Documents

Was Comm. Abrams’ Motion Valid?

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents, Emails on July 16th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 12:16 AM
To: ‘BCC-AllCommissioners@pbcgov.com’; ‘RWeisman@pbcgov.org’
Cc: ‘GWebb@pbcgov.org’; ‘StateAttorney@sa15.state.fl.us’
Subject: Commissioner Abram’s 7-7-09 Motion

Commissioner Abrams and Mr. Weisman,

I am unclear as to the validity and standing of the motion made by Commissioner Abrams concerning Fargo Avenue during the 7-7-09 BCC Meeting, Matters by the Public. The specific part of the motion in question is ”…delay the project until such time that an MSTU is established…” As many property owners in Palm Beach County can attest, the MSTU program has been established for many years and many projects. Recent evidence of an established MSTU program is:

1. In a letter dated March 6, 2008, Engineering sent MSTU petitions to property owners on Rodeo Drive under County Engineer George Webb’s direction. Staff recommended and the Board subsequently approved the assessment roll and construction contract for Rodeo Drive. Palm Beach County paid approximately $175,000 in MSTU funds to pave Rodeo Drive.
2. During the December 16, 2008 BCC Meeting, the Board unanimously approved the MSTU ordinance change that I requested during the July22, 2008 BCC Meeting. The purpose of my request was to have Fargo Avenue paved under the new MSTU ordinance change.
3. In a letter dated March 18, 2009, Engineering mailed MSTU petitions to property owners on FARGO AVENUE FROM ARROWHEAD DR TO ELPASO DR ALL PROPERTIES WEST OF LYONS (FRONTIER) EXCEPT PALOMINO DR. PROJECT NO. 2008134A. The letter clearly states, “Before the project can proceed using MSTU funds…” This petition was mailed one day after the March 16, 2009 BCC meeting during which Mr. Weisman gave his word to personally do everything he could to not allow a 16 month delay to happen in the paving of Fargo Avenue.
4. The petition accompanying the March 18, 2009 MSTU petition letter was worded with the same authority language as other MSTU petitions. The heading reads: PETITION FOR ROAD OR STREET IMPROVEMENTS UNDER CHAPTER 37, PALM BEACH COUNTY CODE OF LAWS & ORDINANCES.
5. During the June 2, 2009 BCC Meeting, the Board unanimously approved the petitioning of Fargo Avenue under the new MSTU ordinance change.
6. In a letter dated June 11, 2009, Engineering mailed MSTU petitions to property owners concerning FARGO AVENUE FROM EL PASO TO ARROWHEAD DRIVE STREET IMPROVEMENT #2008134. This is the same project number as the March 18, 2009 Engineering petition that specifically references the MSTU program.
Please tell me exactly when and under what authority did the MSTU program ceased to exist. As recently as June 2, 2009, Palm Beach County mailed petitions with a current MSTU project number. More than the required 50% YES votes were received as a result of the County’s petitions.

Is it regular County practice to petition property owners and pay 50% of the cost of a road paving project for a program that is no longer established as was the case with Rodeo Drive? Please explain.

Is it regular County practice for the BCC to unanimously approve the petitioning of a project for a program that is not established? Please explain.

Is it regular County Engineering practice to mail petitions that were unanimously approved by the BCC for a program that is not established? Please explain.

What authority makes Commissioner Abrams’ motion valid when the program is currently established? Please explain.

Sincerely,

Andy Schaller
www.upinarms.net

Santamaria – Weisman Recreate History!

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents, Emails on July 13th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

An exchange of written correspondence between Commissioner Santamaria and County Administrator Bob Weisman shows that both men need a history lesson. Mr. Weisman writes that Staff absolutely did not encourage the pursuit of paving fargo Avenue. He continues that Commissioner Santamaria and other members of the Board gave support only in the later ongoing meetings.

Commissioner Santamaria responds with his own claim of, “It was about a year later that I realized that homeowners outside of Fargo Road were also considered to be assessed a portion of the cost.”

Santamaria’s Memorandum
Santamaria – Weisman Responses

The video below proves that both Commissioner Santamaria and Mr.Weisman are either grossly mistaken or are deliberately trying to recreate history.

This is the response to Santamaria and Weisman
From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 12:56 PM
To: ‘jsantama@pbcgov.org’; ‘bweisman@pbcgov.org’
Cc: ‘BCC-AllCommissioners@pbcgov.com’; ‘GWebb@pbcgov.org’
Subject: Comm Santamaria’s 7-8-9 Memo

Mr. Weisman and Commissioner Santamaria,

The issue of paving Fargo Avenue has continued for well over a year and has obviously caused memories to become clouded from time, mistakes, ever-changing staff opinions and public misconceptions.

Mr. Weisman:

In your 7-10-2009 response to Commissioner Santamaria’s 7-8-2009 Memorandum, you wrote: “Staff absolutely did not encourage the continued attendance of Mr. Schaller at the County Commission meetings in pursuit of his request. You and some other members of the Board gave support only at his later ongoing appearances.”

I ask you to watch this video compilation on youtube or view it at www.upinarms.net.

This video shows Staff, George Webb specifically, “supporting” changing the MSTU program so that “this neighborhood” and others could take advantage of this program like they can with the water program. I requested a change in the MSTU program during the 7-22-08 BCC meeting and George Webb supported the change in many statements during that meeting.

Several months later, during two BCC meetings in December 2008, the MSTU ordinance was changed to reflect my 7-22-08 request. Do you actually think that George Webb supporting the MSTU change could be construed as anything but encouragement? An ordinance that was on the books for years was changed at my specific request as a result of my prior meetings with Commissioner Santamaria and Mr. Webb as recently as the day before the 7-22-2008 meeting. This ordinance change was supported by Mr. Webb and came approximately one month after my first BCC Meeting appearance.

Commissioner Santamaria spoke in support of changing the MSTU program as a way of achieving the paving of Fargo Avenue during the 7-22-2008 BCC meeting. Additionally, Commissioner Koons specifically called a point of order to ask Mr. Webb to give a “good faith effort” to catch Fargo up with the current projects. Mr. Webb responded with, “We’d like to do that. It would help cost wise to do that.”

To any rationally thinking person, changing an ordinance at the request of a citizen that was supported by Staff and unanimously approved by the Board, would constitute encouragement in anyone’s mind. Once the ordinance was changed, the only logical next step was to apply the MSTU change to Fargo as George Webb indicated during the 7-22-08 BCC meeting.

From December 2008 when the new MSTU ordinance was adopted, to the March 17, 2009 BCC meeting, your staff was (according to Tanya McConnell) working on the paving of Fargo. She plainly stated that Engineering management was responsible for the delay.

At this same March 17, 2009 BCC meeting, Commissioner Marcus reminded you and staff of the original reason for the MSTU ordinance change. She again asked staff to continue to pursue paving Fargo while the road contractors were still in the area. Commissioner Marcus said, ”…that was the idea in the beginning. That’s where the savings was going to be. They’re out there. Let’s keep them mobilized. Let’s just do this one strip of road and let’s get it done.” She also said, “We want you to go out there and pave this road.” Commissioner Koons said, “We have to do a better job.” Commissioner Marcus followed up with a direct request to you saying, “For the purposes of this one little road, could you get involved and do whatever you could not to make him wait 16 months” Your response was, “You can count on it.”

Respectfully, even the most pessimistic person in the world would be encouraged by the Board support and your word to the Board to do whatever you could to see that the problems were rectified and make the paving of Fargo happen quickly. The video does not lie. To date Sir, what have you done to correct the mistakes of Engineering and get Fargo paved?

Commissioner Santamaria:

During the same 7-22-2008 BCC meeting, you specifically asked Mr. Webb about the cost of paving Fargo under the proposed MSTU change to 100% participation by the property owners. Mr. Webb stated the cost would be shared by an estimated 100 to 200 property owners.

I find it hard to believe that you were under the assumption that there were 100 to 200 property owners along Fargo. We spoke very specifically on numerous occasions about Fargo only being 12 properties long. The idea of changing the MSTU to the 100% level was suggested to me, by you, on 7-21-08 when you and I and Mr. Webb met in your office.

During prior conversations and meetings with you, I consistently brought to your attention that Fargo was a road that was only 12 properties long. Despite my requests for you to actually come visit Fargo Avenue yourself to personally view the situation, you declined. For you to say that it was one year after my original request to change the MSTU, at your suggestion, that you realized that other properties would be assessed is completely disingenuous and inaccurate.

I ask that you watch and listen to yourself in this video on youtube or view it at www.upinarms.net.

Are you suggesting that you realized the scope of your 6-2-09 motion before or after the unanimous Board approval? If it was before, why did you make the motion and defend it when Commissioner Aaronson had questions? If it was after, then I submit that you should be sure to “realize” the facts of a situation and the impact of your actions before you encourage citizens to be involved with County Government and pursue issues with your continuing support.

I do not wish to be reimbursed by you for my expenses. Rather, I would like to see you stand by your sense of fair play and duty as my District Commissioner to pursue the correction of mistakes made by your staff and pave Fargo Avenue to completion. Staff’s encouragement, the Board’s encouragement and your personal and professional encouragement to me dictates a need to continue this issue to its final favorable outcome.

Your campaign was based upon elected officials doing what was in the best interest of the people and to restore confidence in our Commission. My personal evaluation of your position in office as my elected representative will be based heavily upon my interaction with you for nearly half of your term thus far, and your future results. You have consistently called for the public to become involved in issues. Fargo is a very public issue and all eyes are upon you and your involvement.

My hope is that you don’t drop the ball on Fargo and become another District 6 Commissioner that we the citizens can’t count on. I am sure you have faced bigger challenges in your life than the paving of a dirt road that is only 12 properties long. Surely a man of your business experiences and abilities is capable of handling this issue. I hope I am right?

Gentlemen:

I respectfully request once again that both of you view the video at on youtube or view it at www.upinarms.net. Your written communications to one another are continuing evidence of the ongoing and constantly occurring problems with this issue. Apparently there is a need for a short refresher of the facts as the line between personal opinions and hard facts has obviously become blurred.

Andy Schaller
www.upinarms.net

PBC Engineering: Ranchettes Q&A

Posted in Documents on June 29th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Palm Beach County Engineering has released the following Q&A informational piece.

mstu_ranchettes_subdivision

Say What?

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents on June 1st, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

“The big wheel comes around.” In this case it is the big wheel of truth! In the Item Summary (6F2) for tomorrow’s BCC Meeting, Staff finally tells the whole truth (almost). Staff has done a complete reversal on most everything previously presented to the Board as fact. Here are a few highlights:

April – Drainage negatively impacted Fargo because of the east/west pavings.
June – No it didn’t…. We helped Fargo!

April – We have left over funds from the currecnt projects to fix Fargo drainage.
June – No we don’t… It cost more than we thought.

April – We were right to petition Fargo exactly as we did when we did.
June – We should have told the Board and had more oversight.

These are just a few of the many reversals. The story continues to unfold. The full item review is here:
6-2-09 BCC Agenda Item 6F2

Grand Jury report released

Posted in Documents, Newspapers on May 29th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

It seems that the property owners in the Ranchettes are not the only people that have a problem with the way the County Engineering Department conducts day to day business.

Read the Palm Beach Post article

Read the entire Grand Jury Report

PBC Ord. 96-17 (December 20, 2005 rev.)

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents on May 21st, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

According to the County document dated December 20, 2005, the amount of purchasing authority of the “Construction Departments” changed from the June 14, 2004 amount of $100,000 to the December 20, 2005 amount of $200,000.

The 2004 document was posted on the County website until May 15, 2009 when it was replaced with the 2005 document. This change to the Policy and Procedure Manual took nearly four years to appear on the County’s website. During the May 5, 2009 BCC Meeting, the Commissioners were asked who was directly and ultimately responsible for spending $170,000 to solicit new petitions into the MSTU program in March of 2008, 15 months after the Board voted unanimously to close the MSTU program. Ten days later the County website repalced the existing 2004 document authorizing purchases up to $100,000 with the 2005 document authorizing purchases up to $200,000 .

PURPOSE:
To set forth procedures for implementing purchasing authority of construction and construction related activities with a contract value of less than $200,000.00 which is executed by the Directors of Facilities Development & Operations, Airports, Water Utilities or the County Engineer. Also to standardize contract procedures for Department executed contracts, consistent with the documentation requirements for Board approved construction contracts.

4. Construction Contract

Any construction or construction related contract or purchase order as defined by the Purchasing Department policy for improvements to real property, including constructing, altering, repairing, improving or demolishing buildings, or for goods or services related thereto, valued at less than $200,000.00 per contract. If change orders are issued which increase the contract value to $200,000.00 or more per contract, the contract must then receive the approval of the Board of County Commissioners.
cw-f-064_2005
cw-f-064_2005st

PBC Ordinance No 96-17 (June 14, 2004)

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents on May 14th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

PURPOSE:
To set forth procedures for implementing purchasing authority of construction and construction related activities with a contract value of less than $100,000.00 which is executed by the Directors of Facilities Development & Operations, Airports, Water Utilities or the County Engineer. Also to standardize contract procedures for Department executed contracts, consistent with the documentation requirements for Board approved construction contracts.

4. Construction Contract

Any construction or construction related contract or purchase order as defined by the Purchasing Department policy for improvements to real property, including constructing, altering, repairing, improving or demolishing buildings, or for goods or services related thereto, valued at less than $100,000.00 per contract. If change orders are issued which increase the contract value to $100,000.00 or more per contract, the contract must then receive the approval of the Board of County Commissioners.
cw-f-064_2004

“There’s nothing secret…” Bob Weisman

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents on May 11th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

The Ranchettes will be back on the BCC Agenda for June 2, 2009. Engineering was given direction at the May 5, 2009 BCC Meeting to bring back solutions and costs for paving in the Ranchettes. During this Board Meeting, the Ranchettes received the strongest backing to date from the Commissioners. It really sounds like the Board is behind us and their support is greatly appreciated! Please email and or call all of the Commissioners and thank them for their continued support.

The PDF File below contains the most complete information I could find on the Engineering Department’s handling of the Rodeo Drive solicitation into the MSTU program 15 months after the Board closed the program to new petitions. This is most important because all other property owners were denied the opportunity to have their road paved at a cost of 50% to the property owner and 50% paid for by the County. Engineering was publicly saying no new roads but privately soliciting new petitions against the Board’s December 2006 decision. Mr. Weisman, the County Administrator, promised full disclosure of who was directly and ultimately responsible for circumventing the Board and spending $170,000 of non-Board approved funds on new MSTU petitions in March of 2008. “There’s nothing secret about what happened here”, said Mr. Weisman. The decision was made over 14 months ago. Why does it take another month to answer the question of responsibility?

(This file is 12.24 megs and will take time to load. Please be patient.)
fargo-news-3

NO NEW PETITIONS!…???

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents on May 4th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Please refer to the “Documents” category and see the petition letter that was sent out by Engineering that totally contradicts this statement!

BCC Video Compilation

Posted in BCC Meetings, Documents on April 29th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

(NOTE: This video is intentended to show the information that is being presented to the Board of County Commissioners, by the Engineering Staff, to make informed decisions. Without the support of County Commissioners, this ongoing issue for more than 1 year now would not have made it this far. Thank you for your continued help and support! We need it. Next BCC Meeting May 5, 2009)


This is a compilation of video clips from the BCC meetings that were televised on Channel 20. Watch and listen as Staff tries to give the Commsioners “factual” information upon which to make decisions about paving a neighborhood road that is only 12 properties long.

Link to www.youtube.com