Above, the Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex on U.S.-1 and S.E.. 5th Street. Here, much more egregiously than most places in South Florida where incompetency and a disregard for laws and rules holds sway, the fish stinks from the head down. February 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
Final shoes start to fall on Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew's reign of financial ruin: Broward Bulldog: Hallandale Beach holds back records in “botched” audit; $20 million in contracts go uncheckedOr, put another way, when is an exception to a city rule NOT an exception to a rule?
The answer, of course, is whenever the Hallandale Beach City Commission wants to disregard any reasonable standards of logic, reason and fairness, and give taxpayer or CRA money to their pals and friends in the community -especially pals and cronies at non-profits and religious groups with little transparency, and hence, near-invisible paper trails- who will, not surprisingly, be supportive of them politically in the future.
Time-and-again they voted to do this, even if it meant over-riding city requirements, regardless of how bad, parochial or illogical the project proposed was, no matter how little of the application's paperwork was done, no matter how many exceptions were required to make it actually happen.
Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew were "a friend indeed" to their friends
So where was the adult supervision?
Late last night I was going to send an email out to everyone about the Final Marcum, LLP audit report that was finally placed on the city's website on Saturday.
I was going to mention to you what Csaba Kulin and I discovered yesterday over a period of a few hours spent analyzing it and connecting-the-dots back to meetings over several years that we both attended and observed.
Our plan then was to create an easy to understand flow-chart where anyone in the community could compare the Preliminary audit language with the Final report, and see who actually voted for what, and who the people were in the community who benefited -esp. the "exceptions."
It goes without saying that if nearly everything the city does requires making exceptions, and if you have a high preponderance of exceptions, then the template they are using is fatally flawed, esp. those determining the suitability of, say, a CRA loan.
See if you answer this question?
A CRA loan to buy and install TV sets (with accompanying local advertising) at city retailers are to ending blight in the city as... what?
Yes, that loan was approved.
All the information in the report and this Broward Bulldog article about it lead to the same simple question over-and-over:
WHEN did Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioners Bill Julian, Anthony A. Sanders and Dotty Ross EVER exercise any reasonable oversight/fiduciary duty over these matters, as required by their elected position, by asking hard questions and demanding that Dept. heads and city employees follow the city's own requirements?
They never did.
When did those four members of the City Commission EVER direct the former or current City Manager to issue an edict to Dept. heads, professional employees and mainline city employees that there would be very real job consequences for their continued failure to properly maintain records, and to do the mandated evaluations that were required by the city before and after CRA loans?
They never did.
Where was the direction from those four members of the City Commission that any and all reasonable efforts to recover funds that were owed to taxpayers and to the CRA, must not only be employed as a basic duty to the taxpayers, but that city employees who failed to perform their job and just looked the other way for years would be terminated?
There wasn't any.
For years the City of Hallandale Beach has completely failed to perform common sense due diligence on behalf of HB taxpayers, both BEFORE and AFTER the fact.
The City of Hallandale Beach's budget has nearly doubled over the past six years and what tangible results do this city's citizen taxpayers have to show for it?
What can they point to?
The only thing we have to show for it is this damning limited audit of their longstanding incompetency, misfeasance and nonfeasance.
This audit and its lingering questions will be the subject of the day at Wednesday's HB City Commission meeting.
Regardless of what it says on the written agenda, I'd be there by 7 p.m. if you plan on actually having a seat to watch the proceedings, and to hear the city try to explain away all the inconvenient facts that are so damning.
In other parts of the country where local governments are held to a higher standard, the pattern of behavior described in this audit would've resulted in more than a few people possibly being terminated from their jobs.
But not here.
This morning, in anticipation of all of this, I received the following in my email inbox from
Mayor Cooper via her personal email account.
It speaks to that longstanding inability of hers that I've described here for years -that inability to see what's right in front of you and to admit your own responsibility for it:
Hope to see you there speaking up for the short-term and long-term best interests of this city's residents.
The more the merrier...
Hallandale Beach holds back records in “botched” audit; $20 million in contracts go unchecked
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
MARCH 5, 2012 AT 6:09 AM
An outside auditing firm did not review more than $20 million in Hallandale Beach vendor contracts because the city failed to provide the information and limitations on the scope of the audit.
Auditors mention the large deficiency in an updated audit report to be presented to the city commission for review on Wednesday.Read the rest of the article at:
The article above, along with reader comments, also appears in today's Miami Herald at:
See also: http://changehallandale.com/