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., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Long overdue public accountability finally comes to the Broward County Commission: Broward County Commission meetings will FINALLY be available to residents, taxpayers and media online via an archive; no more having to buy DVDs!

When I was at Broward County HQ for various reasons back in February, March and April, nearly every single well-informed County employee I trust and specifically asked about County Manager Bertha Henry's refusal to make video-on-demand happen, this sort of common sense transparency change that many residents assume already exists, told me that they'd "heard" that she was putting her foot down, and would need to be dragged into implementing such a program, no matter how much the elected Commission said they wanted it done or how much concerned citizens like me said we wanted it ASAP, and, by the way, DIDN'T think it was too much to expect in the year 2014.

This didn't surprise me, per se, considering that Ms. Henry -whom I'm no fan of- had previously missed a deadline to inform the Commission and the public about what was going on with this overdue acknowledgement of the 21st Century.
(Dragged because nothing was going on or because she didn't want to appear to be publicly and directly challenging her bosses by refusing to follow their directives???) 

In any case, I was quite surprised to get this bit of positive email today, at bottom
Surprised, but pleased.
Take victories where you can find them!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM
Subject: Just another in a long line of reasons to fire her: Broward Bulldog update to Browrad County Administrator Bertha Henry's failure to meet County Comm.'s deadline for video-on-demand service for public

Bertha Henry is the same woman in charge who utterly failed to make sure that 
the Broward County Charter Review Comm.'s minutes and documents were online 
on the county's website before the November 2010 election so that residents/voters 
could actually see the accurate background information on the County's charter 
issues that appeared on the ballot; as well as find out why many others did not 
make the ballot and let the people decide, like the idea of a County-wide elected 
mayor of Broward County, just like in Miami-Dade County and Orange County, 
due to parochialism, power politics and behind-the-scenes lobbying by the Broward 
County League of Cities, and most of the county's elected crew.

Getting that information online in time for people to make informed choices is precisely 
the sort of thing that you'd take for granted if you lived in most parts of the country.
But not here.

For those of you who weren't around then, at the time, I wrote a number of blog posts 
about this issue as well as many emails to elected officials and it took forever to get 
them to do the right thing.

This same sort of thing happened with the so-called Courthouse Taskforce that was 
chaired by a Comm. who owned property in the area, and so, was emblematic of a group
of people who were appointed who only wanted a new courthouse, not anyone in favor of 
another solution.
In that matter, the County consistently failed to have the Task Force agendas and 
background documents online before the meetings they held.
Even with the case of the final meeting, that info, which ought to have been placed online 
days before, instead was placed online after midnight of the day of the meeting -hours after 
it took place.

That's how they do things with Bertha Henry in charge.
Don't hold your breath thinking that anything short of forcing her to walk the plank is going 
to get her properly motivated.

Broward Bulldog
Broward commissioners tell Henry to come up with a plan for video-on-demand of meetings
By William Hladky, BrowardBulldog.org 

And now... 

From: Stapleton, Margaret
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 1:57 PM
To: Sharief, Barbara; Lamarca, Chip; Holness, Dale; Jacobs, Kristin; Wexler, Lois; Kiar, Martin; Ritter, Stacy; Gunzburger, Suzanne; Ryan, Tim; Scavron, Aaron; Flury, Barbara; Rosenberg, Eric; Fields, Gregory; Beckford, John; Bertino, John; Wesner, Kate; Hall, Kathy; Pierson, Kelly; Pauli, Kenneth; Maroe, Kimberly; Carter, Kristin; Scarlette, Lahoma; Carbonell, Launa; Lynch, Lauraine; Wolter, Margaret; Pryde, Mary; Carreras, Megan; Clark, Michael; Goldstein, Norma; Busey, Philip; Yeager, Sandra; Barrocas, Scott; Popiel, Stephen; Hirschman, William
Cc: Directors; Henry, Bertha; Hernandez, Roberto; Cepero, Monica; Cassini, Gretchen; Jefferson, Alphonso; Maroe, Kimberly
Subject: Commission Meeting Archive and Security Updates
Importance: High


Broward County will formally announce today that, as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency in government, video recordings of County Commission meetings, including Public Hearings and Good and Welfare, will be posted online beginning with the August 12th meeting, and will typically be available for on-demand viewing by noon each Wednesday.  A new and improved Government website, including a new Agendas and Minutes Archive webpage, has been launched in support of the change.

Most of the information on the new website is in “responsive design.” This is a Web best practice that makes content more readily accessible across multiple mobile devices, including Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. Site visitors can:

·         Select a Commission Meeting Viewing Option (live, replay or on-demand)
·         Access New Video Recording Meeting Archive (August 12, 2014 forward) and Action Agenda and Meeting Minutes Archive (from July 23, 1915)
·         View Commission Meeting Agendas and Back-Up Material
·         Subscribe to Receive Agenda Notifications
·         View Current Commission Meeting Schedule
·         Get Information on Signing up to Speak/Requesting Communication Aids
·         Link to Commissioner Websites and/or Find Commission District
·         Access Related Links and Resources
Security Update

Facilities Management is also announcing new security measures beginning August 12th, including the addition of a walk-through magnetometer, used for metal detection. The magnetometer will significantly enhance overall security, and as an added benefit, is expected to speed the security screening process. Room 422 will open at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Facilities Management reminds employees that while it is important for them to wear their Broward County ID during the workday, it is especially important for any staff attending the meeting or seeking access to Commission Chambers on a Commission Meeting day, to have their Broward County ID with them and prominently displayed. This helps Security readily identify Broward County employees and expedites the screening process; however, all employees and visitors will be screened.

AED (Automated External Defibrillator) equipment is located near every entrance to the Governmental Center and in the elevator lobby area on every floor. An additional unit has been installed in the Chamber. As you face the dais, it is located on the wall to your left. Security personnel and law enforcement within the building are trained on the operation of AED equipment and to perform CPR.

Margaret Stapleton, Director
Broward County Office of Public Communications
115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 506
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: 954-357-6931
Cell: 954-802-3487

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