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.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Surprise! Peter Deutsch and his Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School in Hollywood STILL think they can do whatever they want to do, regardless of what the city and its citizens think

Surprise! Peter Deutsch and his Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School in Hollywood STILL think they can do whatever they want to do, regardless of what the city and its citizens think

Per this unsettling but-hardly-surprising news being reported today by William Gjebre in the Florida Bulldog, above, in case any of you forgot or were unaware of my negative feelings about former Congressman Peter Deutsch and his constant litany of bullying insults and threats directed over several years at Hallandale Beach and Hollywood residents, officials and even neighborhoods, in his desire to build or expand his Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School empire in both cities, I remind you that his words were almost always delivered in public with grating contempt for others in the community, and with what I and many others perceived to be a VERY LARGE (misplaced) sense of entitlement on his part.

Yet despite Peter Deutsch's ease of access to powerful people and resources throughout Florida, he constantly tried to paint a narrative for himself and his development efforts as being one akin to a victim -the proverbial "little guy." 
But those roles were more accurately being played at the time by the neighborhoods and the concerned citizens of our area who believed that a powerful man like Deutsch used to getting his way all the time, should NOT be able to change their neighborhood and city in what they perceived to be negative ways just because he thinks it's a good idea that can make him and his partners more money.

I also remind you that both before and after I returned to South Florida in 2003 after living
and working in the Washington, D.C. area for 15 years, I've been a very strong and reliable supporter of Charter Schools and the variety of choices they afford students and parents.
But that support of mine doesn't mean that I think charter schools are the answer for every student or parent, or even necessarily think that most charter schools in South Florida are well-managed. 
Clearly they aren't, since the record shows that many are started by people and groups with more good intentions than common sense, good management or enough capital in the bank to do things the right way the first time for kids.

That said, Peter Deutsch's ability to successfully and continually "game" the system at so many different levels of govt. and official oversight, using a variety of legislatively-approved legal advantages that residents and neighborhood groups opposed to him didn't enjoy -or even knew existed- might NOT have stood for as long as it has if even a few more honest reporters and columnists among South Florida's press corps had ever done the right thing at the time and fully disclosed the exact nature of those curious advantages -and how they were obtained

But as we know now, at the time, my own blog, Hallandale Beach Blog, and the Florida Bulldog, were unique in South Florida in consistently trying to ferret-out useful, important

information for the public to know about what had been taking place below-the-radar with Ben Gamla
Unique in being places where honest people could come to learn and understand how the public policy playing field got so one-sided in the first place that local governments often didn't know until public meetings had started that their usual procedures and tactics 
regarding planning and approving land use were precluded, and that Deutsch would get the benefit of any doubt.

Just as happened in Hallandale Beach, when he and Ben Gamla got the last laugh on the city's bumbling, out-foxed staff. 

That's why this is the 23rd time I've written about Peter Deutsch and Ben Gamla on the blog.

My last blog post about Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School was on October 3, 2013, titled, What will Peter Deutsch do Thursday night to try to win over angry Hollywood neighbors/residents who want no part of any Doral Ben Gamla Preparatory Academy in their neighborhood -or the arrogant Ben Gamla parents and their galling sense of entitlement and antipathy towards others? My educated guess is that Deutsch doubles down and is as arrogant as ever

Florida Bulldog

Lawsuit: Rescind variance for ex-U.S. Rep.’s Hollywood charter schoolBy William Gjebre, FloridaBulldog.org
December 8, 2016

The city of Hollywood violated municipal law when it approved a request by the controversial Ben Gamla middle-high school to stop maintaining a rooftop vegetation area that was a key consideration for a zoning exception allowing the school in a residential neighborhood.
This and other allegations made in a lawsuit filed by the Citizens For Responsible Development Inc. ask the Broward Circuit Court to rescind a Hollywood Planning and Development Board-approved variance for the school to operate without the rooftop green space at the facility headed by former U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-FL).
The school, which has drawn neighborhood opposition since it was proposed and opened during the past three years, was able to build a larger complex on its property at 2648 Van Buren St. by pledging to provide green area on the school’s roof rather than creating an open space recreational area elsewhere on its property, according to the complaint.
Read the rest of the article at:

Hollywood City Hall, photo by me, South Beach Hoosier.© 2016 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. 

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