More after the email I received Wednesday morning from the City of Hollywood.
Date: Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Subject: 01-04-12 City Manager Candidates Interview This Week
City of Hollywood, Florida
Once upon a time I might've said that it was hard to believe that this is the first time that the City of Hollywood was sending this particular information out, but over the past two years, sending something important out one day -or even a few hours- before a public event took place, a common occurance for years here in Hallandale Beach, has become "the new normal" in Hollywood, with crummy results and lower public attendance to match those feeble efforts.
Other than The Balance Sheet blog of Sara Case and Laurie Schecter,
there's been absolutely ZERO info about the Hollywood City Manager meetings distributed anywhere around Hollywood, esp. where the public congregates, a point that was proven to me all over again a few days ago while I spoke to a manager at the Publix at Young Circle.
January 2, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier(Earlier in the afternoon, after a visit to Hollywood Beach with my sister visiting from the Mid-Atlantic, I discovered from a reliable source that the Young Circle Shopping Center's landlord, Equity One, with two empty storefronts on either side of the news stand I often frequent -the only place to buy the Daily Business Review- quite preposterously, wants $9K and $11k a month for the spaces.
No wonder they've been empty since July!)
The Publix manager hadn't heard anything about the City Manager meetings, and while I realize that that is not the only supermarket in the city, it does have a certain significance because of its location.
He'd never heard from the City, the CRA, the Chamber of Commerce...
They're all asleep at the wheel.
It was yet another instance, like so many over the past few years I'm personally familiar with, wherein the business community of Hollywood was finding out something important at the-last-minute.
And again, how do you NOT have something posted at or near that Publix or at the Arts Park, one block away from where Thursday's meet-and-greet will take place.
Sounds familiar, right, but not just because it sounds like it's straight out of the Hallandale Beach City Hallplaybook.
It's just like Hollywood's embarrassing and unsatisfactory outreach effort a few years ago to tell the public about the Bernard Zyscovich meetings being held re the new Downtown Hollywood Master Plan.
You could find nothing about it anywhere in Downtown Hollywood.
I know because I walked east on Hollywood Blvd. from Dixie Highway to the east side of Young Circle and never found a single notice or flier about the Zyscovich meetings on any window, bulletin board or kiosk.
It makes you wonder wonder what the proper function of a Chamber of Commerce is if it's not to disseminate info to the local business community?
But then as many of you have previously discussed with me before, that role, at least in this part of South Florida, seems to be more one of acting as a cheerleader for whoever is at City Hall, and NOT as a fair and judicial representative of lots of Mom & Pop stores and restaurants that are just barely scraping by in this economy, and who are paying their annual dues.
That's how they've done it here in Hallandale Beach for years since I moved back here from the Washington, D.C. area, where the head of the organization had no qualms about speaking at public meetings in favor of bad ideas championed by the mayor and city commission -the Diplomat LAC- and slamming HB citizens who opposed it.
All her bombast WITHOUT ever mentioning in her comments that all the HB citizens in the room were paying part of HER salary.
And tell me, when was that vote of all the HB CoC members in 2009 on the plan that got approved days before Christmas?
If all goes as planned, I expect to be at the 6 p.m. Thursday meeting mentioned above, with questions and facts ready in case there's an opportunity to inform the prospective new City Manager what he's got to look forward to, since all the candidates are men.
A good place to start is to ask them if they have a rough idea of how many empty storefronts there are within four blocks of where the meeting is taking place at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison Street, because many have been empty for YEARS.