Monday, February 23, 2015

Parking, Packing Up and Shutting Out

The Parking Workshop on February 21, 2015

The Annual Harbor Island Parking Workshop was held Saturday at 10 AM.  The time was chosen to ensure that observant Jews were precluded and the meeting, which affects some 1000 residents on Harbor Island was attended by about 25 people plus 4 commissioners.  (Wendy Duvall was not present again.)  

There was several key points covered
  • There are not enough parking spots on Harbor Island.
  • There are many reasons for this but the biggest one is that the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club broke their parking lease sometime in 2010 and won't pay for parking.  This puts an additional 167 cars on the street.  
  • The newer condos have adequate parking but charge the residents and in the case of the Eloquence the paying short term guests to park there.  
  • The older condos don't have enough parking.   
At least this year, the village had some baseline statistics.   

So the following proposals were floated.  
  • Create a decal system for Harbor Island residents.  
  • Don't give decals to the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club
  • Don't give decals to anyone who has an assigned parking space. 
  • Meter public parking for visitors or offer a "scratch off" type parking pass to be used.  
  • Parking by phone and by meter were discussed.   
 These ideas will be evaluated by the village administration and recommendations submitted to the commission for them to ignore.  

Our mayor has already declared herself horrified at the poverty in the 7904 Building and is not likely to vote for anything that does not help these poor people out of their self inflicted wound.   Commissioners Chervony, Lim and Jorge Gonzalez did not give any indications of how they will vote and Commissioner Duvall was absent.   

My guess is it will be North Bay Village Crazy™ half baked solution with some decals and no enforcement.  

The Police Chief Is On Administrative Leave With No Return (Fired) - 

Less than 6 months after giving Chief Robert Daniels a good performance review and a merit increase for his outstanding service, the village manager decided to let the police chief go.  Per the terms of the police chief's employment, he is entitled to six months' notice and three months' severance plus accumulated vacation and sick days, plus extended health benefits.   So we have to pay that out.  

There are rumors all over town about why he was fired but nothing you can really lend a lot of credence to.   The police department now has an acting chief, Brian Collins, through October.   Collins is a good man and he kept things on track last time he was faced with the same issue, so that's good.  

Shutting Down The Gates on North Bay Island

Apartheid Wall Jo'Burg 1988

Apartheid Wall North Bay Island 2015


The North Bay Island Gated Community is taking things a step further and prohibiting entrance to the neighborhood between 10 PM and 6 AM without clearance from a resident. 

This is being pushed through by one resident as there is no longer a homeowner's association on North Bay Island and the streets are not private so there are massive legal questions.   

Kevin Vericker
February 22, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Commission Meeting Feb 10 2015 - Wasting Time

North Bay Village Commission Chambers
I don't know what's worse - when the North Bay Village Commission does something or does nothing.  The North Bay Village Commission has stalled.  It's dead in the water and the commission meetings are so not useful that I wonder why anyone, including the dais, show up.  Maybe my previous criticism of the mayor missing three meetings last year (out of 12) and the erratic attendance of the Treasure Island Commissioner were misplaced.     

The February meeting agenda was nothing but a series of small technical changes covered under the consent agenda, with only one (1) piece of legislation on the floor and even that got screwed up.  First the one piece of legislation.  

Sponsored by Commissioner Chervony, this ordinance prohibits the village from using or contracting for services that serve food in polystyrene containers - the styrofoam that never breaks down.  It was supposed to be a second reading but it turns out the first reading was not valid.  There was no disagreement on the subject and it passed unanimously.  In fact the Herald covered this in a well typed article by their local news gatherer, an article that makes no mention of the fact that the administration could not even manage a single ordinance correctly.   

Look, the styrofoam ban is good and I hope the first step of us getting more responsible here.  But it does not include penalties and during the discussion, the village manager was already talking about leeway.   

The rest of the meeting was a showcase of whining incompetence and excuses.  The Village Manager went through an extensive list of issues that he's looking at, explained how hard things like scheduling bulk garbage pickup are, that if the property owner with the garbage pile in front says, "Hey, not mine.  I don't know who left it there." then what can the village do?  Not a single accomplishment or closed issue was mentioned.  

The Police Chief got up to explain that yeah, really soon, there might be action on complaints of burglary at the Kennedy House and that his department is working really hard on this.  This was in response to concerns from residents that the police are not working on the problem at all. 

In the one thing the commissioners had to do, appoint members to two boards, Vice Mayor Jorge Pablo Gonzalez thought it would be good if the commissioners had the chance to interview potential members.  Well, they did.  That's what the meeting was for but not one of the applicants showed up.  So instead of saying, "Let's have a session to interview applicants and establish board goals." the commissioners just picked a bunch of names randomly and filled boards to which they will never listen.  

Finally, the Mayor.  She's is melting down.  During Good & Welfare, as the residents from the Kennedy House addressed their government and asked for help, she was ticking and twitching hard to pointedly ignore the speakers and their requests.  Seriously, she was contorting her neck to avoid any eye contact.  

Mayor Kreps had two items on the agenda - an award to the passport auditors in gratitude for them giving us an award (No, I did not make that up.)  and then a special presentation to the Leukemia Society recognizing their work, she completely forgot the second piece and had to be herded back.  

Not a surprise since her own contribution to the agenda was a resolution recognizing February 4 2015 as World (anti) Cancer Day.  The few rational people left pointed out that since the meeting was February 10, they could not reasonably do proclaim February 4 2015 anything but over and so they substituted a nice plaque instead.  

In a nasty little move, she pulled a routine item from the consent agenda supporting green space because Richard Chervony sponsored it and said she couldn't vote for it without permission from Sally Heyman.  Nonsense of course but she has to punish.  Then she didn't know the form for pulling items from the agenda EVEN THOUGH THE FORM IS PRINTED ON THE AGENDA ITSELF and she has been on the commission for eons. 

The Mayor is the Chair.  Yet she loses control of the agenda earlier and earlier each meeting. I make no secret that I have always found Mayor Kreps feckless and of limited intellect.   But watching her overwhelmed on the dais, avoiding conversation and eye contact with anyone, not able to follow a simple agenda,  spouting nonsense answers ("I have to check with Sally Heyman before I vote." "Some people told me that Facebook can block people so we can't have a Facebook page") and her sniping at the other commissioners, makes me worry for her sanity.  Maybe a month off for her would be a good idea.  

Kevin Vericker
February 13, 2015