Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So much for our new commissioners holding the line on spending

They did it, they voted to give Boinis $510,000. No surprise here. As soon as Noland asked for the item to be put back on the agenda, everyone knew it would be passed.

A thought, the $310,000 grant is a matching grant, given as half of the purchase price. Now that the price is $510,000 will they have to return $55,000 to the county and have to take $255,000 instead of $200,000 out of the contingency fund?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Owns the Beach? Not the City, Not Yet.

The city has been buying up parcels of land on the beachfront as it gets grant money to use. But, there are still 12 parcels we don’t own.

The Boinis plot is the 3rd smallest one. There should be no big rush to get this plot, as we have 11 other plots in private hands and we are not fishing hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the shrinking contingency fund to scramble to get those.

What’s the rush? Boinis says he will “accept” $510,000. That is so big of him, for a property that is assessed, by the tax office, at $172, 480 on which he pays $3,597.45 taxes.

I suggest we let him keep the property if he refuses the $310,000 grant money, get Lori Parrish to re-assess the property using the same whiz kid appraisers who gave the city the figure of over $600,000 (for a spit of land that cannot be used for anything) and let him pay those taxes for a few years. I think soon he will be begging the city to take the property as a gift.

If the city caves in to his outrageous demands, what does that do to the comparables used by appraisers for the other 11 plots we will be looking at in the future?

This shocking deal could well end up costing us hundreds of thousands of $$$$$ as beach property owners will use the inflated Boinis property purchase to set the price they will put on their plots.

Washington Trip and the Cove????

Wazzzzzup? We learn from another blog (http://www.deerfieldbeachusa.com/) that one of the things the delegation from Deerfield Beach to the Legislators in Washington was asking for is money for a garage in the Cove.

Did I miss something, the part where the commission actually voted for the garage? I am pretty sure I would have noticed that.

I am very sure that there are other “economic stimulus” projects in Deerfield Beach which do NOT have CRA funding, and certain that there are other projects which will benefit the residents and businesses in the whole city rather than just two restaurants on the intracoastal.

Who has been meeting in the back room? When was the decision made to build a garage with public money? Where will the garage go? The city doesn’t own the property at the back of the Cove. If this is going to be a public garage will they stick it in the front of the Shopping Center? Who are the players in this?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Uh-oh. He’s back!!! Like Chucky, you can’t get rid of Boinis.

From the Deerfield Beach Commission Agenda for May 19th:

Request for reconsideration of Resolution 2009/ – A Resolution of the City Commission of the City of Deerfield Beach, Florida, authorizing a contract for the purchase of certain property, Lot 1, Block 4, Page 45, in the City of Deerfield Beach for the purchase price of $510,000 from PPB Ocean, LLC. (Requested by Mayor Peggy Noland) ACTION: Commission to vote on Resolution

I would be overjoyed if Peggy had requested this to be put on the agenda for the purchase price of $310,000. But here it is again; rip off the taxpayers’ time.

Using the contingency funds to pay him off will leave the taxpayers at risk for funding any emergency which might come along for the next half year (We only have about $448,000 in the fund now). Remember Wilma, remember how much just getting the tree branches off the streets cost?

As Bob Norman put it on his blog:
“Boinis is the developer and restaurateur who had a big idea to build an oversized restaurant on the Deerfield Beach Pier back in 2005. The populace hated the idea, but the fix was in with since-criminally charged Mayor Al Capellini and the banished racist-tirade-spewing city manager, Larry Deetjen.”

Outraged residents and an election coming up sank his deal.

Yes, the city should own this property. But, NO, the city shouldn’t be rushing to throw our money at Boinis just to get rid of him. NO ONE ELSE WANTS THIS PROPERTY!

We will eventually own it; he has nowhere else to go. What kind of back room deal came up with this? What idiot talked to Boinis and led him to believe the residents of our city would want to use their money to pay him off.

Why would anyone want to give him any profit, let alone a 155% one? He spent a bundle on plans for the “let’s see how I can gouge the city” pier proposal, and now he wants the residents to pay for that. OMG!

Offer him the $310,000 grant money and if he refuses, tell him to stuff it until he comes to his senses and realizes that if he wants to salvage anything out of this he had better say yes to the $three ten deal before the grant expires and we send it back to the county, AND he is SOL.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Broward New Times
Pete Boinis: Asshole of the Week
http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2009/05/pete_boinis_asshole_of_the_wee.php

Broward New Times - Palm Beach,FL,USA

He's the guy that cordoned off his swath of land next to the Deerfield Beach Pier with a bunch of poles and then had "No Trespassing" signs up. e Deerfield ...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flip Flop

From Caryl after her commission meeting diatribe and my blog post:

Guess whose letter is going to appear tomorrow in the Observer newspaper? Yes, you're correct. I just received a call from the assistant editor telling me that there is no rule not to print something from me. She asked if I'd resend it and since this isn't about me but about the City Clerk's office, I did resend. Even on Wed. they will be able to get into the paper. Isn't that sweet. Look what happens when you open your mouth and promise to hurt them economically. Who knows...maybe the paper will take a slightly different direction in the future for all. Yes, I know...probably not.

Caryl
"Dare to Think, Dare to Act"

Eller's List

Caryl Berner, an opinionated, strong woman, has made a vocation of letting the Deerfield Beach Commission know when she thinks they are on the wrong track. She’s usually right. At last night’s commission meeting, she stood up to read a letter that the Observer refused to publish. It was a letter praising the city clerk and the people in her office, it had no hidden agenda, no ax to grind; it was simply a nicely written thank you to Ada Graham Johnson and the employees in her office, for a job well done. As May 5 was City Clerk day, it was a timely billet-doux.

I know Observer owner David “You’re with me or you’re against me” Eller refuses to print any letters from the members of the Original Save Our Beach committee. His blacklisting started shortly into the last local election campaign when several members of the OSOB backed Commissioner Militello for reelection instead of his handpicked choice Joe Miller. Using his red pencil this way turned the Observer from a local “news” paper to the Eller opinion tabloid.

Once the election was over, I assumed he would go back to “normal” operations, but I realized his insecurity was irrational, and that he holds a mean grudge, when he recently refused to print a Woman’s Club of Deerfield Beach news release about the Deerfield Beach volunteer of the year who went on to win the Broward County volunteer of the year and was honored at the State Florida Women’s Club convention in Orlando. The winner was a member of the OSOB.

And now he is refusing to print Ms. Berner’s letters. Makes you wonder who else is on his brown edged list. Let’s see, who might they be? (I am honored to be in the group.) All candidates who were not Miller or Capellini, all supporters of those candidates, anyone who questions his reactionary world view, anyone radical enough to start a blog about Deerfield Beach, who else?

Friday, May 1, 2009

To build or not to build, that is the question.

At last night’s CRA meeting commissioners voted to ask O’Leary how much he wants for his property in the Cove. He paid a little over 3 million for it. I have heard up to 8 million being quoted as his asking price. What led up to this was a discussion about building the garage in the Cove Shopping Center.

I was very encouraged early on in the meeting when Commissioner Bill Ganz asked a number of questions of the city staff about the garage. He wanted to know if there was another city who has built a garage recently and how much did it cost them. At the last meeting the commissioners heard that it would be about $16,500 per space (building only, without the cost of the land) to build a garage in the Cove.

City Manager Mahaney answered that Hollywood just built one and it cost them $37,000 per space without the cost of the land, completed in 2008. Hollywood said it is full on weekends during the season, “pretty busy during the week” if the weather is nice, off season half full on weekends and only 10-15% full during the week. The city of Naples’ built a garage which cost $27,300 per space without the land.

Bill Bodenheimer, owner of the garage on A1A just happened to be in the audience and stood up to say that a garage takes 10 years before it starts making money.

When Mayor Peggy said she was not comfortable (with building a garage) at this time because there are so many things to use the CRA money for I thought “Wow, she finally gets it!”

The need for a garage was never studied, is there a need for a garage in the Cove? Nobody really knows. Looking at the parking situation now, there are very few times overall when parking is scarce; that is mostly Friday nights, and some weekends when the free parking attracts beach goers. Nearby residents have taken to driving past the lot at different times during the week and have told me they see the same thing. Parking is only a problem when the Cove Restaurant is busy, or when the Fiesta is having an affair.

If O’Leary builds his restaurant, I understand the plans are lovely, nice big restaurant, he would need parking; his little lot would not accommodate the crowds. The Cove restaurant already hogs the Friday night spaces; there would be none left for him. He should be the one to build a garage for his restaurant as he is the one who needs it. And, if it could be a profitable venture he would. I guess he wants the city to build it because he knows it will not make money. That is my fear, we build it and it loses money, my money, your money; my taxes are high enough thank you.

Another thing to consider; if a city owned garage goes in, they would have to charge for parking, and to avoid the diners taking all the ground level free spots, the city would have to meter the shopping center. This would be a death knell for the stores, can you think of a shopping center where you have to pay for parking? I can’t. Private restaurants need it, let them build it.

Can you see the city building an $8,250,000 (which, according to a builder in the audience, is what a 500 space garage which is a simple rectangle with no extra design features would cost without the cost of the land) to $18,500,000 for one like Hollywood built with extra esthetic features to make it look nice? And after spending all that money, and linking the $3,000,000 or so per year that the CRA takes in for improvements to the area to this garage for the foreseeable future AND THEN not making a profit on the thing!!! Nope, neither can I. As Bill Ganz said, it would strap us for years.

So I was really happy when Mayor Peggy said not now, said it’s a really big ticket item. Then she came up with asking O’Leary how much the land would cost, and then she came up with maybe build the garage on the city owned part of the shopping center, right in the middle of the center. Sure, picture that, a big square box in front of all the stores, imagine the owners delight at being stuck behind a big garage. Be prepared for the area residents storming city hall when they learn what they will be staring at from their yards. These are the same residents whose protests halted the land use change for the parcels by the Cove Marina when Agnew wanted to build a condo there.

The architect who lost the bid to plan the Cove parking upgrade was not a happy camper when his plan lost out; he did a lot of free work during the planning stages. His plan showed a parking garage smack in the center of the lot, and, as I remember, some kind of big bridge flyover thing over Hillsboro Ave. The businesses and residents who chose the design of the lot were against those ideas then; I don’t think they will be for it now. But, it makes one wonder if he is where these ideas are coming from.

Please, everyone ask:
· Is a garage really needed right now; should there be a traffic study done to determine if it is?
· Who is lobbying for this? Who benefits from this garage? Who says it is needed?
· Should public taxpayer money be spent because private restaurants need parking?
· Should it be done now? Maybe construction costs are now at a low and they will be much higher in the future, and maybe not. Should this be a reason for rushing into what may be a losing proposition for the taxpayers?