Archive for May, 2009

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

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

Can you say Flip Flop?

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

—–Original Message—–
From: Andrew F. Schaller [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 3:35 PM
To: ‘BCC-AllCommissioners@pbcgov.org’
Subject: Fargo Avenue

Dear Commissioners,

During the 5-5-2009 BCC Meeting, Commissioner Marcus asked Mr. Weisman, “Will there be how to do it scenarios and what we have to do to get it done?” Mr. Weisman replied, “Yes.” That doesn’t seem likely.

It is my understanding that as of right now, May 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm, Staff is recommending that nothing whatsoever be done with Fargo. In fact after Mr. Webb told the Board numerous times in April that drainage improvements would have to be done on Fargo as a result of the current paving projects, Staff’s position now is a complete reversal. Staff’s current position is that paving the 5 east/west roads that intersect Fargo has actually helped drainage on Fargo!

Additionally, Staff now says that no money will be “given back” to property owners for the current paving projects because of additional cost overruns.

So as of right now the mistakes that have been made, as stated by Mr.
Weisman on numerous occasions, have really benefited Fargo and there is no money available to do anything with Fargo. There are still 1 1/2 days until Agenda review. This is plenty of time for Staff’s position to change once again or several more times.

June 3, 2009 will be one year since I first appeared in front of the Board.
I have spent thousands of dollars, created a website, provided you with printed materials, came to about a dozen board meetings, met with and talked with everyone that would listen to me, all of this over an item that should have been resolved in Engineering design years ago. Please direct Staff to honor Commissioner Marcus’ request of May 5, 2009. Mr. Webb has ignored Commissioner Santamaria’s direction of December 2008 to pave Fargo by: 1) Make it Legal, 2) Make it fair, 3) Make it quick.

In the best interest of everyone involved, please finish this mess.

Sincerely,

Andy Schaller

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)

Palomino Drive

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

From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 5:03 PM
To: ‘GWebb@pbcgov.org’
Cc: ‘RWeisman@pbcgov.org’
Subject: Palomino Drive

Mr. Webb,

Thank you for sending the road crews to Palomino Drive. They are cutting down the grass areas that meet the pavement. Several machines and workers are removing dirt, sand and grass from the road edges to allow road water to now drain into the swales.

Thanks again.

Andy Schaller

“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

“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.)
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