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HERE’S THE SCOOP…..ARUBA BEACH CAFE A LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA LANDMARK….

September 11, 2022 by Barbara

HERE’S THE SCOOP….

Dear Readers…. Below is an email I sent to Town Mayor Chris Vincent, Vice Mayor Edmund Malkoon, Commissioner Buz Oldaker, Commissioner  Theo Poulopolous, Commissioner Randy Strauss as well as Town Manager Linda Conners, Deputy Town Manager Ken Rubach et al…. today…..

‘ARUBA AND OUR TOWN…..

Mayor, Commissioners-

It has come to my attention that once again there are a minority of people who are pushing their views of the plaza use to you in order to remove Aruba Beach Cafe from retaining their outdoor dining on a portion of the plaza.

I have no doubt that they would find out from their hotel patrons, neighbors and the majority of residents, neighboring residents and tourists both in our town and beyond that the pairing of our ocean front plaza and Aruba Beach Cafe are actually combining the two major landmarks we are known for along with the pier.

On the agenda for 9/14/2022 is to approve the archiving of our social media.

If you look at these archives you will see Aruba Beach Cafe in first or second place with the ocean plaza of photos taken by those using social media along with public relations photos and articles capturing our town.

Go to any specialty shop, photographer and art vendor or store and you will find Aruba Beach Cafe postcards, sketches, paintings and household items that change from place to place assuring its place as our town destination landmark.

Aruba Beach Cafe anchors our town and our downtown restaurants and has done so from our lean days to the present day that affords us all with much coveted parking revenue that you all marvel at year after year.

Add to that the income this town enjoys from the income we derive from Aruba Beach Cafe both from taxes and from their patrons who surely expand their patronage to other businesses in our town.

Aruba Beach Cafe under the management of Peggy Mohler has proven throughout their time in the plaza with their outdoor dining that they go over and beyond with the town in maintaining the plaza far beyond their designated area. 

They have happily and helpfully made sure to not impede or impact the town’s events in the plaza. In fact, they have supported and supplied assistance to elevate each event as you can all attest to.

It is time to laud Aruba Beach Cafe for being the first rate example of true public- private urban planning that urban planners on every level strive for.

I look forward to seeing all of you join the majority in making sure that Aruba Beach Cafe knows it is a LBTS treasure with a long overdue proclamation that solidifies it and the assurance of full support for retaining their plaza dining!

Barbara Cole

It is time for this town commission, administration, staff and residents to proclaim Aruba Beach Cafe as the landmark we all know it is and to support it as such….

More to come……

 

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HERE’S THE SCOOP….WHEN IS A TOWN NO LONGER A TOWN?….. WHEN IT BECOMES A CITY!….

July 14, 2022 by Barbara

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TOWN AND A CITY…

Dear Readers….

Below is an email this writer sent to our commission after the 7/12/2022 commission meeting which continues to be problematic for those of us who know that unless and until there is a majority on the dais that leads rather than follows what staff puts in front of them we are heading towards the demise of LBTS being a TOWN! …..
We will become a CITY with unnecessary big ticket purchases of land for parking, large building, mega mansion  overdevelopment, city complexes and re- designs that will make our unique beachside village indistinguishable from all the other staff, contracted design- CRA driven municipalities!……
The only way to stop it is for those who chose to live here because we are a Town and not a city to speak out and let your commissioners know you want them to protect and preserve what we covet!…..
Silence from our LBTS stakeholders will only emboldens this trajectory from a Town to a city and will certainly leave us all with only our memories of what we once had and cherished but did nothing to stop it from happening!….
Please step up and pay attention and get involved because the few who are doing so cannot save our Town without you!…..
More to come…..
Email to our LBTS Commission-
From: Barbara Cole
Date: July 13, 2022
To: LindaConnors <[email protected]>, Chris Vincent <[email protected]lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov>, TheoPoulopoulos <[email protected]>, Randy Strauss <[email protected]>, Buz Oldaker <[email protected]lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov>, Edmund Malkoon <[email protected]fl.gov>, Barbara Cole <[email protected]>
Subject: 7/12/2022 Commission Meeting
Good Evening-

7/12/2022

What a disappointing night for those you represent!
You approved the purchase of an A1A parking lot with a lousy location, with terrible car access and a rather precarious dark sidewalk walk to our downtown to be bought for $5 million plus!
I asked about the required appraisals and none of the dais members took either the time to get the three appraisal amounts that were not provided in the agenda backup verbally from the Town Manager or to lookup the 4/26/2022 agenda that contained that overview per the Town Manager in her rather lacking response!
Here it is-
‘1. Prior to initiating any negotiations for the acquisition of any real property with the property owner, the Town shall obtain two written appraisals performed by a state certified real estate appraiser with an MAI Designation if the appraisal exceeds two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). Appraisers selected to appraise real property pursuant to this Section shall submit an affidavit substantiating that the appraiser has no vested or fiduciary interest in the property that is the subject of the appraisal.
2. Appraisal reports, offers and counteroffers are exempt from the provisions of Florida Statutes Section 119.07(1) (Public Records Law) for a period of time as provided in Florida Statutes Section 166.045, as amended from time to time.’
Look-
‘The assessed value of the Property well exceeds the $250,000 threshold, so Staff has ordered and received the required appraisals of the property which range between approximately 3-4 million as well as an appraisal provided by the property owner. Staff also seeks Commission direction as to whether the Commission wishes to have Staff begin to negotiate for the purchase of the Property. If a tentative agreement is reached, it will be scheduled for Commission consideration after the Town provides thirty (30) days’ notice to the public of the meeting.’
3-4 million! So where is the justification to pay 1-2 million more?!
I am against the 10 million dollar Public Safety Complex as stated previously due to the future of small municipalities such as ours being incorporated into the county as well as the limited size of our providers and the viable future of retaining a VFD.
That being said,  if it is the desire of the commission representing their constituents then forgo this 5 million dollar property and put it towards a complex that offers surface parking below the building.
Downtown, you all think the way to proceed is to pay for construction drawings and bid and then pull what is not wanted?
Why? Does it not seem fiscally responsible to do the reverse?
 Do the basic switch wanted by the restaurants and the residents then build on it  if need be.
It is akin to asking your builder to provide plans for a mega mansion only to end up with a tiny house! What a waste of time and money!
Someone please stop this separation of our downtown Commercial Ave. businesses and those further east on the plaza!
It is one downtown, already small with no need to further compartmentalize or diminish by purposefully dividing it for no reason!
This staff led commission is showing why this style of government will continue to replace our small town in to a city indistinguishable from our neighbors to the north and south at a record pace!
The commission should certainly take advantage of those interested and knowledgeable residents and businesses who offer up their vast expertise and knowledge because this was definitely an integral component to our biggest achievements and can continue to be if considered and accepted!
Which dais member will be the first to decide to lead us back to the formula that provided us our most success from 2010- 2016?
Will it be our current Mayor, our second term commissioner fresh off a campaign win he worked hard for, our newest commission member or those two commissioners in their final terms who are already vying for the center seat in 2024?
The residents, businesses and your future voters are watching!
Barbara Cole
4/26/2022 Agenda Item-

 

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HERE’S THE SCOOP….. TIMING THE TOWN MANAGER POSITION…. IN 2021-2022

October 9, 2021 by Barbara

 

IT MATTERS WHO OCCUPIES THE TOWN MANAGER OFFICE….

Dear Readers…

Below is a copy of the email sent to our LBTS Commission in advance of the Town Commission October 12,2021 Old Business Agenda item 12.a Town Manager Position….

Please make your comments known to those who represent you before they act on this all- important issue which impacts every resident and business in our town!….

Mayor, Commissioners-

The most important, transparent duty you have to represent your constituents and our town is who you hire as our Town Manager in our Commission- Town Manager form of government.
We know this from previous blunders and successes prior to 2010 , 2010 and in 2018 and the impact on our town with these commission elevated or hired Town Managers.
I have always been about the process and the right process has always benefitted this Town.
There were red flags from the start with former Town Manager candidate Bill Vance which you can find and refresh your memories with watching our Town Commission archived videos.
Unfortunately these issues were cast aside even though they were front and center right up to his hiring according to former Town Manager Bud Bentley.
As a result we were severely impacted by his hiring for almost 2 years.
The Commission elevated former Director of Development Linda Conners as Interim Town Manager.
From the start of elevating Linda Conners I was for the process being fair and  fully executed.
I was probably the first resident to email her as she was installed to wish her well in her endeavor.
I was also immediate in voicing my disdain and criticism concerning a special meeting to accommodate and decide if former mayor Scot Sasser should be fast tracked for the Town Manager position because it thwarted the process!
To his credit former Mayor Sasser decided it was not the right way to go and respectfully asked to cancel it.
I walked with Linda Conners on El Mar Drive at the start of her interim position which we all thought was just that knowing she would be a candidate for Town Manager.
Unfortunately due to misinformation cast out as fact you chose to extend her interim position based on Ken Parker’s dictum which was counter to our past process.
With the exception of Mayor Vincent who tried to remind the dais of the importance of the process in the Zoom meeting that delayed it the commission chose to revisit it in October.
The agenda for Oct. 12,2021 under Old Business now has it on to address.
This is again thwarting the process in its placement on a regular agenda with the options it includes-
1. Negotiate a contract with Linda Connors to fill the Town Manager position.
2. Extend the Interim term for Linda Connors.
3. Direct Staff to Hire FCCMA or a consultant to conduct a search and assist as necessary in the Town Manager recruitment.
We are 4 meetings away from January 2022 and candidates filing to run for 3 seats on the dais in March.
It is customary in our town to defer such impacting decisions to the incoming new commission.
By taking Ken Parker’s advice and holding off the search you should not proceed in either hiring or starting a search which will tie the hands of the next commission due to either lack of process or the time the process will take which coincides with our municipal election.
This means keeping the status quo until the new commission is in place which is really the only fair and transparent option.
Sadly, if a majority on this commission choose to disregard our history of deference to a new commission so close to an election,
the Town Manager position requires a Special Meeting as well as signs, banners and alerts for public participation as a Round Table or a project that impacts our town!
Those you represent now and in the future will be watching and depending on this commission to adhere to your responsibility to make our next Town Manager a success starting with a fair and transparent process based on history, process and doing the right thing!
Thank you,
Barbara Cole
https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/1094428/CoverPage.pdf
Christopher Vincent Mayor 954-612-8606 [email protected]
Buz Oldaker Vice Mayor 954-530-5279 [email protected]
Elliott Sokolow Commissioner 954-599-5800 [email protected]
Edmund Malkoon Commissioner 954-802-3403 [email protected]
Randy Strauss Commissioner 954-566-5297 [email protected]
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