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Here’s The Scoop …The May 24, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Meeting … Commission Taking A Sharp Left Turn? … #3

TAKING A SHARP LEFT TURN OR STOPPING AT THE SIGNAL? ….

Dear Readers …continuing on with this second part of the fireworks being put on hold for July 4,2011 due to orchestrated trumped up accusations being made by the owners of the pier at the 11th hour concerning their lease to shoot them off at their pier we know the outcome is to be decided tonight at a 5:45 pm Special Meeting in Jarvis Hall called for the Commission to vote on the expected new terms that will come from discussions that were set to take place yesterday in order to add the demands put forth by Louis Marchelos and his brother Spiro which Louis presented at the podium on Tues. night (prev. post)… These demands in this writer’s opinion were almost laughable and they certainly ran counter to Marchelos’ statement “Do I intend to take advantage of the acts of a few and punish this whole town? Absolutely not.” … “I will help the Town stay within its budget” …which he made prior to the list of wants in order to have the venue that further benefited him at the taxpayer’s expense!…

We left off with Asst TM Bud Bentley wanting to give the pier owners all they put forth which I found inconceivable for him or the Commission to even entertain rolling over after the inflammatory public comments Louis Marchelos made …The Mayor needed clarification on the change from the 3-day special event in the pier parking lot that was on the consent agenda and the new demand to have instead Athena’s regular Sat. night even on July 2nd.. Bud Bentley said the 3-day was off and would be withdrawn and that he “would suggest that they just travel on their existing approved site plan for Saturday night event and that we just approve their existing permit”…M.Bentley asked Marchelos if he missed anything…The Vice Mayor could be heard to say yes …Louis Marchelos then said they wanted full access to their pier parking lot on July 4th…The Mayor said that presented a problem and went on to describe one of the other items on the Consent agenda for the site plan for the 4th which called for the area to be closed down per the desire of the BSO… This year is different than past years as the activities will be in that area after the parade and through the evening rather than at Town Hall and El Prado Park… The Vice Mayor tried to explain the situation but that did nothing but further inflame Marchelos and some of the Commissioner (their comments to come) …The Asst. TM ignored the Vice Mayor in my opinion as well as the BSO and VFD and Town staff who put the plan in place when he asked Marchelos if he could live with a 8 pm closure over a 2 pm closure… The VM stood his ground and spoke of the layout and the package already put in place…Louis remarked “If I had known about this before Thursday this wouldn’t have happened”…Once again I must remind readers the Marchelos at that point in time were to have their 3-day pier event which would not have any cars in their lot… So his reply was less than credible in my opinion…The Vice Mayor tried once again to explain the dynamics and vehicles vs. pedestrians and safety… I found it amusing that the very same people who had ongoing concern on pedestrian vs. vehicles on El Mar Drive and A1A wanted pedestrian and vehicles in an even more precarious area for safety concerns!… The Vice Mayor stated he felt the Marchelos were being “unreasonable” and again stated his disappointment with their not being able to come to an agreement before this exchange began…He stated he was not going to “make a public spectacle of it and as far as I’m concerned the events that have been planned cannot go ahead without the road closures just as we specified” (in the agenda item)…. The Mayor clearly exasperated by the exchange and the standoff asked Mr Bentley after she shut down both Marchelos brothers from further responding to the Vice Mayor if discussions could take place the next day would that offer “sufficient time” for the VM and his committee to pull it all together… The VM said he was available 24/7 and said “provided we don’t have any allegations about underhanded or anything else. As I said before I have tried my utmost to organize this out in the open and with the assistance of Town staff that’s been terrific.”… He went on to say they could resolve this in the next 48 hours by calling a special meeting before the UM design workshop set for the 26th…The Mayor was on the same page and said that’s what she was proposing as well… I must disagree with the VM on his positive words for Town staff after hearing Asst. TM Bentley and finding the Town in this position at this juncture… The Mayor most likely thought the worst was over and the lengthy agenda could now be addressed…She wasn’t so lucky and neither were we… She extended the opportunity for Comm. Sasser to ask questions or voice his concerns due to his excused absence on Thursday night…Comm. Sasser had questions and concerns over the coordination of the event and Town vs. private with requirements and who pays for them such as toilets and trash as well as bands …What was not pointed out by staff was that with the exception of the 3-day pier owner’s special event the rest of the Town centered event was coordinated for these items… The pier owner’s event would have been required separately due to it being 3 days and a separate permit and separate vote… He also spoke of some of points having to do with the fireworks agenda item hoping to avoid problems encountered in the past and to ensure the Town was positioned well if anything unexpected occurred… He added as he finished up that he did not know what transpired and was not sitting up there to impugn anybody stating his take based on the information thus far appeared to be a communications issue and as for his other concern about competing bands and the suggestion he was going to make to stagger them so they did not compete …that was moot now that the pier owners were no longer  having their event…The Mayor again seemed to appear ready to move on and after telling Comm. Sasser he could send any other inquiries to the Town for Thursday night for which he thanked her and asked about being able to get some backup prior to that meeting in order to do so…(TAtty. and Asst. TM said they would try to do so)…Asst. TM Bentley made another rather odd assessment “From my perspective the parties are close. Any objections to the items raised except for the parking, any items the Commission could personally not abide with let them know before negotiations.” He added the  Vice Mayor said parking critical as far as access to the pier…  Talk about rose-colored glasses!…When Comm. Sasser asked Mr Bentley about the impact an 8 pm change in time would have in the site plan Bentley admitted he “didn’t participate” in the plan!…WOW!… So where was the staff member who did and the BSO?….

Commissioner Clottey and Commissioner Vincent had pushed their buttons and due to what appeared yet another incident of miscommunication on the dais after Comm. Clottey asked the Mayor if she should hold off on her questions with the Mayor seeming to imply the questions that should go forth …Comm. Sasser said he would like to hear the questions of  his fellow dais members…That made for even more flashbacks to the previous Commissions and the accusations as well as cross examinations made against a fellow dais member without regard to having all the facts … As previously posted the Mayor did speak up for the Vice Mayor by explaining the precedent held in past events chaired by Commissioners …but to no avail …Perhaps the Mayor was recalling her own inquisition from fellow Commissioners over Greenfest and that it was then-Comm. Dodd who stood by her and led the way to wipe away the travesty that was politically driven…

Tonight should be interesting indeed…I will save the comments made by Comms. Clottey (talk about strange bedfellows…Clottey-Marchelos) ) and Vincent on Tuesday night to compare to their comments made tonight and of course their votes after hearing the new terms laid down in order to even have a 4th of July event with fireworks in Town…or not…courtesy of the Marchelos brothers and perhaps some members of the administration…in my opinion… What seemed like an easy July 4th event to put together in the center of Town has become a time consuming albatross for all those who stepped up to the plate to plan and execute it ….and all because of one business feeling once again they were on the outside looking in and retaliating….as Louis Marchelos stated on Tuesday night when he made his public comments… . “Be ashamed!”…

more to come….

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