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Update…LBTS Garden Club Rummage Sale….Was A Resounding Success…

January 31, 2009 by Barbara

THE LBTS GARDEN CLUB….RUMMAGE SALE WAS A  RESOUNDING SUCCESS….

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Jarvis Hall was flowing with bargain hunters…treasure lookers…and supporters of the ladies that put forth the effort for such a worthy cause…

A  chance to win 2 lovely baskets…and a meal at local restaurants and businesses was doing brisk business…$5 for 6 chances…..or a $1 a piece…

Over in the corner a mink stole….any takers…watch for it around Town….In the back “the club”…(for the steering wheel)…wouldn’t be a rummage sale without one of those!…….A photo of Fred Couples…for the golfers in the hall….Blooming flowers photos…books/magazines….. ..racks of clothes……assorted dishes and mugs……a computer screen from a 3rd world country…a set of dishes deemed “too fancy” for the guys ……baked goods …flowers arrangements of course…Christmas decorating items…and more…

In the end….it looked like all the “seekers” …did not walk away empty handed….they walked away ….happy with their coveted “finds”….

Thanks to the Garden Club….for another fine event in our Town….

Want to join the LBTS Garden Club?….

They meet every 2nd Monday of the month September  thru May…Jarvis Hall 9:15 am….

more info……954-642-8785

Heard this one made the local papers….

See full size image

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Here’s The Scoop….Local Papers…Scene & Heard Around Town…UPDATED…

January 31, 2009 by Barbara

FUTURES IS OUT FOR DELIVERY….

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The January 30,2009 editions of the Futures and the Pelican are out….around town….

The Futures…gives the heads up?….Bert J. Harris is waking up…from his long slumber …to come a calling on LBTS in the weeks to come?….

Question arises…on the Palm Club’s participation…if they get the grant..( previous post…scoops & LBTS agenda/meetings categories)….they’ll say “adios?”…

Look like someone paid attention…to the P.J. Rossi -LBTS bracelet in the window……besides this writer…(posted on Xmas Day..scoops category)…it a beauty…getting “oohs and ahhs”…

Congratulations to both Doc Lawrence and the Futures on his new “gig”…readers will be very pleased indeed…with his first rate contributions….

Nice pics of the Vice Mayor…VFD Deputy Chief’s…quotes for the canopies… being shown…( previous post…LBTS agendas/meeting categories)….HMMM…about that letter to the Ethics commission …( previously posted ..1/27/08 LBTS agenda/meetings category)….with no involvement with VFD monies?….

Sweeps…(previously posted…scoops category)…are still ongoing…we hear the shops are on this weeks “sweep list”…  requiring them to  take down too many signs in their windows…(Old City News Stand shop)…and Delacaseas……told no radio outside…(no bubbles either?)….guess quaint…just flew out the window…

BC…hear the Mc-Furth Times is running a contest for a slogan for the town..here’s a suggestion….”Welcome to Lauderdale By The Sea…Where The Charm Was Swept Away”……courtesy of your “black and white” bureaucratic administration ….

THANKS JERRY….PELICAN FRONT PAGE NEWS….

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The Pelican this week…front page story by Judy Vik….the pier access…the “Athena Boys”…the Commission fiasco….and the Vice Mayor’s big mouth…that made it known to all …that  the Mrs…was called a “Cockroach”…now extending beyond town limits in hard print…….YIKES!….

THEY ONLY REMEMBER THE SHORTS….

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It’s happened again…residents are disturbed by seeing the VFD on scene in shorts….

We hear there was a call on Thursday morning….a little after 1 am…to a nearby motel…a disturbance … brought out 4-5 BSO cars…2 AMR and the VFD…with 3-4 on scene….3 VFD in gear….and 1 guy on a radio in shorts and a T-shirt….(no pictures taken)……

So what stood out…about the VFD……the shorts!…….

BYE BYE …..

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The Holiday Inn is no more…just as the former Clarion went solo…to become

Lauderdale Beachside Hotel

the Inn has followed…now the Lauderdale By The Sea Resort and Beach Club……

Lauderdale by the Sea Resort & Beach Club

STIFFED…

please have a seat by Darwin Bell.
UPDATED:…
We hear the Town Manager was none too happy….with the empty seats…left at the Plantation Advisory Meeting …FLOCities…yesterday…36 were paid for by the Town…3 Commissioners and the Mayor were there…12 in total …with a total of 11 elected officials…out of 45 in attendance….2  Commissioners left “side by side”…early on… …within 15 minutes to a half hour of their late arrival….although the meeting ran until 4 pm…..It was “advised” from the Manager for the commission to come to deal with the confrontation on the dais.  ……. The word is that the speaker “hit the nail on the head” with what goes on in LBTS with our marathon…contentious meetings…We hear this speaker does private consultations!

Could that be why the “Broom Boys”  made  a quick exit…at the taxpayers expense…both for the $$$ paid for their attendance and the certainty of more of the same “bad behavior” to come…due to their turning a blind eye?….Shame on them…. Any July 4th talking going on on the trip back?….

Any “lame” excuses about “getting a call”…the meeting was in Plantation…and if the department cannot run without these 2 in town…all the more need to take another look at the VFD…newly elected Chief and Deputy Chief….

Is the Manager mad enough to do do that….NAHHHH….

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop…Property Owners Association….Passing The Baton…

January 31, 2009 by Barbara

PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION….PASSING THE  BATON…

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A STANDING OVATION FOR OUTGOING PRESIDENT CINDY GEESEY….FOR A JOB WELL DONE….

The New Board…..

Linda Ritchie, President

Judy Jones, Vice President

Marilyn Carr, Treasurer

______________, Secretary

Bonnie Clark, Director

Michael Simonelli, Director

Gail Schwarz, Director

Congratulations to all……….

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Places To Go…LBTS Garden Club Rummage Sale…January 31, 2009

January 30, 2009 by Barbara

SATURDAY…JARVIS HALL….8:30 am – 12:30 pm…

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Here’s The Scoop…Scenic Hwy…2 Days Late…

January 30, 2009 by Barbara

OOPS…MISSED THE DEADLINE….

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Dear CAG / CME Member:

On behalf of John Rude, Chair of the Broward A1A Scenic Highway CAG/CME, we want to update you on our SR A1A Scenic Highway Designation package. The good news is that, in a whirlwind of activity, we were able to obtain all necessary signatures and make all recommended revisions to the draft material that was submitted recently for FDOT review.  The bad news is that our revised designation package missed the deadline by two working days. Because this is a strict deadline, action on our application has been postponed until June 2009.  While this is unfortunate, it will be important for us to continue to meet, make any additional adjustments to our designation package, and plan for our upcoming implementation phase. We look forward to a very positive determination in June and will look to each of you to help ensure that.

Please do not hesitate to contact John Rude at (954) 462-7766 or RudeJohnA@aol.com, Chris Heshmati at (954) 357-6658 or cheshmati@broward.org, Bett Kuttner at (954) 357-6648 or bkuttner@broward.org, or Gladys Leeks should you have questions or suggestions about how we will proceed over the next few months.

Thanks in advance,

Gladys Leeks, Associate Planner

Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization Division

Environmental Protection & Growth Management Department

115 S. Andrews Avenue, Rm 329H

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Tel: 954-357-6659

Fax: 954-357-6228

gleeks@broward.org

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Heres’s The Scoop LBTS 1/27/09 Commission Meeting …cont. 1/28/09…Commissioner Comments..”The Broom Boy” Motto…

January 30, 2009 by Barbara

ONCE A BROOM BOY ….ALWAYS A BROOM BOY…LOYALTY OVER FACTS…

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Commissioner Comments..Comm. Silverstone….1/28/09 continuation meeting…

CS- ” There’s two issues I’d like to go over today. One is freedom of speech and how important for us to realize that controls a democracy, does not work without freedom of speech. Freedom of speech has to be based on facts, has to be based on information that’s, that can be backed up. The problem I’m seeing in town through many different areas is that opinions are being used to support facts, that aren’t there , aren’t  factual and somehow opinions become facts and there’s a big issue out there in town. I am totally for freedom of speech. I’m for opinions. I’m for debate. I’m for a means to a conclusion to find the answer and trying to resolve the issues at hand here. UM, consensus building ,I mentioned this before, something we should look into. So I’m gonna try and promote it as a way or method to accomplish that. UM, get both sides of the issues in front of us, give em a fair playground, each come up with UM,UM method to work out these issues. UM,UM I implore people out there that are either blogging or controlling the papers or any form of press out there that opinions are opinions but if you can’t have, if you have your own opinion but you can’t have your own facts. Unfortunately it’s become a little goofy around here. It’s caused a lot of problems.”

BC-Freedom of speech…defined…

‘liberty to speak and otherwise express oneself and one’s opinions. Like freedom of the press (see press, freedom of the), which pertains to the publication of speech, freedom of speech itself has been absolute in no time or place. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars the federal government from “abridging the freedom of speech”; since the 1920s the amendment’s protections have been extended against state, as well as against federal, action.’

Reiterating this writer’s public comments made on 1/27/09…”it’s a one way street when you’re a politician…” and Commissioner Silverstone…do some backup  research on your comments, the “winging it” up there…doesn’t fly…pun intended…

CS-”The other issue I want to discuss is Commissioner Dodds UM, problems. We can’t run this town, we can’t be a strong town and our job is to to, to facilitate the, the Town Manager position to direct her to run the town if one of us has a problem that is to the extent of Commissioner Dodd’s issue. That’s not, not the benefit of our town here. I would suggest highly Commissioner Dodd to, to get a workshop going here so we can discuss these issues. If you don’t do it, I will, because we can’t  we’re not gonna go forward. The issues you mention are severe and if you can’t do your job well then, we have to discuss that, we have to work it out. So I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get that cleared up. I don’t have those issues. I don’t have those problems, but that’s me, UM. But I think anybody up, anybody up here has those type of Aah, those items that need to be discussed and worked over it’s , there’s no other choice but to sit down and work them out. I DON”T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, I want to go forward with that. And that’s all I have.”

BC- YIKES!…HUH?….Commissioner Dodd repeatedly called for getting together…and finally had the round table on 1/22/09…(previous post…scoops & LBTS agenda/meetings category)….Commissioner Silverstone “nastily” said he would “try it once”…along with his BFF Vice Mayor McIntee who called it a “Kumbaya thing”…so this off the cuff remark…falls flat!…

No problems up there for this Commissioner…….no surprise to many out here…”the bloggers, those controlling the  papers and other forms of press”…… Commissioner Silverstone has a daily visit in Town Hall, along with being attached  at the “hip” of the Vice Mayor/Manager…kinda like UM, don’t ask…don’t tell…don’t rock the boat…on the dais …in the VFD…the “Broom Boy” motto…UM, slogan…”loyalty” above facts…don’t ya know!

ROUND TABLE MEETING…. 5 P.M. …TUESDAY… 2/3/09…JARVIS HALL…CALLED FOR BY COMMISSIONER DODD….OPEN TO THE PUBLIC…TELEVISED/ONLINE…

more to come

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Here’s The Scoop 1/27/08 Commission Meeting cont. 1/28/09 Mc-Commissioner Comments/Ethics Commission…part 2…Hosed..

January 30, 2009 by Barbara

HOSED….

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#2-Commissioner Comments-VM McIntee……BC-commentary …Fire Department…Ethics Commission…etc…

From the meeting….1/28/09….

VM- “Regarding the fire department. Going after people fro communicating on a cell phone when going to a call , the pickup truck does not have a vehicle based radio. It has portable radios. If the person they’re referring to is going down the street with a siren he has something to his mouth. It’s probably the portable fire radio going to command and saying utility 12 responding. There are a hundred reasons.”

BC- Reliable sources have reported observing the VM-Deputy Chief in many “compromising” acts  when driving the small  white VFD-SUV…including repeatedly running the stop signs at Washingtonia to turn left onto Bougainvilla to go the the firehouse…..turning on the sire and lights to bypass congestion at Sea Ranch Center on A1A….driving with cellphone…no seat belt…with and without lights on…on call and not on call….

There are also sightings of Chief Perkins using his light to pass stop signs when no emergency is going on. …parking wherever he pleases in the SR Center…all making residents who report these sightings uncomfortable….

VM- “The other question about the uniform of the Chief, the equipment , the cost, those are all questions Commissioner Dodd could walk into the Chief’s office and ask him if he wasn’t satisfied with the answers then he could bring it up to the dais.”

BC- Commissioner Dodd did just that…he inquired about the flip flops/shorts on the truck and did not receive the results of  his instruction to the Chief to investigate. (Just insubordinate behavior in violation of VFD-SOPs at the podium)…Comm. Dodd inquired about the ATV after being told the damage was a result of negligent behavior and in need of repair. He inquired with the Town Manager who did not know. The Chief told the Manager it was a maintenance repair…which was not the case. The Commissioner then asked the Chief at the podium and the Chief said it just died, it was not under warranty and there was nothing to it…HMMM……

VM- “I think it’s really blatantly an attack on the whole department to go after little things like that. I don’t understand those things. I mean the three trucks over there are the town property. The utilities, the ATVs are town property. Every time one of these trucks goes in for repair  and the last one was probably 1500 -2000 dollars. The town doesn’t pay for those repairs . The volunteer fire department pays for those repairs. Their budget from the town money that was sent to them to keep that stuff up to snuff. An oil change is 500 dollars in a diesel. All the trucks need their oil changed every few months.When that SUV or ATV went into the shop it wasn’t the town that was gonna pay for it. It was out the pocket of money distributed from the volunteers to run their equipment that was part of our budget. So things break down.”

BC- The town paid the VFD an extra large check over 10 grand to pay for repairs just before they ended their transition in September…Note to the VM …either way…the taxpayers pay for the repairs…

VM- “Why would you go after for a vehicle breaking down. There’s no hot rodding on the beaches. We got printouts of anybody going over 20 miles a hour. That vehicle was near the water . It went down into the dirt and it went down before the multiple wheel drive stopped working and it wouldn’t run through the gook. But to pick little items like that and attack the fire chief, I don’t know where you’re going with tat. Just don’t understand it.”

BC- HMMMM….going after the Mayor…attacking over little things, I just don’t understand it….etc…etc…etc….

VM-”Let’s clear up the Deputy Chief thing once and for all. When I decided to run for Deputy Chief, I was asked by the department by a vast majority to run. I said well we know what’s going to happen, there’s gonna be certain people on the dais who’s gonna scream, certain people out there are gonna scream. So they called for a board of directors meeting. The board of directors sat down. I presented my position. They voted to allow me to run. They then called a special meeting of the whole department and they voted. I won’t give you the vote but it was 2 against and the rest were in favor for me running because I am not a corporate officer. I’m a line officer, I tell guys where to squirt the water and they wanted my vast years of experience in the field with them, leading them because I’m the best leader there for that. It was done by the rules of the department and done properly.”

BC- first the Vice Mayor  should have never entertained returning to an officer role. Article 2 section 9 of the Bylaws does not say”corporate officer”, it says “No officer shall hold a publicly elected office in town”…this  must be how he Chief is rationalizing ignoring the SOP and his response to Comm. Clottey  that the SOPs are “open to interpretation”…The VM should have declined or stepped down as VM…This writer was told that many were unhappy with this decision, including some old-timers. Many are afraid of the VM…as described in the Pointu resignation letter, fearing he has and will destroy the VFD from the dais if he is challenged…thus the reason he is the most qualified, he throws out anyone more qualified than he….

VM-”Now I’ve got another, Commissioner Dodd asking the Town Manager about an ethics situation. How can I be Deputy Chief and where’s the paperwork on it. How would she know?”

BC-Commissioner Dodd sent in questions to the Manager on 1/25/09…including the following…

Fifth- ‘ Under public information request- Can I obtain copies of the Vice Mayor’s letters to the Ethics commission concerning the conflict between Commissioner and Deputy Chief. I understand he has sent two letters recently. In the past the answer from the Ethics commission has been slanted because the question was only a “political truth’ and did not fully explain the facts. I would like to find out exactly what was asked and how much supporting information was added.’

Response from the Manager: ‘I have no knowledge of letters being referred to above.’

Seventh-’ I would like a legal opinion on Article 2 Section 9 (page 80) of LBTS-VFD “No officer shall hold any publicly elected office in town…” What options are open to ensure the VFD follow their bylaws, SOPs’

Response from the Manager-’They are contractors of the Town. Compliance with standard operating procedures of organization is a responsibility of the board, command staff and its members.’

Eight-’ Article 5 page 83 Board of Directors with no voting power. Is the Town Manager in breach of her duties to the town/vfd by not enforcing, discussing or even bringing up to the dais the LBTS-VFD Constitution/sops from 2004 are being broken with the Vice mayor accepting the position of Deputy Chief. I don’t believe the commission should have to rely on the blogs to get the information of this magnitude.’

Response from the Manager: ‘ They are contractors for the Town. Compliance with the by-laws of an organization is the responsibility of the board and its members.’

BC- The Town Manager assured the town she would be the “oversight” for the VFD…The Town Manager was a party to the 2008 VFD contract that removed the portion of the previous contract that made it a part of the contract for the VFD to observe their constitution/by-laws/SOPs…The Town Manager in Article 5  …Board of Directors…as the Commissioner included in his questions is listed as a “Citizen Advisor…to the VFD-Board…section 7. ” The Town Manager shall be an ex-officio member of the department with no voting power. The Town Manager in this writer’s opinion is not fulfilling  her duties to the Town…..

VM- ” I sent a letter to Tallahassee laying out what my position was on plain paper, not the Town’s paper and gt a letter back saying YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO. Now Judy Vik the reporter for the Pompano Pelican back there. She did her homework. She called Tallahassee and got exactly the information I just gave. Commissioner Dodd could have done that too. It’s public information. So there’s nothing being hidden here. I mean pickayu stuff.”

BC-the link to the Sept. 2008 letter and answers (previously posted )...http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/Opinions/08/CEO%2008-022.htm and now the Dec.2008…rec’d 12/8/08

‘Dear Mr. Claypool,

I would like the Ethics opinion of this writer holding the position of Deputy Chief of the Lauderdale By The Sea Volunteer Fire Department.

I would like you to consider the following information before you render a Ethics decision.

A. The Lauderdale By The Sea Fire Department is the sole provider of Fire protection in the town of Lauderdale By The Sea.

B. This writer receives absolutely no compensation for service provided to the Volunteer fire department and if in the position of Deputy Chief I would still receive zero compensation from this department.

C. The LBTS VFD is a Florida corporation with corporate officers and company business officers. The Deputy Chief does not sit or act in any of these capacities under the corporate by-laws.

D. The Deputy Chief duties supervise  and direct fire operations at active scenes and makes sure all training demands are met by the department members. The Deputy Chief has nothing to do with Corporate decisions or company policies, or spending funds of the department. It should be clear that the Deputy chief position is a line officer position only dealing with firefighting activities. E. I am the most experienced fire fighter in the department and have over 45 years of experience.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Respectfully, Vice Mayor Jerome S McIntee’

The Response…12/19/08…

Re: Request for opinion,conflict of interest

‘Dear Mr. McIntee:

I have been asked to respond to your request for an opinion on the issue of whether a conflict of interest would be created by your serving as Deputy Chief of the Lauderdale By The Sea Volunteer Fire Department while also serving as a member of the LBTS Town Commission

You advise that the VD is the sole provider of fire suppression services in the Town, that you would receive no compensation for your services, that the VFD is a corporate entity and the Deputy Chief is neither a director nor officer of the corporation, and that the position on Deputy Chief is a “line officer position,” having nothing to do with budgetary or policy decisions of the corporation. The Code of Ethics for Public Officers or Contractual Relationship- No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties {Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes.}

The Commission has already dealt with the issue in CEO 08-22, an opinion you requested. There, it was observed that Section 112.313(7) to be implicated, there must first exist an employment or contractual relationship. The Commission said:

It must then be determined whether you have a “contractual or employment relationship” with the VFD, since in the absence of such a relationship, there can be no violation. Although you relate that you were paid $160 in “training funds” for the months of March and April, you state that as of May 1, you have specifically declined any compensation from the Department. In CEO 00-23 we stated our view that refusal to accept compensation, given in advance and in writing, coupled with actual refusal of said compensation, would negate the element of employment, and therefore the potential of a prohibited conflict.

In the materials you provided in requesting that opinion, you indicated you received no compensation from the VFD and “have no intention of receiving any compensation from the LBTSVFD in the future.” Unless something changed in that respect, the previous opinion would still be applicable.

Sincerely,

Virlindia Doss

Deputy Executive Director’

BC- LBTS-VFD -Article 3 The Line Branch Section 3. Deputy Chief

1. In the event the Fire Chief is unable, for any reason to perform his or her duties, or in the absence of, the Deputy Chief will assume the authority the position of Fire Chief.

2. Shall assist the Fire Chief at his or her request. Shall follow the Standard Operating  Procedures of office.

3. Other duties and responsibilities are outline in the LBTS-VFD Standard Operating Procedures.

The Vice Mayor is not following the SOPS…and using the “line Branch” to pull the wool over the Ethics commission eyes…previously posted McIntee has been involved in purchasing …and funding …

VM- “Let’s move on lets leave the town to do their business, lets keep on going. I mean somebody’s talking about stubby plumbing there was no plumbing ever discussed. I wracked my brain out looked at meetings regarding the pavilion. People are making that stuff up.”

BC- Commissioner Clottey took exception to this comment when she had her comments, as she was one who heard about walls, storage, and plumbing being “stubbed out” from the Town Administration, and along with this writer at the initial bid meeting in Jarvis Hall.

VM-” It’s off the wall. Look after the big problem, let the little problems work on a head to head basis.Work it over with the individual and if you aren’t happy then take the next step.”

BC- One more time kiddies….Greenfest…BSO…and why would the VM think that Commissioner Dodd hadn’t done just this…he did.

VM-” At least give the Fire Department Chief the courtesy ,can I ask you about this and if you arebn’t satisfied then take the next step or the AMR Chief or the Police Chief. I had a problem with the Police Chief about notifying residents about the burglary. Did I come and talk to you Chief? I didn’t make up all these things telling him how he should do it. I had my suggestions I mean but I never take the step of trying to micro manage something I know very little about.”

BC- the readers may now pick themselves off the floor after “fits” of laughter….

VM-” They have people going to fire scenes taking pictures of the Chief to see the way he’s dressed. What for? To cause trouble. That’s all, I yield”

BC- If by chance the VM is speaking of the fire call at SRC C last week, this writer took no pictures, and arrived to see what was going on after Commissioner Clottey called to ask what was going on as she saw the trucks as she drove by. I live in SR Club ….. Commissioner Dodd made it clear that it was his opinion that the Chief should be in uniform in his leadership role and the chance that he may need to assist.”

It seems to this writer, the Plantation model of a professional Chief/Deputy Chief should be discussed for the VFD going forth. The Fire Chief is insubordinate. The SOPs are not being followed. The Deputy Chief should not be an elected official. The Town Manager is not doing any oversight. Public records requests are being ignored. This is not the VFD we were promised, where the 2 Commissioners would be members only, there would be transparency and a department that was to be beyond reproach in their professionalism.

From the Town site…..

Chapter 8 Fire Protection and prevention….

http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=14431&sid=9

The Code…Sec. 8-22.  Chief.
The Town Manager shall hire or contract for the services of a Fire Chief, whose duties shall be set forth in either a professional services agreement between the Fire Chief and the Town Manager, or through a contract with a governmental entity, a private entity or a not-for-profit organization.
(Ord. No. 2004-16, § 2, 10-26-04)

Sec. 8-23.  Suspension.
All members of the Fire Department, including the Fire Chief, are subject to suspension or discharge because of incompetency, general inefficiency, neglect of duty, immorality, drunkenness, failure to obey orders given by proper authority, or for any other just or reasonable cause, in the manner provided for by Town personnel rules or the provision of contract, whichever is applicable.
(Ord. No. 2004-16, § 2, 10-26-04)

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop…1/27/09 LBTS Commission Meeting..cont. 1/28/09…Mc-Comments..Part 1…The Shell Game…

January 29, 2009 by Barbara

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE GAME…

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#1-Commissioner Comments….with BC-commentary…1/28/09….in response to Commissioner Dodd…(previous  post scoops & LBTS agenda/meetings categories…)

VM….”I’m very sad you have so many problems with how well this town is run. I think this town is run really well. I think the town staff is doing a phenomenal job and I think we should stand behind our staff and support them and if they make mistakes highlight them.”

BC…”Highlight them”…is what Comm. Dodd did….in his Commissioner comments…

VM…”I don’t think we should micro mange any part of this government or any part of the contractors for this government.”

BC…the BSO Fire Department might be letting out a big “guffaw” about this one…

VM…”I have to respond which is unfortunate , Steve would you run the vote for July 8th please. At the last meeting this was garbled. It never came across plus I’ve had several people say they didn’t understand it . This will clarify it. This is the question of why there were no bathrooms at the pavilion. ( The video was played…not shown on T.V. just the sound)…Thank you Steve that clearly indicates this whole commission knew there were no bathrooms going in the construction of the pavilion. We have another video that goes back further (the 9/11/07 video…previous post scoops & LBTS agenda/meetings categories)I’m not gonna run it right now. It’s clear we all knew.”

BC…the July 8, 2008 video does show a vote for the contract and does show the Mayor saying no bathrooms. It also shows Comm. Dodd asking about the extension and the grant amount. with the Town Manager answering the amount …and that we have the extension. What was not done at that meeting was the Town providing the commission with the date of the extension…more than a full year…which would if revealed might have changed that vote. The reason the bathrooms were removed were due to time and money constraints. …The Town knew we now had both. Also to choose the 7/8/08 consent item was amusing to this writer as it was on that day that the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection approved the pavilion..per the post in Town Hall. It clearly stated the FDEP permit expired July 8, 2011 along with the following  direction/description of the pavilion…’ You are granted final authorization to proceed with construction/or activities authorized by this notice. Authorized work MUST CONFORM TO THE PROJECT DESCRIPTION, APPROVED PLANS, all conditions of chapter 62-B-33…. ‘PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Construction of OPEN PAVILION with Seaward trellis, other structures, activities, excavation with full placement.’

BC…Why was this approved plan…approved rendering not provided to the commission?…If it was not the same as the rendering the Town included the next month in Town Topics…why did the Town Manager not put in the correct rendering in the next issue of Town Topics?….so Vice Mayor Thanks for choosing the July 8,2008 meeting for the 2nd attempt to “run interference”…for whomever made the drastic change in the pavilion’s appearance….

BC..the video not shown was the Sept.11,2007 (previously posted scoops & LBTS agenda/meetings category…FUNNY ALERT..Ocampo’s concern with the Forbes design…THE ROOF…what is left of the Forbes design…THE ROOF!…

VM…’We now have a pavilion being built that 40 – 45 days done away from being done. Why are we wasting the town’s time by going back trying to say who said, she said, what said, they said? It’s a work in progress. It’s almost done. Let it die. Let the town move on. Let the staff move on with their business.”

BC…Double standard response for Oriana’s biggest critic…GreenFest…former administration…etc…etc…etc….

VM….”Now Commissioner Dodd has brought up the Palm Club and he said something that I think is way way way out of line. Because any organization in this town is suing us or may be suing us or threatening us with a lawsuit cannot effect the way we govern that organization. It has to be balanced and it has to be fair. You cannot say and I quote “I am not sure why we are bending over backwards to help Palm Club when the last thing I heard they were inundating the town staff with requests of information in regard of a possible lawsuit against the town.” That’s got nothing to do with us trying to seek to heal wounds bring the town together. ”

BC…Are you 15 story north side proponents listening?…(previous posts scoops/LBTS agenda/meetings categories…letter/responses Comm Dodd/Town Manager)…

VM…”If we can get federal money to build their sewers everybody up here is pushing green green green green. We have one place in town with septic tanks. We have a chance to get federal money to change that. To make them sewers. Green folks, that’s all I’m hearing from a lot of people. This is truly greening our town.”

BC…And Sea Ranch Lakes…not our town…but septic between Palm Club and the south…HMMM…

VM….To say that because of lawsuits we shouldn’t do that or try and take advantage of funds out there just makes no sense to me.”

BC…What does the Town Attorney say…for the sake of the rest of the town …being pre- litigation…with a property that is still a part of the Bert J Harris group?…The Palm Club still being a “party” to that action used to be a “non-starter” for the then Commissioner McIntee…pre-election campaign mode….

VM….”Commissioner Dodd asked how did all those people get here? I thought I told them, but I’ll tell you again. I had a meeting at 9:30 or 10:30 in the morning on the day of the commission meeting with the complete board of directors of the Palm Club. I walked into that meeting . You can call anyone of them up. I said folks I don’t know if this is gonna work I don’t. If they’ll get the money, but it’s a shot. It looks it’s a good shot to me and I got information from some people up north about it. The person that told me was in the running for state senator in New York  State but he got, didn’t get it. Okay. But the bottom line is that it was a hopeful journey that maybe we could get these sewers for nothing and we already generated paperwork. So why not go for it? So that’s the way it was.”

BC…Did they…”already generate paperwork”? The Manager’s response says otherwise…..

VM…” So why were all these people here? Because the board of directors took it upon themselves and asked their residents to come down. Commissioner Dodd said they had a right to speak. I don’t remember any of them spoke.Go back at the meeting. I don’t think any of them came up to the dais and said one word. Maybe they did. I don’t remember . And the other. What are we trying to suppress? An opportunity to get funds. Are we trying to attack it before we let it run its course? Why are we making the town jump through hoops for something that no promise were mad? Just the hope and would it solve the last major green problem I see in the town. Now I think that the palm Club people had aright to come here and say whatever they wanted.”

BC…”Athena Boys” are you listening?…..What an campaign selective statement…by the Vice Mayor YIKES…

VM….” As far as the town knowing about it. Esther got a call that morning from me saying what do you know about “in the shovel earth”. She said dot…dot…dot…I  said okay. I’m gonna go to the Palm Club see if I can get a meeting. I’m gonna bring it up on the agenda and then please put something out to the other commissioners. As far as I know I got a sheet in box that said there was something about “in the shovel contract”.

BC…So which is it…the VM says he called Esther that morning…(Esther is usually not in first thin in the morning…did he call her at home?…then he says he went at 9:30-10:30 to a board meeting at Palm Club…but he says he told Esther in the morning call he was going to “see” if he could get a meeting…he says he asked her about the shovel (completely wrong title)…and said “okay”…he then asserts at the meeting on the 23rd and again in this statement…either on the 23rd…Esther was already putting a grant together when he called her…or in these comments “there was already a in the shovel contract”…a point the Manager says in fer 1/28/09 response to Comm. Dodd counter with “I informed him that I did NOT submit a request to the state because of possible conflict.”…WOW!…

VM…” Now nobody forced this dais to put it on the agenda. I brought it up and I said under point of order I’d like the opportunity to put this on the agenda and amend the agenda because I think it’s very time sensitive and the faster we go after this grant the better chance we have of getting it. Now there’s five people up here. It wasn’t any claim of emergency. There wasn’t any claim of doom and gloom. Look if we get this in we might have a shot. I presented to the dais. The dais voted for it. They could have voted it down. So those arguments are very weak Commissioner Dodd.”

BC…With a “packed ” room…no heads up to the reasons…stated emergency or not..but the apparent assist from the Town Manager…it would never have been turned down as the Vice Mayor “set it up”…

More of the Vice Mayor’s comments…to follow ….(fire department…Deputy Chief)

Post Division

Update…Palm Club …More Questions…Answers…Jumping The Gun…

January 29, 2009 by Barbara

MORE PALM CLUB ….FROM THE TOWN MANAGER…

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From the questions to the Town Manager from Commissioner Dodd – 1/25/09…answered -1/28/09…memo (public record)…

Third- ‘I’m not sure why we are bending over backwards to help Palm Club when the last thing I heard was they were inundating the town staff with requests for information with regard to possible lawsuit against the town. If all threats of the lawsuit have been lifted please notify all commissioners. Can you please verify that these grants are available for this type of work on private property, as I would hate to be guilty of trying to obtain grant money for an ineligible project.’

Response  from the Town Manager: ‘ Second question referred to Town Attorney. Third question is unknown at this time since the Stimulus Package is introduced by President Obama’s transition team the week of inauguration. If an when our request for funding assistance is acknowledged, maybe then, and only then, will we know the specifications of funding.’

BC….the word coming from Town Hall for months …the massive amount of public records requests from Palm Club…2000 sheets of paper and counting……boxes …pre-litigation…and a “hold off” of more requests until they are paid up…so…at the same time…she should be getting grants?…

BC…The Town Manager should have sought the opinion of the Town Attorney prior to Comm. Dodd’s request…if she  did indeed go ahead with the application of funds per the Vice Mayor’s direction…and shouldn’t that direction upon receiving the  Town Attorney’s opinion  have come from the full commission rather than the Vice Mayor alone?

BC…this writer was told the “private property” would be “left out” of the request…HMMM.”details”…… a Google of what other projects are out there asking for these funds…a massive amount of competition……did not produce any other private properties ….

Sixth-’ I would like clarification from the town attorney regarding any possible conflict between the town’s position on possible lawsuit over Palm Club and the possible support for the application for a grant for funding of sewers on a private estate. I believe it sends the wrong message since it could make them more determined to proceed with their lawsuit iff the town fails to secure any grant.’

Response from Town Manager: Question referred to the Town Attorney for response.’

BC…will update after a response from the Town Attorney…which should have been in place and presented to the Palm Club residents…the Town residents…before the Vice Mayor appeared at their Board meeting the morning of the 23rd to say “I have a surprise for you”….and before they trekked up to Jarvis Hall…for a “full court ‘P.R. stunt…with an assist from the Town Manager…

Chalk it up to “jumping the gun”….to re-election…with “pawns”….all around..a “Broom Boy” special…

more to come

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop….LBTS 1/27/08 Commission Meeting …cont. 1/28/09…”I Have A Problem With That”…

January 29, 2009 by Barbara

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS…” I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT”….Commissioner Dodd

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Commissioner Comments
Do you have a problem with that?

I arrived at last Thursday’s commission meeting to find a room filled with Palm Club residents.  I did not receive any prior notification they would be present or that it had been agreed to place their item on the agenda as an “Emergency”.  I now hear a memo  was placed in my mailbox that very morning – Yes I have a problem with that.    Washington has some funds for projects that are ready to go and staff is prepared to move forward as the project was near the permitting stage.  There was nothing to tell me why the residents were at the meeting and who had assured them the right to speak.  After some thought I have three problems with that – firstly why are we bending over to help a Co-operative that is intending to bring legal action against the town?  Secondly has anyone ascertained whether the government funding is available for projects on private land.   Thirdly – On whose authority was this designated an “Emergency” and who assured the residents they would be given the right to speak? – Yes I have a problem with that.

When I hear the ATV is broken and out of action and I get told “routine maintenance” and not even the town manager knows about it –Doesn’t sit well with me so -  yes I have a problem with that.

When I hear a report that someone is driving one of the VFD vehicles while on a cell phone, no seat belt with the lights going and on the way to a medical call – yes I have a problem with that.  Is the town liable if the vehicle crashes?

When I ask the town manager a simple question – Who changed the pavilion from walls to no walls, bathrooms to no bathrooms and no plumbing and I don’t get a straight answer – Commission on Such & Such date –or Town staff because …..Yes I have a problem with that.

When I find the Vice mayor taking up staff time to try to answer my question to the town manager.    His answer July 8th did actually raise more questions since it appeared only the mayor knew of the change – Yes I have a problem with that.

When I go to see the town manager on Monday to go through the agenda and there is no mention of taking up the commission’s time with something that does not represent the answer to the question – A picture of the 1991 pavilion – Yes I have a problem with that.

When no-one on this Dias can come up with the date or meeting where we all discussed the pavilion and the changes in the plans and the changes in the contract with the correct back-up material because it never happened – Yes I have a problem with that.  As a systems analyst the only other conclusion is the Town staff made that decision and Yes I have a big problem with that!.
Are staff going to make big decisions again without reference – is the Sea lord drainage going to slip through, is a building going to get passed with the wrong setbacks, illegal height because of a new interpretation of 33 feet and where that starts relating to the 100 foot flood level– Yes I have a problem with that.

When I find the VFD have totally disregarded their S.O.P.s and/or bylaws and elected the Vice Mayor for deputy chief – Yes I have a problem with that.  Let me also stress I do not have a problem with your  abilities Vice Mayor but the total disregard for your own by-laws.  Yes I have a problem with that.

Why didn’t the town manager bring it to the Dias or at the minimum contact each commissioner since she is a non voting member of the board but instead left it to this commissioner to hear the news from other sources.   Yes I have a problem with that.

I also have problems with the entry sign for video surveillance, the two flag poles instead of one, the town logo and Welcome To  as discussed two weeks ago, the back-up material, the minor mistakes that get made, the lack of communication and I’m expected to go in to the town daily to ask what is the scuttle butt– yes I have a problem with that.
North trade winds petition to resurface the road , Sea grape curb extension when the ex town planner recommended a more economical solution since their drainage problem was self inflicted by their own downspouts – Yes I have a problem with that.

Not allowing a resident the immediate right to reply when accusations have been made by a member of this dais – Yes I have a problem with that

The chair’s ruling last night regarding the right to speak to a specific item on the agenda and the right to call a commissioner by name during public comments – yes I have a problem with both of those decisions.  Both decisions were incorrect if you review the video.
The shutting down of the audience when they are trying to help us not make an error – not recognizing the Reverent George Hunsaker  means we have to go back and revisit the swales – yes I have a problem with that.

I will get answers to my questions  even if I have to go out and do my own research and I can assure you I will continue to ask them  however much you dislike the questions or me.   I will make every effort to try to ensure the correct decision process is being made and that the town is being run in a truly professional manor.   If you have a problem with that then it’s your problem not mine. I’m only trying to do my job as I perceive it to be.

I thank you for listening.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

This writer has heard that the Vice Mayor’s / Town Manager’s words on the dais…1/23/09 and 1/28/09 may not be so….He spoke of the Palm Club…at the initial meeting…saying the Manager was already on  top of the grant for Palm Club…with the Manager speaking of the holdup being the public records requests  and the pre-litigation (with Palm Club)……When Commissioner Dodd…”blindsided” by the Palm Club “P.R. stunt” inquired about the matching funds… again the Vice Mayor waved him off about”details”…..When Commissioner Dodd reiterated his concern of getting grants for Palm Club while we were dealing with a possible lawsuit. in his comments above…..the Vice Mayor came out fighting  in his comments (will post later)… campaigning for the “little guy” aka Palm Club and his concern for them being “green”…the audacity of Commissioner  Dodd for not wanting to help them no matter what…the public records/litigation  had nothing to do with helping them get a grant……The Manager stayed mute….

A memo today..( public record)….a response to some of the Commissioners questions…that he has a problem with….

Palm Club…

Question to the Manager.: Palm Club Sewers…’I am getting tired of being blindsided by the town staff over last minute issues. The residents from Palm Club had obviously been told to turn up at the meeting and the item would be placed on the agenda. This was presumably deemed an emergency time by someone on the dais. Who gave the Palm Club assurances that they would be allowed to speak on this item? The Vice Mayor? I did not receive any information on this item as once again it was placed in my mailbox on the day of the meeting and no one had the decency to phone me to give me any idea that there would be a room full of Palm Club residents in attendance to presumably address the commission. I left home at  8 am and did not get back until late afternoon in time to grab something to eat and change. I did not collect my mail  on that day. I was kindly brought to me on the dais- thank you for that.’

‘Response from the Manager: I wrote the memo when Vice Mayor mentioned that he heard of “shoveling In  The Ground Project Funds” was available. I informed him that I was aware of the Stimulus Package but that the only project that meets the criteria is Palm Club sewers. I INFORMED HIM THAT I DID NOT SUBMIT REQUEST TO STATE BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE CONFLICT. Vice Mayor indicated that we should apply for funds and that was going to address issue. When, How and When the Vice Mayor was going to address the “Shoveling  In The Ground Project Funds” was up to his discretion and not mine.’

BC….OUCH!….The Town Attorney should weigh in…and Palm Club voters…..should take note…”details” …seem to get in the way….HMMMM….someone was “micro-managing Town staff….

More to come………….

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