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Here’s The Scoop … July 14, 2010 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Roundtable … Thespian In The Hall … Highly Charged Project…. Put Out The Welcome Mat ……Who’s The Bathroom Czar … Grooming Fido In Town Limits … Permitting A Change … Walking On Hallowed Ground … Good As Gold ….

Thespian In The Hall…..

Comm. Vincent a longtime “thespian” in Broward … put this on for the program to return to Jarvis Hall…Questions arose and tempers as well from Vincent’s intro… which was a “gleened” from a faction…and not Clottey’s faction on the demise of Vincent Ragusa’s  longtime theater group… Vincent stated it was “squashed ” after 8-9 years for political reasons and threw out costs for it that were a little off as well… He stated he spoke with Mr. Ragusa at length and it was a positive thing… Clottey unhappy with Vincent’s “terminology” took her faction’s stance on the demise stating Ragusa was to have used the hall …had it reserved and did not follow through…stating the “series” never happened… that is was not “squashed” (I ‘m sure they both mean “quashed”) and it was not political…While Clottey is correct about a program not happening…I do not recall it being a whole series a…and as for it not being political that claim from her is disingenuous at best!… It was definitely political as posted previously….along with some less than steller accounting from Mr. Ragusa… Clottey was also off in her declarations on Sandy with a performing arts program being done privately…This writer ran into Sandy who lives in my building and was looking for a venue…I told her about the demise of Ragusa’s group and to contact the Town but not to use my name …especially right after the 2008 election…She was put the ringer after she stepped up by McIntee and Colon…Clottey was asked by McIntee to be a censor over Sandy… and then Sandy ran into oversight from the Commission on her choice of her first production…Originally she thought she would need no funds although it was offered and then changed her mind to find reluctance and a jaded response from some as well…Conflict came also in what amount of time was needed to use the facility and Sandy threw the towel in and went elsewhere…Mayor Minnet was correct due to a personal tragedy the play she had planned last year was cancelled…Mayor Minnet said she supported the idea and wanted to move forward from the past after seeing the deterioration starting in the exchange…She asked about others who wanted to bid for the program…Comm. Vincent stated Mr. Ragusa assured him he would not interfere with Town use of the hall …then went on to state a minimum of 3 roundtable meeting would need to be rescheduled!… The Mayor stated the budget was tight and maybe it would be better to wait a year…The Town Manager stated she had added extra funds preliminarily for programs like this or other activities/programs…Commissioner Vincent pushed for Ragusa stating he had done this for so long and would have no problem restarting…Vincent did not know the cost for the program…wrongly stating it was in the backup…it was not…and stating it would be 12-15 thousand after Clottey asked…The Manager stated she was told 10-12 thousand… Ms. Hoffmann also inquired whether it is a non-profit organization… Mr Ragussa sent out letters for funds in May…nowhere on the letter or envelope does it show a non-profit # …it just states the name and Inc…He also asked for funds in any amount including 3 levels $100/$250/$500 to help support equipment, sets and advertising …Commissioner Sasser pointed out what was MIA in the backup..a budget and it was required that there be a line item one along with estimates and expectations…and asked about any reimbursement to the town for any profit made…He did his homework…..The Mayor stated this should go to staff…Some back and forth about using the garage bay for storage in season…Manager stated the town would accommodate them …Staff will review…

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Highly Charged Project …..

See the agenda for this Roundtable (prev. post ) for background …along with link to backup materials on Town website… The Town Manager spoke about this being a lengthy report and she hoped this was not an example of other Capital Improvement Projects …She summed up that “various people” (Marc Furth) approached the Town last month and stated they needed more money for the project ($17,000+ over the $76,000 almost 4 years later while we have paid out almost $50,000 according to Ms. Hoffmann) to get the buoys done…She went over the backup…and the cost increases…(they are in default) ..and stated she felt Dr. Goreau and his Global Coral Reef Alliance should be paying any cost increase…She wanted direction from the Commission on how staff should respond… Comm. Sasser began in what now become his style of governing… well versed…fair…even-handed and methodical …He stated he was in favor of maintaining the project and more like it …but that being said he was “appalled” at how it was managed “top to bottom” …filling in his reasons of the timeline …and the contract ..He stated it needed to get back on track and required deliverables …realistic milestones and a separate workshop to make important decisions …He said he would put his own money into it…but had more questions…Comm. Clottey obviously doing the “bidding” for the Furths on this item….again stated there was a rush to get this done before September (HUH?…nothing done in almost 4 yrs and it can now be done with an extra $17,000 in less than a month!) … She then went off on pure propaganda (we are told) by badmouthing the pier “leasers” and stating they wanted $50,000 to let the project use the pier for electric…This writer was told the discussion never made it to a dollar amount..The  mayor tried unsuccessfully to stop Clottey from again dissing this Town business owner in a public forum where they could not respond… (old habits die hard for “Clueless”) … The Mayor also called for the workshop…Clottey then put Broward County Mayor Ken Keechl in a bad spot on video by stating she had spoken to him and he told her he had discretionary funds he could give for this project…she backed off a little later on starting it was not 100% …but nevertheless …this writer found it quite a 180 from her past of penalizing the Chamber for receiving County funds for the Welcome Center…but not so for this?… Comm. Vincent added for the “viewers at home” the wrong dates of April 07 and Sept. stating nothing had transpired …He later did make a good point of reminding Clottey and the others that maintenance would be ongoing for this at $22,000 a year..Hmmm….. not sure about that one…. Some confusion came from Clottey’s stance of needing to know if the Town would pay or not and the effect that would have on money coming from elsewhere…the County or private donations with some people that want “naming rights” for a couple of thousand dollars…The Mayor stated she had spoken to Rep Ellyn Bogdanoff and Sen. Jeff Atwater…Bogdanoff was mentioned at the Feb 13, 2007 meeting for a $50,000 grant that never went anywhere….The Manager wanted Dr. Goreau at the workshop .. It is set for 5:30pm on July 28th before the Roundtable at 7 pm…interested parties will be allowed to speak…The Manager ended the discussion by acknowledging Cry of the Water (Marine Park  Project-Furth/Goreau pals) did get an extension from the Coast Guard on the expired permit til June 2011…

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Put Out The Welcome Mat ….

The Chamber of Commerce/Welcome Center has correctly upped their request from the Town this year…(prev. post)…The Town Manager working off past numbers and some discombobulated figures according to some… needed direction from the Commission…Comm. Sasser asked for some info not in the backup…the proposed contract from the Chamber …and most of what he asked fro from the performing arts and the reef project…detailed proposals..with a proposal of what the increase was for…a plan and what the return will be for the additional funding… He offered to be  the liaison later on after stating on should be assigned… Clottey agreed with him on the line item and again threw out her tired old litany of the building being covered by the Town…and later the Chamber having a large amount of its members from outside of town…Comm. Vincent along with the Mayor explained the town does not have enough businesses to support the Chamber…Chamber Pres. Paul Novak has explained that to Clottey before… Comm. Vincent said there should be a presentation from the Chamber …The Mayor relayed some of her research ..looking at Chambers in Colorado who had marketing agreements with their towns…She said she is an advocate of public-private partnerships and stated no other Broward municipalities supported their Chambers …we are the only one… Comm. Clottey lobbed on to that one…but the Mayor shot her down by explaining we are unique with the Welcome Center… The Comm. talked of uses for the Chamber with events etc… The Mayor offered to be liaison as well as Comm. Sasser…It ended up being Comm. Sasser…but not without “clueless” Clottey  stating she wanted a staff member to be liaison due to it being “problematic” for one Commissioner…leading to talk on the street that would be inaccurate… Comm. Vincent..Comm. Sasser and the Mayor jumped on that insinuation bringing up Choice and how this has worked well ….Clottey backed down…Comm. Sasser will be the liaison and report to staff to give the info to the rest of the Commission…

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Who’s The Bathroom Czar?…..

Development Director Jeff Bowman assisted by Int. Asst. Town Manager Bud Bentley and PIO Steve D’Oliveira gave a powerpoint presentation with sound  (Steve narrating) …It showed what was in the backup…locations (4) and styles of prefabs (ghastly) …for cost of approx. $150,000….the pros and cons of each location…….Staff recommended the project… The Commission narrowed it down to 2 areas El Prado park or east in the Oriana Alleyway on the sand…. Comm. Vincent who ran on this and stated from the dais previously in his Comm. comments that he was working on this changed from his previous desire for the bathrooms to be in the pier parking lot to El Prado park …and eventually having more near the Commercial Blvd. beach area…. The Mayor was for the east Oriana alleyway as was Comm. Clottey… Comm. Sasser reiterated his stance in the campaign of no more piecemealing and having a plan…He wanted this along with the Master Plan revision to go to the MPSC to give feedback on location and aesthetics which was brought up by the Mayor in placing them in El Prado park… The highlight came when the Town Manager asked “Does anyone want to be the bathroom czar?…. Comm. Vincent who again ran on this …did not own up to the title..but stated “That’s a crappy job”… and the commentary went further down the toilet when the Town Manager stated about the funding “We want to hold it then!”… Comm Vincent then all but claimed his Czarship after her statement on not funding it this year by stating a “vision” of El Prado Park being the most viable …He had an O.J. moment when he asked Jeff Bowman if he had a “serious recommendation” …Bowman answered “I don’t”… Vincent did not want this to be sidelines and did not want it to go to MPSC either…He backed down when it was again explained why it was going to MPSC…(the bus shelters went to them)…It will come back to the Roundtable after the committee discusses it next Tuesday July 20th at 7 pm…on July 28th or in Sept….

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Grooming Fido In Town Limits ….

There used to be a dog groomer next to Laspadas…. that was considered a non-conforming business…A new groomer wants to come in on the other side of Commercial (north) …and it is not allowable under our current code of allowable businesses…The Town Atty will work with a planning consultant to broaden the code and shorten the time for these new businesses to get up and running…The bigger news for this writer Laspadas is expanding!…

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Permitting A Change ….

Looks like Broward County will get the heave-ho from LBTS…but will be on the backburner fro 6 months due to too much on the Int. Town Manager’s plate right now… unless there is an earlier reason due to notification clauses to change providers…

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Walking on Hallowed Ground  ….Or…… They Took Their Decorations and Went Home ….

The new chair for Halloween 2010 will be Comm. Sasser… He will have a budget of $4,000 and one coffin…to start with…The previous “keepers”of the “Haunted House Hallway” took their collection of Halloween decorations and went home!… The Furths took everything?…This writer has asked before …if the Town paid for the materials…isn’t the final product the Town’s?…. The Furths used to close down the Senior Center for 2 weeks for a 3 hour event that pulled in mostly kids from out of town…The volunteers worked late hours and dealt with artistic fickleness that led to the 2 week time frame …. The issue this year …to do it without the Furths or grovel?… This writer has already heard Wayne from Interior Digs has offered to assist in the hall decorations…His decorations for Easter were and are still being raved about!… I am sure many townspeople will offer to volunteer their time and talent and join Comm. Sasser as he chairs his first event. with the help of his wife Teresa …..Talk of other events included the hiring of a part time (20 hrs a week) staff member to assist in events as well as  other issues…preferable over using the TM or Asst. TM …This is akin to the former TM wanting to put extra responsibility onto the Senior Center Director’s position with no extra compensation (prev. posts)…

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Good As Gold….

Comm. Sasser showed his word is a s good as gold when it comes to making things happen… “The Contract Guy”…along with the Asst. Town Manager and TAtty. made Interior Digs owners and others mighty happy yesterday with 2 out of 3 of the Choice Environmental problems solved… The ordinance will be changed with additional subsections on the following from Comm. Sasser’s comments Tuesday evening (prev. post) …for multi-use residences and businesses as well as suspension of service….

The Mayor in a not so subtle dig aimed at Comm. Clottey expressed her thanks to Comm. Sasser and stated this showed how well the liaison process worked!…

more to come….

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