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Here’s The Scoop …. “Hereby Terminated” ain’t No po-tay-toe or po-tah-toe … It Means Fired …

November 2, 2009 by Barbara

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 …

Dear Readers…The Mc-Furth”Gang” on the commission has been fond of saying the former Fire Marshal was not terminated, he was offered an hourly position….  saying he was too expensive at 100,000 dollars a year…with Commissioner Clottey so crass in stating we cant’ pay somebody for “twiddling his thumbs” in an office on two separate occasions  (Please voters…the next candidates you elect …make sure they possess some grace and tact…as for Clueless, Callous Clottey, maybe she will be quiet for the remainder of her one and only term, if she does not step down early)…. Well, this writer spoke to the former Fire Marshall some time back and also made a public records request to get the real story…

Fire Marshal Alex Stevenson received an “Offer of Employment” letter….

‘Sept. 2, 2008

Dear Alex Stevenson:

I am pleased to offer you an appointment to the position of Fire Marshall of the Town of Lauderdale By The Sea. The job description for this position is attached as Exhibit “A” and you agree to provide the Town with the services included in that job description. You must certified by the Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals.

By accepting this position you are representing to the Town that you reviewed the job description for the position and that you possess the expertise and experience to perform the services to be provided by you pursuant to the terms of this appointment.’

‘You shall receive an annual salary of $75,000 payable at the same intervals as the Town’s other employees are paid.”..He also received after 31 days Health Insurance …and the accrued hours for sick/holiday hours per pay period.

BC- Note-Not $100,000 as Clottey/McIntee et al keep throwing out…

As previously posted the Fire Marshall was hired “at will” which allowed for the Town Manager to unilaterally terminate him at any time and need not reflect performance-related reasons….also the “at will” employment assured that the Fire Marshall “shall be entitled to base salary earned through the date of termination.”…

The date effective date of employment was Oct. 1, 2008 and it was signed by Esther Colon 9/2/08 and Alex Stevenson 9/5/08

Attached in the PRR were the Town of LBTS Job Description for Fire Marshall which included the following…

‘Characteristics of the Class

This is responsible administrative, supervisory and technical work of considerable difficulty in reviewing the work of the Town’s Fire and Building Departments. An employee in this class serves as an officer with responsibility for all fire investigations, management and supervision of the fire/life safety aspects of plans examination, and field inspections of buildings and properties for the enforcement of applicable National, State, and Local Building, Fire/Life Safety Codes, and Town’s Code of Ordinances.

An incumbent conducts research, analyzes and evaluates research material and presents recommendations for changes in legal provisions governing Fire/Life Safety practices and procedures and recommends changes in applicable policies and procedures. The incumbent is also responsible for gathering information, preparing and presenting complex technical reports, and records relating to fire/life safety, fire investigations, fire and other emergency incident reports, records of commercial property, and other pertinent records. The incumbent makes recommendations to the Fire Chief and the Chief Building Official over a staff of professional and clerical employees, and is required to exercise considerable independent judgment in determining procedures and practices of the Fire Prevention Bureau. Work is evaluated by a superior officer (Fire Chief & Chief Building Official) through reviews of reports, and records, through direct observations, and by review of results achieved.’…This was followed with ‘Examples of Essential Functions’…which was essentially the same as above…and again draws this writer’s attention to … “conducts research, analyzes and evaluates research material and presents recommendations for changes in legal provisions governing Fire/Life Safety practices and procedures and recommends changes in applicable policies and procedures.”…This raises lots of red flags for the real underlying reason for Mr. Stevenson’s dismissal and the now questionable  observance …”is required to exercise considerable independent judgment in determining procedures and practices of the Fire Prevention Bureau.”…now that the VFD Fire Inspector ( Mr. Paine’s primary paid position) is also the “on call” LBTS Fire Marshal…How can there be “independent judgment” regarding the VFD while under McIntee?…. Another function ‘Confers with attorney,public officials, architects, engineers, fire marshals, builders, contractors, building officials, and property owners on matters concerning Fire/Life Safety and Building Codes, Town’s Code of Ordinances, fire suppression systems, inspections and fire prevention methods and practices, and exercises independent judgment in rendering final decisions’…Again, Mr. Paine the new Fire Marshal  is also the full-time VFD Fire Inspector…so how much independent judgment can he provide under McIntee ….and there is no recourse for recipient with any conflict due to the dual roles held by Mr. Paine….The rest of the description explained the ‘Knowledge, Abilities and Skills…as well as education requirements…

Mr Stevenson was evaluated three times with the same evaluation used for Asst. TM Olinzock/Town Clerk White (prev. post)… He was reviewed by the Director of Development Jeff Bowman both times…a little odd since according to the above Job Description he was required to be reviewed by the Fire Chief or the Chief Building Official (Broward County)…in his first evaluation on 11/2/08 he received 9 Good/ 2 Very Good ratings ….with comments – “Alex shows good work quality/Alex has provided all information requested within a reasonable time frame/ Alex has shown that he is knowledgeable and up on current laws/ Alex can be relied upon to complete tasks and assignments/ Alex is competent to work independently and has shown such/ Alex does provide input and ideas/ Alex is self motivated and takes the initiative to complete assignments and assume additional duties when necessary/ Alex adheres ro policies/ Alex works well with all staff and public/ Alex shows good judgment…signed by Bowman and Stevenson….The 2nd review was on 2/10/09 and Alex received 6 Good/ 4 Very Good and 1 not marked (adherence to policy) ratings…..with one comment- Alex has proven to be a competent employee…..The 3rd review was 3/23/09 and Alex received 8 Good/ 3 Very Good ratings…with one comment Attended Broward County Inspections Seminar on 3/12/09…

On August 28, 2009 the Fire Marshall received the following letter from the Town Manager…

RE: Fire Marshal Position (Alex Stevenson)

‘Dear Alex,

As per previous conversations with the Director of Development Services there continues to be a significant decrease in plan and document review, permitting and redevelopment in Town and the need for a thirty hour Fire Marshall on a weekly basis is not justified therefore, the Fire Marshall position will be an on-call hourly position which you may be able to occupy if you desire.

As Town Manager, I hereby inform you that your appointment as a thirty hour Fire Marshall in (as written) hereby terminated, effective September 14, 2009. This action is taken in accordance with the terms of your appointment letter of September 02, 2008, which provides that you are an at will employee of the Town. As an at will employee, your appointment can be terminated by unilateral action. This letter constitutes that unilateral action.

Please return your office keys and any other property, including but not limited to manuals in your possession on or prior to your last date of employment.

Thank you for your service to the Town,

Very Truly Yours,

Esther Colon Town Manager

Attachment Cobra Notice CC: HR File/ Robert Perkins, Fire Chief/ Jeff Bowman, Director of Municipal Services”

BC- Note-OOPS!… Jeff Bowman is Director of Development…not Municipal Services!…

As stated above I have spoken to Mr Stevenson as did Mark Brown in a BTSFuture article as he prepared to leave the Town …Mr Stevenson said the hourly position was never mentioned again in his last days…. He knew the position was going to the VFD Fire Inspector….Mr Stevenson voiced eerily similar concerns about the VFD under the current McIntee led leadership as described in the letter sent by outgoing VFD Battalion Chief Patrick Pointu (prev. posts) one year earlier… It reflects the McIntee led abysmal ISO training scores received this past year and should make all voters realize that if the VFD members themselves (many are unsatisfied with the current leadership) do not vote McIntee out as Deputy Chief in December  and get some other training …. the March 2010  vote to remove McIntee from the commission is the only way to ensure we get the VFD we were promised at the last municipal election with the same membership..(VFD is not an election issue)….and a new non- McIntee led leadership…with some sort of oversight…

We know once again from the above PRR this Town Manager uses questionable reasons for “unilaterally terminating” contracted employees of the Town… We also know she cannot oversee the VFD with McIntee in charge…and that point was inadvertently driven home by none other than her “protector” and joined at the hip co-conspirator (of bad leadership and payback) Vice Mayor McIntee himself at the October 20, 2009 commission meeting when his BFF Jimmy -boy Silverstone made a friendly amendment to Comm. Dodd’s motion that the Town Manager should evaluate herself ..Silverstone wanted the manager to evaluate the commissioners…Vice Mayor McIntee jumped all over the idea saying the manager “works for us” and the “negative evaluation” could be a problem…OOPS!… The Town Manager cannot oversee the VFD because 2 of her “bosses” are both commissioners and VFD so, according to McIntee it could have a negative impact on her position!… YIKES!…

Once again, we find that half-truths have been perpetuated by the Mc-Furth”Gang” who did not bother to do their due diligence….and blindly allowed the Town Manager to lead them by the nose…to disparage a man and his position….with no absolutely regard and absolutely no regret for the roles they played…

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The Last Gasp …Election 2010 …

October 31, 2009 by Barbara

RIP…

Dear Readers … unless they move it after this is is posted …out in front of this year’s 3 week , $4000 Halloween production at Jarvis Hall is a headstone that says “RIP Marc & Cristie”…. A few readers have made mention of it already wondering if it was a prank by the Mc-Furth opponents or if it means something else?… First of all it’s not new..it’s been on display in the back room among others with local names on them as well….found after going through the haunted hallway to where the coffin is… The placement this year, as of right now at least to this writer…may be another  “sign”…pun intended …. of the “Last Gasp” to retain the past they want at all costs….while knowing the tide is turning…

The Furths may be successful in their “Last Gasp” campaign which is how I will refer to the March 2010 election in LBTS…( the term is thanks to an observant pal, intuitive observation)…by getting the height referendum back on the ballot…That would be a shame…under the “guise” of “clarification” ..You heard that word come from the Furth commission “devotees” on the dais less than 24 hours after the Oct. 26th Referendum Workshop when it seemed the 3 (McIntee, Silverstone and Marc Furth besotted Clottey) were faltering from the 33 feet issue that THE FURTHS  NEED IN THIS ELECTION… If they can’t get it…they do not have an issue to run on, at least a tried and true  Furth issue….. So in what appears again to be totally a disregard of Sunshine  all 3 came to the dais on the 27th to say “clarify” the 33′ height limit in town…WOW!…

Ms. Furth spoke of  working with “co-sponsor” Oliver Parker…and all 3 commissioners were involved in the one or more past renditions of the same issue…and now they need it again?…Why?…..The Furth’s want it ..Cristie wants it…so is she wants it…Marc wants it and to keep Cristie happy…..Marc will besot Clottey and pal around with Jerry and Jimmy…same as in the past….that’s why!…

This writer, as readers know was a part of the last 2006 height campaign… and was caught up in delivering with fervor erroneous information “buried deep within” the backup of those 75 words on the ballot…We were told by certain  CIC tin charge to tell those in the south who really did not care about the north end’s  15 story height that if the south let it get passed then the commission would have a right with their majority  vote to raise the heights in our end of town..Eeeeks…. It was scary stuff….BUT…it was not true!… What will the CIC-Mc-Furths come up with this time?…And do they have anybody left to carry out erroneous information?….The numbers for their organization clearly show the CIC has indeed dwindled down to a membership of new members in January 2009 coming from a new members apartment building in the south and the VFD…along with a smattering of old timers …..very telling of the downfall from out in front watchdog group to cheerleading for Jerry’s tired tales …

There are some things that matter more than 33′ in this town…and that is the change in our demographics  and what Paul Novak President of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Master Plan Steering Committee, and longtime hotelier in town brought out at the end of the Oct. 26th Referendum Workshop…with the 33′ feet we will have no more hotels…we will become a residential community …..

I moved to this town 10 years ago…We bought a 3 bedroom condo in Sea Ranch Club after living for 6 years in Pompano Beach on the Intercoastal …We had originally moved here from the North Shore of Chicago and missed terribly the ability to walk around …into town..to the store etc…to eat and to be entertained…something we could never do in Pompano… Lauderdale By The Sea in 1999 as a new resident was a wonder to behold ..It was vital…It was busy…It was beautiful…It was a sort of contagious bliss…and it came from the tourists who were here for however long days, weeks or months…… The hotels and motels were full…Mack Groves was bustling with longtime devotees as well as newcomers who sat lined up in chairs happily and contently observing the sunshine, feeling the ocean breezes and smugly acknowledging each other in this shared experience… It was really something…it was heaven…

Now we no longer have Mack Groves, no chairs…no congregating of tourists and locals alike in acknowledging anything close to what we had back then… It’s not because we have development of 3 taller buildings that have gone up on El Mar Drive… It’s a loss of vitality in the commercial areas that bring about the current dismay…and the ongoing construction that mucks up the marvelous vistas for those that chose this town for  their vacation destination…

I do disagree with my friend Commissioner Dodd  and others who believe 33′ or 44′  with no equipment or pools on the roofs…It’s too constricting and it can be done to keep it aesthetically pleasing……I disagree with getting rid of all of the “Overlay Districts” forever…and quickly realized as I have written before that the Mc-Furth CIC “sweep” of repealing them right after the CIC win on the dais in 2008 was not thought out well, ( former CIC board member John Thompson tried and was defeated in warning us of the fallout ) …but a “knee-jerk” reaction that was orchestrated by the Mc-Furths who had their own “agenda” to stack the town boards with CIC pals and thwart any and all attempts to fix the demolition of “overlays”  without realizing the consequences…

We need a “Hotel Hospitality District”…and we need business people like Mr. Novak to assure that tourism remains in our town…We need an “Entertainment Hospitality District” to ensure that business remains in this town…and that includes getting rid of the parking requirements as Mr Novak himself discussed at a MPSC meeting  months ago…(prev. post)…

It strikes me as really funny that the Mc-Furth- Silverstone -Clottey contingency of the dais with their pal Manager Colon want to have a “Recreation” program for “our kids”, our “families” …but will do nothing for the “entertainment” of the larger new group of residents in this town, the younger ( not seniors) home buyers without kids who are looking to dine in town…and spend money…

Without the parking requirements…Mr Novak has assured us the storefronts would be filled with coffee shops, cafes, galleries and more…and I  wholeheartedly believe him…

Last night we had dinner at the new Vietnamese restaurant in town, Basilic Vietnamese Grill on Commercial  Blvd.  (the old Tedesco location)…and by 7 pm it was full with patrons waiting outside..There would be no way they all parked by the restaurant…They came as we did, by foot…from home and from nearby parking lots…But it was not something they even mentioned…They came for the food…imagine that!.. That’s what I’m talking about…throughout the downtown…to the east and to the west of this new restaurant…We could be a destination for more scenes such as this…

We are headed into the most important juncture for this town 10 years since my arriving here…This 2010 election will lead to who decides who will sit on the Town boards and committees…and who will have the say of the 10 year Comprehensive Master Plan for what this town becomes…  Despite disingenuous accolades made a few meetings back by Vice Mayor McIntee to Sandra Booth…(The VM disparaged Mrs Booth’s reappointment to the MPSC in 2008, joined by Comm. Silverstone…despite the FACT that Mrs Booth as past  MPSC-Chair had brought so much to the town in that role… including the Art Institute students who provided the original Beach Pavilion ….Incredibly, Comm. Clottey and Town Manager Colon disparaged Mrs. Booth as well, when they prepared for the ribbon cutting of the Beach pavilion…both actions were “orchestrated” by the Furths)…If we maintain the “Broom Boys” majority  up on the dais…we will see 2 more years of the same…

The MPSC in the last 2 years have been a waste of time, 2 giant steps back in progress for this town….It was canceled for lack of participation in conflicts of scheduling whether it was the CIC-VFD 4th of July or a CIC monthly meeting…( most members on the board are old-time Mc-Furth CIC pals) and as for direction from the dais to get a move on a new Master Plan in 2008-2009 …to get the old plans down off the  “shelves” somewhere…forget about it.!..Despite Comm. Dodd’s many attempts to provide it,  by going to the meetings or directing staff from the dais….the Mc-Furths and the Town Manager ignored and criticized…even calling Dodd out of order for “going there” and “directing”on his own!……They got what they wanted in the end… the MPSC did nothing… The Planning and Zoning which could have met throughout the past 2 years…not just when an applicant required a ruling… …has met less than a half a dozen times…At this month’s meeting they approved the minutes from the last time they met …last April!….

Is that what the voters want?…Nahhhh…..

We, the voters  need to see that this really is the “Last Gasp” election for the small-minded selfish Mc-Furths…. It’s time now to get a healthy dose of new blood on the dais…who will provide from the new demographics in town new blood on the Town boards and committees as well …. It’s the only way to ensure that we find in 10 years time we again have a LBTS Tourist destination locale that makes us, the majority in town …. all realize the “Last Gasp” election in 2010….was just that …”The Last Gasp”…and we  the voters…banded together to stop the demise of what brought us here in the first place…

RIP Cristie & Marc…. RIP…..(politically that is)…

more to come….

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