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Here’s The Scoop … Activism Through The Details …

October 10, 2009 by Barbara

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS ….

Dear Readers … .. As we approach the March 9, 2010 election…everyone “plays” a role…whether candidate… new or incumbent…Supporters of the candidates… new or longtime .. And of course voters …new and uninformed or misinformed …or old and tired of it all….

One important role role of any election is that of “Activist”…

DEFINITION…..

“Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social change, political change, economic justice, or environmental wellbeing. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.

The word “activism” is often used synonymously with protest or dissent, but activism can stem from any number of political orientations and take a wide range of forms, from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism (such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing preferred businesses), rallies, street marches, strikes, both work stoppages and hunger strikes, or even guerrilla tactics.”

For this writer …my “activism” comes from writing all the details… Details are defined as “extended treatment of or attention to particular items”  More often than not those “particulars” are MIA  in our Town’s history…And they are becoming more so each passing week with this Colon-led  Town Administration and Mc-Furth- led  Town Commission at the helm…..

MIA details were found with the Town Manager Contract… the Town Manager Review….the Town Manager pre-payment penalties….the Town Manager RFP/Bids….the Town Manager hiring and firing….the Town Manager code sweeps…the Town Manager increase in Town fees…the Town Manager unprofessional behavior toward Commissioners/ Residents/Businesses…..The particulars found in the Vice Mayor McIntee deletion of 3 1/2 years of “Town business related ” e-mails..the Vice Mayor McIntee vendettas to Residents/Businesses….Staff members obediently following their Manager’s bad behavior toward Commissioners/Residents/Businesses….The utter lack of  details in financial information being provided to Commissioners/Residents…Late and lax response in Public Records Requests….Questionable charges for Public Records Requests…and now we add in the Commission Minutes…

For that reason, I must now change one piece of advice often posted …for readers to go through the Town minutes and read what is going on…DO NOT!…Unfortunately they are tainted…What you will find is a manufactured “whitewash” of the meetings and decisions …The growing discourse and the details are not included…(unless they  impugn those that run counter to the “Gang”)… What is left is a slanted view that is beneficial to those who are currently in control…All very calculated…

The Town Commissioners are notorious for not reviewing the minutes they approve…often passing them all together in just one vote …( 4 sets of minutes are to be passed Oct. 13th)… thus they become part of the permanent record….and that unfortunate fact is proving to be most disturbing…

Take a look at a few examples of the minutes… that will most likely pass in one fell swoop again next Tuesday evening…..

LBTS MINUTES

“Page 2 d. Presentation -Bank Structure (Shawn Sackman) 9/9/09”

“Commissioner Silverstone questioned how the prepayment penalties were calculated. Mr Harlow stated that when an interest rates went up the prepayment went down. Commissioner Silverstone thought it made sense to pay off the loan now rather than later as the interest loan rate would exceed the penalty. Mr. Harlow agreed. He said there were other options for a lower rate but it would be costly to pay it off.”

Vice Mayor McIntee asked whether all major banks were similar in their rates. Mr Harlow stated that across the board the major banks were the same.

Commissioner Silverstone asked what would be if the loan were taken out today? Mr. Harlow believed it was approximately 4,6% for 10 years and 4.75 for 15 year loan.”

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BCByTheSea  9/16/09 Post… WITH DETAILS…

“Mr Shackman -” Currently the Town is invested in two types of accounts, one’s a Municipal Now Account , the second is a Public Fund Certificate of Deposit and the funds range from 40 base points or 0.04% to 1.33% “…He said it was important to know that these accounts are secured by the Florida Statute Chap. 280 (a requirement for all public funds) and the FDIC secures both as well…”This is a little bit different than it was a year ago. About a year or so ago the Town was invested in a repurchase agreement and the repurchase agreement differs from a Now Account in that you invest overnight funds into triple A security. For example Fannie Mae.” Making the change picked up additional yield…the repurchase is 0.8% compared to the yield of 40 base points and above to what the Town’s earning….He showed a comparison between the rate of 5% in 2007 and today’s rate .19 …it’s what the Now Account or any “liquid fund” are based on…as rates go up and the economy is going up so will the Town’s earnings on these accounts…when they go up…The question is, was this change brought to the Commission before, during or after it was done last year?…

Mr. Shackman-  went on to discuss the 2 promissory note loans with details of what the payoff amounts are and some options…He said we saved over the last 5 years or when the loan originated  and it’s over $100,000 by getting this lower interest rate of origination because we CHOSE to have the present pre-payment penalty versus no pre- payment penalty …”The Town chose the present value pre-payment which says ultimately you got all those savings HOWEVER due to where the rates are today there is a pre-payment calculation if the Town chooses to pay it off today.”…He explained it varies per day with interest rates…The numbers are such that it will cost us approximately $300,000+  to pay of the Promissory 2 notes!…So the gamble the Town took …and the savings we earned …mean we did not earn $100,000 …it is costing us $200,000+ now and as the Town Manager pointed out in Report to keep it would end up costing us a approximately $600,000 more!. … Who take s a pre- payment penalty on loans?….The Town Manager’s “crystal ball” was pretty cloudy when it came to that decision!…Pound Foolish!….”

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LBTS MINUTES….

“Page 11 …11. Commissioner Comments September 9, 2009”

“Vice Mayor McIntee said he did not regularly do emails: maybe 10 or 12 a year. He added that he had the same right as any citizen to request emails.” Vice Mayor McIntee did not feel it was right to attack the Town Manager’s contract as it was the same contract as the previous Town Manager had. He reminded everyone that Lauderdale-By-The- Sea had one of the lowest property taxes in Broward County.”

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BCByTheSea …..9/10/09 post….

Vice Mayor McIntee…began “pounding”….” Ah, first of all I’m gonna clarify some things on this e-mail. Folks, I don’t do e-mails. (see below) Everybody that knows me knows that I have stayed away from e-mails since long before I became a commissioner. If I do ten or twenty e-mails a year it’s a big big number. I just don’t do e-mails. I have an AOL account. If I get an e-mail from somebody in the Town I READ IT. I HAVE ONE LINE I USUALLY USE WHICH SAYS THANK YOU FOR YOUR E-MAIL,Vice Mayor McIntee. I THEN DELETE IT. And it goes into a recently deleted file. Up until this date when I called about this I didn’t know that AOL was wiping them out on a wheel. ( under oath…whom did he call…it is recorded somewhere) Now I will be more than happy to ride my hard drive to any expert who wants to look at the e-mails if he can find then in AOL by God he can have them because I know there’s only about a handful. (big hands…little hands?) I just don’t do e-mails, I don’t know how to do e-mails. I don’t know how to do any of the sending and the other stuff. I just don’t do it. (see below) Now if you think I’m trying to hide e-mails , go for it. Because I’m gonna enjoy it when they go into my hard drive and find there’s probably eight or nine in the last four months. ( how many?) Just outrageous. That’s typical of the marching season. That’s the time, it’s election time try and make him look bad. Try and make him go down. I asked for e-mails from the mayor and Commissioner Dodd. THAT’S MY RIGHT! I WANT EM. He wants to give them to me that’s fine. IF HE DOESN’T THEN I’LL TAKE WHATEVER ACTION PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE when if they handed over I DO, BUT THAT’S MY RIGHT! I’m  the same citizen you are. I WANT THOSE E-MAILS, I HAVE A RIGHT TO THEM AND I’M GOING FOR THEM,OK!” (Thinking about Howard Beal in Network?)….

The e-mails were put aside for the moment …but the nailing didn’t stop……” Now the lifetime contract on the Town Manager this is being abused. It’s being run, being taken completely out of context. The contract this woman has is the same contract as our ex- Town Manager Baldwin had word for word except for one thing Baldwin got ten weeks off paid” (see scoops  cat. prev. posts…NO WAY…NO HOW!) ” She’s one of the greatest Town Managers this Town has ever seen. So we have a situation of a lifetime contract. She’s getting more than the Governor. I , folks you better call all the Town Managers in Broward County, She’s in the middle of pay.”(LBTS is one of the smallest in population and size) “And the other thing we all have to remember we’re the only, one of the few towns in Broward County that is in great fiscal positions. Taxes have gone down. The town looks great!” (flooding streets/infrastructure/ pavilion/ construction sites/ empty properties/ public safety complex) ” It just, it just she’s just done a great job and these continual attacks , I’m use to them, but I don’t think she is. I think they’re abusive and I think they’re way out of line.” (Early Town Manager Performance Review?)…

Nearing the end of the box…old nails used for old news…” I’m gonna close out with the attack on the VFD not helping the sailor (prev. post) disgusting! Those guys would jump into a ten foot wave to save somebody and they accused them of not helping a guy who ran his boat to the beach is just not fair and not acceptable. Just way out of line. I ah, I don’t know why it happens, I just don’t know.”  (Somebody that did know said so from the audience…the VFD came on scene  after the BSO..while the boat had an intact mast …despite a false claim it was broken in a Town press release …no water and never entered the water to guide it to the buoy)…

Back to the e-mails and the final blows…..” And in closing again, come and look at my e-mails. You can have them. I called AOL.( verification is a must) Any way I can get em I believe me, I want you to have them because there aren’t any and the people that know me know I don’t do e-mails. So I’m loving this folks. I’m looking forward to receiving Commissioner Dodd’s and the Mayors e-mails. IT WILL BE GREAT READING FOR ME!”…(He’ll have plenty of time in March!)”

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LBTS MINUTES

“page 7 -8c. Town Manager Report 9/9/09”

Selection of Halloween Chairperson

“Vice Mayor McIntee said he and Commissioner Silverstone and Commissioner Clottey had done a few events for the Town. He said if they do it they want guarantees that there would be no more “backdooring” and/or “sabotage” or questioning the budget. Commissioner Silverstone nominated Barbara Cole, who turned it down. Mayor Minnet nominated Lawrence Wick, who was not present to accept or reject. Vice Mayor McIntee saidf he would do it if mayor Minnet and Commissioner Dodd would give their guarantee that there would be no harassment and the kids could enjoy the event. Mayor Minnet would not give her guarantee as she pointed out there was no harassment, only questions. Commissioner Silverstone said he had been doing it for 15 years and it was time someone else stepped up to the plate. There were no volunteers. Mayor Minnet called for the next item  on the agenda. Vice Mayor McIntee said he could not do that to the kids and agreed to Chair the event.”

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BCByTheSea …past posts etc…….Commissioner Dodd Co-Chaired the 2008 July 4th event…He helped with the 2007 Halloween Town Event…(as did this writer)…Commissioner Dodd and this writer knew who the “event coordinators” would be the Furths…We have both “been there, done that”…no thanks!…

Funny isn’t it…no mention in the minutes of the “details” of $300,000+ paid out for the pre-payment penalties the Town Manager “chose” to attach to the promissory notes…No “details” about the illegal act the Vice Mayor admitted to (version #1) on the dais in deleting all emails….BUT…slanted “details” to disparage the Mayor and Commissioner Dodd over a Halloween event… that was in there!…Hmmmm……….

So, Dear Readers…my role in this election …is the same as it has been since January 2008…To post all those “details”…And though at times they may be long and rather intense……In this writer’s opinion they are sorely needed to fill in all those blanks… and make sure that I have done all I can to right the wrong I helped to create in this town with the Mc-Furth-Colon win in January 2008….( I was not privy to their “agenda”)….I will continue to expose what will be behind their 2010 campaign ruse…and not allow these perpetrators to win again by leaving out the details!……

more to come…..

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