A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, esp. the UK, Sweden and France, via my life in Texas, Memphis, Miami, IU, Chicago, WashingtonDC & #SoFL.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach and #HollywoodFL. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So when are the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel going to note the elephant in the room in Hallandale Beach? The ethics of and the complete lack of candor from Hallandale Beach Comm. Anthony A. Sanders & his wife Jessica; Mayor Cooper and Comm. Sanders screw with public's access to HB budget meetings; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB

Above,  501 N.W. 1st Avenuewhich in Hallandale Beach polite society and public policy circles is considered THE most egregious example of dozens of exasperating and highly-questionable examples of dubious government spending and crony capitalism that've taken place on Mayor Joy Cooper's watch, and one of the most dubious of any in Broward County, which is REALLY saying something. It's the infamous former property owned by HB Comm. Anthony A. Sanders that has seen so many tens of thousands of Hallandale Beach taxpayer dollars and CRA dollars poured into it. For what, THISphoto by South Beach Hoosier © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The following email was just sent to the Miami Herald's Publisher and Editorial Board member David Landsberg, Executive Editor Aminda Marques and Managing Editor Rick Hirsch, and Douglas Lyons, columnist and Editorial Board member of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, along with over 250 bcc recipients, including people throughout Hallandale Beach, South Florida and parent companies McClatchy Company and The Tribune Company.

August 14, 2012
11:15 p.m.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

There's only 84 days left before Election Day, so when are you going to note the elephant
in the room in Hallandale Beach? The ethics of and the complete lack of candor from
Hallandale Beach Comm. Anthony A. Sanders & his wife Jessica.

I'd originally thought about writing this and then not sending it, just so I could get some of the growing frustration out of my system.

But over the past week or so, as I spoke to more and more concerned and very frustrated residents of Hallandale Beach who are equally dismayed and shocked -if not more so
than me- at your collective incurious reporting, a nice way of saying the all-too-obvious
lack of curiosity by you, your editors and reporters about what is and has been going on here going for years, they convinced me I should send it.
Send it right where you live and go right at your claims to being journalism professionals,
because that's sure NOT how it appears to most of us.

And so I'm sending this to you -plus about 250-275 other interested parties across 
Hallandale Beach and South Florida who wonder what in the world is going on at the Herald and Sun-Sentinel where it's necessary to have to ask you to actually report on something that everyone is talking about but which you both are IGNORING.

There's now only 83 days left for Hallandale Beach Comm. Anthony A. Sanders to FINALLY
level with Hallandale Beach voters, after well over three-years of adamantly refusing to saying
anything publicly in front of actual HB residents and taxpayers about his and his wife's land
sale to the city for more than it was worth, and actually tell the truth about it.

Thru his own words and behavior, Comm. Sanders gives every impression of firmly believing
that he can actually get away without ever confronting this issue publicly before Election Day. 
In essence, of running out the clock.

You are perfectly free to speculate on why someone with such an undistinguished a record
in office like Sanders believes that he can get away with such a contemptible strategy.

My questions to you all today about this matter are very simple.

Is it is the intent of the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel's management and editorial staff
to appease Comm. Sanders in this effort of his, and to let another 83 days go by without
ever mentioning it in print?

Not mention that refusing to tell the truth publicly is strange and counter-intuitive behavior
coming from a man who said once upon a time that his being a Pastor not only qualified
him to be a City Commissioner, but actually prepared him for a job making -supposedly-
hard decisions.

Not mention that someone who claimed before the November 2008 election that having 
grown-up in this city when most Blacks felt ostracized and economically and politically
excluded, he'd represent the entire community, and received the endorsement of both
of your newspapers, would actually turn out to be be someone who, since his election in 2008, has, in fact, been everything but inclusive in his approach.

It's so very much more than common knowledge that prior to every development vote in this city, Sanders has adamantly refused to respond to resident email or return phone calls from residents who don't live in NW Hallandale Beach.
Furthermore, he's refused to even visit with them in their neighborhoods to hear what the neighborhood thought, which is actually part of his job as most people see it.
But that's NOT how Sanders sees his job.

No, Sanders is NOT very big on communications of any sort with most residents of this city, esp. those living east of Dixie Highway, but then he has voted YES on every single development proposal that has come before the City Commission, so perhaps he doesn't see why he should go thru the motions of caring what constituents think, since, a.) he really doesn't care, and B.) in every case, he has already made his mind up before the developer's attorney ever says word one, though legally, of course, he isn't supposed to.

But we all know.

Not because we're all so suspicious, though we are, but rather because Comm. Sanders
has been so clumsy in performing his official tasks that when it comes time for the hearings,
he is so obvious and ham-handed about showing that his only interest in any development
project is, specifically, "job training" and who will provide that, since -wait for itthat's the
ONLY thing he asks about.

Seriously, it can hardly be called just our imagination when time-after-time it's the only thing Sanders publicly talks about.
All you have to do is look at the tape of the meetings, since even Mayor Cooper has not
voted for every development project the way Sanders has, though that is very faint praise.

But your two newspapers have completely ignored this self-evident fact and trend for years,
for reasons that are frankly hard to figure, even though developers like The Related Group
have waited no time at all to show their appreciation to Sanders via campaign contributions.

Sanders plain doesn't care about the neighborhoods, he just wants to make sure that those
who are close to him get their share of the money on the table.

As far as the Herald goes, not having had any of its own reporters or columnists EVER write
about any of the ethical problems Comm. Sanders has been involved in for over three years,
it's very hard to shake the feeling that if all of this with him, as well as Lewy's attempt to reward
his soul-mate with CRA funds had happened in Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Hialeah or Pinecrest,
it might have actually made it into print, but instead, showing the geographical insularity we've
come to expect in Broward County from the Herald, you've completely kept your own people
off the story.
Yes, we noticed.

So, let me follow-up my last question with one that's just as important.

Is it your intention that another 83 days will go by without your two newspapers publicly asking in-print why and how Comm. Alexander Lewy made a motion last September -after Midnight at a City Commission meeting with less than a handful of citizens present- to give a group completely controlled by Comm. Sanders and his wife, over $200,00O in CRA funds?

And typically for someone who imagines that he's a political comer, do so in such an obvious and over-the-top fashion by intentionally refusing to say their names aloud, but instead, referring to them obliquely via a laughable and inaccurate description of Sanders' group's performance, even though no such objective third-party analysis has ever been done?
But that's what he did and there's video of it.
Video that you can watch for yourself.

But your two newspapers act like it never happened.

If the answers to my are YES, you DO plan on continuing this charade for another 83 days until Election Day, of pretending that you know nothing and have heard nothing about any of this, perhaps with the hope that Sanders somehow gets re-elected anyway, please let me know this week so that I can make arrangements to share the news with interested parties I know throughout South Florida.

That serves a two-fold purpose.
First, when citizens of this community see reporters of yours around South Florida, we can
dispense both with any notions of pleasantries as well as the fiction that your reporters or
columnists might/maybe/ possibly/actually write the truth about what's been going on here
FOR YEARS with some specificity, instead of the usual, well, meandering 'He said, she said"
that leaves those of us who know what's going on, rather incredulous, given that there is so much proof right in front of you, if you only bothered to open your eyes.
Why so much reluctance to do this?

Second, if you confirm that you both have no intention of honestly reporting on any of this, we all can end the pretense that local news in South Florida somehow develops organically,and gets into print or on TV based on its own significance and weight, and that there really are not gatekeepers who keep news out of the public's view because it clashes with their Editorial Board's notions of who should really be running things in this area.

There are plenty of people I know who would be interested in knowing this at Medill, Ernie Pyle,
Poynter and other places where they haven't completely caved-in to the notion of local news
being the low man on the totem pole, or, in protecting newspaper Editorial Boards from the
sudden realization that they sometimes not only make terrible choices, but those choices
actually DO have the power to actually hurt a community, as has happened here, when you
both endorsed Sanders largely out of guilt, and now, Sanders is practically daring you to say
something negative about him, and you won't.

Yes, pure and simple, Anthony A. Sanders sized-up your Editorial Board and played them
for suckers, and they bought his fallacious act -the pastor who brings a community together.

Now, thanks in large part to you, he is laughing all the way to the bank with our
tax dollars!

I'm here today to tell you that if you're NOT trying to appease or protect Comm. Sanders
from himself, you're doing a hell of a good job of faking it, because that's exactly how it looks
to others, especially others who know the facts.

Especially to the besieged residents, taxpayers and business owners here who are the
most-concerned, are the most active and are the most interested in finally having genuine
transparency and honesty in government in this city.

Something that you both like to give lip service to in self-congratulatory editorials once a year,
but when you consciously ignore what we all know and see everyday in this community, yes, it makes us wonder what your true motives are for consistently ignoring the elephant in the room.
The elephant that makes no effort to hide what it is doing.

As you can see from the information below, which arrived a few minutes ago while I was finishing this up, Mayor Joy Cooper and Comm. Anthony A. Sanders are clearly NOT interested in this city becoming normal and its finances becoming transparent, they're interested in maintaining control.

In the year 2012, who else in South Florida is actually affirmatively voting to make it difficult for
their own citizens to attend a budget meeting when there's a perfectly good taxpayer-owned
City Commission Chambers on the ground floor that doesn't require a police escort?
Nobody but Hallandale Beach.

Don't you get that, yet?

If your present reporters don't have the time or inclination to publish the true facts and the news,
maybe you need to get new and better reporters!
People who actually go around town and publicly question why things are the way they are.

And while you're at it, don't forget to look in the mirror and take a hard, serious look at your own
role in perpetuating this mess at HB City Hall by your adamant refusal to actually report ALL
the news to the public, instead of, essentially, doing the bidding of and running interference for
Joy Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew

Trust me, as one of her biggest critics, Joy Cooper couldn't possibly be any happier with your
abysmal coverage of this city and what's been going on, though I don't think that's the sort of
recommendation you'll be sending to the Pulitzer Committee.
For obvious reasons.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Commissioner Keith S. London <newsletter@
Date: Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Subject: Your Tax Dollars at Work “our” 100 Million Dollar Budget!
To: hallandalebeachblog@gmail.com

Keith S. London - City Commissioner Hallandale Beach
Your Tax Dollars at Work
Hallandale's $100 Million Budget Discussion Held Upstairs in Room 257 instead of Commission Chambers
Weeks after posting the agenda that Budget Workshops will be held in Commission Chambers, staff moved the meeting to room 257, upstairs and difficult for the public to access.
City Hall closes its doors at 5:00 PM.
In order to attend the meeting, if you arrive after 5pm, you must go through the Police Department and be escorted upstairs.
To make access to the public easier:
  • Commissioner London motioned to hold the second budget meeting in Commission Chambers, on Tuesday August 14, 2012
  • These meetings are two of the most important meetings of the year. They should be in Commission Chambers
  • Commissioner London was not informed prior to the meeting
  • Commissioner Lewy seconded the motion for discussion
  • Commissioner Lewy stated "comfort of staff is not his priority"
  • Mayor Cooper stated "this is ridiculous and political and total BS" but also "the budget meeting worked fine last year in city commission chambers"
  • So which one is it Mayor Cooper? "BS" or "access and ease for the public"

The final vote was 3:2 London and Lewy for the public ease of access.
Cooper, Sanders, and Ross to hide upstairs away from those pesky members of the public.

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

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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