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Here’s The Scoop … The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea December 7, 2010 Regular Commission Meeting Roundup … Round & Round They Go? …

CORRALLED … AND RUNNING IN CIRCLES? ….

Dear Readers … Here’s the roundup of what happened at the Dec. 7, 2010 Monthly Regular Commission Meeting … At the start of the meeting  Mayor Minnet moved up the Wheelabrator item 14b. under old business to place it after the presentation …(prev. post) … That was the only change to the agenda under additions, deletions, deferrals of agenda items …

The Commission proceeded to the presentation/item 14b. and on to public comments….surprisingly there were none…(prev.- Wheelabrator post)  which bodes well for this new Comm./Admin. especially with the topics on this agenda being addressed …sewer rate increases for the south end of town ..Notice of Intent on parking/signage for public hearing as well as parking requirements for restaurant type businesses along with 1st/2nd reading ordinances…

This month there was no Public Safety reports and with the switch coming in Jan. of the Comm. Mtg-Rdtable  the Public Safety report for Nov. will be in Jan. combined perhaps with Dec.when the Comm. meets on the 4th Tues. of the month…PIO Steve D’Oliveira stood in for Muni Services Dir. Don Prince to address the National Flood Ins. Program Community Rating System …He reported there was a 5 yr. audit in 2009 and LBTS’ rating went from an 8 to a 7 ..This year we saved an additional $13,000 to make a combined savings of $45,000 after that audit… The next Town Topics will include this savings… The Mayor asked Chief Llerena up to the podium and he once again reminded all it was time to sign up for the BSO Cybervisor program if they had not done so… He stated it could be found on the Sheriff Lamberti’s  site or a call to LBTS BSO would provide anyone needing help assistance on how to sign-up online…link to Sheriff’ Lamberti’s site … http://sheriff.org/ … It can also linked from Town website under public safety as well as contact # for LBTS -BSO  … http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/ … This writer signed up long ago when it was first offered and the updates are well worth it to sign-up for…There were 4 sets on minutes to approve and no changes or questions from the dais..The Mayor asked for a motion to approve them all together it was made by VM Dodd /2nd Comm. Vincent ..passed 5-0 …

The Consent Agenda initially had no takers when the Mayor asked if any of the items needed to be pulled for discussion…Comm. Sasser then stated he did want to pull item F. which was the purchase of the digital multi-space parking pay stations and then the Mayor stated she wanted to pull item E. The A1A Landscape Proj. extension… The rest were passed 5-0 after a motion was made by the Vice Mayor/2nd Comm. Clottey… Those were a. Approval of the Fl. Dept. of Law Enforcement Justice Assistance Grant for 2010/11…b.Approval of the 2010/11 Community Devel. Block Grant…c. Approval of the Spec. Event application for Aruba’s Memorial Day Beach Bash…d. Spec. Event application for the Ft. Laud. A1A Marathon Feb 20, 2011…g. Hardship permits for Basin Dr. LLC & Sea Spray Inn…BC- of note I would hope the minutes could now include what is passed without discussion as well as those with for the those archive inclined researchers to easily find in the future..The status quo does not allow for this on items passed without discussion…The Mayor wanted item e. pulled to see if the Town should have its own non-discrimination policy vs. the one included in the FDOT ..There was a knowing response received from the Town Manager which seemed to mean these two had discussed it prior to this meeting at their regular pre-meeting review..The TM said she would like to expand on the policy and bring it back ..Comm. Clottey wanted to know why they did not just wait for the policy since this was not happening asap…Asst. TM Bentley responded they needed to vote on the rest due to “running late” of this …Comm. Clottey rescinded and the Vice Mayor made a motion to approve the item with the Town’s own non-discrimination policy…Clottey made the 2nd..Bud Bentley asked that it all be passed including the non-discrimination and that that portion could be submitted after the fact…The TM countered they had time to do it  stating we have months …Bentley countered we have time but not months ..The TM replied she would rather have out own… The motion passed 5-0 …

BC- The TM and the Mayor never expanded on why this was necessary …what the TM wants to expand on that made this something that rose to the top of the “to do” list for staff…

Consent item f. was the parking multi-space pay stations which will be around town…Asst. TM Bentley was still at the podium on this item ..He spoke of the meters being at A1A & El Mar as well the 1st block of Comm. Blvd. east …The removal of the single meters will increase the sidewalks Bud added ..He did not state what the cost would be to remove the old single meters and the repair to the area surrounding them…This was a question this writer received from a Reader… Bentley went on to add this would fall under a 2008 bid from Lee County we will be able to piggyback off of …The company is a private one and Bentley stated an additional 5% savings could be added for placing the order before Dec. 31st ..for a sum of $2,900…”a significant savings” he said… He followed up on that by stating the Town could still research at alternatives… He also spoke on the credit card option being secured separately which could bring a better rate …One big reason Comm. Sasser wanted this item pulled (Comm. Sasser made it clear his bank was not involved in this item providing him no conflict of interest) …Bentley stated that 40-50% of users use their credit card when the option is available…He added they typically produce more revenue as well as it has been found more time will be bought with a card than with cash..

BC- one Reader added that another benefit for these types of pay stations is right now if a parker finds a space with time they pay for additional time or do not need to pay…With the new ticket required per car a new parker does not obtain leftover time and needs to purchase all the time they need thus more revenue for the Town…

Mr. Bentley stated the pay stations will all be networked together so a parker can add to their time from a station placed elsewhere in town ..One of these new pay stations was to be ordered last week or this week starting for El Prado lot…

BC-The same reader that asked about the meter removal cost also asked about the maintenance due to damage from the salt air producing corrosion as we have seen at the existing pay stations in El Prado over the last 2 years…

Comm. Sasser stated this was “near and dear to my heart” adding his no-conflict statement…VM Dodd congratulated the staff saying this was “first class” ..the units would be “solar powered” offering “flexibility”… “convenience” and an “all around benefit”… “a win-win” … Comm. Vincent asked about the pricing for real time monitoring and asked about no revenue sharing for the Town…Bud replied there was not revenue sharing and there was a 1 year maintenance …Comm. Clottey thanked Comm. Sasser for his expertise in the additional $2,900 savings ..Comm. Sasser made the motion with the contingency /2nd from VM Dodd …passed 5-0 …

The next item was Ordinances 1st Reading …Up first Ord. 2010-20 the sewer rate increase… It was read by the TAtty. and the TM stated we have been over this adding there were some slides as well as the two goals the staff heard from the Comm. when this was last discussed including eliminating the operating cost…to build up the reserve that’s been eaten away…and the simplest way she sees doing that is to adopt Pompano Beach’s rate structure …She showed the slides …(see archived video on Town website … http://lbts.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2 …item 10.1.) … The slides showed the present rates for single homes as well as multi- based on meter size…It addressed the price change as well as the removal of an allowed “base” of 200 gal. credit ..The cost will grow larger for the larger condos …Also addressed was the state of the LBTS owned sewers and what will arise from an engineered study whether it is removal and/or replacement of the over 40 yr. old infrastructure and when they need to begin the project…whether it happens in “2 years to 10 years”… She added Don Prince informed her the entire town had been televised over the last year to assist the project (prev. posts) … Consultant Kathleen Margolies came to the podium to state the increase will produce a revenue increase this fiscal year of $16,700 and for the next full fiscal year it will be “a little over $100,000” … Astonishingly when this was open for the public to comment..there were no comments made!.. The Mayor asked if there was any discussion on this from the Comm. …before anyone spoke she added she “feels it’s been discussed”..”The current rate structure’s not doing it”…She added there needed to be advertising to the condos and the community and we needed to “move forward”.. Comm. Sasser said he had a quick question and he asked about there being nothing included about the surplus in year 2 to take care of the system… The TM answered yes that money would go into the $1.5 million making it $1.6 million and would still be inadequate for the replacement needed in the south…but it will help with anything that happens beforehand…any serious break… The TM said postcards will be sent out to all LBTS customers …

BC- Should SRCondos be getting that postcard? …After all they it appears they are not really customers of LBTS…( prev. posts ..see below comments)…

The VM made the motion to pass Ord. 2010-20/2nd Comm. Vincent and it passed 5-0..

BC- I am sad to say the Roundtable meeting this coming Tues (Dec. 14th) will not include the discussion concerning SRCondos and what took place behind the scenes by a few former Administrators and it is believed at least one former dais member and SRCondos then and now… There is to be no discussion on the “fallout” from this “ruse” enacted behind closed doors in Town Hall for over a decade and how remedy the actions taken going forth.. It is this writer’s opinion there is much to discuss and get to the bottom of… Not only who made these decisions and if there is any recourse for the Town and the taxpayers but who should SRCondo pay when this change in sewer rates takes place. SRClub was not privy to any “subsidy” coming their way…They did as they were advised in 1998 after annexation fro the Town …They paid a bill that arrived from the Town of LBTS…They did as they were advised along with all the south LBTS sewer customers later on when billing was turned over to Ft. Lauderdale and paid the bill as it was received… never thinking something underhanded was going on … Now that the “cat is out of the bag” this writer sees it as no different than when the “cat was out of the bag” in 2007 and we found out Palm Club was a private property thus producing a change in the plan to install sewers for septic on that site… Knowing the sewers that service SRCondos belong to Pompano Beach…knowing the former Administration/TAtty. did not do as they were directed and go to Pompano Beach to include SRCondos in the LBTS Master Sewer Agreement…knowing the same few did not come back to that sitting Comm. and ask direction to proceed with a declaratory judgment …knowing an alternative to subsidize was made running counter to the direction given at that 1998 special meeting …and knowing that now after the 2001 annexation of the north end of town it seems unlikely Pompano Beach would go along with inclusion of SRCondos in the LBTS Master Sewer Agreement …something that seemed unlikely from the get-go …in this writer’s opinion…Knowing the sewers servicing the condos from A1A belong to Pompano Beach not LBTS … and it is they who maintain them …..it only makes sense that LBTS should no longer be the 3rd party in the billing of the 4 condos and Pompano Beach should charge them as they do all their customers serviced from Pompano Beach sewers from Pine Ave. north… As far as restitution…Good luck!…It is also this writer’s opinion SRCondos will have no problem if asked for it…in going to court and producing what was received from LBTS over the years to show they were in the dark…(as I am led to believe by those involved in the annexation for SRClub)… As far as the replacement of the sewers in the south…it’s a separate issue… This issue will open up an old wound once more…and require this new Administration too look at it with a new set of eyes to see if we were purposely misinformed by the former TM (who had to be aware of the subsidy ruse all along in her capacity as Finance Director/Town Manager) in 2008 concerning the septic to sewer monies received from the north’s annexation to offset those costs vs. the south’s taxpayer paying for them to be replaced… Those facts will need to be forthcoming before the Comm. can decide whether replacement of sewers in the south is an assessment made for the whole town or the south end alone… I believe the Roundtable meetings are when the discussion on such topics is to take place..These are to be the long meetings vs. concise Comm. Mtgs….This should have been on this RTable this time especially after looking at ht e agenda which is short….

Comm. Sasser requested a short break…

Ordinances 2nd Reading… Up to pass first was Ord. 2010-18 “accessory Buildings” … (prev. posts) …It should have been a no discussion passed 2nd Ord. at best..It was not… The TAtty. read it…Vice Mayor Dodd had an amendment to add for a fine after he spoke prior to the meeting the the TAtty. … VM Dodd stated he was seeking to add the fine …The Mayor thanked him and added she had major concerns about this ordinance (prev. posts)…She is against sheds in yards …There were once again no public comments when it was opened up to the public to weigh in… Comm. Sasser asked how it would be handled  with code enforcement …once the storm hits…what was the reality of such a fine being enforced…Development Dir. Bowman stated once the warning was issued those with non-permitted sheds subject to penalties..although they (code) would give them lead time…Comm. Sasser wanted it clearly stated 48 hrs. after they are susceptible to fines… Comm. Vincent said he sat with “Jeff” (Dir. Bowman) and that he had trouble passing this …He said it was “government breathing down our necks” ..It was moving too fast “…He also had a problem with the heights (one story of half the height of a 2 story building) …He wanted to look at it a little more …It’s 2nd reading …and “one story is too high”..He did not understand being fined for a “Rubbermaid”…He also spoke of the fines fro coconuts and lawn furniture …He said he was not going to vote for this…

BC- While I agree with Comm. Vincent on the fines and the lawn furniture etc… He showed a real lack of governing on this one!… This arose from his help with the accessory building for 101 Ocean …This was brought many times to the Commission before 2nd reading…It went to P & Z and was well discussed with additions and changes made …and accepted by the Comm. including Comm. Vincent who I believe was present at those P & Z meetings when they addressed the subject… Hardly done too fast…To ask for more time  and not vote for it with some changes made cost the Town in staff/ TAtty./ P & Z board/Comm. time and cost for the required published notice for the ad in the Sentinel prior to 2nd reading… This was the same type of behavior witnessed from the prev. majority on the dais when it came to 2nd reading ordinances going south…. Also Comm. Vincent who stated he sat in the audience the 2 yrs prior to his election should be aware that then-Comm. Dodd put forth and succeeded with a majority vote to eliminate the coconut ordinance a few years back in 2008 … OOPS!…

The Mayor said once again she was not for it and found it interesting these points were being made now…Comm. Sasser asked to make a friendly amendment …Comm. Vincent went off on the Hurricane Center and the cone and to go by their guidelines…The Mayor stated the Vice Mayor made the motion with a second by Comm. Sasser with the changes of the fine to be imposed…The TAtty. stated the friendly amendment shall be within certain hours …12 hrs…Comm. Vincent said to govern the removal of the sheds would need to include the patio furniture etc… The Mayor clearly miffed by the 11th hr. change of support she was hearing snapped at Comm. Clottey saying she was interrupting her…Comm. Clottey then allowed to speak asked what the definition was of a shed…Dir. Bowman said it was a shed or storage building that does not require a building permit… Comm. Sasser said he did not like having government say who could have a shed…The vote was taken and it failed 2-3 (Vincent/Clottey/ Minnet voted no)…

BC- What happens now…Will code enforcement go out to inform residents their storage sheds will need to come down?… Why was there no direction to address an ordinance without the fine?… The prevailing side should bring this back…no fines allow the single family residences their storage sorely needed with full garages being the norm…No basements mean storage alternatives are a given…

Ord. 2010-19 was 2nd Reading for the Choice Environmental toters etc…(prev. posts)…Comm. Sasser re-capped the ordinance …Again no public comment …The Mayor thanked Comm. Sasser and staff… The VM had a question of who contacts whom for a change to take place… The Atty. for Choice Grant Smith answered they had no way of knowing who would need to be contacted…Asst. TM Bentley said as he had at a prev. mtg. Choice will be changing their billing and a property already at the 50% agreed toters allowed would not need to do anything…while a property wanting to drop down to that 50% level or any number in-between the 50% to 100% would need to contact Choice for the rate change…The TM said this too would be on the Town’s access channel …Comcast Ch.78/Town Topics as well as on Town website…Comm. Sasser made the motion/VM Dodd 2nd it ..passed 5-0…

The addition of item 11 Resolution 2010-39 Notice Of Intent (NOI) was added on Mon. Dec. 6th after it was affirmed it was MIA from the agenda (prev. post)… The TAtty. read the resolution…after she stated it was not on that evening’s agenda …She added it required the adoption first by the Comm. and then this public hearing for the public as preconditions for changing the parking and the signs… ….There was no public comment … NOI and doing away with it will be addressed at the Tue. 12/14 Roundtable…The VM wants to toss it…The Mayor wants to keep it…This evening’s lack of public input makes it clear that the VM is “spot on” …and Comm. Sasser is as well when he asked the TAtty. if this slowed down the process and she concurred as well as stating this was LBTS “home grown” code requirement and she has not seen it anywhere else in other municipalities… OOPS!… No motion was needed as it was adopted on Nov. 9th by this Comm. in a 5-0 vote with no discussion…OOPS!…

Commissioner Comments …

Comm. Clottey spoke of the boxes in Town Hall the fire station and around town for dropping off toys..She thanked Town Staff naming Doug Haag for getting the businesses to pick up the tab for the Pelican Hopper on New Year’s Eve.. Wished all a joyous holiday and encouraged them to go to the event Christmas By The Sea and dress warmly..

BC- Did Clottey misspeak? Why would the Finance Dir. be thew one to contact the businesses?….Was there anything sent to the Comm. on the route etc…an extra person on the Hopper and any other direction given on this topic?…

Comm. Sasser said he would be brief and wanted to take a moment to thank Choice for their role in the negotiations ..He said they were a “good partner”…He too wanted all to not forget the Christmas By The Sea event the next evening in town…He ended by saying he needed to fulfill an obligation he head…which was to say hi to his family…His mom and dad  as well as other family members..

BC- This led to a Walton type dais moment when the Mayor jested they should all say hello to the Sassers or mom and dad…and they did!…

Comm. Vincent said he wanted to address the sewer rate increases proposed and went on to talk about the rate increases being ignored for the past 9 years…He spoke of the parking calming …and also spoke of the holiday toy drives …as well as giving a plug to ByTheSeaFuture …

Vice Mayor Dodd stated there was nothing new to report from his seat on the Hillsboro Inlet and also gave a plug to the Christmas By The Sea event and tree lighting…

Mayo Minnet wished all a happy and healthy new year ..She spoke of it being a “whirlwind” year thanking staff who is now showing respect and stability not seen before…She thanked the Comm. for what they are moving forward on doing in 2011…She spoke of attending a Florida league of cities event that dealt with our elected officials and asked the staff to put together a Town Hall meeting inviting those elected officials representing us to come and meet with the residents and businesses in town…She also spoke of the C.O.P .(Citizen on patrol) program in town and stated it is an integral part of the town…She said they put in over 1500 hrs of service and new members are wanted …

Old Business item 14a. was the Parking Requirement Modifications …(scroll down to see prev. posts right after the meeting)…While it ended up with as a 3 yr parking suspension program …VM Dodd has brought it back on the Dec. 14, 2010 Roundtable to have a show of hands to change it back to his original longtime desire of being an elimination-exemption for restaurant type businesses with no time frame to end it… making it simple …

BC-This writer will post on this in the next post along with the code for a parking suspension program that includes applications and more hoops for businesses to jump through courtesy of government…UGH!…

14b. The El Dorado condominium must have contacted Comm. Vincent to put this on… The Commission received a “heads up” on the issue from the Asst. TM prior to this meeting and the item being put on that they might be contacted…Comm. Vincent stated prior to annexation the concrete wall the condo wanted to build would have been allowed… Dir. Bowman said this item was to be on the P & Z agenda Dec. 15th…Comm. Vincent asked about having other options to stucco and Jeff spoke of what was allowed…VM Dodd asked if this was allowed would residential homes then be allowed 6 ft. high concrete walls around their properties…Bowman said they would …Comm. Vincent asked questions about non-concrete wall and the air circulation requirements… Jeff responded to that as well…The Mayor said the consensus from the Comm. was to send this to P & Z…

BC- Dir. Bowman stated it was on the P & Z agenda already… The previous Comm. took away the air 3/4 air flow for fencing last year… A simple remedy of course is for the condo to go through the variance process …If not …in this writer’s opinion…..then two separate code requirements should be in place…If the condo wall will not impact the neighboring property on the east side of A1A/El Mar Drive then allow for it…but do not allow for it west of A1A/El Mar and for residential west of A1a/El Mar as well…

The Town Manager said she had nothing that needed to be talked about due to the late hour…

BC- It was not yet 10 pm….

Comm. Sasser asked about the Coral Reef project which was in the backup for her report as being stalled still… The TAtty. stated there had been a “series of changes” …”language changes”… and she “feels they’re close”… As of Nov. 16th the “ball has been in their court” …They had a “little feedback today”.. The Town Manager quickly interjected to state that feedback came from “a 3rd party ” was “nothing direct” …She also stated since “they were not going to be able to deploy anytime soon due to weather” they were “not in a hurry” …

BC- What other vendor to the Town would be able to get away with this?…

Comm. Sasser asked also on the BSO investigation of the event inventory … (prev. post)… The TM said she has received no BSO information has been received…

BC- How so?… This too has taken way too long to come back for a decisive Comm. decision on the consequences…in this writer’s opinion…

The TAtty. also said she had nothing to report this evening…

The Mayor asked for a motion to adjourn..They adjourned at 10:01 pm..

The archived video is on the Town website as well as the full backup…links are  above…

more to come…

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