Search and Categories

Here’s The Scoop … The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea November 22, 2010 Commission Roundtable … All The Right Ingredients …

A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS …

Dear Readers .. an overview of last evening’s Commission Roundtable which took less than 2 hours as this writer prepares to return home for the Thanksgiving Holiday…Lilly is going to visit her other grandparents …

Before they began the eight items on the agenda Vice Mayor Dodd asked to include a ninth …item I. to address the parking restrictions discussed at the P & Z Workshop on Wed. night …(prev. post)… First up was discussion on Ord.2010-18 before 2nd Reading next month on Accessory Buildings & Structures…As previously posted in the agenda post for this meeting as well as the 1st Reading Comm. Mtg…Mayor Minnet was not happy about the allowance of sheds and VM Dodd put his on the roundtable for that reason…He reiterated that tonight and threw it back to her..Mayor Minnet repeated her personal choice of not allowing for sheds and stated other municipalities do not allow them…She said they were not allowed in the south end of town and came back under land-use in 2007..She spoke of Comm. Clottey’s past incident when her property was impacted by a flying shed in a storm and she had no recourse..Comm. Clottey said she did have that happen but made an inquiry to the TAtty. about an ordinance putting a legal obligation on the owner of that shed if enacted…TAtty. Trevarthen stated the Town did not want to be in the business of private legal rights between two parties…They went back and forth with the TAtty. stating it would still be between the parties unless the Town banned them as the Mayor wanted…The Mayor in the first such action of the evening cut off the discussion by stating it was a4-1 vote on 1st Reading ..She dissented and she wanted to again state the reason why…thanking VM Dodd for putting this on…

Next up was Comm. Clottey’s desire to have the Pelican Hopper in use for New Year’s Eve…She added the time put forth needed to be extended …She said it served a dual purpose to aid those in condos who cannot drive at night allowing them to partake in the Town festivities as well as easing the congestion of cars and the “party hardy” group…She said it wouldn’t cost that much…Comm. Vincent said the idea had merit but at 12:30 our businesses would not want people running off to catch a bus..He felt the cabs were sufficient…Comm. Clottey said the time should extend to 2am…Asst. TM Bentley who has been officially designated as acting TM in an e-mail sent to the Comm. last Sat…until TM Hoffmann returns after the holiday…said the cost of the using the Hopper for July 4th was $24 per hr. with a req. # of hrs…He did not know what the rate would be this time ..if it would be overtime…premium pay..He suggested talking to the event operators to see if they wanted to cover the costs stating we don’t ask them for much…VM Dodd said this was a laudable idea but he was not for it…due to the logistics and putting the onus of drunk riders on a single driver being too much for him to handle..He said the cabs know how to deal with it…as well as other transport…He said it was not a very clever idea… Comm. Sasser said he had a question of the cost …stating it was not totally out as far as he was concerned …He wanted the staff to talk to the businesses …agreed it was laudable..but wanted to know the routes…and that it was not just A1A..Mayor Minnet asked about including Benihana and Blue Moon due to their NYEve events as well… as well as the extra cost of adding another person on the bus to help the driver…Comm. Vincent spoke of not letting people off at Terra Mar to go over the bridge unassisted in they are impaired…The Mayor cut to the chaser and said Bud was given direction to find out the liability and perhaps enlist the C.O.P. volunteers to help out…She felt the hours should be 6pm to 2 am and staff should get back to the Comm. by the Dec. 7th Comm. Mtg…Comm. Sasser said there is also a free taxi service offered on that night from the County to check into…

Next item was Comm. Clottey’s item on expenditures exceeding 10% of the Town’s budget going to referendum vote…Comm. Clottey asked for the Comm.s indulgence ..saying she was not saying 10%…that could be 15% and the same for her $400,000 figure used…it too could be adjusted…She said they sit on the dais and they decide how to spend the taxpayer’s money..not our own money …BC- Hmmm are they not taxpayers as well?… She reiterated what was in her backup of large non-emergency/planned expenses going to the taxpayers to decide whether they pay for it or not…She spoke of the mail-in election option and spoke of the Comm. Beach pavilion as an example for this to be enacted…She stated after years of bickering and changes in the Comm. they had to get 3 extensions from the County…She said the 2nd part was a lot of concern over the increases …She said it was not one particular vendor (BSO) and used the VFD as an example if they came and asked for a $500,000 increase…do we just give it to them?.. She then spoke of one vendor (BSO) coming with an increase..She said she personally would pay ..but many don’t want to ..and they represent them …She said these are  hard decisions that they shouldn’t make on their own..and wanted to start that discussion tonight…That discussion was met with a rather loud response of silence from her fellow Commissioners…Finally Comm. Sasser said “I’m not in favor of it.” VM Dodd said ” 2nd “….

Up next was the Interlocal Agreement on the County/Districts/Towns and the future garbage use…This came up in 2009 when the former Broward County Mayor came to sell it to us …(prev. post)… Asst. TM Bentley spoke about the complexity found in reading 10% of this 130+ page backup and did a brief overview of the choices we have to go with the agreement or venture off to an alternative as other municipalities are doing…(see prev. agenda post/Town backup…link below)… While we thought the prev. Comm. approved this in Nov. 2009 after the TM answered they had no choice (they did)…They only approved the MOU..and we really have until 2013 with our current agreement…He wanted to start the discussion tonight on where to go…He stated the staff was recommending more research and reporting back to the Comm….Comm. Clottey said he should do that before they make any decisions…VM Dodd asked about the other options and if we have spoken to Choice …Bud answered we have …He added they will be used by Hallandale who had 5 bidders in their process for looking for an alternative disposal while Miramar had 5-6 bidders as well including Waste Management…Comm. Sasser who spoke on this as a candidate and was shot down by the prev. TM/Comm. about his warnings…reminded all of that exchange and his very real concerns…He stated he was for an alternative and went on to ask about the effect/penalty if  we leave the ILA ..The TAtty. did not know and will look into it…Bud said he did not know if such a termination clause existed…Comm. Sasser reminded all of the decrease in savings from the increase in recycling as stated in the backup as well…He was concerned about the Dec. 31st deadline in the backup..Bud that was for the signing bonus and reminded him we still have 2 years on our agreement… Bud also said Connie and he do not think the Comm. should be influenced by the $72,000 bonus offered for signing…They could always choose to join the district at a later time as well…Mayor Minnet repeated what VM Dodd had acknowledged as well as Comm. Sasser that they were told they had no options and she was glad they did…She asked Comm. Sasser if he would consider being the liaison “the Garbage Guy” …Scot replied as long as it ewas not a conflict due to the VM’s recycling liaison role and how that fit in this issue…The Mayor said she was initially the recycling proponent and was glad VM Dodd had taken this on…She saw no conflict…neither did staff…

The sewer rates were next…Bud showed a power point…(see agenda post/Town website backup..link below) of the backup to show the differences between north and south and the old calculations vs. the new…He talked about the impact to the larger condos as well as the the increase of 7000 gallons from 2000 gals per Ft. Lauderdale’s input …He also addressed it not applying for 12 months…and the balance increasing over 8 months… VM Dodd spoke up first… ” I personally stated at the last meeting that however unpalatable the pill is we should get our rates in line as quickly as possible. Who knows if Pompano will increase their rate next year and we are playing catch-up all over again. Budgeting for a loss as the best solution would not be my first choice. I am in favor of setting the rate to give us a zero deficit at the end of this year rather than an operating loss. Aren’t we supposed to balance the books? If there hasn’t been a rate increase since 2002 then its time to get it right. We may be able to drop the rate slightly next year when the collection period is spread over 12 months. Hopefully this will allow staff to provide a budget to cover infrastructure repairs or postpone further rate increases. In my opinion we are required to be fiscally responsible and pass on the true cost rather than fund the proposed loss from the general fund” He said he didn’t want to budget for a loss…Comm. Clottey said people need to pay the tru amount billed…The Town should not act as the “go-between” and move on..We should not be using reserves for funding waste water…The VM said we need to make up for the loss we have this year ..Comm. Clottey said she could go either way..Comm. Vincent asked Bud for the benefit of the viewers to address the loss of the 2000 gal. base before being charged in the south under the new calculations…He wanted to talk about the increases over the last 8 years from Pompano and what they might be over the next 5 years…BC- already brought forward in the prev. meetings and the backup…Comm. Sasser said he likes to keep things simple…”come in from the ether” …He spoke of the north end and what they pay including surcharge /maintnenace…He spoke of the south end and what they pay under the Master Sewer Agreement without that maint. fee for infrastructure and wanted to know why the Town does not charge the same amount …take the overage not needed to pay Pompano Beach from the south and put it in the coffers to apply to the infrastructure?…He also wanted further details on the no mans land between the 2..the SRClub buildings and SRLakes north…infrastructure/agreement with?… The Mayor said we need to be equitable and spoke of the “two water czars” and that neither want to give up their piece of the pie..Fort Lauderdale supplies the water…There was further discussion on who owns what …who services what in each portion of town and that Ft. Laud. does our  billing in the south…The Mayor said we could take back the billing…Bud was against that for the ability to cut off water comes from Ft. Laud. and we could not do it…BC- we used to, I believe.. Bud was also differing in some statement from what this writer was informed …He stated the north Pompano sewers began at SRCenter…Does he mean out in front from Pine Ave. or Gatehouse Rd?..I was told it was Pine Ave…He also responded that the cost was being passed on as charged to SRC/SRLN til 2002…Not according to those around back then..They insist SRC began paying LBTS in 1998..until being told to pay Ft. Laud…. Comm. Clottey felt that the north should pay for the infrastructure in the south due to the south paying for the septic to new sewer in the north… She said we were double taxing people in the south…She blamed that on two different commissions long ago who made the deal to pay for the sewers and give them away to Pompano plus the costly hookup fees that went into that repair fund for futures use…Comm. Sasser reiterated his plan of all paying the same…Comm. Clottey spoke of not having enough time to get the money and the need for a bond in the years to come…She also did not want people to get hit with any increase around Christmas…. The mayor said they all kept the millage down knowing sewer  was going up ..and it would not happen before Xmas..Comm. Sasser asked to summarize what they wanted from staff…and they did 3 different options…The SRC/SRLN particulars will happen at the next roundtable due to the time it will take per VM Dodd…

Next was the TM Performance Goals/Review…They joked TM Hoffmann was not at the table…Bud said she was most likely watching…VM Dodd stated  “It never ceases to amaze me. It is a pleasure working with a true professional. Even in her own review she has provided very professional guidelines on how she should be evaluated. Seems a bit of a change from the last manager’s review where the commission were hunting for another municipality’s evaluation process and one commissioner flatly refused to give the manager anything less than a 5.” He was mistaken by saying the review was in the code…It is in her contract…He also did not think it was needed at the top of the list…This writer respectfully disagrees..It does not matter who the TM is…rules apply the same… Comm. Sasser again stated #21 Government Efficiency was the most important..speaking of performance..He added finances in general need to be within the budget…Comm. Vincent had no comment…Comm. Clottey concurred with Comm. Sasser on the budget and efficiency…The Mayor said they all agree and #21 should be item #1…BC- YEP!…

Next was the Parking Sponsorship…Bud filled them in on BankUnited and the trial of allowing them to buy the metered time for their customers..It is an easy trial …The TM makes the decision for limits and fees and they will return with the specifics most likely in Jan. with other Parking Code items… VM Dodd said it  was a win-win..Comm. Clottey wanted to know if there would be a need for additional parking enforcement …Bud said communication would be with the bank and they would not ticket if it ran over 3-5 minutes of the 30 minute limit proposed…Mayor Minnet said there was consensus on it …

The Community Development Block Grant was brought to the Comm. for 2011/12…It entailed some questions from VM Dodd on the amount…Acting Finance Dir. Doug Haag said it was based on a formula of population..Comm. Clottey needed to try one more time to get herself off the hook for her past misdeed concerning the contract with the County and the Senior Center after Comm. Sasser w anted to make sure the agreement was in place to avoid any of those perceived problems…Again,, she failed miserably in her version (the latest) to give herself cover for her and former TM Colon’s actions…

Next up and the last item of the night was the Parking Restrictions put on by VM Dodd…He stated… He was personally going out on a limb …”I attended the P & Z meeting where the board looked at the some of the parking issues and I felt before staff and the board spend more time on this I feel the commission should provide some guidance. On what I heard at that meeting I would want to over-rule the majority and go with the minority. I rode my bike along Commercial and excluding the church I counted 13 storefronts vacant and available for rent. I heard Jeff Bowman state he has been turning away one to three businesses a month that wanted to open a new business in our town for as little as one parking space. I have been campaigning this issue for a long time and finally the message is getting across – we don’t have a parking problem in this town. In many ways I wish we did because we would be a thriving destination if all our 520 spaces were full. The present regulations for a restaurant call for 20 spaces for every 1000 square feet. Delray set their rate at 12 spaces for 1000 sq feet. Who can say whether Delray’s will work in our town or whether 6 would be more realistic. What I do know is that we have to try something to help fill the 13 empty spaces. Retail just about gets a free pass – as I understand it since they receive 4 spaces grandfathered and may have a couple of spaces in front of the business anyway. Unless we change the rules for restaurants there won’t be any opening any time soon in LBTS. When well respected and successful business owners stand up and say that full relaxation of the parking regulations is long overdue I’m with them on this one. I am going on record as saying I favor full relaxation or the parking space requirements for restaurants, coffee shops, café, delicatessens with in house tables, subs shops until such time as staff bring it back to the commission that this may be creating a problem and our car parks are overflowing. We need to fill those 13 empty storefronts rather than drive businesses elsewhere because they can’t afford to buy enough off-site parking to meet our out of date codes.”…He added sidewalk cafes as well…as he spoke of those running on having more..Comm. Sasser stated both sides ran on having them…Comm. Clottey asked for relaxing the codes for hotels as well who have requirements for parking that don’t pan out for some of their usage… looking for a broader view…Comm. Vincent thanked the VM and said he agreed after attending the P & Z meeting and thinking about it…as well as observing the weekend before that a full turnout of approx. 300 people on Sat. night left the Bougainvilla still with 50 open spaces…He too said we do not have a parking problem and after doing the math…he is for full relaxation…exemption for restaurants.. Comm. Sasser said he was the one who discussed this with Yann…They were on the same page (Comm. Sasser appointed Yann to P & Z)… and agreed also going out on a limb by stating this needed to be put on the next Comm. Mtg. …Mayor Minnet seemed to take the Admin. side of concern for full relaxation …”warning be careful what you wish for”…and stating full exemptions could bring problems..full rein brings those taking advantage..She did state she knows we need to help business and has stated that since 2008…but not a “fee-for-all”…Bud said the Comm. was saying relaxation…The Mayor said full exemption…Bud had said for “restaurant types”…VM Dodd added sidewalk cafe’s as well…Comm. Vincent asked if sidewalk cafe’s being on public property would come to them on a case-by-case basis…Bud said there is no parking req. for sidewalk cafe’s and they are in the public Right of Way…rented from the Town… Bud wanted to know about future requirements for outdoor seating…VM Dodd said when we have a parking issue ..but not now and the exemption extends to the sidewalk cafe’s…Why put a requirement in for them?.. Comm. Clottey asked about the decrease in revenue as a result.. Comm. Vincent said this was a long range visionary goal and we need to start somewhere…Comm. Clottey said she had no problem with that but deserved an answer..mentioning 101 Ocean… Bud said Aruba had previously had to pay the Town but that was terminated…101 pays permits at approx. $10,000 annually to the Town for space to meet requirement…Benihana pays not to park with the ROW and that does not enter into this equation… Bus was suddenly concerned the Comm. wanted this retroactively..He said that never bodes well when enacted…Mayor Minnet wanted to set a time and move forward on the exemption being enacted..BC- I agree with Comm. Clottey it’s unfair to continue requirements for 101…and with  the Mayor to start the exemption on a date certain going forward…Dir. Jeff Bowman stated the evening before there were no private parking agreements in place currently….and savvy restaurant owners will still look for ways to make parking close by or valet available to their customers if they feel that gives them the “home court advantage” of loyal and repeat patrons… …Comm. Clottey felt it was unfair to require 101 to continue to pay… Mayor Minnet said they needed to think about that …Bud spoke of using a moratorium or a code change which would require a Notice of Intent  …Comm. Clottey spoke of a 1 or 2 yr moratorium .. VM Dodd  again made it clear he wants this to vote on at the next Comm. Mtg. (Dec. 7th) …Mayor Minnet said she was sorry to hear businesses were turned down regularly and the Comm. was not informed to remedy the situation… Bud appearing to still be trying to stop the exemption asked about restaurants allowed in only certain districts…for avoiding undue explosions of them coming in…The Mayor said there are 3 sides to every story and these questions needed to be given to staff .. Com. Sasser said he wanted it at the next Comm. Mtg. and wanted to act on it…Staff could take the Clottey recommendation on the hotels back to the P & Z to address… The Mayor asked about two different areas or full exemption… Scot said he wanted to install a moratorium immediately…The TAtty. said a moratorium is by ordinance and takes months… BC- how was the building moratorium done in 2004/2005 while heights etc…were addressed?… Comm. Sasser said whatever is quickest… Mayor Minnet said there was consensus..and they adjourned wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving…

BC- The Commission took the lead on sewers…county refuse..and exempting the parking requirements for restaurants  …All a recipe for success in LBTS…Also a special thanks must go to Vice Chair of the P & Z Yann Brandt for bringing this exemption idea to his board to jumpstart business coming and opening up in our downtown! ….

Happy Thanksgiving… And Thanks for thinking outside the box!… See you all around town …

Link to Town website…archived backup…video of meeting… http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

more to come…

Tags: ,

Post Division