Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

DVR Alert - Saturday on Turner Classic Movies at 3:15 pm EDT - The thriller "36 Hours," starring James Garner, Rod Taylor, Eva Marie Saint - "James Garner thinks World War II is over but it's all a charade concocted by the Nazis"





DVR Alert - Saturday on Turner Classic Movies at 3:15 pm EDT - The thriller "36 Hours," starring James Garner, Rod Taylor, Eva Marie Saint - "James Garner thinks World War II is over but it's all a charade concocted by the Nazis."
Directed by George Seaton 
"Give me any American for 36 hours and I'll give you back a traitor"-Major Walter Gerber
Co-stars John Banner, i.e Sgt. Schultz from CBS-TV's "Hogan's Heroes" as yes, a German sergeant, but one with a conscience.

I've seen this film at least three to four times already, and there's always a few interesting things I notice for the first time with each viewing that shows the enormous attention to detail made in concocting the elaborate charade.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Is there any end in sight to Bill Julian's serial lies, revisionist history and sense of entitlement? Anything he won't say or do to get back on the dais? Unfortunately for Julian, character and competency really DO count, which is why my friend Csaba Kulin has him so spooked in this election. He has it and Julian doesn't.

Seriously, Bill Julian for Hallandale Beach City Commissioner? 
No thanks! In ten years he already did MORE THAN ENOUGH DAMAGE!


Is there any end in sight to Bill Julian's serial lies, revisionist history and sense of entitlement? Anything he won't say or do to get back on the dais? Unfortunately for Julian, character and competency really DO count, which is why my friend Csaba Kulin has him so spooked in this election. He has it and Julian doesn't. Csaba not only has that, but good ideas, financial common sense and a sense of purpose, too,
Meanwhile, Julian offers us nothing but warmed-over, failed Julian. No thanks!!! 
So, you know that Broward Bulldog article I mentioned on Wednesday to bring you up-to-date on the galling-but-true story that at least three of the five Hallandale Beach commissioners are actually stonewalling the Broward Inspector General's office to be saved from being forced to have meetings with agents and having to tell the truth about what they know about the CRA and other dirty City Hall doings?


The article where it was stated that they want to know the questions in advance and... what, so they could presumably practice acting sincere in front of a mirror for a few days before their interview?
Yes, that one!
  
Broward Bulldog
Broward Inspector General hits first legal hurdle; Hallandale CRA says hands off
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
JUNE 27, 2012 AT 6:25 AM
http://www.browardbulldog.org/2012/06/broward-inspector-general-hits-first-legal-hurdle-hallandale-cra-says-hands-off/

In case you somehow missed it, my thoughts on that article are here:
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.ca/2012/06/hallandale-beachs-political-corruption.html

I was minding my own business on Thursday, after posting my latest blog post, when out-of-the-blue, someone in Hollywood sent me an email about a particularly galling comment that Hallandale Beach's own court jester-cum-corporate jet-setter William "Bill" Julian had just posted on the article's website under reader comments.

Curious what this vengeful and disgraced pol with an over-sized sense of entitlement might be going on-and-on about at the Bulldog, I went into Favorites on my computer and pulled the website up, scrolling-down to see what had caused someone I don't hear from too often to suddenly feel compelled to send me a flare of an email.


What I found there was... well, pure, unadulterated Bill Julian in all of his most shameful and disturbing mania.
Honestly, is there no end in sight to Bill Julian's serial lies and mis-statements? 

To be factual -which, of course, is NOT Julian's strong suit, as everyone in town well knows- his short conversation with my friend and his City Commission opponent Csaba Kulin a few months ago went very differently than what Julian intimated in his comments on the Bulldog, a fact I know with certainty because I happened to run into Csaba less than an hour after he'd spoken with Julian, still somewhat astonished at Julian's amazing chutzpah and nerve, which is why I was compelled to write down what he said at the time.

But then It's hardly surprising that Bill Julian would attempt to intentionally mis-characterize something as minor as a momentary conversation and try to turn it to his advantage, because if we've learned anything about Julian over the many years we've all observed him, it's that his pettiness and desire to be seen as a victim knows no logical ends.
Just one of his many odd personality traits.

First off, contrary to what Julian says and alleges -"I have asked you if you would run your campaign as a gentleman, and it looks like you will not, as expected"- Csaba told me that Julian said that he hoped that the 2012 campaign would be conducted in a civil fashion, but said it not so much as a question but rather as a statement.
And said it in a rather imperious and condescending fashion, as if it was actually just a rhetorical question. 
Or, the words of someone whistling past the political graveyard, never looking down!

(Anyone in this community who has spent even a fair amount of time watching Bill Julian in action -an oxymoron!- as I have, would instantly recognize this classic "tell" of his. It's as if Julian can't help himself, and is so obvious when he is scheming and trying to take advantage of someone. He says the opposite of what he means. LOL!)

Csaba recognized a trap when he saw one and replied that while he would certainly not personally attack Julian, his family or anything else that was not germane to the campaign, when it came to Julian's record or fitness for office, well, that was a very different subject, altogether.
Julian's record in office, like every incumbent and former incumbent official's, deserves proper scrutiny and some genuine discussion before an election.

In Julian's case, as we've all learned to our dismay and chagrin at watching his foolish antics, that closet of his that's close-to-bursting with ten years of records of his confounding, irrational votes, his malapropisms, his egregious ethical and moral lapses, and his thin-skinned, child-like comments, is actually much more like a house of horrors for taxpayers.

Julian is, after all, the very same person who eagerly wanted to change the candidacy requirements in Hallandale Beach for mayor and city commission, and require candidates to have lived here for three years before running. He thought this idea of his was just a great notion, but even bump-on-the-log then-City Attorney David Jove seemed surprised and perplexed that with all the things that Julian could bring up, he'd be stupid enough to propose something that was so obviously UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

That moment just seemed to hang there forever as I watched Julian finally digest that what he was proposing was, far from an improvement, was about the most anti-democratic thing you could propose in a legislative body.
Well, besides making a motion to triple your own salary!
(More on that later.)

That my friends is precisely why Julian so desperately doesn't want his own dismal record in office to be part of the continuing public discussion and debate, and remind everyone why they kicked him out in 2010.

The centrality of this point was driven home when Csaba then proceeded to tell Julian to his face that he -Csaba- was going to do everything in his power to make sure that everyone in this city was as fully-educated as possible about Bill Julian's truly awful record and character while in office for ten years; as well as talk about tangible and realistic ideas for this city's future and what he'd do differently than Julian and the other candidates on the dais.

Yes, my friend Csaba is going to do just that over the next four months -the very last thing Julian wants!

Of course, to be fair, Julian is also handicapped by the fact that he is NOT used to running against someone who is more than comfortable going after his Achiles Heel -his own dismal record!

Even today, despite Julian having claimed to his pals and apologists last year that he'd finally learned his lesson -after being thrown out of office in 2010- and would do some things differently, we see from Julian's comments in the Bulldog that he has NOT changed his spots, NOT changed his true nature. 
Nope, it's the same ol' Bill Julian. 

Despite all of his talk, Bill Julian still shows absolutely no remorse, contrition or personal responsibility for any of the dozens of things he's said and done while in office that have cost this community dearly in lost credibility and lost opportunities to move ahead, and be the city that it ought to be already.
He has already done more than enough damage to this city!



Here's a medley of Julian hits from 2007, including his classic motion to triple his own pay at a meeting with no members of the public, that wasn't being filmed, raising commission salaries from $20,500 to $75,000: 
"Other people in this position in the corporate world would be making much more money than we are," Julian said. "It is a steep jump, but it just shows how little we received before. I don't think it's out of line at all.
Yes, classic Julian being Julian.

Miami Herald
HALLANDALE BEACH
Commissioners triple pay
By ALIZA APPELBAUM AND JENNIFER LEBOVICH
May 4, 2007

Hallandale Beach commissioners on Wednesday voted to more than triple their salary.
Over a taxpayer-funded lunch of steak and chicken sandwiches on Wednesday, Hallandale Beach commissioners raised their annual pay by nearly $55,000 and catapulted themselves into the salary stratosphere for part-time public servants.

Starting immediately, commissioners will earn $75,000 a year. 

In a tight budget year when the Legislature nixed raises for state employees, commissioners in the city of 35,000 voted 3-2 to more than triple their current salary of $21,196. 

Discussion of the raise, and the vote, came during the luncheon portion of the city's regular meeting -- the only part that is not recorded. It will be reflected generally in the city's minutes, which had not yet been prepared on Thursday. 

"I thought it was outrageous and completely out of line for an elected public official whose work is part time," said Mayor Joy Cooper, who asked commissioners to defer voting on the raise until the city's next budget meeting. 

The raise means commissioners will make substantially more than the elected leaders in some of Broward's biggest cities. 

Commissioners in Pembroke Pines -- a city of nearly 150,000 residents -- make $23,708, and the mayor gets $46,485. 

And commissioners in Fort Lauderdale earn $30,000 a year, while the mayor gets $35,000. 

COUNTY SALARY 

Broward County commissioners bring in $91,996 a year to oversee an airport, a seaport, parks and libraries for a county of about 1.8 million. 

"I'd like to get that kind of pay raise," said Ben Wilcox, the executive director of Common Cause Florida, a government watchdog group. "If they feel like they're worth that. I guess the final decision will be up to the voters the next time they come up for reelection, if they feel like that's too big a pay raise." 

Cooper pointed out that the city could face significant revenue cuts in the coming year, depending on what form of property tax relief is passed by the state Legislature, which plans a special session in June. 

"This is the absolute worst commission decision ever made in this city's history," said Cooper, who said she won't accept the increase. 

Vice Mayor William Julian proposed the raise during the lunch planning meeting in a conference room in City Hall. The issue was not on any publicized agenda. 

"If I was in their shoes I would bend over backward to make sure there was full notice and an opportunity for public discussion," said Wilcox. "After all, this is the public's money and they should have, I would think, the opportunity to weigh in on whether they feel the commissioners deserve that increase." 

Voting in favor were Julian and commissioners Dorothy Ross and Francine Schiller. Cooper and Commissioner Keith London voted against it. 

Julian said he had planned to propose an even higher increase. He likened the city to a corporation, and said the pay should be commensurate. He also praised the commission for lowering the tax rate and maintaining a healthy reserve fund. 

"Other people in this position in the corporate world would be making much more money than we are," Julian said. "It is a steep jump, but it just shows how little we received before. I don't think it's out of line at all." 

At the meeting, London suggested doing a comparison of salaries of elected officials in other cities before settling on a number. 

"I wanted more information and the opportunity to do more research," he said in an interview. "We didn't have enough information at that time to make a decision." 

FULL-TIME HOURS 

Ross -- who has been on the commission since 1995 -- defended the raise Thursday, saying it's a job that calls for full-time hours. "I'm experienced, I'm qualified, I'm trained and I'm worth it," she said. 

Schiller declined to comment. 

"I think that's an insane amount of money for a commission in a city our size," said Julie Hamlin, a Hallandale Beach resident who lost a bid for a commission seat during the last election. 

"It's not responsible at a time when we have a property tax and insurance crisis in the state that is bound to impact our city tax structure," she said. "It's totally crazy." 

'BEYOND BELIEF' 

When former Hallandale Beach Mayor Arthur "Sonny" Rosenberg got wind of the raise, he thought he had heard wrong. 

"It's tough to comment on it because it's beyond belief," said Rosenberg, who served on the commission for more than two decades and said he made about $9,000 in 2000. 

"I think they made a mockery out of public service, and I think Hallandale Beach is going to be the laughingstock of South Florida." 

Miami Herald staff writer Roberto Santiago contributed to this report

___________

Miami Herald
Hallandale leaders rescind their own big raise
By ALIZA APPELBAUM AND JERRY BERRIOS
May 4, 2007

Commissioners in the city of Hallandale Beach, who thought they were underpaid until they voted themselves a 254 percent pay raise Wednesday, might be feeling underpaid again today.

On Friday, less than 48 hours after they voted to more than triple their salaries from $21,196 to $75,000, chagrined commissioners rescinded their action. The move followed howls of outrage from residents and even their own state legislator, who was wrapping up work on a tough budget year in Tallahassee. 

"I am shocked as to their timing," said State Sen. Steve Geller, a Democrat who represents the city. 

"The salary increase will not stand," vowed Marie Jose Piedrahita, one of the 35,000 residents of the coastal city, just north of the Broward-Miami-Dade line and home to Gulfstream Park. "We will have it repealed." 

A group of citizens had hired the Law Store -- legal experts trained in municipal law -- to help them fight. But before anyone could act, Vice Mayor William Julian, who pushed for the pay raise earlier in the week, had a change of heart and pushed commissioners to hastily roll back the record-setting $55,000 raise. 

"I truly did not anticipate the reaction of my community and would not have proposed this action if I had," Julian said Friday in a prepared statement. 

Julian joined two other commissioners who voted to raise salaries over a private lunch on Wednesday. Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioner Keith London opposed it. 

"I'm glad that the commission came to their senses and reconsidered this today," Cooper said Friday. "It is a very big relief." 

London said he opposed the raise because the commission did not have enough information. 

"When I make a decision, I try to make an informed decision," he said. 

Some residents criticized the commissioners for taking action outside the public eye -- deciding to give themselves the hike when their actions were not recorded. 

And when they decided to drop the unpopular idea on Friday, they did in the midst of an already scheduled, all-day workshop on Community Redevelopment, Housing and Growth Management. 

While Florida's Government in The Sunshine Law requires meetings between two or more elected officials be publicized so concerned citizens have ample opportunity to respond, commissioners say they did not violate that law. 

Cooper said she feels the vote was legal and took place in a public meeting. 

Bill Fielding, a resident who follows the commission's actions, disagrees. 

"That vote was steeped in impropriety," he said. "They did the right thing by revoking it." 

The Sunshine Law requires that "reasonable notice" be given for a public meeting, but commissioners may have considered this critical, leaving them less time than usual to give notice, said Barbara Peterson, president of the First Amendment Foundation. 

Ultimately, a judge would have to decide if a violation occurred, she said. 

Miami Herald staff writer Marc Caputo contributed to this report.
-----

Miami Herald
HALLANDALE BEACH
COMMISSION'S BIG RAISE SHORT-LIVED
By ALIZA APPELBAUM AND JERRY BERRIOS
May 5, 2007

After a public outcry, Hallandale Beach leaders quickly rescinded a raise that more than tripled their $21,196 salaries.
Commissioners in the city of Hallandale Beach, who thought they were underpaid until they voted themselves a 254 percent pay raise Wednesday, might be feeling underpaid again today.

On Friday, less than 48 hours after they voted to more than triple their salaries from $21,196 to $75,000, chagrined commissioners rescinded their action. The move followed howls of outrage from residents and even their own state legislator, who was wrapping up work on a tough budget year in Tallahassee. 

"I am shocked as to their timing," said state Sen. Steve Geller, a Democrat who represents the city. 

"The salary increase will not stand," vowed Marie Jose Piedrahita, one of the 35,000 residents of the coastal city, just north of the Broward-Miami-Dade line and home to Gulfstream Park. "We will have it repealed." 

A group of citizens had hired the Law Store -- legal experts trained in municipal law -- to help them fight. But before anyone could act, Vice Mayor William Julian, who pushed for the pay raise earlier in the week, had a change of heart and pushed commissioners to hastily roll back the record-setting $55,000 raise. 

"I truly did not anticipate the reaction of my community and would not have proposed this action if I had," Julian said Friday in a prepared statement. 

Julian joined two other commissioners who voted to raise salaries over a private lunch on Wednesday. Mayor Joy Cooper and Commissioner Keith London opposed it. 

"I'm glad that the commission came to their senses and reconsidered this today," Cooper said Friday. "It is a very big relief." 

London said he opposed the raise because the commission did not have enough information. 

"When I make a decision, I try to make an informed decision," he said. 

Some residents criticized the commissioners for taking action outside the public eye -- deciding to give themselves the hike when their actions were not recorded. 

And when they decided to drop the unpopular idea on Friday, they did in the midst of an already scheduled, all-day workshop on Community Redevelopment, Housing and Growth Management. 

While Florida's Government in The Sunshine Law requires meetings between two or more elected officials be publicized so concerned citizens have ample opportunity to respond, commissioners say they did not violate that law. 

Cooper said she feels the vote was legal and took place in a public meeting. 

Bill Fielding, a resident who follows the commission's actions, disagrees. 

"That vote was steeped in impropriety," he said. "They did the right thing by revoking it." 

The Sunshine Law requires that "reasonable notice" be given for a public meeting, but commissioners may have considered this critical, leaving them less time than usual to give notice, said Barbara Peterson, president of the First Amendment Foundation. 

Ultimately, a judge would have to decide if a violation occurred, she said. 

Miami Herald staff writer Marc Caputo contributed to this report

-----

Miami Herald
Op-Ed Local perspectives
HALLANDALE BEACH 
SALARIES ALMOST MATCHED EGOS 
May 5, 2007

Hallandale Beach has the buzz of a city on the verge of a renaissance. Voters here have chosen progressive leaders, as exemplified by Mayor Joy Cooper. The City Commission has been fiscally responsible enough to boast of reduced taxes. Braced by the hoped-for promise of slot machines in the city's two parimutuels, commissioners are well versed in city issues, open to new ideas and committed to citywide improvements. 

So why on Earth would three commissioners break faith with residents by giving themselves a $50,000-plus pay raise without even the courtesy of prior public notice? Whatever the reasons, common sense caught up with the trio (helped along by residents' uniform condemnation of the raise) on Friday. The salary hike was repealed by a 5-0 vote. 

Vice Mayor William Julian and Commissioners Dorothy Ross and Fran Schiller defied the democratic process in their Tuesday vote to raise their annual pay to $75,000 from $21,196. Ignoring the remonstrances of Mayor Cooper and Commissioner Keith London , the three voted on Mr. Julian's sudden proposal during an unrecorded, informal lunch meeting. No public notice, no public hearing. Even if residents had known about it they couldn't have commented on the proposed raises before the vote. 

The three declared themselves worth every cent of the raise because they work for the city full-time. Self-importance apparently puffed up these representatives of a mere 35,000 residents in a city whose charter outlines duties of part-time commissioners. The boost would have made their pay second only to Broward county commissioners' $91,996 salaries and more than twice that of elected officials in Broward cities five times Hallandale Beach's size. 

A chastened Mr. Julian on Friday proposed that the raise be repealed. Ms. Ross seconded the motion that was unanimously approved. Maybe it dawned on the three that the city may have to tighten future budgets if the Legislature, as is likely, puts limits on local governments' taxing powers. Such luxurious paychecks would offend residents who see their services cut back. 

The trio has one more fence to mend. They should tuck in their egos and offer city residents their humble apologies.

-----

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
HALLANDALE RESCINDS BIG PAY RAISE - COMMISSIONERS CHANGE THEIR MINDS ABOUT INCREASE WITHOUT PUBLIC NOTICE
By John Holland and Thomas Monnay Staff writers; Staff writers Joe Kollin, Kathleen Kernicky, Georgia East and Tony Man contributed to this report. 
May 5, 2007

The lunch that almost quadrupled their salaries became impossible to swallow just two days later.

Under intense pressure from their mayor and growing criticism across the state, Hallandale Beach city commissioners on Friday unanimously rescinded a Wednesday vote giving them an unadvertised, unprecedented pay raise of almost $55,000 a year. 

"I'm extremely happy. I feel like an elephant has been lifted off my back," said Mayor Joy Cooper, one of two commissioners to initially vote against the raise when it came up over lunch during a planning meeting. 

The vote for such a large raise without any public notice has many experts on government questioning the propriety of the move. 

Barbara Petersen, an attorney and president of the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee, pointed to what she called several possible problems. 

"They don't have to specifically spell out everything on an agenda, but they aren't supposed to be intentionally leaving off important items, and that's where this is really suspicious," Petersen said. "It raises questions of how three people would suddenly, out of the blue, decide to give themselves $55,000 raises without any prior discussions. It just smells funny." 

The controversy began Wednesday in an upstairs room at City Hall, during what the city agenda described as a planning and scheduling meeting. Vice Mayor Bill Julian proposed raising commission salaries from $20,500 to $75,000. With little discussion, commissioners Fran Schiller and Dorothy Ross backed the proposal and the vote passed 3-2. 

Cooper and Commissioner Keith London voted against the pay raise, which was not mentioned on the advertised City Commission agenda and had not been discussed at prior meetings. 

City Attorney David Jove said it is legal for commissioners to vote on city business during planning sessions because they are advertised and open to the public, even though they are held upstairs. 

"It's a Sunshine meeting," said Jove, referring to Florida's "Government in the Sunshine" laws requiring most meetings to be conducted in public with proper notice. 

Under state law, cities must advertise the date and location of their meetings and conduct public hearings on proposed laws and fiscal budgets. But commissioners can approve certain items, such as minor expenses, even though those items aren't part of the regular agenda. 

Julian insisted he did nothing wrong when he chose to bring up the matter at lunch instead of during the regular meeting, which is televised. 

"I have nothing to hide," he said. "Nobody comes to the public meetings, and this was done in the Sunshine with full advice from our legal staff." 

That didn't ease the shock for Cooper. 

"When Vice Mayor Julian started talking about it Wednesday, my mouth dropped," Cooper said. "And not only the discussion, but the amount involved was so outrageous." 

On Friday, during a special meeting at City Hall, Julian made a motion to rescind the raise, and his colleagues quickly agreed. But Julian later said commissioners deserve the raise because the position is like a full-time job and he would bring the matter up again. 

"I'm willing to negotiate. This is not written in stone," said Julian, adding he would be amenable to a salary of $50,000 a year. "This is not the mom and pop commission it used to be." 

Some local residents didn't agree. 

"It really is ridiculous. The city has a lot of problems and a lot of room to improve," said Mike Butler, a 10-year resident who lives in Golden Isles. "The three commissioners ... who have the most accountability for the conditions we're in today are the same three who voted for this." 

The timing of the raise and resulting publicity reached Tallahassee. The Florida Legislature is debating ways to lower property taxes, and considering eliminating them altogether, amid complaints that local and county officials are wasting taxpayer dollars. 

"That was the last thing we needed at a time like this when people are dying about property taxes," said State Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, who served on the City Commission from 2003 until 2006. 

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis, president of the Florida League of Cities, said this could unfairly cast a shadow other cities. 

"Hopefully, the Legislature will say that what Hallandale Beach did wasn't indicative of all municipalities and this was just one misguided city," he said. 

Assistant State Attorney Tim Donnelly, who heads the public corruption division, said he couldn't comment because the complaint is likely to be investigated by his office. He would only say that a willful violation of open meeting laws is a misdemeanor, while any other violations could result in civil fines up to $500. 

-----

Miami Herald
Commissioners in throes of gambling fever
Columnist Fred Grimm
May 6, 2007

Experts warned that this could happen.

A quiet seaside town like Hallandale Beach becomes a gambling Mecca, with a casino om the north side of town, another on the south. Suddenly once solid, sober are driven crazy by the scent of easy money. Until even the folks down at City Hall catch the fever. 

That's the only plausible explanation for what happened in Hallandale Beach last week. Three city commissioners were obviously consumed by a momentary gambling frenzy. They bet that no one would notice that they had voted themselves the kind of jackpot that would set off bells and sirens at the Mardi Gras's casino. 

It is a notorious symptom of gambling fever that the infected no longer grasp the value of a paycheck. Little Vegas Vice Mayor William Julian and Commissioners Dorothy Ross and Francine Schiller voted to up their annual pay from $21,196 to $75,000 as if they were talkin' chump change. 

WHEELING OVER LUNCH
They hedged their bets by putting the issue on their luncheon agenda, the only portion of the commission meeting not recorded. As if they hoped no one would notice. As if they assumed what happened in City Hall, stayed in City Hall. 

Lunch was a little like an all-you-can-eat casino buffet. Salad, sandwiches, crab cakes, chicken wings, pasta and, for dessert, $53,804 drizzled in chocolate. 

Another symptom of gambling fever renders addicts utterly impervious to the warnings of looming catastrophe from relatives, friends, associates. "I begged them to reconsider," Mayor Joy Cooper told me. They dismissed her as Mayor Kill Joy. 

Even modest raises have been bad bets in South Florida. Last year, voters in Parkland, where the mayor and commissioners make $2,400 annually, voted down raises. Same thing in Coral Springs. Voters in Miami-Dade County, where the $6,000-a-year county commissioners haven't had a raise since 1957, said no to pay increases. 

Commissioners in Cooper City caught so much hell trying after voting to raise their piddling salaries from $6,000 to $15,000, they decided to use most of the extra money on a landscaping project. 

The Hallandale Beach caper was even riskier. There was the usual voter reluctance to pad elected officials' salaries. And they voted to raise their salaries even as the state legislature, which will reconvene in June, threatens to whack away at the city's property tax base. "We could lose 40 percent of our budget," Mayor Cooper said. 

LIKE HIGH ROLLERS 


But there's no reasoning with the fever. Mayor Cooper and Commissioner Keith London warned them, but those three commissioners thought they were on a roll. They were hot. They blew on the dice, tripled their salary and figured to walk out of city hall like a high roller after a good night at Gulfstream Park. 

Oh my, what a bad bet. They voted for fat raises on Wednesday. Word got around town on Thursday. By Friday, their folly was splashed across the Miami Herald. 

And all hell broke loose. Constituents went berserk. State legislators, after hearing so many complaints from city politicians that budgets were tight, wanted to know how it was that Hallandale Beach was tossing money around like a drunken tourist at the Hard Rock. 

The fever subsided. On Friday the repentant gamblers slunk into a commission workshop meeting and voted to rescind their winnings. 

They had learned a hard, humbling lesson: If you're going to gamble in Little Vegas, stick to the slots.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

When is former Hallandale Beach Commissioner William "Bill" Julian, infamous for his foolish and nonsensical words, deeds and ideas that made this city a media laughingstock for years, finally going to volunteer to talk to the Broward Inspector General, and finally tell the truth about what he saw and did at City Hall for YEARS? The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

When is former Hallandale Beach Commissioner William "Bill" Julian, infamous for his foolish and nonsensical words, deeds and ideas that made this city a media laughingstock for years, finally going to volunteer to talk to the Broward Inspector General and tell the truth about what he saw and did at City Hall for YEARS? 
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

And while he's at it, when, exactly, is Julian going to publicly explain to Hallandale Beach taxpayers and business owners why for all of his YEARS in office as a City Commissioner, he conspicuously refused to provide even the slightest bit of genuine oversight over taxpayer dollars and CRA funds going out the door, preferring instead to simply let the previous and current City Manager and their staff do whatever they wanted?

We're all waiting for the logical answers to these very reasonable questions that Julian owes everyone in this city, but then logic and reason are not qualities usually associated with Bill Julian, so we may well have to wait for quite some time for his public explanation and the requisite public contrition.
But then that cuts both ways, doesn't it, since Julian has no realistic chance of being elected in November if he refuses to talk and tell the truth?

When you see Julian tooling around town with those 2012 campaign signs of his on the side of his car -glued to the doors, NOT using magnets!- you ought to walk right up to him and raise those simple questions and see what he says.

You might also want to let him know that since he's already the object of so much well-deserved derision for his serial antics in office that helped make this city a continuing laughingstock and punchline for the South Florida news media, the least he owes us after all the damage he's
personally done to this city and its citizens is FINALLY telling the truth to the IG's agents -and to all of us.

If Julian responds that he won't volunteer to talk to the Broward IG's office, or even offer the community a coherent (and long-overdue) public explanation for why so many negative things happened while he was in office -things that he could've actually prevented if he had simply paid attention and done his job correctly- remind him that he CAN'T avoid answering these questions truthfully for the four months until the November election. 
And neither can Mayor Joy Cooper or Comm. Alexander Lewy.


Those of you in the South Florida news media might want to make a mental note of those salient facts.


More on mendacious Bill Julian here...



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2012
30 Weeks until Election Day, and candidate William "Bill" Julian STILL shows no remorse over his years of myopia, incompetency, apathy and bad votes that hurt HB taxpayers and made the city a laughingstock. Just like Comm. Sanders!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/30-weeks-until-election-day-and.html



SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2010
Stone-cold fact: Bill Julian, serial scofflaw, for years has parked in handicapped/access parking spaces so he can hang out at a beach bar for hours
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/stone-cold-fact-bill-julian-serial.html


In a week of stories re Obamacare and SCOTUS predictions, Dan Diamond at Forbes.com has the most useful essay of all in detailing how one of the cornerstones of U.S. govt. is also one of the most archaic and least-transparent: "The Bizarre Way That Millions of Americans, and Even Obama, Will Get the ObamaCare Verdict"


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Google Maps Street View's July 2009 image of the U. S. Supreme Court, looking east from First Street, N.E. and Maryland Avenue, N.E., across from the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. 



  Photo: Photobucket.com

In a week of stories re Obamacare and SCOTUS predictions, Dan Diamond at Forbes.com has the most useful essay of all in detailing how one of the cornerstones of U.S. govt. is also one of the most archaic and least-transparent: "The Bizarre Way That Millions of Americans, and Even Obama, Will Get the ObamaCare Verdict"


Forbes.com
Pharma & Healthcare
The Bizarre Way That Millions of Americans, and Even Obama, Will Get the ObamaCare Verdict
Dan Diamond, Contributor
June 27, 2012
At about 10:10 a.m. on Thursday, an 81-year-old reporter will pick up a printed sheaf of papers, quickly scan them for a few key phrases, rush to relay the details by phone to his editor, who will then type several choice words out on a live blog.
Yes – this is how we find out Supreme Court decisions in the United States in the year 2012. Even for the Affordable Care Act.
Read the rest of the post at:

Hallandale Beach's political corruption is hiding in plain sight -"Your Tax Dollars at Work" Hallandale Beach CRA (City Commission) Says Hands Off to Broward Inspector General; Mayor Joy Cooper's stonewalling initiative begins in earnest, since the true facts are NOT her friend

The iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower on State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive, looking east towards the North Beach Community Center and the public beach. July 12, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach's political corruption is hiding in plain sight -"Your Tax Dollars at Work" Hallandale Beach CRA (City Commission) Says Hands Off to Broward Inspector General; Mayor Joy Cooper's stonewalling initiative begins in earnest, since the facts are NOT her friends

I was already planning on writing this email to Florida Governor Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott, Broward County Commissioners Suzanne Gunzburger and Barbara Sharief -who each represent parts of Hallandale Beach- and the de facto County mayor, John Rodstrom, as well as some prominent members of the local South Florida news media, including Miami Herald Executive Editor Rick Hirsch about the unbelievable news that Hallandale Beach City Hall is actually considering defying a lawful request by the Broward IG's office to talk to HB's five city  commissioners and city employees.

But when I received an email from HB Comm. Keith London -a commissioner who actually wants to talk to them about what he knows and has observed over five years, and who wants to find out was REALLY going on- letting me know that there was yet another new development -more active pushback by HB City Hall, which wants to know the questions that will be asked beforehand to the commissioners and officials, people who have resisted telling the truth to a lawfully-authorized government agency whose creation was enthusiastically supported by Broward voters fed-up with the pervasive culture of corruption here, the most-corrupt in the entire state.

You get a full sense of how truly absurd and upside-down this city's government is, and this request is, if you try to think of a single film/TV crime and police drama that you've ever seen where the police, prosecutors or investigators revealed the questions they'd ask to a defendant's defense attorney BEFORE an interview with the client.
Really, just think about that for a minute.
That's the sort of people that HB citizens are used to having decide their city's future.
Is it any wonder they're angry?


Broward Bulldog
Broward Inspector General hits first legal hurdle; Hallandale CRA says hands off
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
June 27, 2012 AT 6:25 AM
http://www.browardbulldog.org/2012/06/broward-inspector-general-hits-first-legal-hurdle-hallandale-cra-says-hands-off/

After I read that article, I decided that I'd go ahead and send that email on Wednesday rather than wait until Thursday afternoon, in case any of them got an early start on the Fourth of July holidays.
The last thing I wanted was for my email to ferment in someone's email inbox for a week.

Below is the email that was sent to these named individuals, along with about 75 other interested parties in Hallandale Beach, Broward County and the state capital up in Tallahassee, which for those of you who are reading this far from me here in south Florida, is about the same distance from Miami as 

Roughly 95% of the people in this community have never been to Tallahassee for more than a few minutes while driving thru, and distance from the state capital here often accounts for why things in South Florida often get quite bad before the state (in the form of the governor or attorney general) is forced to act and do something because of both facts and circumstances.

-----
FYI: re corruption in plain sight -"Your Tax Dollars at Work" Hallandale Beach CRA (City Commission) Says Hands Off to Broward Inspector General

In the near future I'll be sending some of you a copy of my formal Ethics complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics against Hallandale Beach City Manager Mark A. Antonio.
That will include the proof of his self-evident serial copyright violation, wherein photos taken by me and uploaded to my blog, have and continue to be used illegally by the City of Hallandale Beach on their official website, used unlawfully and posted in city hall offices, as well as illegally modifying those images for their own use on official city documents.
Most galling of all, though, has been to see my work being used illegally on the front of their distributed city maps!
(See my July 12, 2010 photo at top that is on those maps.)

All of this has been done without EVER seeking my permission or paying for the use of my proprietary rights.

This has been going on for more than a year now, and despite my pointedly telling Antonio at a public meeting that what he was doing was illegal, to stop his illegal activity and do the right thing -which I have video of- Antonio and the city have done nothing.

City Manager Antonio has, instead, continued to act like there's nothing that I as a citizen can do to prevent him and the city from continuing to engage in clearly illegal behavior and to use something they have stolen.
As you'll soon see, though, actually, there is.

Antonio and the city are about to learn that stealing doesn't pay, especially when you are so obvious and clumsy about your theft and continued illegal behavior.
But then our great misfortune in Hallandale Beach the past few years has been that THAT has
been the city's template for so many things done here, and who in a position of authority did anything about it?

After the Fourth of July holidays, I'll be visiting the Office of the Broward States Attorney as well as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, complete with all the evidence that connects -the-dots on the copyright matter, the veritable ribbon on the box.

I'll also be offering my assistance to the investigators and agents in charge of discovering where all the taxpayer money and CRA funds went in this city without any reasonable oversight, documentation or proscribed follow-up, to facilitate crony capitalism among friends of City Hall, including the faux newspaper.

My latest thoughts on the continuing issue of the Broward Inspector General's investigation into the illegal and corrupt practices of the City of Hallandale Beach, and their steadfast refusal to cooperate, were posted yesterday morning:

One last thought: Some of you, and you know exactly who you are, have greatly disappointed the beleaguered citizens of this community by your continued refusal to get engaged, and even worse, they are completely put off by your continuing to pretend that you don't know anything at all about what has been going on in this city for YEARS.
This didn't just happen overnight.

For those of you for whom this rings true, it would be a big mistake for you to continue to believe that ignoring the sad reality faced by citizens in this city, and the facts-on-the-ground, will somehow work to your long-term benefit.
They won't.

Trust me, though it may be the summer, people in this community are paying close attention to just whom is doing, saying and reporting on what has been transpiring, and that is especially true about them scrutinizing people who are consciously choosing to say and DO nothing at all.
We won't forget.

Sincerely,
DBS, 8-year Hallandale Beach resident

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Commissioner Keith S. London <newsletter@keithlondonformayor.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Subject: "Your Tax Dollars at Work" CRA Says Hands Off to IG



Keith S. London - City Commissioner Hallandale Beach

Broward Inspector General hits first legal hurdle; Hallandale CRA says hands off

Filed under Hallandale Beach {one comment}
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 

Hallandale Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency, run by the city’s five elected commissioners, has sent a message to Broward’s new Inspector General’s Office – you can’t touch us.

Numerous questions have been raised about the business dealings of the CRA, in which city commissioners also serve as directors of the agency.

To read the complete article click here.

At least one city commissioner disagrees with the CRA’s position. “The IG does have jurisdiction,” said London, who is running for mayor against incumbent Joy Cooper. A part of the state law, he said, speaks to the mingling of city and state funds and that would give the investigators authority.
If called by the IG, London said, “I’ll go; I look forward to it.”
One Comments Post a Comment
  1. FrustratedInHallandale
June 27, 2012 at 9:31 am
City Manager said “On our part, we need more information as to why the Inspector General wants to interview commissioners.”
Where do you want to start:

Buying Sanders property for over the appraised value in a down market?
The purchase NEVER being an official agenda item?
Jessica Sanders signing her own time sheets?
Why is Jessica Sanders in the Hepburn Center, is she a city employee?
Giving $50,000 of Weed and Seed money to Jessica Sanders and PCAC never an agenda item?
Properties bought with CRA funds and titled in the Cities name?
Who voted for all the above items?
“On our part, we need more information as to why the Inspector General wants to interview commissioners. There needs to be some structure; what do they want to discuss.” said the City Manager.
City Manager, City Attorney, and CRA Attorney can you start with just the above questions?

Keeping you informed,

Keith
Commissioner Keith S. London
Phone: 954-494-3182
Twitter

613 Oleander Drive
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
email: keith@keithlondon.comwww.keithlondon.com
Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Keith S. London for Hallandale Beach Mayor, Non Partisan

















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