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Here’s The Scoop … No More Band-Aids … The Future Of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea … Part 1 …

THERE ISN’T ONE BIG ENOUGH …

Dear Readers…This is part 1 of a series of posts on where we find ourselves today in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and its future… This writer did some research while looking into the Sewer Enterprise Fund debacle that has left the Town in a precarious situation due to what appears to be some inside Town Hall decisions made by a chosen few in charge  …both in the administration and on the dais at the time while Broward County Property Appraiser records show one apparently owned in SRC at the same time …… We will be hit with a large increase in the south end for annual sewer rate increases that were never passed on over the last seven years …. Sea Ranch Club, unaware of any subsidy provided to them since the annexation in 1998, will be hit not only with the Pompano increases past and present but also from the availability charges being presently be covered by the Town per unit as well… Although it will be up to the Commission once all the facts are found… to decide if SRC should be on the hook for paying back 12+years of subsidy paid by the taxpayers …it is unlikely due to the circumstance and the sheer number of voters residing in the three buildings… Full disclosure, this writer lives in SRC and has since 1999…One thing I can tell you about SRC , is if they were presented with additional charges from Pompano from the get-go due to any lack of an agreement after annexation between LBTS and Pompano or the loss of a declaratory judgment as discussed at the special meeting held in 1997 if both municipalities could not come to terms…although at the present time , it appears that option was never followed through on … they would have passed it on to the residents… SRC regularly assesses its owners which is why the buildings were not among those along the ocean in need of major concrete restoration as seen up and down the coast over the last years… in this writer’s opinion…The subject of both SRC and the sewer rate increases will be discussed at the Aug. 25, 2010 5 pm Budget Meeting in Jarvis Hall along with the Town Manager search Workshop before the only Reg. Commission meeting at 7 pm…

OF NOTE: on pg. iv of the 2005-06 Adopted Annual Budget it states “We continue the testing,televising, and repairing of leaks in our aging sanitary sewer system to reduce infiltration and inflow and initiated preliminary discussions with the City of Pompano Beach for renewal of our 30-year Master Sewer Agreement in the South part of Town.”

BC- What was in that 30-year Master Sewer Agreement renewal?…This writer has made a PRR for it today…

In doing the digging for that sewer information, I found some background on the Town as a whole that brought back that sick familiar feeling I had shortly after the election in 2008 when I was co-campaign manager for the winning slate of BTSTimes endorsed /CIC backed candidates for the Commission and found out shortly afterward I was hoodwinked…with actions on the dais and the purchase of the crappy motel for a public safety complex…….Readers have read and heard many times from me throughout the past few years that I resolved to make it my mission to rectify what I helped to create… That came to fruition this year with the ouster of that majority and the big win of the BTSFuture endorsed/UOT backed slate of candidates with a 65% landslide victory…

The former Town Manager …Asst. Town Manager…HR/Risk Manager were terminated while Finance Dir. King resigned …Today, there is no viable CIC-  PAC to be seen (In fact, their newly elected Chair Pomareda has had her house on the market for over a month ) …. The By The Sea Times Newspaper met its demise right after the huge loss for their candidates (with that last candidate issue is still left online) and went out of publication for a second time with the second owners, the Furths  …Any political maneuverings from Town Hall East  (Furth’s Blue Seas Motel on El Mar Drive…the one with the Taxpayer’s $50,000 yellow buoy in front)  ….are all but finished as well with one exception being one leftover supportive Commissioner with her white Prius still seen parked there regularly and seen holding onto her active Blackberry and said to be on the receiving end of some Furth directives during actual meetings in Jarvis Hall…. That’s all well and good but it appears now I have something else to set my sights on to rectify … and that is the future of the town as a whole …..from the infrastructure on up… with planned re-development….

What Comm. Sasser calls “piecemealing”…I call “band-aids”… This Town can no longer use anymore band-aids to fix the problems we are faced with as we re-visit and revise the Town’s Master Plan (MPSC meets next Tues. Aug. 17th at 7pm Jarvis Hall) … There isn’t one big enough to do the job!…..

It was particularly interesting to see what transpired at the time of that last Master Plan accepted by the Commission in 2005 and what came with it …the Economic Task Force and the CRA… It is disheartening to see once again how so much hard work was decimated both politically and literally due to the perfect political “foils” being available to aid in the ruse that ended it when left in the hands of the former Town Manager … leaving LBTS 5 years later in the exact same spot…having the exact same conversations…on how to move forward…UGH!…

In the 2005-2006 Adopted Annual Budget former Town Manager Baldwin wrote his “Budget Message” to the Commission and included the following on page ix-x

“Redevelopment

In conjunction with the appointment of a Master Plan Steering Committee, the Town continues to pursue the development of a Master Plan. As directed by the Commission, the Master Plan Steering Committee submitted a Master Plan prepared by Peter Smith, Inc. for the Commission’s consideration. After several reviews and joint meetings, the Town Commission approved the master Plan.

The Master Plan focuses on various improvements securing and promoting the public welfare of the citizens and residents of the Town. The Plan takes into consideration such issues as drainage, traffic control, the viability of the downtown business district, plans for ensuring the continued success of the hospitality trade, redevelopment within the Town, transportation, and provisions for improvements to the Town’s infrastructure.

In FY 2004-2005, the Commission moved forward by preparing and scheduling a variety of improvements listed in the Master Plan. Specific improvements being targeted are the “gateway” entrance-into-town feature; the redesigning of El Mar Drive to address pedestrian safety, drainage, and underground utilities; townwide swale maintenance and reconfiguration to address proper drainage; and, the completion of a unified land development plan.

Additionally, in FY2004-2005, the Town Commission undertook and Economic Feasibility Study by Goodkin and Associates. This study, too, was reviewed by the Master Plan Steering Committee and submitted to the Commission. The findings, which encourage the redevelopment of Commercial Boulevard and El mar Drive as a local entertainment destination, serve as a catalyst and guideline for the Town redevelopment efforts.

The Town is moving strongly into high-quality redevelopment. Improved infrastructure, updated zoning protection, new buildings with improved architecture, increased beautification, a healthy and economically viable business district all contribute to a healthy municipality. When done properly, the Town residents’ taxed will remain low and services high. If there is no redevelopment, the alternative will be higher taxes and reduced quality of life.”

FY 2010-2011 …. the Master Plan needs to be more than revised…It needs the CRA to be resurrected first by the new Commission and new Administration along with our present community now free of factions and their fear-mongering ….to make sure that 5 years from now LBTS is not still in the exact same spot…having the exact same conversations…on how to move forward… UGH!…

more to come….

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