Archive for March, 2009

March 28, 2009

Posted in Emails on March 28th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Sandy Parker []
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 4:03 PM
To: Jess Santamaria; Addie Greene; Burt Aaronson; Cathy Stewart; Jeff Koons; Karen Marcus; Shelley Vana; Tanya McConnell N.

Commisstioner Santamaria,

I received your letter dated March 25, 2009 today. Thank you for responding to my emails and phone calls. In response I would like to comment on several of the answers that you have given me. The first one being that yes we did have fifty one percent when we collected the petitions for our road as did El Paso and & Yearling. I believe but am not sure that Pinto and Rodeo petitioned to have their roads done after we did. Nevertheless all of the roads that petitioned for paving received a letter from the county and the amount would have been approximately $27,000.00. At that time we all responded a resounding no. The residents in this neighborhood are middle class hard working people and we all felt this was a ridiculous amount including the roads ( El Paso, Yearling, Rodeo, and Pinto,) west of Blanchette. I know for a fact after having asked a good 30 or forty residents on that side that they voted no and that the county did not have the fifty one percent at $27,000.00. After that time all of us thought it was a dead issue and then all of a sudden the county sent out new petitions to the west roads of Blanchette Trail and offered them an amount of aprroximately $7,400.00 per house. If they did not have the 51% as I am now being told even by the county that they didn’t then why were their road not taken off the MTSU as you are stating that ours was. I am not sure exactly what happened but from what I can tell somebody someone at the county made a big mistake by not including us in this petition. It can’t be both ways in that the 51 percent was not obtained from any of the roads but only we were taken off the MTSU and they werent it doesn’t make any sense that they got their roads done and we didn’t. Secondly I wrote Mr. Webb that if their is no money in the MTSU how I would like to know are you going to allow Fargo a road that never ever petitioned for their road to be paved to have that done at this time. If anyone should have this process reversed it is El Paso and Pancho Way and I don’t see how anyone could see it any differently or in anyway think that would be fair. Including the commissioners or the Road and Engineering Department. I hope you will give a lot of thought to all of this and realize that fair is fair and we on El Paso and Pancho Way were not given the chance we should have been to have our roads done. I have asked Tanya McConnell to show me the petitions for the 51 percent for the $27,000.00 on the west side and I know that won’t happen because that is not when they got the 51 percent. They received that after this last petition for $7,400.00 was sent out.

In closing I hope that I will hear back from you before the April 7th meeting and most of all I would like to know about how you and the other commissioners were able to give approval to Fargo when their is on money for us in the MTSU, our roads should never have been taken off the MTSU if the other roads werent and according to Mr Webb no more petitions are being accepted to have any roads paved. I think you can understand why I and all of the residents on this side of Blanchette are upset about this entire situation. And as I stated above I believe if I am not mistaken that Rodeo and Pinto even petitioned after we did. Nobody is stating the true facts and these facts need to be brought out in the open and dealt with in a fair and honest forum.

Thank you,
Sandy Parker

Thank you,
Sandy Parker

March 26, 2009

Posted in Emails on March 26th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Sandy Parker <>

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:31pm

To: George Webb <>; Addie Greene <>; Burt Aaronson <>; Jeff  Koons <>; Jess Santamaria <>; Judy Collier <>; Karen Marcus <>; Shelley Vana <>; Tanya McConnell N. <>

Subject: RE: Palm Beach Ranchettes

Mr. Webb,
After reading your email concerning our petitions I have a few questions that I hope you will be able to answer.  The first one being when I spoke to Mr Rich I was told our petitions were still in to have our roads paved and if necessary to just keep calling.  At no time was I told that they were taken off the MSTU list.  I feel that we have not been given the proper information concerning any of the things going on with this whole situation.  My next question is if no new petitions are being accepted I have a real problem that the county is allowing Fargo who has never even petitioned to have their road paved submit petitions at this time.  First of all the idea that Fargo is a thru road is ridiculous.  If any road is a thru road it would be Lyons Road and the gentleman living on Fargo I believe has greatly misrepresented the reason for that road being paved.  I am not willing to accept without a fight that he is going to get his road paved and we are not especially knowing that we did not know about the removal of our roads from the MSTU list.  My next thing is you are saying that you got 51% of the roads on the west side of Blanchette Trail and I know for a fact that there was not 51% that signed them and sent them back at the $20,000.00 or so estimate which was the last one that all of us got until Michael Marquis sent out one only to the residents on the west side for $33.75 per front footage and that was done last August.  Why if they  got that opportunity to have the price lowered without having the 51 % on the higher price of $20,000.00 were we not offered the same thing. And I hope this doesn’t come across wrong but if the county is saying that the 51% with the higher price was received I would like to see the singed copies of those petitions.  I am hoping that this is not sounding to brash but I know a lot of people in Palm Beach Ranchettes on the West side and I haven’t found one yet that signed the petition at the higher price.  Last but not least I will fight to the end about Fargo being paved because if what you said about no more petitions being accepted then no matter what the gentleman said about thru street, traffic or what it would be extremly wrong an unfair to go forward with this.  If a reason is needed then we too on El Paso and Pancho Way could say that now with all the other roads being paved on the west side all of the four wheelers and dirt bikes are coming on our roads tearing up what maintenance we do on the road and also at the speed they come down our road the canal poses a hazard to their safety as there is no guard rail.  I would like to thank you for writing me back and we will all still be at the meeting on April 7th.  I hope that you understand my passion on this matter. 
Thank you,
Sandy Parker

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 13:29:10 -0400
Subject: RE: Palm Beach Ranchettes

Mr. and Mrs. Collier:

 County staff will be covering your situation in detail as part of the April 7 meeting. 

 Residents along your street and El Paso and Pinto, east of Blanchette expressed an interest in getting your roads paved in 2004.  We provided petitions (with estimated assessment levels) to be circulated requesting that each property owner sign to indicate support for the project.  We received petitions of support indicating that more than 51% of the residents along Pancho and El Paso were in favor of paving.  We did not receive that same level of support for paving Pinto.  We then decided to place your two roads on the overall MSTU list for potential paving.

 This same scenario was repeated in the 2000-2004 time frame on many other roads in the Ranchette community, as well as other roads throughout the County.  We accumulated many petitions that satisfied the 51% criteria and placed them on the overall MSTU list. 

 However, in 2005 and 2006 construction costs dramatically increased for MSTU projects and staff determined that we would not be able to construct all the projects on the list with the funding that was associated with the program.  Further, when we did try and place assessments, that in some instances were 75-100% higher than our previous estimates (that may have been calculated five years earlier), on a neighborhood, the residents informed our Board that they did not want the project at the higher assessment level. 


In December 2006 we received direction to not accept any new petitions and, in effect, void all previously received petitions that were reflected as projects on the MSTU list and “repetition” all the projects on the list.  The new petitions were sent out to residents on roads that were on the MSTU list, but the new petitions had the much higher expected assessment amount included.  This corresponds to the petitions that you and your neighbors received in 2007 with the expected $20,000 assessment vs. the original one that indicated a max of $7000+/-.

 Many of the repetitioned projects on the MSTU list did not receive the 51%+ support that was required as part of the repetitioning process and were removed from the list – your two streets were removed as we did not receive any support for paving at the higher expected assessment level.   On a countywide basis we repetitioned 16 projects in total, and only five projects had support for the higher assessments.  We thus removed 11 projects from the MSTU list including the one project that included El Paso (east of Blanchette Trail) and Pancho.  Of the five projects that did indicate support at the higher assessment levels, two projects involving four Ranchette roads were kept on the MSTU list.  These four roads were segments west of Blanchette Trail – Yearling, Rodeo, Pinto, and El Paso.  The County went forward with paving those Ranchette roads in 2008-2009.

 So, from the County’s perspective, we are operating from an MSTU list that includes projects that neighbors supported in the repetitioning process.  Those projects that previously had 51% support, but did not meet that level upon repetitioning, are no longer on the MSTU list.  Even after the list was reworked, there is not sufficient funding expected in the MSTU program to, in the next five years, complete all the projects on list, so staff has removed a $2+m project that would have constructed a new bridge over the M canal in the Acreage area, from the list. 

 The additional factor in this discussion is the Board change of the MSTU process, in late 2008, to now require road projects to pay 100% of the costs – instead of the historic 50% that had previously been used.  So when the time comes to accept new petitions (if ever), the homeowners will be expected to pay the entire amount.

 Summarizing – Your two roads are not on the current MSTU list as the list does not include any regularly petitioned projects associated with petitions received prior to December 2006.  We are not accepting new petitions as there is no funding identified to construct roads associated with the new petitions during the next five years. 

 I would respectfully request that you and Mrs. Parker please let me know if the statements above are not accurate as they pertain to the assessment process for your roads.  I would suggest that you consider asking the Board to increase funding for the MSTU program so that paving requests such as yours could be considered.  However, you need to understand that we are in the process of preparing our budgets for next year and the County is going to be forced to make significant staff cuts and program cuts to stay within our projected revenues – and money for a larger MSTU program is not currently being considered at any level.

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:15 PM
To: Jeff Koons; Addie Greene; Karen Marcus; Burt Aaronson; Jess Santamaria; Shelley Vana
Cc: Michael Marquis; George Webb; Tanya McConnell N.
Subject: Palm Beach Ranchettes

 To the Palm Beach County Commissioners,

CC:  County Engineer, Deputy County Engineer and Street Improvement Coordinator

 We have a situation going on in our neighborhood which is getting worse and not better. 


Way back when the original offer was made to pave our roads, we got the required paperwork filled out because our two streets (El Paso, east of Blanchette Trail, and Pancho Way) wanted to have our roads paved.  We had enough yes votes to be approved with the paperwork properly filled out and submitted.  It was to cost somewhere around $7000 per home.  The next communication was after Pinon was paved and the water mains were installed and then we were told that if we wanted our roads paved, the cost PER HOME would be in the $20,000 or more, range.  Obviously no one was interested or able to spend that amount of money, so the idea that we could ever have something other than dirt roads, was shelved but not forgotten.  When work began on El Paso (west of Blanchette Trail), for the original amount in the $7000 range, we were all hopeful that our turn was next.  Then suddenly paving work also began on ALL the other east/west roads.  We have called and called but never got anything more than excuses as to why we were still not even on the to be paved list, even as everyone was admitting that our paperwork was all in order.

 So here we sit in a community where half of the roads are paved and half are not and that is where the getting worse situation begins.

 We moved here because of the acre lots, the native land and animals and the dirt roads for the kids to use for horses, dirt bikes and ATV’s.  We would never be upset with them using the roads but suddenly the places that they can ride have been cut in half, so now our dirt roads have turned into a destination.  That is still not a problem … unless it happens after midnight and the racing around has turned into a loud and dangerous sport.  We have neighbors that have called the police and others who have confronted or been confronted by these kids.  We have watched the roads, that we spend hours working on, being torn up in one evening.  Now we have neighbors who did not vote yes before, ready to change their vote … because of this.

We wonder about the canal with nothing to keep an out of control vehicle out of the canal and we wonder about the county’s liability in all of this.  But mostly we are left wondering how and when it became fair to do something for only half of a community?

 We will be at the meeting and we will be looking for answers.  There were other times in the past twenty years where we looked to the commissioners to do the right thing and it never happened.  Hopefully that is not what will happen now.

 Bud and Judy Collier

3439 Pancho Way

Lake Worth, FL 33467



March 25, 2009

Posted in Emails on March 25th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Sandy Parker
To: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:35 AM
Date: Karen Marcus ; Addie Greene ; Burt Aaronson ; Shelley Vana ; Jeff Koons ; Jess Santamaria
Subject: FW: (See below)

Commissioners please see copy of email to Tanya McConnell concerning paving of El Paso Dr. and Pancho Way in Palm Beach Ranchettes.

Thank you,
Sandy Parker

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 07:24:09 -0500

Good morning Tanya,
Remember when you and I talked and you said that the petitions that were signed for the 51%
were for the $27,000.00. I have gotten in touch with several of my neighbors and they assured me that the attached petition that I am sending you was the one sent out by Palm Beach County and the one that the gentleman on Yearling made sure that he took and got signed to be able to have the 51%. We were never sent this letter from Michael Marquis but I knew that I had heard several people say that their was another petition after the $27,000.00. Since I spoke to you I have tried to contact as many people in my neighborhood as possible an they all tell me the same thing. I know that he barely did get the 51% needed as some people because of the economy did not want to add that burden on at this paticular time. I can get more copies of this signed petition if you need them. I am sorry to keep bothering you with this and of course we will still plan on being at the meeting on April 7. I will try and give you a call later just to check that you got this. Oh and I was told to let you know that I have Bunco this month and nobody is coming cause they don’t want to drive on my dirt road. Especially the people on the west side of Blanchette Trail. Ha Ha!!

Thank you for everything

BCC Meeting 3-17-09

Posted in BCC Meetings on March 17th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

Matters by the Publc

Discusion starts at 21:00

March 12, 2009

Posted in Emails on March 12th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment
Commissioner Koons,
We, the residents of Palm Beach Ranchettes, need your help!
For nearly 11 months now I have been asking for the Board’s help with the paving of Fargo Avenue. I have met with the Engineer and his staff several times and have had scores of telephone conversations. My neighbors have had scores of telephone conversations with the Engineering department. I have appeared before the Board a number of times, made more telephone calls than I can remember, sent emails, met individually with my Commissioner, etc. asking for help.

In May/June of 2008, I met with Commissioner Santamaria and Mr. Webb to discuss changing the MSTU ordinance. On December 16, 2009, your Board passed the ordinance change unanimously. After that Board meeting, Commissioner Santamaria asked Mr. Webb and I to meet in his office to discuss the next step in proceeding with Fargo Avenue. After nearly six months of working towards the MSTU change, I expected that after the Board made the change, Mr. Webb would have a course of action laid out for us to proceed. That was not the case. Commissioner Santamaria made his desires clear and laid out a course of action to Mr. Webb and I thought Fargo Avenue was progressing. However, that was not the case.

A telephone call from a neighbor of mine today, informed me of a letter going out to residents about Fargo Avenue. He was talking to the Engineering Department earlier today and was told that there might not be funds available for the next 3 to 5 years. This was not what Commissioner Santamaria and Mr. Webb discussed in December. Mr. Webb said funds were available from the Sunshine Funds. I tried to reach the Engineering Department myself for clarity and am awaiting a return telephone call.

I would like to remind you that during the July 22, 2008, Board meeting, you asked the County Engineer to give a “good faith effort” to “…catch up with the existing project…”. That was about 8 months ago. The “existing project” is in the final stages. To date, I know of no progress what so ever.

During another meeting with Commissioner Santamaria, Mr. Webb and myself that took place approximately in May of 2008, I brought Mr. Webb pictures of Fargo Avenue road extending into Palomino Drive. The pictures showed the excessive dirt/gravel and pot holes on the existing County paved roads. I asked Mr. Webb if you could send a street sweeper to clean the dirt road intersections on Palomino Drive and Blanchette Trail. Mr. Webb said he could do that and asked if he could keep one of the pictures. Now it is 10 months later and no cleaned or repaired intersections. Paving a new road maybe a major undertaking but shouldn’t road sweeping be a routine task? Does it really take ten months and counting to maintain a County road? It would seem that the Engineering Department has little or no desire to provide basic services to our neighborhood. What impression would you be left with?

During the December 16, 2008 Board meeting, you made a public apology to a woman from Boynton for the County Engineering not properly performing her County water hookup after years of County Engineering issues. The way this is going, it seems like the county might be on the road to another apology… Please don’t let this happen!




Andy Schaller




March 6, 2009

Posted in Emails on March 6th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

From: Andrew F. Schaller []
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 2:32 PM
To: ‘Jess Santamaria’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’
Cc: ‘’
Subject: FW: MSTU: Fargo Avenue


Dear Commissioner Sanatmaria,


On December 16, 2009, the Board voted unanimously to change the MSTU road ordinance. During that meeting you asked The County Engineer George Webb and myself to meet with you after the meeting in your office. The three of us had that meeting and a specific course of action was designated by you for Mr. Webb to proceed.


As I remember you told Mr. Webb three things:


  1. Make it Legal.
  2. Make it Fair.
  3. Make it Quick.


Nearly three months have passed since our meeting. As per your instructions, Mr. Webb was to keep me informed of the progress so that I could keep my neighbors informed.  You can imagine my surprise as my cell phone rings and it’s my neighbors calling to find out the status of Fargo Avenue because someone at the County is giving out my number for status checks. In the last three months, I have not heard a word from the County or Mr. Webb as to the progress of Fargo. However, the false rumors as to the roads status circulate more continuously than the construction traffic dust on Fargo. Residents of other unpaved roads are calling me to add their roads to the project.


As the east/west roads are nearing completion and Fargo has been the main access point for the transfer area on Rodeo Drive, Fargo Avenue has definitely shown the construction scars of progress. The progress is of other roads, not of Fargo Avenue’s.  Neighbors have resorted to putting up signs to ask drivers to slow down because of the dust problems resulting from the heavy construction traffic. Fargo Avenue has paid the price of progress. Continuous road maintenance is required to repair the construction damage.


The following was sent to Commissioner Koons, et al on December 11, 2008:


“Dear Commissioner Koons, et al.,


Thank you for passing the preliminary reading of this ordinance change unanimously. I ask for your continued support in passing this change during the Public Hearing on December 16,2008.


When I appeared before the Board on July 22, 2008, Commissioner Koons asked the County Engineer to give a “good faith effort” to “…catch up with the existing project…”  The existing project in the Palm Beach Ranchettes is in full swing right now.  The contractor has already had to make repairs to Fargo Avenue caused by the heavy equipment and truck traffic. Fargo Avenue is a main access road for the residents of the Ranchettes as well as a main access for the construction of the roads in the current paving project.  In the interest of saving time, money and construction consequences, I respectfully request that you pass the changes to the MSTU ordinance and include Fargo Avenue as quickly as possible in the current roads construction project.


Thank you for your ongoing support.”


To date, not only has a “good faith effort” not been put forth by the County to inform the residents as to this road’s progress, little or no effort has been made.  I personally don’t like being put into the position of reporting to my neighbors the results of the County meetings only to have the follow up actions or lack there of  prove me continuously wrong. To us it seems like Palm Beach County politics as usual.


Commissioner, I believe in your sincerity and commitment to your fellow county residents. Please follow through on your Fargo Road commitment. What more can I or the other residents of Fargo Avenue and Palm Beach Ranchettes do than to ask you to legally, fairly, and quickly represent our best interests?


Thank you.




Andy Schaller



From: Andrew F. Schaller []
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 3:26 PM
To: ‘Jess Santamaria’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’; ‘’
Subject: MSTU: Fargo Avenue


Dear Commissioner Koons, et al.,


Thank you for passing the preliminary reading of this ordinance change unanimously. I ask for your continued support in passing this change during the Public Hearing on December 16,2008.


When I appeared before the Board on July 22, 2008, Commissioner Koons asked the County Engineer to give a “good faith effort” to “…catch up with the existing project…”  The existing project in the Palm Beach Ranchettes is in full swing right now.  The contractor has already had to make repairs to Fargo Avenue caused by the heavy equipment and truck traffic. Fargo Avenue is a main access road for the residents of the Ranchettes as well as a main access for the construction of the roads in the current paving project.  In the interest of saving time, money and construction consequences, I respectfully request that you pass the changes to the MSTU ordinance and include Fargo Avenue as quickly as possible in the current roads construction project.


Thank you for your ongoing support.


Andy Schaller


DECEMBER 16, 2008





G.                                Staff recommends motion to:


A) adopt an Ordinance of the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, Florida amending Palm Beach County Code Chapter 26, Article II,  known as the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) Special Assessment Ordinance (Ordinance 94-11 as amended); amending Section 26-17, creation and purpose; amending Section 26-18, governing body of municipal service taxing units; amending Section 26-19, powers; amending Section 26-20, funding; amending Section 26-21, budget adoption; amending Section 26-22, trust funds; amending Section 26-23, improvements; amending Section 26-24, special assessments; amending Section 26-29, percentage of costs, further procedures; providing for savings clause; providing for repeal of laws in conflict; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the Code of Laws and Ordinances; providing for captions; providing for effective date; and


B) authorize the Office of Financial Management and Budget to administratively combine the original six (6) funds into one (1) fund.


SUMMARY: On December 2, 2008, the Board of County Commissioners held its preliminary reading of this Ordinance. The Ordinance will amend Chapter 26, Article II, known as the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) Special Assessment Ordinance  (Ordinance 94-11 as amended) to merge the original six (6) MSTU into a single unit and to allow for assessments and collections of 100% of the costs of road improvements. Countywide (MRE)