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Here’s The Scoop…BTSFutures Is Out…..Bert J. Harris Front And Center…

JUNE 5, 2009….

http://www.bytheseafuture.org/

The BTSFuture is out…and again, judging by their growing number of ads…their advertisers clearly think this is the paper of choice in LBTS…(full disclosure this site is on board coming to the same conclusion)….

This issue has Congressman Ron Klein, Mayor Minnet and Chamber President Paul Novak on the cover…

Front and center the Bert J. Harris lawsuits that have come to fruition…(as this paper repeatedly said they would) …3 years after the height referendum…from 4 properties in the north end of town…with a purported 5th to file separately (previous scoops post)… Future Editor Mark Brown is very concerned about the legal costs, especially with the change in terms the Town has chosen to continue to follow to employ our current law firm …We have no retainer…which was originally decided on because of some trepidation on the part of two Commissioners  ( Dood and Clottey) when the firm was hired… Editor Mark Brown previously wrote an editorial advising the Town to put out another RFP as their first year was coming to an end. He stated  Weiss, Serota could submit again for consideration. It fell on deaf ears and here we are today with VM McIntee and Town Manager Colon trying to do a “song and dance” of how much we have saved…(previously posted 5/26-27/09 Comm. meeting)…Apparently some thought the Florida League of Cities might be able to take this on …But according to the paper Town Manager Colon informed the Town ” I have been notified by the Florida League of Cities Insurance Trust that they will not be able to provide coverage or assist the Town with the (4 BJH claims) “…advising the Town to use “counsel of the Town’s own choosing”….Right now it looks like the Town is choosing our Town law firm…and the 2 attorneys we have seen on the dais…Dan Abbott and Susan Trevarthen…

BC- The combination brings forth some trepidation on the part of this writer…due to Mr Abbott’s previous representation on 2 cases in Hollywood…The first was former Hollywood Comm. Wasserstrom…previously posted when I wrote of my concerns when Mr. Abbott was approved by the dais…The second was a recent case where a case was not settled for $75,000 on the advice of counsel Abbott…according to the newspaper article, the town was left at the end of the day with an award to the plaintiff  in the millions…

I also questioned and posted many actions that were unsettling in this writer’s opinion…including the removal of the Town’s declaratory action not too long ago…as stated in the Plaintiff’s court documents…(previously posted)…’Shortly after the new Town Atty. ( Dan Abbott) took office, the Town voluntarily dismissed the Town’s Amended Complaint on June 9, 2008 and the Court entered in a Final Order of Dismissal of the Town’s Declaratory Action on June 11,2008’….

Atty. Trevarthen, we were told is an expert in land -use cases and that was why she was to take over…but again in this writer’s opinion her counsel on the dais has been “hit or miss”…although I will add one caveat, that perhaps due to no retainer being in place she may have been precluded from researching items as would be the case if that retainer was  in place….Also, Ms. Trevarthen has been noticeably gun-shy in answering any questions from this writer…informally or formally…..The fact that the first “shade session” for the Commissioners is set for a day after a legal response filing is due is hard to understand, it seems to me the meeting should have been held before the deadline to respond…HMMM….

Some other causes for concern come from who is representing the plaintiffs…Ruden McClosky (link previously posted)…a “top land-use” law firm in Florida says the Future’s….. At the  meeting where Weiss, Serota  were “handpicked” and installed in their position by the Town Manager…It was revealed that Weiss Serota was a firm that believes and fights for eminent domain…which at the time caused this writer to question the strong backing by the new Vice Mayor and his BFF Comm. Silverstone…So how that comes into play will be quite interesting to say the least…(Remember there is always the “Vested Rights” safety net )…Editor Brown reveals even more bad news with dropping yet another “bomb”..” ByTheSeaFuture has learned that at least three or four more properties are in the process of researching their legal rights and may file additional lawsuits against the town shortly.”…YIKES!…

BC-Now we can spend a lot of time going back and forth with theory and opinion, on what does and does not constitute an inordinate burden placed on the property owners…but in the end…it will come down to this…the law and what a jury decides after they are presented with all the facts by both sides. They will then be allowed to deliberate within certain set guidelines to make that decision as directed by the judge…That is if it gets that far…which it most likely will not…Why not? Precisely because of what I just stated and the gamble it will be to the Town……Most likely it will be settled out of court…but not without a large cost…depending on the time frame leading up to some agreement and if the recovery of legal fees is dropped as part of the agreement…

The BTSFutures and this site will keep on top of it all…without the 2006 &2010 Mc-Furth campaign “spin”…

Also included in this issue is a variety of topics…the first recipient of USO LBTS weekend vacation for military service men and women…a wonderful way to give back and support our troops…Contact Ms. Geesey or the LBTS Chamber to contribute to this wonderful cause…this writer did!…

Inside is  the explosive editorial by Mark Brown calling on the VFD to fire their Deputy Chief, Vice Mayor Jerry McIntee “spot on” on all points made……Editor Cindy Geesey ‘s “cautionary tale” of  “seduction in a Small Town”……(the Truth Detector must have been up late after reading both!)….In “letter & Viewpoints”…The President of the Ocean Bay Club Condo takes the Town Manger to “task “for the “substantially lower price” she said would be paid with the change in trash service vendors…finding what he calls “voodoo economics”…Resident  Vito Chiarello writes of Bert J. Harris and what a “deal” should mean…Resident and Future Photog. Sunny Eckhardt  writes in disgust of what she witnesses on the dais from the “gang of 3” saying it’s time to “Throw The Bums Out”……The Commission meeting is covered of course …in the rundown of the Commissioner’s votes…the synopsis of the meeting…and an article on the vacation rentals…Mayor Minnet comments…Dr. Most writes of “Zero-Base Budgeting”…Congressman Klein’s visit is covered including a snafu for the Vice Mayor/Dep. Chief …who is caught using the much talked about “pedestrian only beach access” to the beach by Oriana to enter the beach with the Congressman…OOPS!…A Calypso update…Tax Values…Lenore-Nolan Ryan (Mangoes)…Doc Lawrence…(Remembering Dad)….A1A Scenic Highway coverage…articles that positively acknowledge local businesses…( how refreshing!) and much, much  more…

Pick up your copy …

more to come…

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