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.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Entrepreneur Luciana Preguerman and other Fashion Row shop owners in Hallandale Beach draw a line in the sand over the City Commission/CRA threatening to sabotage an already-approved and budgeted plan for street improvements they've been desperately waiting for, and are livid over the new CRA Director's inability to logically articulate why they're considering such a move. They want answers before Monday night's important CRA meeting at 5 p.m.


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?
-----

Dear City Commission and City Manager:

On behalf of the Fashion Row neighbors association and myself, I'm contacting you to apprise you of some very troubling concerns we have about the community meeting held yesterday at my store at 139 N.E 1st Avenue. 

CRA Director Daniel Rosemond stated not once but (at least) twice that he was under no "obligation" to be at this meeting, or even talk to us about the plan the city had already approved, after numerous property owners expressed their displeasure at his inability or unwillingness to answer their questions fully regarding this unfinished project to their satisfaction.

Am I to understand that after 3 years of united community work to make something concrete, the work on our area has suddenly stopped and yet there is not an "obligation" by the city government to accurately communicate this information to the entire community in a timely fashion?

That he has no "obligation" to explain or disclose relevant information to us, given that we are now only 3 business days away from the City Commission meeting where the already approved budget will be reviewed? 

We were told that a detailed email was to be send to area property and business owners who can't attend (since the meeting was schedule at a time that businesses are still open) and yet we are still waiting for it. We are also waiting for a copy of the complete approved budget that was requested.

Is it a matter of deep concern to us how things are suddenly changing in a way that seems very strange and counter-productive. We have always worked with the city officers in a very open relationship within our community, together, so why is that now changing? What possible reason could you have now for changing what has already been approved when it is in sight of becoming a reality? 

You need to understand that we do not agree with these dramatic changes and I think is very important to share this information.

It seems to us that it is incumbent upon a new city official whose salary is paid for by taxpayers the obligation to communicate in a timely matter, some valuable information to the community that can affects our properties, businesses, safety and security.

We are really looking to a positive outcome that will benefit everybody, since there would seem to be enough abundance in this city for everybody in this city to prosper.

We believe we are being reasonable in thinking that we are due some respect for our past efforts and only seek to exercise our right to be a part of the city's future success.

Sincerely,

Luciana Preguerman

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For Sale

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)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
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!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

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Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

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In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.