A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, esp. the UK, Sweden and France, via my life in Texas, Memphis, Miami, IU, Chicago, WashingtonDC & #SoFL.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach and #HollywoodFL. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

All original content and photos on this blog are © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Observations re Leo Grachow's selection as Hallandale Beach's interim Commissioner: "I thought he was a perfect fit for the job." So says a clearly disconnected-from-reality Comm. Bill Julian, who DIDN'T rate Grachow best, but instead voted BEST the least-qualified of the 3 finalists! Meanwhile, the candidate giving the single-best oral presentation, Chad Lincoln, received a 1 (out of 25) from HB's notoriously thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper; voting distribution chart

Above, the May 20th, 2014 voting results of the four members of the Hallandale Beach City Commission for an interim Commissioner to serve the final five months of Comm. Alexander Lewy's term, winnowing a large field of prospective candidates down to eight and then to three. My friend and fellow Hallandale Beach & Broward County activist, Csaba Kulin, one of the eight semi-finalists, created this very helpful chart based on information provided to him afterwards by the City Clerk. Columns 1-4 denote who received votes to make the Top Three and Columns 6-9 indicate the specific number from 1-25 each candidate received.  

Before I step all over my lede below, I should mention that one of the most striking things to happen that evening, something noticed by anyone paying close attention in the room or watching on TV, but as usual, NOT mentioned by Sun-Sentinel reporter Susannah Bryan three days later -as so many salient facts about what really goes on in HB are never acknowledged or mentioned by her in print- was that the individual candidate who the clear consensus of the public in the Commission Chambers felt gave the single-best four-minute oral presentation of the evening, my friend Chad Lincoln, received a measly score of 1 from Mayor Joy Cooper. That is to say, a 1 out of a possible 25 points.

Even if you had never read this pro-reform blog of mine before, or read the rest of this individual blog post, that's really everything you need to know about our thin-skinned, fact-challenged and consistently anti-democratic mayor in a nutshell.

It's been common knowledge for the longest time -in part because I've mentioned it so frequently here after something Mayor Cooper herself said and did- that her biggest fear has long been that the true facts about the state of this city and its longtime mismanagement under her actually get out and penetrate the minds of the people in this state whose opinion she cares about.

That is to say, her pals throughout the area and up in Tallahassee, like the folks at the Florida League of Cities or state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, the latter of whom as I've written here often last year and this year, is always happy to play guard dog for her up in Tallahassee, and help keep the germane facts from getting made public, as Sobel did in running interference for the mayor re the city's completely mismanaged and unethical CRA with the JLAC.

All to prevent an honest audit so that Hallandale Beach residents, taxpayers and small business owners could finally discover where all the tens of millions of CRA dollars went.

So, all this said, smart, articulate and creative straight-talkers like Chad and Csaba were always going to be persona non grata to her no matter what they said or did, despite the fact that they DO know much more about the city and how it's doing than the three candidates who made the final cut. 

Cooper and Julian eliminated the single person most clearly able to articulately challenge and rebut her on the facts and on the policy, with Cooper giving Chad one-tenth of the total that she gave to the person she rated just above him, whom she gave a 10 to.
Yes, the Gospel according to Joy Cooper.

And Comm. Anthony A. Sanders didn't even vote for Grachow to make the Top Three, even while selecting two generally unknown people from Northwest who rarely if ever speak at City Hall during public comments and made blah oral presentations when they had the chance to speak for four minutes that night, so you can see that he has NOT changed a whit since embarrassing himself over his vote to approve the incompatible condo tower at 2000 S. Ocean Drive in April, something that the articulate and affluent voters over on the beach won't be forgetting come November when Sanders is on the ballot.

Now, back to the question of Leo Grachow's selection as Hallandale Beach interim Commissioner: "I thought he was a perfect fit for the job."
So sayeth a clearly disconnected-from-reality Commissioner Bill Julian.

Julian, the HB City Commissioner who was the only one of the four of them voting on Tuesday May 20th, who didn't vote for Etty Sims to be among his Top Three choices of the 8 semi-finalists when he had the chance. Julian was the idiot who rated Sheryl Natelson the highest of the final three -Grachow, Sims, Natelsondespite the fact that she didn't know the answers to most of the questions asked of her, and completely whiffed on all three fact-based questions posed to all the three candidates by Comm. Michele Lazarow, unlike Etty Sims and Leo Grachow.

Honestly, how do you rate the worst-performing candidate of the final three as your highest-scoring, which, in fact, is exactly what Julian did? Well, when you are Bill Julian, it's what we've come to expect and fear -logic and reason as completely alien concepts.

(But I will mention that in the weeks since ranking Mayor Cooper's pal Sheryl Natelson first, Julian has been appointed to his old position of Vice Mayor. Just saying...)

You'd think the Sun-Sentinel reporter who was actually present and saw the whole thing acted out in mind-numbing detail for three-and-a-half hours might have noticed that twisted logic, eh?
Maybe asked Julian directly afterwards how it came to be that the candidate who received the most votes to be in the Top Three, after a very good oral presentation and then nailing the answers in the Q&A, Etty Simshadn't even made Julian's list at all.
Maybe ask Sanders why he didn't vote for Grachow to make the Top Three if, as Julian says, "he was perfect for the job."
Or, ask how it is that the ONLY candidate who 3 of the 4 commissioners ranked as among the Top Three, Etty Sims, DIDN'T get the position.
Those are the questions begging to be asked.

But then that would require Susannah Bryan to do some real reporting, wouldn't it, instead of merely engaging in stenography and taking what is handed to her by the city? Yes.

All of this was exactly the sort of result we could have predicted. 
And in the case of myself and some of you out there, DID
That given a chance, Bill Julian would find a way to blow a golden opportunity to do the right thing for the community and would, instead, screw things up -yet again.

Predicted that the bad, incompetent, incorrigible and completely disconnected-from-reality 
Bill Julianthe very City Commission candidate who promised the entire city in 2012 that he'd really change his spots, and would, IF given a 2nd chance to serve -after being kicked off by voters in 2010- finally show sound judgement for a change, instead of continually being a laughingstock, 
NEVER left and never ever changed for the better. It's just that some of you desperately wanted to believe he'd really changed. 
Cooper, Julian and Sanders are exactly what they look like.

Sun Sentinel
Hallandale Beach's newest commissioner sails through first City Hall meeting
By Susannah Bryan, Sun Sentinel
7:11 PM EDT, May 23, 2014


Longtime mediator Leo Grachow may have just the right stuff to bring peace to a sometimes testy city commission, some say.

The native New Yorker was chosen from a field of 18 candidates Tuesday and sworn in as a commissioner the very next evening.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Grachow took a seat on the dais for his first meeting as a commissioner.

"It was a long agenda and sometimes that can get contentious," Grachow said. "But it went pretty smooth."

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