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Here’s The Scoop … The First Room …

November 17, 2009 by Barbara

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO …

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LBTS CANDIDATES: SCOT SASSER (north)/CHRIS VINCENT (south)

Dear Readers… The  newly selected candidates were standing together in the first of many rooms they will stand in front of after being vetted and selected to run for the Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission in March 2010…. It was really something to witness….and this writer was warmly welcomed by the Unite Our Town board and its supporters to join in on this very important decision making meeting for the people in this room and the residents of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea… Whether new to the political scene or a battered and beaten from years of seeing the upper hand go to those doing so much wrong, it did not matter this evening…because standing in front of them was the future…the light at the end of the tunnel whether counted by months, days or local newspaper issues…(6)….it is very definitely within reach!…

The room was full and the faces were both familiar and new…. But the conversation was the same one we have been hearing for quite some time now… in the north, and in the south , inside and outside Jarvis Hall, in condos and in homes,  growing louder and expanding at record speed, that it’s time to get this town back on track…McIntee and Silverstone must go … and March 9, 2010 is the day to make that happen!…

The first order of new business in this room was to hear one more time from the 5 candidates…(Candidate Beverly Kennedy withdrew the week before)… Chair of UOT Bob Fleishman introduced each…starting in the north with Edmund Malkoon….

Edmund Malkoon said he would try and keep it short. “Over the past two and a half months since I became an officially registered candidate, I have had many opportunities to speak and answer questions. I have also had the pleasure of going door to door to discuss issues with many of you personally. I feel you already know who I am and what I stand for.” He thanked a few people who continuously encouraged and advised him as well as those who have financially contributed to his campaign and who have expressed a willingness to do so.He went on to say…”I especially want to address a fine group of men. I am honored to have gotten to know you and to now be able to call you my friends. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of potential candidates. To put yourself on the line for the betterment of our town and community is very commendable. You are intelligent, informed, and eloquent. Truly a class act. I have to say you made me a better candidate by being associated with you. You will continue to have my friendship and my support always, as I know I will have yours.”…He ended by saying …”Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Unite our Town can always count on me.”

Scot Sasser said “First let me thank each of you for your support thus far and ask for your support tonight and in the coming months as we launch the winning game plan to unseat those who have clearly taken us down the wrong path. Very quickly, and for clarity, I want to recap my position so that you will know where I stand on the issues at hand:I want to keep the height limits exactly where they are today. We have voted on this issue 3 times already. I want to create an unbiased Public Safety Oversight Board. I support our VFD but will utilize the Public Safety Oversight Board to ensure they get the proper support and training they need to continue to strive to get better.The Public Safety Oversight Board can also be utilized to ensure we have the very best EMS possible. Accountability of public officials and staff to the people of this town is paramount. No more unilateral decisions or firing of key officials without open communication. More diligence done on the dais before making financial decisions. Let’s make sure our financial decisions are made after proper vetting, not blind trust. Cooperation with local businesses to ensure they have the proper support for a vibrant downtown contributing greatly to our quality of life.

We need to ensure that the information disseminated on public projects is correct so proper decisions can be made. No more misinformation like the El Mar beautification project. Bring back integrity, transparency, dignity and efficiency to the dais through mutual respect and cooperation. Provide a voice for the people rather than making decisions based on personal agendas and vendettas This election is one of the most critical in our town history. We cannot face another 4 years like the last. We are at a crossroads. Many critical decisions will be made in the coming year alone that will determine our very survival. We must make the right decisions together and in unity. The journey begins here and now. I trust your wisdom tonight and in the future”

Ben Freeny said thank you to Louie and Spiro for hosting the fundraiser and thanked to all the volunteers that put it all together. He spoke of what a great opportunity it was to get to spend some time with friends and neighbors.He followed by recounting the following…”I may have told this story before, but it’s worth telling again. A number of years ago, I had a series of conversations with Laura Ward about our town government. She seemed at the time to be the only accessible person with any knowledge.I asked her what she believed to be the most valuable asset to bring to the table as a commissioner.Without batting an eye, she said honesty. I was surprised that honesty would be the most important asset to have. I thought some technical expertise or prior life experience would be of great value” He went on sum up what her words up to meant to him… “honest intent of the heart.”He explained by saying …”You see, when I sit in the commission meetings, I wonder what is the intent behind the discussion and action taking place on the dais and is their intent the same thing as what they are speaking? Much of the time it is clouded in rhetoric, how great the VFD is doing or what an excellent town manager we have.On one side we have a bully proclaiming the beneficence of his causes, On the other side we have a follower that claps and whistles in support. ditto is his catch phrase.What is behind all of this fluff and hot air, whoopla and self aggrandizement.” He said he what he wants to see through to the town business at hand and to understand why a commissioner is voting the way he is voting. In the end, the commissioner will vote one way or the other, the important thing is that I understand why he is voting that way. He went on to speak wanting transparency in the governing of our town, Honesty in intent, no secret agendas, no back room fire truck purchases.”..”And being transparent is what honesty really is from the standpoint of governing the town.Our common goal in this next election is to put two new commissioners in place.Commissioners that we know will be open and transparent with regards to town business.Commissioners that we know will address town business and get things done. Commissioners that we know are fulfilling our desire for transparency in government Commissioners that act with honest intent.” He concluded by saying …”We have a big job ahead of us, there is lots of work to be done. Lets get to work.”

John Oughten started off with a laugh when he said there was no need for him to use the mike…He “thanked the group collectively for their support and vigor” and said most importantly this process afforded him the opportunity to meet new neighbors and friends and he thanked the UOT board. He went on to say most feel the same about what needs to be done to improve the town and reiterated his concerns for more  than the financial and fiscal restraints he see, but the infrastructure not attended to and the fallout from ignoring it to come as a tax hit to us all in the future. He was still at a loss to understand the Town Manager’s decisions on pre-payment loans and having 17 separate bank accounts all in one bank…Mr Oughten has experience in such matters, and thus far has received no reply from the current administration to alleviate any of those concerns…He spoke of the height referendum, and his belief it is ill times and ill conceived to forge ahead while we are facing lawsuits in the north, and passage of  a the lowered 33′ foot maximum townwide height limit as is being pushed by the majority on the dais will open us up for more such suit in the south from hotels and motels finding themselves unable to build to be viable. He spoke also about the VFD responding well, but the need for new leadership …reiterating “McIntee and Silverstone must go!”

Chris Vincent finished up and produced a laugh with recalling how in school having his last name produced the same result, going last…He said he would repeat what his fellow candidates said, agreeing with the sentiments of them all……He went on to say …”The last few months have been very busy.  I have spoken to so many residents within our community and the consensus is we need to see new faces on the dais come March. What I have learned is that the community feels we have lost our way as a town and they do not trust that we are heading in the right direction.  I agree.  We need to change paths and have a fresh start.  This is going to happen. Accountability We need to affirm the importance of working together.We all know what the biggest issues are.  We can not continue to divert attention away from the issues on the dais. Be a part of the solution and not the problem. Get on the same page in this town.”…He said  “there a couple of gentlemen patting themselves as crusaders of the town, those caped crusaders got to go!”…

Bob Fleishman introduced board member Chuck Clark who told the supporters in the room that it was time to get down to the “nitty gritty” and spoke of the “plethora of good candidates”…adding that these candidates all agreed to support the candidates chosen … We were told that this was a difficult decision to make because of the quality and quantity of candidates coming forward. In the end, after much discussion of the candidates, the perceived opponents and THIS election, the two candidates recommended to the UOT supporters were from the south, Chris Vincent and from the north, Scot Sasser…Chuck Clark asked for an acclamation from the supporters present saying “All in favor”….. producing a loud thunderous cry of “AYE” from every corner of the room…A call for any “nays” produced none!… The acclamation was followed by a long standing ovation…

Bob Fleishman asked the new candidates up to speak ….

Candidate Scot Sasser …
He first acknowledged, praised and thanked Edmund Malkoon….He then went on to deliver his speech….

“Thank you for your trust, support and faith in me, and my family. Let me ensure you that we will each give 110% in winning this most critical election for you and our town. We realize the importance of what lies ahead. We do this not for any personal gain but to ensure the prosperity of our future, as a town, and the generations to come. Because you have chosen to live here we will win. Because you have chosen to work here, we will win. Because you have chosen to retire here, we will win. Because you care, we will win.

As I stated earlier this evening, the journey begins tonight. Though the stakes are high and the issues are many our focus will be myopic and our solution simple. It really comes down to integrity, honesty, trust, transparency and accountability in our town government. While the current sentiment is that the people don’t understand the issues and need to be led I will, in contrast, trust the people to make the right decisions and instead, serve. I understand that you have placed your trust in me tonight. I also understand that I have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I will listen twice as much as I speak.

You made the choice, many weeks ago, to take back your voice and destiny by getting involved in Unite Our Town. That was the first step of our endeavor. We now go together, united in purpose and resolve, to our ultimate victory because we know and understand the importance of this journey. That though we may rise and fall, in the end we will meet our fate together. That a house divided against itself cannot stand. And, so we must not fail to be diligent in our efforts to remain united for our sole purpose. Let us not become distracted in the details but remain firm and steadfast to that which has brought us together. That government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish.

With these things in mind our journey moves forward. Taking no time to tarry on what we have accomplished but instead cast our attention on what needs to be done. We will accomplish our goals and finish the race in victory but we will need the help of everyone in this room. Now is not the time to rest but to ramp up our efforts. Each of you must continue to play a part. To not growing weary in doing good, as it is said, but to remain diligent to our task because it is you who make the difference.

Because you are worthy of a voice we will win. Because you are strong enough to stay the course we will win. Because you are here we will win. Because you will be there we will win.

Thank you”

Candidate Chris Vincent…

“As a town we are fortunate to have had residents Ben Freeny and John Oughten step up to the plate along with myself from the South end to offer strong viable strong choices for this upcoming election.  How lucky we are to have had that opportunity.  I sincerely thank both of them for their efforts and look forward to working with them closely throughout this election and beyond.

Thank you to Unite Our Town and the supporters and board members for giving me this opportunity to work with you to bring a positive message to the dais and eliminate the negativity that has taken over our town. I have the ability to work with our community and I have no conflict of interest with the town that two of our current commissioners do.  You deserve oversight and accountability from your elected officials.  You need to know that our town is being run appropriately as a business and not granting favoritism to certain members and organizations.  You need to be able to trust your local government and that has been lost over the last four years.  You do not need bullies on the dais dictating their wants and needs.  You need commissioners that will listen to the will of the people and work with the community not against the community.  I will do that.  This is not about me it is about you and your neighbors. We have a lot of work to do.  This is just the beginning.  We must stay united and push forward for a fresh start and turn the page on the last four years.

I have the passion and the determination to cross that finish line on March 9th as a winner.  When that happens we all win. I cannot do this alone.  We are a team, we are one town and you will play a critical role in our success in March.  Talk to your neighbors and friends, when you are in the grocery store, eating in our restaurants or just walking throughout your neighborhoods or socializing at your condos, talk of a fresh start, let them know we can claim victory in March.

We must stay positive and focused on our goal, which is a fresh start.  We have a beautiful town with intelligent amazing residents.  Get out there and get the ball rolling.  We cannot take anything for granted at this point.

Thank you for your support.

I will not let you down.”

The candidates for this most important race have now been selected and are fully supported by the three candidates they stood alongside thus far…Ben Freeny is now the treasurer for Chris Vincent ….Edmund Malkoon and Scot Sasser  agreed previously to do whatever they could to help whomever the candidate was in the north and Mr. Malkoon reiterated that last night. John Oughten also will be front and center in this election as he repeated in his remarks this evening …. This shows that this group can already achieve what has been missing in the last few years from the present commission……an ability to come to consensus, keep their word and do what is best for this town!… NICE!…

This was indeed the first room… the first of many rooms these two candidates will stand in front of over the next 4 months… For this writer, sitting in this room, on this night, seeing what these two fine candidates Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent have to offer for the future of our town, I envision they will be met with same overwhelming positive response of support in each and every room that follows….ending in THE most important room, on the dais in Jarvis Hall being sworn in next March to make that future a reality!..

more to come………

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … The Candidates Supporting The Community … And The Rest Of The Story …

November 1, 2009 by Barbara

Candidate Chris Vincent and daughter Paige Halloween 2009… Jarvis Hall

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Chris and Paige as they entered the Halloween Trick or Treat maze in the park….

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Paige Vincent and Debbie from Village Grille at the Grille’s table in the Halloween Maze…

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Candidate Edmund Malkoon at Halloween with the “Gorilla Fireman”

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Candidate Malkoon with Judge Shapiro and wife at the 11th annual LBTS Craft Festival

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Dear Readers…while many residents were none to pleased by the booming noise from half past 6 to almost 9 pm…(about that noise ordinance?)  rudely coming to their neck of the “village” last night …and this writer previously posted of the underhanded political insertion of the CIC (PAC)/ BTSTimes/ Commissioner Silverstone banners that went along with  the Vice Mayor’s noise pollution and the overwhelming and disturbing VFD truck lights glaring towards the park……luckily the kids were oblivious to the Mc-Furth political antics…and were pleased as punch by the abundance of candy handed out in the maze……the scary sights in the Jarvis Hall, the face painting…the games on the portico  (the scary white “IT”  provoked some immediate hand holding by parents but out of the costume “IT” produces the same result by many adults)…the cookies,  the haunted house, Count Dracula and of course the contests for best costume… all first rate …for the kids of all ages…

We were quite surprised by the numbers of those in Jarvis Hall which exceeded the allowed numbers per fire code…and outside beyond the fun and games…some pre-planning was amiss on behalf of those who put on this event… Something to consider for the next year…As we left the event and walked towards El Mar Drive…we faced darkness…But at least we were familiar with the area…For the visitors it was scary alright …The were cast into another unexpected maze …the maze of leaving the town…Why are there no lights in El Prado Park?…I’ve posted this before…Those orange lights were supposed to be turtle friendly…(they are the same as Minto/Oriana, who had lights on)… People leaving the El Prado parking lot turned right  on El Mar Drive …only to find themselves blocked off from the craft fair …..as they were approaching the square…and being just as dark there and the tight turn to go back…confusion ensued… It would have been nice if the event coordinator and the event chairs would have used the VFD  members (their attendance was mandatory per DP 12 [McIntee] )…to cover traffic flow…as it seemed the Town and the event chairs/coordinators did not work out a plan with BSO to provide traffic control…..On top of that we hear parking patrol was giving out tickets for metered parking last night…very confusing…free parking along El Mar Drive and tickets at the meters…This should have been a free parking weekend.. Expect a lot of disgruntled visitor complaints coming from those who received the tickets…Hmmm…. seems writing them out by hand did impede this parking officer in the least!…( despite the assertions made at the Parking Citation  Processing RFP on the 27th)… The Craft Festival needs to be on a different weekend next year… Besides the traffic snafu, it did decrease business at the restaurants and their Halloween events…That’s an easy fix we assume…

In conclusion, this writer is all for the Halloween event to continue next year…but with a few changes…No politics… No closing the hall for 3 weeks….it’s unnecessary if the Haunted hallway and rooms were mapped out and put up a the same…( even Disney World sticks with the same set-up, and the kids don’t even notice)….No weeks of decorations in the hall to mar the commission meetings forever on video that precede the event in October……The hall can be put together in a couple of days…(just like the VFD Ball a few years back)…No VFD  except to have a table and help voluntarily….They too were used “politically”by the “Gang”……The LBTS-VFD  will remain the town’s fire department no matter who wins in March …They are a non- political issue in this election… (ethics referendum or not)…. …The only one who wants to make them an issue is the Vice Mayor to ensure he keeps control of the department by using fear of their demise ……The VFD  did not need to pull out all their equipment…with the blinding lights….it had nothing to do with Halloween..Nothing!…(4th of July …yes…..Halloween, get real!)…

And one last comment…to the voters…Halloween went on before the last 2 years and the new Mc-Furth “Gang” majority…and Halloween will continue on with a change in the majority on the dais…just as Easter, Christmas and 4th of July…No one …and no one group is ever irreplaceable….anyone who thinks otherwise…well, that folks…is really scary!….

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … SAY NO TO DO-OVERS …. In March 2010 …..

October 30, 2009 by Barbara

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO STAY OFF THE BOARD …

Rules of chess

Each piece moves in a different pattern.

Pieces capture opposing pieces by replacing them on their square.  A captured piece is removed from the board. Only one piece may occupy a given square.
The rules of chess (also known as the laws of chess) are rules governing the play of the game of chess.

Chess is a game played by two persons on a chessboard,  Each type of piece moves in a distinct way. The goal of the game is to checkmate, i.e. to threaten the opponent’s king with inevitable capture. Players often resign if they believe they will lose.

Besides the basic movement of the pieces, rules also govern the equipment used, the time control, the conduct and ethics of players,the recording of moves using chess notation, as well as procedures for irregularities that occur during a game.

Remember-  Initial setup, identifying squares, Play of the game, Movement, Basic moves ,Timing, Conduct, Check, End of the game,Checkmate

Dear Readers … SAY NO TO DO-OVERS  in this upcoming election…It’s time for those old “chess pieces” to stay off the “board”…and keep their “egos” in check…Let the “knights” have their chance to show what they they can do this round… Nobody wants to see old “pieces” coming in to ruin the game!… Not this “game” it’s way too important…In chess it’s the “queen” that’s the most powerful and in that that would be the Town Managerin this town……If we lose this “game” her control is guaranteed  for another 4 years…The “kings”  in this game, “Broom-Boys” McIntee and Silverstone are trying to avoid being “captured”…and bringing out their old  “enemies” will just allow them to oppose some familiar old “moves”!…

We saw Terra Mar resident, former candidate for town commission, former candidate for Broward County Clerk of the Courts, and wife of former Town Commissioner Ed. Kennedy who lost to Vice Mayor McIntee in 2006, Beverly Kennedy come forward to the podium the other night and declare she was putting her hat in the ring…(although it was hard to decipher her “pre-amble”)…She made the same announcement previously at UOT at their last meeint…and had a whole hall in varying states of disbelief…Well, Ms. Kennedy I will repeat what I told you as you arrived in the hall last Tuesday night, and told me of your plans. You will lose!…You will either lose to McIntee if you were to be his only opponent in the north or you will split the vote as the 3rd candidate in the race in the north and you will let McIntee retain his “power”…If that happens,  we will all lose!… I told you it was not personal, and believe me,it is not!… But no one wants to see a repeat of 2006 with a McIntee-Kennedy race in the north!.. You said  to me, the Mayor needs “protection” and “We” need a “pit bull”…well, Ms. Kennedy, if you believe that, it is all the more reason to stay off the “board”…You are way off  base!…… Open your eyes and look around you, the Mayor needs NO protection!.. Mayor Minnet has grown in her role more than anyone on that dais and needs no “pit bull” by her side, quite the opposite, she needs what we all need in this town to ” muzzle” the “dangerous dogs”  (humanely of course, by voting them out)…… Ms. Kennedy may have some very good friends  in Terra Mar, and it is time for those good friends to have a talk with her and explain this time, it’s not her “game”, she must stand down and offer from the sidelines her valued expertize to the new “knights” that can absolutely prevail if you give them their chance ….

There is an undercurrent of absurdity in the south end of town right now, with the political dynamics of a dwindling CIC  and who they will call on to play and what square that player  will occupy…Jimmy-boy Silverstone…for Commissioner or Mayor?…Want a Furth?…It will be  Crisite, not Marc for Commissioner or Mayor?… If that’s the Town Hall East “strategy”…Surprise, it’s nothing new…(Is there ever anything “New” coming from Furth Headquarters?)… A look at the “How the sausage was made” category recounts that in 2007 the “idea” of having a Furth on the ticket to go up against Mayor Parker, who seemed ready to run again despite term limits and a failed CIC recall, was the first “blow” between this writer and then-Comm. McIntee who only wanted  Marc Furth, and Marc wasn’t gonna comply…(He had his “reasons”…in fact both Furths had the same “reasons” not to run)…. Cristie Furth only wanted to be a commissioner and McIntee had promised his support in 2006 to her after his big win, but  Stuart Dodd was running for that south commission seat so she had no chance at it……and then as long-time readers know McIntee proceeded to undermined Cristie for Mayor with “Peanuts” Wick…. This time around though ….. McIntee “owes” her!…and she thinks the “reasons” are forgotten…Hmmm….So with the switch in positions for Jimmy…it’s not outside the realm…This “do-over”  will also not succeed…in 2010…But this one, is the exception to the rule……This writer is all for it!… You, go girl!.. I cannot wait!…(Judging from the town clubs joined, and the wardrobe change…it’s looking pretty good!)…

From the “Simpsons” version of chess comes this one…The CIC will run former Mayor Oliver Parker!… I’m not kidding …Here’s how this one goes… Commissioner Clottey spoke “fondly” of “Mr. Oliver” and how he spoke with her about the Oriana million dollar funds at her commissioner comments on Oct. 20th…Now where would Clottey come in contact with “Mr Oliver”?…Any red truck sightings at Town Hall east?…..Add to that potential candidate Cristie Furth speaking  at the podium of writing up the 33 foot height referendum with “co-sponsor” Parker at her public comments on Oct. 26that the Referendum Workshop…And then the incredible pronouncement at public comments on the 27th by Maureen McIntee with glowing words of admiration , yep admiration…for former Mayor Parker’s ability to rule from the dais and keep decorum in Jarvis Hall!… We hear the former Mayor was quite hurt in 2007 when his supporters enlisted Roseann Minnet to run and were candid with him that they would not be backing him (So, they can do this again this election, and invoke no do-overs) … I recall when he ran for his current position  on the Broward Soil and Water Conservation District Parker spoke of low- rise building in the whole County…BUT, would the dwindling CIC and Furth pals, Former Town Mayor Ken Wardlaw and wife  Maryann ever get on board…Nah!… This writer can’t see it, the CIC spearheaded the Parker recall and to think Parker, the CIC and the Wardlaws.could get them past all that history….is too much of a stretch even for a half hour cartoon show on Fox!…

So where is the future coming from in this town?…From the new blood, the new “Knights”…those who ready with their new strategies…planning their new moves, after doing their homework, to avoid being “captured”at all costs  and deciding the time is right for them to play this 2010 LBTS “Chess”  game…

Public comments October 27, 2009 Commission Meeting…Meet the “Knights”…

Candidate Chris Vincent
“Chris Vincent – Corsair Avenue – Lauderdale By The Sea

Good evening Madame Mayor, Commissioners, Town Attorney.

I was pleased to see last evening that all members sitting on the dais agree to support an ethics reform code for our town.

Ethics is not a left or right issue. It is a common sense practical good government issue.

You are the forefront of ethics everyday when you report to work as a sitting official.

You serve the public interest. Transparency guards the public trust.

What will be critical to the success of this initiative will be the limited wording allowed on the ballot of just 75 words.

These 75 words are important.

With any referendum written for this up coming election the words on the ballot must be written in a manner that ALL who vote can understand what they are actually voting for….

It must be clear and easy to distinguish the direction the town is taking when placing these issues on the ballot….

As with past elections the wording was not written clearly, and confused many of the voters.

Fortunately we have an new Town Attorney to guide us this time and I am confident will work with this commission to make sure no one leaves the voting booth thinking they did not vote the way they intended because they did not quite understand the wording.

This is a great challenge, I am hopeful this can be accomplished with reasonable dialogue and clear heads.

The members of this Dais and the Town Attorney have the ability to make that happen.

I am sure you will make the correct choices and follow the will of the people. The ball is in your court.”

…………………………………..
Candidate Edmund Malkoon…
“Edmund Malkoon
Good Evening
At the continuation commission meeting last Tuesday, I was disheartened by the lack of support for the creation of an Ethics ordinance.
A carefully crafted and defined “ethics” code or ordinance can establish behavioral standards of integrity, fair dealing, responsibility, accountability, and disinterested conduct which are not specifically covered by existing laws, but which are an essential part of the fiduciary duty (the highest standard of conduct) which is owed to the public by its public servants and officials.
A well crafted ordinance will provide standards which will guard against misconduct by public officials. These standards must include:
1. Conflicts of interest
2. Disclosure
3. Impartiality
4. Improper use of position
5. Incompatible employment
6. Nepotism
7. Personal interests
8. Political activity
9. Public information
10. Public property and personnel
Therefore, when we talk about a “two hats” referendum and an “Ethics” Referendum we are essentially talking about the same thing. The “Two Hats” issue can also be a component of an ethics code. It is my opinion that if you are affiliated either directly or indirectly with a town vendor you must recuses yourself from voting.
Many other communities, as well as Broward county, either have or are in the process of drafting ethics laws which go beyond the existing state ethics law. An Ethics policy is about holding yourself and the town to a higher standard. People have a right to expect their elected officials to be fair and independent.
If you continue to fail to establish one through ordinance, I know myself and others would work hard to get the signatures necessary to place this on the upcoming ballot. We must provide a transparent government that all citizens can trust. Thank you.”

…………………………………..

Candidate Ben Freeny…
“Good evening Commissioners, Mayor,

I cringe when I hear talk of referendums to change the town charter.

The Charter for Lauderdale By The Sea can be likened to our national constitution.

Our constitution was written by brilliant men, selfless men, fighting for freedom from oppression.

Any change made to our Town Charter should be made with utmost caution,

It should come from the core value of integrity in governance

Any change should be rather general in nature to be used as a device to set a foundation from which direction can be taken in the operations of the town.

Many of the communities in Broward and Palm Beach county have established comprehensive Ethics rules. Broward County is currently initiating Ethical Standards to try to avoid the conflicts of interest that have recently been identified on their commissions.

The creation of comprehensive Ethical Standards is similar to the making of a mission statement. The governing entity is proclaiming how they chose to operate: Openly, in the light of day, with no self serving conflicts where they can benefit directly or indirectly from the decisions they make as a governing body.

Any hesitation to make such a statement by any particular
elected official or appointee gives the “appearance” of conflict
from the very beginning.

Ethical Standards,… at the very least,… are the framework for
protecting the integrity of the dais,…

for avoiding the appearance of impropriety and conflict of interest.

My personal reason for developing higher ethical standards than what the state may have is this.

Over the past several weeks I have had conversations with different officials from the county. I am embarrassed at the descriptions I was told about this town and how it is run.

The citizens of this town are better than what was described to me.

The potential leaders of this town are not the people that were described to me.

We must take action to prove to ourselves, the towns people that we are sophisticated enough to manage our affairs with our heads held high.

That we are not the Mayberry of Broward County, but rather a peaceful little seaside town, where people enjoy living, tourist enjoy vacationing and the town leaders can hold their heads up and be proud of the efficient and excellent service they give the townspeople.”

………………………………………

Candidate John Oughten  took a pass at public comments…

more to come…….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Knock …Knock …

October 20, 2009 by Barbara

WHO’S THERE … THE FUTURE OF LBTS …

Dear Readers…we hear at last night’s Unite Our Town meeting there were over 80 people in attendance ….who came for a Q &A with the candidates..and a closer look at at the guys who want to move LBTS  forward with a plan to invest in the Town’s infrastructure …..public safety…( VFD and BSO Police)…and  the inclusiveness of all who want to be involved to work together in the rejuvenation of this seaside village on all fronts…inside Town Hall..inside Jarvis Hall…and throughout the entire town…neighborhoods…condos…hotels..motels…and businesses…

These four fine men have been knocking on doors and finding out what’s on the voter’s minds…The feedback so far….They are recognized at the doorsteps they arrive on due to their cover photo (see above) on the current issue of the By-The-Sea-Future local newspaper… So the first thing they have heard from people is they are indeed reading the papers… Next up a resounding response of the need to make a change…and as expected by this writer …those remarks come from many who voted in the past for their likely opponents the “Broom Boys”… The concerns carry over to the desire for a new direction…which involves some new blood ( that’s these guys!)…in the race with new innovative ideas……There is a universal theme of wanting this town to prosper …and the warmth of these four being well received for throwing their hats in the ring is the first positive step for the voter’s to get just that!…NICE!….

The next UOT meeting is scheduled for November 2, 2009 ….and a fundraiser at Athena By The Sea on Nov. 11, 2009…

Make sure to check- in on this site in the upcoming weeks for where the candidates are around town…….Please open your doors to them and let them know what’s on your mind …what concerns you…what you expect from them……what you’re happy  and unhappy with…and most of all thank them for caring enough to take this challenge on for the benefit of all of us and the future of our town!…

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop … Which Path? ……

October 17, 2009 by Barbara

MARCH  2010 TWO MEN …TWO PATHS  …

Dear Readers …at the Oct. 12, 2009 Town Manager “almost” Review we had a chance to see 2 candidates for commission in 2010 have the opportunity to discuss the topic at hand…The evaluation of Town Manager Esther Colon..

Commissioner Jim Silverstone- ” Like I normally do I wrote a list of speakers and ah, ah what they had to say. But I’d like to thank George Hunsaker. I think that was a great ending to this ah, this  workshop. He said something very important  a couple of things he said were very wise. And I’d like to thank Mr. Simmons for being here too because I think sometimes wisdom transcends the, the the vision of the town here. I’d like to see that kind of subtle things and people together here. Unfortunately I believe we created an environment here by allowing certain things to happen that has divided the town even further. I’ll get into that tomorrow. It’s not the “porpoise” (his word) of this talk here. But you said something very important Mr. Hunsaker when you said it’s ah, which I agree with you I don’t like people being so critical. They don’t have adequate knowledge and, and that to me is really the core of the issue here. When people come up there and they complain and they have issues and we do listen by the way. I write down notes at  every meeting down here and if you don’t see me looking at you it’s because I’m looking at, look down like we spoke to at the last meeting. So I do pay attention fully. But the wisdom that was transmitted by, by Mr. Hunsaker there I think we all need to listen to was very important and I think that’s the beginning of getting the town back together again. But, if you have any questions. If you’re not getting the response from the administration that’s why we’re here for. And as, I’m not going to repeat myself but I did say earlier that the way, the chain of command here is you the people, we represent you. You elect us . We then direct the Town Manager to perform the day to day operations here which is her responsibility. And I believe she is doing a very good job with doing that. Again, her financial background to me is a huge advantage. At the end of the day it’s really about the numbers, it’s really about your tax money, it’s really about the town, how the town looks. It’s about those intrinsic values that you see our there that I think makes the difference between us and any other town in Broward County or in the United States. When I look out there I see the town workers working. I see the beautification that’s going on. I look at the numbers and I see that we’re, we’re lowering taxes and we’re, we’re making these things work. That’s just, that just happens with a lot of hard work and somebody made a comment earlier that you know, I think it was Mr. Brown about what does the Town Manager do. I have never seen anybody work as hard as she had in a public office. She’s there unbelievable hours. Um, to quote Mr. Thompson again he’s been involved in public service all his life and um, Esther was the hardest working best public servant he has ever witnessed. That comes with a lot of weight with me.”

(BC- Note to Comm. Silverstone…Mr Thompson again authorized this writer to tell you he made that statement about Laura Ward!)

CS- “Ah, to begin Mr Vincent had a question regarding Mr. Gooding I think that’s a lot of people’s opinion a lot of people’s strife that the, the firing  or transferring of Mr., Chief Gooding was a problem. But as Mr. Simmons and I kinda conversed up there about keepin’ the politics out, if you think about it by getting, ah, by transferring Scott Gooding it was probably the worst thing for me politically. So if that doesn’t tell you that nothing was going on here I don’t know what more can be said and I think the new chief is doing a great job the new Lieutenant I think ah, things are happening now. They’re moving in next door and, and it’s definitely progressing I think the way it shoud have been. So that was the decision the Town Manager made and I think she made it outside of politics which I think is the core reason why we have this form of government and that’s a good example of it working. You may not have liked what transpired. I think its for the benefit of the town at the end of the day. Um, and Mrs. Geesey said something about citizens being the boss for us. You elect us you are not the boss of the administration. You are not the boss of the Town Manager or the employees. Um that, that’s not how we work here. Um, if you have a problem with us guess what you don’t elect us. That’s, that’s the way it works and that’s America. Um, the one thing that was mentioned up here which I’ll. I’ll give some time for the Town Manager to address was the pr-payment on the loan and I’m the one that brought that up to get it paid off again. And the reason that was done not to repeat myself again but we can’t make a decision on spending that money for about a year. The Master Plan Steering Committee has to meet to decide what to do. We have to get the permits and it has to be done. That takes a long time. By the time that happened a year would have gone by and the interest that’s occurring on the money and the penalties we’re paying would have cost us a lot more money. It would have been, It’s cheaper at the end of the day to pay it off now. Now you do have a point that maybe some negotiations could have been done. I don’t know the answer to that but knowing Esther I think ah, again she would have done something it, we’ll find out about that. Um, the I’ll save the rest of this. But I pretty  much went over the key points. um, oh just one “udder” thing about insinuating there’s back room deals and permits being issued illegally. I think that was the term used and these are facts (laughing), let’s remind each other here that the ah, the alleyway was you guys the two brothers that own the lot back there agreed to, what we approved to have , have access to your, your parking are there. We agreed to it you said we, talked about it, is that ok with you, you said yes. There’s a couple of things you had to do as far as I know they weren’t done yet but you got permission to do that and why this keeps being brought up again, I don’t understand it. We talked about that it was put on the agenda we approved it with some conditions and that’s the last I’ve heard. So I don’t know where this other information’s coming from but it was approved to go forward. Um, that’s all I have for now”

…………………………………………………………..

Candidate Christopher Vincent….

“Christopher Vincent – Corsair Avenue – Lauderdale By The Sea.

I will limit my comments to a few areas of concern.

Number 1: The firing of Chief Gooding.

Even though Ms. Colon had the authority to fire Chief Gooding she used poor judgment by not informing the commission of her plan prior to taking action even if she didn’t have to. Chief Gooding had not made any decisions that jeopardized the public safety of this town, or behaved unethically. To dismiss him in the manner that she did was unprofessional and an embarrassment to our town. This is not my opinion but a fact based on the number of citizens that filled town hall objecting to her action and in full support of our Chief of Police. This should be noted in her review.

Number 2: Decorum

From what I have witnessed attending these meetings and watching from home, Ms. Colon does not possess the ability to be impartial to certain members sitting on this dais. She addresses them with a tone of contempt and disrespect.

It is the responsibility, duty and right of any member of this commission or citizen of this town to question the action or actions of this Town Manager. When doing so Ms. Colon should welcome the opportunity to respond and should do so without a defensive or condescending tone. This should also be noted in her review.

Number 3: To Review or Not to Review

Certain members of this dais have said on the record that Ms. Colon is doing a super job and in their opinion it is not necessary to perform this review, since it has never been done in the past. In the Town Managers contract it states she is to have a yearly review which is to be completed before the final adoption of the Town’s annual budget.

This is not a choice but a contractual obligation that must be met. As the Town Manager Ms. Colon should have insisted this take place to ensure she was meeting the obligations in her contract and not jeopardizing her contract. She did not. It makes you wonder what other contractual obligations are not being met or simply overlooked. There has been a deliberate intent to delay or skip this review completely. Why? This should also be noted in the review.

In closing I would like to remind the Dais and Town Manager that transparency in government is everything. Once you start working for the politics and not the people you loose all credibility and the trust of the people.”

………………………………………………….

Dear Readers… This writer could put in point by point where Comm. Silverstone is way off the mark with his so called facts…but I will do that in other posts…( although I felt obligated to carry out Mr Thompson’s clarification concerning who his praise was for)…The point of the post was for you to see the side- by- side how these two candidates handled their review comments…and to remind all voters…this Town Manager according to  her contract is required to be reviewed yearly……which will require us to sit through the commentary from one of them as our commissioner sitting on the dais again next year…who do you want to listen to?

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop … LBTS Health Fair 2009 …. Lots Of Support …

October 17, 2009 by Barbara

SATURDAY OCTOBER 17, 2009…..

photo-1

LBTS CANDIDATE CHRIS VINCENT AND DAUGHTER PAIGE ..CANDIDATE FOR STUDENT COUNCIL ON THE LBTS -VFD FIRE TRUCK

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CANDIDATE CHRIS VINCENT’S DAUGHTER PAIGE WITH BSO GETTING ID FINGERPRINTS…

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CANDIDATE CHRIS VINCENT, DAUGHTER PAIGE AND A FOUR-LEGGED FRIEND OF THE BSO…

IMG00026-20091017-1145

LBTS CANDIDATE BEN FREENY  CHECKING OUT THE BLOOD MOBILE..

We hear there was a strong presence of all LBTS public safety providers…showing off their equipment and their members…with LBTS candidates new and old in attendance to show support…. for all!…

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop …. WE HAVE A CHOICE … IN OUR FUTURE AS A TOWN!….

October 16, 2009 by Barbara

THE NEW EDITION OF BY-THE- SEA- FUTURE IS OUT……

http://www.bytheseafuture.org/

GET A COPY…. IT’S REAL LOCAL NEWS … WITHOUT THE SUGAR COATING …

WELCOME TO THE COMMISSION CANDIDATES …. THANKS FOR GETTING INVOLVED!…..

more to come….

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