Friday, June 23, 2006

More Mischief May Be Coming

The TAMPOA Board undoubtedly is relieved that they are out of the public eye for a while now that the Southard Street taking resolution has been tabled. They may be relieved, but they shouldn't be, and neither should you. Under a cloak of secret meetings there appears to be more mischief afoot.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tabled For Now

As we expected, at its meeting last night the City Commission tabled the resolution authorizing the commencement of eminent domain proceedings to take Southard Street. The Commission received 80 some letters on the subject. The names and addresses of those who sent letters were read aloud but the actual letters were not. Tabling the resolution allows time for more cloak and dagger behind the scenes discussion. It also allows the several lawyers who stepped up to represent Bahama Village residents to develop their legal theories about how the City may be able to get Southard without an eminent domain fight. There's more. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Say What?

And now we get an urgent e-mail letter from TAMPOA Major-Domo, Sterling Christian, on behalf of the TAMPOA Board asking association members to write, fax or e-mail the Commissioners by today to oppose the Southard Street eminent domain resolution that is on tonight's City Commission agenda.

The letter that we're writing is one to the TAMPOA Board asking if they are playing with a full deck. In the spirit of Harry Truman, namesake of the Annex, here's our letter:
Dear TAMPOA Board:

Some jackass sent me the enclosed e-mail letter and signed your names.



What Were They Thinking?

They weren't. Putting a full page ad in the Citizen and running it again on Sunday wins the TAMPOA Board the "Moron of the Week" award. We'd like to know: what public relations planet they were visiting when that egg was hatched? Bill Andersen talked about getting their message out. They got their message out all right. Those who read it saw it as "Screw You Key West," although that was not what was intended. (We hope). Their message will sell like stale shrimp at the Commission meeting. All the ad and subsequent letter to the editor did was stir a boiling pot. Has this TAMPOA Board lost its compass as well as its common sense?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rock Paper Scissors

The dispute over Southard Street is taking on the proportions of a no win fight where already the high powered pecock personalities are struting their stuff. There is enough silliness to go around. It's fun theater but in the end will benefit neither the City nor Truman Annex. A Florida federal judge had the righ idea when he ordered two squabling attorneys to settle their dispute in a fashion that could work for the Southard Street tiff.

At high noon on July 4, 2006, Bill Andersen and Bob Tischenkel, lawyers for TAMPOA and the City, respectively, together with their chosen "seconds" should meet in the center of Southard Street, just in front of the Truman Annex Guard House. There they will engage in one game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." The winner shall be entitled to keep the street and designate restrictions on ingress or egress, traffic patterns, gates and hours of public access. If the City wins, it gets the street to do with as it sees fit. If TAMPOA wins, it gets its gate, keeps the street and can designate restrictions on ingress or egress, traffic patterns and hours of public access.

There is legal precedent for such a solution. On June 6, 2006, U. S. District Judge Gregory Presnell ordered the parties to a dispute pending in his court to resolve their squabble using the game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." The City and TAMPOA along with the judge in their current court case might take a lesson from Judge Presnell. For their benefit, we have set forth Judge Presnell's full order below:


AVISTA MANAGEMENT, INC., d/b/a Avista Plex, Inc., Plaintiff,




This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to designate location of a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition (Doc. 105). Upon consideration of the Motion – the latest in a series of Gordian knots that the parties have been unable to untangle without enlisting the assistance of the federal courts – it is

ORDERED that said Motion is DENIED. Instead, the Court will fashion a new form of alternative dispute resolution, to wit: at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 30, 2006, counsel shall convene at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Ave., Tampa, Florida 33602. Each lawyer shall be entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as an attendant and witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of "rock, paper, scissors." The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the 30(b)(6) deposition to be held somewhere in Hillsborough County during the period July 11-12, 2006. If either party disputes the outcome of this engagement, an appeal may be filed and a hearing will be held at 8:30 A.M. on Friday, July 7, 2006 before the undersigned in Courtroom 3, George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building, 80 North Hughey Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801.

DONE and ORDERED in Chambers, Orlando, Florida on June 6, 2006.

That Dog Won't Hunt

"We are being portrayed as white, wealthy Republicans against black, less affluent Bahama Villagers. That is class politics, it's not true and it is wrong," complained TAMPOA attorney, Bill Andersen, to the Key West Citizen recently. "We're left without a negotiating partner, and our only option is the courts."

We'd like to believe you, Bill, but last time we checked our copy of the TAMPOA members roster, we didn't find very many, if any, black families listed. With the cheapest home in Truman Annex selling for nearly a million dollars, we didn't find any "less affluent" families either. And, we appear to be acting like a bunch of damned fool Republicans in this Southard Street dispute. All the jaw-jacking you and the city commissioners are doing in the media, what is that if not the politics of class? Sorry, Bill, that dog won't hunt.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Who's the Real Bully?

After trashing the mediated settlement of the Southard Street dispute with Truman Annex, Commissioner Clayton Lopez is pushing the City to exercise its eminent domain powers. He claims in the Key West Citizen that the City "extended our hand one more time to give" making a deal "another try" and states that "if they don't come to the sandbox then we will go with eminent domain." He was involved with the mediation and presumably on board with the deal until he got to the commission meeting where he did an about face. Now unhappy that TAMPOA attorney, Bill Andersen, won't negotiate any more, he threatens that "I'm not going to let any group of 400 bully the people of this city."

Why, Commissioner Lopez, would you expect Attorney Andersen to play in your sandbox when you and the other commissioners effectively pooped on his proposals and threw sand at the Truman Annex residents by calling them bullies. It's you who are the bully. Take your hands out of the poop and wash your mouth out with Lysol. Then, maybe Andersen will believe you and play in your sandbox.

Tropical Storm Alberto Forms in the Gulf

At 10:52 a.m. Alberto became the first tropical storm of the 2006 season. It formed in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the National Weather Service, the center of the storm is located about 300 miles west southwest of Key West. It appears to be a weak storm, lacking deep convection. The heaviest downpours and thunderstorms are east of the storm center and currently are moving toward the southern part of the Florida Peninsula. Alberto may strengthen slightly but strong upper-level winds preclude further strengthening or may push it in a different path.

Within 180 miles east of the center of the tropical depression, the winds are forcast to be 20 to 30 knots with gusts to 40 knots and increasing this afternoon within 100 mile of the center to 35 knots with gusts to 45 knots. Seas are focast to be 12 feet or greater within 175 miles of the storm's northeast quadrant with the hightest seas of 15 feet.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Assessment Increase of 25%

Did you know that the TAMPOA Board is about to raise your assessment by $200? That's a 25% increase. They were to discuss it at the Board meeting on June 5, 2006. Actually the Board already decided to levy the increase before May 3, 2006. At what meeting or when before May 3 is a mystery. Obviously the meeting at which the increase was decided upon was not announced, and then someone, almost as an after thought, realized that maybe the Association Members deserved an explanation. So on May 3, 2006 the Board indicated that they would "discuss this matter in more detail at our June Board meeting." Notice they didn't say they would vote on it then. When they announced it on May 3, 2006, it was a done deal. The explaining was to be done on June 5, 2006. Doesn't this behavior remind you of another leader whose approval ratings have fallen into a sinkhole?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Not Enough Pedestrian Gate Keys?

Remember that Pedestrian Gate key that came in the mail just after May 2, 2006, and was supposed to shore up limiting night time access to the Annex and improve security? Conchette has learned that since May 2, 2006, 2000 keys to the Pedestrian Gates have been made and sold to customers by Sturtz Lock and Safe, so many that Sturtz has run out of keys. When one Association Member tried recently to get a key at Sturtz, he was told they were out of keys and were waiting on an additional supply of blanks to cut into keys. The 2000 keys are in addition to the 261 or so keys sent out by TAMPOA to its members. Neither the TAMPOA office nor the Security Manager has said how many keys have been provided to residents or others in addition to the initial 261 or so.

Here's the background. On May 2, 2006 TAMPOA Operations Director, Sterling Christian, sent a memo to all TAMPOA members, i.e., practically everyone in the Annex, enclosing one new Pedestrian gate key. This key would, he said, fit all of the pedestrian gates in the Annex once the gates' locks have all been re-keyed. That tidy-up, he announced, had been authorized by the TAMPOA Board and would take place on June 5, 2006. He said that copies of the new key could be obtained at the TAMPOA office, the Southard Street guard house, or Sturtz Lock and Safe.

Writing for the children among us, Christian's memo emphasized in underlined type that the new keys "have been marked with the letter 'E' for entrance." He suggested that after June 5th we dispose of our old gate keys. These keys are conveniently and coincidently marked "G" for (what else?) Gone.

No one seems to know who has or needs 2000 keys when there are only approximately 261 members listed on the TAMPOA roster. The new keys don't work yet, but on June 5, 2006, we will open the nightly locked gates to 2000 (and counting) new key holders all of whom can't be TAMPOA members.

No rationale for the TAMPOA Board's decision to re-key the locks was given. Nor is it clear at what meeting this turkey was hatched. Since the memo announcing the Board's decision referred all questions to the Security Manager, one might assume security was behind the decision, but not in a plan allowing massive duplication of more than 2000 keys. It must be that over the past ten years since the last re-keying every man woman and child in Key West who had obtained a key has lost theirs. So now we're starting over with a new batch of keys, with an initial run of 2000. At the rate the keys are being turned out (2000 a month), every man woman and child in Key West will have a key before the end of 2007.

As an afterthought, Christian reminds us that "Association Members can assist the Security Staff by being certain to lock all pedestrian gates behind them after hours." (That's what his memo says, folks.) So if we lock the gates behind Security Staff as Christian encourages us to do, Conchette is curious how that helps Security Staff who will be locked out? And how will security get back in? With one of those 2000 plus keys?

Still want to re-key?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Was it the name that brought you here? Maybe you were curious or just surfing. Maybe you thought this was one of those – well, you know (begins with a “P”) sites. Wrong – we’re mostly washed here. However you got here, or whatever brought you here, park a bit.

You’ll get another view of what's happening in Truman Annex. If you live here and want to know about stuff affecting you that you won’t see in the TAMPOA Newsletter, park here. Even if you want to know what’s in the Newsletter, park here anyway. Here you’ll get a lot more than a 15 second blog-bite. How about timely, issue-driven commentary, instead of the stale sanitized stories you find in those newsletters?

If you're thinking about moving to Truman Annex, check here for the straight dope on what you might want to know and some questions to ask.

If you live in another part of this beautiful island and don't understand, don't like, or don't want to know more about Truman Annex, park here anyway. There's enough juice to go around. This is Key West after all. There's another world on this and other keys in South Florida. At least once a week there are nuggets (maybe even piles) of news from elsewhere that make us down here in Key West look sane - even down right brilliant. If you like that kind of news or commentary park awhile here each week.

While you're here you might have a chuckle or two. You might even pick up some useless information about Truman Annex or Key West or South Florida that you can use to impress your friends. Just say you heard it here and tell them where to find it. By the time they get here there'll be more.

Oh, and yeah, and there'll be story about the blog name.

Finally, we value your comments. We may not always agree, but that's what makes the ride fun. (Note: "You Suck" is not a valid comment.)