Thursday, March 15, 2018

It's All About The Math

I'll keep this post as short as the Tuesday meeting was long.  Let me sum it up.  Nothing worth doing was done Tuesday night, yet the dais and the audience were left exhausted and bickering.

There were three highlights.

State Project Funding for NBV
Highlight 1:  State Senator Daphne Campbell did a legislative update in which she wished us  a Happy 73rd Anniversary as a municipality, presented a proclamation to that effect and then told us that she had been able to get $0 in state funding for our desperately needed infrastructure.  She did inform us that there's always next year and requested a standing ovation.   Senator Campbell is very enthusiastic. 

Highlight 2:  The extraordinary contract drafted by Norman C. Powell which included a term of 4 years with a full year severance or penalty for early termination for any reason caused much concern among residents and even some from the dais. 

One concern raised was that the 12 month payout in the event of early termination amounts to an end run around Florida Statute 215.425 which prohibits severance of more than 20 weeks by presenting this as a payment in exchange for agreeing to not sue.  That's $204,000. 

Another concern was the length of the contract, 4 years, which is pretty much unheard of in legal contracts with municipalities and we have always operated on a terminate at will basis here in the past, which allows us to change lawyers if the commission is unhappy with the work done, as was the case with Weiss Serota and presumably with Robert Switkes.  Four years well exceed the current commission's tenure and it is saddling future commissioners who may not like Mr. Powell's novel legal approaches with a poison pill. 

So after much discussion, the commission voted to send the matter back to negotiation with Andreana Jackson, who was filling in for the mayor when she stopped understanding the complex numbers and was no longer able to articulate what was being discussed, proposed that the contract termination be reduced to a combination of 20 weeks severance ($78,461) plus 3 months not to sue us ($51,000) for a total of $128,461.  Or not.  By that time, the commission was so confused that they had no idea on what they were asking to do but they kicked the decision to next month. 

Highlight 3:  The math.   The subject of buying the lot on the Causeway where the Sakura restaurant was for $2.9 million was on the agenda with a due of date of March 13.   The Decision was deferred as the village is also talking about buying an off island lot for the truck storage currently on Galleon St., still has no idea how much a community center would cost and we are still on the hook for burying our power lines and rebuilding the sewers.   So the commission deferred. 

Special note:  in defending the length of Norman Powell's contract and the generous severance terms, our mayor stated that the previous village manager had proposed buying this same lot for $2.9 million, which matched the appraisal.  The proposal was supposed to be submitted in February but of course Rollason had left.  

The mayor was certain it was all a trick and implied there was more to it than Rollason was letting on.  

Her new BFF interim attorney Norman C Powell said so and instead proposed that we purchase the property for $2.6 million. 

Great, we save $300,000.  

Oh wait, there's about $300,000 in fines outstanding against the property and the $2.6 million dollar offer also included forgiveness for the fines.   So the the net to the city would have been - ready for it - $2.9 million.  

The mayor found this brilliant and absolute proof that Norman Powell was looking out for our best interests in ways that Frank Rollason did not. 

The other commissioners did not and so they deferred action on the item until next month and instructed the village attorney or the village manager, it's not clear who, to go negotiate some more.  

And before you ask, I'm not sure why we need the Sakura lot.  We can't even take care of what we have.  

Lowlights:  So many.  Andreana Jackson badgered Eddie Lim all night.  The mayor decried criticisim of her as misogyny and racist.  The questions about Mr. Powell's behavior and contract went unanswered.   Here's a video of Andreana Jackson screaming at Eddie Lim.  It's unedited.  You can see the whole mess at  

Kevin Vericker
The Ides of March, 2018


  1. Hi Kevin,
    About the Sakura deal:
    When I watched the latest installment of NBV Crazy Connie said that Frank was waiving the code enforcement fines for the 2.9 Million.
    She then said that Saint Norman negotiated the price down to 2.6 million and the owners of the Sakura lot were still responsible for the code enforcement fines, netting the City a half a million dollars, and that is why Saint Norman, is a man of such great caliber.
    Now Connie did say that she is not good with numbers, but can she really be that stupid to not understand a simple real estate transaction?
    Can we verify this about the code enforcement citations? Just saying, Connie said the exact opposite of what I am reading here, and I’m not able to wrap my head around the fact that we have an elected official in office who isn’t able understand this
    Say it isn’t so …

    About the Village Attorney Contract:
    Remember, they aren’t good with numbers as long as the money doesn’t come out of their own pockets

    About the shrieking vice mayor
    Something is very wrong, maybe she forgot to take her meds? I have no other explanation.

    1. The waiver of the fines is specified in a memo from interim Village Manager, Bert Wrains, in the March agenda packet. I'm aware that the mayor said the opposite but it is right there. On page 125 of the agenda, Wrains writes:

      "This item will require 2 resolutions that have some blanks.
      1. Resolution authorizing the proper Village Officials to sign the final Purchase and Sale Agreement with
      the 52,600,000 and authorize the waiving of the code enforcement liens. (Maurice can give to you (us)
      on Monday). Norman may want to give you some specific wording for the rest of the resolution.

      2. Resolution accepting the financing proposal from (leave blank) as submitted in response to the
      Village's RFP for the financing on the Sakura property purchase. The resolution may list out the total of
      the loan as 52,600,000 or 52,700,000, the interest rate (blank) and the length of the loan (blank). There
      may be other items that Norman wants to have in the resolution."

  2. Found it. Page 121 of the Agenda. I l. LIENS. All liens of record, as well as county liens and special assessments, if any, except
    North Bay Village Code Enforcement liens, shall be paid in full at or before closing by the Seller. All
    North Bay Village Code Enforcement Liens shall be deemed satisfied at closing, and Seller shall not be
    required to pay such North Bay Village Code Enforcement Liens at closing.

    1. Wow! What appalls me the most is that Village Attorney Powell sat there and listened to Connie telling the story of how he is worth every penny because of the Sakura deal that he brokered. Mr.Powell sat their and did nothing to clarify the story - or should I call it a fairytale? The fact that he didn't correct Connie speaks volumes to his character. Mr.Powell is a NO for me. (Not that my vote will ever count at City Hall)..
      And Ms. Jackson, she chimed right in with the mayor. IMHO these 2 women set out to deceive us, and the rest of the commission in order to hire Mr. Powell. He saved us a half a million dollars...Connie should have started by saying “ Once upon a time; in a village far far away….”


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