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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North 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.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Looks like Broward County is finally serious about recouping the millions in CRA funds that cities like Hallandale Beach have mishandled and squandered via incompetency and crony capitalism. Couldn't be clearer that HB City Manager Renee C. Miller still wants to keep stonewalling taxpayers!

Looks like Broward County is finally serious about recouping the millions in CRA funds that cities like Hallandale Beach have mishandled and squandered via incompetency and crony capitalism. Couldn't be clearer that HB City Manager Renee C. Miller still wants to keep stonewalling taxpayers!

A slightly-expanded version of an email that I sent out Wednesday afternoon to my In-Crowd
of concerned residents and taxpayers in Hallandale Beach and throughout Broward County as well as concerned civic activists around the Sunshine State, along with cc's to people in our state capital of Tallahassee whom I've communicated with in the past year, ostensibly, because they more than most people in the legistlature have a strong interest in this matter of CRAs, and Florida cities continually using them for purposes for which the enabling legislation was NOT intended, as my many previous blog posts on this subject and audits have made crystal clear.

Among the lucky recipients this time were: Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, outgoing FL Senate President  Don Gaetz, powerful FL state Sen. Jack  Latvala, and FL state Rep. Lake Ray, who is Chair of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee.
More soon on the blog on the subject of the scandal-plagued Hallandale Beach CRA, along with the EXCESS MILLIONS of tax dollars that have been and will be paid to a small number of the City of Hallandale Beach's highest-paid employees in pensions -including the past 3 City Managers: Mark A, Antonio, Mike Good & R.J. Intindola- which current City Manager Renee Miller still can't explain with a straight face.

Yes, more than TWO YEARS after Miller personally promised community activist Csaba Kulin in-person that she would give him the docs he sought from the city via Public Records Request provisions of Florida's Sunshine Laws, after the city had refused to fully comply with the law, just like the CRA funds issue, City Manager Miller can't and won't tell the truth and has refused to turn the germane public documents over.

Documents that would show who at HB City Hall made the decision on who would and would not be in the managament pension plan, and who decided that they'd be paid at a much-higher rate than they were scheduled to receive.
Or as it was then-described in the Broward Bulldog, "authorize the granting of retroactive retirement credit."

Hallandale’s ex-top managers collect fat pensions from retirement plan they pushed a decade ago

Altered rules let ex-Hallandale city manager’s son-in-law join lucrative pension plan

The city even had the audacity to claim to Csaba that it didn't even know who was a part of the pension plan! Really.

But then this is the same city that in 2011 had its CRA purchase land for use as a park at a price that was higher than it was really worth, but then this year, we were told repeatedly by Miller that having CRA funds used to fix/modernize the city's very poorly-maintained parks within the CRA district was NOT a good thing, and that citizens needed to vote in November for a Parks Bond issue instead.
This despite the fact that the HB City Commission has written the question so that any funds approved by voters in November could, in fact, be used for whatever purpose the City Commission wanted.

Which is to say, NOT used exclusively for Parks, as I have long argued was necessary in order to give HB taxpayers some degree of confidence that a yes vote would indeed be for what citizens at the ballot box intended. 
In essence, HB City Hall wants the Bond issue approved so they can create a new slush fund for themselves to continue their years of arrogant crony capitalism.

And, of course, as I've have commented upon many times over the 18 months since it was released, it speaks volumes about her lack of transparancy and accountability that Renee Miller still refuses to place the Broward IG's damning report of the city accusing it of "gross mismanagement" on the city's website -or even post the city's own response.
Yes, the "response" that HB taxpayers and the CRA had to pay for that was nothing but complete whitewash of responsibility.


#HallandaleBeach still lying abt. its (invisible) oversight/accountability of $12.6M in CRA funds it mishandled :-( http://www.browardbulldog.org/2014/09/broward-to-seek-return-of-cra-tax-dollars-mishandled-by-cities-millions-at-stake/ 
2:26 PM - 10 Sep 2014 · Details

Broward Bulldog
Broward to seek return of CRA tax dollars mishandled by cities; Millions at stake
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 
September 4, 2014 AT 6:35 AM
Broward will seek the return of county property tax dollars from city community redevelopment agencies that hoarded that money instead of spending it on projects to fight slum and blight that are ready to get underway, according to County Administrator Bertha Henry.
The county’s toughened stand follows recent findings by Broward’s Inspector General that Margate deliberately mishandled $2.7 million in CRA funds. It also comes amid fresh criticism about the way Hallandale Beach allegedly handled its community redevelopment funds.
Read the rest of the article at:

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#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

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