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, Europe 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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lifeguard Tomas Lopez helps save the day at the city's public beach but get's fired for his trouble. Meanwhile, Hallandale Beach City Hall continues to act neglectful and NOT do what it's legally supposed to do around the beach areas, and nothing happens. Nobody is fired. Just more mindless bureaucratic apathy and incompetency from the same old crew!

South Beach, Hallandale Beach, Florida. This and all photos below are from May 30, 2012 and were taken by South Beach Hoosier. 
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Lifeguard Tomas Lopez helps save the day at the city's public beach but get's fired for his trouble. Meanwhile, Hallandale Beach City Hall continues to act neglectful and NOT do what it's legally supposed to do around the beach areas, and nothing happens. Nobody is fired. Just more mindless bureaucratic apathy and incompetency from the same old tired crew!
Early this morning in an email to the Sun-Sentinel's Ihosvani Rodriguez, I wrote the following:

I  just needed to clarify something.
In your article, Hallandale Beach lifeguard fired after participating in beach rescue
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/hallandale/fl-hallandale-beach-lifeguards-20120703,0,5326638.story do you mean the lifeguard who saved someone from dying,
Tomas Lopez, left one of the HB lifeguard stands that, contrary to what the city's insurance docs likely claim, are NOT now properly grounded for lightning strikes?

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Something the city already knows about, which is the city's legal responsibility and a HB taxpayer's lawsuit nightmare if someone is injured?
Yeah, sort of like the city still not having fixed or replaced 28 broken lights at Bluesten Park, three blocks from City Hall, for well over nine months and counting... 

Specifically, the lifeguard stand on South Beach that still has graffiti on it and had metal city signs underneath it for 4-5 months because the city's DPW is so poorly managed and bereft of anything resembling a strong work ethic or attention to detail, to remove them and place them in the correct place? 
And which was still under the South Beach lifeguard stand many weeks after I first called DPW on my cell phone in late May while standing next to it, to complain, when these photos were taken?
Those lifeguard stands?
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© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

You mean THOSE lifeguard stands with metal underneath them just asking to be zapped
by lightning?

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The beach where not so far away from those old and unsafe lifeguard stands there are faded, 30-year old Broward County signs from when southern Broward County was still using the 305 area code, the Miami Dolphins were still playing in the Orange Bowl, and BEFORE Dan Marino was playing quarterback for the Dolphins?
That neglected public beach?

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Do you mean the beach where the weekend before the city's Parks Master Plan meeting of Monday May 31st re possible changes and improvements to South Beach, the sign with the meeting info came down, and rather than simply re-hammering it into the wooden pole, someone from the city dragged it next to the dumpster and left it there?
Which, of course, meant that anyone who went to the beach that entire weekend or Monday morning who didn't already know about the meeting would have had no idea about it, or what the rendering on the left actually meant?
That neglected public beach?

I spy: the missing meeting sign hidden next to the dumpster! 
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The beach with the nearby dumpster without the fence enclosure the city requires of all businesses owners in the city with dumpsters, to hide the dumpster from public view, just like the city has been violating its own ordinances for YEARS at North Beach?

After I saw this for myself the afternoon of the meeting, I actually left the beach and drove over to City Hall and spoke in-person with the new Parks Director at her office to both tell her what I'd seen, but to also offer it up as yet another self-evident example of how things were/are routinely done in this city since I have lived here -with a lack of professionalism and with an almost completely contemptuous disregard for the taxpayers and residents of this city.
Which is to say half-assed! And with no consequences for continued sub-par performance.

But the reality is that in this city, it's DPW who is in charge of the beach, not Parks & Rec.
That's where the blame lies, along with just-departed City Manager Antonio, and the current Mayor and City Commission.


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Could there possibly be any garbage dumpsters in South Florida that are closer to the Atlantic Ocean than these two from the City of Hallandale Beach at North Beach? (The ones you can see because the city doesn't have the required fencing hiding them.) I don't think there are! 
Area to the left is The Apogee condos in Hollywood under construction. 
The public beach where for years, as they do elsewhere, the city just laughs at following its own rules and ordinances, to say nothing of city commissioners ignoring state laws about NOT illegally parking in disabled parking spaces?


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One of the many photos I snapped over the years of Julian's ID on dashboard while he was parked illegally in disabled or disabled- access parking spaces next to the Beachside Cafe at North Beach.  

(The latter is a common sense state law that for YEARS was routinely abused by former HB Comm. Bill Julian -running again this year- when he drove to the Beachside Cafe, continually parking in what was then THE only disabled parking space nearby, being sure to let everyone know whose car it was, as ID shows.)

Like the public beach -as depicted in photo above- that has dumpsters that have only needed lids that actually fit and cover the garbage since... 
Those public beaches?

The beaches that rightly ought to be taken away from the control of the city's DPW Dept., who have clearly demonstrated over many years that they are clearly NOT interested in giving HB taxpayers the appealing and clean beach they desperately want, and NOT giving them a dollar's worth of service for a dollar's worth of taxes?
The ones whose care should be outsourced to a licensed and experienced contractor to beautify and properly maintain?
Those public beaches?

Oh, okay, now I got it.
I just wanted to make sure that we were talking about the same beaches in HB I know about, and have been closely observing for years as they have fallen into rapid decline due to the city's very own longstanding neglect, apathy and incompetency.
After all, I certainly wouldn't want to jump to any erroneous conclusions.

Kudos to Tomas for keeping his integrity intact and not hesitating from doing the right thing.
I only wish that most of the people at Hallandale Beach City Hall who've been making the big bucks for years were as deserving of the community's trust, respect and admiration as Tomas was by his display of integrity.
But they're not.

No, sadly, my experience is that when they actually do the right thing, it's usually by accident, NOT by design.
And the proof of that is all around us in this city.

1 comment:

  1. Does anyone have a way to get in touch with Tomas Lopez? I know it's a privacy issue, but I would like to personally thank him. When I was 5 years old, I got sucked in by a riptide, and a lifeguard quickly saved my life. I've always had a soft spot for lifeguards, and I cannot believe someone would get fired for doing the most basic job of a lifeguard! Here's to hoping I won't get spammed, but my email is sarah.lane25@yahoo.com --thank you

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