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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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Classic Bill Julian being Bill Julian -Why the rush at Hallandale Beach City Hall in 2009 to buy the Sanders property, with no actual plan in place for its use? Julian -"for the good of many, many people in Hallandale." Just NOT for the good of HB's own taxpayers!

Above,  501 N.W. 1st Avenue in Hallandale Beach, FL, the property in question. May 22, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
An old friend named "Mr. Long-Term Memory" suggested I re-post this 2009 Michael Mayo column, highlighting the fact that the City of Hallandale Beach's money -your tax money- was placed in Comm. Anthony A. Sanders bank account SO quickly

Doesn't everyone have a good enough relationship with their bank that when you give them a check for hundreds of thousands of dollars, they put it in your account within 24 hours and don't make you wait?
"We're doing it for the good of many, many people in Hallandale," said Vice Mayor Bill Julian, who approved the deal with Cooper and Commissioner Dorothy Ross.
Yes, Classic "Bill Julian being Bill Julian" years before that temporary respite of his that lasted a few days that some of his supporters told us took place in the weeks immediately following his November 2010 defeat.
Sort of a like a very long eclipse of the sun.

Yes, here in Hallandale Beach, many of us who are very concerned about what goes on in this city have had the experience of having been told by a former Julian supporter that he was so down after losing that he was actually engaging in retrospection, something he never did while in office.

We were told that Julian now fully realized that he'd made some mistakes and told supporters of his as much.
Even told them that his biggest mistake by far was listening to Mayor Cooper too much and doing what she wanted, and voting the way she wanted, instead of being more objective, but that if given a chance, he'd learn from those mistakes "next time."
But then what happened once he said that he wanted to run yet again?

Yes, that sudden conscience of Julian's disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared out of nowhere.

So let me ask you, other than perhaps to a few friends and supporters many months ago, some of whom are now former supporters who've been "scared straight," when and where have the residents and taxpayers of Hallandale Beach ever actually heard Julian publicly admit what he'd done wrong in office during his many, many years on the City Commission?
Publicly explain why he was wrong?
Puublicly what, if anything, he learned from the experience of being a loyal Cooper Rubber Stamp that would make people want to give him yet a third chance?

I'll answer my own questions.
Residents and taxpayers of Hallandale Beach have never heard Julian publicly say and do those thing because it's never happened in the 20 months since Julian was forcibly ejected
from office.
He's still without remorse.
Meet the new Bill Julian, same as the old one!


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South Florida Sun-Sentinel
For one politician, Hallandale Beach's land purchase seems heaven-sent
Michael Mayo, News Columnist
February 22, 2009

The Hallandale Beach City Commission moves in mysterious ways. Take the case of Higher Vision Ministries and the Eagle's Wings Development Center in the city's impoverished northwest area.

At a hastily called Feb. 12 special meeting, the commission approved buying the church-owned property where the Eagle's Wings community center stands for $235,000.

That's $35,000 more than the city's most recent appraisal of the land (in November), nearly $90,000 more than the value listed by the Broward property appraiser and $190,000 more than the church paid for the land in 2001.

Considering the way the economy and local real estate market have been tanking, that's a pretty sweet deal for Higher Visions.

So who runs the church and the social-service center? Pastor Anthony Sanders.

The same Anthony Sanders who's a Hallandale Beach commissioner.

"We were supposed to do this two years ago, long before I was on the commission," Sanders said Friday. "Back in early 2007, the price was $350,000. This should have been done a long time ago, but the city kept dragging its feet."

Sanders, elected to the commission in November after being appointed last summer, abstained from the 3-1 vote. He said the price was fair, noting two other appraisals that valued the property at $275,000 and $230,000.

But one city-sponsored appraisal put it at $147,000, and the most recent valued it at $200,000.

Given the circumstances, Commissioner Keith London (the lone dissenter) said the city should have waited longer. Or at least had the sense to take up the matter as a clearly labeled agenda item at a regular commission meeting.

The land purchase wasn't listed on the agenda for the special meeting. It was brought up as "other business" during the session called by Mayor Joy Cooper on an unrelated matter. The meeting wasn't held in the commission's usual spot where sessions are videotaped, but instead was in an upstairs room without cameras.

"Does this pass the smell test?" said London. "I don't think so."

You'd think Hallandale Beach commissioners, who took a public relations pounding for engineering a pay raise in a similarly sneaky way a couple years ago, would have learned by now.

The city, through its Community Redevelopment Agency, has vague plans to build an affordable housing project on the block where the center stands.

"We're doing it for the good of many, many people in Hallandale," said Vice Mayor Bill Julian, who approved the deal with Cooper and Commissioner Dorothy Ross.

London didn't understand the rush: "If somebody said we have to buy this parcel by a certain date to complete a plan or it will fall through, then I could see doing it. But there is no plan."

I called City Manager Mike Good to get their version of events but didn't hear back.

Sanders said the deal closed on Feb. 13, the day after the special meeting, with the money already in the bank. The Eagle's Wings center hasn't been given an eviction date, he said. The center, which provides computer and other training classes and submits food-stamp applications for residents, was open on Friday.

"Is it standard to buy a property from a commissioner and then let them use it rent-free?" London said.

Sanders said London is grousing because of "envy."

"This isn't a personal thing," London said. "It's a finance issue."

Sanders' church bought the property for $45,000 in 2001. Eagle's Wings has received $130,000 in city grant money this decade, along with county and state contracts. The nonprofit agency's 2007 tax return listed income of $113,190 in government grants.

Sanders, a longtime activist in the northwest area, said the city's purchase of the property is "just a drop in the bucket," noting the $12 million the city spent to acquire land for a park in a better part of town.

Sanders has been critical of the redevelopment agency's stagnant efforts in the northwest. Two-thirds of Hallandale Beach falls within the CRA boundaries, including robust areas near Gulfstream Park.

"When the economy was up, we didn't do anything [in northwest] and now the economy is down and they say we can't do anything," said Sanders. "So when can you do something?"

Seems like Sanders' commission colleagues have already done plenty for him.

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

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"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.