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For many Hallandale Beach voters, especially those living on the beach in our many large condominium towers, this may well be the first time that anyone has attempted to connect-the-dots and facts on how someone as ineffective and incompetent as Hallandale Beach Commission Seat 1 incumbent Anthony A. Sanders came to mis-represent you on that five-member panel that makes the public policy and budget decisions that you and your family has to deal with everyday.
That's why taking the time to do it right matters.
And that's why I'm doing it right now -while your vote can still make a positive difference to give us all a very different sort of future and a much-better city.
I'm happy to be writing today as I've got positive and encouraging news to share with you about how well my friend and fellow Hallandale Beach activist Chuck Kulin's campaign is going to bring
increased levels of financial accountability, common sense and ethical integrity to Hallandale Beach City Hall. As many of you know, due to Chuck's steadfast hard work over the years to help give Hallandale Beach residents and small business owners like you the sort of open and transparent city government we deserved -but were NOT receiving- he recently earned the endorsement of two individuals with well-known track records for demanding genuine accountability and responsiveness from government for all taxpayers: outgoing District 6 Broward County Comm. Sue Gunzburger and Beam Furr, the former Hollywood Comm. and District 6 County Comm. Democratic
More recently, chuck earned the endorsement of the pro-business South Broward Board of Realtors.
Those endorsements are positive signs that what he's been saying and doing is resonating with people, and I'm happy to say that he's earned those endorsements based on his solid record of civic activism and refusal to buckle to the powers-that-be at Hallandale Beach City Hall.
But what's really heartened me over the past few weeks is the very positive reaction that his pro-reform campaign is receiving from so many of you and your neighbors as he makes his way thru the city, walking the precincts and talking about the important financial and policy issues facing our city.
Specifically, discussing in detail what sort of positive changes he and so many of us believe need to be implemented at HB City Hall to create a better Quality-of-Life for residents and a better business environment for Small Businesses.
Do you want to know who is NOT happy about Chuck Kulin openly discussing those issues,
especially the nuts-and-bolts details about what's been going wrong in our city for FAR TOO LONG? The person Chuck Kulin is running against - ineffective incumbent Hallandale Beach Comm. Anthony Sanders.
And it's no wonder that Sanders is not happy, given his consistently unsatisfactory track record in office the last six years on so many important issues that affect all of us on a daily basis. Let's take a quick look at that track record of Comm. Sanders on an important issue that concerns everyone in this city, regardless of where you live -development- and specifically examine what Sanders said and did when three controversial development projects came before the five-member HB City Commission.
The first project we'll examine is the Diplomat RAC project, a project that was completely incompatible in every respect to the residential N.E. neighborhood for which it was planned.
It would've resulted in 5-7 large condo towers the size of The Duo being constructed on the perimeter of the Diplomat Country Club, making the already-terrible traffic problems we encounter there worse, with resulting ripple-effects throughout the city.
Single-family home owners and residents of the 3-4 story condo/apt. complexes on Diplomat Parkway, Atlantic Shores Blvd and N.E. 14th Avenue -along with residents all over the city, including me- were not just shocked that the HB City Commission tried to steamroll public opposition to it, but angry that the city thought it could successfully play hide-and-seek with public documents in order to make it difficult for HB residents like them to get their hands on the up-to-date changes to the plan prior to public meetings, so they could be as well-informed when they spoke at public meetings as the lawyers, consultants and lobbyists working for the developer.
Those same concerned residents repeatedly emailed and telephoned Comm. Sanders, urging him to meet with them in their neighborhood so that he could get a first-hand perspective on how the plan would directly affect them, even to the point of putting some people's backyards in permanent shadows, to say nothing of taking away the very views that had caused many of them to decide to move there in the first place.
But when Sanders had the chance to do the right thing, he didn't care about the concerns of these HB residents -and never responded.
Instead, Sanders voted FOR the incompatible plan, even speaking in favor of it at the Broward County Commission, despite the neighborhood/community's vocal opposition.
On the other hand, my friend Chuck Kulin was not only one of the plan's most-fervent opponents, he helped educate and organize the public opposition against it over several months, consistently speaking against it before the City Commission, County Planning Commission and the County Commission. Eventually, the County Commission had the good sense to vote the plan down, and in doing so, echoed many of the same sensible reasons Chuck had given over the preceding months.
The second controversial development plan where Comm. Sanders' behavior and vote is well worth recalling was the Beachwalk condo/hotel project next to the Intracoastal Bridge. Located on the
site of the old Manero's restaurant property, which had sat empty for years, this plan would've required the city to give the developer not only a high number of variances, but also required the city to give the developer critical land it owned as part of the deal.
Just as was the case with the Diplomat RAC plan, Comm. Sanders was NOT at all interested in what HB residents in the S.E. neighborhood thought, even though they'd be the ones living with the consequences of a large tower being constructed and casting its giant shadow over them daily in an area with no road alternatives.
When Chuck and I and many other concerned HB residents publicly urged the City Commission to delay for just one month the first of its two public meetings on the project, so that the majority of residents and property owners along Diana Drive and Layne Blvd. who'd be most-directly affected -and who were mostly out-of-town for the summer- could return to town and have their three minutes to speak their peace publicly, Comm. Sanders said and did nothing to offer them any hope.
Is it because Sanders simply didn't care about the neighborhood or its residents?
See, Latest info & photos re The Related Group's proposed 31-story waterfront Beachwalk project in Hallandale Beach; Vote is set for Wednesday night despite the fact that many nearby homeowners are away for the summer and can't participate. It needs to be rejected! Don't give away North Beach!
When you examine the public records on the city's own website, it's clear that Sanders was a YES vote for the developer from the beginning, and soon after the vote, the developer and his team delivered some nice-sized checks to Sanders' 2012 campaign chest, just after they delivered $20,000 to Mayor Cooper's re-election campaign.
Is that the reason that no amount of logic or reason -or even appeals to basic fairness- would interfere with Comm. Sanders giving the developer everything they wanted -and at a cheap price, too?
The third and most-recent controversial development project worth re-examining Comm. Sanders voting record for is the one on the beach located at 2000 S. Ocean Drive, next to Parker Towers and The Hemispheres. Sometimes referred to as the "Regency Spa" project for the site's former use, this unpopular project, with a ridiculous number of variance requests, was voted down twice before the HB Planning & Zoning Advisory Board, with Chuck asking hard-but-fair questions of the developer's team before casting votes against it both times.
But when the plan came before the HB City Commission in May, it was approved on a vote of 3-2, with Sanders providing the deciding vote FOR the developer -and against the best long-term interests of the residents of the neighborhood.
Yes, it was Comm. Sanders who was the final nail in the coffin that made certain that a building that's completely incompatible to the neighborhood will now be there for years to come. Unless something
unexpected happens, it will serve as a daily reminder to our city's residents of the complete folly of ever trusting their city's fate and our collective Quality-of-Life to him.
And now as you can see for yourself when you drive by there, no doubt in part to thank him for his YES vote back in May, the developer on that project has allowed a large Sanders campaign sign to be erected right out front of the property.
Draw your own conclusions folks.
So with just over 10 days to go, I'm very enthusiastic because when Hallandale Beach voters know the facts and know the issues, they are consistently supporting Chuck Kulin for Seat 1 on the Hallandale Beach City Commission.
You can not simply ignore the fact that Comm. Sanders has consistently shown bad judgment and disrespect towards HB residents over six long years.
That sort of consistent behavior in office should NOT be rewarded now with four more years, since we know from experience that would only mean nothing but more grief and regret on one important issue after another.
I'm happy that Chuck's campaign is being so well received but with just under a dozen days of hard work ahead, I don't want any of us to take anything for granted. In order to get Chuck's message out to as many concerned and frustrated Hallandale Beach voters as possible, I'm asking you now directly for your help in any way that you can provide it to him.
Whether that's helping with phone calls, walking the condos & streets with him, providing talent/resources, or helping the campaign financially with a campaign contribution, I'll be very appreciative of whatever you can do now to help him.
Trust me, I know as well as anyone how many of you want this effort of Chuck's to succeed, so
we can all finally have what we wish we had right now -a more open, responsive and accountable city govt. that provides a better Quality-of-Life we can all take pride in.
If you can support his candidacy, please go to his PayPal account
Or, you can send him a check to:
Chuck Kulin Campaign
1835 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd, #130
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009Cell 954-804-2210
Hallandale Beach, please vote like your family's future depends on it, because it really does!
Vote Chuck Kulin for Seat 1 on Tuesday November 4th.
This post originally ran at Hallandale Beach Blog on October 23rd, 2014