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.

Friday, April 1, 2016

How the latest ethical outrage in Hallandale Beach -captured by Local10's Terrell Forney- showing innocent people being taken advantage of, roils us and reminds us why an increasing number of people are choosing to leave South Florida

IF you ever wondered why so many otherwise normal and relatively contented people who have lived in South Florida for quite some time eventually packed-up and left, well, there are, of course, 1001 reasons that combine varying degrees of logic and common sense, and not simply foolish whims followed upon. 

That's especially the case when people choose to make life decisions on one of the deadly hot days of July in South Florida, when the life and energy can literally be sucked out of your body for doing nothing more physically demanding or complicated than simply getting out of your car and walking into an air conditioned store.  
Inescapable Fact: Air conditioning explains South Florida's growth and history so much more than geography ever possibly could plausibly explain.

Often, some reasons for leaving the area are better than others, and one non-personal reason is that you simply get tired of living somewhere where the general idea of NOT taking of advantage of other people is not the outlier, but rather the exception to the rule.
And so it goes in Hallandale Beach, with a company that I'd never heard of before called 400 Broward Inc., which owns property on Foster Road in the Northwest part of the city. 
This company apparently thought nothing of renting out its apartments to people without properly informing them that the building was in foreclosure, and which based on the Local10 video below, has owners who seem keen to keep their tenants security deposits, to boot. 

Hallandale Beach Commissioner Keith London recently penned an email that explained his own take on the situation affecting at least 26 HB residents, which has been handled so badly by so many parties, including some information explaining how, according to Comm. London, the HB CRA fits in to the equation, or blame if you will. 
Comm. London states in his email that as of now, "The CRA has NO defined plan for this building or the vacant land," which is located right near a new planned Hallandale Beach Fire Station and the new HBFD HQ.

Well, this sort of non-sensical and half-assed approach to public policy and taxpayer funds by the HB CRA will NOT surprise longtime readers of this blog, since for nine years, one of the running ethical and journalistic themes of this blog, quite literally, the subject of dozens of posts here, has been the circumstances and fall-out of the grossly-under-reported story of what actually took place in 2007, when a small plot of land in NW Hallandale Beach -with an extant building- belonging to City of HB Commissioner Anthony A. Sanders and his wife Jessica was purchased by the HB CRA.  
Purchased for more than it was worth!

This purchase was made despite there being... yes, no written, agreed-upon or voted-upon plan for how that specific land would be used for the betterment of the HB community in fulfilling the stated aims and intentions of rules and language establishing CRAs by the State of Florida.
That Comm. Sanders was allowed to vote on the deal at the time and did NOT choose to (or be asked to) recuse himself -facts which were NOT publicly reported at the time or after except by myself- is typical for how common sense public policy and issues involving ethics, Sunshine Laws, propriety and notions of govt. oversight have been handled in HB for so long under a series of City Attorneys and City Commissions under Mayor Joy Cooper.

That is to say, with no public push-back by any responsible law enforcement or ethical group to investigate the circumstances at the time, or afterwards.
In fact, under the property deal that the city negotiated with Anthony and Jessica Sanders, as I've mentioned numerous here previously on the blog -and which most people in South Florida who know me personally also know- I personally told the Office of the Broward Inspector General that Comm. Sanders was even allowed to continue to use the building for FREE AFTER it was purchased. 
Now THAT is a sweetheart of a deal.



More than almost any recent South Florida-centric story I can think of, this recent news report by Local10 reporter Terrell Forney spoke volumes about what life in South Florida has increasingly become for residents of South Florida, even for lots of well-to-do and resourceful people I know who previously thought they'd live here for the rest of their lives. 
Which is to say, way past #frustrating.

They see something like this outrage in HB happen that should NOT ever happen and ask how things like it can KEEP happening here. To little or no public outrage.

Some people manage to deal with it by only being around South Florida for part of the year, which has increasingly become the chief coping mechanism for many people I know with longtime connections, homes or relatives back in Ohio and North Carolina.  
But for others, well, unless they get out of the area for a bit every now and then to recharge themselves, they get emotionally beaten down and burned-out by the daily assault on their conscience of so much chronic apathy, gross official/govt.  incompetency/myopia, and lack of resolve by society at large to publicly hold irresponsible and unethical people and businesses accountable for their actions.
It weighs on them in visible ways, and you can only imagine how it is for people with less resources at their disposal.

As of today, there has been no organized public outcry against the company behind this self-evident unethical housing melodrama, which is typical of how public life and society in South Florida operate unless a well-funded individual or influential group with some backbone and resolve decides to finally wade in and get directly involved.
And start calling people and groups out with a vengeance.

See my tweets below the Local10 video to be reminded of an important underlying issue regarding the proposed new Hallandale Beach Fire Station and Fire Dept. HQ, a matter I have written about previously on the blog many times before, with various degrees of shock and amazement, as the powers-that-be at Hallandale Beach City Hall continually sought to foolishly place a valuable tool and resource in the worst possible location for it and the public's safety -because they can!

It's another example of the longstanding nonsensical public policy notions that have been percolating inside Hallandale Beach City Hall disguised as economic development, when it's really nothing more than the marriage of the city's longstanding practice of crony capitalism and an Edifice Complex under longtime Mayor Joy Cooper.

Local 10 News, Miami
Hallandale Beach apartment residents forced from homes after building goes into foreclosure
Commissioner fights to have city help relocate tenants

By Terrell Forney - Reporter
Posted: 6:04 PM, March 23, 2016
Updated: 6:08 PM, March 23, 201


In reverse chronological order:

Want more specific info about the many shady and unethical antecedents in HB I cite above? 
Just contact me!


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