Hallandale Mayor Hopes a Scandal Hits Commissioner Colleague
There's no love loss between Mayor Joy Cooper and rabble-rousing Commissioner Keith London, but it seemed for a moment that there might at least be a period of détente after Cooper finally came around to agreeing with London that the city manager's position needed a change.
Judging by a recent email exchange, the two are even fiercer enemies than before.
Responding to an email that London circulated, containing links to Juice coverage of the city manager's firing, Cooper wrote this single line to London: "Hopefully your [sic] next."
The climate in Hallandale, however, suggests that if the Mike Good scandal has any impact at the ballot box, then Cooper and her supporters will be the victims.
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After all, it was Cooper who until just recently was steadfast in her support of Good, despite his having a reputation for missing work and appointments with businesspeople and residents.
London certainly seems inclined to capitalize on his sudden momentum. He sent the exchange with Cooper in an email blast to supporters, city officials, and media types. London prefaced that email with the following letter:
Dear Mayor Cooper,
I was reviewing my emails from last week and came across your communication.
It's clear from your comment that you continue to take it personally when I question city staff on performance.
For too long, you have represented the interests of the city manager and city staff, rather than the residents who elected you.
Your duty is to the residents, yet you have allowed your own personal self-interest and the city staff's interests to take precedence over the interests of the residents. Here are few examples:
- Transparency and accountability has been trampled by the city and city manager.
- Public records requests go unanswered, or take months to be fulfilled.
- City Commission meetings are not conducted in the Sunshine, held during the day and with meeting minutes that contain little real substance.
- City and State laws have been broken, if not in letter than certainly in spirit.
- Contracts have been executed, with your knowledge and consent, but without commission oversight.
- The city manager has set policy, contrary to City charter and without commission consent, but at your direction.
- Services have been eliminated or reduced while fees and taxes have escalated.
Why do you continue to attack personally those who disagree with you, including residents, fellow commissioners, and city staff?
What started this inappropriate behavior?
Like the other commissioners, I was elected to do a job and have strived for open, transparent, representative government, yet you fight against open government at every turn.
As leaders we should strive to find common ground and work towards making this an even better community that everyone in South Florida will model.
Please stop attacking the residents you represent when they want to hold accountable those that are spending their tax dollars. We should encourage their involvement, even when their opinions are contrary to our own. That is the very definition of a strong and well functioning democracy.
I have always been willing to work with you and my peers on the City Commission civilly and amicably. I hope that you will want to as well.
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