501 N.W. 1ST Avenue, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009-3301
Why was it so urgent for the City of Hallandale Beach to quickly purchase this property from Anthony and Jessica Sanders if there was no actual plan in place for what the city would do with it afterwards? A property the city now receives $1 a year in rent? (Yes, one dollar.) How was it that Josh Brown was able to use the address of a non-profit in a city-owned building as his election campaign address? Who let that happen?
Just some of the questions Hallandale Beach citizens continue to wonder about and want answers to as the Sanders continue to stonewall the Broward Inspector General -and the HB citizens that Comm. Anthony A. Sanders is SWORN to serve.
Csaba Kulin's reasonable questions about the Broward IG's inspection, Comm. Sanders' continued stonewalling, Comm. Julian's laughable threats, and their poison-pen cheerleader, Andrew Markoff, who continues to show his naïveté with every comment he makes. They desperately need apologists, and does he ever fill the bill!
For the record, I should note that the reasonable comments and questions below from my friend, fellow Hallandale Beach and Broward civic activist and Hallandale Beach City Commission candidate Csaba Kulin, were first posted online at the Broward Bulldog in response to Bill Gjebre's July 5th, 2012 article, Broward IG questions former Hallandale commissioner about CRA deals, newspaper loan
That is to say, before several of Andrew Markoff's subsequent slimy, factually-inaccurate and deliberate race-baiting comments directed towards Csaba and other pro-reform residents of Hallandale Beach who commented there.
People, who, like me and many of you reading this, want genuine transparency with real financial accountability at City Hall.
That is to say, unlike Markoff himself, who's not only happy to continue to sing the praises of the powers-that-be, but also continue kissing the butts of the folks in power now, like Mayor Cooper and Comm. Sanders.
In fact, he's so besotted with some people in town that he's quite literally asking us to completely disregard all the years we've had of seeing Bill Julian consistently make a fool of himself in office, and would somehow have us believe that Julian is now an acceptable candidate for elective office, despite what we have witnessed with our own eyes.
Julian, the antithesis of what any responsible community would want due to his lack of scruples, bad judgment and years on the dais of sheer Elmer Fudd-like befuddlement.
(Julian's years of parking his car illegally in Handicapped and/or Emergency parking spaces where everyone could see it, all over town, doubtless requires a solid few months with a very experienced psychiatrist. But then how would he explain away his own despicable behavior for years? His coping mechanism seems to be pretending that you either don't know or don't see him doing it. Hmm-m... Yes, that's normal!)
Given what they have had to put up with for far too many years, Hallandale Beach citizens have had absolutely enough nonsense and lack of candor from this city's elected officials and highly-paid city employees to last them a lifetime, and they are ready to make that fact known come election day.
While it may be news to the likes of a Markoff or the Miami Herald 's Editorial Board, in the year 2012, Hallandale Beach residents DON'T have to turn a blind-eye to the continuing
incompetence and financial melodrama of and complete lack of candor from perpetually-befuddled Comm. Anthony A. Sanders, just because he is African-American.
No, we don't have to employ double-standards like what Markoff would prefer, we merely need to be consistent about what is or is not acceptable behavior and performance in office.
Which is why we're going to continue to treat Sanders like every other two-bit pol who's quickly found himself in over his head, and who can't justify with a straight face, why anyone not related to him -or named Joy Cooper- would want him on the scene one day longer than necessary, given his sorry and undistinguished track record.
Nobody EVER leaves a HB City Commission meeting muttering to themselves afterward, "I didn't really understand the issue until after Comm. Sanders spoke and explained it."
A clear majority of this city, the very people that Sanders has continually dis-respected for 46 months with his smug attitude and complete indifference to them, have had enough of his behavior and conduct and his unwillingness to tell the truth in a public setting without city employees whispering sweet nothings into his ear.
Like most people with common sense, a majority of HB residents rightly recognize a duck (or rubber stamp) when they see one -or two or three or four- sitting on a long dais at City Hall.
Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...duck!: Ross, Julian, Sanders, Lewy.
They are exactly what they look like, though the local press corps seem to go out of their way not to mention it, which is why we do.
What this community most certainly doesn't need any more of is Markoff's smug elitist liberal sensibilities and double-standards masquerading as fairness.
Especially since Comm. Sanders has had plenty of time to rise or fall based on his own words and actions, and he has been found wanting -in the extreme.
The simple truth is that people like Markoff must attack and besmirch folks like Csaba, Mike Butler, Keith London and myself and others who want a degree of normalcy for this city, and must make up stories and anecdotes about their pique because what are their alternatives, to actually talk about what's happened here with candor?
No. that's the last thing they want - an accurate accounting.
Nope, folks who can't accept that they're on the losing side of history, and defending the indefensible to boot, do NOT want to talk about reality with someone who really knows the facts.
He's free to defend the city's status quo powers-that-be that have created a reality for residents and taxpayers that is so unappealing and unremarkable, since that's his choice, but then choice is something that he would deny others, since if there's nothing else that you should have picked-up on about this Markoff character it's that this arrogant, elitist and self-appointed city Political Commissar, has never learned that no matter what your politics are, you never win by feeling that its your job to hector other people with lives of their own and telling them what THEY ought to be doing in the community.
As if it was up to HIM.
And yet in far too many of his online screeds, somewhere in the text, even when it has nothing to do with anything, Markoff has been ballsy and arrogant enough to take some people to task for NOT doing what he thinks THEY ought to be doing, as if it was up to him to decide, not them.
Can you imagine?
Other than bashing Comm. Keith London, who, like me, tried for a while, perhaps too long, to be friendly and civil to him and educate him a bit about local govt. and politics in Boward, there's nobody that Markoff enjoys bashing online at various places in his simultaneously creepy and patronizing fashion more than yours truly, even though though the truth is that I ought to spend less time on this blog ruminating about this city's present and future. than I do.
But despite what I think I ought to be doing, Markoff he is forever expending time and energy writing a half-dozen or more paragraphs about me and what I ought to be doing, and forever writing snide personal remarks apropos of nothing other than his odd fixation, which, by the way, for the record, is NOT at all flattering.
Trust me, online stalkers aren't funny and I didn't say creepy by accident.
At this point, Markoff's only real value is entirely comic -watching him chase his Tall Tales, while avoiding the truth that threatens to undermine the Alternative Universe he has carefully constructed in his own mind.
So, that said, more than usual, consider the source when you read Markoff's weird, inaccurate and off-putting online comments anywhere, esp. as it relates to me or anyone I know, like Csaba below, who has earned this community's trust and respect the old-fashioned way -from talking-the-talk and walking-the-walk.
His honesty, insight, consistent integrity and tireless work-ethic are exactly what we need on the HB City Commission to clean up the mess we've got now and get this city moving forward -finally!
Above, Hallandale Beach City Hall Complex at night, photo of August 7, 2011 by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Well there certainly hasn't been a lack of attention paid to what is being written and said here about the current Broward IG investigation of Hallandale Beach.
It's a shame that so much of what is being written here shows a lack of knowledge of the facts. Where to start?
Andrew Markoff, what is it that you don't quite understand about "No plan"?
Former City Manager Mike Good had no written or approved plan for the purchases of land and homes in Northwest HB.
If there was a plan, regardless of who devised it, that actually existed, we'd all know about it because there would have been meetings or workshops when it came up.
If there was a plan, Mayor Cooper and Bill Julian would've been taking credit for it for years, and many people in this town whom you are constantly denigrating but whon are performing a real service, as well as myself, would have filed public records requests at City Hall to either see it, or get copies of it to see what it actually says and try to make sense of it.
And maybe even some TV or newspaper reporters would do so as well.
But nobody has done any of those things over the years for the simple reason that there is NO PLAN.
It's the worst sort of helter-skelter, with no logical ultimate purpose that anyone at City Hall or anywhere else can explain with a straight face.
That's the whole problem!
There was no written policy, there was no oversight and accountability, just reckless spending by the City Commission because they decided they wanted to buy something.
This is why your strange constant defense of the urgent purchase of Comm. Sanders property makes no sense to anyone who was paying attention to things in 2008.
Since there was no plan to use that land for some larger purpose that the commission was in favor of, such as assembling smaller parcels together to either build something themselves for the community, or even to assemble the parcels for the purpose of selling it in total to some company or developer to make it possible for them to construct something that was needed or wanted, with the city banking that money, there was no logical reason to rush the purchase, much less, make the purchase.
No reason at all.
All these years later, the city taxpayers gets a dollar or so a year in rent for that property from a non-profit that has also received lots of money from the city.
So where's the rationale, why was it purchased when it had no purpose, and why doesn't the city sell it to someone who will build something there that will create jobs and pay taxes?
Also, why is it that in all the places you leave your comments, you have refused to acknowledge your own connection to one of the groups that is under investigation by the IG, the Palm Community Action Coalition?
What exactly is it that do you do for them, and what is their actual purpose, since the documents on the city website are very vague.
I would love to see a public list of members of the Board for this group, that includes its boss, Jessica Sanders, so if I see one of them around town I could ask what they actually do for the money, and why it's such a big secret?
Also, why is it that this group, of all the so-called non-profit groups in town, the newest one, the one with the commissioner's wife in charge, is the only one in the city that gets office space and use of city personnel and resources at the Hepburn Center?
Now onto Bill Julian, who was so quick to attack me for making the following reasonable comments in a previous Bulldog article, happy to intentionally mischaracterize what was actually said between us at City Hall following a meeting, in order to make himself look good here.
The Broward County Inspector General should move as soon as possible to either indict or clear those people that proposed or voted for these giveaways. Mayor Cooper, Commissioner Sanders and former Vice Mayor Julian are on the November ballot and they MAY be a target of the investigation.
Julian then says: Casba, I have asked you if you would run your campaign as a gentleman, and it looks like you will not, as expected. Since you have no records of any service in Hallandale , I guess sending out e-mails is your plan to be a commissioner. The voters are much smarter than you would believe, and they will know the truth, about you soon enough.I have a ten year record of service to the people of Hallandale, and that is known to all residents as I have lived here for over 57 years.
I will be calling the IG. and volunteer to answer any questions they might have.
Well, Mr. Julian finally wants the same thing I was asking for since this investigation was made public -clarity and honest answers from people who know them.
He now says he wants his name cleared ASAP.
His attempts to turn my comments back on me have only served to show who's really going to “campaign as a gentleman.”
He can't even tell the truth when there's nothing to gain from lying.
While it's a good thing he volunteered to talk to the IG, the truth is that since he's running for office, he didn't really have much choice, did he?
In a word, no.
Now, everyone else at City Hall should follow Julian’s example and talk to the IG and completely disregard Markoff's advice, apparently based on watching so much TV, but ignoring reality and appearances.
I for one am looking forward to Comm. Sanders and his wife finally telling everyone their side of the story, but it's not unreasonable to ask why such a simple thing has taken almost four years? Especially if you did nothing wrong.
More than anything it shows the complete lack of candor and leveling with taxpayers that Comm. Sanders has been known for ever since the mayor put him on the commission in 2008 with Julian's help, since he repeatedly refused to meet with residents of NE before the vote on the Diplomat project.
I guess he couldn't be bothered.
In my 30 years of working for the Cleveland Archdiocese, my boss, the Bishop, would never have allowed me to wear two hats in any sort of business situation.
I had a choice, one or the other, and like all bosses, if I didn't do that, there be problems for me.
That's why I'd like to hear how it is that the ministry of Pastor Sanders and the official duties of HB City Comm. Sanders can be reconciled now or in the future, without him making a choice, one or the other?
And like many people in this community, I wonder why he and his wife seem so oblivious to the appearance of all these things over the past four years, and are only now willing to say anything, or why she can't get a job that doesn't involve receiving money from the city directly or indirectly. It all seems very curious and more drama than we need with all the problems this city has.