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 16, 2012

Part 2 of 2 re The Beachwalk project in Hallandale Beach -Initial comments & ruminations on Wednesday night's HB City Comm. meeting; calling out Carole Pumpian, crony capitalism mercenary

The Second Reading re The Beachwalk is Wednesday June 20th at 6:30 p.m.


Having waited an entire week, it's now time to move on to some long overdue public discussion of what I'm calling the "meat-and-potatoes" portion of our discussion of The Beachwalk project at 2400 East Hallandale Beach Blvd., next to the Intracoastal Bridge in Hallandale Beach, along with some related matters which you surely WON'T be seeing raised or discussed elsewhere in this community, especially among the sleepwalking news media.
I call it "meat-and-potatoes" because like that sort of comfort food when it's done right, it should be thoroughly chewed-over and savored -with some time for reflection.


It was hard for me and many other well-informed Hallandale Beach residents attending last Wednesday night's City Commission meeting -or among those watching it online- not to take notice of the fact that corporate PR shill and Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce president Carole Pumpian kept her dubious record intact of supporting every single development project proposed in HB, despite what it's for, despite what it'll looks like, and most importantly, despite what HB neighborhood residents, homeowners and small business owners think or want.


Plain and simple, Carole Pumpian just doesn't care what they -YOU- think.


She's working her agenda, not the community's.


Above, in pink, Carole Pompian sitting in the second row of the three rows of lobbyists and hired hands working for Related to get this over-reaching bad idea passed. June 6, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Pumpian's been very consistent about that if you hadn't noticed, but as you'll soon hear, there's a very good reason for her to be so unconcerned about the genuine public opinion of this ocean side city's 38,000 residents.


No, rather than be concerned with what Hallandale Beach citizens think, Pumpian's more of a fan of the sort of phony and insincere corporate "artificial turf" grass roots efforts that yours truly has seen up-close in many parts of this country over the years.


That includes the orchestrated one involving the controversial out-of-scale proposal from 2009-2010 by the union that owns the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, which wanted to place multiple giant condo towers of over 25-stories in and around the Diplomat Gold Course in NE Hallandale Beach, including one of the city's most affluent streets, which HB residents and homeowners overwhelmingly opposed, an effort my friend Csaba Kulin was among the leaders of throughout.


But Carole Pumpian and the HB Chamber of Commerce of Patricia Genetti and Joe Kessel didn't let the facts or the Hallandale Beach public's clear opposition to the Diplomat's plan get in the way of their vocally championing the proposal at public meeting after public meeting thru the long process, before the Broward County Commission eventually killed it 6-3 about 26 months ago.


http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/2010/04/diplomat_plans_fail_to_win_cou.html


For those of you who don't already know, and I'm sure that the vast majority of you, let me connect-the-dots a bit more on the Chamber and its Executive Director, Patricia Genetti, who runs it on a day-to-day basis.


Genetti had no qualms at all about supporting City Hall's deceptive handling of the issue, which included trying to keep public information about the developer's changes and modifications from the original plan from the public, and not placing it online until little more than 24 hours before the first actual vote that took place in the city, by the HB Planning & Zoning Advisory Board.
With yet another vote the following day by the City Commission.


More importantly to me and many other HB residents who care about transparency in public policy and use of taxpayer dollars, Genetti showed no moral or ethical qualms in vocally attacking HB taxpayers at public meetings who were against the project, even while she NEVER publicly disclosed when she spoke, that the City Commission paid the Chamber $50,000, much of which went for her own salary.


Which is to say that for a number of months, extending over two separate years, concerned HB taxpayers found themselves in the odd position of having their own tax dollars being used against them by someone like Genetti who was happy to bash them and other opponents of the Diplomat's plan like there was no tomorrow, but who lacked the basic integrity to come clean and admit that she was not an objective person. 


Genetti never admitted it in 2009 or 2010, and she's never admitted it in the two years since the Diplomat plan (and its cocky crew) were shot-down overwhelmingly by the Broward County Commission, and used as an example of what residents throughout the county did NOT want to see in the future near their neighborhood.


That ought to give you some sort of insight into the caliber and moral rectitude of some of the people we have in Hallandale Beach who always have their hands out for the taxpayer handout, and who have no qualms about attacking the citizens, taxpayers, homeowners and Mom & Pop shop owners of this community.
http://hallandalebeachchamber.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=53

Earlier I conspicuously used the word "residents" and that wasn't by accident, because there's a good reason that Pumpian is so consistently deaf, dumb and blind to the the genuine feelings and desires of actual Hallandale Beach residents, and why Pumpian is NOT someone whom the most-concerned citizens of this very frustrated town trust.
Far from it.


It's not just because of Pumpian's general demeanor, though it's true that it's been said to me by more than a few female residents of HB over the years that Pumpian gives the appearance of a woman constantly trying to connive or worm her way into important matters, and have some sort of connection to every one of these sorts of large construction/development  projects.
Now whether that's because of some basic economic desire on her part to make some money as a PR shill for them or their friends, or, in part, to fill some sort of need to appear to be an important and influential person in this city, I can't say, but it is the perception of a lot more well-informed people than she thinks.


But she's NOT either, of course.
This post of mine today will discuss in some general terms why she and the HB Chamber of Commerce aren't taken seriously by the most well-informed and most-involved citizens of Hallandale Beach.
Do you know what those reasons are or might be?


I'll give you a small hint.
It's one of the same reasons that I so gleefully ripped into her -and her ilk, the Joe Kessels of the world- two years ago at multiple Broward Planning Council and Broward County Commission meetings on the far-too-large Diplomat project they championed against the interests of HB residents who already lived next-door to the Diplomat Golf Course.

Of course it was hard not to be gleeful in picking apart the Kessel Crew's transparent weaknesses in their arguments, which sounded so remarkably similar that you couldn't help but wonder if they'd been written by the same Chamber or Diplomat marketing geniuses we have seen accomplish nothing, even while they rounded-up union supporters who didn't actually live here.

One of those pro-Diplomat supporters on the Chamber was the owner of the faux newspaper that's supported by tax dollars thanks to Mayor Cooper, Craig Farquhar's South Florida Sun-Times, who publicly lied about not having an opinion, when I and others have actually seen a copy of his email to Broward County urging its passage.


Plus, here's the official record that Craig Farquhar, this recipient of HB taxpayer largess that the taxpayers are actually AGAINST, this so-called person with "no position" on this issue is a stone-faced liar: Page 13 of the Broward Planning Council's Minutes of February 25, 2010.
is that enough proff for you that he's a hypocrtite?
Right there under Speakers in support of PH 8, six spaces after Joe Kessel, five spaces before Patricia Genetti.


Yes, of course, Farquahar is a member of the Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce!
I told you it was the center for crony capitalism in this town -and he's the proof of that.
He received a $50k CRA loan, only has to repay $25k.
http://www.broward.org/PlanningCouncil/Documents/PlanningCouncilMonthlyMinutes/02252010Minutes.pdf


Newcomers to this blog take notice:
Broward Bulldog
Sweet deal for owners of Hallandale newspaper that features mayor as columnist
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
FEBRUARY 9, 2012 AT 6:11 AM
A weekly newspaper in Hallandale Beach got a $50,000 city “loan” under terms so favorable that half of it – $25,000 – amounted to a taxpayer giveaway because the city did not require it to be repaid...
Read the rest of the story at: 


See for yourself:
http://web.me.com/mike.butler/Change_Hallandale/Updates/Entries/2010/2/26_CIty_Raises_Taxes_while_Wasting_Money_on_Private_Companies_files/SunTimes_PromissoryNote.pdf


Or, see my February 14, 2012 blog post titled, Csaba Kulin on Hallandale Beach's crony capitalism deal with a fake newspaper that stands ethics on its head and takes CRA money in exchange for being a City Hall propaganda machine


Yes, the Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce is sort of the ground-zero for the professional crony capitalism crowd of HB, who want to act like insiders and profit off the public's teat, which is something that as we all know so well, Joe Kessel managed to do below-the-radar for years.

See: 
Realtor Being Paid by Hallandale May Have Had Role in Controversial Loan to Pornographer

By Thomas Francis
April 8, 2010 at 4:50 PM


There's a good reason that the Chamber doesn't do the sorts of normal civic events that CoCs do in the rest of the country. 
The sorts of things that people in those towns from coast-to-coast take pretty much for granted as traditions, albeit perhaps hokey ones in the minds of some, like hosting debates for mayor, city commission and local state races,  esp. Breakfast Debates, with money going to charity.

Here, though, the folks who make up the Executive Board of the Chamber know that one way or another, HB City Hall pays the freight around here, so why should they anger Mayor Cooper and actually have a debate giving anyone challenging her and City Hall a chance, and force the mayor and her Rubber Stamp Crew to have to explain and defend the indefensible?

First, for reasons unknown, the folks at the Chamber have a very high opinion of themselves, which is very odd considering how little they have accomplished for the greater good of the community and how truly disconnected they are to the real community activists of this area.


This difference also explains in part why The Related Group chose to meet with them instead of the real activists of this community, and perhaps, even paid for a nice meal in the process while everyone brainstormed.
No doubt that's have been held somewhere at the Village of Gulfstream Park where PR shill and Chamber Director Suzanne Friedman is their paid mouthpiece, and because, of course, that's their hangout and unofficial clubhouse.

To me and many other HB citizens who pay close attention, the Chamber is not unlike a mid-1960's high school clique, right down to their having a couple of uncool kids they like to keep around from time-to-time to toy with, and play the role of court jesters, amusing them.


Here, former HB Commissioner Bill Julian plays that latter role, as he even writes about them and their spouses and their vacation adventures in the faux newspaper that is taxpayer-financed.
Here's the secret they haven't figured out: they're the only ones who think they're cool.


Everyone else who really knows what's really going on here just laughs at these phonies and their pretentious ways.

As for their current elected President, Carole Pumpian, who, supposedly, also redesigned the Chamber of Commerce's dopey website that said nothing before and says little of note now,
and which was often 5-6 months behind with information on their own activities, but which did have a link to her business in Hollywood.
At least they have their priorities, huh?


Did you happen to catch her mention her home address as required when she walked up to the microphone and spoke before the City Commission?


I mention it because she rarely actually goes to public meetings here, which is unusual given her position, but then it's not like the HB Chamber actually polls its own members what they think of something and whether or not they should support or oppose something at City Hall.


But then there's a reason for that.


Try to think of something within the past six years that the HB Chamber opposed that Mayor Cooper supported.
Just one.


Just name one public policy change, one proposed ordinance, one proposed resolution, one...
There isn't one.


No, as a regular attendee at public meetings throughout this city for many years, I can tell you that about the only time you can count on seeing Carole Pumpian around is every 18-24 months or so when there's something involving construction/development.


Then, like the photo above from last Wednesdayshe sits with her bosom buddies up in the front rows of the commission chamber: the real estate developers and their hired guns.


Sometimes, that also includes the lemmings of the do-nothing Chamber of Commerce and their clique/cult of personality where "insider" Joe Kessel plays the role of guy who invented the wheel and who works all the angles.


Often, as we've seen over the years, speaking in favor of unpopular HB City Hall initiatives WITHOUT publicly disclosing who's paying him, like the secret deal he had with City hall itself.


So if you haven't already guessed it by now, folks, Carole Pumpian works in the same city that she lives in, and that city is NOT Hallandale Beach -she lives in Hollywood.

So, to recap, in short, Carole Pumpian doesn't really give a damn about anybody or anything in Hallandale Beach unless she, a client, or the Chamber can somehow make a dime off of it somehow.
She's a mercenary.
Yep, that's about the size of it.

More on Beachwalk in the coming days
-----

Broward Bulldog
Hallandale gives thumbs up to condo king Jorge Perez’s $100 million, high-rise Beachwalk project
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
June 7, 2012 AT 12:39 AM,

Miami Herald
Proposed hotel gets tentative approval in Hallandale Beach
Miami developer Jorge Pérez gained preliminary approval from the Hallandale Beach commission to build a more than $90 million project on the Intracoastal Waterway
By Carli Teproff
Posted June 7, 2012

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale considers 31-story hotel/condo
By Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel
6:27 p.m. EDT, June 7, 2012



The Second Reading is Wednesday June 20th at 6:30 p.m.

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