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Here’s The Scoop …. Elliot Sokolow Wins Commission Seat 1 In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea! …. On March 11, 2014 …..

March 11, 2014 by Barbara

Commissioner Mark Brown, Commissioner Stuart Dodd, Mayor Roseann Minnet & Newly elected Commissioner Elliot Sokolow Election night March 11, 2014

Dear Readers… The voters of LBTS got it right once again!… Candidate Elliot Sokolow won  the election for Commission Seat 1 tonight in a very close race due to candidate Eric Yankwitt not dropping out …in my opinion… Candidate Sokolow did everything right in this election and deserved this win!… He was prepared and organized from the start…He sent out the first mailer with the absentee ballot attached and he won the absentee ballot vote with 202 votes…former Commissioner Clottey who sent out an absentee ballot weeks later won 173 votes and Candidate  Yankwitt who did not won 50 votes … Elliot walked door- to- door … He sent out a second personal post card from his wife  … as well as taking out informative ads and attended meet and greets …He answered every question he was asked by newspapers ( by email and in person) and voters and businesses as well as organizations and in debates without ever changing his answers no matter the audience…He received the Pompano Pelican endorsement after the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board blew their endorsement by not knowing the current facts of our town…Elliot sent out a final mailer which contained the endorsement of the full LBTS Commission as well as the Mayors of Sea Ranch Lakes and Pompano Beach and the Chair of the Hillsboro Inlet Commission!… He made a large number  personal calls and availed himself to all those who called him or stopped him throughout his run for seat 1 whether he was walking into town, to commission meetings, to attend special events, to meet the business owners or even while holding his sign in the last days leading up to election day!… On election day he was at the Town’s  Jarvis election hall from 7 am until 7 pm to hand out palm cards and meet all those voters who made their way to cast their ballot…. All in all Elliot Sokolow did just as those who commissioners that endorsed him  had done…his due diligence …thus earning his seat just as they all did!… Perhaps Commissioner Sokolow will also do what so many of the present commission have  done if he chooses to go for a second term…be unopposed!… Congratulations to Commissioner- Elect Sokolow and all those who supported him, aided him in his campaign, endorsed him and voted for him!… LBTS will now move forward much as it has over the last two years with a commission comprised of those who want the best for our town and will continue the civility we have all enjoyed on the dais and in the town for the most part!….

For those who tried unsuccessfully to define this fine man negatively …tried to revise our town’s history …put forth false claims and fear-mongering of the town’s finances and future … as well as ignoring the election rules  and regulations…their political days are definitely over …as their consequences for actions this election of not adhering to those requirements may not be!….

The referendum items results are as follows- #1 yes/ #2 yes/#3 no/ #4 yes/#5 no/ #6 yes ….#3 …the Mayor -Commissioner without a 2 year gap should have passed and should come back on the ballot in 2016 ..to make it fair ….and most likely will!….

More to come…..

COMMISSIONER SEAT 1 DISTRICT 1 LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA (VOTE FOR 1)

2 of 2 Precincts Reporting

Choice Votes Percent
Birute Ann Clottey 445 39.24%
Elliot Sokolow 486 42.86%
Eric Yankwitt 203 17.90%
Total 1,134

Post Division

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….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Are The Town PACs Pulling The Rabbits Out For The 2012 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Municipal Election? …

November 13, 2011 by Barbara

COULD OLD TRICKS BE COMING BACK IN 2012? ….

Dear Readers … the first week for formally filing to run for a seat on the dais in the 2012 LBTS January 31st municipal election has come to an end and we hear so far there are four …Vice Mayor Stuart Dodd is running for a second term as commissioner from the south end of town…thus discounting all those who were sure he would take on Mayor Minnet despite his assertions otherwise…Former ByTheSeaFuture Editor Mark Brown filed for the commission seat currently held by Comm. Birute Ann Clottey from the north as did former Master Plan Steering Committee Vice- Chair and former candidate for the 2010 LBTS municipal election Edmund Malkoon…. Making it a three-way race thus far is  Commissioner Clottey who long said she was going to be a one-term commissioner….

This writer previously posted that someone should get it through Malkoon’s head that if he stays in this race he will split the vote between himself and Brown leaving Clottey to win herself a second term… If that happens Malkoon will become the Bartman of LBTS with the UOT  (Unite Our Town) -PAC leading the charge!… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bartman_incident ….. Of course there is now one unknown glitch to this scenario making its way through the rumor-mill  that could change this expected outcome for Malkoon  and I will address that further down in this post…

We have heard of other familiar “players” perhaps vying for Vice Mayor Dodd’s seat in the southern part of town….Included in this duo is none other than former Comm. Jim Silverstone who has suddenly started or rather restarted his 2010 failed re-election campaign in asking to “debate” anyone on town issues….This time it’s in the no longer dormant CIC (Citizens Initiative Committee)- PAC  website with his very own “opinion” page… If Silverstone does indeed do an 11th hour filing to become the CIC commission candidate alongside Clottey it will be quite a turnaround for those of us who have long heard his spouse was against any such future prospects of returning to politics ….. In doing so Silverstone will once again leave himself open to all of his “Broom Boys” history with his BFF …former Vice Mayor Jerry McIntee as well as his 110% unyielding support of the ousted former Town Manager Esther Colon and her top tier Town co-horts … He and the CIC … have once again jumped into the yellow journalism pool of revisionist history with both feet …in this writer’s opinion…stating the Colon et al dismissals were unwarranted and wrong ….while the in- your- face facts are still coming to light concerning the myriad of administrative inefficiencies ..with many of them bordering on serious illegalities … again, in my opinion …that came in to play from her tempestuous tenure …. Voters will have to ask themselves other important questions about Jim -still not a “nice guy”- Silverstone vs. Vice Mayor Dodd…including what is the difference between these two in their voting records…The answer to that ….is really none…with the exception of Colon’s need to be replaced!… Vice Mayor Dodd was on record first for wanting to lower the millage rate in town…Jim Silverstone only offered it up as a last ditch effort during his failed 2010 re-election campaign …Vice Mayor Dodd asked for it prior to 2010 during the budget hearings in 2008 for 2009 fiscal year…. I believe…….Vice Mayor Dodd is also on record this year in asking his fellow commissioners for a referendum to be placed on the ballot in this 2012 race for the redevelopment of LBTS…Unfortunately it failed to have any traction both times he tried to get them on board….Nevertheless Vice Mayor Dodd has stood strong and been steadfast when he repeatedly stated on the record that he believes that any big ticket Town projects that could ultimately lead to possible long-term tax implications for his constituents should involve them from the get-go in order to proceed…

As for that rumor that could be a game changer for Edmund Malkoon …turns out it could be even a bigger game changer for all of those candidates who filed last week or those about to file for that matter…. if it actually comes to fruition… I will explain the impact as I see it after divulging the name of the other candidate that might take a run for Vice Mayor Dodd’s seat… That candidate is none other than Publisher of the ByTheSeaFuture Paper and former member of the MPSC Michael Arker!… I was alerted to this rumor a few weeks back by a handful of “insiders” who were all out and about sharing the news ….All started out the rumor with the same line… The “numbers guy” Bob Fleishman …(former president of UOT) …. said Arker will run and will win in the south with “sympathy votes” due to his ongoing illness … 600 votes….WOW!…I mean WOW!….

Okay…here we go…

First of all …in this writer’s opinion…Bob Fleishman is a “numbers guy” like Occupy Wall Street is an organized protest with a clear comprehensive agenda!….Enough said!…. Second, there is no such thing as a “sympathy vote” when it comes to politics….In the event that a candidate were elected for being ill…It would only mean that it would be likely that the taxpayers would soon be paying for a special election to once again fill an vacant seat on the dais well before the 4 year term was up…Yeah, it’s a bit callous but it’s something any “sympathetic” voters need to pay heed to…. Also, I do not believe that Arker could ever get a majority of the votes needed in the southern end of town and in the Sea Ranch Club buildings required to win the seat …He is a divisive figure at best ..in my opinion…….That said, the impact of him making the decision to run for whatever reason will turn what has up until now seemed to finally be a welcomed departure from the past two municipal elections in 2008 and 2010 into an all-out no-holds barred political bloodbath!…

Here’s how it plays out in terms of that impact as I see it… It will quickly paint a picture of the return of the CIC-PAC “slate” of candidates vs. the UOT-PAC “slate” of candidates whether those other UOT-PAC supported candidates want to be a part of that “slate” or not!… Mayor Roseann Minnet after returning home from vacation has made it clear she will run for her third and final term as Mayor and most likely will be filing to do so in this upcoming week and candidate Mark Brown will be inexorably tied to Arker … With that comes the always in- play game of political perception for them to deal with … These two candidates will now find themselves dealing once again with the CIC fanning of the fears for a major UOT takeover on the dais leading to future changes in big redevelopment including increased heights and of course the future of the VFD …. Just call it the Arker effect…. whether warranted or not…everyone knows political perception is what wins or loses an election …especially in LBTS!… If this happens it will indeed take any heat Malkoon would feel for his stubborn insistence to remain in the race off him during the race and after the votes are counted… That said…the outcome would likely be the same…in this writer’s opinion and Clottey will win back her seat for another four years …Malkoon could decide to become an independent candidate set apart from UOT… after they chose to support Brown…but I still think he splits the vote with Brown…

That independent candidate role would definitely apply to Vice Mayor Dodd in this election if both Arker and Silverstone run against him… He long ago stepped down from the CIC after he was elected in 2008 as he said he would do in 2007….counter to the revisionist history written once again by the CIC …(see the How The Sausage Was Made category for the tar + feathering of Comm. Dodd back in 2008)… Voters will easily be able to see in the weeks that come that Vice Mayor Dodd has a most impressive voting record as well as being well in the forefront on implementing perhaps the most agenda items that brought forth much needed changes in policy and in governing throughout his first term as well as being hands-on in town both in projects and events and always being readily available to his constituents…

As for the Mayoral position …thus far no rumors of any challenger for Minnet…Does she get a “pass”?…. Hmmm….Perhaps the CIC who is busy setting up two member meetings according to their site on Nov. 18th and Dec. 20th at their Palm Surf Club headquarters will be able to conjole yet another CIC-PAC old-timer to run alongside Clottey and Silverstone …Could it be Peanuts “call me Larry” Wick round 2?….We don’t think it could be her former 2010 Mayoral foe and new CIC- Chair Joe Couriel ….due to the conflict of being the Chair of a PAC which the CIC learned in 2008 was indeed considered a real conflict per Broward County Ethics Commission …Besides Couriel would also have to know that another run for mayor would lead to being subjected once again to reminders of his the less than steller first run for the position which included his and his followers false accusations of racial slurs which ultimately snuffed out his chances to sit in that center seat… He would also find himself in the same uncomfortable position of perhaps being called a “flip-flopper” if he joins in with what appears to be the CIC- Silverstone #1 campaign issue of residential vs business percentages of redevelopment with taxpayer monies as touted recently on their website…and in Silverstone’s first opinion piece…

The resident 90% -business 10% issue runs counter to the campaign promises Couriel touted in his first run of many sidewalk cafes and hotels …For Silverstone it runs counter to where his spouse’s allegiance must surely be …as an instrumental party to the biggest draw and most important business in the town of LBTS …Aruba Beach Cafe… So while this issue is one this writer could heartily support and in fact has in a different percentage package posted often on this site in the past when the Master Plan meetings were proceeding … I could not disagree more with the CIC-PAC “slate” touting it in order to win this 2012 municipal election…….

It is currently this writer’s opinion that anyone who is ready and willing to run independent of either of the LBTS- PACs would give the Mayor a real run for the center seat on the dais along with those independent candidates who run for the other two open seats …if Arker makes this incredible rumor a reality….

No more rabbits!….

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop …. Let The PAC- “Games” Begin? … The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 2012 Municpal Election …

October 23, 2011 by Barbara

HOW MANY HATS WILL BE TOSSED IN THE RING AND WHOSE WILL BE TOSSED AWAY? …

Dear Readers … it appears the CIC is getting ready to reactivate in some way….This writer believes their organization is severely diminished and still unorganized in a way that may not be salvageable …especially in the short term for the January 31st LBTS municipal election which calls for candidates to file for a run for a seat on the dais in a matter of just a few weeks from now on November  8th -22nd… They have suddenly (after this writer’s previous post) updated their long dormant CIC website to show their new Chair… That would be former 2010 Mayoral candidate Joe Couriel who lost big time after being a part of one the most disgusting campaigns to ever seen in our town …One fraught with yellow journalism…as well as trumped up charges of racism that many think put the nail in the coffin of not only his and his fellow slate of CIC supported candidates but the organization and By The Sea Times paper that supported them… Last we heard he was trying mightily to sell his house and leave town…Hmmm…. Besides the sudden updated website (although their meeting date is still for May 15, 2011) …coming right after my last post is the the Chair’s message which touts the very same need in the next commission for residential balance in the infrastructure and redevelopment just as this writer wrote about as well as several residents who spoke up at the podium throughout the past many months! … This one is a winner in the south… and anyone who doubts it will lose…in this writer’s opinion

As stated prior…. we are not sure if Vice Mayor Dodd and Mayor Roseann Minnet will have opposition this go round as they run for another term …but as previously posted we are sure that in the north end of town there will be quite a race with former editor of the By The Sea Future paper Mark Brown ( he resigned as stated on the cover of the latest BTSF paper) and former 2010 commission candidate and former MPSC Vice-Chair Edmund Malkoon ..both active in the UOT PAC …According to the new issue of the Pompano Pelican they both asked for support from that organization at the Oct. meeting ….What is shocking to this writer is that candidate Mark Brown is quoted as saying he did not want the organization to endorse only one candidate this time as they did in the 2010 election… Whoaaaa!…. What’s wrong with this picture? … First it is a major mistake to let either candidate go forward and expend time and money to enlist a treasurer then set up a bank account and file only to find out they will not be actively supported by the ever growing UOT PAC… If the organization keeps the present schedule …again according to the Pelican article not to meet until Nov. 30th and these two gentlemen go out and pound the pavement in the south end of town …even until that time (Nov. 30) or right up until January 31st the CIC endorsed candidate will win …and win big as these two will split the vote in the south and in Sea Ranch Club (3 buildings) … The UOT board may want to get on the phone and rethink their strategy sooner rather than later…It is this writer’s opinion Mark Brown is the stronger candidate to oppose Comm. Clottey … Long ago I posted that I did not think candidate Malkoon proved himself as a member of the MPSC…That opinion still stands…. He does not belong on the dais as a commissioner … Mark Brown is more suited for the position I believe …While I have often disagreed with Mark on many major issues I have always found him to be fair and honest as well as being open to hearing an opposing opinion while being meticulous in regard to ethics ….

The Pelican ends its article with Commissioner Clottey stating “no comment” when asked about running once again… While that really looks bad in print ( her campaign managers may want to get that taken care of asap ) …Many think she has rethought her original decision of serving one term only as she is the Chair of Halloween 2011…as well as being seen front and center at many town events over the past weeks as well as her car being parked in front of her former campaign managers …the Furths (owners and editors of the BTSTimes – still defunct showing their motel site rather than the paper) …One thing for sure you can be assured if she runs…the Furths will be running the show behind the scenes…or perhaps out front once more with the CIC website suddenly dormant no more …. One more clue…take a look at her comments over the past few meetings … there has been a lot of “small town” talk about town employees as well as residential improvements needed …. right in line with the new message from CIC Chair Joe Couriel! ….

I thought this was going to be a more independent type of election and posted that opinion a few times …but with the emergence of the CIC website update and the precarious state of the BTSFuture paper now that Mark is no longer at the helm as editor and writer and with the newly appointed senior writer who has only written a few articles for the last two issues and is new to town as a resident thus knowing none of the past political history…that may no longer be the case …we could see round 3 of the CIC PAC vs the UOT PAC…. Those throwing hats in the ring may need armor as well!…

More to come…

http://pompanopelican.webs.com/

http://lbtscic.com/

http://www.bytheseafuture.org/

http://www.bytheseatimes.com/

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … “I Hope We Could Implement Some Of These Things In The Next 12 To 18 Months” …. In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea It’s Back To Square One ….

June 7, 2011 by Barbara

WHICH ROAD WILL VOTERS TAKE FOR THE 2012 LAUDERDALE-BY-THE- SEA MUNICIPAL ELECTION -BASED ON 2011? …

Dear Readers …as a follow-up to numerous previous posts this writer has posted on this site over the course of the last months dealing with this long and involved redo of the 2004 LBTS Master Plan I now feel vindicated in my stance that alot of taxpayer money could have been saved along with innumerable hours of staff and commission time if only this Mayor and Commission decided to keep their eye on the needs of this little town and not the wants of a few that have their ear!… We have paid consultants that have overlapped substantially in their recommendations for what is desirable for our town to thrive in their “professional” opinions …In the end those recommendations panned out to be a variation of what consultants and “professionals” put forth in the past… The article below in the Sentinel today will be another Rorschach test for voters next January… Especially for the Mayor who will be running for a third term… who is quoted at the start of the article -

‘Now, the mayor is confident money can be found to turn into reality some proposals University of Miami students had for rejuvenating the town’s main thoroughfares and aging mom-and-pop hotels.”

“The next step is really putting some solid numbers on this and putting it into our capital improvement budget,” Mayor Roseann Minnet said. “I would hope we could implement some of these things within the next 12 to 18 months.’

WOW!… She hopes that some of these could be implemented in the next 12-18 months!… The question is will she be in the Mayor’s seat to do the implementing?… I certainly don’t believe she should be!…

The next vindication I received I previously posted as well and that was also at the top of the Sentinel article -

‘Chuck Bohl, director of UM’s graduate program in real estate development and urbanism, said transformations like those done in Miami Beach or downtown Delray Beach don’t happen overnight. He suggested the town focus on improvements in a single block, as was done in South Miami, so residents can see the benefit of renovations before committing to a larger effort.’

This writer wrote that when asked by Town Manager Connie Hoffmann well before this train left station for a full-out redevelopment of the Town’s Master Plan as well as the Mayor I said repeatedly stated do the downtown “Lake Colon” area and do it well so everyone could see a project done well …It was common sense …It was what most voters and businesses said they wanted … I guess because it did not come wrapped up in a professional report at a consultant’s going rate it was ignored…So here we are as this 2010-2011 Master Plan train ride is about to come to the final stop (RMA is supposed to have the 5- year numbers before the June 21, 2011 5 pm budget workshop- So far it is not listed on the Jarvis Hall calendar) with UM stating to do just that …improve one single block well and the Mayor stating we may be able to implement some of the capital improvement items in 12-18 months!…We had approximately $8-9 million in unencumbered funds over the last 12-18 months …We still have it!….That’s government at it’s worst…in my opinion… We know nothing more now than we did many taxpayer’s dollars ago!… What could have been done with the monies spent for such a small return on the costs in this town in the same time frame?… Plenty!…For that to actually happen in the next 12-18 months it’s going to take is a commonsense candidate who is ready stand up and say we don’t need to “piecemeal”..We don’t need to go for full-out “pie in the sky” redevelopment…but we do need accomplished “contained development” where it is needed …. Based on solid planning from the sewers-drainage and going up…literally ….from there……We can divvy up capital improvements equally between common use areas such as the downtown along with residential neighborhood areas that are also in need of sewers -drainage- lighting -swale repair-and street resurfacing…while keeping the millage rate the same or lower depending on the needs for that year as stated …We need to accomplish streamlining full employment positions for Town employees in a town of only 7000…It was supposed to take place this fiscal year when it was moved up and made the number 1 priority for the Town Manager last November by the entire Commission…thus far it has not happened…. Any takers?… This is …in my opinion…the year of the independent candidate …no doubt… after reading the Mayor’s comments in the Sentinel today… One last question to seal the deal…If there are no referendum items on the ballot…If the Mayor again says no…get your hats ready to toss em’ in the ring…January is not that far away…

……….

Sentinel-

‘Lauderdale-by-the-Sea seeks curb appeal
University of Miami design team creates proposals for Commercial Boulevard, A1A

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA ——
They came, saw, and re-designed. Now, the mayor is confident money can be found to turn into reality some proposals University of Miami students had for rejuvenating the town’s main thoroughfares and aging mom-and-pop hotels.

“The next step is really putting some solid numbers on this and putting it into our capital improvement budget,” Mayor Roseann Minnet said. “I would hope we could implement some of these things within the next 12 to 18 months.”

Chuck Bohl, director of UM’s graduate program in real estate development and urbanism, said transformations like those done in Miami Beach or downtown Delray Beach don’t happen overnight. He suggested the town focus on improvements in a single block, as was done in South Miami, so residents can see the benefit of renovations before committing to a larger effort.

“This is your home,” Bohl told residents. “A lot of it is in disrepair.”

Resident David Nixon agreed.

“We’re threadbare,” Nixon said. “Sometimes you have to let it go that far before you fix it.”

Town officials saw the $16,500 spent on the UM team as a bargain compared with the cost of bringing in a professional firm to do the same work.

In an effort reminiscent of HGTV home improvement shows “Curb Appeal,” “Design on a Dime” and “House Crashers,” Bohl and more than 30 students and faculty from UM’s School of Architecture took over Jarvis Hall next to Town Hall for six days last month and worked against the clock to fashion a fresh look for the town.

The design team’s proposals focused heavily on coming up with ways to make the town’s portion of Commercial Boulevard and the central portion of State Road A1A more pedestrian-friendly.

On A1A, the team added tree-lined medians in sections and roadside trees throughout, widened sidewalks by rerouting bicycle paths off A1A, and replaced back-out parking with parallel spaces in some areas and angled parking in others. A parking garage next to Wings at Commercial and A1A was also included in the proposals.

Minnet said there were ideas that could be done at relatively little cost, such as installing window film on vacant storefronts to promote a unified shopping theme for the town and to help eliminate the blighted look created by empty businesses.

Some ideas would be up to businesses to do, including a proposal to combine some small adjacent hotels into ones of about 30 units each. The team crunched numbers for façade improvements and interior renovations that would make the hotels less dated and more desirable in competition against the amenities offered by full-service hotels in the region.

One of the group’s more difficult assignments seemed to be ideas for drawing people to the complete stretch of Commercial Boulevard east of the Intracoastal Waterway and giving the street more small-town character.

In addition to streetscape improvements that would provide shading and more outdoor seating, students suggested creating a public walkway to the marina just south of Commercial, as well as opening up space along the marina to create a destination point for the westernmost end of Commercial in town.’

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-lbts-design-project-20110530,0,2196125.story

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The May 26, 2011 University of Miami Design Review Workshop in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea … Is It The Right Time To Be Moving Forward? ….

May 28, 2011 by Barbara

TIME TO LET THE MONEY OUT OF THE BAG? ….

Dear Readers…We are now headed into the 2011-2012 budget season which begins next month and we have only just sent out our first RFPs for drainage and sewer engineering services which were to be the top priorities moving forward according to Commission last year…..As previously posted we have not completed one single new project in town that can show how this new Administration can handle a small contained area (which I will come back to later on in this post in the UM faculty representative’s closing remarks ) … I am told I need to revise that a little bit by a reader who brought up  our portion of the A1A  enhancement program but that project which was passed on to this Administration from the previous one seems to be amiss behind the scenes from what we have seen and heard which further adds to concerns about the abilities of those who want to go full speed ahead ….We have had been focused instead on multiple visioning and feasibility studies and reports to totally redo the 2004 Master Plan and redevelop the Town with monies going out under the Town Manager’s $15,000 limit not requiring Commission approval followed by some monies approved by the Commission for followup studies as well….I believe while some of the studies we requisitioned are interesting, educational, creative and entertaining they have been at the detriment of those projects that should  have been much further along in the process than they are… I have also found after seeing the renderings and listening to big picture plans for LBTS that much of what has been offered to us by this new group of professionals from this week and in the past months who are no doubt a creative bunch looks and sounds very much like what is contained in the existing 2004 Master Plan of big plans… tweaked a little here and there with newer products… I must also add again that unlike 2004 when the economy was booming at present time in 2011 with forecasts for no economic rebound in 2012 in my opinion this was not the time to do this visioning to this extent… While I repeatedly asked for Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk to return to town… (prev. posts)  and for the defunct LBTS CRA participants to come back to the table for information as well as the possible creation of an economic development committee I certainly did not want anything to take us away from those looming infrastructure projects (sewers/drainage) in the south end of town that absolutely need to come first and those projects come with cost estimates that are in the millions …(prev. posts) … Simply put …you can’t put up the wallpaper before the floors are put in…and to do what is suggested below whether small..incremental or big without getting those “floors’ in place first makes no sense at all….

Below is my post of portions of the 2 hour presentation made Thursday night …I encourage Readers to look at it online on the Town’s website (link below) to see the presentation and to obtain a copy of this report when it is made available.. I encourage the Commission to do their due diligence on the costs presented to see if they are accurate (they seemed to be a bit low to this writer) …The Commission and Administration need to obtain information on the populations of those cities used as examples by the UM faculty representative (see below…South Miami / Naples /West Palm) …as well as their millage rates and budgets and any impact and/or long-term debt incurred from moving forward on redevelopment in their municipalities …That is a must for presenting the full picture to the taxpayers before any decisions are made….. After all we are a small town with a small tax base … I am told once again Vice Mayor Dodd has put forth including referendum items on the June Roundtable for consideration by the Commissioners for the Jan. municipal election…After this presentation which once again included parking garages/ Town Hall and El Prado Plaza redevelopment etc…those referendum items must be included on the ballot along with Comm. Sasser’s addition of how we pay for these improvements… (The UM faculty representative spoke about stakeholders involvement) …We have RMA in June with the 5 -year plan and more costs associated with those plans ….and then we should be done with all this “fun and excitement” just days before reality comes back into play with the new budget… possible new millage rates …taxable value changes per the Broward County Property Appraiser…increase costs in services …and the final BSO contract …. We still have the millions we did not use this year and the Commission needs to make a decision on the parking “system” debt (aka Bougainvilla parking lot) whether to pay off or keep paying interest on it until 2020… And of course the campaigns which will begin soon for the moved up election in January…  What voters will be saying  in the voting booth?… Move forward …or bag it? ….This writer hears those stakeholders who have been front and center at this  juncture in LBTS’ political pendulum think there will be no opponents coming forth to even run against the incumbent Commissioners and they are so “pumped” by the lack of presence of their longtime opponents during this process that some have actually stated it is time to pick up where development left off in 2008 …. When the camera panned into the audience it showed that lack of presence of those opponents at this meeting as well  …I am told there was no sign- in sheet to provide data to see who is actually participating …( The UM faculty representative did say he would include a list in his report) …I am told there was a sign -up sheet on Saturday morning and the Mayor was keen to get the names on it … It’s imperative that we know if data was kept throughout the week with those who came into Jarvis Hall as well as those the “team” met with out in the field…(they said it was extensive) …That would be an important component to this process from a credibility aspect…in this writer’s opinion…

I have chosen to post the opening and closing remarks made by Mayor Minnet and the UM representative- “Chuck” who was presented by the Mayor who did not know his last name..and said she wished she has his card… I don’t believe the faculty representative followed up after the snafu with stating his last name or title either…I Googled UM School of Architecture faculty and I believe from the photo and finding only one faculty member named Charles the presenter was Charles C. Bohl- Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Program in Real Estate Development and Urbanism….The faculty representative did state in both his opening and closing remarks along with the students who presented each of the areas of they worked on that this contained  small/incremental and big plans…Chuck stated in his closing remarks what was presented was a “menu” which means everybody can find something they like.. I agree with that statement…and did find some areas I liked ….such as building in the future behind and in front of Town Hall and retaining a low-rise structure while gutting the inside ….Most of the smaller, incremental and big plans have been addressed and discussed by other consultants, boards and citizens before whether it is wayfinding signage (ad nauseum through the years )…the downtown area -pavilion-Lake Colon area …the El Prado “civic” park (parking lot)…Town Hall…Parking garage (s)…shuttles… Basin Drive waterfront area ….and so on and so forth … Will this new Master Plan go up on a shelf just as the previous one and the plans before that?…It was also something Chuck touched upon in his closing remarks… I guess we will know the answer to that very sooner rather than later with another election just months away…Unfortunately a large part of the presentation was cut off when it came to the portion dealing with the larger hotels due to problems that arose on the Town’s side and returned only intermittently after that throughout the smaller hotel presentation …This too is another priority that has not been completed this fiscal year…

Mayor Minnet’s opening remarks…

Mayor Minnet- ” I do also want to thank the residents and businesses and the staff for all their hard work and diligence during this past week. We’re all here, we’re all excited to hear the great ideas and designs that this group is putting forward. I am going to ask one consideration though of all you and that is to have an open mind. Not just today but I, the most important thing is that we agree on the concept and the idea and I just ask that if there’s one thing that you don’t see is a good idea please don’t let that stop you from thinking about all the other good ideas. Cause I’m sure that there will be something that you’re gonna say that’s just not something I want to see in this town. But I just ask you to have an open mind and listen to what the students are saying. Listen to what people are saying about these projects. Again more in a, it’s it’s totalness rather than just taking little bits and pieces of it. And again your input is why we’re all here. You said we want some changes to this town and you’ve said we want to move forward and we’re listening to you. We will continue to listen to the will of the people which is what all, every Commission member has said from day to day” …She went on to say the presentation would be an hour and a half to two hours…

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UM faculty representative’s opening remarks…

“So a workshop like this which started Saturday and ran right through today is very intensive. The team worked extremely hard and right up til the last minute. We had some final work being added to the presentation. This intensity is actually really good in terms of the energy and getting everyone’s ideas and trying to really get our hands around all the challenges at once. So this is a first cut at everything the team came up with.” He went on to give a general introduction and said the students would present their work. “We have to thank and er can’t name everybody individually though we can list them individually. I’m not going to do it verbally. But we had tremendous local support and help from the local community. Most of the team stayed up here for at leas a couple of nights and many of the students even stayed on their own throughout the entire almost week we’ve been here. We’ve had good food for lunch. We’ve had good places to stay and alot of great support from all the business owners. The city staff has been fantastic and helped put together information without which we never could have been prepared to do all this and the city attorney. I mean the list goes on here. But we thank you very much. You really made us feel at home and you really turned out and participated. It’s the only way this thing works  and we heard from you really loud and cklear. Now on our side from the University of Miami we have a big team.” He showed a photo on the screen and said a few were not included..He went on to describe the 3 different programs these students and professors came from …Bachelor of Architecture /Master of Urban Design/Master of Redevelopment and Urbanism…a multi-disciplinary team that was so by design…He introduced the Dean Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk  and a staff person who compiled that 2000 person hours of work went into this…”We spent some time learning about the history of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. You have a wonderful community. We were given actually a written history . Short pieces as well as the material on the website that we found on our own and we don’t need to tell you about your history. You have a special history here . A special character of the community and we heard you loud and clear. How much you love the community and want to protect it. We also heard about things that you’re concerned about and that you don’t want to see happen and sometimes it feels like this cartoon (on the screen) probably like the people who are waiting to stop the, while the sign goes up saying “What the” is going to be in the future. So especially things like the height of buildings and everything you see presented and discussed respects the charter, the height limits in the charter and doesn’t touch any of the residential neighborhoods. Does not involve anything on El Mar, which is your loved street. Along there, so we listened carefully to that. But I wanted to to make just a few quick comments on the tension that is found in many communities between moving forward, staying where we are, figuring out what can happen in the future and what shouldn’t.and it’s not that different other places than it is here. And over the years people have become known , we’ve come up with many acronyms to describe people who oppose things and some of those, sometimes you hear people on maybe the development side complain about that oh it’s all theses NIMBYs (not in my backyard) , people that don’t want things to happen. But on the other side what you accomplished over many decades is you’ve preserved the essential character of the community. And these are just some some examples of people who opposed what they felt were wrong things from happening (on screen) from Jane Jacobs to really the preservation of Charleston, the renaissance of Miami Beach where they didn’t tear down the old hotels, but revalued them and then places like in San Francisco and Milwaukee and other cities where they’ve taken down the freeways and restored the boulevards. So opposing things isn’t a bad thing and being against things that’s actually good when bad things are happening and I think we’re all impressed with how you’ve been able to oppose and prevent the bad things from happening over the years and some of the most important things you can do is to stop the bad things from happening. But then the question is what then? You know when you stop all the bad stuff from happening the what’s next? What can you do that’s positive and the warning is this and as we look at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and I’ll tell you what our study areas were in just a moment that we were focused on the Commercial corridors in particular and A1A and Commercial Boulevard. You have to be very careful that you don’t suffocate the community and by not allowing anything to happen you can almost love it to death. So that’;s the a danger, that’s a caution and a warning that we’ll put out there for you. And there’s many examples of places in Florida like West Palm (photo put up on screen) this was before its revitalization where nothing is on the ground around the church and it just withered for many years. Places that thought the solution to everything was more parking. (This brought forth a loud roar of laughter from the hall)… You can solve everything just have more parking and then suddenly you wake up and have no community left ..(the laughter erupted once more)… And then you know you find yourself waking up one day as a cartoon of sprawl and that everything has just degenerated into low density stuff like this (screen showed a sea of signs for McDonalds and other fast food joints) which believe me is everywhere. You know it’s everywhere and this isn’t what you want to be. So that’s the warning and the challenge. For this team and for you as a community is to, how do you sustain and how do you have a sustainable community, a sustainable business base that is consistent with the vision the community has for itself that protects all the things you love but that also pays for the things you would like. Like new parks and streetscape improvements and things like that. So that’s the balance that has to be struck and so our beginning and our method is to engage you and citizens in the process.” He showed some shots of previous meetings and the attendees (some have been running over the last week on channel 78 )…He stated “There were dozens and dozens of meetings. Alot of individual meetings when students went out to meet with folks.” He continued on with the team’s study areas showing some mapped areas on the screen as he spoke… “We have the Commercial Boulevard corridor from the intracoastal to the beach” “We have the second study area here is A1A. Roughly from your northern entry to your southern entry along the low rise area not up into this section (north of Pine Ave.) The Town Hall area where we are now which includes the property across the street and thinking through what might become of this in the future. The large hotels. There’s a couple of large hotels in particular we were asked to take a look at (anchored hotels at either end of El Mar Drive) and alot of these were as examples. Let’s take a few examples and look at them and see what could happen in the future and then a chunk of the small hotels particularly along the corridor on A1A. What you’ll see and hear about now are a whole variety of scenarios, not a huge number  but a selected few scenarios of modest to more dramatic change that, since the team did include numbers people we will put some numbers to things and so this is part of what we heard that we’ve done planning before, we’ve done visioning. We need to find a way to get started and part of the way to get started is to actually have cost estimates for things and to look at things incrementally. How you might take small steps to get where you want to go. Get some confidence in that and then move onto larger things. But the team has some great material to present to you from the small to the more dramatic. And oh, some quick highlights here. I think I covered this. We had great citizen input and heard about what you loved and things you don’t like and we’ll be focusing especially on streetscape material to make it more walkable, manage the cars, better the traffic, the parking, the signage, more places for community activities. We have alot of notes and documentation but we don’t need to tell you what to think at this point just that we listened to you very carefully.”… He then introduced the students to begin the presentation of area one

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Some notes on the presentation…

The 1st area Comm. Blvd Team spoke of the concerns they heard …”Pelican Square” economic viability + traffic congestion/”Market Square” just west of Pelican Square needs parking and an identity/”Marina Plaza” (Basin Drive/Commercial west of Market Square) struggled most, economic problem, pedestrian, visioning nothing happens ..the need for parking -vacant parcels that can be used in that area and a convenient transportation system for the far west Comm. area-cntral lease -retail window program-unified brand for shopping mall-crosswalks to connect to opposite side of street -shade trees for walking-improved wayfinding signs-Tenant improvement grants/Pelican Square eliminate center medians-curbless-trees-no parking east by pavilion except Aruba + Pier Lot parking-lighting shown in rendering/A1A-Seagrape transitional zone streetscape improvements-remove medians-sidewalks 10 ft.-build-in buildings-open air markets-Poinciana + Bougainvilla rendering shown/ more west-more suburban utilize deep set backs -convert parallel parking to angled-less congestion/West area after the bridge-centralized valet and parking/Marina access water- becomes more like a street/Most western lots Benihana + Blue Moon -provide open air plazas-viewing areas after the bridge/rendering shown-Welcome to Lauderdale- By- The- Sea + re-designed bridge tender house (we do not own the bridge for signage or the house)- costs for street improvements and Marina Plaza was approx $3.7 million- compared costs were made using Delray actual costs/ A1A south by Chamber of Commerce – streets from A1A to portals on Hibiscus-Datura -Palm Ave. -unwelcoming-not pleasing-traffic congestion- back out parking- change to parallel parking from “head in” parking (Walgreens as well)  some done with land swap for easement shared liability -shade trees-turning lanes become medians /Parking garage A1A behind wings Bougainvilla Lot enter through alleyway (BC-must buy apartment bldg to achieve) -Farmers Market (student presenter said parking garage needed for farmer market venders to park in)-cost $5.5 million -will have retail on 1st floor- street furniture was shown as well street lights (very close to the 2004 MPlan renderings) -”City”  shuttle -A1A business $655,580- A1A Civic $990,670.-A1A Hotel $1,823,000-A1A south cost per block $837,400-Datura cost per block $500,150- Southern entry unfocused underwhelming-unwelcoming-obelisk at entryway south end w/ public plaza +park -re-rout bike lanes to El Mar Dr. from A1A /Town Hall & El Prado pkg lot -3 choices add buildings in front & back- new buildings-sell property estimate property at $8-11 million- El Prado “Plaza” 3 choices -green space/ green space plus civic buildings (low rise connected)/ green space-civic bldgs + amphitheater -# 2 +#3 block 30% ocean view but provide use for 316 people/ Large hotels used anchors- renovations for northern hotel total $4.7 mil- $1.6 interior + $3.1 mil exterior (rendering was really awful in this writer’s opinion) -rooftop use- 2 distinct hotels renamed “Shutters Hotel ” (A1A front hotel) + “Beach Club” (oceanfront smaller hotel)/ Southern end hotel had facade additions (much nicer result in this writer’s opinion)- public parking garages were also included (as in the past) along with possibility of retail in parking lot as well southern hotel- electric shuttles for guests to get to Town etc…possible shared use (same owner of both hotels)/ smaller hotels showed presentation of what their revenues are and pointed out the biggest bang for the buck would be interior improvements-(also addressed in closing remarks)-increased density within charter – hotel conglomerations for smaller hotels-renderings (much more appealing than for the larger hotel north end of El Mar Drive )-unified marketing plan for hotels coordinating guest bookings etc…

UM faculty representative’s closing remarks…

“Inevitably you have a presentation like this and you see a whole variety of ideas. small, incremental, big, and then big ideas as well and you see numbers run around inevitably everyone starts asking how can we do that? Things seem expensive. Everything can seem impossible. Where do we start? And I really encourage you, I mean there was a real effort here and you’ll see it in the details as well that we provide to the city to give you a whole menu of options both on the private sector side and the business owners with the analysis you saw that the students just went through as well as on the streetscape side and the public realm improvements and there’s a connection between the two. The improvements to the public realm, to the streets, to the parks that’s  something shared by everyone but really I mean the streets are also your front door. It’s almost like the whole community is, this is your house and you’re all stewards of this home and parts of it are in disrepair. So the streets are almost your front driveway, the facades on alot of these buildings are your front door. And you saw it in the last analysis, it’s interesting that investment in the facade improvements doesn’t pay back the property owners nearly as much as the more expensive internal improvements. So, flat screen tvs, bathroom renovations those types of things are going to bring the room rates up and help them achieve a better market. The facade improvements are something that improves the public realm as well. So when you have this discussion about you know why should we have a facade improvement program there’s some real relevant rational in that you see it everyday as well and it’s a reflection to everyone passing through. It will be you as citizens and then visitors whether this is a successful place  or a sustainable place that cares about itself. That you know there’s an element of civic pride in this or whether you know through the main corridors of the town it’s a sense of decline and disinvestment. So, there’s alot for you to discuss and it was presented as a whole menu of options that the feeling is when you’re presented with a menu it’s kind of hard to say I don’t like anything on the menu. You know everyone should be able to find something to agree on and you can bite things off in small pieces. And so I’ll say a few words about implementation. About a hundred years ago alot of communities you saw spring up, these civic improvement societies and they would be doing exactly the kinds of things that you’re doing here having discussion about how to improve the public realm,add parks, make the community better and these were citizen movements, garden groups. It was really a phenomena of the time and nowadays we kind of rely on professional staff and people in the leadership of the community to carry the ball completely and I encourage you not to do that. It’s really hard to do alot of these things and I know , I’ve come to know alot of people who work in community redevelopment agencies, elected officials, town managers, especially the staff that are kind of in between the elected officials and the citizens. And it’s really important for citizens and business owners and property owners to become involved. It’s very easy to sit back and say well I’m against it,you know can’t do nothing, can’t do it’s impossible. That’s the easiest thing in the world to do. Then nothing improves and everything continues on the trajectory going. So you really need to have a stake in this community and decide where resources are best invested to make a difference for everyone.” He went on to say he had two examples after saying “you see the plans, the images and things are impossible”…

He said the first example was close to them, South Miami stating “Did what they call a hometown plan and they took one block you know, alot of skepticisms like you know you’re gonna spend money on these pavers and things and street lights and you know what’ll it do? So they said look , let’s take one block and do a demonstration project and then we’ll stand back and have a discussion in the community and decide whether or not we like it. So this is the block (on screen) and this is the change and the only thing changing here is the public realm. Same old concrete post, same buildings here and they allowed cafes to come out and have pavers and things. This was a big success. It showed people what was possible. It let everyone to see the cost. See the benefit and decide whether or not we want to do more of this or not and with the change. And South Miami continued along this path. So really it’s a similar scale as Lauderdale-By-The-Sea as well, which is interesting and you can see kind of the before the streetscapes investments and after. There’s a real estate story behind this as well and the real estate story is you know part of the re-investment then comes back to the community in the form of property taxes that then the community can then re-invest in other things in the public realm. So good story, good example of how the public investment pays back.”

BC- This was what I was referencing in the beginning of this post…When asked early on by the TM and the Mayor along with some Commissioners and others was to do the downtown area that fixed “Lake Colon” and to show how well a project can be done …as previously posted…What a hoot that at the end of this presentation that was the first example used!… Again I would like to know how similar S. Miami and the example below Naples are in population/budget/millage and debt…

The UM faculty representative continued on with Naples and said they too were similar scale to LBTS …  “vision thing happened you know, you hear it’s gonna end up on the shelf and nothing happens. But the community acted. The community came together and said we’re going to do this. We’re going to do it for our mainstreet. Your mainstreet is essentially Commercial Boulevard and A1A. It’s the hotel and civic connection to the community. And so they carried out this project. Same thing about two stories, two to three stories along the street. Improve streetscaping. Cafes and businesses came in and wow you’ve got things you can actually do. It’s not just for the visitors. It;’s for the citizens as well. It’s a place for everyone to enjoy. I’m gonna leave those thoughts can do, you can do. You know think incremental and carry things out.”…

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Mayor Minnet’s closing remarks…

Mayor Minnet-” Well, I just have three words, wow to the u! I think ya all deserve another round of applause. That was incredible! I heard a couple of themes tonight and I’m going to steal some of the words that many of you have been saying, both the residents and the students. And one of the things that I heard tonight and also through the whole meeting is that the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is the business and I think that’s been a theme that has gone through all of this. We’ve seen what’s happened on Commercial or A1A or through our local you know small hotels or the large hotels. Again, I want to thank the University of Miami for bringing this incredible presentation to us this evening. I’m gonna ask for one of my Commissioners to adjourn this meeting but I’m going to ask that you all not adjourn. Stay here. Talk to the students. Talk to the professors.Talk to all of us. But more importantly, take all the information you hear and make this vision come true! Because we can only do as much as you want to do and we’re here because of you and I’m just asking that you take this. Let’s, if it is the decision of us to move forward with this we need to hear from you. We need your input. We need your commitment. This is incredible for this town and I’ve think, seen just from this presentation for two hours what we can accomplish if we all work together. And I think what one of the statements was, was an attitude of collaboration and I love that and I think that will be the theme that I’ll take forward from today and move on forward because we do have a great town. I’m seeing business owners. I’m seeing residents. I’m seeing um, business owners who are residents and visa versa. We have alot at stake in this community and I look forward to all working together in making this a better place not for today but for tomorrow as well.”…

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more to come….

Link to Town website for the video of the May 26,2011 UM Design Review Workshop … http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … 3/4/2010 LBTS Commission Meeting #1 …. Furth-er Finger Lickin’ Good …. Fear-mongering …

March 5, 2010 by Barbara

SMACKIN’ THEIR LIPS… FOR VOTERS TO BE “FILLED” WITH FEAR…

Dear Readers… Did the Roosters come home to roost?… The last meeting of the current majority was a fully orchestrated event…It had all the “Mc-Furth Gang”members in Jarvis Hall….(including Moe McIntee)..in all their assigned roles fulfill a last ditch effort to bring the voters of LBTS “pure propaganda of fear”… It must have been “hatched”at Town Hall East… and all in hopes that you the voters are ready to buy what they are selling …It was cheap and plentiful!……Tonight the white gloves were off…This was to be no fancy table cloth affair…This was a down and dirty…greasy and grubby …roll up your sleeves and prepare to need a bath just to get the scum off back door”Barbs”-on- cue!….CIC “Newbie” Liliana Pomareda was “sitting in wait” to sign up first before half past 6…Cristie Furth arrived looking like she hadn’t bathed in weeks…(Familiar- 2008) …A small but vocal contingency of CIC members were seated in a pack on the left side in order to boo as directed…and boo and hiss they did (who’s the real mob?)… Cristie sat next to Louis Dvorak, the man Marc Furth and Jerry McIntee told this writer long ago was responsible for many after midnight runs of mischief and supposed vandalism alongside them in the Parker days…( I asked him to leave my house alone as I left)…Christie Furth could hardly contain her glee when off camera… (On camera was another “Oscar” worthy cameo)…She was ready …”Smackin her lips”…like she had a big old bucket of KFC…She would tell this writer to shut up…she would boo…she was full of such cackling laughter  (like the cat who ate the canary…fried?)…as she watched what she designed,…..the most orchestrated meeting we have seen in this town since the orchestrated VFD Fire Dept. meeting ….   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDbw9CCLLHI&feature=youtube_gdata …. Cristie sat down when one of her “Swedish” minions came forth to recreate more hearsay …She was practically playing patty-cake with Louis when heard one by one tell their story…and what stories they were…Liliana acting all concerned about her children being on Youtube…(we hear earlier in the day the “concerned ” mother practically had her child running in the road)… The Youtube-child predator “angle” was  a last ditch effort to thwart the mess she put herself in with the camera putting a damper on her exploits!… The McIntee- Silverstone-Clottey majority stopped the DVD from being shown knowing it would contradict her claims of intimidation and fear after resident Diana Kugler stepped up to counter her claims and asked for it to be shown to put this matter to rest and let the viewers decide……. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aalo2v3NbJI …..(I can guarantee you if the time had been 2 years prior and it was a help to McIntee-Silverstone-Clottey and Furth…it would have been shown at least twice!)…..Liliana Pomareda broke the rules of the hall as she came back up to try and stop the DVD…as she used “politics” in the process….going after the Mayor…The CIC group had by all accounts “baited” their opposition…as they positioned their Mayoral candidate Couriel to set-up what happened on Monday night……Both sides provided the LBTS Police with reports…and it is an ongoing investigation……. What a proud “Den mother” Cristie was as she gave me smirked and smiled with zeal……overjoyed with what she…her husband …the McIntees…Silverstone…and Clottey created all in the comfort of her Hacienda …..Undoubtedly they were deep in planning it all when the residents would see their cars there 24-7…. (Sunshine be damned…the rules do not apply to them)… She had Hannah Hempstead, a nasty piece of work in this writer’s opinion taking videos of this writer and others in the hall …(Youtube bound no doubt)…Many in the hall spoke to me of their discomfort being around her at the break…Cristie herself  took to the podium to pounce and spew out a one sided “woe is me” type fairy tales as she stuck it to the Mayor (the Mayor let Cristie go on the attack much further than any other speaker in recent memory)….The residents who observed the incidents countered the claims  tit for tat with yet another resident stepping forward to say he was “assaulted” in the hall by “Newbie” Liliana Pomareda…This time with her glasses!…( On Feb. 9th it was paper)…YIKES!…They had their “Golden Parachute” Town Manager Esther Colon fully engaged as she falsely claimed (As you recall) with the assistance of Jim “He’s not a nice guy” Silverstone that her “Commission & Staff Past & Present Accomplishments” were done routinely as the commission observed its last meeting before an election… A look at agendas in 2006 and 2008 show it was false to state it as fact…and Jim Silverstone was dishonest to claim it was so!… (He is so easily led in her “recollections”)….

The Manager did a power point that was as political as it gets…She is very secure in her declarations of this being a Town Manager form of government and after witnessing this type of behavior she is right!……She  spoke of herself in the 3rd person…saying Esther Colon was responsible for so much all on her own…(disturbingly slanted and distorted)…She went head on in her politically pointed arrows at those candidates running against her choice of Furth-CIC endorsed candidates…knowing these candidates will offer her unparalleled job security and a Town Manager form of government that’s here to stay if they win!… She was rude to the Mayor..and equally nasty to Commissioner Dodd…and no one…put a stop to it… Cristie could not have been prouder!…She glossed over the fact that we had $18 million dollars  (now down to $12+ million) and could have built our Town Hall Complex…and our El Mar Project…and our drainage townwide…forgoing a crappy $ 2million dollar motel…and piecemealing McIntee Memorial “median walkways”…and we could have lowered the millage rate… She did not address all the big projects she miserably directed unilaterally…( Beach Pavilion/Public Safety Motel/ Off-site warehouse) the below the belt tactics of going after the Fire Marshal after she terminated him……the ongoing denigrating and out and out attempt to replace the Senior Center Director… and stopping RFPs from being read aloud as she claimed to be above reproach for opening sealed bids …not reading them aloud and taking them to the back room…….She did not point out her termination of  BSO Polcie Chief Gooding or leading on the BSO for months over their new offices…She did not talk of her thwarting public records requests and financial statements….looking the other way on VFD oversight…or anything McIntee-Silverstone related….Her payback actions to those residents and businesses that dared to call her on her actions……She left off the presentation her shorting the Chamber /Welcome Center and sullying their personnel…All this was aided and abetted by the current majority…They sat mute as she denigrated CPAs and hurled insults and innuendo to residents and businesses…. Silverstone/ McIntee love to  talk of her sterling reputation…her being highly regarded everywhere she goes… This writer hears of her other reputation that counters their claims from those who have felt her wrath… She and Silverstone and McIntee were responsible for keeping it quiet for 2 years that she gave herself a years severance if she is ever terminated……..and so much more…(prev. posts)….But tonight it was a last ditch effort to hold on to their power…… Yes, it’s nice to have a healthy budget…but you can have that with a Manager that understands her place in on the dais…and her place in the LBTS Commissioner-manager form of government mandated by the Charter!…

The Public Safety item was odd with McIntee and Silverstone “going after” the VFD Fire Chief for the Beach Patrol ATVs not saying “Volunteer”..The Chief was short and stood his ground and the BFF “Broom Boys”…were left with nothin’… (This writer has heard the VFD is not on board with this Silverstone re-e-lection…guess those who said so, were not speaking out of turn)….

Commissioner Comments was the most disgusting display we have ever witnessed in this town…thanks in large part with “Besotted” Clueless” “Classless” “Crazy” Clottey…She should be removed from office!…It was shameful…She lied and perpetrated false statements of racial slurs that she says took place in the hall…False!…A look at the Feb 9 2010 public comments (yes, again proves it did not happen!… She made statements to incite…and distort and then crossed the line further with references Nazi Germany… Going so far as to say her candidate received a threat to “kill” him.!….I am told the majority of voters (this voter is among them) feel worse about voting Clottey in than they do about McIntee or Silverstone!…WOW!…I could take it no longer and told her “Shame on you!”… She answered and asked if I wanted to speak since I know more… That was the only honest thing that came out of her mouth in this whole despicable diatribe!… Commissioner Jim “He’s not a nice guy” Silverstone lied about this writer when he said I said drivers that honked were “stupid voters”… I said they were “misinformed”…perhaps Silverstone does not understand what “misinformed” means!…Pecifically!… I said it was a lie…and I was given a warning…I took it gladly to right his wrong…… Vice Mayor McIntee seized his opportunity…He called for me to be removed and said it was a 2nd warning… A vote was taken and surprise, surprise…these three “led by the nose” Furth Commissioners voted 3-2 to remove me… I took the parting shot at the door to say “Shame” on them…and tell them they were “lying” …”propaganda”…”fear-mongering”… I am told the CIC- Furth “pack” clapped at my removal…and a call to give them a second warning and removal by the Mayor was voted down…3-2 by “led by the nose” Furth Commissioners Silverstone- Clottey-McIntee…It figures!… I am told Jimmy campaigned big time on false statements…and false attacks he said he received……and of course he steered clear  on his McIntee-like voting record!…I missed Comm. Dodd’s comments…and heard a small portion of Mcintee’s swan song…No matter…it was the same old tired stuff…No mention that he is leaving a despised man…who was given the heave-ho by the VFD  (who now says it’s our turn …meaning the voters …and the CIC and is slinking out of town… (Pod and all)…The Mayor finally broke down……Town Manager Colon was seen and heard chuckling at the Mayor’s pained reaction to what she has been in receipt of over the last 2 years and the last 2 hours of this evenings “game plan”…….. The Mayor shot back at outgoing, disgraced Vice Mayor McIntee that he finally succeeded after 2 years…He made her cry!… What a fitting way for such a “pox” on our town to exit!…The “bully” made an elected official cry!…Sums up the Vice Mayor’s..M.O.”Quack, Quack”…In the line of fire …the Mayor still called the present majority to task for all their bad acts…and said it was the voters…the taxpayers who paid the price.in the long run..not she!… This writer agrees…not she!…

Did they pull off this dastardly planned parting night of propaganda?… We shall see…Next Tuesday…after 7 pm…

Are the voters still uninformed in 2010?…Are the voters gullible in 2010 ?…Are the voters so complacent that it matters not as long as the ends justify the means in 2010?…

I certainly hope there is an  overwhelming number of informed voters this year and they are ready to say enough is enough to this type of shameful orchestrated fear-mongering….I must hold on to the hope that they will not fall prey to orchestrated race baiting being spewed as we saw last night in order to retain Furth-er Colon Silverstone-Clottey-Evans-Couriel style power over the next 4 years…Because it we are so easily deceived…so disengaged that we allow it to go on…heaven help us all!…

Time to come clean in 2010….. napkins …silverware…. table manners …and properly attired…. Leave the buckets outside the door in 2010!…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … 2/9/10 LBTS Commission Meeting … Walks Like A Duck Local News ….

February 11, 2010 by Barbara

“IF  YOU WALK LIKE A DUCK, IF YOU WADDLE LIKE A DUCK, YOU GOTTA BE A DUCK” Vice Mayor Jerry McIntee 12/8/09 …

Dear Readers…….. at the Feb 9, 2010 Commission Meeting. Owner-Publisher-Editor-CIC- Board Member-Campaign Manager for Mayoral candidate Joe Couriel ,Cristie Furth came to the podium to address her candidate’s opponent Mayor Roseann Minnet over the statements the Mayor made at her Jan 26, 2010 Commissioner Comments concerning the Mayor’s voting record that were inaccurate in the Times 1/22/10 issue……

Here is what led up to the public comments made by Cristie Furth…and the truth of the matter….

In the January 22, 2010 edition of the By The Sea Times on page 6 an article was written by “Staff Writer” titled “The VFD is not an election game!”…it included the following “Here’s what our Mayor, Roseann Minnet has done for the VFD during her last two years on the Commission dais: Minnet voted No to awarding fire suppression services to the Volunteer Fire Department. Minnet voted No against a transition budget for the VFD when BSO Fire was voted out of town. ….Minnet voted No against providing lifebuoys on the beach for residents…..”

…………………………………

Mayor Minnet sent a certified letter on Jan. 26 2010 to respond to the article…

“ROSEANN MINNET
2000 S. Ocean Blvd. #llE
Lauderdale-By- The-Sea, FL 33062

01/26/10

To: By the Sea Times Publishers and Editors:
I have read with great disappointment the following falsehoods printed in
your publication. I understand that you are not supporting me in the
upcoming election, but that does not give you the right to inaccurately
report my voting record to further your political goals. I am specifically
referencing the following claims in your January 22, 2010 issue of By the
Sea Times on page 6:
1. Mayor Minnet voted no to awarding fire suppression services. to the
Volunteer Fire Department. This is false. In fact I voted yes to
approve the contract with the Volunteer Fire Department on
September 12, 2008.
2. Mayor Minnet voted no against transition budget for the VFD. This
is false. In fact I voted yes for the transition budget on March 25,
2008.
3. Mayor Minnet voted no against providing life buoys on the beach
for residents. This is false. In fact I voted yes for the signposts and
the Volunteer Fire Department was providing the life buoys on
September 25, 2008.
Had you been interested in printing the truth, you could have contacted
me or some credible source before you printed these falsehoods.
I demand you print in your next issue a retraction/correction of these
falsehoods .
Roseann Minnet, Mayor ”

……………………………………….

Mayor Minnet made the following comments in her Jan. 26, 2010 Commissioner Comments…

“I’d like to address this to By The Sea Times actually By The Sea Lies. The first time that I have ever stated anything like this. The first time I have ever stated anything like this but I have sent a certified letter to the By The Sea Times in reference to three votes that they said that I did not make and I do want to make reference to them. The first one that they said I did not vote for the VFD contract. On September 12, 2008 in fact I did vote Yes for the VFD contract. Number two the By The Sea Times said I did not vote for the transition funds for the VFD. I voted yes on March 25, 2008 to approve the transition funds. Third item they said that I did not vote for the beach signs, beach posts. I did vote yes for the beach posts on September 25, 2008 and the VFD was providing the life buoys. So in the future, again I have sent a certified letter to the publishers and editors of  By The Sea Times asking them to please send clarification in their next issue and I’m sure they will. It is unfortunate. Others have sat up here as well and nobody likes to be the brunt of lies or mistreatment. So I am asking you to look into that. And the next time you look at credible sources like the Town video to see how I did vote in the future. So I would really appreciate that. Thank you.”

……………………………………….

The By The Sea Times Owner-Publisher- Editor Cristie Furth was sitting in the hall and did not raise her hand to respond…

……………………………………..

On Jan 28, 2010 the By The Sea Times sent all the candidates a question to answer for their next edition ( Feb 12, 2010)…
“From: “Marc Furth”
Date: January 28, 2010 11:58:16 AM EST
To: , , “Joe Couriel” , , , “Jim Silverstone”
Subject: Question to candidates.doc
Reply-To: “Marc Furth”
Question to candidates:

While the maximum town wide height limit is 44 feet, the current zoned height limit in the RM25 zoning district – which extends east and west from El Mar Drive to Seagrape Drive and north and south from Palm to Pine Avenues – is 33 feet (3 stories).

Where do you personally stand on increasing the existing zoned height limit of 33 feet to the maximum allowable height of 44 feet in the RM 25 District?

Please submit your answer (200 word maximum)along with a photo by Wednesday, February 3 to http://bytheseatimes.combytheseatimes.com

Thank you,
By the Sea Times”

………………………………………

On Feb 2, 2010 Mayor Minnet responded in a letter to the By The Sea Times….

“ROSEANN MINNET
2000 S. Ocean Blvd. #llE
Lauderdale-By- The-Sea, FL 33062
02/02/10
By the Sea Times Publishers and Editors:
On January 26, 2010, I sent a certified letter to your office asking for a
retraction and correction of misinformation the By the Sea Times printed in
the January 22,2010 edition of the paper regarding my voting records. I
am in receipt of the notification that you received the letter on January
27,2010.
As of today, I have not received a response from you. Accordingly, I
cannot respond to your questions until I have seen the correction printed
in your newspaper.
Roseann Minnet, Mayor”

……………………………………..

At the Feb 9, 2010 Commission meeting Cristie Furth came to speak at the podium….

Cristie Furth- ” I am the co-owner of the By The Sea Times newspaper. At the last commission meeting Mayor Minnet publicly called my paper By The Sea Lies claiming that I published lies about her voting record. In the interest of fairness I believe I must be allowed to answer her slanderous charges publicly. A little over a year ago my husband and I purchased the By The Sea Times, Lauderdale By The Sea’s oldest newspaper and we are proud of the contribution being made to the community by providing accurate and factual, actual and factual community news and human interest stories. We do not engage in yellow journalism. Nor are we the National Enquirer or Paparazzi of Lauderdale By The Sea. We do not deliberately try to confuse readers with character assassination, sensationalism, scare tactics or misleading headlines cleverly disguised as fact. Mayor Minnet you stated I publicly published lies about you in a story regarding your voting record.Mayor those are very strong words and libelous statements against my newspaper. We are a Lauderdale By The Sea owned and operated small business and I take offense to being the target of your public attack of us. If you yourself had been interested in speaking the truth at the last commission meeting you might have contacted me to discuss your concerns which I could have easily have clarified for you before your public comments. However you did not. I stand fully behind the story on your voting record regarding the VFD which I will be fully addressing in the next issue of By The Sea Times. I hope everyone takes the time to read my response to your incorrect accusations. Thank you very much.”

…………………………….

BC- I have looked into the votes with obtaining the Town minutes online…and compared them with the above exchange between the Christie Furth-By The Sea Times and Mayor Minnet….

1- The BTSTimes – 1/22/10 printed…Minnet voted No to awarding fire suppression services to the Volunteer Fire Department.

Mayor Minnet -1/26/10 letter sent- 1. Mayor Minnet voted no to awarding fire suppression services. to the Volunteer Fire Department. This is false. In fact I voted yes to approve the contract with the Volunteer Fire Department on September 12, 2008.”

Mayor Minnet 1/26/10 Comm. comments- “The first one that they said I did not vote for the VFD contract. On September 12, 2008 in fact I did vote Yes for the VFD contract.”

Editor Cristie Furth 2/9/10 public comments-”I stand fully behind the story on your voting record regarding the VFD”

Town Minutes – September 12, 2008 -pg 11-”Consent Agenda b. Commission approval of Volunteer Fire department Contract for Fire Protection and Fire Prevention Services (Manager Colon) pg 12- Commissioner Dodd made the motion to approve the Volunteer Fire Department Contract of Fire Protection Services commissioner Clottey seconded the motion. In a roll call, the motion carried 5-0″

BC- The Mayor voted YES for the VFD “fire suppression” services …The By The Sea Times was incorrect…

……………………….

2. The BTSTmes printed 1/22/10-”Minnet voted No against a transition budget for the VFD when BSO Fire was voted out of town”

Mayor Minnet 1/26/10 letter-”2. Mayor Minnet voted no against transition budget for the VFD. Thisis false. In fact I voted yes for the transition budget on March 25,
2008.”

Mayor Minnet 1/26/10 Comm. comments -”Number two the By The Sea Times said I did not vote for the transition funds for the VFD. I voted yes on March 25, 2008 to approve the transition funds.”

Editor Cristie Furth 2/9/10 public comments-”I stand fully behind the story on your voting record regarding the VFD”

Town Minutes- February 19, 2008-pg 9 “New Business e.Discussion and/or action of Lauderdale By The Sea- Volunteer Fire Department (Commissioner McIntee) -pg 10.”In a roll call vote, the motion carried 2-1. Vice Mayor McIntee and Commissioner Silvsertone recused from voting. Mayor Minnet voted no.”

Also included in the Feb 12, 2008 minutes- right above the vote on pg 10- ” Mayor Minnet believed the commission was a bit premature and felt it was important to have an agreement in tact. She said it was imperative to have a workshop and listen to the people. Commissioner Silverstone said the people had spoken during the election.”

BC- While the BTSTimes is correct “Minnet voted No against a transition budget for the VFD”…they neglected to explain her fiscally responsible reason for that No vote!…

Mayor Minnet in her response to the Times to rectify her voting record most likely thought they were referring to her March 25th vote…

Here is why she voted No……

Town Minutes March 25, 2008- pg. 9- “Old Business b. Discussion and approval of the VFD Transistion Agreement 3/01/2008to 9/30/2008 (Manager Colon) (voted on 24 days after it was to be in effect per TM Colon)- pg. 10 “Vice Mayor McIntee made a motion to approve the agreement as provided. Commissioner Silverstone seconded the motion. Vice Mayor McIntee amended the motion to direct VFD to provide a roster within 48 hours after the signature of the transition to the Town Manager. Commissioner Silverstone accepted the amendment. In a roll call vote, motion carried 5-0.”

BC- No wonder the BTSTimes stayed away from the transitional vote itself on 3/25/08… it shows front and enter the “2-hats” voting that begs for ethics rules on the dais …due the the 1-2 votes from VFD- VM McIntee and VFD-Comm. Silverstone…

BC- The Times was correct on #2, the Mayor did vote No to the transition budget and the Mayor was mistaken. This writer see it as an easy mistake to make in light of the above information….

………………………………

3.BTSTimes  1/22/10 printed “Minnet voted No against providing lifebuoys on the beach for residents.”

Mayor Minnet 1/26/10 letter “3. Mayor Minnet voted no against providing life buoys on the beach for residents. This is false. In fact I voted yes for the signposts and the Volunteer Fire Department was providing the life buoys on September 25, 2008.”

Mayor Minnet 1/26/10 Comm. comments “Third item they said that I did not vote for the beach signs, beach posts. I did vote yes for the beach posts on September 25, 2008 and the VFD was providing the life buoys.”

Editor Cristie Furth 2/9/10 public comments “I stand fully behind the story on your voting record regarding the VFD”

Town Minutes September 25, 2008 pg. 11 “New Business e. Discussion and/or action regarding the cost of putting up ID posts and beach equipment (Commissioner Dodd) Chief Perkins recommended about 20 wooden posts 6 x 6, with lifeguard rings and numbers on them to be placed on the beach every 500 feet at an approximate cost of $28 each. Discussion followed regarding monies that had not been budgeted. Attorney Abbott thought state approval would be required. Chief Perkins advised the poles were not a permanent structure. Manager colon asked if the Volunteer Fire Department would be able to purchase the poles by September 30, 2008. Chief Perkins saids he would. Commissioner Silverstone made a motion to appropriate $2,000 to pursue pending state approval. Commissioner Dodd seconded the motion. In a roll call, the motion carried 5-0.

BC- Mayor Minnet voted YES to the ORIGINAL “Buoys” (life rings) and poles…as she wrote and stated on 1/26/10…

BC- On 12/8/2009 under “New Business 16b.  Discussion and/or action regarding the responsibility to replace the lost buoys (Vice Mayor Mclntee)”

The vote was 3-2 against “REPLACING” the “buoys”…Commissioner Clottey/Commissioner Dodd/ Mayor Minnet voted No- Commissioner Silverstone/Vice mayor McIntee voted Yes..

BC- So if the BTSTimes is referring to the Mayor voting no on these “replacement” buoys it was less than forthcoming in its printed statement “Minnet voted No against providing lifebuoys on the beach for residents.” due to the FACT that the “ORIGINAL” buoys were already in place for the resident’s safety, the Mayor voted YES to them on Sept. 25, 2008 and the VFD stated they would be responsible for “REPLACING” them!…

……………………………..

As far as the rest of Owner-Editor – Campaign Manager Cristie Furth’s 2/9/10 public comments…”we are proud of the contribution being made to the community by providing accurate and factual, actual and factual community news and human interest stories. We do not engage in yellow journalism. Nor are we the National Enquirer or Paparazzi of Lauderdale By The Sea. We do not deliberately try to confuse readers with character assassination, sensationalism, scare tactics or misleading headlines cleverly disguised as fact.”

This writer must wholeheartedly disagree…I have seen ads placed that target this writer in a site, it is said, the  BTSTimes owners…Commissioner Silverstone and both McIntees own and operate aimed at me, I have seen photos badly taken on purpose by the owner/Editor and Official Town photographer of residents in our town …We have seen many untruths and distorted statements throughout the last year plus…along with accepting ads from their endorsed candidates that do not meet the Fl.election rules of disclaimers…We have heard the VFD is paying for the back page ad at a cost to the taxpayers or Booster Fund donators and perhaps at a rate not offered to others…. The Owners/Editors Furth have a political bias as Campaign Managers to Commissioner Silverstone/ Marjorie Evans/ Joe Couriel and that political bias is evident in their paper. So the statements made by Cristie Furth on 2/9/10 do not ring true in this writer’s opinion!…

I also found the following statement by Cristie Furth made on the 9th, particularly amusing …” I take offense to being the target of your public attack of us. If you yourself had been interested in speaking the truth at the last commission meeting you might have contacted me to discuss your concerns which I could have easily have clarified for you before your public comments.”…especially after the last few years of her BFFs McIntee and Silverstone and Clottey using their own Commissioner Comments in what can only be characterized as public attacks aimed at the By The Sea Future, and their Editors and Owner…

As for the timing of Cristie Furth to make such a statement just moments before the all out- political-personal attack made from the dais this very evening from Town Manager Esther Colon during her Town Manager Report against Ms. Furth’s rival local newspaper!…PRICELESS!…. ( post to come)…

“IF  YOU WALK LIKE A DUCK, IF YOU WADDLE LIKE A DUCK, YOU GOTTA BE A DUCK” Vice Mayor Jerry McIntee 12/8/09 …

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … THE LBTS “Go Away” Center …

February 3, 2010 by Barbara

PULLING THE “MAT” OUT FROM UNDER THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ……

Dear Readers… The Town Manager does not like what she cannot control….and she cannot control the Chamber…So she retaliates…we’ve seen it before …over and over again in the last 2 years …All done with no regard  to protocol or the commission-manager form of government spelled out in the Town Charter…Why should she care…she knows the current majority on the dais Comms. Silverstone-Clottey and VM McIntee will have her back no matter what unilateral action she takes…And if at anytime the majority changes and the “party” is over …TM Colon knows she has her ace in the hole …The Silverstone-McIntee 2007 contract they kept under wraps for 2 years that gives her $250,000+ if she is terminated!….

The Manager held off in giving the Chamber their budgeted $28,000 dollars until the 20th of January and then went ahead without consulting the Commission and chose to pay out $19,081.23 to bring them back to a 0 balance according to the Chamber’s profit and loss statement…After the fact she put it on the Jan. 26, 2010 agenda under Manager’s report…Needless to say, once again her unilateral actions brought forth a flurry of upset from the Chamber, their supporters, businesses and the minority Commissioners on the dais in the days in between… UGH!…

Before we cover the meeting…let’s go back over a few important points…

On July 28, 2009 the Town Commision had a Special Hearing on the 2009-2010 budget…from the minutes… http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/spc-meetings-09.htm

“Commissioner Clottey believed that if ANOTHER $20,000 donation by Broward County Vice Mayor Ken Keechl was received for the Chamber, that amount should come off the budget.”

“Mayor Minnet reviewed the items discussed”..

“10) SHOULD the Chamber receive a $20,000 donation from the County for the Visitor Center that amount should be reduced out of the budget.”

“It was the consensus of the Commission that SHOULD the Chamber receive the $20,000 donation from Vice Mayor Ken Keechl, the Chamber would only receive $8,000 from the Town”

BC- The Commission was in consensus only if the Chamber received a 2nd $20,000 from the County there would be a deduction of the $28,000 budgeted to them!…

On page 47 of the 2009-2010 LBTS Adopted Annual Budget ” Municipal Building- Chamber Of Commerce”

“Funding of contractual service for the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center. Maintenance, operating, building supplies, and repairs. Funded allocation of maintenance worker for maintenance of grounds and building.”

On Page 49-”Cultural & Recreation”

” Funding of contractual services for the concert series . Funded equipment maintenance and service agreements. Provided funding for special event activities for Easter, Halloween, Christmas By The Sea, July 4th and other special events sponsored by the Town.”

On Page 64- “Municipal Building -Chamber Of Commerce”

“GOAL: To act as host to visitors while providing a wide range of information to residents and visitors.”

“DEPARTMENTAL OBJECTIVES: To assist in their transportation needs to assist visitors during their vacation to provide tour information to major attractions and restaurants in South Florida, and to provide assistance to visitors in finding accommodations.”

“ACHIEVEMENTS: The Chamber provided assistance to over 7,845 residents and visitors that walked in as of 04/30/09, made 1,440 Visitor’s guides as of 04/30/09,. The web-site has recorded 43,318 as of 04/30/09.

On page 65 General Fund -Chamber of Commerce… the adopted budget under “maintenance materials” jumped from 2,750 to 18,601.00…Hmmm….

In the justification sheets it was 33,251.00of which 30,000 was for a new roof …it was addressed prior to the special hearing by Comm. Dodd after he was informed the Chamber did not need a 30,000 new roof…somehow the amt. is now approx. half… If the Chamber is still not in need of a new roof…the $15,000 plus the 9,000 …will go into what many refer to as the Town “slush fund” that begins in June of every year…Those “unencumbered” funds are then used for all kinds of things…left to the Town Manger’s discretion…in the last 3 months of the budgeted year for items such as new vehicles for staff …. OUCH!…

We are told …The Chamber is open 7 days a week, 8 hours a day 52 weeks of the year…The employees make $11 per hour and that comes to 32,032.00…add in social security and the cost annually is 36,837.00…

To date the Chamber of Commerce has not received their new contract from the Town…

The Town Manager’s Report- The Manager said she sent the Commissioners a memo which included the Chambers profit and loss statement ending in Dec. 2009 …on the cover it stated that and  “Payment for the loss will be made accordingly.”…She went on to try and justify her unilateral actions by repeating that the Chamber is a non- profit organization.

The Mayor spoke and said that this was supposed to be an appropriation for the funding of the Chamber and questioned the Town Manager on changing that allocation to be based on the Chamber’s profit and loss. She asked about such changes being made at the discretion of the Town Manager.

The Manager shot back it was not at her discretion and then did what is now the Esther Colon M.O. of covering her actions…Readers…anytime TM Colon starts her response with “As you recall”…sit up and pay attention because it never fails to be something that never took place!… This time was no exception ” But if you recall the Chamber received $20,000 from Broward County so that would probably be my assumption of why their loss was only 18,000 dollars. But I don’t believe that this town can use private funds for private gain when they are clearly a non profit organization and that is why I remitted the funds in the amount of the loss.”

The Commission addressed the issue later in the evening when Comm. Dodd’s item came up  in New Business… Comm. Dodd added to the Mayor’s earlier comments about the Commission budgeting 28,000 for the Camber for the year and put forth the Town Manager should not have changed what was voted on for this year…He said it put the Chamber in a bind as they already budgeted for the amount the Town had advised them they would receive…

Comm. Silverstone who always has the Town Manger’s back …( a vote for Silverstone means 4 more years of having TM Colon)…answering the minority Commissioners about the money the Chamber was “shorted” by the Town Manager  Silverstone said ” Thank you, missing money? Nothing’s missing! It’s just that it’s not a profit organization. I don’t understand that! I don’t understand the logic in that! Why we, we’re in a sense giving them a profit then. We’re using taxpayers money to give them a profit. How do you justify that? “…

BC- Hmmm. The VFD is a non- profit that takes the excess funds and puts them in a fund in the bank…paid for by the taxpayers…

The Town Manger then reiterated the non profit status and held up their documents for effect…

Comm. Silverstone ” So, so if somebody can justify to me. I’ll vote for it. If you can justify to me why we should do this, why we should use taxpayers money to in effect give them a profit you got my vote.”

Commissioner “Clueless” Clottey tried to do a McIntee …wheel and deal on the dais with offering up that they already gave the Chamber $4,500 so they were actually closer to the 28,000 …Hmmm…problem is …the 5,000 was in ADDITION to the 28,000 per the budget!…Apparently Clottey forgot her statement in July 2009  when she brought up the 20,000 from the County and really crossed over into la la land with stating ” Ah, this is supposed to kinda be reimbursing the Town for what they have paid.”… HUH?…She also said “We’ve already given them way over the 20,000 this past year, we have!”…

The Town Manager or as she is now known Commissioner #6…went after Comm. Dodd saying she looked at her files from 2006 when Dodd asked about the Chamber and why they were making a profit… With zeal she wanted to do a “gotcha” …But what Comm. Dodd will tell you is he was unaware of all the Chamber did at that time, like so many of us drinking the Kool-aid of anti- Chamber of Commerce!…After he zingers she said meekly she would follow the direction of the commission… Cart before the horse…comes to mind…

Comm. Dodd again spoke of what was budgeted and that his was deja vue to the Town Manager’s actions with the Chamber’s Christmas By The Sea monies shorted by the Town Manger without consulting the commission…

The Town Manager did not back down on his past inquiry and tried mightily to use it to back up her unilateral actions…

Mayor Roseann Minnet asked about the dates of the profit and loss for the Chamber which are January to December  not coinciding with the Town’s budgeting time…She again spoke of the Town appropriating the money for projects throughout the year for the Chamber of Commerce and said ther were no stipulations attached….She said the Chamber should be funded the full amount and asked about the VFD and their non profit status…

Rudely, the Town Manager responded to the Mayor that the VFD had a different contract than the Chamber …adding “I’m sure you looked at that one!”…(insinuating the Mayor looked into the VFD contract)…

Diane Boutin Manager of the Windjammer Resort came to speak as a “loyal member” of the Chamber, not a board member…and addressed the role of the Chamber as “the sole marketing arm for the Town of Lauderdale By The Sea”…it brought LBTS to national attention 8 -9 years ago and spoke of the tax revenues …She spoke of the visiting center …being historic …for 45 years…and the A1A Scenic highway and supporting it just as supporting the Senior Center and the VFD and their new equipment…She said it was contractual work they do for the Town and it is not a donation…

The Vice Mayor (we are counting down the meetings until he’s history)… went after the Chamber spouting Furth-isms…of the Chamber being mostly outside businesses that diminishes their standing…He brought up the Green Market (that shut down thanks to his actions)…and his tirade from the past when he played his “David vs Goliath” due to a vendor being an out of town flower shop competing with local flower shops…Those shops are now gone…He tried to call for the vote on Comm. Dodd’s motion to give the Chamber the full 28,000

Comm. Clottey a tried to amend the motion to deduct the 4,500 (Christmas By The Sea budgeted funds-separate from the budgeted 28,000) Dodd accepted it but there was no 2nd…

Paul Novak President of the Chamber rose from the front row to speak and Vice Mayor McIntee (still having the gavel after taking it when Mayor Minnet 2nd Comm. Dodd’s motion) ..tried to stop him due to the late hour…Mr Novak said he wanted to respond to  McIntee… He said the Chamber cannot stand on its own “in our geographic location”…He said they Can’t make it, that’s why they go out of town and “there’s nothing wrong with it.”… He addressed McIntee’s comments about the flower shops and the farmer’s market …saying for $20 those shops could have participated…it was a success…He said they are  a welcome center and it costs a  lot of money to run it…that we are the only welcome center in Broward County …they expected 28,000 and the 20,000 was “a windfall” from Broward County …He said they look at the Town as sponsors of the Chamber …They are the only group that promotes this town “if you want to blow the Chamber away I don’t know who else is going to do what we do. It’s not that simple.”…He went on to speak of the change from 35,000 a few years back to 28,000 and said 28,000 was not “exorbitant”…Paul said 30% are out of town businesses and they have 280 members…He appealed to them for the 28,000 and asked for “some kind of clear path of knowing what is going to happen in the future”…

Comm. Silverstone (his insert foot in mouth finale)… ” Last bite of my apple here. I appreciate the Chamber Paul and appreciate what’s been done but I also know we have a contract with the Chamber (has Jimmy even seen it?) and I also understand that um, um I have politically, the smartest thing for me to do politically would be to give you money and vote for it and go that’s the thing to do but I have a higher responsibility to the citizens of this town and the people who pay taxes and unfortunately the reality is 90% of the tax money that comes in of all the money that comes in to support this town comes from residents and I’m probably being generous with that. (Shades of Oliver Parker!)… I cannot. I’m not doing my job by giving money to a non profit organization. I can’t justify it with the taxpayers money. Ah, you have a contract. If you need more that’s next year. Ah, this year you came under budget. But I, I can’t justify giving you ah, ah what in turn is a profit. It just does not make any sense to me. It’s not right to the citizens taxpayers of this town. Um I yield.”…

BC-4 more years…people..you really want 4 more years of this?…

Mayor Minnet” I look at this a whole different way. This is not looking at the whole picture of what the Chamber actually does for this community and how they offset what the residents have to do because id you took the mix of the businesses out of what they offer to this community as far as revenue is concerned taxes on the residential base would be considerably higher. These businesses and this Chamber is saving this town money by bringing revenues into this town by staying with us and continuing to service that visitors center.Even though I know it does serve quite a bit of Broward County, it’s still in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. It still is a name recognition for the Town Of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and that’s what the most important thing is. So I’m looking at the bigger picture here and the long term benefits of what it has for the residents of this town. You can look at it any other way you want, this was an appropriation fro the Chamber of Commerce and I will leave it at that.”

BC- This is who we need in the “center seat” on the dais for the next 2 years!…

Commissioner Clottey interrupted the vote to say she wanted to make a motion afterward…The vote was taken and it failed 3-2!

Commissioner Silverstone-Commissioner Clottey- Vice Mayor McIntee voted against the 28,000/ Mayor Minnet-Commissioner Dodd voted yes to honor the 2009-2010 budgeted amt. for the Chamber…

Comm. Clottey again tried for the 4,500..it died for lack of a 2nd…

The LBTS Chamber of Commerce was “shorted” by the Town Manager-Commissioner Silverstone-Commissioner Clottey- Vice Mayor McIntee $9,500 this year!…

The Commissioners receive approx. 10,ooo a year plus….perks and “pet” programs funded…

Commissioner Silverstone received in 2009-2010 from the Town  …insurance-cellphone allowance- his recreational programs 34,000/ Easter By The Sea 3,000/Halloween 4,000

Commissioner Clottey received in 2009-2010 from the Town …insurance- cell phone allowance – her concert series 7,500

VM McIntee received in 2009-2010 from the Town …. cell phone allowance- his recreational programs 34,000

Comm. Dodd received in 2009-2010 from the Town…cell phone allowance

Mayor Minnet received in 2009-20110 from the Town ……nothing…nada….zip!…

more to come……..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … 1/26/10 LBTS Commission Meeting …. #1 …. THE Chief Blogger …

January 27, 2010 by Barbara

IT’S MUST BE COLD OUT THERE GOING DOOR TO DOOR IN LBTS ….

Dear Readers… Thanks to Commissioner Silverstone and Commissioner Clottey…this writer is now known as “The Chief Blogger” …or as one resident put it “The Blogger in Chief”!…

Commissioner Silverstone and his “gang” must be receiving a mighty cold reception as they try to campaign on his 4 year record,with Marjorie Evans jumping in at the 11th hour with absolutely no knowledge on anything to do with the Town even thought she has lived in Bel Air for 40 years (She has been a resident of LBTS for 9 since the annexation of unincorporated Broward in Oct. 2001)… she did not make it through the entire commission meeting again, in her 2nd commission meeting ever!….She left the hall.early on ..as did Mayoral candidate Joe Couriel who has also made a name for himself by calling Mcntee “God”  losing his cool ( he ’s an equal opportunity hot-head yelling at Comm. Dodd’s wife)…and talking out of both sides of his mouth on any subject!…

The Mayor in her public comments called out the “By The Sea Times” or as she referred to it the “By The Sea Lies”…(A big OHHH…came from the back staff table…the responder-none other than  Moe McIntee, the BTSTimes”Truth Deflector”)…for inaccurately reporting her voting record ( this was followed up by a CIC e-mail stating the same false statements from BTSTimes Editor and CIC-Chair Bob Roberts)… The Mayor said the paper made these false claims and she had sent a letter in for a retraction…The Letter was sent certified mail to the Furths on earlier in the day…In it she pointed out her votes ..YES for the VFD fire suppression services on 9/12/2008…YES to the VFD transition on 3/25/2008…YES to the signposts on the beach 9/25/2008…The Times falsely stated the Mayor voted no on all three!…. The Mayor went on to speak of the false statements she has heard as she runs for reelection and set the record straight on that as well…She concluded her comments and that’s when the lunacy began to unfold…..

“Clueless” Commissioner Clottey has really lost her mind…She is way beyond Clueless”…she is now incoherent…rambling on about politicking done by the Mayor when she herself sat mute as the Vice Mayor did the very same in his declarations of false statements and threats made toward the By The Sea Futures… ( only one had any merit and it was erroneously stated to be printed in the paper,…the VM asked for legal action to be taken…over a few commission meetings ….it was only on a newsflash to a limited number of online recipients and  it was retracted…the rest of McIntee’s charges of slander…had no merit…. It was just a lot of McIntee blowing smoke!)…Comm. Clottey spoke of a local blogger, the “Chief Blogge”r and could hardly contain her disdain … The Comm. has only herself and her own words and actions such as these to blame for the “negative” posts…To go after the Mayor for calling out the Times on falsely stating her votes… To sit up there and say she did not ” stir the pot” with the Senior Center….Get real, she did!…The Senior center was going along just fine until she started down that path of no return…Her memory lapses on the MPSC and her and Commm. Silverstone’s role…perhaps come from to many late night house call to Town Hall East…And saying that sidewalks down El Mar would cost millions…come on!..Tthat was for a ful-l out plan of #1,2 and 3 including the medians….It was in fact “The whole enchilada”!..Pretty funny to be called the “Big Blogger”…kind of like the Vice Mayor calling the Attorney for Pacific Blue a “Big Girl”…and then for Clottey to disparage Comm. Dodd  on what he can accomplish on the Hillsboro Inlet being from little old LBTS and implying he is unable to speak up and be forceful enough or carry any weight on the Hillsboro board…That the board requires someone who can really read financial statements ….What a loon!…Phone calls were made from those watching from home…deeply disturbed by what they were hearing and seeing as she continued on!….She lost all credibility in offering up a plan to rent the dredging equipment from Port Everglades to save money…Who’s filling her in on this?…Frank Rysavy?…( a candidate for the positon-prev. post) ….The Hillsboro Inlet isn’t exactly chomping at the bit for his return from what this writer hears!…Comm. Clottey decided to pull her item not wanting it to be political…(Now she decides she doesn’t want it to be political!)…She did an about face yet again from her vote that she made as instructed by the Furths for the McIntee median walkways..A look back shows her flip-flops as she dutifully towed the Furth line…(Cristie put her foot down…”her people” loved the walkways”per the MPSC meeitng1/19/10…prev. post)….

Commissioner Silverstone said he was going to expand on Comm. Clottey’s comments in his…(A pre- meeting pow-wow in Town Hall East?)… He spoke of a friend from Chicago (would that be the “inner city” where according to the Times Jimmy-boy hails from ..Cabrini Green, Commissioner?)…. He said his “friend” googled Lauderdale By The Sea and found on the first page all negative info from a blogger…and his pal asked what kind of crazy place it LBTS?…He warned of such blog sites showing up on google being a “major danger” that brings down property values and effects businesses and properties”…Furth-er fearmongering….That” it’s on the internet forever”… The “negativity” ..the “attacks on the staff “or him…the spinning of issues…The he says there a lot of “smart people” doing it for negative reasons…and named the Future’s paper…HA!… Comm. Silverstone and his running mates Evans and Couriel sent in answers to questions to be published in the By The Sea Future on Friday… OOPS!…(Will he read it?)…He again tried to to bully the residents as he has been passed the”bully baton” from his BFF, one foot out the door, Vice Mayor Jerry McIntee…He again tries to challenge residents and voters in a debate…Note to Jimmy “He’s not a nice guy” Silverstone…debates are on Feb 16th and Feb 25th with your opponent!…Candidates should be listening to residents and voters one on one……as your opponent, Chris Vincent has been doing as he goes to  each and every door throughout the town…(perhaps that’s why Silverstone is running so scared…Who would want to open their door to be dared to debate him?)…Back to his old habit of “taking on” constituents who decide to speak at public comments to critique or to berate them.. PUBLIC SPEAKERS…NEXT TIME, SIGN UP AND SPEAK ON ONE TOPIC AFTER COMMISSIONER COMMENTS TO AVOID HAVING TO HEAR SILVERSTONE’S UNWANTED FEEDBACK!… Calling Al Gore ….according to Jimmy-boy it was he who started the internet!…(In LBTS)… YIKES!…

What fun it was in the aftermathof their comments……The texts and e-mails came pouring in o ..”The Chief Blogger”…Voters and residents in the hall came over grinning  and laughing, giving high-fives and thumbs -up!….A special thanks to Comms. Silverstone and Clottey!…..You always give me so much material …so many posts…in each every comment…keep it up!…

By the way…a google of Lauderdale By The Sea …produces….NO BCbythesea on the 1st page…But a google of Jim Silverstone and Birute Clottey…yep…page 1!… The best way for either commissioners to get off google page 1?….Get off the dais!… OUCH!…

more to come…from “The Chief Blogger”……

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