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Here’s The Scoop …. Tennis Anyone? …

HMMMM…. WE CAN’T GET EM’ ON THE HEIGHTS….TENNIS ANYONE?…

Dear Readers… An e-mail was sent to a commissioner and some like-minded residents …concerning the Tennis courts and their use…past …present and future … We hear some more election time misinformation and fearmongering are making there way throughout the town…to steer votes to Furth-endorsed candidates Comm. Silverstone, Joe Couriel and  M.I.A. Marjorie Evans …A few days ago it was the heights…with Furth-fearmongers saying a vote for their opponents would be a vote to raise heights to a Galt Ocean Mile 15 stories if elected……The Candidates Minnet, Sasser and Vincent countered with by providing voters with the factual information Article 7 Section 9 that states no increase in height can be instituted without a vote of the LBTS voters by referendum….With that off the table…we hear the fear now is the tennis courts being opened up to non- residents…Well, let’s get some facts on this latest mumbo-jumbo… from Town Hall East…

On January 13, 2009 Commissioner Silverstone put on item 10 e. Ordinance 2005-05  “BY AMENDING SECTION 17-14 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES TO ALLOW NON-RESIDENTS TO USE THE TOWN TENNIS COURTS AND INCREASING THE FEES FOR USE OF THE TOWN TENNIS COURTS”…

At that meeting Commissioner Silverstone stated he put this on to increase the use of the tennis courts…(his campaign manager Cristie Furth  “thought the tennis courts should be kept in house” according to the minutes…On the video she actually says “keep it for Town residents”)… Town Manager Colon says at this meeting there are a total of 40 residents and 3 commercial “key” holders who use the 2 tennis courts…and stated she has never had any issues with the tennis courts in her 9 years of being in Town…Town Manager Colon also says the courts were insured and updated in the previous year…Commissioner Clottey thought the rate should be higher in season. Commissioner Silverstone liked the idea of pro-rating it “He believed it would get MORE people out there”…Mayor Minnet “thought it encouraged more people to use the tennis courts”…according to the minutes…Comm. Silverstone and Mayor Minnet agreed. ….”Commissioner Silverstone made the motion to adopt Ordinance 2005-05 on first reading as written with a 5% annual increase. Vice Mayor McIntee seconded the motion. All voted in favor.”

BC- OOPS!…The ordinance to open up the tennis courts came from Commissioner Silverstone and was seconded by Vice Mayor McIntee and all voted in favor!…OUCH!…

The Ordinance came back for second reading on January 27, 2009 …It was read by title by the Town Attorney who clearly pointed out the change was to allow non-residents which was not allowed prior to Comm. Silverstone’s Ordinance…The Ordinance as a second reading was published in the Sentinel…($$$)…….Public comment was allowed and a group of the regular tennis players (the 40) came to speak out against the Comm. Silverstone Ordinance to allow non-resident to use their two prized Town tennis courts…After their impassioned pleas the Mayor closed the public comments portion and discussion began by the Commission….According to the minutes …Vice Mayor McIntee (who was the second for Jimmy-boy’s Ord. for first reading) jumped at the bit and said he “knew the people of the Town wanted to keep the tennis courts for residents.”…Commissioner Silverstone, the Ordinance originator “thought this was a great example of the way government should work”….Mayor Minnet, according to the minutes stated ” felt there should be some parameters to allow other guests and tourists to use the courts. She said she would like to see the Town share a little more.” ..A look at the video shows Mayor Minnet was actually saying what she heard from one public comment, “sounds like you don’t want to share “…Vice Mayor McIntee “was against sharing. He believed it opened up a Pandora’s box”…The Town Attorney advised how the Commission could move forward with the Ordinance to remain the same with the exclusion of non-resident usage for first reading yet again. “All voted in favor.”

BC- Commissioner Silverstone states he “thought this was a great example of the way government should work”…. WOW!…We paid for a second reading in the newspaper and with legal costs to go back to first reading because it was done without input from the residents… Commissioner Silverstone believes  THIS is the way government should?…And he wants 4 more years?..YIKES!… The misinformed are blaming Mayor Minnet for wanting to “share” when she was actually repeating what a fellow speaker said and she has voted along with Silverstone on both votes?…Hmmmm….

On February 10, 2009 the Commissioner Jim Silverstone Ordinance 2009-05 became Ordinance 2009-15 changing the fee structure and keeping the tennis courts as they were prior to Comm. Silverstone’s Ord. 2009-05 for residents only with hotels /timeshares being able to use the courts along with annual renters ….A few public comments were made…including Diane Boutin stating she made a public records request for the costs associated with the tennis courts.. “Commissioner Dodd made a motion to approve Ordinance 2009-15 on first reading. Commissioner Silverstone seconded the motion. All voted in favor.”

March 10, 2009 Ordinance 2009-15 was on the agenda for second reading …It was read by title by Town Attorney  Trevarthen…Public comment was opened and one proponent of keeping the tennis courts “private” came forth to thank the “Commission for a wonderful Ordinance…. Stating “he always looked forward to working with Assistant Town Manager Olinzock and Manager Colon”…”Vice Mayor McIntee made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2009-15 on second reading. Commissioner Dodd seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0″..

BC- So from the time Commissioner Jim Silverstone tried to amend the longstanding Tennis Ordinance in January 2009 to allow for non-resident use…to the final adoption without the non-resident portion in March 2009……Mayor Minnet voted along  Commissioner Silverstone and the rest of the Commission 5-0!…

One point this writer thinks needs to be brought forth at this time is this…Since the Ordinance passed in March 2009… the Town Manager merged the Senior Center and the Recreation department….What rears it’s ugly head for the present Tennis Ordinance as it stands is the following……

On January 12, 2010 at the Regular Commission meeting, after the Town Manager created chaos by directing the Senior Center Director to post a sign of requirements to allow only certain Seniors to participate, the Commission decided on new rules for allowing residents and NON-residents to use the activities the Town offers…

Commissioner Silvserstone stated the following. I think for in-town residents free, absolutely, but for people who are also using this from Galt Ocean Mile from Fort Lauderdale, a small charge to just, to, to help out with the paperwork and so forth I think would be reasonable. I’d like to go in that direction.”

Mayor Minnet and Commissioner Dodd concurred with a fee for non-residents….. Vice Mayor McIntee stated the following…” What I’m saying is you indicated we can let anybody come in if we create two lists. One for legitimate people per the grant and one for the people who do not make the grant standards,. Is that correct?”…

The Town Manger responded she did not like to use the word “legitimate” …preferring those that do not fit the “criteria of the grant”…

The Vice Mayor then added this ” Let’s open it up! Let’s get it going. Encourage two lists and encourage people to come and use our services!”…

Commissioner Dodd made a motion …

The Town Manager asked for clarification… then stating a $30 charge once a year for “ANY AND ALL ACTIVITIES”… OOPS!…

Commissioner Silverstone perhaps recalled the Tennis Ordinance…and stated the following ” I just have I, I think we’re missing something here. I learned a lesson a long time ago the people who are enjoying these services should have input here. So I think I would like to get their input what the  would like to see as any restrictions. Cause I could see that Yoga class being almost over, overly. Anyway, we have, we have a certain limitations in the room and that sort of things. I think getting their input directly about what would be workable for them as far as ah, restrictions. I think it would be a good thing. Unless the Town Manager thinks she has enough input currently to judge that.”….

The Town manager gave her examples of the Yoga class led by Pauline McGuiness and her cutoff of 35 people in the room…

Commissioner Silverstone responded “Got you. That’s fine.”…

The Motion was made by Commissioner Dodd and seconded by Vice Mayor McIntee …passing 4-0 (Comm. Clottey was out ill)…for the Senior Center-Recreational Department activities to be used by residents…NON- residents …of any age and any income!…

With that vote…on January 13, 2010…ALL ACTIVITIES in LBTS are open for use EXCEPT the Town Tennis!…

The Furth-endorsed candidates are at “MATCH POINT”…. in the “2nd set” of trying to fearmonger their way to a victory in March!…OUCH!…

Pass the Ben-Gay…..

………………………………………

2009-15 TENNIS ORDINANCE ….

Sec. 17-14. Persons who may use tennis courts; access to tennis courts; issuance of keys; fees.
(a) There shall be available only (1) to persons who own property within the Town and/or (2) to persons who lease residential property (single-family detached homes, townhomes, condominium units or rental apartments) within the Town (tenant-residents) under a written lease for a term of one year or longer, and/or (3) to owners and/or operators of hotels and motels located within the Town for use by the registered guests of such hotels and motels (hotel/motel operators), the opportunity to use the tennis courts which are owned by the Town subject to such rules and regulations pertaining to such use as may from time to time be promulgated by the Town Manager.
(b) The tennis courts may only be accessed through the entrance gate and with a key to be issued by the Town for that purpose.
(c) Keys to the tennis courts may be rented annually from the Town by property owners, tenant-residents, and hotel/motel operators on a fiscal year basis. Keys rented during the fiscal year will be charged a prorated percentage of the annual fee. Only one key shall be issued to a hotel/motel operator and only one key shall be issued to a property owner (for each residential property owned) and only one key shall be issued for any one residential dwelling unit tenant-resident.
(d) The annual fee for the issuance of keys shall be as follows:
Single-family and duplex dwelling, including individual condominium units (and any unimproved lots)** . . . $100.00
Hotel/motel operator*
3–12 units* . . . 100.00
13–50 units* . . . 100.00
More than 50 units* . . . 100.00
Individual tenant-residents** . . . 100.00
*Only one key shall be issued to a property or complex–transient licensure
**Only one key shall be issued per residential household
(e) All fees contained in this section shall be automatically increased by five percent on October 1, 2009, and by five percent on each October 1st thereafter.
(f) The Town Manager shall verify the particular property owner, resident-tenant and/or hotel/motel operator status prior to issuance of a tennis key.
(Ord. No. 353, § 1, 9-14-94; Ord. No. 2009-15, § 1, 3-10-09)

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more to come….

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