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Here’s The Scoop …. Mayor- Elect Scot Sasser and Commissioner -Elect Chris Vincent Enjoy Their Unopposed Win To Serve Second Terms!…

March 11, 2014 by Barbara

Mayor-Elect Scot Sasser and Commissioner -Elect Chris Vincent election night 2014

Dear Readers….. These two commissioners Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent enjoyed something this writer and many others thought was not possible … They followed in the footsteps of their fellow commissioner Stuart Dodd and Mayor Roseann Minnet  to serve again on the dais unopposed!… That is really something!… It is part and parcel …in my opinion ….as to why candidate Elliot Sokolow won his seat to replace Commissioner  Sasser in seat 1 !… As previously posted…. Elliot was the only candidate that gave these commissioners along with their fellow commissioners, Mayor Minnet and the current administration their due for all they have accomplished …especially over the past two years!… He spoke positively and often of what great strides had been made…what positive changes had come in both those serving on the dais, in town hall and throughout the town under their watch!… That is why these two joined those who endorsed their newly elected dais member!… Scot, Chris and Elliot will be sworn in next Tuesday March 18, 2014 ….We can all breathe a little easier now knowing that we will be well represented and we are  able continue to move forward  without any sideshows on or off the dais!… Congratulations to all the winners and especially to the residents and businesses of LBTS …who are winners as well tonight !…

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … The Only Candidate To Replace Unopposed Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Mayor-Elect Scot Sasser Is Elliot Sokolow … Vote Sokolow For Commission Seat 1 !….

March 5, 2014 by Barbara

“We endorse him believing he has no personal agenda and won’t require a learning curve to effectively serve the people of LBTS.”…Pompano Pelican Newspaper

Dear Readers- We are days away from the March 11, 2014 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Municipal Election. I am hopeful …very hopeful that readers and the majority of voters in our town have actually taken the time to see the striking differences between the three candidates running for Seat 1 the seat that holds a commission member from the north end of town yet is voted in town wide. There have been a flurry of debates over the last weeks… The first one was not televised at the what many including this writer consider to be the last gasps of a dying political action organization…the CIC  (Citizens Initiative Commission)…It was held  at the Surf and Yacht Club on Palm Road on the beachfront that houses them when these straggling die-hard members who have rarely even met since they were trounced in the 2010 election try hard to retain some sort of relevancy as the town progresses without them. I have touched on this debate before …We heard that no timely notice of the meeting was made and at least one candidate was not notified of the format and the surety of the debate itself until the morning of!… This writer was told that one member of the board promised their would be no Furth attacks which many have witnessed over the years and saw once again when Cristie Furth came to the dais at the 2nd February Town commission meeting during  public comments that were comprised of falsehoods, fear-mongering and her skewed revisionist history  before being challenged and admonished by Commissioner Scot Sasser who has enjoyed an unopposed election to become our Mayor due to the very progress and changes resulting from the 2010 election  she tried to cast a shadow over …Of course this appearance was made in order to put her co-hort/puppet  candidate in a multitude of  past CIC misdeeds former Commissioner Birute Clottey in the commission seat he now leaves!… At the CIC debate it is said former Commissioner Clottey promised those very same CIC holdovers to do whatever they wanted her to do as she has in the past…which is exactly why in 2010 she was left alone on the dais without the CIC backed slate to serve out her final 2 years alone!… Eric Yankwitt did what we have seen from this debate as well as the following two…toot his own horn- on what he has already done in what can only be described as a “Superman Complex” with a myriad of cliches and one-liners to make up for a lack of preparation and knowledge on the issues!… As this meeting ended it is said Marc Furth wanted more money …about $66,000 for the coral reef project which is his last attachment to the town outside his El Mar hotel…Former Commissioner Clottey and Eric Yankwitt were a go without the details to appease the Furths and the CIC ….Candidate Elliot Sokolow stated he could make no such promise without seeing the specifics!….

Before and in between these debates the voters received campaign literature by mail from Candidates Sokolow ( the first with an attached absentee ballot ) and Clottey with a coupon mailer containing a slip from Candidate Yankwitt (most of those never made it past the circular mail despensor aka the garbage can!)… While both mailers introduced the candidates only one…Elliot Sokolow’s offered voters factual information…all of which checked out and can be verified by those who served with him and hold him in good steed following his long service on numerous boards as well as running Sea Ranch Lakes as mayor and finance director….Clotteys’ overinflated claims were immediately countered by LBTS commissioners both past and present !… On the topic of campaign literature …voters should be made aware of former Commissioner Clottey’s very real problems with her required election financial reports…all three!… ( a final report will come after 3/11) ….While Clottey professes she is a knowledgable professional when it comes to business and finance…her reports filed say otherwise!… Clottey has walked down a eerily familiar McIntee ethics charged path…Apparently she has not declared (as required) all her expenditures in a timely manner and claimed reimbursements made to Marc Furth which are not allowed ….she is supposed to know as a candidate and the professional she professes to be!… Clottey and her team may find  themselves facing the same election board in Tallahassee  as McIntee did as soon as this election is over!…Do voters really want someone who cannot  follow the requirements to report a small campaign’s finances to be integral in running out town’s finances?…  This came right after the former commissioner had to apologize and  then replace illegal campaign signs due to not following those requirements!… Clottey has tried as her managers Furth et al have tried to spout campaign rhetoric on reserves being drained and painting a picture of a bleak future of  our town with high taxes and no money left to run it!… $15 million …is the mantra…but what that $15 million is …is…(the meaning of is..is) …depends on which speech is being made and to whom…..It could be $15 million saved by going to the VFD in 2008 to present…(hardly a solo effort made by Clottey) …$15 million in reserves used for all the new improvements made in the last few years…… All made with no hard solid facts to back them…Catchy dour mantras to reel in unaware voters and get Clottey-Furth back with a platform to continue with more pre- 2010 mantras…Really?…Is that even possible?… Say it ain’t so!… One aside about Clottey-Furth-CIC and their claims that the downtown project was not  frugal enough …The cost was $4.75 million … no loans..no debt…no increased millage…and….the kicker…The very same CIC  has the downtown project photos with positive captions plastered on its own CIC facebook page…and the Furths…used the same downtown project photos to market their hotel a few months back touting the very improvements/ finishing touches candidate  Clottey claims she would have held back on !… Too funny!… Candidate Yankwitt is all over the place with his campaign…he irritated and inflamed the town, the businesses and the residents with a blitz of campaign signs made illegally set in areas not allowed and not wanted!… For an attorney as well as being on the  Planning and Zoning board which had signs on the agenda he should have been well aware of the rules for campaign signs …or chose to purposely ignore them…which should be a red flag for voters!… Candidate Yankwitt is a member and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce and sadly it looks as if he and the Chamber have decided to be political in this election !… He is the only candidate  who chose to go the realtors association for their endorsement which aided him in an email blitz to help put up more signs and proclaimed he is the candidate that can help them in the future!…Hmmm…. will he then recuse himself when short-term/vacation rentals rears up on the dais…as it has on the campaign?…. The Chamber…businesses …hotels backing Yankwitt is beyond reason to this writer…How can you back someone who at every turn claims gambling is in our future?… That’s as mind boggling as those same entities backing Clottey who makes ongoing claims of run down hotels…drunken patrons…fights downtown…a downtown unsafe to visit …  Is that the kind of marketing …representation these businesses want?… Candidate Sokolow has a business actual business experience  and still runs a successful business…He  fully understands what has transpired with the downtown project and the commission led decisions over the last two years… He is the lone candidate who has stated he loves what was accomplished and can see the benefits that come from it now and in the future!… The other two candidates have all but discounted the present successful commission at every turn!… Remember… Mayor Minnet and Commissioner Dodd were unopposed in 2012… and as stated above Vice Mayor Scot Sasser and Commissioner Vincent were unopposed this year…That alone should tell voters what the real deal is in LBTS !…

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board embarrassed itself by endorsing Clottey (the didn’t endorse her in 2008) and basing it on her false assertions and antiquated town issues long since resolved apparently without even checking with their own LBTS assigned reporter who followed up this flawed endorsement correctly stating the wrong side Clottey was repeatedly on when she served her first term (backing fired TM Colon…her other bad acts are in previous posts…scroll down)… It is said that at a mini- debate with her opponent Elliot Sokolow …(Eric Yankwitt failed to show up!)… Clottey claimed she voted independently 99%  of the time…Ha!… This writer found her voting record for 2008-2009 etc…perhaps she needs to hit refresh on that response for the 99% was with McIntee  as well as the new 2010 majority when she was left to falter on her own as her backers slid away from sight with a landslide win kicking them to the curb in 2010!… The Pompano Pelican did what the Sentinel did not by doing their due diligence and endorsing Elliot Sokolow based on his resume… his campaign … his interview…and finding him to be consistent… factual…and more importantly qualified …They stated…”We endorse him believing he has no personal agenda and won’t require a learning curve to effectively serve the people of LBTS.”…

The final two debates were the Property Owners Meet the Candidates and the League of Women Voters Candidates Night … The first was pretty well attended with approximately 75 people in the hall…It came after some contentiousness concerning the group itself …its history…and any perceived agenda the group may or may not have due to conflicting reports of candidate Clottey being a hands raised installed member of the board …only to state she was not …with no minutes provided to show that hands raised installation was reversed!… There were a few who felt gotcha questions would be aimed at Clottey opponents and attacks might be in store… There were signs put up without identifying the POA ( as is routinely done with all their signage for meetings at Jarvis)… as well as the naming of it (Meet the Candidates) leading to voters thinking it was the LOWVoters event thus nullifying the LOWVoters taking place on March 4th …( LOWVoters had a small turnout which was blamed on both the POA event & lack of signage/advertising it)…The questions at the POA event were certainly bazaar … leaving the candidates to literally punt a good many of them!… Questions ranged from streamlining special event applications  which impact few voters at best and have been quite improved over the last two years compared to prior years… As Clottey went sideways in her responses  and Yankwitt responded in what would become his “hero” persona touting the events he has put on (which this writer is told brings forth the same small participants for each) …Sokolow spoke of online access and approval…The second question dealt with getting more to participate in elections and special events …which enacted more off the cuff general responses on the difference between participation of the two and possibilities to enhance each and proved once again to be a pedestal for Yankwitt to blow his horn on what he spearheaded….The third question about where in the budget would each make increases and decreases brought forth Yankwitt an attorney going after the budget for our contracted Town Atty. stating they are paid for board meetings etc… which is rather startling to hear from this candidate due not only to the fact he’s an atty. but that he spoke at this meeting (off the cuff ) and at the CIC debate of hiring paid help to help the commissioners out with the Town Manager etc… Huh?… Clottey piled on about the cost being “300 grand” each year without litigation services …stating the budget was tight and then veering off about highly paid staff employees doing work around town beneath their pay grade!… Clottey was around when her pal Esther Colon brought this law firm to the town without divulging until this writer caught it that she (Colon) had a prior connection to the firm … Mayor Minnet was instrumental along with other commissioners over the past 3 years in working to cut some costs and get the firm to decrease some costs…If the charges have increased substantially it would seem to me it was from the required Charter /ordinance changes which like the downtown project should not occur at such a large cost for at least another decade!… When the budget is checked it makes sense to put Town Atty. services out to bid…not only to see who else is out there but to see if the current firm wants it badly enough to negotiate more…Sokolow spoke with proficiency about the costs in government and outsourcing and what that saves long term… How to preserve and celebrate our heritage was next …Sokolow responded it was important and was being done with the mid-century modern -low-rise architecture celebrated and encouraged throughout the town as well as encouraging displays of historical photos  and maintaining buildings… Eric diverted and blanket answered this one with broad strokes of running in order to keep and protect our small town…again with I..I…I… ( he really doesn’t need a commission…just a soap box will do!)…. Clottey spoke of what she was practiced to do in response to such a question…gave a heads up in recognizing her supporter and self-proclaimed “Town Historian” Jerry Sehl and of course finding the first of many opportunities to bring up the Furth’s #1 agenda item (besides getting a foothold with Clottey getting seat 1 on the dais) the coral reef -bio rock completion…The candidates were then given a minute to summarize/rebut their opponents… Elliot Sokolow stood out as he actually did summarize each item in order like a checklist and stated there was not much to rebut as Clottey reiterated her bio-rock statements and Yankwitt again went with his “hero” complex as bounced around looking for a complete sentence…There was audience questions which had an off camera moment with a former commissioner’s wife due to her not signing her name as required …The commissioners were asked what they had done in the last 5 years in town… Candidate Sokolow responded not much since he had only lived here for three…This writer thinks the question was particularly skewed as many of the previous to “old timers” …Had it been asked slightly differently he could have easily responded to his time on the Hilsboro Inlet as well as other boards that impact LBTS…He was not idle  as others up on the dais with him were for some of those 5 years…Eric same- old self promotion we heard with each response…Clottey was inflating a good portion of her impact as she had done previously in this campaign…Next question was about their top five priorities and to wrap this one up this writer will sum it up this way…Clottey was stuck in 2007 and Yankwitt was stuck in his chest pumping one-man has done it all mode…and Sokolow spoke of the topics that we would expect offering up his proven expertise to tackle ….Again, here’s where the gambling issue arose and again what this writer cannot wrap her head around when it comes to such reckless rhetoric being used in a campaign race such as alarms of dirty business going on with new hotel buyers…ulterior motives and Clottey adding on to it with her pontificating on bad sidewalks on El Mar Drive and people falling …(harkening back to her first term claims of homeless people on the beach and her unsubstantiated claims of “the people” being adversarial when it came to dealing with BSO)…lost hotel rooms…and investors who “thought they were going to make a killing”…now compare that to Sokolow who spoke of the improvements being made…Vacation short term rentals came up with Clottey speaking of her personal impact and Yankwitt giving a few usual responses and only Sokolow providing why we are where we are currently with these rentals as he recounted what the Town Atty. stated when asked by Mayor Minnet after this came up at the previous commission meeting when the Mayor asked Town Atty. Trevarthen to explain the situation yet again.. thus showing he attended the meeting and retained the answer to the question rather than doing what his opponents offered up!… In closing Clottey again spoke of her resume and her many unsubstantiated claims ….Candidate Sokolow’s closing at the POA sponsored debate showed that he gets it…He understands what has happened in the last two years … He spoke of what he has seen and liked and why he decided to run as well as promising to continue this path we are on with civility, accountability, professionalism and fiscal responsibility… He was clearly seen in sharp contrast when compared to his opponents …so much so that many who had been leaning toward his opponents now leaned toward the man in the middle seat on the dais the evening of February 27th …Elliot Sokolow… One more debate to go …

Tuesday March 4, 2014 …one week before the election … the League of Women Voters Candidate Night was miserably attended and the questions and answers were like watching a rerun of answers although they were to different questions… That result was due to election time  responses no matter the topic!… The opening- answers and closings were one minute each … It began with Candidate Yankwitt who was again unprepared and stated he was asked to run although he did not say by whom and as seen in the prior debate his reasons for doing so were keeping the the town’s small time quality  of life and an eye on the budget …saying he is an accountant…Candidate Clottey gave the same opening as she did prior about the VFD and the 15 million  and what she continues to claim it went for before being cut off… Candidate Sokolow chose to take this debate opening as a chance to expand on his long and distinguished community service that spans 40 years and covers all the bases when it comes to picking a candidate on qualifications… He ended with his Pelican endorsement “We endorse him believing he has no personal agenda and won’t require a learning curve to effectively serve the people of LBTS.”… and asking for the opportunity to do so …The questions included what are the top two priorities each candidate hoped to accomplish and how they would do it… Elliot Sokolow responded he would like to examine in great depth and detail the budget revenues and expenditures to look for places to cut expenses and raise revenues without feeing people to death…He also offered up the desire to revisit the VFD serving Sea Ranch Lakes as it has in the past…He has the real ability to do something that can benefit LBTS …He also stated he would look at traffic and parking…Eric Yankwitt stated as he had previously…parking-parking-parking…and flood insurance (how can a town commission do anything about flood insurance rates?) …He then rambles about not finding parking when he did not live in town and finding it once he did…huh?… He then did the north/south divide number and needing to bring people together… Birute Clottey spoke once again about maintaining infrastructure and in the first of many times it seemed she was channeling others she spoke of keeping out capital improvements looking nice (Diane Boutin ) before going back to who we do and don’t want in our town and fear-mongering that boogie man mantra Fort lauderdale’s  ”Beach Place” and being declared a nuisance by Fort Lauderdale…What?….She said we are in good financial shape but don’t want to spend recklessly …(we have not done so)… Tourism was up next and what each would do to aid in it… Clottey stated the town hasn’t decided who it wants to market to…(she missed the marketing presentation at the last commission meeting which more than covered how far reaching the current consultants have gone and which specific areas they have covered…oops!)…Clottey went back again to those young undesirables …and the certain types of quality people we want down in town and the money they should have…Sokolow spoke on the ongoing partnership and dialogue the hotels/restaurants/ residents need due to the fact that those businesses are the “lifeblood of this community ” and bringing in the marketing experts as well… Yankwitt did the one-man show and spoke of meeting with the Mayor of Broward County and the needed balance of tourists inside and outside (?) …from over the bridge and bad hotels ( he doesn’t want to fill those!)…but we can’t fine them to death…Seems from what this writer has heard that fining to death worked with the sale of a few!… Economic development and incentives for new and old businesses was up next… Sokolow responded that many were helped by the Commercial Blvd. project and more such improvements are coming (He was speaking of Comm. Brown’s work with the county for 4 million for El Mar)… and added that it seems time for the businesses to contribute as well… Yankwitt asked for the question to be repeated and went back to the Chamber and his position as treasurer on the Chamber ( past candidates have stepped down when running I believe to avoid conflicts and politics within the Chamber)… he spoke of repairing the relationship and spoke of Sister Cities (a debacle he was involved in a short time ago that caused quite a ruckus with charges of actions that many claimed were made without regard to the past Sister Cities participants) aiding in tourism “from across the ocean” …he then digressed to say government should stay out of business…and added the wonderful Commercial Blvd. before being cut off…Clottey said that at the last debate she said the businesses and residents should sit down and that the businesses have a pretty good idea “who’s commin in ” and “who they want to keep out”…After saying again we should listen to them she said we are a small town and how much economic development do we want?… It was time again for the parking issue and whether it should be public and/or private … for a garage that is…Yankwitt brought up his study he claims was a year and a half in the making and presented to the local chamber as well as the Broward chamber…Hmmm. would this be the study done and shown on the LBTS Chamber site and his campaign facebook site?…Why no mention of bringing to the LBTS Commission over the last year?… He stated a parking garage might change the way we interact and change the businesses…My take this guy does not work well with others…it’s that hero complex…My concern…the last LBTS Commissioner who thought he was a hero…McIntee!…Clottey said we have been “talkin” about this for many,many years and with a parking study in the works it’s premature …need to see results but prefers a public/private venture not done with taxpayer monies …She then stated the parking fund was flush with a million dollars due to the credit card machines …many of those upgrades were done after her first term…and against much of supporters wishes …(progress you know…dirty word to some stuck in time)….Sokolw responded as well that the parking study results call for us to wait and see adding he has not experienced any parking problems and sees much of the problem is due to changes of parking being 2-3 blocks away rather than the old time ability of parking right in front of the business people are patronizing …he ended by saying he was not in favor of using public money… The Chamber was yet again the topic … the question was the relationship with the town…all three candidates spoke of a need for a chamber and a resolution to whatever issues there are …Clottey spoke as she has in the past while on the commission of the chamber not speaking up for local merchants in town…Eric pompously touted his takeover of the beach clean up which up until last year was done not only by the chamber but by Mayor Minnet  with the aid of Aruba and others successfully… Next he will tell us he invented the internet…(previously posted…ego size seems much the same!)… The 2nd coral reef project … Clottey did some election time backpedaling as well as channeling her opponent Elliot Sokolow in stating she needed to see what it entails before approving it and wants the county to kick in… Elliot recalled and recounted the CIC debate and the original ask for an additional wire to the first reef and his concerns over the costs for that citing a problem he dealt with while on the Hillsboro Inlet Commission and the cost being prohibitive especially for a town our size…He spoke of a partnership with Nova the premiere entity when it comes to coral reef structures… Eric wondered off to grants and the reef being part of the solution to save the beach (ours is approximately the size of a king size bed !) …jumping to the sea oats …his serving on the League of Cities ( we were told as an associate member )…Then it was traffic congestion on A1A … where Eric Yankwitt spoke of the 4-way red light experiment and the backup traffic resulting from it and spoke then of the hole in the dike scenario before offering up an overpass…the pelican hopper and going personal about being a walker and that parking is a challenge…Elliot Sokolow said we need to sit down with DOT and county …and get rid of the all red which has nothing as jaywalkers still go across and it just adds to the traffic problems on A1A… he stated the obvious that the congestion comes from people coming to the town and we want them!… Birute Clottey said it was the 64,ooo dollar question and stated it’s high season …that removing the 4-way red would improve the traffic and went to the dark side in this writer’s opinion channeling past ideas of Las Vegas like overpasses that are also popular in european nations!… How exactly does that solution fit with our small seaside town and how is that fiscally responsible?…  naturally the next question was …music on Friday and Saturday nights and…parking and traffic during the events…Clottey said it was a tradition…( a tradition she did not always support and often thwarted just because her group wanted payback!) …She said she wasn’t going to stop them…This writer doesn’t buy that for a minute with who are her handlers )… She spoke of an old study which I believe was skewed by a former consultant of 900 people crossing west to east and said congestion is a reality of life… Yankwitt said he is a part of the congestion because he and his fiancee ( spiritual partner) enjoy the weekly events which gives the town vitality and said we should extend the Pelican Hopper …offer spread out parking and people movers… (his money saving seems to go somewhere else…assistants… people movers…overpasses…adds up the $)… Sokolow said he was also in favor of the music but due to the hotel owners and residents who are impacted by the loudness the decibel levels need to be looked at ( to adjust what is now allowed) … On traffic and street closures he once again talked of the partnership needed and alternatives to be considered such as the new plazas….Public bathrooms…we knew that one was coming… Elliot Sokolow said he is in favor of  them stating that is not fair to businesses to open up bathrooms to non patrons and that we need to look at what kind we are going to install…location depends on if the purpose is to alleviate the restaurant use then the parking lots next to EggN Ham or the newly purchased property  just south of Commercial on El Mar could work …if not El Prado… Eric Yankwitt said bathroom are tricky and took a very weird take on whether they should be provided when tourists being encouraged to use restaurants to become patrons and then residents ending with it’s gotta be El Prado…Huh?… Birute Clottey said the issue was hard to find the solution for before digressing in to where Minto security guards say beach-goers go to bathroom by them with no bathrooms available…(ugh)… She then took a page from Mark Brown in 2012 who pushed for modular units that could be moved and tested for not only location but for safety and security,…Just when you thought you heard it all…global warming!… And flooding concerns… Candidate Yankwitt spoke of Hurricane Sandy and watching it from home as well as his brother’s bad experience in New York before stating global warming /climate change is perhaps upon us…he said we needed to protect the beach …and spoke again of the coral reef …sea oats …and recycling …and all of us coming together …we can resolve anything …kumbaya comes to mind!…  Candidate Clottey said it’s not anything we as a community can prevent and that it’s an issue we as citizens of the US and the world need to participate in!… She spoke of our town being higher than Fort Lauderdale and sand loss as well as roads being washed away and that a time will come when we have to give those roads back to the ocean!… Candidate Sokolow responded after the moderated participated stating this was a difficult problem … by stating it’s a difficult problem but that he didn’t think the people in the hall are capable of solving in any short order… He brought it back to what we can do in the short term (decades…in my book)…by continuing with projects such as the sea oats (Comm Brown was in charge of a sea oats planting the week prior) which has some actual science behind it as a deterrent for high waters and winds… Thank goodness someone had the wherewithal to not be a bumper sticker candidate!….On to the next question…Town budget tax rate concerns and what changes would you make going forward?…Clottey said her priorities were not to raise taxes …stating most goes for public safety and we don’t want cuts there…She went back to her previous statements about the Town Atty. costs and her charges of overpaid staff that are in jobs that don’t offer enough work at their pay grade leaving them to do the work of employees making 1/3 of what they are paid?…  The Town Manager needs to address these consistent charges made by Candidate Clottey as to there being any validity or calling it out  as false!… Sokolow answered that he wanted voters to understand the arcane and boring tax bills and to understand the percentages and what they really mean to LBTS taxpayers…19 & 1/4 % goes to LBTS and 80.257% goes to the county, school board etc…and a 10% tax cut equals approximately a $40 dollar reduction yearly… He would look at every line item in the budget and see where cuts could be enacted and believes in outsourcing which is cost effective and efficient…Yankwitt… took a different tact… an odd departure…that was a head scratcher for sure… He said we have the hardest working town employees he has ever seen… “They’re $100,000 getting paid $7 an hour. Do the math!”… The TM needs to answer this as well…id there any town employee only making $7 an hour in our town…the rest of the remark…anyone who can figure that out… kudos!… He said they could go through the budget sure…but as an accountant as it accumulates it’s a big chunk…(huh?)…He spoke of us having the lowest tax rates in Broward but on the flip side property values are relatively high …we pay a lot per person…that means when you have a rich town hall you have a poor taxpayer !… He said that needs to be examined…..Question on short term rentals in neighborhoods was bound to be included and it was… Clottey did the same response as she offered up prior about the impact to her adding that companies are buying up homes nationwide and turning them in to hotels…asking if that’s what we want in our town…She spoke of the League of Cities initiative and the need to get on board to get rid of short term rentals… Sokolow repeated as he had prior about the Town Atty . what we have on the books and until state laws change all we can do is report any code violations or suspected use of less than 7 days  … Yankwitt who seemed to be going after Sokolow as the questions progressed …said Candidate Sokolow was correct  about the Town Atty. bit offered up a different solution of not fining people only to forgive those fines …he wants to educate our neighbors…opening our doors… saying that to call the police … on violators would lead to living in a different kind of country…we are a small town…it’s all addressed in our zoning laws and we can’t have short term rentals in residential neighborhoods!… Yikes!… Topping that was the inevitable gambling question Yankwitt used as a campaign issue… It was tied to the State Legislature and casinos in South Florida…Elliot  answered it began in the state legislature over one property in Broward and one in Dade …and we do not have a property that is large enough in LBTS… If it ever came to be allowed in every corner he would lead the opposition in our town…it’s not needed …. Eric held up the Town Topics special issue and said it was one of his campaign issues…again he spoke of the newly bought properties on El Mar surmising  reasons for their purchase from expensive condos to gambling …Birute said there would be not casinos unless some Indian Nation was going to buy up half of El Mar…can’t open one…and we shouldn’t be “talkin” about it or people will think we are seriously considering it …She ten again spoke of Indian Tribes …Hmmm…I think the politically correct term is Native American!… The soft ball question of the night was next in the form of what personal attribute do you have that is unique to you that will make a difference as a commissioner… Candidate Yankwitt was first to answer and said he has energy, enthusiasm and is passionate about this town…he said he has shown it over the last several years with his Thanksgiving dinner and theater events…He again used Vice Mayor Scot Sasser’s campaign slogan of having two ears and one mouth… “You sir are NO Scot Sasser!”…Just couldn’t resist!…He also spoke of his fiancee once again …Candidate Clottey said she was elected before and it didn’t go to her head…she wasn’t an ego head… She said she listened gave careful consideration …she said she was a leader and harkened back to her time as a member of the Barry University Senate and dealing with highly educated people …what a hard job that was!…Especially when they could walk out at any time thumbing their nose at you..She said she has the personality to do an excellent job… Please Clueless…was a major disappointment as commissioner …and an embarrassment too many times to count…and on thew wrong side of progress….as well as having it in for Mayor Minnet …In this writer’s opinion nothing is different 2 years later to put her back in!…Elliot said his personal attribute is patience acknowledging his upcoming 50 year anniversary as well as his 40 year careers in business and giving back as a “perennial  volunteer” who did it all for no pay (except health insurance on Hillsboro) …he stated he does it because it needs to be done… The last question…3 major issues facing LBTS… Clottey spoke of the town’s finished capital improvements and infrastructure and keeping it maintained (again) who we are going to market the town to (again) drainage projects and the drainage project in her area of Bel Air which she said was done by the county 15 years ago…sub standardly …Yankwitt said Parking parking parking (again) …Flood insurance and being apart of the senate bill or we will suffer (again) the challenges at the beach ..which he cleans (again)…infrastructure…sand coming in …washing away …tourist attractions…and heights…(again!)… Sokolow spoke of the long term issues…our aging infrastructure underground….run down properties at the south end entrance to town and elsewhere and traffic..not parking…

The closings… Elliot Sokolow was first with thanking the League of Women Voters and talking about public safety…the VFD and Sea Ranch Lakes …the budget and traffic and that his first  official act will be to sign the personal code of conduct …and he promised to respect and listen to all as well as to vote with his conscience  for what the people want…he said experience matters and he has the relevant experience from day 1…to keep us moving forward!… Birute  Clottey was next saying she has a vision for the future and will continue moving forward with maintenance- infrastructure (yep…again) …stopping extravagant spending (hmmm overpasses like Las Vegas and european countries?)…keeping taxes low low rise community (again)… zoning laws not made by commissioners (can’t be done now)… finishing with saying she delivered on every promise she made and offering continued progress and financial accountability… Her commission resume does not live up to her new promises and her campaign issues stated above should be a big red flag to voters!… Eric Yankwitt was last and was made the most underhanded slight seen during this campaign…He thanked all including his fellow candidates before stating there were distinctions between them …that he cares…and “nobody cares that you care until they know you care …and I’ve shown that over the last couple of years ..(compare that to his opponents and it shows he cared less in time served giving back!)…He touted his time on P & Z and the League of Cities which his opponent served on as a board member not an associate member adding his profession (s) as an atty., accountant and mediator … he said they were all successful and he is a small business owner …”They’ve been in business to a degree”… What!… Candidate Sokolow’s resumes are way beyond any resume Candidate Yankwitt  has put forth!…That speaks volumes to this writer on what is really behind the “approachable” character this candidate purports to be!…  With that the debates were over for 2014!…

As the days count down there is likely to be calls made by and for candidates …signs being held on street corners along with final mailers and ads…Then it comes down to the LBTS  voters… What do we want 2008 or 2010 and 2012?… It should be an easy decision …Who is best to continue on with what has happened since we took back our town in 2010 and progressed on and off the dais offering our residents and businesses everything they said they were missing in 2008 to 2010!… The only candidate that can assure LBTS 4 more years of civility …professionalism and fiscal responsibility is Candidate Elliot Sokolow….Make sure you fill in the second bubble on your ballot and let’s close the door once and for all on 2008 foes and stragglers knocking on our doors to see if we have forgotten the past…as well as yet another character who purports to be just a nice guy sitting on the dais… again ….in my opinion!…

more to come….

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