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Here’s The Scoop … The Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Oct. 12, 2010 Regular Commission Meeting … # 1 ….The First Pages Will Need Some Editing ….

A LITTLE ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES …THAT’S TO BE EXPECTED ….

Dear Readers … the first single monthly Regular Commission meeting took place last night …The Mayor addressed the change after welcoming the Town Manager attending her first meeting as the Town Manager …Mayor Minnet explained this was brought to the Commission by the Town’s law firm …specifically Atty. Richard Weiss  (prev. posts)…She went on to describe what the new model would be with one Comm. Mtg and one Roundtable each month…and detailed the ability for the public to still have the same amount of input for comment as before … if not more-so as she spoke of the more accessibility to public input and asking the public to inform the Comm. as they move forward whether it is working or not working…She added it was her desire and belief it would be a positive move in the right direction for the Comm./Staff  and the public …The TAtty. added the resolution allowed for additional meetings and there was no need to re-address the resolution they just passed to make any adjustments going forward…

The only public comment was from Linda Ritchie the president of the POA stating flier from the Chamber had the incorrect date of the POA’s Oktoberfest and giving the proper date Oct. 16th from 6-9 pm in Jarvis Hal…members are free..$10 to join…# to call to attend is 954-784-9495 and to bring a dish for 4-6 …drinks will be served as well as brats and sauerkraut… dancing … silent auction .. Bill Vitolo asked to speak on the VFD contract item under resolutions…

The public safety reports included BSO Chief Llerena coming to the podium to speak of the recent events (prev. agenda post) including a bust prior to the meeting involving burglaries in the north end… He spoke of good police work and an uptick in crimes that are filtering into town from our neighboring communities to the north and south…He answered VM Dodd’s question about the update  on the cameras explaining infrastructure was needed before the cameras were placed…He added the license plate zoom-in cameras are very expensive and something to work up to…including changes in technology…Comm. Clottey asked about cameras in neighborhoods indicating constituents had inquired and Chief Llerena stated it was more effective to use them on main thoroughfares …adding he would like to get as many cameras as money would allow… Comm. Vincent added to inform residents to feel free to put cameras in on their own and stated it can aid in surveillance and the Chief concurred… Comm. Sasser thanked the Chief and the BSO and encouraged residents to look at the backup with their monthly report regularly to see what these guys are do…The Mayor asked about the recycling box in the BSO offices and the Chief explained it is for aluminum pop tops that go for cancer research charities…encouraging everyone to come in and visit and donate…

Next up was the VFD and newly elected Chief Steve Paine… Comm. Vincent asked Paine for an update to his question at the prev. Comm. mtg. about fire training on the beach (lifeguard cert.) stating he did not see it on the report…Paine stated the books had been ordered and it was to start in Nov. …(BC- Comm. Vincent obviously forgot this conversation and the prev. discussion by the end of the meeting when he addressed the issue again… The Vice Mayor spoke of a meeting he had with Chief Paine that day which he stated was good and asked Paine to comment on the medical calls and the hi-rises…Chief Paine answered stating he and VFD Administrator Chavez had spent 3 hrs. at the Sheriff’s office getting eleven pagers re-set and re-programmed and they would continue on with ten at a time…and it would take a month to get all them all done …The plan is to target Monday to switch over to medical rescue only on the medical calls …There was no specifics whether the list of medical calls still bringing the VFD would be adhered to that Chief Paine brought forth at a previous meeting or if this meant no medical calls unless it was a major call or AMR required the aid of the VFD… The VM stated there would not be full fire response any longer …again no mention if this over-rode the previous criteria Chief Paine included such as accident/child etc… On the matter of the hi-rises Chief Paine stated they voted in 4 new members the evening before and they would doing a power point presentation on hi-rises at a Roundtable in approx. 2 months for feedback as well as letters to condo associations and public service announcements on channel 78… The Mayor asked if the Chief had been given manuals when he took over…The Chief was on shaky ground with these questions and his responses … in this writer’s opinion…. He answered the information was on the computer and not kept up…He spoke of ISO and asking for lists from the condos of information and it was part of the plan he has… He spoke of getting a grant to have computers on the trucks with this information…The Mayor informed him she was not comfortable waiting 2 months for the condos.. Comm. Sasser brought up a letter from the Fountainhead Condominium they all received last month and asked that the response to the FH Board who sent the letter be copied to the Comm. The TM stated she and the Chief were reviewing the tapes and then they would both be meeting with the FH Board …Comm. Sasser also asked that the Chief remain for the upcoming resolution to the VFD contract …Comm. Clottey also spoke of the FH letter and her concern…stating it “should not have happened” and asked if other condos were in the same situation…agreeing with the Mayor they could not wait 2 months …She also asked how records could be missing… The Chief threw the onus to the BSO stating they would not believe what missing…adding that is why it’s important to have annual inspections …

BC- Chief Paine was the fire marshal while awaiting the arrival of former Fire Marshall Alex Stevenson and then fire inspector and then both …since the VFD came back in 2008… The Chief was the one that did the inspections annually on these buildings…The Chief had to have the fire keys and the knox box as well as codes to get into businesses over that time…So to go back to the BSO and pre-2008 is a cop-out…

The letter they were talking about was truly scathing for the BSO as well as AMR and especially Chief Paine and should be followed through on asap…

The letter dated Sept. 27, 2010 was to mayor Minnet and sent to Town Hall…

“Dear Mayor Minnet,

On the morning of Wednesday, September 15, 2010 there was a fire in apartment 3F at the Fountainhead Condominium located at 3900 N. Ocean Drive, Lauderdale By The Sea, Fl. 33308.

We would like to express our disappointment in the Lauderdale By The Sea Volunteer Fire Department, not only in their poor response time, but also in the unprofessional manner in which they performed.

When the first fire truck pulled up to the front of the building, several residents were in the Lobby and observed three(3) Firemen get out of the truck and proceed to suit up. This took approximately six to eight minutes.

When they finally entered the building, they walked to the elevators and pressed the call button. The residents standing around informed them that the elevators were already locked down and pointed them the direction of the stairs. At no time did anyone ask for the fire keys and it appeared that none of the three men were familiar with the layout of the building.

When the Lauderdale By The Sea EMS team arrived, they appeared confused as well and asked the Lobby attendant to explain the nature of the emergency. It should be noted , for the safety of all the residents and because we are a 55 and over building, we keep an emergency list at the Lobby desk with the name and apartment numbers of the residents who require special assistance in the event of an emergency. No EMS team member asked for the list.

After approximately one hour, Fire Chief, Steve Paine, asked to see the Building Manager. The Manager, Carl Ellis, went outside where the Chief appeared to be monitoring a control board at the front of the building. Chief Paine abruptly demanded keys to all the apartments on the 3rd floor and informed Mr. Ellis that if he did not get keys to every apartment on the 3rd floor immediately, he would break the doors down. This was his first and only request for door keys.

Please understand there is a staff member from the Security Department on duty at all times, who is readily available to assist in getting keys or to provide information regarding the status of residents.

It is very fortunate doe the Fountainhead residents, that out Maintenance Manager located the fire and extinguished it by the time the firemen made it to the 3rd floor.

It would be an understatement to say residents were not happy with the performance of the Fire Department. In fact, they were very concerned. When we call 911 for a medical emergency, the response is very good and the personnel very professional. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the Volunteer Fire Department on September 15th.

Will it be possible for the Town to correct the performance deficiencies noted above? In addition, would it be useful for the Fire Chief to visit the Fountainhead for a briefing regarding capabilities and procedures? (We have held such briefings in the past).

It is with much regret that we must send this letter to you; however, we feel the issue is much too important to be ignored.

Sincerely, Fountainhead Association

Board of Directors”

BC-It was Cc’d to the Comm. (except VM Dodd-an oversight we are sure) and the TM /Chief Paine …We are told that fire keys should be on each truck…and again we were told of condo visits and plans etc… being done over the past 2 years…by previous leadership/Comms. (2-hats)…. Also in charge of the computer and the implementation of the books as well as the VFD site is the same Administrator Chavez who went with the Chief to the Sheriff yesterday …We are also told that the department which currently has 60 members… give or take …now has 16 officers…1 Chief/ 1 Deputy Chief/ 4 Battalion Chiefs (former Dep. Chief Padden is said to be both Battalion Chief & Pres. of the Board) / 4 Captains/ 6 Lieutenants…and they have extended the limits of “in-town” members to be 3 miles outside of Town limits… We are told that Chief Paine ‘s brother was made a member last night as well as the wife of one of the Captains… There is still much concern of the status quo under Chief Paine … and that some of the members …most likely the officers are making approx. $3000 a month on calls and training… For this writer …right now…. it’s a feeling of deja vu …Nope, not just of the past leadership in the VFD …but of Chief Paine being another Esther Colon who we thought was going to be a straight arrow who would not allow anything less than going by the book… only to have her turn out to be completely the opposite in a myriad of different rules for different people…allies or foes…and carrying on with bad habits learned from her predecessor…

Oversight was discussed later in the meeting by the Mayor when the contract was discussed and the Comm. gave further direction on going back to negotiate further (more on this to come) …It was rejected by Comm. Clottey to add to her motion…as being too controversial and the Mayor did not pass the gavel and make a motion for it as afterward… I do not believe we need an oversight committee if the new Town Manager will continue to attend the VFD Board meetings as the past TM would not…and is contained within the VFD by-laws for her to be a non-voting member of the board… We hear she did attend last evening… She should also be privy to the board minutes which are not a public record according to the VFD and a letter this writer received stating their attorney informed them of such…and should have all income/expense reports to be on top of what is happening… and reported within her TM report to the Commission in order to decide what to do with the VFD whose contract is up in 2013…Do they stay a vendor or become a Town department as they were prior to the annexation and BSO becoming a Town contractor thus making it necessary for the VFD to be one as well…

The Mayor ended by stating the VFD needed to protect condos and we have 39 of them …

AMR was next and the Vice Mayor jumped the gun by stating a job well done again and no questions for Chief Liddle…The Mayor said no she had a few about two incidences she witnessed with AMR ambulances traveling in the wrong lane of traffic…She asked for Liddle to explain the procedures.. Chief Liddle explained it was a national policy allowing the drivers to do so when appropriate in transporting a patient..What was not allowed was the increased speed used by the particular driver the Mayor observed and that driver was “re-educated” ..He added he sent her a written report as well..The Mayor asked if it was a national policy or an AMR policy… Liddle stated an AMR national policy… Comm. Vincent began what was an ongoing theme for him this evening…asking non-important questions and adding on time to the meeting just to have time on the mike…He asked about the guidelines being  solid or discretionary …Liddle answered it’s gray area…the operator needs to use sound judgment…Vincent asked if it was reviewed and discussed …Liddle answered yes…The Mayor chimed in to remind Liddle the rate of speed allowed was 15mph and Liddle confirmed that was correct…

All three public safety reports passed 5-0/ same went for the minutes of Sept. 27th 2010 special and regular…

The Consent Agenda was up next and the Mayor pulled all of them for discussion…When the meeting began the Mayor added in free parking for a few of the consent items as well as additional item requiring a venue change.. 9a was a sweet 16 in Jarvis Hall…free parking just within Town Hall lot was asked for after clarification was asked from the TM on being just this lot… it passed 5-0/ 9b was the same free parking for a condo…passed 5-0 …

BC- Jarvis Hall use needs to be re-addressed in the usage and the charges…a nominal cost would be to charge a fee for the free parking since there is no residential charge for residents for the hall unlike most towns…Also the doors should re-open for non-residential use at a charge …only if not in use by Town and giving Town residents/businesses first gibs…

9c addressed the Chabad Menorah lighting ceremony on Dec. 5th…The Mayor pulled it to address port-a- potties and electrical charges…a while back when discussing the public bathrooms …the question was asked who wanted to be the “Bathroom Czar”…. Seems the “Bathroom Czar” is still Comm. Vincent who said he went to Aruba/ 101 Ocean & Village Grille and had letters the Chabad ceremony could use their bathrooms to cover for any port-a-potty requirements… Electrical will not be charged and it passed 5-0….Surprisingly there was no discussion on 9d..the Asst. TM position and forgoing the advertising for the position while amending the future requirement for an $50,000 position to be advertised in the Sentinel… It was good the request was acceptable but some discussion should have taken place on specifics of the amended portion…passed 5-0…. 9e also surprising  that no discussion came on the trial of the valet parking…I would have thought the code enforcement would have been questioned as well as continued use of the alley…and the low amount of meter revenue…passed 5-0…9f was the add on to change Music by the Sea to the Pier parking lo due to the Chamber craft fair…passed 5-0….

Next  Comm. Mtg. post……..Ordinances…

Town archived video link… http://lbts.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

more to come….

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