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Here’s The Scoop … LBTS 12/8/09 Commission Meeting …. Topic Of Dabate … Truthfulness …

December 10, 2009 by Barbara

IT’S DEBATABLE …

Dear Readers … at the December 8th 2009 commission meeting the Town Manager addressed the Feb. 16 2009 “Meet The Candidate” night meeting she set up with the League of Women Voters…Previously posted was an e-mail to the League of Women Voters in Tallahassee …It sent it after this writer saw the item on the agenda and learned of the Dec. 1st memo to the commissioners asking for questions … giving them a “Head start”… I promised as follow-up upon receipt of a response…I did receive an immediate response from LWV the following morning informing me my e-mail had been forwarded and have put it and the subsequent e-mails below in their entirety…including my responses…

At the meeting on Tuesday the Manager’s explanation were further cause for concern….I checked the following day with a former commissioner as to Ms. Colon’s assertions that she had done the same in the past with the former commissioners…in answer to the Mayor….The former commissioner said “No!”… I then received a response from the Broward League of Women Voters  last evening…(see below)… and  as you will see the LWV response put into question much of what the Town Manager said in her TM report…I responded to the e-mail with a verbatim text of the TM report and a link to the Town website for Ms. Smith to see for herself…She responded today … and said
“I see and share your concern. I did not know of the exchange over the questions. Previously we asked that questions be sent directly to me–and I received many”…I responded back that I would like the LWV to see that the Town of LBTS follow the same rules as in the past  and that all questions go directly to the LWV to ensure a fair debate due to the “current political climate” … Ms. Smith responded that the LWV made that request to the Town…I sent a final e-mail and thanked the League of Women Voters… concluding by stating I hope the Town would comply with their request!…. We shall see….

THE E-MAILS…..

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From: “Barbara Cole”
To: [email protected]
Sent: Sunday, December 6, 2009 3:15:44 PM (GMT-0500) Auto-Detected
Subject: Lauderdale- By- The- Sea Candidate Debates
12/6/09
To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing as a concerned registered voter in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea about a Debate scheduled by our Town Manager.
According to the Dec. 8, 2009 LBTS Commission Agenda under Town Manager Report she set up a “Meet the Candidate” with the League of Women Voters for Feb 16, 2009 .
We do not know who all our candidates are as of yet.
Our time for registration is Jan 4-11th, 2010.
There has been no discussion with the candidates since they are unknown.
Furthermore, and even more disturbing , the Town Manager sent a memo on Dec. 1, 2009 to the Commissioners stating the following
” Please provide any questions that you would like to be utilized by the moderator in the proposed upcoming “meet the Candidates” forum to be held in Town prior to the upcoming election”.
It is very likely that three members of this commission will be candidates participating in that debate.
This request, if responded to and enacted will seriously impede those candidates challenging the incumbents for their seats as well as casting suspicion onto not only on the Town, and the sitting commissioners, but the League of Women Voters.
I am hopeful the Commission will call the Town Manager on her actions at the Dec. 8, 2009 meeting, but I ask that the LWV also look into this matter to guarantee an unquestionably fair debate when and if the candidates decide to go forward with one or two such debates as they have done so in the past.
I look forward to your response.
Sincerely, Barbara Cole

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Re: Lauderdale- By- The- Sea Candidate Debates
Monday, December 7, 2009 7:12 AM
From:
“League of Women Voters of Florida”
To:
“Barbara Cole”
Cc:
“Alice Levy” , “Chris Straton”
Good morning Barbara,
Thank you for contacting the League of Women Voters of Florida state office in Tallahassee. I am forwarding your e-mail to Alice Levy, President of our League of Women Voters of Broward County ([email protected]) and Chris Straton, League of Women Voters of Florida, Voter Service Chair ([email protected]).

Peg McGarity, Executive Director
League of Women Voters of Florida
540 Beverly Court
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 224-2545 fax 850-222-4485
[email protected] www.lwvfla.org

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lbts forum
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 8:22 PM
From:
“Carol Smith”
To:
[email protected]
Barbara,
I would like to talk to you about your concerns about the forum in LBTS. The notice from the Manager re: Feb. 16 was merely a save the date notice. As the candidates file in January, each will receive all the information about the forum, the rules, etc. I have asked that all questions be sent directly to me to avoid any appearance of favoritism of incumbents. Of course any resident can submit questions on town issues. We will also take written questions from the floor at the debate. No candidate will have prior knowledge of the questions to be asked at the forum. Please let me know what other concerns you have. We want this forum to be absolutely fair to all candidates, and to adequately inform citizens on the issues.

We do thank you for your interest.

Carol Smith
954-341-9221
[email protected]
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Re: lbts forum
Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:43 AM
From:
“Barbara Cole”
To:
“Carol Smith”
Thank you for your response,
Below is the verbatim exchange from the Dec 8, 2009 LBTS Commission meeting…I have concerns over the way the Town Manager is handling the procurement of questions for this debate..Following the exchange is some further points.
December 8, 2009 …
8.-Town Manager Report
Town Manager Colon -” I just wanted to inform the commission that Meet the Candidates is scheduled for February 16th. The League of Voters as they have done in the past is um, asked that any questions that the members of the dais might have if they move them forward, we’ll send them through to them.”
“In addition we put it on channel 78 and we put it on the web in case any residents has any questions they’d like the candidates to ask to forward to our PIO. We send all the questions to the League of Women Voters. They do all the formatting. They do all the rewording and nobody knows the question until the candidates come to the forum as we did four years ago.”
Mayor Minnet- ” Town Manager I do have a question. The League of Women Voters, I believe did this the first time two years ago at our Meet the Candidate night or was it four years ago?”
Town Manager-” Four years ago.”
Mayor Minnet-” Well they did it two years ago. They did it for me.”
Town Manager-” That’s when they started.”
Mayor Minnet-” Two years ago?”
Town Manager- ” Four years ago.”
Mayor Minnet-” I just started two years ago.”
Town Manager- ” I know but they started it when…”
Mayor Minnet-” Ok, thank you. And as far as the questions were concerned, I did find it a little strange that I got a request for questions. Because I thought this dais should remain rather non-political and those questions should have come from residents only. So just to clarify for everyone that this had been done in past just cause I would like that, that was done previously.”
Town Manager-” The residents have the right to send questions and the commission members also have the right to submit questions. That does not mean that the questions submitted are going to be read verbatim. The League of Women Voters holds very many forums throughout Broward County and they reword or they accommodate the question to the needs and they also do it by the pool of questions that they receive.”
“But it is my opinion that we should not elect, we should not avoid any of our current elected officials to provide. They should be a part of the process. Doesn’t mean the questions gonna be asked, but I think they should be involved and that’s how I’ve done it in the past.”
Mayor Minnet-” It’s been done in the past that same way?”
Town Manager-” Yes.”
I have checked with former Commissioner Chuck Clark who was elected 4 years ago. He never received such a memo as the current commissioners received on 12/1 two years ago.
I believe it is wrong to ask for questions to be submitted to commissioners who will most likely be candidates as previously stated in my first email.
The Town Manager memo to the commission on Dec. 1, 2009, stated the following…
” Please provide any questions that you would like to be utilized by the moderator in the proposed upcoming “Meet the Candidates” forum to be held in Town prior to the upcoming election.”..
I also question the difference in the process for receipt of the questions by the LWV per the Town Manager’s comments made on the 8th.
12/8-TM Colon-“The League of Voters as they have done in the past is um, asked that any questions that the members of the dais might have if they move them forward, we’ll send them through to them.” and “In addition we put it on channel 78 and we put it on the web in case any residents has any questions they’d like the candidates to ask to forward to our PIO. We send all the questions to the League of Women Voters.”
I question that commissioners being involved, being unfair to the opponents, as stated in my first email.
12/8-Town Manager-” The residents have the right to send questions and the commission members also have the right to submit questions.”
I look forward to you reply.
Barbara Cole

link to video- #8 Town Manger Report
http://lbts.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=281
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Re: lbts forum
Thursday, December 10, 2009 10:19 AM
From:
“Carol Smith”
To:
“Barbara Cole”
Barbara,
I see and share your concern. I did not know of the exchange over the questions. Previously we asked that questions be sent directly to me–and I received many. I do believe some were sent through the PIO, but that is not the optimum way. It is true that we have the right to combine questions, rewrite, etc to clarify the issue, and no candidate knows ahead of time which questions will be asked when. Of course incumbents (or even commissioners not running) may submit questions, as can any resident.

Please call me if you need further clarification.

Carol
954-341-9221
[email protected]
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Re: lbts forum
Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:07 AM
From:
“Barbara Cole”
To:
“Carol Smith”
Thank you, I believe the candidates and the commissioners should answer along with the residents as in the past.
I do not think there should be an separate or advanced opportunity given to the sitting commissioners as was indicated by the Town Manager in her memo and on the dais.
As a concerned voter of LBTS, with the current political climate in out town, I would ask the LWV to ask the Town to ask that all questions go directly to the League and not the Town Administration or PIO.
I look forward to your response.
Barbara Cole
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Re: lbts forum

From: “Carol Smith”
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 12:29:35 -0500
To: Barbara Cole
Subject: Re: lbts forum

I have made that request to have questions sent directly to me. There is no advantage to having any questions sent early–I’m not doing first come/first served. Also, sending questions to the PIO will have no advantage to anyone, but if they wish to send them there, that also is OK. I will accept questions from anywhere. We just want citizens to know that their privacy is respected.
Carol

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Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:37 PM
From:
[email protected]

To:
“Carol Smith”
I thank you and feel the LWV has helped to ensure a fair debate for the next election.
I hope the Town will comply with your request.
Again, thank you
Barbara Cole

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Dear Readers……There can be no debate on what to do with it….just add it to the list ….page?….

more to come………

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