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Here’s The Scoop …. What If You Called A Meeting And Didn’t Show Up? ….

M.I.A. TOWN MANAGER COLON ….

MISSING IN ACTION…OR…. MALICIOUS INTENT run AMOK….

Dear Readers … The Town Manager dug her heels in on Feb 9, 2010 at the Commission meeting to have this “Public Hearing” …despite the FACT that it was NEVER voted on by the Commission…NEVER was she given the “direction” she asked for in Jan. 26, 2010 during her Town Manager Report…and lamely trying to cover-up the lack of either by claiming that Vice Mayor McIntee’s call for approving the report gave her either the direction or the vote to call for this second meeting…It did not!… Commissioner Dodd tried to cancel it behind the scenes to no avail and put it on the agenda to cancel after the Town Manager would not comply…. Commissioner Silverstone, Commissioner Clottey and Vice Mayor McIntee did their usual “anything Esther Colon wants” support despite knowing full well no one wanted this second meeting including Diane Boutin!… This writer knows that because I asked Ms. Boutin on Feb. 9th if she though there should be a meeting on Feb. 11th and she replied “No”…. The Town Manager “used” Ms. Boutin in her letter, in this writer’s opinion, to the Commission and the speakers to justify her chosen “forum”…It didn’t fly then and it doesn’t fly now!…These 3  Commissioners fell all over themselves to assist the Town Manager and as they so often do, without knowing what they were even talking about.. The each insisted the 1st meeting was for businesses and elected officials … and the 2nd meeting would be for residents…If they had looked at their memo’s and the posts on the meeting that Comms. Silverstone and Clottey attended on Jan 21st they would have seen it stated”The meeting is open to the public, the businesses and restaurants in Town, and elected officials”.. The meeting on Feb 11th stated ” The meeting is open to the public and elected officials”…Thus the “public” was invited to both…and attended both..and the 2nd meeting as stated by the “public” was not necessary!…

In the interim the Town Manager sent a memo on Feb 3, 2010 in an attempt to find another reason to push forth her unwanted forum for a repeat performance ….it was a response to Comm. Silverstone and made no sense at all..

……………………………………….

“Feb 03, 201o

To: Commissioner Jim Silverstone

From: Esther Colon, Town Manager

Subject: OVERPASS

In addition to the suggestions we received from Diane Boutin, Windjammer Manager, at the 1/21/10 public hearing, staff is also reviewing public comments from businesses and restaurants concerning special events and street closures.

Discussions have been initiated regarding the suggested overpass across A1A fro El Parking Lot between staff and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and/or Broward County Traffic Engineering (BCTE) due to the logisitics involved (space) and the American Disability Act compliance regulations.

I am confident that the 2/11/10 public hearing for Town residents will serve as a vehicle to address concerns and exchange ideas and/or suggestions to staff and the Town Commission regarding special events and street closures.

As soon as all interested parties are heard, I will provide you with some recommendations from staff and feedback from the meetings with FDOT and BCTE.

Respectfully submitted EC/mi

……………………………………

WOW!…No overpass was suggested at the Jan 21, 2010 meeting!…YIKES!…an overpass across A1A was brought up years ago and resurfaced months back at the Master Plan Steering Committee by Chair Paul Novak …(prev. post board cat.)…

The Manager in the above memo states…

“I am confident that the 2/11/10 public hearing for Town residents will serve as a vehicle to address concerns and exchange ideas and/or suggestions to staff and the Town Commission regarding special events and street closures.”

The Manager could not have been more wrong!…

The Feb. 11, 2010 6 pm “Special Events And Street Closures” “Forum” was exactly as this writer and all those in attendance said it would be…an unnecessary repeat of the Jan. 21, 2010 6 pm “Special Events And Street Closures” “Forum” …with less than half the amount of attendees and all were there for the 2nd time!…

M.I.A. was the Town Manager herself and her absence was at the top of the list of how truly absurd this meeting was as each speaker took their turn to speak out…

It began with all taking notice of that empty seat…and the missing nameplate of Town Manager Esther Colon …followed by the front and center purchase by the Town on a new blue tablecloth with the LBTS emblem and name…No one was impressed by its debut…no one!… Ouch!…

There were approximately 60 in attendance and approximately 10 to 15 of those were businesses ..along with Comms. Dodd, Silverstone and Clottey …No McIntee…( the Mayor was detained elsewhere)… Candidates Sasser, Vincent and Couriel …..(do not believe Evans was in the hall)….. All candidates left early to attend condo meetings to campaign..which was one major reason why the meeting should not have taken place …

The meeting was not aired online or on Ch. 78…and residents asked if it was going to be…Dep. Town Clerk Nikki Smith said it would not…It was odd that the light was on in the control room and we hear that the M.I.A. TM Colon was sighted in her office …perhaps she was watching?…

One resident came with a court reporter to get a transcript of this meeting after attending the Jan. 21st meeting and finding no real record was taken…

Assistant Town Manager John Olinzock was seated at the new covered table with Deputy Town Clerk Nikki Smoith (paid overtime?)…He came to the podium to face the audience and had some trouble reading the posted description of this “forum”…..”For residents to discuss weekly recurring special events which close Town streets and its effect on adjacent businesses.”..He went on to explain it was posted for sunshine…He said it was “My meeting” and “I am the person you come to with your special events”…..He again used the “ruse” the Town Manager used on the dais on the 9th by stating the Commission in approving the Town Manager Report approved this meeting…

This writer was the first speaker and discounted that assertion stating the Town Manager asked for direction from the Commission for the meeting and it was never given, and no vote was taken…This meeting was unnecessary…

Editor of the By The Sea Future and resident Mark Brown spoke and said the same …no call for this meeting…the first meeting was about the music and the problem with parking is the signage…He went on to compare these “forums” and the behind the scenes actions by the Town to the swift response from Town and Town contracted engineers within 6 days to the Vice Mayor’s drainage problem in front of his home!..(prev. post)… Asst. TM Olinzock must have thought it was “the year of the gavel” for he used it repeatedly to prevent resident mark Brown from drawing the comparison…

Resident Bob Fleishman spoke about this being “another redundant meeting” that “voices rang loud and clear” “130 strong” at the prior meeting with good suggestions…This is not a Town problem it ..and wanting to know what is really going on and spoke against the Town Manager’s hand in this …Asst. Olinzock again hit the gavel and and called him “Bob”…A resident in the audience spoke up to inform Asst. TM Olinzock his name is “Mr. Fleishman”… As Mr. Fleishman continued Asst. Olinzock again called him “Bob”..and then corrected himself to say “Mr. Fleishman.”..

Tony Noah came to the podium to speak of the pleasure he and his wife have had attending these events over the years and also to say he did not know why the Town was having this meeting, that the Town would be “crazy” for not continuing it..

Alex Love rose to speak and brought down the house for the first time with his recounting of his condo .. and being the first to say that he and others thought all these years it was the Town providing the events…never knowing it was the businesses footing the bill! ….He spoke of the Town being a “Ghost Town” on nights without the music and then really made us all laugh with his recounting sitting in the back of the hall when a female Commissioner spoke from the dais about calls of complaints for noise offering no numbers … leading to a police chief walking up to say he had no noise “nothing, nada” ..and then Mr. Love said “shortly after the police chief was gone. I hope I don’t follow him!”… He went on to speak about the VFD siren that used to go off in comparison to the music and how it was so loud and intrusive it set off peoples pacemakers!…But they never called to complain!..He said this was “really crazy” and went on to finish up with how great it is..

John Adao spoke about driving back and forth over the bridge and seeing 16 vacant stores….that the Commission needs to help keep the businesses and the special events…

Spiro Marchelos added to Mr. Adao’s comments about the loss of businesses and what is neede to keep afloat as a business in these tough times…mentioning Aruba, Village Grille and Athena and what their music brings to help the downtown…

Diana Kuglar spoke about the Superbowl party in town and her husband’s regret to have to this year to one over the bridge…next year they will stay here!…She too thought this meeting was uncalled for and spoke of the Manager’s letter and the problem solving that went on in it…She said keep the special events on Friday and Saturday nights…

The owner of Kilwins came back again for his second meeting saying he “surpriswd we’re here again”…He spoke of the recession being over…sarcastically and what we face over the next few years in recovery…He said again what the music means for his business and to “consider the businesses, don’t arm wrestle, listen”…

Bonnie Meyer came to thank the businesses and state street closure were by all means no problem…she spoke of the “awe” visitors have the “unique experience” ad they always leave buying something…”quit badgering the businesses and support them.”

Frank Hermann made a point of stating no one was her to oppose the special events and recounted his own experience with noise only coming from his neighbor…

Cindy Geesey spoke of how poorly this was originally handled by the business who brought this to the commission meeting the first time by sending an attorney…she reminded all of the first meeting and the offers that came from the surrounding businesses and residents …with the business not taking them up on them..She too addressed the absence of the Town Manager and the fact the commission never voted for this meeting…

Barbara Judge stated she spoke at the commission meeting and it was not about the music but the parking…there were many good ideas and this meeting if held at all should have been about implementing those ideas…

Joe Judge came up and was the second speaker to bring the house down with his “K I S S keep it simple stupid it’s not complicated” he said “Music is good….Not having music is really, really bad…Having a meeting once a week is flat out stupid!”…

Bill Vitola came for his second meeting to counter the Town Manager and the dais statements made that people were “intimidated by businesses” and did not come to the first meeting…He said she should “resign”… He said help the businesses they keep our taxes down ..asking how many people are effected on El Mar Drive and this should have been a business Chamber discussion not the manager..

Louis Marchelos gave his phone numbers out Athena 954-771-2900 and his personal number 954-465-7934 and told anyone concerned to contact him…He spoke of the annual permit becoming a 3 month permit and hoe one candidate for Mayor (Joe Couriel) was for charging the substantial fees for using the streets and continuing with the 3 month permits…

Chris Nikoli also made a repeat visit to the hall and to the podium to recount his recent move into town and how the music on the weekends was a big factor in his decision…He too thought the Town provided the special events…

Ken Kuglar spoke and said he was “surprised and dismayed that the person who called this meeting is missing, Esther Colon”…he “reiterated some of the sentiments ” already expressed and was at “a loss why we were here”…”No reason “…”explored ad nauseum”  and said if it was a lack of parking he would offer up his space in his garage!…”Let’s keep Rock and Roll and the Blues!”

Comm. Dodd was last…He thanked all for coming and stated he too wondered where the Town Manager was..”Maybe she didn’t want to face the music!”…He spoke of trying to cancel this second meeting not because he didn’t ant , but because it was not necessary…He went on to speak of the failed Entertainment District he tried to get approved …that the police supported it but the majority on the dais did not…He spoke of his votes to assist the businesses and that he sees the overwhelming support of the special events…He would make the permits annual…and he is asking voters to vote on March 9th to elect commissioners to work with him to help the businesses and do what the voters wish to be done…

Assistant TM Olinzock then finished up the meeting by stating “This is my baby!”…special events are his and when residents want such forums he will provide them…This writer asked if ANY of them were here…these residents they claim called for this second meeting…Mr. Olinzock replied “I don’t know Barbara.”…

The answer in this writer’s opinion is because they…whomever “they” are…. were not!…

This was a waste of the taxpayers time and money…

more to come….

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