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Here’s The Scoop …. The Next Chapter ….

March 10, 2010 by Barbara

TURNING THE PAGE …. AND EXPANDING MY SITES….. (pun intended)…

Dear Readers… One night months ago I walked into a Unite Our Town meeting as a guest of this organization which seemed to be growing by leaps and bounds…I found a warm and welcoming group of people who were at one time old political foes … fairly recent partners in working to get the town back from the Mc-Furth-Colon “Gang”….and new acquaintances …Hardly what I imagined after  winning with the new majority in January 2008 as the CIC Vice Chair!…

I stood in front of this “opposition” organization far at the other end of town from where I stood two years prior and spoke of what brought me to their meeting…I told them what Avid Readers already knew…I was hoodwinked and I was not privy to a secret agenda being orchestrated…… I helped to elect a new majority that was going to unify the town…be fiscally responsible and openly transparent…I had put my neck out and helped them in winning big in Sea Ranch Club…by offering my neighbors the laundry list I stated above and more…In short order time however …I was walking among my friends and neighbors with my head hung low…offering apologies for the reality that transpired…commissioner cell phones…commissioner insurance and a $2 million dollar crappy hotel purchased for a public safety building  all done without batting an eyelash!…

I had already begun my new site…and proceeded to get down to business…to make it my mission to get the facts out …to rectify what I helped to create…I finished up by telling them I had a plan…That plan was to get the new majority out of office and get the Town back on track…so I could go to Chicago and help my daughter with caring for her first child so that she could finish her PhD…The people in the room that night were excited…receptive and hopeful ….. They could not know what was behind those words thus far…

Never could I have imagined as I began to post on my site that each event…each discovery would connect to the next the way they all did…I could not have dared to believe that so many people would be in the right place at the right time to assist in offering up information…with someone else then coming into place like a well choreographed dance leading the way to take that information forward with knowledge…expertise…connections and answers… It happened over and over again…Contacts grew inside and outside of organizations with people who knew they were protected from being found out and were willing to take chances to right what was wrong in the town from the new majority on the commission…the Town Administration and their stranglehold over us all!… I could not have fathomed how the internet worked with Google alerts…and tags…and how they would supply those with expertize in so many areas…fire departments and their procedures… Town management…budgets…finance…procurements…and so much more to contact me…….I am deeply indebted to those who possessed the background materials for bringing to light the truth on the Town Manager’s contract…the audit contract… the pavilion… and so much more ….It made it possible to fight the improper assertions being made … It was awe inspiring….

Incredibly it accelerated last summer (terminating Chief Gooding) as we moved closer to the time of the 2010 municipal election with the blatant disregard shown by the perpetrators …But as they grew more brazen…new people who were ready, willing and able to step up to the plate seemed to keeping growing in numbers as well…These wonderful town residents showed strength and commitment that brought out even more long kept Town secrets to the people…and the people were paying attention…The majority on the commission…the administration and their ever shrinking CIC supporters ….remained in their “bubble” ….They made the decision to go  all out with full out Furth- led Fear-mongering….culminating in a last week of campaigning that will certainly go down as the worst I for one have ever seen in LBTS  politics…(prev. posts)…But again, thanks to my “team”… and with their assistance……this site was able to counter and counter we did…. with the facts… Counter we did with three fine upstanding candidates who ran a clean campaign that was just first rate!…They were always one step ahead in organization…They were way ahead on substance, character and ideals…And in the end…it all came together on Tuesday March 9, 2010 ….as the voters mailed in their absentee ballots…and voters came out and voted in Minnet/Sasser and Vincent!… The Sentinel called it a “A triumph”…and said Silverstone/Evans/ Couriel were “trounced”… Yes they were!….By a landslide!… It was a mandate!… It was more than this writer could ever have dreamed of as I began to take them on…as I stood in front of Unite Our Town…as I waited for the results at Athena By The Sea!….

Yesterday, after the celebration (prev. posts)…I was inundated with calls…texts…and e-mails from so many…and among the many were those who assisted all along the way!…The voters/taxpayers/residents/businesses of LBTS may never know some of you by name …but you all know as I do…what a team effort this has been and it could never have been accomplished without all of you “the dots”….connecting all the way ….to the victory of Tuesday night!…Kudos!….

The “next chapter” will officially begin in LBTS on March 15, 2010 in Jarvis Hall at 7 pm…(public is welcome)…with the swearing in of Mayor Roseann Minnet…Commissioner Scot Sasser and Commissioner Chris Vincent…

For this writer the “next chapter” will begin on March 19, 2010 with  an extended stay in Chicago …with a soon to arrive new granddaughter and with a new site (as you can see!) ……”Barbaracolewrites.com” ….”The Chief Blogger”……will remain “Barbaracolebythesea.com” …All three domain names coming together…(all links lead to the same site/ link to heresthescoop.com remains as well)…) with continuing coverage of LBTS and much, much more…with plenty of assistance from the “team” behind the scenes…Roving Reporters…Roving Photogs…and of course you, the  “Avid Readers”…now that LBTS in good hands with our newly elected commission!… My Mission has been accomplished!…

You know what come next….

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … WORN OUT CAMPAIGN … WORN OUT COMMITTEE …

November 18, 2009 by Barbara

“PLEASE HELP US SAVE LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA!”…Citizens Initiative Committee (11/09)

Dear Readers …It is really sad to watch the once proud and meaningful CIC -PAC become a worn out campaign of “fear-mongering” and desperation… In previous posts we called attention to the lack of members and the short notice for the invite to their campaign fundraiser…Now flyers have been placed in some condos…offering free food to non-members and imploring all that Lauderdale-By-The- Sea must be “saved” and “preserved”…BUT…”saved” and “preserved” from whom?…That is the question voters will need to ask in THIS most important 2010 election…

This election the CIC will be running against Mayor Minnet. She has earned respect from day one on the dais…. This, despite the routine dais Mc-bullying….She is known for her fiscal oversight….. And from the outrageous recent Mc-Furth attempts to elevate the CIC’s former foe, Mayor Parker that produced fodder from one end of town to the other, the CIC is running scared!……

This election the CIC candidates will run against two fine men, Chris Vincent and Scot Sasser who made the decision to step forward to see that the town they chose to raise their children in is taken care of and to provide the kind of environment our town deserves with the continuing change in demographics! ..

Printed in the CIC fundraiser flyer….”We Need To Raise Funds to Help Elect Two Commissioners and a Mayor”….”Who will preserve, protect and enhance our small-town “QUALITY-OF-LIFE”…

In this campaign as in many we have seen before…it will come down one important question….

Is this Town’s “Quality-Of -Life” better than it was 4 years ago?…If you answered “NO”!…Then look to the Future…

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Commission Candidates Scot Sasser/ Chris Vincent

“United For Positive Change” in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea!

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop … 4 Months To March Election Making McIntee Sweat?…

November 9, 2009 by Barbara

THE PROBLEM WITH BEING A LAME DUCK….

Dear Readers … Tonight in the waning months of the first term of McIntee and Silverstone …it seems the Vice Mayor is sweating bullets over his likely demise…He put on quite a show of desperation…with his nauseating performance of bending over backward with his sudden show of revering MPSC Vice Chair Sandra Booth…The same Sandra Booth he publicly dressed down when she was nominated for a return to the committee in 2008!… He made the audience collectively snicker as he called her “Mrs. Booth” …McIntee  droned on with the countless hours put in by the MPSC and now anything less than giving them the 980 thousand will be a slap in the face!… WOW!… The same Vice Mayor who would give no direction no matter how many times Chair Paul Novak stood in front of him…but alas…maybe the Vice Mayor has spent some quality time with “Mr Oliver” and was told if he [McIntee] sucks up big time in the last few months…all will be forgotten or forgiven… Not this time…Vice Mayor…there’s way too much too remember and too many of us to remind those that don’t!

This meeting was set up to discuss the Master Plan for the next 5 years… that was switched in order with the beautification projects…at the end of the evening it was set aside until next month… The Mayor asked to do the switch to deal with the projects at hand …the A1A FDOT  and the El Mar Drive Oriana escrow million…

The discussion on the FDOT was just the beginning of yet another look at this dysfunctional dais…Commissioner Clottey had the “concern” that her “constituents” would not have a say in the A1A plan and they would be impacted by the FDOT decision… The Vice Mayor chimed in as well about the FDOT having to convince “this commissioner” on any improvements due to A1A already being over capacity in traffic …The Mayor tried to make both understand it was just a “conceptual agreement” and the Town Manager as well told them it was a $58,000 conceptual plan…with the FDOT coming to the dais in the future to speak to the Town, and they were already in agreement to allow input from the residents…But in the end it is a state road and it comes down to the residents really having no say…The Mayor and Comm. Dodd implored the commission to allow the process to move forward …after the Manager told them if they wanted to stop now…that the FDOT would go elsewhere with the project…Comm. Dodd said “Let’s not put up barricades before we see the plans. Let’s not kill it at stage one!”… Perhaps they can “linger” over the conceptual plans…if Comm. Clottey allows for it?…

So what’s up with “Mr. Oliver”…the former Mayor Parker?… Who’s he buddy, buddy with these days?… Comm. Clottey asked if the Town Atty. had spoken to “Mr Oliver Parker” to find out the details of the Oriana million dollar escrow money… The Town Atty. replied she did not have to after receiving the pertinent information from staff… The commission was provided prior to the meeting with a geographic map of the former overlay districts…It was announced that the money was allowed for beautification of the Hospitality Overlay District…which meant it was from Pine ave (north end of El Mar) to Palm Ave (south end of El Mar)…and the previous statements made by the Town Manager and the same staff  of it being Commercial Blvd. north only were bogus!… This Town Manager was quite adamant about the agreement all this time……just as she was about the agreement with Oriana for the defunct boardwalk area behind the development (maybe that needs another look-see as well)…No mention of this huge blunder and its origin….But plenty of misstatements about the MPSC median project concerning the committee, the students, the commission, the money…The breakdown of who on the dais was for what after learning this new information was really something to watch…Strange partnerships indeed!…We heard of “dilemmas” from Silverstone and Clottey…sidewalks vs. medians … The” biggest bang for the buck”…from the Vice Mayor, Paul Novak and Ocampo  architect Ernie Ojito … Vice Mayor McIntee went into a quizzing mode of Sandra Booth and Paul Novak saying he was “amazed” he thought it was “a done deal”…and the “Kids” …the “countless hours up there “…the “years” of work… He did hear from both the Chair and the Vice Chair that they did think it was a go…and the medians would be done…Mrs. Booth said the A.I. was not anxious to get involved in another project and the Vice Mayor just kept on pushing it “for the MPSC and the students”…Commissioner Dodd agreed with the Vice Mayor and said it was time to get something done…The Mayor was with Comm. Clottey on sidewalks and felt the students input was also a “conceptual plan” and she agreed as well with Marc Furth… The Town Manager said nothing was approved from the drawings based on the students projects and the Vice Mayor became indignant that it was decided to spend $980,000 and it was done in “good faith” …that to change course now was an “insult to the Master Plan Committee and the students” and the person he “feels the worst for was Mrs. Booth”…After the meeting an audience member said the disingenuous onslaught from Vice Mayor McIntee to Mrs Booth made them “want to vomit!”… Diane Boutin Manager of the Windjammer came up to speak and began by saying to “some degree she agreed with the Vice Mayor”…but then quickly changed course to agree with the Mayor about the conceptual projects and told the commission they “owed this town a process” with more brainstorming saying “infrastructure before the flowers”… MPSC member Mary Ann Wardlaw who usually shies away from comment chose to make a statement that she was “dismayed” with the new information of the million’s use for the whole of El Mar and saying the committee was “only as good as the information we get”…Comm. Silverstone in full “dilemma” mode said he agreed …”this commissioner is still not happy”…and “I think we can do better ” [the medians]…The Mayor read the 3 paragraphs from the 2005 Master Plan about El Mar Drive and said the “key words” were “pedestrian and walking “… The Vice Mayor responded that he heard the description of one lane and we have 2, that pedestrians walking in the middle [medians] would keep pedestrians safe from back-out parking the major threat to walking on El Mar…(HUH?)…Commissioner Silverstone made the same ridiculous recommendation he has in prior discussion of striping off one lane for walking and art work …Comm. Clottey did an about face to join the Vice Mayor and Comm. Dodd after asking Mr Ojito how long to do the medians (6-7 months was the reply, no answer after a followup asking if that included the permits!)…She also said it would be 2 years before Minnet does the sidewalks (wrong!)…she then said the committee and the students “worked hard ” and the would have “to bite the bullet”…

Then it was my turn…”I sat through all these meetings and I’m very surprised. First of all we were under the impression and we were told quite a few times that it was only supposed to be for in the south end. But secondly you all voted for lowering the bond for Minto which really pushed a good portion of those sidewalks that if you hadn’t lowered the bond and I think the manager tried to tell you the first time (1st comm. meeting Minto asked to lower the bond) if you hadn’t lowered their bond they would have gone ahead and done a good portion of the sidewalks. (Actually, it was the recommendation of the Manager & staff not to lower the bond) The gentleman who came up to speak for Minto actually said if you don’t lower it, they’ll probably go ahead and do it [sidewalks] because it would be cheaper in the long run. (prev. posts) You don’t know when they’re [Minto] going to come back and do those sidewalks. You have no idea how many years it’s really going to take with development and every developer that comes in has been told they have to do underground utilities and then they’re going to have to put in new sidewalks afterward.”

“So, I’m surprised about that.  I think there can be a combination of doing all this but frankly we’re 4 months away from an election. I think you should put this million dollars in the bank . You now have all this new information”

Vice Mayor McIntee-” That’s inappropriate! That’s political! And that’s solely political!”

The Mayor said “excuse me” a couple of times…

I said ” I have a right to my opinion, and my opinion is that.”

Mayor Minnet-” There is no need for that interruption Vice Mayor, continue Ms. Cole.”

Me- ” A little thin skinned?  My opinion is that since you have been thrown this curve and it has now changed what you said, that maybe you should consider not making a fast decision and seeing what you come back with, with this new information and you’re facing the holidays. You have just one meeting now. [Nov.] You face Christmas,and you’re facing the holidays and then you’re in the throes of , excuse me Vice Mayor, an election. So, my opinion is that maybe you want to hold off until you get some different people up there and you use your million dollars.”

Vice Mayor McIntee-” Point of order Mayor! That’s absolutely unacceptable! She’s talking about changing the dais! It’s, that’s not acceptable! You have to stop now! Because the Charter says there should be no political activities in Jarvis Hall!”

Mayor Minnet-” Vice Mayor, Vice Mayor, that’s not political. We have an election in March 2010.”

Me- ” I said maybe there might be some different people  up there. Boy it’s gonna be interesting!”

Mayor Minnet-” Thank you for letting us know when the election is!”…The audience laughed!

The Vice Mayor wanted to “move on the $980,000″… The Mayor said she would not and that she was not for making a “hasty decision”…The Vice Mayor told her it was not a “hasty decision” that she was unacceptable in her statement..and again spoke of the years we had this money …3 years (it was in escrow and could not be touched until this year)…Comm. Dodd said the dais was “deadlocked” and a Round Table was needed… to have some “interchange” …The Mayor said the Vice Mayor wanted to give direction to the Manager to put this on the agenda…It went on the agenda for the Dec. 8, 2009 commission meeting…and a Round Table was set for Dec. 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm… The Manager asked after saying “it’s not personal” (HUH?) if she could get together ahead of the Round Table with Ocampo and work with Ocampo on the project…unfortunately, this commission must have had a temporary brain freeze and said go ahead!… This is the same Manager that unilaterally changed the Beach Pavilion, made up the Cone of Silence, stopped reading RFPs aloud and missed the 10 day (by law) deadline for RFPs with the Police renovation …( and on and on and on from her unilateral lifetime contract)…The same Town Manager that told them the money was for the south end only!…YIKES!… Before they adjourned Mrs. Booth came to the podium to praise her committee, to remind the commission how quickly the A.I. students started and finished the project (96 days) and say they [MPSC] serve at the pleasure of the commission saying they “can do anything you give us, we can do!”…The MPSC will join the commission on Dec. 7th and the public is welcome as well…

After the meeting, we found in the hall Nance and David Nixon back in town for a while. They are longtime residents of El Mar Drive……….Nance Nixon informed this writer that when the CRA was in tact [David was in charge of the CRA] …it was made known that in the future the medians on El Mar would be where all the underground utilities would run…and to put money in them now would be a total waste!…ARGHHH…

In closing…after seeing the meeting above and learning the information afterward…the future of El Mar Drive really should be decided in 4 months with the change up on the dais!…

more to come….

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