On Thursday afternoon, Hallandale Beach entrepreneur and Fashion Row shop owner Luciana Preguerman sent the following impassioned email to the Hallandale Beach City Commission/
HB CRA and City Manager, with copies to other interested parties in Hallandale Beach and Broward County regarding the so-called community meeting that was held at her shop, Dekka, on late Wednesday afternoon.
That meeting, featuring the city's new CRA Director, Daniel Rosemond, was, even by Hallandale Beach's all-too-frequently low standards for civic engagement, an unmitigated disaster for HB City Hall.
Worse yet, it left all of the small business owners there who attended, who've been waiting patiently/desperately for years for promised street improvements, to wonder why there has been yet another delay, and who exactly is behind it.
Since Rosemond said that some consideration was being made into including West Dixie Highway, some have wondered if it was an attempt by Commissioners Anthony A. Sanders and Alexander Lewy to funnel yet more CRA funds into Northwest Hallandale Beach.
Lewy has stated several times over the past year that he believes that almost all HB CRA funds should go there, even though NW HB represents only part of the CRA, and would necessarily cause some residents and businesses in other parts of the CRA to consider suing the city if such a policy was ever pursued.
Others publicly wondered if it wasn't all the result of some plan by Hallandale Beach insurance executive and developer Stephen L. Riemer and Riemer Brothers LLC, to use City Hall as a cudgel to force small businesses on First Avenue to close and sell their property, with him swooping in and purchasing them at a discount, since Riemer already own 50 properties in that immediate area.
It did not go un-noticed by those in attendance that Riemer was not present at the meeting, nor were any representatives of his.
Well, we'll all see for ourselves on Monday at HB City Hall at 5 p.m. just what the future of Fashion Row is, if any, as those shop owners once again find themselves in the unenviable position of being forced to watch the City Commission decide their fate and what will happen along N.E. First Avenue.
But at what cost to public trust and business confidence?