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Here’s The Scoop … Too Many Things Up Your Sleeve Madam Manager? …. UPDATED ….

August 13, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers ….. Such work is it to keep so many acts of incomprehension all under control ….the Town Manager and her staff surely must find themselves in a tither! ….It must be “udderly ” (a nod to Jimmy-boy) exhausting to embark on such escapades in this house of cards….Alas, why didn’t the VM think of the above followup invention to his “Mc-Jon extrication blanket” ….. (prev. Mar. post)….

This writer previously posted on August 11th the 2nd RFP refusal to “read aloud” the prices of the bidders at a published sealed bid opening per the newspaper, online and included in the bid packages….It was done up until July 29th ,2009 (1st post on the sudden change in procedure ) when this writer attended an opening of a bid and the bidders did not. As posted I was shocked and asked if the bids would be read and was told “no” by both the Assist. TM  and the Town Clerk…From there I went to the continuation Commission meeting and spoke to the Mayor, the PIO, and Comm. Dodd who then spoke to Assist. TM Olinzock and the Town Atty…. The Town Atty. could not give him any input on the fly (she was just getting situated for the meeting) and the Assist. TM gave him the nonsense that has become the latest example of why the Town registered voters must come out and vote in March!…

Comm. Dodd decided after the 1st RFP and the less than satisfactory explanation he received prior to the Wed. afternoon meeting to send an e-mail in to the Town…

Aug. 1, 2009-He addressed RFP 09-06-02 and that it was brought to his attention “the staff slit open the sealed bids and stacked them in a pile”…TRUE!…”they refused to read the information and stated they were going to tabulate the results and the information would be available through a public information request”…TRUE!…He went on to add “Luckily there were no representatives from the companies who submitted the bids but the process was being watched by a concerned resident.”…TRUE!…

Commissioner Dodd wrote he had a question for the Town Atty….

“Our own purchasing manual page 19 section D 4a states”

“per Florida statute section 119.07 (1)(m) sealed bids/ proposals are exempt from public records until the earlier of 10 days following bid/proposal opening or town’s notice of intent decision. Per the Florida statute section 286.011 bid openings and any related bid/RFP evaluation /selection committee meetings are open to the public and require advanced public notice”

“What staff did in my opinion was firstly discourteous, rude and probably in contravention to the Florida statute 286.011. In my opinion it could open town staff to all sorts of allegation.”…TRUE!….”The evaluating of the stack of opened bids by town staff constitutes a selection process. As such if staff continues to refuse to read the bids at a the public opening it would require staff to post an advanced notice of when they intend to evaluate the bids so that either a concerned resident or a bidder could attend. For staff to disappear with a stack of opened bids without publicly divulging any of the content is not in my opinion “government in the sunshine.”

He went on to say before he put it on the agenda to “change the wording  of the purchasing procedures (which states in 4.a “shall be publicly opened in the presence of witnesses at the place and time designated in the RFP”)..he wanted the Town Atty’s opinion on the following …”Are staff within their rights to open sealed bids, not read the contents, stack them in a pile, take them into a back room, evaluate behind  closed doors and only divulge the bid winner when requested through a public information request because that is what happened to date.”.

He received a memo from Assist. TM Olinzock…

Aug. 6, 2009- “There is no legal requirement to read the content of bids at a bid opening: what is required is to open bids in public, and that was done for RFP 09-06-02.

The proposals received are exempt from release as public records until ten days following the opening, as you note.

All proposals are in the process of being verified by staff for responsiveness and checked for mathematical accuracy because there have been instances in the past where proposers or bidders have not properly calculated the amounts shown.

Town Staff is not evaluating or ranking the proposals because such a ranking process was not identified as part of this RFP. All evaluation and selection is to be done by the Commission.

When this RFP is placed on the agenda of the Town Commission meeting, Town Staff will provide the Town Commission a cover memo or matrix SUMMARIZING  THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE PROPOSALS, FOR THE EASE OF THE COMMISSION IN THEIR REVIEW AND POSSIBLE AWARD OF THIS RFP.

With this additional information regarding RFP 09-06-02, please let me know if you still request an opinion of the Town Attorney and, if so wither contact her directly or specify what question you would like me to ask her on your behalf.”


Comm. Dodd sent back the following e-mail ..

Aug. 7, 2009- “In response to your Memorandum dated August  6th regarding RFP Opening bid procedure

Please forward to the town attorney

1) My original E-mail request

2) Your Memorandum answer

3) This e-mail

I would like the attorney to read in full my question and the town staff’s answer.  I believe no other municipality would interpret the “opening of sealed bids” in this secretive fashion.

I would like a legal opinion regarding the town’s actions since the whole RFP process and sealed bids is to remove any opportunity of tampering, impropriety or dishonesty.  The actions of the town staff of piling the bids, not reading them, taking them away and “summarizing in a matrix” is semantics since it is “a form of evaluation” and offers the opportunity of tampering. Any handling, putting in order, checking for responsiveness should be open to the public if we are to be seen to operate “in the sunshine”.

I will be happy to put an item on the agenda to require town staff to read the bids aloud ( summarizing if necessary as was done at the RFP for trash collection) stating there has been no checking for responsiveness or mathematical accuracy if this will help resolve the issue.

I look forward to the attorney’s answer.

Stuart Dodd”

BC- As previously posted ….(scroll down)….on Aug 11.2009…Comm. Dodd and I attended yet another RFP …at which time 14 bidders…and Comm. Dodd were privy to what this writer encountered on July 29, 2009 as referenced in the above e-mail exchanges…Comm. Dodd was quite surprised  that the Town Manager would  direct the Assist. TM to inform the outraged bidders they could contact the Town Atty. for her opinion, when he e-mailed in for just that the previous Friday at closing of business …After the meeting Comm. Dodd sent the following e-mail…

Aug 11, 2009- “At today’s RFP opening you offered a copy of the town attorney’s opinion on the RFP process to one of the contractors present. Presumably this is the response to my e-mail dated 7th August.

As a commissioner – I happen to believe the town attorney’s response to my e-mail should have been given to the Mayor and all the commissioners before being offered to a contractor.

It would have been a common courtesy to say to me you have only just received it and I have a copy for you if you would also like one.”

Please put a copy in my mailbox at your earliest convenience

Stuart Dodd”

Commissioner Dodd was informed that the Town Atty. is out of the office this week and he was contacted by former TA Abbott…Comm. Dodd went  to Town Hall and while he was there found out from the Town Manager that he had not received the all the information Assist. Olinzock had with the memo on Aug. 6th…The Town Manager directed her staff to supply the Town Atty’s opinion …but the staff could not locate it all until late in the day and he did not pick it up until today…

The 4 pages he received (public record) included an e-mail from Assist. TM Olinzock to the Town Atty…where he he [ Olinzock] informs her that a Commissioner [Dodd] is “requesting” her [TA] to respond…Olinzock attached Comm. Dodd’s e-mail and the purchasing manual section (see above, prev. post) and the referenced statutes..

Assist. Olinzock …added “for the record”…that Comm. Dodd was not at the July 29,09 opening …TRUE!…the opening time (2 pm) when it ended (2:15)…TRUE!…Olinzock stated “Staff did not refuse to read information.”…FALSE!…(Semantics again!…I did not ask  them TO read it, I asked  “You are NOT going to read them?…Olinzock and Town Clerk White said “NO”.)…He stated that “staff informed the  resident present (this writer) that a proposal would be verified for responsiveness, and agenda item would be prepared for presentation to the Commission at the next meeting”….TRUE….”(just like the solid waste agreement RFP).”…FALSE!…The solid waste agreement was read aloud at the sealed bid opening and Comm. Dodd was in attendance that day!…OOPS!…He went to add what he (Olinzock) would “offer” as a response to Comm. Dodd…He (Olinzock) would “clarify the process taking place in conjunction with the opening of proposals for RFP 09-060-2. All proposals are being verified for responsiveness and checked for mathematical accuracy. Town Staff is not providing ranking of the proposals as a ranking process was not identified in the RFP. Town Staff will provide the Town Commission a cover report or matrix to format for the ease of the Commission in their decision making review and possible award. Please let me know if you still request a review with the Town Attorney.”

On Aug. 5th after 5 pm TA Trevarthen sent a response…

Aug. 5, 2009- For some reason it appears that the TA thought Comm. Dodd received “incorrect” information…

BC- perhaps because the TA received incorrect information from Assist. Olinzock?….

The TA went on to give an response with a “proviso” the the firm had not yet reviewed or seen the RFP in question and they “might need to do so if there were any specific question posed” to them…She  stated that she had already advised the Assist. TM there was “no general legal obligation to read aloud specific information at the opening OTHER THAN ANY OBLIGATION THAT THE TOWN VOLUNTARILY ASSUMES THAT OBLIGATION (THROUGH A CODE PROVISION OR OTHER LOCALLY ADOPTED RULE.)

BC- It is this writer’s opinion that the TA was done a great disservice by not being supplied with the RFP advertisement that was included in the bids package, placed online, on the Town Hall board  and most likely in the paper…that UNLIKE the purchasing manual (4.a…see above)..states in paragraph 3 that bids will be received in Town Hall” until 2:00 pm” on the day stated in the RFP “AT WHICH TIME THEY WILL BE PUBLICLY OPENED AND READ ALOUD, SHORTLY THEREAFTER.”….As one reader responded after hearing of the Town’s new way of handling sealed bids…”read aloud” does not mean to choose what to read aloud such as just the name of the company and perhaps the company location…it means “read aloud” which could only mean everything!…As it was done at every sealed bid opening attended by this writer over the last year and a half…(prev. posted)…until 7/29/09…

TA- went onto say if the Commissioner [Dodd] still wanted a legal opinion they would be happy to provide it. The TA then went on to “revise” the Assist. TM response to “reflect my understanding of the situation” after she spoke with Olinzock…adding if it was wrong he should not “hesitate” to correct her…

BC- Assist. Olinzock’s 8/6/09 memo was exactly as the TA wrote it…

Also included in the material given to Comm. Dodd was a response back to the Town Atty. and Assist. TM Olinzock from Town Manager Colon…a few hours later on Aug. 5th
…saying the response from the TA was  “PERFECT”…and that her administration would be providing a “recommendation” to the Commission after a “REVIEW” with staff…

BC- TOMATO…TOMAHTO…..EVALUATION…. RECOMMENDATION …AFTER REVIEW”… So how do you make a recommendation without evaluating?…Hmmmm…


UPDATE- A look online at the Town website revealed that RFP 09-07-04 for the Sewer Line  and Storm Maintenance  & Repair is MIA!…This RFP is open for bid until 2:00 pm August 27,2009 at which time it “will be publicly opened and read aloud, shortly thereafter”…(according to the ad, the bid package, the  notice on the Town Hall board)…OR WILL IT?…

BC- 14 days before and it’s not on the website…just another day in LBTS…folks…just another day!….

more to come…….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…LBTS 7/24/09 Agenda …. Solar lighting ….Right In Our Backyard …..

July 25, 2009 by Barbara

Unavailability of solar lighting….HMMMM…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 10:10 AM From: “Rick Schuett” <> To: “barbarafcole” <>

Hello Barbara,

I read with great interest your most recent blog, in which the following statement was posted:

Comm. Clottey said she spoke to “Mr Sehl” and he said solar lighting was not yet available in the U.S….but it was something that we should think about …(audience members disagreed with the assertion of unavailability)…

I am President and CEO of SOL, Inc – the world’s largest manufacturer of outdoor commercial grade solar-powered lighting. We have been in business since 1990, and even more interestingly, are located basically in your back yard up here in Palm City, FL.

I would be more than happy to meet with any of the commissioners, the Mayor, the City Council members, or whomever you feel would be appropriate to speak to about this issue, and would welcome the opportunity to do so.

Best Regards,

Rick Schuett

President & CEO

SOL, Inc

Re: Some more info on solar lighting

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:10 AM
“Barbara Cole”

“Rick Schuett”
They are looking for turtle friendly lighting. In bollards is what is being thought for redoing El Mar Drive. Let me know how it goes. BC
— On Tue, 7/21/09, Rick Schuett wrote:

From: Rick Schuett
Subject: RE: Some more info on solar lighting
To: “Barbara Cole” <>
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 11:13 AM

We have a turtle-friendly solar-powered light that we can provide, in a bollard.

From: barbarafcole
To: Rick Schuett
Sent: Tue Jul 21 18:00:43 2009
Subject: Re: Some more info on solar lighting

I just heard one Commissioner is doing a solar light presentation at the July 28 Comm. Meeting at Jarvis Hall 7 pm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:59 PM


“Rick Schuett”



Yes, I spoke to the Commissioner who you quoted, we will have someone present at the meeting (I will be out of town on business).

Thanks for the opportunity..

Re: Lighting Solution

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:13 PM
“OANI Sales Dept.”


Ms. Cole,

Referance to our solution not being available at this time by Comissioner Clottey at the Master Plan meeting is correct, we are not in a position to release further information at this time.

Thank you

Re: Lighting Solution

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:20 PM
“Barbara Cole”

“OANI Sales Dept.”

Thanks Jerry, but I have received info from other company that it does. BC

Fw: Information you requested from Sol Inc

Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:03 AM From: “Jerry Sehl”  To: “Barbara Cole”  Message contains attachments,  Just thought I would pass this along…   —– Original Message —– From: To Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 2:27 PM Subject: Information you requested from Sol Inc

Thank you for your interest. Because each of our systems is built depending upon the specific parameters of each project, we’ll need a little more information about your needs.  I would like to thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to answer the questions and send this back to us.  With this information, we’ll be able to size up an appropriate system for you.

Dear Readers…This writer wrote about the MPSC /Commission meeting and Comm. Clottey’s remarks fro “Mr. Sehl” of the unavailability of Solar lighting in the U.S. market…Once again a word search was done by a company from the BCbythesea post…and the above is what transpired…leading up to the July 28, 2009  presentation……The “presentation” agenda item put on by Comm. Clottey is to be made from  gentleman’s company that contacted this writer …..After my correspondence with the company I received an e-mail from the “Oani Sales Dept..”….that a simple Google showed was a company with a 954 phone number ….a Google of the phone number showed the “Sales Dept.” who was contacting me on behalf of Comm. Clottey was “Mr. Sehl”…So I responded back to “Jerry”……”Mr Sehl”AKA Jerry  then sent this writer a “heads up” from the very company I sent the Commissioners way!……I did respond  to him and say thanks …not wanting to cause another “interrogation” for whomever came to speak at the presentation from the “Detective” on the dais… But after seeing the ONLY presenter is the company that picked up the RFP from this site…it is “suspect”  on two fronts…1st…”Mr. Sehl” is not presenting (How many companies does he have anyway?…He is under Oani for this and Online Access Network for repayment for the TV and camera etc…for the July 4th raffle items)…and 2nd…the cutoff date for items from Comms. on agendas is supposed to have been Monday the 20th…..So either the rules were bent for Comm. Clottey or “Mr Sehl” backed out of his “presentation…Hmmmm… In the backup is what this writer thought…in black and white of the assertions made by Comm Clottey at the MPSC/Comm. meeting on the 20th….see below…(available on the Town site)…

7/28/09 Presentations 4 B.

In conclusion….let’s see if the “Gang of 4” on the dais…shoots the messenger once more!….

And thanks Mr. Schuett for pursuing your word search…it may benefit our Town as we deal with our El Mar Drive project…Presentation item 4 D. by Chen and Assoc.

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…Stacking The Deck!……

July 11, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers…It’s incredible…The Town has again put out a limited RFP (prev. post)….This time it’s for the Commercial Blvd. drainage problem (prev. post)….

You may recall the pictures of kids surfing in the street…water all the way up to Village Grille!…This occurs at each rain event!

This is a big job we are told…and what does it merit for bids…another small postage stamp sized RFP in the Saturday edition of the Sentinel…

1/4th the size of the ad placed for the Bel Air signs!… (real size for Bel Air ad…4″ by 1& 1/2 “) YIKES!

THE AD…( real size 1” by 1&1/2 “)




THE -SEA is seeking sealed proposals



Proposal package may be obtained

at the office of the Town Clerk located

at 4501 Ocean Drive, Lauderdale By-

The-Sea, Florida 33308 954-776-0476

July 11, 2009

BC- That’s it…So it seems that once again the Town Manager knows who she wants for the job….and is helping her choice along with severely limiting the ability for other companies to respond. This writer did not see this on the Town board at 3:45 on Friday July 10, 2009….

more to come….

Post Division