BCC Meetings

What about us?

Posted in BCC Meetings, Emails on June 5th, 2009 by admin – 1 Comment

From: Sandy Parker [mailto:sandyjparker@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:36 AM
To: Burt Aaronson; Jeff Koons; Jess Santamaria; Karen Marcus; Steven Abrams; Shelley Vana; Cathy Stewart
Subject:

Dear Commissioners,
I would just like to say that after hearing about the decision of the commisssioners at your last meeting on Tuesday to go forward with the paving of Fargo in Palm Beach Ranchettes this has to be one of the biggest cases of unfairness by the county of Palm Beach Government that I have seen in a long time. We as homeowners on El Paso and Pancho Way came before the Board about our road paving which we petitioned for and were approved for back in 2004. County engineering has in my opinon not been truthful to not only the residences on these two street’s but also to the commissioners about our situation. We tried to no avail to explain the entire process that occurred to the Board when we went to the meeting back in April but in three minutes you can’t compete with engineering who has whatever time needed to state his argument, and you certainly are given no time to have a rebuttal. Mr. Webb stated that when we originally petitioned back in 2004 Pinto Dr. who petitioned at the same time as us but did not get the 51 percent needed to pave their road (they counted the three roads as one petition)and so we were not put on the MSTU. In reality that is the first untruth because as Ms. McConnell admitted at a meeting with myself and Mr. Weisman approx. 5 weeks ago the engineering dept. goes ROAD BY ROAD therefore we should of had our two roads put on the MSTU as we had more than the 51% needed for El Paso and Pancho Way and we were told by Mr. Rich that we were approved. Then Mr. Webb advised the commissioners that at a later date they decided that we could have only just our two roads paved so we were put on the MSTU. Next came the second mistruth. He said that in 2007 when a petition went out for the roads to be paved at a much higher amount we did not get 51 percent. This part is true. What he negelected to tell you is that neither did any of the roads that were on the MSTU in our neighborhood at that time get 51 percent. Not even close. (We know this because we went and got copies of the petitions). And of those roads that did not get the 51 percent Pinto (specifically) who applied after we did back in 2004 were not taken off the MSTU. Next but certainly not the least of engineering’s mistakes PINTO DR. and parts of RODEO who got left on the MSTU and not only did not get the 51 percent at the higher amount but who never even got 51% of the lesser amount that got offered to them after they got left on the MSTU, were surveyed by the engineering dept. by mistake. Now this is where it gets really twisted. Engineering sent employees of the county out to try and get enough petitions signed so that because of their mistake with the survey and them not wanting to waste the county’s money they offered these two roads who never got the correct percentage at any amount to have their roads paved. And admittedly as we have been told by Ms. McConnell if this mistake was not made on the surveying by engineering they were going to let our two roads get paved since we had ( and I might add always had) the percentage needed.

Now Fargo another road in our neighborhood who has never ever petitioned, and this is the part I don’t understand (according to the county there is a process you have to follow to have your roads paved and being petitioned and approved in that order, is part of that but Fargo is allowed to apply and then gets to be petioned so apparently the rules which according to Mr. Webb must be adhered to do not apply to Fargo). Why is that?

I understand that Mr. Shaller (who owns a house on Fargo but does not actually live in our neighborhood) was able to obtain an appt. back in June I believe with Commissioner Santamaria & was able to convince him this is something that should have been done when the other roads were paved. Possibly if I had been given the appointment that I asked for with Commissioner Santamaria over a period of several months and was able to explain what our situation was, something could have been done to help us. Unfortunately I never was able to get that appointment and because I work two jobs unlike Mr. Shaller I am unable to come to the meetings on a monthly basis or spend countless dollars printing up posters as he did. However I too am a taxpayer just as he is and have lived in this neighborhood for 26 years and yet my voice is not being heard. Having money and the ability to use your time how one sees fit should not affect how we are helped as taxpayers. We had a meeting with Mr. Weisman and have been emailing since then hoping that he would be able to be a voice for us with all the commissioners. I understand that the county says there is no more money but at least do the fair thing and give us the opportunity to have our roads paved as is Fargo. If this can’t be done then as I have asked Mr. Weisman please put our roads back on the MSTU, honor our original petitions and maintain our roads which we have been doing for the last 25 years. I do not know that this email will be read in it’s entirety or given any merit but it is my hope that it will not be ignored.

Thank you,
Sandy Parker
Palm Beach Ranchettes

Unanimous BCC Approval

Posted in BCC Meetings, Emails on June 3rd, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Commissioners,

Thank you all very much for your unanimous support today. I thank you and my neighbors on Fargo thank you. This portion of road needed your help badly and now will benefit many.

This is my first issue before the Board and I have learned a lot. The most important thing I learned was that many good and caring people work for the County. Nearly everyone I spoke with concerning this issue was helpful, professional, caring and seemed to be a generally nice person. This includes everyone from Staff to workers in the field. I did my best to tell everyone that I appreciated their professional efforts and thanks for their help.

Commissioner Santamaria,

From day one of this issue you have been most accessible and have extended every professional and personable courtesy to me. Your assistant Johnnie has been wonderful! You couldn’t ask for better. Thank you to both of you for one year’s worth of professionalism, caring and concern.

Commissioner Marcus,

You came to our neighborhood road meeting in 1998 and came to our aid in 2009. Not only did you take time to meet with me and give me ample time to explain myself but you also personally returned my telephone call.
Additionally, Cindy was very nice and courteous to me. Thank you for caring and for your support.

Commissioner Vana,

As one of the new Commissioners that was new to this issue, your support came quickly and completely. The first time I called your office to speak with you, I was given a time to expect your return call and you did respond at that time. During our meeting, your interest and caring was evident and much appreciated. Danna really took an interest and came out to see the road situation first hand. Her efforts are most appreciated as well. Quianna is a professional and friendly voice in your office. Thanks to all.

Commissioner Abrams,

Lucia spent about 35 minutes of her day with me when I did not have a scheduled appointment. I was there to see another commissioner and she gave me time before and after my other appointment. She was both professional and courteous as well as nice to me. I thank her for her time.

Mr. Weisman,

For your help and oversight in this matter, all Ranchettes owners who will benefit from this additional paving project, say Thank You.

Mr. Webb,

I am thankful we now have a resolution to this issue. This plan is the best solution for all of us that own property on Fargo or use Fargo to get to our properties. Michael Marquis provided me with the construction plans, supporting documents and information concerning the Ranchettes. He has been great to work with and most helpful.

Thank you again and see you next time…

Sincerely,

Andy Schaller

Fargo to be paved…

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

Today during the BCC Meeting, the Board voted 5-0 to approve sending petitions to the 12 property owners on Fargo to pave the entire legnth of the road from El Paso to Arrowhead. If 50% plus 1 of the petitions are returned with a yes vote, all of Fargo will be paved.

More details to follow…

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

Now is the time for Board Leadership!

Posted in BCC Meetings, Emails on May 31st, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 8:25 PM
To: ‘BCC-AllCommissioners@pbcgov.org’
Cc: ‘Robert Weisman’; ‘George Webb’
Subject: 6-2-09 Agenda Item 6F2

Commissioners,

The Ranchettes and Fargo Avenue were scheduled for the May 5, 2009 BCC Meeting. Understandably, the item was postponed to June 2, 2009. Doesn’t it seem strange that nearly 36 hours prior to the June 2, 2009 BCC Meeting there is still no backup for an item that was supposed to be presented one month ago? This is a pattern on this issue.

Commissioner Koons:

During our April meeting, you told me you would call me to discuss this issue as soon as Staff made their recommendation for the May 5, 2009 BCC Meeting. I am still awaiting your telephone call. To date, you have not answered one of my emails that I have sent to you. This includes the email that you requested me to send to you and promised a follow up of that email. Respectfully, I have done everything that you asked of me. It is time for you to follow through with your duties.

Commissioner Marcus, months ago, asked Mr. Weisman to personally oversee this issue. Two days later Engineering sent out a petition to 168 property owners that Mr. Weisman was unaware of. After I informed him of this petition it was cancelled. Mr. Webb made a presentation to the Board stating in his PowerPoint and many times verbally that a negative impact on Fargo was caused by the paving of the intersecting roads. Deputy Engineer McConnell then stated the complete opposite at the next BCC Meeting.

Commissioner Marcus also asked for “how to do it” scenarios and Mr. Weisman said he would provide them for June 2, 2009. This issue should never have made it out of the design stages. If one of my employees prepared a road design that created 9 pavement changes over a 12 lot distance, that employee would be the second person I would fire. The first person fired would be the Supervisor or Department head that approved the plan and sent it out for bids!

Now one year after this matter was brought to your attention and after all the time and effort that has gone into this item by not only Staff but by everyone involved, please use your oversight powers to fix Engineering’s mess. As Chairman of this Board, I formally ask you to join in the support demonstrated by Commissioners Santamaria, Marcus and Vana and resolve this issue in the best interest of all Ranchettes property owners who use Fargo Avenue.

How many months ago did you ask Staff to give their best effort to include this road with the current projects? Are you happy with Staff’s efforts? Frankly, I don’t know how you could answer yes when Deputy McConnell told Commissioner Vana that Engineering management were responsible for an estimated $50,000 delay that would have to be paid for by property owners.

Your Biography on the County website says one of your main priorities is the installation of paved roads. Now is the time to show real Board leadership and prove it! Mr. Weisman has stated numerous times that mistakes were made on this issue. As Chairman and as a County Commissioner, it is your responsibility to see those mistakes corrected.

Sincerely, and still waiting for your promised telephone call,

Andy Schaller
www.upinarms.net

BCC 6-2-09 Agenda

Posted in BCC Meetings on May 26th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

JUNE 2, 2009
6. REGULAR AGENDA
F. ENGINEERING & PUBLIC WORKS

2. Staff recommends the Board readdress Fargo Avenue and reconsider prior Board direction: relating to the paving of Fargo Avenue. SUMMARY: The Board determined in the April 21st board meeting, at the request of Commissioner Santamaria, that the Fargo Avenue paving assessment options should be placed on a future agenda. This item does that, and it will also cover the history of road paving and associated assessments in the Ranchettes and allow the Board to provide appropriate direction to staff. District 6 (MRE)

“The Board Approved the assessment…”

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

In 2008, the Engineering Department prepared for four Ranchettes roads to be paved and realized that Rodeo Drive was designed from Blanchette to Fargo in error. Rodeo was only supposed to be designed from Blanchette to Frontier (Lyons Road) because the portion of Frontier (Lyons Road) to Fargo was never petitioned. Pinto Drive was mistakenly designed only from Blanchette to Frontier (Lyons Road) instead of all the way to Fargo. Engineering decided to “expedite” petitions to 24 property owners on Rodeo and spend $170,000 of non-Board approved funds to “correct” this error. Rodeo was moved to the front of the MSTU line.

During the 5-19-09 BCC Meeting, Mr. Weisman said the Board approved the assessment for the portion of Rodeo Drive from Frontier (Lyons Road) to Fargo, to be added into the MSTU program. In actuallity the Board did vote to pave this portion of Rodeo because it was submitted to the Board in error. The Board was asked for approval to pave 3 1/2 roads from Blanchette to Fargo. Pinto was submitted for paving approval only from Blanchette to Frontier even though it was petitioned and designed all the way to Fargo. So techinically Pinto from Frontier to Fargo was paved without Board approval. However, Engineering solicited Rodeo Drive from Frontier to Fargo into the MSTU programm at an additional cost of $170,000 to taxpayers 15 months after the MSTU program was closed.

Anyway you look at it, 24 property owners were given preferential treatment to have 50% of their road paving costs paid for by the County. This happened at the same time the County was denying other neighborhood roads the same opportunity for equal treatment.

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

“…the drainage flows correctly.”

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

From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:48 PM
To: ‘BCC-AllCommissioners@pbcgov.com’
Cc: ‘RWeisman@pbcgov.org’; ‘GWebb@pbcgov.org’
Subject: Fargo: 5-13-09 Rainfall

Commissioners,

I thought you might find these pictures interesting. The Deputy Engineer Tanya McConnell thinks the “drainage flows correctly.”

Respectfully, I ask you to be the judge.

“We have shot the elevations and the drainage flows correctly.” (Deputy Engineer Tanya McConnell, BCC Meeting 4-21-09)

Does this look correct to you?

Fargo after 5-13-09 rainfall