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Here’s The Scoop … Scene And Heard Around Town ….

June 29, 2010 by Barbara

BRING HOME THE BACON, LENORE ….

From By The Sea Future Editor-

“As you may have read in our newspaper, our local chef/caterer is a finalist in the Paula Deen
Real Women of Philadelphia ” (cream cheese) cooking contest. Just thought you might want to post a reminder to watch. I sent a message to Lenore, “All of us in LBTS hope you’ll “bring home the bacon,” slathered with Philly Cream Cheese, of course!”

The “live” event will be broadcast online (not television) at 8:00pm tomorrow night, Wednesday.
Notice on the Paula Deen web site…

If you’d like to watch the Live Event, go to http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/rwopliveon Wednesday June 30th at 8PM EST. To watch the streaming video of the show you will need the Adobe Flash Player plugin. The Live Event will be re-posted to the Real Women of Philadelphia site after the live show concludes.”

“Nolan-Ryan a finalist in Paula Deen contest..”

“Lauderdale-by-the-Sea caterer and affable abecedary Lenore Nolan-Ryan active to Savannah Sunday to attempt in the Absolute Women of Philadelphia challenge sponsored by Philadelphia Chrism Cheese and Aliment Network brilliant Paula Deen.

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FORMER LBTS FIRE MARSHAL ….AUTHORS ARTICLE….

“The Democrats’ Five Stages

Alex Stevenson

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a groundbreaking analysis of the changes that happen to people upon been informed of a terminal illness. In her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Kubler-Ross describes five stages of grief, a process by which people deal with tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness. Her work created awareness to the sensitivity required for better treatment of individuals who are dealing with a fatal disease.  The five stages are:

Denial is a temporary defense for the individual.

Anger — when denial fails, resistance and rage against the truth replace it.

Bargaining involves the hope that the inevitable can be delayed.

Depression is the beginning of understanding the inevitable.

Acceptance is honestly dealing with the reality of the situation.

The Democrats are going through this process.”…. link to full article below …

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/the_democrats_five_stages.html

BC- While you may or may not agree with Mr. Stevenson…the first thing that came to mind for this writer…the “5 stages” after being unilaterally terminated as Town Manager came to mind…Hmmm… With yesterday’s morning “Shade Session” at Jarvis Hall…which stage is Stevenson’s former boss in today?…. Also, Readers will remember it was TM Colon and her “galpal’ Kathy O’Brien who went after Mr. Stevenson to stop his unemployment benefits .. we understand their reason was to protect the “public monies”…HA!…

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LEAVE YOUR BOARDS ON THE ATV’S BOYS ….

We hear the Commissioners have been given a copy of the current VFD contract and the word is the Town Manager will be meeting with the VFD Board now that its President Ken Johnson dodged the outgoing “bullet” from Chief Perkins a few weeks ago… This Town Manager and Town Atty. are stuck with only what’s in the contract and what’s in the budget…The VFD as so often touted from the dais by the “2-Hats” are a contracted private corporation and Town vendor …despite all the “blurry lines” crossed in the past…(prev. posts)…  Was and is the VFD currently covered by Workmen’s Comp….. as required…Are the men/women getting medical /background checks as required?…. Does the Chief meet state requirements to be fire chief?…Are there too many full time paid employees to be considered a volunteer fire department? …Are the Town and the department violating state statute by profiting from VFD inspections and sharing the those profits for apparatus purchases? …Did the Board give Perkins a pass on his alleged falsifying of his application in 2005?… Perkins sent in his resignation to the Commission to take effect on Sept. 30th…. will he be allowed to stay on as a volunteer?…

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UNKNOWN TALENTS IN LBTS ….

We received some photos of local talent in LBTS appearing on stage…last week…are you ready for your 15 minutes?… Thursdays at 7 pm…

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WE MADE THE PAPERS ….

EXCERPT…

“SEAN D’OLIVEIRA  (Son of LBTS-PIO Steve D’Oliveira)

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to get around Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the Pelican Hopper is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

With ridership lacking, the free community bus shuttle could be cut from Broward County’s budget.

In an effort to keep the bus running for residents who have come to depend on it, town officials are organizing a summer contest during to see which current riders can recruit the most new riders to the shuttle.
“We want to encourage more ridership so we can maintain our funding,” said Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Roseann Minnet.

Riders who recruit the most residents will receive prizes, including lunch with Minnet and recognition at a City Commission meeting, as well as gift baskets and gift certificates to local restaurants

Minnet has already taken two trips on the shuttle in an effort to understand residents’ concerns about the service and other issues in the city as well. Minnet will also ride the shuttle July 4 and in August.

“It’s been fun,” Minnet said. “Everyone is so grateful for it.”

Full text link -

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/lauderdale-by-the-sea/fl-hrb-transport-0624-20100624,0,1916231.story

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BACKPEDAL …

What do Gladys Leeks, Associate Planner Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization and LBTS Town Clerk June White have in common… recalling sent e-mails for error…Ms. Leeks has done this a few times while sending out info for the A1A Scenic Highway…and apparently TC White just did it in wrongly asserting the Roundtable for July was on Wed. July 7th…Roundtables always follows the the Commission meetings until further notice… We also hear she cleared that issue up as if the Commissioners were unaware as well…Ms. White does have a calendar scheduling deficiency that is ongoing…sad to say….This writer believes the first BOA meeting at nighttime will be on July 7th at 6:30 pm per a vote to make it a nighttime board per Comm. Sasser and a 5-0 vote …

While the names are new under the BOA on the Town’s website the days has not been updated …OOPS!…
“BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
The Board of Adjustment is a five-member Town Board that meets as needed on the third Wednesday of the month in Jarvis Hall. The BOA has the legal authority to conduct quasi-judicial hearings on applications for variances from the Town’s land development regulations in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Code of Ordinances. The Board’s decisions are advisory to the Commission. Recommendations of the BOA are reviewed by the Commission at its regular meetings. The five BOA members (plus two alternates) serve two-year terms.
BOARD MEMBERS
Arthur Franczak
Henry Overton
Verenice Rapaport
Helen Swinghammer
Ray Wolowicz
ALTERNATES
Cecil Hanes Jr.”

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POA HOMETOWN HERO …

9th year …3 Candidates …Michael Arker/ Diane Boutin/ Buster Celestino …

CIC Citizen of the Year…

3rd year …? candidates …Ran out of BTSTimes publishers?….

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UOT NEW CHAIR … RAY WOLOWICZ

UOT new Chair elected … Class act…in this writer’s opinion …

CIC new chair erected…. Class-less act…in this writer’s opinion…

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WHERE OH WHERE SHOULD THE BEACH POTTYS BE ….

Bathrooms on the beach in LBTS ….Year ?… Last year the Mayor once again stated look at El Prado…This writer agrees …Bathrooms ON the beach… not in a parking lot…not in an alley …not in a store… and why not at the real main entry to the beach El Prado…with the closest public beach parking lot that’s always full…The MPSC when refining the 2005 Master Plan and addressing El Mar Drive …Please make plans to re-address and revitalize the entry from El Prado Park  onto the beach…How did it fall through the cracks? ..pun intended…An Avid Reader last year gave this writer the heads up on the substandard stairway to the beach…Right she was!…How is that entry acceptable with handicapped parking spots placed right in front of the park?… Going around the park on the north end for handicapped access…will not suffice… And while you’re at it…place the bathrooms on the beach…easy to get to..and easy for public works and public safety providers to monitor… Hopefully sometime soon…..

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more to come…..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Want S’more …

June 28, 2010 by Barbara

Places To Go  and more …. http://heresthescooponline.com/

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … First Things First …

June 28, 2010 by Barbara

Lilly 2 months…

Mom’s giving a lecture in England and Nana is on full time Lilly duty this next week ..so posts depend on sleep time…for both of us!…

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Town of LBTS v. Colon … The Pre-emptive Posturing …

June 27, 2010 by Barbara

IN THIS CORNER ….

Dear Readers ….Tomorrow at 9 am the Town Commission (sans Clottey by phone?-prev. post) will convene in Jarvis Hall at 9 am to have their first “Shade Session” to forge ahead with litigation in the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea v. Esther Colon … Anything discussed in that room and going forth is no longer public record and the Commissioners are required to comply until the litigation is over…then everything including the minutes from those “Shade Sessions” are open for public records requests…

The exchanges between the Town and the former Town Manager and her Attorney leading up to this meeting are public record ….and show two very different sides with two very different styles of representation in whether or not Esther Colon was overpaid with the “public monies” to the tune of $69, 308.61 …

For  those of you not up to date …a quick re-cap (prev. posts)…former Town Manager Esther Colon was unilaterally terminated on April 20, 2010 at a Special Meeting called after a Roundtable discussion on April 16, 2010 per an item put on by Vice Mayor Dodd concerning both hiring a Town Manager and either negotiating with or replacing Ms. Colon..as is allowed per her 2007 contract stating she “serves at the pleasure of the Commission” and can be terminated when she no longer does… The meeting was quick due to the majority realizing from the Roundtable discussion and Ms. Colon’s surprise appearance (she had previously stated she had a doctors appointment that could not be rescheduled) and brief commentary of having no comment until the April 20th meeting where she would bring counsel…there was no negotiation that would rectify her ongoing statements of the prior two years that she was not going to change her style…

What happened at that meeting was the precursor for the litigation going forth…The contract, poorly written in this writer’s opinion is full of contradictions depending on who is interpreting it…Sec. 5.0 v. Sec. 10.0 and whether one usurps the other…Also, of course was the payout calculations that followed the commission vote made by Colon’s trusty sidekick and newly appointed temporary Interim Town Manager in Town Hall after business hours with Human Resources/Risk Manager and “Gal pal” Kathy O’Brien …and the ongoing actions by Olinzock to thwart any oversight or involvement from the Town Attorneys as directed by the Commission… The Town Attorneys were put in the awkward and unusual position of needing to make a Public Records Request at the 11th hour to get the information…after John Olinzock made statements of not complying unless he was being charged criminally… The Mayor proceeded to lock down the Town Hall which was scheduled to have an overhaul by the I.T. company over the following weekend and she called for another Special Meeting on the morning of April 26, 2010 at 9am to deal with the payout which despite all efforts by the Town Attorneys and Commission went out to Ms. Colon in direct deposits at the close of the that pay period…and to also move forth in hiring an Interim Town Manager to replace John Olinzock due to his actions since being appointed the week prior…At that meeting Int. Town Manager was combative concerning his actions as was the Town Attorneys and the Commission …In the end the whole Commission unilaterally terminated the Int. Town Manager for no longer serving at the pleasure of the Commission with no cause required…as well as putting a hold on his severance and benefits until an inquiry into the payout produced whether it had been the correct amount or not… After ward he was escorted out of the hall as Town Hall remained locked down…The Commission then heard from the candidates for the position of Int. Town Manager and chose Constance Hoffmann the former City Manager of Fort Laudedale to take the position in a 5-0 vote… Ms. Hoffmann was escorted into the Town Hall and began the inquiry with the aid of staff, newly hired Int. Asst. TM Bud Bentley (also a previous Asst. TM in Fort Lauderdale  and a candidate for Int. TM) a consultant and the Town Attorneys… The inquiry took a month..the HR/Risk Manager Kathy O’Brien was put on paid suspension but was interviewed as were others such as the Finance Director Kaola King, former Town Manager Bob Baldwin and former Town Attorney Jim Cherof.. There was much research needed to decipher outdated manuals used by both Baldwin and Colon and the same employment agreements the two used as well which were at odds depending on the employee working under either Manager…Also as previously and extensively posted Ms. Colon had a very different contract than her predecessor Baldwin despite years of claiming otherwise…In the end at the May 25, 2010 Commission Meeting under the Town Manager’s Report, Ms. Hoffmann gave her report and stated with the concurrence of the Town Attorneys, Ms. Colon had been overpaid with public monies in the amount of $69, 308.62 …She went through each overpayment and how it was calculated along with the former Town Manager’s contract and  what was allowed to her predecessor per a past Commission …..The full Commission voted to direct Ms. Hoffman to send a letter after hearing that it was her and The Town Attorney’s recommendation to seek reimbursement…

NO GLOVES IN SIGHT ….. YET!…..

A letter was sent to Ms. Colon from the Int. Town Manager on May 28, 2010 spelling out where the Town stood on the overpayment of public monies and that the Town was seeking reimbursement to rectify the situation …The tone was by no means accusatory as it was stated at the end “As a former Finance Director, I know you understand the necessity that the Town be reimbursed these funds paid in error and ask that you remit the $69,308.62 to the Town by 5 pm on Monday, June 7, 2010.Please consider this a formal demand for payment” …

FEELING THE NEED FOR SOME PADDED LEATHER?….

The Commission was informed on June 8, 2010 that a response had arrived … At the meeting the Commission after asking some questions of the Town Attorney and hearing of the back and forth that had gone on between Ms. Colon’s Attorney and ours along with public record requests made the decision 5-0 to go forth with any and all means to retrieve the “public monies” our counsel thought were made to Ms. Colon in error…(Again, for a look at those exchanges in excerpts and  full text up to this point scroll down or look under the scoops category)… The Commission also chose to change the termination of Int. TM John to be with cause …it is said it will now go to the State Atty. to see if the actions take were indeed criminal …Below is what followed the June 8, 2010 response from “Mrs.” Colon’s attorney…….

EXCERPTS….. OVERVIEW…..VERBATIM ….

TIME TO BOOK THE APPROPRIATE VENUE?….

June 15, 2010

From Weiss, Serota (Town Attys.) Brett Schneider To Kenneth Joyce (Colon Atty.) Brinkley, Morgan Fort Lauderdale, Fl…. e-mail

Atty Schneider sent a response e-mail to the June 8th letter from Atty. Joyce informing him that the May 28, 2010 letter for repayment of the “public funds” from “Ms.” Colon included “a very detailed report summarizing the Town’s findings”…”after an extensive investigation”…and that the repayment from Colon was due at the close of business on June 7th… Atty. Schneider recounted that Atty. Joyce had “initially” contacted Weiss, Serota to “advise” they needed more time to complete their “review” on “Ms. Colon’s behalf”… and they had also sent a letter to “request public records related to Ms. colon’s termination and search for her replacement”.. Schneider stated Joyce “asserted these public records are necessary to complete your review of this matter for Ms. Colon.”… Schneider countered that in our (Town’s) “opinion ” the public records request  “is a misguided attempt by Ms. Colon to stall the process of reimbursing the Town. The records sought in your letter have no legal relevance to the issue of overpayment.”..Schneider went on to explain they have “no bearing on how the leave payments were calculated or on the entitlement to various aspects of the payment.”…He added the public records requests would be responded to in a timely manner “although we do not believe that the records request is a legitimate basis for withholding the immediate repayment of these public funds.”….Schneider continued on with explaining on the morning of June 8, 2010 after the June 7, 2010 deadline for reimbursement and the day of the scheduled Reg. Commission meeting that Weiss, Serota advised Colon’s Atty. of Ms. Hoffmann received another letter from Joyce…Schneider recounted some of the rhetoric in that June 8th letter concerning Colon…that her termination was  “retaliatory”, the Town “painted” Colon as a “nefarious actor” and “has engaged in an intentional and reckless campaign to harm Ms. colon and her career.”…Schneider added that Joyce wanted to be advised when he could “conduct interviews of the relevant personnel and Commissioners.”… Schneider countered with the following “Despite Ms. Colon’s allegations, the Town and its representatives have exercised incredible restraint since Ms. colon’s termination and throughout the Town’s investigation of this matter, particularly given the significant amount of public funds at issue. Additionally, based on the information available, we are doubtful that you or Ms. Colon truly believe that the arguments supporting her claim of entitlement to the monies at issue have any legal merit…. He went on to counter a claim made in the June 8th letter about the provision in Colon’s agreement  Sec. 10.1 where she and her Atty. believe she is to accrue vacation leave “as granted to other non-managerial non-union employees of the Town somehow means that she should accrue vacation in the same manner as only one former Town Employee- former Town Manager Robert Baldwin. That assertion completely ignores the fact that Ms. Colon had a written contract addressing vacation leave unlike Me. Baldwin.”….Schneider also countered Joyce on the Town’s Personnel Policy Manual distinguishing between managerial and non- managerial positions stating there is none… “The fact that a prior Town Commission may have allowed a prior Town Manager to accrue vacation leave at a different rate than set forth in the Manual does not, as a matter of law, create new policy for vacation accrual applicable to all managerial employees- especially if the employees have written contracts with different terms.”…

“It is now abundantly clear that, rather than reimburse the Town the public monies that she was erroneously overpaid, Ms. Colon would prefer to attempt to intimidate the Town into forgoing its pursuit of such funds by making misguided and unsupported threats of potential litigation, and by relying on incredibly flimsy arguments regarding the propriety of the severance and leave payments she received. As a result, the Town Commission has authorized this Firm to take any and all appropriate legal measures, including commencing litigation against Ms. Colon if necessary, to recover the public funds that are in Ms. Colon’s possession. We hereby make final formal demand for repayment of such monies. If we do not receive reimbursement from Ms. Colon of such monies by close of business on June 18, 2010, we will be left with no choice but to initiate litigation against Ms. Colon.

Please govern yourself accordingly,

Very truly yours, Brett Schneider.”

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A “THRILLA FROM MANILA”  P.R. MOVE?…….

June 15, 2010

From Colon Atty. Kenneth Joyce to Town Atty. Susan Trevarthen ….. e-mail

Atty. Joyce sent an e-mail as a follow up to their telephone conversation on June 8, 2010 and the clarification Trevarthen asked for concerning Colon’s June 4, 2010 public records request….The Town advised Joyce the request “encompassed potentially many documents”…Trevarthen, Joyce asserted also stated “there may be a substantial service charge incurred for use of staff or IT personnel”…Joyce stated that given he  “specific nature” of those requests he could not see how they would require “a great amount of technology to respond.”.. He broke down the requests including the “120 window” which was the request for any e-mails, texts, phone records with the words “Manager”…”Colon”… “Esther” …He went on to ask for a “reasonable range” of what the Town thinks it would incur to respond to the remaining request …”If you could give me an idea why the request is problematic from a search or breadth standpoint, perhaps I can help by narrowing down the request. I would ask that you please provide this information as soon as possible. This has already take a significant amount of time for records that should be reasonably available.”…He added that per their conversation on June 4th he wanted to review the back-up documentation used for the may 20, 2010 Report…wanting the exact information Hoffmann had to inspect and it should be readily available….

“If the Town legitimately wanted Mrs. Colon to consider its position, we would expect the Town would make this information available to us before making  rash decisions. It is curious that the Town Commission has given you direction to proceed to collect these funds from Mrs. Colon when it is obvious from the June 8, 2010 meeting the Commission did not have benefit of our letter setting forth why the Town has such an unsustainable position. Mrs. Colon has presented pertinent information the Commission should consider before blindly proceeding to incur significant costs and attorney’s fees in a tight budgetary environment. We hope for the sake of Lauderdale-By-The Sea taxpayers that reasonable and informed action will prevail. If you wish to discuss any of the matters herein, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Very truly yours, Kenneth J. Joyce”

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HE’S PUTTING THE “GLOVES” ON ….. AND GETTING “PERSONAL” WITH OPPOSING COUNSEL!…..

June 18, 2010

From Colon Atty. Kenneth J.  Joyce to Atty. to Town Atty. Brett Schneider….  e-mail

“Dear Mr.Schneider:

I acknowledge receipt of your June 15, 2010 correspondence, which we return–rejected out of hand. Quite frankly, we are unimpressed with your positional statements not grounded in any law or fact. It is unclear why you bothered to write. Your letter does not provided any new information relative to the Town’s prior position, renews unsupported demands and avoids any sincere attempt to reach a resolution. Your threats are meaningless in light of the facts and your attempts to insult will not sway us. When this matter is litigated, which the Town seems intent on pursuing, we will depose each of the Town’s elected officials and ask them if they understand the groundless positions taken and whether they were shown our earlier correspondence prior to authorizing suit.

The Town is making a mistake; however, it clearly cannot be our role to attempt to prevent this any more than we have. If you cannot offer anything more productive we are finished talking to you.”

Atty. Joyce went on to discuss that he still had not been “afforded the opportunity to inspect Public Records in connection with this matter.”… He added that while the Town was “accusing” them of stalling the repayment they asked both orally and in writing and they do not understand why some items were not available “immediately”…. citing the Town’s “unilateral time deadlines”..”We can only assume the Town’s willful non-compliance with the Public Records Act is indicative of its weak position.”…

“It should be evident from our letter of June 8th that we do not believe Mrs. Colon owes the Town any funds at this stage..The records that were referenced in Ms. Hoffman’s letter of May 28th support, exactly , the amounts paid to Mrs. Colon. The only basis for the Town to claim a refund is a non-applicable policy manual that is contradicted by the Town’s own records and its own course of dealing. Your June 15th correspondence contains no substantive response to the information I provided you in my June 8, 2010 letter. We specifically provided material information that was absent or ignored in the May 20th Report. Rather than address it, you have again chosen to ignore it.

It appears that the Town Commission has been led to believe that public funds have been paid to Mrs. Colon incorrectly, when that is simply not the case based on the records at our disposal. Unless you have some additional information that I am not aware of, there is no basis in fact or law for the claimed reimbursement. As an act of good faith, we provided you a specific response based on what we had. You have not responded in kind. Your June 15, 2010 letter merely parrots the same position with nothing new added to the unsupported conclusions contained therein.

Our prior correspondence is sufficient, in our considered view, to warrant a re-evaluation of the Town’s position; however, it now appears that the Town wants to proceed with litigation and your firm, regrettably, is willing to serve as the Town’s instrumentally in this regard notwithstanding its prior professional relationship with our client. You may serve us with the Town’s lawsuit. Please confirm that you are willing to accept service of ours.

Very Truly yours, Kenneth J. Joyce”

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WE WOULD LOVE TO BE A FLY ON THE WALL AT THE TOWN ATTORNEY’S OFFICES…. HOW MANY ROUNDS GUYS?….

June 18, 2010

From Town Atty. Susan Trevarthen to Colon Atty. Kenneth Joyce … e-mail

Town Atty. Schneider answered back to Joyce’s public records requests dated June 4th and 15th… “As you know, the Town is in receipt of numerous public record requests from your client over the past two months, as well as requests from other members of the public, and is addressing them in the order received consistent with available resources. At no time have I asked you to commit to unspecified service charges. I advised you generally of the information available at the time regarding these public records requests, as you requested in your June 4 letter, and sought clarification as to whether you wished to narrow the request.

June 4 letter

1. Minutes: One of the requested sets of meeting minutes is still being prepared. When it is complete, the set will be provided to you upon payment of the cost of the copies. As noted in our discussion and well-known to your client, many of the minutes you requested are already available to you on the Town’s website on demand, at no cost; do you still wish to pay for printed copies from the Town?

2 and 3. Record referencing the terms “Esther,” “manager” or “Colon” from February 1, 2010 to date: As we have discussed and as well known to your client as the person who was ultimately responsible for developing and maintaining the Town’s computer systems during the time frame covered by your request, this is a large class of documents that is difficult to comprehensively search using the Town’s systems. This is a small town with limited staff and technological resources, and there’s no legal requirement for them to provide state-of-the-art search capabilities for their records. The Town’s legal requirement is to provide access to or copies of these records at a reasonable time, under reasonable conditions.

Your client was the Town Manager of the Town. and as such her name or title appears on the majority of documents in possession of the Town and its officials, even if just shown as a “cc” recipient. Only the Clerk’s minutes have term searching capabilities. Only a couple of the computers at the Town even use Outlook. Emails are being retrieved for search, and staff time will be needed to complete the searches in the date ranges provided.”

Atty. Trevarthen wen onto describe the Town’s version of Word is not capable of term searching for a restricted date range …She added it would be “extremely time -consuming and burdensome and not practical …The Town’s IT consultant gave an estimate of $2500 to electronically search each server for all the responsive documents and “there are multiple servers in the Town’s system, as your client knows.”… She asked Colon’s Atty. which servers they wanted searched and will they agree to pay for this search…Trevarthen went on to describe extensive hours of labor which will bring additional charges adding staff is doing a search of a sample from which they will be able to provide an estimate of how long it will take to search all of the “potentially responsive records.. Do you wish to narrow the scope of the files to be searched to a particular department or office?”.. Trevarthen stated the Int. Town Manager is working with her staff to prepare responses to the requests electronic and paper and more specific costs to produce for Colon’s Attys. to decide to proceed or narrow the scope….

“4. Records regarding contacts between Commissioners and anyone offering to assist with an Interim Town Manager search: The Town is attending to this request also. As you know the Town is in receipt of numerous public records requests from your client as well as other members of the public, and is addressing them in the order received consistent with available resources.

June 15 letter

1. Request for documentation supporting Ms. Hoffmann’s report on the payout: This documentation is available, and can be provided upon payment of the cost for the copies.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or wish to discuss these matter.

Very truly yours,  Susan L. Trevarthen”

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PAST RECOMMENDATIONS ….

BC- Purely the opinion of this writer…but did former Town Manager Colon find an attorney that provides her a lethal combination of TNT?… WOW!…The June 15, 2010 response letter to Brett Schneider and the Town’s firm (the very firm that the former Town Manager herself championed and dug her heels in order to have represent the town…including a last minute disclosure of prior history with Weiss at the March 31,2008 Special Meeting) all but called them inept in representing the Town in this matter… Of course, later in the same letter, Colon’s Atty. (again in my opinion) did a sudden about face by asserting the Commission is putting the firm in an untenable position by going forth with litigation…Hmmmm… A look at that March 31, 2010 meeting and the exchange between Atty. Richard Weiss and former VM McIntee produced one exchange that was very telling for what must be going on behind the scenes in his firm over this whole Colon ordeal… At that time McIntee stated he had checked out the law firm and gave the percentages of  60-40 stating that was “pretty good”…Weiss was visibly taken aback and responded “I’m upset about that” and further stated “if any managers or elected officials are not happy with our work I’d like to know.” McIntee responded “I could never tell you that. They’d never talk to me again and visa versa, that’s privileged communication”…(yeah, right!)..Atty. Weiss came right back and stated “If it’s 60-40 I should get out of this business.”… Earlier with the lack of response for the position being addressed Weiss spoke about the small number of firms that are primarily municipal firms such as his as a reason for it…

Two more interesting comments from that meeting …especially in light of the above exchanges by the attorneys were these…

Atty. Weiss  dealing with a day to day vs a retainer issue due to some concerns from the Commission stated “I never understood why a city manager or a city attorney had to be fired. Quite honestly I never did. I’ve always taken the position, I don’t need to publicly stand up here and you tell me what a bad job I did. When the votes are not there to keep me, I’ll just, all I ask in return is that you treat us with respect and treat us decently.” He stated he “didn’t want his kids to be embarrassed.”

Former Town Manager Colon at the end of the meeting when asked about going out for another RFP due to the lack of responses stated the following “Let me give you my opinion that any true professional with integrity that has the years of experience the he (Weiss) has, that I have I have, if the Town Commission doesn’t want the firm, Weiss, Serota and whoever isn’t gonna want to be here. I mean that’s just the way we are.”…

In this writer’s opinion that “integrity” flew out the window for the former Town Manager with the 65% landslide election that told her that loud and clear…your services are not wanted in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea anymore…

While the “Shade Sessions” will remain out of the sunshine…if there are any court proceedings they are public record and will be posted …

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Scene And Heard Around Town …

June 26, 2010 by Barbara

JAKE SASSER GETS  A PERMIT ….

Commissioner Sasser’s son Jake caught a 23 lb. Permit in the Keys Friday… Comm. Sasser and son always release the fish they catch ……Hmmm…Bet Comm. Sasser’s constituents wish they could throw back their “permits”!…

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Outgoing Chief Perkins and two of his possible replacements for Chief in October hit the beach to answer a call for distressed swimmers on Friday… We hear behind the scenes though tough questions are still going to need to be answered due to the recent news that Perkins will resign due to the discovery he was not forthcoming on his application concerning a past arrest record and his qualifications to be the Chief … The Commission held back on tough questions from the dais last week due to any possible contractual issues which may arise with this public safety provider and the Town ….Funny thing, we hear those pointing fingers at the Commission and Town for not going after Perkins at the podium is the very same former member who it said offered up his personal file on the Chief to aid in his ouster…and his leftover gang who admonished certain Commission members in the previous 2 years for questioning a vendor!…

The VFD sent the following e-mail out Friday…..
“From: Daniel Chavez [mailto:daniel.chavez@lbtsfire.com]
Sent: Fri 6/25/2010 3:10 PM
To: Connie Hoffmann; Bud Bentley; Steve D’Olivera
Cc: ‘Perkins Robert’; Chris Vincent; Roseann Minnet; Stuart Dodd; Birute Ann Clottey; Scot Sasser
Subject: Incident Report
Interim Town Manager Hoffmann,

At 1:19 PM the Fire Department received a call for 2 kids drowning around 4500 block of El Mar drive.

Fire Marshal Paine and Fire Chief Perkins we the first to arrive, on their arrival they confirmed that 1 juvenile and 1 adult were in distress.
Beach patrol units and Jet Ski were deployed. One Fire Department Swimmer was put in the water and one on the jet ski.

A 14 year old male and a 27 year old male were rescued and turned over to AMR M12 and M212 and transport to the Hospital.

For more information see report 14000650

Best Regards,

FF. Daniel Chavez
Lauderdale by the Sea FD
Fire Department Administrator
Tel. (954) 772-8978
Cel. (786) 301-1440
Fax. (954) 772-1550
www.lbtsfire.com”

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Thursday was a busy one for the LBTS-BSO when they received a call that a bag had been stolen on the beach from tourists visiting from Mass. … The tourist had a GPS phone in the bag along with their other devices…wallet etc… The LBTS-BSO enlisted an assist from the Pompano Beach Police to track the phone and belongings…They had one shot to get a signal on the phone.. They proceeded and found the phone was on Bougainvilla …They went after it and found one item in an apartment…but not the phone…Lt. Cedeno still on the hunt for the bag did some dumpster diving and found the bag wrapped with some blue tape…All the items reported missing were not in the bag…but the blue tape matched some he and the Chief and the Deputies saw on another apartment … They got another search warrant and entered the other apartment to find stolen items from several other incidents they have been investigating … They finished with the one incident only to arrest another suspect for a burglary in progress….This writer had a break-in next door to my house and it is possible the second suspect is connected to that break-in ..being in such close proximity… The tourists from Mass. are understandably appreciative and impressed with our LBTS-BSO … This writer is also proud of our LBTS-BSO …Please readers…as good as they are…help em’ out…don’t leave your possessions on the beach unattended and go into the water… Take the time to lock your cars…and when you leave home check your sliding doors..as well as your regular doors and windows… Also be a good neighbor …any suspicious people wandering around call  911 or 954-765-4321…Chief Llerena  and Lt. Cedeno are actively involved with daily patrolling of neighborhoods and the beach along with their Deputies ….It’s a perk most communities don’t receive…. At recent budget meeting  Int. Town Manager Hoffmann stated she has never seen the kind of personal involvement we have in LBTS with our BSO Police Department…We are sure this is one of the big reasons why that statement was made…

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Having a code problem…click your heels together ….finally there’s commonsense help coming from the Town’s Administration …It appears a call or a heads up to new Int Asst. Town Manager Bud Bentley provided a sense of wonderment … We heard a call to a business owner brought forth an immediate response and action…instead of the usual “gotcha” he usually receives from code enforcement  …We also heard an out of town resident was given a reprieve and a not to worry from the Asst. TM until she returns back to deal with the issue… Mr. Bentley has company in his ongoing actions of assisting rather than hindering residents and businesses from his boss, Int. Town Manager Hoffmann who is cut from the same cloth when it comes to dealing with issues and finding solutions … Those still getting the old “hat” treatment from code enforcement may want to let these two know…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … 100 Days Of Jam Packed Promises Kept … And More …

June 25, 2010 by Barbara

MINNET-DODD-SASSER-VINCENT …

Dear Readers … On March 15, 2010 Mayor Minnet …was sworn in for a second term along with her running- mates Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent to join Comm. Stuart Dodd as the new majority on the dais in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea…

100 ( +) Days after that joyous occasion the Town of Lauderdale-By-The -Sea has seen much accomplished by them…All of it welcomed by the 65% who voted them in…and even many of those who did not…

Mayor Minnet, Comms. Sasser and Vincent kept their promise to not take insurance or cell phone allowance and Vice Mayor Dodd turned down cell phone allowance going forth and will continue receiving his health insurance with a vote of the new Commission to keep him on the Hillsboro Inlet Commission after Comm. Clottey rescinded her ridiculous attempt to replace him which was left over from the last Commission… Comm. Clottey also withdrew her Furth directed Town slogan change quickly seeing that the new majority would not vote to replace the ones already in place…

They hit the ground running at the protocol and procedures organizational meeting with innovative ideas such as the Adventura method of one Commission meeting and one Roundtable each month suggested by Atty. Richard Weiss to cut down on the endless hours endured over the previous years with Commission meeting marathons….Comm. Dodd became Vice Mayor with the motion and second coming from the new Commissioners….

They did away with “dancing on the edge of a pin” infringement of freedom of speech decisions put in place by the prior “Mc-gang” for public comments using claims of “personal attacks”…offering the “broadest interpretation” instead…

Town Boards and Committees were addressed and have just passed second Ordinance readings to bring them up to snuff in allowing them to choose their own Chair  and Vice Chair while tying in their start of service with each new Commission as well as implementing a long overdue change in appointing of those who offer to volunteer to serve without fear of ill will coming from the dais ….The BOA is now a night time board … Town Boards will not only continue to be shown on Comcast Ch. 78 and streamed live on the Town website but will be archived along with the backup and minutes…

More transparency has come from changes made in Town Administrative reports…from the Town Manager…Departments …especially the finance department’s well guarded background information… Just this week we  finally started to learn after so may frustrating years where our money has been “stashed” in what funds ….languishing …While we still don’t know why…the new Commission will make sure it does not happen again as they will be guided through the next budget meetings with plans over the next months and the next years…The budget will be online throughout and so will the justification sheets…The  last two budget meetings will be at 6 and 7 pm to allow more taxpayers to attend and not held on a Jewish Holiday…

A new Audit Committee was appointed of three Town residents and a new improved RFP has gone out ….

The Commission has instituted the use of Commissioner liaison’s on issues such as the negotiations and search for a new Town Manager with Mayor Minnetas well as Choice Environmental  negotiations and the Senior Center with Comm. Sasser….

The “off-site” warehouse was finally addressed with a report and will most likely be kept and rented out to be used as it was originally intended to be for emergency staging in event of Hurricanes…

Comm. Vincent is working on locations with staff for beach bathrooms to be implemented when the funds are available …

Mayor Minnet implemented office hours in Town Hall on the second Tuesday of each month from 9-11 am and riding the Pelican Hopper on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 9-11 am…

Items ceremoniously turned down by the former majority due to the effect it would have on them personally or because it was then-Comm. Dodd who brought forth the item have come back as promised … including the Ethics Ord. that was passed on first reading last Tuesday night ….with the accompanying Code of Conduct Comm. Sasser put forth will be signed on July 13th by all five…… Help with liens passed a Resolution on the 22nd as well…Annual Special Event permits are back as the Town’s practice…And a trial Valet service venture will start next month…All were included on the long list Dodd kept adding to over his first two years to implement if the majority changed in year three…

Alternative plans for a variety of parking use plans are in play…which will eventually become ordinances in order  to offer much needed change for businesses in our downtown area …in order to keep us vibrant and competitive with other municipalities ….

Carefully monitored and cost effective studies are in the works to implement them and to make up for years of non-existing follow-thru on signage for the Bougainvilla parking lot as well drainage and Capital Improvement projects…leading to a Town-wide infrastructure plan…as well as the much needed revisions to the 2005 Master Plan…

New lights were put into Jarvis Hall as well as improving the sound system…

The third Bocce ball court was approved…and the new Commission went with cost effective plans presented by a local resident…

The “Pier” alleyway closed for political payback and long wanted back open by fishermen and public safety providers looks to be coming soon…

E-mail communication from Town hall has replaced memos that put some Commissioners at a disadvantage if they did not make the daily trek into Town Hall… and the Minutes now reflect what transpired rather than looking like “Cliff Notes”…

The Town Manager was terminated for no longer serving at the pleasure of the Commission…after discussion at a Roundtable and a Special Meeting by the new majority on the Commission…Comm. Clottey voted not to unilaterally terminate Colon… The Mayor ordered the Town Hall locked down to preserve the Town’s property and computers prior to the termination of  Int. TM Olinzock one week later …(Good thing in light of what has happened since)…The new majority voted to terminate Colon’s “sidekick” John Olinzock as Int. Town Manager along with Clottey after trying to get him returned to Asst. TM and getting no takers for a 2nd when he chose to ignore the Town Attorney’s …. and all five Commissioners in Colon’s payout being done in a manner the Town Attorneys stated they had never seen done before…along with a dais admonishment of  Olinzock’s actions by Colon’s longtime friend Atty. Richard Weiss ….The full Commission hired from a large group of applicants applying in one weeks time for Town Manager a seasoned Town Manager who quickly took charge and proceeded with the inquiry into the payout to Ms. Colon ….The new Interim Town Manager brought aboard a seasoned Interim Asst. Town Manager…and both have shown this Town what they were sorely lacking from the former occupants…The Inquiry took a month and brought forth an overpayment of $69, 000+ of the “public’s monies” resulting in the Commission upon recommendations from the Town Manager and Town Attorneys to direct the Town Manager and Town Attorney to seek reimbursement of those “public monies”… The Employment Agreements and the Personnel Policy Manual will be redone to update and coordinate them as well as making them equitable to all employees in the future ….The Purchasing Manual will be updated as well….including the RFP process cited by Vice Mayor Dodd …

The Chamber which was at the top of the list for the last election is once more a valued partner with the Town rather than a targeted adversary due to personalities…

The Senior Center is now safe to continue on and will be re-named … after Comm. Sasser looked into the contract and found that past threats and dire consequences touted by the previous TM  and majority on the dais were erroneous and misguided….The Town will receive an increase in funds from Broward County (20%) as well as the center receiving much needed upgrades from the “wish list” offered up by its Director who is also now safe in carrying on his position and is no longer charged to advertise in Town Topics…

Holiday Events are going forth such as Easter which was a resounding success with its return back to a “small-town”  event at its prior Town Hall location and first class decorations in Jarvis Hall… July 4th is days away and it too has a mix of new ventures planned over 3 days by the businesses in Town as well as old favorites making a welcome comeback with the VFD/Chamber /Pier Fireworks and more that guarantees it to be a success…

Town Meetings in the hall are civil with little pubic comment and those made are item specific and full of praise for the new Commission and Administration…The meetings are under the 4 hours allotted….. both Regular Commission meetings and Rountables…

The A1A project and El Mar Drive Project are being addressed with the new majority making time to attend MPSC meetings now that the committee has finally had meetings and input with outside consultants long purposely kept away by the prior administration…

The Commission will appoint a new Charter Review Board by year’s end to insure any new changes to the Charter are Referendum items on the ballot in March 2012…. after Mayor Minnet brought the issue to the Roundtable on June 23rd….Referendum items for possible infrastructure monies may also be made ready either by the Commission …. They will also implement the study required to keep districts in place for the 2012 Municipal Elections ….Revisiting the Kite Surfing issue is set to be put back on the agenda after “snowbird” condo owners return to join in the discussion on the second attempt to implement some regulations following through on an election time promise … at condo meet and greets… Re-negotiations will be done with many Town vendors in the near future such as the BSO and putting the Town Attorneys on retainer as well as the above mentioned Choice Environmental and perhaps the VFD in light of recent concerns in order to maintain a viable VFD in town… The new Commissioners as well as Mayor Minnet and VM Dodd have made it clear they support the VFD …period…and are looking into the safety of the VFD members as well as their constituents after concerns have been raised and sudden changes are evident within the department ….. Communication between the Town, Commission and the VFD has opened up since March 2010…The Commissioner have stated they are for looking into alternatives for the building department and permits as promised relief was promised to voters relaying the impact felt from the Broward County Building Dept. in place…and of course the search for a permanent Town Manager implemented this week with a profile approved for advertising in the proper venues along with a properly executed RFP for a search firm to assist the Commission with the background checks to ensure that their promises continue on to be implemented as they reach 200 days…300 days …etc…

In conclusion… 100 + days and the word on the street …. 65% of the voters got it right with this new Commission…and even those who did not vote for them …have already done what this writer was hoping for over the prior 2 years…opened their eyes to see how good government is supposed to be ..

HATS OFF TO YOUR FIRST 100 DAYS COMMISSIONERS!….

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Scene And Heard Around Town …

June 24, 2010 by Barbara

WHAT GOES AROUND ….

Dear Readers…the Int. TM June 22, 2010 Report included the following…

“Audit Committee
The Audit Committee met for the first time this week and made some excellent revisions to the draft
RFP We sent the ad for the RFP to the Sun Senutinnel today and it will be placed on Demandstar, the most
frequently used on-line government RFP service on Monday. We will also post it on the Town’s website
Kaola King will also send letters or emails to all of the respondents from the last time the Town issued an
audit RFP to make them aware of our deadline July 12 for responses.”

This writer took a look at the RFP which included this “gem”…on page 6 …put in by the new Audit Committee at their first meeting ….Nice job!…

“F. Special Considerations
For the audit of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, the Town wants the auditor to examine
compliance with the Town’s purchasing rules and regulations with regard to limitations on the Town
Manager’s authority to approve contracts or services up to a maximum of $15,000. Therefore, the
auditor shall double their normal sample to review individual transactions for payments made to vendors
or contractors in the $7,500 – $14,999 range in that year’s audit in order to both determine compliance
with the Town’s purchasing rules and regulations and that payment was made in compliance with the
terms of the pertinent contract or purchase order.”

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WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET?….

Dear Readers… time to look at replacing our antiquated Town meters?… Here’s how Fort Lauderdale is doing it… http://www.fortlauderdalecard.net/flflhome/parking.php

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THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!…

http://www.trendhunter.com/link/verrus-parking-plug-your-meter-by-cell

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THE CLOTTEY METHOD ….

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“IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK” …… Former Vice Mayor/VFD Dep. Chief McIntee …2009 …

Has the former VM/VFD Dep. Chief  “quacked” the “case” on Chief Perkin’s  with his own personal “files”…offered up to aid in the demise of the man he made his “Little Chief”  in 2008?…

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ESTHER COLON WANTS MCINTEE’S E-MAILS…

Dear Readers…the former Commission was included in the recent Public Records Request from the former TM…(prev. post)…. Will her former “#1 protector” be technologically inept for a second time and “DUCK-it?”… pun intended!…..

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SHADE-Y CONNECTION?…

Perhaps, second thoughts have come into play?…We hear there has been some concern about Comm. Clottey phoning in to join the Commission’s shade session next Monday morning … The meeting is to discuss the Town of LBTS v. Esther Colon… which requires the Commission to remain mute until the litigation is over and everything discussed stays in the room .. …A phone call into the meeting from who knows where … has raised a few eyebrows…over who else  may be on the other end of the line…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … June 23, 2010 LBTS …Commission Roundtable … Full Of Beans …

June 24, 2010 by Barbara

“FULL PLATE”…..

Dear Readers … last night’s Comm. Roundtable sort of took a detour here and there with commentary and minutia that left this writer with my first case of whiplash post election …. Some from the subjects at hand…Some from the lack of knowing history …Some from off- kilter (HUH!) statements ….and some from revelations that the “Bean Counter” was amiss in a-counting (pun intended) the Town’s “Beans” for quite some time…. according to the Balance Findings…long overdue!….

First up the Mayor wanted to deal with the procedure of the Roundtable and if an item should return back even though it had been to the table and consensus was to go to the dais….The night before as she rightly pointed out a few items were put forth by Comm. members to do just that…What transpired after was disjointed and ungainly ….What the Mayor wanted to put forth was if one Comm. wanted it to go back and it was not time sensitive…it would go back out of respect for the dais member and discussion would follow at the Roundtable …not continue on the dais or to be questioned by another Comm. and unnecessary (prev. post)… Comm. “Clueless” Clottey remarked somebody who did not want something to move forward could stop it by moving it back to the Roundtable…Comm. Sasser said if nobody opposed it then it should go back …no discussion …But the way it sounded in the end was that it would remain as it was the night before?… I hope that was not so…due to storms in Chicago the internet was freezing up…So hopefully Comm. Sasser’s procedure was accepted…

For some reason Commissioner Clottey added on “Accrued Employee Vacation Pay.”…WOW!… As the Commission was preparing for their fist shade session concerning the Town v. Esther Colon (next Mon. morn. 9 am) she really wanted to go there?…UGH!…

The Mayor added on proclamations to address the desire put forth at public comments the evening before and not answered…and also they needed to decide what to do at this meeting while dealing with the valet trial with a hall of participants whom under Roundtable rules were not allowed comment..The TAtty. said that if the Comm. required information they could ask for it from those in attendance or the Town staff… Comm. Clottey felt this should have been in a workshop forum …but time sensitive as it is …no time for it….

The Mayor combined the three items that pertained to parking …the valet trial…relaxing parking requirements for businesses…and SunTrust parking in their lot off hours..the Town manager spoke about doing a study in house and perhaps with a consultant…Asst. TM Bentley is doing a census on where people are parking and that along with what other communities are doing …will come back the Commission …The TAtty. spoke of other communities having a “menu” of options to meet requirements …VM Dodd began stating this parking req. item was put on for the boards to deal with but he now felt staff should address it first..and factor in the existing businesses or start from square one… Comm. Clottey was in rare form this night with her “Clueless swipes” …She spoke about the Town doing the parking study wanting it to be unbiased.. She also wanted businesses to “sign off” on the terms and if we had 10 new restaurants come to town for them not to be able to come back and ask us to build a garage!… Comm. Sasser must have been stunned by the comment as well and asked Clottey who would be biased… She then said the Town should do it without any input from anyone who would have any personal gain…It should not be done by anyone with a vested interest… HUH?… It was already stated it would be the Town…VM Dodd countered that the businesses’ input was wanted… Clottey responded “we always do that.”…HUH?… Comm. Vincent then entered into the fray to include “MPSC” in this …not just staff… Hmmm… Isn’t this where VM Dodd began?… Vincent went onto add boards, committees, staff , commission, everyone…He then said he talked to staff  ..”no details”…. HUH?… The Mayor wanted to get started citing the consensus for the trial… Comm. Sasser who was the one who asked for this to return wanted a time frame from staff and the Mayor wanted the menu option to be included…Sasser also asked that it be included in the TM progress report to stay in their line of sight… Comm. Clottey spoke about Fort Laud. and their relaxed parking during beach development stating “newcomers get the carrot…later no carrot”.. Comm. Sasser wondered about relaxing the requirements until the survey was done…The Mayor said her concern was the west end and wanting to encourage business and outdoor cafe’s… (not unique to the CIC election campaign)…Comm. Vincent who seems to like to “piggy back” off others comments did so once again with the comments made by Sasser in allowing for businesses who come while the study is being done… The TAtty. stated the Comm. already had a section of the code 30-321 that allowed the Town to reduce parking after it it went to the BOA…stating that was  a place to start…Sasser ever the gentleman thanked Chris and asked anyone who knows of any businesses facing req. probs to contact the Comm. to assist…The TM was leery and cautioned the Comm. that putting forth relaxed rules could open the flood gates…Vincent said they would be done individually …not carte blanche …HUH?… The Mayor felt direction was given to staff and then added this could include public parking on private property (Sun Trust-prev. post)…Comm. Clottey said that was another business venture…

Bud Bentley came to speak on the next two items…trial valet/ SunTrust… He spoke of amending the code to offer greater options for parking and addressed the issues of the requirements…private and public parking  citing one business and what the pitfalls were …He spoke about the rules that apply in some towns for if required parking was in effect for business hours or at all times…if only business then a property such as SunTrust could lease out places for parking after normal business hours … Comm. Vincent said “sounds like nothing but an upside, what’s the downside?”… Bentley said increased activity to the neighbors ( neighbors were up in arms a few years ago when Starbucks wanted to come in where the church is)…but added staff does not think public parking should be used for private use… VM Dodd still wanted the back end of Bougainvilla for the parking revenue..and to see the Town’s lots full first…before offering other ways to park…Comm. Vincent said SunTrust or the Pier could stop unwanted parkers from parking with a chain across their lot…HUH?… Bud Bentley cited the lack of change to park at the lots and a private lot would offer an alternative… Comm. Sasser stated that his solution was a licensing fee for revenue and if people are not parking today, they will not park tomorrow in the Town lot…VM Dodd still thought that alternatives offered would cut into Town revenue and Bougainvilla would never be full…Clottey reluctantly agreed with the VM on this one after she stated valet drivers “tend to drive at a nice speed”… Comm. Sasser stated Aruba is not the only valet in town …so why make these guys use the public lot…Comm. Clottey agreed with Sasser and stated “as long as they’re not breaking any law we’re not changing anything”…HUH?… Bud Bentley tried to impress upon the Comm. that having alternatives would aid in benefiting the public (and business) … wanting it to go to P&Z citing a business on the west side that would utilize the lot by leasing spaces and those patrons there would not use Bougainvilla to park … Vincent asked “does our code allow for that?”…HUH?… Bentley reiterated again, it does not allow for that…The VM brought up Aruba’s req. to pay for 12 spots and again countering the impact he saw SunTrust having on for the Town’s parking lot …Bentley added we need to change the way we do business to be competitive… by having choices…On to signage problems ..where Comm. Vincent showed he had not done his homework in wrongly asserting nothing had been done about the signage in the past 2 years…HUH?…Signage has been on the frontburner…backburner for years …long before the last 2… The FDOT signage was mishandled as previously posted as was the entry to the lot…Bentley is working to find where the failure was and to remedy it… You could tell that the 3 Comms. on the dais over the last 2 years did not take kindly to Vincent’s remarks… Clottey wanted the study to include projections of income to the Town taking a swipe at Comm. Sasser by stating “some of us have a misguided idea how much it (license fees) brings to the Town.”… Sasser countered by stating even a small revenue is a gain….The Wings issue came up once again with the VM remarking that should have been the entry to the parking lot… Clottey wrong again said the deal with Wings for their lot fell through..That deal was signed long ago…Wings signed off to 10 spaces no designation on the spots…and has no choice but to live with a bad decision… Bentley spoke of changing the Wings portion drive to go into the alley..Talk turned to a sandwich board for parking on the 4th …and a plan to pay a sum to park at the lot on weekends and for events..fee to residential permit parkers… Clottey after talk of the antiquated meters requiring quarters asked about a change machine being installed…HUH?…How about an abacus?….The Mayor correctly asked why spend money on that instead of for pay with credit card machines…as previously brought up last Comm. with an “idea” taken from Buffalo and brought to the dais by former VM McIntee…(prev. post)…The consensus in the end…Bentley bring to P&Z the SunTrust issue and Town staff look into the study with a game plan to be brought back in a month…

Valet trial started with Comm. Sasser stating most of the questions he put forth were addressed with some input from the TAtty…..Susan spoke of the involvement and liability dropping down from using private property vs. public…She added they could draw up documentation with shifting liability ..and also a simple licensing agreement…Her word were reiterated by Comm. Vincent…almost…he used the word “better” in stating less involvement over more involvement …TAtty. responded “better is a relative term”… Comm. Sasser reiterated his confidence in the licensing agreement and spoke about the push last night from Vincent who did it want it to come back to the Roundtable…Bentley stated it would be a revocable licensing agreement and TAtty. thought she could have it ready by July 13th meeting …much of the ins and out…the minutia was covered including Vincent wanting to make sure the valet shirts were distinguishable for this venture from Aruba’s so any use of Driftwood’s property as the owner had concerns over…would not result in blame for the new guys… You could feel the “heat” from Peggy Mohler over the internet to that one as she could be heard from the hall…It is said she accused Vincent of monitoring Aruba’s valet service so he should have known what color their uniforms were!…OUCH!… Bentley again tried to rein in the Commission stating we don’t regulate valet on private property…Comm. Sasser voiced his ongoing concern about stacking the cars and the use of the alleyway as well as Commercial Blvd. going west to the private lot…preferring Datura which was offered up by the businesses… Discussion ensued over having latitude on non-busy days…Comm. Clottey dissed valet drivers and Comm. Vincent stated “let’s not assume they’re New York cab drivers”…and telling Clottey she was “denigrating these people”…Clottey countered she was not denigrating them everybody knows how they drive…stating she still wanted security cameras…then straying to add that SunTrust should improve its landscaping in the future…HUH?… The Mayor stated the staff had approval and would bring all back at the first meeting in July… VM Dodd again asked about those in the hall and any info required… The Mayor was uncomfortable changing the forum …and stated they were done Comm. Vincent said the consensus was clear…Hmmm….. no Peggy comments wanted Comm.?….

Next up was the Charter Review Board…Mayor Minnet who sat on the last Charter Review Board reiterated the need and put forth a date to get it done for the March 2012 elections…Applications will be put out for it to start in 2010 in Dec. and end before Oct. 2011 for it to make the ballot…qualifications…residents…taxpayers…for the 7 members will be discussed after the criteria is found from the previous Board…at the next Roundtable…

The Senior Center name change to Community Center …put on by Comm. Sasser (prev. post) after he did the leg work to see it was allowed…it is…This writer understands Comm. Sasser is a gentleman…but does not agree in his handing the item over to Clottey … I know she wanted the name changed…BUT…if Clottey had her way…there would be no Senior Center and no Director (prev. posts) …I don’t want to see her get credit for this one… It will be on the next agenda… Comm. Vincent again showing he needs to think before he speaks..asked if there was “language outside the contract that can catch us?”… HUH?.. The TAtty. said no she was comfortable with it…

The Town Manager wanted to make some organizational changes to the Chap 2 of the Code of Ord….(prev. post)and the TAtty. said it was fine the prev. TM wanted it the way it is…this is minimal and it was fine….Hmmm…. No discussion…it will be on the next agenda

On to the flags… and way too much talk…talk talk talk…over the height…the size …the nationality…and the insurance…and who has gone under the radar with flying the flag….The staff wants no more than 60 days in a calendar year (prev. post) to not need a permit… Although the Town Atty. said they could extend and that more was better…policy wise…the flag fliers did not get more time to fly their flags … The just got concerns about ramifications of liability and insurance requirements…UGH!… Come on…Comm. Sasser was the only one to state let them fly them all year long…The Mayor offered to see what Broward League could produce with an e-mail blast on other towns… which led to more “encroachment” talk and Comm. Vincent remarking after TAtty. spoke of roof top flags asking about “antennas on roofs and poles”…HUH?…. The cost for insurance is minimal stated Vincent…also stating “businesses understand encroachment”…”Residential is a different story.”….HUH?… “Nothing emotional they understand encroachment.”…HUH?… The TM counter that she was told by businesses it is an extra payment for some while being included for others… Comm. Sasser stated it is “silly to me”…Comm.Clottey said she “seconded that.”… It will go to Broward League to check on other town’s policies…

The Mayor brought up e-blasts…this too went south for this writer…with Comm. Vincent stating the Chamber should do the blasts as they do e-mail blasts already (they do them at a charge to businesses)..The Mayor liked it and so did the others…eventually tying it into the negotiations with the Chamber… Unfortunately none of them listened to the TAtty. when she gave some examples offered …a TM weekly report of info…as is done in Marco Island http://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/Public_Documents/index to a “notice list” sent on “outlook” to signed up residents etc…with updates from town…This writer prefers the Town do the blasts to update changes to the site such as additions… and meetings ….as well as notices… The Chamber should not need to blast for the Town’s business….

Parking on Holidays was discussed as the Tm/Asst. TM did a look-see and saw a loss of revenue from Memorial Day all day parking …discussion was on the historic no parking allowed …on El Mar…and again the lots….Talk turned toward charging to use lot with attendants per Clottey/Vincent with VM Dodd adding El Mar should remain free… TM will come back with recommendations…

The Budget Reserves…The Town Manager went over the numbers and the accounts…(prev. Post)… She had some corrections and some more info…

From the agenda ….

“Fund Balances in the General Fund
The Government Finance Officers Association GFOA recommends at a minimum that general
purpose governments maintain an unreserved fund balance in their general fund of five to
fifteen percent of regular general fund operating revenues or no less than one to two months
of regular general fund operating expenditures However the GFOA also recognizes that a
government particular situation may require levels of unreserved fund balance in the general
fund significantly in excess of these recommended minimum levels
In practice fund balance expressed as a percentage of revenue is typically less for larger
governments than for smaller governments
In Florida most cities also reserve a significant amount to be used in the aftermath of a serious
hurricane in addition to a normal fund balance These are normally called storm reserves or
emergency reserves
The Town has $2,329,648 in the General Fund designated for emergencies. Finance
Director advises these funds are to be utilized for hurricane cleanup and other catastrophic
events This amount is equal to approximately 19% of the current general fund budget amount
and exceeds the Town’s  stated policy of maintaining a 15% reserve for this purpose It is
probably larger than the stated policy because the reserve was not reduced as General Fund
revenues have declined in recent years However it is not an unreasonable amount given that
we are a small coastal town that could experience severe damage in a serious hurricane
The General Fund ended last fiscal year with an undesignated fund balance of $2,189,349
These are available funds which have not been designated for any specific use The budget book
says that it is the Town’s policy to maintain a reserve of15million or 10of the General Fund
budget in addition to the aforementioned 15reserve for emergencies The undesignated fund
balance exceeds the Town’s policy of maintaining a15million or10 of the General Fund by a
significant amount($600,000 or $900,000, depending on which target you use.)
It is prudent financial policy not to use the excess funds in the undesignated fund balance for
ongoing operating costs The Town should limit appropriations from the fund balance to one
time expenditures such as capital projects studies or unusually large expenditures that will not
be repeated each year According to the Finance Director the Town has not made any
appropriations from the undesignated fund balance so far this fiscal year so the funds are
intact

There is also a designated vehicle and equipment replacement reserve of $182,792 in the
General Fund that is available to replace vehicles and equipment that were originally purchased
using General Fund monies have been told that the Town has no vehicle or replacement plan
or schedule

The General Fund also has $63,273 designated as fire assessment which the Finance Director
indicates is intended to be used to replace fire apparatus

I have had several questions about the $1,650,742 listed on the Balance Sheet in the General
Fund for capital assets It has been explained to me that amount reflects the value of capital
assets that the Town acquired in the General Fund in FY 2008/2009. It is not cash that is
available for expenditure

Capital Improvement Fund- The balance sheet as of September 30, 2009 indicates there was $1,161,336 in the Capital
Improvement Fund designated for capital assets The staff believes the 1.16 million figure
reflects projects that were completed last fiscal year being converted to assets on the balance
sheet and am awaiting a call from the Town’s auditors to confirm that The more interesting
figure on the balance sheet is the $1,804,897 listed as an undesignated balance Town staff has
been working to produce an analysis or work papers that will explain the source of the $1.8
million and hope to have an explanation of the18figure by the Roundtable meeting on
Wednesday evening That information should reveal how much of that money can be rolled
forward to help fund capital projects over the next several fiscal years”

Tonight Ms. Hoffmann added the following…she spoke to the external auditors  Rachlin longtime LBTS vendor (prev. posts-$200,000+3 yr contract w/ Colon w/out approval from Comm. In 2008)….In the Contingency accounts there was a line item for unexpected expenditures… the Gen. Fund $140,000 and it has $123,ooo remaining….Sewer/Parking Fund small amts…Cap. imp. Fund 259,000 remaining $228,000….Fund balances are not in the budget but in the Annual Balance Sheet…as of 9/30/2009 Gen Fund. had designated/undesignated funds….$2.3 million in cash set aside for emergencies…(see above)… The former TM stated it was policy to set this aside but TM Hoffman could find no minutes for that policy being adopted!… For 5-6 years this has been stated as policy whether it was or was not adopted…15% of Gen Fund’s 12 million is $1.8 million and we are way above that…Hoffman said being a seaside town and with declining Gen Fund the amt. is “not unreasonable”…This writer/husband / John Thompson/VM Dodd have long stated emerg. funds were bloated…Capital assets $1.6 million Hoffman stated she was advised (by Finance Dir. King?) it was not available to spend…Auditor stated that money can be spent… Reserve acct. reflects depreciation to replace cars/trucks/ computers to replace..but Hoffman could find no plan for replacement…The Auditor never saw a plan either….Last year the former TM received approval from Comm. to replace several Town vehicles (municipal pickups) from unencumbered funds (prev. posts)… much to the chagrin of the taxpayers…$2,189,349 was in the undesignated funds balance while the Town’s policy is for $1.5 million or 10% of the Gen Fund Balance… Fund balance id for one time projects… TM Hoffmann recommends it be addressed over the next 4-6 months …developing a schedule of assets…and replacement….$1.1 million in Replacement Capital Projects in 2001-02 grew for replacements in future…We need a plan to replace this practice…

UNBELIEVABLE….

$1.8 million in cash available…which includes the “Oriana penalty or donation”…(potato ..potato)…according to the Auditor …it was not designated …HUH?… and the $800,000 was from “a variety of sources”..”Interest earnings”…”Projects budgeted twice!”…

Biggest news by far…the monies used thus far for El Mar Drive project..to Chen…were not financed from the Oriana funds!… They were from the General Fund!…This means we still have a million for El Mar unless the Comm. votes to reimburse the General Fund!… WOW!…

There was discussion afterward about the money…to be careful…it was not “found money”…Of course it was…finally found money from a system of accounting that should in this writer’s opinion put a lid on any more claims of the former Town Manager’s finance acumen!…

The VM wants to keep the millage down and wanted to consider using some of this funds to cover the shortfall…Comm. Sasser feels the shortfall can be covered from other budget cuts… Clottey warned of hurricanes and to add to her gloom and doom Comm. Vincent spoke of the oil spill to deal with and storms and empty beaches …loss of revenue…HUH?…The TM said the monies should be planned for use over the next 3 + years unless going forward with infrastructure-drainage…She added the funds represented a way to update the IT system…

Also added from the previous night was the Health Trust Plan…

“b. Resolution 2010-14: A RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, FLORIDA, REPEALING TOWN RESOLUTION NO. 1222 REGARDING FLORIDA MUNICIPAL HEALTH TRUST FUND INSURANCE PLAN ELIGIBILITY FOR TOWN RETIREES; PROVIDING FOR CONFLICT AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

Backup- “SUBJECT TITLE: REPEAL OF 1994 RESOLUTION 1222 RETIRED EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE
OPTION
EXPLANATION: A Resolution adopted in 1994 provides that retired Town employees may continue medical benefits
under the Florida Municipal Health Trust Fund Insurance Plan at no cost to the Town It is recommended that the Resolution
be repealed for several reasons.
First Florida Statutes already requires the Town to offer an even more comprehensive insurance option to retirees and their
eligible dependents Section 112.0801 of the Florida Statutes provides that retirees and their eligible dependents may
continue on the Town’s health insurance life insurance accident hospitalization annuity or” all of any kinds of such
insurance” plans and specifies that for health and hospitalization plans the premium cost shall be no more than the premium
cost applicable to active employees.
Second retiree is defined under the State Statute but is not defined in the 1994 Town resolution
RECOMMENDATION: Adopt the Resolution repealing Resolution #1222

……………
“RESOLUTION N0.1222
A RESOLUTION ALLOWING  RETIRED EMPLOYEES
OF THE TOWN OF LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA THE
OPTION OF CONTINUING THE FLORIDA MUNICIPAL
HEALTH TRUST FUND INSURANCE PLAN AT THEIR
OWN EXPENSE

Whereas the Town Commission of the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida has determined that it is feasible to allow retired employees the continuation of coverage under the medical benefit plan at no cost to the Town.

Now, Therefore, be it resolved by the Town Commission of the Town of  Lauderdale-By-The- Sea, Florida In Regular Session Convened.

Section I. That all expense of the insurance premium shall be the responsibility of the retiree.

Section II. That this resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption.

Section III. Passed and adopted by the Town Commission of the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida this 25th day of January 1994.

Mayor Ken Wardlaw”…

BC- it was a surprise to learn the Mayor pays for her insurance through the Town…This writer thought she paid on her own outside the Town’s plan…The TM explained this was not only for the employees/Comms. but for dependents…The retirement is for after 6 years of service and only to continue on with health ins. paid for by the retiree…at the Town’s rates under their group… It can not be an “opt in” after the fact… after a  question from Comm. Vincent who along with Comm. Sasser per their campaign promise do not take Town Ins./cell phone allowances… Hmmm…. will Comm. Vincent retain that promise if it means no retirement option?… I agree with Comm. Sasser …no need for Comms. to have this ….. He was in the minority…It seems the goal is to change the criteria to 4 years of service or less?… Comm. Sasser chided it did not matter because pretty soon we will all be on government insurance!…HA!…

The Personal Code of Conduct was revisited after some trepidation over verbage and implications based on interpretation per Vincent /Minnet… Comm. Sasser again showed his gentlemanly side by listening and working with both to alter the verbage to bring them the comfort they sought in the final product… There was a little “jousting” of who was or is “ganged up on” siting on the dais with Minnet (was)…Clottey (stating she is)…HUH?… In the end after all the kinks were ironed out…along with issues of trust and some pats on the back over their conduct thus far..it will be rewritten and put on the next agenda to sign off on…

Comm. Clottey brought up the accrued vacation payout not given to John Olinzock …(prev. post)…and the effect it was having on employee morale…especially those that have forgone their vacations and are counting on those accrued payouts!… Therein lies the problem…the vacation hours should not be an accrued bonus when leaving their position… The TM reiterated what this writer has posted over and over in the last months…The Employment Agreements given to these “at will” employees by Baldwin/Colon states…”If this Appointment is terminated by unilateral action by the Town Manager, you shall be entitled only to base salary earned through the date of termination.”… When the employee signs above his/her  signature is ” I accept the appointment subject to the conditions stated above.”…No Personal Policy Manual references are in any of the agreements I have been given…and I cannot understand why Comm. Clottey and others think a court would find on the side of employees getting more than hey were entitled to after seeing that signature and reading the agreement…Precedence …because the former Town Manager’s gave accrued vacation leave to others should not mean a new TM should follow suit and ignore the agreements…  Clottey herself when speaking earlier about parking stated newcomers get the carrot and later”no carrot”… and how can we on the one hand state the former TM owes the Town “public monies” for overpayment outside her Agreement  while trying to offer employees more than their Agreements at the same time?… As far as morale and the staff …give me a break…the morale problem must be due to those who want to keep the substandard status quo… under their former boss… It’s no secret this writer wants to replace those who are not qualified for their positions…and to contract out as other towns have done to be more efficient..and cost effective…

The profile for a new Manager was given the go ahead to put in the ICMA Journal for JUly and on the FLOCities site etc…with an Aug. 15th deadline for applications…

The Mayor asked for and received consensus to present a proclamation to the USO LBTS weekend recipient on July 4th as requested By Cindy Geesey and also to the Veterans participating as well in the parade …

The Town Atty. stated a shade session was required to discuss the Town of LBTS v. Esther Colon…it will be on Mon. at 9am with Comm. Clottey joining in on speaker phone….

adjourned at 10:16 pm…

more to come…….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Reminder… LBTS Commission Roundtable Tonight … Say What? …

June 23, 2010 by Barbara

LBTS ROUNDTABLE MEETING TONIGHT …. 7 PM … JARVIS HALL ….

Dear Readers… those in Jarvis Hall continue to be frustrated by the mike system with the substandard sound due to the overhead and handheld varieties…At the bottom of each agenda is the following offer of  the Town offering “appropriate auxiliary aids”… They need a 2 day heads up…pun intended…so maybe if the sound tonight is still bringing  your hands to your ears …2 days before the next one..call and ask to be “furnished” with whatever the Town states they have to help you hear the Town’s business…Hmmm…Has anyone ever taken the Town up on the offer? …. Can the Town actually “furnish” the “appropriate auxiliary aids”?….If so, “auxiliary aids” circa?… Any takers?… let this writer know ….

Roundtable tonight at 7 pm Jarvis Hall …open to the public….no public comments…public hearing the discussion …is optional…

Town Agenda….

“THE TOWN OF LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA WILL FURNISH APPROPRIATE AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES NECESSARY
TO AFFORD INDIVIDUALS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN MEETINGS OF THE TOWN COMMISSION. IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND FLORIDA STATUTE 286.26, PERSONS WITH
DISABILITIES NEEDING SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROCEEDING SHOULD CONTACT THE
TOWN CLERK NO LATER THAN TWO (2) DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING AT (954) 776-0576 FOR ASSISTANCE.”

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … 6/22/10 LBTS Commission Meeting … Beefing It Up ….

June 22, 2010 by Barbara

SOME CUTS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS ….

Dear Readers … The Town Attorney made reference to some the night’s agenda items as items that this Commission was “beefing up”… and “beef up” they did …and will continue to do so…This was another pretty smooth running meeting with a few comments made from the left side of the dais that had this writer again wondering if there is some oxygen deprivation on that end of the dais sans the Int. TM that is……

After the invocation from returning Town Chaplain Hunsaker about the lines of freedom …and no additions save a little housecleaning on the May 11, 2010 minutes per Town Clerk White …we went straight to pubic comments…

The first 3 speakers from Plaza East Condominium were there to appeal to the Town for relief from the continuous noise they say they have to endure from their neighbor The Fountain Head Condominium’s cooling tower installed 3 years ago between the two buildings … The Fountainhead in LBTS Reader’s will remember complained about flooding they say they endure from the same Plaza East located in Ft. Lauderdale city limits… Some sort of negotiations will need to be done between the  two and the neighboring code enforcement departments…or expect arbitration or litigation to be the next step from the sounds of it… Cindy Geesey came to speak on behalf of the weekend respites for the men and women of the armed forces via the USO in LBTS  again this year..She asked the Comm. to reinstate proclamations for them which was done in 2008 and then stopped for political reasons… She also updated all that the kitten looking for a home in the By The Sea Future went to Comm. Vincent’s daughter Paige… Four other speakers were there to speak on the trial valet item and asked to defer their time at the podium to that time..

NOTE: Checks should be made out to The Greater Jacksonville USO and sent to me at 256 Imperial Lane, LBTS, 33308. …

The Reports were up next from the Public Safety Providers …

BSO Chief Llerena addressed the issue of  the recent burglary on Imperial where a workman’s truck was broken into…The owner of the home had trouble getting the BSO and was unhappy with the response received by the  Deputy who arrived on scene…The resident sent an e-mail to the Commission and Town on the issue.. The Chief said he was proactive on the issue and how it was handled before the Town received the letter… He stated he is working internally to improve the department ..He added any problems that arise such as this …he is available …just call him… He also stated the correct contact number to call (yet again-prev. meetings in town) 954-765-4321 or 911 if it’s an emergency…Both calls are documented through dispatch…The report passed 5-0

The VFD was represented by Chief Perkins and although we have heard the Commission had plenty of questions for the Chief after recent revelations concerning his past and his application to the VFD …only VM Dodd spoke up…asking the Chief to set up meetings with the VFD and the Town to deal with the contract and to see if any re-negotiations might be required as a result… Chief Perkins stated he would do so and it would be he would represent the VFD (we hear until Sept- not July as first presented to the Town)…The report passed 5-0 …This writer surmises the Town wants to take the lead in anything concerning the VFD…..

AMR as usual was quick…Chief Brooke Liddle  came to the podium to present a donation for the Town’s July 4th event…and he received positive feedback and kudos from VM Dodd and Comm. Clottey…The report passed 5-0…

The Minutes were sent back to the drawing board for lack of detail (prev. post) and all will be deferred to July 13, 2010… Passed 5-0

The consent agenda items had only the FLOCities reps passed without discussion Minnet/Alt. Vincent 5-0… Special Event for Athena on July 4th pulled for recycling to be included by the Mayor…Int. Asst. TM Bentley said recycling could be included in future Spec. Event applications and added Athena was the first applicant who will be responsible for litter outside of the area the event is held in…passed 5-0 …

The trial valet parking was presented by Bentley with a powerpoint presentation showing the requirements of a million in Gen liability ins./ no blocking the sidewalks/ key booth sign & one free standing sign that will be like the ones already used by Aruba Beach Cafe and the Pier lot/ standardized shirts/ after 3 pm hours of operation so they don’t impede Ham N’ Eggs/ no parking at metered parking spots on private property/ max. of 8 stacked cars/ weekly reports of the operation/ alleyway return use..including a poss. use of the private portion/ the available area on El Mar and it will begin after July 4th …

Public comments were next..an owner of stores that are next to 101 Ocean on Commercial came to speak of not using the metered spaces…and with no traffic jams and private lot use he could support it… Guy Contrada and Peggy Mohler from Aruba Beach Cafe came up to reiterate Ms. Mohler’s letter to the Commissioners concerning the trial period being done off season and not representing the true effect… Guy also spoke of the problems he could foresee with the closures of the streets on the weekends and the impact with this addition…stating the Pier parking lot would be a better location…with traffic leaving from the soon to be opened alleyway… He asked for more review…Peggy said she was for the Valet parking but in Dec…later she came back to add to her statement by revising her statement that they could start now but evaluate in season..She also took to task Comm. Vincent on his comments of backup problems that arise on Commercial due to the valet service at Aruba stating his assertions were “unfounded “…She addressed VM Dodd about parking at metered spots and put forth the desire to park at unused metered spots west of Commercial which was a no-go in the past…Bill Vitolo wanted the trial to go forth…and also pointed out the backup due to Aruba’s valet ..he did not want Town spots to be used and wanted the Comm. to leave it to the Int. TM Manager and Int. Asst. TM to deal with…

Comm. Sasser was not on the same page as Vitolo though …and asked for it to go back to the Roundtable the next night…Many of the questions asked at the prior Roundtable were not presented in the backup or the powerpoint and he pointed out with the businesses stating they would not start until after July 4th there was time to discuss it … He went on to highlight some of those questions unanswered dealing with private vs. public parking and the numbers of both vehicles and dollars as well as no presentation on any responses from the businesses the backup stated were notified on the impact to them..

Comm. Vincent  talking out of both sides of his mouth stated he appreciated the public comments but he was ready to “entrust” the businesses “to know when to launch” …”to get the bugs out”…He said this was “not a traffic study” … if they had problems off season they knew they would have them in season… He was against using public meters …He said the businesses will know if it’s working…He then hit Aruba about stacking problems they too have in his opinion…and he stated “I don’t know if it’s necessary to go to the Roundtable”…He said this could be handled quick and staff can handle the liability…He said we should “cross out t’s and dot out i’s”…We “don’t need a Roundtable”… Hmmmm…. Roundtable is for discussion and further questions ..Comm. Vincent had some of his own…What happened to supporting your fellow Commissioner if they want more discussion?… Hmmm….What’s the hurry?…

Comm. Clottey said that maybe they needed to got to the Roundtable and she addressed her observations that cars “stacked” in the Commercial circle were not all for valet at Aruba…She too had concerns about Fri. nights and thought with less Fri. night events off season it might be a good time to work out the kinks..She wanted to go to Roundtable to address Comm. Sasser’s questions… Oxygen on the left at seriously low levels…….

The Vice Mayor reiterated his stance on the prior incarnation of this valet service being a way to introduce revenue to the Town and fill the Bougainvilla parking lot…He answered some of the questions with the info he had been informed of at that time …25 spaces…He too had concerns on the liability and stated the win-win had turned into a lose-lose if private property was used…

The Mayor stated a consensus was made at the June 9th meeting to go forward and now it was to go to another Roundtable…Comm. Sasser made the motion and stated he may haves some solutions to the revenue concerns of VM Dodd…

Comm. Vincent countered that he did not understand VM Dodd’s concerns and stated those who want to park at Bougainvilla will and those who want to use valet will so he did not see a loss of revenue to the Town … the choice was up to the driver..

After letting Peggy Mohler have the rest of her 3 minutes the Mayor reiterated this service works in Del Ray but it still needs to be “hashed out”…She added she had concerns about blocking the entrance/exit of El Mar parking lot …and then it went to a vote for Roundtable…passed 4-1…Comm. Vincent voted no!…

The next item was the request to move monies around to cover the donation to Haiti from the Broward County Manager’s Assoc. and to cover the payout to Esther Colon from the Stormwater account… The Int. TM took the item after she explained Ms. King was working …Comm. Sasser began the questioning with why we had the $238, 716 remaining in the account…Ms. Hoffman did not know why and stated the assumption was it was for the stormwater study …The questions and answers between the two continued with the cost of the Chen study (90,000+) and what if any was left to be done by Chen…They are finishing up …later it was stated they have been paid $97,000 with the rest of the allocation available to them if need be…That would be the rest of the $125,000 Colon had the previous Comm. put into an account that was already flush with funds…No discussion on why that happened… Comm. Sasser also asked about the account for donations… The Int. TM was not sure about it…

BC-That would be the charities that came and stood at the podium at the last budget hearing asking for donations from the Town such as the Boy Scouts/Area Agency on Aging/Women In Distress/ Kids Voting Broward/ Family Central/ Broward Coalition for the Homeless-total $12,350 per the 2009/10 justification sheets…

Comm. Sasser asked more questions about the contingency fund with Ms. Hoffman explaining it should rollover or carry over and our Town let it lapse into “undesignated funds”…

BC- It used to carry over …per past budget years…why it stopped…in this writer’s opinion…stay tuned for tonight’s Roundtable…(prev. post)…

The Vice Mayor again stated his issues with the Chen Study and its content for the $97,000 and stated he had chosen to change his vote on the Haiti donation after considering it was being sent through the Brow. County Manager’s Assoc. and not directly from the Town…as well as those who wanted to donate already did…

Comm. Vincent in this writer’s opinion is doing just what Atty. Weiss alerted the Comm. to when they started…speaking to often just to speak…He wanted to clarify the monies doing the subtraction to arrive at the sum left…WHAT!…

Comm. Clottey went “there” with her doom and gloom over the funds that might be needed for  “a lot of unforeseen” expenses …”problems with the former Town manager’s payout…”additional expenses to the Town”… The Int. TM stated payments for the inquiry to cover consultants  and the IT expenses are close to overspent but can be covered by the undesignated funds discussed prior with Comm. Sasser (tonight-prev. post)… Does Clottey want to fold and let Colon walk with close to $70,000 in “public monies”…that out Town Attys. and Int. TM say are not rightfully hers?… If so, she is not serving her constituents!…

The Mayor also reconsidered the Haiti donation wanting to pair it down due to the size of the Town…She added the monies for the payout were stated to be available from other funds per Finance Dir. King at a prior meeting…Later the TM stated the minutes did not accurately portray King’s statement on April 27, 2010 and would be redone…

The Vice Mayor made the motion not to donate to the Brow. Managers for Haiti and Comm. Vincent 2nd it asking if it was less funds or no funds.. The Town Atty. restated the motion to include going forth with moving the stormwater study funds and to also not donate to Haiti This time the motion was made by Dodd and seconded by Comm. Sasser passed 5-0…

Next up was first reading Ord.2010-04 ….Elections (prev. post)..no pub comment/ VM Dodd wanted to change filing date from Jan. to 3 mo. before election…will be changed for 2nd reading  Dood/ Sasser-passed 5-0… Ord 2010-07 Ethics (prev. posts) Mark Brown spoke about it aiding in the appearance of avoiding conflict as well as past conflict witnessed by 2 “Hats” in a shade session when the VFD sued the Town (prev. post)…VM Dodd was happy this was back thanks to the election and change on the dais…He was the original “Champion” of this in 2008 (prev. posts) … The Mayor clarified which version this was…pertaining only to Town vendors…with a recap from the TAtty. …Dodd/Sasser…passed 5-0…

2nd Reading Ord. 2010-05 …changes made to the Town Boards …(prev. posts)… no public comment..Comm. Sasser brought up what was in the prior Ord. and gone in this one pertaining to removal of the Chair ….now being only for resignation or unable to serve…no longer being able to be replaced for any other reason… the TAtty. agreed it was a change to that effect ,,, the Mayor was concerned opening up could lead to a power struggle… Comm. Vincent climbed on board…pun intended…with Mayor Minnet going further to they could rid themselves of the Chair without any reason… The TAtty. took the opportunity to explain Comm. Sasser’s position to them both that to remove the Chair would require a majority vote…Comm. Sasser also clarified his position …Comm. Clottey spoke of problems with Chairs that do not do their job and the board would need the ability to replace them and move on…The new language was entered in for the P&Z/BOA …VM Dodd motion / Comm. Sasser 2nd…passed 5-0…

They took a break…

Resolutions were addressed after they returned to the dais…first was 2010-13 to deal with the liens…(prev. posts) and after 2 public comments with concerns that the errant owners do not get off the hook and the properties can finally find resolution…pun intended… Comm. Clottey again spoke of it being “retroactive” as she had at the Roundtable and the TAtty. said for those in process they would fall under this and those already paid …no… Comm. Vincent also returned to the same comments he made at the Roundtable on not wanting to help out the banks…the loss of the Town being able to collect…there being no money to collect from a final summary foreclosure… and not comprehending that the word “owner” meant whomever took over the property including the bank…The VM did not understand Comm. Vincent’s confusion..stating the person caused the lien ..the bank took it over ..and cannot get rid of it..He was happy that this like the Ethics was back …stating they were not going “soft” but helping the neighborhoods…The TAtty. reiterated this was not an Ord. but a Resolution for the TM and the Comm. under Administrative Procedures… Comm. Clottey again went back to asked the same old questions of how many properties we have that fall under this…Dir. Bowman did not know..not many..The Mayor restated what she has said at the Roundtable we are lucky so few …that this will either work or if not they can bring it back up…Dodd/Sasser…passed 5-0

The next Resolution was deferred to tonight’s Roundtable..due to the Int. TM “jumping the gun” on the State requirement vs the Town…It has to do with the Health Trust Fund Ins. for Town Retirees… This writer does not believe Commissioners should get health Ins/ Cell Phone or Retirement benefits or Ins. through the Town after serving … Just a salary while on the job… As we look to cut out leave and benefits that are doing municipalities in… whether the cost is to the Town or not…The Commissioner chose to serve to give back to the Community…when they are done…they are done…Employees should also be responsible for getting Ins. on their own after they leave the Town…

Comm. Comments… Short tonight… Comm. Sasser- gave update on slow going with Choice Environmental …but he’s meeting with them next week after speaking to them on phone yesterday…..Comm. Vincent gave praise to Dir. Jeff Bowman working with him on his campaign promise for public bathrooms.. BC-will we be budgeting for those this year? … I still think Mayor Minnet’s idea from the last go round is the best…El Prado…not near the Pavilion…and fix the entry to the beach if we’re spending the money there as well…Mayor Minnet talked Pelican Hopper…her 2 hr stint the 4th Tues. of each mo….She also gave kudos for the implemented “Liaison” Comm. duties and a belated Happy Fathers Day as well as some July 4th P.R. for the raffle…VM Dodd updated on Hillsboro and 2 new boats…the oil spill will be after it comes cleanup…His happiness of the new Ethics Liens, Parking now coming to votes due to a team of those newly elected plus himself… and said with the decline in public comments as a barometer they are doing the will of the people… Comm. Clottey felt the need to add onto the Mayor’s Pelican Hopper comments…and then go out into left field on the Town Employees stating they may be “leery of some of us” ..and “looks forward to you staying for a long time.”…BC- Really those who cannot show at P&Z to assist the Asst. TM…cannot answer or add to the discussion and those who cannot supply the election info to PACs!…

Old business was swift ..it was PIO D’Oliveira and the Town Manger profile (prev. post) to go out to the FLOCities website-ICMA and other venues as well as the RFP for search firms…The Mayor was the only dais member to add to the items…asking to be stronger on the oversight of the public safety vendors as TM (timely considering the VFD)…Also she stated for the RFP  for selection of search firm..to be cost efficient..Comm chooses 7-10 applicants…gives the names to the search firm…Search firm gives detailed report back to Comm….Comm. selects 3-5 …gives to firm to do background checks before Comm. makes final choice…consensus was to move ahead with all the Mayor put on the table…

BC- Good thing the process is moving forward now…an e-mail blast from the former Comm. Candidate Ryerson in Ft Laud. concerning problems with the Ft. Laud. mayor and outgoing Town Manager ..who is in Reno Nevada  for a Mgr. job there and out on July 31st…makes this writer wonder if they are looking at our Interim team…to come on board…long rumored before Ms. Hoffmann came to aid our Town…

From up to down…with the New Bus. item and Comm. Sasser’s campaign promised Code of Conduct…very weird after Comm. Sasser introduced it…for Comm. Vincent to pull it apart on the “private affairs” “bullet point”…”Commissioners are expected to perform their duties in office and arrange their private affairs in a manner that promotes public confidence and will bear close public scrutiny.”… What’s the concern…This is just a “companion” to the ethics…on how to conduct yourself…decorum and deportment…. For Comm. Vincent to add he has concerns over “government in private affairs”… and the word private is “concerning ” to him…brings up all sorts of “concerns” as to where is he coming and going with lobbing onto this?… The TAtty. reiterated it is not a legal agreement and something just to aspire to…Comm. Vincent was not down yet…he went down to ” Commissioners are expected to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism, so that they may be worthy of the respect of others at all times.” saying they have similarities and again stated his discomfort with “private affairs”… For some reason Mayor Minnet climbed on board as well and spoke about the legislation of the “golden rule”…stating she has concerns over “ramifications and unknown consequences” … and said it should go back to the Roundtable… Comm. Sasser understandably perplexed  said he was surprised at the Mayor especially after all she had been through over the prior years…this was putting your money where your mouth is…but stated he would agree to go to the Round table to get it absolutely right… Comm. Vincent quickly jumped in as well as the Mayor to state they are “for it” but Vincent was still concerned over the “Private affairs” language being open for interpretation…BC- would love to know Comm. Vincent’s interpretation!… Comm. Clottey thanked Comm. Sasser for all his hard worked and hoped it would eventually pass… WOW!… Talk about strange bedfellows…OOPS!…Guess that would be open to interpretation as well!….OUCH!… On Roundtable tonight…

Town Manager Report- (prev. post)… Int. TM Hoffmann asked for progress report to be once a month …Comm. agreed …She stated the correct amts. for Chen $97,000/ Stormwater amt. $341,658 and told Comm. Clottey there was $103,000 in Gen. Fund Contingency Acct.to cover legal expenses in Colon payout issue”…She and the Mayor addressed the Kaola King comment and the minutes of April 27th not reflecting her statements..She added Broward County upped the grant for the Senior Center by 20% and she was actively looking to improve he Senior Center which she stated was shabby… YEAH!..

Town Atty. Report…TAtty. Trevarthen updated on Colon reimbursement…stating the firm acted on the prior direction from the Comm. ..(prev. posts) to demand payment..Colon through Atty. Ken Joyce is continuing to refuse and disputes the overpayment…Colon’s atty. thinks Colon overpayment is “not required to paid”…Our Town firm Weiss, Serota thinks the “public monies” are indeed required to be repaid…the almost $70,000 of the taxpayer’s money …The Town will file a complaint and begin civil proceedings…

BC- More on the opposing Atty’s exchanges to come in an upcoming post ..as they are public record….The civil proceeding  and litigation brings “shade sessions” into play…and silence until the suit is decided….

The meeting ended at 9:34 pm

more to come…

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