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.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Questions, questions and more questions about Tuesday's important Broward County Commission meeting re possible audit of controversial Hallandale Beach CRA; Meeting now has an added feature: City Manager Miller and CRA Attorney Zelkowitz who publicly argued that the Broward IG didn't have legal authority over the HB CRA, will now be speaking and playing the role of Wiley E. Coyote before the boulder falls on them. Must-see TV! HB citizens want the truth, not more stonewalling, finger-pointing and spin from city's elected officials and city employees

October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
While I hope that as many of you reading this as possible make an earnest effort to try to attend the meeting in-person on Tuesday morning to be supportive of the effort to finally get a meaningful audit of the Hallandale Beach CRA and where all the millions went, which will be made in-person by Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Michele Lazarow and former HB Commissioner Keith London, it will be available by webcast: agenda item #87, at http://broward.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=5

I'll be there to not only watch the proceedings and see who shows up in the chambers, but also to record it for posterity and later uploading to my YouTube Channel at some point.

You need to keep in mind, though, that while there's a lot of consent agenda at the beginning of the meeting, the question of when the item will actually come up is entirely up to the various whims of the Commission, depending upon what gets pulled or moved around.

Which is to say that your concept and my concept of time and space are NOT always the same as their's, so you may need to turn the volume of your computer down a bit lest you become hypnotized by all the talk about RFP's, advisory boards and an alphabet city of environmental groups having something or another to do with the airport and some very bad stuff under the ground there.
In other words, stay caffeinated!

And in case you forgot where you lived, here's a photo of the HQ of a place where you have never been able to find anything meaningful or truthful about what was going on with the HB CRA or the scandal involving it: the CRA-subsidized faux newspaper.



The faux newspaper that serves as a propaganda arm to Hallandale Beach City Hall, which was specifically cited in the Broward Inspector General's final report. April 17, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Below, following the meeting info, is my email of late this afternoon to Broward County Commissioners Sue Gunzburger and Barbara Sharief and many other interested parties throughout the Sunshine State, especially here in Hallandale Beach and Broward County.
Lots of good facts there, especially for those of you who have not been following the story closely.

Full agenda is at: http://205.166.161.204/agenda_publish.cfm?id=&mt=ALL&get_month=6&get_year=2013&dsp=ag&seq=351

MEETING OF JUNE 4, 2013
(Meeting will convene at 10 a.m.)

Agenda Item 87.
DELEGATION:  Keith London and Hallandale Beach City Commissioner, Michelle Lazarow

Attachments
Exhibit 1 - Delegation Request

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In case the links above don't work for you, they are at
http://205.166.161.204/agenda_publish.cfm?id=&mt=ALL&get_month=6&get_year=2013&dsp=agm&seq=14253&rev=0&ag=351&ln=60577&nseq=&nrev=&pseq=14386&prev=0#
and 
http://205.166.161.204/docs/2013/CCCM/20130604_353/14253_Exhibit%201%20-%20Keith%20London%20031213.pdf

-----

June 3rd, 2013
4:45 p.m.

Dear Commissioners Gunzburger and Sharief:

I just heard the good news this afternoon that Hallandale Beach City Manager Renee Miller and HB CRA Attorney Steven Zelkowitz have formally requested an opportunity to speak in-person before the entire Commission on Tuesday in response to this agenda item.
I couldn't be more pleased.

I'm particularly interested in hearing the comments of Ms. Miller, who assured me last summer in-person when we spoke for about ten minutes or so that she was indeed a "reformer," and wanted very much to end what was publicly perceived as the culture of deceit and misinformation that has long existed at Hallandale Beach City Hall as de facto policy, and instead, bring more public transparency to it so that citizens would have more confidence in what was being said and done in their behalf.

These comments of hers to me followed her speaking for at least 30 minutes to dozens of very-concerned and well-informed HB residents who posed tough questions to her, wherein she closed by asking everyone in the room for a fair chance to be judged based on her own record, not their assumptions, which is not at all an unreasonable request.

As a longtime critic of the consistent way things have been done in such egregiously unprofessional, incompetent and aggressive ways at HB City Hall, where logic and reason seldom if ever intersected, I hoped for the best and was  prepared to believe her once she'd become more familiar with the city and its many problems and had some time to initiate these changes she spoke about, though in more vague terms than I'd have liked.

I say "interested" in hearing her comments because the truth is that by any reasonable standard, using her own track record, Ms. Miller has been anything but a "reformer" since then, and has engaged in precisely the sort of stealthy, unsavory and below-the-radar conduct and behavior that not only completely contradicts everything she said last summer, but which is identical to the very problems SHE was supposed to rectify when she was hired last year.
But isn't, of course.

Under her "leadership" the city was scheduled to hold a public meeting that was advertised as being the latest occasional Visioning meeting to discuss the city's future.
Well, they planned to do so, but that meeting was postponed and re-scheduled.

But on the very day the public meeting was scheduled to be held -held NOT at HB City Hall but in a city park building- the meeting did NOT appear on the city's own website calendar, and the public that showed-up was NOT allowed to speak or ask questions or even correct the record when "facts" were stated that were anything but facts.

Which would've made great TV for anyone in HB watching at home on cable TV except for the fact that the city, which is to say Ms. Miller, chose NOT to allow TV cameras inside to either broadcast the public meeting LIVE or to record it for viewing on cable TV or viewing on the city's website later, as has happened in the past.
I mean it's only the city's future, right?

So with that in mind, here are some assorted thoughts, facts and questions you may want to ponder as this agenda item is discussed and Mr. Zelkowitz and Ms.Miller try their best to defend the indefensible and keep HB taxpayers in the dark about what really has been happening for years to all that money with zero accountability and responsible follow-up by city employees, despite their job titles and salaries.

After all the many months this scandal has consumed in wasted time, energy and taxpayer dollars, here's what we know as of now for facts.

The City of Hallandale Beach still has NOT placed a copy of the Broward IG Report on their own website NOR have they publicly posted their official response.

That very same city website that all these months since he was hired, still doesn't list the public email address of the CRA Director, Daniel Rosemond, the man brought in by Ms. Miller from the city she used to work for last year.

Mr. Rosemond is here to do something for the CRA, though what that something actually is is not at all entirely clear based on his record thus far, since he seems to have already forgotten that we don't work for him, he works for us, the residents of this city.

You see, as if the HB CRA didn't have enough problems with public trust and confidence -that is to say, the public's complete lack of trust and confidence in them and their policies- Mr. Rosemond had no problem in showing-up at a public event in March where neither Ms. Miller or any members of the City Commission were present, and within a matter of minutes
was repeatedly telling the assembled HB citizens that he was supposed to be reassuring, that he had "no obligation" to meet with them.

So, this is the new guy brought in by Ms. Miller to change the culture of corruption and incompetency that has NOT been properly held accountable?
An arrogant person who insults taxpayers and small business owners who know far more about the problems with the CRA than HE does from first-hand experience?

For at least ten weeks, as I've written you previously, the city was in violation of Florida law and the city's own ordinance by NOT publicly disclosing the Lobbyist and Visitor logs, meaning that even as the city in the form of Ms. Miller was publicly saying the IG had no authority and then later said the report was wrong, the city was violating the law. Period

And who was directly involved in some of these meetings with a developer that were NOT being properly disclosed when it was supposed to be?
The new CRA Director.
Oops!!!

This fact is already known to both the Broward IG's Office and the Broward State Attorney's Office, not that they've done anything about it publicly yet, which raises its own questions for dumbfounded HB residents, who wonder why the latter in particular seems SO very disinterested in paying attention to what has been going on here for years in plain sight.

1.) How much money in attorney fees and personnel costs has the City of Hallandale Beach spent in defending their myriad legal positions that are clearly in opposition to the best long-term interests of its citizen taxpayers since the Broward IG's Office first began their investigation of the city?

2.) How much of that came AFTER the preliminary report was issued that the city was asked to respond to, neither of which were posted on the city's website?

3.) Lest you doubt the veracity of what I've written here, here's what the City of Hallandale Beach has on its own website as of 4:30 p.m. today about the Broward Inspector General's preliminary report and the final report, as well as the city's official public response to them
Nothing.
Really.
Teaser Alert: That's not by accident.

It's simply not enough to say that you want to change things for the better, you actually have to follow-thru and make good on them.

I truly hope that you will both be very firm in your questioning of Ms. Miller and press her to answer reasonable questions that she has refused to answer publicly for many months as she has engaged in finger-pointing and stonewalling.

In my opinion, thru her own words and actions, Ms. Miller has already lost the trust and confidence of HB citizens who closely follow what's really going on in this city
As more and more HB citizens open their eyes and slowly find out the truth about what has been allowed to take place with her in charge, that disapproval and distrust of her will only grow.

It's unfortunate, but the buck ultimately stops with Ms. Miller.

Please vote to give HB taxpayers the truth they were owed years ago but prevented from finding-out by the very people who were supposed to be working FOR them -their elected officials and city administrators.

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Cityline on A1A and the beach
Where Hollywood meets Hallandale Beach on State Road A1A, Hyde Beach Resort & Residences meets the iconic beach ball-colored Water Tower

Hallandale Beach City Hall

Hallandale Beach City Hall
May 30, 2017 photo by SouthBeachHoosier
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Me in the Summer of 2016

Me in the Summer of 2016
Above, me in June, pre-recent haircut, near acres and acres of orange groves off Scenic U.S. #17 in Frostproof, FL, while visiting hot/humid Central Florida, which I'm convinced is where heat/humidity goes in the Summer to get away from it all... The oppressive heat & humidity there is literally everywhere you go. :-(

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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.

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.