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Here’s The Scoop…12/16/08..# 6…..LBTS…Commission Meeting…More Stretching The Truth…/ Local News…Public Records…I Got A Bill Too…

THE BILL IS IN THE MAIL….

The Future’s Is out…http://www.bytheseafuture.org/and seems they received a bill from the Town for Attorney services…amounting to $327.59 for public records requests…

Well…I got one too!…which I paid…after getting a copy of the actual Attorney invoice to see if the charges were the same…making sure there was no extra revenue for the Town…..

At today’s continuation commission meeting…right before heading out the door for the holidays…….the Vice Mayor asked the Town Attorney…about this …charging for the request…after once again using his seat and the airwaves from the dais to throw out blatant lies…about the public records requests made by this writer…and perhaps others…

The Attorney spoke of other municipalities who charge only if the request takes longer than 15 minutes…along with copying costs…adding we could adopt such a policy….

A big thank you to Commissioner Dodd ….

For providing this writer a chance also on the airwaves and in the public record to respond with the actual interactions with the Town…which included only 7 public records requests…beginning in Sept. 2008 through Nov 2008…and a list of other e-mails from Jan. 08…. which were on topics such as the … first commission debate/ sidewalk and landscaping correspondence for my home on Washingtonia / the Scenic Highway meetings/ Master Plan Steering information on recycling offered  or T. V. coverage/the Jewish Holiday…informing the Town of the pavilion grant review coming in front of Broward County/information asked for on mobi-mats for boardwalk use/ VFD documents/ comprehensive plan document…. after receiving a postcard from Broward …to get onefrom the Town/ follow-ups/ pickup verification and thanks you/ directive for no VFD in our homes in  the event of a  medical response 911 call/ and the correspondence below on the Attorney invoiced bill from the Town….

I finished my time at the podium by saying  I would gladly pay for any information I request….to get that information…

Commissioner Dodd had it exactly right when he countered the Vice Mayor.after I sat down……on what is really going on here…the real objective …taking action to “Shut down access” to information to the public…….WOW!…

Remember “Folks”…

This is the same Vice Mayor that kept us from addressing the dais by name for months…

The same Vice Mayor that stretches the truth…leaving out the “devils in the details” on his own ethics findings…

The same Vice Mayor that delays all inquiries into the VFD hierarchy….

It has been said…He has been heard on the radio and in public calling the shots while the VFD is Chief standing by…mute…

It has been said….He has badmouthed a fellow Commissioner at a VFD meeting…with the Chief joining in…highly improper according to their own By-laws…(previously posted VFD-By-Laws….in the VFD category)…

It has been said…He ignored and did not act  with proper VFD conduct at an incident…again not following proper VFD rules of conduct…(previously posted VFD-SOPs…in the VFD category)..

It has been said…he is bypassing the VFD Board of Directors/VFD- Member voting……with appointments of members…termination of members……moving monies …using funds…for ads…etc…

It has been  said …He is driving to locations…and calling in to stop the clock…skewing the real VFD arrival time…

It is said….He is the de-facto Chief…and the VFD “troops” are falling for what many of us have experienced in the past…”divide and conquer”….”us against them”…to keep it all in place…at least for 1 more day….always one more day….

After all was said and done…for now…the Vice Mayor withdrew his motion!….(Merry Christmas?)

From one faithful reader…after the meeing….in regards to the Attorney fees …charged and paid….something this writer did not ponder fast enough…HMMM…

That I and anyone else in receipt of such charges…should have been given the choice…informed upfront….ofan additional charge for our requests…rather than a “Gotcha” bill…that certainly makes it look as if once again the Manager…and the Vice Mayor are in “cahoots” to silence their critics and thwart the public’s right for freedom of information…. in Mc-LBTS….

THE INVOICE CORRESPONDENCE…

12/17/08

Dear Mr Abbott, I am in receipt of a bill received today from Clerk White …for Attorney fees for service rendered
1- 10/31/08 for 0.40 hr. = $81.90
2- 10/31/08 for 0.40 hr .=$81.90
total amount due = $163.80
I am more than happy to pay for your services and would like to verify that these were the correct service hours spent to answer the public records request made that day.
I look forward to your response and will send the payment along with your verification. Thank you and regards, Barbara Cole

12/17/08

Ms. Cole:

I do not have the invoice here in my office.  I could probably retrieve a copy
of it from our Coral Gables office.  Perhaps it would be easier for you to
review the time entry on the actual invoice received by LBTS? Please let me
know.  For what it's worth, the time entries seem roughly accurate to me.
12/17/08
Thank you very much. I am sending this reply to June and maybe she can
e-mail or send a copy of the invoice received by the Town.
Can you
tell me, is this a common practice done in our Town and other
municipalities for residents with inquires from the Town Attorney
beyond paying the Town for copy costs?
I will of course pay you for your time to respond, if that too is a charge to the residents. Regards, Barbara Cole
12/18/08
I have received a copy of the Weiss, Serota invoice via fax...per Town
Clerk... I will bring in to town today.Thank you both, Barbara Cole
12/18/08

Ms. Cole:

I’m afraid I don’t know what the “common practice” is in charging for public records requests that require supervisory assistance to respond to.  As for the authority to assess such a charge, I would refer you to Fla. Stat. s. 119.07(4)(d) and Highland County v. Colby, 976 So.2d 31 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008).  Please let me know if you would like for me to provide you with copies of these materials.

–Dan

12/18/08

Thanks, but I will try it on my own first…appreciate your reply, Regards, Barbara

12/18/08….brought my check in…and handed it to Clerk White….

more to come….

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