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, May 21, 2013

Update re Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort; Community Meeting/Q&A at Hollywood City Hall re proposed changes to the project's lease & related documents is Thursday at 6 p.m.; What are Starwood Capital and Lon Tabatchnick/Lojeta up to now?

Received a helpful head's up yesterday from a well-informed and plugged-in reader in next-door Hollywood about a timely update on the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort; with a community meeting/Q&A scheduled for Thursday at 6 pm at Hollywood City Hall regarding the various changes to the project's lease and related documents.

This morning I officially received the news from the City of Hollywood, below:

What are Starwood Capital and Lon Tabatchnick/Lojeta up to now?
Hmm-m...

Seven weeks ago, thanks to The Balance Sheet Blog the conscientious “eyes and ears” of Hollywood, we knew the following: http://balancesheetblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/margaritaville-2/

I attended that semi-contentious meeting at Hollywood City Hall (and recorded it) and I think it's fair to say that even among the Margaritaville supporters in the chambers and within the general public as a whole, there is definitely growing resistance to letting this little melodrama play itself out much longer, as was made clear by the not-so-sanguine comments of Comm. Peter Hernandez towards the end of the meeting.

This was not at all helped by what in my opinion appeared to be the general evasiveness of some of the Starwood Capital team members present in their responses, as they seemed more tight-lipped than you would think they'd be at a public meeting involving something that the Hollywood community is so emotionally and financially invested in -and for good reason, too.

That's especially true given the history of this project and the fact that Starwood Capital and their new pal Lon Tabatchnick were asking for something from Hollywood's elected representatives, NOT giving them something to make the medicine go down faster.

Some of the Starwood Capital folks almost seemed genuinely upset that the City Commission wanted more specific answers from them than they were prepared to give, but then I saw this phenomena all the time on Capitol Hill, too, where well-prepped people hit a wall after a while, and became increasingly disconnected to the larger picture.

Specifically, that happened more frequently than you'd imagine it would at Congressional hearings I attended in the 1990's held by what was then called the House Telecomm. & Finance Subcommittee, under then-Chair John Dingell involving the U.S. financial services industry, some of which were both highly-publicized and highly-controversial.

As of today, I don't know with certainty who'll be speaking on Thursday -besides, likely, Hollywood City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, whom as regular readers of the blog know, I'm a big fan of- but I genuinely hope that we hear the answers directly from Starwood and not from Lon Tabatchnick's attorney, or from a hired-gun PR whiz.
Guess we'll all find out soon enough...

The community meeting is NOT being called "As The World Turns," but you can be excused for thinking that it ought to be after all this time, with yours truly at 99% of those public meetings from the beginning.


Email Notifications
The City of Hollywood will be holding a Community Meeting to review the proposed changes to the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort Lease and related documents along with a question and answer period on Thursday, May 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at Hollywood City Hall (Room 219).

The Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is proposed for construction on an approximately 5 acre parcel of city-owned land between Johnson Street and Michigan Street on Hollywood Beach.

The Community Meeting will be followed on Wednesday, May 29th at 5:00 p.m. with a Joint Special City Commission/CRA meeting.  This meeting will also be held at Hollywood City Hall (Room 219). City and CRA Staff will present the proposed changes to the City Commission. Representatives from Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, LLC, including Starwood Capital, will also be in attendance. 

For questions, please contact the Office of the City Manager at 954.921.3201.
------
Later...

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Developer tweaks Margaritaville contract with Hollywood
By Susannah Bryan, Sun Sentinel
5:38 p.m. EDT, May 21, 2013
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/hollywood/fl-margaritaville-hollywood-update-20130521,0,2186680.story

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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.
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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.