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Here’s The Scoop … June 23, 2010 LBTS …Commission Roundtable … Full Of Beans …

June 24, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers … last night’s Comm. Roundtable sort of took a detour here and there with commentary and minutia that left this writer with my first case of whiplash post election …. Some from the subjects at hand…Some from the lack of knowing history …Some from off- kilter (HUH!) statements ….and some from revelations that the “Bean Counter” was amiss in a-counting (pun intended) the Town’s “Beans” for quite some time…. according to the Balance Findings…long overdue!….

First up the Mayor wanted to deal with the procedure of the Roundtable and if an item should return back even though it had been to the table and consensus was to go to the dais….The night before as she rightly pointed out a few items were put forth by Comm. members to do just that…What transpired after was disjointed and ungainly ….What the Mayor wanted to put forth was if one Comm. wanted it to go back and it was not time sensitive…it would go back out of respect for the dais member and discussion would follow at the Roundtable …not continue on the dais or to be questioned by another Comm. and unnecessary (prev. post)… Comm. “Clueless” Clottey remarked somebody who did not want something to move forward could stop it by moving it back to the Roundtable…Comm. Sasser said if nobody opposed it then it should go back …no discussion …But the way it sounded in the end was that it would remain as it was the night before?… I hope that was not so…due to storms in Chicago the internet was freezing up…So hopefully Comm. Sasser’s procedure was accepted…

For some reason Commissioner Clottey added on “Accrued Employee Vacation Pay.”…WOW!… As the Commission was preparing for their fist shade session concerning the Town v. Esther Colon (next Mon. morn. 9 am) she really wanted to go there?…UGH!…

The Mayor added on proclamations to address the desire put forth at public comments the evening before and not answered…and also they needed to decide what to do at this meeting while dealing with the valet trial with a hall of participants whom under Roundtable rules were not allowed comment..The TAtty. said that if the Comm. required information they could ask for it from those in attendance or the Town staff… Comm. Clottey felt this should have been in a workshop forum …but time sensitive as it is …no time for it….

The Mayor combined the three items that pertained to parking …the valet trial…relaxing parking requirements for businesses…and SunTrust parking in their lot off hours..the Town manager spoke about doing a study in house and perhaps with a consultant…Asst. TM Bentley is doing a census on where people are parking and that along with what other communities are doing …will come back the Commission …The TAtty. spoke of other communities having a “menu” of options to meet requirements …VM Dodd began stating this parking req. item was put on for the boards to deal with but he now felt staff should address it first..and factor in the existing businesses or start from square one… Comm. Clottey was in rare form this night with her “Clueless swipes” …She spoke about the Town doing the parking study wanting it to be unbiased.. She also wanted businesses to “sign off” on the terms and if we had 10 new restaurants come to town for them not to be able to come back and ask us to build a garage!… Comm. Sasser must have been stunned by the comment as well and asked Clottey who would be biased… She then said the Town should do it without any input from anyone who would have any personal gain…It should not be done by anyone with a vested interest… HUH?… It was already stated it would be the Town…VM Dodd countered that the businesses’ input was wanted… Clottey responded “we always do that.”…HUH?… Comm. Vincent then entered into the fray to include “MPSC” in this …not just staff… Hmmm… Isn’t this where VM Dodd began?… Vincent went onto add boards, committees, staff , commission, everyone…He then said he talked to staff  ..”no details”…. HUH?… The Mayor wanted to get started citing the consensus for the trial… Comm. Sasser who was the one who asked for this to return wanted a time frame from staff and the Mayor wanted the menu option to be included…Sasser also asked that it be included in the TM progress report to stay in their line of sight… Comm. Clottey spoke about Fort Laud. and their relaxed parking during beach development stating “newcomers get the carrot…later no carrot”.. Comm. Sasser wondered about relaxing the requirements until the survey was done…The Mayor said her concern was the west end and wanting to encourage business and outdoor cafe’s… (not unique to the CIC election campaign)…Comm. Vincent who seems to like to “piggy back” off others comments did so once again with the comments made by Sasser in allowing for businesses who come while the study is being done… The TAtty. stated the Comm. already had a section of the code 30-321 that allowed the Town to reduce parking after it it went to the BOA…stating that was  a place to start…Sasser ever the gentleman thanked Chris and asked anyone who knows of any businesses facing req. probs to contact the Comm. to assist…The TM was leery and cautioned the Comm. that putting forth relaxed rules could open the flood gates…Vincent said they would be done individually …not carte blanche …HUH?… The Mayor felt direction was given to staff and then added this could include public parking on private property (Sun Trust-prev. post)…Comm. Clottey said that was another business venture…

Bud Bentley came to speak on the next two items…trial valet/ SunTrust… He spoke of amending the code to offer greater options for parking and addressed the issues of the requirements…private and public parking  citing one business and what the pitfalls were …He spoke about the rules that apply in some towns for if required parking was in effect for business hours or at all times…if only business then a property such as SunTrust could lease out places for parking after normal business hours … Comm. Vincent said “sounds like nothing but an upside, what’s the downside?”… Bentley said increased activity to the neighbors ( neighbors were up in arms a few years ago when Starbucks wanted to come in where the church is)…but added staff does not think public parking should be used for private use… VM Dodd still wanted the back end of Bougainvilla for the parking revenue..and to see the Town’s lots full first…before offering other ways to park…Comm. Vincent said SunTrust or the Pier could stop unwanted parkers from parking with a chain across their lot…HUH?… Bud Bentley cited the lack of change to park at the lots and a private lot would offer an alternative… Comm. Sasser stated that his solution was a licensing fee for revenue and if people are not parking today, they will not park tomorrow in the Town lot…VM Dodd still thought that alternatives offered would cut into Town revenue and Bougainvilla would never be full…Clottey reluctantly agreed with the VM on this one after she stated valet drivers “tend to drive at a nice speed”… Comm. Sasser stated Aruba is not the only valet in town …so why make these guys use the public lot…Comm. Clottey agreed with Sasser and stated “as long as they’re not breaking any law we’re not changing anything”…HUH?… Bud Bentley tried to impress upon the Comm. that having alternatives would aid in benefiting the public (and business) … wanting it to go to P&Z citing a business on the west side that would utilize the lot by leasing spaces and those patrons there would not use Bougainvilla to park … Vincent asked “does our code allow for that?”…HUH?… Bentley reiterated again, it does not allow for that…The VM brought up Aruba’s req. to pay for 12 spots and again countering the impact he saw SunTrust having on for the Town’s parking lot …Bentley added we need to change the way we do business to be competitive… by having choices…On to signage problems ..where Comm. Vincent showed he had not done his homework in wrongly asserting nothing had been done about the signage in the past 2 years…HUH?…Signage has been on the frontburner…backburner for years …long before the last 2… The FDOT signage was mishandled as previously posted as was the entry to the lot…Bentley is working to find where the failure was and to remedy it… You could tell that the 3 Comms. on the dais over the last 2 years did not take kindly to Vincent’s remarks… Clottey wanted the study to include projections of income to the Town taking a swipe at Comm. Sasser by stating “some of us have a misguided idea how much it (license fees) brings to the Town.”… Sasser countered by stating even a small revenue is a gain….The Wings issue came up once again with the VM remarking that should have been the entry to the parking lot… Clottey wrong again said the deal with Wings for their lot fell through..That deal was signed long ago…Wings signed off to 10 spaces no designation on the spots…and has no choice but to live with a bad decision… Bentley spoke of changing the Wings portion drive to go into the alley..Talk turned to a sandwich board for parking on the 4th …and a plan to pay a sum to park at the lot on weekends and for events..fee to residential permit parkers… Clottey after talk of the antiquated meters requiring quarters asked about a change machine being installed…HUH?…How about an abacus?….The Mayor correctly asked why spend money on that instead of for pay with credit card machines…as previously brought up last Comm. with an “idea” taken from Buffalo and brought to the dais by former VM McIntee…(prev. post)…The consensus in the end…Bentley bring to P&Z the SunTrust issue and Town staff look into the study with a game plan to be brought back in a month…

Valet trial started with Comm. Sasser stating most of the questions he put forth were addressed with some input from the TAtty…..Susan spoke of the involvement and liability dropping down from using private property vs. public…She added they could draw up documentation with shifting liability ..and also a simple licensing agreement…Her word were reiterated by Comm. Vincent…almost…he used the word “better” in stating less involvement over more involvement …TAtty. responded “better is a relative term”… Comm. Sasser reiterated his confidence in the licensing agreement and spoke about the push last night from Vincent who did it want it to come back to the Roundtable…Bentley stated it would be a revocable licensing agreement and TAtty. thought she could have it ready by July 13th meeting …much of the ins and out…the minutia was covered including Vincent wanting to make sure the valet shirts were distinguishable for this venture from Aruba’s so any use of Driftwood’s property as the owner had concerns over…would not result in blame for the new guys… You could feel the “heat” from Peggy Mohler over the internet to that one as she could be heard from the hall…It is said she accused Vincent of monitoring Aruba’s valet service so he should have known what color their uniforms were!…OUCH!… Bentley again tried to rein in the Commission stating we don’t regulate valet on private property…Comm. Sasser voiced his ongoing concern about stacking the cars and the use of the alleyway as well as Commercial Blvd. going west to the private lot…preferring Datura which was offered up by the businesses… Discussion ensued over having latitude on non-busy days…Comm. Clottey dissed valet drivers and Comm. Vincent stated “let’s not assume they’re New York cab drivers”…and telling Clottey she was “denigrating these people”…Clottey countered she was not denigrating them everybody knows how they drive…stating she still wanted security cameras…then straying to add that SunTrust should improve its landscaping in the future…HUH?… The Mayor stated the staff had approval and would bring all back at the first meeting in July… VM Dodd again asked about those in the hall and any info required… The Mayor was uncomfortable changing the forum …and stated they were done Comm. Vincent said the consensus was clear…Hmmm….. no Peggy comments wanted Comm.?….

Next up was the Charter Review Board…Mayor Minnet who sat on the last Charter Review Board reiterated the need and put forth a date to get it done for the March 2012 elections…Applications will be put out for it to start in 2010 in Dec. and end before Oct. 2011 for it to make the ballot…qualifications…residents…taxpayers…for the 7 members will be discussed after the criteria is found from the previous Board…at the next Roundtable…

The Senior Center name change to Community Center …put on by Comm. Sasser (prev. post) after he did the leg work to see it was allowed…it is…This writer understands Comm. Sasser is a gentleman…but does not agree in his handing the item over to Clottey … I know she wanted the name changed…BUT…if Clottey had her way…there would be no Senior Center and no Director (prev. posts) …I don’t want to see her get credit for this one… It will be on the next agenda… Comm. Vincent again showing he needs to think before he speaks..asked if there was “language outside the contract that can catch us?”… HUH?.. The TAtty. said no she was comfortable with it…

The Town Manager wanted to make some organizational changes to the Chap 2 of the Code of Ord….(prev. post)and the TAtty. said it was fine the prev. TM wanted it the way it is…this is minimal and it was fine….Hmmm…. No discussion…it will be on the next agenda

On to the flags… and way too much talk…talk talk talk…over the height…the size …the nationality…and the insurance…and who has gone under the radar with flying the flag….The staff wants no more than 60 days in a calendar year (prev. post) to not need a permit… Although the Town Atty. said they could extend and that more was better…policy wise…the flag fliers did not get more time to fly their flags … The just got concerns about ramifications of liability and insurance requirements…UGH!… Come on…Comm. Sasser was the only one to state let them fly them all year long…The Mayor offered to see what Broward League could produce with an e-mail blast on other towns… which led to more “encroachment” talk and Comm. Vincent remarking after TAtty. spoke of roof top flags asking about “antennas on roofs and poles”…HUH?…. The cost for insurance is minimal stated Vincent…also stating “businesses understand encroachment”…”Residential is a different story.”….HUH?… “Nothing emotional they understand encroachment.”…HUH?… The TM counter that she was told by businesses it is an extra payment for some while being included for others… Comm. Sasser stated it is “silly to me”…Comm.Clottey said she “seconded that.”… It will go to Broward League to check on other town’s policies…

The Mayor brought up e-blasts…this too went south for this writer…with Comm. Vincent stating the Chamber should do the blasts as they do e-mail blasts already (they do them at a charge to businesses)..The Mayor liked it and so did the others…eventually tying it into the negotiations with the Chamber… Unfortunately none of them listened to the TAtty. when she gave some examples offered …a TM weekly report of info…as is done in Marco Island to a “notice list” sent on “outlook” to signed up residents etc…with updates from town…This writer prefers the Town do the blasts to update changes to the site such as additions… and meetings ….as well as notices… The Chamber should not need to blast for the Town’s business….

Parking on Holidays was discussed as the Tm/Asst. TM did a look-see and saw a loss of revenue from Memorial Day all day parking …discussion was on the historic no parking allowed …on El Mar…and again the lots….Talk turned toward charging to use lot with attendants per Clottey/Vincent with VM Dodd adding El Mar should remain free… TM will come back with recommendations…

The Budget Reserves…The Town Manager went over the numbers and the accounts…(prev. Post)… She had some corrections and some more info…

From the agenda ….

“Fund Balances in the General Fund
The Government Finance Officers Association GFOA recommends at a minimum that general
purpose governments maintain an unreserved fund balance in their general fund of five to
fifteen percent of regular general fund operating revenues or no less than one to two months
of regular general fund operating expenditures However the GFOA also recognizes that a
government particular situation may require levels of unreserved fund balance in the general
fund significantly in excess of these recommended minimum levels
In practice fund balance expressed as a percentage of revenue is typically less for larger
governments than for smaller governments
In Florida most cities also reserve a significant amount to be used in the aftermath of a serious
hurricane in addition to a normal fund balance These are normally called storm reserves or
emergency reserves
The Town has $2,329,648 in the General Fund designated for emergencies. Finance
Director advises these funds are to be utilized for hurricane cleanup and other catastrophic
events This amount is equal to approximately 19% of the current general fund budget amount
and exceeds the Town’s  stated policy of maintaining a 15% reserve for this purpose It is
probably larger than the stated policy because the reserve was not reduced as General Fund
revenues have declined in recent years However it is not an unreasonable amount given that
we are a small coastal town that could experience severe damage in a serious hurricane
The General Fund ended last fiscal year with an undesignated fund balance of $2,189,349
These are available funds which have not been designated for any specific use The budget book
says that it is the Town’s policy to maintain a reserve of15million or 10of the General Fund
budget in addition to the aforementioned 15reserve for emergencies The undesignated fund
balance exceeds the Town’s policy of maintaining a15million or10 of the General Fund by a
significant amount($600,000 or $900,000, depending on which target you use.)
It is prudent financial policy not to use the excess funds in the undesignated fund balance for
ongoing operating costs The Town should limit appropriations from the fund balance to one
time expenditures such as capital projects studies or unusually large expenditures that will not
be repeated each year According to the Finance Director the Town has not made any
appropriations from the undesignated fund balance so far this fiscal year so the funds are

There is also a designated vehicle and equipment replacement reserve of $182,792 in the
General Fund that is available to replace vehicles and equipment that were originally purchased
using General Fund monies have been told that the Town has no vehicle or replacement plan
or schedule

The General Fund also has $63,273 designated as fire assessment which the Finance Director
indicates is intended to be used to replace fire apparatus

I have had several questions about the $1,650,742 listed on the Balance Sheet in the General
Fund for capital assets It has been explained to me that amount reflects the value of capital
assets that the Town acquired in the General Fund in FY 2008/2009. It is not cash that is
available for expenditure

Capital Improvement Fund- The balance sheet as of September 30, 2009 indicates there was $1,161,336 in the Capital
Improvement Fund designated for capital assets The staff believes the 1.16 million figure
reflects projects that were completed last fiscal year being converted to assets on the balance
sheet and am awaiting a call from the Town’s auditors to confirm that The more interesting
figure on the balance sheet is the $1,804,897 listed as an undesignated balance Town staff has
been working to produce an analysis or work papers that will explain the source of the $1.8
million and hope to have an explanation of the18figure by the Roundtable meeting on
Wednesday evening That information should reveal how much of that money can be rolled
forward to help fund capital projects over the next several fiscal years”

Tonight Ms. Hoffmann added the following…she spoke to the external auditors  Rachlin longtime LBTS vendor (prev. posts-$200,000+3 yr contract w/ Colon w/out approval from Comm. In 2008)….In the Contingency accounts there was a line item for unexpected expenditures… the Gen. Fund $140,000 and it has $123,ooo remaining….Sewer/Parking Fund small amts…Cap. imp. Fund 259,000 remaining $228,000….Fund balances are not in the budget but in the Annual Balance Sheet…as of 9/30/2009 Gen Fund. had designated/undesignated funds….$2.3 million in cash set aside for emergencies…(see above)… The former TM stated it was policy to set this aside but TM Hoffman could find no minutes for that policy being adopted!… For 5-6 years this has been stated as policy whether it was or was not adopted…15% of Gen Fund’s 12 million is $1.8 million and we are way above that…Hoffman said being a seaside town and with declining Gen Fund the amt. is “not unreasonable”…This writer/husband / John Thompson/VM Dodd have long stated emerg. funds were bloated…Capital assets $1.6 million Hoffman stated she was advised (by Finance Dir. King?) it was not available to spend…Auditor stated that money can be spent… Reserve acct. reflects depreciation to replace cars/trucks/ computers to replace..but Hoffman could find no plan for replacement…The Auditor never saw a plan either….Last year the former TM received approval from Comm. to replace several Town vehicles (municipal pickups) from unencumbered funds (prev. posts)… much to the chagrin of the taxpayers…$2,189,349 was in the undesignated funds balance while the Town’s policy is for $1.5 million or 10% of the Gen Fund Balance… Fund balance id for one time projects… TM Hoffmann recommends it be addressed over the next 4-6 months …developing a schedule of assets…and replacement….$1.1 million in Replacement Capital Projects in 2001-02 grew for replacements in future…We need a plan to replace this practice…


$1.8 million in cash available…which includes the “Oriana penalty or donation”…(potato ..potato)…according to the Auditor …it was not designated …HUH?… and the $800,000 was from “a variety of sources”..”Interest earnings”…”Projects budgeted twice!”…

Biggest news by far…the monies used thus far for El Mar Drive Chen…were not financed from the Oriana funds!… They were from the General Fund!…This means we still have a million for El Mar unless the Comm. votes to reimburse the General Fund!… WOW!…

There was discussion afterward about the money…to be careful…it was not “found money”…Of course it was…finally found money from a system of accounting that should in this writer’s opinion put a lid on any more claims of the former Town Manager’s finance acumen!…

The VM wants to keep the millage down and wanted to consider using some of this funds to cover the shortfall…Comm. Sasser feels the shortfall can be covered from other budget cuts… Clottey warned of hurricanes and to add to her gloom and doom Comm. Vincent spoke of the oil spill to deal with and storms and empty beaches …loss of revenue…HUH?…The TM said the monies should be planned for use over the next 3 + years unless going forward with infrastructure-drainage…She added the funds represented a way to update the IT system…

Also added from the previous night was the Health Trust Plan…


EXPLANATION: A Resolution adopted in 1994 provides that retired Town employees may continue medical benefits
under the Florida Municipal Health Trust Fund Insurance Plan at no cost to the Town It is recommended that the Resolution
be repealed for several reasons.
First Florida Statutes already requires the Town to offer an even more comprehensive insurance option to retirees and their
eligible dependents Section 112.0801 of the Florida Statutes provides that retirees and their eligible dependents may
continue on the Town’s health insurance life insurance accident hospitalization annuity or” all of any kinds of such
insurance” plans and specifies that for health and hospitalization plans the premium cost shall be no more than the premium
cost applicable to active employees.
Second retiree is defined under the State Statute but is not defined in the 1994 Town resolution
RECOMMENDATION: Adopt the Resolution repealing Resolution #1222


Whereas the Town Commission of the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida has determined that it is feasible to allow retired employees the continuation of coverage under the medical benefit plan at no cost to the Town.

Now, Therefore, be it resolved by the Town Commission of the Town of  Lauderdale-By-The- Sea, Florida In Regular Session Convened.

Section I. That all expense of the insurance premium shall be the responsibility of the retiree.

Section II. That this resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption.

Section III. Passed and adopted by the Town Commission of the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida this 25th day of January 1994.

Mayor Ken Wardlaw”…

BC- it was a surprise to learn the Mayor pays for her insurance through the Town…This writer thought she paid on her own outside the Town’s plan…The TM explained this was not only for the employees/Comms. but for dependents…The retirement is for after 6 years of service and only to continue on with health ins. paid for by the retiree…at the Town’s rates under their group… It can not be an “opt in” after the fact… after a  question from Comm. Vincent who along with Comm. Sasser per their campaign promise do not take Town Ins./cell phone allowances… Hmmm…. will Comm. Vincent retain that promise if it means no retirement option?… I agree with Comm. Sasser …no need for Comms. to have this ….. He was in the minority…It seems the goal is to change the criteria to 4 years of service or less?… Comm. Sasser chided it did not matter because pretty soon we will all be on government insurance!…HA!…

The Personal Code of Conduct was revisited after some trepidation over verbage and implications based on interpretation per Vincent /Minnet… Comm. Sasser again showed his gentlemanly side by listening and working with both to alter the verbage to bring them the comfort they sought in the final product… There was a little “jousting” of who was or is “ganged up on” siting on the dais with Minnet (was)…Clottey (stating she is)…HUH?… In the end after all the kinks were ironed out…along with issues of trust and some pats on the back over their conduct thus will be rewritten and put on the next agenda to sign off on…

Comm. Clottey brought up the accrued vacation payout not given to John Olinzock …(prev. post)…and the effect it was having on employee morale…especially those that have forgone their vacations and are counting on those accrued payouts!… Therein lies the problem…the vacation hours should not be an accrued bonus when leaving their position… The TM reiterated what this writer has posted over and over in the last months…The Employment Agreements given to these “at will” employees by Baldwin/Colon states…”If this Appointment is terminated by unilateral action by the Town Manager, you shall be entitled only to base salary earned through the date of termination.”… When the employee signs above his/her  signature is ” I accept the appointment subject to the conditions stated above.”…No Personal Policy Manual references are in any of the agreements I have been given…and I cannot understand why Comm. Clottey and others think a court would find on the side of employees getting more than hey were entitled to after seeing that signature and reading the agreement…Precedence …because the former Town Manager’s gave accrued vacation leave to others should not mean a new TM should follow suit and ignore the agreements…  Clottey herself when speaking earlier about parking stated newcomers get the carrot and later”no carrot”… and how can we on the one hand state the former TM owes the Town “public monies” for overpayment outside her Agreement  while trying to offer employees more than their Agreements at the same time?… As far as morale and the staff …give me a break…the morale problem must be due to those who want to keep the substandard status quo… under their former boss… It’s no secret this writer wants to replace those who are not qualified for their positions…and to contract out as other towns have done to be more efficient..and cost effective…

The profile for a new Manager was given the go ahead to put in the ICMA Journal for JUly and on the FLOCities site etc…with an Aug. 15th deadline for applications…

The Mayor asked for and received consensus to present a proclamation to the USO LBTS weekend recipient on July 4th as requested By Cindy Geesey and also to the Veterans participating as well in the parade …

The Town Atty. stated a shade session was required to discuss the Town of LBTS v. Esther Colon…it will be on Mon. at 9am with Comm. Clottey joining in on speaker phone….

adjourned at 10:16 pm…

more to come…….

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