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Here’s The Scoop … The April 27,2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Meeting … The April Town Manager Report … Sugar Coated With A Wrench Thrown In The Mix …

May 1, 2011 by Barbara

SOME THINGS ARE HARD TO SWALLOW ….

Dear Readers … the Town Manager monthly report was moved up in the agenda …It was moved to the end after the new Commission took over …Over the last 4 months though the TM continuously took take a pass along with the Commission on discussing the content due to the late hour placement …Unfortunately this earlier placement did not fix that ongoing problem after the Commission went off the reservation following a question asked by Comm. Sasser after the TM spoke about the first item in her report concerning the BSO contract negotiations…

The Town Manager began her report after the Mid-Year Budget Report (see prev. post) …and she would “run through these items really quickly.”… She stated she knew everybody was most interested in the BSO negotiations and proceeded to describe having the first meeting with the BSO (and the  “Interim” Finance Director according to the backup) … She went through what was contained in the backup explaining “The BSO is going to a very standardized contract with all the cities they renegotiate with.” …She went on to say she agrees with this type of contract as do most city managers which she further explained stops what had happened in the past when “people were basically looking at other people’s contracts and saying I want that, I don’t want this.”…She said it made alot more sense ….adding it is much more transparent contract where we know what is the costs to provide police services in your town and that is what BSO is charging you… She said they identified what services are considered regional and should not be charged to the contract cities and so far the County has agreed to that…She anticipated questioning of why the County is involved and informed all that it is the County that funds the Sheriff’s office ( The Sheriff’s audit was given to the County Comm. last month) …The County has been approving contracts like ours …TM Hoffmann stated she had suggested some changes to the contract but did not expand on what those changes were and was never asked by the Commission throughout their discussion to address those changes that the TM stated would be brought back with a formal response at the next meeting to take place this week …In the backup the TM wrote they had ‘informal agreement on most of those suggestions’….After that TM Hoffmann said the big question was what will it cost and she did not give a figure (again, we have been told it would be around $500,000+) but said that figure was promised “or at least what they are going to propose as the cost to continue services at the same level” …BSO Chief Llerena came to the podium to state it was slated to be released on May 1st for all municipalities after the County and the Sheriff get together on the proposed budget…The Mayor asked him to remain at the podium to answer any further questions… The TM went on to state that she would take a look at the numbers and that they had talked about a line item budget which was not received in the past negotiations…She did make a point to say that the Chief had been sharing such a report with her on a monthly basis…as well as to state “I have to say I have sat in negotiations with BSO on municipal contracts in another city in the past and it has been such a pleasure. Things have changed dramatically in the way BSO sits down and negotiates. It’s very transparent and it’s very friendly.”…She said she would be back with the numbers after she looks at them and then they will see how they it fits into the new budget… TM Hoffmann said the BSO is only interested in recouping their direct costs from the cities they contract with and if a city determines that cost is not affordable then the city sits down with the BSO to talk about adjustments in staffing in order to reduce the costs… She stated those are discussions the Commission/Administration will be having at a policy level as they go through the budget process…

BC-This is when the proverbial wrench came in and started to turn the nuts and bolts of this LBTS-BSO re-negotiation for the new contract slated according to the TM report backup to be completed no later than June 30th counter clockwise …

Comm. Sasser started out with a joke as BSO Chief Oscar Llerena stood at the podium ..”I first wanted to dispel the rumor we were trading Lt. Cedeno with one one of the police women of Broward County!”… It received a warm chuckle from all…and this writer wishes Comm. Sasser would have left it at that…He went on to ask the Town Manager a question he said he had been asked …”Are we not getting any other bids other than negotiating with BSO?”… The TM responded she “has no direction to do so.”… There was an uncomfortably long silence that followed that response and for some reason the TM chose to fill it… in my opinion …. as the nuts and bolts began to loosen … “If the Commission chooses to send me down that course we can do that.”…She continued on to inform them that if they were thinking of going to contract with Fort Lauderdale or Pompano Beach (PB is BSO so that leaves Fort Lauderdale) the Sheriff has to approve it because he would have to deputize the new police officers to work outside their municipality  (I do not recall that from the current contract or addendum) …as she added “Then there is obviously another option to form our own police department.”…She reiterated her direction thus far was to negotiate with BSO…

BC- The wrench…the nuts and the bolts…. We had many such discussions about other options prior to the 2010 LBTS Municipal election and this writer posted all of it… The highest priority this writer and the candidates heard out on the campaign trail after former Town Manager Colon and her contract was to retain the BSO police in LBTS!…  To go down this road at this juncture is mind boggling to say the least …

Commissioner Sasser stated again he just wanted to “get it out there”…and he said he would leave it to the Mayor on how “handle that”… He said “If everyone is ok whatever”…reiterating it was a question he gets and was sure other Commissioners had been asked as well.. From there he asked about the “writeup” and as they look at the budget each or use it as a budget item he wondered if they cannot afford it would they have the right to terminate at that point and asked about our rights… The TM there would be no agreement on a budget or the Town determines costs to be too expensive…confirming the contract provides us the option not to proceed and the notice time was not long to get out of it… Comm. Sasser said his concern was if we enacted the termination would we still have time under old costs to find another solution…The Town Manager said the contract anticipates that kind of situation and the Sheriff in the contract affirms he will provide services for as long as it takes the Town to start with a new provider or own force… Comm. Sasser asked it that would be under the new or old price … TM Hoffmann said it would be negotiated…

BC- From what I remember the contract says a price will be negotiated I believe month to month and the Sheriff will stay on until he is sure they are leaving us with the same level of service they provide…I also believe that would mean we are going to pay two police departments…. for an uncertain length of time…Also I recall that we found out after a long period of being led to believe we own all the police vehicles that we only own one or two…Add to that the equipment we supplied at the time BSO took over will be given back to the Town but I do not think the contract states it needs to be anything other than what they started out with all those years ago…not any new equipment replacements…

Vice Mayor Dodd was up next and he thanked the TM for “an absolutely terrific report”…and said he appreciated how much work goes into it… This writer will delve more into that report and must respectfully disagree with the VM) … He went on to say he questioned the regional services portion of the contract saying he could see “the thin end of the wedge here” for our town as he went on to describe the costs for the call center (911) and other such services which will now split off just like airlines who charge for bag service …The TM said that absolutely is going to happen and we’ve been put on notice from the County that they will no longer fund cities receiving emergency call service…She said the Sheriff doesn’t agree with it and the Town as well as as all municipalities in Broward County in the same situation do not agree …She said the County Manager sent out letters to every city saying this is what your costs will be next year and ours is around $125,000…She said  the Broward City Managers Assoc. put together a task force last fall and studied this issue of the call centers and concluded they should be consolidated down to four that can serve the entire county leading to a substantial savings… While that was the conclusion she added no one is pushing for it…She said the Mayor sent her a copy of a letter from the Mayor of Sunrise to have the Broward League of Cities take this issue on …The VM asked “So we can expect some increases coming down the line?”… The TM responded that starting Oct. 1st we can expect to be charged $125,000 for emergency call services …adding that’s not a BSO charge that it’s a County charge …VM Dodd asked if we are “Obliged to go with that call service “..asking if there other options for municipalities… The TM responded yes and many cities have there own call centers which led to the problem and why the County doesn’t want to keep doing it after those cities complained about those contracted with BSO receiving the services…She mentioned Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood as two that run their own at huge cost and went to the County about LBTS and Pompano Beach… VM Dodd asked if we could go to Fort Lauderdale to see if we could do it for less than $125,000 …The TM said yes…VM Dodd said we should do so and send Broward a message …The TM backed off a little and asked Chief Llerena about Pompano Beach having their own call center …He responded that BSO communications is used for both and that Pompano Beach has BSO for police services ..The TM asked if cities are paying the capital costs and BSO is paying for the staffing…The Chief did not know …The Town Manager said if the Commission wanted her to look into this they would and also explore consolidating the centers as well..

The Mayor asked the TAtty. to give the history of the County’s past stance on wanting to provide this service and that it was not to charge the municipalities …She added she knew she was catching the TAtty. off guard…Town Atty. Trevarthen responded she didn’t have the details but had the same recollection ….The Mayor went to say  these are fees we pay through Broward County and that everyone should call their Broward County elected officials which for us would be Comm. Chip LaMarca to say we are not for this change…adding the Sheriff is not for it either …She went on to say that before she recognized Comms. Clottey and Vincent she wanted to “follow up Commissioner Sasser’s discussion that would would take us in a whole other direction. He had asked a question does this Commission and we had not discussed this prior, we asked the Town Manager to go into negotiations with the Sheriff.That was then direction you received from this Commission is that correct”…asking the TM…The TM replied yes and that was what she has on her priority list…The Mayor reiterated it and TM Hoffmann said yes again…The Mayor went to say “Are we changing our mind? I think that’s what we need to determine right now because if we do we need to, I think have a workshop so that we understand what direction we’re going in. Are we going to change direction and therefore go out and try and contract with another municipality or start our, if it is the intention of this Commission to look for, get an RFP out to the city of Fort Lauderdale or start our own police department. I think before we continue we need to hear what this Commission’s decision is”… She threw it over to Comm. Sasser who she said made the initial  “request”  asking him if he wanted to request a workshop to discuss those three measures…

BC- Before Comm. Sasser’s response this writer asks the all important question…What happened to the Mayor showing some leadership and nipping this in the bud by stating the obvious that this is not the right direction to go in… That avenue was open to her when Comm. Sasser originally ended his first bite at the apple and said he would leave it for her to “handle that”…

Comm. Sasser said he would like a workshop to discuss it “sure”..He added he thought it should be “vetted”…He went on to say he thinks in any situation or negotiation it’s always better to have competition and he would like to know what the options are and whether it is Fort Lauderdale or someone else …He quickly added “I’m not keen on building our own” police department but he “wanted to at least judge the interest of other police departments that could do the job and possibly help us with out negotiations, yes.”…

BC- I respectfully disagree with Comm. Sasser and do hope the prior Commission backup on other options is supplied to all to quickly be able to see it will …in this writer’s opinion…. not help the negotiations with BSO who are our Town Police Department in most of his constituent’s opinion …but just slow down the process unnecessarily …

The Mayor asked for consensus and threw it over to the Vice Mayor  if he wanted a workshop scheduled…  The VM said he just wanted the public to be aware of BSO taking one part of the new contract and saying that was what they are negotiating as their new price while Broward is going to be “saddling us with extra fees for an area that used to be part of BSO’s contract”…He added we don’t have alot of options …He wanted to be “on the record” for saying BSO is doing a terrific job and there are absolutely no complaints..But he added he has to be responsible to the taxpayers and try to “educate them how negotiations are going at the moment is that BSO will do policing but Broward has the regional component.”…The Mayor tried to cut him off… The VM continued saying he has “a big problem with it. We are paying a certain figure all encompassing but was sure BSO figure has not gone down with all the regional figures Broward is now providing. It’s a way of inflating every municipality and I’m pretty much against it.”…The Mayor said her question was if there should be a workshop for other options for police service in town… The Vice mayor responded “No, I’m very happy with BSO but we should look at other options for the stuff that BSO don’t want to do to send a message to Broward.”.. The Mayor said she agreed with him completely …

Comm. Vincent was asked next but said he had other comments and would wait his turn..

The Mayor acknowledged Comm. Clottey who said “I agree with Commissioner Sasser that we have an obligation to the taxpayers of this town to explore all avenues. I have my own personal choice. I wold like to stay with BSO but if they price themselves out of the market then we have to think about the taxpayers also.”…She then asked the Town Manager about the “lab fees” as part of the “regional stuff”…She was speaking of the criminal lab fees being passed on as well…(This too was brought up by the prior Comm. by former VM McIntee) …The TM said they had not talked about this and she did not recall  where that “sat on the list”..She would get the answer and asked Chief Llerena if he knew… The Chief responded no but added it is a major budget issue with the County Commissioners as well and “the Sheriff obviously feels it’s a terrible mistake to close the lab down.”..He said he was not sure where it stands as of now… Comm. Clottey asked what kind of additional fees there would be to BSO’s fixed charges…The TM asked if she was inquiring about BSO’s direct services…Comm. Clottey replied that up til now there was a fixed charge which is the County is now “unbundling” and said that when the TM is negotiating it will be that “flat rate plus whatever additional fees the Town is going to be stuck paying.”…The Town Manager again stated the only addition know right now is for the communications center …Comm. Clottey added the criminal lab fees to which the TM said that had not come down to her at this time for us to pay… we haven’t been told that and she reminded all that the Sheriff fought against it last year and prevailed …although it is not known if he will prevail again… She said they all need to consider as well that the Sheriff’s budget has to be approved by the County Commission..all agreements say the County has to approve them….

Comm. Vincent asked the Chief a question …”on the 125,000 additional fee is that proportionate charge that is figured for services for our town in respect to other sizes of cities?”… The Chief said he couldn’t definitively answer that but he could tell him that all cities are paying  different fees and it seems they may be based on population or maybe based on calls for service..He was not sure what criteria it is but did know there was not one set fee for every municipality… Comm. Vincent said that made sense and would like to know that information and was sure “Connie can get that.”… He went on to ask if the services we received prior to this change were a benefit this town was getting that other municipalities may have been paying for in the past… (This too was covered by the previous Commission and in the Sentinel ) … The Chief responded in terms of a “subsidy” there was one with LBTS saying it meant it cost more to operate the district than the Sheriff was collecting from us..He said unlike the private sector those costs were passed on to the County taxpayers which was why the County Commission started cracking down on the Sheriff to organize the new contracts making them more balanced…He said it was due to prior administrations ..He added that other municipalities have monetary issues..LBTS does not an has paid “every penny they were obligated to. The issue is just the balance of revenue post expenditures.”… Comm. Vincent said “There’ve been some inequities at some time with different municipalities for those services basically.”…The Chief said yes…

The Mayor asked again for the need to “clarify the direction to the Town Manager because we’re entering budget time. If we look at getting out RFPs …so we need to…There’s been a recommendation by Commissioner Sasser to put a workshop together to see what other opportunities we have for police services her in the town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.” …

BC- It was the Mayor who first said said they needed a workshop (see above) …

The Mayor said to the VM that he said “the workshop would be more to an understanding of the costs that Broward County is now adding on, would that workshop be also to determine whether we would look to our own police department or other services as well”… The VM said no he didn’t want to go in that direction and reiterated wanting inform the public of the add ons coming from the County with more to come such for any extra services provided over and beyond local protection provided by BSO although he would be happy to have a workshop to talk about that and try and put pressure on Broward “… The Mayor said they could put together a resolution as Sunrise has to let the County Commission know our displeasure and discuss it at a workshop “along with what Commissioner Sasser wants to do”…saying they should set the meeting up…

Comm. Vincent wanted to weigh in again and said “I’m just thinking back in recent history that I appreciate what Pompano Beach did for us as they went out and looked into and investigated the possibility of either going to another municipality, another department, I’m sorry I think starting their own and they spent alot on that in the millions I believe and it just panned out and they’re a bigger city than we are with alot more money and they didn’t think it would be financially sound for them to do that especially at this time and I believe they put a stop to that and continued to contract with services of BSO. So with that and Pompano doing the homework for us to go down that road at this time so I’m not in favor of the Roundtable discussion”… The Mayor informed him it was for a workshop to discuss giving the TM direction … True to form for Comm. Vincent he then said the following “Correct, unless there are some issues that we need to address within the contract if we can do so legally have a separation from other cities so yeah, I mean, I think we need to look at that.”…

Comm. Clottey said she believed Pompano Beach found they would save alot of money (she is correct) and that it was the people that did not want the city to change from BSO (correct again) ….She again stated her preference for BSO (quite a turn around after everything she said about them early in her term..prev. posts 2008-2009) … But she still thought they needed to consider other options because she understood we would be paying $434,000 more due to not paying our “fair share”… She asked the TM to respond…TM Hoffmann said there was a study done and LBTS was the most subsidized city ion Broward County and the cost increase would be “$400 and something thousand dollars a year”…

Comm. Vincent never knowing when to remain silent addressed Comm. Clottey to say he believed Pompano’s conclusion was the start-up costs for their own department would take 7 years to “break even with the initial startup and the savings on that and the setup on that was so high that would come out of pocket for that I don’t think this town could afford it.”…

The Mayor said it “sounds like a workshop “..as well as “what level the County will charge us”…. “plus the other options” thanking Comm. Sasser… The TM said the Commission had a light Roundtable scheduled and they could have the discussion then…It was agreed upon to have it at that time…

BC- this writer chalks this up to too many meetings on the Master Plan and the Master Plan redo taking all of the members up on the dais way off track on the priorities they were elected to address over the first 2 years of the new majority’s term and the priorities they started out with in 2010 and gave direction to the Town Manager to go forward with… The BSO contract was at the top with the drainage downtown and the drainage in the residential areas  as well as the sewers in the south … For certain Commissioners and members of the staff to speak of money woes when it comes to retaining the BSO police is unacceptable!… We were under the impression that a new contract could be a million + and still the overwhelming response from voters was keep them…Now we know it will be nowhere near that amount… To question our ability when we have spent well over $150,000 which most likely will be close to $200,000 on consultants is embarrassing… The Town Manager made it clear the regional costs will be coming our way no matter who we use for public safety in LBTS… Last but not least as the TM has stated along with this writer and so many others …the BSO of LBTS is our own Town police department under Chief Llerena and Lt. Cedeno (as it was under former Chief Scott Gooding) and that final point along with remembering it was not so long ago each Commissioner and the TM went on the offensive to keep Lt. Cedeno here in order to maintain the unique partnership we have with BSO!…

My opinion, Commissioners… at the next Roundtable ….. with the expected discussion taking place…do your homework ahead of time and then drop any direction at this time to look elsewhere and choose to work with the Sheriff to counter the County Commission’s regional fee plans along with other municipalities… To the TM and the Mayor there are times when it is time to step in on topics on the dais…this was one of them….

After that the Mayor asked for any other questions for the TM…Comm. Sasser was the only one to respond and asked about the Coral Reef project that was written up to start in late April as they were now just a few days away from May… The TM said she included they told the permitting agency they “hoped” to start in late April and had indicated it would be “in place” in late May…With that the TM report was passed 5-0 after a motion was made by VM Dodd and seconded by Comm. Vincent…

BC- here is what was not discussed in the report… The very next item in the report after BSO stated the TM had hire yet another consultant..This time it is the former Davie City Manager, Gary Shimun who was recently fired by the Commission of Davie and walked out before the full vote was completed…Mr Shimun according to Google searches eerily mirrored our ousted former TM Colon in the reasons for his dismissal …. in this writer’s opinion…. and walked away with a severance package after 4 years that mirrored it as well… According to the backup he will receive $6,500 dollars for one month’s worth of work to “develop a new building permit fee schedule” to use for an RFP for building services… TM Hoffmann vetted Mr Shimun for the Pompano Beach Manager position according to articles … I’m all for hiring and thinking outside the box for certain jobs but come on…why wouldn’t we look online at what smaller towns of similar size charge (I believe this was done not long ago by the previous Commission) as well as taking advantage of the many retired residents we have in out small town who could volunteer to do the same in far less time for far less money… That’s why we are known as a Town and not as a City… small town ways … MIA in the report an update of the consultant costs to date as well as listing what they have done and are doing at the present time…

Up next and not addressed was the Finance Director “Recruitment” which the TM said was advertised online at the Florida League of Cities in their “Datagram”..This writer repeatedly looked due to it being a bone of contention with the prev. TM not using it for positions…I never saw it online…A Google only produced the 2007 LBTS  position (I have seen one before)..A search on the FLOCiities site produced “no data” …The TM wrote in her report the starting salary of $80,000-$90,000 was a “fairly strenuous process” they used including multiple tests and lengthy interview to narrow the field o qualified applicants to two…One did not pass and the other did not want to move from Ohio… The Town Auditor and Doug Haag assisted Ms. Hoffmann and offered the opinion that our salary range is to low and “hindering” the ability to recruit “stronger candidates”… The suggested increasing it to $100,000 to “attract the caliber of person”  she wants to hire..She said the position was budgeted for $85,000 based on the former Dir. (King) but that the Town’s salary range for that position is $82,028-$123,044 and that former Finance Director Colon was earning $104,576 before she became TM …TM Hoffmann reiterated that she was eliminating one position in the department of a recent employee that resigned and would reassign that work to 2 part-time employees thus freeing up “some savings that can be used to offer a higher starting salary to the Director.”…She stated unless the Comm. objected she would go ahead and re advertise…There was no discussion and no direction given at this meeting…

Next item not discussed was he attached Cash & Investment Quarterly Report which ended on March 31st …In it she informed them that another $1.5 million had been moved into 20 month CDs ($1 million  in one CD/$500,00 in a second CD) “at BB&T Bank at an interest rate 3x higher than we were receiving at Sun Trust …(THe Manager of BB & T Bank is the new LBTS Chamber of Commerce President) …The attached showed it was at 75 basis points  (.75%) … The good news is they can be liquidated all or part for any reason with only the loss of interest not principal…This is what an Avid Reader was  talking to me about in terms of getting rid of the $1.4or $1.5 million parking lot debt we have that will cost us an additional $200,000+ if we do not pay it off… What is the difference in what we get for this latest move of Town monies as compared to keeping that loan on the books until 2020?…. (prev. post)…

After that item was the code inspection and the shut down of the Little Inn Too on April 18th…Again no discussion… save kudos to the VFD Chief and Town Fire Marshall from Comm. Vincent at the VFD monthly report earlier in the evening (prev. post) …

The TM stated she had brought the assignment status list to date and color coded it (perhaps this was what the VM was giving high marks to?)…

I believe that the Commissioners are all (with one exception?) meeting with the Town Manager before every scheduled Roundtable/Commission meeting and may be going over all these items on the report and more… At least that is my hope… If so I suggest that at Commissioner comments the dais members take that time to address any discussion and give their take on it as well as anything they do for constituents in the time between meetings…  That way we will all know in a condensed amount of time who has done their homework and who has served their constituents leaving no doubt that both the Commission and the Administration is in sync so direction or a lack thereof is not seen on the dais at the 11th hour as we saw at this meeting under the Town Manager’s report…

More to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The April 27, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Regular Commission Meeting … #1 ..

April 28, 2011 by Barbara

SHORT END OF THE WISH? ….

Dear Readers … The BCbythesea daughter is again in Scotland doing research and Lilly is walking holding one of Nana’s fingers more as a security blanket than out of need …so needless to say time for watching the Commission meting last evening and posting the full detailed run-thru will happen over the next few days…

Not really sure the Town Chaplain should get so political in the invocation as it they seem to sound of late …but I do agree we should remember “why people vacation here ” and “call it home”…instead of multiple reasons we find wrong…

Public comments … The signage issue brought forth by Alley Oop …looks again like a snafu of aiding a new business…The signage has been discussed and discussed…the speaker has from what I have seen and read had easy access to the Town and has been touted by the Town …So to not know or find out what sign was allowed …Let’s see how this one ends up…. Guy Contrada from Aruba Beach Cafe told the rest of the story that had Comm. Vincent already to accommodate one manager of one hotel by tearing up a median at the roundtable meeting Mon. night (prev. post)… Mr Contrada explained he was under the impression he had straightened it out as he took action as soon as he was made aware of the situation…He said it was unusual and reiterated VM Dodd’s comments made to Comm. Vincent of deliveries being 3 days a week… Arthur Franczak suddenly appearing at each meeting to comment has led to many wondering if he will throw his hat in the ring for the next municipal election as a candidate from the north…He lives in Terra Mar… I recall Mr. Franczak from John Thompson and how much time and effort Mr. Franczak put into going over the Town CAFR looking for where our taxpayer monies were …So needless to say his stance and comments at the podium are not new to this writer….. A woman that lives in Terra Mar spoke ominously of neighbors using code for their own agenda…we have heard this before …seems it is old vs. new with who is in charge… Hopefully this newcomer to the podium will be contacted by development to explain much of what she was asking for is already in place…Edmund Malkoon spoke for the first time in a while …He talked about the long term part of the study…(no one does not want it done at this point, just don’t do it without the votes)… He added needing information on the life of the buildings we have (Town Hall) and the opportunity for selling the public safety building as we build a Town Hall Complex (this writer wrote before it was purchased we didn’t need it ) …He also concurred with this writer and many, many others to go back to 2 commission meetings… Marie Chiarello and her same comments which add up to no referendum …don’t let the people from the south stop the momentum is being seen as the UOT stance which is is loser if they pursue it full force …The voters from the south and Sea Ranch Club decide who wins and loses their seat…They always vote with their pocketbooks…If there are no referendum items for the Town Hall, undergrounding, parking garages on it…If those items are stalled or voted down to be on the ballot I guarantee you those same voters will still vote with their pocketbooks and vote those candidates out for those that will allow them a say or reverse the current Commission’s decision after the March election…No threat is needed just a look at what has happened before and the still shaky financial times the voters are living through… We are not alone… I saw this article on Monday as I sat in the dentist’s office…

‘The retail/hotel/apartment development Addison Park on Clark will transform the corner of Clark and Addison, if it ever gets built.

By Rod O’Connor

“Nobody is going to tell me that’s a great building,” says architect John Lahey, gesturing toward the dilapidated four-story structure above the Salt and Pepper Diner at 3537 North Clark Street. The president of Solomon Cordwell Buenz is making the case for his firm’s design for Addison Park on Clark, the controversial hotel, apartment and retail development planned for the southeast corner of Clark and Addison, across the street from Wrigley Field. When the wrecking ball arrives, which doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon, it will raze this building and at least a half-dozen others. We cross over to Addison Street, where Lahey points out more industrial edifices separated by vacant parking lots. “I remember coming here as a kid in the ’60s when it was a beat-up ballpark in a beat-up neighborhood. And the best thing about it was you could get seats anytime you wanted.”

Times have changed. In those days, no one much cared what was being built in Wrigleyville. But the former working-class enclave started booming in the ’80s, during the Harry Caray era. By the ’90s the neighborhood had morphed into the Bourbon Street of the Midwest, a party zone where flocks of unrestrained bachelorette partyers could throw back $5 cans of Bud at Sluggers alongside Cubbie-crazy suburbanites on an afternoon hall pass. Wrigley Field is now one of the top tourist attractions in Illinois, and real estate in the area sells for a premium. Developer Steven Schultz began snatching up parcels of land in the then-burgeoning entertainment district in the ’80s, eventually purchasing nearly the entire east side of the 3500 block of North Clark and most of the stretch of Addison between Clark and Sheffield. Now, Schultz and his partners hope that will be the footprint for the biggest transformation of the neighborhood since the Friendly Confines opened in 1914.

The plan, approved by 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney and his Community Directed Development Council (a group representing Lakeview neighborhood organizations and business leaders), passed the City Council last summer without dissent. It calls for 135 apartments averaging 835 square feet each with estimated monthly rents of $1,800–$2,000, 137 hotel rooms and more than 145,000 square feet of retail space. M&R Development, the company overseeing the project on behalf of Schultz, touts its many pluses: 500 jobs created; widened sidewalks; an environmentally friendly LEED Silver–certified design; and a much-needed hotel for Cardinals fans and other visitors.

The design has gone through many changes since it was introduced more than three years ago, which Rob Nash, public outreach manager for the project, credits to the more than 30 meetings the development team held with community organizations. In early versions, the hotel tower stood 22 stories tall, dwarfing Wrigley Field; now, the drawings call for the brick- and glass-faced structure to feature an eight-story tower, approximately the same height as the AT&T building immediately to the south. The Clark Street side, originally a monolithic slab, was broken up with what Lahey refers to as “eccentric slots and bays” and differing brick patterns that showcase the individual storefronts. The residents’ requests for parking were granted, to the tune of 399 underground spaces. “I thought they did a good job listening to the community’s concerns,” says Diann Marsalek, president of the Lake View Citizens’ Council.

“The most exciting thing, from a business standpoint, is the hotel. There are very few hotels in an area that has very high tourism,” says Bennett Lawson, deputy alderman for the 44th Ward. Lawson points out that, along with Cubs fans during baseball season, the area’s gay and lesbian events draw a half-million people a few weekends a year.

Still, some residents say the design—even with the changes—resembles a strip mall. Last May, leading up to the City Council vote on June 30, more than 13,000 people signed up for a Facebook page called “People Against the Malling of Wrigleyville.”

“It’s going to stick out like a sore thumb,” says Ken Vangeloff, 49, who has lived a few blocks from Wrigley for 15 years. “What they originally proposed was preposterous. This way, the alderman comes off looking good: ‘Look at how far we made them come down.’ The greatest thing in the world is you have Wrigley Field as the centerpiece of the neighborhood. But you drop this eight-story building down and it’s going to be hideous.”

The fact that Schultz has referenced chain stores such as Best Buy and CVS as potential tenants hasn’t helped change opinions that the project could sap the neighborhood of its diversity and character. (No retailers have been finalized at this point, Nash says.)

“My biggest fear is [the retail portion] winds up being empty,” says Charlie Schmidt, president of the Hawthorne Neighbors, one of four community groups whose areas border the project. “If a Best Buy could work there, more power to ’em. But I don’t know who would go to Best Buy across the street from Cubs Park. I wouldn’t.” Equally distressing to some opponents is the loss of the iconic iO improv theater, Goose Island brewpub and other existing businesses that could be forced out.

For his part, Lahey, the architect, is confused by criticism from some local businesses and residents that his design is somehow “suburbanizing” the neighborhood. “What’s suburban about a building that has retail, that defines the street wall and has high-density residential next to an urban-transit stop? That’s about as un-suburban as you can get,” he says.

But the Cubs could six-peat as World Series champs before a single shovel is lifted. After receiving City Council approval, M&R Development expressed hope to the construction-trade press that it would break ground as early as this spring. But as of press time, no construction permits have been issued and there is no indication that financing has been secured for the estimated $100 million project. One of the conditions from the city is that the developers will not begin demolition until they receive full financing; and once the construction begins it must continue uninterrupted, to minimize the impact on the neighborhood

“I can’t give you an expected start time. But once the process begins, it’s expected to take 18–24 months to complete,” Nash says. “We don’t anticipate a problem [with financing]; we’ve had a great deal of interest. But obviously the financing has to be worked out. And in today’s economy that is more complicated.” Nash also points out that M&R Development—which is leading the hotel and apartment components—has an equity stake in Addison Park on Clark, which speaks to its commitment.

But although Hyatt Corporation is listed as the potential hotel partner on the Addison Park on Clark website, and Nash says Hyatt is still interested in the site, Laurie Cole, Hyatt’s director of corporate communications, says there’s no formal agreement at this point.

And at a recent Wrigley Field Annual Advisory Community Meeting, when an audience member asked Cubs vice president of community affairs Mike Lufrano for an update on the long-stalled Triangle Parcel development on the southeast corner of Clark and Waveland, he compared the Ricketts family’s funding struggles with the Addison Park on Clark project, saying both projects were “in the same boat.”

Deputy alderman Lawson stresses the quiet period is not atypical for a project of this size. What the city has approved is called a Planned Development, which is an envelope for the parcel of land that includes the underlying zoning, fixed height and square footage, and general usage. Putting together the construction documents and navigating the permitting process can easily take more than six months, he says. “There are some specific things [the development team has] to do for this project; for example, the city has to vacate an alley. So while they’re finalizing their construction plan and financing, we don’t hear a lot from them.”

“I don’t think anybody knows anything,” says Charna Halpern, founder and longtime owner of iO, and the project’s most vocal opponent last summer. “I’ve gotten calls from staff at Goose Island and Salt and Pepper asking me [about when the demolition might begin], ‘Do you know if it’s going to be in a year? Am I going to lose my job?’ ” According to Halpern, the contract with her landlord (Schultz) requires she be given at least one year’s notice before having to vacate. She has yet to be notified “and I don’t expect that to happen for a while,” she says. Schultz’s office did not respond to inquiries, but Nash says Schultz typically does not comment on the details of private agreements. (Interestingly, Halpern and Schultz are cousins.)

Nash also stresses it’s incorrect to assume none of the current businesses will return. “The spaces that are designed would accommodate virtually every business that’s currently on the site,” he says. “It’s hard for a business to shut down while construction is going on. But for those that have the interest and the wherewithal, and the space works and the terms work…they would certainly be welcome back to the development.”

With ongoing negotiations likely occurring between existing tenants and Schultz, none of the businesses contacted along Clark Street responded to questions about their plans once—and if—the project moves forward. The only business that has confirmed it won’t return is iO. In past reports, Halpern said she was originally told she was going to be included in the new development, but there are no theater spaces in the current plans. Last summer, Halpern said she had her eye on a new location in Lincoln Square, but she now says she’s looking “anywhere and everywhere.” The only place she will not relocate, she says, is the 44th Ward, where she feels Ald. Tunney could’ve gotten more involved on behalf of the affected businesses.

But others in the neighborhood credit Tunney with helping shepherd a project that could ultimately have a positive impact on the neighborhood—especially on the nearly vacant Addison side. “He’s kept [the developers] on the straight and narrow,” says Schmidt, of the Hawthorne Neighbors. “We’re setting a precedent. [If we’re not careful] Wrigleyville could become a Disneyland here in the Midwest. You have to be very cognizant of the fact that whatever you’re promising could come back to haunt you.”’

http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/12398817/wrigleyville-development

The reports from the public safety providers were met with no questions and no commentary except some lighthearted banter about VFD Chief/Fire Marshal Steve Paine having a twin brother now also on the VFD…Comm. Vincent thanked him for the action taken in closing down the hotels recently (Little Inn Too has been shut down for much of the same violations found at the former Holiday Inn on Pine owned by the same person) ….I disagree with any kudos to the Fire Marshal due to it being his job over the previous year to see the problems far earlier and shut them down then… As far as the BSO report which also had no discussion….on the monthly report that is…earlier in the day the Sentinel online had this …
‘Crime rate down in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

12:59 p.m. EDT, April 27, 2011
sfl-cmdb-lauderdale-by-the-sea-crime-stats
Serious crime in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea decreased over the last year, according to a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

In 2010, 193 serious crimes were reported in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, down from 216 in 2009. The crime rate – or number of crimes reported per 100,000 residents – was 3276, down from 3649 in 2009.

FDLE reported the following crime figures for Lauderdale-By-The-Sea:

Video: Storms, tornadoes rip across the South, killing at least 185

– 0 murders in 2010, 0 in 2009;

– 1 rape, 1 in 2009;

– 6 robberies, 5 in 2009;

– 9 aggravated assaults, 16 in 2009;

– 48 burglaries, 30 in 2009;

– 120 larcenies, 157 in 2009;

– 9 motor vehicle thefts, 7 in 2009;

FDLE reported that 25 percent of the crimes were cleared in 2010.

To search more crime statistics in Broward and Palm Beach counties visit www.sun-sentinel.com/crimestats’

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/lauderdale-by-the-sea/sfl-cmdb-lauderdale-by-the-sea-crime-stats,0,4111154.story

This is where I will stop for now due to time constraints… coming up…the mid-year budget report which was not online before the meeting or turned over to the Commission to prepare for …due it was stated it not being done until yesterday afternoon… The discussion of paying off the$ 1.4 million parking lot debt…The Mayor believes is not necessary … and this writer strongly disagrees ….The TM report which veered off course with the first item on the BSO negotiations .. Way off course ….in this writer’s opinion …but hopefully when addressed again at the May Rountable meeting will be reined in based on timing /recent past such forays into alternative public safety providers and the last municipal election where this very topic was an important component and BSO staying in place was discussed at every stop along the campaign trail … The rest of the TM report needs some air time which I will provide as it was not addressed on the podium ….We had a plethora of 1st /2nd Ordinances and Resolutions passed with little discussion and only one having a public comment made when it was opened up for input… I do hope the Commission read all that was provided and/or were assured by the TM and TAtty. that any addition/deletions were included in the final product …for we have seen in the past such acts as portions not being stricken or items being slipped in… and of course Comm. comments…and new business which was light…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Lauderdale-By-The-Sea April 12, 2011 Special Meeting/Roundtable … #1 …. Roping In The $teer And The “Contenders” …

April 13, 2011 by Barbara

ROPING THEM IN ONE BY ONE …

(found on http://www.kimwilliamson.net/)

Dear Readers …it was a late one last night with the combination Special Meeting /Roundtable…It began at 7 pm and ended approximately fifteen minutes short of April 13th! … That being said this writer turned in shortly thereafter and will need time to go through the voluminous content covered …

What I saw was a Town Administrator and Commission who finally seemed to be trying to “rope in the $teer” of priorities as well as which “contenders” and “handlers” would be headed to the championship ring …..  By that I mean of course which consultants would continue on in the implementation of the Master Plan .. what that implementation really means (at least at this juncture) and putting the onus of how much money will be spent and when (year 1-year 5) and the prospect of putting it to the voters in March 2012 for those $teer that are out of reach without enough “backers” to buy the amount of rope it would take to lasso parking garages/Town Hall Complex/underground utilities and ? …

Again I have to go back to a previous post of Monday morning quarterbacking and the belief that much of the last months of time and money spent on meetings whether it be committees/boards…Commission…series presentations and citizen input could have been better served with a moratorium set and a full table presentation from all the consultants hired by Town Manager Hoffmann …especially after hearing her last consultant Planner Cecelia Ward speak last night …(originally scheduled long before tonight in Feb. and unfortunately displaced for the parking workshop) …in a manner that was easy to follow and understand…So much so that longtime Town Planner (contracted out ) will get now the boot from the Town as well as Keith & Schnars who was hired by the previous commission to replace Keller and then never used it said due to a large bill that came due at the start of their association with the Town that made that association essentially null and void …with the former TM using Keller in their place while once again keeping her decision from the full commission that wanted Keller replaced!… Ms. Ward found much of our comprehensive plan was never updated and  only a few changes were made to land development regulations after the 2004 Master Plan was adopted… Some conflict was also found in our codes and the current Town Charter …(The Charter due to be reviewed in 2012 will now be on the next commission’s “plate” after March 2012 with full consensus from the Commission last night )…  as well as Broward County Flexibility Rules we must be following concerning mixed use in place (perhaps grandfathered) but not in-line with Broward as required…… This writer called Mr Keller for his input and to see if he saw this report…He took my call and replied he had not seen the report…I told him where he could locate it on the Town’s website …He responded the previous administration was aware of these inconsistencies and the need to address them but did not follow through for whatever reasons.. He stated possibly budgetary… I stated that I surmised he would likely be “bashed” for this coming to light in the Ward report and perhaps he would want to state what he told me…He responded he is a consultant to the Town and usually doesn’t do anything unless asked… I stated perhaps he might want to e-mail his side…He thanked me and I thanked him for his time  … Mr Keller was not at the meeting last night…I don’t know if he e-mailed beforehand or even read the report…but as I surmised above above he was indeed definitely “bashed” by Commissioners after the report and he will now be a former consultant for the Town from the consensus and direction given to the TM!… Ms. Ward certainly must be at the top of the list going forth and rightly so… (if her rate is acceptable) …One eye-opener ….it appears from Ms. Ward’s report taller buildings can be built according to the Charter not being changed after the 2006 height referendum in the downtown area! …

The Town Manager started the Special Meeting portion dealing with the implementation of the Master Plan (under Old Business) and the Community Design Workshop with UM and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (see previous posts) … TM Hoffmann was clearly ready to set the tone of better explaining the process of each component going forward with the implementation of the future design of LBTS … She spoke of the participants UM already pulled together as well as the date May 21-26th with full citizen input inclusion as well as the cost and time difference if this was done in-house after being asked by Comm. Sasser … 5 days with over 30 professional participants for $16,500 plus the Town’s consultant Traffic Engineer for $1,500 vs. individual consultants hired to assist staff at a cost she estimated to be $100,000+ …(based on $75 an hour) This writer just hope a well coordinated full-out effort is made to get the P.R. on track prior to the set May 21st starting date as well as coverage of the event itself … Comm. Vincent continues to drive me to distraction with his endless stream of unconsciousness ..He wrongly made statements about using the Art Institute students vs. the UM students calling the AI experience an embarrassment… The TM tried to rein him in by including in her answer the AI is always welcome as she described the difference…She added the professionals would include Real Estate people who were involved in South Beach redevelopment of boutique hotels …. VM Dodd followed up Comm. Vincent to speak of the difference and to state the importance of specifying the parameters  from the start….Comm. Clottey further sullied the AI students by stating UM participants “were not just students from the Art Institute”…UM were a “higher level” …Ugh!… The only embarrassment that came out of either experience with AI pavilion or the El Mar Drive medians came from the former Town Administration and some on the former Commission including Comm. Clottey!… (Clottey also wanted to add Bougainvilla into the study but the TM stated UM was “already stretched “.. (the A1A study now not only includes Comm. Blvd by the beach but the whole blvd from the Intracoastal to the beach) …The Town Manager described the design work which ranged from conceptual street drawings to new facades for 2 hotels on A1A between Pine and Palm as well as architectural drawings of what the two El Mar Drive anchor hotels could be within our code along with economic performas … Comm. Sasser asked about what we have when we are done and will that information allow us to go directly to RFP …The TM said no “but it will advance us significantly”… It is more than we have now from the previous Master Plan which was “just a statement”… (Not sure I agree with that one..after seeing previous renderings etc… ) … She stated we will still need engineers and spoke of what happened with Ocampo when they designed around the AI winning medians …and how it was not approved in the end and shelved… TM Hoffmann stated “What can I say it’s Lauderdale By The Sea”…going on to say everyone is invited to this one for input throughout… With the drawings and commission priorities then we go out for detailed designs with an RFP …This is when Comm. Sasser asked about the cost differential (see above) … Comm. Sasser also asked about what becomes of the anchor portion submitted by UM since the these properties are privately owned..The Town Manager responded by walking us through what has taken place before and what is usually the case when new business ventures come to town. They come to the development office and inquire about a certain property …The development office and the Town would also take the UM plans and show them to the owners of the properties to show them what is possible and see if they bite …The Town could go further by seeing if those owners would be interested in someone who would be willing to go to the next level of redevelopment…Comm. Sasser stated that seemed to tie into the branding and marketing they spoke about at the last meeting and was the Mayor’s #1 item …Comm. Vincent speaking it seems just to speak  … made a Freudian slip and said he “concluded” with Comm. Sasser’s questions about the “huge savings” with RMA  yada yada yada … The Mayor stated she was in favor of the participation and repeated much of what the Town Manager said stating this was to generate plans and allow the Town to cost out projects … She ended on the same not the Town Manager started on…trying to further define what the purpose this served  and how it would fit in going forth in the big picture …VM Dodd made the motion Comm. Vincent made the second and it passed 5-0 …Set for Jarvis Hall May 21-26th…

Next item on the Special Meeting (under New Business) was for RMA’s 2nd contract which would also be approved 5-0 after they too were not only “corralled” but RMA principal Chris Brown seemed to be “bowing”  to the reality of any parking garages and the “whole enchilada” of redevelopment being way down the line in the 5- year plan with the “what we can afford to do” being the “grand prize” for this and next year’s “main event” … The Town Manager commented first “This is the fastest contract ever put together in recent town history”…It was asked for the previous Tues. evening… She stated the cost of the proposal ($19,900 plus reimbursements expenses)… She further said they would offer a “dose of reality to UM”…(Hopefully a dose of reality to RMA is not to spend all we have in our coffers asap)… Town Manager Hoffmann spoke of the 5 year plan and where the funding would come from as well as rough costs …staffing and tying it all up…The VM spoke as well on how RMA tied it together..Comm. Clottey spoke of costs and her concern of a parking garage that could cost $6 million …The TM stepped in to “corral” Clottey and  the dollar amount thrown out with itemization and priorities done in steps ..RMA’s Chris Brown added it would be a 1st draft of all items in the implementation plan and the garage will be in there with “fairly accurate numbers”…adding “if you can afford it is another matter”… further still adding “probably in your 4th or 5th year or beyond”.. (BINGO!) .. He stated the plan for A1A will be as accurate as they can be using contracts RMA have down to perhaps details such as costs of a Royal Palm vs another tree (shades of Happy Vasil who lost her palm tree in the north Seagrape Dr. development and her desire for Royal Palms to replace them which were to cost thousands …and were quickly taken out of the equation!) …Comm. Clottey stated she thought Bougainvilla and Poinciana needed attention ahead of branding saying “we can’t put our heads in the sand”…(These streets do need attention…drainage/swales/parking beautification) …Comm. Sasser asked when it would be ready …”end of June?”…The TM said it would be the first 2 weeks of June …(Contract says June 1st)… Comm. Sasser went on to asked about the branding and marketing and stating he did not see it in the scope of work …The Town Manager said it was not included in this project and that they had their hands full with this…She spoke of the “marketing arm..the hotels and businesses …Comm. Sasser wanted to know costs and the TM said they needed to come back with those but she needed direction to do so… Comm. Sasser stated it was clear and concise and what he expected and now we will see what we can afford with the money we have and as for the rest needing bonds that could be put on the ballot… Chris Brown said it would be presented that way exactly and stated their would be no bond in the 1st year …basically this is “a five-year decision tree”…( Remember-money don’t grow on trees!) …The TM said all this info will be in place to make decisions pre-budget time … The Vice Mayor was taken aback by Comm. Clottey’s comment about the parking garage reiterating his stance on the need being even further out than 5 years and alternative parking needing to be factored in to the current numbers provided (shared parking program numbers as well as street parking ) … “Cart before the horse… Chris Brown showed he was not a pro-parking garages as he was at the previous meeting (see prev. RMA presentation meeting post) …He spoke about the studies that needed to be done ahead of the $6 million dollar parking garage (s) … A “demand study”…A parking study” ..He said it was not all “supply and demand” again stating what we started out at long,long ago with destination and how far people are willing to walk… He covered the current “demand” as he had prior of East of A1A restaurants vs west of A1A…He talked once again about signage problems and their impact …and the need for getting people to cross El Mar Drive..He cautioned once more as well of how better restaurants west and redevelopment “could make things change overnight”… The Town Manager rope in hand…knot pulled tight…jumped in to talk of “other options”…”A garage is expensive proposition”… the need to “exhaust other options before going that route.”…BINGO!… Later on at the Roundtable the item to expand the “White Elephant” A1A (Bougainvilla) lot by purchasing an apartment building  was met with no support from the commission and quashed (after we paid for 2 appraisals and drawings ..cost?)…Comm. Vincent wanted to know the Chamber’s inclusion and once again “gunning” for VM Dodd (who’s advising this guy these days?) …nastily stated they were “spinning our wheels” talking of the garage inclusion ..He said Clottey’s question was a good one (it was) and then he did his now usual disconnected barrage of commentary that leaves many shaking their heads … Chris Brown stated he would work with staff and told them they had a limited amount of money and they “will need to decide on suggestions that come from the point of view of what’s best for redevelopment” which is what will come from RMA as well as “strengthening your tax base.”… Comm. Clottey asked about infrastructure repairs not included in the report and spoke of nice things to do for tourists vs standing water problems residents are dealing with… The Town Manager reminded her we have the drainage numbers and some of those previously time lined approved projects will overlap with the Master Plan and economic plan ..(In the TM backup was the inclusion that we may face cost overruns for drainage in the south end (Flamingo ) due to problems in another nearby Ft. Laud drainage project not producing the desired result.. Not known yet is if planned installation of drainage wells within Flamingo Ave.is viable option to resolve completely flooding issues..The Tradewinds Dr. project is complete and Chen has applied for permit to construct…Comm & El Mar survey is completed…RFP is being prepared for downtown core project (This writer believes Comm. dropped ball on this one- should have gone with Chen and new tightened up contract ala Choice contract rework to get moving asap) …Comm. Clottey perhaps in election mode (is she going for a 2nd term?… She was seen on the break in quite a long back & forth whispering session with former UOT Pres. Bob Fleishman last night)… stated she “wants them put together” going on to say “We’re not going to borrow $50 million “…”Not gonna happen”… The Mayor asked what Comm. Sasser had earlier when addressing the UM item to the Town Manager concerning staff available vs RMA …The TM responded as she had at the RMA presentation the week before we have an Interim Finance Director about to leave and when the new one comes in mid-may (not yet named) ..He or she will need to “jump into the budget”… This is when she spoke of Aug-Sept for results vs. a June 1st deadline with RMA doing the job… adding RMA can provide not only quicker costs but better cost estimates and using them will not draw staff away from other priorities ..The Mayor asked about branding as well reiterating her stance… Chris Brown said that would have a cost and they could start it earlier “shepherd it” assist in the marketing and “select from 3-4 of the best in the business”…He said “I don’t want to oversell my services.”..The Mayor explained even more of what “RMA would supply us with” …how the “Commission would pick and choose what to allocate”..”with the budget”…She spoke of “past loss of opportunities by not being ready”…and it is “important to move forward (Some of her constituents will not be so quick to sign on with any of those statements)… The Town Manager asked the Commission if they wanted to move forward with the marketing plan… She advised to go forward with this project and then do that one (New RMA contract..New cost$)… Chris Brown joked(?) that contract would be ready next Tues…The motion was made by Comm. Vincent and seconded by Comm. Clottey…passing 5-0…

The last item of business was an item put on by the TAtty.concerning the Buena Vista Hotel on El Mar Drive and a declaratory judgment received for commercial garbage charges vs residential and the inequity under Fl. law… It is I believe on behalf of all such properties in town (this one has been on the dais before) …Choice is named as well…It will most likely include not only the monthly cost discrepancy but recycling inequities as well as franchise fees to the Town…A shade session is set for April 27, 2011 with TAttys. Trevarthen and Dan Abbott at 6 pm…That will preclude the Comm. from discussing the matter …

The meeting was adjourned and a break was taken for moving to and setting up the Roundtable … where the rope’s “knot” was indeed slipping here and there throughout the long session …

More to come…

Post Division