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Here’s The Scoop…2/10/09…Commission Meeting…#1….Fruitcake

WHEN IS A COMMISSION MEETING LIKE A FRUITCAKE?….

http://tippinthescales.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/fruitcake.jpg

You get it regularly…you don’t like it…but you eat it anyway…you swallow it…and it just sits there fermenting in your belly….expanding….and leaving you with a feeling in your gut that something’s rotten!

Last night’s new…improved… public comments-explained …Commission meeting was like eating the whole fruitcake at one sitting with no milk available to wash it down!

So here’s an overview with the specifics on some items to come later….

We started out with the Town Attorney going over what constitutes freedom of speech…discussing the restrictions allowed in this setting because the Town is opening up this forum for speech….

The state requires allowed public comments for 2nd readings and public hearings..such as quasi judicial hearings….

What The Commission Can Do……..

The Commission can decide what is allowed with any other public comment…on the public business we are here to do…and can implement a time limit such as the 3 minutes now observed…They can limit repetitive speech…from the same speaker…and stop speech that is not on relevant matters or on extraneous subject matters….

They can enforce reasonable rules of decorum…such as raised voices……cursing or disruptive behavior…

Personal comments can be limited the the extent they are irrelevant to the forum…are slanderous…or intentional misstatements of fact..

What The Commission Cannot Do….

They cannot allow for “viewpoint discrimination”….meaning allowing “favorable” viewpoints….and not allowing “unfavorable” speech…which constitutes regulated speech….

The upshot…seen later in public comments…the Commission can be called by name…The Vice Mayor can be called a” bully”….that is until he feels it’s a personal attack…(which happened and then called for a point of order…a vote…and the predictable 3-2 vote…2-Hats losing)….If the Commission likes you…you can spend your 3 minutes talking about something that has nothing to do with the meeting…and if they don’t they will try to stop the speaker…using the Town Attorney’s advise that it is not relevant…2 steps forward 3 steps back!……..

BSO was present with Kim Rubio from 911 Dispatch to answer questions about the 911 call from last month when a resident could not be found…and the related problems of using a cell phone for emergency calls…Ms Rubio went over the pitfalls of cell phones…their inability to allow for an address  to come up on their computer screens……as is standard with a land line phone…and how  cell phones with an xy coordinate only allow for pinpointing the caller within a 1 mile radius…and even that can be problematic with cell phones companies that are not compliant…This leaves the dispatcher to do continuous “refreshing” of the system while virtually playing “20 questions” with the caller…asking for address…landmarks…and such…While she stated she could not speak about the event that occurred…(Hipaa)…she related the caller did not give the correct address and eventually a neighbor was able to provide the proper location…Ms Rubio spent time explaining the CAD system and her ability to follow up any complaints…to get the problem corrected and address the issue…but only if she is informed…She disagreed with Comm. Clottey’s assertions that the Bel Air Streets being numbers instead of names were a location impediment for dispatch…saying the system had that area verified…and encouraged residents not to give up their land lines….

Ms Rubio did an excellent job of presenting the role of dispatch…and clearing up the incident in question…which once again turned out differently than the Vice Mayor’s previous account…

Time was wasted again when the Vice Mayor decided to repeat what we had just heard from Ms Rubio…”dumbing it down” for the “Laymen” at home…waste of time!…..

BC- is there a Robert’s rule for this?……..

The Mayor took a ride on the VFD-ATV with the Vice Mayor last week …and thanked the VM and the VFD…the Vice Mayor inappropriately responded” It’ was very romantic”…to which the Mayor’s face said it all….the comment was out of bounds….right up there with his “very attractive Oriental woman” comment after the resident came to speak on the boats in the north part of town….(that woman never did return to Jarvis Hall)….

Chief Perkins came to the podium to  answer any questions…Comm. Dodd asked for the VFD Incident Report on the 2/2/09 “working fire” in the north end of town and the 2/9/09 fire at the police station…Perkins had the 2/2/09 report…and handed it out to the Commission …(will post later)…Comm. Dodd congratulated him…and asked about the “policy” of meetings no longer being one…the Chief was less than forthright in his response…saying they were never open…(a look at prior meetings shows him standing at the podium saying otherwise along with the “2-Hats”)…Comm. Dodd was in receipt of a GPS report from the VFD to “prove” no “hot rodding” had occurred on the ATV……Comm. Dodd explained again what was the opinion of the manufacturer …the dealer…and the stress of the gears being used inappropriately…Dodd also wanted the Chief to acknowledge his suggestion of a larger warning sticker on the dashboards to keep it from occurring again…The Chief spoke of 80 members using the ATV…going out 3 times each to train…(do the training hours…ATV reflect this?)…and that means “they did take a lot of abuse.”….

BC- the problem was…3 different stories were told by the Chief/Deputy Chief about what happened…and the Deputy Chief lied on the dais …knowing full well what happened and why…as he gave the go ahead for the repair…a direct conflict to his statements to the State Ethics Commission!…….

The Vice Mayor “walked” the Chief through the 1965 S. Ocean fire…with the Chief giving him his “GOD”- like deserts…(see previous “GOD” post)…

Chief Perkins extolled how the decision to allow McIntee to respond from home was the right decision…because “if you didn’t get there , the whole place could have gone!”…(will post about this later)….

Commissioner Clottey asked about ISO…and the reply was the Chief is happy..ISO were happy…and the consensus from the “2-Hats” were that the 4 rating should be retained…a power point comparative presentation should be given…and a report should be coming in 3-4 months…

Manager Report….

The ISO will be coming for a workshop open to the public…at Jarvis Hall March 19th, 2009…9am-noon…and spoke of the referendums…a timetable needed to get them on the Nov. ballot…later on it was decided to have it in May…

Comm. Clottey asked for an update on the Pavilion completion…the date offered up by Olinzock…March 4th….

Public Comments…will post later…

Ordinances 1st reading….2009-15…the tennis courts…with the changes made…$100 annually…5% increase in fees annually…and a pro-rated rated rather than annual…not included from the original ordinance…pre- petition/e-mail/video/Jarvis Hall attendance from the Tennis Group…non- residents  and daily/weekly fees are erased…

A few members of that group rose to speak about the ordinance…say thanks…give an update about an increase in membership by residents and a hotel…with 1  Time-Share Manager giving them a heads- up…she too would return to the fold…A remark was made in response to this site…and points made about it being a “club”…The speaker said their fees covered the maintenance..(those #’s are still not reported)…and expressed his views of the attendance over the past days…after the 5-0 victory…for them…this writer extended her hand and said “point taken”…

Ordinance 2009-16…he EMS ordinance…with attached drafted resolution 2009-XX……a total disconnect on the dais……the wording still seems suspect…(see 2/10/09 agenda)….to include fire rescue…discretion of the VFD…and Comm. Silverstone’s lame attempt to say the Fire Inspector would be involved…with EMS?…Going round and round…and falling to the wayside…it passes 5-0…

BC- This needs to be addressed and corrected…….standby rescue service special functions/events require at the discretion of the LBTS Fire Rescue…and anything VFD…Include “other entity fire department /rescue service”…as the Manager said for a contracted fire truck if VFD can not provide service…and AMR or “other “entity EMS service…VFD service should be included in their contracted price per year…..

Commissioner Comments….posted later….

Resolutions….2009-04…10% decrease in fees…this resolution omits Broward county items….it was tabled…(5-0)… for wording after it was again mentioned …fees for the VFD…and clarification was needed…the VFD Chief left…and the Deputy  tried to speak for the department but backed off…after saying he attended a “Chiefs meeting”…(was the Chief there also?)…touting this Town for being the only Broward County municipality to have a decrease…attributing it to the Town Manager…saying other towns are facing increased fees…

BC-and LBTS is also increasing fees and yes we can attribute that to the Town Manager…..(another “senior moment…VM?)….in ordinance after ordinance…..

Of course the VM …not happy about the Commission not giving the VFD a “pass” ….and said “Life is more important than sitting up here being political.”…between radio beeps….no one else to “cover” calls?

b. Ordinance 2009-05 Parking meter fees…This one is where the VM really lost his bearings…after much discussion over beach permits costing too little…($15 annually)…and a resident permit  parking costing more.($50)..the beach being prime parking…the VM said we should remove the beach parking….He must have forgotten his late night “Hail Mary” to the guy  who came to the podium and Renee O’Neal to retain the beach parking and the residential parking spaces…OUCH!….As he “piggybacked” off of Comm. Clottey’s questioning of needing 2 permits if one wanted to park as a resident and as a beach permit holder to snare one of those “golden” spots…the VM said Olinzock was describing a nightmare…6 different permits….so “wipe it out”…go to all residential…DODD’s original idea…that was “thrown under the bus” when the clock approached 11 pm…and a potential 2010 voter stepped up to complain……

Well….the motions were made…increase the Hardship permits to $200 /out of state will be non-LBTS Resident/and beach permits will be eliminated…passes 5-0…

NOT SO FAST…was the VM  texted?…suddenly he woke up and realized he blew it…and went back on his “golden” parking for his CIC pals…he tried to reel it back in…and his BFF tried to assist…but the audience wasn’t buying it…and neither were the other 3 Commissioners…McIntee asked to take back his vote…and a vote was taken to reconsider the change…it failed 3-2 McIntte/Silverstone dissenting…The VM still wanted to take back his vote…but the Town Attorney said sometimes that is allowed…he didn’t know if our rules allowed for it….and it would not change the outcome of the vote…so it died…(being on the losing side…for reconsideration…look for a reworded attempt to get it back on….)

Old Business…..

a. Referendum item…to make VFD “untouchable”…(will post later)…tabled until workshop in May…

b. Valet parking…(will post later)….tabled for 2 weeks…Businesses need a round table…before they come back…

New Business…..

a. Leisure Towers….(will post later)….passes 4-1-Clottey dissenting

b. height referendum …tabled for workshop in May….

c. Garden Court…(will post later)….directed Attorney to pursue the cul-de-sac…passes 5-0

d./e. Seagrape/N. Tradewinds…Comm. Dodd …voted on the prevailing side for Seagrape/dissenting on N. Tradewinds…the Town Attorney was asked for an opinion on his right to bring it up with discussion on discussion/voting/rescinding….(The VM voted against his agenda items… Garden Court/Oriana-Pier Alleyway)…Comm. Dodd spoke of the problem with the expense for both streets…the downspouts…etc..on Seagrape…the Manager reiterated she and Walter Keller did not recommend the full 9 yards to finish the street…but the Commission added it in ( curbs…drains)…….She said  town wide action is being taken for downspouts to be diverted away from the roads…and that the Seagrape residents in that area have said they will comply…no action could be taken…as it has gone to contract….N..Tradewinds has not…but Comm. Dodd met resistance to reconsidering the repaving…with “selective-electioneering” from the “2-Hats”…saying it as a done deal…move on…a rule that does not apply to Garden Court…the Alleyway……etc….When Comm. Dodd asked about the sewers to be installed…the Manager in yet another nasty unprofessional response said the sewers were Pompano…trying to imply Dodd did not know what he was  saying…

BC- Comm. Dodd  recalled and sent an e-mail today to the Manger…to remind her…at the Jan 22,2009 meeting on this subject …It was Assist. Manager Olinzock who spoke of the “sewers” and VM McIntee who said that’s 3-4 years out…HMMM……..

Comm. Dodd’s point…why spend $30 thousand dollars now…to dig it up in a few years?….(an opinion heard throughout the hall)….

BC- The topper….The Manager then informed all…including the Commission…that she had applied for the Federal stimulus funds for the storm water repairs…Why does the Manager continue to do these things…with no word to the Commission or residents…It is this writer’s opinion…she should use her twice monthly Manager Report time…to update on projects…grants etc…to keep all informed and maintain transparency….How about the Terra Mar Bridge?…Pompano said if LBTS wanted to cover it…go ahead…seems to make sense to go for it…….

f. Miami-Dade Ordinance…to have a conflict of interest “2-Hats” on the referendum…it died after some “2-Hats SLAP-remarks”…(will post later)…

BC-The VM is on record saying he will back it for a referendum item….go for it!…..

g. Oriana North side alleyways…(will post later)…

BC-quite confusing…where exactly bathrooms will be…will it still allow the already approved Pier Parking egress through the alley?…How is allowable to bathrooms there …but not at the Pavilion…and….Do we have plumbing at the Pavilion as the architect said…or do we not?….

BC—We hear Hisssing……..

h. Clean Energy Day…(will  post later)……

i. Permits for the Sea Turtle People…5 permits…with Lou Fisher Natural Resource Specialist III braving the evening and waiting until the end…receiving the permits…The VM actually said the following…”I was flagged down by a 2 legged turtle”…he didn’t know what to do with an injured turtle…Mr. Fisher replied…”you call us.”...http://www.broward.org/bio/seaturtle.htm

Town Attorney will hold off on discussing Roberts Rules on motions…tables or postpone…

The next meeting….Date changed from 2/24/09 …conflicts with Taste of the Beach…no date agreed upon…will update…will return to 7 PM starting time…per Comm. Clottey…along with the VM…(who came up with the 6:30 time at the 2nd round table )……

VM asked if the Town attorney sent letter to Terry Arthur…Greenfest….continued…(no moving on on this one)…Mr Abbott said yes…no reply…VM put it on the next agenda….UGH!…

adjourned…

more to come………..

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