Hollywood No!

Hollywood lost last fall's referendum by siphoning cash to political cronies, sending out armed cops, and failing to win over the Broward sheriff

Being a professional and smelling a paycheck, however, he did his best. He came up with a particularly nasty mailer, sent out around Halloween, which depicted a skeleton holding a bomb. His message: Dania Beach will raise taxes. "Dania Beach could soon be your worst nightmare," the mailer intoned. (It remains to be seen whether the contention is true, because the annexation won't be finalized until September.)

Blattner did a poor job of running Hollywood Yes!, according to a campaign source who asked not to be identified. "We would do polling, and when Dick didn't like the answers we got, he said we asked the questions wrong," the source says. "Every time we gave him advice, he ignored it."

Blattner says he did his best but just wasn't provided enough money to mount an effective campaign. He was trying to raise money during a presidential election, he adds, and everyone he approached was already tapped out. "There was so much else going on," he says.

Even when Hollywood loses, Mayor Mara Giulianti's supporters win
Even when Hollywood loses, Mayor Mara Giulianti's supporters win

At the outset he put his chances of winning at 50-50. Jenne's residence in the area proved a big factor. Dania Beach is under contract with BSO for police service, notes Blattner, and there was no way Jenne was going to live in an area patrolled by Hollywood cops. "The sheriff made it very clear he would never support his area going to Hollywood," recalls Blattner. "He said, "If this area votes to go to Hollywood, my house will be up for sale the next day.'" (Jenne did not return phone calls from New Times seeking comment.)

As for the Hollywood cops canvassing the area, Blattner says he welcomed the help. "When our police chief [James Scarberry] asked if we wanted volunteers, we were delighted to have the help," he says.

That proved to be another poor decision, according to a campaign insider. "It backfired on them," the source says. "If any [resident of the unincorporated area] was sitting on the fence before, that got them off real quick. How would you like armed police showing up at your door?"

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