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Here’s The Scoop … 4 Months To March Election Making McIntee Sweat?…

THE PROBLEM WITH BEING A LAME DUCK….

Dear Readers … Tonight in the waning months of the first term of McIntee and Silverstone …it seems the Vice Mayor is sweating bullets over his likely demise…He put on quite a show of desperation…with his nauseating performance of bending over backward with his sudden show of revering MPSC Vice Chair Sandra Booth…The same Sandra Booth he publicly dressed down when she was nominated for a return to the committee in 2008!… He made the audience collectively snicker as he called her “Mrs. Booth” …McIntee  droned on with the countless hours put in by the MPSC and now anything less than giving them the 980 thousand will be a slap in the face!… WOW!… The same Vice Mayor who would give no direction no matter how many times Chair Paul Novak stood in front of him…but alas…maybe the Vice Mayor has spent some quality time with “Mr Oliver” and was told if he [McIntee] sucks up big time in the last few months…all will be forgotten or forgiven… Not this time…Vice Mayor…there’s way too much too remember and too many of us to remind those that don’t!

This meeting was set up to discuss the Master Plan for the next 5 years… that was switched in order with the beautification projects…at the end of the evening it was set aside until next month… The Mayor asked to do the switch to deal with the projects at hand …the A1A FDOT  and the El Mar Drive Oriana escrow million…

The discussion on the FDOT was just the beginning of yet another look at this dysfunctional dais…Commissioner Clottey had the “concern” that her “constituents” would not have a say in the A1A plan and they would be impacted by the FDOT decision… The Vice Mayor chimed in as well about the FDOT having to convince “this commissioner” on any improvements due to A1A already being over capacity in traffic …The Mayor tried to make both understand it was just a “conceptual agreement” and the Town Manager as well told them it was a $58,000 conceptual plan…with the FDOT coming to the dais in the future to speak to the Town, and they were already in agreement to allow input from the residents…But in the end it is a state road and it comes down to the residents really having no say…The Mayor and Comm. Dodd implored the commission to allow the process to move forward …after the Manager told them if they wanted to stop now…that the FDOT would go elsewhere with the project…Comm. Dodd said “Let’s not put up barricades before we see the plans. Let’s not kill it at stage one!”… Perhaps they can “linger” over the conceptual plans…if Comm. Clottey allows for it?…

So what’s up with “Mr. Oliver”…the former Mayor Parker?… Who’s he buddy, buddy with these days?… Comm. Clottey asked if the Town Atty. had spoken to “Mr Oliver Parker” to find out the details of the Oriana million dollar escrow money… The Town Atty. replied she did not have to after receiving the pertinent information from staff… The commission was provided prior to the meeting with a geographic map of the former overlay districts…It was announced that the money was allowed for beautification of the Hospitality Overlay District…which meant it was from Pine ave (north end of El Mar) to Palm Ave (south end of El Mar)…and the previous statements made by the Town Manager and the same staff  of it being Commercial Blvd. north only were bogus!… This Town Manager was quite adamant about the agreement all this time……just as she was about the agreement with Oriana for the defunct boardwalk area behind the development (maybe that needs another look-see as well)…No mention of this huge blunder and its origin….But plenty of misstatements about the MPSC median project concerning the committee, the students, the commission, the money…The breakdown of who on the dais was for what after learning this new information was really something to watch…Strange partnerships indeed!…We heard of “dilemmas” from Silverstone and Clottey…sidewalks vs. medians … The” biggest bang for the buck”…from the Vice Mayor, Paul Novak and Ocampo  architect Ernie Ojito … Vice Mayor McIntee went into a quizzing mode of Sandra Booth and Paul Novak saying he was “amazed” he thought it was “a done deal”…and the “Kids” …the “countless hours up there “…the “years” of work… He did hear from both the Chair and the Vice Chair that they did think it was a go…and the medians would be done…Mrs. Booth said the A.I. was not anxious to get involved in another project and the Vice Mayor just kept on pushing it “for the MPSC and the students”…Commissioner Dodd agreed with the Vice Mayor and said it was time to get something done…The Mayor was with Comm. Clottey on sidewalks and felt the students input was also a “conceptual plan” and she agreed as well with Marc Furth… The Town Manager said nothing was approved from the drawings based on the students projects and the Vice Mayor became indignant that it was decided to spend $980,000 and it was done in “good faith” …that to change course now was an “insult to the Master Plan Committee and the students” and the person he “feels the worst for was Mrs. Booth”…After the meeting an audience member said the disingenuous onslaught from Vice Mayor McIntee to Mrs Booth made them “want to vomit!”… Diane Boutin Manager of the Windjammer came up to speak and began by saying to “some degree she agreed with the Vice Mayor”…but then quickly changed course to agree with the Mayor about the conceptual projects and told the commission they “owed this town a process” with more brainstorming saying “infrastructure before the flowers”… MPSC member Mary Ann Wardlaw who usually shies away from comment chose to make a statement that she was “dismayed” with the new information of the million’s use for the whole of El Mar and saying the committee was “only as good as the information we get”…Comm. Silverstone in full “dilemma” mode said he agreed …”this commissioner is still not happy”…and “I think we can do better ” [the medians]…The Mayor read the 3 paragraphs from the 2005 Master Plan about El Mar Drive and said the “key words” were “pedestrian and walking “… The Vice Mayor responded that he heard the description of one lane and we have 2, that pedestrians walking in the middle [medians] would keep pedestrians safe from back-out parking the major threat to walking on El Mar…(HUH?)…Commissioner Silverstone made the same ridiculous recommendation he has in prior discussion of striping off one lane for walking and art work …Comm. Clottey did an about face to join the Vice Mayor and Comm. Dodd after asking Mr Ojito how long to do the medians (6-7 months was the reply, no answer after a followup asking if that included the permits!)…She also said it would be 2 years before Minnet does the sidewalks (wrong!)…she then said the committee and the students “worked hard ” and the would have “to bite the bullet”…

Then it was my turn…”I sat through all these meetings and I’m very surprised. First of all we were under the impression and we were told quite a few times that it was only supposed to be for in the south end. But secondly you all voted for lowering the bond for Minto which really pushed a good portion of those sidewalks that if you hadn’t lowered the bond and I think the manager tried to tell you the first time (1st comm. meeting Minto asked to lower the bond) if you hadn’t lowered their bond they would have gone ahead and done a good portion of the sidewalks. (Actually, it was the recommendation of the Manager & staff not to lower the bond) The gentleman who came up to speak for Minto actually said if you don’t lower it, they’ll probably go ahead and do it [sidewalks] because it would be cheaper in the long run. (prev. posts) You don’t know when they’re [Minto] going to come back and do those sidewalks. You have no idea how many years it’s really going to take with development and every developer that comes in has been told they have to do underground utilities and then they’re going to have to put in new sidewalks afterward.”

“So, I’m surprised about that.  I think there can be a combination of doing all this but frankly we’re 4 months away from an election. I think you should put this million dollars in the bank . You now have all this new information”

Vice Mayor McIntee-” That’s inappropriate! That’s political! And that’s solely political!”

The Mayor said “excuse me” a couple of times…

I said ” I have a right to my opinion, and my opinion is that.”

Mayor Minnet-” There is no need for that interruption Vice Mayor, continue Ms. Cole.”

Me- ” A little thin skinned?  My opinion is that since you have been thrown this curve and it has now changed what you said, that maybe you should consider not making a fast decision and seeing what you come back with, with this new information and you’re facing the holidays. You have just one meeting now. [Nov.] You face Christmas,and you’re facing the holidays and then you’re in the throes of , excuse me Vice Mayor, an election. So, my opinion is that maybe you want to hold off until you get some different people up there and you use your million dollars.”

Vice Mayor McIntee-” Point of order Mayor! That’s absolutely unacceptable! She’s talking about changing the dais! It’s, that’s not acceptable! You have to stop now! Because the Charter says there should be no political activities in Jarvis Hall!”

Mayor Minnet-” Vice Mayor, Vice Mayor, that’s not political. We have an election in March 2010.”

Me- ” I said maybe there might be some different people  up there. Boy it’s gonna be interesting!”

Mayor Minnet-” Thank you for letting us know when the election is!”…The audience laughed!

The Vice Mayor wanted to “move on the $980,000″… The Mayor said she would not and that she was not for making a “hasty decision”…The Vice Mayor told her it was not a “hasty decision” that she was unacceptable in her statement..and again spoke of the years we had this money …3 years (it was in escrow and could not be touched until this year)…Comm. Dodd said the dais was “deadlocked” and a Round Table was needed… to have some “interchange” …The Mayor said the Vice Mayor wanted to give direction to the Manager to put this on the agenda…It went on the agenda for the Dec. 8, 2009 commission meeting…and a Round Table was set for Dec. 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm… The Manager asked after saying “it’s not personal” (HUH?) if she could get together ahead of the Round Table with Ocampo and work with Ocampo on the project…unfortunately, this commission must have had a temporary brain freeze and said go ahead!… This is the same Manager that unilaterally changed the Beach Pavilion, made up the Cone of Silence, stopped reading RFPs aloud and missed the 10 day (by law) deadline for RFPs with the Police renovation …( and on and on and on from her unilateral lifetime contract)…The same Town Manager that told them the money was for the south end only!…YIKES!… Before they adjourned Mrs. Booth came to the podium to praise her committee, to remind the commission how quickly the A.I. students started and finished the project (96 days) and say they [MPSC] serve at the pleasure of the commission saying they “can do anything you give us, we can do!”…The MPSC will join the commission on Dec. 7th and the public is welcome as well…

After the meeting, we found in the hall Nance and David Nixon back in town for a while. They are longtime residents of El Mar Drive……….Nance Nixon informed this writer that when the CRA was in tact [David was in charge of the CRA] …it was made known that in the future the medians on El Mar would be where all the underground utilities would run…and to put money in them now would be a total waste!…ARGHHH…

In closing…after seeing the meeting above and learning the information afterward…the future of El Mar Drive really should be decided in 4 months with the change up on the dais!…

more to come….

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