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. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

When the going gets tough, doers take charge. My own experience of Florida Power and Light electricity outages in #HollywoodFL as of Saturday afternoon. My neighborhood got power on Thursday but my neighbors and I on our street are STILL an island of darkness and frustration

It's proving to be a very sheepish Saturday... 

Just wanted to share some thoughts on FP&L outages in Hollywood as of Saturday afternoon, after having gone down in-person at 12:45 PM today to the multi-state utility company staging area on the south side of Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino in Hallandale Beach.

The outage and its attendant days of frustration, largely spent away from the house and spending lots of money just to keep out of the sweltering heat -and keep my cell phone and laptop charged- and nights of quiet exasperation/exhaustion, without a breeze to be found, STILL includes my house on Wiley Street.

To be factual, it's my house and about 5-7 others on the south side of the 1400 block of Wiley Street and a similar number of houses behind us on the north side of Mayo Street, despite the fact that electricity in the larger neighborhood west of Temple Beth El came on sometime Thursday afternoon.
I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure that when the streetlight on the north side of the street across from my house comes on at night, it's actually mocking me as I sit on the porch, sipping my room temperature soda...

On Wednesday, the FP&L power line that connects to my house from the pole in the alley, which has been lying on the ground in my backyard since last Sunday when one of my neighbor's large palm trees came crashing thru the fence and yanked the line off the house, started sparking when the electricity was returned to the larger neighborhood.
Two houses down from us, I heard that a light pole in the alley caught on fire at the same time.

None of the neighbors that I have spoken to on Wiley has seen a FP&L rep or truck (or another utility company) working in the alley since Thursday, so the popular sentiment on the street about whether the power company cavalry will be back and be able to keep the promise they made at their press conference this week that power should be restored by Sunday night, is starting to look like a promise about to be broken.
At least on my street.

So that's what lead me today to head down to Gulfstream, since I recall FP&L previously using the old Gulfstream parking lot off of US-1 that's now home to their retail shops, as a staging area for utility workers and trucks for Hurricane Wilma. 
That resulted in me without power for two weeks, even while Aventura, then a ten minute walk from where I was living, was up and running right away.

Today, after lots of walking around from one tent and trailer to another, I finally found someone from FP&L near the logistics tent who seemed responsible.
Even better than just looking responsible, though, he said that he could do something 
tangible about the larger problem where I live in Hollywood, and help get a team dispatched to the alley between Wiley and Mayo.

Eventually.
Sometime...
Whenever that is...

Just checked FP&L's homepage for any changes before I post this.

Now they're saying by 11:45 PM on... Monday night.
And that the number of affected customers is about 121.

Que sera sera..

Friday, September 8, 2017

As Hurricane Irma heads towards South Florida, Some Thoughts from Somewhere Inside the Evacuation Zone in Hollywood, FL

Reporting from Somewhere Inside the Evacuation Zone in Hollywood, FL

I was busy all Thursday afternoon helping a friend prepare their home north of Fort Lauderdale for Hurricane Irma's approach to South Florida -the least I can do since that's where I will be heading sometime Friday evening for the duration- so was not able to see much of the coverage of Hurricane Irma on The Weather Channel that ran in the 
afternoon or evening.

But after Midnight I was able to catch up and snapped some screenshots of some things that were aired that I wanted to share, along with mentioning a couple of things that might prove helpful to some of you, especially people who are new to the area -or hurricanes.


Above, that big news on Thursday that shocked so many people and is causing 
more panic in Miami-Dade than most people -esp. in the news media- want to publicly acknowledge. 
People who thought they were in the clear are now in the evacuation zone because of a storm surge that could be ten feet.
Which is why 650,000 to 700,000 people are supposed to be leaving -or deal with the tragic and possibly fatal consequences of guessing wrong when they had plenty of time to do the right thing.


Mike Bettes of The Weather Channel on the beach in Hallandale Beach.
I nearly fell off the couch when I saw this.


Publix is closing all South Florida stores at 9 pm today.
Surprisingly, the Presidente supermarket on US-1 north of Pembroke Road was FULL of precisely the sorts of groceries that were nowhere to be found in Publix and Winn-Dixie stores in some chic parts of Fort Lauderdale, as a friend and I discovered when foolishly thinking that peanut butter would be available. 
Nope!


Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy being interviewed at the Home Depot in Hollywood, a place that for days has been the go-to place for area residents to share crazy stories with TWC reporters about how crazy difficult it has been to buy things that most of us take for granted all the time.
Josh also mentioned in the interview above a figure of 5-8 feet for the possible storm surge.

I can only imagine what that would do to Hallandale Beach's already much-smaller beach width!
It's for that reason that I'm going to the HB Water Tower area for sunrise in a few hours to snap some photos of that area because sadly, I strongly suspect that after that storm surge comes in Sunday, that will be one of the last times the beach area south of Hallandale Beach Blvd. is even that large/wide for quite some time, given what's involved in expanding the beach now to counter natural erosion.


Just the other day while walking thru at Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino .... I got to thinking... I suspect we will finally see if this version of Pegasus that's the second largest statue in the U.S. can really fly...



...because 140 mph is definitely take off speed.

---
For Hollywood folks, keep in mind...
#HollywoodFL re #HurricaneIrma: @cohgov Parking Garages Downtown will be open 4 residents to park free on first-come, first-served basis. 🚗


Coming back from FTL Thursday night around 7:30, I was near the garage on 18th Avenue north of Whiskey Tango Bar & Grill, and saw quite a lot of activity, so don't wait until the last moment. 

I also can't stress enough how important it is that you do everything you can to place photos and important documents in waterproof containers, like large gallon-size ziplocs, whether you are leaving or staying.
And, filling your bathtub with water so that you can use that water for your toilet to create the necessary pressure in your plumbing.

Monday afternoon may well reveal a very different world than what we have all previously known in the area, so be prepared, not sorry and full of regrets that you didn't listen to your own intuition.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Tuesday September 5th. The Day the Running Stopped." Sublime! And just like that, so ended the plight of Dr. Richard Kimble, The Fugitive. My first favorite TV show ever


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDb7pligfRA

August 29, 1967 Final 5 minutes The Fugitive, ABC-TV


August 29, 1967 The Fugitive, ABC-TV
Final episode - Epilogue, 151 seconds

"Tuesday September 5th. The Day the Running Stopped." 

Sublime.
THAT is how you write for television and pack a punch!

"Tuesday September 5th. The Day the Running Stopped." 
With these final words, spoken in a voice-over by the inestimable William Conrad in the final seconds of the series finale of The Fugitive in 1967, fifty years ago, America got the satisfaction they needed, including where I lived, where it was watched religiously in the new-ish apartment complex when I was growing up in Memphis.
And became my very first favorite TV show.

(Some of you longtime readers of the blog may recall that was the same upscale complex my family lived at that was also home to then-Cardinals catcher and Memphis native Tim McCarver during the off-season with his wife and kids, one of whom I played with regularly.)

The final episode of The Fugitive gained an astounding 45.9/72 Nielsen rating - roughly 72% of all U.S. TV households were tuned in the episode, a TV ratings record that lasted for 13 years until the mystery of who shot J.R. was resolved on "Dallas" in 1980.




http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-et-st-fugitive-fiftieth-anniversary-20170828-story.html


Leonard Goldberg on "The Fugitive" series finale - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG

The day Bristol Myers saved the day.


Alan A. Armer on producing "The Fugitive" and its finale - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New #VacationRental ordinance/fees and #Confederate Street sign re-naming on tap this afternoon for Hollywood City Commission

May 3, 2017 photo, looking west at Hollywood City Hall, Hollywood, Florida, as seen from in front of the  Hollywood branch of the Broward County Public Library. © 2017 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved


Revised and Updated August 29, 2017 2:15 PM
Just one of the MANY questions I've heard for the Hollywood City Commission to answer, based on my many conversations around the area:.
Airbnb was created in Aug. 2008. Since then, how many times have you personally stayed overnight at a facility that was NOT a hotel and was located in someone's home who was not a family member or friend?

The reason for the question, cobbled together from several similar question?
People want to know your actual personal experience/expertise to speak publicly on 
the issue, not hear you relate a series of anecdotes or Talking points from influential residents or various Hollywood neighborhood Civic Associations.

The reality is that based on their own numbers from this summer, Hollywood currently has, at best, a 15% compliance rate, and some people say those numbers are "soft."

As most of you know by now, including from my pointed July 3rd blog post on this subject,
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/sharingeconomy-hollywood-city.html
in my opinion, these proposals  -below- WON'T improve that, and only serves to highlight the city's myopia and general clumsiness in handling the issue.
As long as the city makes it about meting out individual and collective punishment and making money via fees, based on what I have personally seen and heard at city meetings and in conversations with many successful Airbnb and Vacation Rental hosts in Hollywood, I see little prospect that the city's compliance rate will ever get much over 40% with the proposed changes.

In the coming days, I'll share here on the blog what I said at the meeting -and meant to say!
My first time speaking before the City Commission publicly in the past year.



These are Time-Certain items scheduled to start at or around 1:30 PM

R-2017-250
41
Appeal of revoke vac rental license
Resolution
A Resolution Of The City Commission Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Considering An Appeal Of The Revocation Of A VacationRental License For The Property Located At 929 North Southlake Drive, Pursuant To The Provisions Of The City Of Hollywood Code Of Ordinance.  


PO-2017-11
42
VRL Ordinance
Ordinance
An Ordinance Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Amending Chapter 119 Of The Code Of Ordinances Entitled “Vacation Rental License Program” To Revise The Definition Of A Vacation Rental, And To Require Compliance Inspections For Vacation Rentals; Providing For Severability; Providing For Conflicts; Providing For An Effective Date.  

R-2017-177
43
VRL Fee Increase
Resolution
A Resolution Of The City Commission Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Amending R-2015-328 To Increase The Application Fee For Vacation Rental Licenses Within The City Of Hollywood To $500.00 And The Renewal Fee To $350.00, Establishing An Application Fee For Vacation Rental Licenses For Applicants Whose Primary Residence Is Partially Being Rented And Establishing An Inspection Fee.

These Time-Certain items are scheduled to start at or around 4:00 PM
R-2017-251
45
Rename Forrest Street & Forrest Drive
Resolution
A Resolution Of The City Commission Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Approving/Denying The Application To Rename Forrest Street And Forrest Drive To Savannah Street and Savannah Drive.  


R-2017-252
46
Rename Hood Street
Resolution
A Resolution Of The City Commission Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Approving/Denying The Application To Rename Hood Street To Macon Street. 

R-2017-253
47
Rename Lee Street
Resolution
A Resolution Of The City Commission Of The City Of Hollywood, Florida, Approving/Denying The Application To Rename Lee Street To Louisville Street.

D-2017-02
48
Street Names to Street Numbers
Discussion Item
Discussion By The City Commission On Changing All Street Names To Street Numbers.

D-2017-03
49
Moratorium on Street Renaming
Discussion Item
Discussion By The City Commission On Imposing A Moratorium On Future Renaming Of Streets.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Last minute thoughts from me and Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Keith London regarding today's city budget meeting

Per my last blog post, about the City of Hallandale Beach's 2017-2018 city and CRA budgets, titled, 
Next week's Hallandale Beach budget meetings will be a forum for hard and long-overdue questions to FINALLY be asked in public, with honest answers required. Hallandale Beach residents and Small Business owners are in no mood to roll-over and take it like they've been forced to do the past dozen-plus years, as city/CRA funds were wasted in every way imaginable, with no genuine oversight or accountability by people whose jobs it was to provide both!
Updated and Corrected August 23, 2017 at 11:35 PM

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2017/08/next-weeks-hallandale-beach-budget.html

this morning I and many other concerned people in the area received some last minute thoughts from Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Keith London regarding today's city budget meeting.

In his email, below, he echoes many of the same specific things things that I've been writing on this blog for many years -and last week- about the precarious nature of the city's financial health, given the mountain of bad and foolish spending choices and priorities that have been made by the Joy Cooper-led Rubber Stamp Crew that got nearly everything the Mayor's way the past dozen-plus years she's been running/mismanaging things.

To quote myself:
"many LONG OVERDUE actions will need to be taken by the HB City Commission to ensure that steps are being taken so that genuine financial accountability will FINALLY be undertaken that protects the city's residents and Small Business owners immediate and long-term future needs
It's hardly surprising that some of those necessary actions will cause some immediate pain and hardship to more than a few people, mostly city employees.

But in my opinion, however painful, these cost-cutting moves need to take place now because despite what Mayor Joy Cooper has been saying to her loyal minions and acolytes around the city and to the news media, such as it is, Hallandale Beach is in very dire financial situation.

Not quite where the City of Hollywood finds itself now financially, but not so far behind that the situation in HB could not be MUCH WORSE if bad and preposterous decisions of the sort that had become normalized at HB City Hall continue.
Preposterous decisions that continually rewarded poor performance and completely-inadequate oversight, and put HB taxpayers behind the financial eight-ball.

In my opinion, that's because rather than making some hard-but-necessary decisions in the past, of making some necessary sacrifices towards the long-term good, the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew borrowed and borrowed and borrowed. And to what end?

Too often, to pay current operating expenses, the worst possible reason if done more than once for a non-emergency. It has been my experience over the years that there are more than a few residents and city employees in HB who have a completely unrealistic opinion as to what the proper function and purpose of a city government is.
As I expect will be shown next week, finally, the city's core function is NOT to provide a job and a good-paying pension to anyone with a heartbeat, regardless of their ability and actual performance.

This particular city budget will be the first one that will be examined in depth by three people on the Commission -Keith London, Michelle Lazarow and Anabelle Taub- who genuinely want MORE public accountability and oversight over how city funds are spent since I first returned to South Florida in late 2003, after 15 years of living and working in the Washington, D.C area.
That's a very long time for hard-working people and Small Business owners in HB to have to wait for the sort of overdue common sense and hard questions that are normal pretty much everywhere else in cities when it comes to budgets.

More than a few of HB's Small Business owners have moved out of town specifically because of the combination of foolish financial and public policy decision-making being done at HB City Hall, often based on which of the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew's friends could benefit from city funds.
Many of them are the very same people who were given a look by the Broward Inspector General. 
Names that I have mentioned on this blog many times over the years, and spoken to many of the same people reading this now, including print and TV reporters..

But in Hallandale Beach, for years under big-spending and thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper, the tradition for the City Commission was to essentially tell every Dept. head and every bureaucrat appearing before them at budget time that they were doing a really great job.
Somehow, everyone is in charge yet nobody is responsible!

And then the City Commission would borrow money from their Reserves to give them baubles and gloss that would make this city appear semi-normal, when it was anything but that.
For far too long, collectively, the five-member HB City Commission did NOT take their financial oversight responsibilities seriously at this time of the year, with some members NEVER asking one question, even  when it came to funding the largest Departments in the city.


Clearly those days are gone!
Finally 

Hallandale Beach City Commission - Budget Special Meeting Workshop, held at City Commission Chambers, 400 South Federal Highway

Tuesday, August 29th and Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, at 11:00 AM 
Details and attachments: 
-----

Please review the third budget workshop meeting backup material scheduled for this Tuesday August 29 at 11 AM.Attached is a PDF presentation compiled by City Manager Carlton and his staff. 

Taxpayers should be aware of how dire the situation Commissioner Michele Lazarow, Commissioner Anabelle Taub and I have inherited from the prior administration. 
  • Approximately $30 million in reserves were burned through in the last five years, with little to nothing to show for the wasted dollars. Page 11
  • Healthcare costs have exploded and are unsustainable. Page 28-29
  • The number of full-time employees has grown over 20%. 
  • The community benefit program was never transparently evaluated in the past and now we have realized the program was not delivering any value to the city while the cost was over $200,000 per year. Page 21
  • Under the prior administration, the Ansin Boulevard storage lot was purchased for approximately $1 million over assessed value  and there was little to no accountability or documentation proving the revenue or chain of custody of dollars due to the city of Hallandale Beach taxpayers Page 52-53.
  • The prior administration, under the poor leadership of Mayor Cooper, raided the vehicle replacement fund for approximately $1.2 million, leaving the city with another deficit. 
  • The city's contribution to the police and fire pension fund this year is $8,675,861 Page 72.
  • The cost of the Police and Fire pension is 58.95% of police and fire sworn employees’ salaries.This percentage coupled with all other fringe benefits is 76.98% of salary costs.  
  • The unfunded liability for the police and fire pension fund is $64,428,556 Page 73.
  • Last year, overtime paid to employees in the City of Hallandale Beach was approximately $400,000 even though the number of employees has grown by 20%.
I look forward to seeing all of you Tuesday, August 29 at 11 AM for our next budget discussion. Please review the PDF attached and email me any questions or comments you may have. 

Keeping you informed,
Vice Mayor Keith London

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Next week's Hallandale Beach budget meetings will be a forum for hard and long-overdue questions to FINALLY be asked in public, with honest answers required. HB residents and Small Business owners are in no mood to roll-over and take it like they've been forced to do the past dozen-plus years, as city/CRA funds were wasted in every way imaginable, with no oversight or accountability by people whose jobs it was to provide both

Above, Hallandale Beach City Hall. August 21, 2017 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2017 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Next week's Hallandale Beach budget meetings will be a forum for hard and long-overdue questions to FINALLY be asked in public, with honest answers required. Hallandale Beach residents and Small Business owners are in no mood to roll-over and take it like they've been forced to do the past dozen-plus years, as city/CRA funds were wasted in every way imaginable, with no genuine oversight or accountability by people whose jobs it was to provide both!
Updated and Corrected August 23, 2017 at 11:35 PM

Below, for your consideration, some carefully chosen words of wisdom, borne of experience, to carefully think about in the coming days before the City of Hallandale Beach city and CRA budget meetings take place next week, Tuesday August 29th and Wednesday the 30th, at Hallandale Beach City Hall, which is open to the public.
At the bottom, following my comments, I have a copy of some well-thought out concerns
from my good friend and fellow Broward County civic activist, Csaba Kulin, someone who has been working tirelessly for years in 1,001 ways for HB to be the well-run city its residents want it to be. 
And deserved all along.

In my opinion, next week, many LONG OVERDUE actions will need to be taken by the HB City Commission to ensure that steps are being taken so that genuine financial accountability will FINALLY be undertaken that protects the city's residents and Small Business owners immediate and long-term future needs
It's hardly surprising that some of those necessary actions will cause some immediate pain and hardship to more than a few people, mostly city employees.

But in my opinion, however painful, these cost-cutting moves need to take place now because despite what Mayor Joy Cooper has been saying to her loyal minions and acolytes around the city and to the news media, such as it is, Hallandale Beach is in very dire financial situation.

Not quite where the City of Hollywood finds itself now financially, but not so far behind that the situation in HB could not be MUCH WORSE if bad and preposterous decisions of the sort that had become normalized at HB City Hall continue.
Preposterous decisions that continually rewarded poor performance and completely-inadequate oversight, and put HB taxpayers behind the financial eight-ball.

In my opinion, that's because rather than making some hard-but-necessary decisions in the past, of making some necessary sacrifices towards the long-term good, the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew borrowed and borrowed and borrowed. 
And to what end?

Too often, to pay current operating expenses, the worst possible reason if done more than once for a non-emergency.
It has been my experience over the years that there are more than a few residents and city employees in HB who have a completely unrealistic opinion as to what the proper function and purpose of a city government is.
As I expect will be shown next week, finally, the city's core function is NOT to provide a job and a good-paying pension to anyone with a heartbeat, regardless of their ability and actual performance.

This particular city budget will be the first one that will be examined in depth by three people on the Commission -Keith London, Michelle Lazarow and Anabelle Taub- who genuinely want MORE public accountability and oversight over how city funds are spent since I first returned to South Florida in late 2003, after 15 years of living and working in the Washington, D.C area.
That's a very long time for hard-working people and Small Business owners in HB to have to wait for the sort of overdue common sense and hard questions that are normal pretty much everywhere else in cities when it comes to budgets.

More than a few of HB's Small Business owners have moved out of town specifically because of the combination of foolish financial and public policy decision-making being done at HB City Hall, often based on which of the Cooper Rubber Stamp Crew's friends could benefit from city funds.
Many of them are the very same people who were given a look by the Broward Inspector General
Names that I have mentioned on this blog many times over the years, and spoken to many of the same people reading this now, including print and TV reporters..

But in Hallandale Beach, for years under big-spending and thin-skinned Mayor Joy Cooper, the tradition for the City Commission was to essentially tell every Dept. head and every bureaucrat appearing before them at budget time that they were doing a really great job.
Somehow, everyone is in charge yet nobody is responsible!

And then the City Commission would borrow money from their Reserves to give them baubles and gloss that would make this city appear semi-normal, when it was anything but that.
For far too long, collectively, the five-member HB City Commission did NOT take their financial oversight responsibilities seriously at this time of the year, with some members NEVER asking one question, even  when it came to funding the largest Departments in the city. Why?

One of the answers, perhaps the most obvious to someone like me who knows their backgrounds, is that for so very long, none of them were current or former business people who had either owned or operated a very successful business for any reasonable period of time.
They've literally had no business acumen to draw up on.

But it was also true that one of the reasons might be that, simply put, for many of the past City Commission members, being liked by city employees, going along to get along, always seemed to be more important to them than being respected for doing a good job.
Every year, thru their words and actions, the Hallandale Beach City Commission showed that they really didn't know how to handle or mange public money.
Instead, whatever the city's senior staff said was okay by them.

But some of us knew then -and know now- that the city's bureaucracy, particularly its highest-ranking and highest-paid bureaucrats, often weren't telling the WHOLE TRUTH
Weren't always disclosing important facts or potential conflicts, or even filling the City Commission in on what the practical long-term effects of doing something would necessarily be.
You know, the very sorts of things you would think their job would require them to do if they really wanted to keep their job?


Above, Hallandale Beach City Commission chambers. August 17, 2017 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2017 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

In the opinion of myself and many other concerned people in this area of SE Broward, Florida's third-largest county, the bureaucracy has used that inattention to detail by the Commission to allow a succession of poorly-performing City Managers and Assistant City Managers to say and do pretty much whatever they wanted.

As if they were the ones really making policy.
And they were - in conjunction with Mayor Cooper.

How many times have I personally seen the other four City Commissioners finding out at a Commission or CRA meeting or Workshop, about an important decision that had been made at City Hall without their knowledge or required assent/consent because Mayor Cooper and some bureaucrats had decided it needed to happen?
Dozens and dozens of times...

Making the role of the publicly-elected representative sort of an afterthought, right?

For instance, to cite a particularly galling case, that time in 2013 when Gulfstream Park 
Race Track & Casino, the largest employer in the city, and located directly across the street from Hallandale Beach City Hall, started building "temporary" horse barns on the south side of the track and to the southeast of the Village at GP retail complex off U.S.-1/South Federal Highway, without having been issued building permits? 

So because they were used to getting what they wanted from the mayor, whose campaign they had always dutifully contributed to, they just kept doing what they wanted because they knew they could pick up the phone and call the mayor and bypass the normal administrative process, as well as their attempts to punish the city's Building Inspectors for actually doing their job correctly.
So without any information for the other Commissioners to read, Mayor Cooper tried to get them to waive the $52,000 in fines incurred by Gulfstream, owed to both the city and the State of Florida. 

Fortunately, that effort failed. 
That time.



Local 10 News
Mayor wants $52K fine against Gulfstream Park waived

No vote taken on waiving fine at Hallandale Beach budget meeting
Author: Bob Norman, Reporter, bnorman@Local10.com
Ben Candea, Senior Web Producer, bcandea@local10.com
Published On: Oct 04 2013 06:13:16 PM EDT   

Updated On: Oct 04 2013 11:51:10 PM EDT
https://www.local10.com/news/mayor-wants-52k-fine-against-gulfstream-park-waived_2015112721023598

Me? 
I'm the person who actually called investigative reporter Bob Norman at Channel 10 shortly after I was an eyewitness to this craziness and gave him the incredible play-by-play of what had transpired, along with some needed nuance and context.
And what do you know, soon thereafter, this story appeared on TV to make crystal clear to people throughout South Florida what had taken place in Hallandale Beach.

After several lengthy emails to the many Usual Suspects throughout our area and the state -including many of you reading this post today- describing the dysfunctional situation that never got investigated by the broward inspector general, I posted this photo-filled blog post on November 5th, 2013:

On Wednesday night, Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper has to defend her freelancing, breaking of city's rules in order to help her friends at Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino with bldg. code fines they EARNED. Again! Her campaign contributors, Gulfstream Park, must really love her "Special Rules for Special People" form of advocacy, but why does she save her energy & love for a multi-million dollar company instead of insisting they follow the law and finally fix up their appearance problems?

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/on-wednesday-night-hallandale-beach.html

I especially like this part of what I  wrote:

...It's clear that Joy Cooper, quite literally, sees herself as indispensable.
But she is the mayor of a small city with a city manger form of government, not the mayor of a large urban city with a strong-mayor form of government, yet despite this difference and the well-understood written rules about what is and is not acceptable, she just keeps doing whatever she wants and dares anyone in a position of authority to stop her.

Cooper continues to show that she wants to make as many important decisions for the city (and everyone else) as possible, without adequate vetting and public disclosure.
As she tried to do on September 25th...

Based on what they have said and done the past nine months in genuinely reforming or dismantling many aspects of the incurious culture and operations at Hallandale Beach City Hall, clearly those days have come to an end under Vice Mayor Keith London and Commissioners Michelle Lazarow and Anabelle Taub.
The possibility of being a normal city and erasing the label of being a perpetual municipal laughingstock in South Florida is at hand.   
Finally!

After everything that I have seen and observed over the years in Hallandale Beach, where people with responsible jobs and impressive titles -and accompanying large salaries- were neither impressive or responsible to HB taxpayers best interests, I believe the best plan to put the city on a more sound financial footing is one that forces "Innovation by Subtraction" down the throats of HB city employees.


Far too many people within the city's bureaucracy have grown complacent and shown that they can not manage effectively or sensibly.
Let's stop pretending they can, and start making some long overdue changes.

My plan as of today, unless some big news comes up that takes my attention elsewhere, is to give LOTS of examples of this during those upcoming meetings, often with relevant photographs or video here at the blog to illustrate my points.



At bottom is the email that Csaba sent recently to Hallandale Beach City Manager 
Roger Carlton, with a cc to City Attorney Jennifer Merino.

After getting Csaba's email, my initial thought was to write a lengthy email of my own to Mr. Carlton, largely echoing and expanding upon many of Csaba's common sense thoughts and concerns.
But I've decided that I'll wait a bit so that I can be even more specific to Mr. Carlton and others about, how in my opinion, it seems that after a generally positive start, he's been more slow than I'd like to fully grasp the reality this area has had to live with for so many years regarding the city's policies, practices and budget priorities.
(How people with self-evident conflicts of interest had far too much access to and control over public funds, as well as the setting of public policy.)

Namely, who said what, who did what, and who in a position of authority,did nothing at all, when doing nothing only made very bad things even worse.
And what better time to acquaint Mr. Carlton with the facts and reality than when the city's budget is being written, examined and voted upon?
Clearly, there is MUCH he has to learn about what's been going on in HB for years,

Hallandale Beach City Commission - Budget Special Meeting Workshop, held at City Commission Chambers, 400 South Federal Highway

Tuesday, August 29th and Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, at 11:00 AM 
Details and attachments: https://hallandalebeach.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=555917&GUID=586EC10D-C1D1-49F5-8CCA-80B383C4F014&Options=&Search=

Wednesday August 30th Workshop - 11:00 AM
Agenda: https://hallandalebeach.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=20843&GUID=020E7D1D-F811-4643-8FDD-0986CEBA0ED4

Reminder: It's NOT too late to read or comment on my recent blog post, re the #YoungCircle Roadway Feasibility Study that I believe will make #HollywoodFL traffic worse, NOT better






---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Csaba Kulin
Date: Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 3:24 PM
Subject: Comment on Bulldog Article Comment
To: "CM. Roger Carlton"
Cc: Jennifer Merino 

Dear City Manager Carlton,
In the second Florida Bulldog article (7/19/2017) about Commissioner Sanders “pattern of misconduct” you were quoted “… It is extremely disappointing that there is no outrage in the community about these programs. No demands for reform have been publicly made to date”.
I disagree with those comments. Our community has been loud and clear on this topic for almost a decade.
We just could not get past Cooper/Julian/Sanders/Lewy to do anything about it.  
Do you want us to demonstrate on the steps of City Hall?
Do you want us to disrupt City Commission Meetings like an unruly mob?
Do you want us to threaten members of the City Commission?
No, that is not us.
We did better than that. We elected Commissioners Lazarow and Taub with a mandate to “drain the swamp” at City Hall.
Along with Vice Mayor London they hired a new City Manager, a new City Attorney and we expect you to clean up the mass left behind by the previous administrations.
We want you to focus the ongoing forensic audit on identifying all fraudulent transactions, recover all ill-gotten funds, and prosecute everyone who broke the law.
We remember the 100 million dollar budget of the past; we remember the 480 employee count. During the last five years it grew to a 135 million budget and 560 employees. How many of these new employees working on the “core functions” of the City?
I know you are busy so I will not go on. I am confident you will do your best and I support you in this effort.
I know it hard to put “genie” back in the “bottle” is six months.
I copied a few friends and encourage them to comment on this topic. They may have some additional good ideas for you to consider.
Sincerely,
Csaba (Chuck) Kulin

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