Letters for July 10, 2003

Hollywood hijacked

 Free spenders: Congrats to Bob Norman for exposing the City of Hollywood's financial screwing of its citizens by the "unholy troika" of the mayor, Mara Giulianti; the developers (too numerous to name); and the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff ("Incentivize This," July 3). At least, that's how it appears to me -- and many others here in Hollywood who continue to ask: "Why all the incentives?"

How cozy too that former City Attorney Alan Koslow, who was run out of city government in Hollywood after a sex scandal, is now the front man for most of the developers who come to City Hall with their hands out for freebie cash. (Of course, Koslow is a partner at Becker & Poliakoff!) That Bernie Friedman, another Becker & Poliakoff henchman, is the city's lobbyist means the conflicts of interest would be apparent even to Ray Charles. In the meantime, Mayor Mara continues to write about her honeymoon with Donny (her hubby) and her vacation in a local freebie newspaper (Sun-Times), which is too gutless to demand she explain the financial giveaways she continues to oversee.

What we're getting in Hollywood is a financial fucking by an egomaniacal mayor and her henchmen. Ever heard of impact fees, Mayor Mara?

Harvey Slavin

Hollywood

Besmirch, indeed! Thanks for a great exposé. Why is the mayor guaranteeing a $6 million taxpayer/CRA gift to Alan Koslow and friends for building a 24-story condo on valuable property adjacent to Young Circle Park? Might other developers offer the city incentives such as donating a park for this privilege?

Incentives? This same developer wants to build an albatross 25-story condo on the Great Southern Hotel site. The mayor had asked a highly qualified panel to advise the city. The members agreed this is a bad concept, and all considered a 12-story building more suitable.

In Hollywood, there seems to be a suspect relationship between lobbyists and the officials they helped get elected. Because the officials can't write city checks to themselves, it appears they participate in well-planned schemes to gain access to the city treasury/CRA in the name of "incentives." Look at the soon-to-be-approved Koslow/Berman La Piazza II deal in which the city is providing $8.1 million to build a no-bid "public" garage. Berman will get 500 of the 670 spaces, enabling him to meet his required condo-parking obligation, the same as giving him an extra $6 million profit at taxpayer/CRA expense in addition to rewards for failure. Take your choice: ignorance, incompetence, or corruption?

Hollywood's arts park will honor the vision of city founder Joseph W. Young. If Mr. Young could see these scams, this "art," and the oversized buildings to be built on his park that will blatantly violate his deed, his spirit would haunt those deed violators and those who besmirch the public trust by abusing taxpayers' trust and CRA funds.

Howard Sher

Hollywood

If he can't do it, Bob can! Trevor Aaronson's article "Political Pull" (June 26) is full of half-truths and innuendo. The most glaring of these is the repeated references to the "lucrative towing contract" between the Broward Sheriff's Office and Mac's Towing to tow in Dania Beach. No such contract exists. Mac's towing operates under terms of service of a contract that expired several years ago.

If patrons of Harbor Grille were parking at adjoining property, it is that property owner's right to have the vehicles in question removed. If indeed the drive shaft on Mr. Whitney's van was damaged, why has he not presented Mac's Towing with a claim? The article states that, when they arrived at Mac's Towing, "Riding a wave of liquid courage, Whitney and Harding reclaimed their automobiles." Does that imply that they were intoxicated at that time? I hope not.

The New Times does a disservice to the people of Dania Beach by attacking the integrity of a good and dedicated public servant. I find it questionable, even laughable, that the only fellow commissioner quoted in the article was Bob Mikes, a paranoid demagogue who has built his political career by trashing the reputations of others. Mr. Mikes has served with ten other commissioners in his 15 years on the dais and has questioned the integrity of every one of them.

I have followed Dania Beach politics for nearly 20 years. I have been privileged to know Mac McElyea for about 12 years. He is as honest as they come. He has given far more to the City of Dania Beach than he could ever get back.

Bob Adams

Dania Beach

The prez, particularly: Regarding Eric Alan Barton's June 26 "Bloodletting": South Florida Blood Bank is having financial trouble? Isn't that a shame? No, what's really a shame is that it is trying to balance its budget on the backs of its employees. If the CEO and all the vice presidents took a 10 percent pay cut, that would easily balance the budget and everyone could keep their jobs. Actually, I think the president should take a 30 percent cut for coming up with the outrageous idea to begin with.

Phyllis Hunt

West Palm Beach

Or gays: I came across Bob Norman's articles on Mark Foley ("Out with the Truth," May 8, May 22, June 5) while researching the U.S. representative's blatant political attack against the Lake Como Resort for its teenage naturist summer camp.

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