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Here’s The Scoop … 6/22/10 LBTS Commission Meeting … Beefing It Up ….

June 22, 2010 by Barbara

SOME CUTS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS ….

Dear Readers … The Town Attorney made reference to some the night’s agenda items as items that this Commission was “beefing up”… and “beef up” they did …and will continue to do so…This was another pretty smooth running meeting with a few comments made from the left side of the dais that had this writer again wondering if there is some oxygen deprivation on that end of the dais sans the Int. TM that is……

After the invocation from returning Town Chaplain Hunsaker about the lines of freedom …and no additions save a little housecleaning on the May 11, 2010 minutes per Town Clerk White …we went straight to pubic comments…

The first 3 speakers from Plaza East Condominium were there to appeal to the Town for relief from the continuous noise they say they have to endure from their neighbor The Fountain Head Condominium’s cooling tower installed 3 years ago between the two buildings … The Fountainhead in LBTS Reader’s will remember complained about flooding they say they endure from the same Plaza East located in Ft. Lauderdale city limits… Some sort of negotiations will need to be done between the  two and the neighboring code enforcement departments…or expect arbitration or litigation to be the next step from the sounds of it… Cindy Geesey came to speak on behalf of the weekend respites for the men and women of the armed forces via the USO in LBTS  again this year..She asked the Comm. to reinstate proclamations for them which was done in 2008 and then stopped for political reasons… She also updated all that the kitten looking for a home in the By The Sea Future went to Comm. Vincent’s daughter Paige… Four other speakers were there to speak on the trial valet item and asked to defer their time at the podium to that time..

NOTE: Checks should be made out to The Greater Jacksonville USO and sent to me at 256 Imperial Lane, LBTS, 33308. …

The Reports were up next from the Public Safety Providers …

BSO Chief Llerena addressed the issue of  the recent burglary on Imperial where a workman’s truck was broken into…The owner of the home had trouble getting the BSO and was unhappy with the response received by the  Deputy who arrived on scene…The resident sent an e-mail to the Commission and Town on the issue.. The Chief said he was proactive on the issue and how it was handled before the Town received the letter… He stated he is working internally to improve the department ..He added any problems that arise such as this …he is available …just call him… He also stated the correct contact number to call (yet again-prev. meetings in town) 954-765-4321 or 911 if it’s an emergency…Both calls are documented through dispatch…The report passed 5-0

The VFD was represented by Chief Perkins and although we have heard the Commission had plenty of questions for the Chief after recent revelations concerning his past and his application to the VFD …only VM Dodd spoke up…asking the Chief to set up meetings with the VFD and the Town to deal with the contract and to see if any re-negotiations might be required as a result… Chief Perkins stated he would do so and it would be he would represent the VFD (we hear until Sept- not July as first presented to the Town)…The report passed 5-0 …This writer surmises the Town wants to take the lead in anything concerning the VFD…..

AMR as usual was quick…Chief Brooke Liddle  came to the podium to present a donation for the Town’s July 4th event…and he received positive feedback and kudos from VM Dodd and Comm. Clottey…The report passed 5-0…

The Minutes were sent back to the drawing board for lack of detail (prev. post) and all will be deferred to July 13, 2010… Passed 5-0

The consent agenda items had only the FLOCities reps passed without discussion Minnet/Alt. Vincent 5-0… Special Event for Athena on July 4th pulled for recycling to be included by the Mayor…Int. Asst. TM Bentley said recycling could be included in future Spec. Event applications and added Athena was the first applicant who will be responsible for litter outside of the area the event is held in…passed 5-0 …

The trial valet parking was presented by Bentley with a powerpoint presentation showing the requirements of a million in Gen liability ins./ no blocking the sidewalks/ key booth sign & one free standing sign that will be like the ones already used by Aruba Beach Cafe and the Pier lot/ standardized shirts/ after 3 pm hours of operation so they don’t impede Ham N’ Eggs/ no parking at metered parking spots on private property/ max. of 8 stacked cars/ weekly reports of the operation/ alleyway return use..including a poss. use of the private portion/ the available area on El Mar and it will begin after July 4th …

Public comments were next..an owner of stores that are next to 101 Ocean on Commercial came to speak of not using the metered spaces…and with no traffic jams and private lot use he could support it… Guy Contrada and Peggy Mohler from Aruba Beach Cafe came up to reiterate Ms. Mohler’s letter to the Commissioners concerning the trial period being done off season and not representing the true effect… Guy also spoke of the problems he could foresee with the closures of the streets on the weekends and the impact with this addition…stating the Pier parking lot would be a better location…with traffic leaving from the soon to be opened alleyway… He asked for more review…Peggy said she was for the Valet parking but in Dec…later she came back to add to her statement by revising her statement that they could start now but evaluate in season..She also took to task Comm. Vincent on his comments of backup problems that arise on Commercial due to the valet service at Aruba stating his assertions were “unfounded “…She addressed VM Dodd about parking at metered spots and put forth the desire to park at unused metered spots west of Commercial which was a no-go in the past…Bill Vitolo wanted the trial to go forth…and also pointed out the backup due to Aruba’s valet ..he did not want Town spots to be used and wanted the Comm. to leave it to the Int. TM Manager and Int. Asst. TM to deal with…

Comm. Sasser was not on the same page as Vitolo though …and asked for it to go back to the Roundtable the next night…Many of the questions asked at the prior Roundtable were not presented in the backup or the powerpoint and he pointed out with the businesses stating they would not start until after July 4th there was time to discuss it … He went on to highlight some of those questions unanswered dealing with private vs. public parking and the numbers of both vehicles and dollars as well as no presentation on any responses from the businesses the backup stated were notified on the impact to them..

Comm. Vincent  talking out of both sides of his mouth stated he appreciated the public comments but he was ready to “entrust” the businesses “to know when to launch” …”to get the bugs out”…He said this was “not a traffic study” … if they had problems off season they knew they would have them in season… He was against using public meters …He said the businesses will know if it’s working…He then hit Aruba about stacking problems they too have in his opinion…and he stated “I don’t know if it’s necessary to go to the Roundtable”…He said this could be handled quick and staff can handle the liability…He said we should “cross out t’s and dot out i’s”…We “don’t need a Roundtable”… Hmmmm…. Roundtable is for discussion and further questions ..Comm. Vincent had some of his own…What happened to supporting your fellow Commissioner if they want more discussion?… Hmmm….What’s the hurry?…

Comm. Clottey said that maybe they needed to got to the Roundtable and she addressed her observations that cars “stacked” in the Commercial circle were not all for valet at Aruba…She too had concerns about Fri. nights and thought with less Fri. night events off season it might be a good time to work out the kinks..She wanted to go to Roundtable to address Comm. Sasser’s questions… Oxygen on the left at seriously low levels…….

The Vice Mayor reiterated his stance on the prior incarnation of this valet service being a way to introduce revenue to the Town and fill the Bougainvilla parking lot…He answered some of the questions with the info he had been informed of at that time …25 spaces…He too had concerns on the liability and stated the win-win had turned into a lose-lose if private property was used…

The Mayor stated a consensus was made at the June 9th meeting to go forward and now it was to go to another Roundtable…Comm. Sasser made the motion and stated he may haves some solutions to the revenue concerns of VM Dodd…

Comm. Vincent countered that he did not understand VM Dodd’s concerns and stated those who want to park at Bougainvilla will and those who want to use valet will so he did not see a loss of revenue to the Town … the choice was up to the driver..

After letting Peggy Mohler have the rest of her 3 minutes the Mayor reiterated this service works in Del Ray but it still needs to be “hashed out”…She added she had concerns about blocking the entrance/exit of El Mar parking lot …and then it went to a vote for Roundtable…passed 4-1…Comm. Vincent voted no!…

The next item was the request to move monies around to cover the donation to Haiti from the Broward County Manager’s Assoc. and to cover the payout to Esther Colon from the Stormwater account… The Int. TM took the item after she explained Ms. King was working …Comm. Sasser began the questioning with why we had the $238, 716 remaining in the account…Ms. Hoffman did not know why and stated the assumption was it was for the stormwater study …The questions and answers between the two continued with the cost of the Chen study (90,000+) and what if any was left to be done by Chen…They are finishing up …later it was stated they have been paid $97,000 with the rest of the allocation available to them if need be…That would be the rest of the $125,000 Colon had the previous Comm. put into an account that was already flush with funds…No discussion on why that happened… Comm. Sasser also asked about the account for donations… The Int. TM was not sure about it…

BC-That would be the charities that came and stood at the podium at the last budget hearing asking for donations from the Town such as the Boy Scouts/Area Agency on Aging/Women In Distress/ Kids Voting Broward/ Family Central/ Broward Coalition for the Homeless-total $12,350 per the 2009/10 justification sheets…

Comm. Sasser asked more questions about the contingency fund with Ms. Hoffman explaining it should rollover or carry over and our Town let it lapse into “undesignated funds”…

BC- It used to carry over …per past budget years…why it stopped…in this writer’s opinion…stay tuned for tonight’s Roundtable…(prev. post)…

The Vice Mayor again stated his issues with the Chen Study and its content for the $97,000 and stated he had chosen to change his vote on the Haiti donation after considering it was being sent through the Brow. County Manager’s Assoc. and not directly from the Town…as well as those who wanted to donate already did…

Comm. Vincent in this writer’s opinion is doing just what Atty. Weiss alerted the Comm. to when they started…speaking to often just to speak…He wanted to clarify the monies doing the subtraction to arrive at the sum left…WHAT!…

Comm. Clottey went “there” with her doom and gloom over the funds that might be needed for  “a lot of unforeseen” expenses …”problems with the former Town manager’s payout…”additional expenses to the Town”… The Int. TM stated payments for the inquiry to cover consultants  and the IT expenses are close to overspent but can be covered by the undesignated funds discussed prior with Comm. Sasser (tonight-prev. post)… Does Clottey want to fold and let Colon walk with close to $70,000 in “public monies”…that out Town Attys. and Int. TM say are not rightfully hers?… If so, she is not serving her constituents!…

The Mayor also reconsidered the Haiti donation wanting to pair it down due to the size of the Town…She added the monies for the payout were stated to be available from other funds per Finance Dir. King at a prior meeting…Later the TM stated the minutes did not accurately portray King’s statement on April 27, 2010 and would be redone…

The Vice Mayor made the motion not to donate to the Brow. Managers for Haiti and Comm. Vincent 2nd it asking if it was less funds or no funds.. The Town Atty. restated the motion to include going forth with moving the stormwater study funds and to also not donate to Haiti This time the motion was made by Dodd and seconded by Comm. Sasser passed 5-0…

Next up was first reading Ord.2010-04 ….Elections (prev. post)..no pub comment/ VM Dodd wanted to change filing date from Jan. to 3 mo. before election…will be changed for 2nd reading  Dood/ Sasser-passed 5-0… Ord 2010-07 Ethics (prev. posts) Mark Brown spoke about it aiding in the appearance of avoiding conflict as well as past conflict witnessed by 2 “Hats” in a shade session when the VFD sued the Town (prev. post)…VM Dodd was happy this was back thanks to the election and change on the dais…He was the original “Champion” of this in 2008 (prev. posts) … The Mayor clarified which version this was…pertaining only to Town vendors…with a recap from the TAtty. …Dodd/Sasser…passed 5-0…

2nd Reading Ord. 2010-05 …changes made to the Town Boards …(prev. posts)… no public comment..Comm. Sasser brought up what was in the prior Ord. and gone in this one pertaining to removal of the Chair ….now being only for resignation or unable to serve…no longer being able to be replaced for any other reason… the TAtty. agreed it was a change to that effect ,,, the Mayor was concerned opening up could lead to a power struggle… Comm. Vincent climbed on board…pun intended…with Mayor Minnet going further to they could rid themselves of the Chair without any reason… The TAtty. took the opportunity to explain Comm. Sasser’s position to them both that to remove the Chair would require a majority vote…Comm. Sasser also clarified his position …Comm. Clottey spoke of problems with Chairs that do not do their job and the board would need the ability to replace them and move on…The new language was entered in for the P&Z/BOA …VM Dodd motion / Comm. Sasser 2nd…passed 5-0…

They took a break…

Resolutions were addressed after they returned to the dais…first was 2010-13 to deal with the liens…(prev. posts) and after 2 public comments with concerns that the errant owners do not get off the hook and the properties can finally find resolution…pun intended… Comm. Clottey again spoke of it being “retroactive” as she had at the Roundtable and the TAtty. said for those in process they would fall under this and those already paid …no… Comm. Vincent also returned to the same comments he made at the Roundtable on not wanting to help out the banks…the loss of the Town being able to collect…there being no money to collect from a final summary foreclosure… and not comprehending that the word “owner” meant whomever took over the property including the bank…The VM did not understand Comm. Vincent’s confusion..stating the person caused the lien ..the bank took it over ..and cannot get rid of it..He was happy that this like the Ethics was back …stating they were not going “soft” but helping the neighborhoods…The TAtty. reiterated this was not an Ord. but a Resolution for the TM and the Comm. under Administrative Procedures… Comm. Clottey again went back to asked the same old questions of how many properties we have that fall under this…Dir. Bowman did not know..not many..The Mayor restated what she has said at the Roundtable we are lucky so few …that this will either work or if not they can bring it back up…Dodd/Sasser…passed 5-0

The next Resolution was deferred to tonight’s Roundtable..due to the Int. TM “jumping the gun” on the State requirement vs the Town…It has to do with the Health Trust Fund Ins. for Town Retirees… This writer does not believe Commissioners should get health Ins/ Cell Phone or Retirement benefits or Ins. through the Town after serving … Just a salary while on the job… As we look to cut out leave and benefits that are doing municipalities in… whether the cost is to the Town or not…The Commissioner chose to serve to give back to the Community…when they are done…they are done…Employees should also be responsible for getting Ins. on their own after they leave the Town…

Comm. Comments… Short tonight… Comm. Sasser- gave update on slow going with Choice Environmental …but he’s meeting with them next week after speaking to them on phone yesterday…..Comm. Vincent gave praise to Dir. Jeff Bowman working with him on his campaign promise for public bathrooms.. BC-will we be budgeting for those this year? … I still think Mayor Minnet’s idea from the last go round is the best…El Prado…not near the Pavilion…and fix the entry to the beach if we’re spending the money there as well…Mayor Minnet talked Pelican Hopper…her 2 hr stint the 4th Tues. of each mo….She also gave kudos for the implemented “Liaison” Comm. duties and a belated Happy Fathers Day as well as some July 4th P.R. for the raffle…VM Dodd updated on Hillsboro and 2 new boats…the oil spill will be after it comes cleanup…His happiness of the new Ethics Liens, Parking now coming to votes due to a team of those newly elected plus himself… and said with the decline in public comments as a barometer they are doing the will of the people… Comm. Clottey felt the need to add onto the Mayor’s Pelican Hopper comments…and then go out into left field on the Town Employees stating they may be “leery of some of us” ..and “looks forward to you staying for a long time.”…BC- Really those who cannot show at P&Z to assist the Asst. TM…cannot answer or add to the discussion and those who cannot supply the election info to PACs!…

Old business was swift ..it was PIO D’Oliveira and the Town Manger profile (prev. post) to go out to the FLOCities website-ICMA and other venues as well as the RFP for search firms…The Mayor was the only dais member to add to the items…asking to be stronger on the oversight of the public safety vendors as TM (timely considering the VFD)…Also she stated for the RFP  for selection of search firm..to be cost efficient..Comm chooses 7-10 applicants…gives the names to the search firm…Search firm gives detailed report back to Comm….Comm. selects 3-5 …gives to firm to do background checks before Comm. makes final choice…consensus was to move ahead with all the Mayor put on the table…

BC- Good thing the process is moving forward now…an e-mail blast from the former Comm. Candidate Ryerson in Ft Laud. concerning problems with the Ft. Laud. mayor and outgoing Town Manager ..who is in Reno Nevada  for a Mgr. job there and out on July 31st…makes this writer wonder if they are looking at our Interim team…to come on board…long rumored before Ms. Hoffmann came to aid our Town…

From up to down…with the New Bus. item and Comm. Sasser’s campaign promised Code of Conduct…very weird after Comm. Sasser introduced it…for Comm. Vincent to pull it apart on the “private affairs” “bullet point”…”Commissioners are expected to perform their duties in office and arrange their private affairs in a manner that promotes public confidence and will bear close public scrutiny.”… What’s the concern…This is just a “companion” to the ethics…on how to conduct yourself…decorum and deportment…. For Comm. Vincent to add he has concerns over “government in private affairs”… and the word private is “concerning ” to him…brings up all sorts of “concerns” as to where is he coming and going with lobbing onto this?… The TAtty. reiterated it is not a legal agreement and something just to aspire to…Comm. Vincent was not down yet…he went down to ” Commissioners are expected to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism, so that they may be worthy of the respect of others at all times.” saying they have similarities and again stated his discomfort with “private affairs”… For some reason Mayor Minnet climbed on board as well and spoke about the legislation of the “golden rule”…stating she has concerns over “ramifications and unknown consequences” … and said it should go back to the Roundtable… Comm. Sasser understandably perplexed  said he was surprised at the Mayor especially after all she had been through over the prior years…this was putting your money where your mouth is…but stated he would agree to go to the Round table to get it absolutely right… Comm. Vincent quickly jumped in as well as the Mayor to state they are “for it” but Vincent was still concerned over the “Private affairs” language being open for interpretation…BC- would love to know Comm. Vincent’s interpretation!… Comm. Clottey thanked Comm. Sasser for all his hard worked and hoped it would eventually pass… WOW!… Talk about strange bedfellows…OOPS!…Guess that would be open to interpretation as well!….OUCH!… On Roundtable tonight…

Town Manager Report- (prev. post)… Int. TM Hoffmann asked for progress report to be once a month …Comm. agreed …She stated the correct amts. for Chen $97,000/ Stormwater amt. $341,658 and told Comm. Clottey there was $103,000 in Gen. Fund Contingency Acct.to cover legal expenses in Colon payout issue”…She and the Mayor addressed the Kaola King comment and the minutes of April 27th not reflecting her statements..She added Broward County upped the grant for the Senior Center by 20% and she was actively looking to improve he Senior Center which she stated was shabby… YEAH!..

Town Atty. Report…TAtty. Trevarthen updated on Colon reimbursement…stating the firm acted on the prior direction from the Comm. ..(prev. posts) to demand payment..Colon through Atty. Ken Joyce is continuing to refuse and disputes the overpayment…Colon’s atty. thinks Colon overpayment is “not required to paid”…Our Town firm Weiss, Serota thinks the “public monies” are indeed required to be repaid…the almost $70,000 of the taxpayer’s money …The Town will file a complaint and begin civil proceedings…

BC- More on the opposing Atty’s exchanges to come in an upcoming post ..as they are public record….The civil proceeding  and litigation brings “shade sessions” into play…and silence until the suit is decided….

The meeting ended at 9:34 pm

more to come…

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