Below is a slightly expanded version of an email I sent out early Friday night to a couple of dozen very smart and well-informed folks living in Hallandale Beach, Broward County and points beyond, including some pols you may've heard of...
March 23rd, 2012
Request for common sense suggestions for the Hallandale Beach City Manager candidates to strongly consider enacting if hired to clean-up the dysfunction at HB City Hall
Over the weekend and into next week I'm planning on cobbling together a list of about 12-15 different areas of concerns about the City of Hallandale Beach and the way it works -or more often, doesn't- for the perusal of not only other concerned HB residents like you who are greatly dissatisfied, but who DO NOT KNOW what's really been going on for years like you do, but also for the four HB City Manager finalists selected at Wednesday's City Commission meeting. (See Tonya Alanez's Sun-Sentinel article about that at bottom.)
I'll likely send it out as an email by mid-week and also post it to the blog for the wider world to read and consider, since given past history here, I have grave doubts about how the city's planned public meet-and-greet for the four candidates at the HB Community Center on Friday night will be stage-managed.
Personally, I'd prefer that NO elected officials or city employees be allowed to attend that event,
since the mayor and commissioners will have already have had plenty of time to ask questions
individually of each candidate by then, plus, will be seeing them again the next day, too.
The public should have as much time to interact with the candidates as possible.
I don't want to talk to one of the candidates about a serious concern with the mayor, one of the
commissioners, or even someone from the City Manager's office hanging around and eavesdropping.
(And can we expect the new City Manager to have the freedom to tell the highly-paid current Asst. City Managers to resign this summer, so that the new CM can hire anyone he or she feels would be better-qualified, and who'd actually respond to citizens instead of actively avoiding giving them honest answers, instead of saying -totally true- "Don't worry"?
Hallandale Beach desperately needs someone smart and savvy -and fair- along the lines of the City of Hollywood's Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark )
If you have any good ideas on any subject that you feel are important for others to know about,
whether relating to existing city public policy, city practices -i.e. any of the several bad habits
that never change or die- to add to my initial draft below, most especially if you have any good anecdotes or photos that buttress your particular points, please send 'em to me this weekend.
Or, if you want, I'd be happy to run YOUR list on my blog, too, plus any photos or anything
you want to add.
In some ways, I'd like to think of it as a Visitors Guide to the reality of living in exasperating
HB for someone thinking of moving here that really wants to make a positive difference, but
who also is smart enough to want to know where all the bodies are buried before they sign
onto the dotted line.
My 3/23/12 Draft
Some suggestions for all of the Hallandale Beach City Manager candidates to strongly consider
1.) re New Police Chief, replacing current one who is "retiring" in a few months:
Your new hire should be from outside of South Florida, and definitely NOT someone from within HB's existing ranks, since the new Chief also needs to be someone who actually takes constructive criticism and is willing to change policies and plans that continually prove they DON'T work.
Which means bringing FRESH EYES to the situation!
Someone who is willing to aggressively cut-out the established cliques and sense of favoritism that are so well-known and established here.
Someone willing to assign pro-active foot patrol cops near various traffic choke-points throughout the day, esp. during 'the season.'
a.) State Road A1A & E. Hallandale Beach Blvd.
b.) NE/SE 14th Avenue &E, Hallandale Beach Blvd
c.) E. Hallandale Beach Blvd. & U.S.-1/Federal Highway
d.) W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. & NW/SW 10th Terrace
This is the intersection where Denny's & IHOP are across the street from each other, and the last real intersection going to or from I-95.
In fact, this is such an important intersection in Hallandale Beach -supposedly- that it was the first place the city placed a red-light camera after the state officially allowed them last year.
This, despite the fact that the city was completely unwilling to share with citizens any sort of
chronological traffic incident reports showing whether it was actually the scene of more red-light running than other locales, or at least near the top.
If it's really about safety and NOT money, as I believe it is here in this city and have shared on this blog and with Broward Commissioners Gunzburger and Sharief, wouldn't you put the tools you have where they would do the most good?
And as I have written here many times in the past with photographs showing the reality of the situation, wouldn't you make sure that the red-light warning sign was actually very visible to drivers instead of largely hidden by trees and obscured by other signs?
Yes, if your aim was safety and not revenue.
Considering the millions of tax dollars going to the HB Police Dept. every year, and not so wisely, either, just like in other cities, residents and drivers should know that there are certain roads here during the day where their odds of seeing a real live cop -and not a decoy police car- are pretty good, so they can have a degree of confidence of safety as well as know where the nearest cop is located in case of some emergency.
Unfortunately, too many HB cops are desk cops who never seem to leave the immediate Police HQ and City Hall area during their day shift, a fact that is obvious to anyone looking at the parking lot, where there are so many police cars that never ever move for months on end. Just like the Code Compliance vehice in front of City Hall.
We also need a new police chief who will strike the proper balance and take the long-term approach by enacting new rules strictly regulating the number of hours per week and month that HB cops can do off-duty work.
HB taxpayers are already paying far too much in salaries and benefits -average of about $140,000 a year per officer- to continually have grousing, sleepy, and un-focused cops showing-up on the scene when contacted.
Sleepy cops are a danger to themselves and the community and around here, as most of us know from personal experience, they also tend to be angry and resentful cops, something we already have entirely TOO MANY of!
Per the above comments about the HB Police Dept., consider the following anonymous comments by HB cops at
and look up http://forums.leoaffairs.com/search.php and search for "Hallandale"
More to come...
Hallandale Beach narrows field of city manager candidates
By Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel
5:09 PM EDT, March 22, 2012
In their search for a new city manager, commissioners on Wednesday narrowed a field of nine candidates down to four.
They'll make their final pick April 2.
More than 70 applicants applied to replace retiring City Manager Mark Antonio. That pool was initially whittled down to nine finalists, which city commissioners reduced further on Wednesday.
The four candidates vying to be Hallandale Beach's next top executive are:
• Corey Alston, South Bay's city manager;
• Renee C. Crichton, Miami Gardens' deputy city manager;
• Alvin B. Jackson Jr., Hallandale Beach's current Community Redevelopment Agency's director;
• Susan A. Stanton, an accountant in Fort Lauderdale's Housing and Community Development Division.
The finalists will tour the city and meet city staff and department heads on March 30. They will also meet the public at a reception at the city's Cultural Community Center, 410 SE Third St.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. March 31, the candidates will interview one-on-one with commissioners, followed by a 1:30 p.m. group interview in the commission chambers.
The final selection could be made then or at a 6 p.m. April 2 commission meeting.
Antonio, 55, is set to retire June 29 after 25 years with the city. He earned $165,000 a year.
Upon retirement, Antonio says he is looking forward to spending time with his wife and family, traveling and getting into community volunteer work.
Assistant City Manager Antonio assumed the top job after former City Manager Mike Good was fired in June 2010 for chronic absenteeism, an uncommunicative work style and questionable contracts.
The city is now grappling with the results of a recent audit of its Community Redevelopment Agency that found "general disorganization of the city's files and records," including incomplete land acquisition and commercial loan files.
City officials say they have updated policies and rectified problems "to ensure that the mishandling of paperwork doesn't happen again."