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Here’s The Scoop … Like Herding Sheep ….

December 14, 2009 by Barbara

WALKING IN THE MEDIANS? ….

“Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group (herd), maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those.”

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Dear Readers … The Sea Ranch Club walkers of El Mar are “horrified” … and will not be “herded” into the center of El Mar Drive to walk on the medians…They will continue to walk in the street and on the sidewalks just as they always have!…The walkers of El Mar do not feel they need to be “educated” to walk down the center of road from Pine to Palm as was suggested by Ocampo and Associates at the Round table meeting on Dec. 7th!… The walkers on El Mar have never complained about the lack of “shade ” …as Vice Mayor McIntee tried to lob onto as an excuse to use the Oriana million to start piecemeal in the south end medians… The walkers of El Mar are not “happy” with McIntee, Silverstone and Clottey and their vote to disregard the MPSC and go ahead with this project despite the overwhelming sentiment to abort it until the board and possibly a new commission can further look into the whole of El Mar Drive and get this one right!… McIntee saying this has been in the works for 2 years is full of his usual bull-y pulpit you know what!… He was not involved in the actual process at all…It was done by the students of the Art Institute in record time…a matter of weeks…not years (prev. posts under boards)…and then crassly ignored by the same majority on the commission who now are so quick to get this done …(also previously posted)…Vice Mayor McIntee disingenuously tried to say they needed get going on this for the MPSC and Vice Chair Sandra Booth…Sandra Booth came forward at the meeting on the 7th (along with Chair Paul Novak , and member Bob Eckblad) to say she too felt it should not go forward …. but McIntee did not want to pay heed to her…especially after he threw her a “bone”of “praise”……The residents who live at the south end of El Mar do not want this done…and this writer is unable to come upon anyone who does!… Just three commissioners who do not walk El Mar Drive…and do not live on El Mar Drive…but feel the need to spend 1 million dollars to have Chen and Associates start a project that will cost the Town until a new commission can come in to stop it!…

If Readers look at the archived minutes from 2007… they will find much earlier than this in the “lame duck” days of the previous commission it was then-Commissioner McIntee…Commissioner Silverstone and the commissioner- candidates for the upcoming election who routinely voted items of much less importance and with far less financial impact to the taxpayer to be tabled for the new commission to decide!…

Just Saturday there was a Sentinel news article about the Furth’s pals from “Cry of the Water” ( with no RFP from another group!) and the $20,000 for a “Marine Park” payed for by the Town (5-0 vote in Oct. prev. post) …It included the “plans for meetings for public input and form a group of citizens that will create the management for the park”…Hmmm…They’ll do it for a $20,000 investment… but for a million… it’s over…and done…kaput…time to move on… says McIntee..Silverstone and Clottey…after McIntee stood his ground in a back and forth dialogue with MPSC Chair Paul Novak who expressed the views of the Sea Ranch Club “walkers”…and said “You can’t make everyone happy.”… His “gang”promptly  joined in for the 3-2 vote…to throw out a million dollars on a few medians in the south…ready to see if the “sheep” can be “herded” to go to the center and walk from Palm to Pine!… Bahhhh …HUMBUG!…

Below are the excerpt comments made by candidates Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent at the Dec. 8, 2009 Commission meeting on the median expenditure….and a letter from a concerned taxpaying resident…who wishes to remain anonymous…

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Candidate Scot Sasser
“Let me first thank the Commission for holding the round table discussion on the El Mar drive street-scape project. I found it to be informative and it helped me to understand just where we are in the process. With this in mind, I would like to take this time to put forth some questions and suggestions regarding this important project. Since it is obvious that we are in the very beginning stages, having not yet come to a final decision on overall look of the project, or whether or not the project will entail all of El Mar or a fraction thereof, might I suggest that we not rush into a decision to appropriate funds just yet? This is a very important project that does not need to be piecemealed together. This is our time to get it right. From the discussion last night it is clear that the project will cost more than the $980K which begs the question of where the other funds will come from. As several Commissioners pointed out, the projections point to a decline in tax revenue over the coming years due to the declining real estate market. Knowing this should place emphasis on the overall plan. We should realize that what we do not finish now could go unfinished for some time. There are also rudimentary questions that should be asked before moving forward.
• How would the proposed stamping of the asphalt affect the surrounding area since it will create noise as cars drive over it?
• Can we get a sample or see a sample of the proposed stamping to make sure it looks appropriate? Perhaps if we can see it in actual use somewhere it will help us answer the noise question as well.
• What is the long-term plan to tie in surrounding areas to create the look and feel we want downtown?
• Is there a way to begin all of El Mar and phase in instead of taking a fraction?
• How would spending this money affect our ability to complete infrastructure changes such as much needed sidewalk repair and torrential flooding at the pavilion?
• How will this dovetail into the budget in the coming years and is there a plan for any financial overruns?

I realize we are very early in the process and that many of these types of questions need to be flushed out but that is my point. Let’s “measure twice and cut once” as they say. There is no reason to rush into spending $1MM now just because we are still at the starting gate after a year has past.

Thank you and I want to wish each of you safe and Happy Holidays and New Year.”
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Candidate Chris Vincent.
“I would like to address two separate items this evening.

First regarding the Master Plan Workshop yesterday.

It was clear that the board was not in favor to move forward with the current plan on the table. They were given 3 new options to consider and we should allow them the time needed to do that. They have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort with this project and have a willingness to get it right the first time. Allow them that opportunity.

Please do not rush to spend the funds. There is no need to do that. The roundtable was a good start.

Many important issues were raised and should be addressed. Have additional roundtables until you get it right. The attitude of lets just get it started is really not having a well thought out plan.

You need to trust your boards recommendations, anything less would be disrespectful.”

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From a concerned Resident….
“The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission voted 3 to 2 on December 8, 2009 to proceed with the El Mar Drive project. During the discussion leading up to vote some comments were made that were misleading (or as they say in Washington D.C., disingenuous), and irresponsible.

At the Roundtable Workshop Meeting the prior night it was clearly the wishes and recommendations of the Master Plan Steering Committee (MSPC) that the entire project including the medians, drainage, lighting, sidewalks, paving, etc. be evaluated and developed into a total plan so that a determination could be made as to the total cost and future sources of funding. While the Town may only have approximately $1 Million available at present, it was brought up that there might be local, State, or Federal Grants available in the future, that debt service on loans might be affordable in the future, and that an overall long-term plan should be developed before proceeding.

That, clearly, was Commissioner Dodd’s and Mayor Minnet’s interpretation. It didn’t sound like it was the intent of the MPSC to move forward immediately with the median project south of Commercial before agreeing on an overall plan. It was irresponsible of the Vice-Mayor to support concentrating on spending the $1 Million now and then say, “hope for the best.”

The overall cost of the entire project was projected to be approximately $5 Million, and if the Town borrowed the $4 Million balance needed the annual debt service would probably be in the range of $500,000, certainly a possibility worth considering, and not just dismissed out of hand.

Our elected officials should take a proactive role in planning for the future and not govern by the seat of their pants, or dress as the case may be. Successful organizations all have strategic plans, plans that can be modified as time goes by and circumstances change.

A Concerned Citizen”

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The Master Plan Steering Committee is canceled for Tuesday evening (12/15/09) …… and so far there have been no RFPs advertised in the Sentinel…But if the Town Manager reacts to this 3-2 vote as this writer expects her to do…”directed” by her pal Vice Mayor McIntee ( ala the anonymous letter -prev. post) it will be in there well before the Jan 12, 2010 first commission meeting of the month…depleting the million…for something it seems only 3 people, presently with power on the dais want done…

Vote for a new majority on March 9, 2010….and let the CIC- Mc-Furth Gang know that the LBTS taxpayers know full well…….when people are herded it is often known as crowd control….

more to come………

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Here’s The Scoop … The Last Gasp …Election 2010 …

October 31, 2009 by Barbara

RIP…

Dear Readers … unless they move it after this is is posted …out in front of this year’s 3 week , $4000 Halloween production at Jarvis Hall is a headstone that says “RIP Marc & Cristie”…. A few readers have made mention of it already wondering if it was a prank by the Mc-Furth opponents or if it means something else?… First of all it’s not new..it’s been on display in the back room among others with local names on them as well….found after going through the haunted hallway to where the coffin is… The placement this year, as of right now at least to this writer…may be another  “sign”…pun intended …. of the “Last Gasp” to retain the past they want at all costs….while knowing the tide is turning…

The Furths may be successful in their “Last Gasp” campaign which is how I will refer to the March 2010 election in LBTS…( the term is thanks to an observant pal, intuitive observation)…by getting the height referendum back on the ballot…That would be a shame…under the “guise” of “clarification” ..You heard that word come from the Furth commission “devotees” on the dais less than 24 hours after the Oct. 26th Referendum Workshop when it seemed the 3 (McIntee, Silverstone and Marc Furth besotted Clottey) were faltering from the 33 feet issue that THE FURTHS  NEED IN THIS ELECTION… If they can’t get it…they do not have an issue to run on, at least a tried and true  Furth issue….. So in what appears again to be totally a disregard of Sunshine  all 3 came to the dais on the 27th to say “clarify” the 33′ height limit in town…WOW!…

Ms. Furth spoke of  working with “co-sponsor” Oliver Parker…and all 3 commissioners were involved in the one or more past renditions of the same issue…and now they need it again?…Why?…..The Furth’s want it ..Cristie wants it…so is she wants it…Marc wants it and to keep Cristie happy…..Marc will besot Clottey and pal around with Jerry and Jimmy…same as in the past….that’s why!…

This writer, as readers know was a part of the last 2006 height campaign… and was caught up in delivering with fervor erroneous information “buried deep within” the backup of those 75 words on the ballot…We were told by certain  CIC tin charge to tell those in the south who really did not care about the north end’s  15 story height that if the south let it get passed then the commission would have a right with their majority  vote to raise the heights in our end of town..Eeeeks…. It was scary stuff….BUT…it was not true!… What will the CIC-Mc-Furths come up with this time?…And do they have anybody left to carry out erroneous information?….The numbers for their organization clearly show the CIC has indeed dwindled down to a membership of new members in January 2009 coming from a new members apartment building in the south and the VFD…along with a smattering of old timers …..very telling of the downfall from out in front watchdog group to cheerleading for Jerry’s tired tales …

There are some things that matter more than 33′ in this town…and that is the change in our demographics  and what Paul Novak President of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Master Plan Steering Committee, and longtime hotelier in town brought out at the end of the Oct. 26th Referendum Workshop…with the 33′ feet we will have no more hotels…we will become a residential community …..

I moved to this town 10 years ago…We bought a 3 bedroom condo in Sea Ranch Club after living for 6 years in Pompano Beach on the Intercoastal …We had originally moved here from the North Shore of Chicago and missed terribly the ability to walk around …into town..to the store etc…to eat and to be entertained…something we could never do in Pompano… Lauderdale By The Sea in 1999 as a new resident was a wonder to behold ..It was vital…It was busy…It was beautiful…It was a sort of contagious bliss…and it came from the tourists who were here for however long days, weeks or months…… The hotels and motels were full…Mack Groves was bustling with longtime devotees as well as newcomers who sat lined up in chairs happily and contently observing the sunshine, feeling the ocean breezes and smugly acknowledging each other in this shared experience… It was really something…it was heaven…

Now we no longer have Mack Groves, no chairs…no congregating of tourists and locals alike in acknowledging anything close to what we had back then… It’s not because we have development of 3 taller buildings that have gone up on El Mar Drive… It’s a loss of vitality in the commercial areas that bring about the current dismay…and the ongoing construction that mucks up the marvelous vistas for those that chose this town for  their vacation destination…

I do disagree with my friend Commissioner Dodd  and others who believe 33′ or 44′  with no equipment or pools on the roofs…It’s too constricting and it can be done to keep it aesthetically pleasing……I disagree with getting rid of all of the “Overlay Districts” forever…and quickly realized as I have written before that the Mc-Furth CIC “sweep” of repealing them right after the CIC win on the dais in 2008 was not thought out well, ( former CIC board member John Thompson tried and was defeated in warning us of the fallout ) …but a “knee-jerk” reaction that was orchestrated by the Mc-Furths who had their own “agenda” to stack the town boards with CIC pals and thwart any and all attempts to fix the demolition of “overlays”  without realizing the consequences…

We need a “Hotel Hospitality District”…and we need business people like Mr. Novak to assure that tourism remains in our town…We need an “Entertainment Hospitality District” to ensure that business remains in this town…and that includes getting rid of the parking requirements as Mr Novak himself discussed at a MPSC meeting  months ago…(prev. post)…

It strikes me as really funny that the Mc-Furth- Silverstone -Clottey contingency of the dais with their pal Manager Colon want to have a “Recreation” program for “our kids”, our “families” …but will do nothing for the “entertainment” of the larger new group of residents in this town, the younger ( not seniors) home buyers without kids who are looking to dine in town…and spend money…

Without the parking requirements…Mr Novak has assured us the storefronts would be filled with coffee shops, cafes, galleries and more…and I  wholeheartedly believe him…

Last night we had dinner at the new Vietnamese restaurant in town, Basilic Vietnamese Grill on Commercial  Blvd.  (the old Tedesco location)…and by 7 pm it was full with patrons waiting outside..There would be no way they all parked by the restaurant…They came as we did, by foot…from home and from nearby parking lots…But it was not something they even mentioned…They came for the food…imagine that!.. That’s what I’m talking about…throughout the downtown…to the east and to the west of this new restaurant…We could be a destination for more scenes such as this…

We are headed into the most important juncture for this town 10 years since my arriving here…This 2010 election will lead to who decides who will sit on the Town boards and committees…and who will have the say of the 10 year Comprehensive Master Plan for what this town becomes…  Despite disingenuous accolades made a few meetings back by Vice Mayor McIntee to Sandra Booth…(The VM disparaged Mrs Booth’s reappointment to the MPSC in 2008, joined by Comm. Silverstone…despite the FACT that Mrs Booth as past  MPSC-Chair had brought so much to the town in that role… including the Art Institute students who provided the original Beach Pavilion ….Incredibly, Comm. Clottey and Town Manager Colon disparaged Mrs. Booth as well, when they prepared for the ribbon cutting of the Beach pavilion…both actions were “orchestrated” by the Furths)…If we maintain the “Broom Boys” majority  up on the dais…we will see 2 more years of the same…

The MPSC in the last 2 years have been a waste of time, 2 giant steps back in progress for this town….It was canceled for lack of participation in conflicts of scheduling whether it was the CIC-VFD 4th of July or a CIC monthly meeting…( most members on the board are old-time Mc-Furth CIC pals) and as for direction from the dais to get a move on a new Master Plan in 2008-2009 …to get the old plans down off the  “shelves” somewhere…forget about it.!..Despite Comm. Dodd’s many attempts to provide it,  by going to the meetings or directing staff from the dais….the Mc-Furths and the Town Manager ignored and criticized…even calling Dodd out of order for “going there” and “directing”on his own!……They got what they wanted in the end… the MPSC did nothing… The Planning and Zoning which could have met throughout the past 2 years…not just when an applicant required a ruling… …has met less than a half a dozen times…At this month’s meeting they approved the minutes from the last time they met …last April!….

Is that what the voters want?…Nahhhh…..

We, the voters  need to see that this really is the “Last Gasp” election for the small-minded selfish Mc-Furths…. It’s time now to get a healthy dose of new blood on the dais…who will provide from the new demographics in town new blood on the Town boards and committees as well …. It’s the only way to ensure that we find in 10 years time we again have a LBTS Tourist destination locale that makes us, the majority in town …. all realize the “Last Gasp” election in 2010….was just that …”The Last Gasp”…and we  the voters…banded together to stop the demise of what brought us here in the first place…

RIP Cristie & Marc…. RIP…..(politically that is)…

more to come….

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