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Here’s The Scoop .. The June 14, 2011 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Roundtable … #4… A Fiscal Year Invalidated? …

‘Patrick Duffy leaves and returns ..

At the end of the 1984-85 season, Patrick Duffy expressed his desire to leave the series. Thus, his character of Bobby died when he was run over by a car driven by his sister-in-law, Katherine Wentworth. This proved to be a mistake as it left the show without one of its most popular characters. Larry Hagman persuaded Duffy to return to the series the following season. Dallas scriptwriters created a storyline which featured Pam waking up to find Bobby in the shower (in the May 1986 cliffhanger episode) – with the realization that the storylines of the preceding season, including the accident, were nothing more than a lengthy dream sequence (thus invalidating the entire 1985-1986 season of the show).’

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Dear Readers …. for those old enough to remember the TV series Dallas you might recall the return of Bobby Ewing appearing in the shower and the expected reaction by the those watching it of “Give me a break!” … We were supposed to really believe that everything that happened after his death was just one long horrible dream? … Hmmm…Of course the real reason for the haphazard convoluted shower scene was due to low ratings after the actor left the series and the realization that in order to keep their series on the air they had to bring him back and give the viewers back what they made them viewers in the first place…Hmmmm…So for this writer all this talk from the Commission …UOT stalwart supporters and the BTSFuture  reminded me of it as we are now supposed to believe that they never had any intention of going forward with parking garages, a Town Hall Complex and Town Plaza or underground utilities on El Mar Drive as they gave us this 2010-2011 Master Plan re-do series this fiscal year?…Was it just a long horrible dream that cost us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for the annual “Professional Services” budget for consultants, studies, reports, multiple presentations and charettes for what they now say is 5-10 years away at least? … We are now supposed to believe it was all for sewers, drainage, lighting,sidewalks and shade trees? … That “viewers” is called a rerun! … Basically if we are to swallow this “script” those same players are following at this point in time the LBTS 2010-2011 fiscal year has been invalidated! … Below is item 3d. from the June 14, 2011 Commission Roundtable…It was a second attempt by Vice Mayor Dodd to see just where his fellow dais members stood on the big ticket items as some of them prepare for re-election… I believe that the Vice Mayor along with many of us thought the majority of the Commission and Town committees along with this Administration and those consultants and professionals brought in to deal with the Master Plan were absolutely poised to forge ahead on all fronts ….especially when RMA is set to present a 5-year plan which according to the agreement was due this month…(perhaps after this latest exchange at the roundtable that 5-year plan has been altered as well?) … Again, if we are now to take the very same people at their word we went down a very expensive, time consuming path only to find what they really want to accomplish was what we all knew needed attention as high priority items before the first check was cut to a consultant and the first meeting was held by the now defunct Master Plan Steering Committee…  Forget about the shower scene …taxpayers in LBTS took a bath when it comes to this latest rendition of the Master Plan! …

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Mayor Minnet looking at the UOT contingency in Jarvis Hall June 4, 2011 as Vice Mayor Dodd explained prior to his referendum item on the agenda that he thought those trying to thwart his bringing it on the agenda for a 2nd time were being quite unfair… Take a good look ….it’s very “telling” in my opinion…

Item 3d. Referenda  mostly verbatim…

Vice Mayor Dodd-” Ok, well I never thought that the word could cause so much emotion. What a lot of negativity. Many of us attended the University of Miami’s presentation and none of the proposals have been discussed because of sunshine. I don’t get the opportunity of discussing it with my fellow commissioners as to where they really stand. Yes, it’s very early days with no decisions as to if we even want to go ahead. If you out there would prefer us not to discuss it and put the $20,000 report on a shelf to gather dust then we could do that but it wouldn’t achieve anything. I feel it is far more important to let each commissioner answer where they stand on these issues that could be above 5 million dollars in costs and even at the risk of repeating myself I have 4 questions for each commissioner. Are you in favor of a multi- story car park on A1A? Are you in favor of redevelopment of the Town Hall site? Should it be funded by a bond, a loan, taxation or private development? And should these 5 million dollar plus items be referendum ballot issues or would you rather that they were decided by the commission? I’ll go first and I’ll say multi-story car park, I say not for 5 years at least. It was a great idea everybody latched on to it. We don’t need it for 5 years. Redevelopment of Town Hall, I think that’s 10 years out. Should it be funded by private or government funds or bond. I believe it should be private and I believe that you voters have the right to decide  something where the commission are saddling you with what could be over 5 million dollars in costs and that’s why I put this on this roundtable to find out where everybody stands whether they feel it’s a referendum issue or whether they have the authority to go ahead, because in my book and I campaigned on this same thing, I think it’s the voters that should decide issues of that magnitude. So I have 4 questions for each of you.”

Comm. Clottey= ” Can I ask, I understood you to say that both the Town Hall and the garage should be private because you just said they’re private.”

VM Dodd- ” I believe that they be funded by private, that we shouldn’t be involved in it, that it should be put out by a bond. I’d just like to know where you stand, do you think it should be a bond or a loan?”

Comm. Clottey- ” I need to understand what you’re talkin about first. Are you talking about Town Hall?”

VM Dodd- ” How do we pay for it? All I’m wanting to know is how do we pay for it? For the parking garage, how do we pay for the redevelopment of the Town Hall site is all questions I’m trying to put to you. I mean it was a great presentation, don’t get me wrong. I loved it but we as a commission in order to move forward need to be able to discuss this openly and I put it on the agenda as an item called referenda. We’re gonna be discussing it at the budget hearing but I just want to get people in this frame of mind that we need to think about these things as we’re moving forwards and I would respectfully like to know what peoples views are as to how do we go ahead with this?”

BC- I believe the VM misspoke and the dialog between the two was disjointed in clarifying the VM was for private for the parking garage and wanting to know how to fund the Town Hall redevelopment by loan or bond… Comm. Vincent looking like he was fully loaded for bear picking up on the UOT members sitting in the hall and in synch with the Mayor’s stance due to her facial expressions replied next… mimicking Mark Brown and the public comments made by the UOT speakers (prev. post)…

Comm. Vincent- ” What was the first question?”

VM Dodd- ” First question is multi-story car park. Are you in favor of it?”

Comm. Vincent- ” How much is it gonna cost? Next question!”

VM Dodd- “How would you fund it?”

Comm. Vincent- ” How much is it gonna cost?”

VM Dodd-” Say 5 million.”

Comm. Vincent- ” Say 5 million” ..he laughed sarcastically “How can you, how can you ask us to make a decision on something without any factual drawings, budget,anything on this is! Why you can’t put something out to referendum without first doing the homework! Vice Mayor, we , we’re not even , we haven’t even scratched the surface on any of these!”

VM Dodd- ” So are you in favor of it or not?”

Comm. Vincent- ” I won’t answer that question! But, I will tell you item 1 in simple terms without sounding negative. Item 1 should the Town”…mumbling the rest of the question…”No! Item 2 redevelopment of Twon Hall, should that be on a referenda? No! Item 3 multi-story garages. Should that be on a referenda? No!”

VM Dodd- ” How should they be funded?”

Comm. Vincent- ” We have no idea what the costs are (laughing and snorting) We don’t even know how much money at that time we may even have to fund it ourselves without having to go for a bond. How can you make these decisions or even draft up these ideas and have discussions on this without anything in front of us other than hypothesizing here what we think it may be? Its’ just outrageous! It’s premature! And No, no and no!”

VM Dodd- “That’s fine”

BC- The private builder for the Deerfield parking garage was contacted and his responses about the A1A parking garage was included in backup presented to the full commission months ago. If Comm. Vincent did his homework he would know that $5 million was the cost estimate. Comm. Vincent should also know that RMA is due this month to present costs as well based on other municipalities. Comm. Vincent has a real problem with “gleaning” bits and pieces of comments heard and spouting them out as his own …unfortunately the result of doing this makes for much fodder …The above comments and those that followed at this meeting have become the norm…

Comm. Sasser- ” Are you lookin at me Stu? So the question I would have for you before, I ask that and that would be do you think we should put a referendum amount on anything that is 5 years out or more?”

VM Dodd- ” No I don’t”

Comm. Sasser- ” Ok and neither do I by the way and that’s why I would say that I don’t think any of these should be on a referendum because I don’t think any of them are gonna get done or should be done within the next 5 years.”

VM Dodd- ” That’s what I agree with.”

Comm. Sasser- ” With the caveat that some future commission and possibly one of us may sit on that in some manner or the other once you decide that I think it may be a different issue but it’s just not a high priority. Sorry.”

BC- Again, I find it hard to understand if the commission all feel the big ticket items should not happen for 5 years or more why we started this journey we went on in the first place?… If the 2004 Master Plan was no good in 2010.. how can the 2011 Master Plan have any validity in 2016-2021?… Redoing the 2004 plan what was not a high priority …in my opinion…

Mayor Minnet- “Or if the people come forward with a referendum. I think that’s you know (laughing sarcastically) sort of lost sight of the real idea of what a referendum is and that’s from the people and we’re hearing from the people they do want us to make some of these decisions and we really haven’t collectively come to this table with those decisions. So many of these decisions that you have just mentioned are years down the line. Um, I think a referendum is a great idea when you, when it’s not political. Number 1, I do think (laughing) that, that some of the things that have been discussed here this evening have been very premature and unfortunately political and, and I think that is too bad for this town. Ah, we have a small town and I think we’ve worked really hard to work together and recognize that we all have opposite ideas at times but we recognize these ideas and we recognize them with civility um, understanding that um, together is the only way we’re gonna be able to move forward um, and we all bring different ways of things to this table and I’ve been grateful that we have all worked together on this and I find it unfortunate that this has put some divisive lines between us which quite honestly I don’t understand but they’re here. So, um, that’s sort of my answer. Am I in favor of a referendum?If the people want it, if the people should bring it forward. People bring it forward!”  …as she laughed …there were call from the UOT group in the hall and even though the VM pointed it out to Mayor Minnet she did nothing to admonish them… She continued on..”As far as do I want these things. I don’t even, they’re so far down the line Vice Mayor that you know we have priorities here that we need to discuss and I thank you for bringing this forward again I, so there’s your answers.”

BC- Is this the same Mayor who said on more than one occasion at a presentation/charette that she is hearing people want to move forward…divisiveness comes from those that believe the plan this Mayor and her supporters fully intend to enact is to follow Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and Delray Beach in using RMA along with RMA’s marketing/branding consultants who will present the town with the same outlined reports found for those municipalities tweaked a little here and there…along with recommendations on funding that will put LBTS in the unenviable position of keeping up with the Jone’s when it comes to the costs it will put on the backs of taxpayers in this town when the economy still stinks and many are in dire straights whether it is employment or savings going south… So the will of the people the Mayor so often refers to can only come from a referendum and not less than a dozen UOT pals sitting in Jarvis Hall who have the Mayor/Administration’s ears!..

Comm. Sasser- ” Ah, Roseann can I add something to what you said. You know from listening to the conversation tonight I don’t think it divides us that much. I think we all agree it’s longer term, down the line. It would be a great thing to think about having the people vote should we vote for some of these things but I think we all agree they’re long term and they’re not high priority in the plan.”

BC- I must respectfully disagree with Comm. Sasser the parking garages/Town Hall site & Plaza were high priority in both the presentations from RMA and UM …as well as at the charettes…and in discussions made from the Town Manager over the many months we have dealt with the future of this town…

Mayor Minnet- ” Ok, alright, so we’re all set, we discussed the referendum.”

Comm. Clottey- ” I guess you don’t want to hear what I have to say,I think it’s premature. I, my personal belief always has been that if we’re gonna , if we’re ready to do something and it’s gonna cost alot of money that we should ask the people. But to come up with hypothetical things I could add a few more hypothetical things here too. But that’s a wish list and I don’t think a wish list should go to a referendum cause that’s what I’m looking at now. I personally would like to see if a garage is built that maybe and I mean private. I use the private money differently, get a developer maybe to build it. Maybe we could ah, let them collect the money make some kind of arrangement that way. But um, we cannot tie future commissions hands because we have no idea what these costs are. We haven’t developed a plan and it’s not the time to talk about going to referendum and when the time comes I think that if it’s a package I personally would like to see it at that point in time talked about and go to referendum of some kind but not now.”

BC- Clueless Clottey still… The private developer was contacted…The Deerfield builder who would not build on that A1A site…Who said we were 5 years away from any need…which is the only reason there has been any talk of slowing down the drive to build the garage…That and the reversal of some commissioners after the Town paid for appraisals in order to purchase the apartment building up for auction that abuts the lot…The tying the hands remark and the premature remark speak to the parroting we seem to be saddled with quite often when it comes to those sitting around the roundtable…perhaps the demise of the roundtable will also result in the demise of the parroting commissioners?…….

After Comm. Clottey’s comments the Commission took a break …It appears there will be no referendum and the will of the people will come from voting in or out those who kept it off  the ballot …

more to come…

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