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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

BREAKING: #HollywoodFL - Contentious City Comm meeting: City Manager Ishmael directed to negotiate a separation agreement for City Atty. Jeffrey Sheffel

Developing story...

The Hollywood City Commission was set to reconvene at 4:30 today after contentious 1:00 PM City Commission meeting results in call by Comm. Richard Blattner -supported by Commissioners Traci Callari and Peter Hernandez-  for Hollywood City Manager Wazir Ishmael to enter into negotiations with City Attorney Jeff Sheffel for the purposes of creating a separation agreement for Sheffel, following months of drama and reports of chronic complaints in his office.

These reports included unhappiness with turnover within City Attorney's office due to existing culture there -i.e. Sheffel himselfSheffel's arrest in March for DUI,  and 
more recently, as was discussed at length today, an email from the Assistant City Manager to Sheffel alleging that the City Attorney's Office was behind in paying legal bills to outside counsel defending the city, and also was exceeding his spending authorization in settlements.

Much debate on what true facts were and whether facts were subject to interpretation. 
No seemed to be the consensus - the facts are black and white.

City Attorney Sheffel later said he was short-staffed and that was part of the cause for some of the highlighted problems but Comm. Traci Callari quickly shot back that the reason that he and his office were short-staffed was directly because of his own actions and behavior at the manager.

In his motion, later rescinded after Sheffel agreed to meet with Dr. Ishmael, Blattner was supported by longtime Sheffel opponents Callari and Peter Hernandez, who called for Sheffel to resign at the first City Comm. meeting following his March arrest. 

Publicly supporting Sheffel at the meeting were Mayor Josh Levy and Comm. Debra Case,
while Commissioners Kevin Biederman & Linda Sherwood seemed more on the fence but not at all happy at the various reports.

Update: Before the end of the second half of the 4:30 PM session, Hollywood City Manager Wazir Ishmael announced that he and the City Attorney Sheffel have reached a meeting of the minds regarding a Separation Agreement.
Commissioner Traci Callari made clear following this bit of news that she would like to discuss this development in more depth at the next City Commission meeting, on June 7th.
May 31st, 2017 Update
I will be updating this story tonight with some insight and quotes from from some of the parties involved, including their public comments during the early afternoon meeting, where I was the only person from the media(!) present.
CBS-4 News came by for the continuation after I sent them an email.

I had the opportunity to talk to Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy for a bit following the recent Young Circle Roadway Study at the Lippman Multi-Purpose Center, and naturally, the situation with the City Attorney was one of the subjects we discussed. 
Also in attendance Thursday night at the event were Hollywood Commissioners Debra Case and Richard Blattner.

From the City of Hollywood:

UPDATED: Meetings of the City Commission
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Special City Commission Meeting and a City Commission Workshop have been planned for Tuesday, June 6th at City Hall in Room 215. The meeting is at 3:00 p.m. regarding a separation agreement with the City Attorney and the workshop is at 4:00 p.m. regarding the proposed Safety Enhancement District in Emerald Hills. City Commission meetings and workshops are broadcast on the City’s Government Access Channel, Comcast Channel 78, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 and streamed online on the City’s website at 

http://www.hollywoodfl.org/146/Watch-Commission-Meetings [http://www.hollywoodfl.org/146/Watch-Commission-Meetings 

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#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 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 way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, 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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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!