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Here’s The Scoop … The May 10, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Roundtable Meeting … That’s A Big “No” On Referendum Items Being On The Ballot In 2012 & Alot Of Malarkey For Paying Off The Parking Debt ASAP … #1…

IT’S “PREMATURE” FOR VOTERS TO DECIDE ON LBTS REDEVELOPMENT FUNDING IN 2012 …

Dear Readers …this will be really interesting to see what the voters in the south and Sea Ranch Club do at the next LBTS Municipal election …Will they believe that “big ticket” redevelopment projects will not be approved by the same dais members right after the election now that two out of three of those possibly seeking re-election made the decision it is “premature” for the voters to do so … Three members of the audience came to speak against it …BTSFuture Editor Mark Brown, Edmund Malkoon and Ron Piersante… Mark Brown doesn’t want them on saying it makes it becomes “political” ….”don’t dump it on the public” that they “trust” this commission to make the “tough decisions”…”vote it up or down” …”don’t waste time and money “…….  Ron Piersante facetiously added to put the police and the sewers on a referendum as well …further adding it is for the Commission to make these decisions…He asked “Do you think they would pass?”….”What happens if they all vote no? ….The Mayor read a prepared speech stating the same criteria of making these hard decisions as what she ran on and why she was elected… That’s not how I recall it at all and that’s certainly not this writer’s opinion! … The mantra was they do not know the costs (all three undergrounding El Mar Dr./Town Hall Complex & Plaza/Parking Garage(s)will be over 10 million each ) and besides they all said they do not believe these items will happen for at least 5-10 years … WHAT! ….If that’s so why are we spending all this time and all this money for costs and designs this year?… That time frame would would mean the Town’s Master Plan would be up for revision once (or twice) again…and that begs for the answer once more from this writer…just who directed this full-scale redevelopment plan instead of a simple revision especially if the majority at the table tonight are being honest about the reason not to have these referendum items on the next ballot?… One more surprise came when the Town Manager stated she is getting costs of undergrounding from other municipalities and asked the Mayor and Commission if they wanted  rough estimates or to spend approximately $7,500 on FPL giving us accurate costs… HUH?… The direction from this Commission was given some months back for an RFP to go out …(it should have been out already) … This should have been done at the beginning …Comm. Sasser asked for ballpark figures and spoke of the costs of studies and RFPs just to find out the costs…His comments fell on deaf ears….The referendum is dead now unless a PAC picks it up and gets a petition going to put it on …That would be the CIC and it remains to be seen if they even have enough members and/or the drive to carry it out….Now we’ll have to see how many other voters wanted to have a say in what happens after the January 2012 election by who will be sitting on the dais when the votes are counted…. The results of this election will speak volumes in just how quickly that 5-10 year plan for these three items become the #1 priority to carry out!….Kudos to Vice Mayor Dodd who tried very hard to remind all about the timetable required to have these items on … as well as his history of wanting the voters to decide such major issues as they have in the past…after all it is the voters..the taxpayers who pay for it…. in the end…

………………

PARKING DEBT …. NO ACTION ….

The Parking Debt for the parking lot will not be addressed until September and budget time…

‘The payoff amount of the loan is as follows
$1,396,965.27 Principal
112,223 Pre-payment fee
4904.90 Interest
$1,514,094.07 Total’

The majority on the dais Mayor Minnet…Commissioner Vincent and Commissioner Clottey believe we should keep this loan on the books coming up with reasons this writer finds to be a bunch a malarkey… The Mayor started by  saying it’s self funding and we will need the money that could pay it off for other capital improvements… Commissioner Vincent who has become increasingly annoying with his pot shots at VM Dodd and his all over the place agreeing with one commissioner only to say he did not say he agreed  a moment later… as he held onto the belief we would have trouble getting another loan and there is no need to expedite this…Commissioner Clottey said while she agrees with Comm. Sasser on paying the loan down  …we need the money because we are a “hurricane prone area”…Perhaps she forgot the emergency fund that is well above what we need and that FEMA will come in after that… Any bigger catastrophe from a hurricane …there cannot be enough reserves to cover…Funny to watch Mayor Minnet agree with Clottey on this one… She went on to speak of something breaking and not having the money…VM Dodd tried to ask  Finance Director Doug Haag what he would do if this was his own loan to pay off or not… The answer came back as this is a “liquidity” issue…and borrowing from Comm. Sasser who earlier stated while addressing the referendum issue “I agree with of you and none of you” on the points made to pay or not pay off the loan and said we might need these funds for capital improvements… To go for a loan later we were told by the TM and Finance Director would leave us open to not knowing what the rates will be in the future ….We do know the rate now on the one we have and it’s 3.95% which is well above market for the time we are in.as the Finance Director included in his backup …..Comm. Sasser tried as well to talk about not having to pay interest and having more money in the General Fund… yet again he was met with less than plausible reasons for holding on to it … in my opinion… The lowest point for this writer was watching the old Colon-era shenanigans of acting as if we have no money in the coffer … until the TM made it clear they were only referring to the “undesignated” General Funds… Comm. Sasser pointed out as well how flush we are with funds… The Mayor again spoke of waiting until budget time to make sure we have money for projects… She also took Comm. Clottey’s point made at the previous Commission meeting about paying off a portion of the debt and perhaps having no penalty attached… Comm. Clottey surprisingly remained mum on the subject… Comm. Clottey did ask the TM how having this debt or paying it off affected our bond rating…The TM said we don’t have a bond rating…When the VM said to continue to push on the penalty charges with Sun Trust Comm. Vincent snapped at him once again… Between the bad jokes and the bad behavior it’s definitely bad form on his part …. The TM after Mayor Minnet picked up where both the Vice Mayor and Comm. Sasser left off on dealing with the penalty costs and said the Town could continue to negotiate the pre-payment penalty with SunTrust between now and Sept. was first told by TM Hoffmann they would negotiate when they knew what they were going to do… but then seemed to back away from that statement…

more to come….

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