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Here’s The Scoop … July 14, 2010 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Commission Roundtable … Is There A Pecking Order? …

July 14, 2010 by Barbara




WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010 – 7PM





a. Discussion regarding bringing back the Community Performing Arts Center (Commissioner Chris Vincent).

Backup- “Item/Items: Community Performing Arts Center Support
ACTION OR OUTCOME EXPECTED: Discussion of Commission interest in bringing back the
Community Performing Arts Center and providing financial support for it in the 2010/2011 budget
SPECIAL NOTES :In order to accommodate their stage setup needs for productions we might have to
reschedule a few Roundtable meetings”

BC- Seems Comm. Vincent is the go-to guy for the old-OG theses days …Parker signs in his yard …and we hear more popped up by certain die-hards despite past pontifications on Parker to this writer …due to the fact I called Vincent out on the sign…Come on.. No one should be surprised what I think of Parker and a few of those who did some bad deeds toward me in 2006 and 2007 among others.. (see below) …Also, if the scoop is true and UOT is backing Parker…Sad news for an organization who was outraged over the Colon contract…Parker is the only one who claims to have known what was in her contract!.. I was so pleased Ray Wolowicz became the Chair last month…but the group needs to move forward not rally for the past … that will set them on the same path as the CIC …in this writer’s opinion…Guess when I come home this fall I will really have to get a seat in the center aisle in Jarvis Hall ….

On to the Performing Arts … no budget was included…The program was torpedoed by the McIntee-Furth Gang …The accounting by the Performing Arts was not up to snuff and that gave the “Gang” and the former TM the ammunition they needed to shut it down… This writer is for a Performing Arts…done in a manner that does not impact use of the hall… That being said…it should perhaps be a part of the new Community Center and funded properly…Also, if the Commission continues on as it has…by the time this program starts…there should be one commission meeting and one roundtable each month on the 2nd and 4th Tues. of each month…so that will free up any conflict for the program… Big thumbs up on this one…with the right agreement in place…

b. Report on the status of Reef Restoration Project (Interim Town Manager Connie Hoffmann).


A report on the history and current status of the Reef Restoration Project

ACTION OR OUTCOME EXPECTED: Commission direction on how to proceed with the project”

BC- This writer took a look back at this project after getting the backup… First of all this project was brought to Marc Furth by former Mayor Ken Wardlaw…It was Wardlaw that pushed Marc to get it going and then the two had a falling out over it…per e-mails and conversations with both in 2006/07… According to the backup the project was approved on Feb 13, 2007 what a whopper that meeting was!… Not only was the Coral Reef Project in it…but also as previously posted Sister Cities… the necessity of a CRA Reso…in pub. comments resident Stuart Dodd welcomed new Acting Asst. TM Esther Colon and referenced his concern over an employee pleading the 5th (missing minutes Town Clerk Medina) … Approval over phase II for Bel Air and North neighborhoods…Underground utility locations…Agreement with FDOT for A1A Pine to Terra Mar Project….Beach access paths north … Street closures for business events downtown Village Grille/Athena…Rip current signs and phones on beach…Camera coverage of Town mtgs…Appoint new members to P & Z (after Parker-and his pals threw this writer and Julio Omana off on calculated and trumped up charges of Sunshine violations…which were dismissed due to having absolutely no validity)…Building Dept. Fee comparisons with other municipalities…Restructuring the building dept….Hiring an Asst. TM….putting BTSTimes in boxes around town…See folks..nothing is new in LBTS!…

Back to the minutes …at this meeting Dr. Goreau came and asked the dates to be changed from Nov. 2006 to Feb 2007 on the contract as well as the completion within 60 days to add 1 day for each day of inclement weather and a change of the DC voltage… The Town Atty. was to look over the project for and then upon his approval it was a go..with a 5-0 vote… Nothing in the backup shows former TAtty. Cherof’s name on it and it was surprising to see he was to approve first after seeing how poor this contract was …According to the contract Dr. Goreau et al are in default … On Sept. 25, 2007 the project was back on the agenda under the Consent  Agenda asking for an increase of of $16,200.00 due to a change in the power source for the project… The project was not $60-65,000 it was $76,ooo….It was passed without any discussion 5-0… The reason given in the backup..power from the pier was cost prohibitive…We are told that Furth and McIntee went to the owner of the pier to enlist him to allow a tower and low voltage to the project…he agreed and then there was a falling out and price was never discussed..they never got there…and the owner was told by Furth they would get the power elsewhere…”Elsewhere” was the solar buoys..and the increase in cost…Time has passed …$48,000+ has been paid to Global Coral Reef Alliance…all the permits were in by Jan 2009…with the last one coming from the Coast Guard…that one has now expired (Jan 2010)…and still we have nothing out there… Now the cost for the remaining solar has bumped up the cost again per an accompanying letter in the backup…for $17,200…This writer wants to know why the buoys would not have been built and ready for the project…This writer wants to know why the Town does not own the buoys?…This writer wants to know why the former TM would disperse monies as late as last year for a defaulted contract and a project that had no accountability …and why she provided no backup for the commission…Her actions in doing so run counter to her declarations on the dais to the Rep. from the handheld parking company in how she does business along with countless other declarations on paying out Town monies…Hmmmm… Now the Commission is left in a no-win situation…It’s a “feel-good” project…that had only the recipient of the monies “feel good”…and a political “tool” if not handled carefully by those who want it… A look by this writer at Dr.  Goreau’s site shows no other projects done in the meantime in any state…I was looking for a timeline to see how long these projects took and the success…Not there…only a news release of their joint effort for the marine park with the Cry of the Water people that was turned down (prev. post) and press releases from a while back on LBTS… There was success in Thailand…but it was years after the electrical portion of the project stopped (from 1997)… Seems Goreau does a lot of traveling and talks on climate change…but the Coral Reef Project…not so much…It is also a concern that they may breech the contract and go for 2 buoys rather than 3… One other interesting non- happening from the Feb 2007 meeting…Dr. Goreau said in 2008 there was to be an International Symposium in Fort Lauderdale and “thousands of coral reef experts will be attending. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our area”…Comm. Silverstone and McIntee said it would be “a positive impact to our beach” …and “it would be a tremendous boost to our economy”…So what happened to that?… There was also talk of a $50,000 grant from Broward County that never  went anywhere …..So, here we sit in 2010…and all we have is a non-working single buoy that was parked outside Marc Furth’s motel!…Commission needs to draw up a new contract …and get some real answers with a real time frame!…

Also of not in the Sept,. 25, 2007 agenda…one lane or two on El Mar Drive …Architectural approval of the Pavilion  and the Performing Arts contract…again nothing new in LBTS!…. archived 2007 minutes …

c. Budget Issues (Interim Town Manager Connie Hoffmann).


The Chamber of Commerce has submitted a request for an operations subsidy from the Town in the amount of $55,000 to
support their functions next fiscal year. (This is in addition to the approximate $40,000 in support the Town provides to
maintain the Town building and grounds they are located in and pay for that building’s utility bills and insurance.) The
Chamber’s request represents a very significant increase over the current year’s budgeted support of $28,000 The Chamber
did not submit a budget to support their request and Chamber Executive Director Judy Swaggerty has advised it is not yet
Attached as an exhibit to this item is the Chamber Treasurer’s report showing the status of the Chamber’s current year’s
budget vs their income and expenditures as of May 2010
Although the Town budgeted a cash contribution of $28,000 to the Chamber in the current fiscal year I assume the
Commission is aware the former Town Manager only authorized payment of $19,081.23 of that amount because the
Chamber provided her with a Profit Loss statement in January 2010 for their fiscal year2009 that showed the Chamber
had a net loss in that amount (The Chamber’s fiscal year is the calendar year unlike ours.) I have attached updated P & Ls
that the Chamber provided the Town in April which show the Chamber had a net income of  $25,250.29 in fiscal year 2009
and a net loss of <$1,233.83>in fiscal year 2008
Given the significant net profit the Chamber showed in 2009 I believe it would be appropriate for the Town to also request
a balance sheet for fiscal year 2009 and for there to be significant discussions with the Chamber Board about their finances
a delineation of services they will provide the Town in exchange for any contribution we make and an agreement that spells
out our relationship and how the Town’s contribution relates to the Chamber’s bottom line
ACTION OR OUTCOME EXPECTED Commission discussion on how you wish to handle the Chamber’s funding
request for next year”

BC- One of the primary motivations for the 65% landslide win last March was the Chamber of Commerce and the Welcome Center and how it became a political football ….The Chamber was kicked to the curb at every opportunity and Christmas- By- The- Sea was cancelled in 2008 thanks to former VM McIntee and former TM Colon and their “Gang”…The Chamber was penalized for receiving Broward County funds in the amount of $20,000 for the Welcome Center…The Chamber is being penalized for using Town property…etc… Bottom line…Sit down with the executive board of the Chamber and learn about the two entities that reside under the same roof… Then invest in the Chamber and the Welcome Center with a long range plan for the future with this all important lobbying”arm” of LBTS  to make sure any other investments in Town such as El Mar Drive Beautification and public bathrooms on the beach along with multiple valet services and revitalized businesses…coral reefs…marine parks along with resorts are valid in going forth with!… Table this one…until a sit down can be scheduled…The voters will be watching….

d. Beach Restroom options (Community Development Director Jeff Bowman).

Backup-I”Item/Items:Public Restroom Facility Report on options and costs for a public restroom facility near the beach
as a Capitol Improvement Project CIP east of EL Mar Drive
ACTION OR OUTCOME EXPECTED:To give direction to include one hundred and fifty thousand dollars($150,000) for the proposed facility
To give direction on a location
To give direction on a type of unit (i.e. prefabricated or constructed)
To give direction on the number of facilities (i.e. how many male and female)”

BC- We hear the Town believes we have the money to move forward on this…but where…as previously posted this is a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) project… Comm. Vincent has been on this one per his campaign promise… He is said to want it in the pier parking lot…and was leaning hard for that location…But why would the pier owners want it there even if the location was ideal…which it is not…in this writer’s opinion…The pier is already having parking lot issues with the antiquated parking requirements in LBTS…(to be addressed by this commission …hopefully to be abolished)…and besides again in my opinion why would anyone give up their oceanfront property to the government for bathrooms…maybe a new configuration of dining or shopping will come into that lot in the future …The alleyway is no good…it should be opened up 24/7 sooner rather than later…and it is possible if the valet trial shows the Ham n’ Egg location is not working…the valet could go in at the pier lot…Next to the Pavilion…we all know that was a big fat no from Aruba …so by their alley shared with Paul Novak’s hotel is also off the table… Oriana and Minto don’t want them by their million dollar oceanfront abodes and swimming pools…So…in whose backyard then… $150,000++++ (expect change orders galore)… available for public bathrooms this year?…If that’s so there’s money for the Chamber…Performing Arts etc…

e. Pet Grooming Business (Interim Assistant Town Manager Bud Bentley).

BC- not included in the previous list of allowable businesses recently passed in the business zoned area…

f. Building Services Contract (Interim Town Manager Connie Hoffmann).

A review of the current arrangements with Broward County for building permitting and inspection services and alternative
ACTION OR OUTCOME EXPECTED: Commission discussion on whether to stay with the current arrangement or
to seek proposals from additional service providers
Exhibits: Cover memo from Town Manager dtd 6/8/2010  and Report from consultant Kathleen

BC- As posted above …on Feb 13, 2007 it was dealt with as well as in 2008-2009 and here we go again… The backup states Development Dir. Bowman is happy with Broward…from what this writer hears from Readers and from what former and present Comms. have stated on the dais he is in the minority on his praise for the provider….Ms Hoffmann’s consultant a 10% surcharge is added to permits for LBTS as Broward provides us with a “turnkey service”…Permit recipients state the fees are too high and are verified of that by many contractors and vendors…Sometime soon…get out of the “turnkey service” with Broward and contract it out as many other municipalities have …Mayor Minnet offered this up last year…


BC- added on from last night …event chairs…per Comm. Sasser…We were informed by Cindy Geesey…it is not required that it be a Commissioner in charge…Commission needs to decide what works for them going forth…

Also, Comm. Sasser’s Choice Environmental Ord. changes (prev. post) to get 2 of the 3 issues resolved quickly…


Full backup…

Online- and on Comcast Channel 78…

more to come ….

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