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 and Europe, especially the UK 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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Will upcoming NHL owner's lockout affect the $7.7 million loan from Broward County to Florida Panthers owner Michael Yormark, which he's clearly counting on to prop him up?

Below is a slightly-edited version of an email that I sent this afternoon to Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry, along with some other links that some of you may find of use if you are NOT already up-to-speed on the issue at hand, which, long story short, is a very unsuccessful professional sports franchise getting a multi-million dollar loan from a government entity who also happens to be their landlord.

When and if I hear from Ms. Henry in the near-future with respect to some answers to my questions, I'll share here what she had to say about what's going on with Michael R. Yormark and the Florida Panthers at the newly-renamed BB&T Center in suburban Sunrise, far from most of South Florida, out near The Everglades.

The reason I decided to even write the email and post it here is because of the continuing popularity in South Florida and other NHL cities of a February post of mine about some eye-opening video of Florida Panthers CEO Michael Yormark dodging some very reasonable questions by Channel 10's Bob Norman 
at the Broward County Govt. Center moments after the County Commission meeting, which I watched online.

Some of you who pay attention to such things may well say, correctly, that this video presages the amazing video weeks later in the same building of Broward attorney, flack and lobbyist Bernie Friedman revealing his true nature, and thinking somehow that his clever remarks have more weight than video of what he is doing and saying. 

Yes, the infamous elevator kerfuffle which played out exactly as these things so often do, with the predictable 'kill the messenger ' waterfall of words in the readers comments from staunch liberal Democratic activist and lobbyist Seth Platt, where he posted at least 8 separate posts, as if somehow seven was not enough.

Well, now we now all over again that "Eight is Enough," with Seth Platt in the Grant Goodeve role. Like a certain political commissar here in HB, reading Platt is like water torture. 
Platt seems to be the "Tokyo Rose" of Broward County political social media, at once both everywhere, but also with nothing of substance to say that you're really interested in, instead, also the very picture of a tone-deaf self-promoter.   

If you have not see those two videos, they're really 'must-see' in every respect, and I can tell you with certainty that if Channel 10 embedded their news segments, they'd have been anchors on this blog within minutes of them first airing.

Will the upcoming NHL owners lockout affect the $7.7 million loan from Broward County to Florida Panthers owner Michael Yormark, which he's clearly counting on to prop him up?

Dear Ms. Henry:

Are the Florida Panthers and Michael Yormark still legally entitled to the $7.7 million loan from Broward County if, legally, they're NOT a going concern as of the start of the NHL season on October 13th?

During the upcoming strike, which is, of course, more properly called an owner's "lockout," since Mr. Yormark's company will NOT be offering the public a product, service or benefit -or honoring tickets already sold to ticket holders (taxpayers) of this county- if those funds have NOT already been disbursed, wouldn't it be prudent to place them in an escrow account now so that they can't be used to stanch the expected financial bleeding in Plantation once the season comes with no games
being played?

If you have some time this weekend, you might want to peruse his Twitter feed.

Do you want to know a name that rarely if ever appears on his Twitter feed? 
It's "Broward."
Yes, it's true.

Also rarely appearing there: Ft. Lauderdale or Plantation, where the team plays...
In fact, none of those names have so much as appeared once since July if then.
I stopped looking when they weren't mentioned since at least July 31st.  

When you read it you see rather quickly that his is a lifestyle that's full of trips on private luxury jets and expensive steak houses and reading books on business leadership, as if reading about it was a substitute for doing it.

All this after he asks for a handout of over $7 million from taxpayer's elected officials that in my opinion could have been MUCH better used. 
Say, well, for something that visiting tourists to Broward County would actually benefit from, and tell their friends about so they'd come down for a visit, too.

Look at me and my old-fashioned notions about how tourist bed taxes ought to be used!
No wonder I'm not flying on private jets these days and chowing-down at expensive steak houses in LA, NY and Vegas like Yormark and deducting it as a business expense.

Perhaps you were one of the persons in South Florida who got this email from me seven months ago... All links still work.

Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 2:53 AM
Subject: FYI re WPLG-TV/Miami video: The BankAtlantic shuffle: Florida Panthers president doesn't
want to answer questions about $7.7 million sweetheart loan from Broward County

This video from the Thursday night 6 pm newscast is the perfect follow-up to my previous emails
on this subject, 

My favorite take away is from the last one:

Broward County has gotten the short end of the stick in its financial deal with the Florida Panthers, and a proposed loan would only tip the scales further, the county's auditor charges.
To date, the county has paid more than $90 million for the arena that serves as the Panthers' home, and gotten back just $331,000 in profit-sharing.
The Panthers side of the scoreboard is far brighter, according to county records. Since the doors at BankAtlantic Center opened 13 years ago, Arena Operating Co., the Panthers' sister company that runs the arena, has rung up a reported $117.4 million in profits. That's more than 353 times what the county has banked.

This absurd loan to the Florida Panthers, which is opposed by the Greater Ft. Lauderdale hospitality
industry, a preening, self-important and self-serving group to be sure, but one who has a much better
idea about what tourists do and do not want to do when they visit than the county commission, and
going to a Panthers game on the outskirts of The Everglades near nothing but a huge shopping mall
is NOT one of them.

But first, here's the Florida Panthers' tone-deaf Michael Yormark in a video from Forbes;
Yormark's the clown who who won't answer questions below.

The Channel 10 video, and the antics of the people shown, speaks for itself.

Also see my post of early February, one of the most-popular of the year:
Bob Norman's must-see video of Florida Panthers president, who DOESN'T want to answer questions about $7.7 million sweetheart loan from Broward County"

as well as these two pieces from Channel 10

Florida Panthers hockey prez a Twitter twit?
By Bob Norman
Published On: Apr 25 2012 08:28:07 AM EDT

WPLG Editorial: Fla. Panthers' Pres. rantings
Author: Dave Boylan, VP and General Manager of WPLG.
Published On: Apr 26 2012 11:59:27 AM EDT  
Updated On: Apr 26 2012 12:16:46 PM EDT


Panthers skate on, despite uncertain labor future
By TIM REYNOLDS (AP Sports Writer)
September 14, 2012



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