actsofsedition video: Local10/WPLG-TV Miami: "City's pricey purchase."
On July 26, 2012, Local10 reporter Glenna Milberg went to Hallandale Beach City Hall to learn more details about the curious case involving HB City Commissioner and Pastor Anthony A. Sanders and the rushed sale of his and his wife's property at 501 N.W. 1st Avenue, to the city in 2009 -when the city had ZERO written plans for what it would actually do with the property afterwards!- for about $89,000 more than it was actually worth.
For well over three years now, since the purchase was finalized, Sanders has consistently stonewalled Hallandale Beach taxpayers asking about the exact details of this deal, and he refused to speak with Milberg on the day of her appearance at City Hall, too.
You'd think that if he were honest and done nothing wrong, he'd desperately want to defend himself publicly and give his side of the story, but he doesn't do that now -and he DIDN'T even before there was a Broward Inspector General.
To the vast majority of well-informed HB residents and other interested parties, people who have been completely underwhelmed by his dismal puppet-like performance on the dais -including other elected officials in Broward County I have personally spoken to on the matter- the reason that Sanders won't talk to taxpayers about it is because it's exactly what it appears to be -a quid pro quo.
The city purchased property it didn't need and overpaid for it, and Mayor Joy Cooper forced Sanders onto the City Commission, and in exchange, he supports Cooper regardless of what the issue is, no matter how preposterous or lacking it is in common sense. Which makes him one of the three members of Cooper's current Rubber Stamp Crew.
Unfortunately, other than this Milberg segment in July, the occasional piece by South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Michael Mayo in 2010 and 2011, or the Broward Bulldog's William Gjebre this year, South Florida reporters have completely ignored this story and the larger issue of an elected official -and Pastor- who for well over four years has avoided responding truthfully to and interacting with HB taxpayers and business owners he is supposed to be accountable to.
So why do the other reporters in South Florida refuse to report or prod on this matter?
Well, with 58 days until Election Day and with no sign that this reporting apathy is going to change, some residents wonder what's going on in particular with the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, both of whose Editorial Boards rather surprisingly endorsed Sanders in 2008 over much better-qualified candidates.
Some HB residents genuinely wonder if the newspaper's beat reporters, Carli Teproff and Tonya Alanez, are under orders from editors or higher-ups on the food-chain to ignore the Sanders ethics story altogether, as well as his adamant refusal to speak publicly with residents, in order to keep the mediocre and perpetually under-prepared Sanders in office.
While it may sound crazy to those of you living outside of this city, how else do you reasonably explain the complete failure of the Miami Herald and the South Sun-Sentinel to print ANYTHING about Sanders that's written by their own people, NOT the Broward Bulldog? That is, other than sheer apathy and unprofessionalism?
What is that OTHER reasonable alibi that explains their abject failure to report the news that people here want to read more details about?
For instance, to state the most obvious question, will Broward State's Attorney Mike Satz bring charges against Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and his wife Jessica or anyone else at HB City Hall before Early Voting begins here for the November 6th election?
We'd like to know BEFORE the election!
What follows is an excerpt of an email that I wrote and sent out this past Tuesday to various people up-and-down the management chain at the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel, plus other selected print/TV reporters and columnists in the area.
It was also sent as well to about 150-175 residents, business owners, civic leaders and other very interested parties with a keen interest interest in seeing this part of Broward County grow and become all it can be, which will necessarily mean it becoming unshackled from the likes of autocratic and thin-skinned Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and her very negative and alienating sphere of influence.
People really do avoid moving here or locating a business here simply because of the bureaucratic fiefdom and crony capitalism culture that she has created here, one that is totally unhealthy and destructive long-term to everyone not named Cooper.
Owing to the fact that at least some of the people who received it on Tuesday do NOT often hear from me or necessarily know that "What's past is prologue" here in Hallandale Beach times TEN, it necessarily repeats some pretty basic things about this city that most of you more-regular readers of the blog already know and could probably recite back to me were we ever to meet.
I apologize for that but I can't assume that our common knowledge is their particular common knowledge and frame of reference, so I kept it pretty simple in some cases by bringing up come connections to things going on now as best I could.
Again, keep in mind that this was sent out the day before the HB City Commission meeting Wednesday night that attracted so many people, and where everything came fast-and-furious as some new information was introduced into the equation that I didn't know when first writing
Not that this new information in any way excuses the South Florida news media's glaring failure over the past five years to accurately and fairly report local news as it actually is, and NOT as some would have it or like it to be.
Say, the way the two local Editorial Boards would prefer that you NOT know certain information, especially before an important election.
First, a history lesson, since it's clear that at least some of you need it:
Today marks 9 weeks exactly until Election Day, leaving only 62 days before a majority of citizens here vote in person.
(Not that the the agenda was on the city's website then, though, since that didn't happen until the following Monday.)
Cooper didn't leave anything to chance, and made a point of NOT allowing basic fairness, democracy or following the rules to get in the way of her getting her way, her number-one priority.
Because history is repeating itself, possibly starting tomorrow.
Mayor Cooper and two of her Rubber Stamps, Commissioners Lewy and Sanders are working together on passing a proposal coming up before the Commission on Wednesday whereby they enshrine their own personal bitterness and political pettiness into the city charter.
Sanders laughs at and ignores his own constituents and he also laughs at and ignores the South Florida news media, whose lack of effort has been duly noted by everyone in this community.
Dear Ms. Schanz:
Since you're in a position to know as Director the city's Parks & Recreation Dept, can you please tell me whether as of today, if Hallandale Beach Comm. Anth
ony A. Sanders has reserved either a room or the auditorium at the HB Cultural Center, or any other room in any other city-owned facility -like the closed-to-the-public North Beach Building- for any non-campaign public purpose in the next eleven weeks?
I ask because a few weeks ago, I'd heard that after his doggedly refusing for three years to speak in person to the community about what he really knew, Comm. Sanders was finally going to talk to HB residents, taxpayers and business owners about what had transpired, what with the city rushing to purchase his property without any semblance of a written plan in place, for more money than the property was worth, even to the point of the city getting the entire sale amount into his bank account within 48 hours, a quickness and efficiency that I and other concerned HB residents found quite...well, astonishing.
Especially since taxpayers have never seen the city apply similar speed and energy applied with respect to any other project (or purchase) in this city the past eight-plus years I've livedhere, even when it was probably actually needed. Obviously, if Comm. Sanders is scheduled to speak on this matter, I'd like to know and to be able to tell others about it as well, so any information you can provide me about this matter would be most appreciated.
From: Schanz, Cathie
Subject: RE: re Comm. Anthony A. Sanders and possibly renting space at city-owned facilities
To: Hallandale Beach Blog
Vice Mayor Sanders does not have any non-campaign public purpose rentals in the next eleven weeks.
The media does itself no favors by consciously avoiding unpleasant news about someone it once foolishly painted a rosy picture of, a promise that has gone completely bust, and one of the logical consequences of this is that you will have marked yourself as entities NOT to be trusted in this community.
Why should they (we) indulge you, after you've continually refused to simply report
Absent a public referendum that affirmatively ratifies that and makes it legal, Comm. Lewy, Mayor Cooper and Comm. Sanders have no legal authority under the city's charter or the state's constitution to attempt to shorten the term of office of a duly-elected public official in this state, absent provable misconduct resulting in expulsion- something that most well-informed people we know around here already know, or which several State offices in Tallahassee would've told them if they'd simply asked.
But like bullies and political outliers everywhere, rules aren't for this crew, so they didn't ask, mostly because it didn't really matter what the answer would be -they already knew what they'd be doing, regardless of the law.
Question: Is there any city in South Florida that currently requires a sitting elected official running for another elective office to be forced from his present office many months before an election, rather than the date of the election, as Lewy, Cooper and Sanders propose.
There's certainly not one in Ft. Lauderdale or Pembroke Pines, since in both communities, ones that easily dwarf Hallandale Beach in size, population and prestige, sitting commissioners there have (or will) resigned to run for another elective office with their resignation date being that upcoming Election Day, NOT some earlier date chosen arbitrarily by their colleagues with the sole intent of scoring political points and consolidating their power, as is so obviously the case here with Lewy, Cooper and Sanders.
If you don't already know the names of those candidates in Pembroke Pines and Ft. Lauderdale, who ran for their own seats again, perhaps you'll recognize them when I say them now: Anglelo Castillo and Charlotte Rodstrom.
Nope, changing a city's charter, it's constitution, completely out of personal pique and political spite is what the small minds of our own small city think of first over at HB City Hall, and typically, they have the audacity to think they can actually get away with it without anyone noticing it or suffering any personal or career consequences for their naked anti-democratic efforts.
Cooper, Lewy and Sanders may succeed Wednesday night at the First Reading by being too-clever-by-half, but ultimately, they ought to be careful what they wish for, since there are hundreds and hundreds of people like me who will be only be too happy to give these three the "credit" they want for limiting voter's choices -right before Election Day.
Video: Local10's Glenna Milberg examines an ethical & financial problem in Hallandale Beach that I've been writing about for over 3 years re Comm. Anthony A. Sanders, who KEEPS stonewalling the public; Keith London: "Broward Inspector General closing in on Hallandale Beach, Mayor Cooper and Vice Mayor Sanders"