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Here’s The Scoop …. I Think She’s Got It? ………

September 26, 2009 by Barbara



Dear Readers…Did Town Manager Esther Colon do her “Eliza Doolittle” and finally get it?…Did “Professor” Dodd finally return the Town to pre- July 29th, 2009 opening of the bids?…It certainly looks that way from the ad(s) in the Saturday Sept. 26, 2009 Sentinel Public Notices…BUT …while it was nice to see a “proper” size ad placed vs the ridiculous one inch variety we saw the Town use for the IT and Parking RFPs (prev. posts)…both….these two and a half inch ads were for “CASH FOR CLUNKERS”!… YIKES!…Two of the same ad were printed for selling the old municipal trucks the Town just replaced!…. One with 40,000 miles on it with a starting bid of $10,000 and the other with 50,000 miles, bid to start at $2,000…The header says…”Notice of Sale of Surplus PROPERY”…OOPS!… (not once but twice)…Double OOPS!…

Let’s hope this continues for the next RFPs and Bids…per the new change in the purchasing manual page 19 4 a…..(prev. post) Thank you, “Professor ” Dodd…

ONLINE AD…(only one appears online)….  9/26/09…


* Posted: 17 hrs ago
* Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
* Event Date:

TOWN OF LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA NOTICE OF SALE OF SURPLUS PROPERY BID 09-09-01 The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea will be accepting sealed bids for the following vehicles: 1) 2003 Ford F-250 4×4 Super Duty Super Cap with approx 40,000 miles – minimum bid $10,000 2) 2000 F-150 4×4 with approx 50,000 miles – minimum bid $2,000 Vehicles are being sold in as-is condition and are without warranty. Arrangements for vehicle inspections can be made by contacting the Municipal Services Department Director Don Prince at 954-776-0576. Sealed bids will be accepted by the Town Clerk at Town Hall until 2:00 p.m. on October 6, 2009 and will be publicly opened and the bid amounts will be read aloud. Bidders are welcome to be present during the opening, or the winning bidder will be notified. September 26, 2009

South Florida Sun-Sentinel ad id: 13796563

Publication date: 9-26-2009

On the other hand…Not so fast to Ascot…”Eliza”… Although the Commission per a motion made by “Professor” Clottey asked that all jobs for Town employees be published in the Sentinel as well as put on the Town board…the Administration is clearly still playing the  “lack of fully spelled out direction” game…..They did put the ad in for a “Code Compliance Officer” in the Sentinel…BUT…for 1 day only! Sept. 13, 2009…One day…while it’s left on the Town board… What are the chances a perspective employee saw it on just one day?… Pretty slim!….Looks like the in need of  a few more lessons……Perhaps from her “English Professor”?…..

Salary for the 30 hr. position $35,788- $44,735 …

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop….Update … PRR FOUND ….

August 19, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers…an update …Looks as thought this writer did request the 9 IT bids…but did not recall…and the e-mail from PIO D’Oliveira stated the request was on 8/6/09…(prev. post)…Turns out the request was made on July 29,2009 (see below)…BUT… while the “lost” request was “found”…the charge of $47.58…is still “UNFOUNDED”!…

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 9:18 PM
“Barbara Cole”
“Steve D’Olivera”
Steve, I would like to make a public records request the bids for the 9 companies whose bids were opened but not read on July 29, 2009 at 2 pm in Town Hall for the IT bid 09-0602
I find it most disturbing that transparency was suddenly thwarted at a bid process.
Please contact me when it will be ready. Barbara Cole

PRR Follow-Up
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:42 AM
“Steve D’Olivera”
Add sender to Contacts
[email protected]

The Town Clerk says you did request the IT info for the 9 bids in a July 29 e-mail. If you do not wish to pick it up, please let us know.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:56 AM
“Barbara Cole”
“Steve D’Olivera”
Steve, I checked, and I did indeed make that request.. ..I was thrown by your 8/6/09 date supplied in the previous post. I did not check back further in my saved e-mails to verify and did not recall it.
I do not think the cost of $47.58 is reasonable. I respectfully ask for the sheet that John Olinzock said would be available without a fee at the August 11, 2009 Jarvis Hall RFP bid “non- read aloud” meeting.
Please let me know when that is ready, and I will pick up all 3 PRRs.
I also ask that going forth I am informed of any additional costs per the 119 statute (sent to you yesterday) before the process begins as it was done previously for Mr. Brandt.
I await your response, and thank you for finding my request.
Barbara Cole

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … FEE-S … FI …FOE-S …. FUM-BLES ……

August 18, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers…A follow-up to the $177.19 post for public records requests …..Today this writer received the following e-mails from Town PIO D’Oliveira (don’t shoot the messenger…Steve just does as he is instructed to do by his boss)…Again the Town has wasted time..gone off in the wrong direction and left themselves open for another post on bad acts coming from this Town Administration….I do not recall asking for a copy of the IT bids (the bids the Town would not read “aloud” on July 29,2009 …prev. scoops post)…but today the PIO sent an e-mail saying the Public Records Req. was ready. I check ed my e-mail, and saw no such request, and sent an e-mail back (see below) stating just that. BUT, if I had… the amount was $47.58!…WOW!…..YIKES!…This is the route the Town wants to take with the RFP bids? ….. The  Assist. Town Manager on July 29th and again on Aug. 11, 2009 (prev. scoops posts) stated that “anyone” wanting to see the bids no longer read “aloud” may make a PRR after 10 days….Only now it will cost $$$$!…Unless, it was a cost to only a taxpaying resident? Hmmm…The August 11, 2009 RFP produced 16 bids for the Commercial Blvd.drainage project and 3 for the Parking Citation Process…that’s 19…so the cost for those results?…According to the opinions below …the Town cannot  use the RFPs for  generating revenue …”The fees authorized under Chapter 119 are not meant to be a profit-making or revenue-generating operation.”…That certainly appears to be the case if such charges are made for RFP bids…Also after the e-mail I sent to say I would now take this to the State’s Atty….I received an e-mail stating 2 other PRR’s were ready and the cost  for them was minimal .60 & $1.65….Odd and amusing…No rhyme …but perhaps plenty of reason (State’s Atty.?) and quite familiar…For Resident Yann Brandt was the recipient of the same type of treatment after being charged $129.44  (103 dbl sided/ 84 single pages) for a PRR that took over a month…
From: June White
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 2:46 PM
To: Yann Brandt
Subject: Re: Records Request

Mr. Brandt,

On June 29, 2009 you submitted a public records request to the Town Clerk’s Office. The request has been completed and is ready to be released. Below is the total amount due for your inquiry.

Staff Time:

Staff Member 1 – 1 hours 30 minutes = $31.96

Staff Member 2 – 2 Hours = $64.28



Double sided – 103 = $20.60

Single sided – 84 = $12.60


Total Amount Due:

Staff time = $96.24

Pages = +$33.20


– $20.00 Deposit


The total amount due must be submitted to the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea by check or cash before the response may be released. All checks must be made out to the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

Should you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me.

and then after e-mailing to inform the Town that it lacked much of  the correct materials and some requested items were not included, also saying he [Yann] would follow through any available legal avenue to obtain the requests …The Town Clerk responded within 2 days with “no charge” for the materials or staff time and a response for the rest of his request to come!…Mr. Brandt previously made a request for the monthly budgets from 10/08 to 5/09 and received them (each 35 pages/ 28o pages) for a cost of $45.59 (no staff time charge)…This writer recently received 109 SINGLE SIDED pages for $177.19!…According to how things should be done …(see below)”It is a good idea for agencies to always provide a written invoice detailing the costs and charges related to public records. This is especially true if the fees include special service charges or are calculated at a rate higher than a clerk’s salary. It is also advisable, when possible, to provide the requestor with an estimate of the cost in advance of the production of the requested records. Agencies may ask for the payment in advance of production, but the law does not require it.”…Makes sense…Right?… I was previously informed when I originally made one request that it required a deposit. It was required due to the records being off site…but according to the statute…”Agencies may not charge for such things as utilities, office expenses, or travel time and retrieval costs for public records stored off-premises.”…OOPS!..More of what is wrong with PRRs in LBTS………see below

Readers …there’s more….much more…and it will be in the next post…and it too is a head shaker…guaranteed to provide whip lash!…It should make taxpaying residents come in out in droves to the Sept. 9th Regular Commission meeting and the Sept. 10th Round Table to decide on how to conduct the Town Manager’s Performance Review!…


Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:57 AM

“Steve D’Olivera”

“Barbara Cole”

On 8/6/09 you requested the 9 bids submitted for the IT Services RFP. The request has been completed and the total is $47.58.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:24 AM

Barbara Cole”
[email protected]
Correction it was on 8/7/09 and I have been advised to send this on to the State’s Atty.BC

— On Tue, 8/18/09, Barbara Cole wrote:

From: Barbara Cole
Subject: Fw: Re: FW: Response to PRR
To: lbtspio
Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 11:19 AM

Steve, My e-mail shows I asked for the following on 8/5/09…( Note I asked for cost beyond copying.) I do not show a request for the IT bids…In any case the IT bids should have been a copy of the bids and per Assist. TM Olinzock at the 8/11/09 meeting in Jarvis Hall there should be no charge for the bids.Do you intend to make this kind of charge to the bidders? I will send you the public records per state statute of costs beyond copying. I will also send the Town’s exorbitant charges to residents on to Tallahassee for an opinion. I await your response. Barbara Cole

— On Fri, 8/7/09, Barbara Cole wrote:

From: Barbara Cole
Subject: Re: FW: Response to PRR
Date: Friday, August 7, 2009, 10:44 AM

Steve; I am making a public records request for all of the backup material supplied to the Commission for the May 22,2007 Commission meeting concerning the contract drawn up for Town Manager Colon. The contract was approved under the consent agenda on page 19 of the minutes. Thank you, I would like confirmation of receipt of this request. I would also ask for a time frame and any expense expected beyond copying it such as staff time. Thank you, Barbara Cole

On Tue, 8/18/09, Steve D’Olivera <> wrote:

From: Steve D’Olivera
Subject: Public Records Request Follow-Up (2)
To: “Barbara Cole”
Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 12:11 PM


Two more of your PRRs are complete.

One is for the Town Attorney’s opinion of opening and reading bid prices publicly. That request is a total of $0.60.

The other request is for the backup material from May 22, 2008 item 10G. That total is $1.65.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:12 PM
“Barbara Cole”

“Steve D’Olivera”
Steve did you mean May 22, 2007? not 2008 per req. below…
Steve; I am making a public records request for all of the backup material supplied to the Commission for the May 22,2007 Commission meeting concerning the contract drawn up for Town Manager Colon. The contract was approved under the consent agenda on page 19 of the minutes. Thank you, I would like confirmation of receipt of this request. I would also ask for a time frame and any expense expected beyond copying it such as staff time. Thank you, Barbara Cole

fees for public records
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2:16 PM
“Barbara Cole”

[email protected]

Steve, per prev. e-mail, here are 2 online findings of fees for public records requests, The 1st is Atty. Gen. Crist response to Lake Worth/ 2nd MORE 119.07.

I believe the Town has not followed the statutes. I have been overcharged as have others making requests.(Yann Brandt, Mark Brown) I should not have been charged for going off site as was indicated as a reason for a dep. when I originally asked for the Palm Club sewer design and permit costs (I rescinded that req. as you know.) There seems to be no set fee structure as seen today with the req. e-mails received from you. $47+ to .60& $1.65 for 2 other requests. I feel the charge of $177.19 for materials provided was exorbitant when what was provided were copies of an RFP free to vendors,those copies were already made,which included additional drawings and costs of service from the present vendor that I did not ask for in the request/ the 1 page of the Manager’s 9 year old resume/ the July 4th invoices etc. that was certainly readily available in 1 place and the 1 page (2 lines)response of staff hours from Municipal Works. That cost to me certainly did not fall under the below criteria. I do intend to carry this further. I will continue to make public requests as is my right again, according to the criteria below. I look forward to timely and properly priced public records request responses from the Town and for the Town to do what is required below to rectify the current situation. Barbara Cole


The Public Records Law sets fees for furnishing these copies:

“The custodian of public records shall furnish a copy or a certified copy of the record upon payment of the fee prescribed by law. If a fee is not prescribed by law, the following fees are authorized:
(a)1. Up to 15 cents per one-sided copy for duplicated copies of not more than 14 inches by 8½ inches;
2. No more than an additional 5 cents for each two-sided copy; and
3. For all other copies, the actual cost of duplication of the public record.
(b) The charge for copies of county maps or aerial photographs supplied by county constitutional officers may also include a reasonable charge for the labor and overhead associated with their duplication.
(c) An agency may charge up to $1 per copy for a certified copy of a public record.
(d) If the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected or copied pursuant to this subsection is such as to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the agency involved, or both, the agency may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special service charge, which shall be reasonable and shall be based on the cost incurred for such extensive use of information technology resources or the labor cost of the personnel providing the service that is actually incurred by the agency or attributable to the agency for the clerical and supervisory assistance required, or both.
(e)1. Where provision of another room or place is necessary to photograph public records, the expense of providing the same shall be paid by the person desiring to photograph the public records.
2. The custodian of public records may charge the person making the photographs for supervision services at a rate of compensation to be agreed upon by the person desiring to make the photographs and the custodian of public records. If they fail to agree as to the appropriate charge, the charge shall be determined by the custodian of public records.”[1]

As provided by section 119.07(3)(a), Florida Statutes, “[a]ny person shall have the right of access to public records for the purpose of making photographs of the record while such record is in the possession, custody, and control of the custodian of public records.”

It has long been the position of the Attorney General’s Office that, in the absence of a statute to the contrary, public information must be open to the public without charge.[2] In Attorney General Opinion 76-34, this office concluded that in the absence of a specific statutory authorization of any charge or fee, the public must have free access to a computer terminal for the mere inspection and examination of records.[3] Moreover, the provision of access to public records is a statutory duty imposed by the Legislature upon all records custodians and should not generally be considered a revenue-generating operation.[4]

However, in the situation you have described, the clerk has performed the service described in the statute and is entitled to the fees set forth therein. A public records request has been presented and the records have been copied pursuant to that request. The clerk is entitled to receive payment for the entire amount of the value of his or her services as authorized by the statute. If the documents are not collected by the requesting party, the clerk is entitled to retain the deposit received for copying and other services as he or she would be entitled to retain the entire amount assessed for such a service if it had been paid in advance. Likewise, the custodian may bill the requester for the difference between the deposit and the actual cost if full payment was not received initially. The clerk must also refund any amount originally collected as a deposit if the final copying fee is less than the amount collected as a deposit.

In sum, it is my opinion that the custodian of records for the City of Lake Worth is authorized to retain a monetary deposit collected in connection with actual costs incurred in making copies to comply with a public records request if the requesting party subsequently advises the city that the copies are no longer needed. Further, it is my opinion that the custodian is authorized to bill the requester for any shortfall between the deposit and the actual cost of copying the public records when the copies have been made and the requesting party subsequently advises the city that the records are not needed.

Again, I must emphasize that providing access to public records is a statutory duty imposed upon all records custodians. I assume that any deposit collected by a records custodian is reasonable based upon section 119.07(4), Florida Statutes, and that it reflects the actual costs of producing copies. Any attempt to charge excessive fees in an effort to discourage citizens from exercising their right to inspect and copy public records would constitute a violation of the Public Records Law.
MORE …..
Public Records – Fees and Costs
In Florida, providing access to public records is the law. With a few exceptions, the
records of state and local agencies are subject to the Florida Public Records Act, from
records in the Governor’s office to those of your local school board. They must give
access to public records for inspection as well as for copying. This session is an overview
of the types of costs and fees agencies may charge for providing public documents.
Generally, agencies may not charge a fee for the inspection of public records. For
example, agencies may not charge citizens for listening to audio recordings of any
hearings, or for reviewing documents unless redaction of exempt material is necessary.
With today’s technology, it has never been easier to provide citizens free access to public
records through the internet. Agencies may post all public records, from minutes of
meetings to contracts, on their public website. This is a simple, efficient, and economical
way to give all citizens free access to public information. By posting public records on
websites, agencies will avoid the use of employees’ time for searching and copying
records requested, which saves the agency money and resources. This convenient method
also provides citizens with records faster and without the expense of paper copies.
Agencies may also wish to consider providing access to a computer terminal for citizens
to inspect and examine an agency’s non-exempt public records.
The Florida Statutes provide a schedule for copying fees. If no fee is set forth in the
statutes, section 119.07(4)(a)1 of the Florida Statutes permits agencies to charge up to 15
cents per one-sided copy for paper copies that are 14 inches by 8 ½ inches or less and an
additional 5 cents for two-sided copies. Agencies can also charge one dollar for certified
copies of a public record. For other copies, the charge is limited to the cost of the material
and supplies used.
A few exceptions exist where agencies may charge more than 15 cents. Among these are
all court records, county maps, aerial photographs, and crash and homicide reports. An
agency may not charge a sales tax when providing copies of public records.
Sometimes, the nature or the volume of the public records requested will require
extensive use of the agency’s information technology resources or of the clerical or
supervisory personnel assigned to make copies or safeguard records. In these instances,
the law allows agencies to charge a service fee for the inspection and copying of public
records. All service charges for inspecting public records must be REASONABLE.
Agencies should adopt a policy that addresses the circumstances when a special service
charge will be imposed as well as a schedule of charges. The policy must be consistent
with the purpose and intent of the Public Records Act and should strike a balance
between the agency’s responsibility to protect records and its legal duty to ensure
unfettered access to public information.
Page 2
The special service charge should be based on actual labor costs for the personnel who
are required to complete the records request. In calculating labor costs, agencies should
use the clerical employee’s base salary and employee benefits for the time spent making
copies, even if an employee at a higher pay level actually did the work.
A higher rate may be charged for requests that involve complex documents containing
various exempt or confidential information. Usually this will involve documents that
have to be reviewed by an attorney or paralegal with the knowledge necessary to make
decisions with respect to potential exemptions. For example, a circuit court judge
approved a rate of thirty-five dollars per hour in a case where the agency attorney had
reviewed exempt material in a voluminous criminal case file.
The fees authorized under Chapter 119 are not meant to be a profit-making or revenue-
generating operation. Agencies may not charge for such things as utilities, office
expenses, or travel time and retrieval costs for public records stored off-premises.
Similarly, an agency may not charge fees designed to recoup the agencies original cost of
developing or producing the records. Agencies should never attempt to prevent access to
public records by charging excessive fees.
When an agency receives a request for a large number of records, an estimate of the fee
should be communicated to the requestor before the work is undertaken. Agencies may
also require a reasonable deposit or advance payment prior to producing the requested
records. Agencies may bill for any shortfall between the deposit and the actual cost of
copying the public records when the copies have been made and the requesting party
subsequently advises that the records are not needed.
It is a good idea for agencies to always provide a written invoice detailing the costs and
charges related to public records. This is especially true if the fees include special service
charges or are calculated at a rate higher than a clerk’s salary. It is also advisable, when
possible, to provide the requestor with an estimate of the cost in advance of the
production of the requested records. Agencies may ask for the payment in advance of
production, but the law does not require it.
Florida law specifically provides that “Each agency that maintains a public record in an
electronic recordkeeping system shall provide to any person, pursuant to this chapter, a
copy of any public record in the system which is not exempted by law from public
disclosure. An agency must provide a copy of the record in the medium requested if the
agency maintains the record in that medium, and the agency may charge a fee which shall
be in accordance with this chapter.”
Therefore, agencies are required to provide a copy of the record in the requested format if
the agency maintains the record in that format. Agencies are not required to furnish
electronic public records in a format other than the standard format routinely maintained
by the agency. For example, if asked for a copy of a computer software disk used by an
agency, a typed transcript would not satisfy the requirements of the Public Records Law.
If an agency chooses to provide records in a requested format that is different than the
Page 3
standard format used by the agency, the requestor is responsible for the costs of
converting or reformatting the information. Once again, it is important that agencies
communicate with the requestor any circumstances which will require fees and charges.
The Attorney General’s office is always available to answer your questions about public
records. Please feel free to call me, Alexis Lambert, at 850-245-0140 or visit the Attorney
General’s website at
Open government isn’t just good government- it’s the public’s right.$file/Fees.pdf.

more to come…….

More on…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Following The LBTS Purchasing Manual Procedures ….A Lesson In Selective Adherence? …

August 17, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers… Still looking at the LBTS  10/15/05 Revised Purchasing Manual…(yes, still)…after finding one “selective” procedure the Town Manager and her staff want to adhere to concerning the RFP bids wording in Sec.2 …page 19 4a…(prev. post scoops cat.) that was revised on 2/17/09… (without Comm. approval)…and to forgo reading “aloud” the RFP bids as published and done prior to July 29, 2009…While at the same time the Administration did NOT follow the procedures when it came to the LETF decision process (prev. post scoops cat.) that states it is the BSO Police Chief and the Town Commission who decide the use and approval of the funds… The Town Manager  is not even mentioned  in the procedure and  should be only the facilitator in the process ….The Purchasing Manual procedure that states the Fl. State Statutes in black and white spelling out ….LETF funds cannot be used for renovations or building a station …And now there’s one more procedure that may have been tossed aside …and if it turns out it too was selectively and purposely ignored..then readers..once again…”Houston, we have a problem!”…

According the the LBTS Purchasing Manual Section IV L. REAL ESTATE ACQUISITION…(page 39-40 Revised 10/15/05-scans below)…

“The following procedures shall be employed whenever LBTS seeks to acquire, by purchase, any real estate.”

1. Deals with the prior to initiating negotiations with the property owner LBTS shall obtain a written appraisal including the appraiser has no vested or fiduciary interest in the property..

BC- At the March 25, 2008 (video link below…below) the Town Manager asks the Commission for a motion on the sale/purchase of properties (it was tabled at the 3/11/08 meeting) because “there are RFP processes we have to follow”…and she “doesn’t want to waste her time” …Comm. Silverstone asks if it is to sell the warehouse as well as purchase the hotel…The Town Manager says “It would be nice.”…Comm. Silverstone makes the motion to do both and VM McIntee 2nds it…Comm. Clottey asks for an estimate of what the property we would sell is worth…Town Manager Colon says the Town bought the warehouse for $1.6 million and the hotel was orig. $2.4 million and was down to $1.9 million so there would be a $300,000 difference..and says “that doesn’t mean anything” because  the market is not good …but also says “it is a good time to buy an adjacent property”…adding that since she [TM] has been her [8 yrs] we have bought 6 properties and we own all of them except the “parkin’ lot”…VM McIntee (ever the “wheeler dealer”) addressed the Town Manager and said that the $1.6 million warehouse could sell for more ..”It could grease the wheel”…The Town Manager says that a Realtor she thinks named “Stella” “performed the process for us”…the motion was passed 5-0…The question is was “Stella” involved at all with the purchase or sale of either property which according to the procedure is not allowed?…

2. Appraisal reports and counter-offers are confidential and exempt from public records law (1991)

3. No negotiations may be commenced, offers, and counter-offers made for the acquisition by purchase of real property without prior authorization of the Town Commission.

BC- In the March 25, 2008 video the Town Manager states the price for the hotel was “down to $1.9″…was that done in general for the open market or with the Town prior to the motion made at this meeting?

4. Upon commencement of negotiations, LBTS shall inform the property owner, in writing , that all agreements for the purchase of real property are subject to approval by the Town Commission.



BC- I cannot find anything that shows this was done…could I have missed it that far back?…Yeah…but I want verification it was adhered to and that it continues to be adhered to moving forth…If it was not then the public was not allowed to voice their opposition to this purchase as they should have been afforded with the publication and the process of this purchase was not done properly. I await a response from the Town showing  copies of the 2 weeks of “general circulation” newspaper publications ….

6. Evidence of marketable title in the form of title ins. etc….

7.” In order to prevent the premature disclosure of LBTS’s interest in acquiring a specific parcel of real estate, the Town Manager may expend up to $30,000 on related appraisals, environmental studies, etc. without Town Commission approval”

BC- This one [#7]  needs to be “Revised”… ASAP!

MAY 27,2009 Commission Meeting video (link below)…The Town Manager spoke of the 2 appraisals that were done …the Town Atty’s review of the property document agreement…BUT NO MENTION OF 30 DAYS  PRIOR PUBLIC NOTICE (#5-2x in a general circulation to LBTS newspaper)…and that the owner reviewed the agreement as well….Comm. Silverstone made the motion…VM McIntee 2nd it…Comm. Clottey asked about the warehouse property…The Town Manager said they were awaiting a 2nd appraisal but the appraisal they had was higher than the hotel property they were buying…The Town Manager stated the property [hotel] started at $2.4 million and after 2 appraisals the owner agreed to come in between the 2 appraisals and the purchase price would be $1.77,650…Comm. Silverstone said it was a “pretty good deal”…The Mayor said we had enough property with the land we own and she was not for investing in more with the funds we have…The Vice Mayor said he disagreed with the Mayor …VM McIntee said we are “10 years behind for police…50 years behind for fire”…we are “jumping from 3 people to 92 possibly”…we need a “environment for public safety people”..he spoke of the BSO fire station promised and not produced…and asked the Town Manager “Do we have the money?”…”Town Manager do we have the funds?”…TM”yes!”…VM McIntee “Is it earmarked for this?” Town Mananger “Yes!”…VM “Then what are we arguing about?”..

Town Manager Colon-” I want everybody to understand we have a fire department comin’, an AMR department comin’ and of course we have a police department and we only have one room to house the fire and fire rescue. We have to house both companies somewhere. Right now BSO sits in 2 trailers cause they really don’t have a facility to reside in.” (HUH?) “I think it’s time we address that issue.”

BC- 2 trailers?  [(A reader informs there were 2 trailers…1 by Town fire station and 2nd one was at Assumption Church…)The BSO police reside in the same place [Jarvis Hall building] they have from the beginning of their contract…… and we now know from the special meeting in June when Chief Scott Gooding was represented by the BSO Colonel that BSO asked to remain where they are after seeing the hotel!…OUCH!…We also now know that the Town Manager did not plan properly for the building  and did not include the real cost of doing the required renovations…and it seems her decision to use the LETF  for the renovations was improper. Double OUCH!…In the time since we purchased the property the BSO have remained where they are …so the status quo implies the Town Manager should have planned better and waited to purchase this property or to not purchase it at all!…

Comm. Clottey said that “normally” she wouldn’t like a purchase like this , but asked “how often does an adjacent property come on the market?”…

The Town Manager said “Never!”….

BC- not long after the purchase the adjacent property behind the hotel on Bougainvilla came up for sale (prev. post) and it was for sale at less than $800,000!…The Commission addressed it, but did not attempt to buy it with the outrage that came from this purchase…which cost the taxpayers more than double for the same size lot now available!…OOPS!…

Comm. Clottey then spoke of the warehouse and the need for it to be advertised ASAP!…She stated “Otherwise I think residents are going to be justified in screaming loudly.”

The Town Manager said she had an advertisement ready to go as soon as the 2nd appraisal came in as she was “obligated” to wait for it…saying she [TM] will work with the Town Atty. who had reviewed it …Comm. Clottey reiterated she wanted the property on the market….The Town Manager said “probably this week if not next week, we’re just waitin’ for the next appraisal.”

BC-Originally the Town Commission approved a 90 day contract for the firm to sell the property…Here we are 15 months later..the Town Manager has not asked the Commission for any extension or any direction to replace the company….We still own the building…just the “For Sale”  signs are larger…

The Mayor repeated her reasons for not wanting to purchase the property saying we have enough property…Comm. Silverstone asked the Mayor what it would cost to replace the Town Hall…the Mayor responded they would save the $1.7 million and then need to get the numbers …Comm. Silverstone retorted “Without knowing those numbers that’s a very strong statement you’re making”…The Mayor attempted to make him understand “You don’t have to spend money” on the new property…Comm. Silverstone spoke of a past Master Plan that included the Town Hall and the Town Manager said it was at a cost of “a couple of million”…The Mayor said to “use the $1.7 on top of that.”..



BC- When?…By whom?…

The Town Manager went on to talk briefly about the relocation that would have to happen if Town Hall was replaced…

Comm. Silverstone- ” That’s what I thought”…..

BC- Comm. Silverstone brought up the acquisition prior to the 2008 election 2 months earlier …but as far as it being a “goal”…Hmmmm….

VM McIntee- ” Jimmy’s right on, a fire station’s gonna cost $2-3 million, police department a million and a half, that’s $4 million, that’s not counting the Town’s offices, new structure, $6-8 million minimum, we don’t have that.”

BC- WHOAAAAA….I thought the Town Manager/ “Gang of 3” “Mantra” was and is “We are in the black” and the $8 million loan could be paid back at any time!…OOPS!..

VM- ” That’s probably low. You’re apples and oranges here Mayor! Bottom line is in less than 70 days we’re gonna have 92 firemen working in this town, 27 policemen. That’s 127 people.” (HUH?) ” Before we sneeze we’re gonna have ambulances coming in and out that we got to maintain”

BC-Add much VM?…We are not maintaining the ambulances, AMR is and the in- town ambulance is plugged in with an extension cord in front of the hotel (that alone would be a code violation for anyone else in this town)…The AMR portion of the Public Safety building is lousy, they could have stayed at the Beach Hotel or the Holiday in and had the same type of accommodations…YIKES!…


BC- The Manager found out after the purchase that the VFD could NOT sleep upstairs …and although there was talk of moving them downstairs and BSO up, that too would not fly…So desperate was she (we were told) that she considered using Lazy-boys to bypass the requirements…That too did not happen…We have heard that indeed there are some beds upstairs, but the intended use by 92 firemen never came to fruition as the VFD steadily thinned out to 60+ (last month we heard 75) ….

Town Manager Colon -” Remember if you look at your budget documents, a municipal complex was $4 million and that is about 4 years ago”..

VM McIntee-” Well quadruple it then!” and then used the increased costs of the sewers in the north as an example…

The Town Clerk asked for clarification of the vote…and was told it was to “just approve” the purchase…the Mayor read the motion and it passed 4-1 Mayor Minnet dissenting…

BC- There you have it…we taxpayers might have been had…unable to speak out and stop this unnecessary and unpopular purchase of the LBTS Mc-Public Safety Complex with its Mc-Public Swimming Pool…(still actively looking to hire a town lifeguard)…

The Scans…The Minutes….The E-mailed public records request….the Town meeting video links…

“Barbara Cole”
“Steve D’Olivera”
Steve: I am making a public records request for a copy of the publications that were to be published in a newspaper once a week for 2 weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in LBTS concerning the acquisition of the hotel in May 2008. Please acknowledge receipt of my request and let me know when it will be ready for pickup. Barbara Cole

March 25,2008 online link ….New Bus. 13D…….

MAY 27,2008 online video link….Old Bus. 15A. …….

more to come……..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Now You See it ….

August 15, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers…..There’s more!….

The LBTS Purchasing Manual said on the cover page it was “Revised 10/15/05″….but as I re-read page 19 …I suddenly glanced down to see …”REVISED 02/17/09″…HUH?…..No other pages were revised to this year…just his one that contains the RFP standard provisions..including the one the Town Manager and her staff are hanging their hats on ” All timely-received bids shall be publicly opened in the presence of witnesses at the place and time designated in the RFP.”…NOT READ ALOUD…YIKES!…

It appears it was revised without the Commission being informed….HOW’D THEY DO THAT?… SCANS BELOW…..

page 19…Revised 02/17/09…(4a.)

page 18 ….Revised 10/15/05……….(just as the other 42 pages)

page 20….Revised 10/15/05………(just as the other 42 pages)…….

The Purchasing Manual cover page….Revised 10/15/05……..

Authority and Purpose….. Revised 10/15/05….This is what they are using to usurp the published RFP (example-below)…”NON- COMPLIANCE  WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE PURCHASING MANUAL MAY LEAD TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION.” OUCH!….

Definitions…Revised 10/15/05….Check out #34…RFP …”Request for Proposals (RFP) means all documents whether attached or incorporated by reference for soliciting sealed proposals, including any addenda. A RFP IS CHARACTERIZED BY A DESCRIPTION OF THE DESIRED PROCUREMENT RESULTS IN THE FORM OF SPECIFICATIONS AND A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCESS FOR EVALUATING VENDOR RESPONSES.”

FROM THE TOWN ATTY./ASSIST. TM TO COMM. DODD- “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.”…HUH?….

8/27/09 RFP Bid…which states “…UNTIL 2:00 PM ON THURSDAY AUGUST, 2009 AT WHICH TIME THEY WILL PUBLICLY OPENED AND READ ALOUD, SHORTLY THEREAFTER” …just as the RFPs that were published before it…on July 29, 2009 …August 11, 2009…and all the RFPs in the last year+ this writer attended and has the figures for as they WERE “READ ALOUD”…even though the Purchasing Manual REVISED page 19 on 02/17/09 states otherwise…

This writer will attend the 8/27/09 RFP to see if the Town decides once again to disregard their “obligation” of the RFPs being “publicly opened  and read aloud”…as they did 2 times before…Also of interest if the Town puts forth any new RFPs and removes this language from them….

This writer sent in a public records request…addressing the page revision…
“Barbara Cole”
“Steve D’Olivera”
Steve, I am making a public records request for the previous page 19 of the purchasing manual. It is the only page revised this year.(2/17/09) The orig was 10/15/05 I would like what was revised and by whom. it contains formal bidding process for RFP 4 a,b,c please acknowledge receipt and let me know when this will be ready to pickup. Barbara Cole

Commissioner Dodd has submitted an agenda item for the Sept. 9, 2009 Comm. meeting to address the RFP situation …

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop…LBTS …The Banana Republic of Broward County …

August 11, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers …Scott Gooding being “reassigned” was just the “first peel” in the Banana Republic of LBTS!

Today the Town Manager sat in Jarvis Hall with her Assist. Town Manager, Finance Director, Town Clerk, Comm. Dodd, this writer and  a room full of vendors (14 people ) as 16 bids were “READ ALOUD ” for company names (only) until this writer asked for towns to be read as well!


The Manager did exactly what was done last month in the Town Hall conference room (prev. post) and followed her Town Purchasing Manual…to a T! ( FOR TOTALITARIAN)

This writer had contacted FLOCities to complain about the sudden change in transparency after the last time the Town did this and was informed it was up to the Commission and the Town’s purchasing manual (see below)…BUT never did I believe the Town would actually continue on with such a blatant act of giving LBTS a black eye by doing it again with this kind of a turnout!…WOW!…

This Town Manager has got to go! She is off her rocker!…. Can anyone imagine what would have happened if they did this when the vendors came for the garbage contract bid opening?

She sat nearby and told the Assist. Town Manager to inform the angry and confused crowd that they could get the bid prices after 10 days from the Town after making a public records request! …(He held up a form)

This writer asked if there was a fee for the request and the Assist. TM said Yes!…He then backtracked to say if it was just a printout of the tabulation…maybe not…Hmmmm…

The stunned vendors could not believe it…they took out their cell phones and called their offices…and a few were vocal in saying what kind of town this is and speaking of backroom deals!

The Assistant was again told by the Town Manager to let them know they could “contact” the Town Attorney for a copy of the Town Attorney’s opinion! …(another request, another fee, another hoop!)

What a piece of work!…Again, this Town Manager has chosen to expend staff time to thwart the process…WHY?…In this writer’s opinion ….to upend Comm. Dodd’s desire for open competitive bids and make it so vendors won’t want to come here and she can return to her chosen few!… SHAME ON HER!….SHAME ON THE MAJORITY ON THE COMMISSION!…..SHAME ON THE VOTERS IF SHE IS STILL HERE AFTER MARCH!…

Commissioner Dodd sitting next to the Town Manager said he was not provided the opinion the Town Manager was now offering to the vendors…He was astounded at her actions…especially after Comm. Dodd had made the request for that Town Atty. opinion after hearing what took place at the prior bid opening by this writer…

This exchange continued on outside with one perturbed vendor who plans on talking to the Commission  at the next meeting on Sept. 9, 2009 and perhaps taking it further…He asked who decided this…and this writer said “She did”…acknowledging the Town Manager who was standing next to him. He said this was wrong… that the bids were now opened and they could be taken in the room and someone’s brother could get the job! YEP!…

The Manager said he may have found such acts in “other towns”…HUH?…YIKES!…(TRUST HER?) She asked for his card…I thought this guy’s company is blackballed, he’s toast……She was not happy about my remarks…but I was reiterating what she has said so many times…SHE runs the town…He proceeded to follow her into Town Hall…This writer then went into the hall to make a public records request for the Town Atty. opinion and will post it when received. The vendor was still giving the Town Manager and her Assist. a piece of his mind and throwing out all the reasons why the Town’s actions in Jarvis Hall were wrong on every perceivable level!

The ads for with the 2 bid packages read this afternoon said the following……” Sealed proposals will be received by the undersigned at the office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, 4501 Ocean Drive, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida 33308 until 2:00 pm on Tuesday August 11, 2009  AT WHICH TIME THEY WILL BE OPENED AND READ OUT LOUD, shortly thereafter. Any bid received after that time and date will not be considered.”

Again what happened this day…(for the second time)….The Town Clerk read the name and the town and opened the bids…The Town Administration thinks they fulfilled their obligation…OUCH!…

The LBTS Purchasing Manual ..Section I…


“PER FLORIDA STATUTES SECTION 119.07 91)(m), sealed bids, proposals are exempt from public records until the earlier of 10 days following bid/proposal opening or Town’s notice of intended decision. ”



8. “Vendors who believe they may have been unfairly treated during the formal bidding process may file a complaint with the Town Manager. Complaints shall be submitted in writing within ten (10) days after the aggrieved vendor knows or should know the fact giving rise thereto. The written protest must be accompanied by a filing fee in the form of a money order or cashier’s check payable to the LBTS in the amount equal to one percent of the contract value, which resulted in the RFP, but no greater than $5,000. The filing fee shall guarantee the payment of all costs which may be adjudged against the protester in any administrative or court proceeding or in investigating a protest. The Town Manger or designee shall promptly issue a decision in writing after consulting with the Town Attorney. The decision shall state the reason the action was taken. A copy of the decision shall be mailed or other wise furnished. immediately to the complainant, and any other party involved.”

Note to…the 14 vendors who came today…

Atlantic Civil Construction/ Coastal Construction/ PBH Enterprises/ DBF Construction/ ARC Builders/ Miguel Lopez/ ABK Construction/ Florida State Works, Inc./ GMI Contracting/ Omega/ Straightline Engineering/ Rickman Int./ Johnson Davis Inc./Man Con/ Mullings Engineering Services….anyone game?….

So what happens now? Commissioner Dodd put an item on the next agenda (Sept. 9th) for  the Commission to direct the Town to reword the Town’s purchasing policy to include that all bid prices will be read aloud at the opening of sealed bids!….

Is there any doubt that the Town Manager is painting this town yellow?…


more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Town Hall … TOTALLY TOTALITARIAN ….

July 30, 2009 by Barbara


Town Resident Vincent Ragusa’s expression reflects the rapidly growing number of residents rallying and ready to vote in March!….

“Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible Totalitarianism is generally characterized by the coincidence of  authoritarianism  (i.e., where ordinary citizens have no significant share in state decision-making)”….HMMMM…TOTALLY!…

Dear Readers (#1 )….The long 2-day Commission (#2 ) meeting will be posted in spurts… due to its length (2 days/ 11 hours) and the incredible amount of disturbing heated exchanges that took place…There is a need for much of it to be printed verbatim for the citizen /voters (#1) to remember….(this way Jimmy-boy (#2) can’t speak (in forked tongue) of misinformation and untruths…except of course if miss-truths are what he is “uddering”?)….

Before we head back there …this writer (#1) wants to take you into Town Hall West (as opposed to Town Hall East on El Mar )…where the Town Manager (#3 ) has decided in this writer’s opinion the town should be run as a totalitarian form of government!… There is no other way to describe her  form of management … her stranglehold on every aspect of government accountability and transparency while ignoring our  Town’s form of government …

THE LBTS FORM OF GOVERNMENT (included in the LBTS 2009 Proposed Annual Budget)

This Town as the above chart clearly shows ….Citizens-#1…..Commissioners.-#2 ….. Town Manager/ Town Attorney-#3…

Town Manager Esther Colon (#3 ) is clearly not adhering to our form of government…

In this writer’s opinion it encompasses the epitome of her insubordination to the citizens (#1) and Commissioners (#2)  …She has chosen instead to spend her days looking for ways to cover her tracks (again this writer’s opinion) …whether assigning staff to supply countless useless documents to a Commissioner (#2 ) or citizens (#1 ) rather than the paperwork readily available that proves she and she alone took over the development of the Beach Pavilion…..intentionally not following proper procedures for asking for Commission ( #2 ) direction while it is said at the same time informing the contractors her decisions were coming from the very Commission (#2 ) she left in the dark…….She has looked hard to find ways to do as little as possible or “skirt” the requirements of many processes such as RFP procedures…hiring practices…and Public Notices….severely restricting the responses to gain the results she alone wanted…We saw it early on with her choice of  Assistant “TO” the Town Manager (later dropping the “TO” ) and Town Clerk …(who later required an assistant)…Her stubborn behavior of not going out for a second RFP for the town law firm and Special Magistrate ….More substandard hires came with elevating long term employees that do not possess the credentials that would be included in a properly placed ad for the position…(then compensating for their lack of experience by keeping them as department head under the Assist. Town Manager who does appear to have his own proper credentials for his position let alone the one he covering for)… ….She is unequal in her treatment of citizens (#1 ) …. picking and choosing who she will speak to (goes for Commissioners (#2 ) as well…in person/phone or e-mail)…She gives orders for staff to not answer calls/ e-mails  from business owners…ignoring their plight ….On the dais she acts out in a manner that sets professional women back a decade or two when she publicly melts down thus fulfilling her all too familiar M.O. …She then predictably and disturbingly turns on a  dime asserting it is she  (#3) who is in charge ……and will not be told what to do… by Commissioners (#2 ) or residents (#1)…telling us (#1 & #2) to get “used to it”….knowing full well she is sitting pretty with her incredible 2007 contract and her “gang of 3 ” majority vote… …

This writer (#1 ) used to go in and get the backup material copied…waiting patiently (before it went online each month)…that is until it was deemed an interference and it was no longer allowed……This writer (#1 ) gets public records requests to get whatever materials are not online or in the backup…that too used to be easy…but no longer……This writer (#1 ) posted the RFPs bringing new companies to our door ready to participate and compete after picking them up in wordsearch…the Manager (#3 ) didn’t like it one bit……and as of yesterday the Manager (#3 ) and her staff decided it is no longer necessary to read out loud the opening of public bids as has been the practice at every RFP bid opening I have ever attended…….

Here’s what transpired….I came to Town Hall for the 2 pm bid openings for “I.T.”  RFP # 09-06-02 just as I did on Monday (7/27/09) for the beach maintenance RFP bid opening (it produced only 1 bid…our present contractor Beachraker ….the bid was opened and read for the bidding contractor and this writer…$13,500 per mo./ $162,000 a yr. at a savings of $60.00 per mo. compared to last year)….I was prepared to wait in the lobby…but the lobby chairs were moved….into the conference room…I (#1 ) asked why…and the receptionist had no answer…I asked if they were expecting a large crowd…again no real answer….so I sat in the Town Hall conference room to wait….2 pm came and Town Clerk White/ Assist. Town Manager Olinzock and Finance Director Kaola King were the only ones there….The Town Clerk began to read the bids from a rather large stack (9) …(so there was the reason for the chairs)…I (#1 ) asked for the town of each bidder to be read…and the Town Clerk balked.. but Assist. Olinzock complied…(this was always done before)…I thanked him…after each one was read the Town Clerk or Assist. Olinzock “opened” them…and I thought it was rather odd. …(usually each one is opened and the amt.of the bid is read)….But today after the 9th bid was “opened” they said that was it….I (#1 ) asked if they were going to read them and the answer was “no”…they would be tabulated and available later…Hmmm…What would have happened if the chairs were filled with bidders?…….I (#1 ) let them know I felt this was wrong….At the continuation of the Commission meeting meeting I told PIO Steve d’Oliveira I would be making a public request (I did)…but found it really bad P.R for the Town………Comm. Dodd (#2 ) asked the Town Atty. (#3 ) as she came in, and she was unable to give him a response without looking into it….Assist. Town Manager Olinzock (Not #1,2 or 3 ) said they were not required to read out the bids…..rather nastily as is his fashion…(following bad influences we surmise)…

Today I called the State…and the Florida League of Cities to inquire if there was a statute and inform them of the LBTS Town action…They were perplexed at hearing the change in procedure (bad Town P.R.) …I was told that it is not a state statute …and is a decision made from the Commission (#2 ) in the town’s bid procedures…I looked at our town purchasing manual (an earlier public records request) to see what was required…..on page 19 it says…’4.a. Bids must be received by the LBTS Purchasing Administrator no later than the time and date identified  RFP .'(this was not included in the recent Sun Sentinel Parking Citation RFP) ‘ Bids received after this time for any reason shall be returned unopened to the bidder. ALL TIMELY-RECEIVED BIDS SHALL BE PUBLICLY OPENED IN THE PRESENCE OF WITNESSES AT THE PLACE AND TIME DESIGNATED IN THE RFP.’ ….There you have it. fellow citizens (#1) ..because it does not SPECIFICALLY say “READ”… the Town chose to again “play with the rules “and do only what is printed…thus they felt they complied and  “opened” the bids…with a “slice”…but did not read them!…Really!….The recourse now is to ask the Commission (#2 )  to direct the Manager (#3 )  to include the words “and read the bids out loud” for the citizens (#1 ) and bidders…WOW!…

The Round Table Meeting is now set for the Commission (#2)  to decide how to review the Town Manager (#3)  on September 10, 2009 at 5 pm in Jarvis Hall …It’s open to the citizens (#1)… It is up to those citizens (#1) to inform the Commissioners (#2) what they, the citizens (#1)  feel should be included in her review… You (#1) can contact the Commission (#2)….

For this writer/citizen (#1) …..It’s all of the above….and more….such as ….No oversight for the VFD … “Re-assigning”  BSO Police Chief Scott Gooding ….. The $200,000 Audit….The 2007 Contract….and of course the Town Manager’s daily interpretation of the LBTS form of government coming from Terrible Town Hall…..TOTALLY!….

What’s on your list?….

It’s up to you the  CITIZENS (#1) to make Town Hall TOTALLY Open and Transparent …

PLEASE contact your Commissioners (#2)  before Sept. 10th and make sure you attend!…

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop …. 7/14/09 …. LBTS …. Commission Meeting ….. #7 …. STUCK IN TIME ….RFPS ….

July 21, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers….Continuing on with the July 14,2009 LBTS Commission meeting ….we now address the exchange over the Processing Citations Parking Services RFP…(prev. posts)….This was the item that was put back on after a rather lame and suspect attempt made by the Town staff to appease Comm. Dodd’s request that it go out for an RFP after he found out this was not just a $2100 consent item as it was being presented as……but the tip of a rather large contract with a company that has enjoyed its contract with the town for years with no competition ….The RFP the Town reluctantly put in the Sentinel was 1″ by 1 1/2″…and contained no dates …resulting in no bids and leaving the Manager to “job” the item and return it to get the 3-2 vote for what she wanted in the first place….BUT…unfortunately for Town Manager Colon …it didn’t quite turn out that way……

The Mayor read the Old Business Agenda item 15A. a. Commission approval of amendment to existing agreement with Enforcement Technology, Inc. for Processing Parking Citations – $2,100.00 (Assistant Town Manager Olinzock) (This item was deferred at the April 29, 2009 Commission meeting by Commissioner Dodd) Deferred at the June 23,2009 Commission meeting as requested by staff

Previously Chris Hood came forward to speak at public comments on this item and was asked by the Mayor to wait until the item came up for discussion.

Chris Hood- ” I’m a non- resident. My name is Chris Hood. I represent a company called ITek. I’m not here for myself this evening, I’m actually here to ask this Commission to put the RFP back on the street. I don’t feel it was published appropriately. I had a chance, ah  to just to give you a general ideal of what we do we provide traffic ticket systems for municipalities around the country. Over 300 departments use our system for both parking and moving violations. We found this RFP on Barbara Cole’s website which ah, that was never supposed to happen. We subscribe to many services. We do searches on the internet, We have two people that exclusively do that, so I don’t feel this was put out properly and we would like a chance to bid on it and I would like to see other vendors I compete with bid on it also. I’ll be glad to supply you the names of those people who do that. I looked over your current contract. I think you’re being overcharged. I think there’s more technology that you should be getting for the money you’re paying. I think that it’s a ten year old contract and it needs to be reviewed completely and I think there’s alot of vendors out there including ourselves that can really help this city with new technology and eliminate some of the costs that you’re now being charged because of the way things were done ten years ago. So I want to make that offer to this Commission. I think it’s appropriate. I think that there are some things that you can benefit from. It can bring you more revenue with a newer system. Devices now that used to be single- use which you’re using in this city for parking violations can now be multi- use. They can be used by parking and also the police force to issue tickets, and that doesn’t cost you anymore, it actually costs you less. As you know technology changed very rapidly and in just over the past year there have been some great things happening in law enforcement, even allowing officers to accept signatures on the street, transfer tickets directly into the court and eliminate alot of paper costs. And  with the way our budgets are now you know that is an essential element in operating a city and a police department. So I thank you.”

The Mayor asked Mr. Hood to stay for any questions from the Commission…

Vice Mayor McIntee- ” Did you receive any calls to come here?”

Chris Hood- ” No, I did this all on my own I….”

VM- ” How did you know there was a meeting tonight?”

CH- ” I contacted your city about the RFP.”

VM- ” And you’re saying you just picked it up on a website?”

CH- ” Yes, Barbara Cole’s website. We did a word search and we found on a website that there was an RFP.”

VM- ” Ah, you make a very nice presentation.”

CH- ” Thank you very much.”

VM- “Just thought I’d tell you that.”…He laughed…

BC- Ever the “Detective” …

Comm. Silverstone-” I just have one question and it was a nice presentation, makes alot of sense. To the Town Manager, was this RFP put out any differently than any other RFPs were?”

TM- ” No it wasn’t”

CS- ” OK, then I don’t understand how he did not, you [Mr. Hood] were not aware of this. It’s always been done the same way, that’s my concern. And I’m all for getting as many competitive prices out there as possible.”

CH- ” I did find out it was published in the Sun Sentinel, am I correct? Somebody told me it was published in the Sentinel, but there was also no bids, no responses.”

CS- ” Right, but I do not get, the original bid that was put in the Sun Sentinel, that’s my concern, because if you didn’t do then, the other people also, were it competitive didn’t see it.”

CH- ” Exactly, for example we subscribe to different data bases and we get results everyday. This never appeared.

CS- ” I would call those data bases up and yell at them (laughing), that’s my concern, thanks.”

BC- Could Comm. Silverstone be catching the “clueless” bug from the Comm. to his left?…Jeeze…the data bases do not need to be yelled at…the Town Manager needs to be directed to do what is needed to get the RFPs out there!…The Sentinel ad was insufficient with no information…in this writer’s opinion intentionally…top get the results she wanted!…

Comm. Dodd- ” I just want to show everybody out there  here’s the Sun Sentinel and you can see the crosshatched, those are the bids that are put in normally by other municipalities. This is the amount of space in the column (4x 11/2) inches. They’re trying to find word searches whether there’s a competitive contract whatever they want to bid on.” (He showed the difference of the LBTS parking Citation RFP 1×11/2″) saying the Town published 9 lines, no date and no closing information for bidding . ” I accept the Town Manager is probably trying to be very frugal with advertising inches but this is actually a $46,000 contract for the equipment alone plus the penalties and I believe that our RFPs deserve the space that other municipalities get for their RFPs. So that companies can actually find them. So that we get the best deal as far as this town is concerned. Because there are websites out there.” He asked the TM if she knew of a few and read them out, adding they were free to the municipalities, that the companies paid to do the searches, saying it would make us really competitive without RFPs. He went on to discuss the previous contracts that went out for Garbage and electrician that produce “major savings” for the town (Thanks CD’s “micro-managing”) ” We need to go out with every single RFP even if it makes more work for this town and we should make every effort that they’re advertised properly, they get the coverage they deserve and we get the companies and the quality of companies we’re looking for to do the work in this town.” He made a motion to go out for bid a gain on the Parking RFP and called the TM on her previous dire  “the sky is falling” assertions that the current devices can go at anytime resulting in parking enforcement coming to a standstill saying “so be it! He stated it was fiscally responsible for doing so and asked the TM to do so….APPLAUSE!…

BC- Comm. Dodd was right on target…

Town Manager Colon- “Dependin’ on the type of RFP they’re published in the Sun Sentinel. A construction RFP by guideline is advertised different than a professional service RFP. If your company [Mr. Hood’s] did not come in, pick up, an RFP package is in Town Hall and would you please review the entire RFP package that is in your agenda package. If he [Mr Hood] decides to go to Barbara Cole’s website because she decides to advertise, I thank her for the advertisement. All other vendors have the same right that everybody else has to abide an RFP deadline. They’re some RFPs that are a quarter a page like for example the construction RFP that was bigger than the other one. Um, if you want to make an exception because an individual did not bid are we gonna start making exceptions when other people don’t bid for other projects?” HUH?

BC- The TM’s shooting the “messenger” calling her on the Town’s misstep with this RFP!….The RFP package she referred to clearly showed the huge difference in information between the Sentinel ad and the “posted” ads on Town boards and in the bid packages…(prev. post)…

Comm. Dodd- ” Ah, no absolutely not, but these weren’t in the advert in the Sun Sentinel as to when the bids were closing and no bids were put in.”

TM- ” Sir, sir, Commissioner that is not a requirement. What is required to tell him when he has to pick up the bid package and in the bid package it tells you when the specifications are, it is in your agenda package. But to say that this staff or about my office Commissioners. We have bidding more than the norm in the past two years. If because someone goes into someone’s web page and decides to look up RFPs that are duplicated that’s ok. There is no change in the process. The Town Clerk does the RFP in the Sun Sentinel as she has done for the past two years since she worked under my administration. John Olinzock writes the RFP with the assistance of Town Engineers, sometimes professional services and they’re all done the same way. There’s nothin’ new or nothing different.”


VM- ” Mr Hood I have a question. You listened to the Town Manager, is that correct?”

CH- ” Yes”

VM- ” Do you disagree with anything she said?”

CH- ” Yes, I do.”

VM- “OK, what do you disagree with?”

CH-” Um, no one bid on this RFP which makes it impossible for your city to get the best deal.”

VM- ” That’s, that’s not the point at all. Did you see the RFPs without dates that she was referring to?”

CH- “No, I didn’t No, I’m afraid I didn’t and I wasn’t looking for Barbara Cole’s website, it came up with a word search,”

VM- ” Have you seen other RFPs where dates weren’t specifically on them?”

CH- ” I see RFPs WITH dates all the time.”

VM- ” And you see them without dates all the time.”

CH- “No, I can’t say that I do, no,”

VM- ” You don’t believe that?”

CH- ” You asked me a question and I answered it.”

VM- ” OK and you, you want us to reject the, the process because you didn’t see it in the Sun Sentinel?”

CH- “No, not because I didn’t see it, this is not, I’m not here for myself. I’m here for the fair process of getting the town the best deal. I will bid on it with my competition. I’ll provide you my competition, names, addresses, contacts, everything. So, I’m not here for myself.”

VM- “I love the community spirit, thank you.”

CH- ” You’re welcome.”

BC- What can be said…twisting to accommodate the irrational reasoning of the TM, her “protector” sounded like an ass….

Comm. Clottey- asked Mr Hood what company he was from and he answered ..” OK, if Joe Schmo had something on his website about this RFP, then you go and pay somebody to do this search, it comes up, that, that’s the new technology out there folks, like it or not” …HUH?…” And people have been usin’ it for quite a few years now. Ah, so it doesn’t matter who’s website you just type some words and turn it on “…HUH?…” and it looks. So it could have been fro anybody’s website. This is technology that has been in use for a while now, it’s new technology. So I think the issue is here. We have been doing something a certain way and we cannot fault the Town Manager for doing things that have been done correctly in the past.”…

BC-Yes we can…

CC- ” But I think that maybe we should look at this particular instance and say hey maybe we can avail ourselves of this new technology. What is it that we could do that this search engine would have picked up our request for proposals? You would have picked this up if it had been on our website?”…Mr Hood said that was correct…” We’re just talkin’ about the application of technology here and I think that unfortunately it took something like this.”

BC- It should have been done from technology savvy employees…ages ago!…

CC-” But I believe we should be using technology and um, I would request the Town Manager to consider that and say OK um, let’s go ahead and let’s put this out again because we now want to use some new, some technology that’s been around that we haven’t been using yet and I hope my request to the Town Manager is not taken the wrong way, as a slap in the face that she didn’t (OOPS) do something correct but times change and we need to change with the times.”

BC- Comm. Clottey once told this writer she was “used to walking on eggshells”…guess she still is!…The TM was incorrect…purposefully incorrect…in my opinion…and it STILL is a Commission- Manager form of government… act accordingly Dr. Clottey…please!…

Mr Hood again said the city could get a much better deal than the one we have from him or somebody else….Comm. Clottey again asked if it were on the Town website the search engines would pick it up…and Mr. Hood agreed they would…

Mr Hood walked back to his seat to applause from an appreciative audience!…

This writer was allowed to speak …I spoke of my website and the process being “misconstrued and used in a negative fashion”…explaining how “tags” work and how this same situation with a vendor had occurred in the past when the Town dealt with “pods”…resulting in the Town hearing from a representative interested in a code change being introduced…”I believe that the excuse that this is how it was always done and it is legal or it is acceptable or whatever. It is not going after the staff, it is going after the process. And if you want to move forward with your infrastructure and you want to move forward with all the other things in this town and you’re going to streamline your staff and you’re going to do all of these innovative things then you get innovative when it comes to your RFPs. And it’s mot only to put it on the town website because that’s limited. Take advantage of having the use if Steve d’Oliveira’, he must know how to do all this and go out and go on the websites that are free and see what you can do with them. This is along the same lines as the issue I had when it came to hiring practices. The same sort of technology should be used,”

BC- The VM tried to stop me , saying I was off topic, but I told hme it di “tie in”…

BC- ” I just don’t think the status quo, you can’t say that the status quo is the way things are one in one area and not in the other. And if we have an administration that is unwilling to bend and move forward in the process, then maybe that’s another item for the review [Town Manager Annual Performance Review], Thank you.”

Comm. Dodd spoke again saying there were no bids including the current vendor. He implored the Town Manager and the dais to “take this gentleman’s [ Mr. Hood] advice ” ending with reiterating he was looking for the best deal for the town…..APPLAUSE!…

BC- HOLD ON…IT TAKES A NOSE DIVE FROM HERE…a bigger nose dive…that is!…Yikes!…

Town Manager – “Commissioner Dodd, no one disagrees with you. but it is the constant derogatory way that things are said about what I do or my staff does. In this town RFPs were limited. We have put , I would say more than tripled RFPs.The point of the matter is the company did not respond by the deadline date.”

BC- The paper did not provide that information!…

TM- ” I have no problems going out for RFP. What I do have a problem with with is that when a company who supposedly has all these great search engines does not submit a bid because the company that has this great technology did not submit or pick up a package on time.”

BC- The Sun Sentinel 1″ ad did not have any information with a submittal date and as Mr. Hood stated did not show up in a search…The Manager needs help!…

TM- “and that’s what I have a problem with because by his own admission he will be submitting a bid. The current company does not have to submit a bid because they do have a current existing contract.”…HUH?…” I just want to make sure any staff starting with the Town Clerk and my assistant, there is no impropriety and they have been RFPin’ the way we have done in the past differently because things were not RFP.”…HUH?…” And there ares some items that by purchasing policy does not have to be RFP. It’s the tone and the accusations that continue to come out that things are bein’ done wrong.”


TM- ” And again that can be your opinion and the opinion of some of the residents (most!) and I have no problem accepting that but impropriety is not existing.”

BC- This writer STRONGLY disagrees …impropriety does exist in my opinion!…

Comm. Dodd answered the TM and tried to get away from her “victim responses” by getting back to his motion …Comm. Clottey wanted to bypass the Sun Sentinel and only use the net…(Guess she didn’t read the recent news about the legislature having to pass their attempts to bypass hard print for public notices …prev. post)…She wanted it to be a “friendly amendment to Comm. Dodd’s motion…he said no, he wanted both…the VM was seen discussing it with the TM and asked the Town Atty. about the “statutory procedures” required…The TA said they were mandated…Comm. Clottey tried again after the TM spoke of the Sentinel requirements…saying she would do any additional advertising the Comm. wanted…she just wanted “to make sure we do all of them the same way. That we don’t pick and choose where we advertise this way so everything is done in the same fashion”…

BC- This is precisely what the Manager has been doing…”picking and choosing” who would be privy to the RFPs…in my opinion!…OUCH!…

Comm Dodd produced the Town Purchasing Manual that already spelled out the procedures INCLUDING the internet…adding it was policy but we are not doing it!…The TM stated we ARE a member of Demand Star…(an online site)…YIKES!…and Comm. Dodd asked if we used it…the TM did not know!…She said she would have to check….and then….

Commissioner Clottey wanted to DEFER this until the next meeting!..She has really lost it!…

The VM agreed and seconded it!….UNBELIEVABLE!…

Comm. Dodd reminded them he had made the 1st motion…BUT…he had no second…the Town Atty. was asked for how to proceed by the Mayor…The TA said there was no 2nd…the call could be made again for a 2nd but the motion (Dodd’s) was “pending for some time”…The Mayor handed the gavel to the VM and 2nd the Dodd motion…Comm. Clottey still wanted to defer it…and said they still did not know if the RFP went online…


The Town Manager said…” June can knock on the closet. If it was put in, you can ask Steve [d’Oliviera] if Steve put it on the web page and if he didn’t you have your answer if it was put online.”

BC- Yes, Comm. Clottey we really are a “Honky Tonk Town”..

June went to the “closet”…and knocked…we all waited and found that it was NOT put on the website we are a member of …(we hear the Town pays annually for the servicewe do not use!)…

The VM said call the roll…hit the gavel and it PASSED 5-0!….

BC- Below is the 2nd attempt for RFPs for Processing Citations Parking Services ..

THE NEW REVISED SENTINEL AD….placed 7/18/09…with dates added!…/Town Website RFP….

What online sites were used should be forthcoming to the Commission….Also, it will be interesting to see if the current contractor was encouraged by the Town to bid as well…

Next up should be the Auditors…that should have gone out last month!…On the new budget for $55,000

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop ….. Right This Way ….V. I. P. …. RFPs …. UPDATED …..

July 13, 2009 by Barbara


Dear Readers… Previously I posted two times about RFPs (Requests for Proposals) for projects in our town…Again today I have found that the Town Administration is, in my opinion “jobbing” the jobs…by limiting the exposure and the information put out…thus giving a selective few or even a hand chosen single company no competition to contend with in responding to the RFP  to secure the Town project!…

The “Parking Citation Processing”  RFP 09-06-01 advertised on June 13, 2009 in the Sentinel…consisting of a 1″ ad with no specifics…greatly differing from the Town Hall board /Jarvis Hall board RFPs posted containing detailed information including the bid date and time for opening the bids (info not included in the newspaper RFP)….The “Parking Citation Processing” RFP produced no bids…..(2 other RFPs for Technology Maintenance Consulting RFP 09-06-02 and Beach Cleaning Services RFP 09-06-03 were not advertised at all in the newspaper and will be publicly opened on July 29 and July 27, 2009 respectively)….

The “Commercial Blvd.Drainage” RFP 09-07-01 was placed in the Sentinel last Saturday, July 11,2009…It was again a 1″ ad with no specifics…Today on the Town Hall board/ Jarvis Hall board was the RFP for the “Commercial Blvd. Drainage” project…including all the specifics ( info not included in the newspaper RFP)…

Included in this RFP….ON THE TOWN BOARDS….

“The work generally consists of the installation of two (2) catch basins with 200 feet of exfiltration trench.

All work performed shall be in accordance with the Contract Documents pertaining thereto, which may be examined at the office of Town Hall 4501 Ocean Drive Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida 33308

Interested parties may contact the Project Engineer, Susan Holland, and P.E. for information. Copies of the Plans and Specifications may be obtained from Town Hall. Call to ensure a sufficient supply.

Sealed Proposals will be received by the undersigned at the office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, 4501 Ocean Drive, Lauderdale By-The-Se, Florida 33308 until 2:00 PM on Tuesday August 11, 2009 at which time they will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Any bid received after the time and date specified will not be considered. One contract will be awarded for both structures as outlined above and described in the plans and specifications.

Each bid must be accompanied by a certified check drawn upon any State or National Bank of Florida, cashier’s check drawn upon any State or National Bank of Florida or an acceptable bid bond in the amount not less than five percent of the bid, as guarantee that the BIDDER will not withdraw from the competition after the opening of the bids and, if written notice is given of such award, enter into written Contract with the Town of Lauderdale By-The- Sea, Florida in accordance with the written Proposal. Should the successful BIDDER fail to enter into the Contract, the check or bid bond shall be forfeited as liquidated damages.

No bidder may withdraw his bid for a period of ninety days after the day set for opening of bids.

The Town of Lauderdale By- The-Sea reserves the right to reject any and all bids, to waive informalities, to re-advertise and to award the contract in its best interest.

Advertisement Dates 7-11-09



Town of Lauderdale By-The-Sea

By June White”

For those who missed it…THE SENTINEL AD… (1″ in size in the paper)




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- After seeing it on the Jarvis Hall board I went into Town Hall and asked for a copy of it and the contract documents…which I received…20 pages with  2 pages of plans….

We hear that a call was made to Susan Holland the Project Engineer…She said she the project was approximately a $30,000 job and SHE was not aware it had gone out to bid…and was going to call a couple of contractors she thought should bid!…YIKES!…

UPDATE: On the last page of the contract documents…under Elissa Taylor P.E  it states what is included in these documents……

THE PROBLEM IS…the following …” Attachment A (Newspaper Publication Notice)”…what is actually included was NOT the newspaper publication notice…it was the Town boards posting version!…

I have monitored the the RFPs for over a year now. and cannot recall ever seeing this type of action taken….it seems so blatant….

This is right up there with the Town Manager’s similar use of Town boards sans advertising in newspapers and online for hiring her department heads!…

more to come….

Post Division


July 8, 2009 by Barbara

Dear Readers….Excuse the lull in posting…This site was either a peripheral victim of a North Korean computer corruption plot…sun-spots…the server railroading some connection…or a computer glitch…pick one…We’ve heard them all today…and are now relegated to the laptop….to post…the following…….

In the last post you will recall was the bids for the Bel Air Entryways….Not the only RFPs in the works from the Town of LBTS….Also out for bid was the Parking Citation Processing Service….

This was after Comm. Dodd called the Town Manager on the April 29,2009 Consent Agenda item for $2100.00 for hand held ticket devices…Comm. Dodd found in the backup that it was not just $2100.00…it was  a contracted agreement with a company that not only provided the devices but did the processing of all the parking citations for a percentage…The Manager got all hot under the collar and said this was an emergency requisition because the hand held devices were so fragile that any mishap would bring parking in this Town to a standstill…and it would rest on his shoulders as a result…….This time Comm. Dodd wasn’t buying the “sky is falling” ultimatum of Ms. Colon…and called her bluff…Ever the manipulator…Town Manager Colon did what she has done so many times before…AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE…. Just appease the Commissioner and get the result she wants…per her “Gang of 3″…at the July 14, 2009 Commission meeting…when this item is brought back under old business…

Comm.Dodd inquired on the status the RFP for the services…and was told this week it had been published in the Sun Sentinel…That surprised this writer who checks the public notices each day…Could I have missed one..sure..but it was unlikely

On Tues. afternoon after arriving in Town Hall…I took a look at the Town Board…and on it were 4 RFP’s…including the RFP for the hand held devices…RFP 09-06-01 for “Parking Citation Processing Services”…it included the standard info on what was being asked for…and that bids were due by 2 pm on July 2,2009 at which time they would be publicly opened…

After RFP 09-06-04 was done…for the Bel Air entryways also posted on the board and in the Sentinel…I asked Town Clerk White if the RFP for the parking services was advertised…she directed me to the board…I asked was it in the Sun Sentinel and she said yes…I said I must have missed it…and asked if the bids had been opened on the 2nd as it stated on the post on the Town board……She said no, there had been no bids…I was surprised…

Later Comm. Dodd stopped by Town Hall to pick up his mail and was given a copy of the RFP…

It was a memo dated 06-12-09 The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Adstar Proof

Status: Sent -awaiting status    sent 06-12-09 08:46:46

Pub:FSS Zone C Agency Ad Number FSS0105

Client Town of Lauderdale Client ID 942

Classification Government  Insert date 6/13


The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

is seeking sealed proposals for

‘Parking Citation Processing Services”

Proposal package may be obtained at

the office of the Town Clerk located at

4501 Ocean Drive, Lauderdale-By-The-

Sea, Florida 33308, 954-776-0576

June 13,2009

The actual print is accompanying the memo….the print size of the whole ad is the size of 2 postage stamps!

The ad was a request for proposal…not for bid!

The ad placed in the Sentinel and the ad posted on the Town Board are not the same!

The ad placed in the Sentinel is not at all like any of the RFPs  such as the Bel Air entryways…which is a column!

The ad placed in the Sentinel does NOT include a bid time and date and bids being opened publicly on July 2,2009!

No wonder there were no bids!

No wonder no one came on July 2nd!

The Manager did just as she did when she was instructed by Comm. Dodd to interview and investigate the Patrick Pointu situation…..AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE…her M.O…..As Town Manager she is confident that she is “armed” with a reliable “Gang of 3″…to give her license to continue doing so…..

This RFP is worth more than the Red Light system!…

2 other RFPs were on the board ….

RFP 09-06-02 for “Technology Maintenance and Consulting…Bids to be received by July 29, 2009 at 2 pm and to be publicly opened…no advertising was shown…

RFP 09-06-03 for “Beach Cleaning Services”…Bids to be received by July 27, 2009 at 2 pm and to be publicly opened…no advertising was shown…

The Manager has again chosen to limit the response for RFPs…with these 2 contracted services…

We are heading into the time when RFPs should be required to go out for Auditing services…giving notice to Rachlin that they can bid as well…UNLESS….the “Gang of 3″…go along with yet another Town Manager unilateral decision and go ahead with the $200,000  Auditing services they NEVER approved (prev. posts)…

We hear this is just the tip of the iceberg…we hear that the “Gang” is GETTING READY….to GO FULL SPEED AHEAD……from the parking…to the POLICE!….

Courtesy of TOWN HALL-EAST…Late night meetings…at the Furths…Clottey on the 5th….McIntee on the 7th….and Silverstone…on the 8th at noon….YIKES!…

Make it your business to attend the next 2 Budget meetings/Commission meetings…July 14 and July 28, 2009……


Otherwise it just could be…..

Town Manager Colon  DOING AS MUCH A POSSIBLE …..with possible RFPs for Police equipment……for a possible McIntee Police Dept…..

more to come….

Post Division