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Here’s The Scoop … 3/23/10 LBTS Commission Meeting … #1 … We’ve Been Waiting For You ……

A MOST PLEASANT EXPERIENCE …

Dear Readers ….at last night’s first commission meeting of the new LBTS  Commissioner elected on March 9th, 2010…resident Ray Wolowicz came to the podium during Public comments to talk about “Truth or Consequences ” a town he visited and went back to as often as he could due to the pleasant atmosphere he encountered and the friendly welcoming people…He hoped that with the new commission in place…LBTS would now become a place where he could find what he so fondly remembered  from his travel to that town…

From that Town’s Chamber website…
“Another pastime years ago was sitting in groups on the sidewalk benches to watch a few travelers as they passed on the highway, usually without stopping. Recreation then was undeveloped to its full potential and the town was lost among hundreds of other ” Hot Springs” scattered all over the United States; the name indicating nothing more significant than the likelihood that some hot springs were located in the area.

Then in 1950, NBC television and radio producer Ralph Edwards, on the 10th anniversary of the Truth or Consequences radio program, called his staff together and said, “I wish that some town in the United States liked and respected our show so much that it would like to change its name to ‘Truth or Consequences.'”  Upon hearing the proposition, the New Mexico State Tourist Bureau relayed the news to the manager of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce and the news spread like wildfire.

Here was an opportunity to advertise the city and its resources free of charge!  Better still, no longer was our city to be confused with that “other one” in Arkansas and the others throughout the nation (California alone has more than 30 towns called “Hot Springs”).

So, in a special city election, 1,294 of the town’s residents voted for the change to “Truth or Consequences.”  On the other hand, 295 area residents opposed the change and a protest was filed. So the city returned to the polls and again voted – by a margin greater than four to one to go ahead with the name change.

Almost 14 years later, in January 1964, the question went to the people again and they voted to keep the city’s unique name.  A fourth election was held on August 18, 1967, and once more a majority voted to keep the name Truth or Consequences.

Ralph Edwards and his entire NBC production, acting and show crew came here in 1950, aired the first live, coast-to-coast broadcast of Truth or Consequences from the city of Truth or Consequences. The residents of his adopted home were very pleased to say he came back every year for 50 years with his Hollywood friend to celebrate the anniversary of the name change. He helped spread the news about this oasis of hot springs, two of the state’s best lakes and many other recreational opportunities throughout Sierra County.”

http://www.truthorconsequenceschamberofcommerce.com/area_TorC_ralph_edwards.htm

Judging by the voting process to succeed in renaming their town…this writer can see a lot of LBTS in “Truth or Consequences” N.M….and judging from the meeting last night Ray could just be in the right place at the right time to feel that “welcoming” once again!…

THE MEETING ….

Right from the start watching it on my laptop from Chicago here was an instant charge that ran up my back as I saw the table in the front of the hall with the Department Heads seated at it…A quick glance over to the new lineup on the dais…Manager Colon-Comm. Clottey-Comm. Vincent- Mayor Minnet- Town Atty. Trevarthen (we understand this was a 1 night deal..and the TA will be on the Mayor’s right next time)- Comm. Sasser-Vice Mayor Dodd -Asst. Town Clerk Smith…It was a site for sore eyes…A moment I will never forget… For this writer it was slow motion…and not because of technical difficulties with the computer…but because I was taking it all in!..

It began with the pledge and the invocation from Town Chaplain Hunsaker (still needing to be affirmed for another 2 years)…He spoke of concentrating on issues…as well as no personal agendas and leaving the hall as friends and neighbors no matter if they disagree…Tonight Rev. your remarks were carried through!…

The Mayor asked for additions or changes to the agenda…and Vice Mayor Dodd pounced …He took this “bear” of a first agenda and put much of it in “hibernation” until the 1st Round Table meeting (March 29 2010 5 pm)…and rightfully so in accordance with the 3/17/10 organizational meeting agreements for discussion to be done in that forum rather than this one…He was particularly put off that once again a great deal of last minute information was awaiting him and the other dais members as they sat down…. No more acceptable to this majority….He also added future agenda items to a Round Table thereby streamlining those as well…If this keeps up …we could all enjoy the Aventura model of 1 Round Table and 1 Comm.meeting a month by years end!…The Mayor did ask that those who came to address the now relegated to the Round Table items be allowed to speak…and VM Dodd said of course…The items taken off were 6 -G Bocce ball court/H- Chamber roof/I- Tennis lights…8-A- Capital Improvement TM Report…10 A.- Ord. for special meetings…15-A.-Imperial Lane entry…16.D.- Parking at Municipal park…The Mayor asked the Town Atty. if all were ok to move and was told yes…including the Ord. for special meeting which it turns out was put on by the Town Atty. …with the TM BUT without direction from the Commission prior…Definitely needs to be at Round Tables prior to coming on the agenda by anyone before the Commissioners see the Ord. …and are given backup for the reasons it needs to be updated or changed..This one especially… The Mayor added on 3 items…and hopefully it will not happen again… The new Commissioners due to the swearing in being days after it was supposed be (prev.post)…missed the chance…and were told it was too full…so no additions should have been forthcoming…in this writer’s opinion…All 3 were deferred when they did come up…

First up was the proclamation for the LOWV which this writer was on record being against…(prev.post)…the second presentation…(5 minute rule for presentations going forth please…run the clock)…also previously posted…the MPO wants to do what they deem is needed (not) and despite stating ridership will drop in public transportation…they will forge ahead to tax us in a number of ways to insist we get on board… When the presentation was over…no questions came from the Commission leading the speaker to say he “did a great job or missed the mark”…We lean to the latter!.. What was a surprise …Comm. Clottey who is on record saying she sits on the board…is an alternate!…

On to the first Public Comments…the Mayor read a statement spelling out the organizational meeting agreement for comments made…(prev. post)…a man came forward to speak about using Sun Trust Bank parking for public parking…and it will require a zoning change…He was advised to meet with staff by the Mayor (a part of the new procedures)…A man from Aquazul came forward to make comments about the Green program they are instituting …A man came to speak about Choice and their business practices on bills …no notices sent…and the general substandard service he feels the Town receives from this vendor…A man who owns a hotel in town came to address the election time sudden change of allowing his “Open” sign to remain on after allowing it for more than 10 years…A man who writes for the BTSTimes came up and was less than comedic in blasting the new commission for moving the manager to the end of the dais…The Mayor informed him at the time of her comments that the manager requested that move …We hear it was after a meeting when the manager found herself seated between the Mayor and Comm. Dodd (McIntee was MIA)….The Tomato Lady came with tomatoes…and handed them out…A man came again to ask for relief on Imperial Lane and some way to slow the traffic down…A man came to set the record straight on his disdain for the treatment of the Mayor at the March 4th 2010 meeting and asked for everyone to now get along.. A man came to speak about much the same with his recounting of “Truth or Consequences”….A woman came to speak of the businesses who work long and hard…asking for increased cooperation…A woman spoke of it being a “new day”…addressing some of the issues….and it was done…

Reports were done with the Department Heads sitting at the table… First up was Finance Director Kaola King who answered questions from VM Dodd quickly, effectively and with ease… The 165,000 was paid back to the General Fund….She said that quarterly we are able to pay off the parking debt…and when asked about the increase in the prof. consultants she said it was the approval for Chen and Assoc. (wow, they are sitting pretty)…. passes 5-0 / Development Dept. Head Jeff Bowman arose and when VM Dodd asked a question on the lights and the shields…Dept.GHead Don Prince quickly came to the podium to answer …although his reply was more of the same run around in this ongoing turtle light saga…(post to come)… Director Bowman was asked by Comm. Sasser to check out the notification problems brought to the podium …He was also asked about the hand delivered letter by the Mayor (prev.post) saying it was normal to do…(Round table…too much staff if this is normal practice!)… passes 5-0/ Municipal Works…Director Don Prince…Comm. Vincent thanked him for a repair he observed in town…But when VM Dodd asked about the ever increasing rust all over the pavilion…Prince sidestepped or did not hear the question saying they keep an eye on it…(but what about getting rid of it?)…passes 5-0/ BSO Chief Llerena was questioned by Comm. Sasser on the 40.7% decrease and was told it was the month in 2 years…Comm. Sasser also asked about the traffic problems on A1A…and the Chief addressed what they are doing to cut it down and prevent it….The Mayor asked about Imperial lane alluding to comments made from a resident…The Chief addressed the vehicle burglaries in that area last year along with some burglaries…saying the perpetrator was in jail…and recent cases were “open” and could not be discussed bu he did not feel they were a general threat to the public and they are being monitored …He reminded all of the BSO shre-a-thon/ VFD Chief Perkins was really off in his replies to VM Dodd concerning the increas in “first responder calls” (medical call-prev.post)…Instead of the amount of calls…he spoke of a “swipe card” that will tell if a VFD member arrives 10 minutes or later and cutting the costs…VM Dodd warned the Chief the Comm. would not sit back very long if this continues…VM Dodd also asked about the Manager’s role with the VFD…Perkins said she is “the one he comes to”…Dodd asked about the VFD Board meetings..how often they meet…Perkins said 1 time a month…Dodd asked how may times the Manager attended as she is a non -voting member..Perkins said she has been there once for a half hour..(must have been in 2008)…Perkins did a 180 by saying anyone could come to the board meetings …including VM Dodd…Hmmm. that was not allowed in Mcintee’s reign…The Mayor asked about water training…and again Perkins did not answer …he diverted into other training…which sounded impressive…but did not answer the question…He also said “cold weather” was the reason for the beach patrol drop in hours… Really?…passes 5-0/ AMR Brook Liddle came forward to address a question from VM Dodd on a resident’s concern of choice of hospital when being transported by AMR… answer was depending on transport and severity …the policy is to the closest appropriate facility passes 5-0/ Bocce ball court was deferred to Round Table but resident Buster Celestino asked to speak on his own “study” when he and some pals went to find options that would cost the town far less than Chen’s $17,000….The Chamber roof also deferred to Round Table was briefly addressed by Chamber Pres. Paul Novak who reiterated what this writer posted previously that “appraisals” were done and roofing vendors were sent to the Chamber…talk of a roof with no cupola  (metal) that Paul said would look like “Roof like a chicken coup” if removed…He stated it was a historic building and stressed there is leakage…Don Prince had already left and could not respond…..Tennis lights were deferred as well…The Town Manager was left with 2 items for her report on after her item A.- Capital Imp. were deferred…(What happened to the progress report?)…. She spoke on the Sunshine meeting for boards…The Mayor could not understand her…and after some back and forth due to the newly adhered to Ord. for a May 11th appointed new P & Z/BOA Boards …it was decided to be on May 12th, 2010 7 pm….The Manager’s second item was the school amend. with the news the presenters wanted it moved up …The Mayor is meeting with the Broward supt. at a Mayor’s meeting on Apr. 6th…The reps want to come on Apr. 13th…VM Dodd did not like  much of what he heard from them the last time ..The TM said there are 3 staff members at the Supt.office ready to take any inquiries and reps were coming on the 13th…

Next  up was approval of the minutes…and it was like watching “who’s on first”!…The Mayor asked for approval of the minutes…no takers…no motion for approval.. The Mayor made mention that at the organizational meeting if they were not happy with them they would not accept them….and there was a standstill….until “Clueless” Clottey made one…but there were no takers for a second… and they were deferred until April 13th…with discussion of the preparation of the minutes at the Round Table… On that note…resident Edmund Malkoon did a little research… and sent this most interesting “find” to some of the commissioners along with this writer…”Granicus According to the Granicus company website, LBTS is utilizing “MinutesMaker”. This is the clerks software where she does the mins during a commission meeting. Maybe someone can inquire if we in fact have it and if the Clerk has been trained on it.”…(Answers need to be found…before the Round Table on the 29th)… The Ord. was also deferred to the Round Table …as well as on the Apr. 13, 2010 meeting…

Commissioner Comments…were actually comments made concerning their Commissioner duties …chosen randomly by the Asst. Town Clerk…1st was Comm. Sasser who recounted what he received after taking his oath…paperwork…lots of it…He told his constituents that he kept his campaign promise and did not accept cell phone allowance or insurance…He said he was not able to add items on the agenda (see above) but he would on the next ….by putting forth his personal code of conduct and he took a moment to remind his fellow dais members to use the “expected action” procedure going forth as agreed upon at the Organizational meeting/Comm. Vincent spoke of Easter and that with his wife and all the volunteers (he thanked them all) it would come off “without a hitch”…He too put forth keeping his campaign promises to resign from the Chamber…saying he supports them..no cell allowance accepted…no insurance as well…He took to task some of the roadblocks he has encountered and those he assisted in their roadblocks from Town in several situations that thwarted the efforts of those who wanted to volunteer their time…Assisting and helping his constituents were also campaign promises made / Comm.Clottey welcomed the new commissioners to their first official meeting…she said “One nice thing,things are settled at the ballot box” in our country…She spoke of who could use her private e-mail (her friends) and said her official e-mail address…She said hopefully the meetings would be shorter and she would have a “good working relationship with everybody”/ VM Dodd …kept it short…stating he was “thrilled” to be serving with this “team”…He turned down any further cell phone allowance (he gets insurance from Hillsboro) leaving only one who gets the perks (Clottey)…He spoke of the Round Tables and their usefulness …and looked forward to correcting items and constructive exchanges/ Mayor Minnet also spoke of resigning from the Chamber …(she too takes no cell/insurance)…She addressed the new procedures and spoke of this being a new chapter…the love we all have for LBTS…She spoke of all the new volunteerism and Christine Vincent and her role in taking on Easter right out of the gate…She spoke of March 27th “Lights out” 8:30-9:30…She reiterated it was  the Town Manager’s request to move down the dais….Spoke on the census…The Apr. 10th BSO Shred-a- Thon…April 6th meeting with Supt…and it was quickly done…No rants…No raves…No critiques…No “2 Hats”…No Politicking…It was something to behold!….

And with that…there was a 10 minute break….

More to come…post #2 ….

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