Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 091615 Contents 36 • 9.16.2015
Our city is once again looking to purchase land, and once again is
demonstrating the need to improve on the art of negotiation. Just by
the definition of negotiation, the city is failing miserably in the recent
move to purchase a vacant lot to be used for additional parking on the
north end of the Wilton Drive Arts and Entertainment District.
NEGOTIATION: The reaching of agreement through discussion
Our city has the discussion part down, but cannot seem to master
the part about getting the seller to compromise on the asking price.
Even when an appraisal comes in almost $100,000 below the seller’s
supposed lowest price, our city has failed to get better terms. Even
more infuriating is the response from some city elected officials that
the money is there in the Parking Fund to be spent on such a purchase,
so why haggle over the price? Why risk losing such an important piece
of property? Well friends, sometimes you just have to be ready to
walk away from a deal to get better terms. This ‘important piece’ of
property will only provide 18-24 additional parking spaces. The much
needed, but very small fix to our parking program will cost about
$30,000 per parking space to construct, clear evidence to support the
argument that our elected officials should seek out better long-term
cost effective solutions on a more significant scale.
Now let me add insult to injury. This current property owner who
is standing firm on this over-priced piece of property has not been
maintaining the property for years. There are unpaid liens owed to
the city of over $10,000. The owner hasn’t cut grass or maintained the
property, and has allowed unpaid utility bills to total over $7,900.
Wow, what a bargaining chip to be used in negotiations!
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Perhaps it’s time that the
city consider sending someone to a negotiating seminar. Perhaps
they should ask the PBA where their police union negotiators go for
training, because they certainly know how to negotiate the best deal
The story only gets worse. According to the report by city staff, this
vacant property is currently being used as a parking lot by employees
of local businesses and frequently has over 40 cars squeezed in during
And where has Code Enforcement been all this time? Do we just
enforce some codes here in Wilton Manors and not others? The city
report goes on to utilize this data of illegal parking to justify expected
income levels from paid parking. Of course people are going to park on
this lot instead of walking a few blocks from the new city parking lot
on 26th Street – it’s free! Hello, no surprise here.
The only bright spot is that, after paying the buyer’s exorbitant
asking price, the city will get the money owed in liens and unpaid
utility bills. Looking on the bright side, as I always try to do, when you
total everything up, we only wind up overpaying for the property by
about $80,000. That’s a lot of pizza at Bona’s Restaurant.
Listening to all this play out at our last two City Commission
meetings reminded me of stories heard as a teenager back in the 70’s
living in the Northeast, stories heard from parents’ friends about land
sales in Florida, about the great deals that wound up being swampland
out in the Everglades. From those stories came the old saying, “If you
believe that, I’ve got some land to sell you in Florida.” Well somebody
has some land to sell in Florida, and our city might just fall for it.
Vice Mayor Scott Newton and Commissioner Julie Carson deserve
credit for stating their concerns about purchasing this property at our
last commission meeting. Mayor Resnick voiced his concerns at an
earlier meeting, wanting a negotiated price much closer to the market
value of the property. Let’s hope it’s at least a three to two vote on not
moving ahead with such a poorly negotiated deal for our city. Join us
for a Public Hearing and vote at the next City Commission meeting
scheduled for Monday, Sept. 21.
In closing, one option that cities have to acquire needed property at
fair market value is eminent domain. Perhaps it’s time the city dusts off
the law books and send a signal to property owners who are looking to
cash out with pie-in-the-sky ideas that it’s time to come back down to
earth and face reality.
Looking ahead to better negotiating skills...Why, because life is just
better here! WMG
SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 • VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 18
2520 N. DIXIE HIGHWAY • WILTON MANORS, FL 33305
PHONE: 954-530-4970 FAX: 954-530-7943
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2 • September 16, 2015
The Art of Negotiation...
By Sal Torre
Apparently, too many people at a fundraiser isn’t always a good thing.
At last year’s Taste of the Island event, organizers learned that lesson
when some restaurants didn’t attend because of the Fort Lauderdale
International Boat Show.
That left a lot less food for people who had paid for an all-you-can
eat fundraiser where local restaurants from the Wilton Manors and
surrounding areas serve up samples of their menu items.
“Last year, we had too many people, not enough restaurants,” said
Richard Perez, acting president for Taste of the Island. This year, the
event’s 10th, Perez said the Boat Show won’t be in conflict. The Taste is
Monday, Nov. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Richardson Park, 1937 Wilton Drive.
To make sure enough food is available, the total number of tickets sold
will be limited to 700.
“Some people didn’t like the flow last year. This year, by having 700
people, I feel better that everyone will have a good time. I’m trying to
proceed with caution. I’m trying to deliver on what I say,” said Perez.
“We’re correcting some of the issues on the negative side that happened
the last couple years. I think it’s going to be an exciting event.”
So far, 21 restaurants and bars have signed up, including Red’s Bar,
Funky Buddha, Courtyard Café, Blue Martini, Warsaw Coffee Company
and Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. “It’s going to be quite a mix,” said Perez.
Tickets went on sale Sept. 15 and are available at City Hall, 2020 Wilton
Drive; Hagen Park Community Center, 2020 Wilton Drive, and the Library,
500 NE 26 St. They can also be purchased online at tasteoftheisland.org.
Tickets purchased between now and Oct. 26 are $30. After Oct. 26,
the cost is $35. Proceeds benefit the city’s Leisure Services Department,
Kiwanis Club, Historical Society and the Wilton Manors Development
Taste of the Island Tickets Limited
By Michael d’Oliveira
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