Search and Categories


May 12, 2022 by Barbara



Dear Readers…..Did we witness a reprieve or a do-over….and we can get on with it?….
Tuesday night’s LBTS Town Commission meeting was just a scintilla size improvement over the previous two meetings with our newly seated commission……
Again on this agenda was 12B to revisit and /or to continue to allow Aruba Beach Cafe outdoor dining in the Ocean Plaza …… It was put on by Commissioner Oldaker, a vocal opponent to allowing Aruba the space ….A careful read of his agenda item put forth a short- term reprieve to ” transition” out….With that…. Commissioner Oldaker tried to rewrite history of what took place on April 26th….. in my opinion and  if that wasn’t bad enough …..he proceeded to put his new fellow Commissioner Poloupoulous on the hot seat with Oldaker’s interpretation of this writer and others calling for a separation of what Poloupolous can and cannot vote on…. Which is exactly what was rectified following this unnecessary time wasting diatribe!….
If you were in the hall you heard the groans loud and clear that Oldaker’s “ line of questioning “ was a bust and you witnessed Commission Polopolous’ robust response to it clearly indicating he was none too pleased to be put in this position especially with what Poloupolous had planned and carried out once this finally concluded…
After this painful droning on by Oldaker that has become his M. O.  ….Commissioner Poloupolous finally did what this writer and so many others gave been calling for and did indeed separate out Aruba thus allowing him to vote due to his having no conflict in doing so requiring him to abstain…..
He seconded Commissioner Strauss’ motion for Aruba to continue for 6 months……
Unfortunately, the commission again confused and with no real guidance from the Town attorney overlooked that they could in fact have put forth a year extension due to the agenda item for Aruba allowing for it as it was not designated under the same extraordinary circumstances 6 month requirement the downtown restaurants were per the agenda item they fell under….
Commissioner Poloupolous offered up the year extension but it went fell on deaf ears and was not enacted…. A big mistake and real missed opportunity that could have gone a long way toward compensating Aruba for the unnecessary blind-sighting thrust upon them by the Town manager…
The vote was called and passed 4-1 with Oldaker surprisingly voting with the majority…..Vice Mayor Malkoon voted against…. This writer believes he only joined to be on the prevailing side which allows for him to bring it back and further torture us all with his long winded  pontifications..that repeatedly run counter to those he swore to represent…
Commissioner Poloupolous then went on to ask the Town Attorney that he be allowed to separate out Mulligans Restaurant ( a family benefit connection) from the rest of the downtown restaurants in order to vote on their extension which he did ….This should have been the case from the get- go of his taking his place on the dais in March and  preventing the ensuing fiasco we all witnessed from the previous two commission meetings and the unnecessary fallout that resulted from not separating conflict properties from non- conflict properties…
Our… Town attorney who has been in her position since 2009…..should have been advising for the separation of properties and of issues concerning Commissioner Popoloupolous’ conflict properties from non- conflict properties before any items were addressed rather than six weeks in and the Commissioner asking ( although it was certainly planned ahead of the dais exchange) it be allowed!…. What a disservice to this commissioner, the dais, the business owners and the residents!…. Maybe it’s time to look for another Town attorney….as it seems that being in this position too long has diminishing returns….as we saw with the last longtime Town attorney we dealt with prior to 2008…..
This separation can and must continue throughout Commissioner Popoloupolous’ time on the commission to assure us we will have the full representation of all 5 commission votes and to assure his required abstaining does not adversely impact the businesses or the Town unnecessarily….
Let’s hope this puts an end to the massive time consuming mess we all witnessed last month and we can get on with the much desired and wanted upgrade of added and integrated dining space in the plaza and downtown and not an overblown  pie- in- the sky- redevelopment scheme …..that is not needed….
This separation of voting allowing for the 5 commission votes came along with the surprising but much needed appointment of Public Works Director Ken Rubach as Deputy Town Manager….He will now be the point person in charge of  the Ocean Plaza/ Downtown Revitalization / CIP ….. This should rectify the ongoing insufficiencies and debacles brought about by Town Manager Connors inability to lead as her predecessors Hoffman and Bentley!…
Unlike Connors, Rubach has the experience and the personality to be a Town manager…in my opinion…
One final note… it is now time for real guidance from our Town attorney on procedures on the dais for this commission when it comes to motions, seconds and discussion … She used to provide it and now seems to sit back and does nothing … why?…. Too long in her job?…..
Monday May 16,2022 at 6:30 the third community outreach for downtown takes place in Jarvis Hall … No telling what this will unfold …. Fingers crossed!….
In the meantime the massive amount of people for the extension of Outdoor dining in the Ocean Plaza and our Downtown can not let down their guard and must keep up on its progress to make sure that this commission and this administration follow through with what was and is clearly non- wavering overwhelming support!….
More to come…..
Post Division


May 3, 2022 by Barbara


DEAR READERS….Below is the email I sent to our Town Manager, Town Attorney and Town Commission today after receiving my Public Records Request for the required recusal disclosure that prevented new Commissioner Theo Poulopolis from voting on the Ocean Plaza outdoor dining policies and requirements and allowing for Aruba Beach Cafe to continue their extended outdoor dining in a portion of the plaza that the previous commission voted 5-0  on January 25, 2022 in favor of  and after an overwhelming number of LBTS residents, visitors and downtown patrons who were surveyed and who actively participated in many meetings stated they were all for!……If you watched the LBTS Commission meeting on April 26, 2022 you too saw the disgraceful debacle our Town Manager instigated….in my opinion….that resulted in a 2-2 failed vote due to Commissioner Poupolous’ recusal that for some inexcusable reason extended beyond his recusal disclosure statement it was for his father-in-law’s restaurant- the Pier!….

This needs to be rectified….ASAP!….

Please join those who support fairness and transparency in government and let them know they got this all wrong and they need a do-over on May 10, 2022 at the next LBTS Commission meeting….starting with Commissioner Poulopolis voting for what he is clearly allowed to vote for!….

Below is the 5/3/2022 Email….The 5/2/2022Poupolous Recusal Disclosure/ The 3/24/2022Town Attorney’s response to this writer and the Commission…..

May 3, 2022 Email…..


Mayor, Commissioners-

After watching the April 26,2022 Commission meeting and seeing the blindsiding of Aruba by the Town Manager and the resulting mess and utter confusion I sent you all an email.

I followed up that email by making a Public Records request for Commissioner Pouloploous’ required Recusal Disclosure form.

It verifies that this commissioner is only recusing himself from a conflict with one restaurant owned by his father- in- law.

Therefore, Commissioner Poulopolus should and can vote for any policies or requirements for outdoor dining in the Ocean Plaza.

Commissioner Poulopolous should and can vote for any policies or requirements for the Dune Plaza.

Commissioner Poulopolous should and can vote for any policies or requirements for outdoor and extended outdoor dining in the downtown area.

Commissioner Poulopolous should and can vote for Aruba Beach Cafe applying for outdoor dining in the Ocean Plaza as he has no relationship or financial interest or gain relating to Aruba Beach Cafe.

Commissioner Poulopolous should and can vote for any restaurant downtown applying for outdoor dining that he has no relationship or financial interest or gain in.

Commissioner Poulopolous CAN NOT vote for the Pier restaurant or any restaurant that is owned by his father- in- law in our town- PERIOD.

On May 10,2022 this commission needs to separate out the following- with all 5 commission members voting for-

1-The policies and requirements of outdoor dining in the plaza.

2- Aruba Beach Cafe applying for outdoor dining in the Plaza.

3- Downtown/ Ocean Plaza outdoor dining extension to continue until ordinances and design plans are enacted.

The only time Commissioner Poulopolous should and CAN NOT vote is when and if his father- in – law makes application for his Pier restaurant for outdoor dining in the Ocean Plaza or any other properties he owns in the downtown requiring a vote from the commission.

Commissioner Poulopolous’ father- in – law is the only business owner that should and can be the recipient of the outcome of only having 4 commission members able to vote leading to the possibility of a 2-2 vote leading to the failure of that vote.

Subjecting any other non- relative business owner to that outcome is a dereliction of this commission’s duties and I cannot believe it is not opening the town up for a legal challenge in doing so.

This Town Manager and some commissioners are unfairly and irrationally singling Aruba Beach Cafe out with denying not only the vote of all 5 commissioners but denying Aruba the same benefit of extended dining the commission approved and offered all the other downtown restaurants during covid.

Covid is not going away. To deny Aruba Beach Cafe now will further cause an inequitable outcome as a result if covid restrictions are returned for indoor dining anytime in the future.

As far as the Ocean Plaza and public use.
This was a metal shell roofed parking area until the pavilion was constructed not long before the remaining parking areas became what is now the Dune Plaza until 2013!

Those who speak of a Norman Rockwell type use in 2022 are not facing the reality of its use by homeless and other deterring actors who loiter in both plazas. This influx which we are prevented from interfering with is severely negated by having the extended dining !

At the April 26,2022 meeting Commissioner Oldaker and VM Malkoon spoke of calls and people opposed.

I know that if you look back at all of the meetings last year – commission, 2 failed round tables and the charette you are able to verify that  these handful of opponents fully participated in public comments as well as in-person!

This downtown development improvement project  is not to be jumbled with the failed El Mar Drive  Project. El Mar did not have overwhelming support despite the then Acting Town Manager and Town Engineer using the same strong-arming tactics we are witnessing with the downtown/ Ocean Plaza dining.

Outdoor downtown/ Ocean Plaza extended dining had and has such overwhelming support shown in- person and with the huge response survey cards the Town received and that were entered in to the public record during season!

This commission needs to follow the lead of Mayor Vincent and the overwhelming amount of your constituents who include as he repeatedly points out many of our restaurant and business owners in righting the egregious actions of April 26,2022 and not separating out Aruba Beach Cafe from the Pier Restaurant!

Barbara Cole’

The 5/2/2022 Poupolous Recusal Disclosure

The 5/3/2022 Town Attorney Response….


Post Division