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.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's long past time to put the BEACH back in Hallandale Beach. For there ever to be a successful balance between business, town, and nature in Hallandale Beach, Mayor Joy Cooper must first be kicked-out of City Hall in 5 weeks; @MayorCooper

Late afternoon, North Beach, Hallandale Beach, FL, February 10, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
It's long past time to put the BEACH back in Hallandale Beach. For there ever to be a successful balance between business, town, and nature in Hallandale Beach, Mayor Joy Cooper must first be kicked-out of City Hall in 5 weeks; @MayorCooper
While it might look nice and inviting from afar, the sad and galling reality for far too many Hallandale Beach residents who want to enjoy their public beaches, is that in the ten years under Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew at City Hall, the city's highly-paid top bureaucrats and the city's ineffective Dept. of Public Works -now headed by Hector Castrothe public beaches have been consistently neglected and poorly-maintained for MANY, MANY YEARS.

A frequent sign of the times for beleaguered Hallandale Beach residents and their guests at the city's public beach area: Above, snapshot of a poorly-maintained public beach -finding a used condom near one of the few park benches at North Beach at 4 p.m. on a Friday holiday afternoon on a beach full of families. January 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
In fact, there are several places at the beach where it's self-evident to even the casual observer that the city is NOT even in compliance with its own rules or ordinances -or even state laws- and hasn't been since I moved here in late 2003. 
To say nothing of showing initiative or common sense there.

Mid-afternoon, North Beach, Hallandale Beach, FL, April 8, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Yet despite the fact that the beach is an invaluable resource and the reason that many people have consciously chosen to live in Hallandale Beach instead of somewhere else in south Florida, Mayor Cooper and 3/4ths of the City Commission -and those bureaucrats- have chosen to squander time, energy and large sums of money on one terrible idea after another elsewhere in the city because of either personal connections or their push for the furtherance of crony capitalism, rather than in making the investment in making the public beaches cleaner, more attractive and more interesting for residents and guests alike. 

More recently,  in her role as head of the Florida League of CitiesMayor Cooper has neglected the city even more than usual, as she has flitted from one part of the state to another, acting like a Queen Bee.
Believe me, the people she meets in other Florida cities in that FLC capacity have no earthly idea of what a poor job she has done for years by any sort of objective measure. 

Above, July 26, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, 

In 1999, while I was still living and working in the Washington, D.C. area, Hallandale voters went to the polls and decided to overwhelmingly approve a charter question asking whether the name of the city should officially be changed to Hallandale Beach.
As I understand it, the slogan that was used at the time was something along the lines of "Put the beach back in Hallandale."

In my opinion, in the year 2012, after all the dozens of fact-filled and photo-filled posts I've posted here documenting the deteriorating conditions of the city's public beaches, it's long past time to not only put the BEACH back in Hallandale, but to put genuine oversight and meaningful financial accountability to taxpayers in it as well.

That will clearly NOT happen if Joy Cooper and her thin-skinned, myopic and  and aggressively-negative personality is returned to office on November 6th, because she has had ten long years to display such abilities and respect for the citizens and resources of this city, and yet everyday, we see further signs that she lacks both the ability and desire.

It could hardly be more obvious.

Consider the following excerpts from my post of January 17th, 2009:

Sometimes, coincidences happen for a good reason, and I think such is the case today.
I was already in the process of writing something that I was going to post this weekend about the deplorable conditions of the beach, when the Broward Palm Beach New Times' Juice blog did a piece yesterday afternoon that covers much the same ground.
It's just below my comments 

Have you all read Hallandale Beach Commissioner Keith London's interesting email yet about developments at last week's HB City Commission meeting -which I didn't attend- regarding conditions at the beach?  Here's the germane portion for this email:
There was a presentation from two high school students requesting the implementation and participation of a beach clean up in the City of Hallandale Beach.  During the clean up, the waste will be sorted, measured and cataloged by type and volume of waste on the beaches. The students informed the Commission that in past clean-ups, cigarette butts accounted foe 46% of the waste. 
Armed with this information, I made a motion requesting the city attorney the feasibility of a creating a future ordinance "to make smoking illegal on City of Hallandale Beach public beaches".The Motion passed 3:2. London, Ross, Sanders for, and Cooper and Julian against.
I really commend these high school kids and only wish I'd been there to speak with them afterwards, to say so in person, since that's the kind of positive reinforcement they need.

If high school kids are so appalled by what even they can see at their beach that they actually feel compelled to show up at City Hall to complain about it -and we'll assume that they don't share that public policy gene like us- just remember they're NOT the only ones to notice, just the only ones with enough resolve to press the issue.
How truly embarrassing for this city!!! 

As we all know from our travels, in many if not most American communities fortunate enough to have a beach, especially those dependent on tourism, the beach is an invaluable resource that's esteemed, treasured and given extra care and concern.

It's a place where city officials and elected officials constantly visit and hover around to keep track of not only its physical and aesthetic condition, but also to gauge the mood of resident and visitor beach-goers to see if there's any problems or concerns there they need to be aware of.

They are pro-active, NOT reactive and slothful and full of excuses as they are in Hallandale Beach. 

That public sentiment is often an early indicator of the residents' collective feeling about the town itself, since when resident taxpayers feel that a place as high-profile as the beach is going downhill, and not being properly looked after, it's only natural that they suspect that other things in the city they can't see are falling apart, too.

It's only human nature, but it's something the City of Hallandale Beach has been in utter denial about for years, as one problem after another has been left to fester there.
Yet when confronted with the reality, they've instead put their heads in the sand.
The evidence is all around you.

That's why I and many other HB residents I've spoke to over the past 18 months want the city to emulate the City of Hollywood, where the city's Parks and Rec. Dept. manages their award-winning beach, doing a great job that makes them the envy of South Florida.
Just because our beach is so much smaller doesn't mean it has to be managed SO poorly and with so little regard for either safety or aesthetics.

The citizens of this beach-side city deserve MUCH BETTER than they get with regard to beach maintenance and overall attractiveness, and over the next week or so, I will be posting numerous photos to my blog to illustrate the exact nature of the problems I've witnessed first-hand over the past two years.
And letting others in the South Broward area who have an interest know about it, too.

Ask yourself a question: If a well-managed but land-locked city like Coral Springs had a beach this size, what would it look like and how would it be managed?
Now compare that image in your head with the current reality of ours under Mayor Joy Cooper.  
'Nuff said!

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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.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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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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Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

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