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Here’s The Scoop…5/13/09 LBTS Referendum Workshop….Protecting The People?…

WE NEED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE ……

Funny thing happened at the May 13,2009 LBTS Referendum Workshop…it became a a soapbox for some commissioners to explain that it was their belief that their role as our elected officials is to “protect” us from future elected officials!…

The referendum items these commissioners want us to accept are like dealing with bubble wrap….hard to penetrate … all those bubbles to pop…pop…pop…pop…and still after making a lot of noise you get nowhere to what’s inside… … frustrated…and short on time …the average person will most likely just to toss the damn thing aside…deciding it just isn’t worth it…and the item…goes back on the shelf until someone else comes along years later and gets curious about what’s inside…having heard it’s something that might be worth taking a look at…

This writer always has a problem with someone who thinks they “need” to protect us from the future and ourselves….because it always involves taking away freedom of choice in the process…

The meeting began with a room unevenly divided and a real change in the hall’s makeup…It is known that the new Chair of the CIC sent out an alert to be at this meeting…having to deal with the heights…but only a handful showed…and among those just the expected past Chair and Editor of the Mc-Furth Times who came to speak at the podium, her husband and co-Editor VFD Town photog. Marc Furth along with the new (“McIntee is God”) Vice- Chair of the CIC,  Joe Couriel, who rose to speak on heights…with no one standing to speak for the referendum on the VFD ….On the opposite side was the ever growing group of residents who are looking to reclaim the town and find some common ground in 2010…and speak they did…especially on the VFD referendum!…

A little back and forth over the rules this night…whether to keep the status quo of residents speaking  first…or change it up for commissioners to begin…with residents to follow…then back to responses commissioners …after a little tussle the Mayor took charge and said the residents would speak…and as the first member of the hall was ready to approach…the Vice Mayor said he was going to withdraw the first item…(his baby)…the VFD City of Cape Canaveral Referendum that would make it impossible to remove the VFD from the town as our fire safety provider without a vote of the people…along with a super majority required from the dais…

While happy about the Vice Mayor’s withdrawal…the second such action …(The VM removed the VFD Ordinance  2009-22 for 1st reading the evening before)…those in the audience were not accepting that he did not have an ulterior motive with this action…perhaps using it to silence those who came to oppose it and speak out…A gentleman came up to say as much…and he was given some doublespeak by the VM of anyone being able to bring it back at anytime…

Cristie Furth came to say she did not know what the point of this meeting was for having no idea what the Cape Canaveral or the Deerfield Beach Referendums contained …they needed explanation…and that these meetings should be run like the Planning and Zoning…

BC- Mrs. Furth is the Editor of the local BTSTimes…is BFF to McIntee/Silverstone …she is former Chair of the CIC/ Vice- Chair on P &Z / and unofficial town event coordinator….and she did not know the backup…how come?…

This writer came up to explain the backup was available and a Google would provide even more information…Thanked the VM  for removing the item and expressed that it was my hope this  VFD Referendum would not come back…for it is not needed…

Following up after the Mayor decided to open it up for all to address were 5 speakers who said the following …Bob Fleishman said “the volunteers are a paid organization with a renewable contract” …that “the “2-Hats” should recuse themselves” ..”.a 5 year engagement was long enough and at the end if all is well there would be no question it would continue…if not…it is a free society and we look for other options”…A gentleman said “the volunteers are proving themselves and another Commission will not throw them out…with pricing …and improving qualifications he did not see anyone trying to boot them out”….Diane Boutin spoke of reserving integrity and “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”…with contracted vendors…Ben Freeny spoke of trying to understand “why this is good for the town”…”what’s in it for the town”…and that “he could not come up with a reason that the VFD should be our permanent provider”…and expressed his concern over the time involved…assembling this meeting…removing the item and the possibility of its return on an upcoming agenda after this crowd has walked away…He also felt that changing the charter was a serious …Louis Marchelos came to say “the VFD and the Chief acted with great courage” and “the VFD needs to work to keep its edge”…”a super majority  to replace them brings complacency and any change in the level of service should allow the right to make a change.”..”you are the leaders so lead” he said…

Vice Mayor McIntee tried to make his case for why “we” the VFD want this (permanent employment)…he related he is apart of the old guys and the “vast majority” are under 30 …that to call them paid volunteers does them a disservice when they get out of bed in the misdle of the night to go on calls…with “some making $1000 and most making $400 to $500 a month”….He then went into his familiar litany of blame with the the past commission…previous assurances of the VFD taking over if they (VFD) “turned  it around”…and the VFD did that …getting rid of their “beer machine”…and working hard…Then said the VM They (OG commissioners) did “everything in their power”  to get them out..”in the middle of the night ” they “padlocked the station”…and they (VFD) need “protection” so this cannot happen again for “politcal reasons”…He added a referendum would be a winner with a 670-30 win for the VFD to be permanent…He said the VFD “cleaned up their act” and “they are still being attacked”..the VFD members are “still afraid”…and that they saved us “two million dollars”…

BC- The past commission and the BSO did shut down the VFD on election day after we won the no-no-yes-yes…(44 feet/ term limits)…and this writer was standing next to then-Comm. McIntee when he got the call …outside Jarvis Hall as the voting ended…BUT…even his BFF Marc Furth said the padlocking and the final blow came from McIntee’s role in the dissension between the commission/BSO and the VFD…and it was Marc Furth that told this writer that McIntee was trying to do anything he could to rectify his own guilt…Again, we face the same situation with the VFD this time around…..No one wants to get rid of the VFD…just the Deputy Chief…and it is his actions that will again bring them down…(previous posts…VFD)…and as for any VFD members “being scared” and “attacked” we hear that too comes from fearing the VM/Dep. Chief himself!……

BFF Comm. Silverstone did what he always does and spoke about the “lies” he was told…the ISO…and the need as the VM said they need “something to protect the future” VFD…he is for a super majority…not a charter change…and that the VFD is a non-profit organization…

Comm. Dodd said he wanted to address this issue the previous evening ..that a 2013 contract was in place…and by then the town may be “politically stable”…that “the volunteers do not need protection” …and that after seeing the change in commissions over the last 4 years…due to the VFD removal…it would not happen again…the he is 100% behind the VFD and will help with providing them any professional training from qualified people required to improve the department…adding that ordinances, code and laws to protect them are not required…he spoke of the “bashing” he has taken up on the dais to ensure the VFD is doing their job…

Commissioner Clottey did not know what ordinance Comm. Dodd was referring to…HUH?…and he pointed out the ordinance 1st reading (2008-17/2009-22) removed the evening before…

BC-  “Clueless” is becoming too much the norm when it comes to Comm. Clottey’s actions of late…

Mayor Minnet stated she was against a paid contractor having such a charter change…and they should live by their performance and if they do not then their should be a change….She said the residents should bring signatures to this dais if they wanted such a referendum and she hope that with the ISO rating we can put the past behind us and move forward…

NO-NO-YES-YES….MAYBE?….

You know there are those that believe that if you tell a “story” long enough …it becomes the truth…and the “story” being told is that the election in 2008 was to remove the overlay districts and return to 33 feet…

This fairytale is fractured…and it is just one rung below the Vice Mayor’s “in the dead of the night” padlocking of the fire station “story”…For as stated from the podium and reiterated by Comm. Dodd who was candidate Dodd when the campaigning was in full swing…33 feet…was never uttered from the CIC!…

The mistake by Comm. Dodd and this writer along with many other former and present (sending in their $10 for the inside news only) members…was not to pay heed to former CIC Board member and founder John Thompson and to wipe away the overlay districts too quickly being unaware of the 33 feet that would return with the speedy action…Those who now say we should have known…they are right we should have…but did they tell us it would be the result….Nope, they were unusually mute!…We did not know at the time there was a Furth led self- serving agenda in the works…That’s the same self- serving Furth agenda we see today with the noise ordinance…the 4th of July “party”…leaving us with a dismal fireworks display…and any other Furth directed items they fancy coming from Comms. Clottey, Silverstone and Vice Mayor McIntee…

Cristie Furth never missing an opportunity to stop the development in this town stepped to the podium to say as much…saying the 1973  definitions of  height and zoning were perfect…..Her husband Marc concurred…saying protection was required and that 3 commissioners should not be able to bring  overlay districts back although he was not against 3 over 1 on the coast…CIC Vice -Chair (“McIntee is God”) Joe Couriel…said we need to “protect’ people from the “flip-flop” commissioners…recalling those who removed the police dept….and should retain a super majority…

Diane Boutin manager of the Windjammer  spoke of the “hot and cold” the “reality” of rebuilding and what would happen with her own oceanfront property…the loss of footage and rooms to comply without being able to build up saying you “can’t put a 10 pound bag of potatoes into a 5 pound bag”…adding the properties in town are 40 years or older and the need to be “progressive”….Louis Marchelos stated a 33 ft. height restriction is”ridiculous” …saying the Hospitality District is suffering in this economy …but the businesses have had to “think outside the box”…He spoke of the downtown…special events…and upgrades to draw a “good crowd”…A gentleman spoke of owning a hotel in Ft. Laud. and the costs involved…saying that a 12 unit cannot make it …and we will end up with all townhomes if 33 ft. the height…we need 44 ft on the beach…no back out on A1A…Ken Brenner added a community with no hospitality district means higher millage to make up for loss of commercial revenue…

P&Z Chair  Peanuts Wick and MPSC Chair Paul Novak were not on the agenda but did come with the plans thatr came from the commission approved expenditure to compare 33-44ft. and density and grade issues…

Being a little hot under the collar from the oversight…Peanuts started with ” You guys paid for it ,we don’t care”…(not too Mayoral, Peanuts)…He proceeded to make the presentation with the renderings ..saying they were concept ideas…pervious to impervious 50-50 …(see previous posts…MPSC meetings that were with P&Z for details…board cat.)…”Whatever you all want to do”…Peanuts said …as he followed up with speaking of the grade level…(also in MPSC and previous scoops posts on heights)…finishing up with relaying discussions with the previous Town Atty. on a return of a hospitality district …Paul spoke of having a lot more work to do…being a hotelier and that these modifications could ensure we do not have another Oriana…but he was for 44 ft. and was concerned that 33 ft. would take us “down the drain”…The Mayor thanked them …

Comm. Silverstone reiterated what he has said before on the dais…a  need for stability …that those waiting to buy or sell are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what we are going to do ….and adding a rebuild after disaster to the original footprint and height should be allowed…

Comm. Clottey (Furth directed)…said we need a referendum and reiterated the mantra of 3 Commissioners should not have the authority to change things…HUH?…and we “cannot stay in a state of flux”…explaining the dollars lost for each hotel and being wrong on her facts of how many hotel rooms bit the dust in the last year…(it was 4X what she said)…explaining what hotels bring to the local restaurants and businesses…(A laugh was heard from the hall…due to Comm. Clottey and her recent role in the noise ord./special events ord.)….

Comm. Dodd. said he was disappointed by this …after having 3 elections…and the voters already saying what they want…He spoke of the CCCL line…grade…and the CIC with 44 ft….He spoke of where it is 44 ft and where it is 33 ft…and said to go out again that this time it should be about zoning…

Vice Mayor McIntee said he had to “chuckle” and went for his latest “story” that it was him and “Jimmy” who brought the town the Oriana “million”…Comm. Dodd in a point of order …set it straight…it was former Mayor Parker behind the scenes……and then totally ignoring the hoteliers…along with the businessmen…who spoke…he (VM) said he knew we could make money with small hotels…because he “spoke to someone in Miami with a  12 unit who was charging $4-500 a night”..Another laugh could be heard from the hoteliers in the hall..who almost in unison…said in Miami…not here!…

The Mayor said it should go back to the people …but should include the density …that past referendums “have lacked identifying certain areas”…the “T-Core”…that a balance needs to be found…

Comm. Silverstone….. Threw out a question to Comm. Dodd asking him to name the 3 times people voted…(Dodd did)…and then…(did he get a hand signal or text or e-mail message?)….he (Silverstone) did an about face and said he’s for 33 feet!…using the Seaward property as an example…

BC- Either he misspoke..the Seaward as Comm. Dodd informed him was approved recently to become a 3 bedroom residential/ rental property …and if he meant the Sea Lord…That, Comm. Silverstone is over 33 feet!…OUCH!…

The Vice Mayor spoke of a referendum with several choices including the 1973 guidelines ..a bedroom community and “not influencing” the voters…(HAH!…too funny a statement from the VM)…

Comm. Clottey asked the Town Attorney yet again what could or could not be done without a vote…and how we “could stop an overlay from coming back”…with Comm. Silverstone asking again of the Town Atty. if anyone could build to 44 ft. now…The Atty. tried to answers she looked over her paperwork…all seems again confused…and Comm. Clottey made a motion (motions are not allowed at workshops)…ending up with the Vice Mayor wanting the attorney to “see if the old overlay was illegal”…

The Mayor said we” preserve our beachfront”…”density does control the size of the building”…and a bedroom community would pass on the expenses…

A short break was taken…and after returning “buyer’s remorse” perhaps…or constituents voicing there displeasure…must have been behind Comm. Clottey asking the cost of the Vice Mayor’s direction into the past legality of the the overlay districts….the Atty. could not give her a answer..the VM wanted a “determination anyway”…and Comm. Dodd said to find out if it was legal or illegal was of concern more to see what could be enacted going forth…if we had legally disbanded a legal or illegal act….which would determine how it could be brought back…if desired…

Comm. Silverstone pointed out that he is already going over the budget and the Town Manger informed him we saved $200,000 in legal costs with the new firm last year…

BC- A look at the budget and previous posts will also show that the Town Manager often did the ordinances etc…without the Town Atty. causing them to go back quite a few times due to errors…costing time as well as money……and eventually that stopped …so we thought?…

Moving on to the referendum item introduced by Comm. Silverstone…to follow Deerfield Beach and require a vote for selling assets of the town..such as land and buildings above a certain amount…

The public spoke first with Diane Boutin making her points about “reinventing the wheel”…explaining what restricting such sales would cover…such as the sale of the water pipes top Ft. Laud. which netted the Town $350,000 last year …fire lanes, vacant run-down cul-de-sacs …..reminding the commission that the town is 98% built out…and to implore them not to continue to look back at prior commissions …engineers …to stop the witch hunt…also asking the size of Deerfield Beach compared to LBTS…and the need to look at today’s requirements…

BC- We hear the Mayor was quite shocked to see BTSTimes Editor/VFD & Town Photog/ 4th of July Coordinator Marc Furth pretend to put his finger down his throat as this constituent spoke!…

Maryann Wardlaw…spoke of needing to look back to not repeat it again…

Comm. Silverstone said there was a “misunderstanding”…and explained about the 1998 D.F. Beach Referendum to prevent the majority off the commission from abusing their power, to protect this town…Let the people decide he said…D. F. Beach has a $750,000 amount attached to their referendum…He (Silverstone) was thinking $250,000…but he said our Town Manager suggested $1 million…

Vice Mayor McIntee said a terrible problem arose with the past commission and the sale of the Shore Court cul-de-sac…(previous LBTS agenda/meeting cat.)…This is familiar to those who regularly watch the meetings…and at the time…then Town Atty. Cherof tried to set McIntee straight on the property and to shoot down some of his assertions of it giving residents a right to walk to the water…Last time this arose the previous Town Atty. Abbott was to check out the return of this land to the town…McIntee then for umpteenth time said “the cookies were in”…

Comm. Dodd asked if it only applied to sales…and that was affirmed ….

Comm. Clottey thought a million was to high and could accept $250,000 The Mayor said if people want this they should get the signatures and this should not be “railroaded through”…

The Vice Mayor said it revolves around a 5 letter word “trust”…again quite a few “guffaws” were heard in the hall….McIntee then went on to speak of past actions from the previous dais…

Comm. Silverstone said he had heard from people that were frustrated …wanting representation …”people want this”…he said…Comm/ Dodd brought up the Dixie Hwy. warehouse we still have not sold…and would this apply to that sale…There was discussion on taking it out of the equation…it being on the ballot…and Comm. Silverstone said he thought since it was not in town it didn’t count!..HUH?…

The special election was last on the agenda to decide…

This writer came to the podium to say I had heard the Capital Assets Referendum was not desired…and that what about buying properties…such ass the hotel and parking lots…and to use the referendum items as an election “tool”  for those running for office…Diane Boutin spoke of these times of “economic strife” …”the Town is a business that does not need to expend the money”  for a special election and to wait until March…and the claims repeatedly made throughout the evening of “only 3 people” on the dais changing things…were not just 3 people they were the constituents these 3 represented…adding businesses and renters also deserved representation…Cristie Furth said excellent examples were given …and spoke against the developers and use El Mar becoming 1 lane as an example…also talking of the points of beauty…vistas…not to have a special election…and touching on the warehouse sale…

BC- An interesting choice for Mrs. Furth to speak of 1 lane El Mar…due to the fact that even though it was a long held belief of the CIC that once the Oriana was finished with its last C.O. the million would go to return the 1 lane to 2 in front of the development……But it was Cristie Furth who said.. … never mind…we’ll keep it that way…YEP!…

Marie Chiarello said it best..when she said anytime you have 3 commissioners there will always be a couple of people who come to fight them..

Comm. Silverstone…who has noticeably lost his bearings …said “This election could be bought”…It was not necessary to have a special election …and he is for “public safety and protecting the town”…

BC- It was Comm. Silverstone who put forth the ordinance that passed to cut down the amount of money that could be donated to a candidate…HMMMM…

The Vice Mayor …said the motion had already been passed for the warehouse sale and it could be written by the Town Atty. that way…(The Town Atty. did not seem to agree with his interpretation)…McIntee was for the March election saying the items on the ballot could get people interested…

Comm. Clottey asked Comm. Silverstone for an exception to be included for property sold at market value…and Silverstone said those properties were grandfathered in…Asked by the Mayor for Nov. special election or March…Clottey said she  “could go either way.”…HUH?…

BC- We hear her constituents in the hall made it clear they did not want to spend money for the Nov. election shortly before this comment…they were bewildered by her response…

Comm. Dodd wanted to add the ethics (2-HATS)…and other issues of importance to the voters…He was in favor of March…

Mayor Minnet was also in favor of March 2010…having solid referendum items…and spoke of the Capital Assets Referendum wanting to do it proposing 100% and then deciding to take certain properties out….

Some brief comments were made by Comm. Silverstone and the Vice Mayor…and the meeting was adjourned…

So what can we expect…more and more revisionist history…and the need to “protect” us from the future commission!…

more to come….

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