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Here’s The Scoop … May 18, 2010 MPSC Meeting… One Spoke -Two-Spokes On That Wheel?…

May 18, 2010 by Barbara

TWO GIANT STEPS BACKWARD ….

Dear Readers…sorry to say the MPSC wasted another hour and half meeting about subjects that have been decided long ago and essentially as Chair Paul Novak stated more than one…wanting to re-invent the wheel!…

A new member John Panitsas took up most of the time by going over the possibility of taking El Mar Drive to one- lane…and then on to building a parking garage in the Municipal lot!… Arghhh….

With all due respect to Mr. Panitas, he should have done some homework before taking the MPSC position…He could have easily looked at prior minutes from Commission meetings and special meeting over the last 5 years…such as the one from Nov. 14, 2007 (link below) when Jarvis Hall was packed and residents and businesses were adamantly against El Mar Drive being one-lane … This  discussion went on far too long and “Sainthood” should be awarded tonight to longtime resident and El Mar Drive hotelier Chair Paul Novak…in this writer’s opinion …. Mr. Novak sat patiently and listened to the new member as the member went on and on as if he had come up with a plan…. When Mr. Novak  did try to make Mr. Panitsas aware of the obstacles both political and from a viability standpoint of everyday life on El Mar Drive from walkers to daily deliveries to garbage pick-up to back-out parking the new member was either not comprehending Mr. Novak’s accurate account of life on El Mar Drive and/or was completely in the dark about Mr. Novak’s experience and knowledge…

Also, it is this writer’s opinion that Town Engineer James Barton needs to be given the axe immediately and Chen and Assoc needs the boot as well!..Mr Barton should also be up to snuff on the history of the Town he is employed by …but again showed he is not!… Just as he was in the dark about the Tele-Vac work that has been ongoing in town at the Stormwater Master Plan Workshop…He was in the dark (purposely?) on the one-lane/2-lane El Mar background….It was brought up as recently as when he …Chen and Ocampo stood in front of the previous MPSC last year after being brought in to address them by the former Town Manager …It was embarrassing to watch them insert their foots in their mouths by bringing it up then…This writer wrote about how poorly prepared they were by TM Colon to “go there” in suggesting one-lane for the planning of El Mar Drive.

Anyone who is considering following Mr, Barton’s suggestions and comments made tonight when he told them to not worry about the people..or politics that the only people that mattered were sitting at that table ( as he pointed to each) and on the Commission…will be ill-advised and can kiss any shot at political office in the future goodbye!… Barton told the committee that they would  get  grief for doing most big changes all the way through the project and that afterward those giving them grief will like it!.. He told the committee it was his opinion to start from scratch on the El Mar Project and chuck the previous work done by Chen and Assoc……He also told them he could come up with a cost study ($$$$) for one-lane and whatever else they wanted … Yep,we  bet he could..Cha-Ching!…

Thank goodness Vice Mayor Dodd came to the meeting and was asked for input by Chair Paul Novak …The VM explained the backlash that came in past years…He delved into Oriana and the Minto having to change their plans back to 2-lanes…VM Dodd also added it was his opinion the Commission would not go for one-lane ..but the committee could poll the Commission…This writer agrees…most likely Minnet/Clottey/Dodd will not go for one-lane and the new Comms. Sasser and Vincent will be hearing big time from Sea Ranch Club walkers, Town businesses that will be impacted by delivery problems and El Mar Drive property owners when this item hits the agenda at either a Commission meeting or a Round Table!…

Unfortunately, Mr. Panitsas continued on despite the Chair and Vice Mayor’s comments …talking about bike lanes…Hollywood’s roadway (he brought pictures) …..building a parking garage…insisting there was room for trees between hotels and the need for 10 ft. sidewalks…(despite the fact that walkers will still walk in the road)….He would most likely have continued on another hour…basically showing no interest or regard for what happened in the past ….Mr. Novak finally shut the meeting down…although, it seemed to end with the MPSC  preparing to go at this again at the next meeting in June …YIKES!…

Before the discussion took this wrong turn on El Mar …pun intended…normal business was done by taking the roll and approving the  previous committee minutes…First up was the A1A-FDOT project which they decided they could not further discuss due to the lack of a response to their questions (prev. post -last MPSC mtg.)…about elements/ location/ input funds required etc… Int. Asst. TM Bentley was contacted by FDOT after Co-Chair Edmund Malkoon was informed by FDOT (he was asked by he committee to contact FDOT) they would deal with the Town (Mr. Bentley)…Mr. Bentley said he was meeting with Post Buckley (the engineers doing the $58,000 design for the Town) and was also working with Int. TM Hoffman compiling all the Town documentation…and would not have any answers for another week… Chair Paul Novak said that response along with 4 members not in attendance due to excused absences made it time to move on …He also added the MPSC consensus at the prior meeting was not to pour the $220,000 into the project …Co-Chair Malkoon wanted it on the record that the Bel Air Board had sent a letter to the Town last week asking for a streetlight in front of their neighborhood on A1A and that letter stated they supported the A1A project…

After that was the “2 GIANT Steps Backward” commentary above…

Archived Special Meeting 11/14/2007 El Mar Drive 2 lanes… http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/spc-meetings-07.htm

more to come….

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