Above, Hallandale Beach City Hall, where today, as always, despite what it may say in the Florida Constitution, citizen taxpayers are always low man on the totem pole.
March 21, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
Below is my email sent this afternoon to Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Keith London and to many, many other interested parties in Hallandale Beach, Broward County and points beyond.
It's the very definition of self-explanatory.
March 21, 2012
Dear Comm. London:
As if I hadn't already been an eyewitness to one incident after another over the past eight years where the City of Hallandale Beach and its elected officials, administrators and city employees have consciously sought to avoid complying with both the spirit and the letter of Florida's Sunshine Laws, including, being physically prevented from attending a publicly-noticed public meeting on the second floor of City Hall -a meeting which was mysteriously postponed moments before I was able to get upstairs, with your assistance- today reveals yet the latest example of the city's longstanding failure under
Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Antonio to give citizens what they are legally entitled to: the right to access public information.
Information prepared by city employees for city officials, ALL of whom are paid by the city's taxpayers.
The mendacious culture of secretiveness at Hallandale Beach City Hall needs to end -and finally be investigated!- and the latest evidence of that duplicity is that today, as of 4:00 p.m., two hours before the HB City Commission meeting starts at 6 p.m., ALL of the city-prepared Staff Reports on tonight's agenda items are MISSING from the city's website.
(And this is far from the first time this sort of thing has happened.)
Instead, when you click the links on the city's website you are directed to a city website page that reads, "We're sorry, but there is not a web page matching your entry."
I have copied and pasted the agenda below and have highlighted the missing elements below in red.
Citizens taxpayers in this city are long past being tired of City Manager Mark Antonio's feeble excuses for longstanding incompetence and obliviousness at HB City Hall, by both him personally and his very highly-paid staff.
As much as that bothers me, though, and it does more than i can say here, I, in particular, am also long past being tired of the self-serving alibis being offered up by city IT Dept. head, Ted Lamott,for why he and the city employees under his supervision STILL CAN'T figure out a way to place public information on the city's website in advance of meetings so that residents can actually read it a reasonable amount of time prior to a public meeting, a public meeting where recorded votes will be taken and taxpayer's money will be expended.
It seems very simple.
It is, and it's also their job and responsibility.
And yet here we are once again -in the dark.
This is the same fellow, Lamott, who, along with his staff, were UNABLE to place the correct time for city commission meetings on the city's electronic message board on U.S.-1 for many, many months last year.
The culture of obliviousness!
This, though, despite being told about it many times, the last time, last year, by a very exasperated me at a public City Commission meeting, who for the life of me, couldn't understand why this seemed like it was the Manhattan Project to him and his staff.
The illegal and undemocratic policies that have flourished for years at Hallandale Beach City Hall NEVER seem to wind-up with any sort of public accountability or reasonable punishment, as it seems clear that under the current occupants, there is no penalty for longstanding incompetency or the consistent outright breaking of the state laws -over-and-over.
In the case of the mayor and the city commission, the state constitution, which they and you are obliged to both respect, follow and uphold.
There's a reason why it's mentioned in the oath of office.
So, whom does the buck stop with?
CITY COMMISSION, CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 6:00 PM
1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - Items not on the Agenda (To be heard at 6:15 P.M.)
A. Proclamation Proclaiming April as Water Conservation Month (Staff: Director of Public Works, Utilities and Engineering) (See Backup) (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
TO BE HEARD AT 6:15 P.M.
B. Presentation by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2010 and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2010-2011 Budget. (Staff: Director of Finance) (See Backup) (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
TO BE HEARD AT 6: 30 P.M.
6. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Approval of Draft Minutes
1. Regular City Commission Meeting of March 7, 2012 (Supporting Docs)
7. PUBLIC HEARINGS (To be heard at 6:30 P.M.)
A. An Ordinance of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Approving and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Contract with AAAA Crosstown Towing and Recovery, Inc. ("AAAA") for Towing Services; Providing for Conflict; Providing for Severability; Providing an Effective Date. (Second Reading) (Staff: Police Chief) (See Backup) (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
ON MARCH 7, 2012, THE CITY COMMISSION APPROVED FIRST READING OF THE ORDINANCE BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 5/0.
TO BE HEARD AT 6:30 P.M.
8. CITY BUSINESS
A. A Resolution of the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Authorizing the City Manager to Award Bid # FY2011-2012-005, 36th Year CDBG Public Works Improvement Block Grant Project, to the Lowest, Responsible, Responsive Bidder, Acosta Tractors, Inc., in the Amount-Not-to-Exceed $544,640.69; Authorizing a 10% Contingency for Unforeseen Circumstances; Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement with Acosta Tractors, Inc.; and Providing an Effective Date. (Staff: Director of Public Works, Utilities & Engineering) (See Backup) CAD #011A/10 (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
B. A Resolution of the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Authorizing the City Manager to Approve the Implementation of a New Capital Project for the Creation of Wetland Areas within the City; Creating a Waterways Improvement Enterprise Fund; Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Necessary Documents and Establish Appropriate Accounts to Implement the Project; and Providing an Effective Date. (Staff: Director of Public Works, Utilities & Engineering)( See Backup)CR #049/11 (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
C. A Resolution of the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Declaring a Unique Circumstance Pursuant to Chapter 23, Section 107, Exception to Bid Requirements, of the City Of Hallandale Beach Code of Ordinances; Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with Thunder Demolition Inc. in an Amount Not-to-Exceed Seventy-One Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($71,400.00) to Complete Demolition Activities in the Property Located at 416 NE 8th Avenue, Hallandale Beach; Authorizing a Ten Percent (10%) Contingency for Unforseen Circumstances during the Demolition Process; Authorizing the Expenditure of up to Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000.00) to Restore the Site; Authorizing the City Manager to Execute all Related Documents; and Providing an Effective Date. (Staff: Director of Public Works/Utilities & Engineering) (See Backup) CAD #018/11 (Staff Report,Supporting Docs)
D. A Resolution of the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Authorizing the City Manager to Award RFP FY#2011-2012-010 Building Department Services to City of Hallandale Beach, Development Services Department, Building Division, to Provide Buildling Department Services; Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement with City of Hallandale Beach, Development Services Department, Building Division; and Providing an Effective Date. (Staff: City Manager) (See Backup) BP#017/12 (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
E. A Resolution of the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Hallandale Beach, Florida, Authorizing the City Manager to Execute Work Order No. 1 for Professional and Planning Services by AECOM Technical Services, Inc., Utilizing RFP #2007-2008-004, Continuing Services and Comprehensive Services, to Create a Wayfinding and Signage Plan and a Gateway Monument Design in an Amount Not-to-Exceed $15,500; and Providing an Effective Date. (Staff: HBCRA Executive Director)(See Backup) BP#013/12 (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
TO BE HEARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH HBCRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS SPECIAL MEETING AGENDA ITEM #4.B.
F. Consideration and Adoption of Final Chapter of Citywide Parks Master Plan (Staff: City Manager)(See Backup) BP#012/08 (Staff Report, Supporting Docs)
G. Discussion to Amend the City Charter to Allow for Filling of Vacancy for the City Commission (Staff: Interim City Attorney) (See Backup) CAD# 003/11 (Staff Report)
H. Discussion of Hiring of City Manager (Staff: Director of Personnel/Labor Relations) CAD#002/12 (Staff Report)
TO BE HEARD AT 7:30 P.M.
9. COMMISSION PLANNING
10. COMMISSIONER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda
A. COMMISSIONER LEWY
B. COMMISSIONER LONDON
C. COMMISSIONER ROSS
D. VICE MAYOR SANDERS
E. MAYOR COOPER
11. CITY ATTORNEY COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda
12. CITY MANAGER COMMUNICATIONS - Items not on the Agenda