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Here’s The Scoop …. 9/9/09 Commission Meeting Comments …. IN THEIR WORDS ….

September 20, 2009 by Barbara

COMMISSIONER/PUBLIC COMMENTS ….WRITTEN AND PREPARED …

Dear Readers…Two Commissioners, three Residents and a LBTS Business owner’s commentary …. made at the 9/9/09 Commission meeting…

1-Mayor Minnet  (from her website http://www.roseannminnet.com/ )

“Welcome back everyone from the break. I hope the summer has been enjoyable for all and I am looking forward to a positive start, starting tonight. With a bit of luck we might have a chance!

I first want to thank staff for installing a foot spray on the beach pavilion showers and the lock on the gate at the children’s playground. I know they may sound like small things, but staff was very helpful in accomplishing and making these things happen. Thank you for all your efforts and the residents who requested them, thank you as well.

Since annexation the town has been working for a one-town zip code. The Town Manager did send another letter to the USPS. I can only share with you that I am in support of this for the town, but it is also important for the residents to write to your Congressman, get a petition together and let them know how important this is to you as a community. One town, one community, one zip code. The power is in your name and in your petitions. The Town can write all they want, but they must hear from you.

I have a lot on the agenda this evening, so I will keep my comments brief. Lastly, I would like to ask the editors of the By the Sea Times if they quote me again, verify the facts. It is disheartening that there is a perversion of lies and mistruths being told and written. As always I am available if you have any questions and want to listen to the truth. I have said from the beginning you will get the information and facts from me but you may not always agree with the vote.”

Thank you.”

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2- Commissioner Dodd….

“My comment are not addressed at personal issues, never have been and never will be but solely on work being done by the town, questions I ask , areas to be addressed. It is never a personal issue and unfortunately it has been seen as such by certain individuals both on the dais and by certain town staff. My job as a commissioner is to oversea information I am given and evaluate and I would like to ensure all questions are answered, all items address. AT no time has there ever been a personality issue. I am elected by the residents to specifically oversee certain functions of the town administration and the way they conduct the town’s business.
I apologized to the Town Manager at the last meeting over my small mistake in the company that makes the awards for the audit. It is the Government Finance Officers Association. I followed up as you would expect me to and found – Ft.Lauderdale has received the same award for 24 years, Hallandale 21 years, Coral springs 17 years, Deerfield beach 12 years so I called the GFOA Government financial Officers association and discovered there were 1265 municipalities as members and over 90% received awards every year. The perception with the award was that everything was great and aren’t we doing well. It is an award solely on the documents submitted and absolutely nothing to do with the contents. I have said publically the Town Manager has done this year again a great job of the budget presentation. The GFOA awards do not translate to the commission or the town manager is making the right financial decisions.
One correction for the Vice Mayor in his written comments in the local Paper – Mayor Minnet and I did not vote to postpone the reef project indefinitely. I am a huge supporter of this project but I personally felt the Police facility was more important to the residents and we should only postpone the reef for one year and get our own house in order. Just another exaggeration that comes as no surprise.
I really enjoyed the break but still believe we should hold just one meeting in August since the 11 hours in July and I believe this will also be a long meeting leaving the commissioner exhausted after two such meetings.
I noticed in the paper on Wednesday Sept 2nd how Deerfield Beach resolved their Ethics code using a citizen’s advisory board rather than scrap the code which was too harsh they left it to a citizen advisory body. Sounds very different from LBTS – We don’t need a code of Ethics as there is no conflict!
I received a survey that was sent town wide. I would have expected the courtesy of being informed before it was sent out but perhaps I’m expecting too much from staff these days. I have a big issue as to why question 12 was slanted and incorrect. Do you support the current maximum height of 33 feet. I emailed the manager and her response was Overlay districts were repealed by the town Commission. Yes we repealed the Overlay districts but the overlay district was to do with zoning and not with height . We currently have nowhere zoned for 44 feet. Removal of the overlay district did not change the 44 foot height limit. The correct question – should the town change the zoning by referendum in certain areas to allow the 44 foot height limit that was passed in 3 referenda by the voters or should the height limit be lowered town wide to 33 feet by referendum. Everyone should to be aware of this subtle distinction.

I yield”

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3- Resident Chris Vincent… Silver Shores

Sept 9 2009

“Welcome back members of the Commission and Madam Mayor.

Hope you all have had a relaxing summer break.

I would hope that this commission has had time to reflect back on what your responsibilities are to this town and its people. After all we are approaching an election year and yes we are still listening.

At the upcoming performance review of the Town Manager, will she be held to the same standard of fiscal responsibility that she applied to our former chief of police, Mr.Scott Gooding. There have been many miss deeds by the Town Manager, only to go unchallenged by the commission.

Our Town Manager earns more in salary and benefits than the governor of Florida this information was indeed included in the May 2007 backup when Commissioner McIntee and Silverstone voted on it. A lifetime tenure contract, I thought was for only judges and certain members of some senates or upper chambers received these type of contracts. On May 12 of this year, commissioner Silverstone felt the Town Manager deserved a raise without even a performance review. That just blows my mind.

I personally feel from what I’ve researched and read, is that the Town Managers contract was not properly reviewed and further information needs to be put out to the people explaining how a contract such as the Town Managers could have been approved.  I am urging all on the dais to comply with this request.

I have to wonder if during her review, If she will consider the current state of our economy and the financial hardships facing our community and decide to kick back some cash to the people, you know show her fiscal responsibility.

Another issue of great concern is the request for emails from certain commissioners during the time frame that Chief Gooding was fired as just stated by Mr.Malkoon.

Just a friendly reminder you were elected to do what’s best for our Town. Somehow deleting your emails does not quite fit into that category.

Our Town Manager has requested a grant of 3 Million dollars for a new complex for the VFD.

We respect the VFD and its ability at this time to protect and serve its citizens. However do we really need to create a fire department that can support our town plus Pompano Beach, Light House Point or even Deerfield Beach?

Are we willing to continue to pay for the training of fire personnel in a new state of the art facility, so that they will eventually leave to a fulltime paying career in another city? Who is going to run this facility.  Are we going to hire a Professional Chief a Deputy Chief? Will our taxes be raised to maintain this new facility? What are our financial obligations if the grant is issued. These are just a few of the questions that need answers. It’s not that we are against the idea, we just want all the facts first.

And why hasn’t the Town Manager worked as hard to help the needs of BSO and its staff? Are there no grants available for Police facilities? I do not know the answer to that….I am not the one being paid an exorbitant amount of money to research these opportunities.

Transparency is powerful.  The more transparent you are the greater the Trust from the people.

Not being forthright and spinning information or attempting to distract from the truth breeds contempt.”

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4- Resident Bob Fleishman, Terra Mar Island

“And so the hot, steamy summer continues, in Politics at least.

Awaiting her much delayed review, and incidentally feeling no remorse, our Town Manager, a Loose Cannon, is a committee of one, doing as she, “so sees fit“, spending our moneys and ignoring a reserve-fund build up, for looming Litigation. The Town Manger has blinders as she awards contracts (RFP’s) to her favorite Cronies. She is now conducting her own survey for 33ft. Height limits. Been there, done that, and look where that has gotten us. Did anyone take a look at the Annexed part of the town, and the height limits, established when she was in swaddling clothes. I think not. The South part of Town is a lovely, quaint and preserved lower limit “downtown”, if you will. Maybe if some attention was paid originally to the annexed land and “its already in place” High-Risers, the focus would be on code, and not wasting money having new surveys. Four, “Bert J. Harris” Law Suits, in place, represented by Barnett, Rudin & McClosky, will certainly drain our coffers dry, and then some. Let’s see, what else is our industrious Town Manager doing these days. Well she seems to represent the money tree of the VFD. As they spend like Drunken Sailors, she just keeps doling out the bucks. We’re bleeding money, folks. Projects are being done, leaving drainage problems all over town. How is Chen and Assoc. these days? Where are all of their fail-safe, brilliance, overseeing “engineer renderings”, that are required to dictate the RFP’s Ms. Colon brings on. The redo’s should be at the contractor’s expense, not the Town’s.

To move on, guess it is politics as usual for the “Gang of four”. After all we have our own LauderGATE with SHREDDED, oh excuse me, I mean, DELETED E mails. Believe the Vice Mayor knows what that refers to. So is anyone answering to any Sunshine Laws, guidelines, or the will of the people? I think not. I got a kind of chuckle when our Vice Mayor referred to his 102’ Fire Engine find. “The equipment alone was worth the money” said he. Well the ladder may be good for pruning our Palm trees, but not much else. As far as the equipment goes; you know haw much used stuff is worth, folks, not to mention the

2.

depreciation of 20 year old hoses and the such. Gee, that be the case,

maybe he shouldn’t of been so hell bent on replacing the SUV, if he’s into antiques.

On that note, I’ll say welcome to you all in the audience, and know well, on the Dais, we are watching your every move and making sure it comes back to bite you in March.

Thank you ”

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5- Resident Edmund Malkoon….Bel Air

Commission Meeting
September 9, 2009

I would like to start by thanking the Mayor for adding to the agenda clarification about the Boat trailers. There seems to be confusion over whether or not boat trailers by themselves are permissible.
Next, The Bel-Air Board has approved a list of street names to further our beautification efforts. We feel this will make Bel-Air streets compatible with the rest of the town.
Last, but most important, I need to address this email situation. Vice Mayor you acted in a very inappropriate manner. To give a background, a resident had filed a public records request from you regarding Chief Gooding. He wanted to see if you had any previous knowledge or discussions regarding the Chief’s dismissal. Finally, after 3 months, you responded by saying your emails were not saved as you use America Online.
1) Three months is way beyond the “reasonable” amount of time Florida Statutes require for you to produce.
2) Why wait 90 days just to say you don’t have them? This looks very suspicious.
3) AOL stores personal file cabinets on your hard drive by default. So I will encourage the citizen to take this one step further and subpoena your hard drive for a forensic analysis.
I want to inform the residents that Florida Statutes state that, by law, you are the custodian of public records. It’s one thing to suspect you of just deleting emails which you don’t want seen..but not saving and deleting of all public emails is a definite violation of the law. This is a clear example of why elected officials should not use personal email addresses for Town Business.
I also find it very strange your retaliatory request for the Mayor and Commissioner Dodds emails. If you had a legitimate need to do this why not limit the request to a specific topic and dates? This blanket email request is nothing more than a witch hunt!
In my opinion this is a further effort to stifle or discourage access to one’s elected officials. I know of several people who are now afraid to email for fear of retribution. And yes these fears are founded. I personally have been the recipient of vandalism three times. The last occurrence was just over a month ago. In fact I know, based on evidence, a current member of this audience is responsible for carrying out at least one of those acts.
The citizens of this town will continue to insist on our freedom of expression, access to information, transparency and fair dealings.
You can count on me to always be among the towns watch dogs.
Thank you.

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6- LBTS Business Owner Louis Marchelos ….

“Welcome back. It’s been so quiet. Looking at the agenda I guess the quiet is over.
Think the Town Attorney has an ordinance factory. One week we talk about fishing on the beach and suddenly a fishing ordinance appears. None of us can find out who makes decisions or suggestions as to the new content.
I think transparency requires that we have access to all steps in the governance of the town. Perhaps the Town Manager could start a Blog detailing the whos and whats. With this type of info we would not have all our conspiracy theories.
We would know if she was informed by the Pavilion contractors if flooding would be a future issue and that the drains are needed. Perhaps the drains could have been put in last year during the Pavilion construction. It has been said the Town Manager knew about the future flooding issues but never informed the commission.
Therefore, now we have rfp’s for future repairs. I hope this commission agrees that the repairs are done in May of 2010 so that the Pier, The Aruba restaurant and the other businesses affected by the future repairs do not have consecutive years of the seasonal months being affecting and hurting our business with future construction.
IF the Town Manager had a blog, we would immediately know why Chief Gooding was fired and we would understand why it was financial irresponsibility to advocate the Sheriff‘s new quarters ,but not for a new fire house and to reimburse the VFD for an old fire truck in an amount in excess of $150,000.00.
The purchase was made without Commission consent so why should the Town reimburse.
Can it be that a certain Commissioner feels no obligation to act responsibly because of perceived plurality on the commission?
Has the Town Manager acted with financial responsibility?
If one of our Commissioners had such a role in obtaining this new truck can he ethically vote on a matter to reimburse that group in which he holds such an influential position and for whom he negotiated this purchase.
The lines of propriety are too blurred. He should abstain from this vote. This same commissioner, it is rumored has erased most if not all of his e-mails in violation of his obligations as a commissioner. We need transparency!!!!
It appears that we are indeed back but back to business as usual.
No transparency.
No ethics and an agenda based the need for power and not the needs of the people
Welcome back.”

BCbythesea.com thanks all the public speakers who chose to send them in for posting…

more to come….

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