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Here’s The Scoop….5/12/09 LBTS Commission Meeting #1…..Nevermind…

May 15, 2009 by Barbara

AHHH…NEVERMIND….

Ordinances…1st reading…(a) Ordinance 2009-22 AKA 2008-17 was McIntee’s “baby” an ever changing ordinance to start the VFD , a non- profit corporation on its path to being the only permanent contracted vendor this Town has ever had…Vice Mayor McIntee wanted to defer it to the 2nd meeting in June…Perhaps seeing a room full of voters against this referendum signed up to speak…made him decide tonight wasn’t the night to push this through…

BC- This one shouldn’t have been on in the first place…as previously posted it was suspect that it was on the night before the Referendum Workshop…that it was the only referendum item on for 1st reading and somewhere along the line Ord. 2008-17 morphed into 2009-22 with a super majority inclusion that was never commission directed to be changed as a such….a point made by Comm. Dodd…despite the Vice Mayor trying to shut him down…

The Vice Mayor must have not wanted to deal with much this evening…First we started the meeting well after 7 pm starting time due to his lengthy conversation outside the front door with VFD Chief Perkins….( last minute instructions for the Chief?)…Then we had to wait while once again LBTS  Office Specialist and commission meeting clerk Nikki set up his computer…leading many to think he never bothers to look at the backup materials delivered to the commission the Friday before..Finally underway…McIntee tried to table and then properly instructed tried to defer his VFD referendum ordinance…..Judging from the fact that he spent public comments reading a novel behind the dais…the Vice Mayor was definitely wanting to “cut to the chase” for this regular commission meeting..He asked for and unfortunately it was agreed to…to put aside decisions on 3 agenda items….He leaned into the microphone to say  they would be there for hours….. putting forward  motions to come up with their individual choices and hand them into the Town Manager … the Scenic Highway Trolley suggestions for signage/and rest stop…passed 4-1 (Mayor Minnet dissenting)….the Art Institute student winners of the El Mar Drive project was also “sidelined”….. and the banner designs…with little discussion…and when questions were asked of the Assist. Town Manager sitting in for Ms. Colon…nary a one could he answer…anyhow………

The 2nd reading of Ordinance 2002-10…was also sent back to the drawing board when Commissioner Dodd and Commissioner Clottey made discoveries of inadequacies in the final product…Much to Comm. Dodd’s dismay much of the commission direction given at the first workshop months before were not incorporated …He found this was particularly troubling after the last commission meeting where the Town Atty. informed the commission that she and the Town Manager made the decision to include all of the P & Z recommendations..thereby usurping the proper procedure…in which the commission would make that inclusion from the dais….after they accepted the boards recommendations…We hear Assist. Town Manager Olinzock sitting in for the Town Manager was none to pleased with staff being called out on doing a poor job. Luckily for Comm. Dodd he was not alone on this one…due to Comm. Clottey saying she looked it over with a “fine tooth comb” and stated her items of concern…hedges,the crown of the road and types of businesses (which was not discussed at the workshop for inclusion of “other”businesses)…At the beginning in public comments this writer once again asked that more than 50% destruction of non-conforming properties be allowed to be rebuilt in the same footprint and height…imploring the aversive dais majority to do so despite the “messenger”…Surprise…surprise all were on board and it was repeated this evening and at the referendum workshop!…It was deferred until the 2nd meeting in July…Hopefully the staff will look at the videos from all the meetings …and the Town Attorneys will return with a final ordinance fully complying with the commission’s directions…

The second Ordinance for 2nd reading was quickly passed…no discussion for Choice Environmental…our new trash service starting July 1st….to operate in town….passed 5-0

Ordinance  #3….2009-14…the “noise” ordinance was already deferred to June 9th…with the commission “Field Trip” taking place May 15 & 16…previous scoops/ LBTS agenda/meetings categories…….

We had two presentations…by BSO…with Chief Gooding putting forth the need for red light cameras…At this meeting was Gatso USA giving the info on their well known company…which is used in the states and abroad…with a success rate of 72-75% for the first ticket…moving up to the 80’s (%) and with collections they have a 95-96% recovery of fines…(The company info is posted under the 5/12/09 agenda cat.)…it includes an encryption data bar that gives the proof needed to succeed that the charges are accurate and undeniable…Gatso has never lost a court case…it decreases accidents and makes people more aware of their actions…The Vice Mayor wanted to know the company’s cut…and the Rep. responded with a $125 ticket the company would get $30…The VM said there was no enforcement for those who have left the state…so why would anybody comply?…The Rep, said it was a “civil infraction”…( The VM is a former cop…Why would he ask such a question…put it “out” there?…and with the success rates quoted it seems out of state visitors comply)…Breaking from his BFF…Comm. Silverstone gave it a “thumbs up” and asked about cost to the Town…Chief Gooding said there is no charge to the Town…Comm. Dodd was behind this and asked if it could be used in “real time for an Amber Alert”…The answer was yes…not at the same time as the red light monitoring  but could go to Amber Alert when required…Chief Gooding later on responded that in itself made this an important tool to have when responding to Comm. Clottey that is sounding more and more crazy…in her anti-police rants….(A throwback to the 60’s ?)…Comm. Clottey thought it would turn away tourists…and asked “should we be ticketing everybody?”…Chief Gooding was quite  stern in his  response saying he disagreed with her…saying “we should ticket the violators”…..Comm. Dodd said the violators are the residents who know just how long some of those red lights are!…Other companies will have a chance to respond as RFPs will be going out…Chief Gooding went on to discuss the new BSO “Cybervision”..(previous post…public safety cat.)…a new informational service that is winning KUDOS from all over the county…Unfortunately this was the opening salvo of the “2-Hats” and their sour grapes attitude for lack of recognition for the hyperbaric chamber explosion …and their hard feelings toward BSO leaving them out of the BSO press releases…It wasn’t a pretty sight to see Silverstone say these alerts would be the “BSO version”….

Public Safety Discussion consisted of the Chief of the VFD coming forward to answer questions on the recent rash of public safety response events in town…First the Mayor asked about the explosion and the Burger King crash…asking about an injured member (previous posts…VFD/scoops categories)…where a VFD- Explorer was injured…a 15 year old minor sent in to clean up in the building that was deemed an unsafe structure by Broward County soon after the accident…Comm. Dodd asked as well about the Burger King injury after hearing this was poor judgment used by those in charge…Dodd went on to ask about the beach posts and life rings…for additional numbering on the back of the posts…and LBTS to be on the poles as well…Chief Perkins said LBTS will be on the rings…Comm. Dodd then asked about the ability for VFD members to speak to any commissioner without repercussions…(previous VFD/scoops cat.)….and about the ISO report…and the need for improvement…and time to address the  training…The Chief said he was happy with the ISO report …they were able to “hang with the big guys, the (BSO) left with a 4 …we got a 4, our first ISO”….but admitted some areas needed improvement…Comm. Clottey gave the Chief AMR and BSO her congratulations…and said she understood he was “one of the heroes that day”…The Chief modestly replied he “was doing my job”…and she responded “You’re too modest”…She then wanted to know why they were training on a Sat. afternoon when it was busy and they should be patrolling the beach…The Chief rather sheepishly replied they could find a better time..adding it is difficult to get the guys together…( quite a few chuckles with that response)…Comm. Clottey went further by asking the Chief why he did not find adjunct trainers …after using college and universities as an example of not training your own….The Chief said they were looking into that…HMMM…(ISO training rating?)…They are looking for somebody that is certified!….Comm. Silverstone gave Chief Perkins high marks for “not freezing up” on scene…acting “calm and collected”…saying only as “Jimmy” can say it “real coming to the road is met”…”you’re tested”…He went onto talk of the ISO report being a summary…not the “detailed report”…HMMMM…(a 36 page summary)…then going into the “chain of command” (previous post VFD/scoops cat.)…and of course this agenda item ended with the Vice Mayor …saying he was happy with a 4…that we would get a 3  shortly due to the canopy..the 4th truck…and some problems were due to BSO…that there was” intense pressure “(on the ISO) with ” calls  from unions all over the country”…He said the public safety of our town were outstanding…and worked together…he then read the VFD press release…(previous post VFD/scoops cat.)…Comm. Dodd then asked the BSO to come up to add anything …Chief Gooding said it was still an active homicide investigation and he will not comment until it was done…adding the boy was still alive…

No questions on the Consent Agenda items…swiftly passing 5-0…

The Town Manager Review will be done…and by putting it on once again under old business…..Comm. Dodd was able to have the staff finally provide the commission with the section stating “at least annually”…along with a survey of other towns who review their managers… not included was the content of their reviews…as requested…This writer spoke about the need for this and that it was indeed required…no matter who the manager is…Comm. Clottey reminded Comm. Dodd that she had wanted it done at a round table…that it was “not fair” to do it from the dais …it could take hours (McIntee lite?)…She also added that the McIntee orchestrated “parade” of CIC members could perhaps be the review of the manager…with their “vote of confidence”…HUH?…Comm. Silverstone said said he agreed and that he felt the manager deserved a raise!…After all he said…she did not accept the 10 week vacation time Baldwin had in his contract……PUT THE BRAKES ON COMMISSIONER!….This Town Manager received the same salary as her predecessor left with!…In most cases the new hire does not start out with what the last hire received after many years of employment!…So in this writer’s opinion , she already received quite a few pay raises in her 2 years on the job…..especially for not having the required qualifications we had in place when hiring her predecessor….The Vice Mayor agreed on the pay raise and compared Ms. Colon’s late hours to his (VM) never seeing Baldwin staying late…What is not said is Ms. Colon starts late, spends countless hours with her door open for daily BFF commissioner visits…and is not on any regular work  hours…as is the norm for someone in her position….The Vice Mayor went on to add this was “throwing stones at the Town  Manager”…HMMM…(Was this why she was MIA at this meeting and the workshop the following night?)…Comm. Clottey did speak up to say she did not agree with the VM…Thanks to the Mayor, she did what Comm. Dodd was looking for with this item being returned to the agenda……she asked for and then saw to it…that a date was set for the round table to discuss the review…June 30,2009 7 pm…passed 5-0…The public is welcome…and according to the contract the review is to be done before the budget….

Under new business the Mayor once again asked for a way to get more people involved…using online resources speakers and even a “citizens academy” and “youth council”…Vice Mayor McIntee , Comms. Silverstone and Dodd seemed ready to let this pet project of the Mayors move forward…but Comm. Clottey sounding as she did with the Adopt- A- Street  program, brought forth by the Mayor…sounded awful petty when she threw out that we have civic activity with a large voter turnout…It passed 5-0…

BC- by the way Comm. Clottey…whatever happened to your alternative Adopt- A- Street program?…

Next on new business was Comm. Dodd’s item to have a budget review board…He began introducing this item previously brought up as a Citizens Review Board by none other than Comm. Silverston on May 23, 2006…and as recently as last year before the budget by resident Bob Eckblad….Comm. Dodd has been informed by a CPA in town that there is a much easier way of displaying the figures and giving the commissioners and the residents the insight to the finance reports in town…Comm. Silverstone said he had recommended a board …but now it is not needed because he had written how it functions in the BTSTimes …(still not quite the facts…per those CPAs and Comm. Silverstone while calling himself an accountant does not possess that CPA degree)…and, said Silverstone the budget is now online for all to see…ONE PROBLEM COMMISSIONER…the budget is online after it is approved not before…while in process!….OOPS!…He went on to say it would not make sense to have a budget board because of Sunshine law…and it would restrict people..HMMM…Just for this board not for other boards?…Sunshine concerns from the BFF “Broom Boys”…now that’s rich!…The Vice Mayor took “Jimmy” -boy’s lead and spoke of the “logistical nightmare it would present…that ” finding CPAs would be difficult” …(He know this how?)…that there are “stacks of financial” reports…and it would involve “hours and hours” of work…adding CPAs in a room being asked to agree on anything is like lawyers in a room…WOW!…Comm. Clottey who we all thought would be the lead on the budget and the town finances…but has thus far been a major disappointment in this area…said the Manager gives a review and explains this type of accounting…going on to say as she has said many times before government accounting is different and it is something most accountants are not used to…”Because of the way she (Town Manager Colon) moves money from one fund to another”!…

BC-Which is exactly why we need a budget review board!…This writer is concerned that 2 proprietary funds seem to have had money moved to the general fund…..It  does not sit well with a few in the know of government funds are supposed to be treated……The 1st was the Sewer assessment fund…which rather than being returned to the taxpayers when found illegal was moved….Why?…Why not have used it for its intended use?…We certainly have sewer problems …The other is the parking fund…also moved into the general fund…we certainly could use monies in parking as seen recently with the parking ticket hand held devices and updated equipment…

The Mayor asked Comm. Dodd if he had finished with his budget review board…he replied…”I get the feeling of the dais”…..

Comm. Clottey put on Comm. Dodd’s original call for more help in Town Hall  to supply backup material and do research…She threw a few “zingers” at  Comm. Dodd by saying an inequitable amount of work was being required by some…She did add that the Town Manager did not think it was necessary …The Mayor said the staff was doing a good job and that she was opposed to spending $2200 at this time …The Vice Mayor asked Town Clerk June White to come to the podium…(Clerk White sits at the staff table, while Office Spec. Nikki sits on the dais)…The VM asked Clerk White if this would be beneficial…Clerk White said not really!…Comm. Dodd said he had been accused of monopolizing staff time…of being ungrateful and that was not so…He felt it was up to the Town Manager to decide if they were “overloaded” and  that perhaps Comm. Clottey was now the one “micro-managing”…The Vice Mayor and BFF “Jimmy” “defended” Comm. Clottey saying her actions were not micro-managing…and such assertions were “uncalled for”…thanking her for putting it on!…(How different the response was from when Comm. Dodd asked for additional staff)….Comm. Dodd also said this is why he wanted regular round table discussion by the commission…to cut down on what will be on the agendas…

BC- There you have it folks…all the assertions made on the dais from McIntee and Silverstone…printed in the Mc-Furth BTSTimes…concerning the staff being overworked…experiencing low moral…inundated with work …was bull!…The Town Manager said help “was not necessary”…and the Town Clerk said it would not be beneficial….HA!…

The last two Commissioner Clottey new business items were to stop any businesses from having special events when the town or the chamber had one…saying these businesses draw away the crowds and they (the businesses) do not make a  donation to the event!…(An intervention needs to be done with Comm. Clottey being a mouthpiece for the Furths…it’s getting embarrassing!)…She followed that one up with having the Town Manager put in place a plan for media information…especially after the BSO put out their information and the VFD did not…left to look petty and desperate for recognition well after the news cycle had passed them by….The Mc-Gang of 3 want the Town Public Information Officer to be the sole disperser of media info…something the Town Atty. will need to get involved with…and will surely bring forth some problems with BSO who have been doing it thus far…and who have just upgraded their informational media releases with alert and cybervision…Chief Gooding said it was something that would need to be looked at contractually…

BC- This was more of the ongoing bad blood felt by the VFD for the hyperbaric explosion…a recurring theme throughout the night…We hear VFD Chief Bob Perkins was told not to speak to anyone by the BSO PIO…and Chief Perkins took that to mean everyone…including the Town…leaving the media with nothing…a motion to direct the Town Manager passed 5-0…

The Town Attorney this evening was Dan Abbott who finished up the evening with his report that answered July 4th event Coordinator Marc Furth’s letter…(previous post…scoops cat.)…assuring Mr Furth that he would not be liable for the barrier fencing etc…on July 4th due to an exemption for gov. volunteers…per the Fl. League of Cities…who also said volunteers working for the event were covered as well…Also answered was Comm. Dodd’s inquiry from a resident concerned that their rights were being taken away with chain link fences being prohibited and house colors being enforced…the atty. said the Town has the constitutional authority to enact these rules…

Adjourned…

Next posts comments…public/commissioner…and the minutes

more to come…

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