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Here’s The Scoop … The June 2, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Special Commission Meeting … The July 4th Event Is A Go …After Some Political “Throwing Under The Bus” Antics …

June 3, 2011 by Barbara

CAN YOU THROW SOMEBODY UNDER THE BUS AND ASK WHY WE ALL DON’T COME TOGETHER? …. WHEN DID GOVERNING BECOME ALL ABOUT THE ELECTED OFFICIALS FEELINGS OVER PRESENTED FACTS ?…

Dear Readers… below is the mostly verbatim words of the LBTS dais members as well as some others …proving to this writer it’s “open season” politically speaking in our Town… Take a look at the exchange below starting with Vice Mayor Dodd’s (the Chair of this year’s July 4th event) prepared speech which included a timeline of events that took place from the day of the 5/24/11 Commission meeting (prev. post) right up until this evening’s special meeting in order to fully inform his fellow Commission members of what they were not privy to as a result of Sunshine…. What you will witness in this writer’s opinion looks very disturbing in the orchestration of the responses coming from most of the dais members in response…It began with the Mayor trying to cut him off…when he was using quotes made by Louis Marchelos on the record at the May 24th meeting she presided over…. The comments she and others made showed not only did most up there not listen to what he said but that they all crossed the line in my opinion of second guessing the Vice Mayor as Chair of a Town event while not only being accusatory but actually putting forward that they should have been involved prior to the contract being placed on the agenda!…HUH?… In the events these Commissioners themselves chaired did they ever have the other Commissioners doing anything different than what VM Dodd did in setting up an event or working with the Town and vendors…No because of Sunshine!…. I believe as I previously posted this was just the latest incident of the Marchelos brothers crying wolf…I also believe as they have done so many times in the past the pier owners “lobbied” the other Commissioners with their tales of woe…and I believe it is evident that those who were lobbied this time around were hood-winked as witnessed by the comments made by Comm. Vincent and the answers he received from Asst. Town Manager Bud Bentley concerning changes made to their agreement … On this I know I am correct..It is only a matter of time before these same lobbied Commissioners will be on the receiving end of the wolves and their cries of being singled out….As one Town employee told this writer today when discussing the July 4th meeting tonight and the Marchelos brothers “It’s an annual thing with them!”… And it is… The spin is already going around the Town no doubt…The Marchelos will say they saved the July 4th event….Not so… They only derailed what the Chair and his committee had planned and cost the taxpayers for Town staff, Town Atty. and Commission-Jarvis Hall time … Shame on them and those who went along with the ruse…

The meeting began after a little shocking “housecleaning item” made by the TAtty.- litigation which will go into shade session sometime in the future Olinzock vs. Town of LBTS!… Comm. Clottey made a point of order asking for public comment to be included in the meeting..The Mayor who already sounded off said this was not the “right venue” due to the items being consent agenda items ..she said they were there to “move these items forward. If items were not finalized through staff I believe it is necessary for staff to go back and bring these items forward.”…HUH?… Comm. Clottey said she would yield to the Mayor’s decision…The first item was placed on the agenda by VM Dodd so that he could offer up the timeline in order for the Commission to make a decision on the fireworks…

Vice Mayor Dodd-

“Please indulge me in a somewhat lengthy explanation. At the last commission meeting I answered Commissioner Clottey when she questioned me that the July 4th event has a committee of one. I misspoke and I must apologize since I  did not give credit to all those people who have been helping me for many months now. I have enlisted over 15 people from Staff, BSO, Volunteer Fire Department, AMR and the downtown businesses in varying roles to assist in all aspects of trying to put on a spectacular event for the Town. All was moving along smoothly until lunchtime Tuesday May the 24th, the day of the commission meeting. I thought I had a great event in the bag and then the bottom fell out. I want to make it public knowledge that at the Tuesday commission meeting on May 24th I knew nothing of any request from the pier to change their application and revise the request to hold their normal Saturday night weekly event on July 2nd in the usual location and to hold no further events in the pier parking lot on Sunday July the 3rd or the Monday July the 4th. I was still operating under the premise stated in their original application, shown in the back-up to the commissioners that they would do their own thing and that they did not want to be included with the town’s event as they informed me prior. I believe they had ample opportunity to contact me if their plans were changed. At the commission meeting I was accused of concealing the July 4th plans from the pier owners. I was accused along with staff of secret planning. Mr. Louis Marchelos wanted me to go under oath and an investigation to take place.”

Mayor Minnet- “Ok, ah, Vice Mayor I’m gonna stop at this time cause um, earlier I stated that there would not be any public comments. I just would like to remind us all that we have sat up here, we’ve tried to maintain a civil dais. Um, an not to attack anyone eithert from this dais into the public audience either residents or businesses.

VM Dodd-” Point of information. I’m stating facts.”

Mayor Minnet- ” Excuse me sir. I am not finished with my remarks. I still hold the gavel. Um, so I would ask that you preface what you’re going to continue to say because if I feel that is attacking in any way to any resident or any business I will stop the comment and I will move it along because as a committee as policy we have made sure that stability is the number one issue on this dais and in this town and that’s what the people elected us to be. So with that I don’t mind if you continue but I would just ask you to make sure that there are not any accusatory remarks made to any businesses or resident. Thank you.”

BC- I believe the voters elected them to be fiscally responsible and transparent…which leads to stability!… As far as her asking for no accusatory remarks to made…too bad the dais did not follow suit in the comments made tonight toward the Vice Mayor…

VM Dodd-” And I will counter that by saying this is a statement of fact and I can go on the record and I will continue.”

VM Dodd continued his opening comments-” I was accused with staff of secret planning.I answered on the record I would be happy to go under oath. For I know my plans and proposals as Chair of the event were made public both on and off the dais on more than one occasion. Mr Marchelos went on to state the following at the podium. “No contract for the fireworks. Am I angry? Absolutely. Am I disappointed? Yes. Do I intend to take advantage of the acts of a few and punish this whole town? Absolutely not.”

The Mayor could be heard to say “ok”…The VM responded “That is a quote from his speech”…The Mayor again said “ok” seemingly looking to cut off the VM from proceeding with his timeline…

VM Dood-“The first set of lease agreement negotiation clauses included an additional year of no parking fees for their Saturday event which the Asst. Town Manager said amounted to approx. $2600.The charge to the Town for the use of the pier for July the 4th would go up from $10,000 to $12,600  and the pier owners would have an added benefit of no parking fees not offered to any other special event. The Commission approved an extra 48 hours  between the regular meeting on the 24th and the special meeting on the 26th for further negotiations.. I met with town staff Wednesday the 25th at lunchtime to try to find a way to accommodate the Marchelos Brother’s request to get vehicles to the parking lot on July the 4th during the proposed road closures from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. The road closures were to allow the set-up of the town’s own music event.   Staff and I worked with BSO and the Volunteer Fire Department,the Fire Chief to try to find solution that would allow vehicles to use the pier parking lot on July 4th since it appeared that the Marchelos brothers no longer wanted to erect tents or hold their own event.Staff and I met with the Marchelos Brothers Wednesday night and outlined our solution to permit them the full use of the pier parking lot. The Marchelos brothers and attorney  withdrew to consider the town’s offer. On returning their attorney counter offered that the Marchelos brothers wanted  to give the Town the pier parking lot for the whole day. They wanted music at their end of the Commercial Boulevard at no charge and now additionally they wanted $15,000 since they felt they should have further relief from the money they outlay on parking for their special event. The Assistant Town Manager stated the parking issue was not negotiable and could not to be included in these negotiations but they still wanted 15,000 dollars. Their proposal for the lease agreement required the town to lease or sub-let the pier parking lot on July 4th for the whole day and allow them to erect their own music event in front of Kilwins so they could still “ do their own thing” It is my opinion the commission would have rejected the Marchelos brothers’ offer completely since it was $5000.00 more than their first offer and approximately $2500 more than their May the 24th proposal and it now required the town to take over the responsibility for the pier parking lot and it would  be up to the town to lease it out to try to re-coup some of the money. It also required the Town to give them a free event and allow them a stage outside Kilwin’s and music that would conflict with the Town’s own music event. I understood the Marchelos brothers’ original objection to the town’s music event was that their own event at the pier would conflict with the Town’s  event.On Thursday Morning the Assistant Town Manager contacted Arubas and offered the pier parking lot for their valet parking. Initially they accepted the offer for $3000.00 to take over the parking lot but subsequently I learned this was not approved by all those involved and the offer was withdrawn. On Thursday lunchtime a meeting was held with Dave Gadsby, Peggy Mohler, Guy Contrada, Bud Bentley and I. The Julythe  4th participants told the Assistant Manager and me they would not be holding the music event and that the Marchelos brothers would probably jump at the chance to hold a three day event. I am convinced the withdrawal of the downtown planned music event was the result of the Marchelos brothers’ negotiations and stipulations over the preceding days. Following this lunchtime meeting the Assistant Town Manager then contacted the Marchelos brothers who then changed their minds again and offered the lease the pier for $10,000 and now wanted to bring back their 3- day event at the pier parking lot. I received this at information at 4 p.m Thursday.  This was why the meeting was postponed on Thursday May the 26th before the University of Miami’s presentation. At the May 24th meeting  town staff and I  decided we needed to have a Plan B. The Town Staff, the VFD and I began working on it. The decision was due to the above actions as well as the Town’s and my concern going forward. I heard just  last night we have an excellent venue lined up – Plan B is a spectacular event staged from the patio terrace behind the Minto show offices.  It is not quite on the sandy beach as such will not upset the turtles. If the Marchelos brothers  do not want to accept the lease agreement offer that I will outline shortly, the town can have an excellent firework display – Plan B  visible from anywhere on the beach at the original budgeted fireworks price of around 15,000 dollars. The town will save the cost of the $10,000 of the pier lease agreement. I explained personally to the Marchelos brothers that as Chairman of the event I have a certain level of authority and control but the terms of any lease agreement discussed last Wednesday and any suggestions of a 3- day event must be presented to the full commission for approval. I also want to point out that on more than one occasion Commissioner Clottey has spoken against 3-day events. I totally agree that to subject our residents and businesses to three days of loud music from the pier parking lot is not acceptable and I would vote against any 3-day event from the feedback and comments I have heard from the public about the impact of such an event. I can assure the Marchelos brothers I will continue to assess every event application on its merits and I will try not be influenced by what has happened during these negotiations. You can all see that this year has been fraught with problems trying to reach a lease agreement with the pier. The goal posts kept on moving causing town staff, the VFD, BSO and me an enormous amount of unnecessary work and I am also very sad that the Town’s planned music event will no longer happen as a result. I would therefore like to make a motion. The offer to the Marchelos brothers  is  $10,000 for this year only making this a one year contract and this lease agreement is not subject to any extra clauses such as pre-approval for a three day event or the town to take over the pier parking lot or permission to place a band outside Kilwins, or permission for using the pier for filming on June 13th . When I have finished I would like you all to discuss this and if you are in agreement then we should take a short recess while the Marchelos brothers and their attorney retire to consider the town’s offer. I took the liberty of asking the Assistant Town Manager to draw up a new lease agreement ready for signature by both parties before we consider the rest of this evening’s business. The town attorney has also signed off on the proposed lease agreement language.”

VM Dodd-“Whatever the Commission decides I want to let the Townspeople know the Committee and I will carry on to provide what I hope will be a wonderful and enjoyable 4th of July event with the 4th of July parade, VFD kids photo opportunity, beachfront activities and a rescue demonstration, LBTS July 4th burgers at local restaurants and a fireworks display on a day that not only celebrates the country’s independence, but is also the VFD’s 50th birthday! I respectfully ask that this statement is entered in its entirety into the minutes and I will provide a copy. That ladies and gentlemen of the dais is the whole summation of the lease agreement negotiations. I yield”

BC- Readers please keep the above paragraph in mind when you read the Mayor’s  and Commissioner’s remarks below…

The Mayor said the Vice Mayor made a motion and asked him to repeat it…he did stating it was for $10,000 for use of the pier for fireworks for one year only devoid of any clauses tying other Marchelos’ “wants” from being used to guarantee  the use and the price… The Mayor asked for a second to the motion and there was none…The Mayor then said they would move on to discussion “Is there any discussion in reference to the Vice Mayor’s remarks to the ah, line items of events that occurred that have brought us to this position”..HUH? ..She looked from one side to the other of the dais and saw no response to her weirdly put question… That did not stop her though… Mayor Minnet then said to the Asst. TM who was sitting in for the TM “ok, with that the I will ask staff um, Mr. Bentley currently where are we at with the um, 4th of July Town celebration events?”…HUH?…The VM just stated the timeline and what was required of the Commission …Bently looking rather uncomfortable with the question she posed said “To summarize it the 4th of July event application from the Town which is the next item needs to be modified slightly based on changes that have occurred.”…He became confused when describing whether or not we had a contract based on the $15,000 agreement from the last meeting he and the VM had with the Marchelos brothers before they found out the Town music event was pulled … He said he needed to check after all that had transpired back and forth over the previous days..The Mayo replied ok and Mr. Bentley stated “Basically we don’t have an agreement.”..meaning the pier lease for fireworks with the Marchelos brothers… The Mayor again off kilter said that meant they could no longer address any of the items on the agenda and asked if she was correct in stating that …Bentley again was perplexed hearing the Mayor as this writer was… The Asst. TM stated they could consider item e…but again said they had no final license agreement on the pier… The Mayor then went on the first of many long-winded comments that were way off base with other Commissioners following her lead…

Mayor-” Mr Bentley I’m gonna go out on a limb here and under the circumstances do you feel that the parties that, we’ve only heard from one side of that party. Do you feel that you have been, you have been a part of these discussions and negotiations from the beginning. Do you feel that there’s anyway that we can come to an agreement and a consensus that will allow the event to move forward. If we adjourn these items til the June 14th meeting will that give staff um, and the committee enough time to come to a positive resolve. Um, do you think that’s even possible? “…The Asst. TM said that question was better suited for the Vice Mayor and reminded the Mayor of the VM’s comments to get some policy direction from the Commission… That only made the Mayor go deeper into the abyss in my opinion…

Mayor” Ok, well Vice Mayor my recommendation would be that everybody needs to work together. We’re a town we’ve been a town from the beginning. I am truly just, I’m disappointed. I’m not putting blame. I mean, if anyone knows how an event can go wrong it’s me. I’ve been there and I’ve seen it happen.”

BC- The Mayor laughed as she referred to Greenfest and her former campaign Manager opening up a checking account and depositing Town funds according to what came out throughout the long drawn-out incident on the dais…What the Mayor conveniently left out was her insistence that she had done all she could to provide what she could and she had pleaded with her former manager to no avail and trusted the wrong people..Hmmm… Now there was only one side heard throughout that situation as well…And it was Vice Mayor Dodd who made the motion for the investigation to be stopped after the 2010 election…

Mayor Minnet-” And I know that as a town we can work through this ,um, I am again, it is unfortunate that we can’t all work together and I’m saying this to everyone present here at this meeting and also many present, many people who aren’t here this evening that are part of this. Um, I don’t know why it’s gotten to this point.”

BC- The VM spelled it out in his opening remarks!…

Mayor- ” I would just as that if there’s any way we can all sit down, you all can sit down and work this through so that the Town can have the 4th of July event maybe if it’s back to square one, I don’t know but that would be my recommendation. I don’t know where my fellow commissioners lie on this. Um, but I really, that’s what I have to say.We have an opportunity from now until June 14th to put something together that’s going to hopefully make all the parties at least happy.”…

BC- The Mayor made the first of two statements making a giant leap from the issue at hand of whether the fireworks would be at the pier or at the beach and spoke of there being no July 4th event…WOW!… Who is coaching her these days?…

Comm. Clottey asked the Mayor to please turn on the machine that allows her to know when the Commissioners want to speak..she apologized and laughed that no winder there had been no request coming forth… The Mayor kept going though..stating her recommendation “is we all sit down, you sit down back at the table and get the parties together and everybody play nicely in the sandbox.”…There was light applause from the few in the audience I would have to think are her supporters… Mayor Minnet then said “I am not recognizing, I am not going back to what it used to be in this town. I’m not. Thank you.”

BC- It is already back to what it was like in in 2006-2008 and again in 2008-2010…a majority getting in …becoming a bubble …and going forth on what they want without regard to the public or transparency… web designers hired without bids going out…redevelopment without referendums… less and less information getting to the Commission such as a new Finance Director listed on the newly designed website with no resume supplied to the Commission as far as we know thus far… Lack of budget reports…$15,000 TM expenditures …Consultants… wrong information given out by staff…and so much more…But again any spotlight on the new team in place is met with the same disdain and attacks…based not on actions but personalities and alliances…

Comm. Clottey – ” I agree with you (Mayor). I think it needs to go back to the table. I am also a little bit troubled that we could only hear one side of the story because there’s always different takes on things. Ah, but if that’s the way you (Mayor) want it that’s fine. But I do agree with you they need to go back to the table because I don’t think some of these decisions should be made by the Commission and I know you (Mayor) don’t want to go back but traditionally it’s been the Chair (Dodd) who  makes these decisions. And, um anyway I’m glad that you (Mayor) want them to go back to the table cause that’s what I want to see too.”

BC- The Mayor and Comm. Clottey seem to be doing alot of repeat dialogue in meeting…It was the Mayor who made that comment at the may 24th meeting about the Chair of an event… Tonight she threw it out the window… Marchelos…Clottey…Mayor Minnet talk about strange bedfellows… Gotta laugh at that combo!..

The Mayor acknowledged Comm. Sasser who asked her if she was looking for consensus…a simple yes would have sufficed but not for the Mayor… She dug herself a deeper whole for why she should call it 2-terms and out…in my opinion…

Mayor Minnet- ” Well or unless you want another idea. I mean or we give you wanting to make a recommendation to the Vice Mayor as far as what we do. Maybe we don’t have a Town event. Maybe we don’t have fireworks. Maybe we say that’s , this year we’re just gonna have a parade and beach activities. That , I think that’s the direction the Vice Mayor’s looking for. I’m hoping they can work this through. We have some time. I know it’s putting a major burden on everyone. I know we only heard one side of the story and that’s true but again, I’m hoping they can work it out.”

BC- Re-read the VM’s timeline …

Comm. Sasser- ” Sure and so just to let you know where I stand  Madam Mayor. First of all I didn’t second the motion because I stated at the last meeting that I thought it was disjointed and I think taking it disjointed the way the motion was made didn’t satisfy my need to see a combined Town event. so I think if the motion is made I’d like to see it in a manner where I know what these other items or where these other items are gonna go. For instance and I followed the Vice Mayor, if I followed the him correctly we started out with 2 events, 2 music events which I stated before  I disagreed with. Now we’re down to one even. I don’t know where that event will happen so on and so forth. You know those decisions need to be made combined so that we’re not making decisions on piecemeal if you will. A favorite term of this commission. But so not making those piecemeal but making them in conjunction with understanding (The Mayor could be heard saying “um hum”) how the whole event will flow. I also stated that I felt like and I still feel like this could have been avoided and for that I’m saddened in a way and where we’ve ended up. My main question is when did it become not about the Town? You know when did it become not about the residents and I’ll say here before the folks sitting out there more money doesn’t make it right. And so I’m not for putting together something that pours more Town money to make the event happen. I would rather go to the backup (Plan B beach fireworks) if that’s where we land. However, I too want to return to this and think we can return to the table with negotiations on both sides keeping in mind that this event is about the Town and about the Town residents and putting away everything that has happened. We’re all adults. My wife as well as my son told me today at some point the adults need to take over and I think we’re there (Mayor could be heard again “um hum”) And I agree with that sentiment that we should sit around and Mayor you put it well sit around the table and negotiate this from the point of it being the best thing for the Town, not the best thing for the Vice Mayor, the best thing for Louie and Spiro not the best thing , but the best thing for residents and when we do that we’ll come to that conclusion.”

BC- I must respectfully disagree with Comm. Sasser…The VM, VFD, BSO and the committee have done only what was best for the residents and the Town…The barrage that has been heard from what I am told is coming from a politically motivated faction with an ax to grind…as many are well aware…

The Mayor went further into the muck…”Basically where we are at on that Commissioner Sasser is that items A , has been discussed (that was VM’s timeline) B,C,D, + E those items would be discussed at a later time and come back to this body for a vote ,ok?”…The Asst. TM was once again visibly unable to follow the Mayor’s words …which lacked any logic in this writer’s opinion…Mr Bentley after approximate 25 minutes of this Commission going off the topic at hand on the fireworks lease agreement ad nauseum began to reel them in from what appeared to be an ongoing barrage of throwing the Vice Mayor under the bus for his July 4th event…He said he wanted to offer a couple of comments and spoke of running out of time to vote on items… He informed them the fireworks display contract was reasonable and the company offered alot of latitude even though it would no longer be a 3 year contract (due to the Marchelos changing their agreement) ..He urged the Commission to vote on it so the vendor would be lined up whether they went with plan A or B… He also wanted to address the 3-day event which was included in the original agreement as well as the “wants” of the Marchelos brothers after learning the Town music event was pulled…Just as those committee members said would transpire…This was item 9 in the backup of the agreement for May 24th which the VM briefly touched on… Let me say that the 3-day event a separate special event in the pier parking lot was not previously presented to the Commission… As VM Dodd said in previous years Comm. Clottey stated she was not for 3-day events/ Comm. Sasser the “contract guy” most likely would have caught that clause and found the problems with it/Mayor Minnet has often said she did not want to tie the hands of future Commissions…which is exactly what this clause would do… and finally as with all agreements the applicant and/or staff can agree but it it up to the Commission whether it is in or out of the final contract… The Mayor said “That’s fair, so those two items we will address” …YIKES!…Commissioner Sasser did ask about it and the impact and Bud Bentley described the wants of the Marchelos for this pre-approved administratively only ongoing 3-day event as a major condition to reduce the cost by $2000 a year for using the pier …The Mayor asked about it as well and the Asst. TM said he “can’t speak to their (Marchelos) motivation”…

The Vice Mayor tried once again to explain to his fellow commission members what was required as far as guidance to move forward …He said “It’s all very well sitting there and saying yah, let’s all be friends, let’s make this happen. I have been trying to make this happen for two and half weeks and so has Mr. Bentley and we have been negotiating solidly but what happens is the license agreement is getting tied up with other clauses and I don’t think that’s acceptable. That they (Marchelos) want to put conditions on it that are relevant to their 3-day event”…and the parking at $5,000 and an outdoor street event the VM stated would not be allowed for anyone else in town…He said they were holding the Town “ransom” for these clauses …He went on to say if the Commission wanted him to change his motion he could put forth an agreement for one year at $12,000 just as it was when the Marchelos charged the Mayor for her July 2010 event…She cut him off and said Comm. Vincent needed to speak as well as Comm. Clottey…He again pleaded for guidance after sitting through these last 30 minutes of misinformed “feelings” about the situation from the dais..The Mayor was rather testy in her reply that was what they were trying to do…

Comm. Vincent -thanked the Mayor and stated he was “hoping this was gonna be easy this evening” ..He said he didn’t want to speak and he said that “wholeheartedly” (Bet the Marchelos wished he kept it zipped!) … He added onto all that was said prior the catch phrases of disappointment and stated we are left with “alot of ifs and possibilities” having not “settled anything” …”at this juncture”…He asked about the Zambelli contract and the contract and price…The Asst. TM told him the current contract was based on the per but the company has a plan for Plan B with smaller shells…a new or amended contract would be needed at the same price (as the VM stated in his opening summation) …Comm. Vincent stated he was not a pyrotechnic kind of guy and asked about the winds and the impact on Plan B (Beach launch) ..VFD Fire Chief Paine came up described the area and the measures taken as well as it would  be 20mph winds that would shut the launch down …He also described the shell size and the intensity of a 15 minute display that would seem like 30 minutes… Comm.Vincent laughed and said “alright, sounds great.”

BC-Here’s the icing on the top of this “taking the cake” Commission meeting…The Comm. Vincent -Bud Bentley OJ moment… Thank goodness Vincent always “goes there” on the dais!…So happy it was Bentley sitting in the TM seat to respond!…

Comm. Vincent-” Again, I just wanted to address why I didn’t also second the motion because I’m not comfortable really voting on a request by the Vice Mayor prior to even sitting down and speaking with the parties involved and saying well this is what we’re gonna do now. Let’s go talk to the parties . I’m not sure if that’s really the right way to go about it. And a couple of other questions is I’m concerned on why this , there’s reservations about the 3-day event now when it was originally included in the contract for the 3 year deal. Nobody seemed to question it. Nobody , it seemed as if it were going to be signed and I can’t assume this Commission would have voted for it but this Commissioner would have based on everything prior to this fallout. So my concern is why all of the sudden the reservation possibly by staff or the Vice Mayor that this 3-day event shouldn’t happen when it was already laid out and seconds away from signature until my next question is. We understand that there were many changes to the contract. Well my question is who made the original changes to this contract prior to signature? Ah, is my question Bud for you is there, were changes made but who made the original changes to the first laid out contract for this event?”

Bud Bentley replied similarly  confused by Comm. Vincent as he was by the Mayor that the 3-day event contract was being worked on for months and he thought that was what Comm. Vincent meant when he used the term “original contract”

Comm. Vincent-” Well the contract that I was hoping that was going to be presented to this dais and this Commission on the 3-day event , the 3 year fireworks at 10,000 a year um, my understanding that was prior to signature that this contract was changed unbeknownst to the signatures, to the signers (Marchelos) and I think that this is where everything precipitated into why we’re here tonight and I just, the only reason why I’m bringing this up not to get into this but there’s, there’s comments up here that there’ve been many changes to the contract and we’re only hearing one side of that. So that being said you know in defense of the parties (Marchelos) that can not come back and say well this was changed and that was changed . I don’t want to get into that. I just want it to be known that changes were made, we don’t know by who, but on the original contract somebody had to make that change prior to signature and who made those changes without conferring with the party (Marchlos) that was to sign that? It’s really just a” Bud Bentley asked him to “enlighten him on what changes were made?…

Comm. Vincent continued on-” Well changes of the, the, the ah, event whee there was gonna be a change of locations, of bands, the road closures that I believe alot of the Parties involved with the event including the Aruba and Village Grill were unaware of as well. (Aruba, Village Grille + 101 were all participants and were well aware of everything ).So these are the concerns that I have that there was alot of parties involved that were unaware of these changes.” The Mayor could be heard to say “ok”…

Bud Bentley- ” Let me address that and that I think goes to the core issue of some of the hurt feelings is the lease, the pier lease agreement does not deal with the Town event. Never did, never had! They weren’t part of the negotiations. The pier lease agreement which is what was presented to you on the 24th went back and forth between the parties. I represented the Town and Louis and their attorney represented the pier. There were no changes to,that unbeknownst to both parties, absolutely! What gets confusing is that I later learned that the pier was negotiating certain things on the pier in the licenses agreement based upon their understanding of how the Town event was gonna occur. Well we had no knowledge of that. So to answer the one question, there wasn’t any changes in the original agreement unbeknownst to both parties.”..The Mayor said “ok”…

Comm. Vincent who by now should have known along with the other Commission members after this exchange they were victims of brothers who cried wolf went on to backtrack to further make no sense on saying if we have a Plan B why not have just gone that route instead of going through what they just  went through…HUH?… He backtracked on his backtrack and ended by saying he just wanted this resolved for a wonderful 4th event…

Bud Bentley at approximately 40 minutes into this meeting said to the Mayor…that the Vice Mayor made the suggestion for an adjournment to have the parties meet to see if their was a meeting of the minds… The Mayor again off base asked Bentley if he thought that was possible…He responded he was the eternal optimist…With that the Mayor did what she should have done  after VM Dodd’s opening summation and adjourned for them to negotiate…

As seen on the screen the parties sat at the conference table…I am told VM Dodd preferred a 2-day event and $10,000 for the pier…In the end that is what the agreement was…Within 15 minutes once they were allowed to do what the VM suggested… While Louis Marchelos came to the podium and said “In order to save the fireworks for this town and keep everyone happy in this town we have agreed to a discounted price of $10,000 for the fireworks”…He added his Sat. night event and the July 4th pier parking lot event as well…He thanked the VM and Bud Bentley for meeting now and “speaking out here”…He said this all could have been resolved weeks ago …  As the staff member said… with the Marchelos it’s an annual thing… so who will be on the receiving end this time next year…or sooner… The Commission swiftly passed the items one by one 5-0 votes on all agenda items despite Comm. Clottey not being able to keep up…and staff pulled the Village Grill 1 year special event while they work on costs for crossing guards  at A1A and Commercial… An hour + meeting could have been easily “resolved” in less than 30 minutes…if only governing was done without the need to express their “feelings”…as wrong as they all were!…

BC- I believe that every member of the dais owes VM Dodd a public apology for the actions they displayed throughout this situation culminating into what we watched last night to a fellow commissioner…

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop …The May 24, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Meeting … Commission Taking A Sharp Left Turn? … #3

May 26, 2011 by Barbara

TAKING A SHARP LEFT TURN OR STOPPING AT THE SIGNAL? ….

Dear Readers …continuing on with this second part of the fireworks being put on hold for July 4,2011 due to orchestrated trumped up accusations being made by the owners of the pier at the 11th hour concerning their lease to shoot them off at their pier we know the outcome is to be decided tonight at a 5:45 pm Special Meeting in Jarvis Hall called for the Commission to vote on the expected new terms that will come from discussions that were set to take place yesterday in order to add the demands put forth by Louis Marchelos and his brother Spiro which Louis presented at the podium on Tues. night (prev. post)… These demands in this writer’s opinion were almost laughable and they certainly ran counter to Marchelos’ statement “Do I intend to take advantage of the acts of a few and punish this whole town? Absolutely not.” … “I will help the Town stay within its budget” …which he made prior to the list of wants in order to have the venue that further benefited him at the taxpayer’s expense!…

We left off with Asst TM Bud Bentley wanting to give the pier owners all they put forth which I found inconceivable for him or the Commission to even entertain rolling over after the inflammatory public comments Louis Marchelos made …The Mayor needed clarification on the change from the 3-day special event in the pier parking lot that was on the consent agenda and the new demand to have instead Athena’s regular Sat. night even on July 2nd.. Bud Bentley said the 3-day was off and would be withdrawn and that he “would suggest that they just travel on their existing approved site plan for Saturday night event and that we just approve their existing permit”…M.Bentley asked Marchelos if he missed anything…The Vice Mayor could be heard to say yes …Louis Marchelos then said they wanted full access to their pier parking lot on July 4th…The Mayor said that presented a problem and went on to describe one of the other items on the Consent agenda for the site plan for the 4th which called for the area to be closed down per the desire of the BSO… This year is different than past years as the activities will be in that area after the parade and through the evening rather than at Town Hall and El Prado Park… The Vice Mayor tried to explain the situation but that did nothing but further inflame Marchelos and some of the Commissioner (their comments to come) …The Asst. TM ignored the Vice Mayor in my opinion as well as the BSO and VFD and Town staff who put the plan in place when he asked Marchelos if he could live with a 8 pm closure over a 2 pm closure… The VM stood his ground and spoke of the layout and the package already put in place…Louis remarked “If I had known about this before Thursday this wouldn’t have happened”…Once again I must remind readers the Marchelos at that point in time were to have their 3-day pier event which would not have any cars in their lot… So his reply was less than credible in my opinion…The Vice Mayor tried once again to explain the dynamics and vehicles vs. pedestrians and safety… I found it amusing that the very same people who had ongoing concern on pedestrian vs. vehicles on El Mar Drive and A1A wanted pedestrian and vehicles in an even more precarious area for safety concerns!… The Vice Mayor stated he felt the Marchelos were being “unreasonable” and again stated his disappointment with their not being able to come to an agreement before this exchange began…He stated he was not going to “make a public spectacle of it and as far as I’m concerned the events that have been planned cannot go ahead without the road closures just as we specified” (in the agenda item)…. The Mayor clearly exasperated by the exchange and the standoff asked Mr Bentley after she shut down both Marchelos brothers from further responding to the Vice Mayor if discussions could take place the next day would that offer “sufficient time” for the VM and his committee to pull it all together… The VM said he was available 24/7 and said “provided we don’t have any allegations about underhanded or anything else. As I said before I have tried my utmost to organize this out in the open and with the assistance of Town staff that’s been terrific.”… He went on to say they could resolve this in the next 48 hours by calling a special meeting before the UM design workshop set for the 26th…The Mayor was on the same page and said that’s what she was proposing as well… I must disagree with the VM on his positive words for Town staff after hearing Asst. TM Bentley and finding the Town in this position at this juncture… The Mayor most likely thought the worst was over and the lengthy agenda could now be addressed…She wasn’t so lucky and neither were we… She extended the opportunity for Comm. Sasser to ask questions or voice his concerns due to his excused absence on Thursday night…Comm. Sasser had questions and concerns over the coordination of the event and Town vs. private with requirements and who pays for them such as toilets and trash as well as bands …What was not pointed out by staff was that with the exception of the 3-day pier owner’s special event the rest of the Town centered event was coordinated for these items… The pier owner’s event would have been required separately due to it being 3 days and a separate permit and separate vote… He also spoke of some of points having to do with the fireworks agenda item hoping to avoid problems encountered in the past and to ensure the Town was positioned well if anything unexpected occurred… He added as he finished up that he did not know what transpired and was not sitting up there to impugn anybody stating his take based on the information thus far appeared to be a communications issue and as for his other concern about competing bands and the suggestion he was going to make to stagger them so they did not compete …that was moot now that the pier owners were no longer  having their event…The Mayor again seemed to appear ready to move on and after telling Comm. Sasser he could send any other inquiries to the Town for Thursday night for which he thanked her and asked about being able to get some backup prior to that meeting in order to do so…(TAtty. and Asst. TM said they would try to do so)…Asst. TM Bentley made another rather odd assessment “From my perspective the parties are close. Any objections to the items raised except for the parking, any items the Commission could personally not abide with let them know before negotiations.” He added the  Vice Mayor said parking critical as far as access to the pier…  Talk about rose-colored glasses!…When Comm. Sasser asked Mr Bentley about the impact an 8 pm change in time would have in the site plan Bentley admitted he “didn’t participate” in the plan!…WOW!… So where was the staff member who did and the BSO?….

Commissioner Clottey and Commissioner Vincent had pushed their buttons and due to what appeared yet another incident of miscommunication on the dais after Comm. Clottey asked the Mayor if she should hold off on her questions with the Mayor seeming to imply the questions that should go forth …Comm. Sasser said he would like to hear the questions of  his fellow dais members…That made for even more flashbacks to the previous Commissions and the accusations as well as cross examinations made against a fellow dais member without regard to having all the facts … As previously posted the Mayor did speak up for the Vice Mayor by explaining the precedent held in past events chaired by Commissioners …but to no avail …Perhaps the Mayor was recalling her own inquisition from fellow Commissioners over Greenfest and that it was then-Comm. Dodd who stood by her and led the way to wipe away the travesty that was politically driven…

Tonight should be interesting indeed…I will save the comments made by Comms. Clottey (talk about strange bedfellows…Clottey-Marchelos) ) and Vincent on Tuesday night to compare to their comments made tonight and of course their votes after hearing the new terms laid down in order to even have a 4th of July event with fireworks in Town…or not…courtesy of the Marchelos brothers and perhaps some members of the administration…in my opinion… What seemed like an easy July 4th event to put together in the center of Town has become a time consuming albatross for all those who stepped up to the plate to plan and execute it ….and all because of one business feeling once again they were on the outside looking in and retaliating….as Louis Marchelos stated on Tuesday night when he made his public comments… . “Be ashamed!”…

more to come….

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