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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….

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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/

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Here’s The Scoop … Hot Potato …

April 6, 2010 by Barbara

QUICK….PASS IT ON!….

Dear Readers….The Town Attorney sent the letter requested by Vice Mayor Dodd to the Florida Attorney General in order to get an opinion on the use of the LETF Funds for the Public Safety Complex for the LBTS-BSO in 2009-10… Vice Mayor Dodd made the motion which passed 3-2 for that letter to be sent…  Included in the March 31, 201o letter were quite a few points of interest (and amusement) to point out…and comment on…

1. “The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea purchased a property adjacent to Town Hall to convert it into a public safety complex for fire, ambulance and police use. The renovations for the ambulance service and the Volunteer Fire Department were relatively minor, but the Town required a considerable sum for the conversion into a police station, it was necessary to carry out extensive renovations to provide a holding cell, sally port, interview room and specialized video equipment.”

BC- The police station “required a considerable sum for the conversion”…”it was necessary to carry out extensive renovations”…What is not mentioned is how the Town Manager kept this all from the Commission and the Taxpayers when championing this purchase with the “Mc-Furth-Silverstone “Gang”… Quite the opposite as Readers can look at the videos…minutes and prev. posts to see the Manager said the costs be $250,000 or less…all the while “stringing” the BSO along with offering up double that amount with a combination of the LETF Funds and town funds…We only found this out from the BSO Colonel when he stood at the podium at the Special Meeting called for the “firing” of Scott Gooding….

2..”The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) serves as the Town’s police department by contract, and assigns personnel to serve as the Town’s Police Chief. The previous Police Chief was fired by the Town Manage, as was allowed under the contract between the the BSO and the Town, and transferred to another community.”

BC- Despite the continued attempt of the last “Mc-Furth Gang” member left on the dais…Comm. “Clueless” Clottey  to whitewash what Town Manager Colon did to former LBTS-BSO Chief Scott Gooding …when she asked for the word “fired” to be omitted at the March 23, 2010 Commission meeting…Atty. Trevarthern included it as fact…which it was! …… Also of note a non-factual inclusion appears in the sentence that followed that one…Chief Gooding was not transferred to another community..

3. “The new Police Chief was asked by the Town Manager to write a memorandum within a week of this appointment requesting the Town Commission to grant authorization for the use of the Law Enforcement Trust Funds in accordance with Section 932.7055(5)(b), Florida Statues, to go towards the cost of providing the renovations and paying for the improvements.”

BC- Yes, the Town Manager did ask for this, which is customary per the BSO …BUT… it appeared and was previously posted as putting the onus on the BSO for the use of the funds thereby taking that onus off the Town Manager …

The letter went on to describe Vice Mayor Dodd’s contention of the use of the LETF Funds…

4. “A member of the Town Commission contends that action was in contravention of Section 932.7055, since use of the Law Enforcement Trust Funds was previously rejected in Attorney General Opinions for a horse stable and, on another occasion, for an evidence room. The Commissioner contends that Subsection 5(b) should not be interpreted that, if the Police Chief writes a request to the municipality, it can then use the funds for converting an old motel into a police facility. It is the Commissioner’s position that the memorandum from the Police Chief should not be used as a means to avoid the clear intention of the wording of the statute. In both AGO-86-48 and AGO- 97-31, the Commissioner notes it was clearly judged that the municipality’s responsibility was to provide the correct facilities for the police to do their job. The Commissioner contends that the Town Manager’s actions were not in accordance with the law already covered by the statute and analyzed  by the Attorney General’s opinions. He therefor advocates that the money used by the Town to provide the facility should be returned to the Law Enforcement Trust Funds, and the renovations should be paid from the Town’s capital improvements budget instead, because only the specialized video equipment would be covered under the statute as a legitimate use of Law Enforcement Trust Funds.”

The Town Attorney gave some additional background…

5. “The Town Commission reviewed the above form of inquiry, along with the memo from the Police Chief to the Town Manager described above, a memo that I prepared at the request of the Town Commission regarding this issue, and the relevant section of the Town’s Purchasing Manual. These are attached for your reference. At its March 23, 2010 regular meeting, the Town Commission approved the Commissioner’s request to seek an opinion from you in this form.”

BC- The Purchasing Manual states …on page 33..

“F. Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) Expenditures

All purchases to be paid for by the LETF must comply with Florida Statutes Section 932.7055 and must be approved in advance by the BSO/LBTS Police Chief and the Town Commission.”

Page 34-

“A copy of the Town Commission approval must be maintained by the Purchasing Administrator. LETF expenditures are restricted by Florida Statutes Section 932.7055, to school resource officer, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, drug abuse education, drug prevention, drug treatment, complex/protracted investigation cost, additional police equipment/expertise, or federal grant matching purposes.”

BC-The Town’s Purchasing Manual clearly states the uses and normal required components such as a holding cell, sally port, and an interview room” are not listed…As Vice Mayor Dodd contends the “specialized video equipment” is included in the LBTS Purchasing Manual……

The 08/28/09 Memo from the new Chief… stated the “letter will serve as a formal appropriation request for the sum of $150,320.46 from the LETF trust fund for the following facilities and equipment:a holding cell, sally port, interview room and specialized video equipment.

Construction of these facilities is not a normal operating expense. These facilities do not currently exist in the Lauderdale by the Sea Public Safety Complex. The requested funding will not be used for daily maintenance cost.

This will be a non-recurring expenditure for law enforcement purpose.

The appropriation approval of the $150,320.46 by the Town Commission would enhance the Broward Sheriff’s Office Lauderdale by the Sea District’s ability to conduct investigations and crime prevention efforts for the Town of Lauderdale by the Sea.

This memorandum will serve as written certification that the above request of $150,320.46 from the LETF fund for the above complies with provisions 932.7055 (5)”

BC- I must respectfully disagree with the new Chief’s memo and agree with then- Comm. Dodd…The Town should be providing the correct environment for the police which includes everything in his request except the “specialized video equipment” …

6. The Town Attorney also included the minutes from the Sept. 10, 2009 Regular Commission Meeting when this was approved 3-2 (Silverstone/Clottey/Mcintee voted yes-Minnet/Dodd voted no) …At that meeting then-Comm. Dodd on page 11 item n. made the same assertions he made on March 23, 2010…He asked for the Town Attorney’s opinion on the use…and in his comments he stated (pg. 12) “the Town Attorney’s opinion was that the the Commission could probably approve the request if the police chief requested it per the Florida Statute 932.7055(5)…..(see #7 below)….

“The Town Attorney stated that her opinion stated the Chief followed the method in the statute for certification. She added that the Attorney General stated that as a governing body they could give deference to the Chief’s request but the determination rested with the Commission. Vice Mayor McIntee clarified that the Police Chief requested the funds, the state said ok, and the final say was the Commission. Attorney Trevarthen agreed the final decision was with the Commission.”

“Manager Colon stated the LETF Funds were approved last year when Chief Gooding requested surveillance cameras and at the previous meeting in the same manner. She agreed with the Chief and with the Town Attorney; it was not a recurring expense and not a non-existing facility. Manager Colon said this was the same thing they did every year and asked why all of the sudden it was not ok.”

7. Attorney Trevarthen’s “package” included the Memo she sent to the Commission on Aug 28, 2009…It stated the question asked by then-Comm. Dodd…The discussion…and her conclusion…

“The Town’s chief has properly requested an appropriation from the LETF to pay for the improvements to the BSO space in the public safety building, and certified that it meets the requirements of Section 932.7055(5), Florida Statues. The Town Commission should give deference to the chief’s request. Ultimately the decision of whether to use the LETF funds as requested by the chief must be made by the Town Commission.”

It ends with “the Statute is recognized in the Town’s Purchasing manual, which provides in relevant part that “all purchases to be paid for by the LETF must comply with the Fl. Statutes Section 932.7055 and must be approved in advance by BSO/LBTS Police Chief and the Town Commission.”…

BC- This was a political “Hot Potato” …on so many levels… to make the end justify the means ….

A.-it still appeared that the new Chief was used (Comm. to give deference) to put forth this request…and he may not have been privy to the LBTS Purchasing Manual…There was nothing in the manual that said anything about the police facility “existing” or “non-existing”… (A look at the minutes shows either a mistake in the minutes or another disconnect with the TM and the Chief on the complex being non-existing or existing)…

B.- There is nothing in the Town Purchasing Manual concerning a non-recurring expense as a criteria for LETF use…

C.-The Town Manager herself made the distinction between the prior use by Gooding and this one by the new Chief….She answered her own question….” this was the same thing they did every year and asked why all of the sudden it was not ok.” by stating the following…. “Manager Colon stated the LETF Funds were approved last year when Chief Gooding requested surveillance cameras”…. Bingo!… It was ok because the funds approved for Gooding were for an approved LETF expenditure according the Town Purchasing Manual….

Vice Mayor Dodd correctly contends, in 2010 as he did in 2009, in this writer’s opinion …as written by the Town Atty. on March 31, 2010…”He therefore advocates that the money used by the Town to provide the facility should be returned to the Law Enforcement Trust Funds, and the renovations should be paid from the Town’s capital improvements budget instead, because only the specialized video equipment would be covered under the statute as a legitimate use of Law Enforcement Trust Funds.”

Will the Attorney General have the same contention?…Will the Attorney General answer quickly or take his time?….This is a different Attorney General (McCollum) …and his reply will be worth the exercise, no matter what his opinion is, just to see where this Atty. General stands on the Statute and whether he too will play “Hot Potato” with the intended use of the Law Enforcement Trust Funds according to that Statute….

Note to Readers….In taking a look at the Town Purchasing Manual for this post…I found something else quite stunning….and will post that  next…

more to come…..

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