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Here’s The Scoop….LBTS 2/10/09 Commission Meeting #5…Commissioner Comments…BC-Commentary…


Vice Mayor McIntee-” Um, it’s always a pleasure talking to the residents ah, we’ve had a heck of a couple of weeks ah, there was a huge drumbeat about a month ago about the pavilion being a disaster ah, woe and me, end of the earth is coming and most of it came from the same people that complained about Seagrape sidewalks and anybody goes down Seagrape now says “wow, this is beautiful’ and it really did a great job dressing the neighborhood up and now what I’m sensing is people who have been down in the pavilion are going over there looking at it as I did today, I go by everyday to look at it. And they’re saying “Wow, this is really neat.” I mean we had five tin huts that were garbage that were rusted and terrible colors and rotting and poor Arubas was maintaining them for a cost out of their pocket and now we got a beautiful pavilion going in there and it’s really beneficial.”

BC- Nice try to revise history VM…the problem with the pavilion was and is the Manager and/or staff made the decision on their own in April( prior to finding out in June that they did indeed have a Broward County extension to 10/09) for a pavilion with no walls-no bathrooms-no plumbing ready for bathrooms…while continuing to show a rendition different then the plans they provided to the contractor. ( Obvious with the $70 thousand dollar price difference from the bid) The problem VM- is the Manager and/or staff had ample opportunity and were obligated to bring forth the changes and ask for any change approval offering the Commission the opportunity to say yea or nay…The Problem VM- is the Architect is under the impression the pavilion did have the plumbing ready for future installation…while the contractor was told not to put it  in…by whom?…The problem VM- is not the outcome of the pavilion, it is the process of the pavilion being done without regard to the Commission, the businesses and the the taxpayers…

As far as Aruba and the 5 ugly, rotting  huts…this writer has had interaction with an Aruba representative wanting to keep those huts…complaining about the size of the pavilion and the timing of it’s installation.

Will all be happy with the result, maybe so, but the process was definitely done wrong!..

VM- ” Now one of the songs that I heard strong and clear was we need bathrooms. Ah, you know what I agree with that and I think we’ve got answer today and it will be coming out later. We’re gonna tell you where we can put the bathrooms. Where it will solve everybody’s problem and it’s the perfect location. And the idea came to me from Jerry Sehl and I give him credit for it. And I’ll be discussing it shortly.”

BC- The “perfect location” was brought out later when discussing New Business item g. the VM’s 2nd attempt although he was on the losing side to clause trouble for the Pier egress through that Oriana alleyway approved at the last meeting…This perfect location…not so perfect to many…including Oriana, which we have heard will be contacting the Town and perhaps legal counsel due to their residents not wanting bathrooms by their homes….also the point being raised in town…no lights during turtle season and an alley…mean great location for drug/ prostitution use…add to that the required ADA sizes would preclude this area…and at that later NB item…the Town Attorney said this was designated for roadway…beach access only…again the VM-“cut to the chase” does not fix what could  and should have been done at the pavilion as we DID have the time/money and ability to install bathrooms there…but now…we are stuck! Looks like El Prado may be the new location of any future public bathrooms…make sure you sign off until the very end…Commissioners…fair warning…(Did “hell freeze over?”…VM gave credit to someone?)

VM-“Ah, the Volunteer Fire Department in the near future is buying a fire engine ah, to have pieces of equipment and ah what I’m very happy to announce is they’re paying for it themselves. They aren’t asking for one dollar from anyone in this audience. They already paid for it as a matter of fact. It’s being shipped March 1st and not one penny was asked for by the taxpayers. That’s the commitment your Volunteer Fire Department has given this town. They’re taking their own funds out of their own pocket and they’re , they’re showing their love and trust to the community.”

BC- Where to start?..In one sentence the VM says they are buying the truck…next they bought it and it’s coming 3/1!  Who was the VFD member who negotiated this deal?  The Deputy Chief? (a problem of ethics, again?)…In the Dec. VFD minutes (the last “minutes” allowed to be obtained, awaiting VFD Atty. info to affirm)…” Discussion to purchase new fire truck, town may match”…ALERT TAXPAYERS- previously the Town Manager was adamant on her position that the Town owns all public safety equipment..which we saw when she insisted the Town pay for the previous McIntee “find” of the near Buffalo N.Y.of a fire truck…so without Town/Commission input on the purchase, and who negotiated it…will  Mgr.Colon again want the Town to foot the bill?…This “status quo” is the reason this writer says no private corporation should hold the town hostage in their employment and actions…

VM- “Ah, the Mayor mentioned she was on the ATV the other day. We rode the , together it was, it was  pretty enjoyable it was a cold day but ah, we stopped a lot citizens from up north on the beach and quite frankly the ATVs are a tremendous success. People love the idea of somebody being out there on the beach just in case. Ah, we started a program of passing out suckers to the kids and adults and now when you go down the beach on a busy day you got to look behind you because there’s ten kids chasing the ATVs. We went through ah, eleven thousand suckers or something outrageous figure but it’s, it’s a public relations thing that the kids all love and they look forward to it. But the GPS systems keep track of the ATVs ah, if they leave the barn over here every single foot is measured on a computer map,directions of travel back, speeds everything so there’s no hot dogging on the. The only time they’re allowed to go over twenty miles per hour if there’s an emergency on the beach and they have to get there. ”

BC- TIME LIMITS…need to be imposed…RESTRICTIONS to Town business…as a Commissioner ONLY…”2-HATS”…seem to equal “4-TIMES” the speaking time of all the Commissioners at comment time!…and there’s more….

VM-“Ah, that’s worked tremendously, the public safety complex had a fire the other night. It’s time everybody moved out of those buildings. It was a miracle that ah, it did not ah, get a lot worse than it was. The box in the police station went bad at 2 o’clock in the morning and it’s a scary thought to think that you’re going to a fire and you know in the back of your mind you can’t get the fire engines out of the hall. You guys say what are you talking about. They’re electric doors on the fire engines. When the power went down we couldn’t open the doors electrically. So we had to send guys inside to manually open em, we got em all out, the fire was suppressed in rapid success and we really didn’t do much, turn the power off the fires actually burned itself out. But there was a lot of smoke. Again the response was there and, and ah, last weekend eleven people took a test to become certified firefighters all local fireman that want to participate. We’re getting one and two walk-ins a month now. Local people want to join the fire department. We recommend all of you do it.”

BC- According to the VFD Press release…(the Incident Report has not yet been received by the Commission)..The VM/DC McIntee was the first to arrive…HUH?…and the VM comments about “It’s time everybody moved out of that building”…well that building is Jarvs Hall…and the staff is to move into the BSO police area and old VFD area after the transition to the new Public Safety Complex…If the VM is correct…maybe the Commission/Administration was too quick to invest in the new facility and should have seen about “staging” the staff until a new complex could be erected…per a vote of the residents…This writer has heard that it was a faulty wiring job…in the electric box…and the electrician was at fault…the VFD garage has been manually opened before in times of a hurricane with no great effort…and if there were 11 FF who took the test…they each will receive $ 1000 dollars for just taking the FF exam per the 9/08 VFD minutes motion made by McIntee and 2nd by McGirr…passed with 1 opposed….($11 thousand total)…

VM-” Ah, I’m got hit pretty heavy on the ah, on the ah, public comments ah, ah, I have to take that. I’m a town Commissioner ah, I’m one of the guys that went after developers and I’m gonna continue to go after developers ah, I, I don’t see eye to eye on anybody doing anything that isn’t above board and I go right after it. Ah, I’ve been accused of a  lot of things and one of the speakers asked me why, why doesn’t he want to talk, why doesn’t he want to do that? I’ll tell you frankly folks, ah one of those brothers. As a mother of three kids and a grandmother of five and a schoolteacher of thirty four years called that woman a “Cockroach” that was my wife. Now you can call me all the names you want, but when you call my wife a “Cockroach” you have created a new low. Now I will do my duty, I will be honest, I will be fair but I just found that unacceptable. You can call me anything you want but don’t call my wife a name like that. She’s a hell of a mother , a hell of a grandmother and it hurt. So that may be one of the reasons I, I look so carefully at violations in this town.I just felt that was way out of line.”

BC-FOLKS…decipher through all of this “slop”for  yourselves…This from the “slap BC’ site- couple…as for the rest of his “declarations…”that  isn’t above board and I go right after it…”…HMMM…Town Manager/pavilion/VFD etc….and his “Cockroach” remark time line used  for his assertions of his looking for violations…way off the mark!…

BC-A move in order?…..Heard in Boca Raton …. they call them “Palmetto Bugs!”….


VM-“I’m gonna continue to fight for this town. I’m gonna continue to be out there. I enjoy the people, I enjoy the, the enthusiasm. The tennis guys were the best. I mean it was, it worked. The system worked and when the system works we get things done. This meeting’s going great tonight cause everybody’s holding their own and going forth, so I yield.”

Mayor Minnet….online at her site….

Good evening and welcome everyone here and at home.

I received a letter from Broward County Vice Mayor Ken Keechl and it is a wonderful surprise and I cannot wait to share this with everyone. I did call the Town Manager and informed her of this letter. It reads as follows:

“Dear Mayor Minnet:

Recently, I had the opportunity to stop by your Town’s Welcome Center. I was pleased and surprised to learn that your Welcome Center is a benefit to all of the coastal cities within our district and throughout Broward County.

Subsequently, I set up a meeting with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center Director, Nicki Grossman to find out whether she would agree to supplement the necessary operating funds for the Welcome Center since it provides an important county-wide function.

I am thrilled to advise that Ms. Grossman agreed to a one time supplemental check of $20,000.00, which I would like to present to your Commission as soon as possible!

I am truly honored to be your County Commissioner.
Ken Keechl
Vice Mayor, Broward County
County Commissioner, District 4″

Needless to say, we are all very grateful for this recognition by Vice Mayor Keechl.

I want to thank the Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Women’s Club for a most enjoyable tea on Saturday. Thank you to all the wonderful ladies of the LBTS Women’s Club for all they do for our community. This is a most worthwhile organization to belong to and I urge everyone to get involved.

I also want to thank Vice Mayor McIntee for a wonderful tour of LBTS on the ATV. It was cold, but it was a great experience.

I want to remind everyone again to use the Pelican Hopper. It’s free and you can take a tour of our town. Just flag them down and they’ll stop for you.

I attended a Mayor’s breakfast sponsored by Congressman Ron Klein at the Broward Governmental Center. It was most informative and I know staff is working with the Congressman’s office to identify projects that would qualify for the stimulus package.

I also attended the meeting last week with staff and ISO. Commissioner Silverstone was also in attendance. I am pleased to know they are here and look forward to their report.

Thank you to all of you here this evening and also for those at home listening. I wish you all a very special and happy Valentine’s Day.

Commissioner Clottey-Spoke of the Public Safety building…and a need for more hanidcapped parking near Commercial & Bougainvilla…Town staff looking into it…on the pavilion” That I think is going to be a source of pride for our community. I do disagree with the Vice mayor. I think that many people who, this is not the project that they picked. I’ve got to say yes it’s pretty, but this other one might have looked better. That’s human nature and I acknowledge that but, I think that you will be , eventually come to the point that this building will look quite nice.”…She spoke of short term rental problems again in residential areas imploring residents to register complaints for any investigation to take place…

BC-And then Comm. Clottey really let it all hang out…

CC-” One issue that I have a problem with and I think others probably on this Commission have is that there have been a lot of private deals done. Kind of a handshake  ah, property giveaways improvements to private property and this administration goes back and they kind of don’t look right. Things are missing and this raises ah, red flags and little things like that. I know this Commission has tried to do is, try not to go along with these handshake good old boy type deals. Ah, take from Peter to pay Paul. I don’t think that it is good. I don’t think that a Commission sitting up here should be authorizing public expenditures, taxpayer money for improvements on private property. I don’t think that is right. If someone in Town Administration promised it with a handshake or however they promised it. I’m not going to vote to support that. Because we should not be using taxpayer dollars to improve your property otherwise anybody could come up here and say I need a driveway improved. I need my roof improved. Let’s pay everybody. Why should we pay for just a few to happen to have an in at a particular time?”

BC- WOW!…CAN OF WORMS?..This was in reference to New Business item 16 a. Leisure Towers trying to get the last $3900 reimbursement for the fence promised to them in a letter dated 3/03 from then Asst. Town Mgr. Laura Ward…put off for the last year by the CURRENT Administration…NEVER put before the Commission to decide…to honor or not honor the Town letter from 2003…for a whole year!…If there has been “deals” going on prior to Town Manager Colon  being Town Manager…she certainly should have been aware…after all she was the  longtime Finance Director/Asst. Town Manager/Interim Town Manager…and IF she was aware and did not reveal such actions…that would be the biggest “cover-up” going on…in this writer’s humble opinion…

CC-” finished up by disapproving of a public comment from the “tennis guy” for a “bike night” in town…saying…there would be e-mails and phone calls…because in her opinion “Most people in this community don’t want to give a Daytona Beach type image to, I believe at least, our little town.”…telling residents who don’t want to see this on the agenda to call/e-mail their Commissioners…she also spoke of the Chamber Welcome Center who received $20 thousand from Broward County (letter above in Mayor Minnet’s comments)…saying the Chamber should see if it could be annual and not a 1 time offer…relaying her thoughts on the excellent job the Chamber does…while saying she was put off a while back when a businessman from Pompano Beach came to speak for LBTS to support the Chamber to help his business outside of town limits…saying it “didn’t sit right” with her…

Commissioner Silverstone- first tried to straighten out the 2/24 Commission meeting-Taste of the Beach conflict…same night…but after going back and forth…it was not finalized…leaving the 2/24/09 meeting as is…starting at 7 pm….Taste of the Beach will be at the same time in El Prado ….getting back to his comments which he said would be short …he thanked the Chamber and Taste of the Beach touting their great job and getting people together…the went on…. “Um. thank the tennis group, I think they did a great job of demonstrating how it works getting people together and forming consensus bring back ideas to us working it out and getting it done. That’s the way it needs to happen with a lot of things up here.”…He spoke of  the 20 pounds he still needs to lose and the weight loss through sweat  he would have from continuing on with the Sat. morning basketball coaching…and ” Um, I wish the tempers would kind of settle down. It’s um, but I don’t have an any answer for that. I just hope that sometime in the near future we could have,resolve our issues and kind of move on. A proactive stance. But ah, for some reason maybe it’s just the way this town is, people. Because it’s so small people have the ability that one person can make a difference and people, I guess it’s a good thing that people pay attention to what’s going on here. But, it ah, gets unsettling sometimes,um, I’ll leave it at that, I’ve, I rest.”

BC…NORM CROSBY…remember Norm Crosby?….That’s who Comm. Silverstone reminds this writer of every time he speaks on the dais….

Comm. Dodd….

Commissioners Comments
Just a few notes today –  Firstly – It’s been a whole year and what a trip its been.  I have to admit I was very naive and initially thought it would be five of us up here working together.  We would have meetings and all get along since we were supposed to be on the same side.  Didn’t quite happen like that did it.  I look forward to next year and going forward having learned from the mistakes I have made.  Yes I admit to some. While not wishing to micro manager the town manager I will insist on a final signing off on plans, projects so there is no possibility of confusion.   Our job up here is to ensure the town is run efficiently and to serve the people.  If I find that 2 + 2 doesn’t quite add up to 4 – I will continue to ask difficult questions and when necessary do my own research in order to get to the truth.
When mistakes are made – fess up, learn and move forwards – tell the whole story. Everyone has the right to answers – public information is the tool you have to get to the truth and I will not allow it to be suppressed.  I believe in the right of free speech and all your rights to come before this commission to give us your opinion.  I believe it’s your right to address us by name. It is also your right to criticize us (without being insulting) if you don’t think we are doing our job.  Just as I criticized the previous commission sometimes unjustly I now realize and its up to you and your right to criticize me.  I can assure you it is far more effective not to name individual commissioners since the facts will spell out the names for you.  I’m prepared to be held accountable and do my job and if you don’t like the way I’m doing it then I am prepared to take the heat- come up here and criticize me.
Many thanks to the commissioners for the productive “Round table” – hopefully we can all use it as a way forward to solve some of our problems.
A resident gave me a wonderful idea so I can positively claim it isn’t mine – Why don’t we go for a grant for the  Terra Mar bridge repair?  That strikes me as the perfect municipal project needing some of the 16 billion dollars that is headed in the direction of Florida.  As a town we could justifiably support matching funds for this infrastructure repair.  We will have to do it sometime so I personally would like to instruct the town staff  to send in an application immediately.
A few for Ester in her manager’s comments – I was told that the Dixie Highway property was empty – can you please confirm this and outline what aggressive steps are being taken to sell the property.  Second one – The Comcast box on Washingtonia – did the bill come to $10,000  which struck me an enormous sum to move a Comcast box if so can we ask for a detailed breakdown and lastly – the recent audit for $31,000 – is there any conclusion other than you are doing a wonderful job and not running away with all the town’s money?  Just joking.  Seriously we have crossed swords but maybe it’s my English sense of humor, inability to dance  and two left feet that have caused a few differences of opinion. Hopefully this next 12 months will be more constructive as we learn to work together.
Another one from a resident – why not use the old Max groves sign as an advert and sign for our parking lot – that’s worth a follow up
The Roberts rules – I personally felt it is wrong to restrict the people who vote “no” on an agenda item from bringing it up again.  It was clearly intended to stop the loosing side from piling all the items back on the next agenda.  Once that has been said I feel it important not to restrict ourselves if we have further information, ideas or concerns not previously expressed on an item.  It makes a mockery of it if a commissioner is required to disguise the issue with the invention of a round-about description to bring the discussion back to the original issue.  I believe once we realize the reason for the rules it is up to us to decide if we choose to apply them.  Vice Mayor  has the Orianna back on the agenda and I respect that  – just as I hope he will not object to my putting the North Tradewinds back on the agenda and take the benefits of my brief comments.

more to come……..

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