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Here’s The Scoop…4/28/09 LBTS Commission Meeting #2…Fireworks “Deceptively” Displayed…

New Business Item 16B…Commission approval of Vendor for July 4th Beach Blast Celebration 2009 Fireworks Display – $15,000.00 (Assistant Town Manager Olinzock)

Here we were again…. the “fix”was  in…The fireworks display was decided weeks ago in March or earlier by the Mc-Furth “Gang”…..A”Faux” RFP process was “put out” by the Town….. fully aligned with the “Faux” Fireworks Committee…all done out of the Sunshine!…

The Manager back from a week off setup the choice of the Event Coordinator Marc Furth….. Melrose South Pyrotechnics (previous post scoops category)…and asked for approval…

This writer held off  my public comment to speak on this item……knowing full well this was a “done deal”…..ready to be “cemented” this evening…”guaranteed” after Commissioner Comments when the Vice Mayor spoke of “We” met with the state etc…and “We” have big time sponsors…etc…all done with no posting of any meetings…How odd and disturbing that his Co-Chair of the event Comm. Silverstone did not look as if this was news to him…he appeared fully informed…The  Mayor read a letter from Town’s National Sea Turtle Foundation opposing the shooting off of fireworks on the beach…She went on to say that her concern prompted her to contact the Department of Environmental Protection and made some points of the response from them ( not turned over to the Comm. until right before the meeting)…Marc Furth said he had spoken to them that day as well…and that they and the state were behind the event from the beach…Marc spoke of the 9 pm cut off for fireworks applying to both the beach and the pier…The Mayor said there were other “issues”…but Marc “lobbed” onto the 9 pm point and the Mayor unfortunately did not bring out the rest of the letter (below) that states if the pier was used…..” This launching scenario would also create additional beach area for observation of the event by beachgoers.”….The big …important point…just where will beachgoers sit to watch the show?…Where will beachgoers enter and exit the beach?….Remember 280 feet in circumference with no winds… What Marc did reveal…if any turtle nests appear the site will need to be moved ….Marc and Comm. Clottey would not recommend Zambelli because of poor performance last year…but what about the comparison award required per the Town’s purchasing policy? ….That too was ignored….Comm. Clottey fully immersed now in all thing Colon-McIntee-Furth …is becoming very adept at throwing out the same “garbage comments” such as maybe not having the fireworks at all….Marc Furth said he made no promises to his choice of company when asked by Comm. Dodd if he had offered any assurances…..Marc said he would move the display if he received the funding to do so…Unfortunately no one on the dais jumped to speak of alternatives…or how much more funding would actually be required…Interesting when you consider $1750 was given following this item for a concert put on the agenda at last minute from Comm. Clottey… We hear there is approximately $24,000 that has gone unused for performing arts programming this budget year that could have been reallocated for the fireworks……Co-Chair Silverstone  spoke of not being “a team” with the questioning of Marc Furth…a perfect BFF  “handoff” to his BFF Co-Chair VM McIntee who absurdly charged the Mayor with “trying to sabotage this event” by “jumping over Marc” and going to these agencies!…The VM…. he of the  “investigations” such as going out to the Greenfest vendors at their homes and to the bank used for the event etc…WOW!…The Mayor could not contain her laughter at the ridiculous assertion being made…The Mayor did her due diligence…

It is most unfortunate that late at night……once again the Commission chose to vote on a matter where they were in receipt of late backup …not affording them time to digest the full scope of of what they were voting on….thus making the decision to ignore the recommendations of the National Turtle Foundation…and the insightful views of the DEP for a different venue  for the beachgoers who will be watching the display…..

It’s times like these where tabling the item is called for…

The letter not read last night….to Assistant Manager Olinzock and distributed to the Commission in their Town Hall mailboxes…

‘John,

Thank you for the copy of the RFP for the LBTS Fourth of July Beach Blast Fireworks Display.  Attachment 3 of the RFP is the FDEP – Beaches and Coastal Systems (BCS) Special Event Permit Conditions for events on or near the Beach during marine turtle nesting and hatching season.  It should be emphasized that condition #2 requires that all structures must be elevated a minimum of 3 feet above the beach.  This would include any platform that would be used as a deployment point to launch any sized fireworks mortar shell.  It is possible that this requirement would not be necessary if the fireworks display were launched from the end of the Pier at Commercial blvd (approx 250 meters east of the beach).  This launching scenario would also create additional beach area for observation of the event by beachgoers.  Special condition number 5 will require that lights associated with the event be extinguished by 9:00 pm during the marine turtle nesting season.  According to FDEP-BCS (Wesley Cich) this will include fireworks displays, meaning that the display will have to be deployed and finished by 9:00 pm, whether deployed from the beach or the pier.

Although without question among the most patriotic of events,  Fourth of July fireworks displays during nesting and hatching season on sea turtle nesting and hatching habitat could result in conditions that might be non-conservational.  In a coastal city that has and enforces a sea turtle lighting ordinance it seems the purpose of the ordinance  would be to ensure conditions allowing the greatest chance of survival of the protected species.  The Fourth of July is no less patriotic if celebrated at a non-beach location.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the agenda item and should you or the Mayor or any of the Town Commissioners have any questions or require any additional information please respond at your convenience.

Respectfully,

Lou Fisher

LOU FISHER

NATURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST III

BROWARD COUNTY

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION & GROWTH MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT

NATURAL RESOURCES PLANNING & MANAGEMENT DIVISION

MARINE SECTION

1 NORTH UNIVERSITY DRIVE

SUITE 301

PLANTATION, FLORIDA 33324

954-519-1255

954-519-1412 fax

[email protected]

more to come….

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    Comment by Michael — April 30, 2009 @ 12:01 am

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