Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/Ocean Drive, July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/Ocean Drive, July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive & Hallandale Beach Blvd. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency and spite, made off-limits to HB citizen taxpayers for over three-and-a-half years after being given it for FREE by The Related Group, after they'd used it as their "model" sales office for The Beach Club condo towers next-door. In 2012 the city signed a not-so lucrative deal to make it the "model" sales HQ for RG's The Beachwalk project next to the Intracoastal Bridge, thereby putting this taxpayer-owned building just steps from the Atlantic Ocean off-limits to Hallandale Beach citizens for years to come. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months when i snapped this photo!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For many years under Mayor Joy Cooper and City Managers Mark Antonio & Renee C. Miller, the City of Hallandale Beach illegally used this photo of mine on their official website as well as in large posters at city buildings, including the lobby of HB City Hall. This was done in clear violation of federal copyright laws, as they stole the photo without EVER asking my permission to use it or paying me a single cent. Really.
Hallandale Beach Blog is a common-sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on current events, economics, government, politics & culture of South Florida, in particular, the cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood. South Beach Hoosier, www.SouthBeachHoosier.blogspot.com, is where I also ruminate on national and international subjects, especially the past and current South Florida sports scene with the Dolphins, the Marlins, the Orioles, the University of Miami Hurricanes, and the Indiana University Hoosiers. But sometimes, if it's particularly germane or amusing, I post it here, too.
Everything you see on this page was originally located on my current blog, Hallandale Beach Blog, www.HallandaleBeachBlog.blogspot.com
Due to space considerations over time, as I wrote new posts and added new photos to the blog, I had to move some items, photos, posts and, videos off the main site to keep the blog more manageable, but I didn't want to simply delete these items forever, since many were popular, so I've created this mirror hyphenated blog so they could remain alive, as it were. I especially didn't want to move the videos, but having too many videos on the main page slowed the loading time, so...
Many of the photos below have necessarily been reduced in size from their original to fit within the new site parameters here, which explains, some of the odd photo sizes, but I still have the full-size version of them. Please come see what I'm up to NOW at:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why we're FOR Chuck Kulin for Hallandale Beach City Commission Seat 1: On one important issue after another -but esp. development- ineffective, incompetent incumbent Comm. Anthony A. Sanders has consistently disrespected & disappointed HB residents & Small Business owners. Here are the cold hard facts you need to consider -and that Sanders wishes you'd forget!

June 2, 2010 photo of Hallandale Beach City Hall by South Beach Hoosier. 
© 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Dear Friends:

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 LONGThe 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 33009
Cell 954-804-2210 
E-mail ChuckKulin2014@gmail.com

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

No comments:

Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree
of accountability, transparency and insight onto local Broward County
government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in
local media now. On this blog, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm,
anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hollywood
and Hallandale Beach.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in
stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually
musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected
govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well.

Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the
sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local
residents deserve and expect. This is particularly true in the town I live
in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of

There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism
are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its residents, HB is where even
easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end,
because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory
management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location,
yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after
years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight.

On a daily basis, they wake-up and see the same old problems that have
NEVER being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible
fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising
young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and
enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?"

Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these
things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the
situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest
and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.
Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.

If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age,
race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack
of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and
local govt./agency officials.

Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some
of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny,
or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of
incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual
governing style.

David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."-
Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/

Audio of pregame speech:

Nature meets man's quest for oceanfront property in HB

Nature meets man's quest for oceanfront property in HB
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved


"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew. Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post. Or, go to http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html

Entering Broward County, May 8, 2008

Entering Broward County, May 8, 2008
The original header photo on this blog - Entering Broward County, 2008. Gulfstream Park Race Track in center, and over on State Road A1A, the Diplomat Residences and Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, and the three towers of The Beach Club in HB. BEFORE there was a Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex. May 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

It's long past time to put the BEACH back in Hallandale Beach

It's long past time to put the BEACH back in Hallandale Beach
For there ever to be a successful balance between business, town, and nature in Hallandale Beach, big changes will be necessary. Late afternoon, North Beach, Hallandale Beach, FL, February 10, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. While it might look nice and inviting from afar, the sad and galling reality for far too many Hallandale Beach residents who want to enjoy their public beaches, is that in the ten years under Mayor Joy Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew at City Hall, the city's highly-paid top bureaucrats and the city's ineffective Dept. of Public Works, the public beaches have been consistently neglected and poorly-maintained for MANY, MANY YEARS. In fact, there are several places at the beach where it's self-evident to even the casual observer that the city is NOT even in compliance with its own rules or ordinances -or even state laws- and hasn't been since I moved here in late 2003. To say nothing of showing initiative or common sense there. Yet despite the fact that the beach is an invaluable resource and the reason that many people have consciously chosen to live in Hallandale Beach instead of somewhere else in south Florida, Mayor Cooper and 3/4ths of the City Commission -and those bureaucrats- have chosen to squander time, energy and large sums of money on one terrible idea after another elsewhere in the city because of either personal connections or their push for the furtherance of crony capitalism, rather than in making the investment in making the public beaches cleaner, more attractive and more interesting for residents and guests alike. More recently, in her role as head of the Florida League of Cities, Mayor Cooper has neglected the city even more than usual, as she has flitted from one part of the state to another, acting like a Queen Bee. Believe me, the people she meets in other Florida cities in that FLC capacity have no earthly idea of what a poor job she has done for years by any sort of objective measure. In my opinion, in the year 2012, after all the dozens of fact-filled and photo-filled posts I've posted here documenting the deteriorating conditions of the city's public beaches, it's long past time to not only put the BEACH back in Hallandale, but to put genuine oversight and meaningful financial accountability to taxpayers in it as well. The citizens of this beach-side city deserve MUCH BETTER than they get with regard to beach maintenance and overall attractiveness. Ask yourself a question: If a well-managed but land-locked city like Coral Springs had a beach this size, what would it look like and how would it be managed? Now compare that image in your head with the current reality of ours under Mayor Joy Cooper. 'Nuff said!

Political Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Lies of Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good

Political Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Lies of Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good
March 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier, just days before the Air Supply concert on the beach, as Hallandale Beach DPW employees try to make the area "appear" to be well-maintained -when in reality, it's not- and thus fool HB taxpayers and visitors alike. This building underneath the city's iconic Water Tower, just steps from both the Atlantic Ocean and State Road A1A, was turned over to the City of Hallandale Beach on August 3rd, 2007, and yet as of September 2012, remains OFF-LIMITS to everyday HB citizens, taxpayers and residents, the true "owners" of the building, TWO YEARS later. There has STILL not been a single public open forum held by the city to gauge how citizens want to utilize it best. Instead, the building remains a veritable clubhouse for the cronies and pals of HB City Hall's elected officials and employees. And need I ask YET again, where's the American flag on the city flagpole next to the fountain? Once again, HB City Hall shows their gross incompetency by being unable to manage something as simple as keeping a flag flying. Pathetic! © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Broward County, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Broward County, FL
A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Broward County, FL. This sign on U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, lets you know that you're just feet away from the HB City Hall and Police Department. It's a government that gives every impression of holding itself apart and above from the citizens it's supposed to serve. The crazy thing is, they really don't think they have to follow the laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic and reason, contracts, or, more to the point for this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records. City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer reasonable questions posed to them by residents, and often berate you for even having the nerve to ask! One of the other things that's quite shocking is the blatant disregard by the HB Police Dept. and Fire Dept. for basic safety rules. Common sense rules of behavior that are in place in every other American town, no matter how small or obscure. City employees -and friends of theirs- routinely park "their cars" directly in front of the building's east entrance, often for hours at a time. That's right, I said for HOURS at a time. While in every other town you'd find a clearly posted sign saying simply: "No Parking, Fire Zone, Cars Will be Towed," in HB, there are NO signs at all. I have personally observed parked HB city vehicles there that have prevented the HB Fire & Rescue vehicles from getting as close as necessary to the building. I've personally spoken to the individual members of Fire & Rescue after such incidents, and they were positively indignant that they are forced to put up with this sort of thing in the Year 2008. Oh, and one last thing. The lights that are supposed to illuminate this sign in front of HB City Hall HAVEN'T worked in over FOUR YEARS, either. Just like their cousin down the block on U.S.-1 at the city border with Aventura. I've told this to dozens of HB city officials, including the Mayor, City Manager, his staff, the Police Chief, a Police Captain, et al. None of them have done a thing, which is why as late as October 24. 2008, the sign was STILL dark at night! Four-and-a-half-years of nothing but darkness! Sundown, March 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Approaching Hallandale Beach sign on U.S.-1/South Federal Hwy.

Approaching Hallandale Beach sign on U.S.-1/South Federal Hwy.
So, CAN you see the sign welcoming you into the City of Hallandale Beach? Judge for yourself. It's between the 3rd and 4th tree. Original photo here was taken January 2007; this one taken May 8, 2008; photo by South Beach Hoosier.

City of Hallandale Beach, City of Choice

City of Hallandale Beach, City of Choice
Hallandale Beach, City of Choice. The monument sign that greets northbound drivers on U.S.-1/South Federal Hwy. at the gateway into the city as they leave the City of Aventura and Miami-Dade County in the rear window, on one of the three main streets into Hallandale Beach. Unfortunately, it's the perfect metaphor for the City of Hallandale Beach and its elected officials and employees the past 8 years: myopic and lacking in common sense. This sign, five blocks south of City Hall, was originally placed so far west on the median strip -and practically BEHIND a palm tree- that drivers actually COULDN'T actually read it even if they wanted to. In any case, because of the city's longtime gross incompetency, negligence and lack of appropriate oversight, the spotlights that were supposed to illuminate the sign at night HAVEN'T worked since about mid-January of 2004. Which is to say, yes, MUCH LONGER than the U.S.'s involvement in WW II. Welcome to the City of Hallandale Beach! Begin heavy traffic, chronic red tape and mis-adventures in government! My original photo here on the blog of this situation was taken January 2007; this one was taken May 8, 2008; photo by South Beach Hoosier. The three palm trees that had been in front of it on the median that obstructed it for so long have come and gone, with the result that for a few years you couldn't help but notice that it DIDN'T work! In February of 2009, in order to make room for a southbound left-turning lane at S.E. 5th Street into The Village of Gulfstream retail complex, the 'invisible' sign was removed and placed farther north on the media. For more than a year, despite a solar panel nearby, there were no actual light fixtures present! As of January 24, 2013, if you can believe this, with a new expensive street-lighting project along the median of U.S.-1 finally finished, where recently-planted trees now have lights shining on branches -as if that meant anything- guess what? Despite another nearby solar unit, there are STILL zero actual light fixtures pointed at the sign! ZERO! Correct, all these years and tax dollars later, the City of Hallandale Beach is STILL unable to figure out how to light this sign on the busiest street in the city at its southern gateway. Yet another sign of the ruinous reign of Mayor Joy Cooper. No attention to detail! © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Entering Hallandale Beach at night on U.S.-1/Federal Highway

Entering Hallandale Beach at night on U.S.-1/Federal Highway
Is that any better? May 11, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Hallandale Beach STILL in the dark -FOUR years later!

Hallandale Beach STILL in the dark -FOUR years later!
You can only see this HB sign on U.S.-1 in the photo because of my camera's flash; May 11, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier.