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Here’s The Scoop … April 12, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Roundtable Meeting … # 2 … Portion Control Required …

THEY HAD WAY TOO MUCH ON THEIR PLATE …

Dear Readers … in part two of the April 12, 2011 LBTS Special Meeting/Roundtable this writer will cover the items on the 2 page agenda that came after public comments and item 3a. the presentation by Planner Cecelia Ward (both will be covered in part 3) .. The items 3b-3t… Once again the Commission has way too much on their “plate” leading to the Town Manager’s inclusion of item 3h to put them back on track with what the priorities are leading to “portion control” going forth …(we can only hope…although due to the length and the late hour VM Dodd removed his item 3m calling for the suspension of Roundtables to return to 2 monthly commission meetings…It should still be done with an occasional roundtable as needed in this writer’s opinion) …

Item 3b was the Neighborhood Improvement Program … This one was brought back after the Mayor questioned some of what Terra Mar Island was asking for in their allotted $30,000 (previously set at a roundtable for each “neighborhood”  …see prev. post) … There seems to be some in-fighting going on in their  neighborhood in the north with who wants what and how it’s being asked for from the commission …A real power struggle of old and new board members is what we are being told… It included some back and forth with letters and e-mails and “threats”(?) of political consequences if the votes from the dais don’t add up sooner rather than later…WOW! ….This writer received a copy of some of it from a concerned neighbor in Terra Mar and responded it was similar to what took place in Bel Air and their signage changes for names on their streets ..(see prev. posts) … The Mayor perhaps feeling some of that heat spoke of being “happy to see” this and spoke of Bel Air’s success and the “opportunity to others” to improve their entryways as well..She spoke of Terra Mar’s plans moving forward with the help of staff but ultimately it is the Commission that needs to give final approval… After that the issue went south … Comm. Clottey said it was a “good program” going on to state the Commission should “not get into what each neighborhood wants”..that “it is up to residents in neighborhoods to decide what they want”…if there’s “conflict let the neighbors vote”… The Vice Mayor did state “it is up to us to decide what we’ll fund” …He went on to say he did not think we should pay for security cameras (Terra Mar is asking for them) …He spoke of the backup list of 9 “neighborhoods” identified and the cost of $270,000 to abide by the previously agreed $30,000 per amount for each… Comm. Clottey asked the VM “How are you going to give to one without the other” …She spoke of Silver Shores south and if they wanted security cameras they should have them citing people turning into their neighborhood from Commercial Blvd… Comm. Vincent countered Clottey by stating “I don’t think we need residents monitoring illegal left turns into neighborhoods”…He said that’s why we have law enforcement …He asked about areas that do not have associations and not being able to have what is required according to the backup to get cameras requiring maintenance and insurance …Comm. Clottey stated Bel Air was not a HOA (Homeowners Association) they are a civic -voluntary association …The TAtty. spoke of the funding going only to those who are an association.. Comm. Vincent repeated much of what he had when the plan was first hatched at the previous roundtable concerning the inner works of “neighborhoods” and the half that want something vs the half that doesn’t and dealing with that to give them their list of wants … The Town Manager said this is what the staff will run into and she felt certain items such as security cameras require “some entity who states they will maintain it …otherwise the Town is stuck.”…Vincent continued on with scenarios of “Seven who say yes” and would they be stuck.”..for maintenance and insurance …The TAtty. stated there needed to be some sort of association or taxing district …the need for assurances.. Comm. Vincent said “I will vote for beautification with representation”..He went on to state “I trust our town and planners”…”No gates ,no cameras unless you have an association.”… Comm. Clottey stated the problems of putting together a HOA vs a civic assoc. and that a civic assoc. has the ability to represent …Comm. Vincent wasn’t getting it… Comm. Sasser who lives in Terra Mar wanted to make sure the discussion and the decision was “based on facts” …He spoke of Terra Mar having a decision making board and the costs of the cameras and other items is below the allotted $30,000 which was originally set at $40,000 he pointed out… He spoke of making things “more difficult” by instituting a “program” rather than dealing with “projects”…He agreed with an earlier statement made by Clottey about the Democratic process but again asked Are we making too much out of it?” … He spoke of the”merits vs. complicated programs”…BINGO!… The Mayor said these were “public funds” and asked the TAtty. about the liability on the town..The TAtty. spoke of Terra Mar taking on the obligations to indemnify …The Mayor said that offered protection and the TAtty. said yes …The Mayor spoke of the components again and Comm. Vincent added public funding for “beautification of the entire town” over “5,6,7 years with the Master Plan as a whole”…as well as the Comprehensive Plan…VM Dodd countered this was a “Bureaucratic  elephant!”..Comm. Vincent gunning for the VM once again (again, who’s advising Vincent these days?) … “Who do you want to do this?.. He went off saying “Then don’t fund anything!”… (Many would be happy with that!) … The Mayor tried to sum up what she was hearing from Comm. Sasser and VM Dodd saying they should not have a Neighborhood Program but continue on to be receptive when each neighborhood comes to the Commission for funding… VM Dodd said “You have my vote”… Comm. Clottey said once again the difficulties about HOA vs civic assoc…The TAtty. reiterated that the whatever constituted a neighborhood assoc. could have certain criteria in place such as time in existence and other such qualifiers to make the indemnification worth the paper it is written on… The TM said the only bureaucracy placed was on those items asked for that require continuing service such as gates, cameras and lighting…Comm. Sasser said he disagreed with her …Comm. Vincent countered Comm. Sasser and said Terra Mar is “covered” so “why are we going there?”…”beating a dead horse”… Comm. Clottey spoke of Terra Mar and the votes they seemed to have for this …Comm. Vincent asked after Clottey if someone doesn’t support and the legal challenge that could arise…The TAtty. responded that is the “outer limit” and that’s why you have to be careful before you allow one person to come forward… incentifise beforehand…Comm. Vincent again went there with the Town deciding when an area is ready for beautification and the need to follow a program …The TM said this was being made overcomplicated approve items A-H and if they want items after that (that require servicing & maintenance) the Commission could make the decision…..After the TM said they needed to know what to do about Terra Mar going forth with staff the Mayor  stated the Commission needed to give final approval… but the consensus was go ahead …Although the Mayor said they were done with this item it was not clear in the end but it seems the program will go forth with association requirements etc.. I agree with Comm. Sasser and VM Dodd no set program just project by project …The beautification of an entire area under the Master Plan or Cap. Improvements is a separate issue despite Comm. Vincent “bundling” them together…

The Purchasing Policy Manual was the next item and it is 131 pages noticeably unread by most at this time (too much on their plate) …VM Dodd who made this a priority (it was and is) did have a read through and pointed out one page that contained an addition to keep things more on the up and up with vendors and how they are paid “I have read the manual and I thank you for the wording on page 81.Under no circumstances may known or anticipated annual requirements for commodities and services from a vendor be broken into smaller quantities to circumvent the requirements to use a formal vendor selection process.”..Dodd then asked that the Audit Committee take it on after conferring with its Chair Ben Freeny…The Mayor said that was great and the TM said she would get it to them and it would require a few meetings as well as the informal need of an “ok” to go ahead with putting out an RFP (RFQ not currently in our manual) to allow for professional services of qualifying more than one company which keeps things more competitive and honest in the long run as well as not violating CCNA requirements … She needed the “Commission’s blessing”… She was given both the ok and the blessing from all 5 …It will be used for the architectural firms for the downtown drainage project ….This is a good move as the TM explained and it should keep us from continuing on with past mistakes found by having longtime vendors a little too cozy to the administration according to some… The TAtty. stated the Audit Committee may need the an addition added to their scope of work …an easy fix …as they expand their advisory role with the review of the Policy Manual …

3d. The parking lot expansion…(prev. post) quickly became history with no support coming from the Commission… One public speaker stated it was “putting good money after bad” and this writer agrees completely… Last thing we needed was to purchase more property and to add another million+ to the already overpaid for bad location for parking … Now it’s time to pay off the parking loan which I understand can be accomplished and will save us hundreds of thousands by doing so (no word on whether the previous Finance Dir. at the time Esther Colon had a penalty clause attached to this loan as well)… In the course of long silences and joking about those silences offering the TM the direction she needed (“forget about it!”) …the only waffler was Comm. Vincent who said the staff could continue to “monitor the situation”..”Don’t quash it”… The Mayor reminded them the “name of the game ” going forth was the “Commission needs to set priorities”… The TM responded “not pursuing it”…The Mayor answered “yes”.. (Cost of the appraisals and renderings to date not provided or asked for by anyone at the table)…

3e. Design Direction for El Mar Drive… Yep back again… The Town Manager stated it was required that the Commission decide from the different schemes which one they supported in “order to cost out the project” … continuing on that burying the utilities would is a separate issue.. Comm. Clottey spoke about the 4-lanes and people speaking out alluding to the 2007 4-lane El Mar Drive that changed the planned 2-lanes back to 4 allowing for Oriana to retain 1 lane already in process at that time and making a deal with Minto to retain 4-lanes by giving them studio size apartments for the property undeveloped across from the Town Hall (prev. posts) … With the new MPSC this became an issue once again and the ideas ranged from 1 lane to 1 and 1/2 lanes to 2 lanes one being a “multi-purpose” lane in the inside lane by the medians for walkers/bikes/cars with a different surface…Also in question was the width of the medians ..and the size of the sidewalks… Front and center was endless discussion over bikers being in danger if the bike lane was where it is usually located by the curb akin to tags on hand-held hairdryers alerting people not to use them in the bathtub!… Comm. Clottey further spoke about the swale area stating “it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen”…(Government protecting us at its finest!)… She stated once more as others have including this writer walkers/bikers will still do so in the streets … BINGO! … Comm. Vincent was confused about the July 20th plan asking if it was “null and void” …The TM responded that according to traffic engineer “none of these are out of the questions” …Comm. Clottey wanted the median the same …4 lanes and sidewalks …..Comm. Sasser was confused as well by the rendering showing the median and bike lane and not adding up to the right figure ..The TM  explained the discrepancy and told the Commission they had earlier approved and decided on the July 20th plan and explained the 2ft. “divider” they were confused on was just a drainage area…

From the backup- “At its meeting of July 20, 2010 the Master Plan Steering Committee MPSC recommended the
Commission adopt a revised cross section for El Mar Drive as shown in Exhibit 2 They recommended 6
sidewalks keeping 4 traffic lanes with the interior lanes being 9 wide and functioning as multipurpose
lanes the exterior lanes being 11 in width and burying all utility lines”

Town Manager Hoffmann went on to explain the MPSC then changed the plan as well as the plans being discussed at the Citizen Input sessions and there was an even split in the response… She asked the Commission whether they wanted 4 lanes or 2 lanes … VM Dodd spoke of his daily visits on El Mar Drive with his dogs as well as his attendance throughout this process at MPSC meetings… speakers and input sessions and he was for the multi-purpose lane as well as agreeing with Comm. Clottey on the swale problem and called for re-claiming some of it for green area that would aid in the drainage problem as well… Comm. Sasser asked if the VM was for the Feb 15th plan “sans the bike lane”…VM Dodd said he was for the July 20th plan… The Mayor chimed in about where the walkers would go and Comm. Sasser also stated “wherever they want to.”… Comm. Clottey said she read the comments and agreed with the bike lane being by the medians for safety from “back out parking” …Comm. Sasser questioned the concern although he might agree with it since bike lanes are on the outside on A1A…Comm. Clottey replied that they have a say on El Mar…The Mayor said she was for 4 lanes and saw there was not enough support for 2 …consensus was for the multi-purpose lane… Comm. Sasser was for the July 20th plan as well …The TM spoke of the design consideration possibly extending the sidewalks from 6 to 7 or 8 feet..

3f. The Community Center Participation fees…this one came back due to people coming into Town Hall and wanting alternatives to a yearly fee of $30 and those here for a shorter stay want to be able to use the center as well… The Mayor wanted to further open the doors to be more inclusive…and the TM after some back and forth with the Mayor concerning 2-3 month renters was told to keep it simple..Ultimately the change will allow for 1 class or weekly ..2 months renters allowed free and the costs will be at the Town’s discretion to decide…

3g. and 3g iii had to do with the code enforcement in town and how to take action faster as Comm. Clottey who put on the 1st of these two items stated the reviews for hotels have been dismal on the internet…She went on to talk of branding and how clean-up needs to be done …The Town Manager who put on the second portion spoke of being down one code position with it remaining empty while we dealt with other projects…She further explained that Kim (Williams) was being pulled away for other work such as turtle lighting and the sewers ..We do not have the one and half people we should have dedicated to code …(Ya gotta love government position counts …Where else would a company have one and a half people employed with a straight face?) … She said the Town’s policy is if someone complains we respond…She spoke of needing more resources for more positions and it being brought back at budget time …She also addressed different types of code issues ..The Mayor spoke of the 40-year inspection (for hotels and condos) and Comm. Clottey asked about instituting yearly or 6month inspections and the ball that was dropped with VFD inspection info making its way to the TM…The TAtty. spoke of communication and compliance…Comm. Sasser added the Chamber had informed the Commission (in an e-mail months ago about conditions found by tourists) …and nothing was done …VM Dodd asked for active participation from both the Chamber and the VFD inspecting more often as well as the code department being increased in man(or woman) power… Town Manager Hoffmann responded Jeff Bowman (now code personnel) met with Executive Director Judy Swaggerty at the Chamber and the Town has asked for specific complaints to be given to the Town which would give the Town the ability to see that room in question…The Town also setup with VFD Chief Paine to see problem properties over the next 6-8 weeks..Jeff Bowman corrected one mistake in the report on the hotel closed down …The backup info shows a myriad of problems found and ends with the hotel being closed down until December… No word on if the bank said to be the owner of the property has been contacted…

3h. The Town Manager put this on to discuss the priorities set for her and to try and get a handle on it going forward… unfortunately the Commission seemed to be be loosening that knot on the rope discussed in the previous post…After TM Hoffmann spoke of the priorities set in Nov. she spoke further about the items worked on that were not top priorities and said she was as guilty as the Commission in wanting to get everything done  She said there are too many balls in the air and they need to focus and hone in on priorities as a group more frequently and be strong to state what has to set aside not being on the work plan…With that Comm. Clottey led the way down the path of here we go again …with asking about the BSO contract …The TM replied it starts next Wed. ..Clottey said she was “concerned”…The TM stated it was a standard contract not “line by line” and it would come down to the numbers of personnel and cost (as prev. posted we hear it will not millions as projected in the last election) …Comm. Sasser asked jokingly about the #1 priority of recycling…The TM told him the priorities were not in order of importance and explained what was in the backup with charges etc… The Mayor spoke of the contract with Choice being 3 years and coming up soon as an example …Comm. Sasser said then it “moves down” the list of priorities ..There was consensus on that…Comm. Clottey went further into the abyss by bringing up public bathrooms…wrongly thinking they were put back on…(She brought it up again and had no support)..Comm. Sasser was kind and threw her a bone to say perhaps she was thinking of RMA’s presentation where Chris Brown stated they would come into play when we deal with the El Prado Park/Town Hall project…The TM held firm throughout that public bathrooms were “completely off” the list of priorities… Comm. Sasser asked about the coral reef project and the TM replied she had been in receipt of a forwarded e-mail from them for permits that implied a late May date to get started with the deployment… They all agreed to keep a priority list as the TAtty. suggested a “cover sheet” and to keep track of top priority items..secondary items and even those Comms. asked to be put on that were not priorities…OUCH!… We shall see …we shall see…

3f. Workshop Input dates …the dates picked were either April 26th or May 9th at 6:30 pm depending on VM Dodd’s schedule …public comment will be allowed…

3j. Retention of a second Code Enforcement Special Magistrate … Ther TAtty. explained the use of a second magistrate and the use being when there was either a conflict for the magistrate we have or alternating the two… The cost would be the same according to the Mayor…VM Dodd said yes go ahead and there was consensus to alternate I believe.. The TAtty. felt that offered some benefit to the new magistrate to get familiar with the Town…

3k Resource Recovery Board’s 12th Amendment to the ILA …This deals with tipping fees effective Oct. 1st and the new formula if approved by 51% how it will apply for next fiscal year..It will be on the April 27th agenda …

3l. Revisions to the Parking Code…The Town Manager tried to get this presentation done quickly by Asst. TM Bentley who had a power point presentation set up and said they could “delve into it at a later date”..The Mayor wanted to make sure the portal parking was looked in to after public comments were made about the impact …Bud Bentley went through the backup (available online under the meeting backup & video of meeting) …He touched on the swale parking problems found in front of homes …delinquent payment problems and the Town needing to refund for the snafus… He discussed the “Oceanfront Center ” 2 hour maximum which he said were not enforced and the larger restaurants being divided in whether the time should be extended or not…He needed direction on the hardship use on El Mar Drive (taken away by the previous administration and Comm.) and the use of residential permits being available to residents and not commercial owners or as it has been…The Mayor said those business owners would now need employee permits …Visitors would be allowed visitor permits under new addition proposed but it would not apply to hotel visitors only residential… He spoke of the parking sponsorship program that was not brought back to the Commission due to the participant not following through with it… He spoke of FDOT approval needed to meter Comm. Blvd. west of A1A ..The Mayor was concerned about lower rates in front of stores or visa versa wanting same rates to discourage any negative impact on the stores… The parking rate increases etc…will be on the April 27th Comm. meeting for 1st reading … VM Dodd asked about the turnaround time increase put forth for tickets and Bud replied it was what was done elsewhere …VM Dodd also was interested in seeing if ticket recipients could pay at Town Hall as many have asked to do… Bud said an e-mail was set to go to the Commission the next day on that…Town Hall had a cash terminal initiated in the Clerk’s office and a credit card terminal is to be setup as well. ..Ticket recipients can write a check and the Town will send it on to Ca. (where its processed) .. The Mayor said parking should be allowed on El Mar Drive after 9 pm for hardship parking and Comms. Clottey and Sasser agreed… The Mayor put forth 11pm parking on the weekends on El Mar Drive and Comm. Clottey spoke of burglars years ago walking on the beach scoping out places to hit ..The Mayor held steadfast for Fri and Sat night and hardship parking finding consensus …

3m. This was to be VM Dodd’s item to go back to 2 commission meetings as the roundtable model has not proven to be conducive with the needs of the Town..He removed it due to the late hour and will hopefully put it back on again to address..

3n. The Pelican Hopper …The backup was to extend service to Imperial Point Hospital…The Mayor a major supporter of the Hopper said it was a no..Comm. Vincent asked about the 22 yes and 15 no votes from Pelican Hopper riders and discounting them .. Commissioner Clottey also a stalwart proponent of the bus service said it would cut down on the route and it would be cheaper to send them by cab (there were 3 who said they would use it regularly- one elderly couple and one employee of the the hospital) … The Mayor expanded on those comments to touch on the Holy Cross extension now offered and state “in a perfect world” and that “we can’t do everything”… Comm. Sasser said it would still be addressed at budget time…(It needs to be quashed as it still has a low ridership and the costs outweigh the feel-good reasons of continuing on…in this writer’s opinion.) …

3o. Ordinance 2011-06 ..the proposed amendments for generators and related fuel storage tanks …It was adopted for 1st reading but questions were asked about the required setback requirements (small lots) and safety After an initial lack of response from the table the Town Manager reminded the Commission why it was on the roundtable and Comm. Sasser asked about any danger posed …Jeff Bowman stated he met with the Fire Marshal who ok’d the proposed changes which allow the TM to reduce the setback by a few feet if there is no alternative..VM Dodd who had asked this be looked into concurred with the changes made and was satisfied .. It comes back for 2nd reading at the next Comm. meeting..

3p. Ordinance 2011-07 Conditional Uses within the business district .. the impetus for this one on the roundtable after 1st reading with 2nd reading on Apil 27th came from the fact that in all the discussion on parking garages over the past months public vs private …It was found according to TM Hoffmann that if a private party wanted to build a parking garage they would not be allowed to!… Also changes were made according to TAtty. Trevarthen to line 537 on to address the question asked by P & Z Vice-Chair Yann Brandt concerning level 1  and level 2 and it not coming to the Comm….Now both will… VM Dodd and the Mayor also addressed a business wanting to come into the downtown area (between Kilwins and Cocoyoghurt) who wants to sell and kennel dogs as well as sell jewelry…Jeff Bowman responding to the surprised and caught off-guard response received from the Commission on this combination for a store  reminded them conditional use also included location allowing them to turn down a less desirable shop if they were inclined to allow such shops at all … We hear calls have been made to some Commissioners pro and con on the location desired above…This writer surmises conditional use with location will be enacted asap…

3q. Ord. 2011-16 Amendments to Chapter 30 Article VIII …sign regulations ..Jeff reminded the Commission  the P&Z put a lot of work into this and it was based on defensibility/constitutional/severability…(prev. P & Z posts)… Jeff told them with the Master Plan ..visioning and styles discussed recently (MIMO- Miami Modern) they recommend moving forward with the “housekeeping” in this ordinance and leave out 1-3 which is pole/pylon/sandwich board sign…I believe…VM Dodd asked about signage on the ends of buildings and the Town Manager responded that could lead to too much signage if there were multiple stores ..The Mayor called it sign pollution…Comm. Vincent asked about non-conforming signage not allowed in the backup after some back and forth the TM was also interested in knowing if there was a time frame or no opportunity to replace such non-conforming signs once taken down…It will be looked into and addressed at 1st reading on the 27th after the TAtty. confirmed there is no provision for time-frame in the current code to put it back up…

3r. Charter Review Board …The Mayor led the way as the Commission decided to pass this on to the next Commission seated next March due to the priority list in place and discussion of adhering to that list earlier in the evening…

3s. Wine Bars…VM Dodd had asked about including them in acceptable businesses in town..The TAtty. looked into it and they would not be allowed as they constitute a bar…

3t. was added at the start of the meeting by Comm. Clottey…The Commission received e-mails the week before of the new legislation going through the Fl. House and Senate…It has come through committee and the House to allow for short term vacation rentals and to usurp local code against them.. Comm. Clottey reminded all of why we currently have a 7 day minimum vacation rental on the books due to the TAtty. saying it was the least likely to produce any legal action as we watched this issue make its way through the courts… Comm. Clottey said there was a window of opportunity under the House version to increase that time and have it grandfathered in when and if this passes in the Senate (Trevarthen said the Senate version may not allow this though)… Comm. Clottey spoke of the problems we have with spring-breakers and wanted 28 days …VM Dodd questioned the procedure and the TAtty. reminded them of changes made 2 years ago for single -family homes and smaller multi-family ..VM Dodd questioned if the climate had changed locally to change the days allowed…Comm. Clottey again spoke of the spring-breakers…and that we do not have the luxury of going through the courts…The Mayor spoke of the legislature taking away our power and her calls to object  encouraging others to contact their representatives to do the same.. The Mayor spoke about the lack of code enforcement to deal with this but was not sure she wanted to change it… Clottey asked to up it to 14 days from 7 saying even that would help… Comm. Sasser asked why if we were not going to necessarily enforce it… The TAtty. said she understood but did not recommend doing something without enforcement and again stated she still thinks the longer you go the more likely to sue and greater the risk… She added our regulations are substantial …Comm. Sasser after hearing a few of those regulations including being able to revoke licenses asked about that…The TM said she thought there were 3 that had not responded and Jeff Bowman said there had been 16 that were cited… The TM thought some were foreclosed properties still renting out.. Jeff told them fines are set and imposed by the magistrate… Comm. Clottey had no backing for her increase and the TM said they would leave it the way it is… The other point made by the Town Manager was addressed by Cecelia Ward and the impact short term vacation rentals have on hotels as competition.. There was not response to that point coming from the Commission…This writer believes just as the TM tried to explain restaurant use to Comm. Vincent when discussing that portion of Cecelia Ward’s report (to be posted ) and the non-impact on the downtown restaurants countering Vincent’s assertions it would impact hotel guest from getting out of bed and heading to eat downtown (The TM and Ceceila Ward spoke of room service being expected in higher end accommodations) …. that there is room for both just as there is when people travel to Orlando or the Keys…

The Mayor spoke about the Mayor from Pembroke Pines and the Pantry of Broward County asking for some advertising on channel 78 and explained the services they offered..

The TAtty. spoke of an essay contest her firm Weiss, Serota was having for high school seniors due to their 20th anniversary..The winner received $1000 and the specifics can be found on the Town website..

The meeting adjourned approximately at a quarter to midnight…

The backup and video is available on the Town website … http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

More to come…

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