Best Locally Generated Internet Site (2006)

www.balancesheetonline.com

Operated by the not-for-profit Hollywood Trust, this site seeks to better balance the public's role in decisions made by city officials. The philosophy underlying the site is that Hollywood's city government doesn't give average citizens much say-so about how their taxes are spent. Public comment isn't allowed during meetings of the city's redevelopment agency and restricted during commission meetings -- which are still not shown on public-access television. This all comes at a crucial time for residents of Hollywood, as its elected officials oversee the explosion of development in a small town in the throes of either remaking itself into a kingdom of looming condos for the wealthy or maintaining its Old Florida charm as it grows. An editorial on the website opened with this salvo across the bow: "The city commission continues to slip millions of our public dollars and valuable tracts of our public land into private hands: developers, attorneys and former city staff members are the major beneficiaries."

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