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It Starts Here Commissioners…

February 29, 2008 by Barbara

I have just returned from a meeting with Assistant Town Manager Olinzock, a few friends and Commissioner Dodd.

John invited me to come and see the plans that Walter Keller sent to him of the plans for the sidewalk on Washingtonia Ave.

The sidewalks are on both sides… approximately 7 ft. landscape then a 5 ft. sidewalk….

The impact to both sides is big!

On the south side my neighbors to the west will no longer be able to park their cars…their water meter will need to be moved….

My property will need the water meter moved (although it was missing from the plans), a Comcast box and tree will be moved along with most of my plantings….

My neighbor next door on the corner of Poinciana will have their water meter moved, the sidewalk will but up to their side patio…

Across the street….north side…

The neighbor on the corner of Seagrape Drive will have the sidewalk all the way up to her cement lights bordering the property….

The neighbor next to her (across from me) will not have room for her tenants to park..or will not be able to open the front door on one of her apartments….the sidewalk will be 18 inches from her tenants front patio…and massive Mahogony canopy trees will be torn down!

All the trees will be torn down!

John Olinzock informed us that there are 3 alternatives for putting in the sidewalks…

one side….as the plan now shows….with the above impact to the neighborhood…or having curbs…enabling ths sidewalk to be next to the street.

We discussed this with John…he told us what was government property…25 feet…we understand that….

But….how about government opting to pick an alternative that least impacts “grandfathered” in properties, while still providing the benefit to the public which is why the installation of sidewalks is happening at all!

John said maybe we should put it to a vote for the town…I say go ahead!

Then I will walk to every house in Silver Shores….and the Surf and Yacht Estates….and show them where the sidewalks will be in front of their homes…and how the impact will be if the plans I saw today go into effect town wide…which I was told could be the case in the future! I know for a fact the impact would even be closer to many neighborhood properties front doors than those in my neighborhood!

I was told by John that this is in the “Master Plan”…(which one?)…for “walkways to the Portals”…what a joke…the people in this town have been walking to the portals just fine for quite a long time now….no one has been hit…or hurt….

This will be on the March 11th, 2008 agenda….and my neighbors and I will be there….I hope our neighbors from other streets will come and support us…as we did for Seagrape Drive and El Mar Drive!.

The news will be contacted by one neighbor who thinks that tearing down the beloved Mahogany canopy trees is insanity!

Walter Keller should have presented the commission with the alternatives before putting pen in hand and doing any plans…

Walter Keller has, I’ve been told, been paid in excess of 100 thousand dollars plus…. for Seagrape Drive and Washingtonia Ave.

Walter Keller is making 20 thousand dollars plus ….on a 47 thousand dollar project…who gets that kind of percentage for a job?

Maybe it is time to terminate Walter Keller on this project…bring in another planner to take over…so he does not get yet another change order bonus.

The cost of this ongoing….stagnating project is way out of line!

It starts here Commissioners….just like the term limits…the Overlay district…the annexation agreement….call this one right…tell Walter Keller to re-draw these plans….and show these neighbors you are listening to the will of the people….compromise ….impact to the neighbors and benefit to the public..with reason…..which is why you are now the majority!

The consent agenda or any other agenda item that includes a neighborhood not titled, contained only in the background material should be titled for the public to know ahead of time. A notification should go out to those affected just as they are notified for variances etc… so the project can no longer be passed without the public knowing as this was. Remember, we voted you all in for transparency in government….so it is time to clean up the previous commissions mess….yet again!

I look forward to seeing you all at the March 11, 2008 Commission meeting!

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Worth The Link

February 29, 2008 by Barbara

wwwflsentry.com

Take the time to link above…The Sentry continues the outstanding articles about Pompano Beach and personal service contracts…. have extra time on your hands…check out J.P. Bender’s archives of articles!

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Taking The Leap

February 29, 2008 by Barbara

It’s Leap Year Day!

Sort of like an extra January 1st….a chance to once again make resolutions…..

So let’s take some leaps personally, and as a community….

Personally I have already made the leap this year…..

I have re-evaluated friendships, decisions I have made, values, how I want to spend my time and with whom……

ventured into the world of blogging on my own website 1 month ago…..

It has been fun…a learning curve….a challenge….well received….

due to an overwhelming response from those I know, those I have yet to meet and those I never thought would log on consistently!

As I head into the next month…I will fine tooth it according to the feedback…and hope all those who enjoy it will pass the site on….. to friends and neighbors.
Any scoops, ideas, problems with LBTS or even accolades for LBTS, a resident, a commissioner or employee of the town….contact me at barbarafcole@yahoo.com….it will remain confidential…and get your thoughts out there!

Another big decision was not to run again for the CIC Board of Directors…..

Mostly because….I much prefer sitting out in front with friends and neighbors as I do at commission meetings ….

I found this out after being thrown off the P&Z Board..(done on a baseless charge of Sunshine Violations, and to stack the board…all charges for which I and my fellow board member were fully exonerated .)

The CIC will be sending out a letter to members to nominate or self nominate a new board for a vote in April….

I hope others will take the leap to get on the board…..to ensure new faces…new ideas….new enthusiasm…..

If this is the goal for the commission it should also be the goal for the watchdog group that made that possible!

Independence….I lost that for a while….now I have it back….like an long lost friend…it makes it easier to see both sides…to be open to more ideas…and to evaluate situations fairly and not be in lock-step….keeping mum….. holding back when I knew it was not right to remain quiet….which has never been my style…..really a return to normalcy!

LBTS leaping into the future…

Let’s fix the blunders…..

Sell the warehouse west on Commercial….I have heard Holy Cross Hospital rents from us, for storage…Holy Cross must be flush with money….having just bought North Ridge Hospital…might be in the market to buy the place…which a drive by shows is 2x bigger then At&t up the road from it!

Take that money and buy the hotel near Town Hall….use the previous public works garage…..and get planning….use Lighthouse point (previous post) as a guide to what can be in the future….

a complex… separate buildings or one…Town Hall, Jarvis Hall, Development, Public Works, and Public/Fire Safety…..low rise …of course!

As much as he is not my cup of tea… an editor of the Future’s paper had some valid ideas a long time back…along with the wife of the former head of the CRA about tying it into the town.

They had introduced ways to incorporate parking at the complex…. public funds. available.. to build it from use of the complex for bus service….and walkways improved to make it a stroll from complex to downtown shops.

Sell the “white elephant” parking lot…too big, a money loser…wrong side of A1A…..no need with parking at the complex …

purchase a building on east side of A1A…like the one available on the corner of ElMar Drive…across from Oriana…..no garage…just a lot….. in this down market it is time to act now!

We have already taken the leap 1 month ago with the election of a new majority…..take the leap of faith the voters did…and let them get LBTS in order….fire…EMS….future boards….future development…..

Let LBTS leap forward…brilliantly!

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Papers

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

Quick overview…today

www.sunsentinel.com

House at odds on how best to deal with lapse in ethics….dealing with the house’s flawed ethics review system…..real reform…really?

Editorial….power outage…an accounting…yea…and….

Flagler Museum.. expanding with a bequeath from a Flagler grandson…research library and history…we have quite a Flagler history in Florida!

Opinion…Evolution …The Wedge Document…Intelligent Design…. a 20 year plan….

Local section….Crist again eyes trust fund money to balance budget…..come on….leave them alone…don’t even go there Governor…

New website offers ways to save water and weather the drought….www.savewaterfl.com

to further conservation…tips and goals….does it include a tip for leaving Lake Okeechobee alone from now on?

Business section….Dairy Queen is facing a revolt….the franchisees are up in arms about being expected to revamp their stores….in Pompano they are moving across Federal Highway… becoming the D&Q Grille….ahhh progress

A while back I had a friend who needed to help a friend who was a valued employee at a franchised pizza place…corporate was leaning on them to re-design their 3 stores to fit the new image….to be uniform with the other franchises across the country…bottom line….it takes a lot of pizzas to remodel….same with Subway…so ice cream…one can only imagine…..

www.miamiherald.com

editorial…surprise,surprise….the power outage….thousands inconvenienced….weakness in the system….

the proposed 1,020 foot tower (in earlier post)…gridlock…hurircanes…score one for low rise…green space…planning….

opinion…beyond tourism…Jerry Haar…FIU Assoc. Dean and prof….technology…research…

Broward and State…Fred Grimm…The real skinny on how to cut the state budget… worth a read…

Dania Jai-Alai put on hold….another casino- sports combo…maybe they read about Pompano race track…..had second thoughts?

Board again delays decision on elected-mayor proposal….let this one die ….no need for adding onto the Broward County Commission…2 more salaries, 2 more pensions…and no regard to the courts and school cutting back…imposing furloughs….this is like voting themselves a raise….bad move.

Business section….Taking on hidden fees….those nasty hidden fees and surcharges…are hidden no more!

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Copping Copper

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

The Hollywood manager of the underground utilities unit has now joined four of those he supervised in being charged of stealing copper wire and water meters then selling them to scrap metal yards.

If true, they systematically stole city property for profit.

They are all now on paid leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Building sites have been aware for some time now the big draw of criminals looking to scrap found metals…but city employees…. yikes!

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Sea Ranch Club

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

Sea Ranch Synopsis…..all others scroll down….

2/27/08 Board of Directors meeting 9 am

Nice to see the growing audience….nice to see agendas for the audience…nice to see name plates for the elected members.

A new Board member was voted in and replaces Building A Director Gary Smith.

Dr. Frank Catinella…. has lived in Sea Ranch for 12 years…practiced in Fl. for 20 years.

A 2004 special assessment fund that was previously moved in Jan. to the General Fund was reallocated to the Capital Improvement fund to cover existing projects for 2008. $68,811

Following was the Association Areas Executive Committee…

Landscaping update…3rd person completed hiring process…so the 3 man crew is complete.

New Landscape equipment will now be purchased …with newly allocated funds…. Jerry Thompson the Foreman was able to secure an additional year on the equipment warrany.

Accolades were given to Jerry and the landscape committee for dealing with mulch in the planters…ASAP after last weeks meeting….see it pays to coome to the meetings, folks!

The current landscape company will be done mid March.

Ping Pong will now be in all 3 buildings…and no longer up in the air (no pun intended) for the Ocean Room.

Building B will help out with the cost of fixing up Building A ping pong room.

I am still trying to get the Board to address a questionnaire for residents to have a say if they want to use the Ocean Room as a health club or something else.

A vote was made to remove the requirement of hiring a police officer when having a party in any of the beach houses. It passed unanimously.

A Communications consultant came to speak about Comcast or alternatives for us since the Comcast contract is up March 9th.

What was presented is not allowed to be published…due to the ongoing negotiations…per the consultant.

Any info a resident wants..please contact a board member or a manager.

Also, if you have any problems with your cable TV…reception etc…now is the time to let them know.

Next date to meet with the consultant not known but will be soon as deadline approaches.

More next week.

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Mac and Cheese

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

www.sunsentinel.com

Burger King is adding mac and cheese to their menu….

It seems like only yesterday…BK was joining McDonald’s…in salads and non fried fare…. alas…..

houses were selling…speculators were speculating…mortgage brokers were fudging numbers…South Beach dieting was in……

Fast forward….no houses selling…no speculators are speculating….mortgage brokers are fudging …but not about numbers….and the South Beach Diet is out…

mac and cheese….comfort foods…. it’s the economy stupid!

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Blog…blah….blah

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

At the ongoing blogathon….at The Sun-Sentinel…..VFD…..VFD…..AMR…..BSO….

Take a breather folks….simmer down…let the process work…trust the Town Manager….

No one is taking the reins in this town…for fire or EMS unless and until they jump through all the hoops and then some!

Both sides OG and NG…. losers and winners…movers and shakers and even finger pointers…agree on one thing….

The Town Manager!

No one is going to deny that she has the best interests of this town and its residents…and will not waiver.

Look at how she informed us at the last commission meeting that LBTS walked away from the sub-prime fiasco unscathed! (Pompano Beach did the same.)

She doen’t mess with our money and she won’t mess with our safety……

So the blah…blah….blahs…will surely continue to get a rise out of each other….just don’t let them get a rise out of you!

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BRRRRRRR

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

It’s cold out there folks….wear a hat!

Still warm thoughts about the Chamber’s Taste event…(Posted previously)…papers/Sea Ranch synopsis of Wed. Board/area assoc. meeting in afternoon…due to previous AM commitments….

So a fast flurry (appropriate adjective for the 48degree temps)…..of thoughts and suggestions…just to put out there…no rhyme/ hopefully some reason!

Commissioner Clottey as a candidate often talked of what was on the minds of voters in the north end of town….

annexation…she is working on that one…as she informed all at the last commission meeting.

beach access….a big concern when you do not have any! 3/4ths of this town seems to be able to simply walk west to east and find that wide or narrow path leading to the sea.

It seems it stops for the last 1/4 unless you have an exclusive entry…such as Palm Club or those who have entry at the north end from Terra Mar….as former Commissioner Clark does.

The rest are left with feeling….left out unless they pay….their “neighbors” to the east…to the tune of thousands annually…if they even have that option ….just to walk to the beach….and why is this?

There just has to be a way…there just has to be paths that existed at one time that allowed those across the great divide…west of A1A … a walkway to the ocean…that is so close but might as well be miles away!

Events….

Last night’s event…wonderful …(3 times lauded, I know) as stated previously though…wish more town residents were in attendance.

Next up…St Patrick’s Day party in town…..

Easter ….Sun Rise Service….Egg Hunt…. Hats…Bonnets….Funny Pants…..Family…Neighbors…Community….. Municipal Park

July 4th….my ideas….suggestions

Parade….(no white horse please)…….

party at Municipal Park… (the mainstay for family events?) right after the parade …around noon…Community Church…air conditioners…better than a tent….Fire Chief Perkins our official town deejay…. VFD grilling dogs, brats and burgers…..kids on the firetruck…..family races…bed races ….. finished around 2pm.

Either a town party with the restaurants like St.Pats etc…4-midnight…or a tent on the new park on El Prado…restaurants do the Taste type set up….music….

fireworks….please… please…please….the barge…bring back the barge!…. See if Sea Ranch Lakes will kick in the difference…so much better for the condos!

I am not on any committee…just the voice of a citizen…looking forward to another event!

More later…..bundle up out there!

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4 Stars

February 28, 2008 by Barbara

The LBTS Chamber’s Taste of the Beach was a 4 star event!

Leaping into leap year with no politics…..no newspaper booths………….

just food…… a plentiful variety……brought in from restaurants local and beyond…..

music……. drinks………..deserts…………auction items………friendly faces…..pleasantries……

Just great!

I do however have one suggestion for next year….Chamber Board…..perhaps you could give a special ticket price for LBTS residents…..

a 20 dollar special ticket price, with proof of LBTS residency, to be purchased pre- event……to extend to our neighbors a perk from their Chamber for living in our town!

Thanks, to all who worked so hard…..for such an enjoyable evening by the sea!

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