City Manager)

* Non-profit organizations working with Mister Nonprofit received a great benefit regarding sustainability, process and remaining viable
* Commissioner London asked specific questions regarding the Hallandale Pops and their participation in Mister Nonprofits process of capacity building
o The Hallandale Pops never responded or utilized Mister Nonprofit to seek ways to sustain this organization - they decided not to participate in this process to their own detriment

7. CONTINUATION OF CITY BUSINESS FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS

8. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Approval of Draft Minutes:

1. Special City Commission Meeting of November 7, 2011 -Legislative Planning Session

2. City Commission/City Manager Workshop/Special Meeting of November 14, 2011

3. Special City Commission Meeting of November 16, 2011 - Strategic Planning Workshop

4. Regular City Commission Meeting of November 16, 2011

* Commissioner London again voted against minutes and will continue to vote against minutes until we return to summary minutes so the residents have transparency in their government
* Please go to the link to see what Hallandale summary minutes used to look like: The minutes are from December 3, 2003

* Passed 4:1 London No

9. CITY BUSINESS

A. Consideration of an Amended Voluntary Regional Transportation Mitigation Agreement Between Broward County, the City of Hallandale Beach and the Village at Gulfstream Park, LLC and an Amended Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (Affordable Housing) for the Village at Gulfstream Park (Staff: Director of Development Services)
* Please see Item 12A which was discussed in conjunction with 9A

B. Consideration of the City Commission Summer Meeting Schedule and Schedule for Adoption of Truth In Millage (TRIM) Rate and Other Budgetary Hearings (City Manager)

The following is a list of the tentative times and dates for the summer schedule:

DATE ITEM

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 No Regular Commission Meeting due to Independence Day Holiday

Monday, July 16, 2012 City Commission/City Manager Workshop

Wednesday July 18, 2012 Regular City Commission Meeting
Set Tentative Millage Public Hearing, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Budget Special Meeting - Special City Commission
(If needed, Budget Special Meeting will continue on July 26th), 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 City Commission Vacation (No Regular City Commission Meeting)

Monday, August 13, 2012 City Commission Vacation (No City Commission/City Manager Workshop)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 City Commission Vacation (No Regular City Commission Meeting)

*Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Budget Public Hearing, 6:00 p.m.**

*Thursday, September 27, 2012 Budget Public Hearing, 6:00 p.m.**

* Commissioner London again requested City Staff to be prepared with all documentation during the January budget meetings to specifically discuss a Second Senior Exemption (an option provided by the Florida State Legislature to municipal governments)
* City Staff provided documentation that a Second Senior Exemption would calculate into approximately a $57,000 loss in revenue to the City
* Mayor Cooper did not seem to comprehend the manner in which a Second Senior Exemption was calculated or how it would assist those individuals who
qualify and did NOT support this
* Schedule of the summer meetings schedule above approved 5:0

10. COMMISSION PLANNING

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

* Dr. Judy Selz discussed questions she provided to the City in advance of the Commission meeting regarding City owned properties specifically the $3 million dollar storage lot on Ansin Boulevard
o This procedure of providing questions in advance is an agreed upon procedure by the City Manager so they are prepared to answer residents' questions/requests
o Please see her questions and the City's response in RED below at the end of this document
o Commissioner London responded and suggested the $3 million lot being utilized for storage be discussed as an agenda item
o Commissioner London stated he did not think being in the storage business is a core service of the City
o Commissioner Lewy was disturbed about Dr. Selz's line of questioning and attempted to curtail her public participation discussion
* This is obviously the democratic way for residents to be able participate in an open and transparent government; allowing them to question and be watchdogs over their tax dollars

* Dr. Bob Selz pointed out the City of Hallandale Beach purchased the Tower Mobile Home Park (catty corner to City Hall) at the same time the City of Aventura purchased the land on 207th Street near Target and they have built a beautiful park and our City has nothing but a pile of dirt to show for its purchase after 3 years


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

A. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida,
Accepting Amendments to the Village at Gulfstream Park Plat ( This Resolution is a result of Application# 10-12-PR by Gulfstream Racing Association, Inc.) (Staff: Development Services)

* The Villages of Gulfstream requested the Commission provide some amendments to their existing Development Agreement regarding:
o Traffic Mitigation
o Affordable Housing
* They requested the elimination of following concerning traffic mitigation
o building a 500 space parking lot offsite
o provide a shuttle service to the tri-rail station 8 hours per day
o and a few other minor details
* After a lengthy discussion it was agreed this is presently cost prohibitive for The Villages because if they build any additional retail, commercial, residential, or hotel structures in the future they will be required to build the parking structure
* Commissioner London suggested and it was agreed The Villages will review the possibility of including the B Cycle bike share program kiosks onsite to help alleviate traffic and cars on the road.
Here is a link to visit bike share http://www.broward.bcycle.com

* Regarding the affordable housing, Commissioner London recommended an Escalator Clause to their per unit payment which ensures they pay more as time goes on - Up to 5% per year compounded
* Passed 5:0

B. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida,
Amending Article IV, Division 11, Section 32-452 and Section 32-455 of The
City of Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances, "Zoning And Land Development
Code," Relative to Off-Street Parking Requirements and Minimum Parking Space
Requirements for Residential Multi-Family Uses; Providing for Conflicts;
Providing for Severability; Providing for an Effective Date. (Second
Reading) (This Ordinance is as a Result of Application # 06-12-TC by the
City of Hallandale Beach ) (Staff: Director of Development Services)

THE CODE AND PERMITTING ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED
APPROVAL OF THE AMENDMENTS ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011.

ON NOVEMBER 16, 2011 THE CITY COMMISSION APPROVED FIRST
READING OF THE ORDINANCE BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 5/0.

THE ORDINANCE WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE PLANNING AND ZONING
BOARD ON NOVEMBER 30, 2011.

* Passed 5:0

C. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida Amending
Chapter 32, the Zoning and Land Development Code, Article IV Division 17,
Development Standards Signs Relative to Prohibited Signs, Permitted Signs,
and Nonconforming Signs, Providing for Conflict; Providing for Severability;
Providing an Effective Date. (This Ordinance is a Result of Application
#67-10-TC by the City of Hallandale Beach.)(First Reading)(Staff: Director,
Development Services Department)

ON OCTOBER 26, 2011 THE PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD
RECOMMENDED APPROVAL OF THIS ORDINANCE BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 5/0.

* This ordinance refers to the use of human signage in the City of Hallandale
* The use of individuals holding signs up along major roads is a distraction and was turning into a potential safety hazard
* Passed 5:0

D. An Ordinance of The City of Hallandale Beach, Florida,
Amending Chapter 2, Section 2-361 "City Attorney to Function as Head of
Department; Qualifications"; Amending Prohibition that City Attorney Not
Engage During His/Her Tenure of Office in Any Private Practice of Law to
Allow A Law Firm to Serve As City Attorney; Providing For Conflicts,
Providing For Severability; And Providing For An Effective Date. (Second
Reading) (Staff: Acting City Attorney)

ON NOVEMBER 2, 2011 THE CITY COMMISSION APPROVED FIRST
READING OF THIS ORDINANCE BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 5/0.

* Passed 4:1 - LONDON NO

E. A Resolution of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida,
Supporting Congressman Ted Deutch's Proposed Amendment to the Constitution
of the United States to Exclude For-Profit Corporations from the Rights
Given to Natural Person by the Constitution, Prohibiting Corporate Spending
in all Elections, and Affirming the Authority of Congress to Regulate and
Set Limits on all Election Contributions and Expenditures. (Mayor Joy F.
Cooper)

* Passed 5:0

13. COMMISSIONER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

A. COMMISSIONER LEWY

B. COMMISSIONER LONDON

* Commissioner London suggested the City do a better job of scheduling Planning and Zoning meetings especially during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas since the November meeting falls every year on Thanksgiving Day and the December meeting falls during the Christmas and New Year Holidays
* Commissioner London requested a map indicating the exact location of the land the City will be purchasing from DeSoto Park South - the west side of Three Islands Boulevard
* Commissioner London also requested a plan, information and source of funding for purchase of this property

C. COMMISSIONER ROSS

D. VICE MAYOR SANDERS

E. MAYOR COOPER

14. CITY ATTORNEY COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

15. CITY MANAGER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda

* City Manager Antonio requested support for the allocation of $20,000 to be spent on production of a promotional spot for the City of Hallandale
* City Manager Antonio requested support for the purchase of land from DeSoto Park South located on the West side of Three Islands Boulevard

16. ADJOURN

Questions by Dr. Judith Selz, 717 Layne Blvd., Hallandale Beach:

Discussed during December 7, 2011 City Commission Meeting, Agenda Item 11,
Public Participation. Note staff responses are in red.

1. How much property does the City own as far as dollar value is concerned? What did we pay for it and what is all worth today? See attached spreadsheet- total $29,035,026.17 cost of all property paid since 2001 (provided by CRA)

Property at Ansin Boulevard: cost to purchase $2,900,000 (purchased for settlement of a lawsuit)

When I went to observe the property on November 20, 2011, I was shocked to find the security gate wide open and no one was monitoring cars or people coming into the property. There are approximately 136 spaces for rent with what appeared to be ¼ of the spaces occupied. 15 of the spaces had cars marked as belonging to the Hallandale Police.

FINANCE RESPONSE:

There have been occasions that we have had problems with the security gate. Upon notification, the City immediately attempts to resolve the situation. Sometimes, this involves DPW contacting the service company for repairs.

Besides police cars, the number of occupants vary due to terminations for a variety of reasons. Some occupants clearly have the intention of maintaining a space for a specific period of time. Because of the various types of vehicles occupying spaces for various reasons (commercial vehicles for business purposes, employee vehicles for parking during working hours, recreational vehicles, etc.) , spectators will be unable to view the lot to determine the true number of occupied spaces.

1. What did we pay for this specific property? cost to purchase $2,900,000 (purchased for settlement of a lawsuit)

2. A. What is the return on investment? What is the annual budgeted amounts for revenue/expenditures? Budgeted revenue is $22,000. The year to date total is $4,766.

Budgeted expenditures are in the following three accounts-Electricity paid from General Services, budget expense not separately listed, but absorbed in total for account; Phone paid from Non-Departmental, $500; and Maintenance paid from Construction& Maintenance, $2,000.

B. What do we lose in annual tax revenue? That is difficult to calculate because depending on the use of the property (for example if it was used by a nonprofit it would not be taxed versus a structure would be taxed on the size of building)

3. Was a parking facility a "core" service that our city needs to provide the residents? The lot certainly is useful to those residents who need additional parking space for vehicles due to HOA restrictions, business needs and various Code violations (Sec. 28-6 in the Code of Ordinances)-providing this lot to our residents assists with this need.

How many of the spaces are actually rented to residents at present? Residents and non-residents are now able to use the facility. The number of paying spaces total 67 of 137. (Open spaces are being used to place several police vehicles)

4. It appears that as it is currently utilized, this competes with two business properties within a quarter mile radius that pay taxes to our city, is that true? Yes; the City remains competitive in its prices, and will continue to do so to ensure services are provided to our residents, business owners and other prospective clients.

Is the asphalt service installed, water permeable? No, however the site's drainage system consists of French drains.

It appears that this property could be sold, put back on the tax rolls and be privately developed into something that would be of great benefit to our City, the money earned from the sale could be used toward implementing the City's Master Plan so our current residents will be able to increase their enjoyment of our City of Choice in the nearer future. Future utilization will be based on City Commission directive and taking into consideration the benefits to the Community.

Where on the City's website will the answers to these questions be for all the residents to see?

As discussed, it is not appropriate to utilize the City's website for posting responses to residents' questions. Residents/business owners can always contact staff and/or participate during Public Participation at City Commission meetings.

Keith S. London City Commissioner Hallandale Beach

954-457-1320 Office
954-494-3182 Cellular

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