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Here’s The Scoop … “Snickers” …

December 18, 2011 by Barbara

A WHOLE PACK OF THEM ….

Dear Readers … Snickers abound in LBTS we are told … and this writer agrees … that one after another those in the know are snickering…bar none!…

SNICKERS #1….

Let’s begin with the ByTheSea Future editorial in this week’s Dec. issue written by Publisher Michael Arker… Surely his three paragraph ode to the former UOT Chair, self promoter Bob Fleishman whose inflated claims of the role he played in the last election met with fodder out of earshot and had to be a “snicker” in print above the fold ….. This writer received the same such big headed claims via an email from Fleishman’s wife and “snickers” were the result of that one as well…….(see e-mail exchange below)…

Excerpt of the Arker BTSF editorial 12/16/11…. link to online BTSFuture below…

“With these realities in mind, I would like to take a moment to reflect on all that
was done to make our town a better, more peaceful and loving community. This
is now our reality, thanks in large part to the strong actions, tireless campaigning
and diligent work behind the scenes of Mr. Bob Fleishman.
As leader of the Unite Our Town movement in 2009-2010, Bob took a real hands on
approach to making the dream of a peaceful LBTS a reality. Yes, it was Bob who
led the way toward bringing us where we are today.
Fleishman’s supreme power of persuasion, gift of oratory, unique command of the
English language, passionate zeal and charismatic personality made it possible for
us all to live in this harmonious new realm, free from the strife and discord we
once knew.’

http://www.bytheseafuture.org/

…………

Below is the e-mail exchange between the Mrs. of the holder of “supreme power of persuasion, gift of oratory,unique command of the English language, passionate zeal and charismatic personality and this writer after my behind the scenes account of the Cindy Geesey candidacy fiasco previously posted…. (email address has been x’d out by this writer)
“Thank goodness you finally got a bone to chew on

“FROM:

cyng143xxx

TO:

[email protected]
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 8:21 PM
Barbara:

The only part of that “ole bone” is that it has caused me to endure “snickers” in this town and become the supposed “butt end of a joke”. As you know Bob and I sometimes have differences of opinion and definitely express them differently. I choose to go to the “Horses mouth”. I did. Although you would like to portray my letters an indication of endorsement for Ms. Geesey, it wasn’t. Old Guard, New Guard, Old Guard. You are very aware that when UOT first came into being, that there was no Bob Fleishman. Bob became active when the Town needed and got a New Guard and was instrumental in aiding and leading, as Chairperson of Unite Our Town, the fight to remove the Old “Dais” Guard.

What Bob inherited in UOT from its Old Guard was improper filings that led into a Hearing by the State of Florida. Thank goodness he and UOT were “cut a break” and the Committee in Tallahassee voted to drop the case against the PAC committee UOT. My one intention and only intension was to avoid a similar occurrence this year, if the PAC organization was found guilty in actions, that would promote another such insident. I didn’t know for sure; however, it is better to be safe than sorry. Since Cindy was making such accusations of an unfair vote occurring against protocol at a UOT meeting, I felt that I should forewarn Ray and then sent out the second E Mail to the Board and a few active UOT members, along with the other Candidates, when I was ignored. It is very interesting how well-meaning guidance to past experience, became a possible endorsement (not) and blackened my thirty-nine year residency here. Even if Cindy were playing “both ends in the middle” as you insinuate, there was still protocol being tested for the UOT PAC. You can imagine just how upset I was to learn, less than 24 hours later, that all of this could of been avoided, if your time line is right and mine wrong. Nonetheless my concern was with UOT, not the Candidates. After all, the UOT Old Guard after Bob’s New Guard, that was instrumental in the last election, financially and fervantly, is now the Old Guard back in charge, offering up their same ‘ole apathetic attitude.

I agree with you, their has been no UOT fundraiser, no phone committee’s that raised just under $10,000.00 for you Barbara, yes, you to direct the payment of the mailings that went out for our three endeared seats. So who was Bob’s Puppet Master – spending the bucks. Guess it was you, huh? So many loose words. I’m a bottom line type person, myself, once you cut through the “petty gossip”, our three Candidates were elected.

Now for my “Town Crier” and Numbers Man”, as you call him – Bob. I hardly think you would of attached those empty words to yourself, would you? After all aren’t you, “The Blogger”, more of a town crier, than Bob Fleishman? Weren’t you part of the back door “Kitchen Cabinet” that worked the numbers for votes (Numbers Gal)?!?!?!?! Sounds like the “pot calling the kettle black” to me. But I, being a little older than you, would rather simply call it POLITICS, as usual.

You seem to feel that unless someone is drinking your flavor of the Kool-aid today, after all you have been for all sides (McIntee, Silverstone, Dodd & Clottey running as the old Dais Guard) (and then against that bunch in the next election), as it fancies you; we are subject to your BLOG. You have the “power of the pen” or computer key pad, as it is, but have a very subjective view.

Just try to stay away from the rumors and ask the “horse” before you go to print.

Your friend,
Cynthia ”
……………..
“Re: Thank goodness you finally got a bone to chew on

FROM:

Barbara Cole

TO:

cyng143xxx
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:22 PM
Cynthia, I am fully aware of the past and why Bob became the UOT Chair.It is not quite the version you put forth but so be it. I am also aware of the PAC problem with the state because if you will recall Bob called me to walk him through the answers on the phone a few times and forwarded the information to me which was risky to do at the time. I think you were privy to those conversations even joining in the discussion. I agree he helped get the candidates elected in a certain capacity and at the same time caused the need for multiple “clean-ups” throughout the election from actions he took. There was a core campaign group that met throughout the campaign and were involved in the day- to- day strategy with the candidates. It was the candidates and their hard work who were the most responsible for their big win followed by that core group with the various other extended groups such as the Future paper/ UOT/ Louis and Athena and others who made it what it was. This is the norm in campaigns. We won due to that, multiple strategised preemptive strikes from mailings and signage to debate prep as well as oft needed quick responses to charges made by the CIC et al and finally due to the incredible luck of timing that put Ray Walowicz and Scot Sasser in Anne Siren’s Pompano Pelican office at the exact time of the yellow journalism BTSTimes paper put out door- to- door by the Furths et al. Due to that meeting we were able to get the Pelican front stuffer page that tipped the scales one last time and countered what could have really cost us big time on election night. On the subject of this election and Cindy’s actions I found the timeline and those actions incredulous as they caused weeks of painful uncertainty for some people that was totally uncalled for. I do believe you were duped. That being said I have seen in the past that you sometimes acts in haste whether or not it is done with the best of intentions sending out emails. I remember the first one I was involved with was the one about Rev Hunsaker while we were at Athena’s with Bob early on in the campaign and the fallout afterward. As far as switching sides or drinking the Kool-aid as you stated I have consistently been upfront about why I worked to get the CIC majority out of office after they made the decision in 2008 to act just as badly if not worse than those they replaced on the dais and in the administration. I have also repeatedly made it clear that once a candidate is elected and begins to govern only then do you see what they will really do. Sometimes it works and other times it does not. If they do not govern as this voter or this supporter feels they should then they should be called on their action or inaction and replaced when their term is up. Isn’t that what is happening right now on the Federal level as you yourself pointed out in your email? Lastly two final points, I often offer those who email me the option of printing their emails on my site. If your would like me to post your response I will do so and you can always choose not to read what I write. Barbara”

BC- I did not hear back from Cynthia but after hearing that further attempts are still being made to revise who was responsible for the big win of the 2010 slate of UOT candidates by Fleishman and wife and I was also informed Cynthia blindcopied her email to me to others …I decided to print the email and my response to set the record straight… “snickers” will continue to come the Fleishman’s way if they continue down this path… perhaps not to their faces but not too long after they are done spewing …in my opinion…

……………

SNICKERS #2….

The 1st LBTS Candidate Treasurers Reports are in …They were due December 16th …Mark Brown delivered his first with his opponent Edmund Malkoon turning his in in the afternoon… First I was told the cost I was told for my public request for Brown’s would be $2.10 …When I responded I would wait for both and heard back after Malkoon’s arrived I was told the cost would be $2.70 so I immediately knew there was a vast difference in the reports these candidates filed!…

Below are the front pages of each candidates report with content below…

Candidate Mark Brown’s page 1…

Candidate Edmund Malkoon’s page 1…

Brown had a 14 page report done by his treasurer James Corgee… Mark reports he received $7,870.00 ….His donor list contains 67 names …. It included 26 donors from LBTS including many of his condo neighbors which speaks highly of him due to his time on the condo board as president and as a member and what he’s accomplished on the board…He’s received donations from former Commissioners Clark and Wessels which certainly has weight attached their decision to do so …The former president of the Chamber of Commerce /former Chair of the Master Plan Steering Committee Paul Novak per his High Noon motels also chose to support Brown with a donation which is interesting when you take into consideration that Mark’s opponent Edmund Malkoon was Novak’s  Co-Chair for a while before the committee was disbanded …Hmmm……He received donations from some UOT members while his opponent also a UOT member shows no such donations made to him…. This report also shows that I too made a donation ….My support can be summed up in the answer Mark wrote in the current BTSF question posed to both candidates…as well as the time I spent with him during the last election finding him to be a fair and honest man who is always open to listening to all sides of an issue even going so far as to offer those who oppose his the space in the paper to get their position out…I believe he will do the same on the dais…

The BTSFuture Election question… Excerpt …(llink to current online edition is above)…

“Which do you feel are the most important issues facing the town?” …..
Brown excerpt-
“If I have the honor of being elected to the LBTS
town commission, my first official act will be
to sign the code of personal conduct which the
commission enacted last year. To me, ethics
and personal conduct are the single most important
issues in town. The town government
cannot function properly unless residents have
confidence in the honesty and integrity of their
elected officials, and know that they will always
be treated with respect.
I was appalled by the conduct of the town commission
just a few years ago. That is why I
worked so hard as editor of the town’s newspaper
to support passage of both a strong ethics
law to prevent conflicts of interest by commissioners,
and the code of personal conduct to
prohibit personal attacks on town residents. It
is also the main reason why I am running for office
now. If I am elected, I can assure everyone that there will be no going back to
the dark days when commissioners abused their power, wasted our money, argued
for hours over nothing and treated people with disrespect.
As far as other issues are concerned, I strongly support the effort which the current
town commission has undertaken to fix up the town’s infrastructure. I have
knocked on a lot of doors and spoken to many residents in recent weeks. One
message I have heard over and over from residents is fix the drainage problems
on our streets. That will certainly be one of my top priorities, along with road
resurfacing and better lighting in neighborhoods which need it.
I also support the ongoing effort to spruce up the main traffic corridors in town,
especially Commercial Boulevard and A1A. If the town looks better, property
values will increase and people will feel better about living or working here. I
will work diligently to assure that the projects we approve are necessary and
cost-effective, that they truly reflect the highest priorities in town, that they have
public support, and that we don’t do anything which is inconsistent with the basic
look and feel of the town.
After all, we are not Delray Beach or Ft. Lauderdale or Key West. This is Lauderdale-
By-The-Sea. We have our own look and image which has evolved over the
years. We need to fix up the town, but we have to do so in a manner which does
not undermine our basic character or compromise the uniqueness of our community.”
BC- Mark stated as well he will push forth public bathrooms as a priority… While I am not for them at the current time I do know that he offered up some viable alternatives as a sort of test as to their success at the time this heated subject was headlined in 2010 having to do with the structures themselves and the location which struck me as something that might be worth looking in to… I can assure readers that Mark did wholeheartedly support Comm. Sasser’s Code of Personal Conduct plan and in its final form when it was signed by all 5 commissioners …Mark’s answer to the question shows his time out on the campaign trail provided him with the oversight many see of not including their neighborhoods in any future capital improvements and was pleased on his take of the need to keep LBTS distinctively different from other municipalities as we refresh our community …

Mark shows in his first report as well his expenditures which include his website/mailing lists/postage/printer/registration to run/advertisements/yard signs…He hit the ground running in his campaign by sending out an introductory mailer containing not only his introduction bio but supplying a portion of it that could be used to obtain an absentee ballot …He was the first candidate to go door-to door with handouts, stickers and chip clips that we hear are a hit with those voters who received them… He was the first to have signs which are already up at many properties including those whose doors he knocked on and met for the first time …He has put in two ads in the BTSF paper …Nov. was his bio and Dec. was a holiday greeting…and we hear his keeping the customary election time red/white/blue motif is also being noticed and commented on positively over his opponents green- bird rendition for mailers/flyers and T-shirt(s)…

Edmund Malkoon’s first Treasurer’s Report was 4 pages in total done by his treasurer…his mother Rosalee Malkoon …He collected donations in the amount of $790.00 ….Malkoon has 6 names of those that donated to him… 3 are from LBTS … they include former CIC Commission candidate in 2010 Marjorie Evans as well as current Commissioner Chris Vincent and one other resident … Malkoon shows expenditures for a portrait at of himself Sears/registration to run/newspaper advertisement/printing/t-shirt(s) for $21.20 at LBTS T-shirt shop Beach King…We heard some UOT members said they were going to donate to both candidates but that has not shown up thus far according to their absence in Malkoon’s report…Mr Malkoon’s ad in the Dec. issue of the BTSFuture was an election ad which stuck out and seemed very odd considering his opponent as well as Mayor Minnet and Vice Mayor Dodd all put in the customary holiday greeting ads as did the candidates in 2010… In his election ad Malkoon put forth he majored in International Finance and Marketing but does not say if he received a degree …He puts forth he was Co-Chair of the Master Plan Steering Committee .. In fact that was the first time such a title was used and it was most likely not supposed to be …. I have previously posted my change of any support for Edmund came from watching him on this committee and seeing he did not have what it takes to serve on the committee much less the dais… He puts forth he is a member of the LBTS Chamber of Commerce …In fact he ran for the Chamber’s board and did not receive enough votes to get on it… He also puts forth his Bel-Air Civic Assoc. roles as a past president and current vice-president …We heard that many neighbors in Bel-Air had problems with him and the group for some actions taken on behalf of all and presented as such to the commission only to find out they were none too pleased with those declarations made at the podium and in letters  … Malkoon shows only two donations from his neighbors and none from the Chamber of Commerce or his Bel-Air Civic Assoc. fellow members in this report…that doesn’t bode well for a candidate in this writer’s opinion… Malkoon chose to use Facebook for his campaign site …I have regularly looked at it …It is also very telling with photos of events Edmund has attended showing him with  Mayor Minnet and Broward County Comm. Chip LaMarca which could be construed as receiving their support… Were they asked beforehand?…After all this is Malkoon’s campaign site vs. his personal Facebook page…Hmmm… Other than that he has a few updates and comments that seem to be from his young nieces?… As previously posted we have been informed that Edmund was looking for support from the Furths and the Carrs who are a few of the active members of the CIC board representing a PAC that has no candidates to run for office in the 2012 election …After seeing his donation from their former candidate Marjorie Evans perhaps those reports have some validity …Any chance he will attend the CIC holiday party tonight?… Many have commented and this writer tends to agree that Edmund Malkoon is running the race he was going to run in 2010 when the UOT cast him aside and Beverly Kennedy jumped in briefly before Scot Sasser was persuaded to run because she and others did not want Malkoon… His answers to the BTSF question seem to concur with this take on his candidacy… (see link above)….”Snickers” will surely come from those in the north if Malkoon is seen pandering in the south as some claim he is doing to get the votes and perhaps the donations he has not received according to his report…

……………

SNICKERS #3….

Comm. Sasser excerpt from Dec. 16, 2011 Pompano Pelican article by Judy Vic (link below)…

“In my opinion, all this centers around pineapples vs. pelicans. It’s childish,” Sasser said vehemently. “In the future, anything we do with Sea Ranch Lakes should come before this commission before we do it.”

http://pompanopelican.webs.com/

The Pompano Pelican reported the “snickers” made on the dais by some LBTS Commissioners such as Comm. Sasser and VM Dodd  played hardball with Sea Ranch Lakes on the A1A FDOT project last month concerning a laundry list of changes SRLakes wanted at the 11th hour of this project including changing the benches from pelican motifs to pineapples… Getting no love from the dais our neighbors decided to send via their Town Atty. a cease and desist letter implying legal action if LBTS proceeded with their plans… They got what they wanted and we the taxpayers of LBTS will be left with paying the price…of change orders etc… leaving us with a  bad taste for some time to come for many as a result of sour pineapples …

………………..

SNICKERS #4 …

DID THE MONARCH OF MUNICIPAL FIRMS NOT SERVE US PROPERLY?….

Some time ago when this writer first began this blog I posted often about our Town Attorney and his law firm…I posted that they were called the Monarch of Municipal firms in Florida for the many towns and cities they served as counsel … At the Dec. 13, 2011 Regular Commission Meeting Commissioner Clottey stated that the referendum on districts which was placed on the ballot in 2003 and to be entered into our Town Charter was improperly done and the statute of limitations on any fixing it had passed as of this year… I previously posted Comm. Clottey heard this from Marc Furth who had contacted John Thompson on the subject … I also posted that John did not find such  dire straits as Clottey claimed…I have since been informed that our current Town Atty. was the one to disclose the statute of limitations portion of this latest faulty charter inclusion which will be added on to a long list given some months back at the podium by consultant Cecelia Ward… This is the second one that was a referendum issue improperly done by the counsel at the time which was our former Town Atty. Cherof and firm… I have not seen the details of anything the Town Atty. provided in her assertion as passed on to me but that being stated I am quite confused and hope that when this is on the agenda in January at the first Reg. Comm. Mtg. as Clottey said it would be that not only is it presented with plenty of backup but also some input from the former Town Atty. on how this could be so!… If a referendum vote by the people can be subject to a statute of limitations of seven years leaving whatever was either put in its place to be legal or no way to remedy an act done purposefully or due to an inept act is beyond comprehension …If either scenario is fact then would not some municipalities enact such actions as these in order to essentially over turn the will of the people until the people have no choice but to follow the charter alternative as is being suggested from what info I have thus far?… With this districts referendum coming on top of some serious questions concerning  the referendum on heights and how that too was placed in the Town’s charter shouldn’t the Town put our former law firm on the hot seat?… After all just as we will be stuck paying for the mess SRLakes has left us…we will definitely being paying for the changes we can make for the mess our former Town Atty. may have left us with so many years later …This bar comes with a note on the wrapper…fool us once shame on you…fool us twice …shame on us… fool us more than that… “snickers”….

more to come….

Excerpt from Sentinel in 1998 …link below…
“Some firms rarely give to political campaigns, yet snag government business anyway. They bank on their strong reputations or relationships with local officials.

Among them is the monarch of municipal firms: Josias, Goren, Cherof, Doody & Ezrol.

Tight with a campaign buck, Josias, Goren and its attorneys have contributed about $1,400 to the Broward County Commission and School Board races since 1993. The firm also bars its attorneys from contributing money to candidates in cities it represents.

“We think it’s a conflict,” said Jim Cherof, one of the firm’s partners. “That’s not our role.”
“Cash And Connections
A Group Of Lawyers With Political Ties Appears To Enjoy A Monopoly On Local Governments’ Legal Work.
January 12, 1998|By JENNI BERGAL and JAY WEAVER Staff Writers

Still, Josias, Goren has been successful by combining decades of municipal experience with political clout. Josias, Goren, which earned $1.56 million last year from local government contracts, is is city attorney in eight cities.

The small, nine-lawyer Fort Lauderdale firm was founded by Steven Josias, a Citadel graduate who was chairman of the North Broward Hospital District in the 1980s.
Josias is closely aligned with U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. He first served as Graham’s campaign chairman in Broward County and later became the senator’s legal adviser in Washington.

“He is a very political person,” said Scott Frank, a former associate at Josias, Goren who now works for a Tampa firm. “He’s got power and is a very engaging person in that arena.”

Josias also has close ties to Pembroke Pines, where he is city attorney. His relationship with the city dates back 22 years, when he linked up with former mayor Ron Villella, another Citadel graduate. And it was Villella who brought Graham and Josias together.

The firm’s other founding partner, Sam Goren, has fewer political ties but also delivers business.

Goren joined the firm in 1977 after serving a brief stint as an assistant attorney for Broward County. He has been able to transcend the firm’s Democratic profile, serving as general counsel to the Republican supervisor of elections for about 20 years.

These days, Goren appears to be more directly involved with his government clients than Josias, who lately has been spending much of his time traveling aboard his 58-foot yacht.”

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1998-01-12/news/9801090407_1_city-attorney-firm-lauderhill-city-commission/2

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The February Caribbean Party Is Off … For Now … Is It Time To Let The Sunshine In? …

December 15, 2011 by Barbara

SHOULD THERE BE SUNSHINE ON THE SEVERAL MONTHS OLD ELUSIVE LBTS AD HOC MARKETING “GROUP”?…

Dear Readers …apparently the $6,000 Feb. 23rd Caribbean party is off …for now …. The Town Manager contacted the commission today to report the following (a public record due to being sent electronically) … The question this writer had upon hearing once again of this Ad Hoc “Group” that is made up of those unknown to the taxpayers footing the bill as well as the commission was don’t they fall under the Florida Sunshine Laws?… I looked it up and found the following information posted below the TM’s email… It appears to me that they could fall under it from what we’ve heard about them thus far …If you look at b. – the fact-finding committees the fine line is if they only gather information but are not involved in the decision making but there is this portion of a decision made … “the team was authorized to do more than mere fact-finding in that it would be “participating in the decision-making process by accepting some options while rejecting others for presentment of the final negotiations to the city commission.” … Was this the case in the Caribbean party planned by the group and will they do even more in the process in the future?… I believe this Ad Hoc Group should be made known to the public with their meetings posted and their minutes a public record…especially if it’s my money they are spending…. Please take note that while the TM and her Asst. to the TM state the following concerning the future plans this Ad Hoc Group wants …”Town staff will be working with a LBTS marketing firm to develop the marketing plan for that.” and to deal with retailers west of A1A …”We are going to need some professional assistance to help us with the retailers as that will be time-intensive and we just don’t have the staff time to handle it. We will work on finding a company that can assist us with # 4.” (the west Comm. businesses) … More companies and more consultants… How come we don’t have enough staff?… We have an abundance of staff with very prestigious titles for a town this size and besides on Tuesday night there seemed to be enough staff to do the Feb. 23rd Caribbean party!… The next Commission meeting should include the names of those in the Ad Hoc Marketing “group” as well as their minutes to date with all future meetings distributed to the Commission in their monthly backup as well as giving ample notice of this group’s upcoming meetings to them and the public…

“From: Connie Hoffmann [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 12:55 PM
To: Birute Ann Clottey; Chris Vincent; Roseann Minnet; Scot Sasser; stuart dodd; Stuart Dodd
Cc: [email protected] ; Pat Himelberger
Subject: February Special Event & Other Marketing Activities

Commissioners,

We met with the Marketing Ad Hoc Group this morning and, with the short time frame ahead of us and the Commission’s suggestion that we come up with a different theme for the new February event, it was agreed that there wasn’t sufficient time to re-theme the event and pull off a quality event. Instead, the group suggested we:

1) Promote the events that are already planned for that week (Taste of the Beach, Friday night’s Aruba pig roast and Village Grille’s Jazz on the Square, Saturday’s Alley Oop Skim boarding and Dance Contest and Athena’s Music event) under the umbrella title of “Festival by the Sea”. Town staff will be working with a LBTS marketing firm to develop the marketing plan for that.

2) Concentrate on planning the June program to fill hotel rooms and marketing LBTS as a shore diving destination.

3) Hold a new event in February of 2013, which will give us plenty of time to assure it’s a great event.

4) Start working with the retailers on the western part of Commercial Boulevard on a program to stimulate business activity there.

I think that is a great plan and one that is in keeping with the Town Commission’s goals, so we will proceed unless the Commission directs me to the contrary. I will include this information in my Town Manager’s report in January so it is known to the general public.

We are going to need some professional assistance to help us with the retailers as that will be time-intensive and we just don’t have the staff time to handle it. We will work on finding a company that can assist us with # 4.

I am copying Judy Swaggerty on this email so she knows the Town will not be using their tent this year and so that she can convey to the Chamber’s Board of Directors what we are planning.

Pat, please advise the people on our business mailing list who were not able to attend today’s meeting of this plan, too.”

………………..
Excerpts from the Office of the Attorney General of Florida -Pam Biondi

“Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual
Chapter updated: 01/14/2011
What agencies are covered by the Sunshine Law?

2. Are advisory boards which make recommendations or committees established only for fact-finding subject to the Sunshine Law?

a. Publicly created advisory boards which make recommendations

Advisory boards created pursuant to law or ordinance or otherwise established by public agencies are subject to the Sunshine Law, even though their recommendations are not binding upon the entities that create them. See Town of Palm Beach v. Gradison, 296 So. 2d 473 (Fla. 1974) (citizen planning committee appointed by city council to assist in revision of zoning ordinances subject to Sunshine Law). The Gradison court, concluding that the committee served as the alter ego of the council in making tentative decisions, stated that “any committee established by the Town Council to act in any type of advisory capacity would be subject to the provisions of the government in the sunshine law.” Id. at 476. Accord Spillis Candela & Partners, Inc. v. Centrust Savings Bank, 535 So. 2d 694, 695 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988) (committee which compiled a report that was perfunctorily accepted by the board made a significant ruling affecting decision-making process and was subject to s. 286.011; “ad hoc advisory board, even if its power is limited to making recommendations to a public agency and even if it possesses no authority to bind the agency in any way, is subject to the Sunshine Law”); Monroe County v. Pigeon Key Historical Park, Inc., 647 So. 2d 857, 869 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994) (committee established by county commission to negotiate lease agreement subject to s. 286.011: “the Sunshine Law equally binds all members of governmental bodies, be they advisory committee members or elected officials”); and Lyon v. Lake County, 765 So. 2d 785 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000) (Sunshine Law applies to site plan review committee created by county ordinance to serve in an advisory capacity to the county manager).

The Attorney General’s Office has issued numerous opinions discussing the application of the Sunshine Law to advisory committees. The following are some of the advisory committees which have been found to be subject to the Sunshine Law:

community issues advisory bodies–AGOs 98-13 (citizen advisory committee appointed by city council to make recommendations to the council regarding city government and city services), 93-41 (criminal justice commission established by county ordinance to develop and make recommendations on criminal justice issues in the county), and 85-55 (community certification committee organized by city to act on its behalf in seeking designation of city as a blue chip community under a Department of Commerce program);

employee or personnel advisory bodies–AGOs 96-32 (employee advisory committee established pursuant to special law), 92-26 (committee responsible for making recommendations to city council on personnel matters), and 84-70 (grievance committees established pursuant to county personnel manual and responsible for bringing about “a fair and equitable settlement of the complaint”);

education advisory bodies–AGOs 03-28 (business assistance center advisory council created by community college board of trustees), 01-84 (school advisory councils created pursuant to former s. 229.58 [now s. 1001.452], F.S.), and 74-­267 (Council of Deans appointed by state university president);

legislation implementation advisory bodies–AGOs 92-79 (advisory committee authorized by statute to assist state agency with the implementation of legislation), and 85-76 (ad hoc committee appointed by mayor for purpose of making recommendations concerning legislation);

planning or property acquisition advisory bodies–AGOs 05-07 (lake restoration council legislatively created to advise water management district board), 02-24 (vegetation committee created by city code to make recommendations to city council and planning department regarding vegetation and proposed development), and 86-51 (land selection committee appointed by water management district to create proposed land acquisition list).

The Sunshine Law applies to advisory committees appointed by a single public official as well as those appointed by a collegial board. See, e.g., Wood v. Marston, 442 So. 2d 934 (Fla. 1983) (Sunshine Law applies to ad hoc advisory committee appointed by university president to screen applications and make recommendations for position of law school dean as committee, in deciding which applicants to reject from further consideration, performed a policy-based, decision-making function); Silver Express Company v. District Board of Lower Tribunal Trustees, 691 So. 2d 1099 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997) (committee established by community college purchasing director to consider and rank various contract proposals must meet in the Sunshine); and Krause v. Reno, 366 So. 2d 1244 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979) (Sunshine Law governs advisory group created by city manager to assist in screening applications and to recommend several applicants for the position of chief of police). Accord AGOs 05-05 (fact that advisory group was created by chief of police and not city commission and its recommendations were made to police chief would not remove group from ambit of the Sunshine Law), 87-42 (ad hoc committee appointed by mayor to meet with Chamber of Commerce and draft proposal for transfer of city property); and Inf. Op. to Lamar, August 2, 1993 (transition team made up of citizens appointed by mayor to make recommendations on city government’s reorganization).

b. Fact-finding committees

A limited exception to the applicability of the Sunshine Law to advisory committees has been recognized for advisory committees established for fact-finding only. When a committee has been established strictly for, and conducts only, fact-finding activities, i.e., strictly information gathering and reporting, the activities of that committee are not subject to s. 286.011, F.S. Cape Publications, Inc. v. City of Palm Bay, 473 So. 2d 222 (Fla. 5th DCA 1985). Accord AGO 95-­06 (when a group, on behalf of a public entity, functions solely as a fact-finder or information gatherer with no decision-making authority, no “board or commission” subject to the Sunshine Law is created). “In determining whether a committee is subject to the Sunshine Law, the actual function of the committee must be scrutinized to determine whether It is exercising part of the decision-making function by sorting through options and making recommendations to the governmental body.” Inf. Op. to Randolph, June 10, 2010.

For example, the court in Bennett v. Warden, 333 So. 2d 97 (Fla. 2d DCA 1976), held that a fact-finding committee appointed by a community college president to report to him on employee working conditions was not subject to the Sunshine Law. And see Wood v. Marston, 442 So. 2d 934 (Fla. 1983); and Lyon v. Lake County, 765 So. 2d 785 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000) (Sunshine Law did not apply to informal meetings of staff where the discussions were “merely informational,” where none of the individuals attending the meetings had any decision-making authority during the meetings, and where no formal action was taken or could have been taken at the meetings).

This ‘fact-finding’ exception, however, applies only to advisory committees and not to boards that have “ultimate decisionmaking authority.” See Finch v. Seminole County School Board, 995 So. 2d 1068 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008), holding that the fact-finding exception did not apply to a school board as the ultimate decision-making authority; thus the board could not take a fact-finding tour without complying with the Sunshine Law even though school board members were separated from each other by several rows of seats, did not discuss their preferences or opinions, and no vote was taken during the trip.

When a committee has a decision-making function in addition to fact-finding, the Sunshine Law is applicable. See Wood v. Marston, supra at 938, recognizing that while a “search and screen” committee appointed by a university president had a fact-gathering role in soliciting and compiling applications, the committee also “had an equally undisputed decision-making function in screening the applicants” by deciding which of the applicants to reject from further consideration, and thus was subject to the Sunshine Law. And see Roscow v. Abreu, No. 03-CA-1833 (Fla. 2d Cir. Ct. August 6, 2004) (committee created by the state department of transportation and composed of officials from state, local and federal agencies was subject to the Sunshine Law because the committee was responsible for screening and evaluating potential corridors and alignments for a possible expansion of the Suncoast Parkway).

Similarly, in AGO 94-21, the Attorney General’s Office advised that the Sunshine Law governed the meetings of a negotiating team that was created by a city commission to negotiate with a sports organization on behalf of the city. Even though the resolution creating the team provided that the negotiations were subject to ratification and approval by the city commission, the team was authorized to do more than mere fact-finding in that it would be “participating in the decision-making process by accepting some options while rejecting others for presentment of the final negotiations to the city commission.” Id.”

http://www.myflsunshine.com/sun.nsf/manual/A342F688127D5AFD852566F30055F8C8

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … We Interrupt This Holiday Haitus … Updated

December 14, 2011 by Barbara

WITH AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ….

Dear Readers …perhaps I posted my Holiday Hiatus a tad too soon… especially after I had time to digest the Dec. 13, 2011 LBTS Reg. Commission meeting held last night… It was truly a meeting I wish I could let go by the wayside…but I cannot…If this is a sign of what is in store for us voters and taxpayers for the next two years we are headed for a rude awakening as a result…Judging from the public comments made by the candidates for seat 3 Mark Brown and Edmund Malkoon that seat is much more important than many realize… especially after they spoke up and after what transpired from the sitting commission on the agenda items that followed … Brown spoke about the $6,000 taxpayer dollars the town wants to put on a Caribbean party the night after the Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of the Beach event and gave his opinion that it was not the right move or use of taxpayer funds as well as asking the commission to hold back a little longer on setting a date for the east side of A1A downtown redevelopment project after reporting he’s heard some businesses are not all on board as well as residents are still not informed  and this project should be done by getting it right the first time ….. Malkoon ‘s time at the microphone was “Team Edmund” in my opinion with what amounted to brown-nosing with faulty accolades to Comm. Vincent concerning Vincent’s role with two items on the agenda about permit fees being lowered and the FDOT singling Vincent out as the leader on these issues… HUH?… Revisionist history has a shortened time span these days more often than not…and that must be the case for Malkoon or he is just oblivious to the facts that the past 2 commissions in addition to other members on the present commission were involved in lowering permit fees…changing the building department …and in the A1A project… much ahead of Com. Vincent …. His recollection of Flamingo drainage is faulty as well …I do not believe the flooding was a Meet the Candidate Night issue in 2010 …Recent rumors abound that he is openly courting the CIC Furths and Carrs in a “Uniter” move of looking for votes…in other words he’s pandering for votes which is quite disturbing to say the least to this writer if these rumors are indeed true …If he is seated besides Vincent in 2012 we will have a two-fer in uninformed dais members making decisions … Also if it’s true he’s befriended Clottey’s pals who mysteriously stayed away from helping her for Halloween and a 2nd term…it’s a head scratcher that’s for sure!… Malkoon who is a longtime member of UOT and on record as a MPSC member for wanting two lanes on El Mar as well as a parking garage etc…etc… backed by the Furths and Carrs…that’s a hoot!… It went further off kilter with the vote of 3-2 to allow staff to put on this Caribbean party in Feb. that was presented by the new Asst. To The Town Manager…This was voted in the affirmative by Vincent/Clottey and Minnet… This party did not have to meet the same criteria as any other applicant would need as far time-frame and details for these three to hop on board..Never mind that they along with all seated on the dais were in the dark on the touted use of an “Ad-Hoc Marketing Group” that the Asst. To and the Town Manager said were used over several months and responsible for this idea…Never mind that the TM and the Asst. To The TM never said who those group members were and specifics were never asked by anyone on the commission…Never mind they have no idea who will be involved but state they will use Town staff for this party and using a local businesses liquor license without stating who that would be… Comm. Vincent who has become Jerry McIntee to Hoffmann as McIntee was to Colon…backing anything she does without regard to details …said he’s getting alot of “atta boys for events” and we need more!… No names of those giving him pats on the back just like no names from Clottey of whose making all the phone calls to her…Comm. Clottey was all the way out there on a multitude of subjects and it wasn’t a pretty sight …Comm. Clottey who has long been on the record for no extension of events beyond two days is suddenly on board with this alongside Comm.Vincent so she said…Ha!… Minnet was vote 3 …How sad …these 3 will vote to use $6 thousand taxpayer dollars to fill the hotels for a party planned in season when no data was asked for from any of them to show how many hotel patrons come to the Chamber’s Taste of the Beach event each year…and none of the three asked the Chamber’s stance on the party the night after theirs… Then to add insult to injury these same commissioners along with the rest of the dais chose to set meetings for the sewers and the impact to the hotels/condos and multi-unit properties in the south (there has been much going on behind the scenes with new pertinent information being brought forth that should change their new rate structure etc…) ….as well as the downtown review and decision in January rather than showing the candidates who are up for seat 3 the same courtesy they all enjoyed in 2008 and 2010 from the outgoing commissions of tabling these two very important issues until after the election!… Instead they are doubled up in Jan. along with the last month of campaigning for these two candidates which is crunch time as all these commissioners well remember … Bad move!…

Then there was the diatribe by Comm. Clottey that the Mayor allowed to go on far too long during her Commissioner comments… Clueless lives!… Clottey’s Comm. comment slams were straight from Marc Furth…No surprise who all those phone calls she says she receives arrive from ….. This writer got a heads up from John Thompson last month on Marc’s interest and concern over the districts and the charter and what was not carried out as a result of the referendum vote in 2004…. John did some looking through his extensive records and answered Marc…But John not forgetting the slights he was subjected to by many in town made it clear that his research was not for distribution to the Town or to be put in print without some agreed upon consultant fee received… It was quite the same dire straights as Clottey spouted so authoritatively in her allotted time …The details of John’s research, recall and his analysis are something I believe the Town should avail itself of as part of the process we need to follow.paying him as a consultant …..In a nutshell ….Yes, the vote in 2004 was for districts…Yes, the vote was for districts to end in 2018 and to back to candidates- at- large on the ballot and yes, there was once again something big lost in the translation by the time the Town codified it which puts a 2012 requirement of a needed extension by FAU in order to continue the districts to be unnecessary …Yes, we as a town would need to fix this district charter problem as we need to do with other such charter items not correctly codified and found by Cecelia Ward this next year in order to have it correctly reflect the voters will…and yes we will need a referendum before 2018 if we are to continue with districts again to be decided by the voters…But we have 2 more elections to do so…No doomsday scenario indeed!…Was Clottey in receipt of Thompson’s research which is certainly not in keeping with John’s stern warning of what Furth was allowed to do with his research? Did she share it or passed it on to the Town Manager?…Or did she just take Furth’s take on it and run with it on the dais?… As far as the zoning errors she spoke about and the referendum required for changes.to B-1 and B-1-A districts ..That too came from Furth …We hear he is all up in arms over the changes in conditional use parking allowed for Aruba Beach Cafe …Hmmm. … Why didn’t he come to the Nov. Quasi-Judicial hearing to voice any concerns?…We wonder if his buddy Jim was aware of the behind the scenes maneuvers that are surely meant to cause Jim’s wife’s business some upheaval if he were correct… We understand the Town was alerted and does not think there were any zoning infractions caused by the move to allow for the Conditional Use Application for Paid Private Parking in the B-1 and B-1-A Zoning Districts that was approved for Aruba last month… But…we also hear P + Z  is going to be discussing B-1  and B-1-A  this month so we’ll see if there is something to the charge after all?… Maybe Clottey who chose not to seek a second term needs to do everyone a favor and follow in Jerry McIntee’s footsteps and be MIA for the last few meetings of her term! … The two-prong contract/agreement VM Dodd had on the agenda deferred from Nov. 9, 2011 was not discussed in the right manner and ended up on pretty familiar scary Colon ground for this writer with a majority on the dais poo-pooing its need due to who the Town Manager is at the present time and again acting like they were in a stupor as to any future contract that would not be brought to them before it was finalized …I wholeheartedly disagree!… Policy should be policy no matter who the TM is and not based on the need depending on who the TM is… Look just a few months back all were spouting disgust over the sale of the water to Ft. Laud. and never seeing the final agreement… Look at other such agreements that resulted from direction given to a TM by the Commission but then never seen or heard about again until we found out the fallout we were stuck with as a result!… I believe the liaison program this commission has used over the past 2 years will either be severely curtailed or no longer allowed from the new ethics regulations not allowing commissioners to be a part of procurement decisions and this 2-prong plan would have given the commission that follow through they do get when it comes to 2nd readings but definitely not on all contracts or sales …This too was a bad move… I turned the computer off in disgust before the A1A debacle with Sea Ranch Lakes that carried over from the last commission meeting concerning the improvements on Sea Ranch Lakes village property … I was texted and called afterward that I had to see it… I did so online today and watched as Comm. Vincent went out of his way to be a “good neighbor” to SRLakes and their 11th hour decision to squash all A1A improvements including the bus shelter and I believe 5 sitting walls etc…Hmmm…..perhaps his bending over backwards  was due to his wife’s growing up there?… I tend to side with Comm. Sasser and VM Dodd who were polar opposite on their take of the situation as they relayed the SRLakes Town Atty. cease and desist letter to the Town if any further improvements were carried out… They put SRLakes and what actually occurred in a proper timeline with the facts that made our “good neighbor” look not so neighborly but like the neighbor who wanted their cup of sugar back along with a new bag as well…. After much discussion and getting the story straight that SRLakes were well informed of what improvement were slated to be done and chose to pass on participating in them and showing no adverse reaction up until this point the commission decided to bag the improvements and put in a change order on the project as well as moving the bus shelter elsewhere in out town… My question is who pays for our staff and atty. time..Who pays for the change order etc…I think SRLakes should be the recipient of any of those bills at this point in time… Remember this is SRLakes and the Mayor who owns the bank property that was fast-tracked for paid parking some months ago…So again, who’s the “good neighbor” to whom?….

It’s my hope that some commissioner will realize what took place and what will remedy the actions taken at this meeting thus tabling the Jan. meetings until after the election and that voters will continue to watch carefully the two candidates running for seat 3 … We need commissioners who ask follow up questions…We need commissioners who ask for specifics…..We need commissioners who do their due diligence and do not just skim the backup happy to blindly follow the administration just because its easier on them and they happen to trust the present TM they hired…

I will break my self imposed holiday hiatus when I receive the 1st Treasurers Report to be turned in to Town on Friday Dec. 16th…and follow that up with the next one on Dec. 30th…

In my last post on the election I asked if there was any difference between these two candidates… I believe there is… and those differences are going to be more and more apparent in the weeks to come…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … With Only Two Candidates Left In The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 2012 Municipal Election Vying For Seat 3 The Question Front And Center … Is There Any Difference Between Them? ..

December 11, 2011 by Barbara

BROWN OR MALKOON IN SEAT 3 FOR 4 YEARS….

Dear Readers … this writer is concerned with this upcoming election and the outcome of it that thus far seems to make no difference to a good many LBTS voters we are told who are preparing to skip the whole process as a result … We hear the UOT PAC has decided not to meet until 2 days before the League of Women Voters “Meet the Candidate Night” on January 11, 2012… So in essence they will have a pre-debate debate if they even choose to ask questions of the tow candidates, Mark Brown and Edmund Malkoon! … We hear that UOT will not choose to endorse either one which leaves these candidates even more so on their own beyond a lack of many donations coming in from those so generous in 2010  … A few that are donating are donating to both in order to avoid making a decision … The impact will most likely be seen in manpower help as well in the weeks to come right up to just who will be inside the tents set up at the polling places on Jan. 31st…This writer has been told by someone at the top of the “food chain” in this town that either candidate “will want to move forward” which implied the 5-year re-development plan was solidified either way for the next 2 years…and then some… Hmmm…. Is that a good thing or not? …

I’ve sent an email to one Commissioner as well as to the Town PIO to forward to the Town Manager concerning the Jan. 11, 2012 Meet the Candidate Night being televised and replayed before the Jan. 31st election date…

…………………
“Televising Jan 11, 2012 Meet the Candidate Night

FROM:

Barbara Cole

TO:

[email protected]

Sunday, December 11, 2011 11:18 AM
Steve, could you pass this on to the Town Manager before the meeting on Tues. night- Thank you.
Town Manager,
I am requesting that an addition be made at the Dec. 13, 2011 Reg. Comm. Mtg. for the upcoming Jan. 11, 2012 Meet the Candidate Night to be televised and to be replayed as some meetings have been in the past. I believe it must be voted on by the Commission to do so. I think it is important for voters to have an opportunity to see where these two candidates vying for seat 3 stand on important issues. Thank you, Barbara Cole”

………………

I’ve also sent LOWVoters moderator Carol Smith 35 hard-hitting questions for the two candidates covering a myriad of questions that should define these candidates to voters and give an insight to how they would govern once they are positioned on the dais in Comm. Clottey’s seat for their first term as a result of how they answer them. I have not shared these with either candidate and will not do so. At the last two such events in 2008 and 2010 a great many of my questions were used. I hope that will be the result once again in 2012. Residents can do the same right now up until the day of by emailing questions on issues to Carol Smith at … [email protected] ….

I’ve sent in a Public Records Request for the candidate’s required  Treasurer Reports. The first one is due on Dec. 16th and upon receipt of them from the Town I will post them…This should show some differences between them as well as has been the case in prior years …

………
“From: Barbara Cole [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 10:41 AM
To: Steve D’Oliveira
Subject: Public Records Requests

Hi Steve, I would like to request copies of all of the LBTS Candidate’s Treasurer Reports for Dec. 16, 2011. Please respond when they can be picked up.

I will be asking for the reports as well on Dec.30, 2011 and Jan 13, 2012 as well as the Termination in Feb. Is it necessary to make individual requests? If so please let me know that as well. Thank you, Barbara Cole”
………..
This writer heard the candidates have been out going door-to-door with Mark Brown starting off a few weeks back in the southern end of town while Edmund Malkoon began in the north end … Last week it appeared that Malkoon was trailing after Brown in sections of the south wearing his campaign Hanes green t-shirt with the bird on it which match his door hangers while Brown was dressed more appropriately to meet voters the first time according to those who met both …. Brown decided to forgo the campaign t-shirts and opted for stickers along with leaving campaign chip clips along with other pertinent information for those he met as well as for those he missed in his first round of knocking on doors… Thus far the word is that Mark has a better grasp on the topics voters are most interested in and is more readily able to respond to questions dealing with issues from past years in depth…Their signs will most likely be going up in yards soon and those too should provide voters a visual on the willingness of residents to do so for the candidate of their choice…Question is of course will UOT members put up both? ……

We should be able to see if they provide some insight to voters in any public comments they choose to make at the upcoming town meetings including the one this week on Tuesday Dec. 13th using up to three minutes to make known where they stand on hot topics contained in the agenda such as Consent Agenda item 11a. and the $6,000 dollars being requested by the Town under the new marketing budget for what amounts to be a Caribbean themed party under a tent to take place the night after the Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of the Beach event next year…The backup states that after a few months of discussions with hoteliers/restauranteurs/businesses one marketing idea was a 4-day event schedule that would include these two events on a Wed. night and a Thur. night along with the Fri. night Jazz on the Square downtown and  Sat. daytime Alley Oops skim-boarding event followed by the regular Athena Sat. night event which they say would fill the hotels… This writer as a taxpayer never thought a marketing budget would even entertain such a use for that amount of money to fill hotels which in my opinion it will not…It will only bring out people from other Broward municipalities as is the case for all of our town events … On the subject of marketing this rises to the level of the last marketing idea I was glad went by the wayside ….. putting up funds to have a congratulatory meal for the diver trying to break the record for staying underwater by the Bio-Rock coral reef project ….and then when the first attempt failed and that agreed upon Commission vote for $1000 went by the wayside a second attempt for funds to promote the diver’s return on Dec. 1st for even more money…Fortunately that too never moved forward… Perhaps I am in the minority but after reading the Sentinel on what the diver actually did to break this record which included being tied to the Bio-Rock structure in order to sleep…I thought more than ever it was not something I would want to spend money on as a taxpayer…I also found humor in the tied to the Bio-Rock scenario after hearing for so long that certain Bio-Rock proponents were concerned about anyone or anything anywhere near the structure!…Perhaps it will be agenda item 16a. under Old Business concerning the sewer rates in hotels they will want to weigh in on?….This item contains some eye-opening numbers showing the impact of the rate increases to south end customers who are still under the LBTS Master Sewer Agreement with Pompano Beach in the aftermath of the present commission trying to rectify and resolve the long standing “subsidy” (or whatever word one wants to use for the Town making up the difference in what we were billed and what the condos paid the Town)  being paid to the 3 Sea Ranch Club buildings and Sea Ranch North due to actions taken by a few behind the scenes in Town Hall and the perceived imminent infrastructure “hit” the south was going to face with our aging sewers… According to the backup on this item some have been hit alright…hit with increases of  117%-200+% over the rates they were previously charged …To add to the “hit” they received is this statement written by the TM … “Next month we will receive the engineering firm’s analysis of the repairs needed to our sewer infrastructure. From staff’s recent discussions with them, it appears that the Sewer Fund reserve is more than ample to cover the cost of the needed capital repairs. Having that report will be important in any rate restructuring considerations.” (the TM offers up some ways to reconsider the rate increase to these properties prior to this statement) It is in the last few lines of the report made by TM Hoffmann…. WOW!… No wonder Arthur Franczak has not walked away from this situation…This writer only wishes he could  have been more succinct in providing his situation in dollars and cents as the TM has in this report….We were all talking infrastructure …infrastructure…infrastructure …..because we were sure we were going to face millions of dollars of sewer replacement costs placed on the town as soon as the sewer report was finished and released…… If the staff is correct that we already have those funds available for whatever repairs are required it absolutely makes it hard to swallow the practice of continuing to impacting these south end properties at the percentage agreed upon by the commission before this information was supplied!…. This issue along with the parking dept. will be issues the winning candidate will be faced with as soon as they are sworn in ….That being said we absolutely need to know where they stand on sewers before we cast our votes … after all it’s four years of decisions made by them that impacts us all whether it’s the sewers in the south or the sewers in the north which could rise up again with the Palm Club suit still in play and an issue that changed the majority on the dais in 2008…

No one should be anointed to the position of Commissioner I am told by a valued friend…I wholeheartedly believe that to be true especially for this 2012 LBTS election …. It is therefore up to all of us to make these two candidates work hard for the votes we give them on Jan. 31, 2012….and no one should give up their right to cast their vote by taking a pass in any election…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … 2014 …

September 28, 2011 by Barbara

IT’S TIME AGAIN FOR YOUR WAKE-UP CALL ….

Dear Readers… this writer watched the September 26, 2011 LBTS final budget hearing …It was another eyeopener of rewritten history and lack of knowing the Town’s history all wrapped up into one!… Sorry to say it will come back to bite the taxpayers in the years to come …

What I’ve learned over the last 6+ years is this …it doesn’t matter who gets elected to the Town commission and it doesn’t matter who is hired to be the Town Manager …both positions are campaigned for with intensity and hard work  by the candidates….Unfortunately both positions once handed over to those coveting them quickly does a nosedive into personal /faction-social group agendas …as well as a lack of keeping up the hard work still required to make important decisions along with the status quo of swelled heads of self importance and failed old governmental habits…

Needless to say looking forward to the next municipal election slated for 2012 as well as the approved LBTS budget and newest version of the LBTS 5-year plan it’s a given that nothing’s gonna change until 2014 !….

So for this writer ….. after 6+  years and running 2 successful winning LBTS campaigns my hiatus continues on for self preservation and sanity ….as well as time well spent with Lilly who at 17 months already understands the importance of small steps…..boundaries and consequences …The question I wonder now is ….why do those we put in charge lose these very abilities they told us they possessed when asking for our vote? ….

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…

…………..
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]

…………………….

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 …

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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…

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