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Here’s The Scoop……YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT….

July 1, 2009 by Barbara

THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE……..(The current “Holding Cell” in LBTS)

JUNE 23,2009 TOWN MANAGER ESTHER COLON – “I HAVE PROPOSED A HOLDING CELL, NOT THAT WE NEED IT BY LAW, BECAUSE I THINK IT’S BENEFICIAL FOR THEM TO HAVE A HOLDING CELL”…

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Dear Readers….. at the 6/23/09 Commission meeting The Town Manager in her opening comments (Old Bus. 15 C.) said the following (Please check out the previous post from the 6/30/09 special meeting…and compare)

Town Manager- ” As you know about a month ago I requested approval to proceed with the improvements made to the Public Safety Building. I spoke with um, the Chief. We received plans. They’re in your package and their proposed improvements cost over $420,000.00 . The current funds available in the fund are and there’s a memo attached, are $284,000. I felt it was irresponsible of me in this economic climate to go ahead and make all the improvements when I believe the improvements that we already made for police department, the fire department and the fire rescue department (HUH?) met their needs as far as their work environment changes that we made are far superior then the work environment they have. I proposed a holding cell, not that we need it by law, becuase I think it’s beneficial for them to have a holding cell. The Sally Port is something that we don’t need to have. I guess what I would ask this Commission, do we need to have a gym? Do we ned to have a conference room? Do we need a roll call room? The funds aren’t there. I would love all my departments to have facilities as are on the plans but right now we can’rt afford them. I think we need to move them out of the area cause it’s right. It is, the conditions are very bad and the area that has been designated for them is far superior than what they have. If the Commission decides to go forward with this any and all additional funds that are not in the LETF account would have to be paid for by the General Fund. I’m here for direction. I just wanted to clarify because it’s a big responsibility. Thank you.”

BC- A look at BSO Colonel Ed Werder’s statements on June 30,2009….show that Town Manager Colon strung the BSO along…encouraged them to proceed with their plans…to come back for meetings…investing both BSO department time and money …. and for some reason known only to her?….She did an about face…asking at the June 23rd meeting for “direction” saying she wanted to”clarify” …”because it’s a big responsibility”….What gives…All the while she is assuring the BSO …she is mute to the Commission on her concerns…Hmmmm……..When this writer and others including Comm. Clottey asked about renovation costs to the new hotel the Town Manager “fudged” the numbers …and was coy with remarks of town employees doing painting…removal of debris and a “garage sale” of discarded items…All the she was  hiding the “looming” costs known from the get-go per a”litany” of problems the hotel presented for the police department….The Town Manager was deceptive in her assertions to the BSO as well by repeatedly (according to the Colonel’s statement) telling them it was the Commissioners “pushing” the BSO out of their current office…The Commission were “informed” by the Manager that the Police would be relocated and the current BSO office would be used by Town staff or for files currently stored in the still unsold warehouse west of Federal Highway….Then after finding no real direction from a thoroughly confused “Gang of 3” … she gets the approval for the Town contracted  engineers to start on the pared down plans….and proceeds to destroy the reputation of Chief Scott Gooding for calling her on her actions by the end of the week……In sharp contrast to her asking for direction and wanting clarification from the Commission on the 23rd….by the end of the meeting on the 30th…she says “I don’t need direction from any member of this dais”….WOW!…

BC- Have a seat Madam Manager…You have the right to remain silent…..

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…6/9/09 …LBTS Commission Meeting…#7…Roundup…

June 17, 2009 by Barbara

June 9, 2009 Regular Commission Meeting….

The meeting started late due to the first shade session for the commissioners , administration and 3 Weiss, Serota Attys. to discuss the Bert J. Harris lawsuits…

3. The Invocation…Town Chaplain George Hunsaker

” Let us be in an attitude of prayer. Almighty God as we gather to conduct the business of the town of this community we’re mindful that we call this place a little paradise. But yet you know that paradise is more than beauty, paradise requires that we learn to live in harmony not learn to agree with one another but to live in harmony in which we respect each other. Now almighty God we ask that you empower those who lead us this evening to conduct the business of our town in a manner that demonstrates our desire to live in harmony. Let us conduct the business in such a way that we respect the rights of one another. Amen.”

4. Presentation…previous post…6/9/09 Comm. Mting.

5. Public Comments…previous post…6/9/09 Comm. Mting.

7. Public Safety Discussion….previous post…6/9/09 Comm. Mting.

8. Town Manager Report…The Manager had no comments…

9. Approval of the minutes…no discussion May 12/15/09 passes 5-0

10. Ordinances

1. 1st Reading…none

2. 2nd Reading

a. 2009-14 Noise Ord. was “deferred to a date certain” …once again by VM McIntee…Next time on agenda…July 28,2009..passed 5-0…

BC- Depending on who you listen to…it is purposely on at the end of July to make sure the hall will be quiet due to late summer …or if true Comm. Clottey is said to have spoken at a CIC meeting telling them it will go nowhere…HMMM…

b. 2009-24 Amending the tie limit on Beach Parking Permits…

Public comments….Rev. Hunsaker said the commission should not approve this ordinance…3 hours was a legitimate limit…and cited a lack of parking/ Diane Boutin said the 3 hour limit was more than adequate  and to maintain enforcement/ This writer said it was a “sweetheart deal; for a chosen few” along with the $20 annual fee approved…and asked the commission to not approve this and readress the $20 at a later date…

The Vice Mayor said the vast majority uses 3 hours and was for extending it, and said this and the $20 was to thank our citizens  and if it was abused they could change it/ Comm. Dodd said the $20 was hardly worth the printing and asked the Town manager a ballpark figure of what it would generate 9 The Tm will need to provide him the answer0 He also called attention to the employee annual rate of $300 and said he was dead against this ordinance/ The mayor said these were 15-20 spaces renamed from residential to beach parking and were available previously for $16 annually…that those spots were always for residents historically..passed 3-2 Comm. Dodd/ Mayor Minnet dissenting…

11. Commissioner Comments….previous post…6/9/09 Comm. Mting.

12. Consent Agenda…approval of execution of Amended  Interlocal Agreement for Public School Facility Planning…no discussion passes 5-0

13. Resolution

a. Resolution 2009-15 “Building Citizenship In The Community”…no discussion…passes 5-0

14. Quasi Judicial Hearing

a. Bradly Terra Mar Variance…Staff recommended it be tabled until July 28, 2009…Town Atty. reminded them to “defer” it so no re-advertising would be required…passes 5-0

15. Old Business

a. Pier Sign…VM McIntee pulled it at the start of the meeting…

BC-no “deferred to a date certain”…HMMM….. Does this mean the Marchelos brothers can resume contact with the Town and those Commissioners willing to speak to them?…Stay tuned!….

b. The banners…again discussion on how to choose them…where to put them and the number required…it was decided to get some artwork done…and go from there..

BC- The real problem……The number being discussed for purchasing is anywhere from 28-35 new banners……The backup provided by the Assist. Town manager (prev. post agenda) shows the one-sided municipal parking banners…at a cost of approx. $368 dollars for 2!…If these banners are 2 sided the price is higher…but nevertheless the cost of 28-35 one sided would be….$10,304.00- $12,840.00…plus the setups for each design…Readers will remember that last year the Town paid approx. $12,000 for the present banners ….The Town needs to go out to bid…..

TIMEOUT…FOR SOME MANUFACTURED “CONCERN”…(interference)….

BC- For some outlandish…ridiculous reason the Vice mayor thought he needed to have a vote of the commission to “excuse” Comm. Dodd!… Comm. Dodd in his Comm. comments said he would not be at the next comm. meeting…The Town Atty. said it could be handled informally…Not enough for the “concerned” VM…who brought up incorrect past references to previous commission absences…a motion was made (to appease and move on)…passes 4-1 (Dodd abstained)…The Town Atty. looked it up and it said a commissioner could not miss 4 consecutive meetings…which had absolutely no bearing on Comm. Dodd’s situation…YIKES!…

c. Beauty shops added to Ord. 2009-10…

BC- some discussion on the lack of beauty shops being in Chapter 30 of the land -use ordinance which will be back yet again for 2nd reading on July 14,2009…passes 5-0….

Some discussion after the fact…Why was this added…We hear the former BTSTimes headquarters / BTSTimes Realty building is set to be rented for a beauty shop for the former owner of Gary Lewis Salon……Many wondered about that and who put this on…Comm. Silverstone…(although it was previously brought up without specifically asking for beauty shops by Comm. Clottey when this item was up for 2nd reading last month)……We also hear that beauty shops were left off of the ordinance townwide despite the many that have long been in existence!…OOPS!…

16. New Business…

a. Landscape agreement for FDOT A1A ..

The Assist. Town Manager said this was for $58,000 for designs…and then the manager spoke about matching funds  for this project that has “been on the books” for 2 years…(see budget post)….passes 5-0

b. Citizen’s Advisory Board..

Comm. Dodd was the sole ally for the Mayor saying he was 100% behind it with the many problems we have and the wide range of talent to help available in the community/ Comm. Clottey 2nd it for discussion only…then said while advisory boards are a good idea in general each one has a specific function and she was concerned that this did not…she felt it was “another barrier” …to put it on the referendum/ Comm. Silverstone said this was the same issue as the budget committee and reiterated the sunshine laws that would effect it…we have boards for “pacific” (specific) reasons…He also took the opportunity to counter Yann Brandt again about the availability of the budget being online…(again Comm. Silverstone is wrong…the last year annual budget is on…and the current monthly finance report that Mr, Brandt was referring to is only on for 2 weeks)/ VM McIntee was with Frank Hermann on this…saying it was not used when they ran as a platform (HUH?)..”too broad a stroke”…it would be overseeing the Manager (and that’s the VM’s job!) and the Town employees/ The Mayor said she did indeed include oversight in her platform when running (Frank didn’t vote for her, so he must have missed it)…and spoke of the Town Hall meetings with a commissioner each month/ Comm. Clottey said she was for the and “hopefully it won’t be the same people that come” ..(We can always count on Comm. Clottey for head- shaking commentary these days)/ more discussion on Town Hall meetings ensued…A vote was called for…Comm. Clottey withdrew her 2nd…The Mayor passed the gavel to the Vice Mayor who once again proved howtotally  inept he is with the gavel (He was better with a gun we suppose?) and being the Chair…it  ultimately failed a predictable 3-2 (Mayor Minnet /Comm. Dodd for …the “Gang of 3” against)…

c. Moving of funds from one account to another…

BC- Comm. Dodd tabled it due to no backup provided by the Town…

d. Discussion for delegate to go represent the Town for the Scenic Hwy….

BC- after discussion on costs…no takers on the dais…and Diane Boutin politely declining…Assist. TM Olinzock said a teleconferencing would take place (prev. post sister site) and he would attend…

e. Stop the styrofoam being used at our town businesses …with a letter…(prev. post public comments)…some discussion…and then the commission broke their own rules and allowed the resident who asked this to be put on by Comm. Clottey to speak again when she was none too pleased with their discussion and action of only sending out a letter…Yann Brandt was allowed to speak as well and he spoke again about the  previously failed attempt to form an Environmental Sustainability Committee  ( per Comm. Clottey)…. Letter to be sent…passes 5-0

BC-This  resident’s 15 minutes are up…for special treatment…that is…

f. Discussion for a Broward League of Cities meeting…in out town…coat $400..per new Town Rep.-Comm. Clottey…passes 5-0…

BC- the VM tried to add the League of Cities expense for commissioners to attend in Orlando in August…The Mayor said she had it on the next agenda…but Roberts Rules be damned (fitting at the end of this “decorum”- driven [drivel] meeting and who was disregarding the rules)…

17. Town Attorney Report

The TA found the section in th Charter on missed meetings..section.6.6 …(see above)…

Adjourned…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…5/26/09 LBTS Commission Meeting…#7…To Keep The Debt Or Not Keep The Debt…. That Is The Question……

June 1, 2009 by Barbara

HOW BIG A SLICE OF THE PIE?……….

Dear Readers…Agenda item 6 a…The Finance Report brought forward some interesting dialogue and some interesting facts …along with a big slice of confusion over whether or not to pay off part or all of the 8 million dollar debt the Town currently has…

Comm. Dodd- “I see on page 27 we have a projected debt service of $1.589 million this year and at the same time you have been telling us we are in the black and could pay off our debts. Where in the revenue part of the accounts are the figures that show our interest made on the money in hand that could be used to pay off the debt of 8 million.  Since I’m not an accountant I would logically expect somewhere in these accounts a revenue of at least $1.58 million if we are in the black and could pay off our debts if we wanted to. I asked at a previous meeting whether you have enough money in the accounts to pay off our debt and I was assured that you have.  We as a commission are responsible to the tax payers and should not be carrying an 8 million debt even if you feel you have an extremely good interest rate and extremely low repayment of the loan. We are not in the banking business.  Other municipalities went bankrupt because they thought the same thing. I would like to see a proposal as to how we should move forwards towards being “debt free”, which accounts have the surplus 8 million in order to pay off the current debt.  Personally I believe we should only take out a loan when we have a capital improvement project that can be justified to the residents and the money should only be used for that purpose.   I would like to publicly ask  that the Town Manager prepares a short financial report showing how she can turn the handle and pay off all the loans since we are “In the black”

BC- The Vice Mayor ever the “protector” of the Town Manager called for a point of order to head off Comm. Dodd getting a  response from the Town Manager by asking if Comm. Dodd gave her 24 hours saying this was “a lot of questions to ask the Town Manager with no preparation” saying ” it’s not fair”…Comm. Dodd asked the VM if this was going to be like the 24 hours required to ask questions of the VFD Chief? (a requirement that was finally dropped after it was pointed out that only Comm. Dodd was following the requirement)…

Town Manager Colon- ” Commissioner Dodd, Commissioner Dodd first of all if you recall we had a undesignated fund balances on the books at the end of 9/30/08. I believe approximately 8 million dollars. As you also recall all the loan proceeds for Capiital Improvements have been spent on all projects in the intracoastal in the north part of town. If you’re asking me if we can repay this Capital Fund debt down today with the funds we have on hand yes we can. Is it a prudent thing to do at this time? No it’s not! Present cash values on interest rates are lower than the rates that we obtained our loans. That if you and the consensus of this Commission is the desire to pay off this Capital Fund debt we have the funds to do that”

Comm. Dodd- said he was really asking about if we have a better rate “So what you’re trying to tell me we’re making a marginal profit on the fact that the value of the loan we took out ?”

Town Manager- ” I did not say that , I did not say that. What I said was the curent prevailing rates if you use the present value calculation of the money that’s out there today to get loans,  promissory notes it is a lower interest rate today than it was when we obtained the promissory notes. You asked me where is the interest on the loan proceeds and I am replying there is no interest as the loan proceeds have been used in the Capital Improvement projects in the north beach area. In other words if we borrow 10 million dollars and we spent 10 million dollars on Capital Improvements can you explain to me how I’m supposed to draw interest when the cash is not in the bank? We did Capital Improvement projects. What I am telling you that if you want to pay off your current debt for Capital Improvement the Town may do so because we have other funds available in their fund balance accounts which are designated as indicated in your 9/30/08 audit report.”

Comm. Dodd- said he thought we should pay down the 8 million debt and shouldn’t be playing one balance against another….

Town Manager- ” Well, I would disagree with you, that I think at this time the Town doesn’t have many funds available for Capital Improvement funds.I believe 3 about 3 years ago  went out, we renegotiated our debt issue. We obtained additional funds for Capital Improvement projects and the rates we obtained were lower than the original rates on the books at that time. Currently the rates are less than 2%. So if this Town want s to continue to do Capital Improvement projects, if you can renegotiate a debt issue at that amount or less which is less than our prevailing rates we could probably bring in more funds and continue Capital Improvement projects or infrastructure improvements and negotiate if we can a payment equal to our principal interest that we’re currently paying. You might want to pay off debt. We can pay off debt, but you also have to remember what your present value calculation is. They’re not gonna let you hypothetically on a mortgage wher you owe 10% and get  a 5% that’s not how our economy  works in this country.”

Comm. Dodd thanked her…and the Vice Mayor chimed in to say if he (Dodd) felt “strongly about it to make a motion on the 8 million”…(The hall erupted in laughter)..Comm. Dodd made a motion “to reduce the debt as fast as we can”…asking if he had “a 2nd or if his fellow Commissioners wanted to carry on in debt?.”…

The Mayor said there was a motion made by Dodd and Comm. Dodd said it died for lack of a 2nd…The VM again chimed in to say “The Mayor runs the meetings.”….(The hall erupted in laughter)…

Comm. Silverstone- “I think there during this whole discussion there we got lost in the original question of , are you on page 28 Commissioner Dodd? Are you looking at the fund balance of 1.7 (million) negative? Comm. Dodd replied he was on pg 27…looking at the debt service payment of 1.58 million…Some confusion on the pages…with Silverstone saying that was not on his pg. 27..it was on his pg. 26 and Comm. Dodd jokingly asked Silverstone if his computer was faster ..Silverstone replied “My computer’s not but the rest of me is! …He laughed and said “sorry”

BC- Many people have been commenting about Silverstone’s growing sarcasm, mean spirited comments and bitter behavior on the dais…

Comm. Silverstone- ” The um, the issue here, ah, I think what the Town Manager’s looking for and I’ll ax (ask) that question again. Town manager do we have enough cash in the bank right now to pay off all our debts?..(The TM said “yes”)….”Okay, If we do that and I talked to the Town Manager earlier today we had a discussion about this and I was actually gonna make a motion to start paying down the debt. Until I found out that as she explained the current interest rate is higher or is lower than the rate that we got , the original loan on. So by paying it back we’re actually going to be penalized on it. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay it off in my opinion. But if somebody wants to place a motion out here, I’m not going to 2nd it, I’m not going to vote for it. I think it’s a bad, it’s, it’s not ah, the right thing to do here. But, um just so everybody knows out there if you look at the budget report this year and the budget report for the same time last year the revenues coming in um, last year was 72.7% of what we expected to come in. This year it’s 79.2% so we’re actually ahead of it then we were last year. So we have more, greater amount of revenues coming into the General Fund than we did last year and roughly 10,8-10 million of that is um, advalorem ah, taxes in there which is 90% of our, of our budget of our revenues coming in. Um, expenses ,you have revenues , you have expenses an expense side. We had 81.3% of the budget spent this year to date same timef rame we have 79.2%. So we’re spending less money than we did last year. So again, I, I don’t know how to make it anymore clearer. I know I’ve been accused and personally attacked up here that I don’t know anything about accounting but I’ve done everything I can to explain it. And we had a CPA up here before explaining it and basically he said the same thing. Ah, the revenues that were projected are coming in, the expenses going out are within budget. We have enough money to pay off all the debt right now. I can’t, our economic situation is probably stronger than most towns in Broward County at this time ans most towns probably in America because of what’s going on out there. So I think the situation we are in and I don’t know how to explain it anymore simpler tha that, and I yield.”…

BC- Thanks to Comm. Dodd for bringing this to the dais…

Why did the Town Manager not act proactively about renegotiating the debt loan?…

Are the increased funds going into the General Funds really “transfers” from other funds?…

Why was it correct to move 1.3 million dollars from the proprietary fund…taking assessed sewer funds and depositing them in the General Fund?…The same was done with parking funds….

We have 674 thousand dollars in the Capital Improvement Fund at the present time…and with the 1.3 million sewer assessment funds…why not put it back in the sewer fund for town wide sewer infrastructure?…

What Capital Improvements are we in need of in the next year? We hear there is talk of building a VFD fire garage where the trailer is after its removal from next to the Public Safety Complex…any truth to this?…

Are we facing a penalty for early repayment?…(We never did find out if there was a penalty paid for early removal of funds from the state insurance pools)…

Why did no one follow through about a line of credit?…

As we face the budget workshops more questions should be asked and more creative proactive ideas should be coming from the administration…

more to come………

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…4/14/09 Agenda…RFP For Choice Waste Services…UPDATED….

April 14, 2009 by Barbara

COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS….JUNE 1,2009

4/14/09  …Town Manager Report…

8. Discussion and/or action regarding RFP 09-02-01 Waste haulers (Manager Colon)

Last month (previous LBTS agenda/meeting category post) Choice Waste Services won the job…now it comes down to the negotiations…and the agreement…contained in the backup online (link below)…The Commissioners threw out some terms they wanted included …but they were not voted on at the time of the meeting…they were just the inclusion desired by that particular dais member…such as Vice Mayor McIntee saying 2 times he wanted new trucks only…NOT in the agreement……He also asked in his “grilling” of the companies if they would  take less than a 5 year contract…which does appear in the agreement …with 3 years. to begin with three-3 year renewals…..But did the Commission actually decide to go for less than 5?…Also brought up by Comm. Dodd but not included in this agreement… the 96 gallon toter being the only size allowed…Still in the RFP is the required 96 toter along with recycle bin PER ” dwelling unit”…in a multi-family thus enacting a change from the present choice (pun intended) that lets landlords/owners decide how many toters are truly required by their tenants and on their limited lot size properties…undoubtedly increasing their costs as well….UPDATE…THIS WAS ADDRESSED AND WILL CONTINUE AS IS ALLOWED PRESENTLY….The waste employees will get an additional holiday off…in addition to Xmas…New Years Day…(this needed to be voted on to allow)…The recycle bins and containers will have the Town logo on them and will be replaced by Choice if stolen or damaged beyond repair…in an unlimited number of replacements with no charge to the resident or Town…garbage toters will be repaired or replaced within 2 days…also no charge to residents or Town…Asked for and included “portalets” for special events…(4th of July…with the real number required per the County?)….The Town has the right to change the size of the toters and frequency of pick-ups and Choice “shall adjust accordingly’…with the customers being responsible for the increase or decrease in the costs…The Town can change the billing practices at anytime…(there was discussion at the CIC Town Hall meeting to put it on our ad valorem taxes)……”Corporate Goodwill”…Choice will pay Town upon award the current franchise fee rate on gross single family/residential collections portion of this agreement 3.76% …1X per month will be electronic waste pickups…..a rebate of $20 +/- per ton on all recycled products from Town owned and operated buildings….5 recycled computers (if available) for the Senior Center….Admin. fees $3.76 gross single fam/res. on agreement…The final numbers…Residential Single Family $17.92/ Multi-family $18.37…(the rest of the costs in the backup material…link below)…The Law firm representing Choice Waste Service…Rothstein,Rosenfeldt and Adler…http://rra-law.com/

June 1,2009 is the date to begin…It is 30 days before the Waste Management contract ends…but we hear Waste Management will refund for that 30 day overlap…

Public comment is welcome…Multi-Family Building owners may want to speak up!….UPDATE…A READER GAVE THE HEADS UP…UNDERLINED WAS THE PRESENT ALLOWED LESS TOTERS. PUT IN THE NEW AGREEMENT…..Thanks…Reader…

full text link below…

http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/backup2009.htm

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop….LBTS Commission Meeting Tonight…

March 24, 2009 by Barbara

2ND REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING OF THE MONTH…

7 pm JARVIS HALL….

ON TONIGHT’S AGENDA…..

2-PRESENTATIONS

6-MONTHLY REPORTS

3- ITEMS ON THE TOWN MANAGER REPORT

2- REGULAR MEETING MINUTES TO APPROVE

1- PUBLIC COMMENTS…MAY BE MOVED UP…NEXT TIME….

1- ORDINANCES- 1ST READING

3- ORDINANCES- 2ND READING

5- COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

10- CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS

1- RESOLUTION

2- OLD BUSINESS ITEMS

5- NEW BUSINESS ITEMS

FINGER POINTING…HAND SIGNALS…2 HATS…..GRANDSTANDING….DISCONNECTS….REPEATS….LEFT SIDE/RIGHT SIDE ….YEP…THE LBTS REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING…

channel 78…online ….http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

more to come after the meeting(s)…will there be one…or will they be meeting again 2 times……to finish up?…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…LBTS-VFD 101 Customer Service… “2 Hats” Must Be Removed…

November 12, 2008 by Barbara

MAKE “2 HATS” A THING OF THE PAST…

It is time to make some new rules…no commission member may be a public safety provider…in any capacity…it just does not work…it takes the eye off the oversight of the public safety provider…and it derails the focus of Town-wide government business…

Time to put it on the agenda…and stop the insanity that just will not go away…without making it mandatory…

The current “2 Hats” …may have started with the best of intentions…(although they purposely broke their own VFD By-laws from the get-go…see below)…to carry on a “tradition” of service to both…the VFD and LBTS …but a look down agenda minutes-memory lane…from their election in March 2006…shows a disproportionate amount of time …….residents needed for attention to other Town problems were pushed aside for the VFD…and all thing McIntee….

All roads of discontent…of payback….of diversion…of the suffocatingly all- encompassing VFD…lead to McIntee and wife….continuing on….to the present…with the right- in- your -face performances residents will witness as you watch the 11/10/08 Commission meeting replayed on Comcast today at noon or online at the LBTS site…you will not be able to tell if it is 2006…or 2008….sadly…

Not only do we continue to suffer through the tirades…and the purposeful deflections…on the dais….along with the “attacks” against town residents on the “slap” site…the Topix blog entries… it is said they…the McIntees along with pal Silverstone are responsible for contributing to…they stop the process of the Town moving ahead …

While it is undeniably uncomfortable and universally agreed inappropriate for a Vice Mayor’s wife to go to the podium to badmouth her husband’s fellow commissioners…for the “2 hats” VFD-LBTS Commissioners…they are once again breaking their own VFD rules…as they did …knowingly upon taking office in March 2006…2 months after being elected to become Chief and Deputy Chief aware that in their By-laws…Article 2…section 9…’No officers shall hold any publicly elected office in Town.’…

This time…it’s the VFD 101 Customer Service SOPs…

BCbythesea…replace …”Customer”…… with Resident……Commissioner……Mayor…

‘Our customer is defined as any person or group that receives service provided by us

It is our objective to meet the customer’s needs as it pertains to our goal to provide the best fire and rescue service as we can, which means we will seek to identify the “true need”. We will create an atmosphere where the customer is made to feel welcome, valued, listened to, and where we put forth a genuine effort to meet their needs.

Therefore, the following standards are hereby adopted:

We will present ourselves professionally and courteously, through actions and appearance, and acknowledge every customer with undivided attention, including verbal greeting and attentive body language.

We will use active listening skills for the purpose of finding out the customer’s need.

We will exhibit a positive attitude when speaking to people on behalf of our department.

We will keep a customer informed of action to be taken, approximately how long it will take, and follow through with customer inquiries. If we cannot fulfill our commitment in the agree upon time frame, we will let the person know as soon as possible.

We will learn to use the telephone properly, so we may provide good service to every customer.

We will accept the responsibility for the performance of our department and “never pass the buck”, place blame, or give excuses.

We will, when appropriate, apologize on behalf of our department and pledge to do a better job next time.

We will manage our language, emotions and response to others, who may be emotional or distressed, and will not escalate the interaction.

We will always remember that the customer is our primary purpose for existence and therefore we will give them our undivided attention and not act as if they are a disruption or an imposition.

We will talk to our customers in a manner they can understand without using jargon, technical language or acronyms.

We will remember that our primary objective is people, not things, and act and communicate accordingly.

We will return messages by the end of the day or shift, unless there is some emergency reason why we are unable to do so.

So if we are to believe the “2 hats” VFD-Commissioner/Vice Mayor…they are VFD 24/7….and as such…their behavior on the dais…and off with contributing to the “slap”site..the Topix blog…and verbal abuse in town…has them disobeying their own VFD 101 Customer Service By-laws…and as such they should be disciplined by their Chief…and disciplined by their fellow Commissioners….

The best way to stop this…in the future…adopting new rules…no more “2 hats”…on the LBTS Commision…2010…

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…#5…LBTS Commission Meeting…HERO IN 2010…

November 11, 2008 by Barbara

HE COULD BE COMMISSIONER “HERO” IN 2010….

Mark Mitchell…your name is being tossed out there …for another “rescue”…a run for Commission from the north end of town in 2010!….

You’ll have the name recognition…the backing of many…looking for someone to look up to..and give all those tired of the “2 hats” Vice Mayor…something to look forward to…a new start…a fair shake…and someone that might do their homework….think about it…

A Deserved award will be in place to thank you for your service to this Town with the incredible save of your neighbor…on Oct. 25,2008…an honor for all to see on the wall of the new Commercial Blvd. Pavilion…a decision made last evening…passing 5-0…including your possible opponent…

Once again with your second appearance at the podium …you stood your ground in a manner of dignity and resolve shared by many…for the public safety in LBTS….much appreciated…much admired…

Many look forward to see if you will make the leap …get involved and consider to participate in the process both at the podium and eventually from the dais…in March 2010…

more to come…hopefully…

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Here’s The Scoop #3…LBTS Commssion Meeting …VFD “Attacked”…11/10/08

November 11, 2008 by Barbara

WHO’S ATTACKING THE VFD?…

Everyone in the audience last night said the same thing…”who’s attacking the VFD”….as the men were brought in one by one by McIntee to “stack” public comments…at the podium…

We’ve seen this before…this writer has been part of this type of deflective theatrics in the past…..take your eye off the real problem… the real cause of concern… distrust…and disgust of McIntee himself…

But the second time is not “the charm”…it was met with a universal…both sides of the aisle… “not again”…his “threat” of next time around there will be 50 young men…if necessary…if these political “attacks” against the VFD continue…that too…. was to be expected…

We, the residents….are to forget about the highly inflammatory Pointu resignation letter…the questions on 10/25/08 near- drowning event at the beach…the VFD meeting minutes…showing questionable money matters…the denied response to public information requests….no medical exams completed…..old…un-followed… by-laws…questionable SOPs…the lack of accountability…especially the unbelievable double standard used for the BSO ..in cross examinations of the past by the Vice Mayor…and the new-McVFD…don’t ask…we will never tell of today…with sideshows of…”crying young men”…”low moral”…and tales VFD rescues of locked out residents…and overflowing toilets…told to appease the residents instead……WOW!

As Commissioner Clottey pointed out…less front and center this time around…it is a “certain individual” that is causing the “attacks”…..

That certain individual… VFD Training Officer McIntee…..the man who is shown in the VFD letter as acting in an extreme heightened manner ….much worse than we have witnessed when he is on the dais as the Vice Mayor…..

Wearing those “2 hats”…makes it not just a VFD “internal” problem…it makes it an LBTS voter problem…

Case in point …..the BSO report…previously posted….does not address him as VFD Training Officer McIntee..it addresses him as the Vice Mayor….in the news…anytime he is mentioned with the VFD…it is not VFD Training Officer McIntee …it is Vice Mayor McIntee…there-in lies the rub…which is of his own making….

Last night once more…Commissioner Comments…was he Vice Mayor McIntee or VFD Training Officer McIntee?…He was one and the same…no doubt…he made sure of that…as he always does…

No one wants to get rid of the VFD…only make sure it is not heading down the same path as before…due to the same overblown ego…and bending the rules….”cutting to the chase”…behavior

Sandra Day O’connor lives…in Commissioner Birute Clottey…she is the swing vote…the catalyst for where this goes or not…an oversight committee…or not…accountability…or not….

It is this writer’s opinion…if it she chooses…”or not”…no oversight…the emboldened status quo…will continue on….growing larger…still…until the next big bombshell ….that is surely on its way….

A lot for her to deal with…that’s a given…but deal with it….she must…since the Manager..choosing to ignore the 2004-16 ordinance in place providing her the authority….to do what is required… is “passing the buck” to Commissioner Clottey….and a single vote….

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop…#1…LBTS Commission Meeting…11/10/08

November 11, 2008 by Barbara

GOTCHA….MAYOR…ON OPENING THAT BANK ACCOUNT….

NOT SO FAST….PAL…

The real question is…how was it that Commissioner Silverstone and Vice Mayor McIntee knew about the Mayor opening up an account for donations from the Greenfest event?…

The Town Manager said she found out about it when the Mayor went over invoices with her….

So who informed just 2 of the Commissioners?….HMMMM…the Manager?….

Fair play…no way…the Vice Mayor interorgating……demanding answers…accusing the Mayor of illegal acts…when he doesn’t answer any questions about anything having to do with him…the VFD or his pal Silverstone?….

This writer shook her head…plenty…. to try and stop the blood-letting….to let the Mayor know she should not allow herself to be cross examined…by the guy who wears the Teflon suit!…

Let her get her paperwork together…and see if anything done was illegal or just a practice not used in this town previously and not wanted by the Town  Administration to be enacted again…no harm…no foul….

Commissioner Dodd was right…the cost to the Town was more for Halloween….and pointing out that donations…are always an addition to all Town sponsored events….to offset costs…so with Minnet’s Greenfest donations…the Town should end up paying out nothing…the Halloween event…about $3000+….YIKES!….

It is rather funny though….how the Vice Mayor keeps wanting to go after our elected Republican Representatives…such as Atwater…and others…who used to be portrayed as his BFF’s not so long ago…maybe there’s no room at the table?….

Deflect….Deflect…Deflect……

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop…Scene Around Town…Pre- VFD Weekend Posts…

November 7, 2008 by Barbara

SCENE AROUND TOWN….

The White Cap is under full construction….

Trees are going in the medians on El Mar in front of Minto…

The construction fence is around the site for the Commercial Blvd. Pavilion….

THE PAPER IS OUT…the one with actual named writers…

The Future’s paper is out…with the “Firegate” Scandal…as previously posted here…the “whitewash” by the Town…the “sweeping it under the rug”…along with the real Hero of the drowning incident on 10/25/08….

THEY BLEW THE PUBLIC OFF….

The VFD has chosen to ignore this writer’s second request of public information…providing only the last addition…a roster…and the meeting minutes for Sept…Oct….with Nov..to hopefully come next week…

Clearly the VFD has decided they can operate outside of what the Florida Sunshine and Freedom of Information Acts demand….

HERE WE GO…”FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS”…it will definitely be …”A BUMPY RIDE”….

What follows is what this writer has so far….with much to be posted over the next few days…under scoops…VFD…and #s….

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