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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another completely unnecessary night of confusion, finger-pointing and buffoonery at Hallandale Beach City Hall. Agenda item re Gulfstream Park Race Track's $52k fine for Building Code Violations is deferred, but only after it became clear to one and all that execs at Gulfstream Park prefer to deal only with their pal, Mayor Cooper, not the ENTIRE elected City Commission, as the 4 other members find out about the deferral roughly 24 hours after Cooper; article & video re proposed Pegasus Park at Gulfstream Park; @DRFInsidePost, @HRTV, @raypaulick




And so ends the celebrity portion of this blog post.

The subject of our last blog post on Wednesday morning was the Hallandale Beach 
community's growing sense of frustration and consternation over what might actually transpire at that night's City Commission meeting. Specifically, Agenda item 14E regarding the $52,000 in fines owed by Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino to city taxpayers on account of their NOT following the Building Code with respect to their construction of their temporary barns.
They had no permit and started building anyway.
Really.

Like it wouldn't be noticed.


Do you recognize this "temporary" facility at Gulfstream Park's south parking lot. No, it's not the Hindenburg 2.0's new air hangar. What you're looking at above, looking east, is the "temporary" horse barn being constructed on the south side of the Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino, to the southeast of the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex off U.S.-1/South Federal Highway, that is the center of an ethics controversy surrounding the rogue activities of a mayor in a city that has seen plenty of those -Hallandale Beach. September 27, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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Local10: Mayor wants $52K fine against Gulfstream Park waived
No vote taken on waiving fine at Hallandale Beach budget meeting
By Bob Norman, Reporter, bnorman@Local10.com, and Ben Candea, Senior Web Producer, bcandea@local10.com
Published On: Oct 04 2013 06:13:16 PM EDT   
Updated On: Oct 04 2013 11:51:10 PM EDT
http://www.local10.com/news/mayor-wants-52k-fine-against-gulfstream-park-waived/-/1717324/22282006/-/p0vivbz/-/index.html


The community's fear?
Of a highway robbery led by Gulfstream Park's defender-in-chief and HB Mayor Joy Cooper, with her standing in the way of the taxpayers of this city actually collecting what they were legally due for Gulfstream Park's own indifference to the rules they are REQUIRED to follow.
The Building Code is not a hatbox full of suggestions and recipes for success, it's the way things have to be. Period.

Well, after expending lots of time and energy and thought to all of that prior to the meeting guess what happened?

Correct, it was deferred until the November 20th City Commission meeting, which is the same date the they were already scheduled to consider Gulfstream Park's odd, 11-story Pegasus statue and Pegasus Park project, which I have  previously written about here on the blog, with some links to some articles about it below.

But back to the request for a deferral and how that really ignited a fuse.
Supposedly, the City Manager's office found out late Tuesday
afternoon that nobody from Gulfstream would be available to attend the City Commission meeting, even though it is only across the street from HB City Hall and the meeting has been known about by all concerned.

Just like the THREE meetings this year with senior city staffers that Gulfstream Park blew-off because they couldn't manage to get themselves together, a fact that was publicly disclosed in the staff's background docs I included in my previous post.


Agenda item # 14E under City Business


E.    CONSIDERATION OF GULFSTREAM PARK PERMIT FINES FOR PERMIT #13-2881, GULFSTREAM TEMPORARY BARNS. (STAFF: DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES) (SEE BACKUP) (Staff ReportSupporting Docs)

Specifically, the city staff was told late Tuesday afternoon that "Nobody from Toronto" could be here. (Actually their headquarters is located in a suburb of Toronto, Brampton.)

But the real problem is the fact that the only one of the five city members of the City Commission to know in advance that Gulfstream Park wouldn't be present and had requested
a deferral was -surprise- Mayor Cooper, longtime recipient of their campaign largess.
The rest of the commission found out Wednesday night during the meeting, despite the City Manager's office knowing for roughly 24 hours.

Comm. Michele Lazarow was especially indignant about the way things
were handled by the City Manager's staff, yet again, with Gulfstream Park going thru their preferred conduit, Mayor Joy Cooper, instead of directly contacting the City Manager's office as they should've.

Which, of course, has sort of been my main point in my emails and blog posts about this matter, no? 
Transparency, public accountability and treating all businesses in HB the same and NOT forever having a culture that encourages showing favoritism.

As you may have gathered from what I've written with respect to this matter and her general outlook on things, Mayor Cooper isn't too interested in that sort of even-handed policy.
She has always liked to play favorites and pick winners and losers among the business community in the city.
And she doesn't really care what you think about that.

At the Hallandale Beach Planning & Zoning meeting I attended in late September, when it came time for public comments I rose up and strode over to the microphone to ask what i thought would be some pretty easy questions for them to answer, since neither I or anyone else is against it per se, it was just that as usual, Gulfstream Park has been ham-handed in what they were doing and keeping the community in the dark, justr as they have for years about night racing.

Almost everyone I know had heard about the plans but where was something definite that you could look at over at the park or online? Exactly.
Under-the-radar!!!

There also seemed to be a lot of confusion about it and when it would start, since previous media stories about this project, below, had given this past April as a starting point and these were not at all accurate.
They only started blocking off the enormous NE parking lot and re-configuring the main access road from the northern entrance on Hallandale Beach Blvd. in late September or early October.

I asked the reps from Gulfstream Park to show me and the P&Z Comm. and the public in the Chambers any renderings of what this statue would look like from US-1/Federal Highway, since that's how the vast majority of the public would see it forever once it was finished -by driving by. 
They had nothing to show me.

All they had was the same rendering of the statue, taken from below it, which tells you nothing about what it would look like from hundreds of feet away.
They couldn't answer other obvious questions, either.

I was really dumbfounded at the lack of forethought that the'd given this matter but then if you know that they haven't even considered what an 11-story statue would look like from the main road near it when there's currently nothing between it and the road, at least for now -even more enormous than described- you know what kind of people you're dealing with over there. And the results show it, too, which is sort of the problem, no?

Perhaps this new guy is supposed to help resolve problems like that...

















It's like the Statue of Liberty has moved into your neighborhood but they hadn't thought that the people in the nearby community would be curious how it would appear to them.






South Florida Business Journal
Sep 25, 2013, 12:28pm EDT UPDATED: Sep 25, 2013, 2:09pm EDT
Gulfstream Park could add 11-story tall Pegasus statue to expansion
By Oscar Pedro Musibay, Reporter-South Florida Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2013/09/25/gulfstream-park-could-add-5-acre.html

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Local10 video: Massive statue part of Gulfstream expansion plan 
Statue will be bigger than Statue of Liberty 
With the $1 million Florida Derby just days away on Saturday, Local 10 has learned about a major expansion plan at Gulfstream Park.
Published On: March 28 2013 07:36:36 PM EDT   
Updated On: March 28 2013 08:04:35 PM EDT
Reporter Jacey Birch 
http://www.local10.com/news/Massive-statue-part-of-Gulfstream-expansion-plan/-/1717324/19512844/-/nyyfh0/-/index.html


Local10 video: Gulfstream Park moves toward $500M expansion 
Park seeks to attract prestigious Breeder's Cup  
Reporter Todd Tongen, ttongen@Local10.com 
November 28, 2012 05:05:24 PM EST, 
Updated November 29, 2012 10:14:07 AM EST 
http://www.local10.com/news/Gulfstream-Park-moves-toward-500M-expansion/-/1717324/17582640/-/7nm4j2z/-/index.html

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