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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Future of Hallandale Beach's Fashion Row Arts District on N.E. First Avenue to be discussed at an important 5:30 p.m. meeting on Wednesday at Dekka; What, if any, are insurance executive and developer Stephen L. Riemer's strategic plans for the future of the N.E. First Avenue area, alongside the F.E.C. tracks?; More cases of déjà vu on Hallandale Beach's woeful website

Above from June 19, 2012 

March 12, 2013

One day before an important 5:30 meeting at Dekka about the future of NE First Avenue and HB City Hall's willingness to actually live up to their past promises after years of eyerolling obfuscation and rhetoric -with only one Fashion Row banner still flying above the street that took the city over ONE YEAR to actually order and then erect onto First Avenue street light fixtures, in Dec. of 2011- and less than one week before next Monday night's HB CRA meeting on that matter, weeks after being hired, new CRA Director Daniel Rosemond's email address STILL does NOT appear on the city's own website. 

And can anyone plausibly explain why Liza Torres' contact info is NOT also located on the same webpage?


Why is it SO consistently hard over several years for the city to actually construct a normal, accurate and intuitive hierarchical directory on the city website that lists who's in charge of what, and their contact info?
It's like pulling teeth to get them to act like a normal city!

For some of you reading this, these words ring very, very familiar.
But it wasn't yesterday, it was four year ago.
In fact, it was March 8, 2009 when I wrote and posted this...

Mayor Joy Cooper's so-called column in The South Florida Sun-Times had this headline for her most recent column: It was a very busy week around the community

Her 9th paragraph begins: 
   We continued the first meeting of the month with the public works update. Director William Brandt reported
on the many ongoing construction projects. Many were in the final stages of completion. West Hallandale Beach
Blvd is almost fully completed with punch list items and final signalization test. This included the intersection at
8th Ave., which was implemented jointly with our city. Staff continues to evaluate the continued erosion along 
Shafer Canal and is looking to work with Broward County Erosion Control and the South Florida Water Management
District. We are looking at the possibility of a grant or loan program to assist in repairs. 
   One other project that was highlighted was the bridge rehabilitation project which has already commenced.
It will continue over the next few months with a projected completion date of November 1. This project includes
the beautification and lighting enhancements on the bridges located SW 7th St, Paradise Isles Blvd. and the
seven bridges within the single family residential area.
   After his report Mr. Brandt introduced the new Director of Public Works Department.
   Bill Brandt will remain as Director of Utilities and Engineering. Our utilities infrastructure continues to create a
high demand with many necessary on going projects . These include; sewer line rehabilitation, lift station replacement,
water plant operations, water main line improvements and daily crew operations and maintenance. 
All these projects include extensive engineering and planning.
   In order to expedite many of our construction programs and projects City Manager Mike Good recommended the
department be split between utilities and public works. Mr. John Chidsey was introduced as our new Director of 
Public Works. His duties will include but are not limited to; construction planning and supervision, facility maintenance,
sanitation, fleet management, street maintenance and transportation. Mr. Chidsey has over 30 years of supervisory
experience in construction, mechanical repair and maintenance. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from Nova,
is a State Certified contractor having built over 100,000 million dollars in construction and holds a Broward County
Engineering 3G Certificate.
   The combined expertise of both these gentlemen will provide much better service to our community. Keeping with
our goal not to increase costs and provide the same quality or improved services this staff change will create no
additional costs. Recently Frank Hilemen Legislative Analyst/Grant Specialist left the city for a job with a  private firm.
This position was not filled in the city manager's department but transferred to create the new public works position.
   After the introduction I took an opportunity to thank Director Brant on a job well done in repairing the water main
break that occurred on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. at Golden Isles Drive.  During these trying financial times I
have been approach many times with the question.  “Why we are not laying off people and going out to contract
service to save money?” This is one of the prime examples. Our staff was able to mobilize instantly and insure
that our water services were up and running within 24 hours for thousands of residents. If we had to wait to call in
an out side contractor the job would have taken much longer and would have cost much more to complete.

I guess I hardly need tell you that as far as the city's own website goes, as of today, after typing his name in the
search function, it shows that there is no person -with or without quotation marks- named "Chidsey" working
for the City of Hallandale Beach, as you can see below.

Not surprisingly, as of today, the city's website, http://www.hallandalebeach.org/Directory.asp?EID=67
also still shows Mr. Brant as DPW Director
You are here: Home > Staff Directory

William Brant 
Department of Public Works
Title: Director of Public Works
Phone: 954-457-1611

Return to Staff Directory


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March 8, 2009

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No, four years ago, I had to send Mr. Chidsey an email thru other city Dept. heads in order to let him know that the only reason he wasn't already hearing from citizens completely disgusted and dismayed with the continuing unsatisfactory performance of DPW at public parks and the beach was simple -his city email address was still missing from the city's website several MONTHS after he'd been put in charge of the Dept.
Yes, as always, the past is prologue in Hallandale Beach.

Like many of you, I think it will be very interesting to see if insurance executive and real estate developer Stephen L Riemer attends Wednesday's meeting, given all the properties that he owns or is associated with in the immediate area.

All properties in Hallandale Beach currently owned by Stephen L. Riemer or Riemer Brothers LLChttp://riemerinsurance.com/  http://www.riemerbrothers.com/

We have located more than one record for the information you entered.
Directions: Click the folio number to see property details.
 Sort By Folio Number      Sort By Name      Sort By Address
50 Records Found
Folio NumberOwner NameProperty Address
514227300090 RIEMER BROTHERS L L C 101 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227290220 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 105 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227300080 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 105 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227300071 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 107 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227290240 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 109 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227300070 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 109 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227290260 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 113 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227270011 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 114 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227300040 RIEMER BROTHERS L L C 115 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227290100 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 116 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227290280 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 117 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227290110 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 118 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227290120 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 120 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227290130 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 122 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227110120 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 201 NE 3 AVENUE  
514227290330 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 203 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227290340 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 205 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227110170 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 207 NE 2 STREET  
514227110160 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 211 NE 2 STREET  
514227110150 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 215 NE 2 STREET  
514227110140 RIEMER BROTHERS L L C 217 NE 2 STREET  
514227300120 RIEMER,STEPHEN L 221 NE 3 AVENUE  
514222310130 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 224 NE 4 STREET  
514227270010 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 308 NE 2 STREET  
514227070111 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 309 NE 1 STREET  
514227070100 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 314 NE 1 STREET  
514222340130 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 316 NE 4 COURT  
514227270030 RIEMER BROTHERS L L C 320 NE 1 COURT  
514227070080 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 320 NE 1 STREET  
514222340030 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 321 NE 4 STREET  
514227270014 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 328 NE 2 STREET  
514227110320 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 329 NE 2 STREET  
514227270020 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 330 NE 1 COURT  
514222120110 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 408 NE 2 AVENUE  
514227010570 RIEMER BROTHERS LLC 410 NE 2 STREET  

I say that in light of all the many below-the-radar comments that have been heard around town about him and his purported desire to essentially take over the street, and build a high-density building there, perhaps a mixed-use development with residential on top of first-floor retail.

Of course, if Mr. Riemer or one of his associates is there in-person, they need to be prepared to be asked reasonable questions by the public and small business owners about the specifics of Riemer's strategic plan for N.E. First Avenue.

If those comments I've heard are, in fact, true, personally, I don't think his keeping the entire community in the dark on his plans would work to his advantage.
Quite to the contrary.

I guess we'll all see what happens and who plays their cards tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.
Make plans to be there!

Dekka is located at 139 N.E. 1st Avenue, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

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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.

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.


The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

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

Let's end the 29-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 29-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display seen on Ringvägen, in Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Here's snapshot of the poster featuring the ubiquitous St. Erik, whose crowned head is the City of Stockholm's coat of arms. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Which European country has the most attractive citizens?

As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html