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Here’s The Scoop…Special Emergency Meeting 9/9/08

WHAT YEAR IS THIS?…WHAT COMMISSION IS THIS?….

The Sentinel reported online of a Meeting taking place in LBTS to talk of a lawsuit against BSO for failure to reply and establish dispatch service to the VFD/AMR for the Oct. 1st changeover….quotes were included from the Vice Mayor…previous post….

Three members of the dais were unaware of the lawsuit being the topic of this meeting called by the Vice Mayor….seconded by phone yesterday by Comm. Clottey…the second person called by the Town Manager…as required to convene a special meeting…

Approximately 6:45 pm this writer entered Jarvis Hall to find the Mayor in conversation with two Representatives from the BSO…the Communications Director and the Communications Manager…

Asked about the lawsuit…she was unaware and thought the meeting would be canceled due to the BSO informing the Town that the dispatch situation was on track….

Steve d’Oliveira walked by and this writer inquired about who would be the contact person for the Sentinel for any Town press….He replied it would be him…he further replied that he had sent out press releases in the morning to give notice of the special meeting…just saying it was to address dispatch for EMS…nothing about a lawsuit….he too did not know about any lawsuit until the meeting…

CBS news was there with a cameraman…when asked why he was there he said he was to cover a possible lawsuit and they have their ways of finding these things out…first he said from the Miami Herald and then corrected himself and said the Sentinel…the residents in the audience laughed…thinking they all knew who must have contacted them…..

UPDATE…not on the 11 pm CBS newscast….

The meeting was called to order and so began the flashback to the contentious Commission meetings of old….

Welcome back to the September Sideshow…all on tape online…on cable and on CBS news….

The Mayor wanted to do her own “cut to the chase” this evening…and bring up the BSO to address the dais and the residents…to assure them all was in order and the dispatch service would be in place for the transition….

The Vice Mayor did what the Vice Mayor always does…grandstanded…rightly or wrongly…he called the meeting and he wanted to have his say….

Perhaps the Mayor…knowing this and being a bit out of practice due to the August recess …forgot what has worked well in her favor….letting the Vice Mayor grandstand…..

Unfortunately her reaction…did not play well and grew worse as the evening wore on…making them even in the eyes of those watching this spectacle…

The Vice Mayor won out…and did carry on in his “detective” style manner…reading off an opening statement and a time line of the potential for dire consequences for LBTS as a result of the BSO not responding to letters and a need to coordinate the dispatch services with the VFD and AMR over the last months…

He turned it over to the Town Attorney…who let it all drop with a thud…. with a less than assertive response that he did not have the time line…and was not personally involved in all the steps….again to the “best of his recollection”…he responded that the real problem with BSO dispatch was not the VFD …but AMR …pressed by McIntee he did respond that he had concerns over ” no hard commitment” from BSO and their Reps who asserted that decisions made on the situation were above their pay grade….he went on to say he had private assurances that the Sheriff recognized the Oct. 1st date…..

Mr Abbott discussed what took place the evening before…in conversations he had with the Town Manager and the Vice Mayor…although certain”details were over my head”…he said..he knew they both had concerns of how critical this had become …. to discuss legal options…

BCbythesea…is this the same Vice Mayor that “reemed” his fellow Commissioners on calling the Town Attorney without running it by the Commission first a few months back citing the $190 hour cost?….

The Vice Mayor went back to the letters…the time line…. the lack of response from BSO for over a month with a letter sent by the Town Attorney on August 5th….with a second letter sent on Sept. 4th…

Tuesday morning (9/9/08) the Town Attorney said he was in receipt of a letter dated Sept. 1st…postmarked Sept.5th or 6th…and also received a fax of the same Sept. 1st letter from BSO Police Chief Scott Gooding…giving the BSO the benefit of the doubt that the Sept. 4th letter from the Mr Abbott was not answered …due to the timing of the letters…

Before the letter came Mr Abbott was in the process of drafting letters to sent to both the BSO and the County….

Mr Abbott also contacted AMR /Mr Little…who responded he was assured by the BSO letter…similar attempts by Mr Abbott to the VFD were unsuccessful…

The Mayor again let her guard down and threw out an unflattering remark to the Vice Mayor…asking him if he was through with his dissertation…YIKES!…

Commissioners commented….

Commissioner Silverstone talked of the advance time needed for the transfer…the time for VFD to get “up to snuff” and the delay possibly effecting the cost of purchasing radios…leaving the VFD unable to get the best price….adding this was supposed to start on Sept. 15th…he went on to say originally when he heard the Sheriff had responded …he thought the meeting should canceled until he reconsidered…that idea…due to the “culture” of the BSO…

Commissioner Dodd…was concerned with the Town Attorney’s statement the the BSO “seem to make promises”…and went on to discuss going up the chain of command to the Sheriff…Senators…the Governor about the risk being put on our residents…he went on to talk of an “overlap” period of the outgoing providers working with the incoming …

Commissioner Clottey…agreed with the Commissioners and expressed concern over Sheriff Lamberti in an election year letting this transpire…

Mayor Minnet…said she wanted to remind all she was on record saying that a transfer of dispatch service would be a problem after her visit to the BSO dispatch center…she was disappointed in the blame being put squarely on the BSO …that it was being “orchestrated by others”…. she again tried to bring the BSO to the podium and again was thwarted by the Vice Mayor taking umbridge with her comments… wanting a second opportunity to speak…in a true “Parker-McIntee” flashback moment of back and forth…a vote was called to allow McIntee to speak…passing 5-0…

The Vice Mayor told the Mayor she was wrong about the transition being difficult…the he contradicted Commissioner Silverstone by saying the radios were already in their possession and needed the codes changed…he went on to say he sat in on the meetings…

BCbythesea…Was the Vice Mayor made liaison by the Town and the VFD/AMR to sit in these meetings?…Is this something that will yet again be brought to the attention of the Ethics Board?…Will the Futures be making a request for information?….

The Town Manager was actually the one who really did “cut to the chase” this evening….by indicating a meeting would take place Wed. morning to begin the transition…HOORAY!….

BCbythesea…note to Mayor…next time….let the Town Manager go first!…..

Finally the BSO stepped forward…and the Communications Reps did what they were supposed to…they smoothed the feathers…walked through the time line…in a sharply contrasted manner …heard from some on the dais…so that whether they were truthful or not…they were believable to those not on either end of the warring factions…

Major Burrick talked of miscommunication with the requirements for AMR…and what would be done due to AMR being a private company with no precedent for this kind of BSO service …requiring departments to get involved…with the legal issues etc…he went on to talk of lots of e-mails and calls with the Town Manager…being involved the entire time…

Again even if the content was not 100%…the presentation after the sideshow prevalent on the dais went a long way for the BSO…..

He added that the radios were returned to the VFD …

BCbythesea…so what is it with the radios?…..

Major Burwick went on to keep assuring a smooth transition…responded in agreement with the Vice Mayor on the transfer not being a problem…

Again the Commission had their say….

Vice Mayor McIntee talked of the July lack of response…the desire for August to “get up to snuff”…

Commissioner Clottey spoke to the Dispatch Manager about Bel Air and problems with that section of town…

The Town Manager again added the most insight by discussing the radios being up and running…protocols being put in place…which were documented in an e-mail this day…

BCbythesea….This meeting could have been over in 5 minutes if the Town Manager spoke first…really!…

Commissioner Silverstone inquired about having the assurances in writing…a legal document…

The Town Manager said she thought an inter-local agreement was already in place…and the above mentioned protocol document could include a sentence including AMR….

The Town attorney said formal inter-local agreements were not usual with municipalities…but added a proposed agreement could be enacted…

BSO said the Town Attorney was correct…but offered any legal documents could be prepared ….between the lawyers…

Commissioner Dodd asked for assurances there would be no delays…no political problems…

BSO responded there would be none…

The Mayor thanked the BSO…for coming…for their service to the Town…and asked all to work together…with talk of a “splintered society”…being “disappointed to see what is happening”…

One resident came to the podium to speak…saying this was a total waste of taxpayer money and time…

Thank yous were made…adjourned…

BCbythesea…much discussion took place after the meeting…on the meeting convening with the knowledge of a meeting to take place Wed. morning….the letter received…assurances being made and accepted by the Town Attorney and AMR….

The crowd was divided…those who agreed with the resident at the podium…it was a waste of time …those who felt it was required …to assure the meeting would take place the next morning and the Town meant business….and those who felt it should have taken place …but without the sideshow on and off the dais….

more to come….

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