The chickens are finally coming home to roost in Hallandale Beach and they want an honest audit done on the city's scandal-plagued Community Redevelopment Agency, (CRA), so citizens can finally find out where all the millions of dollars really went. Above, a scene from North Beach, Hallandale Beach, FL. February 14, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.For reasons that I hardly even need explain to most of you regular readers of the blog at this point in the continuing controversy that is the scandalous Hallandale Beach CRA, and the efforts of the city's elected officials and top administrators to suppress any effort by Hallandale Beach citizens to get an honest audit of the CRA, this email of mine was sent this morning to lots of interested parties throughout Florida with an interest in making sure that South Florida taxpayers are not intentionally made monkeys of forever.
Besides the trustworthy and hardworking elements of the local press corps -a diminishing number to be sure- lots of Broward's most well-informed citizens, civic activists, bloggers and a few selected elected officials, were Florida Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida CFO Jeff Atwater and Florida state Senators Jack Latvala, Jeremy Ring and Joseph Abruzzo, as well as Broward Inspector General John W. Scott.
Most of you reading this already know perfectly well why the state legislators who are supposed to represent the best interests of Hallandale Beach's citizens in Tallahassee, state Senator Eleanor Sobel and state Rep. Joe Gibbons, are NOT part of the list.
Certainly things would be easier if they were anything but the colossal failures they've proven themselves to be over so many years on so many issues of interest to this community.
Not just unhelpful, but actual obstacles.
No, our small community's collective misfortune is that Gibbons and Sobel's perfectly dreadful track records in office, individually and collectively, over SO many years, consistently shows that they DON'T put our community's best-interests first, but rather their own, especially their own political futures.
That dismal track record makes them completely untrustworthy in every important respect that counts, especially when it comes to getting the truth for HB's beleaguered citizens out of a City Hall led by their imperious pal, Joy Cooper.
Hallandale Beach Officials Failed to Document Contacts with Florida Lobbyist
By: Tom Lauder
June 27, 2013
florida/2013/06/27/hallandale- beach-officials-failed-to- document-contacts-with- florida-lobbyist
Just to confirm the validity of this post above, not that any is needed, since the facts are crystal clear, as of 5 p.m. Thursday, I'd still NOT received the copies of the text messages sent between lobbyist Judy Stern and Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and HB City Manager Renee Miller that I requested in writing on June 12th.
Text messages that had one central goal in mind: preventing an honest and accurate audit of the Hallandale Beach CRA so that HB residents, taxpayers and small business owners could FINALLY find out where the millions of CRA dollars really flowed all these years with no genuine oversight or follow-up by officials.
Officials who were, in theory, supposed to do that as part of their official responsibilities -but didn't.
But as we have all learned the hard way, oversight and follow-up were simply words that did NOT exist in their lexicon for YEARS, with important files missing left-and-right and many documents missing or inaccurate in the files that actually were present.
In this most-recent case, Cooper, Miller and Stern were aghast about a June 4th public request to the entire Broward County Commission requesting an audit of the CRA performed via Broward County Auditor Evan Lukic's office.
Well, you already know what transpired, who said what and who did nothing at all to help HB residents get that long-overdue public accounting that's been denied us all these years by the same powers-that-be at HB City Hall who didn't want any more public scrutiny.
But then this isn't even the first time all year that public disclosure of public information has been a quaint and abstract idea in Hallandale Beach.
Yes, as previously mentioned, the same poorly-run city that DIDN'T publicly disclose its legally-required official Contacts list for well OVER two months, even while city officials, elected and administrators -inc. the Mayor, City Manager and CRA Director- were meeting with real estate developers, at least one of whom, Stephen Riemer publicly admitted at a March 18th CRA meeting that he wanted the city to (illegally) use its power of eminent domain to buy-out small businesses near properties he already owns near the FEC tracks, in order that he can build a large development there.
Presumably, after he and the city have chased-out all other existing businesses, however they can to help him personally, no doubt using CRA funds.
That's illegal in this state, of course, as the FL Legislature has made clear, but then lots of federal, state and local laws are routinely ignored in Hallandale Beach with the current crew in charge the past few years, with my blog an accurate chronicle of their years of mendacity and anti-democratic fervor.
As you might well imagine, those small businesses owners resent NOT knowing what's going on and NOT being able to get honest and forthright answers from the very people who are supposed to be working for them, not against them.
But here's what they see with their own eyes, right in front of their businesses: promised, overdue road improvements by the city delayed several times without any sort of public explanation, and after hearing Riemer declare war on them at a public meeting, they can't help but wonder if it's being done intentionally by the city to drive the businesses out, just as Riemer wants, using CRA funds.
Lots and lots of curious coincidences that always turn out the same way, eventually add-up to an interesting fact pattern that's hard to ignore.
There was deception everywhere when Riemer spoke at that March 18th HB CRA meeting against the city's long-promised funding of that CRA-funded road improvement program, which took place without the public knowing anything at all about those private meetings he'd held with city officials because the city didn't post them.
Though they had the opportunity to do the right thing, albeit, after-the-fact, and publicly disclose to the public that they'd met privately with Riemer, the city officials who met with Riemer never disclosed it.
They acted like this was the first time they were hearing anything at all about Riemer's plans or concerns.
Yes, disingenuous is the word that comes to mind.
But that's how things continue to roll routinely in a city where the spirit and letter of Florida's Sunshine Laws are routinely ignored by the very people in charge of following the laws and enforcing them.
In case the link within the story above proves hard to pull up, it's at
Not in email:
Among the many recent predicates for the email above that help explain it, especially the situation on the city's Fashion Row area -N.E. First Avenue- that has, unfortunately, pitted small business owners against the City of Hallandale Beach, whose employees and elected officials have been arrogant, deceptive, and intentionally duplicitous to them, while blaming others for their own actions, are the following:
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
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.