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

MINNET-DODD-SASSER-VINCENT …

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

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

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 Clottey rescinded her ridiculous attempt to replace him which was left over from the last Commission… Comm.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HATS OFF TO YOUR FIRST 100 DAYS COMMISSIONERS!….

more to come…

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