Hallandale Beach Commissioners Have Extraordinary Powers of Memory | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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Hallandale Beach Commissioners Have Extraordinary Powers of Memory

Hallandale Beach has a fairly quirk-tastic government. Remember the one about the city manager to whom it paid nearly a half-million last year? Good stuff. Another quirk: the commissioners habit of waiting several months, even years, to approve the minutes of past meetings.

At this Wednesday's meeting the city will consider whether to formally approve the minutes from their meetings of November 5, 17, 19, and December 3. Can officials in mid-April remember exactly what they said in early November, such that they can be confident they're approving an accurate summary of that meeting?

Apparently, four commissioners (including Mayor Joy Cooper) can. But Commissioner Keith London admits that he does not possess Total Recall. And he doubts that his colleagues do either. That's why he gets aggravated every time one of these items appears on the commission agenda.

"Does anyone else attend meetings outside Hallandale where minutes are approved five months later?" asks London, in the most recent edition of the emailed, annotated commission agenda he circulates weekly.

Though London never puts it quite so candidly, it seems that he doesn't trust city staff -- who are at the beck and call of City Manager Mike Good -- to not exploit this time lapse for some politically convenient end.

In the same note, London reminds his readers of the most farcical chapter in this saga: the November 5 meeting, in which the commission was called upon to approve minutes for 22 meetings, going all the way back to September 2003. London was being asked to validate official accounts of meetings that he did not participate in. He voted "no." The minutes from those meetings show that London then asked Good to have minutes ready for approval at the meeting immediately following, and that Good "noted the city clerk's office is a staff of three employees...  and noted their priorities are set by the city manager and they will continue to prepare the minutes according to his discretion." At that, London made a motion demanding the timely production of meeting minutes, but no other commissioner gave him a second.

Memo to London: Try a more passive aggressive form of opposition, like attending future meetings festooned with something that harkens back to the era when the meetings in question took place. A McCain - Palin campaign T-shirt might do the trick. When a fellow commissioner asks what gives, tell him or her that it's a mnemonic device for triggering your memory from November 2008.