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Here’s The Scoop … You’ve Been Served … But How? …

COMMISSIONER SILVERSTONE “SERVING” THE TOWN OF LBTS IN 2007…

Dear Readers … This writer is picking up where Editor Mark Brown left off in the new edition of the By The Sea Future Newspaper that came out yesterday and is either at the end of  your driveway…in your mailroom (and if it is not…if it’s been covered..moved ..or dumped please contact your condo office /Board and the BTSF for more)…and throughout the town at various stores…In his editorial Mr. Brown described two serious incidents that involved Commissioner (He’s not a nice guy) Silverstone and his BFF Vice Mayor McIntee…This time though, there can be no doubt that Commissioner “not a nice guy” was fully complicit in the first incident and it is he along with Town Manager Colon who should be held  accountable for the second!…

The first issue Mr. Brown delves into in his editorial is the conflict of interest found in 2007 with the lawsuit brought against the Town in 2007 after the 2006 abrupt termination of the VFD by the BSO and the Town… While it is still this writer’s opinion that it was a vindictive move made at the time from the former Mayor (and new improved Mc-Furth-Clottey pal) Oliver Parker… witnessed first hand after working all day at the polls…I did not know until much later, courtesy of Marc Furth just what McIntee was doing in the background to exacerbate the situation …. That being said many have the recollection of how heated everything got…and will recall in 2007 the VFD brought a suit against both the Town and the BSO… It went into a shade session for the Town to discuss on May 14, 2009 (see archives online-  http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/spc-meetings-07.htm ) It states the following ” In accordance with the procedures set forth in Florida Statutes Section 286.011, the Town Commission and the Town Manager will meet privately with the Town Attorney to discuss the following pending litigation: Lauderdale -By-The-Sea Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. V. Sheriff of Broward County, Florida and Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Case Number 06-021273 (12).

Sitting in that meeting was the full commission including then-Commissioner / then- Deputy Chief Jerry McIntee and Commissioner /then-VFD Chief Jim Silverstone…As Mark Brown describes at the start of his piece legal strategy was discussed concerning the Town’s response to a suit brought against the Town by the VFD… and as these two were sitting there and perhaps even adding in their own commentary or instruction to the Town Attorney…they were also fully engaged with the plaintiff, the VFD!…

In fact there is an e-mail between then-VFD Chief Jim Silverstone and the VFD Attorney one month earlier on April 11, 2007 which says the following…

…………………………………………

FROM: Steven S. Newburgh

Wed. 11, Apr. 2007 10:21:43

SUBJECT: AMECOM45— (as of 3-30-07).Pdf

Dear Jim:

As  we discussed, I have attached the Amended Complaint in this matter. I will keep you posted concerning the responses of the Town and the Sheriff as we proceed. Please call me with any questions or comments which you have. Thanks, Jim.

Best regards,

Steven Sloan Newburgh”

……………………………………….

Attached was the complaint and in that complaint were some questions for the VFD and Silverstone…on page 4 there was a question on #14 “The interlocal Agreement was amended on September 19,2000 and on December 12, 2002 [need to review these amendments-does FWB have these documents and should they be attached?]”…and also #15 ” On December 26, 2003, the County, Town and BSO entered into an Assignment Agreement which inter alia formalized the assignment from County to the BSO of County’s rights, obligations and responsibilities to Town under Interlocal Agreement to provide fire protection and services within the Town (the “Assignment Agreement”) [need to review this assignment- does FWB have this document and should it be attached?] ..This writer assumes that FWB was the Town’s Fire Administrator Frank Buchert …

What this proves is that then-VFD Chief Silverstone and no doubt then-Deputy Chief McIntee sat in that meeting and knew exactly what both sides of this case were doing prior to the meeting and afterward…( the others in that room did not) and that is clearly a conflict on every level…This was addressed recently by Commissioner Silverstone in his usual befuddled, incoherent Commissioner comments…(He started answering back the public comments last fall and has continued on due to any lack of preparation to constructively use his 3-5 minute comment time)… Silverstone lamely acted as “Coach Jim” saying this conflict didn’t count..because the VFD had to include the Town” and later dropped the Town from the suit.. ( a look at the quarterly VFD Income/Expense reports in  2008-09 include an ongoing expense for attorney fees v. BSO in the first 2 reports)… A request was made by the Mayor after that statement to see what it cost the Town. It cost us $6,000 dollars for this “exercise” that doesn’t count in Commissioner Silverstone’s opinion… That does not include staff time …

Commissioner Silverstone was also involved front and center in an e-mail exchange in July of 2007 after he received after a complaint was made …

…………………………………………………

Dave Casey wrote:

Chief Silverstone –

The below article was sent to us with the concern that the firefighters
were engaging in live fire training in an acquired
building. I ran the
names in the article and none show the proper
certification to conduct
live fie training. Can you shed some light on this
and with your VFD’s
status on the legal challenge?. The legal protection
of the firefighters
concerns me regarding worker’s comp and other
benefits/protection. We
have been advised by BSO that you no longer provide
fire protection and
are not recognized by the county or town government,
and we need to take
the necessary steps to reflect that in the
firefighters’ records and
other records. You are in violation of FAC 69A-62
which requires you to
have a set response area that can provide service
for in order to be
recognized. Please let me know.

FAC 69A-62.006 Requirements for Recognition as a
Fire Department.

(1) To be recognized as an organized
fire department by
the division, compliance with the following must be
documented:

(a) Capability of providing fire
protection 24 hours a
day, seven days a week;

(b) Responsibility for response in an
area capable of
being depicted on a map; and

Pass on greetings to Doug for me. Let him know PFD
is gathering photos
for a book, he might want to call Marti at their HQ.

Dave Casey, Chief

Bureau of Fire Standards & Training

Florida State Fire Marshal

352 369-2833

www.floridastatefirecollege.org

…………………………………………………….

Article….

“Keeping Sharp

Always alert for more training opportunities to keep
their skills sharp, the LBTS Volunteer Fire Department recently used the
opportunity toconduct a drill at a soon-to be-demolished buildingat 3001 East Oakland
Park Blvd. with permission of the owners. The drill was conducted by Deputy Chief Jerry McIntee, Battalion Chief Joe
Padden and Training officer Patrick Pointu. About a dozen members of the force were in attendance to practice search and rescue drills and various fire attack
scenarios.”

……………………………………………………..

From: Jim Silverstone
Date: Mon, Jul 9, 2007 at 4:55 PM
Subject: RE: Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Volunteer Fire Department
To: Dave Casey

Chief Casey,

The politics are getting even more dirty down this
way.

The article in question described what transpired.
Specifically, our FF1 class and a number of our
regular members participated in a search and rescue
drill and went over various fire attack scenarios. At
no time did we have any live fires. We are not
permitted by the owner of the property and besides we
are fully aware of what we can and cannot do. As you
may have guessed by now we are under a microscope. We
are scheduling a live fire drill at the Coral Springs
fire academy.

It’s my opinion, this is another attempt by BSO and or
their union to do everything to keep their position in
town. BSO cannot staff a first alarm without the help
of either Ft. Lauderdale or Pompano Beach due to their
next closest station being over 9 miles away. We have
been under attack with the same type of mistaken facts
and expect to be until we have our day in court or the
next town election early next year. In the end, the
vast majority of the town residents support us.

The drill was excellent and we hope to do more before
the building is torn down.

Regarding the legal challenge, we have a court date
scheduled in a couple of weeks, in which we are
expecting a positive outcome. But as you must be aware
BSO has and is expected to drag this out for their
benefit.

As far as our insurance coverage, we have maintained
in full, all insurance coverage which is in excess of
20 million plus our worker’s comp. though VFIS. In
fact, I called them before the drill just to make
sure.

I will pass on the info to Mr. Smith who is now in N.
Carolina on vacation.

Hope all is well with you.
Thanks,
Chief Silverstone

………………………………………………

This is exactly why there should have been an Commission ethics ordinance…it should have been instituted from the dais…and  it should have been done long before the failed referendum voted down on December 1, 2009 as  the biggest perpetrators of conflict of interest go for what most believe will be their “2nd bit of the apple” and declare their candidacy for a 2nd term either as commissioner or mayor!… Whether the conflict is one that will ultimately only bring forth a “slap” on the hand in findings of “probable cause” (prev. posts) from the Florida Ethics Commission as these two have dealt with in their first 4 years or ignored because the Ethics Commission were “hoodwinked” (in this writer’s opinion) by false statements made on their roles within the department (VM as Dep. Chief stating no purchasing to be done by him in VFD-prev. post)…just because they can get away with it… why try?…Four more years…and the sudden change of the VFD leadership on Dec. 14, 2009 (prev. posts) will undoubtedly bring more of the same from McIntee and Silverstone who are already in the throes of retaliation …only this time it’s toward the department…not the town…OUCH!…

The second issue Editor Brown addressed was the precarious situation the VFD may have put its Booster Fund supporters in with the lack of the proper registry to allow for them to write off their donations…… While the VFD is registered as a non-profit organization …it appears they were never correctly registered to accept donations and allow it as they have long claimed (recently in their townwide Booster Fund Drive Furth-mailer last month they made the same claim)…

Who is responsible for this huge mistake?…This writer puts the blame squarely on Commissioner Jim Silverstone listed as the “Registered Agent” for the VFD
Florida Non- Profit Corporation seen online at Sunbiz…(link below)…

…………………………………………..
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT, INC.
Filing Information
Document Number 702458
FEI/EIN Number 020671186
Date Filed 05/22/1961
State FL
Status ACTIVE
Principal Address
4513 OCEAN BOULEVARD
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA FL 33308 US
Changed 04/29/2009
Mailing Address
4513 OCEAN BOULEVARD
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA FL 33308
Changed 04/29/2009
Registered Agent Name & Address
SILVERSTONE, JAMES J
278 MIRAMAR AV
LAUDERDALE BY THE SEA FL 33308
Name Changed: 09/10/2003
Address Changed: 07/10/2008
Annual Reports
Report Year Filed Date
2008 07/10/2008
2009 04/29/2009
2009 12/16/2009

http://www.sunbiz.org/index.html

…………………………………………………..

The most recent annual report was done this week on Dec. 16th (link) …and Commissioner Silverstone remains the Registered Agent for the VFD non- profit corporation… despite the change in the officers last Monday… As the agent for the department for many years it is he that should have been aware of the status held by the department… Commissioner Silverstone has bored us all to tears  in the last year with ridiculous spread sheets he has stayed late in his office putting together for less than a 4%  to the Colon enacted townwide survey this last fall…He claims he does his homework…his due diligence…Really?…This seems to trump any of the “little projects” he has attempted in trying to show he does possess some accounting acumen! …

Also the Town Manager is to be held accountable in this lack of oversight…after all it was Commissioner Silverstone who spoke of then-Finance Director Esther Colon and her coming down hard on the VFD in his first encounter with her. He told the story at the last round table to finally do the Manager’s annual review…He spoke of how she admonished the VFD accounting…saying they spent every penny they got (Hmmm under McIntee last year that remained in effect)…and  that the VFD owed the Town $20,000…Commissioner Silverstone proudly (it appeared) said that Director Colon was correct!… Well, why didn’t Town Manager Colon know that the VFD was not registered to allow for supporters to write off their donations?… Add to that…(pun intended)…the annual $7000+ audit we pay for and the recent (4thQ VFD report) of an internal VFD audit as well for $1,100….

The supporters have paid for the VFD full back page color ads in the Mc-Furth BTSTimes  for each issue since 2008…The supporter paid for firetrucks, including the last one for $150,000 (per Chief Perkins in the 12/18/09 Pompano Pelican)…And the supporters paid for the lawsuit against the Town and the BSO…Now it appears that if those supporters did indeed write any of the above off… they did it based on false information  made from the VFD thanks to Commissioner Silverstone and Town Manager Colon…OUCH!…

Once again this writer reiterates…it is time for the voters of the town to continue on what we saw on Monday by the VFD…who will be making some changes with accountability within the  fire department starting with the right people in charge …(Chief Perkins, Pompano Pelican 12/18/09) ….

Next March…do not allow for anymore of what we have seen in the last 4 years…No more skirting or deflecting the “conflict of interest” issue……No more “2-Hats/ Broom Boys” on the dais…No more McIntee and Silverstone…who is definitely “not a nice guy” and who is definitely conflicted as well as complicit!… Replace them with your vote for Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent…

To see the rest of the BTSFuture ….. including coverage of all the LBTS holiday events…in articles and photos by Editor Cindy Geesey…as well as the LBTS campaign center page ( a standard from now thru March)…Mayor Minnet’s commentary…resident poems and lettersto the Editor …the always entertaining  Doc Lawrence and Editor Mark Brown’s in- depth articles …along with a plethora of the most advertisers in town…link to …(hit refresh for Dec. if necessary)…

http://www.bytheseafuture.org/

more to come…

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