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.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Longtime #HallandaleBeach civic activists and past supporters of Mayor #KeithLondon and Comm. #MicheleLazarow are DISMAYED and EMBARRASSED at what is taking place at City Hall now, with personal/political expediency trumping common sense and rational public discourse

Today's blog post serves as a logical follow-up to my last one regarding the long overdue arrest of longtime Hallandale Beach Mayor and despot Joy Cooper by the FBI on three felony counts and one misdemeanor count.

#schadenfreude - Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's long-overdue public comeuppance and takedown for her despotic, authoritarian and corrupt reign at HB City Hall finally comes via an arrest by the FBI. Cooper's arrest suddenly awakens the long-slumbering South Florida news media to the high level of corruption and incompetency taking place there that I told you about at the time. So where were they? #ethics

I regret that this post of mine today will necessarily be about one-fifth as long as I'd like for it to be, but I have had much less time over the weekend to work on it than expected because of another big writing project of mine that's considerably more important to me and my future long-term happiness than the latest jaw-dropping antics and escapades in Hallandale Beach, so this is what will have to suffice for now until a few more days pass and I can connect all the dots for you here on the blog.

Before I get into it, I remind you that a a candidate's debate is scheduled to take place tonight at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center from 6:30 until 9 PM, featuring the five candidates running to fill the term of disgraced former HB City Commissioner Anthony A. Sanders, whose resignation was NOT his idea, after the Broward Inspector General raised public questions about his fitness for office after they reported nothing but holes in his accounts of where $800,000 of HB CRA went -and why.
I will be at the debate so if you have not seen me in a while or have thought I did in fact move out to Las Vegas afterall in early October, please come over and say hello and see for yourself that it's really me, not a clone.

Excerpt from Hallandale Beach's Monday afternoon press release:

You are cordially invited to attend a Candidates Forum on February 27, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Center located at 410 SE 3rd Street, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009.
This forum will feature the qualified candidates for the March 13, 2018 Special Election to fill the unexpired term for Commission Seat 1. South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial page editor Rosemary O’Hara will serve as the moderator for this event.
All interested parties who plan to attend this event are encouraged to offer their questions on 3X5 cards the day of the event and/or email Ms. O’Hara in advance at rohara@sun-sentinel.com as she will be the sole judge of any and all questions asked.

A livestream of this event can be found of the City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CityOfHallandaleBeach

As for the latest news that I can mention quickly here, with much more facts and concerns and video to come in a few days, many longtime Hallandale Beach civic activists, friends of mine and past supporters of new Hallandale Beach Mayor Keith London and Comm. Michele Lazarow are DISMAYED and EMBARRASSED about what has been taking place at HB City Hall these days with them in the majority, where personal and political expediency seem to keep trumping common sense and rational public idiscourse regarding many different issues, large and small, including eliminating one of the city's few common sense procedures.

The selection two weeks ago of Rich Dally as a Hallandale Beach City Commissioner, that is, a complete unknown with no tangible public track record of being a well-informed voice in the community for increased #reform #accountability and #transparency at HB City Hall, at a HB City Commission meeting where the sole issue on the written public agenda was the expected selection of then-Vice Mayor Keith London to become interim mayor until November's election because of Joy Cooper being removed from office by Governor Rick Scott, NOT a vote on filling London's seat, caused most of the people I know and respect in the city to recoil at the very idea of the current majority channeling the very worst instincts of the since departed Cooper, whose thin skin and huge ego were constantly on display for the past 15 years, no matter the issue under discussion.

What the public saw after Keith London was voted in as interim mayor on a 2-1 vote was a government action that was NOT on the public agenda, should NOT have taken place then without the proper public notice being given, and what in almost every respect, resembled the sort of thing that Joy Cooper loved doing.
That is to say, doing something not because it was the right thing to do for the community at large, or even some part of it, but rather because she thought she and what I have long called her "Rubber Stamp Crew" thought they could get away with it.
It was that simple.
For years!

Then as now, it was exactly what it looked like, and yet I would hazard to say that few people who know Keith London even a fraction as well as I do, would have expected such a cynical, self-destructive and negative thing to be his first official act as Mayor.
And yet it was.

He squndered his opportunity to look like he was up to the challenge of running things instead of being the opposition, and seemed to act petty and argumentative just for the sake of being that way, with no apologies for how things appeared to the public.

Keith London voted for Dally to sit on the five-member HB City Commission until November, someone whose name he could not even pronounce correctly, and seemed to know very, very little about, yet took Comm. Michele Lazarow's nomination and endorsement of Dally as enough proof of his qualifications despite London having publicly nominated my very good friend and confidante, Csaba Kulin, for the post. Why?

Why did Keith London's replacement on the City Commission have to be named within ten minutes of London's elevation to the mayor's seat when the seat of disgraced Comm. Sanders has stood empty since last August, six long months ago?
He couldn't say and nether could anyone else on the dais.
Not that they tried.

Nor did they explain why they would vote on the three nominated candidates -Dally, Kulin and another friend of mine, Hallandale Beach businessman Rob Raymond- alphabetically instead of polling the three members and requiring them to name whom they were for on the first ballot.
Instead, because D comes before K and R, Dally was selected 2-1 and there was no vote on Kulin and Raymond.

The fact that Dally did such a very poor job of explaining who he was or why anyone in the city should have any confidence in him or even why HE deserved to be selected -after he was selected!- only made things worse and more laughably embarrassing for the city in general and him personally, since at no point did Dally actually state what his legitimate qualifications or expertise was.

What we were to learn over a few minutes was that he and his girlfriend have twins, that he is a loyal Democratic functionary, serving as head of the Broward Young Democrats.His actual job was never mentioned.
In short, he appears to be nothing but Alex Lewy 2.0, someone who aims to be a career politician with nothing to personally recommend him, as the many dozens of people who have called me in disgust or written me in the days since the absurd decision was made have all complained about in angry tones.
The whole thing could have been avoided if common sense were in abundance, but in HB, common sense is a rare mineral.

It would have been very easy for Keith London, Michele Lazarow and Annabelle Taub to show some common sense at the meeting and announce that the City Commission would take nominations for the former London Commission seat at the next scheduled Commission meeting, which would allow enough time for the public to weigh-in and for people to talk with their family and friends about whether they should place themselves in harm's way or not in nominating themselves.

These continuing series of bad decisions and remarkably poor judgment at HB City Hall are VERY troubling signs for all concerned.☹️

Troubling precisely because this bum's rush tactic to get Dally on the dais is the same one employed years ago at a City Commission meeting I was present at where Mayor Cooper personally selected and insisted upon unethical Anthony A. Sanders being installed as a Commissioner at a City Commission meeting where the issue was NOT on the public agenda.
That Cooper did not allow the public to ever speak on the matter, as I wrote on the blog at the time, was a germane fact which the South Florida news media failed to ever mention in their accounts.

Hallandale Beach already has an agreed-upon process for selecting a City Commissioner in the event of a vacancy, and it's the one used as recently as 2014, and, the same one used that resulted in Keith London becoming a City Commissioner in 2007. 

But if you can believe it, having avoided using it one week, it was promptly tossed-out by London, Lazarow and Dally last week at their meeting despite its great popularity with civic activists like me and many of the people I know precisely because it requires candidates to explain their interest, their qualifications and be subject to questions from the public and the Commissioners.
None of those things took place two weeks ago with Rich Dally.

That's a very good question.
You already know the names of the three people whom you should ask about it: London, Lazarow and Taub.

I don't personally know anyone in Hallandale Beach besides Comm. Lazarow who plans on voting for Dally in November when he runs for a full term. Nobody.
Everyone who has contacted me since Dally's selection has told me that under no circumstances will he be getting their vote.
Just saying...

I honestly don't think Rich Dally has any idea of what is in store for him in the coming months. 
(Or even, perhaps, on this blog.)
It won't be pretty.
An engaged citizenry and news media are unlikely to take Rich Dally's word for anything.

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