PB Ranchettes – Fargo

From: Jeff Koons [mailto:JKoons@pbcgov.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 3:58 PM
To: andy@upinarms.net
Cc: Robert Weisman; joel_engelhardt@pbpost.com; jennifer_sorentrue@pbpost.com; abreid@sunsentinel.com; BCC-All Commissioners

Subject: RE: Class Act

Mr. Schaller, I apologize for making those comments at last night’s public hearing.

From: Andy [mailto:andy@upinarms.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 10:57 PM
To: ‘BCC-AllCommissioner@pbcgov.org’; ‘Rweisman@pbcgov.org’
Cc: ‘joel_engelhardt@pbpost.com’; ‘jennifer_sorentrue@pbpost.com’; ‘abreid@SunSentinel.com’
Subject: Class Act

Commissioner Koons,

I think Commissioner Aaronson’s comment of a one track Fargo mind was misdirected at me when you are clearly the rightful recipient. You never miss an opportunity to disparage a legitimate citizen complaint that has been substantiated by your own County Administrator and others.

You are correct in your statement moments ago during the televised Budget Hearing that $9 million plus for the MSTU and nothing for Fargo. Some of your other careless and smug comments are:

Telling Commissioner Taylor she should have waited two more months before joining the Board (so she would not have to deal with Fargo);

Fargo the never ending saga;

Fargo. Deja Vu.

We all know where the Ranchettes are. You have nightmares about Fargo;

And many others. I would be glad to make a video of all of your snide remarks and post them on the internet if you need a refresher on your behavior. Just say the word and I will do that for you.

Just a suggestion from the object of your constant ridicule:

You are the Chairman of the BCC, how about acting with a little class and dignity? Respect is something that is earned, not handed out. From your lack of follow up or follow through with Fargo, you haven’t earned my respect. You continue to show your true colors.

Don’t forget about Commissioner Aaronson asking you in the middle of a BCC meeting, “Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to talk with your mouth full?” Forget class. I’ll settle for common courtesy.

Andy Schaller

09-01-2009 BCC Meeting

The video below shows my response to Commissioner Aaronson during Matters by the Public. My response is to Commissioner Aaronson’s snide remark concerning my legitimate concerns about County Administrator Bob Weisman’s contract extension.

The MAJORITY of the residents on Fargo DID return the County Petitions with a Yes vote!

The County paved 5 east/west roads that were previously private and directed the water drainage into Fargo Avenue. I have been desperately trying to get the county to fix the problems they created.

If water from the County paved roads that is directed into the privately maintained road causes any damage or accidents, the property owners of Fargo are responsible.

Would you want to privately pay for damages as a result of what County Administrator Bob Weisman calls mistakes?


UPDATE: Santamaria Can’t Produce Tapes

August 28, 2009 ReadRead Santamaria’s EMail here

Commissioner Santamaria,

I formally request that you provide me with copies of the tapes of our July 21, 2008 meeting with George Webb and our December 16, 2008 meeting, also with George Webb, that took place in your office. Your repeated public statements that you tape all of your meetings are also well documented. Let’s clear up the credibility issue once and for all. Produce the meetings tapes or further prove my credibility and your lack there of.

Santamaria Goes to “School”

One more time Commissioner Jess Santamaria gets a history lesson in the events he was involved with. He is yet to disprove any of my well documented claims. Further, Santamaria hasn’t and or can’t produce the tapes of our meetings in his office despite his public pronouncements that he tapes every one of his meetings.

Commissioner Santamaria has never been able to disprove any of my written facts supported by videos of his own actions, and his emails and memos that I have documented on this site. It seems easier for Santamaria to shoot the messenger rather than to address the issues.

Santamaria is a major advertiser and the landlord of a local newspaper. It would be easy to see how a newspaper could use it’s editorial power to present a story in the best possible light, keeping their own best interest in mind. Should this happen, it would be a blatant and gross misuse of power and a further promotion of the lack of trust people of this county have with issues involving public officials.

Let’s see if Commissioner Santamaria takes the high road, produces the meetings tapes he claims he has and stops ignoring the well documented truth.

Read the latest history lesson here.



DATE: July 8, 2009

TO: Bob Weisman

FROM: Commissioner Jess Santamaria

REF: Andy Schaller & Fargo Paving

cc: Chairman Jeff Koons and Members, Board of County Commissioners

At about 1 p.m. yesterday (7/7/09) I received a call from George Webb and Marlene Everitt (our legal counsel) to inform me, that after further research, that it was their opinion that Option 4 (properties west of Frontier are assessed for twice as much as properties east of Frontier) was the option they felt the County would be able to best defend legally. They said they would give the same advice to all Commissioners before the 2 p.m. “Matters by the Public,” and they further suggested that the BCC should merely listen to the Ranchette speakers but take “no action” at the meeting. I told them I was taking their advice.

I feel that the action taken by the BCC on July 7, 2009 was a big injustice to Mr. Andy Schaller because:

(1) For over a year, during multiple official public BCC meetings and numerous office meetings between Mr. Schaller and individual Commissioners and County staff we gave him much encouragement to proceed with the normal process, except that now this road paving would be 100% paid by the residents.

(2) Finally, on June 2, 2009 at the regular BCC meeting the Board unanimously approved the following motion:

“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.”

There were no objections, during the entire discussion and vote, brought up by anyone!

(3) Then, yesterday (7/7/09) the BCC reversed themselves by postponing indefinitely the June 2, 2009 approval!

We owe Mr. Andy Schaller an apology for encouraging him to proceed and costing him thousands of dollars of expense and hundreds of hours of wasted time. I intend to personally reimburse him for his monetary expenses, but who can reimburse him for his wasted time and aggravation? We all know how much effort he put into this for over one year!

What are we going to do to prevent a recurrence of this unfair treatment and injustice to other sincere and well-intentioned constituents?

Jess R. Santamaria
Commissioner, District Six

View the original Memorandum.

Here are some examples of the Engineering Department’s ever changing stories.

These pictures were taken after the County paving projects of 4 east/west roads. Clearly drainage is an issue that needs to be addressed.

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

The PDF File above 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? (NOTE: Despite his promise of Full Disclosure during the June 2, 2009 BCC Meeting and several requests, Mr. Weisman never kept his word to tell the public the whole story.)

This video compilation shows Staff, George Webb specifically, and the Board supporting the MSTU program change to 100% assessment by the property owners on 7-22-08. Mr. Webb told the Board that the cost of the Fargo road improvement would be $250,000 – $300,000. The change to the MSTU was made December of 2008. Current estimates from Mr. Webb are now in the range of $500,000. How does the price double in a one year period of time when the economy has continued to deteriorate?

County Engineer George Webb spent $175,000 of taxpayer funds to cover his department’s mistakes without ever disclosing the error to the Board. Only after questioning his authority to spend these funds did a document from years prior replace the then current Policy and Procedure’s authority of $100,000.

The Board voted 5-0 to petition Fargo Avenue for paving. Petitons will be sent out to 13 property owners along Fargo Avenue.

Today, June 16, 2009, more than the required 50% YES petitions for Fargo Avenue road paving were turned into the County. Property owners took very little time to respond to the County petitions that were received on Friday June 12, 2009.