Letters for March 27, 2003

A Hate-Love Relationship

One must question whether this style of city business is nothing more than a money-laundering system in which the philanthropic squanderers are beneficiaries of the excessive doling of public funds. Could this be the reason Hollywood is $4 million in debt and seeking to persuade voters to pass an $81 million bond for more "special" projects?

To avoid a sour-grapes label, it must be said the Berman project seems to be an appropriate, noncontroversial approach by the developer for this location,particularly in light of the 23-story albatross proposed for the Great Southern site also on the Circle. It is not the project that is a problem; it's the deal.

Howard Sher

Hollywood

Naah, that's too good for 'im:From this long-time beachfront resident's point of view, lame-duck City Commissioner Tim Smith deserves only a Greyhound Bus schedule. I certainly hope that taxpayer money isn't spent giving him awards or honors for his disservice to Fort Lauderdale, as described in Edmund Newton's "Grumbling from the Grassroots" (February 20). Smith has screwed up (or ignored) virtually everything -- be it major or mundane -- on the beach.

Smith has made 20 major snafus. Here are just a few of them:

1. He has destroyed and/or is willing to destroy the view from A1A of the beach near Birch State Park and the ocean while limiting public access to nearly one half of the beach.

2. He has built a North Beach Recreation Center -- with little to nothing for kids -- that still has little to nothing other than some card tables, one pool table, and some old computers in it. The place has about 40 parking spaces for the 30,000-plus residents who live within three miles of it. And it can't be expanded.

3. He has failed during his six years to station lifeguards north of the Birch State Park Tunnel, while three people drowned near NE 18th Street in one month during his tenure.

Thanks to Smith, as well as Commissioners Gloria Katz and Carlton Moore, Fort Lauderdale's beach is well on its way to becoming another Hallandale. Smith has been a developer's tool/stooge/puppet. He doesn't know the difference between construction and destruction. His horrible legacy will be the dozens of monstrous buildings that are totally out of character with the neighborhoods -- we racked it, stacked it, and packed it, and the public interest has been damned. Tough crap if you don't like the size of the Jackson Towers or Riverside Hotel or the size of the Waverly Apartments at East Broward Boulevard and Federal Highway -- it was about the money.

Art Seitz

Fort Lauderdale

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