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Here’s The Scoop ….. 2016 BCBYTHESEA Picks For LBTS Commission…. Re-Elect Scot Sasser and Elect Yann Brandt…..FINAL UPDATE……

Dear Readers… This year once again I have been asked by many who I support for the Lauderdale- By-The- Sea Commission in our election that takes place next Tuesday March 15th….So… as has been my practice for the last 10 years I put those candidates signs on the windshield of my car …. This year I support the re-election of Scot Sasser for a second term as Mayor and Yann Brandt for Seat 4 District 2 to replace Stuart Dodd who is term limited out….

I encourage all readers to take the time to look online at the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum which was held in Jarvis Hall on Feb. 25th and is replayed on the Town’s channel 78 on the weekends through March 13 th as well as being able to pull up on the Town’s website at lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov which has the information on the front cover page to access…The commissioner portion of the debate begins at 56 minutes if you do not want to watch the whole event…..which included the sad “implosion” of the Mayor’s opponent James Pady who was clearly in over his head in this long time required forum to showcase for voters the candidates and what they can and cannot offer the voters if elected…. http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

There are definitely big differences between Yann Brandt and his opponent Buz Oldaker with the depth and detail of knowledge concerning the most important issues…. There is a large glaring difference in the institutional memory between Yann Brandt and lack of such with Buz Oldaker on the history of the town, the knowledge of the Charter and the will of the people….. Initially, I as a voter thought there might not be due to the fact that they each served on the Planning and Zoning Board for some time ( Yann went on to serve on the Charter Review Board as well as currently serving on the Audit Committee) and felt that either would be a welcome addition to take Stu Dodd’s seat…..  My first inkling that might not be the case was a look back at Planning & Zoning meetings which showed a stark contrast in Yann’s insights, proposed input and changes which were voted on and passed vs Buz who did not add much substance although he was the Chair….  I definitely changed my mind early in this race when I was asked about statements made by Buz in print for an interview that he worked on many campaigns and provided advice to the commissioners. I was taken aback because I thought they had confused him with his opponent!… Yann Brandt was the one who did that!…. Buz Oldaker was not involved in any aspect except perhaps a sign in his yard…. These inconsistencies continued on when he is said to have responded that he wanted to run in 2008 and 2010 but was “bumped” for Stu Dodd and Chris Vincent. That is a major untruth that I would have been privy to at that time as I was co- campaign manager for both those elections… In 2010 with Yann for Minnet/Sasser/Vincent….. My antenna consistently went up over these last weeks as I watched the LOWVoters Candidate Forum and saw that Yann Brandt brought forth in methodical, clear responses with his stances on the issue of sewers on private property-….Yann is against it/ Buz stated they pay property taxes… indicating a yes…. and…. Buz has his sign at the front of the Palm Club gates!….Definitely a yes vote for sewers on private property….in this voter’s opinion!…. Mayor Sasser does as well but unfortunately he is bound by shade session rules and cannot divulge if he is before or against …although we will know once litigation/shade are over…. UPDATE…3/14/16-Just heard from an avid reader…a few hours after this writer posted Buz sign at Palm Club gates it was removed!….Sasser sign is still there….Hmmmmm…..just more of the bait and switch we have seen since day 1 with the Oldaker campaign!…..Yes.. Indeed …the Palm Club sewers is back in play yet again using the “public safety” issue ploy in order to provide taxpayer funds on what is a “horizontal” condominium …. Google Palm Club sewers Lauderdale-By-The-Sea to see it’s a replay of a failed use of taxpayer monies in 2007. …. Redeveloping Town Hall- Public Safety building complex-…Yann wants taxpayers having a say in the funding…. Yann stated how Lighthouse Point had a separate millage for a major expenditure such as this and wanted it on the ballot, not a referendum but a ballot question/ Buz said we need a consultant and put forth that a vote was not needed as well as no need for separate millage … (his response to many questions involving longterm planning was a disturbingly laid back attitude that nothing is “finite” and we can budget for it/move monies around to address on an annual basis) ….Buz  spoke of a recent planning of the future of the town meeting that pulled in approximately 60 people into Jarvis Hall that he felt showed that was enough to steer this multi-million dollar expenditure…….. I was at that meeting and while I was happy to see a large contingency were new to town, I was also saddened to see they chose heights in town as number one concern due to not being aware of our charter.  ….The purchase of the $3 million dollar apartment building is waiting in the wings ….in my opinion….for that 4th vote to purchase it…. Yann stated he was against the purchase as were Mayor Sasser and outgoing Comm. Dodd and explained alternatives and traffic congestion were a more immediate problem with peak limited times of parking problems…. he cited our last parking study…. Buz turned his nose up to that consultant which countered his call for a consultant for the Town Hall Complex issue, and spoke of a parking problem and that some parking garages could be “pretty” pointing out the Minto buildings across from Jarvis Hall. ….. He stated”….I’m not going to take anything off the table” ….On the Marina- Basin Drive  area Yann stated we need to put the residents first, no overnight stays on the boats and brought forth a concern of the town selling the underwater rights to the marina owner citing alternatives to doing so….Buz brought forth he didn’t know how this could be done but he would like the town to turn that area into a park for people to gather and enjoy….. The inference was clear he wanted the town to purchase the property….. If I was a neighbor who opposed overnight boat use I would not want an area open to people at all hours that looks into my back yard. ….Beyond this meeting I watched as each came forth at public comments to speak and again saw a clear difference of what they chose to speak on and the substance  or lack of substance contained in those 3 minutes….. I read the interviews in the Sun Sentinel and the Pompano Pelican as well as the endorsements…. True to form the interviews showed Yann Brandt to have a full grasp on the issues and Buz sorely lacking in all areas….The Sun Sentinel concurred in their endorsement of Yann and the Pelican was split in their decision offering up no endorsement of either… just recommending BOTH …( although Buz used their recommendation in his mailer not addressing it was for BOTH!)…Yann is endorsed by Rep. Chip La Marca / Commissioner Stuart Dodd/ Commissioner Elliot Skolow/ Former Florida House of RepresentativesMajority Leader Adam Hasner…..(Commissioner Brown and Mayor Sasser chose to not endorse either candidate)…. Buz is endorsed by Dan Darnell from Sea Ranch Club in an email he sent to some residents stating he did not really know either Yann or Buz/ Former Broward Mayor Ken Keechl/ Ken Evans CIC Chair/Democratic Broward State Committeeman / Dean Trantealis Ft. Lauderdale Commissioner/ Vice Mayor Chris Vincent and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors Assoc…. (a really large sized portion of his mailer!)….On this last endorsement ….I am really deeply disturbed due to the fact that Buz …in my opinion …purposely omitted he is a member of this organization as he is a realtor!… Why not include that in your bio?…. No sitting commissioner on our LBTS dais over the last 10 years  has ever taken a meeting to obtain the association’s endorsement or funding for their campaign and have all stated they took a pass to avoid any problems arising on issues coming before them in the future… ( Mayor Sasser and unopposed Commissioner Mark Brown joined Yann in not participating this year)….. These issues are impacting issues such as vacation homes and sober homes which have impacted many neighborhoods and the balance of homeowners vs. transient influx of vacationers and those seeking help for substance abuse….The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors assoc. sent out successive emails this week claiming Yann Brandt’s stance was an attack on them and asked for funding to Buz Oldaker- a fellow realtor and to their assoc. to combat Yann and the issue of such homes…. In this writer’s opinion that is only done when you want to know you have influence just as we have seen in the general election again this year!…. I attended the Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Breakfast meeting on Wednesday March 10th and again saw Yann Brandt answer in detail his major role in the successful installation of the parking exemption program which aided in turnaround of the downtown as well as his acumen with hotels from growing up and working in his family’s hotel on El Mar Drive and his out of the box ideas for working with the Chamber, businesses, hotels and the residents… Buz Oldaker could not directly respond to any questions… offering up instead reflections of his personal experiences….In fact he brought forth when asked about the Chamber-Town relationship the Town could put an item on the agenda and have the Chamber come to speak…Yann responded correctly he enjoyed when the Chamber came each month to do just that!… On heights he chose to talk about a large development happening …in Pompano Beach!…. Then in what could only have been a gotcha – setup… A resident stood to try and accuse Yann of missing meetings while serving on Planing and Zoning and resigning… as if he was not forthcoming ….. Yann responded with his resume of serving on the VFD / P & Z /Charter ReviewBoard/ P & Z again and then the Audit Committee… (2005- 2016)….He correctly spoke about the boards all being voluntary and that he always informed staff and alternates are available to sit in for absences… He also correctly spoke of Buz Oldaker’s many missed  meetings which he chaired in his place…….Buz chose to call Yann on his saying that he (Buz) had also missed P & Z meetings saying Yann should have been thrown off…I spoke as an audience member deeply concerned that we have a hard time finding volunteers for boards and if they are subjected to false inuendo why would they want to serve….I was present when Yann resigned due to career conflicts ( no longer a conflict) and spoke at the podium as his resignation was put in to the record…he was then appointed to the Audit Committee which was a board that offered him a way to continue on serving to date.. I am told at the CIC meeting that night for its declining number of members once again some Buz supporters …Bob Fleishman former chair of the Unite Our Town  …(talk about strange bedfellows)…was touting the Bytheseatimes newspaper and the Maureen McIntee’s  ”Truth Detector” column as he falsely accused Yann Brandt of a dismissal from the VFD which was a defunct department at the time of this false accusation…Two other non- members tried to smear Yann Brandt on his resume…same as at the Chamber Breakfast meeting which is easily verifiable and complete unlike Buz’s which leaves out his realtor business in Fort Lauderdale / manager of veterinary office(s)/ Royal Caribbean guest services…which show up in Google ….Yann,  according to those who were there and spoke to me …did not rise to their bait …due to the fact that his resume/ bio/ institutional memory are beyond reproach and he does not change his stance depending on the audience he is speaking to unlike…. I am told…. his opponent did at that meeting having what was described as a meltdown that upset members who had come to listen to the candidates to make an informed decision……..The CIC chose to endorse Buz Oldaker absolutely throwing out their own long held principles to join with their current CIC chair Ken Evans Democratic Broward State Committeeman who had pre-endorsed him prior to the CIC meeting and the members voting!….In a newsflash the CIC sent out they stated they did NOT support the sewers or the parking garage which their newly endorsed candidate Buz Oldaker “seemed to favor”!… Their false claim that Yann Brandt had negative ads/mailers stated the same findings the CIC found !…  They falsely used former UOT chair Bob Fleishman’s assertion on Yann’s dismissal from the VFD without checking the facts which is grounds for libel!…….In this weeks’s Pompano Pelican Yann Brandt has put his ad in addressing the differences with the link to the LOWVoters Forum for voters to see for themselves what each verbally stated…Buz Oldaker chose to run 2 ads that in my opinion hopes voters will not watch that forum for he skirts what he said there and elsewhere… it’s the classic moving the goal post strategy he is playing in the last days of and finger in the wind kind of politicking that should raise a red flag to voters…. as it did for me!….I have also been told the Realtor’s Assoc. is making calls possibly robo- calls on Buz’s behalf…that shows the influence they want to have over him ( and us) the next 4 years…in my opinion…and the major lack of understanding LBTS elections and voters who have a total disdain for such interference and calls!….

I have received all the Candidate Treasury reports that show that Buz received $900 thus far from various “arms” of the Realtors Assoc…. and with a final report due after the election there may be much more to show up after the emails sent out for funding this week from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors Assoc…. A mailer came out as well which will either be a last ditch effort to counter what is on the LOWV video with assertions made to skew his own words as we saw in the Pelican today…. It was a poorly written ( no proof-reader hired by Buz’s professional consultant?)…. He falsely again asserts  he did not make statements that are now a public record on the LOWVoter’s Candidate Forum and again falsely characterizes Yann Brandt by printing Yann offered no solutions!… It was Buz who did that!…

Buz’s claims and rants along with his supporters who are set to benefit if he succeeds in getting up on the dais that is opponent Yann Brandt went “negative” is a non-starter in this writer’s opinion…Showing the differences on issues and getting that information out to voters BEFORE they vote is a candidate’s duty and definitely “puts the people above politics”……so that they are warned that a vote for that opponent means they will represent the voter one way or another!….

My conclusion is Yann Brandt offers voters a commissioner that will do his homework, come up with ideas, solutions and implementations that keep us out of debt while securing our character and quality of life mindful of its history and its future…. beholden to no one but those voters/residents he represents …. His opponent Buz Oldaker is quite the opposite and as they say “buyer beware”…. which in this case means…taxpayers buying sewers for private property under the guise of “public safety” in commission shade sessions …an apartment building being bought with that coveted 4th vote now in place….throwing out young residential renters and being torn down for a mere 30 spaces and possibly parking garage for the businesses who donated to his campaign …. more vacation rental homes with the possibility of less restrictions than are currently on the books throwing off the balance of transient vs anchored neighborhoods…..  all done with no town-wide participation offered ahead of important votes that will impact us all….for two years at the very least!… Those of us who have been around a long time know very well what changes can be made in 2 years…and how they can impact longterm…. Do we really want to repeat all that?…. If not….vote Yann Brandt!……

Mayor Scot Sasser  still has an opponent despite James Pady’s LOWVoters decision to leave the meeting and state he would vote for his opponent Scot Sasser saying he was a good man…. There has been no official withdrawal and Mr Pady despite removing his signs around his condominium appeared at the Chamber’s Meet the Candidate breakfast yesterday shortly before it was over sitting in the back  answering no questions and handed out some copies of his concern over his single issue drive to run in the first place…. James Pady is a superintendent at the Winter Colony Condominium who has been upset ( see LOWV video/interviews Sentinel/ Pelican) over the beach raker and its impact on the environment…He has repeatedly sent what could be characterized as manifestos to the town concerning this issue and felt he was being disregarded and  dismissed….Anyone is allowed to run for office as long as they are a registered voter and have lived in town for longer than 6 months…James Pady registered on Jan 7, 2016 in order to run for mayor…He never attended meetings and was woefully unprepared to answer questions put forth on specific issues at that Feb 25th forum leading to his decision to end his participation and he said his candidacy …. It appears days before the actual election day on the 15th he is not so sure …due …it is said…to not having the Mayor’s immediate and constant attention to his issues dealt with asap… … The Mayor has gone out of his way to aid James Pady throughout this weird campaign from personally going to inform him of the infraction on his signs, to assisting him off and on the dais in preparation for the LOWV forum and providing him some cover of sorts in applauding his attempt to get up and speak publicly after Mr. Pady spoke of how overwhelming this was for him….Scot Sasser has put forth steps to get the parties …beach raker….Broward County… Town  staff…to come and address all Mr. Pady’s concerns…mindful that he still had to run a full out campaign and all the time and costs that go with it to once again show the voters he values their vote and is working to secure it for a second term… Scot was endorsed by the Sun Sentinel/ Pompano Pelican/ CIC ( who had issues with him as well!)….

I recommend that you go to each of these candidates websites Scotsasser.com and Yannbrandt.com/YannBrandt Twitter and Yann Brandt Facebook ( you do not need to be a Twitter/Facebook member to access either)… These candidates have stated their positions and accomplishments… for all to make their own informed decision of who gets that “bubble” filled in….

Once again …. every vote matters for what direction we go in ….in the future of this town…. and the impact it will have for us all!….

More to come…..

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