Below, excerpts from my email earlier this afternoon to interested parties in Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Broward County and South Florida:
Now they tell us!
"Ben Gamla, ironically, probably spoke Aramaic."
Rimshot! - http://instantrimshot.com/
With news that he is now trying to tap the Tampa Bay area for one of his Hebrew Charter schools, the first article mentioned in the Google Alert I received today is especially good at describing Peter Deutsch's mendacity, his verbal sleight-of-hand with facts, and his facility for using an air of presumed authority to get his way if he can't simply bulldoze neighborhood opposition out of the way.
Florida Jewish Journal
Ben Gamla Schools: Threat to Judaism and the Constitution
By Rabbi Bruce Warshal
1:46 p.m. EST, February 21, 2012
It goes without saying that it would've been nice for those of us in Hallandale Beach opposed to Deutsch's proposal on N.E. 8th Street, and in particular, his constant belittling treatment of HB citizens and frequent use of bullying tactics, if there'd been some articulate people in South Florida like this particular author writing in local newspapers last year, who could've verbally supported the NE neighborhood's opposition, instead of keeping quiet like church mice.
Oh well, a victory in hand...
Speaking of that apparent "victory" though, what do we actually have right now, as of February 22nd, after four years of fighting Deutsch?
Correct, the city owns a property on N.E. 8th Avenue in a largely single-family neighborhood, but it's one with an old building on it -and lots and lots of asphalt.
But that's NOT at all what the HB community desired for the property long-term, is it?
Not by any stretch, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity and ask questions
and state your own personal preference for ensuring that the future of that property, which the city over-paid for, WILL BE a park or recreational space, at tonight's Town Hall meeting at the Hepburn Center on NW 8th Avenue at 6:30 pm, or the one being held at the North Beach Center on A1A next Wednesday night at 6:30 pm.
The sooner that green metamorphosis begins, the better for the kids.
Especially the older kids.
And now on to my main reason for writing you today, rather unexpectedly.
Those of you who recently received a copy of Csaba Kulin's very-informed email about the proposed undemocratic Charter change re the HB City Commission, should re-read it soon, or, if you no longer have it, look for it on my blog tomorrow, where I will post both his first and second email, and some thoughts on what he wrote.
Here's why it's IMPORTANT.
Having previously used undemocratic methods that violate the spirit of the City Commission's own established recommendations for filling the then-upcoming Commission seat vacancy in August of 2008 -the topic of many past blog posts here- without ever allowing the public to speak, Mayor Joy Cooper is going full-bore to do what she can to ensure that her very own Rubber Stamp Crew stays in place, even if that means she has to use extraordinary measures.
She's trying to head off 'the posse,' i.e. an informed, pro-reform HB citizenry that wants big changes and genuine financial accountability at HB City Hall come November 6th.
As most of you know, the HB City Commission recently voted to have this Charter issue appear on the 2012 General Election ballot in November, believing, quite naturally, that having it in August during a party primary would be a very bad idea, besides the simple fact that many Hallandale Beach residents don't come back to the area until around Labor Day, to escape the awful summer heat.
Comm. Keith London even made a point of reminding his colleagues of these self-evident facts in saying why November was the clear preferred time so that the largest number of voters could participate.
Well, this morning I received a copy of an email from Csaba detailing his experiences last night at Comm. Alexander Lewy's meeting over at Brio, the restaurant at Village of Gulfstream Park closest to U.S.-1.
And it's a revelation in its own small way, which is why I wanted to share it with you ASAP, with Csaba's permission.
It shows that even more than many of you have privately expressed to me in confidence -via phone calls and emails- of your fears that Mayor Cooper is SO anxious to stay in power in November, after ten years as mayor, that she will attempt to split the community if need be, or even act in a clearly undemocratic manner, to get what she wants.
Simply put, Mayor Cooper does NOT want the largest number of eligible and well-informed Hallandale Beach citizens to have a chance to vote AGAINST this bad Charter idea, enthusiastically supported by her and Comm. Lewy.
Instead, she wants the smallest number of people deciding its fate, and she wants to get her way, even if that means foisting a 100% vote-by-mail referendum that would happen before November.
This, in a city where there has NEVER previously been a 100% vote-by-mail election.
Again, I plan on posting most of the particulars of this issue on my blog tomorrow, which will also incorporate and analyze some particularly laughable, galling and condescending statements made by Comm. Lewy as well, so go there mañana and check it out and ponder its deeper significance for us.
It's a lot to take in, I know, but we also all know from personal experience that an educated voter is Joy Cooper's worst fear.
N.B. to readers of the blog:
Rather than my trying to characterize Csaba Kulin's email, since I think it speaks for itself as far as Comm. Lewy and Mayor Cooper's myopia about the public's current mood and what they're willing to tolerate, I decided to simply post his words and let you read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Keep in mind, too, that Michele Lazarow and Csaba have already filed with the City Clerk to run for the Hallandale Beach City Commission, for what are currently the two seats on the dais with terms ending in November, now belonging to Dotty Ross and Anthony A. Sanders.
Michele and Csaba are pro-reform candidates opposed to the stealthy and incompetent way that Hallandale Beach has been mis-managed for many, many years under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew, a motley group which over the years has variously consisted of Ross, Sanders, Alexander Lewy and former commissioner William "Bill" Julian, the latter of whom was defeated for re-election in 2010 and who is running again this year, as is Sanders for re-election.
After the meeting Comm. Lewy approached me with a question. Who am I running against in the election? I responded that "I am not running against anybody, I am running for one of the two seats available in November." He than stated that "we must maintain a minority seat on the dais and it would be good for me if I would run for Ross's seat." I reaffirmed that "I intend to get the most number of votes I can and let the chips fall where ever they will." It was not the answer he wanted or expected.
After that, Comm. Lewy started to talk about the hypothetical "numbered seats" idea of his. He wanted to know if there was if there was "numbered seats" who's seat would I run for." I told him that it will not be an issue in this year's election so any discussion is purely theoretical. He tried to trap me to somehow say something different.
As we all walk out of Brio, we see Mayor Cooper sitting about 30 feet away. Comm Lewy walked over to her for a 10 minute chat while I am talking to two people from the earlier meeting. After another 5 minutes, Mayor Cooper walk over to us and proceeds to tell us that she "enthusiastically" supports Comm Sanders for the commission. After then she said "I made a big mistake before" but now I support Bill Julian for the commission.
Mayor Cooper continued saying that "she is ready to start a petition drive" to put the "residential districting" on the ballot. No discussion, she walked away. After the she left, I asked the two residents standing there with me if they heard what I heard. They said that they heard the same thing.
As far as Comm Lewy is concerned, I believe he is fishing for another person to endorse in November. He is not comfortable with Julian.
The Mayor is clearly forming a "slate" of Sanders and Julian to run with her. It is not surprising to me, or to you, but wanted to share it with you anyway.