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Here’s The Scoop … 7/14/09 … LBTS …Commission Meeting … #8 ….Public Comments …

THEY SPOKE VOLUMES…..

Dear Readers…Delayed but not forgotten…the public comments made at the July 14, 2009 Commission meeting spoke volumes…below are highlights and some that were written and the speakers were kind enough to e-mail them in to be posted….(any future speakers that would like their speeches posted in full…please send them in)…

In the order they were called… ….

Douglas Baker-a new resident in LBTS for 6 months came to speak about the “move to eliminate BSO and install our own police department”…the current economic environment…the BSO has done a fine job…infrastructure…and the “faction” within the city pushing for the views and the actions for the views they have…

Cindy Geesey – The emergency meeting held on June 30 for discussion and/or action regarding the ouster of BSO Chief Scott Gooding was simply a travesty. Only Mayor Minnet and Commissioner Dodd showed any interest at all in “The will of the people.” The other 3 commissioners either (1) replied to citizen’s individual emails of concern with canned responses that did not even address their specific questions or (2) replied with sarcasm (Gosh, wonder which one of the 3 did that?!) or (3) Failed to reply at all and showed utter confusion on the dais. The bottom line is that Chief Gooding was run out of town by our town manager for failing to be a “yes man.” He was then labeled “Fiscally irresponsible” by a town manager whose picture is next to that term in the dictionary. After this meeting one commissioner told several people “there is more to the story” but of course gave no specifics or facts. Nothing but innuendo. It was also said that Chief Gooding “demanded” money for his department. How can it be a demand when he offered to compromise and work together toward a solution? Someone needs a dictionary. The day after the meeting, two heinous individuals called the employer of a citizen who spoke up for the Chief. They told this man’s employer that he was crazy and should be fired. I call on each of you on the dais to demand that your supporters immediately STOP this intimidation. I understand the panic the New Guard must be feeling as the power slips away and their hidden agendas become clear. Their days are numbered and they know it. Until the Gang of 3 is removed from the dais by either a vote next March or by a recall petition, I demand these new rules for the dais. 1. If you put an item on the agenda, include the back-up so citizens can know the objective of what you’re doing. Include existing ordinances, give a reason for what you want, and simply explain yourself. 2. Do your homework before the meeting. Prepare your comments so you don’t sound like a blithering idiot. 3. Close your darn computers during public comments, commission comments and any presentations. At least act like you’re paying attention to what’s being said. I don’t know if you’re reading a book or looking at Manatee porn on the computer, but STOP IT. 4. Sit up and act professionally. That’s not a lounge chair or Lazy Boy you’re sitting in. Do your stretching exercises or napping at home. 5. Be on the dais when you’re supposed to. Keep your seat until the meeting is adjourned instead of running off the dais like your pants are on fire or like you’ll miss Happy Hour. Stop being rude. Mark your calendars – March 9, 2010…………. Independence Day for the town we love.

Edmund Malkoon -waited for this meeting to address those Commissioners that “spun his words” when he spoke at the podium at the previous meeting about 4th of July….He also spoke about the crowd that came in support of Chief Gooding and the lack of support for the Town Manager…He said the charges if the Chief being fiscally irresponsible was ridiculous and was shocked that none of the Commissioners initially commented (the Gang of 3)….He pointed too the BSO Colonel’s presentation and the Town Manger’s questions of “where do you want the power outlets” and the reduction of only $5000 for landscaping being the response after being fully informed by the BSO of the costs for renovations….He pointed out to Commission if they did not understand the vote was for giving direction to the Town Manager of reinstating Chief Gooding they should should do so this night…

Bob Fleishman-spoke of it being “that time of year again”…the budget, spending, and the “indulgence” by the Town Manager and 3 Commissioners…He spoke of the “reassigning of Chief Gooding”…and the charge of fiscal irresponsibility…asking the Manager “how do you go to bed at night having cut down staff hours and keeping your own salary the same?”…He added the “heck of a severance package you drew up for yourself to the tune of $140,00o, a year’s pay”…He turned to the VFD and Chief Perkin’s reported dressing down (by his Dep. Chief)…that the VFD is a private corporation and the Dep. Chief getting a “brand spankin” new car while the Chief rides around in his own car….and that the VFD holds the title..not the Town…He reminded all of the Town Manager’s previous statements that the Town would own all equipment and then it would be leased back to the VFD…He went on to speak of the signs in Bel Air and the funding…then jumped over to the Town’s “favoritism” and “nepotism” in the bidding process…He touched on the VFD and the VM’s son being paid…closing with relaying that “a citizen of this town has quoted all this will be foigotten by March 2010″…saying his response is this “not for a second, not for a minute, not ever, will we the people forget”….

Daniel Halpert- said he was “beginning to see a pattern of conduct”…..that Chief Gooding got up and said what his needs were and was punished …an act that was like those done in foreign countries…that this is potentially very serious…that the Commission was “losing your legitimacy”….he then gave the “can’t take the heat…get out of the kitchen” line adding they should “take a good look at yourselves and leave”…

Christopher Vincent-It has been about 8 years since the City of Lauderdale By the Sea contracted it’s police services with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office operational personnel have become a familiar part of the policing landscape in our City and with good reason. With the vast amount of resources available to them, simple common sense dictates that a County wide law enforcement can do a better job of fighting crime than smaller, local police agencies. This is certainly evident by the numerous municipalities who have merged with the Sheriff’s Office over the past several decades.

Concerns throughout the city, is that certain members of our Commission as well as our Town Manager may want to pursue their desires of bringing back a Municipal Police Agency.

Although on the surface having a municipal police agency may seem to possess a certain sense of pride and “belonging , this sense of pride is more in the minds of local government officials who want a police department under their control, with little awareness for the overall impact on the safety and security of the community at large.

Getting a municipal police department off the ground

Establishing a police department from scratch is not a simple task. There are significant and monumental challenges confronting a City government when they entertain this idea. First and foremost, what impact will this have on crime while the City creates and finalizes the department’s policies and procedures, budgeting, recruitment, and procurement of equipment to fulfill their mandates? Is the City Council ready, willing and able to undertake the long and daunting process of promulgating new laws and ordinances?

One of the main challenges of establishing a new police department at a local level is the securing of funds. Local governments have to finance these departments, which means that limited resources have to be spread out over all other City services. To maintain the same level of services, taxes will most assuredly have to be increased.

A key constraint confronting the establishment of a municipal police department is the relatively small number of sworn officers that they

are able to draw on. It takes a minimum of one year to hire and train a new police officer, and experienced officers demand higher salaries. (if you can find them)!

There are theories that suggests, when you reduce or alter the presence of crime prevention in any city, crime thrives. And we as a community will not allow that to happen.

Economic Impact

It is a given fact that both the Sheriff’s Office and the establishment of our own City Police Department would engage in the same core principals of law enforcement. There is no doubt that the establishment of a municipal police department has it’s merits, However, in this time of economic struggle, is placing the cost of starting a police department from scratch on the shoulders of the taxpayers a wise and prudent thing to do? Now that’s where fiscal responsibility comes in.

Conclusion

At some point in time, political differences must be set aside and an honest dialog between City Officials, the community and the Sheriff’s Office must occur. The Sheriff’s Office has placed a huge amount of time, energy and resources into providing the City of Lauderdale By The Sea with the finest police services available. There may be a number of key challenges confronting us, however, cool heads can prevail in these trying times with the ultimate goal of the safety and security of our residents and the business community. THANK YOU

Chuck Gress- was unable to attend the last meeting but watched it on his computer …adding “what a meeting it was”…He said there were other people who would like to have been there [in the hall] and were glued to their TVs…He said he wanted to “thank our Town Manager Esther Colon for a job well done, because in one fell swoop, she was able to accomplish something no group has been able to do…AND that was to truly UNITE our town, against the evil doings of several people sitting on the dais.”…He felt that the “vast majority of the residents perceive the firing of Chief Gooding as a conspiracy, devised and executed by you and your rag tag army leaders, Jerry McIntee, Jim Silverstone and, of course Dr. Birute Clottey.”…He said their “actions are going to haunt you repeatedly as long as you are residents in this town. We are not as stupid as you apparently think we are.”…He praised everyone that stood and spoke up for Chief Gooding …He commended and applauded the Mayor and named various residents…saying that most of those in the hall want LBTS to”grow and thrive”…for residents to “live in harmony”…offering this suggestion ..”Vice Mayor Mcintee, Commissioner Silverstone, Commissioner Clottey and Town Manager Colon, do the right thing, give this town back to the people and immediately turn in your resignation.”….

Ron Piersante- Spoke of the flooding item that was in front of the Vice Mayor’s home jokingly asking “is that “Resident” was in the hall”…and calling Assist. Olinzocks’s memo saying the flooding was “documented”…then discussed the flooding on Harbor Drive….He spoke of past allegations of “back room deals” made by the Old Guard….saying “could you imagine if Mayor Parker did this?”…He said that if this Commission approved this item they would be guilty of favoritism….

Beverly Kenendy- Thanked Chief Gooding calling his “the very best Chief”…and spoke of his heart and communicative skills…she spoke of a recall for this Commission…again she spoke of the aftermath she is dealing with after trying to have a decaying real estates sign removed from her neighborhood…the result of her action …she now faced a hearing calling it resentment and payback…she wanted Comm. Clottey to change her vote and get “our Chief back”…calling the town a “Banana Republic….

Frank Hermann- spoke of carpetbaggers speaking at the podium in support of Chief Gooding..he wanted the Commission to have to present address…town you name it…(He was later corrected in his assertions by the Mayor in her comments)…He was not well received by many residents and business owners who had spoken that evening…

Gail Albohn- Thanked the July 4th volunteers….”so many volunteers” and Maureen McIntee…(the numbers later presented by the VM were approx. 100…60+ were VFD/ 4 were Commissioners….10 were committee members…the rest were mostly CIC …the numbers were severely lower than in previous years)…

Maureen McIntee- did a big P.R. …saying “those that want to truly unite our town were there”…100 volunteer (see above)…the VFD “who could not do enough”…(radio communications of the VM yelling and fights between VFD members that were leaked tell another story)… she thanked the Town Manager for the budget…and went further into lala land she said …” Thank you to the silent majority who remains at home”…taking the familiar McIntee tact of “rumors and lies”…ending with going into the past when the previous Town Clerk was fired…(by this Town Manager)…midway through she accused this writer f laughing..I took umbridge to the false accusation and she said it came from that area…sad!..only one person clapped as she walked back to her seat…

George Crossman spoke of Mark Brown and his June 24thstatement (said Mr. Crossman) that the police dept. office was closed at 5 pm “insinuating” no protection in town. (HUH?)…He did not take sides on BSO VS privvate police and spoke of the police that had been killed in the last year…

Louis Marchelos- said there were some tough acts to follow and before he turned to his prepared speech he addressed Mrs. McIntee’s “silent majority” comment…saying “the silent majority is here, awake”…Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. This town should feel flattered, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano in an effort to attract customers for the city businesses have started musical and street events.
The one area they did not imitate is the generosity of our merchants bearing the costs.
The city of Fort Lauderdale has budgeted $ 78,000 for their events. The town of Lauderdale by the Sea has budgeted zero. A win for our town and its merchants.

When these events take place their will always be some individuals inconvenienced by the traffic or the volume. We must be sensitive in their needs but those who complain should have the courage to voice them.
When an anonymous complaint is made it is self defeating. To remedy a situation we must know who what and where. We all know the political nature of this town. If you have a serious noise complaint, call me. I’ll meet you and find a solution. In all honesty I have been able to evaluate the motivation in these complaints.
We all know that some elements in town think of themselves as privileged and try to Bully any innovative ideas. You know who you are , so do we. Whether it is failing to prevent an injustice to the best law enforcement officer this town has ever seen.
Think of how the town staff must fell and the threat they are under when the commission permits such an injustice to the Chief.

The placing of burdensome fees on special events are the actions of a bully bunch. They have no soul, they have no heart, they have no desire but the promotion of their own power.

The bully bunch which includes the higher up in the town administration will destroy the potential of this little town to be unique and great.

Ben Freeny- spoke of the lack of the budget backup being online prior to the meeting and the fact that the public would not be able to comment on it until right before it is approved….he was concerned about the sewer going in front of the Vice Mayor’s home…the pavilion…the signage in Bel Air…the infrastructure and our reserves…

Ellen Kirby- came to address her garbage bill increase of 49% and asked for some response (she received none) and addressed the flooding on Harbor Drive…..

John Oughten said it was “pathetic”…the noise ordinance…the empty stores….and spoke of his line of work before he retired…he asked about those that reportedly complained about noise and the code enforcement effect on the businesses…

Adam Geesey- spoke of his “extreme displeasure in the removal of Chief Gooding ….he said it was “illogical, illegal and ill conceived”…saying he is not usually a person that believes in conspiracies…asking for sworn testimony from the dais that they had no previous knowledge of the Manager’s action…he reminded them they work for us the citizens of LBTS…and ended with “throw the bums out of office now!”……

BC-Fitting words to end the public comments…

more to come…

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