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Here’s The Scoop … July 4th, 2011 In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea …

June 30, 2011 by Barbara

CELEBRATING OUR INDEPENDENCE !…..

PRINT OUT THE COUPON BELOW AND HEAD TO DOWNTOWN LAUDERDALE-BY-THE SEA! ….

LBTS-BSO IMPORTANT INFO FOR THOSE COMING TO TOWN …..


On Monday, July 4,2011, the Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea will host it’s annual Independence Day Celebration parade along El Mar Drive. The parade will begin at approximately 10 AM and will last approximately one hour. El Mar Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic. There will be periodic road closures along SR A1A and Commercial Boulevard. Please seek alternate travel routes or expect delays.

If you have any questions, contact the BSO LBTS district office at (954) 491-3920.

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On Monday, July 4, 2011 the Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea will host it’s annual Independence Day Celebration fireworks display in the area of Anglin’s Fishing Pier. The fireworks show will begin at approximately 9 PM and will last approximately one half hour.

Guests should remember that alcohol nor illegal fireworks are permitted on the beach.

There will be heavy traffic delays traveling westbound at the conclusion of the event. Motorists should use extreme caution and watch for pedestrians.

If you have any questions, contact the BSO LBTS district office at (954) 491-3920.
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50 YEARS OF SERVICE TO OUR TOWN….


‘The Volunteer Fire Department in conjunction with BSO, AMR and Town staff assisted in the organization of the upcoming Independence Day celebration of July 4th. The Volunteer Fire Department celebrates our 50 year anniversary and we are aiming to provide the town with a fun and safe
environment for the residents of the town.’

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More to come…..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop …. The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea June 28, 2011 Commission Meeting … More Swoosh Than Sweat …

June 28, 2011 by Barbara

IN BY 7 … & OUT BY 10 …

Dear Readers …the Commission sans an excused Comm. Sasser showed more swoosh than sweat when it came to dealing with the items on tonight’s agenda … The pledge was said… A second eloquent invocation was given by Rabbi Singer … The Mayor added onto the agenda the need to vote for an excused absence for Comm. Sasser who let it be known at the budget meeting last week he would be unable to attend…The VM made the motion with a 2nd from Comm. Clottey…and a 4-0 vote… The Mayor added on more dates for Congressman West to visit Jarvis Hall at the end of new business… Presentations were made with a longer than 5 minute opener from Broward League of Cities Mayor Debby Eisenger who commended the BSO for their quick response dealing with a car break-in at her home prior to her arrival…The Mayor spoke of the league…and what it offers to all as well as their stand on the County ethics code and what they have offered up to the Broward Commission on its impact to cities…They feel positive that those suggestions were heard …The Mayor was excited that she came stating she did not think a visit of this type had occurred in the past… The 2nd presentation on Coral Reef education would be deferred …Next up was the presentation made by AMR Chief Brooke Liddle commending VFD personnel for lifesaving 2 victims that he said were clinically deceased before aid was given by both the VFD and AMR resulting in being brought back…Those in the room had their photo op and walked down the dais to shake hands and be congratulated… Public Comments consisted of  a woman from Port Royale in Fort Lauderdale (across the intercoastal) who explained the negative impact she felt the proposed development would have if built …She said she was going to commissions looking for support after finding none at the Fort Laud. P + Z Board… The President of the Bel-Air Residents Civic Association joined in on looking for support citing impact from the same development across from it for their neighbors…property values would take a dive..noise…debris and lack of sunshine plus binoculars peering down on Bel-Air Intercoastal fronted properties from those in the 8-15 ft. buildings being proposed to be built… Arthur Franczak came forward to speak about the millage and state the use of it being low may be producing a “hallow victory” when it is multiplied by property values… The results are “eye opening” he declared as he backed up his assertions by giving copies of his calculations to the Town Clerk for each member of the dais … Edmund Malkoon spoke of attending Diane Boutin’s memorial…reminiscing of his interactions with her and putting forth to go beyond the park furniture and sign put in place by her dear friend Sandra Booth in naming the public safety complex or the Chamber for her…He spoke of adding the north end portals to any plans to improve the portals as stated at the budget meeting as well as deal with the infrastructure …Rosalee Malkoon came to the podium after her son and stated she would not remain complacent as she stated she saw a lack of compassion for the widow of the hyperbaric chamber during her lien mitigation process from the Commission and felt the woman was owed an apology from them…(see previous post…no lack of compassion…just lack of stating the facts by both the widow and the gentleman who stood alongside her…in this writer’s opinion)… Bill Vitale came up to say don’t lower taxes…spend the Oriana million on the medians on El Mar…approve Tera Mar entry…kudos to AMR/VFD for their working together…and wanting the new sweeper to sweep residential streets 1x a month…The BSO report was next ..VM Dodd asked the Chief to explain the non-emergency number change in Aug. (see prev. post/Town website) …VMayor asked about the Communications Center cost FY 2011-12 …Chief Llerena said the cost will not be passed on to us… The VM also asked about the arrests made in report …The Chief responded (in backup)… passed 4-0….The VFD was up next …The VM asked about the FFII training shown in the report…The Chief explained it and said in Aug. 4 FFs will be FF IIs… VM Dodd also thanked the VFD for their involvement in the July 4th preparation…Comm. Vincent sounding more and more these days like a poor version (if that’s possible) of former VM McIntee spoke like he’s a buddy of the VFD about going on “mock up calls” with them …stating it was no surprise to him they did what they did to be awarded for their lifesaving awards..Comm. Clottey added her congrats and stated she was happy to have voted them back in as a Comm….passed 4-0…(electioneering hmmm….) …No questions AMR passed 4-0… Vincent said “Dittos to you as well”… The Town Manager was able to actually give the report and stated the update and problems with A1A …contract problems….cost …FDOT receiving an FDOT approved sub-contracted landscaping company ….BSO contract not proceeding in June…will do in July…Comm. bridge to be painted by FDOT…Coral Reef snafus …(prev. post)…bad weather as well as permits that ran out and besides the delays there are breaches again contractually …TAtty. involved…so more legal costs…OUCH!… Pat Himelberger…Asst. Muni Services Dir. found a cheaper alternative for phones in Town Hall etc…saves $18,000 but comes with a $3,5000 pre- payment penalty…Later on under item the cost is shown and what we get for the change..(seemed like a lot of money to change to accomplish what was desired)… TM met with VFD Chief Paine for new budget to be presented …spoke of new improved website …and asked for questions from Commissioners …Comm. Clottey wanted to know if service would be available for those to use their internet after a hurricane in the Town Hall area…The TM said if the the Town Hall/island were open it could be accessible at no cost …TM Hoffmann added that she had just found out there was a reduction in the tipping fees but we would have a problem seeing that reduction due to using Choice… The Mayor asked about the Choice contract  and the end of it being near…TM Hoffmann replied it has a year and required a 6 month heads up to Choice and a need to sit down as a Comm. to discuss before that in Sept/Oct….The VM wanted to know the recycling impact as well …TM will look into it…passed 4-0 …TAtty. Trevarthen was absent former TAtty. Dan Abbott was sitting in..He had no report and asked for questions…none were forthcoming at that time… The Consent agenda items passed without discussion included a new $60,000 sweeper for Don Prince and his dept. as well as a contract with a new company for A1A… It would have been more cost effective in this writer’s opinion to have the new company do it all and forgo the new sweeper…The Mayor had that one right…unfortunately no Comm.member revisited the purchase… Also no discussion on extending the contract for Grau & Assoc. for a 2nd year at the same rate…all passed 4-0…Item 11a. ranking the sanitary sewer evaluations was pulled by the VM to ask about Tele-vac and if their townwide videos of the system would be provided to the company hired…Both Don Prince and the TM said it would …No other questions passed 4-0… 11b Emergency debris removal ..VM took it separately to comment he hoped we never needed to use it…Don Prince said “Amen”…passed 4-0 …(we piggybacked off another muni_)…. 11 f. was Village Grilles Friday night special event for 1 year… VM Dodd wanted to thank Dave for all he does in bringing people to town with his events…and asked Asst. TM Bentley about the Jan-April inclusion of 101 Ocean on the event citing problems in the past for 101 being on another business’  permit…Bentley said that would be addressed with the TAtty. to cover insurances etc… The Mayor also thanked Dave and said she was happy to see the additional officer for crossing A1A at Comm. Blvd. being picked up by Dave…Apparently she did not read and/or remember that the backup stated Dave was open to the idea…it was not a done deal…yet…Comm. Clottey thanked Dave as well but thought both lanes (east and west El Mar) would not be shut down unless it was for public safety… Now it appeared it would be for season with 101 Ocean…The TM seemed to agree with Clottey and said that language could be added …Bentley said they met with the businesses as well as BSO and traffic engineers…It would depend on the band and the event…Clottey wanted public safety language inserted…The VM wanted to hear from the applicant first…Dave Gadsby came up and spoke as well on the walk around meeting that included the TM and staff and all involved were for both sides being closed due to the size of the crowds… The Mayor questioned if the valet would be moved (that was also in the backup)…The answer was yes… The outcome after Comm. Vincent corrected Dave on his directions (Dave said n/s instead of e/w) …and asked Bud Bentley who would make that decision…and Bentley said it would depend on the band…be done prior to the event and it would be trial and error …was a passing vote of 4-0 ….The Commission really went swoosh through the ordinances and the resolutions… The TAtty. read each one…sidewalk cafes…no pub comment…Mayor said it had been discussed a the roundtable..no Comm. comment passed 4-0…Same for the signage and bikes TAtty… Mayor stating a rep from the bikes was in the hall …no public comment…Rep was atty for the company from Coker and Feiner in Ft. Laud…Yep, Readers may recall the name Coker as in Atty. Richard Coker who had run-ins with former Comm. McIntee in 2007 in LBTS… (old names pop up often in this meeting… Craven + Thomas…Keith + Assoc)… The VM asked about the problems of full kiosks …Mr Feiner said they were monitored by personnel and alternative locked places could be used until the town was more “saturated” with kiosks in the future… He also addressed the cost…$5 1st 30 min….1st half hour free…surcharge of 50 cents after that and higher cost the longer bike used…swipe cards available…1 yr membership $45.00 …passed 4-0…Next was ordinance to change code requiring TAtty. to look at all contracts…TM stated now that will happen over $15,000…under that amount TM will take over with TAtty. approved forms.. The Mayor said they discussed it at roundtable …no pub/Comm. comments …passed 4-0…Use of Jarvis Hall …same drill TAtty..Mayor …No pub/Comm. comment…passed 4-0… Resolutions …Lowered fire permit  and inspection fees …lower by 50% …read by TAtty… Chief Paine addressed the changes…and TM said it was likely due to no full-time Fire Marshal ..only part-time (Chief Paine)… Comm. Vincent said he had call wanting to know if it meant 50% reduction in fire assess. fees…NO!… It was clarified …passed 4-0 after no pub comment…Reso for going back to 2 commission meetings a month…Reade by TAtty…Mayor stated roundtables were not working…no pub/ Comm. comment…passed 4-0 …Resolution for new purchasing manual…just as the others were done read by TAtty…Mayor said it was a long time coming…and discussed prior…TM spoke of 2 typos…adding a 0 to make one limit 2000.00 and a change to a paragraph on pg. 48…no pub/Comm. comment passes 4-0… Quasi Judicial Public Hearing was held for Diamonds and Doggies to pass a conditional use application for it to be located next to Kilwinns and Cocoyoghurt…The swoosh became a sweat for the owner/applicant when Comm. Vincent tried way too hard to micro-manage and help the guy out… It was downright comical…to minus or add to the 10 pound weight limit to thwart a potential “gotcha” if a puppy exceeded the limit… and the noise if the door was opened or closed …In the end the applicant looked like he was begging for Comm. Vincent to stop so the expected vote would go through… It did passed 4-0…amended to allow dogs to 12 lbs…The only public comment came after Bob Fleishman came up needed to be sworn in and said “Pass it now! We want this dog store!”… They took a break …Came back a 9 pm for Comm. Comments …Comm. Vincent was up first but was having difficulty pulling up his comments..Comm. Clottey went next …offered condolences to George Crossman’s family saying he would be missed as well as offering sympathy to Town Clerk White on the passing of her mother…. (White was not at the meeting)… She asked for all to come out for the 4th and meet your neighbors…get sweaty watching the parade and see fireworks at the beach…Comm. Vincent also offered condolences to both Town Clerk White and George Crossman’s family stating he was a neighbor as well…He then went off to do some PR for the Town staff as well as himself saying he promised to lead and he has done so…He asked all to thank the staff for what they have done …He cited also the Master Plan (Readers know where I stand on this one…polar opposite from Vincent) … The Mayor thanked all for the public comments made…spoke of the Beach clean-up on the 2nd and again on July 5th at 9 am …She thanked the Vice Mayor for taking on July 4th and hoped he had better weather than she encountered …She extended her condolences as well…and did the familiar we want to hear from you on the budget… The Vice Mayor discussed Hillsboro Inlet and thanked Aruba Beach cafe and Village Grille for adding 2 water slides at the beach for the 4th of July…from noon -4pm… He went through the activities offered  all day long on the 4th …(see prev. post/Town Website/Scoop site) …VM Dodd also spoke of the Master Plan and his desire to expedite the downtown area as well as to do one or more south end of town residential “blocks” to keep in-line with the UM “1 block” improvement…This balances out business and residential improvements…what UM called the common areas as well as your front doors…  Old Business went just as quick as the ordinances/Resos …Don Prince said it would not exceed $30,000 (it’s at $29,429)…Mayor said that was great asked about the liability/maintenance …Don said contract would be coming to Comm. to approve that… Comm. Vincent asked who would pull permit for project…Don said Town and sub-contractors would work under Town… TM said Don did a great job…passes 4-0…New Buisness was delegate for Floria League of Cities 85th Annual Conference…Clottey was going …The Mayor stated she was going…Clottey said Mayor should be delegate…VM 2nd it …passes 4-0…Fort Lauderdale’s Port Royale and the involvement of out Town was discussed much longer with only Comm. Clottey wanting to spend the $1,500 on Planner Cecelia Ward to pursue Fort Lauderdale’s Commission on going ahead with the buildings…The others had concerns over using taxpayer funds although Atty. Abbot aid if they deemed it a public benefit they could justify it… The Fort Lauderdale P + Z passed it 9-0 and now Bud Bentley explained it was up to one Fort laud. Comm. to put it on by July 15th to address it to move forth…have public input…approve…amend or deny it… Comm. Clottey said it could happen to other residents on the Intercoastal in  town….(Tall buildings are already across the water from residential properties in the south end) …The Mayor was concerned on the ICW for impact from more boats etc… She said they should contact Fort Laud Comm.s on their own as Comm. to Comm… Comm. Clottey made a motion to go ahead with paying the planner…received no 2nd…After the Mayor asked her if she wanted the Comm. to contact the Fort Laud Commissioners she did so although she did not follow the TM’s recommendation for the Mayor to send it…stating it should be from the whole Commission…passes 4-0 ….The telephone replacement was presented by Pat Himelberger the consultant turned Asst. Municipal Service Dir. who stated they will save alot over At&T …The TM added it will now allow for residents to leave voice messages after hours and contact separate employees…cost $31,225… The VM asked about any lines needing changing and was told it would be minimal …Seems alot of money for VMail …Selection of Continuing Professional Services for Municipal Construction, Repair & Maintenance Projects …Town Manager said 12 firms had all or some of the services …It would save time going out for services to have these companies on board …One company from 1st table was taken out due to lack of background info received..Dollar amounts also not included thus far…She would bring them back individually since this was the first time doing this in order for the Commission to see the contracts … No discussion passes 4-0…Last was a new ATV for the VFD …The VFD Chief explained the 2007 purchase was not his and did not know why they were chosen…He went on to state the uses and the need…The Mayor spoke of seeing one in the water …reporting it to the Chief with phone pics taken…He fired on e VFD member and the other was reprimanded for both the act and saying it did not happen…Comm. Vincent asked about monitoring use and unnecessary use on the beach… The Chief responded as expected …Vincent went on to talk about the dress code of those on ATVs and representing the Town and that he had spoken to “Danny” Chavez about it…The Chief said new manual requires dress code…Vincent perked up asking if that was after he implemented it… (This was brought to the VFD many times since 2007 by other commissioners)…VM Dodd asked if the sale proceeds from the old ATVs would go into the vehicle replacement fund and the TM stated it would depend on who bought the ATV which fund it would end up in…passes 4-0…Last item was Congressman West to come to Jarvis Hall …First the Mayor said they should wait for Comm. Sasser but they decided to go ahead…After some confusion on the Mayor’s part of when Labor Day is…The first choice was Sept. 28…then Oct. 17th…ending with a tentative Oct. 18th…which is a Tuesday…at night… They adjourned 4 minutes before 10 pm…More swoosh than sweat…

Link to video…. http://lbts.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Something Marketing Research/Branding & A Marketing Director Can’t Fix In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea ..

June 28, 2011 by Barbara

TECHNOLOGY TRUMPS MARKETING PR IN THE WORLD WE LIVE IN ….

Dear Readers … This writer received a series of e-mails from a blogger in Italy some months back…I briefly replied and offered up where she could contact those Town agencies and elected officials that could be of assistance….Thinking they should be interested in what she was bringing forth and would want absolutely want to know…or so I thought… As far as I am aware of …. although she followed through with contacting the Town Administration as well as the LBTS-VFD there was no response ..reaction..or action taken …When I saw that the Hyperbaric Chamber was on the May 24, 2011 agenda for a whopper of a lien for violations they wanted reduced I sent the information on to the blogger …She picked up from there…As Readers are aware …The Hyperbaric Chamber was closed a few years back due to a horrific fire that resulted in the death of a grandmother and her grandchild who was a patient from Italy … The Hyperbaric Chamber reopened this last January …It turned out it was approved to reopen by the Town (the Commission was unaware until the Sentinel article after the fact…prev. posts)…along with the LBTS-VFD and Broward County… So of course it was quite a surprise when low and behold the Hyperbaric Chamber liens were on the May 24,2011 Commission Agenda to mitigate over a half a million dollars in fines resulting from years of longstanding violations the Town was well aware of!….(prev. posts)…The Widow of the founder came with a gentleman and pleaded poverty as well as stating she has long been removed from the business operations …. The Commission reacted with sympathy but imposed a much larger amount than she wanted to pay …..It appears that both statements made by the Widow were untrue due to a quick payment received by the Town within 2 weeks for approx. $152,000 and the information contained in the blog that was sent to me showing the Widow’s involvement with the business ….(see link below) …Unfortunately the lien was done as a Consent Agenda item and not as a Quasi Judicial Hearing which would then have made any false statements made under oath actionable …Perhaps that needs to be looked into as well for lien mitigation…We face the 2011-12 budget and the “whole enchilada” desires of those who have the political pulpit at this point in time in LBTS to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing and branding our town using a cadre of consultants and studies that beget studies along with creating the $100,000 a year full-time Marketing Director position when we have situations like this out there on the world- wide web and are we are saddled with mostly 2-star accommodations when “rating Lauderdale-By-The-Sea hotels” is  Googled  …I found out when I did a Google after reading her blog about the motel that many patients are “required” to stay in described in a manner that compared it to a third world country… (see link below) … The blogger wrote about the motel due to comments made by the Widow and the gentleman alongside her at the podium at the May 24th  Comm. Mtg. informing the Commission about patients who come for treatment and stay in town and spend money in our town during their extended stay…Once again it seems to be more of the same 2nd yr. “bubble” trouble for those in charge pre-2012 election…. We need to take care of these things before the marketing/branding research/campaign and a Marketing Director become line-items in the 5-year budget plans ….as they are destined to become…

The e-mail/link to blog…

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marilisa rizzetto – Town of Lauderdale by the Sea
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 7:15 AM
From:
“marilisa rizzetto”

To:
“Barbara Cole”
Hi Barbara,
How are you?
Have a look at my last post please. The title is pinocchio at town of Lauderdale by the Sea.

Suggest this post of mine to the mayor, the manager and the whole commitee of the Town.

http://marilisarizzetto.blogspot.com/

Have a good day

Marilisa


Marilisa Rizzetto
Via A. Volta, 4
30016 Jesolo Lido (Ve)
Italia
cell/mobile 335 xxxxxxx
skype marilisarizzetto
e-mail [email protected]
e-mail [email protected]

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more to come……..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop …OMG! … It’s The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Second Year “Bubble” Curse … UPDATED …

June 25, 2011 by Barbara

IT’S OMG TIME IN LBTS!  …

Dear Readers… what is that happens in the 2nd year of a LBTS Commission’s term?… I call it the 2nd year “bubble”…It’s when the majority and the administration are so insulated from commonsense and the divisiveness that is never gone in our town or anywhere else when it comes to politics …They take on the bull in a china shop mentality and go full-force with their one-sided views with all the bravado of the bull…as those opposed call it bull****…. The comeuppance as we all know comes at the polls as the opposition comes to power and the process starts all over again… Will that happen in 2012?…With the major Master Plan re-do…and the Town Manager’s less than 6-degrees of separation hired consultant contingency which looks to surpass the Colon-contract payout … on top of waiting for the big rains to come and remind all those voters of the “Lake Colon” and “Lake Bougainvilla” and “Lake Poinciana” … the only question will really be will opposition be some independent candidate as it was in 2000 or will the CIC get riled up over the above… and the below posts including the parking dept. being outsourced?…(We hear Rosa the Tomato Lady and Joan the Parking Supervisor ..longtime CIC members both are finding support in the south part of town to keep the status quo)…Once again if the majority takes a 360 turn those Commissioners /PAC/ Administration and their avid supporters  have no one to blame but themselves and the 2nd year “bubble” ….OMG!….

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HOW MANY NEVs CAN THE TOWN PURCHASE UNDER THE TOWN MANAGER ACQUISITION LIMIT IN 2011-12? …

‘Village Grille owner Dave Gadsby sits in his new method of getting around Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. ‘

Below is the Sentinel article about the Commission’s decision to have special parking spaces made available for those that can afford a NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) …At the same time that the TM and Asst. TM have put forth to the Comm. it’s time to outsource the parking dept. to be more cost effective as well as cut down duties for Asst. TM Bentley (the TM stated it now takes up 1/3 of this time- how so with a longtime parking supervisor at the helm? )… The Asst. TM is quoted in this article stating  the following…”The vehicles can only be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, which covers the whole town. Officials are considering buying NEVs, which cost roughly $6,000 each, for code and parking enforcement operations, Assistant City Manager Bud Bentley said.”They’re cheaper to run and they give you a lot more interaction with pedestrians,” Bentley said. “People relate to our employees better when they’re in that type of vehicle.”…OMG!… At the roundtable meeting on the 14th of June …there was discussion concerning the TM’s desire to raise her $15,000 limit to purchase without Comm. approval (it had been higher and lowered in the past 4 years) …Comm. Vincent and Clottey were amenable to do so…Comm. Sasser, VM Dodd and Mayor Minnet were not…After Comm. Sasser asked how important it was it to TM Hoffmann she said she could live with it to get the rest of the purchasing manual moving forward…So it stayed at $15,000 …No doubt in this writer’s mind that an increase would only have left the taxpayers with even more consultants and studies …as well as perhaps 3 NEVs vs 2?… A sudden purchase of NEVs for Town staff may not produce the interaction the Asst. TM thinks it will…OMG!…

Sentinel article…

‘The town is taking a liking to Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, which are compact and environmentally friendly, and sees them as a good fit for locals to get around.

The town’s planning to make it easier for people driving NEVs to park in its crowded commercial area by designating some parking spaces for the street-legal golf carts only. One regular space can be converted into four NEV spaces.

“It just seems to make a lot of sense,” said business owner David Gadsby, who hasn’t taken his Mercedes convertible out of the garage since his NEV arrived a month ago. He hopes as demand increases the town will consider adding charging stations for the vehicles.
Video: Martin County teen featured on Animal Planet show after being bitten by venomous snake

The vehicles can only be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, which covers the whole town. Officials are considering buying NEVs, which cost roughly $6,000 each, for code and parking enforcement operations, Assistant City Manager Bud Bentley said.

“They’re cheaper to run and they give you a lot more interaction with pedestrians,” Bentley said. “People relate to our employees better when they’re in that type of vehicle.”‘

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/lauderdale-by-the-sea/fl-lbts-neighborhood-electric-vehicle20110619,0,3636973.story

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THE LBTS-POA – STILL POLITICALLY TONE DEAF WHEN IT COMES TO THE HOMETOWN HERO NOMINATIONS …. OMG …

The LBTS-POA is supposed to be “non-political”…The problem of their past boards not being able to remember that point has come to the forefront yet again with the POA letter to their still-dying membership to re-up their annual $10 dues sent out on June 7, 2011 which contained a page for the POA Hometown Hero Nominations… I was faxed that page by a Reader…after receiving 2 of the same membership letters but no nomination sheet….Hmmm……The choice of the POA “Hero” was to be sent back by June 14th to have the person(s) ready to go in the July 4th parade…The list on nominees… OMG!… The 1st nominee is Louis Marchelos from Athena/ The Pier…I have no problem with Louis being the Hometown Hero …but not for this year’s event…Not after his way off-base accusations at the podium last month against this year’s chair of the event VM Stuart Dodd as well as the Town of holding secretive meetings and the time and costs due to his wrong unconscionable assertions… Marie Chiarello, I have no problem with someone nominating her …That goes for Ken Brenner and Wayne Dillistin of Interior Digs as well …Where I do have a problem is despite my opposition to former Commissioner Jim Silverstone on political matters …was there really no one on the POA Board who could see how wrong it was to send out this list and just have his name with (No reason given)…Was there no one who thought they should take the time to add his contributions to the town?… OMG!…Maybe if the nominator had done the same for Silverstone a two-fer as they did for Ken and Wayne and added Jim’s wife Peggy… a paragraph of their volunteerism would have been forthcoming?… In any event…below the jpg of the POA letter are the reasons for former Comm. Silverstone…OMG!…

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Jim Silverstone- What the  “non-political” POA Board should have added to the Hometown Hero Nominations…

Former Commissioner Jim Silverstone became involved with the Town as head basketball coach for the Optimist Club’s Youth Team, where he also served as President in the past. He is a longtime member of the LBTS Volunteer Fire Department.  He was vice president of the organization, then the chief financial officer, served as president of the VFD and is currently the VFD’s Fire Chief. Commissioner Silverstone also served as chairman of the firefighter’s pension board. As a member of the VFD he has been Santa on their annual Christmas firetruck delivery as well as in the Christmas-by-the-Sea events and for photo ops at events during the holiday season.He has been Count Dracula and served a C0-Chair and Chair of past Halloween events as well as Co-Chair of 4th of July. Commissioner Silverstone was also selected to serve on the Town’s Charter Review Board as vice chair and is proud of its accomplishments. He became a Town Commissioner in 2006, serving one 4 yr. term after being involved in prior elections over the past 15 years. Commissioner  Silverstone was responsible for the Town’s Mission Statement.His hobbies include skin diving and scuba diving, road biking, basketball and chess.He is married to Peggy Moehler who has contributed by volunteering throughout the years in all the Town’s events with her time both through personally and through Aruba Beach Cafe which will once again play an significant role in this year’s July 4th festivities. (just take a look at the July 4, 2011 flyer below )…

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LBTS TOWN TOPICS ….PR  IN 2005…PR IN 2011 … SAME PLAYERS … SAME ENCHILADA …OMG! …

The July/Aug/Sept 2011 Town Topics is online and it is total PR for the money spent thus far to redo the Town’s Master Plan..including comments like these … ‘Edmund Malkoon, a resident who dropped by Jarvis Hall several times during the week UM was in Town, liked many of UM’s final
design proposals. “I really think we can do the majority of them,” he said. “We have a chance of getting things done this time. We have the money.
We’re not broke.” …Readers know Malkoon was the C0-Chair of the defunct MPSC and as of now we are told is former UOT Pres. Fleishman’s choice to be the UOT candidate for Commissioner from the north in 2012… ‘Resident Ron Piersante, who also visited Jarvis Hall numerous times during the workshop, said the Town cannot afford to put UM’s designs and ideas on a shelf, as it did with previous economic reports. “The Town’s got to do something,” he said’…..and photos of those same gung-ho supporters rallying to do the “whole enchilada” when it comes to Town’s redevelopment.. The question again is of course do these photos and comments from that side of the LBTS political divide make for a lash-back in 2012 as there was in 2006?…OMG!..

April 2005 Town Topics …pgs. 1 + 4


July/Aug./Sept 2011 Town Topics …

……………….

HOW MANY WET NOODLES DOES IT TAKE TO STOP A SINKING SHIP? …OMG!…

The Town Manager Report is online in the backup for the Tues. June 28, 2011 Commission Meeting …Here are some of the highlights …OMG!…

Page one was putting out the fires of what has or has not been accomplished while this administration has been all-hands on deck …total immersion into the Master Plan re-development … It includes the 1st draft of the 5 yr finance plan for the Master Plan…The very late to the table ranking of engineers for the sewer system evaluation … evaluating 25 submittals of professional services that tie in with redevelopment of the Town… The proposed changes in building permits …for which she hire ousted former TM of Davie Gary Shimun (prev. posts) …and fire plans review & inspection fees that were reduced… The months old undergrounding of El Mar that proved after all those months delaying “Lake Colon” with yet another paid consultant to be just as we knew when it began …cost prohibitive and an area not conducive to place transformers… Next on the hit parade was the time spent with Planner Cecelia Ward and the TAtty. to become more efficient… Asst. TM Bently, Ms. Hoffmann said was busy with Code enforcement working on the many hotels that are not in compliance in a big way… She added he dealt with the July 4th back and forth…(yep…that would be Louis Marchelos candidate for POA Hometown Hero) …as well as the A1A LAP program that always seems a thread away from going south….The latest issue has to do with the Town selected contractor coming in too high in cost and the negotiating going on in the 11th hour that might leave the Town to move over to the second place contender… TM Hoffmann states next she has been so busy she has not had a chance to change the proposed contract language in the new BSO contract…and will get into that in July… The OMGs keep on coming with the Global Coral Reef Project that was to be up and running by the end of May…(anybody left to buy into that one at this juncture?) …They did nothing in June despite a few weeks of calm seas…and an annual buoy permit that they let expire…Now we have a new set of buoys and the TM states that makes for a renewal that is not simple and new photos  and specs were sent to the Coast Guard last week… Under the contract Dr. Goreau is to keep those permits current and  to make sure the Town is informed of delays…Hmmm…another contract…another breach…and any guesses of repercussions for their inaction…Nada…OMG!… Please someone throw in the towel…high-tail to John Birch Park and see what’s what with Fort Lauderdale’s coral reef project… Again the TM states the hotels hit with violations are suddenly able to make updates without public monies…OMG!…There will be a cost reduction for telecommunications of $2,000…No details on whether that savings was eaten up by consultant costs though…. The TM mentions the changes made to the Town’s website…While it looks nice many archived reports/agendas/minutes for certain years as well as Town Topics etc…are not available as of yet … Also since there is no “Professional Services” …consultant update included in this month’s report there is nothing to say how much the former “webmistress” was paid for her services…According to the 2010-11 budget there was a budget of $15,000 for the job…No RFP was sent out for the job as far as we are aware of… Then there’s this in her report…
‘Workload
I think it should be apparent that the workload we are managing borders on being
unmanageable for a staff of our size. One only has to look at the project list to see that
I respectfully request that the Commission add no more assignments between now and
the end of the fiscal year and understand that the current list of assignments cannot
possibly be completed this fiscal year believe my focus should be the budget and the
priorities you set for me last fall.
If it is the Commission’s desire that also focus on moving forward with design contracts
for certain capital projects it will be necessary that you revisit the priority list and agree
to remove some items to free up time. You would then need to advise me which capital
project you deem most important to move forward.’

OMG!… Talk about a set-up before the TM’s 1st Town Manager annual Evaluation in September…. After that is the priority list with the same pink highlighted portions that reflect what is due to be done this month and next…drainage…sewers etc… same priorities as last year this time…

Of note…One of the years this writer wanted to look at was 2008…not available last week…but checking now it is on…I will now look to see if my recollection is correct ….. I believe in 2008 or 2009 there was an item on the agenda for the Commission to make it possible for the TM to remove or add positions without Commission input…I am not positive it was approved as presented …or approved for just for the removal of positions….I would not be surprised if it was both …If so it makes it so that this TM needs no Commission/public approval to add a Marketing Director/Project Manager/Economic Development Director or remove any staff positions such as Code Supervisor …Parking Supervisor ….as she see fit…OMG!….

Looking at other items of interest in the backup online for Tuesday night’s Commission meeting…Item 13c will be the resolution for the revised purchasing manual which includes the $15,000 limit for the TM to spend without the Commission’s approval…The audit committee is looking further into the portion of real estate acquisitions …Just a reminder all those on the audit committee are pro-whole enchilada…13b is changing the Commission meetings from one meeting/1 roundtable back to 2 Comm. meetings… 11c and 11d are the new $60,000+ sweeper for Don Prince and his “guys” to keep up with the big guys down the A1A road…Ft. Laud + Pompano as well as the agreement for the services for a sweeping company for A1A…The Commission needs to take another look at the backup because the numbers compared are not apples to apples in this writer’s opinion…Talk about taking the detour from our priorities …Bel Air’s Civic Assoc. Board (including Edmund Malkoon UOT candidate 2012?) asked in a letter on June 13th that the Town to get involved to stop Port Royale located across the intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale to prevent them from building a 15-story building!… The Asst. TM already did some looking into the project and found it passed the Ft. Laud. P + Z (9-0) and will go in front of the Ft. Laud . Comm. in mid- July….Now it is on the agenda to get direction from the Comm. to pay planning consultant Cecelia Ward $1,500 to go and plead for the Bel Air LBTS residents who say it will impact their property values …OMG!… We have absolutely no jurisdiction …it’s Fort Lauderdale…and there are other tall buildings to the west …..To have even gone this far in staff time… and then to put it on the agenda ….OMG!…

…………..

JULY 4, 2011 ….LOOKS TO BE IMPRESSIVE…NO 2ND YEAR “BUBBLE” FOR VM DODD’S 2ND CHAIRING OF THE 4TH ….OMG!….

Link to LBTS Town Website… http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

more to come….OMG!…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The June 21, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Budget Workshop … Let’s Do The Time Warp Again …

June 21, 2011 by Barbara

MIND NUMBINGLY FAMILIAR  ….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZanHo6Wn1H4

http://lbts.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Dear Readers … suffering from brain freeze this writer will take a pass in posting the long version of this 3 hour meeting …but I have provided 2 choices of video to choose from above … both are time warps… The meeting tonight was a replay of  what we have seen before.. It included public speakers who want to be fiscal and those that want to “go for it”…We saw a disjointed presentation given by RMA due to the Mayor’s insistence of breaking up the presentation up into 3 parts and thus not letting the speaker Kim Briesemeister finish the $20,000 Financial and Redevelopment 5-year Plan for the Town of LBTS… The Mayor was overbearing, condescending and in full electioneering mode as she talked way too long …The Mayor …with Comm. Vincent and the Town Manager are “all in”  for a full scale RMA produced 5-year plan complete the with a Marketing Director position that the TM now states is not new but a position retitled … Also there will be a Project Manager..as well as a Town Planner and an Economic Development Director we are told will be included in year 3… The go- ahead was given for a “trial basis” (huh?) said the Mayor while Comm. Vincent tried to say this was all just a recipe and we needed the right ingredients. to make it all happen .. He too was long winded and all over the place talking nonsense just to talk …Comm. Clottey was against the marketing research before she was for it…She did have a great opening though when she told the presenter we received the platinum version of the report and she wanted to see the the gold and silver version …The Mayor tried to wrap the “whole enchilada” in a package of calling it “infrastructure projects including drainage”…(wool over the eyes personified) …The Vice Mayor wanted specifics about the amount of money all would really cost and new staff positions stated in the report although he was interrupted and reprimanded by the Mayor for delving too far into the content not presented…he forged ahead for a response ….Same went for Comm. Sasser who wanted to know about the need for these new or renamed positions as well as when projects would be “completed”… Sorry to say the UM mantra often repeated since their presentation of “do one block”… is not attainable according to the TM until 2013! …That includes Lake Colon-Downtown area and Commercial from Seagrape to the Intercoastal as a second alternative by Comm. Clottey … So grasping at straws just as their predecessors did with the Oriana million medians ( AI students- McIntee walkways) …on El Mar Drive some of the Commissioners began to throw out “crumbs”  of appeasement for the next fiscal year… A1A Entryways…at the north and the south… And to put the band- aid on the “do one block” scenario by going forth with the portals per the Mayor’s suggestion of doing something that would have an impact……That was the UM plan to dress up the 5 A1A to the portal entry’s with new trees, sidewalks etc… Of course nothing was said about the drainage, sewers and the undegrounding that would most likely occur in a short order time to impact this band-aid expenditure… That’s like putting the paint on the walls before you put the floor in the house …or as Clottey has said in the past lipstick on a pig… The positions will be filled there’s no doubt and the consultants will continue to roll in with more studies as we ares sure to hear terms thrown about such as “data driven” …”incentives”…ringing the cash registers”… “branding”…”levels of service”…and of course the guaranteed big return for public money going into private business… Funny thing was the Town Manager blew that portion of this plan away for this writer when she spoke of the results of the code enforcement crackdown that began in April at hotels that declared have long declared they could not afford to revamp their establishments…Once slapped with fines or closed down now altogether they have begun to refresh their properties!…It sounded alot like the widow from the hyperbaric chamber lien last month who cried poor at the podium and was able to cut a $152,000 check to the Town within 2 weeks when the Comm. stood its ground! … What needs to happen in this writers opinion is for the Commission to go back to 2010 and begin with the priorities which really were infrastructure … Put as much energy into the downtown project as they can…We all know that the biggest bang for the buck…the biggest invitation to the right kind of businesses and the best way to prove themselves is to do that area from A1A to the pavilion…The CCL delay spoken about tonight does not pass mustard for this writer in the delay department…We did the Pavilion within the last 3 years and  the pertinent info required is not out of date…I was under the impression the work would include changing parking to parallel /removing the medians and drainage…lights etc… so why the resolve shown that this cannot be completed until 2013?… I want a second opinion…and then a third and forth… Perhaps the last drainage contractor used by Colon could be of help?…I also want some answers…How much are the square footage retail rents in town?…Surely they are not $8 sq ft as RMA keeps coming up with.as a comparison from their past conquests ..I want to know how Dave Gadsby, Paul Novak and Sea Lord, Windjammer market their establishments… I want to know how Village Grille and Aruba and 101 Ocean market their events and restaurants…. I want to know how the Chamber markets their art fairs …All bring large turnouts to the Town regularly…I have not seen or heard anything from the owners of the strip malls west of A1A …Where do they stand on these plans? … Sorry to say it looks like we are once again going into a municipal election with a majority on the Commission who want the “whole enchilada”…Cha Ching! …. The next item dealt with planning changes presented by Cecelia Ward… This planner is well worth keeping on and an asset…The “Mediterranean style” is slated to be removed for a MIMO “Miami style”…when did the Comm. decide that was the style to meet the criteria..Comm. Sasser tried to broach this and was shot down by both the TM and Mayor …I believe the presenter for MIMO said not to use that as a prerequisite of style required …find our own … One funny reminder to readers though concerning the Mediterranean style that was never fully realized in the new buildings over the last 5-6 years ….this writer sat through many meetings including the BOA/P & Z and Commission when the head of development for the Town would state the project met the required style only to have it pared down and altered by those voting from the dais!… Bet you anything that will continue as a new style is put on the books!…The building permit fees were presented by ousted Davie TM Gary Shimun who compared fees to 14 municipalities…He did veered way off reality when he made the proposed idea of a picture or video of a project negating an on-site inspection!… Hello? …Get real!… VM Dodd asked the most important question and the reply should make residents stand up and take notice…VM Dodd asked if a permit based on a % of a project was based on the actual cost or what it would cost if done by a General Contracting firm…The answer I believe was the General Contracting price!…That means if you renovate your bathroom as builder-owner and the cost is 1/3 of using a “professional” you will pay a permit based on the full cost!… WOW!… An RFP will go out for outsourcing an alternative to using Broward County…Underground utilities…proved to be just what the Vice Mayor said from the get-go …a waste of time for aesthetics …as well as a logistical impossibility due to no place to put in the transformers…not allowed in the medians… The Mayor rudely cut off the consultant hired to do this study who was standing at the podium…Why?…This was a well-paid consultant who should have gone on the record in the minutes!… The TM will still see if it is possible when we go to do the downtown to do a portion of that area with underground utilities anyhow…. Contracting for Parking Operations and Citation Collection Services…Earlier in the evening Rosa the “Tomato Lady” came to speak for her son who is employed by the town as a parking enforcement officer …and for the parking supervisor who is near retirement…She had some sympathetic ears on the dais…Unfortunately … It’s time to outsource this department…in my opinion…The VM was correct on the Town being overcharged by Duncan our present vendor for the citations …We were saddled with them after former TM Colon had the majority of the former Comm. follow her down a rather nasty path of disparaging a competitor who would have offered a better deal in order to keep a vendor she wanted around…(prev posts) … The warehouse was a tabled event due to no specifics being available with a cost comparison per PIO Steve D’Oliveira for selling or renting…The Mayor still wants to keep it around for hurricanes… The millage rate item came next and the new Finance Director was introduced and with that the screen went to “Event has ended”…HA!… When it came back there was a set-up to not having the same 3.999 millage for 4 years and the monies we did not collect due to that decision… The Commission most likely will play the same game as in those past 4 years…higher than 3.999…Lots of electioneering about lowering taxes…and coming back to 3.999…. The Vice Mayor wanted to start at 3.999…no takers though ….Vice Mayor Dodd is on record at the September 2008 budget hearing for wanting to lower the millage to 3.25…He was shot down…Former Comm. Silverstone used the lower millage promise as a last ditch effort to covet votes in a debate at the last municipal election…. The final topic was Improved Efficiencies & Practices in the Finance Department which gave the TM and the Mayor the ability to “tag-team” all the virtues of using consultants!…These two are joined at the hip…Time warp…yep!…Esther and Jerry time ….with more to come no doubt….

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again…

‘It’s astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll
But listen closely

Not for very much longer

I’ve got to keep control
I remember doing the Time Warp
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me

And the void would be calling

Let’s do the Time Warp again
Let’s do the Time Warp again

It’s just a jump to the left

And then a step to the right

With your hands on your hips

You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane
Let’s do the Time Warp again
Let’s do the Time Warp again

It’s so dreamy
Oh, fantasy free me
So you can’t see me
No, not at all
In another dimension
With voyeuristic intention
Well secluded, I see all

With a bit of a mind flip

You’re into the time slip
[From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/r/rocky-horror-picture-show-lyrics/the-time-warp-lyrics.html]

And nothing can ever be the same

You’re spaced out on sensation

Like you’re under sedation

Let’s do the Time Warp again
Let’s do the Time Warp again

Well I was walking down the street
Just a having a think
When a snake of a guy gave me an evil wink
He shook-a me up, he took me by surprise
He had a pick up truck and the devil’s eyes
He stared at me and I felt a change
Time meant nothing, never would again

Let’s do the Time Warp again
Let’s do the Time Warp again

It’s just a jump to the left

And then a step to the right

With your hands on your hips

You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane
Let’s do the Time Warp again
Let’s do the Time Warp again’

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop …The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea June, 14 2011 Commission Roundtable … #5 … There Are Studies & There Are Studies …

June 20, 2011 by Barbara

INTERCEPT STUDY …PHONE STUDY …. SPAGHETTI STUDY ….

Dear Readers … Tonight will be the first budget workshop for the 2011-12 fiscal year…Item 3a will be the 5- year Financing and Implementation Plan we paid $20,000 to  RMA to come up with  …It will include the numbers and figures that are “not etched in stone” they stated …Included in the Plan is highly paid personnel… incentives …a bond for a parking garage (yr. 5) … R.O.W infrastructure projects …. Marketing and Branding… Marketing  and Branding were discussed at the June 14, 2011 Comm. Roundtable for a half an hour …It was 30 minutes of redundancy …which  included a tit-for-tat professional-to-professional exchange between Comm. Clottey (a marketer) and the RMA “marketing person” Sharon McCormick on the lack of detail in the report ….Vice Mayor Dodd making it known from the get-go that he was not comfortable going forth at this time without first seeing the report due to be presented on the 20th and the final UM report …. A few direct comprehensive questions about what the surveys were going after came from Comm. Sasser ….Comm. Vincent did his usual “gleaning” to look as though he knew what he was inquiring about and the Mayor was repetitive and all over the place heading away from a consultant to a full-time paid Marketing Director on staff which surprise-surprise is included in the RMA plan  (prev. post) … For this writer when it comes to these surveys and studies …as I previously posted the studies done by these same consultants are public record and easily obtainable… and as far as I am concerned the study that comes to mind when all is said and done is the spaghetti study…Throw it all against the wall and see what the municipality is willing to pay for!…

Item 3e Town Marketing Plan …mostly verbatim…

The Mayor introduced the item and turned it over to the Town Manager..

TM Hoffmann- ” When RMA made the presentation to the commission on the economic development view of the Master Plan they made a number of recommendations and the one that the commission expressed the most immediate interest in was the development of a marketing effort to promote our town businesses. Specifically the hotel and the retail component of our economy and so  you asked RMA to develop a proposal to create a marketing plan for the town and you have their proposal before you tonight. And we also have Chris Brown who’s a principal with RMA who everyone knows and a new face today from RMA, Sharon McCormick who is their head marketing person who works with a number of different cities doing the kinds of things that we hope to do here in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. They’ve provided a proposal that’s been broken down into several  components. Once is the development of a marketing plan but one that is based on and driven by market research and they propose to use a subcontractor that they’ve used very successfully in the past to do that research and rather than explain this, I think I’d rather turn it over to them to give you a brief overview of what they propose and then the commission can ask them all the questions that you have about this concept.”

Chris Brown- ” Than you Connie, Mayor, Vice Mayor and Commissioners. My name is Chris Brown one of the principals of RMA and you may remember me when we, Kim and I my partner made a presentation about the Master Plan and some of the components and priorities. And Connie is right on in saying that there was a great deal of interest in the marketing portion of that of those priorities. Here with me is one of our associates. Works for RMA, is Sharon McCormick. Sharon hails from Boone North Carolina and although she didn’t go to Alabama she loves Alabama! (there was laughter due to Comm. Sasser’s daughter going to Alabama next year) So, I want you to know that. Hope I got one vote, that was for one vote (laughing). But, anyway Sharon worked on the marketing plan. She’s really been, she’s been in and out of, she’s been in a number of times and she worked for Kim in West Palm Beach for 7 years or so. So, she was really the marketing director for the CRA in West Palm Beach and then she left and then she came to work for us, for our company and she is handling marketing for Dania Beach and still doing a little bit of work for West Palm. They hired a new marketing director but she’s sort of training the new marketing director and the we’re doing work for Pompano Beach and that’s it. And we have the same bits and pieces for example we just, our firm just recruited the marketing director for a Business Improvement District for Downtown Naples. So that was a pretty exciting assignment. We first help create the district and now and then we recruited the executive director. There’s a case where the executive director is going to have to do the marketing plan herself so unless of course they want to hire us. But I think they want to do it in-house and so that will take a little while for them to do that. In any case some of  the, you know a real reason for a marketing plan is to give you the blueprint and give the marketing director. Cause we talked about that in our priorities getting a marketing director for the Town. Have a blueprint and a guideline and a whole strategy for mainly for two things. That is to retain and bring in new businesses, help the hotels, get new customers, bring in new hoteliers to develop new hotels and bring in consumers cause without the consumers ah, you’re not gonna ring anything on the cash register. “…Mr Brown went on to repeat his resume as the marketing director for Delray beach …He stated he was in the shopping center industry prior to that which had a marketing director and stated he would not run a downtown without a marketing director. …”I think although you have an enormous amount of opportunity in the hotel it’s the same thing, you wouldn’t, you want the marketing director to help run and improve the situation with the hotels. But the marketing plan is really the first thing and then follow that is branding. We talked about branding and I think that’s a very important component and a bit in the market, the marketing plan will deal with a little bit of the criteria and the purpose  of a branding program. So it will be very clear why you’re doing branding. But in any case I thin that’s it. I’m gonna turn it over , the whole marketing plan discussion to Sharon.”

Sharon McCormick-  thanked Chris and repeated her name but corrected both the Town Manager and Chris Brown as to what her title was at RMA ..”I’m officially the Director of Communications, is my title with RMA and I’m very delighted to be here tonight and thank you for the opportunity to share this information with you and basically it’s very you know, I’m just gonna highlight this very quickly. I know that Kim and Chris did a very detailed overview with you about creating a comprehensive marketing plan and I just wanted to stress the importance of the market research which includes intercept, phone, merchant surveys and hotel surveys and all of that information together along with several other um, analysis um, lead to ah, a review of the situation, the current situation and once you’ve really identified what the situation is, that you’ve gotten analytically then you can create the um, you can identify the problems and the opportunities. Then once you identify the problems and the opportunities you take those opportunities and create really, really objective, you know strategic objectives and then develop strategies and tactics very detailed tactics in order so that really if anybody picked it up, anybody should be able to pick up the marketing plan and if they have the acumen in the marketing you know, industry be able to implement that plan. So um, that’s how detailed it gets into the tactic section of the plan and ah, then you want to always have an evaluation process so that annually you can really evaluate and measure the economic impact that you’ve had on the community. You make adjustments where necessary. You keep moving in a positive direction and you maintain the authenticity that’s already here and you build on it. Um, so anyway that’s kind of the overview. Um everything that we do is designed to support economic growth and development. The retention of business, the attraction of new businesses. So all of those strategic tactics are designed in order to do that to being the community up. So one of the things I wanted to just briefly go over with you were some of the successes that we had in downtown West Palm Beach actually 2 miles north of downtown in an area called Northwood Village which was my passion for 5 straight years and In less than a 5 year period we took rental rates from about $8 a square foot to $24 a square foot now. We attracted over 44 new businesses to a 6 block area. This was a very, very, very blighted area. Nothing like this, it was very blighted. So it was quite an accomplishment to get it to that level. We changed the environment through lots of incentive programs developed specifically for the needs of those business owners and property owners in that area and we were able to leverage now over 6 million dollars of private investment leveraged by a million and a half in public dollars. So there’s where you know your money can work exponentially. Um, with the marketing properly marketing good incentives to businesses and property owners and the we gained local, national, and international attention through international award programs, through state award programs, through a national magazine and through local media. So all of those things combined you know in a 5 year period just completely transformed a very, very blighted area where you know you’re working with so much more than that. So I’d like to answer any questions that I can and Chris and I will both tag team on whatever you have to ask.”

Comm. Clottey  jumped right in and stated she was disappointed in the detail presented …because there was very little detail included in the type of marketing research they were going to do for us …She asked about the sampling methodology they were using whether it was quota sample, strategy sample, random sample…Sharon McCormick was flustered in her response stating the subcontractor from Profile Market Research should have been there to respond to her… Comm. Clottey shot back he should have included that information in the report and stated RMS “slid over everything that to me is very important.”… Sharon McCormick said the subcontractor worked with them very closely on this…Comm. Clottey said he didn’t need to come he just needed to provide the information…Clottey went on to reveal to Ms. McCormick that she too was a marketer and for the amount of money being charged to do this she hoped we were not “just gonna get a cross tabled table.”… Sharron responded no it would be very detailed …Clottey responded that type of study could be detailed inferring it would still be substandard …Sharon nodded and said ok to complying with Comm. Clottey’s required information…

Comm. Vincent was next and thanked Sharon as he asked “how important is a market research for the town for the projection for the future that, that this town wants to accomplish in going back to the last 2 weeks ago when we had the University of Miami with their presentation. Were you involved? Were you here? Did you, Chris (Brown) I know you, Chris was here. (Sharon responded she read it) Um, taking that into consideration how important is it that we do what you suggest we do to take this town where we want to take it in the next, in the near future.?”…

Sharon McCormick- ” Through the research? Yeah, through intercept and phone surveys. You know they give you totally different bits of information. The intercept surveys obviously gives you information on um, that the people who are visiting and are shopping here and what they’re spending their money on and their preferences and you know how often they come and um, how often they come and um, how you know and, and what they like the most and what they’d like to see where a phone survey’s obviously gives you um, information about people who may or may not be coming and why they may or may not be coming. So it gives you a baseline the first year that you do it. It gives you a baseline to evaluate um. all types of ah, you know initiatives that you put into the place to see how you’re increasing the number of people that are coming to an area.”

Comm. Vincent- asked if they had “established” whether the Town had ever done a marketing plan and if that information was provided to them and had they reviewed it …The TM chimed in to respond about the Goodkin Report (prev.post) which the RMA received (as well as the MPSC/Comms.) The TM was not sure of the year 2004 or 2005 and as has become his M.O. Comm. Vincent “gleaned” from  the TM in the form of mimicking her responses stating he now recalled the report and the content…He added after Chris Brown stated the Goodkin Report was more real estate oriented vs the RMA proposed plan which would be consumer oriented …thus Chris Brown said they were “very, very different”..”It’s a whole , a completely different approach. We tried to understand the feel about the town what they do here and why they come here and why they don’t come here”…Comm. Vincent responded the Goodkin Report did make some of those same suggestions and it should be reviewed and used for comparison..

The Mayor asked for the VM or Comm.Sasser to comment..

VM Dodd – “I’m not that comfortable about expanding RMA’s role at this time and going ahead with a $62,000 marketing and branding program.”… He spoke of the Pompano Beach “pinching” of another city’s slogan (same branding contractor per RMA as other muni’s RMA has put forth for comparison) ..He spoke of Delray Beach in the news recently rethinking their restaurant quota and said he would like to hold off until the final reports from UM and the financial plan from RMA are received as well as the budget …

The Mayor jumped in before Comm. Sasser and said  “Yeah, um. and again and a marketing plan is important but I’m, I’m not sure that it’s the right time for out town right now. I do think that it’s something that could be done at the staff level. “..She went on ask how much the Chamber was funded for marketing last year to which the Town Manager reminded her it was for advertising and it was approx. $14-$15  thousand ….The Mayor stated she had seen a letter from the Chamber stating they were not asking for funding this year …(really?) …and that maybe that money could go towards a marketing research person and could be discussed during budget time (this was June 14th- budget time starts June 21st!) …She said she agreed with the Vice Mayor and the need for the reports…repeated it could be done in a staff level position and said that was where she stood…

TM Hoffmann- ” I’d just like to comment that there’s nobody on staff right now that has any marketing expertise whatsoever (laughing). Now RMA had recommended in the, their plan (item 2a June 21, 2011 backup) that we hire someone that has that ability and that capability. So I think we need to talk at budget workshop if that’s what you have in mind and I don’t know what other person, Sharon can speak to whether the person who’s you implementer is the same as the person who devises the marketing plan.”

Chris Brown- ” Well it, it, it all depends on whether the implementer, there is a little bit of a difference between the person that has the vision to, to, to, do the blueprint and the person who implements and so sometimes you get the person can do both but they’ll have to, they’ll have to do, they’ll have to spend the time to write the plan which will take you know 90 days or so and then and so not much marketing’s gonna go on through that time. But you, a good marketing director can also write a plan. I mean Sharon did it so, in West Palm so and she was the marketing director as well. “..He asked Sharon to speak about it..

Sharon McCormick- “It is something that you can of course can be done by one person and we had talked about um, if you go ahead and have a plan you know now while you’re deciding to hire a marketing director because someone has to implement the plan .It will be really important to have someone take the plan and do something with it um, I just know from experience um if you find someone that has written a redevelopment marketing plan um, it will be alot easier for them. Because writing a marketing plan for a retail store or you know you really want somebody from the industry of redevelopment to be writing a redevelopment marketing plan.”…She added it was easier each year in her 5 year stint with West Palm Beach…and added the need for guidance  most likely would be required as well …

The Mayor for the first of several times said which Commissioner they heard from and asked where they were at then…before getting a response from Comm. Sasser she jumped in again to talk of her preference for a staff position to be filled stating it could be part- time and again spoke of the budget process …

Comm. Sasser said he had a couple of questions for Sharon and Chris and asked if the marketing plan they were presenting was for “attracting customers to the business areas or are you talking about attracting businesses themselves?” …Sharon and Chris Brown both responded “both”… Comm Sasser responded that was great and that was what he thought they were proposing and “what I wanted to hear”… He went on to speak about “alot of money” being spent on “redevelopment and looking at different areas of the town and one of those things is if we’re not attracting the right businesses we’re gonna spend alot of money and we’re gonna fancy everything up and they’re gonna remain empty or what have you so I also think this is extremely, extremely important.”…His other question was on the need for the person hired needing to be in redevelopment marketing or what the would call “Business development as well”… He said he had conversations with the Town Manager who is “pretty adamant” that she thinks they “need to be specific via retail vs hotel or lodging”…wanting to know if it’s possible to find someone who can do both…

Chris Brown threw some levity into the discussion using a football analogy …first using Auburn University…then to Alabama with a laugh as he described a player who could kick, pass, throw and run…but those types of players don’t come along too often…same for marketing directors who may not have equal expertise between retail and hotel… Chris Brown added that the position would need to be full-time at a minimum…

Comm. Sasser asked about how we are going to pay for things and spoke of the referendum again speaking about attracting the right businesses and how they can help us “generating the right capital through those new businesses that help us pay for exactly what we’re doing?”

Chris Brown- “Well I remember that question. I think it was your question when we were here last. How you gonna pay for it and of course on e of the best ways is for the  town to have better real estate values because that’s really how you earn your money. This town’s business plan is about, it’s about assessed value of real estate.”…He spoke of Sharon’s example in Northwood Village and the rents tripling …”Then the property appraiser says ok the value of the property goes up and then you get greater tax revenues and then you start having a surplus and then you put that money away for later on for the garage in 5 years or whatever. You know whatever your priorities are. Yes, this is the way it goes and I mean just to give you an example in Delray when I first started there we had tax increments of $300,000 and today it’s $12 million. That’s and they have so much money they can’t spend it fast enough! But it’s all about real estate values.”…He too spoke of rents going from$8 sq. ft (as Sharon stated for West Palm) in Delray going up to $50-$75 sq. ft…changing from “gross leases to triple net leases”…He spoke about it being restaurant driven and spoke briefly about that being his baby …he invented the restaurant model that the VM spoke of was now being written negatively…stating he disagreed with those who are criticizing what he did…

Comm. Sasser- thanked the Mayor for the time allotted to him and thanked Chris Brown stating ” because the long term ROI on that is the obvious thing”..Chris Brown said “That’s your business plan, I mean really the marketing is part of your whole business plan”…Comm. Sasser finished up by speaking about the past requirement of hotels on El Mar undergrounding and that should be retained to offset costs and find the right business “partners”…

Chris Brown responded about the hotels and spoke of his firm working on incentives for hotels in Delray a few years back and the Canadian company for Hyatt Place which came to West Palm when Sharon was there …Now he and RMA have gotten into a whole new field and are bringing it elsewhere (Hyatt is also coming to Pompano Beach -via RMA ) …He went on ” We’re just beginning and let’s not lose it we’re gonna, we’re gaining momentum on hotels now and they’re more and more people beginning to redevelop hotels. It’s just beginning to happen. So I leave that on the table as saying let’s really jump on that because I think we have a chance on El Mar to really do something.”

Comm. Sasser- Thanked the Mayor and Chris Brown again and said “I appreciate you letting me have, ask all of those questions, but that’s really what I want to drive at and really the point I wanted to make which is, you know we need to leave, it’s such an important part of what we’re doing attracting not only customers and marketing plan but attracting the right businesses and they can actually help us get to where we want to go. So, it’s really very, very critical and vital and with that I yield.”

The Mayore again said they were being asked to give direction for a Town marketing plan by RMA with a budget amount ($62,000) …She again stated her preference and  asked Comm. Clottey if she could not make a decision right now…

Comm. Clottey said she had a question  and said “one of the goals of the marketing plan is …(The Mayor tried to cut her off) Can I ask a question? Is to determine you know how you’re gonna get where you want to go and that’s why you do your research to find out where we are now, but are we, have we really verbalized where we want to go exactly?”

This is where Sharon McCormick had her comeback to Comm. Clottey’s first comments…”That’s all part of the analysis is to talk about that through the process of creating the plan.”

Comm. Clottey- ” Cause we talk about businesses. Commissioner Sasser says we want to attract the right businesses, but we haven’t defined the right business yet.”

The Mayor once again tried to stop any further discussion… but Sharon McCormick responded about the different models of statistical data again speaking of the phone surveys and “leakage” of where money is being spent and  “capturing” that in other areas…

The Mayor once again repeated what they needed to do with direction being given …stating it should be addressed in the budget…in a line-item “or do we want to look at other opportunities to create a Town marketing plan through the Town staff itself?’ …She asked the TM if she was stating it properly and TM Hoffman replied “Um. yeah I think that’s half the question. I do think we have to make a decision not necessarily tonight but during the budget process are we going to develop a marketing plan if it’s done in-house or outside that is data driven based on research?”… Comm. Sasser said his answer was yes and they could decide on RMA later ..”So yes, I think it’s absolutely necessary”… The Mayor alright and for the last  time repeated the marketing plan would be discussed in the budget  either with RMA or other options… That will happen tonight at 5 pm in Jarvis hall …first item up for discussion…

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … When There’s Annual Conferences Involved … You Know It’s Big Business …

June 19, 2011 by Barbara

FLORIDA REDEVELOPMENT  ASSOCIATION …. TIMES ARE GOOD! ….

Dear Readers … after the Commission decided no referendum for the 2012 ballot…not even any discussion on how it could be put forth and admitted this latest rendition of the Master Plan amounted to just another costly exercise at best due to the agreement at the roundtable on June 14, 2011 once again that any big ticket item redevelopment in town is 5-10 years away if not more…they moved on to agenda item 3e to hire RMA for a marketing/branding plan that would ultimately lead to hiring a full-time Town Marketing Director to be included in next year’s budget… This writer once again listened to the approximately 30 minute discussion on the coveted marketing plan proposed…( I will post that verbatim asap) … I earlier wrote a post about a traveling “magic elixer” salesmen that come to municipalities in the form of these consultants with the expected pronouncements of required studies ….Research which is data based and requires a plethora of sub-contractors to come to on board as well…… It’s  due to how lucrative it is to come to town even when times are hard in the communities that ultimately jump on board.. They belong to the Florida Redevelopment Association…thus the annual conferences … At these conferences are all the familiar players we have come to know over this last fiscal year…(see below 2010 jpg pgs) … The 2011 conference will be in October according to their site … http://redevelopment.net/ …. Will LBTS be another notch on their belts thus joining Delray Beach/Dania Beach/West Palm Beach/ Naples /Pompano Beach … I can tell you right now…I sure hope not.. I have taken the time to look at the marketing plans /branding/ tourist programs/CRAs/economic development strategies etc…as well as the budgets for each municipality we have been told by these consultants they have been or are associated with to see the comparisons …This something I have previously asked about… populations/budgets/millage/ commercial revenue etc/bonds/debt…No Commissioner has asked those questions at any meeting thus far and no such information has been brought to the discussion by those consultants who stand before them in order to continue on in providing more services to the Town and the Town Administration has not provided the information either as far as I am aware of … It is easy to see with just a few Googles that we are nothing like the communities we are being compared to … What is also easily accessible are the reports others paid the big bucks for and how much they are alike in not only the renderings but what is needed in their communities for the future …I believe we have alot of savvy people in this town with time on their hands who could easily be recruited by the Town as they were for committees and boards who in less than a week could glean 90% of the required reports and surveys and easily reformat them to fit what LBTS would need for a marketing plan … I’m sure many “professionals” will be aghast at the suggestion to do so… As far as “incentives”… There was an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune business section last Thursday comparing the original stakeholders in Chicago at the beginning of its growth …..The Marshall Fields, Adlers, Woolworths etc…who built up businesses and gave back to the city to confirm their commitment …The article  states nowadays  times have changed and businesses come to cities with their hands open like children looking for their allowance…in other words for incentives…and they have no intention of giving back…Illinois has seen it with big manufacturers leaving and coming depending on what the state will cough up compared to other states …The same goes for municipalities…Incentives is a big part of the marketing plan in every plan I pulled up… Tax increments and bonds are another factor…The latest comparison used by RMA was Northwood in West Palm Beach…  In 2006 they went for a $23 million dollar bond ….that seems to be the norm for these compared cities with their CRAs …Of note was that the branding for this RMA client was the same RMA sub-contractor that did branding for Pompano Beach/Dania Beach/Delray Beach/Naples and West Palm Beach … On Tuesday June 14, 2011 the Commissioners were going back and forth on spending an additional $62,000 dollars to RMA for them to sub-contract out on top of the $35,000 we have already paid them … The Mayor made a pitch for a staff member to do the job…and it was made clear once again by the Town Manager we have no one who could do the job…but that was one option that was put on the table for discussion ….and boy is it and more! …In the backup ..(scroll down to see  a few pgs .below )  the first budget meeting includes some very “heady” plans for this seaside village of 6000… Item 2a… New positions for a Marketing Director/Project Manager/ Economic development Director total over the 5-year plan $1,323, 410. in salaries… Also the Marketing & Special Events which will cost $303,000 over 5-year plan with $97,000 in 2011-12 for marketing research/branding campaign/marketing & collateral material/business development events… I have been informed that some savvy local business people in town believe to do marketing/branding now before the crappy hotels/motels are up to snuff would be a horrible idea.. And finally the proposed “Organizational Chart Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Redevelopment Initiative” which includes positions proposed  below the Town Commission and before the Town Manager of a Lobbyist and an Action Committee comprised ( in this top -bottom order)of Design-Architect,Designer, Engineer/Development- Real Estate, Appraiser, Broker,Contractor/ Hotel-Hotel Industry, Owner, Manager/ Finance- Lender, Banker, Financial Advisor/ Merchants- Merchant (food/drink, retail)/ Residents- Neighborhood Representatives)… Full link to Town website backup below) …This writer wonders how the south- end of town/Sea Ranch Club residents are going to take to these proposals…A Lobbyist placed so prominently in LBTS …WOW! … Long ago when Town Manager Connie Hoffmann was hired as the Interim TM Ma proponent of having the Comm. make the decisions to go ahead without a referendum told me he had concerns that she might find it difficult to manage a small town …He meant that she was used to Fort Lauderdale and that style of administrating …I disagreed though thinking that since Ms. Hoffmann said often she knew LBTS quite well as she was close friends with Laura Ward, the Asst. TM at the time and surely Hoffmann had watched Ms. Ward and knew the comfort level found in a town this size with how Ward operated in moving projects forward……It seems that supporter was correct … after seeing what I’ve seen over the last months and in this budget backup with this item and others ….

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Delray Beach budget- http://www.mydelraybeach.com/Delray/Departments/Finance/For+Residents/Annual+Budget.htm

Dania Beach budget- http://ci.dania-beach.fl.us/index.aspx?nid=592

West Palm Beach budget- http://www.cityofwpb.com/finance/budget.php

Pompano Beach budget- http://www.mypompanobeach.org/directory/budget/index.html

Naples budget- http://www.naplesgov.com/Departments/Finance/TheBudget.aspx

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea budget- http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/finance-doc.htm

OF NOTE- For a better idea of LBTS’ budget- http://lbtsbudget.com/

OF NOTE- take a look at …(field trip?) ..Lighthouse Point budget- http://www.lighthousepoint.com/dep3.cfm

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JPGS JUNE 21, 2011 BUDGET WORKSHOP  Agenda item 2a…

link to full backup for June 21, 2011 5pm LBTS Budget Workshop… http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/agendabackupminutesNEW.html

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop .. The June 14, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Roundtable … #4… A Fiscal Year Invalidated? …

June 18, 2011 by Barbara

‘Patrick Duffy leaves and returns ..

At the end of the 1984-85 season, Patrick Duffy expressed his desire to leave the series. Thus, his character of Bobby died when he was run over by a car driven by his sister-in-law, Katherine Wentworth. This proved to be a mistake as it left the show without one of its most popular characters. Larry Hagman persuaded Duffy to return to the series the following season. Dallas scriptwriters created a storyline which featured Pam waking up to find Bobby in the shower (in the May 1986 cliffhanger episode) – with the realization that the storylines of the preceding season, including the accident, were nothing more than a lengthy dream sequence (thus invalidating the entire 1985-1986 season of the show).’

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Dear Readers …. for those old enough to remember the TV series Dallas you might recall the return of Bobby Ewing appearing in the shower and the expected reaction by the those watching it of “Give me a break!” … We were supposed to really believe that everything that happened after his death was just one long horrible dream? … Hmmm…Of course the real reason for the haphazard convoluted shower scene was due to low ratings after the actor left the series and the realization that in order to keep their series on the air they had to bring him back and give the viewers back what they made them viewers in the first place…Hmmmm…So for this writer all this talk from the Commission …UOT stalwart supporters and the BTSFuture  reminded me of it as we are now supposed to believe that they never had any intention of going forward with parking garages, a Town Hall Complex and Town Plaza or underground utilities on El Mar Drive as they gave us this 2010-2011 Master Plan re-do series this fiscal year?…Was it just a long horrible dream that cost us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for the annual “Professional Services” budget for consultants, studies, reports, multiple presentations and charettes for what they now say is 5-10 years away at least? … We are now supposed to believe it was all for sewers, drainage, lighting,sidewalks and shade trees? … That “viewers” is called a rerun! … Basically if we are to swallow this “script” those same players are following at this point in time the LBTS 2010-2011 fiscal year has been invalidated! … Below is item 3d. from the June 14, 2011 Commission Roundtable…It was a second attempt by Vice Mayor Dodd to see just where his fellow dais members stood on the big ticket items as some of them prepare for re-election… I believe that the Vice Mayor along with many of us thought the majority of the Commission and Town committees along with this Administration and those consultants and professionals brought in to deal with the Master Plan were absolutely poised to forge ahead on all fronts ….especially when RMA is set to present a 5-year plan which according to the agreement was due this month…(perhaps after this latest exchange at the roundtable that 5-year plan has been altered as well?) … Again, if we are now to take the very same people at their word we went down a very expensive, time consuming path only to find what they really want to accomplish was what we all knew needed attention as high priority items before the first check was cut to a consultant and the first meeting was held by the now defunct Master Plan Steering Committee…  Forget about the shower scene …taxpayers in LBTS took a bath when it comes to this latest rendition of the Master Plan! …

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Mayor Minnet looking at the UOT contingency in Jarvis Hall June 4, 2011 as Vice Mayor Dodd explained prior to his referendum item on the agenda that he thought those trying to thwart his bringing it on the agenda for a 2nd time were being quite unfair… Take a good look ….it’s very “telling” in my opinion…

Item 3d. Referenda  mostly verbatim…

Vice Mayor Dodd-” Ok, well I never thought that the word could cause so much emotion. What a lot of negativity. Many of us attended the University of Miami’s presentation and none of the proposals have been discussed because of sunshine. I don’t get the opportunity of discussing it with my fellow commissioners as to where they really stand. Yes, it’s very early days with no decisions as to if we even want to go ahead. If you out there would prefer us not to discuss it and put the $20,000 report on a shelf to gather dust then we could do that but it wouldn’t achieve anything. I feel it is far more important to let each commissioner answer where they stand on these issues that could be above 5 million dollars in costs and even at the risk of repeating myself I have 4 questions for each commissioner. Are you in favor of a multi- story car park on A1A? Are you in favor of redevelopment of the Town Hall site? Should it be funded by a bond, a loan, taxation or private development? And should these 5 million dollar plus items be referendum ballot issues or would you rather that they were decided by the commission? I’ll go first and I’ll say multi-story car park, I say not for 5 years at least. It was a great idea everybody latched on to it. We don’t need it for 5 years. Redevelopment of Town Hall, I think that’s 10 years out. Should it be funded by private or government funds or bond. I believe it should be private and I believe that you voters have the right to decide  something where the commission are saddling you with what could be over 5 million dollars in costs and that’s why I put this on this roundtable to find out where everybody stands whether they feel it’s a referendum issue or whether they have the authority to go ahead, because in my book and I campaigned on this same thing, I think it’s the voters that should decide issues of that magnitude. So I have 4 questions for each of you.”

Comm. Clottey= ” Can I ask, I understood you to say that both the Town Hall and the garage should be private because you just said they’re private.”

VM Dodd- ” I believe that they be funded by private, that we shouldn’t be involved in it, that it should be put out by a bond. I’d just like to know where you stand, do you think it should be a bond or a loan?”

Comm. Clottey- ” I need to understand what you’re talkin about first. Are you talking about Town Hall?”

VM Dodd- ” How do we pay for it? All I’m wanting to know is how do we pay for it? For the parking garage, how do we pay for the redevelopment of the Town Hall site is all questions I’m trying to put to you. I mean it was a great presentation, don’t get me wrong. I loved it but we as a commission in order to move forward need to be able to discuss this openly and I put it on the agenda as an item called referenda. We’re gonna be discussing it at the budget hearing but I just want to get people in this frame of mind that we need to think about these things as we’re moving forwards and I would respectfully like to know what peoples views are as to how do we go ahead with this?”

BC- I believe the VM misspoke and the dialog between the two was disjointed in clarifying the VM was for private for the parking garage and wanting to know how to fund the Town Hall redevelopment by loan or bond… Comm. Vincent looking like he was fully loaded for bear picking up on the UOT members sitting in the hall and in synch with the Mayor’s stance due to her facial expressions replied next… mimicking Mark Brown and the public comments made by the UOT speakers (prev. post)…

Comm. Vincent- ” What was the first question?”

VM Dodd- ” First question is multi-story car park. Are you in favor of it?”

Comm. Vincent- ” How much is it gonna cost? Next question!”

VM Dodd- “How would you fund it?”

Comm. Vincent- ” How much is it gonna cost?”

VM Dodd-” Say 5 million.”

Comm. Vincent- ” Say 5 million” ..he laughed sarcastically “How can you, how can you ask us to make a decision on something without any factual drawings, budget,anything on this is! Why you can’t put something out to referendum without first doing the homework! Vice Mayor, we , we’re not even , we haven’t even scratched the surface on any of these!”

VM Dodd- ” So are you in favor of it or not?”

Comm. Vincent- ” I won’t answer that question! But, I will tell you item 1 in simple terms without sounding negative. Item 1 should the Town”…mumbling the rest of the question…”No! Item 2 redevelopment of Twon Hall, should that be on a referenda? No! Item 3 multi-story garages. Should that be on a referenda? No!”

VM Dodd- ” How should they be funded?”

Comm. Vincent- ” We have no idea what the costs are (laughing and snorting) We don’t even know how much money at that time we may even have to fund it ourselves without having to go for a bond. How can you make these decisions or even draft up these ideas and have discussions on this without anything in front of us other than hypothesizing here what we think it may be? Its’ just outrageous! It’s premature! And No, no and no!”

VM Dodd- “That’s fine”

BC- The private builder for the Deerfield parking garage was contacted and his responses about the A1A parking garage was included in backup presented to the full commission months ago. If Comm. Vincent did his homework he would know that $5 million was the cost estimate. Comm. Vincent should also know that RMA is due this month to present costs as well based on other municipalities. Comm. Vincent has a real problem with “gleaning” bits and pieces of comments heard and spouting them out as his own …unfortunately the result of doing this makes for much fodder …The above comments and those that followed at this meeting have become the norm…

Comm. Sasser- ” Are you lookin at me Stu? So the question I would have for you before, I ask that and that would be do you think we should put a referendum amount on anything that is 5 years out or more?”

VM Dodd- ” No I don’t”

Comm. Sasser- ” Ok and neither do I by the way and that’s why I would say that I don’t think any of these should be on a referendum because I don’t think any of them are gonna get done or should be done within the next 5 years.”

VM Dodd- ” That’s what I agree with.”

Comm. Sasser- ” With the caveat that some future commission and possibly one of us may sit on that in some manner or the other once you decide that I think it may be a different issue but it’s just not a high priority. Sorry.”

BC- Again, I find it hard to understand if the commission all feel the big ticket items should not happen for 5 years or more why we started this journey we went on in the first place?… If the 2004 Master Plan was no good in 2010.. how can the 2011 Master Plan have any validity in 2016-2021?… Redoing the 2004 plan what was not a high priority …in my opinion…

Mayor Minnet- “Or if the people come forward with a referendum. I think that’s you know (laughing sarcastically) sort of lost sight of the real idea of what a referendum is and that’s from the people and we’re hearing from the people they do want us to make some of these decisions and we really haven’t collectively come to this table with those decisions. So many of these decisions that you have just mentioned are years down the line. Um, I think a referendum is a great idea when you, when it’s not political. Number 1, I do think (laughing) that, that some of the things that have been discussed here this evening have been very premature and unfortunately political and, and I think that is too bad for this town. Ah, we have a small town and I think we’ve worked really hard to work together and recognize that we all have opposite ideas at times but we recognize these ideas and we recognize them with civility um, understanding that um, together is the only way we’re gonna be able to move forward um, and we all bring different ways of things to this table and I’ve been grateful that we have all worked together on this and I find it unfortunate that this has put some divisive lines between us which quite honestly I don’t understand but they’re here. So, um, that’s sort of my answer. Am I in favor of a referendum?If the people want it, if the people should bring it forward. People bring it forward!”  …as she laughed …there were call from the UOT group in the hall and even though the VM pointed it out to Mayor Minnet she did nothing to admonish them… She continued on..”As far as do I want these things. I don’t even, they’re so far down the line Vice Mayor that you know we have priorities here that we need to discuss and I thank you for bringing this forward again I, so there’s your answers.”

BC- Is this the same Mayor who said on more than one occasion at a presentation/charette that she is hearing people want to move forward…divisiveness comes from those that believe the plan this Mayor and her supporters fully intend to enact is to follow Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and Delray Beach in using RMA along with RMA’s marketing/branding consultants who will present the town with the same outlined reports found for those municipalities tweaked a little here and there…along with recommendations on funding that will put LBTS in the unenviable position of keeping up with the Jone’s when it comes to the costs it will put on the backs of taxpayers in this town when the economy still stinks and many are in dire straights whether it is employment or savings going south… So the will of the people the Mayor so often refers to can only come from a referendum and not less than a dozen UOT pals sitting in Jarvis Hall who have the Mayor/Administration’s ears!..

Comm. Sasser- ” Ah, Roseann can I add something to what you said. You know from listening to the conversation tonight I don’t think it divides us that much. I think we all agree it’s longer term, down the line. It would be a great thing to think about having the people vote should we vote for some of these things but I think we all agree they’re long term and they’re not high priority in the plan.”

BC- I must respectfully disagree with Comm. Sasser the parking garages/Town Hall site & Plaza were high priority in both the presentations from RMA and UM …as well as at the charettes…and in discussions made from the Town Manager over the many months we have dealt with the future of this town…

Mayor Minnet- ” Ok, alright, so we’re all set, we discussed the referendum.”

Comm. Clottey- ” I guess you don’t want to hear what I have to say,I think it’s premature. I, my personal belief always has been that if we’re gonna , if we’re ready to do something and it’s gonna cost alot of money that we should ask the people. But to come up with hypothetical things I could add a few more hypothetical things here too. But that’s a wish list and I don’t think a wish list should go to a referendum cause that’s what I’m looking at now. I personally would like to see if a garage is built that maybe and I mean private. I use the private money differently, get a developer maybe to build it. Maybe we could ah, let them collect the money make some kind of arrangement that way. But um, we cannot tie future commissions hands because we have no idea what these costs are. We haven’t developed a plan and it’s not the time to talk about going to referendum and when the time comes I think that if it’s a package I personally would like to see it at that point in time talked about and go to referendum of some kind but not now.”

BC- Clueless Clottey still… The private developer was contacted…The Deerfield builder who would not build on that A1A site…Who said we were 5 years away from any need…which is the only reason there has been any talk of slowing down the drive to build the garage…That and the reversal of some commissioners after the Town paid for appraisals in order to purchase the apartment building up for auction that abuts the lot…The tying the hands remark and the premature remark speak to the parroting we seem to be saddled with quite often when it comes to those sitting around the roundtable…perhaps the demise of the roundtable will also result in the demise of the parroting commissioners?…….

After Comm. Clottey’s comments the Commission took a break …It appears there will be no referendum and the will of the people will come from voting in or out those who kept it off  the ballot …

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Resident Yann Brandt Did More Than Just Speak Up About The Budget As Budget Season Begins …

June 17, 2011 by Barbara

http://lbtsbudget.com/

Dear Readers … It’s really something to watch when a “watchdog” steps up to the podium to speak out …writes the local newspaper and takes to the web with a new site …. Yann Brandt did all three over the last month in a big way …He is currently the vice -chair of the LBTS P & Z Board  …He is a longtime town resident who was raised here and has chosen to remain here to raise his own family …His family owned a hotel on the beach so he has insight into  what is being discussed at this time with the new Master Plan …He was a member of the VFD and really was the last man standing in an effort to right the wrong that was done when the department was shut down in a political payback scheme … He was instrumental in trying to get things back on track during the last election and well into the past 15 months …Now seeing as many of us have the lack of implementation of those priorities Yann decided to do what he can to ensure that the future of this town moves forward in a manner that is competent, constructive and fiscally responsible in order to keep LBTS from following so many other municipalities we have read about recently who bit off more than they could chew in their zeal to redevelop and now find themselves in big trouble administratively and financially… I believe he is the voice of the silent majority in LBTS at this time …A majority that includes those of us that voted for the candidates who won big in 2010 as well as those that did not… We now see many of those who emphatically stated they too were for a more transparent streamlined Town government and for being fiscally responsible were not being truthful then and are apparently now trying to pull the wool over our eyes once more in order to get past yet another municipal election only to go for a full-out redevelopment upon securing their position as soon as the new commission is sworn in… If you are reading this and are saying …”No way!” …What’s the alternative?… Were they just plain ignorant and fiscally irresponsible with time and money spent implementing a full redo of the Master Plan? …. Below is the verbatim public comments made by Yann Brandt at the June 14th meeting as well as his letter to the BTSFuture newspaper that came out today…Included in that letter and as well as at the top of this post is the link to his new website … Make sure to bookmark it and get yourself on the email alerts he offers on the site….This is definitely another way to ensure LBTS voters are provided with accurate budget information that can aid in making the right choices when entering the voting booth in 2012…

Yann Brandt Public Comments 6/14/2011 LBTS Commission Roundtable …

“Budget season is indeed upon us as you can see. First workshop next Tuesday 5pm. I encourage everyone to get out and make your voice heard. I hope the commission will accept public input even at the early stages at the workshop because there’s alot of them and we may not be able to make them all. The town carried 3 million dollars in undesignated funds into 2011 fiscal year and it appears we may yet again carry forward some funds due to unstarted projects. I count only about 45% of the capital improvement projects haven’t yet been advertised for RFP for the 2011 fiscal year. In the last audited year alone, LBTS overcharged the taxpayers by 2.6 million dollars without a plan to return these overcharges to the taxpayers. Under tonight’s agenda we are looking to add 75 thousand dollars plus benefits for a marketing director in addition to nearly 100 thousand dollars for marketing expenses. This is in addition to the 75 thousand dollars plus benefits for the town planner the Town is currently advertising online. Also on tonight’s agenda is to spend 60 thousand dollars for a sweeper which will represent a premium over outsourcing to private industry. Bear in mind that current fiscal year 2010-2011represents a budget spends 1.8 million dollars for salaries in addition to 700 thousand dollars plus for employee benefits. That represents over 18% of our total all in budget including sewers, fire and the general fund. We need to move our town to outsource to private sector competing to earn our business and that really brings me to the point that’s kind of being discussed today. I don’t think people that are pushing for referendum are necessarily against projects moving forward. I think people want projects that are budgeted for what actually happened and show a success being done. University of Miami I think did a good job of presenting some options to this town but they also said start with a project, give us something. We have been playing with this million dollar fine that we received from a developer on El Mar Drive and have yet through two administrations and multiple commissions been able to actually do something downtown. I sat at a roundtable with all of the major owners of downtown businesses and they said not only do we want to see a project go we want to participate in funding some of that project and I think today that still stands. Show us you can do it and this town will follow a plan. But the same thing goes with the referendum items, if you don’t show us what you want to spend the money on and you want to bring almost 200 thousand dollars of consultants in I don’t think this town will follow you in spending the money when we have a history of trying to catch up with the tax dollars that we’re spending. Almost 22% of our tax dollars were not used and we have over budgeted and they were not returned to the taxpayers.
Lastly. I want to thank on an important item Jeff Bowman and his team for the successes in keeping the priorities of the code with successes with Holiday Inn and the Little Inn and bringing those stakeholders to the table I think that’s a great success and I encourage them to continue doing that. Thank you.”

……………….

BTSFuture 6/17/2011…
‘LETTER – YOUR LBTS TAX DOLLARS AT “WORK”
In the last decade the residents of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea have
seen a tremendous expansion of our Government. This is true
for Town, County, State and Federal. Property values skyrocketed
and the same low millage allowed for tax rolls to expand,
even double in some cases. If you are upset with the spending in
Washington, then the overcharged taxes in Lauderdale-By-The-
Sea will astonish you.
Our property taxes pay for Government spending; some call
it waste, at multiple levels including: Broward County, School
Board of Broward County, North Broward Hospital District and
the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. At every level there is excessive
taxation and lack of sensible budget preparation causing
taxes and budgets to be bloated. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is far
from immune from overcharging its taxpayers.
In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the residents, businesses and property
owners were taxed nearly $12 million through the numerous
revenue channels including: property taxes, fire assessments,
sewer fees and utility taxes. At the end of the fiscal year, the
Town’s auditors reported that we overpaid 2.6 million dollars in
taxes. Imagine this number, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea stakeholders
paid 21.6% more in taxes than the Town needed. Do we get
this money back? The simple answer is no. The funds are quietly
pulled into different funds and accounts to pay for pet projects.
You have seen these projects just recently. Some highlights include
the following.
— Nearly $200,000 in consultant fees, many repetitive of previous
consultants and studies;
— Over 1.7 million dollars in employee salaries, PLUS employee
benefits exceeding $700,000;
— Plans put into action to build a new Town hall complex, a parking
garage, or a Town “green.”
There are many moving parts to the Town budget, and for this
reason I have placed the backup to this information on http://lbtsbudget.com/
for all residents to see. Some expenditures are
valid and retain the quality of life the residents want to preserve
and maintain the infrastructure as required. However the following
remains true. The budget should remain accurate to the
needs of the Town and sensitive to the residents. Large capital
projects should be put to the people and budgeted according to
sound financial planning. The residents should not and cannot
sustain being overtaxed by 2.6 million dollars. Imagine being
overcharged at the grocery store by 20%, would you go back for
your refund? Of course you would!
No Government entity should be allowed to overtax its residents
and burden current and future generations with excessive spending.
Start the change you want in Washington, DC right here
in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. Budget workshops start at 5 pm on
June 21st, come and ask for your money back.
Yann Brandt, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’

…………

More to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … Change Your Address Books/Rolodex/Posted Notes/Ipods/Blackberrys … August 1st Lauderdale- By- The-Sea BSO To Change Non-Emergency Number …

June 17, 2011 by Barbara

Dear Readers … Heads up to a press release and a campaign to get the word out by July 4th on a change on August 1, 2011 for the non-emergency number to call for BSO…

‘In order to improve and regionalize the Sheriff’s services to all Broward County communities, BSO LBTS, along with the police departments from several other nearby municipalities, will migrate communications services from the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and dispatch center at the BSO Public Safety Building to the PSAP and dispatch center in Pompano Beach .

This move will have little to no impact on the affected law enforcement officers and general public with one important exception:

Effective August 1, 2011, the non-emergency dispatch contact number for use by LBTS residents will change from (954) 765-4321 to (954) 786-4200.’

more to come….

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