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Here’s The Scoop … The “Median” Municipal Election In LBTS ….

January 15, 2010 by Barbara


Dear Readers.. The March 9, 2010 LBTS Municipal Election will be about the El Mar Drive Million Dollar Medians …. and if voters want to spend a million to be “educated” in walking the medians along with our furry friends…they should vote for the Furth endorsed candidates of Joe Couriel, Marjorie Evans and Commissioner Jim Silverstone…These three agree with Marc and Cristie Furth, Commissioner Birute Clottey and Vice Mayor Jerry McIntee that walking the medians is the way to go!…People just need to be educated to do so!….

Here’s what CIC Board Member-Editor of BTSTimes and Campaign manager to the CIc-endorsed candidates said in her public comments on January 12, 2010…

“I will speak on an agenda item but not this particular agenda, a previous one. The passage of the El Mar Drive beautification project. I’m very pleased that the majority of the dais (Silvertone, Clottey, McIntee) went ahead with that project that has been a year and a half in the works. Um, decided on by the Master Plan Steering Committee and with the dais being well informed that you only have so much money, that one million dollars which was a penalty for overbuilding the Oriana was designated to make pedestrian El Mar Drive more pedestrian friendly and this plan does exactly that. Everything else was discussed in the year and a half. Everybody was aware when it came time to vote for it. I would have liked to have seen a majority vote of 5-0 up there for it because it is exactly what the Master Plan Steering Committee was charged with doing and it’s exactly what they did. I don’t understand why anybody would vote against it. It’s not money taken out of anybody’s budget and anybody’s tax dollars. It is designed exactly for this purpose and another sidewalk down the middle of a ah, park like area, shaded ah, people can walk their dogs and would be if people want to get out of the sun because it’s very hard to get out of the sun on El Mar and it’s a very popular exercise boulevard. This is an absolutely ideal plan and I’m looking forward to its implementation.”

Well, Ms. Furth is very good at revisionist history at the podium….She has conveniently forgotten that for that year and a half the MPSC on which her husband is a member was misinformed by the Town Manager that the Oriana million per the agreement was only for the south end of El Mar Drive…thus the median idea came forth, using the Art Institute students …Although the Town Manager was repeatedly asked to verify her assertions by the committee,including both Mrs Furth and her husband along with certain commissioners ….the answer from the Manager was emphatically yes…only the south end of El Mar Drive could benefit from the monies…Not until Commissioner Clottey befriended former Mayor Oliver Parker and made the request yet again…at the 11th hour (true to TM Colon’s M.O.) did the Town Attorney state that the Oriana million could be used anywhere on El Mar Drive!…On top of that the Town Attorney added she did not need to contact “Mr. Oliver” that all she needed was staff supplied information!…YIKES!…

Ms. Furth also seems to have forgotten that after that information was revealed…the MPSC was thrown for a loop and had plenty of second thoughts for implementing the median project!…Among those calling attention to being led down the wrong path by lacking full knowledge was none other than galpal Maryann Wardlaw, and even Furth’s husband Marc!…(prev. post)…

At the Dec. 7th meeting according to the minutes approved on Jan. 12, 2010 by the commission 4-0 ,(Clottey was absent ) which means that each Commissioner approves the content as correct for the official record…the official minutes state on page 2 ” It was the consensus of the Commission to give the project back to the MPSC to gain an overall concept before spending the $1 million and return to the Commission at a later date with their recommendations. With no further business before the Commission, Mayor Minnet adjourned the meeting at 6:37 p.m.”

Again, when the Commission approves the minutes, they are approving the content as accurate for the official record…After reading the Dec.7, 2009  Commission Conference minutes above …here are the Dec. 8, 2009 Commission Meeting minutes on New Business item 16a….

“Discussion and/ or action reference: El Mar Drive Project (Vice Mayor McIntee)

Vice Mayor McIntee stated that the Master Plan Steering Committee was given direction to move forward. He believed the project was money well spent.

Commissioner Dodd said the Master Plan Steering Committee wanted to re-evaluate Ocampo & Associates recommendations and come up with a complete plan. He suggested the Commission follow the recommendation of the Master Plan Steering Committee.

Commissioner Clottey asked if any of the money could be used towards drainage improvement at the Pavilion. She preferred sidewalks but understood there was not enough money to do all the sidewalks. Commissioner Clottey stated that she would support Option #1.

Commissioner Silverstone also supported Option #1. He believed the intent of the Master Plan Steering Committee was to get going on the project.

Mr. Novak stated at the end of the Roundtable meeting the Committee agreed they wanted to move forward, but the Commission wanted them to have a couple of more meetings to make to sure it was right and move forward on the first phase.

Mayor Minnet agreed that it was the consensus of the Commission to look at the whole picture and have a correct plan. She did not believe it was wise to spend $980,000 on just a cosmetic fix for El Mar Drive.

Mr Novak believed the master Plan Steering Committee would need 2 or 3 more meetings to fine tune it.

Commissioner Dodd inquired of the street lighting and stamping.

Commissioner Clottey advised that Option #1 did not include stamping. She believed it was included in Option #3 or #4.

Vice Mayor McIntee made a motion to approve the $980,000 for the El Mar Drive Project Phase 1. Option #1. Commissioner Silverstone seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-2 Mayor Minnet carried 3-2. Mayor Minnet voted no. Commissioner Dodd voted no.”

This writer has spoken to countless longtime walkers of El Mar Drive and as previously posted they think totally the opposite of Cristie Furth-BTSTimes- Candidates Silverstone/Evans and Couriel -Commissioner Clottey and Vice Mayor McIntee …that this is “an absolutely ideal plan” and a great use of the Oriana million!…

Sea Ranch Club resident and El Mar walker Pauline McGuiness told this writer that it is ridiculous to think anyone will walk in the medians…She went on to explain as all the walkers have,  they will continue to walk in the street for the surface that is easier on their joints, further explaining which side of the road used depends on the sun and emphatically stating that one major point that has thus far been ignored from all discussion is that of the fumes from the vehicles! She said she will not walk the medians…and so far from the comments this writer has received…neither will anyone else!…So whether the money is as Mrs. Furth stated “It’s not money taken out of anybody’s budget and anybody’s tax dollars.”…it’s still money thrown down the drain!…OOPS!… No drainage in this project!….

So to Mrs McGuiness and all the other El Mar Drive walkers …remember when you vote on March 9, 2010……. vote for Mayor Roseann Minnet who voted against the El Mar Drive Project on Dec. 8, 2009 and Candidates Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent who are on record at the podium and speaking to residents throughout the town, stating they too opposed the use of the $980,000 for putting walkways in the medians and they too are concerned that a majority on the Commission ignored not only the MPSC but the walkers of El Mar Drive!…

More to come……..

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