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, Europe 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. 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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Csaba Kulin gets the Miami Herald's whitewash treatment: McClatchy's Co.'s Herald practices the opposite of giving credit where credit is due, editing out the name of the one person in South Florida most-responsible for finding out why and how 3 former Hallandale Beach City Managers will soon be multi-millionaires with taxpayer dollars; a story that Miami Herald reporters, editors and management have completely ignored for years!

Where did all the taxpayer money go? Good question! Csaba Kulin knows some of the answers. Imagine if we had City Commissioners here like him and Michele Lazarow who'd actually take their oversight  responsibilities for taxpayers seriously, and ask probing questions instead of just sitting on the dais and playing the role of rubber stamps for the mayor. Hmmm... October 24, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
Csaba Kulin gets the Miami Herald's whitewash treatment: McClatchy's Co.'s Herald practices the opposite of giving credit where credit is due, editing out the name of the one person in South Florida most-responsible for finding out why and how 3 former Hallandale Beach City Managers will soon be multi-millionaires with taxpayer dollars; a story that Miami Herald reporters, editors and management have completely ignored for years!

It's a damn shame that the Miami Herald's editors have once again shown their infamous tin ear for Broward County news, their terra incognita,.

In this case, by editing-out the name from their version of this past week's latest embarrassing story about Hallandale Beach in the Broward Bulldog, written by Bill Gjebre, of the one person in South Florida most-responsible for finding out why and how 3 former Hallandale Beach City Managers and other highly-paid officials will soon be multi-millionaires with taxpayer dollars.

In doing so, they do a serious dis-service to someone whose diligent unpaid hard work for two years first turned-up evidence of financial self-service by Hallandale Beach's three most-recent City Managers, ripping-off Hallandale Beach taxpayers while producing sub-standard results that we can all see around us in this small ocean-side city, HB civic activist and City Commission candidate, Csaba Kulin.


Pension plan pays off big for ex-Hallandale Beach city managers  
Hallandale Beach’s former top managers collect fat pensions from a retirement plan they pushed a decade ago
(FYI: The above story will disappear from Herald website in a few days, unlike Broward Bulldog's website.)

Seriously, folks, whom exactly did you think gave the reams and reams of information with copious notes to the Bulldog's Bill Gjebre in the first place, to get him fully-acquainted with all the pertinent facts and figures, Joy Cooper, the notoriously thin-skinned and ethically-challenged longtime autocrat of a mayor, under whose "leadership" the city's budget has nearly doubled the past 6-8 years, with hardly anything tangible for put-upon citizen taxpayers to point to except a Wastewater Treatment facility? 
Hardly!

And it's certainly not former HB City Manager R.J. Intindola, one of the central parties under-the microscope in the article.

As I've mentioned here previously, Intindola is the smug and poison pen online blogger who lives in Georgia, far from what's actually going on here, but who acts like he's a real player in what happens here. 
He not only isn't, of course, but his name now provokes laughs in people who know that he's been spinning a spiffy PR story about himself for many, many years that is now finally getting the genuine scrutiny it deserved many years ago, and best of all, using the city's own documents.
As we say in France, touché monsieur!

Hallandale’s ex-top managers collect fat pensions from retirement plan they pushed a decade ago
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
October 22, 2012 at 6:23 AM

Some of you regular readers of the blog may recall this story from five months ago, in my blog post of May 19th:
Csaba Kulin exposes the multi-million dollar bill to be borne by Hallandale Beach taxpayers for having a disconnected City Commission that was -and is- NOT interested in paying close attention to detail or in asking tough questions. That's how and why former City Managers Intindola and Good have made out like bank robbers

Which was followed-up by a large email and subsequent blog post here on Tuesday:

Thanks to Csaba Kulin's many months of diligently digging thru city records to find the truth -only some of which city had- we now know what the real cost to Hallandale Beach taxpayers has been for having an inattentive City Commission for so many years: Millions and millions of dollars for Intindola, Good & Antonio's pensions!



And here's the real kicker -Csaba Kulin already has the proof of the city's embarrassing "smoking gun" that kicks this story up several notches from what's written here. 
The sort that, IF Broward County had a solid and dependable local prosecutor, leads to real investigations, real grand juries and real legal consequences.

A fact that the Miami Herald seems determined to find out about -after-the-fact.
And I happen to know it, too, thanks to months of listening to Csaba connect-the-dots.

Not that the Herald's beat reporter for Hallandale Beach, Carli Teproff, ever thought to look into any of this, even though I've sent her some of the information that positively connects-the-dots, months ago, just as I sent it to the Sun-Sentinel's Tonya Alanez.
Nope, they just couldn't be bothered.

And neither could anyone else in South Florida's deservedly-maligned press corps -except Bill Gjebre of the online Broward Bulldog.

Why?
You'd have to ask Teproff and Alanez for that answer, but I have my own suspicions.
No, seriously, why don't you ask them why they weren't interested in a news story involving a city they covered that involved millions of dollars?

If I was their editor, you can be damn sure I'd be asking, but then I wouldn't work for either news paper, now would I?
Nope.
One, the Sun-Sentinel, with a pay-wall that is suffocating the newspaper and making it even more irrelevant, and the other, the Herald that plans on erecting one soon that will only hasten its likely demise. 
Not that their reflexive geographical myopia helps them any! 

(But lure existing and new customers and eyeballs to pay for what new and original content? Ah, there's the rub! What do they have to offer people dis-satisfied with the current product, more of what they dislike?)

Csaba has done what the smartest prosecutors presenting a case before a jury do -letting people hang themselves with their own words.

In this case, Csaba not only has used their own words to help paint a story, but has also used the documents these folks created, the city's own documents, to show what has been going on for years below-the-surface of Mayor Joy Cooper's economic facade on S. Federal Highway.

A city which, if you didn't already know, has a rapidly declining Reserve fund because of its continual use to balance the city's books on everyday expenses, as well as Cooper's craven crony capitalism, an economic theory that treats the city's CRA funds like an ATM for her friends and supporters.

Especially for her loyal supporters in Northwest Hallandale Beach, where do-nothing Comm. Anthony A. Sanders happily plays the role of bank teller with citizen's tax dollars or CRA funds that are supposed to end blight.
Except Sanders acts like it's his money, not ours, and he wants to be thanked for it at the ballot box in ten days. 
No, I won't be thanking you for squandering money and refusing to face HB concerned citizens in person for over three years.
Sanders & Co. needs to get the heave-ho but quick come Election Day...

Csaba penned some words on Thursday that I have included below that spell it out pretty well for all to see and chew-on, especially the very bitter supporters of Cooper, as well as longtime Commissioners Bill Julian, Dotty Ross and Sanders.

This claque of aggressively loud-mouthed and high-strung supporters, whom, as you might imagine, don't much want to let the real facts and bad judgment of their heroes interfere with their preferred alternative-version of reality, where Cooper, Julian, Ross and Sanders are just super, just like the state of the city, and it's people like myself, Csaba, Mike Butler, Keith London and others interested in reform and transparency who are keeping the city down.

Yes, the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew's collection of sycophants, oddballs and ne'er do-wells, with their grand sense of entitlement, who, in order to prove their worth to their heroes, almost routinely engage in the most juvenile and almost laughable stunts imaginable, of which stealing others' campaign signs is but, I suppose, the most basic of initiations.
For a few of them who are just barely tethered to reality, though, that also includes making phony phone calls to the Police Dept. in order to try to embarrass and frame people they hate.
(I'll get to that in a few days.)

That so many elected officials who have so very much to be publicly held accountable for, as well as their flunkies, drive around town and act above the law, would be laughable if it weren't so damn objectionable and obvious.
I described it here in detail as recently as Wednesday, and I suggest you go back to that post if you don't get the full picture of what things are like.

And now, finally, here's Csaba Kulin with the latest news on this pension matter: 

I have researched Management Pension Plan for two years. I have all the documents made available to me by the city. I did not find anywhere the City Commission-approved the prior year of service before the pension plan actually started.
The plan started in 2001 and R J Intindola should be receiving 13 months plus 4 years of time purchased. That is a bit over 5 years, not almost 25 years. R J Intindola should receive his 401K retirement, which is a lot less generous, prior to 2001 years of service.
I have been looking for two years for the authorization to give credit for “back service” years.
I was not able to find it for one reason. There is none.
The City Commission approved the plan but NOT the “prior service years”. I have no proof YET but I suspect it was approved, without City Commission’s OK, by the then City Manager R J Intindola. As far as know, R J Intindola was the first beneficiary of his decision.
This is not the end of the story. Will Hallandale Beach try to “claw back” and stop paying out ill-gotten pension payments? Will the Broward Inspector General look at the issue? Will the Hallandale Beach City Commission just say “let us forget about the past and concentrate on the mistakes we will make in the future” or we are going to get to the bottom of this. I will tell you after November 6, 2012
Here is the “smoking gun” from the current City Manager.
Hello Mr. Kulin,
I apologize for the delayed response but I wanted to be 100% sure that this information as correct. The city does not have an item that speaks directly to the credit of back time. I have attached for you all the documentation associated with formal actions adopting the management pension plan for your review.
Renee C. Crichton
City Manager
City of Hallandale Beach
-----

So I ask you, in a City Manager-style form of government like Hallandale Beach has had, who do you suppose made that crucial and expensive decision years ago regarding back time?
Teaser Alert -it wasn't the cute blonde beach lifeguard from Ft. Wayne.
Think much, much higher on the food chain.


Yes, just more reasons to vote for Keith London for mayor and Csaba Kulin and Michele Lazarow for city commission instead of the faces of unethical behavior and inadequate oversight and financial accountability, who desperately want to be on the dais a month from now -Cooper, Sanders and Julian.

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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.

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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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