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Here’s The Scoop … When There’s Annual Conferences Involved … You Know It’s Big Business …


Dear Readers … after the Commission decided no referendum for the 2012 ballot…not even any discussion on how it could be put forth and admitted this latest rendition of the Master Plan amounted to just another costly exercise at best due to the agreement at the roundtable on June 14, 2011 once again that any big ticket item redevelopment in town is 5-10 years away if not more…they moved on to agenda item 3e to hire RMA for a marketing/branding plan that would ultimately lead to hiring a full-time Town Marketing Director to be included in next year’s budget… This writer once again listened to the approximately 30 minute discussion on the coveted marketing plan proposed…( I will post that verbatim asap) … I earlier wrote a post about a traveling “magic elixer” salesmen that come to municipalities in the form of these consultants with the expected pronouncements of required studies ….Research which is data based and requires a plethora of sub-contractors to come to on board as well…… It’s  due to how lucrative it is to come to town even when times are hard in the communities that ultimately jump on board.. They belong to the Florida Redevelopment Association…thus the annual conferences … At these conferences are all the familiar players we have come to know over this last fiscal year…(see below 2010 jpg pgs) … The 2011 conference will be in October according to their site … …. Will LBTS be another notch on their belts thus joining Delray Beach/Dania Beach/West Palm Beach/ Naples /Pompano Beach … I can tell you right now…I sure hope not.. I have taken the time to look at the marketing plans /branding/ tourist programs/CRAs/economic development strategies etc…as well as the budgets for each municipality we have been told by these consultants they have been or are associated with to see the comparisons …This something I have previously asked about… populations/budgets/millage/ commercial revenue etc/bonds/debt…No Commissioner has asked those questions at any meeting thus far and no such information has been brought to the discussion by those consultants who stand before them in order to continue on in providing more services to the Town and the Town Administration has not provided the information either as far as I am aware of … It is easy to see with just a few Googles that we are nothing like the communities we are being compared to … What is also easily accessible are the reports others paid the big bucks for and how much they are alike in not only the renderings but what is needed in their communities for the future …I believe we have alot of savvy people in this town with time on their hands who could easily be recruited by the Town as they were for committees and boards who in less than a week could glean 90% of the required reports and surveys and easily reformat them to fit what LBTS would need for a marketing plan … I’m sure many “professionals” will be aghast at the suggestion to do so… As far as “incentives”… There was an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune business section last Thursday comparing the original stakeholders in Chicago at the beginning of its growth …..The Marshall Fields, Adlers, Woolworths etc…who built up businesses and gave back to the city to confirm their commitment …The article  states nowadays  times have changed and businesses come to cities with their hands open like children looking for their allowance…in other words for incentives…and they have no intention of giving back…Illinois has seen it with big manufacturers leaving and coming depending on what the state will cough up compared to other states …The same goes for municipalities…Incentives is a big part of the marketing plan in every plan I pulled up… Tax increments and bonds are another factor…The latest comparison used by RMA was Northwood in West Palm Beach…  In 2006 they went for a $23 million dollar bond ….that seems to be the norm for these compared cities with their CRAs …Of note was that the branding for this RMA client was the same RMA sub-contractor that did branding for Pompano Beach/Dania Beach/Delray Beach/Naples and West Palm Beach … On Tuesday June 14, 2011 the Commissioners were going back and forth on spending an additional $62,000 dollars to RMA for them to sub-contract out on top of the $35,000 we have already paid them … The Mayor made a pitch for a staff member to do the job…and it was made clear once again by the Town Manager we have no one who could do the job…but that was one option that was put on the table for discussion ….and boy is it and more! …In the backup ..(scroll down to see  a few pgs .below )  the first budget meeting includes some very “heady” plans for this seaside village of 6000… Item 2a… New positions for a Marketing Director/Project Manager/ Economic development Director total over the 5-year plan $1,323, 410. in salaries… Also the Marketing & Special Events which will cost $303,000 over 5-year plan with $97,000 in 2011-12 for marketing research/branding campaign/marketing & collateral material/business development events… I have been informed that some savvy local business people in town believe to do marketing/branding now before the crappy hotels/motels are up to snuff would be a horrible idea.. And finally the proposed “Organizational Chart Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Redevelopment Initiative” which includes positions proposed  below the Town Commission and before the Town Manager of a Lobbyist and an Action Committee comprised ( in this top -bottom order)of Design-Architect,Designer, Engineer/Development- Real Estate, Appraiser, Broker,Contractor/ Hotel-Hotel Industry, Owner, Manager/ Finance- Lender, Banker, Financial Advisor/ Merchants- Merchant (food/drink, retail)/ Residents- Neighborhood Representatives)… Full link to Town website backup below) …This writer wonders how the south- end of town/Sea Ranch Club residents are going to take to these proposals…A Lobbyist placed so prominently in LBTS …WOW! … Long ago when Town Manager Connie Hoffmann was hired as the Interim TM Ma proponent of having the Comm. make the decisions to go ahead without a referendum told me he had concerns that she might find it difficult to manage a small town …He meant that she was used to Fort Lauderdale and that style of administrating …I disagreed though thinking that since Ms. Hoffmann said often she knew LBTS quite well as she was close friends with Laura Ward, the Asst. TM at the time and surely Hoffmann had watched Ms. Ward and knew the comfort level found in a town this size with how Ward operated in moving projects forward……It seems that supporter was correct … after seeing what I’ve seen over the last months and in this budget backup with this item and others ….


Delray Beach budget-

Dania Beach budget-

West Palm Beach budget-

Pompano Beach budget-

Naples budget-

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea budget-

OF NOTE- For a better idea of LBTS’ budget-

OF NOTE- take a look at …(field trip?) ..Lighthouse Point budget-


JPGS JUNE 21, 2011 BUDGET WORKSHOP  Agenda item 2a…

link to full backup for June 21, 2011 5pm LBTS Budget Workshop…

more to come…

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