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Update…Post Online…And Thou Shall Receive A Response…

November 20, 2008 by Barbara

An update to the last post…on this site…Here’s The Scoop….Not Following The Rules….On So Many Levels..to her credit…the Town Clerk responded moments prior to the posting…and the Town Attorney…not long afterwards…

Below is the the e-mail requests…and responses…on the VFD…unfortunately…the VFD Chief…is still MIA…what to do?…. what to do?….That is the question……..

Note to Readers…all e-mails below are a matter of public record…

On Thu, 11/13/08, Barbara Cole <[email protected]yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Barbara Cole <[email protected]>
Subject: public information request
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 2:03 PM

Chief Perkins;
I am requesting the information on the following requirements set forth on your VFD website.
I am also asking for the VFD Nov. monthly meeting minutes if they have been approved.
I await your response, of receipt of this e-mail, and when I can pick up this information,dating back from pre-contract time to present roster.
I will cover any copying cost.
Thank You, Barbara cole

All new members will have to complete within two months the following courses:

  • Incident Command System (IS 100, IS 200, IS 700, IS 800).
  • Sexual harassment awareness
  • HIPPA

Minimum requirement to keep an active status

To keep their active status, all members should:

  • Attend at least two drills a month and,
  • complete the monthly assigned self-study training,

and on a three month average:

– Regular members should be responding to a minimum of 15% of all emergency calls.

– Associate members should be completing their assigned station watch duties (between 24 and 40 hours per month).

— On Tue, 11/18/08, Barbara Cole <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Barbara Cole <[email protected]>
Subject: Fw: public information request…update
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 10:20 AM

Chief Perkins
Madam Town Manager Colon
Town Attorney Abbott
Madam Town Clerk White
I am once again asking for some response concerning being denied public information requests from the VFD.
It is my understanding that these responses are required from the VFD by the state, the Town, and the VFD by-laws.
I would appreciate a response from the VFD and the Town on this matter.
Barbara Cole

— On Thu, 11/20/08, June White <[email protected]> wrote:
From: June White <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: public information request…update
To: [email protected]
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 10:21 AM

The Town Clerk does not possess these files.

June White

Town Clerk

Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

4501 Ocean Drive

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL 33308

[email protected]

Phone: 954-776-0576

Fax: 954-776-1857

Madam Clerk
I appreciate that you alone responded.
I included you in the e-mail, but did not think you had them.
I am awaiting a response from the Manager and/or the Town Attorney on their position regarding the non- response for public records from the VFD.
Again, thank you for responding.
Barbara Cole

— On Thu, 11/20/08, Daniel L. Abbott <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Daniel L. Abbott <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: public information request…update
To: ” [email protected] ” < [email protected] >
Cc: ” Esther Colon ” <[email protected]>, ” June White ” <[email protected]>
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 2:03 PM

Ms. Cole:

While the VFD may be an “agency” of the Town for purposes of the public records law, they are nonetheless a legal entity distinct from the Town. The Town has no authority to compel the VFD to respond to your inquiries. In short, we believe this to matter between you and the VFD, the entity to whom you have directed your request.

–Dan

From: Barbara Cole [mailto: [email protected] ]
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 2:19 PM
To: Daniel L. Abbott
Subject: RE: public information request…update


Mr Abbott,
Thank you for your response although I am surprised that the Town has no authority to compel them.
Who would that fall to, the Florida Attorney General? I understood it was a Florida Statute.
I wonder if it can be added as a requirement by the Town as an addendum to the present contract…per the Florida Statute or upon renewal of their contract next year?

Again, thank you for responding.
Barbara Cole

— On Thu, 11/20/08, Daniel L. Abbott <[email protected]> wrote:

From: Daniel L. Abbott <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: public information request…update
To: ” [email protected] ” < [email protected] >
Cc: ” Esther Colon ” <[email protected]>, ” June White ” <[email protected]>
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 2:28 PM

Ms. Cole:

Failure to comply with a public records request can be prosecuted as both a criminal and/or a non-criminal infraction, presumably by the State Attorney (Fla. Stat. § 119.10). In addition, production of the public records can be enforced by filing a civil complaint therefor (Fla. Stat. § 119.11).

I suppose a contractual provision could be added to the contract but, as with all contractual provisions, it would have to be agreed to by both parties.

–Dan

From: Barbara Cole [mailto: [email protected] ]
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 2:42 PM
To: Daniel L. Abbott
Subject: RE: public information request…update

Again, I thank you for your quick response. Barbara Cole
Have a nice Thanksgiving.

On Thu, 11/20/08, Daniel L. Abbott <[email protected]> wrote:
From: Daniel L. Abbott <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: public information request…update
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 2:45 PM

Thank you; you too.

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…Not Following The Rules…On So Many Levels…

November 20, 2008 by Barbara

Dear Readers…

As we await to see if the new 2nd edition Mc-Furth BTSTimes paper appears in town tomorrow…the questions still abound…what happened…how did we get to this place and how did so much promise…get sidetracked….squandered and sucker-punched…in such a short span of time…

We were hood-winked…plain and simple…and now we are paying the price with the continued calculated disregard for transparent government…fiscal responsibility…first class public safety…with the best leaders at the helm…working for the “will of the people”… as was the promised by all on the dais… not just those who were campaigning …..

All around town ….there is a sagging shouldered response from residents…of “UGH”…coming from those that who voted for the new majority…and of course those who voted against ….saying there was “no mandate”……but they were hopeful all the same… ……….and a collective resignation that we are unfortunately stuck in this ongoing Mc-saga until 2010…

The “scorched earth” tactics of anonymous venomous “staff writers”…and bloggers will continue…with an increasing maniacal fervor…although the “writers” should be aware…there is no one that is not aware of who they are…and their closest “confidants” are not closed mouthed…nothing is really “confidential”…within their ranks…with undercurrents…and information ….finding its way out of the Mc-Gang …if just to make the “on the fence” participants…….feel momentarily less slimy…less complicit…

So “staff/ blog writers”…take a look to your left..to your right and especially behind you …no one is really all that trustworthy…they are just at different points on the cycle of the “us against them….Mc-world”…That place so many of us have experienced… and fully understand….sort of like a near-drowning experience……(a timely but appropriate comparison…)…or water board torture…take your pick…

It must be tiring for them to live this way…wondering who is saying what to whom…looking for signs of a breach that may have occurred and how to deal with it real or not…always looking for the “traitor”…among them…and deciding how to get even…if the “traitor” is expendable or not…this time…

How long can the average …taxpaying…pretty much decent person…be a part of “this is what we do…we fight, we yell…and then we come back”…kind of existence?…

Time will tell…

In the meantime…far more important than local diatribe Mc-news…is the Mc-“tentacles” that extend into the workings of our local government…our local public safety providers…..and the very serious disregard of providing information …requests…answering to the taxpayers who foot the bill…….while fulfilling the duties their positions require…

Right now the VFD…..is still ignoring its own By-laws…including not responding to requests…and it seems that although a few weeks back the Town was cooperating .. …they too are now not responding…to requests for information, or clarification on where the Town stands on the matter of a town contracted vendor acting in such a manner.

Then again…perhaps the Town ignoring the lack of VFD response is understandable…for the Town is sadly running in lock-step with its own lack of following the rules…with hires that are questionable…heads of departments without the proper qualifications…and still no response about where exactly these positions were advertised…

There has been no response…meaning no competition…thus leaving the Manager no choice but to move up a town employee lacking the proper position qualifications…stated in the specific job ad that spends a short time up on the board within Town Hall…period?…………

A Google…only brings up ads for these top positions in 2006……nothing in 2008…

The ad for an Assistant Town manager in 2006 shows requirements…it is said the current Assistant does not have …which is why until quite recently…he was called the “Assistant TO the Town Manager”…to bypass the the conflict…

FROM ONLINE….

Assistant Town Manager, Lauderdale-By-The Sea

In 2006…the search was on…for an Assistant Town Manager…with the requirements…the salary offered…

Qualified applicants must possess a graduate degree with a concentration in public administration, public affairs, public policy or public finance and two (2) years experience as an appointed city or county manager, or four (4) years experience as an assistant/deputy city or county manager.

Salary $71,545.97 – $107,319.51; position open until filled.

Other positions…for Director of Development have been previously posted…with required educational/ job experience far above the Assistant Manager position…and definitely not held by new Director Bowman…

Director Bowman…informed this writer that he was given the position after no responses came for the position… again…HUH?..

I can find no one that believes that in this current economy… no responses would arise from correctly advertised job offerings with the up to $100 + thousand salaries offered with numerous benefits…from a choice coastal municipality…no one!…

So what gives…we have sub-standard departments…all under the thumb of the Town Manager…with the wearing of “many hats”…sound familiar?….1 hat…2 hats….many hats…

The Manager said as much some time back from the dais….and we see it front and center with the Assistant Town Manager…under qualified for his own position…(under the job description above)…handling the Director of Development duties at Commission meetings…which he is also severely under qualified to be…to cover for the under qualified new Director Bowman…add to the fact that the Assistant Manager’s office is now in the Development Trailer…. extending his role further…more hats…

We have 2 women for the Town Clerk position at Commission meetings….and in Town Hall…it is said Nikki…is now the Assistant Town Clerk…WOW!…

The Finance Director…did not present the finance report…it was given by the Town Manager…after the Manager spent the days within the Finance Department…HMMM…Here a hat…there a hat…everywhere a hat…..What are the qualifications of the Finance Director?….Were there no responses to this position also?…

So with all that going on…is it any wonder why the Town Manager is not so quick to assert her authority to deal with the VFD?….Maybe to her…a helmet is not a hat…she wants to wear?….

This writer wants answers…just as we expected from the previous administration, public safety providers….and Commissioners…given to anyone that asks….just as we fought for…before January 29th,2008…

It would sure be a start …for sagging shoulders…to sag a little less…

more to come…

http://staugustine.com/stories/020704/new_2111766.shtml

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