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 and Europe, especially the UK 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, May 31, 2013

Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving MILLIONS of dollars at Hallandale Beach CRA, why has Broward's independent Office of Inspector General refused to hold a single outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while OIG has met with other Broward civic groups? It's very perplexing and counterintuitive to getting cold hard facts out into the sunshine and the public realm

Above, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott at a Broward League of Women Voters event in Coconut Creek, FL on January 24, 2013. Below, four of the five Hallandale Beach citizens who found time on a busy weekday afternoon to drive up to Coconut Creek in northwest Broward County to listen to and ask some questions of Mr. Scott. Pictured left-to-right are Keith S. London, Dr. Robert Selz, Dr. Judy Selz, and Csaba Kulin. Not pictured: me! January 24, 2013 photos by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Below is a copy of my email this afternoon to Hallandale Beach's two reps on the Broward County Commission, Sue Gunzburger and Barbara Sharief, about the independent Broward Office of Inspector General relative to an issue that I've previously mentioned here on the blog and in numerous emails around the area, almost of which have elicited the same perplexed and unhappy reaction among concerned citizens upon first learning of it.
The email speaks for itself.

I should mention here that as of 8:00 p.m. tonight, in advance of Tuesday's important County Commission meeting in Fort Lauderdale with an agenda item re an audit of the HB CRA by the County Auditor's office, Comm. Sharief has not publicly made her opinion known, while Comm. Gunzburger has made clear to everyone that she is going to fight very hard for it.

I sincerely hope that Comm. Sharief will show the same good judgement and pro-citizen sentiment that she's consistently shown the past few years on many issues, including the controversial red-light camera issue, where she has been one of the very few bright spots among all of Broward's pols, city officials and public policy pundits. 

Comm. Sharief has been a consistent opponent of the overwhelmingly pro-RLC County Commission and Broward Legislative Delegation's knee-jerk votes on this issue, the very same people who have been so VERY quiet the past few weeks about the #shortyellow issue in Florida, where the Florida Dept. of Transportation lowered the required length of the yellow traffic light below the Federal standard of 4.5 seconds, without contacting the Florida Legislature and its leadership, in order to capture more cars on camera and generate more revenue for Florida cities.

That's entirely in keeping with the long-time strategy of the taxpayer-supported Florida League of Cities, many of whose individual members received considerable campaign contributions last year from the companies engaged in this so-called service, which is exactly what happened here in Hallandale Beach.

As you regular readers of the blog will recall, Arizona-based  American Traffic Solutions and Mayor Joy Cooper have become the best of friends the past few years after she and the City Commission forced this on city residents a years ago despite their consistent opposition, in order to generate more funds for the city.

The mayor received thousands of dollars in campaign funds from ATS after writing a pro-RLC essay in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and it's largely because of her that Hallandale Beach has became so infamous around the state on this issue.

While I'm hoping for the best since it seems like such an obvious thing to vote YES given the damning IG report on the HB CRA, personally, I believe that a vote against an audit by Comm. Sharief on Tuesday would do long-lasting damage to her public standing in Hallandale Beach, especially among its more well-informed and most-concerned residents, all of whom are super-voters.

But its her vote, so she's going to do whatever she's going to do, and if she votes NO, she will have to live with the resulting negative consequences.

Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving millions of dollars at the HB CRA, why has Broward IG's Office refused to hold a single public outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while meeting with other Broward groups?

May 31, 2013
3:30 p.m.

RE: Given the longstanding mismanagement and corruption involving millions of dollars at the HB CRA, why has Broward IG's Office refused to hold a single public outreach mtg. with citizens in Hallandale Beach, while meeting with other Broward groups that were NOT directly affected?

Dear Commissioners Gunzburger and Sharief:

Since the question of whether or not the Broward County Commission should authorize the Office of Broward County Auditor Evan Lukic to perform a thorough audit of the Hallandale Beach Beach CRA will be coming-up at Tuesday's meeting, given the city's longstanding failure 
to have normal and effective operating quality controls over millions of dollars in place, or even pretend to have actual public accountability and thorough follow-up to ensure that  public funds were spent for their intended if ill-founded purposes, a motion that I support 100%, due to the HB City Commission/CRA Board's longstanding refusal to have a thorough audit of the entire HB CRA, i.e themselves, I'd like to bring to your  attention a related issue involving the Office of the Broward Inspector General.

Since The Commission authorized the creation of that Office a few years ago, you won't be surprised to hear that it has held several public meetings with various civic groups, affinity and social groups throughout Broward County to get their "message" out.
It's actually entirely what you'd expect.

Included among those meetings was one that was hosted in late January by the Broward League of Women Voters in Coconut Creek featuring IG John W. Scott.
I and four other very-concerned Hallandale Beach citizens actually attended that get-together at a condominium, despite its lack of proximity to HB.

But despite my personally having provided the IG's Office with a LOT of verifiable information regarding unethical and illegal conduct and behavior involving individuals in this community, esp. regarding the HB CRA, and Mr. Scott's own publicly declarations that he believes getting his office's message out is an important function -and it being brought-up at that very meeting- his office have refused to hold a single public community meeting with citizens of Hallandale Beach since his office initiated its investigation of the City of Hallandale Beach involving its missing-in-action supervision under former HB City Managers Mike Good and Mark A. Antonio involving so much mis-spent millions and missing documents, to say nothing of the missing professionalism HB taxpayers had a reasonable right to expect but never receivedDespite the fact that this city's residents and taxpayers have been personally affected by what has happened.

I have personally written to Mr. Scott on several occasions and have brought up the issues of his Office showing some good faith to this community by actually following-up on his OWN public declarations and do so for all of the most-obvious reasons.
That includes a written request to him over a week ago, yet his office has been completely, and rather curiously, non-responsive on this matter.

I strongly urge the two of you as representatives on the County Commission of this community's beleaguered citizens to contact the IG's office and remind them that they have a logical AND moral duty to speak directly and publicly with the citizens of this directly-affected city.
A duty that is at least as strong as it is to all of the many Broward groups that the IG's Office has already spoken to that are NOT directly affected at all.

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!