Lauderdale-by-the-Sea: Portal to the beach to receive an upgrad...

Full story: SouthFlorida.com

The city's portal to the beach is slated to be revamped as part of a beautification project.

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Mokyor

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41631
Jan 28, 2013
 
Bottom Line wrote:
<quoted text>
been reading recent posts
and I agree, YES, the FUTURES newspaper does help to choose
members on the commission especially when candidates are
well-qualified
"Well-qualified" That's a totally subjective. To be more accurate, better qualified in the papers opinion? To get done what they wished for? More like it.

All I know, qualified or not, the actions taken and the results of those actions is the bottom line.

The only real problem I have is in some of the actions taken with our money. Whenever any action ends up benefiting the less at the expense of the greater, unfairly, will always be addressed with change. I just dislike going down this road over and over again.

If only those who run for office said what they would like to do and thus get votes, it would be great for town. What we seem to get is them saying what they think the people want to hear and then doing as they wish once in.

Now if anyone can debate the following I would really appreciate it.

- If any of the newly elected ran on what they are now doing with Commercial Blvd, do you think they would have been elected?

If you agree in the positive, then why didn't they?

MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41632
Jan 28, 2013
 
Arthur and Mokyor are great media contributors. One sounds as if he has business problems of his own that can not be resolved and the other appears confident enough to be able to resolve town problems of today and tomorrow. If either ran for an office in town, my vote would go to the latter of the two men or women mentioned. With a little luck, perhaps my choice will recieve the favorable media attention that he or she deserves.
Need Answers

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41633
Jan 29, 2013
 

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Mokyor wrote:
<quoted text>
I've concluded in my own view and by the empirical state of our current finances since she has left that we would have been better off if we wanted to be in position to reduce the millage rate.
That is an interesting point which brings up another. The town has a lot of money that is not being used for the reason it was first collected. The largest example is the savings generated in getting the VFD back with AMR. We now have extra funds, outside of what was budgeted for fire and EMS, which are being used as the commission wishes. Our taxes/assessments have not been reduced in relationship to that savings.

The above has been discussed on this blog a number of times. The majority of the commission thinks its OK to use these funds to improve town rather then reduce the millage rate. That sounds fine to many people, because not many have been opposing it.

There is an unfairness on how this is being done. The drainage on Bougainvillea and other streets was already budgeted years ago. The same for most of the infrastructure repairs/replacements.

What should be discussed is the excess that is being used to redo Commercial Blvd. which is not only infrastructure related, but a total change in its layout. This change is taking away parking in front of many stores. Less parking, less revenue.

What they are planning on doing will result in the opposite of what they told us it was being done for - helping the businesses. Plus most of the money, the excess, being used came from the residents. What is the benefit to the residents, because I see none for the businesses? If this results in loss revenue from the businesses, will it result in an increase in taxes to make up the difference, most of which will come from the residents?

Can anyone explain how this will be good for town? I'm asking because I want to believe we have some smart, wise people who are taking care of us and thus doing the right thing for the betterment of town. I want to be proud to live here and I want to have the answers so I can do my part and spread it around.

I dont know

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41634
Jan 29, 2013
 
Need Answers wrote:
<quoted text>
Can anyone explain how this will be good for town?
I have asked many person around me and none of them approved the concept nor the expense.
But our commissioners don't care about the Town or their residents. They think that they are above all of us and know better. They only care about their legacy and power.
It will be interesting to talk to these people when they will fall from their throne and become only ex-commissioner.
Does Help

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41635
Jan 29, 2013
 
I think I can answer the question of how it will help the businesses. You guys just don't think deep enough.

Burt J. Harris was a wise man who owned a lot of land in Florida.
He got a law passed, named after him, giving protection to land owners when government takes action causing a loss of value to their property. So when this happens the land owners can file a claim against the loss.

When they mess up the businesses on commercial the owners would have a claim. The town took action which resulted in less business. That in turn reduced the value. Proven by before and after revenue figures.

So not only does, primarily the residents, have to pay to get it done, they may have to pay for any looses incurred while doing it and then from future looses!
Dear Commissioners

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41636
Jan 30, 2013
 
Need Answers wrote:
<quoted text>
That is an interesting point which brings up another. The town has a lot of money that is not being used for the reason it was first collected. The largest example is the savings generated in getting the VFD back with AMR. We now have extra funds, outside of what was budgeted for fire and EMS, which are being used as the commission wishes. Our taxes/assessments have not been reduced in relationship to that savings.
The above has been discussed on this blog a number of times. The majority of the commission thinks its OK to use these funds to improve town rather then reduce the millage rate. That sounds fine to many people, because not many have been opposing it.
There is an unfairness on how this is being done. The drainage on Bougainvillea and other streets was already budgeted years ago. The same for most of the infrastructure repairs/replacements.
What should be discussed is the excess that is being used to redo Commercial Blvd. which is not only infrastructure related, but a total change in its layout. This change is taking away parking in front of many stores. Less parking, less revenue.
What they are planning on doing will result in the opposite of what they told us it was being done for - helping the businesses. Plus most of the money, the excess, being used came from the residents. What is the benefit to the residents, because I see none for the businesses? If this results in loss revenue from the businesses, will it result in an increase in taxes to make up the difference, most of which will come from the residents?
Can anyone explain how this will be good for town? I'm asking because I want to believe we have some smart, wise people who are taking care of us and thus doing the right thing for the betterment of town. I want to be proud to live here and I want to have the answers so I can do my part and spread it around.
Please read the above. I'd also like to know so I can give an intelligent answer to those I know who oppose what is being planned. I also want to be proud to live in town and proud of my commission.
arthur

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41637
Jan 30, 2013
 
Dear Commissioners wrote:
<quoted text>
Please read the above. I'd also like to know so I can give an intelligent answer to those I know who oppose what is being planned. I also want to be proud to live in town and proud of my commission.
Some of the reasons given to us for eventual lowering of millage rate over the years:
1. Once we finish sewer construction related to annexation your taxes will go down.
2. Annexation will produce additional revenues and your taxes will go down.
3. Development will bring additional revenues. See Oriana, Europa, Minto, etc.
4. VFD and AMR save us millions.
5. Once we repay loans the cost of running a town decreases.

My conclusion is that over the years whenever there was any saving or revenue increase the benefits of these were captured by administrations, and not passed on to taxpayers. There were some cuts like from 4.7 to 4 in millage rate, and we even had a water fee cut from 10 percent to 5 percent of the bill this year. However, the millage cut was not enough and the water tax cut was really a token gesture.

One administration collected too much and sat on the money building excessive reserves for various contingencies or allocating funds to undesignated unallocated funds. The second one came in and agreed that all these de facto reserves are excessive and decided to spend them by investing in our town. That is a noble cause but one should remember that road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The problem is that the rationale for investing in Commercial Blvd project, for example, is not really compelling. In fact the effect may be opposite with reduction of parking. We may end up investing millions in a project that is actually going to make things worse.

I am also very proud to be resident of LBTS.:-)
Mokyor

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41638
Jan 30, 2013
 

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arthur wrote:
<quoted text>
One administration collected too much and sat on the money building excessive reserves for various contingencies or allocating funds to undesignated unallocated funds. The second one came in and agreed that all these de facto reserves are excessive and decided to spend them by investing in our town. That is a noble cause but one should remember that road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The problem is that the rationale for investing in Commercial Blvd project, for example, is not really compelling. In fact the effect may be opposite with reduction of parking. We may end up investing millions in a project that is actually going to make things worse.
I am also very proud to be resident of LBTS.:-)
While I mainly agree with you, don't you think all administrations collected too much and still do? To place that label, using your example above, on just one is not fair.

To say one administration in particular, the current, spent money on highly questionable items would be fair. This is the only one who manage to get a master plan going, all the others had that option and decided not to move forward. And I think for the very same reasons that are given now why it shouldn't.

Have all administrations collected too much money?- yes I think so. But only one I can think of, no. 1 in your above example, made the most effort to stop the spending and reduce the millage.

As you have said the vote is what matters and the people voted for this new commission and therefore must want this to happen? And if you don't agree with that then why did they get in? Or better yet how did they get in? And once in why are they doing this with our money? I think and so do others it had something to do with the local media and other factors attached.

Or maybe this is the real reason - It seems like the people who have the most influence in which way the Town goes are the ones who make a living off the public sector. The land use attorneys, certain developers, town managers, road builders, architects who specialize in municipalities, consultants etc.

There is an entire industry which makes its living from providing this service. A few of the above are in the perfect position to push one way or the other the vote of the elected officials who may not know any better.

Giving tax money back to the residents takes food off their table and they will fight, in the background, to prevent this. They have the influence and the persuasion to make this happen and it looks like they have.

Look into any recent decision of spending our money with various options, look to see who is pushing for the most expensive option. I think you will agree.
arthur

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41639
Jan 30, 2013
 
Mokyor wrote:
<quoted text>
While I mainly agree with you, don't you think all administrations collected too much and still do? To place that label, using your example above, on just one is not fair.
To say one administration in particular, the current, spent money on highly questionable items would be fair. This is the only one who manage to get a master plan going, all the others had that option and decided not to move forward. And I think for the very same reasons that are given now why it shouldn't.
Have all administrations collected too much money?- yes I think so. But only one I can think of, no. 1 in your above example, made the most effort to stop the spending and reduce the millage.
As you have said the vote is what matters and the people voted for this new commission and therefore must want this to happen? And if you don't agree with that then why did they get in? Or better yet how did they get in? And once in why are they doing this with our money? I think and so do others it had something to do with the local media and other factors attached.
Or maybe this is the real reason - It seems like the people who have the most influence in which way the Town goes are the ones who make a living off the public sector. The land use attorneys, certain developers, town managers, road builders, architects who specialize in municipalities, consultants etc.
There is an entire industry which makes its living from providing this service. A few of the above are in the perfect position to push one way or the other the vote of the elected officials who may not know any better.
Giving tax money back to the residents takes food off their table and they will fight, in the background, to prevent this. They have the influence and the persuasion to make this happen and it looks like they have.
Look into any recent decision of spending our money with various options, look to see who is pushing for the most expensive option. I think you will agree.
See this is our greatest source of disagreement. You think that taking money from taxpayers is OK as long as it is not spent. To me it makes no difference whether it is spent or not because if you take "too much," that is what matters.

I think that taking money from taxpayers if it is not needed is taking food of taxpayers' table as much as it is taking food off the table of all these people who rely on government spending.

The people who you describe are lawyers, architects, engineers doing business with government and they are quite often richer than the average taxpayer, and yet taxpayers are forced to pay for this de facto white collar welfare program of government spending on questionable projects.

Also, it does not matter if the money was not spent by the previous town manager. She took money from taxpayers that was not needed. That is not fair of her. Now maybe she was your friend and you will defend her to your grave but that is kind of big part of the problem. You see if our elected officials or people involved in politics in our small town, as you seem to be, become friends with administrators then administrators are not supervised and all taxpayers lose. So you could be friends with the TM thinking that all is swell, and you could be doing great disservice to all taxpayers of this town. The healthiest and fairest position is to not be friends with town manager if you want to be fair to taxpayers. The correct position for you and me is to be watchful or neutral.
Mokyor

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41640
Jan 30, 2013
 

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arthur wrote:
<quoted text>
See this is our greatest source of disagreement. You think that taking money from taxpayers is OK as long as it is not spent. To me it makes no difference whether it is spent or not because if you take "too much," that is what matters.
I think that taking money from taxpayers if it is not needed is taking food of taxpayers' table as much as it is taking food off the table of all these people who rely on government spending.
The people who you describe are lawyers, architects, engineers doing business with government and they are quite often richer than the average taxpayer, and yet taxpayers are forced to pay for this de facto white collar welfare program of government spending on questionable projects.
Also, it does not matter if the money was not spent by the previous town manager. She took money from taxpayers that was not needed. That is not fair of her. Now maybe she was your friend and you will defend her to your grave but that is kind of big part of the problem. You see if our elected officials or people involved in politics in our small town, as you seem to be, become friends with administrators then administrators are not supervised and all taxpayers lose. So you could be friends with the TM thinking that all is swell, and you could be doing great disservice to all taxpayers of this town. The healthiest and fairest position is to not be friends with town manager if you want to be fair to taxpayers. The correct position for you and me is to be watchful or neutral.
Na the biggest source of disagreement between us is in your comprehension of what I write. I never wrote or implied it was OK to collect more from taxpayers then needed. I said it happened.

I also never wrote or implied the previous TM was my friend and I'd defend her to the grave. It would appear you are looking to argue and are making stuff up to do so.

I gave a theory on what I think is going on. Well actually more then a theory.

Just wanted to point out at one time we were going in the direction you think the town should be headed, as I do. Also as you may know when it comes to government a major change takes some time. That is a fact. Plus the fact 3 commissioners have to be on the same page during that time to get it done.

I take the time to do this to try to get people to think and not to argue. I give examples and give thought to what is happening and why. Also critical when something that does not make sense, is untrue or is missing important information.

The former town manager, pick anyone of them, and this town manager are in the same industry and that is what I was trying to get across. Reread what I wrote, with as you say "neutral" eyes. By the very nature of their position they would side, as most would, to what benefits them and their future. Some do it better then others.

I do prefer those who, with their commission, cut expenses which is a major factor in getting the millage rate reduced. So paint me guilty on pointing that out.

One thing you were right about, been around and know a couple of things about the local political landscape first hand. So you should really pay attention to what I write, as I do with you when you're not attacking me or writing questionable truths which may be misleading.
arthur

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41642
Jan 31, 2013
 
Just for the record. Another month and another sewer bill that is incorrect. The November sewer ordinance that was passed by the Town Commission was never implemented by our administration.

Kind of lawless around here in LBTS nowadays.
Mokyor

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41643
Jan 31, 2013
 
arthur wrote:
Just for the record. Another month and another sewer bill that is incorrect. The November sewer ordinance that was passed by the Town Commission was never implemented by our administration.
Kind of lawless around here in LBTS nowadays.
Thanks for the info and goes to show they should not be allowed to do anything until they get the fundamentals correct.
arthur

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41644
Jan 31, 2013
 
Mokyor wrote:
<quoted text>Thanks for the info and goes to show they should not be allowed to do anything until they get the fundamentals correct.
Nuts.
arthur

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41645
Jan 31, 2013
 
Mokyor wrote:
<quoted text>Thanks for the info and goes to show they should not be allowed to do anything until they get the fundamentals correct.
You sound like a resident. I am a resident, too, but whatever, as at least one Commissioner implied I am not really a resident I am a business, which just means that I have more at stake. Both my residence and my livelihood.

I have dealt with both the administration and the Commission for the last year regarding the sewer issue. I am still on the hook for Commercial and master plan. But residents are, too, on the hook for these projects just like me. I really wish all of us good luck. The best of luck. This is not looking good though based on my experience with professionalism of this administration and of this Commission.

This is not the right way to run a town.
Mokyor

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41646
Feb 1, 2013
 
arthur wrote:
<quoted text>
You sound like a resident. I am a resident, too, but whatever, as at least one Commissioner implied I am not really a resident I am a business, which just means that I have more at stake. Both my residence and my livelihood.
I have dealt with both the administration and the Commission for the last year regarding the sewer issue. I am still on the hook for Commercial and master plan. But residents are, too, on the hook for these projects just like me. I really wish all of us good luck. The best of luck. This is not looking good though based on my experience with professionalism of this administration and of this Commission.
This is not the right way to run a town.
I am a concerned resident/voter who believes the responsibility of how the town runs lies within each of us. In the perfect world, we have other residents who decide to represent us and ask us for their vote. That vote is based on what they tell us they will do and what their values are. In the real world this does not happen enough. The do things they said they would not and do big things they never spoke of.

To often we have the elected great people, but know very little about the town and how it works. So naturally what happens is they rely on those who are paid to be professionals to run the town. Because of the inexperience or lack of effort some commissioners are lead by the professionals and will do as they are directed. The power behind these professionals can be good or bad for town, but is always presented as being good.

That is the flow of power that gets things done.

What controls that? Educating the voters on what is happening and the potential consequences using facts and prior real world examples.

The By-the-Sea-Times did a great job of getting that information out and it worked. The Futures did the same thing, but not only used facts, but mixed it with misinformation to push an agenda. And the same could be said of the Times in some issues.
B. Cole ended up doing the same. The big difference is if the agenda is hidden or not. A hidden agenda is those issues not mentioned during the election. Like redoing all of Commercial.

Any question about that? Just imagine what Cole and the Futures would be saying about what this administration is doing if it was the old. Just image if a certain hotel on Elmar got public funds to paint their walls, just as some have done now this this administration. Just one example.

Its a proven formula. Print facts and get people interested and to believe in you. Then slowly spin the issues towards an agenda using well written misinformation. And again it works.

Doing my part to get the message out, but don't know if its having any real impact. The CIC is also doing the same and seems to be having a good result measuring by the last couple of Charter Review Board meetings. People are waking up and will always be attracted to the truth.
Mokyor

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41647
Feb 1, 2013
 
Please give this some thought.

You are a street wise person with some intelligence. You see a vision you want done in town. Be it a project to make money and or a bold idea that you believe in as best for this town.

How do you get it done?

If this idea is popular with the general public then you can call up your favorite commissioner have he or she place it on an agenda or speak to the town manager and get it done. Or you can call the town manager and try.

If its popular, then no problem just take a little time.

What if's its not popular? The commission and or TM wont move on it.

Then you have to convince the voters to push for it and or get a new commission in place.

Now if this idea will create jobs or more income for the professionals who work for town then it becomes a real possibility due to the strong push from them. Will take some more time of course, but that isn't a problem for some.

Somewhere along the way the question is asked if this idea is truly good for town? This usually happens right after the costs and project benefits are known. Or the study has holes in it or doesn't make sense.

Ask yourself where you think we are and if that doesn't set will with you - make some calls to your commissioners and ask them to explain!

Its their job to know and tell us and its our job to ask when things don't make sense.





GRAVEY TRAIN

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41648
Feb 1, 2013
 
arthur wrote:
Just for the record. Another month and another sewer bill that is incorrect. The November sewer ordinance that was passed by the Town Commission was never implemented by our administration.
Kind of lawless around here in LBTS nowadays.
If my memory serves me correct, the sewer ordinance was passed, finally, after many delays, with a four to one vote. As I recall Sasser voted against it. In my opinion, this ordinance will never be reflected in our sewer bills as intended. It is a hot potato. Ask any single family homeowner. They want to continue riding the gravey train.
candidates for Commercial

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41649
Feb 1, 2013
 
The candidate in the last election who publicly stated he was against
Commercial Blvd project getting done west of Commercial Blvd was Marc Brown, Mr. Brown thought the town should wait several years before jumping into the redoing of the entire length of Commercial

On the other hand, Marc Brown's opponent,
Mr. Malkoon,gave his approval for the entire length of Commercial Blvd getting an overhall;
therefore, it is assumed some of the CIC members are also for redoing the entire length of Commercial.

Mayor Minnet was for the Commercial project getting done.
dont be naive

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41650
Feb 1, 2013
 
The By-the-Sea-Times did a great job of getting that information out and it worked. The Futures did the same thing, but not only used facts, but mixed it with misinformation to push an agenda. And the same could be said of the Times in some issues.
B. Cole ended up doing the same. The big difference is if the agenda is hidden or not. A hidden agenda is those issues not mentioned during the election. Like redoing all of Commercial.
All political writings ALWAYS HAVE A HIDDEN AGENDA
arthur

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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#41651
Feb 1, 2013
 

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GRAVEY TRAIN wrote:
<quoted text>If my memory serves me correct, the sewer ordinance was passed, finally, after many delays, with a four to one vote. As I recall Sasser voted against it. In my opinion, this ordinance will never be reflected in our sewer bills as intended. It is a hot potato. Ask any single family homeowner. They want to continue riding the gravey train.
Consider this. If the restaurants are still on the old sewer methodology they are paying effectively $3.50/kilogallon. Our consultant determined that the fair price is upwards of $5/kilogallon. Restaurants tend to be the largest generators of sewage. With the old methodology the town was losing money and subsidizing restaurants. So just as we subsidized condos from the sewer fund we were/are subsidizing restaurants from the sewer fund now.

People have been looking at their sewer bills for at least five years with disbelief and we studied and studied and yet there is always some kind of unplugged hole in the sewer fund.

I spoke with somebody about this while the studying was happening. They were trying to get the result accurate to 1 percent, which is why we spent the money to compute individual ERUs for businesses. But I told him that I would not mind paying extra 1 percent if that meant that I will stop paying extra 100 percent immediately. It would take 100 months of bills that are wrong by on average 1 percent to offset 1 monthly bill that is wrong by 100+ percent, which is the current situation. 100 months is 8+ years. What would you rather have 100 monthly bills that are wrong by just 1 percent or just 2 monthly bills that are wrong by 130 percent? Do the math.

But we went ahead and spent months making sure that we get the methodology exactly correct, which was not worth it in my opinion, because of what I just described above and the fact that this methodology only goes out 10 years so its lifespan is less than 10 years now. We will need new methodology once the lifespan of this methodology, if not much earlier.

And now we are delaying this overly accurate methodology's implementation for some reason, which wipes out any gains from accuracy of this methodology over its 10 yr lifespan. Do the math like I did above.

As long as this methodology is not implemented though we continue on old methodology, which the town's consultant could not determine on what it is based. Pompano even told me that our town implemented Pompano's methodology wrong.

So as things stand, before we were subsidizing the sewer bills of condos north of Pine, and now we are subsidizing sewer bills of restaurants.

Ladies and gentleman we are trying to plug holes in our sewer system but we always have an unplugged financial hole in the sewer fund. If we want anything done with our sewer bills we have to plug all sewer holes, the physical holes in the pipes and the financial holes in the sewer fund.

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