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.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Follow-up email to FL Gov. Rick Scott about MILLION$ more down the drain at Hallandale Beach City Hall. MORE of what we already knew and always suspected and now it's Q.E.D. yet again -Bill Gjebre in Broward Bulldog: "Hallandale city managers erased millions in code violation fines with little oversight"; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

Palm tree obstructing the sun's powerful rays  at Hallandale Beach City Hall. And if there's any City Hall in Florida that needs more sunshine and scrutiny, it's Hallandale Beach's. May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Below is a a copy of my Tuesday morning email to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, with copies to various Florida Legislative leaders and other public officials and interested parties throughout the Sunshine State, about the latest details to come out on what's been happening in one of the most unethical, incompetent and anti-taxpayer outposts in Florida, Hallandale Beach.
There's even less financial accountability and management oversight than we thought, and we didn't think there was very much to begin with.
And the shoes just keep dropping...

For some of you newcomers to this blog, in case you forgot whom I'm referring to in paragraph six regarding the very curious pensions changes that were made by someone at HB City Hall that netted million$ more to certain high-ranking people, by someone that HB City Hall won't name, it's former City Managers Mark A. Antonio, Mike Good, R.J. Intindola and former City Attorney David Jove

They're among the handful of people that this city's most well-informed and active citizens personally blame for the tens of millions of dollars that have been wasted and squandered the past 5-6 years, and whom logic and reason dictate should receive the highest degree of scrutiny by by public officials and law enforcement personnel in Tallahassee and at the Broward County Courthouse.
I've deleted the email addresses for obvious reasons.

-------------



To: Gov. Rick Scott
cc: FL Attorney General Pam Bondi, FL CFO Jeff Atwater, Sen. Don Gaetz, Sen. Jack Latvala, Sen. John Thrasher, Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, Dominic Calabro of Florida Tax Watch, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott and Tim Donnelly of the Broward State Attorney's Office

April 3, 2013

Dear Governor Scott:

Tens of million$ of tax dollar$ squandered here, tens of million$ of CRA dollar$ squandered there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Sadly in the case of the city I've lived in the past nine years, Hallandale Beach, citizens have seen tens of millions of dollars continually squandered with no genuine accountability or oversight by either elected officials, or, highly-paid but incompetent city officials, despite all of them having a moral and fiduciary responsibility.

And now we saw yesterday, via one of the articles below, that our well-founded suspicions have been confirmed as fact with even millions of dollars having been given away as party favors by the current City Manager and her two predecessors in forgiven fines.

I'm sure you won't be too surprised to learn that the current City Manger doesn't want to end her power to play Santa Claus, saying that actually having the elected City Commission make the decisions about waiving fines over $50,000 would slow down the bureaucracy!

Governor Scott, it's this city's longstanding incompetent bureaucracy, fiefdoms and mis-management that's responsible for literally ruining this city's current morale and future Quality of Life in the first place, by saddling current and future taxpayers with exorbitant bills for services that are NOT rendered: clean competent government.   

And even now, three former City Managers, a former City Attorney, and a couple of dozen highly-paid former and current city employees are now laughing all the way to the bank, courtesy of beleaguered Hallandale Beach taxpayers, thanks to a very mysterious decision made over ten years ago regarding pension payments that were changed to exclusively benefit about 40 highly-paid city employees.

And almost as if they needed to square the circle on their own jaw-dropping incompetency, many months after it was first requested, the City of Hallandale Beach STILL can't produce contemporaneous documents that say who the individual was at HB City Hall who decided, without City Commission approvalthat these particular city employees would get their prior years of service paid-out to them at a MUCH-HIGHER rate than they actually earned at the time.

In fact, HB City Hall STILL claims it doesn't have the full list of these former and current city employees who have benefited enormously from this mysterious decision by this mysterious official that will cost HB taxpayers millions and millions more than it should.
What does all of this tell you about the scope of HB City Hall's lack of accountability to residents, taxpayers and small business owners?
And the crazy part is that we still have in place many of the very same individuals legally and morally entrusted to do right by the citizens of this city, but who were and are so irresponsible about fulfilling their responsibilities that they didn't ever bother to verify any information submitted to the city for city/CRA grants or loans, before or after the funds were handed over to so-called non-profits, at least some of whom were actually NOT legally considered non-profits at the time by the IRS.

Not that this salient legal distinction prevented City Hall from giving the money away to their cronies anyway, because as the city's very own documents have shown, there was never any appropriate follow-up to ensure that the funds were being spent properly or even as they were intended.
Really.

Do you see the unmistakable fact pattern that's present here, year-after-year?
Governor Scott, THAT self-evident fact pattern of illegality, incompetency and gross mis-management is our daily reality in this city.
Where's the cavalry?

Broward Bulldog
Hallandale city managers erased millions in code violation fines with little oversight
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
APRIL 2, 2013 AT 6:23 AM

Broward Bulldog
Split Hallandale commission votes to give Miami developer Tibor Hollo big break on fines
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
MARCH 22, 2013 AT 6:13 AM

And just a reminder, sir, it's all true and verifiable!

Sincerely,
DBS

-----
Tuesday's email was the logical follow-up to my March 14th, 2013 email to Governor Scott about longstanding unethical behavior and corruption at Hallandale Beach City Hall,

My open letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott about the longstanding corruption and incompetency at Hallandale Beach City Hall and environs re the HB CRA: More shocking proof of what I've written you several times in the past: Serial malfeasance and millions of dollars squandered by public officials as State laws/ethics were ignored, and with little genuine public oversight or transparency. Broward Inspector General Scott assails Hallandale Beach for past and continuing "gross mismanagement" -possible "criminal misconduct"; @MayorCooper, @SandersHB, @AlexLewy

http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/my-open-letter-to-florida-governor-rick.html

It started out like this... and got even better...


FYI: Some follow-up to my March 7th email to you about longstanding culture 
of corruption and incompetency at Hallandale Beach City Hall: 


Broward Bulldog
Hallandale mayor, ex-city managers defend millions in suspect spending to county agents
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
MARCH 14, 2013 AT 6:10 AM

And the pull-quote?
Probably this:
City records regarding payments to non-profit groups were so lacking, the report said, that investigators were “unable to reliably assess the amount of possible losses suffered by the CRA as a result of ‘misapplication of funding by non-profits.”

Florida law does not permit the CRA to fund charitable donations to non-profits, the report said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and likely shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch a prospective story idea. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and you are sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel to see the latest on the Hoosiers.

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

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 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.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/
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.

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.

Popular Posts

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display I snapped in 2013 at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

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

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!

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