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Here’s The Scoop … Slippery Slope For Silverstone ….


Dear Readers…What’s going on in the 2 Town Halls (A1A/El Mar ) these days?…Is it a repeat of what this writer personally witnessed in last commission race?… I would walk into Furth Headquarters  to find the latest hair-brained idea courtesy of McIntee-MacMillan (M & Ms) … Only at that time Stu, Birute (yes, Birute) John Thompson and myself would put a stop to it…Maybe with the bubble they find themselves in this election…there is no one to counter the craziness… That can be the only reason why this group keeps coming up with so many stories that just don’t add up ….

At the Oct. 23, 2009 Town Manager final review after the Mayor spoke of the 2 loans paid off in September having  a pre-penalty clauses attached and the fact that those loans were paid off without negotiating the penalty with our sole long -time bank Sun Trust …Commissioner Silverstone brought to light for the very first time information that if true puts him and the Town Manager on a very slippery slope with the taxpaying voters…

Commissioner Silverstone said he went into the manager’s office months ago with all the discussion about “being in the Black or being in the red” that was coming from the people…He said that certain commissioners (Dodd ) did not understand when the manager said we were in the black and we had the money to pay off our loans…Well, she did say that…BUT…the Town Manager also made no attempt to explain why.we wee in the black…..No attempt to explain we had pre-penalty clause even though many (this writer included) felt strongly that we  must… with no information being brought forth…Now,  Jimmy-boy says he went in and the manager told him we had the clauses…BUT…if it’s true it means that Jimmy-boy sat on the dais and did not divulge that information to the other commissioners or his constituents along with the Town Manager!…  He now says it took a while for the Town to calculate what the cost to pre-pay would be (Huh?) and that is why it took so long to be brought to the floor…Hmmm… Not quite… The Town Manager saw to it that the statements and the loan information were slow in being turned over in separate public records requests made from Resident Yann Brandt and Comm. Dodd…When they finally received the information…they received incomplete and differing information… Why didn’t the manager inform Comm. Dodd as well as Comm. Silverstone, if Jimmy-boy is being factual?…Comm. Dodd made his request back in August!… The Town Manager brought in our Rep from SunTrust Bank to speak at a presentation …to reply for her….A previous post from the Sept. 9, 2009 commission meeting included the following…

“Mr. Shackman-  went on to discuss the 2 promissory note loans with details of what the payoff amounts are and some options…He said we saved over the last 5 years or when the loan originated  and it’s over $100,000 by getting this lower interest rate of origination because we CHOSE to have the present pre-payment penalty versus no pre- payment penalty …”The Town chose the present value pre-payment which says ultimately you got all those savings HOWEVER due to where the rates are today there is a pre-payment calculation if the Town chooses to pay it off today.”…He explained it varies per day with interest rates…The numbers are such that it will cost us approximately $300,000+  to pay of the Promissory 2 notes!…So the gamble the Town took …and the savings we earned …mean we did not earn $100,000 …it is costing us $200,000+ now and as the Town Manager pointed out in Report to keep it would end up costing us a approximately $600,000 more!. ..”

After that commission meeting the pre-payment was definitely now made public and much discussion took place on the dais of what to do about it … It was this night that the manager spoke of the downside in holding onto the funds adding up to a million in costs to the town if we kept the loans …and to pay them off now would save us from more costs… Comm. Silverstone wanted to wait a while to see if the amount due would go down and Vice Mayor McIntee did not want to go there at all….(perhaps feeling if the 3 million grant for the firehouse [a garage that sleeps firemen] fell through monies would be available) … Never once did the manager talk further about any more specifics involved… It was decided there would be a workshop to discuss the pay off of the loans… Unfortunately it came up at the next budget meeting and though McIntee again spoke out against paying it off again…he did a 180 and in the end it was voted on and the manager was hastily directed to do the deed (Comm. Clottey was absent) completely disregarding Comm. Clottey’s desire for the workshop and any further discussion about a possible negotiation of the penalty before agreeing to pay it off … ( we were later informed by the manager it was paid the next morning, as directed) …Even though the negotiations were still brought up on this site, in the BTSFuture and at the podium by concerned taxpayers when addressing the Town Manager’s review… At that time Comm. Silverstone said he did not know if there was any negotiations done and he would let the manager answer that, BUT he was sure if that was possible she would have done it…The manager never spoke of it despite the “opening” to do so from Jimmy-boy…… Just as she never took the opportunity to advise the commission of the possibility of negotiating at the prior meetings or in any memos…

That brings us to the afternoon of Oct. 23, 2009 when Jimmy-boy said the following…”But when I approached the question of the pre-penalty clause payment, she said the contract was not written between the town and the bank. There’s a separate board that does that and they wrote this loan so to speak. That’s the way Florida works. They are the ones who developed this and the reason it was done. We got a better rate of interest because the original thought was considering it was going to be used for sewers in Palm Club and some other issues that came up that it wasn’t used for. So it was just laying in the bank….” He went on to repeat his past excuses of it taking a year to get the Master Plan in place and permits …BUT…Jimmy-boy never says permits for what?…”So it really made sense to everybody to pay it off”…”But there really was no control of negotiations with the bank. We don’t do that the bond, I think she called it organization or something that handles that is really in  control of that. If you have any questions, please call the Town Manager.”…HUH?…

According to a memo received by the commissioners in response to Comm. Dodd about the Town Manager and her authority to open up accounts on her own, the Town Atty. included a packet which had the Town Charter, code and investment policy Provisions  including the Town Manager’s duties, a Resolution 2001/1517 for “Adopting An Investment Policy For Town Fund”…The Sept.19, 2001 Investment Policy only lists the commissioner, TM Baldwin, Finance Director Colon, and our $200,000+ long-time auditors Rachlin with the same Principle Chiocca we have in 2009…It also includes the authorized investments page…Throughout the packet there is only room for the Mayor, TM Baldwin and Finance Director Colon to sign…On the 2 repurchase agreements there is only Sun Trust Bank and Finance Director Colon on the cover sheet and both are signed by the Town Manager 7/11/01 only…in the pages contained it says the bank and the Town only…

While many disagree with pre-penatly clause loans as a practice and may not have gone that route…that is not the point…The point is that like buying stocks…it’s great to get in on a deal…but the risk is not the buy…it’s knowing when to get out!…This manager as pointed out by the Sun Trust Rep on Sept.9th…did well…for  a while …in choosing the option….Where she did not do well by the Town was not getting out before it cost us hundreds of thousands!…It was known that the sewers were not going in March of 2008…but rather than advise the commission to unload the loans and pay them off …Town Manager  and the Finance Director kept the information of the mounting costs quiet…(except for Jimmy-boy?) …until September 2009!… Jimmy-boy would now like us to believe her hands were tied and she could not negotiate with Sun Trust?… Come on… That’s a slippery slope Silverstone!…

This writer sent in a PRR for the 3rd party “organization” that Comm. Silverstone brought up at the “Dog and Pony show” 2009 annual LBTS-TM Performance Review……
Sunday, October 25, 2009 6:39 PM
“Barbara Cole”
[email protected]
Steve, I am making a Public Record Request for the information Comm. Silverstone spoke of at the Oct. 23, 2009 Performance Review of the Town Manager.
Comm. Silverstone said we could not negotiate the paid off loans due to a “separate board” and that our agreement was not with the bank but with them. I would like that information. Any exchange with them from August 2009-Oct. 23, 2009. Also the initial agreement with them in 2001 or any repurchase agreements after that.
Please acknowledge receipt of this request
Please let me know if the cost is over $20
Thank you, Barbara Cole

If by some slim chance there really was a “third Party”…what kind of strong-arm organization would not allowed us to negotiate with the bank?..

Commissioner Silverstones’s performance review comments just further enforce this writer’s opinion…..that these 3 need to go next March!…


more to come

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