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Here’s The Scoop … The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea May 10, 2011 Commission Roundtable Meeting … “We Choose….” … #2 …

PRESIDENT  KENNEDY’S  RICE STADIUM MOON SPEECH SEPTEMBER 12, 1962 … “WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON” …

MAYOR ROSEANN MINNET 5/10/2011 EXCERPT FOR CHOOSING TO SAY NO TO HAVING A REFERENDUM IN 2012 FOR VOTERS TO VOTE ON MAJOR LBTS REDEVELOPMENT ITEMS…. “LET’S LOOK AT HISTORY. IF PRESIDENT KENNEDY HAD ASKED THE PEOPLE IN 1960 DO YOU WANT TO GO TO THE MOON THE MAJORITY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SAID NO. “….

Dear Readers … I now find myself of the opinion that Mayor Minnet should not have a third term in office as Mayor of LBTS …. after watching her lack of direction as our Mayor sitting in the middle seat for some months now and watching a new Commission that is no better than the one they replaced when it comes to what the real priorities are in town that need to be dealt with and having to backtrack on many of the decisions they did make due to lack of information provided or researched ….(ords/resos) …. As bad as it has been to watch all that it was her prepared speech for no redevelopment referendum items on the 2012 ballot (see below) …and her rewriting history concerning what she ran on and was asked to do by the voters …that sealed the deal for me…

It is clear to me that after a second time running a local campaign in politics you can fall under the “Fool me once shame on me .. Fool me twice shame on you” scenario very easily once the candidates are sworn in!… Yep, I was the campaign manager for the slate that ran and won which included Mayor Minnet, Chris Vincent and Scot Sasser …and no…. there won’t be a “How The Sausage Was Made ” sequel…  That being said… Mayor Minnet stated “But during the last election I ran on a strong message and that message was to create a defined plan for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.”…As the writer and/or editor of all printed materials in the campaign as well as being a coach for the Mayor and the other candidates as they campaigned throughout the town and entered into the Town debates never was there a message given or received to “create a defined plan for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea” … The message was to take care of the drainage problem ..Lake Colon …as well as deal with a future economic plan …emphasis on the future …and get rid of the Town Manager and her staff….by getting the  CIC majority out…  This is why I continue to ask and to post on who it was who decided to go all out for a full Master Plan Redevelopment in LBTS this year?… A look back at the meetings in the first months of office show direction that came from meetings that took place prior to the election and sunshine law taking effect of the two new commission candidates who met separately with Mayor Minnet and with then- Commissioner Dodd …These meetings were done as well with the winning CIC candidates in 2008 ….Neither Mayor Minnet or then- Comm. Dodd knew what the other was doing or planning to do in the future…This writer and others attended those meetings and took notes…creating a defined plan for the Town was not on the table for discussion at either… As an aside I will divulge just a little insight to where this full-scale redevelopment which excludes voters from voting is coming from ….In my opinion it’s from past majority players and backers… who throughout the campaign would interject themselves with comments of returning to the past…pre- 2008 … This writer told them face- to- face if they thought I was doing what I was doing to go back there they were sorely mistaken and that was certainly not what the voters wanted… I still believe it was not what the 65% wanted or want for the future…They were looking for a middle ground ..real fiscal responsibility and to see organized decisions made from the top down done in condensed and concise meetings ….We had that for a while but it all went haywire after the first 4-5 months in office!… Why in the world would those same voters who voted in part because of the Colon payout in her contract be ok with spending $200,000+ on consultants…and studies…for a total redevelopment plan?… They aren’t!… So maybe the third time will be a charm.. not for Minnet but for the voters …..with yet a different majority on the dais…independent candidates from neither PAC taking the seats for Mayor and Commissioner from the north… VM Dodd who is for the referendum is already an independent candidate this time around after he resigned from the CIC shortly after he was elected in 2008 …He was tar and feathered for it even though he made it clear he would be doing so during the campaign (see prev. posts)  …He should be re-elected for another four years …Comm. Clottey made it clear to me when she reluctantly stepped up to run from the north and began her first term it was a one term deal and I hope she has not changed her mind…If she has…she should not get a second term….Mayor Minnet made it known to this writer some months back she decided to run for a third term to finish what she started …You can read alot into that …and also you can read alot into her decision to use John F. Kennedy’s decision to go to the moon in her reasoning to prevent voters from having a say with a referendum…The full text of Kennedy’s speech is below this post ..Some interesting excerpts address the steps leading up to the moon decision…such as costs …timing and this portion in particular stood out to me in light of the Mayor’s reason for wanting a third term…

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.”

BC-Re-read the second paragraph… to shift decision from low gear to high gear…that’s what I believe will be the result if the Mayor wins another 2 years …Redevelopment will shift into high gear well before another referendum can be put on a ballot… If there is any doubt go to the Town website and listen to those who are her confidants and have her ear as they make these sentiments known during public comments over the past few months… Just as I heard during the campaign from those who thought it was time to pick up where they left off pre- 2008… Now it’s up to the voters to decide if they will succeed ….

I will not be running anyone’s campaign this go round due to not being in town … I will be writing about it though … that you can count on…

The Referendum Agenda Item comments made on May 10,2011 …Most is verbatim… with my commentary ….and as always that combination is what gets them in the end… Why? …It makes them accountable for their actions in their own words! …

The Mayor read the agenda item put on by Vice Mayor Dodd and turned it over to him… “I campaigned on letting the voters decide on major issues. We’re elected to take care of the routine issues that face the town. Drainage, sewage rates, trash collection etc. The decision to underground half or El Mar, of all of El Mar in my opinion should be made by the voters of this town in a referendum and I am very concerned with the burden we’ll be placing on a number of residents and businesses when it comes to the cost of reconnection of electric, TV and phone cables since many of them are already struggling.”.. He went on to talk about inviting all of those affected to meet after the real costs are received.He spoke about the aesthetics which are used as a primary reason by proponents pointing out one variable they avoid and that is the plethora of utility boxes that will be located in the medians …unsightly …when compared to the wires not seen unless one looks up … He held up a report found on Google by putting in overhead to underground utilities quanta technology .. which looked into the situation in Florida and elsewhere including municipalities that spent and spent for studies that ended up with those re-connections costing approx. $11,000 as early as 2002 …He addressed assistance in financing for those who would need it… That always frosts this writer …it’s akin to those politicians and supporters who make grants from Federal, State and County sound like taxpayers don’t still cover the cost… ugh!…Vice Mayor Dodd did say he would be in favor of underground perhaps in the downtown area which will be opened up (eventually) for drainage issues and restructured parking and sidewalks …due to the aesthetics … He tried mightily to make the others understand there is a timeline to deal with for the referendum items to make it on the ballot which included in the backup made it imperative they proceed … (August is the time for 1st reading …2nd reading Sept …and early October required to be at the Supervisor of Elections … He spoke of how it may be easy to say “just do it” for those who won’t be monetarily affected… He ended by stating what we were told about reliability in the past … This writer recall that as well… After Wilma we were told other municipalities who were undergrounded were off line longer than we were… Considering the “pecking order” of importance after a storm…no doubt we would be low on the list to get up and running… That too fell on deaf ears.. The Mayor chuckled in response to the real reports of undergrounding providing little benefit other than aesthetics  with this comment …”I’m sure we can always find an argument for the other side as well”… What she chose as an argument reminded this writer of the argument for paying for sewers on private property in the Palm Club …and we know how voters felt about that once it was known… The TAtty. concurred with the Vice Mayor that given direction to have items placed on the ballot she “heartily agreed” they should start early …

Instead of going around the table as is the Mayor’s usual course of action at roundtable meetings she said “Alright, I’m just gonna jump right into it!” and again she chuckled … “Alright, thank you Stuart cause there are, there are definitions here and each one of us define them differently. But during the last election I ran on a strong message and that message was create a defined plan for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. We criticized our predecessors for not having proper planning. This Commission is prioritizing and developing a long range plan that is consistent with positive change. We’re keeping the height limits and unique identity that defines our home and currently we’re doing just that. We have had resident input, business input and this month the University of Miami is coming in to study and offer a feasibility plan for A1A and Commercial that will again take our town into a constructive direction to developing this plan. Not only have we been developing this plan but the Commission has been ranking projects and we have even discussed the feasibilities (the Mayor said it plural) of one of the items under discussion tonight as a low priority. So what are we really doing here?”

BC- Again, never was the message to create a defined plan for the town…Yes the Commission made priorities… and did not follow those priorities…so they made more priorities and again did not follow them until the TM came to them last month to get back on track …which still seems to be wobbly at best after looking at the Mayor’s own agenda item for Terra Mar … The study by UM as well as RMA once done in June can totally change the low priority to a higher priority … There must have been a majority of this Commission that gave the nod for the Administration to go forth with the two appraisals to buy the apartment building that sits beside the Bougainvilla lot for $3,200 … The Mayor later on made it known she wants to keep the parking debt …The Administration explanation in the backup was to retain the debt to serve capital improvements and further parking in our town…. hmmmm….

The Mayor continued to read from her prepared speech…” Weren’t we elected to make these decisions and aren’t we in a fiscally responsible manner? We’re working on an RFP that will get us costs for undergrounding utilities in the downtown El Mar area only. By undergrounding this core area, this is where we may differ, the town will have created an area that is safer utilities, will be more reliable and the area will be aesthetically more attractive. Can you truly guesstimate the costs on safety, reliability and aesthetics and how can you get that into 75 words or less in a referendum?”…

BC- The first part was on point with some of those who came to speak at the podium… Marie Chiarello, Mark Brown and Ron Piersante … Totally in lockstep… The second portion was what I referred to above …the same safety issues this group and other supporters used for the Palm Club sewers…The Mayor was for the sewers during her first campaign…thinking that usurped the cost to the taxpayers… The above ground utilities have long been up on El Mar Drive and there has been no safety problem this writer has ever heard of coming to light…This is just as outrageous as the concerns over bikers and walkers using a possible bike lane  or the sidewalk near the back-out parking on El Mar Drive and getting hit…As far as the 75 words … they were not supposed to cover safety, reliability or aesthetics…they were to cover the items and the cost period…We are smart voters in LBTS …make no mistake… The RFP she said they were working on though directed a few months back has not been sent out to the Commission to see nor has it been put out per the Town Manager who later surprised this writer by saying they were conferring with other municipalities for costs and further asked the Commission if they wanted accurate costs or rough estimates…The first one to go for the rough estimate due to a $7,500 cost from FPL the TM stated would arise among other costs…Mayor MInnet!… Sounds like a “guesstimate” to me!…

Mayor Minnet-” Yes we agreed to move forward with the Master Plan Steering Committee recommendations but I understood that undergrounding to be the responsibility of the Town. Presently two developments have occurred. Orianna and Minto. Through site plan approval they were required to pay for their undergrounding in the Town’s right- of- way. This doesn’t need to change. The residents should not be on the hook for this expense. Yes it may take longer but the burden is on the landowner, not the Town.”

BC- First of all the Commission when did the Commission approve undergrounding recommended by the MPSC?… Second the developments Oriana and Minto while they were to underground utilities a look at Oriana as well as the redeveloped White Cap show the undergrounding did not go all the way in the ROW and a question arose after the overlay districts were dismantled on whether that also disbanded the utilities being buried as well…. The Mayor was unable to wrap her head around the VM’s contention that current property owners would be on the hook to hook-up when the lines are buried …pun intended… We saw the outrage and the dates extended for those in the north who had to hook up for the sewers …They had a fit over the costs which were from approx. $600-$2000 depending… This will bring more of the same ++++ ….

Mayor Minnet- ” Parking garage, this Commission has already voted that this is a low priority so why are we even discussing it. And the hall complex, if this is even a viable idea it is a concept for future years and should be addressed in the capital improvement budget if necessary so we we can identify matching grants and partnerships. The Town is not again responsible for the entire revenue expenditure.”

BC- Huh?… I have already covered my view on the parking garage situation…The hall complex…if it is not a “viable idea” and is a “concept for future years” why did we go down this path now with capital project coordinators as well as the consultants hired for these big ticket items and the feasibility studies… A referendum vote would have told the Commission if these items were “feasible” to the taxpayers for far less cost …The statement “The Town is not again responsible for the entire revenue expenditure.”…speaking of grants and partnerships shows someone’s in denial!…

Mayor Minnet-” In conclusion I am saddened that policy decisions, decisions that people elected us to make, decisions I was elected to make truly transparent and fiscally responsible are turning into political issues.”…

BC- A few of her supporters may have her ear and must be telling her this was the case…most of the 65% voted in this new majority to not have the previous majority and Town Manager…It was certainly not a mandate to redevelop the town …Transparency and fiscal responsibility certainly were not seen until after the fact with the consultants hired and revealed at a roundtable as the Commission certainly put forth they were in the dark…and that $200,000 cost misses the fiscal responsibility mark in my book especially if the whole exercise is for “far in the future”…

Mayor Minnet-” Let’s look at history. If President Kennedy had asked the people in 1960 do you want to go to the moon? The majority would have said no. But Kennedy inspired a nation. I hope as Commissioners we can inspire our town to move forward and not shirking our duties as leaders do our due diligence by defining our goals and stand strong to the decisions that are made. I have always said you may not agree with my decision but you will know the reasons why and they will be fiscally responsible and fair. There is an order to follow and if order is not followed failure is not far behind. So maybe this is the real question. Are we saying, are you saying you don’t want change? Because these measures will truly sabotage any plan before us before it is even developed.”

BC- WOW!… The Mayor compares herself and this Commission and taxpayer funded redevelopment in town to President Kennedy and going to the moon!… They should inspire us?… How by disregarding our right to vote on change…stating voting by referendum “will truly sabotage any plan before us before it is even developed.”… Perhaps it would have made more sense to follow through with the first set of priorities in place and follow through on a simple revision of the Master Plan as directed and then to put an economic development committee together to put forth any large redevelopment specifically for the 2012 election and a referendum vote which would spell out if major change is wanted at this time or for the immediate futures…

Mayor Minnet-” That’s really where I stand on these referendums. I think they’re very premature. I think that we need to look at the overall plan. I think we need to truly understand what the costs are. Whether they be costs that can truly identify or whether they’re costs that we have to guesstimate through the safety issue, the aesthetic look, the aesthetic value of them. But again, I do feel this is too premature. We need to do our due diligence on this particular matter. Truly put together the plan that the residents have asked us to do. Work through it and work together as a Commission. That we have been doing. “…

BC- The costs would be available before the early Oct. required submission date to the Supervisor of Elections … The safety issue is a ruse for undergrounding at best…and just who are these residents that have asked them to put together the plan?…Premature…If anything is premature …it was the full blown redevelopment of the Master Plan that was and is premature!…

Mayor Minnet-” I’m interested in hearing what my other Commissioners say. We worked together on this in many ways and if this Commission moves forward to do a referendum then we will. If not, theses are my arguments and how I feel about it. But again, we’ve worked as a group and I look forward to hearing what my other fellow Commissioners have to say. So thank you.”

BC- Two terms and out… it’s not personal it’s politics…

Commissioner Vincent was next and true to form he said the following …”Point of information, I think it was Ralph Kramden that said that!” as he chuckled about the Kennedy going to the moon analogy the Mayor made… The Mayor was amused and laughed as she said “and away we go!”…

Commissioner Vincent- “Away and here we go again. Uh, I can’t agree with you more Roseann on that. I have some bullet points pretty much that speak your words. I think it’s premature. We’re still waiting for the outcome for cost projections on this. To try and rush and jam down the throats of the voters a referendum like this in such a short period of time I think would be irresponsible without having all the facts and all the figures in front of us. Again, and now that the election is moved up to January.”…. The Mayor interjected and said “We don’t know yet”…

BC- One thing Vincent is good at is winging a turnabout to try and correct himself …on a dime…and usually not quite on the mark ….It’s a trait I found out early on during the campaign among other troublesome traits that require no ingredients to be revealed as those traits are quite apparent every time he speaks on the dais and at the roundtable…case in point stating “I have some bullet points pretty much that speak your words.”…Either is bullshitting or there has been a breach of sunshine … Then to state “To try and rush and jam down the throats of the voters a referendum like this in such a short period of time I think would be irresponsible without having all the facts and all the figures in front of us.” proves he did not do his homework on referendums done in the past or look at the time-frame in the backup or listen to VM Dodd …It gets worse the longer he speaks…

He continued…”That’s obviously not yet approved. You know we’re losing valuable time there as well and thank you Susan (TAtty.) for saying yeah if you start drafting it now yeah you could do it but I don’t think the town’s ready for that. I don’t think this Commission’s ready for that. Um, we have alot of homework to do on that and there’s just no rush for this right now because none of these items I should say well Town Hall Plaza that’s down the road. Ah, the parking garage is not even a twinkle. Ah, it is but it isn’t. Um, and again and I want to say this. When I campaigned I know we talk about the wonderful residents of our town and we also talk about the taxpayers of this town. The taxpayers and I talk about the people that can’t vote, the people that come into our town and invest alot of money in real estate, in businesses and I want their voices to be heard just as well before any referendum is out because they can’t vote. So we have alot of work to do and I respect their idea and their point of view as much I do the residents of this town that can vote and I ran on that. I ran on the residents and I ran on the taxpayers and I will represent everyone resident,voter or not. And uh, I need some time to really digest all the information that’s gonna come forward to us for this time is just totally out of the question.”..

BC- all I can add to Comm. Vincent’s own ridiculous words is this… at the time he was presented to me to run from the south and throughout the campaign difficulties I had with him….I held on to the fact that  he was still better than his opponent who would have kept the former Town Manager in her position and who made no sense on the dais more often than not… in my opinion… I was correct on the first part and see no difference on the second sad to say… Hopefully he will follow his predecessor and only have one term…

Commissioner Clottey-” Ok, I guess it’s my turn. Um, I agree this is premature because we will have other items that probably, that people want to talk about and we need to know how much it’s going to cost and until we have those numbers why are we talkin about a referendum? Why are we wasting Town money for an attorney to draw this up when there’s still alot of unknown variables for all of us? Now I do support the Mayor, excuse me the Vice Mayor and if you recall some time ago I did bring something to you saying that perhaps we should come up with a dollar amount over which we should not go without the tax ah, insurance expenditures or additional expenditures for current services before asking people if that’s what they want to go and there was dead silence up here. So, um, I thank you for bringing it up but I do agree that it is ah, it’s a little premature. There are too many missing details that are extremely important and let’s not forget that the previous dais did try to get the El Mar Drive project done and people came out in droves because they didn’t want what was about a million dollars spent and I believe that some of you my fellow colleagues you campaigned against that. (She chuckled ) So I do find it a little bit strange that now what I see is a little backing off from that. (she was looking straight at Comm. Vincent) Maybe I, but anyway that’s kinda how I feel. I agree with you it’s premature. We have too much work to do.”…

BC- Comm. Clottey was correct about how some of these Commissioners ran and are backing off from their stance now in office as stated above… I am surprised though at her for thinking this is premature …Let’s see if she reconsiders after the CIC meeting on Sunday night …Again, she should stick to one term…

Comm. Sasser- ” I agree with all of you and none of you. (laughter came from the table and the hall) Actually I think they’re all good points. I will say I am the closest with my opinion with Commissioner Clottey in that I think it’s important for the people to voice their opinion and to say that we as elected officials should do something other than listen to them is quite undemocratic. But at the same time I think that it is premature what we have here and I don’t necessarily think that all the issues that are here or all the issues that may come up need to be referendum items. I think the important parts certainly to me that are missing and some of you have said this are the costs. How can you determine if you want to move forward with anything or even make a decision us or the public if we don’t have the costs. But I take it one step further, we don’t even know yet what financial measures or tools or instruments we need in order to pay for these. Now that would be a good referendum item as far as I’m concerned. Let us decided on what the plan is and then let the public decided on which financial tool or instrument that they would like to use. And I know we still have RMA out there doing some of this work. That’s why I say it’s a little bit premature. I’d like to keep this in mind, in other words I don’t think the Town Attorney needs to be working on this at this time. But I think that this is an important issue that we need to keep in mind and once we have all the information the decide. One last thing and that is as we put this plan together with financial questions and everything else there are to be projects that we have the money for and we’re gonna have to decided which ones those monies go to and maybe that’s a way that we can get to where we need to be which is place these things which are important first and we can pay for them. And then quite frankly things like Town Hall my son can put a referendum on the ballot when he gets old enough and sits on the dais because things don’t move that quickly. We’re gonna be many commissions away before we get to something like that. And we’ve already agreed about the parking lot. So there are things, that’s why I take a little bit off what each one of you says because all of those things are important. But the conclusion for me is I’d still like to discuss it once we get the information back. But if a referendum item is placed I want to make sure that it’s very detailed in the seventy some-odd words but it includes costs and it’s really whittled down to what’s really important and to me one of those things is how we pay for it not just what we’re payin for it.”

BC- Comm. Sasser was a gem as a candidate and has continued to be so on the dais… He gets most of why there is a need for a referendum but did miss out on the need for the TAtty. to definitely be preparing them now… The costs could be added in at 2nd reading in Sept. as the time-line shows… The point of how to finance can be included and definitely should… He should also have been informed that the referendum time required by the TAtty. should not be extensive as they do this all the time and would “whittle down” the details given to them from the Commissioners …As far as his closing statement about Town Hall not coming fruition until his son sits on the dais…then why are we going through the motions in 2011?… As for his statement about monies we have in the Town’s coffer for other projects we need to address and pay for …that is where this all began … before the train left the station full speed ahead and derailed!…

Commissioner Vincent could be heard to say “Great stuff.”…

VM Dodd sighed and stated he was now in the minority 4-1 ..and spoke again about the impact …and imposing these projects on the residents… and the real cost of approx. $10,000 on the businesses  adding just to do downtown could be in excess of $5 million for very little security when all is said and done ..He added “Am I wishing to jam it down the throats of the voters as I’ve been accused of (by Comm. Vincent) the answer is no. I’m just saying to you if you want to get this item on a referendum we have to pass ordinances first and I want you to be mindful of the time scales and I want you to think as to does it make a difference whether we prepare the ordinance now as to how many dollars it is. Is it four million, five million. Is it six million. That is the figure that can be put into an ordinance down the line. Are we imposing on the resident $2,500, $5,000 or $7,500 for reconnecting to the network. That is a little box we can put in. But I’m simply saying I have experience up here when it comes to doing an ordinance. There’s such argument. Such a public outcry at the last minute that it doesn’t get done and I’m just asking you to be mindful of that.”…

BC- VM Dodd is correct on all his points but unfortunately the rest of the Commission did not grasp what he was saying and he was still alone in calling for the process to begin…

Comm. Sasser did ask if he was mostly interested in the undergrounding as an item without the other two…VM Dodd replied perhaps hoping for a open door to re-address all instead of closing the door completely answered absolutely adding the 5-10 year mantra on the Town Hall/Parking Garage items… It did not work though… The Mayor chimed in asking the Town Manager to explain the ordinance we have on site plan requirements for undergrounding new and redeveloped properties again showing her ignorance on the reconnection that will impact anyone who wants to continue to have electricity, phone and cable after the wiring is buried…. The Mayor explained that fact yet again…Comm. Vincent responded as an interpreter to get through to the Mayor on the Vice Mayor’s point …He repeated what Dodd said and asked about offering those impacted a hardship grant ..He again stated this is why a referendum is premature…due to the “conversation” (inability of the Mayor to understand ) the Commission was embroiled in on the topic… The Mayor again asked the TM to read the ordinance that deals with site plans which she did … code 20-92 under utilities …She read the redevelopment portion and stated new development was above it and the same conditions applied…Comm. Vincent asked about a fund ..He called it a “slush fund”…producing a laugh at him not with him for using such a term…The TM after Jeff Bowman came over and pointed out a section in the code 20-93 stated there was a waiver for a property that could not underground and the process required to prove it could not take place…It includes a dollar amount that could be required by the Town Commission to go into a fund equal to the costs of undergrounding…an underground utility trust fund… The Mayor asked if they wanted to continue on this item and addressed Comm. Sasser as he was asking about one item for the referendum…She said again she feels this is premature and “could see a referendum down the line as Scot was talking about cause that would be important.”…She again said they cannot do it “currently” because they do not have all the numbers together… “As for rushing to do anything (referendum) ah, I don’t see the need for that right now.” She wants to allow the process to take place and put it together then when everything is complete go to the people and present it to the residents and business owners in a true concise plan…The Vice Mayor interjected and asked the TM when those experts will have the figures…This is when Town Manager Hoffmann threw as curve ball and said they were looking at what other cities have spent and trying to get the 3 utilities into a meeting together…The RFP has not gone out and it will be mid to late summer before estimates come … The RFQ responses need to come back first … She spoke of rough estimates vs a special quote from FPL that requires a $7,500 deposit and a survey… She said after getting the ballpark estimates the Commission may decide this was all for naught!… The Mayor told her to get the other cities costs and if they were not sufficient then go to FPL and pay the $7,500… VM Dodd asked that whatever route is used the costs are all encompassing and not based on just copper as was the case  when numbers were provided at the outset of this exercise by Municipal Dir. Don Prince at the podium months ago…

BC- The comments …discussion ….conversation and revelations above make referendum items on the January 2012 ballot anything but premature… In this writer’s opinion it makes them imperative …Vice Mayor Dodd and/or Comm. Sasser should put the items back on the agenda along with Comm. Sasser’s choice of funding to keep the time-line required on track … I just do not trust what will happen post election 2012 without the voter’s input…

One final comment…concerning the Mayors choice of going to the moon …..the difference in who is front and center going into space now vs in the 1960’s…it’s private companies and billionaires!…Ha!….

more to come….

………………..

The full text ….
John F Kennedy’s Rice Stadium Moon Speech

The following transcript is the complete text of the speech given by President John F. Kennedy at Rice Stadium on Sept 12 1962. You can also watch the video here.

President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief.

I am delighted to be here and I’m particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.

We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.

Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation¹s own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man¹s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.

Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward–and so will space.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it–we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man’s history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor. We have seen the site where the F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.

Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were “made in the United States of America” and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.

The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the the 40-yard lines.

Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.

To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.

And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this State, and this region, will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your City of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this Center in this City.

To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year¹s space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year–a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures will soon rise some more, from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman and child in the United Stated, for we have given this program a high national priority–even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.

But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.

I’m the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute. [laughter]

However, I think we’re going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don’t think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university. It will be done during the term of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade.

I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “Because it is there.”

Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Thank you.

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