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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

#tonedeaf -Once again, Hallandale Beach's thin-skinned, attention-hog of a mayor, Joy Cooper, is saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time to frustrated Hallandale Beach residents, taxpayers & small business owners. This time, about increasing the minimum wage, despite the fact that as residents know only too well, far too many of the city's employees and contractors consistently under-perform and yet have no fear of repercussions they'd face anywhere else

Well, so much for starting the new week off in a good mood.
Today's New York Times should serve as a real wake-up call to those in the Hallandale Beach community who, counter-intuitively given the mountain of evidence to the contrary, have been content for years to simply look the other way regarding the lingering questions about Mayor Joy Cooper whenever any discussion occurred amongst straight-talking family members or out-of-town friends about how a city like Hallandale Beach, located in a great geographic location between Miami and Fort Lauderdale and next to the beach, has continued to be such a self-evident mess under her the past dozen years.

That a mean-spirited woman like Joy Cooper with such a demonstrated history of being completely oblivious to the reality of how poorly Hallandale Beach has been run for years under her ruinous anti-democratic reign, and how manifestly under-performing and insolent such a high percentage of the the city's employees have been and continue to be -including Dept. heads and key Administrators- is, admittedly, NOT news.

So that said, why should any of us who DO pay attention to matters hereabouts be the least bit surprised that Cooper is now publicly trying to draw attention to HERSELF by calling for a pay increase for those same employees, as well as the city's army of not-so-competent contractors -i.e Lanzo on NE 14th Avenue in the never-ending pipe/road project from hell; or the firm responsible for the city's third-rate website or the one responsible for the poorly-performing streaming of City meetings, often with no audio or picture for 30 minutes or more...?

More $$$ that Joy Cooper wants to dole out that comes from us -with her taking the bows and thanks- when what we should really be getting from HB City Hall is a long overdue refund and an apology. In fact, multiple apologies!

How truly out-of-touch with HB residents and small business owners is Mayor Cooper?
As if any of us needed more evidence to add to the mountain that's staring us in the face, the article below from today's New York Times shows us.
She wants taxpayers to be be paying more in salary to employees and contractors, Exhibits A and B in what is at the heart of this city's problems: incompetency and bad performance.

To give you a better sense of how true that is, I'll soon be sharing here -complete with fact-filled photos that leave no question about what the reality of the situation is- one self-evident example after another showing how months after I publicly chastised City Manager Renee Miller for about five minutes straight at the combined NE/SE/Beach Quadrant meeting at the The Hemispheres condominium meeting room over on the beach.
Very specific examples of how it's not just Hallandale Beach residents that have realized how phony Miller's high-minded rhetoric and claims to be a reformer were in 2012, but others in Broward County as well.

The short version is that I told Miller that her claims to actually welcome public/neighborhood input and ideas, were, based on the past two years of history, an exaggerated and self-serving lie, and one that her own staff now realized, too. 
Then told her that the proof that her own staff and Dept. heads were tuning her and her high-minded rhetoric from 2012, and having no problem at all in being publicly insolent to the community, with absolutely no fear of repercussions from HER, were precisely what happened to me and has happened to so many of you, belied by Miller's own unsatisfactory behavior/performance/attitude.

I publicly identified three people -including two Dept, heads: Schanz at Parks & Rec and Parkinson at DPW- whom I had contacted via email, both in September and in the weeks prior to the Quadrant meeting, re specific questions involving the HB Parks bond issue and some longstanding problems with the city's Mini Bus transportation system that directly and adversely affects riders.
Problems that the people in charge showed absolutely no desire to accept responsibility for or attempt to satisfactorily resolve.
It will come as no surprise to you that none of the three city employees responded as we'd have a right to expect, despite sending reminders to them that they had failed to respond.
(And that none of the self-evident problems was resolved either.)

And, of course, they've never responded to me in the weeks and months SINCE the Quadrant meeting, despite the fact that they were in the room when CM Miller specifically said that she expected better of her staff. And that, in the end, the person responsible was her.
Well, in most parts of the country, I'd have heard from one of the three in the days afterwards, but here, nothing from the three of them and Miller.
So, yes, it'll be another example of me having to pull off another embarrassing band-aid re HB City Hall's longstanding incompetency and bungling that the local press continues to ignore and that the public has had ENOUGH of to last them a lifetime.

In case you hadn't realized it, a dubious anniversary draws near.
The next few days mark exactly two years since a serious mistake in judgement was made and Rene Miller was hired as Hallandale Beach City Manager.
Despite plenty of people in town giving her the benefit of the doubt long after she proved how unsatisfactory she was to the task, including some of you, Miller has not only proven a compete fraud as to being a reformer and being willing to try new innovative ideas the public supports, she has in fact tried to consolidate her power at HB City Hall by hiring LOTS of cronies of hers from the City of Miami Gardens, her former employer, including the recently-hired new head of Personnel in HB.

Simply put, after two years of her NOT coming anywhere close to effectuating any of the much-needed positive attitude and performance changes among the city's army of employees, City Manager Renee Miller clearly can't be trusted any longer with OUR city's future.
Miller needs to be replaced as City Manager AFTER November's elections, where new faces on the dais will not repeat past mistakes and ignore the reality of perpetual dysfunction that HB residents, taxpayers and small business owners experience everyday.
A long overdue reality check needs to be firmly delivered at HB City Hall this November.
  
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New York Times
Mayors Put Focus on How to Raise Wages for Lowest-Paid Workers in Cities
By SHAILA DEWAN
June 22, 2014

DALLAS — About one in five people in Hallandale Beach, Fla., live below the poverty line. Though it is a small city — 37,000 people, a horse track and a greyhound track — its mayor, Joy Cooper, bellied up to the table during a jobs committee discussion on Saturday among the nation’s mayors and fired off a few questions about raising the minimum wage, if not for the whole city, at least for businesses with city contracts.

“I want to make sure my employees are cared for properly,” Ms. Cooper said later. “I want to have a high-quality work force.”

Read the rest of the article at: 

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