BCC Meetings

Fargo Drainage Problems

Posted in BCC Meetings on May 23rd, 2010 by admin – 2 Comments
Rodeo/Fargo Intersection

Rodeo/Fargo Intersection

The three videos below show the ongoing problems with drainage on Fargo Avenue. Engineering publicly admitted drainage issues on Fargo were caused by the paving of four east/west roads. However, in an email to me dated 5-21-2010 from County Engineer George Webb, he claimed this situation is an anomoly! I them provided him with pictures and the video posted more than a year ago of the same conditions. Additionally I provided him with photos from September of 2009 to show this situation is the rule rather than the exception!


The video below shows the same conditions existed one year ago and continue today. The east/west roads were designed to drain surface water into Fargo Avenue.

County clerk, administrator trade barbs over watchdog roles

Posted in BCC Meetings, Newspapers on August 18th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

The sometimes-contentious relationship between County Administrator Bob Weisman and Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock grew frostier Tuesday.

Bock through the years has tried to assert more of a watchdog role over county departments than Weisman, and the county attorney’s office, maintain she has the authority to do.

A recent citizen complaint about a county road paving program prompted Bock to launch a review of the county’s practices in order to “ensure the public’s confidence” in county government, according to a July 31 letter from the clerk’s office.

That drew a sharp rebuke from Weisman Tuesday, who maintained that the commission’s own auditor and the county’s audit committee should decide how to handle the matter.

County commissioners agreed and directed the committee to consider the concerns about the road program.

If Bock proceeds with her review, Weisman said his office will honor any records requests she makes, but that his staff will not go beyond that.

And if Bock proceeds anyway and produces an audit of the county road program? “Frankly, I’m not going to care what she says,” Weisman said at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Bock said she does not plan to back off her watchdog efforts, but also isn’t looking for a legal showdown with the county.

As for the concerns about the county road-paving program, Bock said the important thing is that an audit is conducted – whether it’s done by her office or the commission’s auditor.

Offering a backhanded compliment, Bock said it was “refreshing” that county officials said they would consider conducting an audit of one of their departments. “I look at this extremely positively,” Bock said.

SunSentinel.com

Proposed inquiry into Palm Beach County road program inspires debate among commissioners

Posted in BCC Meetings, Newspapers on August 18th, 2009 by admin – 1 Comment

By JENNIFER SORENTRUE

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach County’s internal auditing committee should conduct the review of a county road-paving program, not the county’s self-appointed financial watchdog, commissioners said this morning.

Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock’s office initiated a review of the program this month at the request of Commissioner Shelley Vana and a resident who wants a road paved west of Lake Worth.

But commissioners agreed this morning that the duty should fall on the county’s internal auditing committee.

“If somebody thinks something illegal has been done, it doesn’t belong in the clerk’s office,” Commissioner Karen Marcus said. “I think we are getting way off track. She can audit her departments. We need to do our own homework.”

The decision was the latest debate in the ongoing rivalry between Bock and county administrators.

This month, County Administrator Bob Weisman directed his staff not to cooperate with Bock’s review of the road program. County employees will fulfill public records requests on the issue, but that is all the help they will give unless the county commission or audit committee directs them to work with Bock’s staff, Weisman said.

It is unclear whether Bock’s office will continue with the review in light of the commission’s decision. A call for comment was not immediately returned.

The county’s internal auditor and audit committee, which includes a representative from the clerk’s office, had already been planning to review the road program before Vana and the resident made their requests.

Palm Beach post Article

Weisman-Bock feud hits impasse in Palm Beach County clerk’s road-money inquiry

Posted in BCC Meetings, Newspapers on August 18th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

By JENNIFER SORENTRUE
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, August 06, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — The long-heated rivalry between Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman and financial watchdog Sharon Bock reached a boiling point today.

Weisman told Bock that his staff won’t cooperate with her office’s review of a county road-paving program.
Bock’s office initiated the review at the request of Commissioner Shelley Vana and a county resident.

“I don’t think anybody needs to do it,” Weisman said today. “I think this is almost a political audit, not a technical audit.”

Bock, the county’s elected clerk of the circuit court, added the word “comptroller” to her title shortly after winning the post in 2004. Since then, she has been at odds with Weisman and other county leaders over that role.

Weisman said his staff will fulfill public records requests on the issue, but that is all the help they will give unless the county commission or audit committee calls for the review.

“The fact that you would jump to do this without a formal request from the County Commission or Audit Committee again demonstrates why your office is not an objective party to serve in a broader auditing role than is currently authorized by law,” Weisman wrote in an e-mail to Bock.

In a statement released today, Bock said her office was only doing what it was asked to do.

“As the County’s Auditor, and a member of the Audit Committee, my office has an obligation to respond to Commissioner Vana’s request,” Bock said.

She added: “Because the issue brought forth by the complainant has remained unresolved for the past 16 months, Commissioner Vana and everyone on our audit team is committed to conducting a prompt and thorough review of the (road) program. This review can go a long way toward rebuilding the public’s trust during this time of unprecedented mistrust in government.”

County resident Andy Schaller, who initially called for the review, has been at odds with county managers for more than a year. Schaller wants the private road paved in front of a home he owns in the Palm Beach Ranchettes community suburban Lake Worth.

The commission has denied his request.

Until last year, a county program let residents vote to assess themselves 50 percent of the cost to pave the road. The county covered the remaining cost. But that program is out of money.

“This is strictly a citizen who had a problem with decisions,” Weisman said. “There is nothing about law or finance that it involves.”

Vana, chairwoman of the county’s audit committee, said she would ask the entire board to sign off on the review at the next meeting.

“If someone wants to find out and the clerk is willing to do it, why would we stop it?” Vana said. “I know there is a history that goes back, but it is a new day and we can trust each other to just do good government.”

View the letter to Clerk Bock requesting the MSTU audit
View Clerk’s MSTU Audit Letter to the BCC
View the Palm Beach Post story

I was For it Before I was Against it!

Posted in BCC Meetings, Emails on July 17th, 2009 by admin – 1 Comment

We are all getting a lesson in politics from our County Commissioner Jess Santamaria. Commissioner Santamaria claimed in a memorandum to County Administrator Bob Weisman dated July 10, 2009 that, “It was about a year later that I realized homeowners outside of the Fargo Road were also considered to be assessed a portion of the cost.” That is clearly a false statement when you view this video at youtubeor view the top video at www.upinarms.net. If Commissioner Santamaria did not believe assessing all 240 property owners without giving them a vote was justified, why did he make the following motion during the June 2, 2009 BCC Meeting?

“Motion to direct staff to petition the 12 properties on Fargo Avenue to determine if majority would be willing to be assessed for the paving of Fargo between El Paso and Arrowhead in an amount equal to the recent four-road assessment plus the same amount (approximately $1,300 – $1,600) that the other 240+/- neighborhood properties would be assessed (a total of approximately $8,800 – $9,100). This would be repaid over a 20 year period. If there is a majority in favor, staff should add Fargo to the MSTU program and prioritize the design and construction. Staff should then place the project out to bid and prepare an assessment roll. The properties along Arrowhead, Pinion, Yearling, Rodeo, Pinto and El Paso, between Fargo and Blanchette are also found to benefit from the Fargo paving and should be assessed equally for the benefit. In addition to their base assessment, the original 12 properties on Fargo will also be assessed the same amount as the six roads above. It is understood that the assessed properties above will ultimately pay for 100% of the final project cost.”

The video of Commissioner Santamaria making this motion can be seen at youtube or at www.upinarms.net : 6-02-09 BCC Meeting – Part2. The motion begins at 3:50. Not only does the commissioner make the motion, he defends it against Commissioner Aaronson’s objections.

After the July 7, 2009 BCC Meeting where the Board reversed the decision to pave Fargo, I asked Commissioner Santamaria why he did not defend his previous motion to assess all 240 property owners. He said,” I wasn’t going to be a dead hero against 200 people.”

Now that property owners in the Ranchettes showed up in mass to object to Commissioner Santamaria’s motion to assess all 240 property owners, the Commissioner has decided to ignore the facts and recreate history. I guess he’s made his decision to run for re-election and wants every vote. In an effort to do damage control, in true political form, Commissioner Santamaria is now sending out the email below.

Dear (Owner):

This letter is to make sure that you have a correct understanding of where I stand on paving of roads in the Ranchette Community, as follows:

Immediately following any request by a homeowner or a group of homeowners to pave any road or roads in the Ranchette Community, all affected homeowners, whether they will be assessed or not for the cost (whether 1% or 100%) should be given proper notice of all meetings, and should be given ample time to express their respective opinions. These notices to all affected homeowners should continue throughout the time this topic is being discussed prior to the final vote of the Commissioners in an open public hearing.

ALWAYS LET THE SUNSHINE IN !

Hopefully the above statement clarifies any misinformation disseminated by anyone.

Yours truly,

Jess R. Santamaria
Palm Beach County Commissioner
District 6

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

Why should I pay for Fargo?

Posted in BCC Meetings, Emails on July 2nd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 8:55 AM
To: ‘BCC-AllCommissioner@pbcgov.org’
Cc: ‘Rweisman@pbcgov.org’; ‘GWebb@pbcgov.org’
Subject: Fargo Avenue : Why Should I pay?

Commissioners,

You are hearing from some Ranchettes owners that they never use Fargo and should not have to pay for the paving. To them I offer the following using their logic:

I have paid County taxes for 19 years on my Ranchettes property and for 10 years on multiple County properties. My hard earned tax dollars have been paying for:

County Roads: I have never had a County road in front of my properties so I need a refund for the last 19 years.

Schools: I don’t have children and probably never will so I’m going to not only need my money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

Library: I have the internet and no children so I’m going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

Fire Rescue: I have never had a fire or medical emergency so I am going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

County Parks: I have no children who play baseball, softball, football, tennis, basketball, soccer or play golf on a County public course so am going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future. If I personally want those services I can join a private facility. Note: I do have a boat and you will be charging me a boat launch fee on a pay per use basis.

County Debit: I won’t ever personally use Mecca Farms for anything so I am going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

Health Care: I have private insurance that I pay for so I am going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

Public Transit: I own vehicles that I pay County taxes for and do not use public transportation so I am going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

Everglades: I didn’t cause the problem so I am going to need the money back and I won’t be paying in the future.

The list can go on and on. Some Ranchettes owners work for the County in the above mentioned areas and seeing how my tax dollars have paid for their salaries for the last 19 years they personally owe me a refund and should expect a pay cut as a result of me not paying future taxes . Also any Ranchettes owner who has had a child in public school over the last 19 years or who will ever have a child in public school owes me a refund. Any Ranchettes owner who over the last 19 years has ever called Fire Rescue, had a child play sports at a County facility, saw the school nurse, rode the bus, went to the library or will ever have a child participate in any public activities owes me a refund. While we are at it, Engineering management owes the Ranchettes about $50, 000 for the delay in Fargo paving according to Tanya Mc Connell’s statements to the Board.

To say that Fargo does not benefit any of the east/west roads is to say that not only do you not use Fargo now but neither you nor anyone associated with your property now or forever in the future will ever use Fargo. This includes Fire Rescue or the Sherriff’s Department that might need the fastest route to your property, the delivery company, any worker who comes to your property, anyone who will visit your property, pick up or drop off your child and so on. I and many others could very easily say that my property was assessed for Blanchette Trail in the 1980’s unfairly. Why should I have been charged for a few hundred feet of road that I would travel that is in front of someone else’s house only to have to drive a mile east on a dirt road to reach my house. The amount of times I have traveled the 1 mile east or west on my formerly dirt road totals maybe a couple of handfuls in the last 19 years. The road was too bad. It was easier to travel a few hundred feet north on Fargo and to access the paved road Palomino. Now that Rodeo is paved I have probably used it more in the first month than I did in the first 19 years. The natural flow is to head in the direction of travel. Since Rodeo was paved, thank you Mr. Webb, I have seen neighbors from the entire paved length driving, walking, riding bicycles, skateboarding, rollerblading and a host of service traffic utilizing the pavement. Some owners have argued to the Board that lack of pavement on their street is negatively impacting their property value. For most perspective buyers, I would guess, continuous road pavement to and from their driveways would not be a drawback.

To you the Commissioners, I offer the following:

The United States and this County is a Republic. We elect officials to act in our best interest for the present and for our future. As a Board you unanimously voted to petition the 13 property owners on Fargo. To my knowledge you have at least a 70% response in favor, YES votes, of paving Fargo. This road was deemed to have been a benefit to a number of properties and the County has a history of assessing “all users” according to Tanya Mc Connell. The reason we are in this mess is because the Engineering did not follow the normal County practice for road design as it would have negatively impacted Fargo with 9 pavement changes in a 12 lot distance. Engineering, according to Mr. Weisman, has made mistakes in handling the Ranchettes paving process. Now the Board has unanimously approved a plan to correct some of these mistakes. I ask now as I have in the past that you apply the normal County procedures as it relates to property assessments and paving Fargo Avenue. I would also be extremely thankful if you found County funds to help Ranchettes owners with the paving costs.

This is a logical decision that you have made, not an emotional one. If we are going to run this County on emotions, I have many County decisions that I never had a vote in that I would like to have overturned. Remember this is a Republic.

Andy Schaller
www.upinarms.net

BCC Meeting 7-7-09

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

If anyone wishes to speak about the paving of the Ranchettes, they can during the next BCC Board Meeting during Matters by the Public which is scheduled to take place at 2pm.

Matters by the Public: Any citizen shall be entitled to be heard concerning any matter within the scope of the jurisdiction of the Commission, with the exception of any items scheduled to be considered by the Board on upcoming meetings, under the section entitled “Matters by the Public,” on the first meeting of each month. EXCEPTION: NO MATTERS BY THE PUBLIC DURING THE MONTHS OF JANUARY AND AUGUST. Speaking times are as specified above. Matters by the Public

Directions to the Governmental Center:
301 N. Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

The Palm Beach County Governmental Center is located in Downtown West Palm Beach.
On I-95 head towards West Palm Beach
Take exit 70 onto OKEECHOBEE BLVD east toward DOWNTOWN
Go 1.7 miles to OLIVE AVENUE
Turn Left on OLIVE AVENUE
Go 0.7 miles and you will arrive at 301 N OLIVE AVENUE
Get Directions with MapQuest

Limited parking is available on the street, in nearby private lots, and in the County Parking Garages. These facilities charge for parking.

If you are unable to attend you can Watch the meeting LIVE on Channel 20.

June 17, 2009 District Forum

Posted in BCC Meetings, Emails on June 18th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Andrew F. Schaller [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:31 PM
To: ‘Robert Weisman’
Cc: ‘George Webb’; ‘jsantama@pbcgov.org’
Subject: RE: Fargo Avenue Assessments

Thank you for your email. I was aware of their attendance. It is my understanding that the County is using the normal policy as stated by Deputy Engineer Tanya McConnell to the Board, to asses all users. Further it is my understanding that the Board has the right under the ordinance to not petition anyone. So it’s my guess that the focus of their feelings must be in the way that the County has handled this situation from the start. I’m sure the first petitions sent out to approximately 170 property owners at twice the cost of the Board’s recent decision for the County recommended 240 or so property owners has caused many to have questions. Additionally you have stated publicly that mistakes have been made and that your opinion was that another road deserved paving more than Fargo.

Anyone who has followed this situation has heard conflicting opinions from Staff, a promise for full disclosure, and many, many unfounded claims and accusations by lesser informed individuals.. The best effort I could come up with to help everyone was to mount the best public effort I could with a website and personal conversations. Honestly, I am not surprised that property owners are now speaking up. This issue has had so many twists and turns and has continued for so long that many thought that whatever is decided or presented by Staff will change by the next meeting. These thoughts are backed up by the facts. Some are counting that this decision will be business as usual and par for the course. The Board made a decision on June 2, 2009 based upon information provided by County departments, homeowners and even yourself who said you were fine with the motion.

This should be a good lesson for everyone when dealing with property owners and how Engineering’s decisions can have a long reaching impact on many.

From: Robert Weisman [mailto:RWeisman@pbcgov.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:55 AM
To: Andrew F. Schaller
Cc: George Webb; Tanya McConnell N.; Marlene Everitt R.; Denise Nieman; Chuck Suits; Johnnie Easton; Robert Weisman
Subject: Fargo Avenue Assessments

Mr. Schaller, please be advised that approximately 20 Ranchette property owners who would be assessed for Fargo Avenue appeared at Commissioner Santamaria’s District Forum last night in Wellington. Generally, they objected to the Commissioner that they did not have the right to vote on the proposed assessment and that they did not use Fargo and should not be assessed for it.
They intend to appear at the County Commission on July 7, at 2 PM, under Matters by the Public, to ask the Board to reconsider.