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May 25, 2023 by Barbara

Dear Readers…

This writer was not able to attend the LBTS Budget Presentation Workshop on May 23, 2023 at 5 PM in Jarvis Hall….and it seems with the exception on one lone resident…the hall was empty!….

We know there was no real effort to get the word out by this administration…no alerts were sent out prior to residents as they customarily are the Friday before….

I did however watch….and what I saw was disappointing, disturbing and did not even merit second place!…

Below is a followup email sent to our LBTS commission the day after this debacle….

In it I point out that our Town Manager as a tax- paying resident of Lighthouse Point receives a superior municipal budget and that she should in good conscious offer the tax-paying residents and this commission the same!…

Needless to say….I’ll have what she’s having!….

I am also once again pleading with this commission to return to the days when it was the commissioners taking charge and not being scolded, dismissed and led by administration….

5/24/2023 Email –


I watched the Budget Workshop last night and found it lacking any specifics.
Why were you not provided real numbers such as the actual 2023 financial balance sheets through April?
Despite stating they were in your agenda packet backup prior to this workshop a compiled year- to- date inclusion should be an essential component.
To do so could not possibly make too much work for staff!
The Town Manager stating repeatedly that “ We’re not there yet”  and that this is “preliminary” does not pass muster, in my opinion.
Asking the commission for input based on a glossy presentation with bundled numbers is just plain wrong.
Bundled numbers were used last year as well and should not be acceptable ever again.
Instead of a presentation, there should be multiple round tables where the commissioners take the lead armed with all the necessary financial materials and with the Town Manager and staff taking a back seat while the commission can openly discuss it all.
The lighthouse Point 2023  budget ( link below) shows what a first- rate comprehensive municipal budget should look like.
Lighthouse Point is where our Town Manager receives this first rate comprehensive budget produced and provided by her Lighthouse Point Town Manager and her Lighthouse Point commissioners as a tax- paying resident.
As Town Manager of LBTS she should provide our LBTS tax- paying residents the same!
This commission must be pro- active.
This commission must call for several round table discussions.
This commission must be provided ALL of the pertinent information required.
This commission must direct staff to rein in their “ asks” and protect their constituents at a time where those who elected them in to office are drowning from huge condominium assessments ,huge insurance increases, huge utility increases etc… etc… etc..
This commission must be cognizant of their neighbors tightening their belts and direct staff to do the same with the Town budget this year.
This commission must direct our Town Manager to use her hometown of Lighthouse Point’s budget as a template and provide it to LBTS taxpayers in 2024 so that we can have what she has!
Barbara Cole’
More to come…..
Post Division


May 22, 2023 by Barbara

Dear Readers…. A followup-

Unfortunately, this writer is unable to attend the LBTS Budget Presentation in Jarvis Hall at 5 PM…

I did however send the commission the following email …. Let’s all see what transpires….

5/23/2023 Email to LBTS Commission
I am hoping I can make it to the Budget Presentation at 5 PM tonight.

It is most disappointing that there was no alert or email sent out prior to it leaving residents to only know by looking on the Town website.

There is no substantial backup to justify the numbers and no substantive qualifiers for much of the desired “ asks” and increases.

It looks very much like the glossy presentation put forth for the downtown project which may be the real impetus for this new way of handling the Town budget.

The downtown project left off months ago with having everything included with the commission then meeting to decide what stays and what goes.

That meeting never happened.

Tonight at your commission meeting you have essentially accepted all the bells and whistles and are deciding on which lights and which signs only.

Perhaps, this similar presentation will produce that same result.

We, the taxpaying residents will be left with all that is on this presentation and will have to dig deep to cover it all.

This year should be residents first.

Our residential neighborhoods look awful.

Our residents are being deeply impacted by inflation, huge insurance increases, huge utility increases  and huge assessments.

As you all like to say, but rarely deliver-
Sharpen your pencils, bring out your sharpie permanent pens and show your constituents you are not just showing up to pat each other on the back and take your marching orders from Town administration and staff who do not live here.

I know the dais will most likely just look to get past my 3 minutes and circle the wagons for our Town administration and staff if I am able to make it.

But, I am always hopeful that a few commissioners will question and direct the Town showing the awareness those who voted for them were promised when they were asked for their support.

In any event, I will be watching- if Channel 78 allows for sound that is!

Barbara Cole’


Dear Readers…. It has been a while…. but this writer still keeps up with the goings on of this town, its administration and our commission….

Sad to say since my last post on shopping sprees….that was just an opening act for what is coming in 2024..25…26 etc…etc…etc….

A look at the 2024 Town Budget on the Town Website which curiously was not sent out by alert or email shows we are no longer a commission run dais…The residents come last…. and our Town government is bloated beyond what any mile and half long barrier island hamlet should ever entertain as acceptable!….

Town Budget Presentation Link…


That being said playing in to this scenario are the overriding facts that we no longer have a large contingency of voting homesteaded…taxpaying residents who participate, organize and call to task those who are elected to represent us…

This promotes a Town Manager led budget and agendas that put the residents at the bottom rung of every decision and puts LBTS on a trajectory that in this writer’s opinion will produce within the next few years ….LBTS taking out a bond…. building a massive public safety building ….being in debt for the first time……looking indistinguishable from our neighbors to the north and south (with the expected re-do of Commercial Blvd)….  and lastly….having a referendum on the 2026 ballot on height limits…which will reverse our current one…due to the factors listed above…and the fact that when the height limits won…it was a slim margin…and that was with a huge effort of mobilized citizens to get it over the finish line!….

Look around….what do you see….a town overrun with people due to the Town marketing extensively which is not necessary as the hotels and the businesses are able to easily market themselves at no cost to the taxpayers….the new budget shows how out-of -wack this is….

We are being inundated with alerts to vote LBTS as the best beach….How so?…. A look at our beaches shows…they are way too crowded….leaving little space to homeowners…and we have a broken Pier that is a disgrace to see in photo after photo online …. no matter that it is privately owned…the Town should be embarrassed….

The plazas are full of smokers…and the parking on El Mar Drive south is full up of non-residents with no intention of going in to our downtown….

We…the taxpayers are yet again paying for transportation with Circuit to the tune of $200,000 + rather than letting private enterprise control transportation needs…

El Mar Drive….is yet again abandoned…in the new budget…but $125,000 is going to a 75th art installation and around the same is going to re-design the award winning Anthony Abbate portals…

Our Town Attorney is set to make twice the amount of Lighthouse Point…Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale…

Our Public Safety costs are no surprise….In fact …this writer predicts that sometime in the not- so- distant future…LBTS Public Safety …police, fire and EMS will be county run… due the increased costs….unless we are annexed …which too is a strong possibility…

But…alas….on Tuesday May 23,2023 at 5 pm with the presentation for the 2024 budget…it is utterly predictable that there will be no one in the audience…with perhaps the exception of this writer…and Ron Piersante…who will go to the podium with the same polar opposite positions…against…and for respectively ….while the Town Manager…staff and the commission look beyond the 3 minutes allotted to speak… This provides what will happen next…due to the dais taking it as a signal that their constituents are all satisfied with them and the Town…

The commission will take turns giving accolades to the Town Manager and staff…for a great presentation…and all their hard wok…exclaiming what a wonderful town we have…unlike any other……

And…just like the soldiers that all fall back in unison during the annual Christmas Boat Parade…they will all vote for everything the Town Manager has brought forth… and continue to do so until the final vote in September…

They will not take in to consideration…the size of our town….the residents of town…and the impacts these residents and businesses are facing with inflation…insurance skyrocketing on their properties and how they …the commissioners ….should be reining in the government….the redevelopment….and the path we are barreling towards with the loss of LBTS as we know it….

Where have all the proactive commissioners gone?….

More to Come…..

Post Division


November 7, 2022 by Barbara


Dear Readers……
On Wednesday November 9, 2022 at the Town Commission Meeting in Jarvis Hall our Town Manager under New Business wants to receive authorization and approval from the Commission to negotiate a contract to purchase a 9- unit  multi-family property on Bougainvilla that the Town already received two appraisals for between $2.4 million and $3.75 million for future use to build a new multi- million dollar Public Safety Complex!……
We  heard from this same Town Manager, town staff and some Commissioners a few months ago that we needed to raise the millage for lack of funds!…..
As a result of those Commissioners who listened to those they represent and prevailed to not raise the millage we were told we needed to remove capital improvement projects due to this loss in revenue….
There was no discussion when these claims were made….as once again the Commission left it up to thIs Town Manager and staff to cut out items…..
What did they remove?…. Resurfacing our streets along with some erroneous and unneeded new town events….
This came after the opening blow at the first budget meeting last summer…. when the Town Manager and this Commission took away the $1.6 million dollars that was “ earmarked”  ( as stated when they put forth the 2022 town budget archived on video…)…for El Mar Drive to be refreshed in 2023!…..
El Mar Drive has now been relegated for yet a third round of costly design plans in 2025 with possibly being implemented in 2026  if this time it succeeds…..meaning El Mar Drive will sit dormant for 2-3 more years with a few handfuls of paltry “ fixes” such as the piecemeal sidewalk and swale patchwork witnessed since the demise of the 2nd costly and unwanted incarnation El Mar project! …..
Unfortunately this travesty was aided and abetted in large part by two stake-holding hoteliers who decided to put all their time and effort towards fear-monger in order to remove Aruba Beach Cafe’s outdoor dining in the Ocean Plaza, in my opinion…
This purchase of yet another town property after paying $5 million for the parking lot across from Walgreens shows we have money and that the money is being designated for more parking and possibly now for those who work in the town rather than for those who live here and pay the taxes!…..
This town has not grown…..It is no larger than it ever was… due to our town limits…north to south and east to west….
This  town has a volunteer fire department that is handsomely paid for what they are able to do here….. Just look at all the equipment that now is need of  a state- of- the- art complex to house it….
This town has a small BSO police presence and AMR ambulance service….. due to its size and population….
Why would we or should we purchase land and even contemplate building a Public Safety Complex based off of only one Public Safety study?….
We will still be the same size town and we will still require mutual aid….. that won’t change….
Also, on Wednesday night’s agenda is a 90 day extension for the VFD contract…..and once again this commission has chosen not to look at alternative fire department coverage from Pompano Beach and/or Fort Lauderdale or the BSO…
If the ultimate plan of this administration, and commission is to build a multi- million dollar Public Safety Complex then surely alternatives should be up for discussion and executing bids…….such as using other municipalities as Sea Ranch Lakes does and seeing what BSO would offer as a comparison …..
We will always have a finite number of taxpayers footing the bill……
As I have stated in the past, I believe in the future small municipalities such as ours will be to incorporate with the county for public safety services and to become satellite towns due to the lack of sustainable funding for these services….and the retirement funding for our increased town employees….
It is time to stop the purchasing of more and more land for parking lots and future mega structure builds… and step back to fulfill the fiscal responsibility owed to our residents and our small town….
It is long overdue for this Commission to finally step up and take back the control of the dais, the agendas and to represent their constituents by turning down this purchase and any monies planned for building an overblown Public Safety Complex and/ or Town Hall Complex…..that does not fit the town character, town size or town needs….
Are we at a crossroads in our town which will determine its future….. Will we retain our low- rise heights and charm? …..
For those who think of course we will…..maybe you need to think again….
To this resident….when you really take a hard look at these ongoing Town staff led acquisitions… I sure wouldn’t bet on it!….
More to come….
Link to Agenda item purchase..
Post Division


October 11, 2022 by Barbara


Dear Readers….as previously posted there is a small group rabidly trying to put an end to what has been a successful co-existence in the Ocean Plaza ….Aruba Beach Cafe and our Ocean Plaza have proven to be a win-win to all those who have enjoyed both over the last few years!…..

Why this small minority has chosen to spread unfounded fears and falsehoods is mind boggling and so wrong on so many levels!….

Tonight the commission will vote on both Aruba Beach Cafe staying in the Ocean Plaza and the downtown restaurant extension ….yet again!!!!…..

It is time for the majority of those who see the benefit of both extension dining areas  being made permanent as this outstanding and necessary action taken by the commission due to the pandemic in order to assist the restaurants and to protect their patrons and our residents turned out to be perhaps the one positive as a result of it all!!!…..

Please let your commissioners know you want them to support the restaurants in the Ocean Plaza and in the downtown….

Public comments can be made in person tonight at Jarvis Hall…6:30 PM ….It will be a full hall and you won’t want to miss it!…. To send Public Comments in….

[email protected]

My Public Comments….sent in as this writer will unfortunately not be able to attend…

10/10/2022 email-

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Mayor, Commissioners,

Unfortunately, I am not able to attend this all- important meeting with the stand alone agenda item to address the expansion of outdoor dining downtown and in the Ocean Plaza.

The test of this addition to our town for both areas has been an overwhelming success for our town in keeping LBTS in the forefront of being the unique beachfront community has long been known for as both a place to call home and a coveted worldwide destination.

The support for Aruba Beach Cafe is overwhelming throughout our town from many of those who have served on the dais, served on Town boards and Town committees, LBTS pioneer founders of our town, the majority of LBTS hoteliers, downtown businesses, our residents and our visitors.

The only real concern voiced with Aruba Beach Cafe in the Ocean Plaza was if it would impact Town sponsored events in the plaza and that concern has been negated as Aruba has proven to be a wonderful partner with the Town by clearing its outdoor dining extension and positively assisting in each Ocean Plaza event by elevating each one!

Option #1 should remain in place as it is the most advantageous location for both the Town and Aruba Beach Cafe in allowing for diners to enjoy this dining experience in the plaza and for allowing parents to dine as their children do indeed play with the games nearby that Aruba puts away each evening to allow for extended time beyond Town employee hours.

It is a sad day in LBTS when a small negative group puts forth unfounded fears and factual  untruths aimed at this one restaurant that is the historic premier anchor of our town with the Anglin Pier and has consistently provided so much to our town through its extensive advertising, large taxes, countless donations and constant assistance for all Town events over many, many years.

Tonight, I ask for this Commission to join in with voting with overwhelming support for Aruba Beach Cafe to remain where they are in the Ocean Plaza and to extend the gratitude Aruba so richly deserves for their prominent role in our Town’s history as we celebrate our 75th year in 2023!

Barbara Cole


More To Come….

Post Division


September 25, 2022 by Barbara


Dear Readers….As previously posted there is a small minority of misinformed LBTS residents and visitors who are being told that Aruba Beach Cafe is infringing on our public property and must be stopped…..

This is a campaign of lacking the facts and the history of our town….especially as we approach our 75th year and the upcoming celebrations….

The facts as you can see are quite the opposite….The Wharf Restaurant was built by the Demko family who like the Anglin family who built the Anglin Pier and the Friedt family who brought us Friedt Park…. are landmarks that were here long before the 2008 Pavilion and the 2013 Ocean Plaza….

The Wharf Restaurant now known as Aruba Beach Cafe should be rightly recognized along with the pier and the park and the Welcome Center that was the original Women’s Club in our 75th year and as such should be coveted and revered ….not denigrated and displaced as this group is looking to do….

Don’t buy into these scare tactics of “tunnels” to the beach and there being no more public space for children to play….It is a ruse of the worst kind to work people up under false fears for the future….

Instead…. join those who know that Aruba Beach Cafe is as it has always been….well placed both in its historic placement with the pier and within the Ocean Plaza as we proceed to improve upon what our founding families provided us with a town like no other….


Below is the email I sent to the commission last week….and the link to-

Lauderdale- By The – Sea A Living History found on our Town website….

It is a must read for all who live and love LBTS…..


‘Mayor, Commissioners-

I stood before you on 9/14/2022 and spoke about Aruba Beach Cafe being a landmark in our town.
Further investigation produced more credence to designate it as such along with our other landmarks such as Anglin Pier, Friedt Park, Women’s Club Building (The Welcome Center )etc…
Included in the book Lauderdale- By- The- Sea A Living History by Martha E Munzer Chapter 1. “The Beginning” on page 3  is the history of the Wharf Restaurant now known as Aruba Beach Cafe.
It was built and run by one of our Town’s founding families,The Demko family and it is described for its location as is the pier built by another founding family the Anglin family.
What this tells us all is that Aruba Beach Cafe ( The Wharf) and Anglin Pier were the coveted properties in place decades before the redevelopment of the pavilion ( from  metal shell covers) in 2008 and the Ocean Plaza ( from parking places) in 2013.
To denigrate Aruba Beach Cafe in the manner a small minority is doing with threats of a referendum ( not possible for the Nov.8,2022 election per required process) and threaten them with falsehoods in alerts disgraces the history and significance of Aruba Beach Cafe( The Wharf) and its Demko history as well as a look at the reverence long paid to it past and present.
Experienced planners look to join public- private ventures such as we have with Aruba Beach Cafe in the Ocean Plaza and as such it should be recognized for the landmark it rightly is and a shining example of urban planning at its best!
I again ask the Mayor as he finishes his term to spearhead designating Aruba Beach Cafe with a proclamation as a landmark alongside Anglin Pier, Friedt Park, The Women’s Club Building and others.
Barbara Cole’
Link- Lauderdale- By The – Sea A Living History found on our Town website-
Post Division


September 19, 2022 by Barbara

This Writer Leaves the LBTS Green Team!

Past Green Team El Mar Supporters who fought to retain El Mar Drive from being redeveloped should know that the current defunct Green Team has gone off course with the new call to protect and preserve our town.
It is a rotten ruse!
Past Green Team supporters should also know that it was this writer who came up with “Protect and Preserve “ slogan and wrote the previous Green Team newsletters, alerts and Captain of the Green Team public comments throughout the El Mar campaign.

This writer is parting ways with the defunct Green Team on its call to prevent Aruba continuing its use of a scaled back portion of the Ocean Plaza!

Don’t be fooled that this unnecessary call to arms is the same fight!
In fact the sad result of this defunct Green Team going off on this tangent is the scandalous loss of the 2023 “earmarked” $1.6 million dollars for refreshing El Mar Drive!
The Town Manager moved that money received from the old Holiday Inn and the Oriana to other Capital Improvement Projects and slated El Mar Drive for yet another design phase in 2025 and project in 2026!
A look at the 2023 budget shows there are no funds allocated for median lighting on El Mar Drive and that a paltry sum of approximately $77,000 was used to fill the cracked swales as well as minimal expensed funds were used to redo cracked sections of sidewalks.
Hardly the expected refreshed “ Protect and Preserve” package that could have been if this defunct Green Team had kept their eye on the El Mar Drive prize!
Please remember after volunteers went out to all areas of the town (both north and south) that surveys were brought into Jarvis Hall in baskets and presented to the commission in overflowing numbers when sidewalk dining including the plaza use were looking for extensions and permanent use from residents, hotel guests and visiting patrons showing the overwhelming support and desire to retain what resulted from Covid compliance initiatives.
The Green Team has fallen mightily from Preserve and Protect El Mar Drive to a campaign full of poorly written falsehoods!
But, what is truly mind boggling to this writer is that the Captain of the defunct Green Team has actively joined forces with the resident/ town contracted engineer who engineered ( pun intended) the redevelopment of one- lane El Mar and the removing the medians for parking in this crazy plaza endeavor!
Until 2012 the plaza was comprised of parking spaces and not the historic public space being touted by the defunct Green Team.
In fact, it was Aruba and the Pier that anchored it when there was no plaza or pavilion!
 The plaza in 2020-2022 uninhabited by Aruba Beach Cafe is a space that fills up not with children playing games while holding their balloons as they have in the last decade when they are waiting with their parents to get a table at Aruba ( before the plaza portioned outdoor seating)!but with loitering souls as any regular downtowner can attest to.
Please take note-
As of 3 weeks ago the plaza games the defunct Green Team laments are no longer in use along with new additions have been put back in the plaza and it is Aruba that is taking care of putting them out and back for the Town to extend their time beyond the hours of the Town maintenance employees!
Aruba is a town landmark as this writer previously posted, emailed and spoke at Public Comments about.
As such, an all- out campaign to malign this anchor to our town built on falsehoods should be discounted and called out by all!
Aruba is not using the sidewalks and the plaza. A look throughout the past few years and present time shows this to be false.
Aruba and all downtown restaurants have long leased from the town and will continue to with rates commensurate with their usage of space involving requirements of maintenance that will decrease the town’s need to do so. This has been stressed each time the discussion is on the agenda throughout this process.
No “ tunnel” will result from partnered plaza usage as the defunct Green Team extolls will be the case. It is true fear-mongering in pushing this narrative.
 There is no doubt that the Town administration, commission and plaza restaurant occupants whether it is one or two will continue to partner as well to provide all the advantageous and beautifying space we have long enjoyed.
As events in the Ocean Plaza have slowly returned Aruba has continually assisted in providing whatever space is needed and wanted and in offering up complimentary services and goods that have elevated the event experience as the Town administration, staff, commission and event participants can and do appreciate and regularly attest to!
Please do not fall for “ Alerts” that come in emails bearing inaccuracies that stir the pot and negate all the success the former Green Team had with El Mar Drive.
As we celebrate our Town’s 75 th year –
Support outdoor downtown dining in the Ocean Plaza showcasing our adjoining
3 LBTS Destination Landmarks –
Aruba Beach Cafe
Our Beach Pavilion and Plaza
The Pier
More to come….
Post Division


September 16, 2022 by Barbara


Mayor, Commissioners,…….Gentlemen …. Sharpen those sharpies….

First Round…..
At the 9/14/2022 1st Budget Meeting for 2023 …..Mayor Vincent, Vice Mayor Malkoon and Commissioner Strauss put their constituents first and kept the millage the same as in 2022……

These three dais members knew the shell game that is government budgeting at its finest and began the process of turning over this doozy predicated on “Building a Stronger Foundation” and “Staying the Course” with a snazzy bullet point presentation and Town Manager “invites” to push through her Hope Chest of the 2023 LBTS Budget…..

It is jam packed with goodies for our overblown number of town employees and the expansive contracted service providers that will definitely keep them busy with resume building projects culminating in the end of the budget year ( 3 months) that provides them the wish list items conveniently attainable due to the inflated budget approved and passed the past September…..It happens every year!….
When the millage PR campaign pushed by the Town Manager lost its first round the staff was asked to find ways to cut that $300,000 deficit….and on the fly….
What did the manager put forth?….. To not proceed with repaving of the streets! …..Which included the 3 rd vote to keep the millage down Vice Mayor’s BelAir streets….Pow!….
A look at the 2023 budget and accompanying justification sheets – found on Town Website- link to agenda /video below) has so much pork that can and should be removed that much, much more can be cut than the $300,000 without taking away from taxpayer infrastructure etc…
Why in the world did the commission end with agreeing staff would come back to recommend the items to be cut?….
The constituents expect the commissioners to come up with their cuts for keeping the constituents first and doing the job the commission was elected to do!…… No pencils please!……..Indelible markers are required!…..
Here’s some suggestions for Round 2 on September 28,2022 at 5:30pm Jarvis Hall…… Based on the agenda backup for the budget, the justification sheets and years of sitting at budget meetings and experiencing the same playbook….
Do not continue to curb and/ or negate code violation fines…..
Airbnb held to same tourist taxing for guests as hotels…… offering the same services….should require the same impacts of doing business in our town….
Do not re- design award winning Abatte portals- see historical documents on them…..replace the one that was torn down and repair the other Mimo structures….
Do itemize contractural contracts and cut “ studies” etc…….. Where else can an unitemized laundry list of expenditures be listed with a lump sum column and be accepted and approved?….
Do not hire more employees – pare down town employees. …..The Town has not grown but the number of employees in all departments has….with new titles and expanded assistance that defies the need with the outside experts we use as well….
Look at employee costs for conferences/ training and dues….. Are they all necessary and required each and every year?….
Look at actual breakdown of public works and contracted providers for the approximately $1.3 million along with salaries that puts this 2nd highest cost behind public safety….. The Mayor brought this forth and the response was non-responsive….but calls for itemization this year and going forward….Mayor, get the answers at the 9/28/2022 2nd Budget meeting…..
Do not allow ordinance changes at the increasing rate we have seen in the past few years ….This too has grown in numbers that beg for more scrutiny …….
Severely cut even more Town marketing – our hotels and restaurants do their own marketing….. Doubling up for what ?….
Archiving social media  which was approved on the 14th for $6000 this year… totally unnecessary when everything is attainable and on the cloud……
Do not continue to give free usage of parks etc.. to profiting businesses…..Charge a hefty rate or negate practice altogether….. And please do not let vendors compete with our downtown restaurants and stores for months at a time…..The vendors do not have to cover the same costs as our downtown businesses …..
Charge the vendors who use our beach for their chairs etc… if we do not do so presently….Something questioned and brought up to this writer often….
Do not add any more events in town….. We specifically cut events due to the negative impact to residents, costs and staff time……
Put marketing costs to event users to market beyond our normal web outreach……
Raise the parking rates….. Go as high as possible to coincide with the our prime location and usage….. Residents can get permits, businesses can get parking for their employees……
Stop buying more land…… Again, the town has not grown and start counting private parking lots……. when stating we need more….
Have a 2nd and even a 3rd opinion look at the fire safety report that is pushing for new Public Safety Facility for $10-$20 million….. It will not align with our small- town in looks or need!…..
Do not allow the Town Manager to remove the “ earmarked” $1.6 million for El Mar without a vote of the commission…..There was no vote to do so….The Mayor stated last year at the 2022 Town Budget meeting of it being for 2023 for El Mar Drive ….and suddenly after one comment over the summer from the Town Manager to move it to other Capital Improvement Projects…POOF!…. Those funds disappeared and El Mar was moved to “design in 2025 and redevelopment in 2026!….
Require itemized contractural list in Justification sheets instead of lump sums shown in current budget. It’s deceptive…… It bears repeating this ……
What actually needs to go to Flynn Engineering and Cap for review- same for our attorney, architectural review et al……
Require apples to apples comparisons in past budget numbers to new budget presentations in order to make cuts …. Not bullet-point presentations that skew the comparisons with the same lump sums as the justification sheets!….Comparing 2008 to 2022 is a ploy that fails on the details….As seen on 9/14….
Look at yearly charity $63,000 by town using taxpayer monies and have a cap if any. Why should towns give to charities when individuals, businesses should decide which if any privately……It’s an expected practice at the taxpayers expense….
Look at the real numbers for the Pelican Hopper $125,000 and the Visitors Center $85,000+ for this and future budget to retain or dismantle…… A discussion that comes and falls by the wayside…..
Remove proposed “Circuit” for $200,00 and its accompanying costs…..
Stop mailing out and distributing Town Topics approx. $45,000 use web only…..Most end up in the trash…. It’s an antiquated practice…..
Institute and insist on bids for services at annually and on a 2-5 year term for contracted companies -Town Engineers, Town Attorneys etc… No free passes ….Existing contracted servers can participate in the process…..
Do not allow for departments to get “ wish list” items using excess surplus from the budget….This  bears repeating as well…….Just watch any meetings from the past in the last months of the yearly budget under consent agenda!….
Let’s see if those we elected are ready to show their ability to be fiscally responsible and responsive to those they swore an oath to who are facing inflation and income uncertainty in 2023!…..
Round 2…..9/28/2022 ….The 2023 Budget Meeting in Jarvis Hall at 5:30 pm…..
More to come…
Sent from my iPhone
Post Division


September 11, 2022 by Barbara


Dear Readers…. Below is an email I sent to Town Mayor Chris Vincent, Vice Mayor Edmund Malkoon, Commissioner Buz Oldaker, Commissioner  Theo Poulopolous, Commissioner Randy Strauss as well as Town Manager Linda Conners, Deputy Town Manager Ken Rubach et al…. today…..


Mayor, Commissioners-

It has come to my attention that once again there are a minority of people who are pushing their views of the plaza use to you in order to remove Aruba Beach Cafe from retaining their outdoor dining on a portion of the plaza.

I have no doubt that they would find out from their hotel patrons, neighbors and the majority of residents, neighboring residents and tourists both in our town and beyond that the pairing of our ocean front plaza and Aruba Beach Cafe are actually combining the two major landmarks we are known for along with the pier.

On the agenda for 9/14/2022 is to approve the archiving of our social media.

If you look at these archives you will see Aruba Beach Cafe in first or second place with the ocean plaza of photos taken by those using social media along with public relations photos and articles capturing our town.

Go to any specialty shop, photographer and art vendor or store and you will find Aruba Beach Cafe postcards, sketches, paintings and household items that change from place to place assuring its place as our town destination landmark.

Aruba Beach Cafe anchors our town and our downtown restaurants and has done so from our lean days to the present day that affords us all with much coveted parking revenue that you all marvel at year after year.

Add to that the income this town enjoys from the income we derive from Aruba Beach Cafe both from taxes and from their patrons who surely expand their patronage to other businesses in our town.

Aruba Beach Cafe under the management of Peggy Mohler has proven throughout their time in the plaza with their outdoor dining that they go over and beyond with the town in maintaining the plaza far beyond their designated area. 

They have happily and helpfully made sure to not impede or impact the town’s events in the plaza. In fact, they have supported and supplied assistance to elevate each event as you can all attest to.

It is time to laud Aruba Beach Cafe for being the first rate example of true public- private urban planning that urban planners on every level strive for.

I look forward to seeing all of you join the majority in making sure that Aruba Beach Cafe knows it is a LBTS treasure with a long overdue proclamation that solidifies it and the assurance of full support for retaining their plaza dining!

Barbara Cole

It is time for this town commission, administration, staff and residents to proclaim Aruba Beach Cafe as the landmark we all know it is and to support it as such….

More to come……


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July 14, 2022 by Barbara


Dear Readers….

Below is an email this writer sent to our commission after the 7/12/2022 commission meeting which continues to be problematic for those of us who know that unless and until there is a majority on the dais that leads rather than follows what staff puts in front of them we are heading towards the demise of LBTS being a TOWN! …..
We will become a CITY with unnecessary big ticket purchases of land for parking, large building, mega mansion  overdevelopment, city complexes and re- designs that will make our unique beachside village indistinguishable from all the other staff, contracted design- CRA driven municipalities!……
The only way to stop it is for those who chose to live here because we are a Town and not a city to speak out and let your commissioners know you want them to protect and preserve what we covet!…..
Silence from our LBTS stakeholders will only emboldens this trajectory from a Town to a city and will certainly leave us all with only our memories of what we once had and cherished but did nothing to stop it from happening!….
Please step up and pay attention and get involved because the few who are doing so cannot save our Town without you!…..
More to come…..
Email to our LBTS Commission-
From: Barbara Cole
Date: July 13, 2022
To: LindaConnors <[email protected]>, Chris Vincent <>, TheoPoulopoulos <[email protected]>, Randy Strauss <[email protected]>, Buz Oldaker <>, Edmund Malkoon <[email protected]>, Barbara Cole <[email protected]>
Subject: 7/12/2022 Commission Meeting
Good Evening-


What a disappointing night for those you represent!
You approved the purchase of an A1A parking lot with a lousy location, with terrible car access and a rather precarious dark sidewalk walk to our downtown to be bought for $5 million plus!
I asked about the required appraisals and none of the dais members took either the time to get the three appraisal amounts that were not provided in the agenda backup verbally from the Town Manager or to lookup the 4/26/2022 agenda that contained that overview per the Town Manager in her rather lacking response!
Here it is-
‘1. Prior to initiating any negotiations for the acquisition of any real property with the property owner, the Town shall obtain two written appraisals performed by a state certified real estate appraiser with an MAI Designation if the appraisal exceeds two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). Appraisers selected to appraise real property pursuant to this Section shall submit an affidavit substantiating that the appraiser has no vested or fiduciary interest in the property that is the subject of the appraisal.
2. Appraisal reports, offers and counteroffers are exempt from the provisions of Florida Statutes Section 119.07(1) (Public Records Law) for a period of time as provided in Florida Statutes Section 166.045, as amended from time to time.’
‘The assessed value of the Property well exceeds the $250,000 threshold, so Staff has ordered and received the required appraisals of the property which range between approximately 3-4 million as well as an appraisal provided by the property owner. Staff also seeks Commission direction as to whether the Commission wishes to have Staff begin to negotiate for the purchase of the Property. If a tentative agreement is reached, it will be scheduled for Commission consideration after the Town provides thirty (30) days’ notice to the public of the meeting.’
3-4 million! So where is the justification to pay 1-2 million more?!
I am against the 10 million dollar Public Safety Complex as stated previously due to the future of small municipalities such as ours being incorporated into the county as well as the limited size of our providers and the viable future of retaining a VFD.
That being said,  if it is the desire of the commission representing their constituents then forgo this 5 million dollar property and put it towards a complex that offers surface parking below the building.
Downtown, you all think the way to proceed is to pay for construction drawings and bid and then pull what is not wanted?
Why? Does it not seem fiscally responsible to do the reverse?
 Do the basic switch wanted by the restaurants and the residents then build on it  if need be.
It is akin to asking your builder to provide plans for a mega mansion only to end up with a tiny house! What a waste of time and money!
Someone please stop this separation of our downtown Commercial Ave. businesses and those further east on the plaza!
It is one downtown, already small with no need to further compartmentalize or diminish by purposefully dividing it for no reason!
This staff led commission is showing why this style of government will continue to replace our small town in to a city indistinguishable from our neighbors to the north and south at a record pace!
The commission should certainly take advantage of those interested and knowledgeable residents and businesses who offer up their vast expertise and knowledge because this was definitely an integral component to our biggest achievements and can continue to be if considered and accepted!
Which dais member will be the first to decide to lead us back to the formula that provided us our most success from 2010- 2016?
Will it be our current Mayor, our second term commissioner fresh off a campaign win he worked hard for, our newest commission member or those two commissioners in their final terms who are already vying for the center seat in 2024?
The residents, businesses and your future voters are watching!
Barbara Cole
4/26/2022 Agenda Item-


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June 17, 2022 by Barbara




Dear Readers…. The Downtown extension for outdoor dining has gone from a simple change to allow for a cohesive mix of outdoor dining and pedestrians to a whole other big money…redeveloped plan that is not with keeping our quaint unique LBTS vibe!… If our commission does not do an  immediate about face this Town Manager and her hired designer will make LBTS look like any other town around!…. This is El Mar Drive redevelopment deja vu!!…. Time to rally and tell your commissioners to walk back the plan they approved on 6/14/2022!!… The designer stated when asked by Commission Oldaker the power-point represented everything – all the bells and whistles and then it could be walked back ….This was when Oldaker stated…correctly…that this $350,000 plan was going to be a million three….which is not only unjustifiable but a ballpark figure that will morph the same way this extension plan has for the second time with the second designer brought forth by the Town Manager!…

Below is an email this writer sent the following day to the commission…No surprise…no response back…. Take a look at the video from the commission meeting on 6/14 and the current Pompano Pelican article…..( if no direct link…copy and paste to get there)….to see what is going to transpire ….. unless and until  LBTS concerned residents and businesses make sure the commission knows to stop the insanity!….


Mayor, Commissioners-

What happened?!
Last night’s power -point and the discussion after it was going down the rabbit hole of where we began with outdoor dining extensions!
When you saw the designs from the first hire the Town Manager brought in, the response from the Mayor and Commissioner Strauss was to keep it simple and to not change the vibe we have in the town.
Now after more and more meetings and another Town Manager hire we are back to designs that take us away from who we are as a town and makes us look no different than Fort Lauderdale or Pompano Beach!
I know more often than not I am a dog whistle when I come to the podium or send in emails but I am hoping this is not one of those times!
There is no need to increase the current outdoor extension dining seating.
There is no need to add tables on El Mar or A1A.
There is no need to make Commercial Blvd. 10 feet.
There is no need to add signs that look like dog biscuits.
Please go back immediately to the original intention of allowing this extended dining use as is with the object of what needed to make in coincide with walking which is to switch the dining closer to the buildings, widen the sidewalk area as much as is possible without changing the road, and simple barriers such as Aruba put up – ropes and low, movable streamlined planters. Then take care of the pavers and call it a day!
As the restaurateurs will tell you empty tables on A1A will send patrons on to Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas, and Pompano Beach!
Please do not proceed with what was shown last night and ruin what LBTS has and is known for!
The vote given to the Town Manager offered her carte blanche to head in a costly decision that your constituents, the taxpayers,downtown patrons and businesses do not want!
This was not a move forward, it was a move all the way back to a vision of planners and design firms who push cookie cutter designs on towns that only provide them a resume builder and leaves the towns to deal with the failure they left behind!
Someone bring this back to the 6/28 Commission Meeting and inform the Town Manager to tell Hugh to cease any further work until you do!
Barbara Cole

More to come….


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