© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
This morning while the outer bands of Tropical Storm Isaac were continuing to lash the area, I discovered a very interesting public policy story while reading the Washington Post online.
It concerned what suburban Prince William County (VA) was doing to greatly increase the public transparency in their funding of local non-profit groups by raising the bar in some very important respects.
Given the frequency and seriousness of all of the longstanding complaints in this city about the unabashed crony capitalism with public dollars that's taken place here in Hallandale Beach the past ten years under Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew, there's an awful lot in the article to not only ponder, but seriously consider importing whole to this part of Broward County, and perhaps other parts of South Florida as well, since it's not like blatant crony capitalism is limited to only this city.
While I lived in Washington, D.C. and Arlington County (VA) for 15 years from 1988-2003, other than a few friends at work who lived down there, roughly about a 35-minute drive south on I-95, and who took commuter buses to and from work, my only real frame of reference for the area was the Ikea store there in Woodbridge at the Potomac Mills Mall, which I probably went to about six times a year with friends, usually on Fall Saturday afternoons when the Hoosiers or Hurricanes weren't playing on TV, or Sundays if the Redskins or Dolphins had byes or Monday Night games.
Unlike densely-populated Arlington, you could really see the stars in the sky at night there.
View Larger Map
The Washington Post
Prince William changes how it will fund nonprofit groups
By Jeremy Borden, Published: August 26
Prince William County officials unveiled a process for funding community nonprofit groups and requiring stricter reporting standards.
Also, for the first time, budget officials streamed the session Thursday online.
Budget director Michelle Casciato outlined a process for funding nonprofit groups that observers said is more transparent and holds organizations more accountable. Casciato said budget officials have been working on the standards over the past two years.Read the rest of the article at:
"The organizations’ activities must directly support the goals of county departments, Casciato said. If organizations re-apply for funding, they must submit a list of “performance measures” they achieved in the last fiscal year.
Casciato said groups that had historically been funded should not expect to get money from year to year."Sounds like music to our ears, and if not quite music, well, at least a tune we like!
If implemented here in Hallandale Beach, under this sort of scenario, many of the very groups that we've all been complaining about loudly for years will finally face genuine accountability and develop a genuine fear of the axe, and have to prove that they have a plan for being self-supporting, including the Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce, which does NOT have such a plan now.
(And could someone please explain why, if the city really wanted to improve things for residents and taxpayers, there are now, demonstrably, LESS covered bus shelters in this city since the HBCoC took over, rather than more?
Explain why after all these years, there's STILL no covered bus shelter directly in front of and across-the-street from the city's largest retailer, Walmart?
There are all sorts of reasonable questions in search of reasonable public answers from Patricia Genetti that she has NOT been interested in providing.)
IF supposedly non-profit groups in this city can only exist because of our wallets and purses routinely being pried open against our wills by Mayor Cooper and the Rubber Stamp Crew,
these groups better figure out a Plan B quick, because positive change is going to get here very soon after the January 15th Special Election, and I for one will NOT be throwing them a life preserver, and I suspect most of you won't be, either
Below are two specific groups who I believe will have a troubled future if genuine reform comes to HB City Hall.
I think you will be quite interested in what it says, and I use the city's own words to make the case against them.
Eagles Wings, controlled by Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and his wife Jessica, just like the Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce, still has NOT demonstrated a plan for their own sustainability
Oh Eagles Wings, how high you fly away with city money despite not meeting the city's own requirements!
Yes, Eagles Wing Development Center, the very same group that Comm. Alexander Lewy wanted to give over $200,000 to in his post-midnight gambit of last July 19th, without ever referring to them by name in his original motion.
Instead, he declared that he wanted to give it to a group who had had demonstrated success.
So where's the independent third-party proof of that success?
It can't be found -there is no such proof.
Why did Lewy do it then, and why does he continue to refuse to offer any public explanation for his actions in the year since then?
Now there's a good question I'd like to see the South Florida news media ask him to answer to HB taxpayers' satisfaction.
And just think, when I wrote the above last August, that was before I was fully-aware of the fact that Comm. Sanders and his wife and their cronies in Northwest Hallandale Beach had created yet another group that had Jessica Sanders in charge that comes to City Hall seeking a handout of public funds.
Just to confuse people with an existing civic group, they specifically called themselves the
Palms Community Action Coalition, the group that is apparently so important that of all the non-profits in the city, Mayor Cooper and the majority of the City Commission said they must have an office at the city's Hepburn Center.
But when they say it ought to have an office, what they really mean is that Jessica Sanders should have an office.
So, can you tell me what they do they do, who its Board Members are, and what do they do exactly that's different than what the city or another non-profit is already doing?
They can't really say.
Check out their scatter-brained website, and specifically, their website says under their "About us" menu. It reveals nothing.
If you have not already done so, please join our mailing list so that you are the first to now about upcoming events, new projects and all the ways that you and your family can benefit from our organization. Our Calendar will have the latest events so please be sure to check the calendar often, as well as your inbox.
The Palms Community Action Coalition is currently teamed with over 60 companies and organizations to help bring a change to our community that will help make each and everyday brighter. Feel free to visit them on our site or their individual sites for more information about what they can do for you.
But what do you find when you go to their calendar?
Well, as of midnight August 28, 2012, it's chock full of info about what they were doing -supposedly- in June of 2011.
Don't believe me?
Look for yourself at the screen-grab I just did of their website's calendar page.
It speaks volumes!
It all seems so half-assed to me, what with all the vague terms and generalities about them and their activities throughout the website.
It also calls into serious question why they are getting ANY money from the city if they are so mismanaged under Jessica Sanders that they/she can't so much as keep an updated calendar of their own activities.
Kids in junior high school can do it for their after-school clubs, so why can't she?
And tell me again why she needs to have an office on city property and the ability to use city personnel and city resources?
It's all very, very curious.
Eagle’s Wings Development Center requested $70,000 but received $35,000
Lampkin’s Creative Arts 4 All requested $58,300 but received $10,000
All information below is verbatim from city documents with cited URLs.
Warning, the city's URL loads slowly, so be patient!
Eagle’s Wings Development Center
416 N.W. 4th Avenue
Hallandale Beach, FL 33008
(954) 457- 9292
From CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH FY 2012 COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS GRANT REVIEW PACKAGE
NAME OF ORGANIZATION Eaqles Wings
GROUP DATE- 24,2011
TOTAL COMBINED SCORE 396/500
RECOMMENDED FUNDING $35,000
T h e applicant submitted an application, however it lacked some of the required attachment documentation (i.e certificate of insurance, letters of support or MOU) and detail. The applicant requested funding for an employment program to train individuals to become Certified Nurses Assistants (CNA) as the priority area.
There was confusion regarding the increase of requested funds for a smaller number of people to be served versus the amount of funding given by the City previously. The new request is for $55,000 more dollars to serve 90% less people The thought is this may be due to the new CNA program. The reviewers agreed there is a need for employment in the identified area; however the application did not provide enough detail on the implementation strategies. It was difficult to determine what portion of personnel would be providing the training program (CNA). It was also unclear who would actually provide the services. The applicant did not identify vendor, agency, or entity that would provide training, and there were no letters of support except Weed and Seed for the project. The applicant Sustainability Plan only indicated the loss of funds from Weed and Seed, therefore if not funded the organization could no longer provide support for their programs. The reviewers felt this organization had not demonstrated a plan for sustainability. The committee recommended, in review of the budget, that items related to training and support for clients should be funded; thereby reducing request to $35,000 to cover those costs.
Lampkin’s Creative Arts 4 All
222 S. Dixie Highway
Hallandale Bch, FL 33009
From CITY OF HALLANDALE BEACH FY 2012 COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS GRANT REVIEW PACKAGE
NAME OF ORGANIZATION Lampkins Creative Arts 4 All
GROUP DATE May 24,201 1
TOTAL COMBINED SCORE 293/500
RECOMMENDED FUNDING $ 10,000
The applicant has been known for providing free music and cultural arts programs for other
community groups in Hallandale Beach. The request is to expand services; however the
committee's assessment is that this organization appears to be new and should acquire
assistance with program development.
The applicant did not provide background information or description of current services. The
application was confusing because the program description and the implementation strategy did not coincide. It was difficult for reviewers to determine how the program would be implemented and survive. The applicant did not provide a clear referral or recruitment strategy. The applicant was very broad with scope of who would be served and reviewers felt that given a program of this nature, the organization needs to be more specific about the target population. The evaluation plan is vague and does not provide any type of plan to ensure the desired outcomes. It should be noted that this applicant was provided an opportunity to resubmit the application.
The committee feels this is more recommend $10,000 in grant funding to be used for basic
operating costs (facility, consultant, equipment, supplies).