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Here’s The Scoop … Is This Mayor Minnet’s New Branding Idea For Lauderdale-By-The-Sea For 2012? …

MAYOR ROSEANN MINNET ” I AM ASKING YOU NOT TO STOP HERE, KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING. I COULD USE WORDS LIKE PIE IN THE SKY  BUT WHAT I AM HEARING  IS THESE THINGS ARE FEASIBLE. I AM HEARING THAT YOU WANT TO SEE THE TOWN GROW!” Quotes sent to this writer from the 5/21/11 UM Design Team Charette where parking garage(s) /New Town Hall Complex & El Prado Plaza /undergrounding El Mar Drive & Downtown /Town land and building acquisitions reigned as anything but “low priorities”…

WELCOME TO LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA WHERE PIE IN THE SKY IS FEASIBLE …

Dear Readers …You know what gets voters backs up and makes them sit up and take notice more than anything else?… It’s when they suddenly become aware of a politician that skews their stance publicly and privately…cameras on or cameras off…for the audience they are pandering to… Such is the case… we hear…. after yesterday’s UM Design Team Charette in Jarvis Hall when Mayor Roseann Minnet took to the podium and made the above statements about momentum…pie in the sky items being feasible…and the rally for the Town to grow… (according to reports this writer received from some attendees)… No cameras were on and nothing was recorded… (despite this writer asking prior for the events like this to be online & channel 78 in order for there to be a record) ….The words spoken by Mayor Minnet to her enthusiastic room full of supporters for full re-development (details below) …are in startling contrast to her prepared written words spoken on May 10, 2011 for shooting down the notion of  allowing referendums to be included on the ballot with her when she runs for a 3rd term as Mayor in 2012 …A recap from the a prev. post to remind the voters what she said when the tape was running…and the minutes were being taken for a record to be approved …

“Alright, I’m just gonna jump right into it! Alright, thank you Stuart cause there are, there are definitions here and each one of us define them differently. But during the last election I ran on a strong message and that message was create a defined plan for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. We criticized our predecessors for not having proper planning. This Commission is prioritizing and developing a long range plan that is consistent with positive change. We’re keeping the height limits and unique identity that defines our home and currently we’re doing just that. We have had resident input, business input and this month the University of Miami is coming in to study and offer a feasibility plan for A1A and Commercial that will again take our town into a constructive direction to developing this plan. Not only have we been developing this plan but the Commission has been ranking projects and we have even discussed the feasibilities of one of the items under discussion tonight as a low priority. So what are we really doing here?”

” Weren’t we elected to make these decisions and aren’t we in a fiscally responsible manner? We’re working on an RFP that will get us costs for undergrounding utilities in the downtown El Mar area only. By undergrounding this core area, this is where we may differ, the town will have created an area that is safer utilities, will be more reliable and the area will be aesthetically more attractive. Can you truly guesstimate the costs on safety, reliability and aesthetics and how can you get that into 75 words or less in a referendum?”…

” Yes we agreed to move forward with the Master Plan Steering Committee recommendations but I understood that undergrounding to be the responsibility of the Town. Presently two developments have occurred. Oriana and Minto. Through site plan approval they were required to pay for their undergrounding in the Town’s right- of- way. This doesn’t need to change. The residents should not be on the hook for this expense. Yes it may take longer but the burden is on the landowner, not the Town.”

” Parking garage, this Commission has already voted that this is a low priority so why are we even discussing it. And the hall complex, if this is even a viable idea it is a concept for future years and should be addressed in the capital improvement budget if necessary so we we can identify matching grants and partnerships. The Town is not again responsible for the entire revenue expenditure.”

” In conclusion I am saddened that policy decisions, decisions that people elected us to make, decisions I was elected to make truly transparent and fiscally responsible are turning into political issues.”.

“I hope as Commissioners we can inspire our town to move forward and not shirking our duties as leaders do our due diligence by defining our goals and stand strong to the decisions that are made. I have always said you may not agree with my decision but you will know the reasons why and they will be fiscally responsible and fair. There is an order to follow and if order is not followed failure is not far behind. So maybe this is the real question. Are we saying, are you saying you don’t want change? Because these measures will truly sabotage any plan before us before it is even developed.”

BC-The feedback this writer received about yesterday morning’s UM Design Charette was that it was “well attended” …Who was it “well attended” by?   It was well attended by University of Miami students. ..along with the usual crowd of Minnet supporters for a full out re-development of the town along with 4 of the 5 Commissioner members (Clottey was MIA we are told) … with the Town Manager, Asst. Town Manager and various staff members  ….

The Town Manager’s Report for Tuesday night’s Comm. mtg. (5/24/11) …

page 2 jpeg…

The above memo states the event was “advertised heavily” …. We are told a banner was put up on the Comm. Blvd. Pavilion late in the week … Also there was a press release was sent out from the Town’s PIO (prev. post) along with the same press release sent out by email blast from the Chamber …It was online on the Town’s website and streamed repeatedly on channel 78 ….A writeup appeared late last week online in the Sentinel…

The memo above states “an enormous effort has gone into preparing” for this event…and TM Hoffmann included the efforts made by the Mayor and those she “recruited” to distributed flyers to the condos and residences …. The response to that effort appears dismal at best as a result …The participants who came can be seen online and on channel 78 ….The Town put pictures taken we assume by PIO D’Oliveira of those in attendance on asap after the event ended at noon… A close look revealed those who informed this writer who showed up were correct…It was the “usual suspects”…as a few attendees put it… By that they meant those who support the Mayor and support a full out re-development of the Town ….decided by the Commission alone…

When this writer was managing the campaign for the Mayor and the rest of the slate I made a point not to use photos with these very same UOT supporters knowing full well the ire I knew these people raised with voters in the south and SRClub in previous elections due to their backing issues such as the Town paying for sewers in the Palm Club, the removal of the VFD, previous development plans such as overlay districts and heights, former Town Manager Baldwin and past elected officials such as former Mayor Oliver Parker  …The question now is will these pictures and this turnout have that same effect in 2012?… I am told the charette was run the same as the previous charette in March and that too pans out from the photos seen online and on channel 78 …We are told the procedure was dressed up quite a bit with photos and transparent covers to mark ($16,000+ allows for more than markers and cardboard) .. I was informed by all who contacted me …the same people in attendance this time provided the same priorities as well …parking garages ..no parking east of A1A…new Town Hall and Town Plaza…undergrounding downtown and El Mar Drive …hotel incentives for rehabbing  ..trolly cars …sidewalk cafes and west of A1A improvements…. buying the apartment building for the expansion of the Bougainvilla parking lot and a future garage as well as other land acquisition for public bathrooms …Basin Drive development and Town acquisition of property there … Great enthusiasm …a real rally and a rallying cry to go full speed ahead…summed up by the Mayor’s statements at the podium … “Pie in the Sky”… “to grow the Town” …

It’s true I was for a Town Hall complex … but that was when we had the money in the bank in 2008 …and that was before we paid it all back with a large pre-penalty payment (prev. posts) and after we bought a dilapidated hotel next door for the public safety complex …Not now!…I wanted a simple revised Master Plan when I was working under the facts I was informed of at that time that a Master Plan needed to be updated every 5 years and I thought we were already one year late in complying…That turned out to be false information per Planner Cecelia Ward’s statement at her presentation that a Master Plan was not even required… Not only did we not just revise the plan as I thought was the directive given in 2010 but we went all out at the expense of the priorities that were supposed to be addressed this fiscal year… I wanted drainage addressed as did many of those who voted this slate in from the south end of town….. For those with the rallying cry to grow the Town rainy season has not arrived and thus far flooding has not factored in this year to quickly remind those affected with the #1 priority in their backyard (front yard or side yard) … In fact a look at the TM Report for 5/24 /11  (pg 5/6/9) shows what this writer previously posted …those RFPs and/or ITBs were neglected way too long for all this “Pie in the Sky” (it’s  much more fun and exciting than sewer lines and drainage issues)… The sewer RFP was received this month and had 9 responses for engineering analysis  (the studies may exceed $200,000 as stated in the RFP) which is not expanded on just who will make the choice of the engineering  services and alternate …Will it be the TM and/or a committee of 3? … It will be presented to the Comm. in June… the same month they begin discussing the 2011-12 budget …The first drainage (258 pg) ITB (invitation to bid) went out this month and will be presented (for one street only)… West Tradewinds Dr. in June…Flamingo Rd. which was ahead of West Tradewinds will be a separate ITB (invitation to bid) presented to the Comm. in July due to a change in the original design concept…Harbor Drive which is in the same area was put on hold by the Administration who chose not to bring it to the Comm. The hold was due to the annual contract amount for Chen running over their limit …So the Administration stopped it in its tracks until the RFQ which just went out around May 18th comes back …Why?… Why not see if the Commission would extend the amount and put out an ITB for the entire area…(which should have been done months ago …in this writer’s opinion)… The downtown drainage…of Lake Colon or maybe now re-named Lake Minnet due to its being scratched as well in 2011 …was put on hold when the Commission decided to go out for RFP rather than assign work to Chen … costing a long delay…and then jumped to pile on undergrounding as previously posted which we all know will cost big bucks and cost those who need to hook up to the new service thousands just from what has happened in other municipalities..

It comes down to this….no big projects have happened over the last year (excluding policy issues in the first 4 months) with the exception of new parking pay stations and new colored benches in the pavilion which I was just informed are now being occupied by homeless people  (if true that is disheartening)… and the fish bicycle stand … shells and Adirondack chairs in El Prado Park and the Diane Boutin table and benches in the Washingtonia Park…

My continued and mounting concerns have nothing to do with personalities …They are based on actions …. In the last year the Mayor and the Town Manager have not been able show that they what they can do to fix Lake Colon-Minnet and how they can manage one million dollars in the downtown area…. When asked last year by both I told them to do this one  downtown drainage project well ……Show all in town how it can be done right…It’s something we have not seen in this town as evidenced by these very drainage problems that resulted from former TM Colon cutting the originally slated one million dollar pavilion budget that became a $400,000 project down to $175,000 by cutting out these very much needed infrastructure requirements … If we don’t know how well they can handle a million dollar project how can we trust them with these 20-30 million-plus projects… All theses actions made by Town Manager Hoffmann in hiring consultants such as RMA/Cecelia Ward /U of Miami and the Town Manager’s Report (5/24/11) inclusion under recruitments (pg 1) of a hiring a full-time staff planner  a “senior-level planning professional” point to big moves being made in addition to recent comments made about loans and bonds … Put together with the  “pie in the sky” comments made by the Mayor yesterday…the new editorial in the ByTheSeaFuture…and the rallying cry from those “pals” showing up at the podium and the charettes who have the Mayor’s and Town Manager’s ear… leave this writer little choice but to believe big plans are full speed ahead …. despite the pain I am told is being felt by those taxpayers not in attendance who are being hit with new assessments ..ever increasing fees and increased bills while seeing less income from their investments and watching their savings shrink …

Will we see “pie in the sky” in 2012 or “pie in the face” if there are no referendum items on the ballot in January?… I wonder if there are still people in south end of town and in SRClub who will do as they did in 2008 and 2010 and make their voices heard at the polls rather than the podium in Jarvis Hall ?… Are there any independent candidates out there with $12,000 they can come up with and/or raise to run against the incumbents who have their eyes on that” pie in the sky” after they sit back down on the dais next February?…That outcome will surely leave that pie bill for the voters to cover one way or another? …Will it be last man (woman) standing in round three of north vs. south as it appears is the case at this juncture in LBTS ?…

What happened to first term Mayor Minnet who ran on fiscal responsibility for a second term?…The bill for consultants and professional services will be close to the monies we paid out to former TM Colon…. It was a big issue she ran on in her 2010 campaign …How does Mayor Minnet run on that for a 3rd term?….What happened to Mayor Minnet who said sewers and drainage came first as priorities over streetscapes? …. (May 10, 2010)…They fell by the wayside …(see above) …..How does Mayor Minnet run on that for a 3rd term?….What happened to Mayor Minnet who ran on in 2010  and stated from the dais during and after the election that she did not want to do anything to “tie the hands of future Commissions”?.. What does she think would tie the hands of future Commissions more than “pie in the sky?”….How does Mayor Minnet run on that for a 3rd  term ?….

more to come…

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