Attending the September 12th City of Plantation City Council Meeting, in my opinion, the council displayed the course of this city.
Back at the July 25th council meeting, just as Council President Lynn Stoner was about to close the meeting, City Attorney Lunny stopped her from closing the meeting speaking on behalf of a DEVELOPER bringing up an item that was not on the agenda! Christopher Longsworths, Invesca Development Group, Strata at Plantation needed an extension on a requirement of the unified control documents he had previously agreed to.
With no documentation for the City Council members to make an informed decision and because of the relationship of the attorney, Bill Laystrom, whom was not even in the council chambers when Mr. Lunny brought it up, the City Council voted to allow an extension to get the requirements met.
At the September 12th City Council Meeting, an associate of Mr. Laystrom brought another, last minute just before the council was to close the meeting, request to again extend the unified control documents requirement for the Strata at Plantation project.
Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic opposed catering to Christopher Longsworth yet again and detailed how this city has bent over backwards to assist him with his development, including providing contacts to assist in achieving his compliance with the requirements originally agreed to.
Over the objections of the Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic, Council President Lynn Stoner continued the discussion to allow a vote to again extend the deadline of the requirement. Councilmember Ron Jacobs called for a vote that was not seconded and Council President Lynn Stoner continued the discussion.
Council President Lynn Stoner then made it personal by accusing Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic of having a personal issue concerning the vote. Christopher Longsworths’ Strata at Plantation project has been delayed now by years. The individuals who have contracts have had to extend their leases and pay absorbent fees because of these delays. Council President Lynn Stoner’s response is to allow this developer to continue these delays instead of holding him accountable like his customers.
Now keep in mind that on this meeting’s agenda was the third and final reading of the proposed millage rate for the coming budget year. With two residents objecting to the millage rate the city council’s entire discussion and public comments took a little under 15 minutes to approve the millage rate.
The discussion for this non-agenda item lasted over 30 minutes! A vote was finally seconded with Councilmembers Ron Jacobs, Mark Hyatt and Council President voting for the extension and Councilmember Pete Tingom voting against. Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic vetoed the extension.
With Council President Lynn Stoner construction background and the funding she has received from not only Christopher Longsworths’ array of companies for her campaign for mayor but others in the industry, it is obvious development will continue unabated with her allegiance to developers and NOT the residents of the City of Plantation.