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Here’s The Scoop … “I Hope We Could Implement Some Of These Things In The Next 12 To 18 Months” …. In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea It’s Back To Square One ….

WHICH ROAD WILL VOTERS TAKE FOR THE 2012 LAUDERDALE-BY-THE- SEA MUNICIPAL ELECTION -BASED ON 2011? …

Dear Readers …as a follow-up to numerous previous posts this writer has posted on this site over the course of the last months dealing with this long and involved redo of the 2004 LBTS Master Plan I now feel vindicated in my stance that alot of taxpayer money could have been saved along with innumerable hours of staff and commission time if only this Mayor and Commission decided to keep their eye on the needs of this little town and not the wants of a few that have their ear!… We have paid consultants that have overlapped substantially in their recommendations for what is desirable for our town to thrive in their “professional” opinions …In the end those recommendations panned out to be a variation of what consultants and “professionals” put forth in the past… The article below in the Sentinel today will be another Rorschach test for voters next January… Especially for the Mayor who will be running for a third term… who is quoted at the start of the article –

‘Now, the mayor is confident money can be found to turn into reality some proposals University of Miami students had for rejuvenating the town’s main thoroughfares and aging mom-and-pop hotels.”

“The next step is really putting some solid numbers on this and putting it into our capital improvement budget,” Mayor Roseann Minnet said. “I would hope we could implement some of these things within the next 12 to 18 months.’

WOW!… She hopes that some of these could be implemented in the next 12-18 months!… The question is will she be in the Mayor’s seat to do the implementing?… I certainly don’t believe she should be!…

The next vindication I received I previously posted as well and that was also at the top of the Sentinel article –

‘Chuck Bohl, director of UM’s graduate program in real estate development and urbanism, said transformations like those done in Miami Beach or downtown Delray Beach don’t happen overnight. He suggested the town focus on improvements in a single block, as was done in South Miami, so residents can see the benefit of renovations before committing to a larger effort.’

This writer wrote that when asked by Town Manager Connie Hoffmann well before this train left station for a full-out redevelopment of the Town’s Master Plan as well as the Mayor I said repeatedly stated do the downtown “Lake Colon” area and do it well so everyone could see a project done well …It was common sense …It was what most voters and businesses said they wanted … I guess because it did not come wrapped up in a professional report at a consultant’s going rate it was ignored…So here we are as this 2010-2011 Master Plan train ride is about to come to the final stop (RMA is supposed to have the 5- year numbers before the June 21, 2011 5 pm budget workshop- So far it is not listed on the Jarvis Hall calendar) with UM stating to do just that …improve one single block well and the Mayor stating we may be able to implement some of the capital improvement items in 12-18 months!…We had approximately $8-9 million in unencumbered funds over the last 12-18 months …We still have it!….That’s government at it’s worst…in my opinion… We know nothing more now than we did many taxpayer’s dollars ago!… What could have been done with the monies spent for such a small return on the costs in this town in the same time frame?… Plenty!…For that to actually happen in the next 12-18 months it’s going to take is a commonsense candidate who is ready stand up and say we don’t need to “piecemeal”..We don’t need to go for full-out “pie in the sky” redevelopment…but we do need accomplished “contained development” where it is needed …. Based on solid planning from the sewers-drainage and going up…literally ….from there……We can divvy up capital improvements equally between common use areas such as the downtown along with residential neighborhood areas that are also in need of sewers -drainage- lighting -swale repair-and street resurfacing…while keeping the millage rate the same or lower depending on the needs for that year as stated …We need to accomplish streamlining full employment positions for Town employees in a town of only 7000…It was supposed to take place this fiscal year when it was moved up and made the number 1 priority for the Town Manager last November by the entire Commission…thus far it has not happened…. Any takers?… This is …in my opinion…the year of the independent candidate …no doubt… after reading the Mayor’s comments in the Sentinel today… One last question to seal the deal…If there are no referendum items on the ballot…If the Mayor again says no…get your hats ready to toss em’ in the ring…January is not that far away…

……….

Sentinel-

‘Lauderdale-by-the-Sea seeks curb appeal
University of Miami design team creates proposals for Commercial Boulevard, A1A

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA ——
They came, saw, and re-designed. Now, the mayor is confident money can be found to turn into reality some proposals University of Miami students had for rejuvenating the town’s main thoroughfares and aging mom-and-pop hotels.

“The next step is really putting some solid numbers on this and putting it into our capital improvement budget,” Mayor Roseann Minnet said. “I would hope we could implement some of these things within the next 12 to 18 months.”

Chuck Bohl, director of UM’s graduate program in real estate development and urbanism, said transformations like those done in Miami Beach or downtown Delray Beach don’t happen overnight. He suggested the town focus on improvements in a single block, as was done in South Miami, so residents can see the benefit of renovations before committing to a larger effort.

“This is your home,” Bohl told residents. “A lot of it is in disrepair.”

Resident David Nixon agreed.

“We’re threadbare,” Nixon said. “Sometimes you have to let it go that far before you fix it.”

Town officials saw the $16,500 spent on the UM team as a bargain compared with the cost of bringing in a professional firm to do the same work.

In an effort reminiscent of HGTV home improvement shows “Curb Appeal,” “Design on a Dime” and “House Crashers,” Bohl and more than 30 students and faculty from UM’s School of Architecture took over Jarvis Hall next to Town Hall for six days last month and worked against the clock to fashion a fresh look for the town.

The design team’s proposals focused heavily on coming up with ways to make the town’s portion of Commercial Boulevard and the central portion of State Road A1A more pedestrian-friendly.

On A1A, the team added tree-lined medians in sections and roadside trees throughout, widened sidewalks by rerouting bicycle paths off A1A, and replaced back-out parking with parallel spaces in some areas and angled parking in others. A parking garage next to Wings at Commercial and A1A was also included in the proposals.

Minnet said there were ideas that could be done at relatively little cost, such as installing window film on vacant storefronts to promote a unified shopping theme for the town and to help eliminate the blighted look created by empty businesses.

Some ideas would be up to businesses to do, including a proposal to combine some small adjacent hotels into ones of about 30 units each. The team crunched numbers for façade improvements and interior renovations that would make the hotels less dated and more desirable in competition against the amenities offered by full-service hotels in the region.

One of the group’s more difficult assignments seemed to be ideas for drawing people to the complete stretch of Commercial Boulevard east of the Intracoastal Waterway and giving the street more small-town character.

In addition to streetscape improvements that would provide shading and more outdoor seating, students suggested creating a public walkway to the marina just south of Commercial, as well as opening up space along the marina to create a destination point for the westernmost end of Commercial in town.’

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-lbts-design-project-20110530,0,2196125.story

more to come….

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