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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

#ethics & threats: The reasons ex-Hallandale Beach Comm. Alex Lewy was booted from City of Hallandale Beach Police & Fire Pension Board. Threatened Broward County PBA members if they didn't support him in his election bid vs vs. Michele Lazarow

#ethics & threats: The reasons ex-Hallandale Beach Comm. Alex Lewy was booted from City of Hallandale Beach Police & Fire Pension Board. Threatened Broward County PBA members if they didn't support him in his election bid vs. Michele Lazarow

Updated: December 27, 2016

To me and many other observers of the South Florida political scene, especially those of us who've kept a particularly close eye on what Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper has really been up to the past dozen years, what's perhaps the single most disturbing aspect of daily life for most Hallandale Beach residents and Small Business owners -besides dealing with the daily gridlock in one of South Florida's most-congested areas- is the extent to which the South Florida news media continues to fail to report on matters of genuine public importance to them has been "normalized."

It's just taken for granted that things that happen in Hallandale Beach that would merit public attention if it took place in other cities, is... completely ignored.
As if it never happened.

For the past nine years, often in great depth, I've written about that uniquely Hallandale Beach phenomena wherein self-evident facts conclusively show for anyone who cares to look and pay attention, that there was more than a little proof that Hallandale Beach elected officials and high-ranking officials regularly engaged in public and private behavior and
actions that would simply NOT be tolerated in most Florida or American cities.

But for a variety of reasons, this was not only tolerated, but also never reported upon by the local South Florida news media, despite them being given all sorts of information about the matter. 
Often, literally served to them on a silver platter, complete with contemporaneous photos and links to govt. websites that connected the dots.
(I know this because many times, I was the person serving up the facts to the news media on a silver platter. Only to see it ignored. Over-and-over again.)

But despite this, the issues involved were never seriously discussed publicly or analyzed by "experts" or law enforcement officials in the local news media, though if it had taken place in certain other South Florida cities we could name, it not only would have been reported, but given great prominence. But because it happened in Hallandale Beach, it was ignored.

Yes, unfortunately, the standard of what's considered acceptable public behavior, to say nothing of public expectations, has been reduced to such a shockingly low standard in this area of South Florida under Mayor Joy Cooper's long reign, that the South Florida news media, collectively, simply shakes their head and tells themselves, "It's just Hallandale Beach being Hallandale Beach. That's how they do things there.

And with that rather smug pronouncement, the issue at hand was promptly ignored unless something unexpected happened later, like a shoe dropping that nobody in the news media had predicted.
But that shoe rarely drops.

So, the end result is that while some members of the South Florida press corps may come to learn certain key facts that most reasonable people would think are important enough to the local HB populace to be publicly reported, the public doesn't ever hear about it, even if it concerns someone who is running for elective office.

(I know how many of you longtime blog readers hate when I restate matters here which you regard as being perfectly self-evident to even the most hardened cynic, but I remind you there are always new readers to the blog who don't know that is the case.)

That said, what is most disturbing is the extent to which the worst and most egregious ethical violations have NOT been reported anywhere in the news media because of that "normalization" of highly-questionable if not downright unethical behavior.
I'm taking care of one such example myself today, personally.
And it's my pleasure.

At a recent Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting, several disturbing facts about what has been going on in the city this past year that hitherto not been known were publicly revealed. 
Perhaps the most egregious fact to emerge concerned the revelation that Alexander Lewy, a former City of Hallandale Beach Commissioner with what many consider a well-known history for NOT always following or staying within known ethical or social boundaries, had been involved in YET ANOTHER situation that reflected very poorly not only on him personally, but the city by extension.

I remind you newer readers to the blog that Alex Lewy is someone I quickly and famously nicknamed "Lewy The Liar" here on the blog before he was ever elected because... well, he kept proving it accurate, and earned the nickname.

Earlier this year, Lewy, who was siting at the time on the city's appointed Police & Fire Pension Board, as well as the city's important Planning & Zoning Advisory Board, all at the same time he was running for election to the City Commission in November against incumbent Commissioner Michele Lazarow, made a phone call or two to the head of the Broward County PBA, Jeff Marano.

I should mention here that despite the fact that my late father was a Miami-Dade Police Officer for over 25 years and served for many years on the Dade PBA's influential Board of Directors, it's an understatement to say that Jeff Marano is not someone I'm particularly crazy about.

Marano is a guy I have written about a lot in the past -often negatively- because of what I and many other local observers perceive to be the Broward PBA's unwholly neccessarily antagonistic, vituperative and unrealistic POV against Hollywood taxpayers and the City of Hollywood when it comes to the city's pensions and the city's budget.

In short, among many of the people who pay most attention to it, the Broward PBA is publicly perceived as being a thin-skinned group that has a sense of entitlement that does not at all equate with the financial reality of the city or the public's best long-term interests.
This attitude is particularly off-putting precisely because everyone is well aware of the Broward PBA's numbers and local political clout.

According to what was stated publicly by Hallandale Beach Commissioners on the record at the Commission meeting, in his conversation(s) with Jeff MaranoLewy made threats about what would happen in the future to Broward PBA members in Hallandale Beach if he wasn't publicly endorsed by them and elected. 

But weeks after this "news" came out, what former Comm. Alex Lewy said and did has still never been reported upon anywhere, other than here at Hallandale Beach Blog.

Never been reported or commented on by the South Florida press corps, never discussed at all in places where you would think it mattered.

This ethical revelation about Lewy came up at a Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting when it came time to discuss Lewy's re-nomination to the Police & Fire pension Board via a motion by Mayor Cooper, after the election but prior to Anabelle Taub being sworn in and taking the seat formerly held by William "Bill" Julian.

(The Broward PBA eventually endorsed incumbent Michele Lazarow against Alex Lewy in that race and for realtor Anabelle Taub against incumbent William "Bill" Julian for the other seat on the ballot. The Broward PBA's financial, emotional, political and PR support were key factors in the resounding victories enjoyed by Lazarow and Taub, a fact that the two of them were quick to publicly acknowledge when they were sworn into office in late November.)

This revelation came out under a motion for reconsideration by Vice Mayor Keith London, who had made public his intention to make such a motion at the previous City Commission meeting.
At that prior meeting, Lewy was approved despite the matter NOT appearing at all on the city's printed public agenda.
Why do you suppose that was?

Perhaps it was for the most obvious reason off all.
If it was publicly known that Mayor Cooper planned on re-nominating Lewy, the PBA would have had time to, quite sensibly, mobilize its members and show up in large numbers at the public meeting to make known -and clear- their grave concerns about Lewy

As it happened, in the end, with Mayor Cooper having left the meeting before it was over, and Vice Mayor London then taking the gavel as presiding officer, with the previous motion to keep Lewy on the Board having been approved, it was then vacated, and Lewy was formally removed from the Hallandale Beach Police & Fire Pension Board.

I expect to have more details about this matter in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

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Twitter: @hbbtruth, https://twitter.com/hbbtruth

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