Loser Lew Thaler Wants To Do It One More Time — At Your Expense!

By Former Trial Judge Marc Mogil, J.D., (State of New York)

Not content to lose an election like an honorable man, 77 year old retired politician Lewis J. (“I Love Lew”) Thaler has decided to be remembered in the future as having been the penultimate hypocrite of his era by costing his “beloved” City hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses and legal fees in a run-off election for which he is suing the City and Miami-Dade County.

After conceding defeat and congratulating the winner, 55 year old GEORGE “BUD” SCHOLL — Thaler is now convinced that the voters are too stupid to understand for whom they voted on November 4th, and who was “certified” as the winner on November 14th.  A third candidate (Alex Amselem) withdrew from the race and was legally disqualified with the letter of the law being followed by the City and County. Yet Thaler — with the financial campaign backing of wealthy and powerful developers who are blighting our beachfront and skyline with density variance monstrosities — wants another  chance to win. Thaler’s powerful developer friends need Thaler to continue making millions. How pathetic is that? Where is honor? Is this how Thaler respects your democratic right to vote?

The Courts should put Thaler in his place and uphold the will of our voters. If not, and a costly and unnecessary runoff is ordered (not likely if our wise judiciary upholds Florida law), he will again be pummeled by an electorate DISGUSTED at the depths to which certain politicians will sink in their own self-interest. Justice most often prevails, despite back-room deals.

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Winner George “Bud” Scholl – Our New Mayor-Elect

By Sharon Elster, Editor

In a hotly contested mayoral race, 55 year old George “Bud” Scholl pulled off a solid victory against his 77 year old opponent, Lewis J. Thaler.  Only 28% percent of registered voters in Sunny Isles Beach turned out to vote. A third candidate who had dropped out of the race still received 10% of the votes cast. Those votes were disqualified.

Incumbent Commissioner Isaac Aelion, 63, successfully managed to fend off his challenger,  64 year old Roberto Rodriguez and keep his Commission seat for a second term.

We congratulate both our new Mayor-Elect George “Bud” Scholl and Commissioner Isaac Aelion on their wins and wish them the very best as they continue to serve the people of Sunny Isles Beach.

Below are election results:

Sunny Isles Beach Election Results

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WHY THE SIB REPORTER ENDORSES GEORGE “BUD” SCHOLL FOR MAYOR

FACT AND FICTION:

DECIPHERING THE ISSUES IN SIB’S MAYORAL CAMPAIGN

By The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter

 

As we sift through the various mailers from both mayoral candidates, it may be difficult to discern fact from fiction. Below is a brief comparison that may help and demonstrate why we are endorsing George “Bud” Scholl for Mayor.

FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler served on the commission for nine years, and his voting record is replete with favors to developers, which created a skyline that did not conform to our City’s Comprehensive Plan. Thaler’s campaign chest is filled with hefty donations from grateful developers and their associates.

CONCLUSION: If elected mayor, Thaler will continue to favor developers over residents.

FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler has not sent a single mailer addressing Bud Scholl’s voting record or service as a seven year commissioner. He has, however, trolled through personal information about Bud Scholl’s children using school records, classmates.com, and résumés.

CONCLUSION: Thaler has no legitimate criticism of Bud Scholl’s seven year voting record or service as a City Commissioner, which is well-reasoned, independent (he was often the dissenting vote on 4-1 decisions), and in the best interest of our City and residents. For example, in the case of the historic Temple landmarking decision, had the rest of the commission (including Lew Thaler) followed Bud Scholl’s lone vote, it would have saved taxpayers over Two Million Dollars and an unnecessary lawsuit. Thaler cannot launch credible attacks at the things that matter. As a result, he stooped to new City campaign lows by attacking his opponent’s children.

FACT: Bud Scholl’s criticism of Lew Thaler is 100% factual and documented. These facts include:

1. Thaler and the mayor violated the Sunshine Law in a developer meeting and boasted about it publicly (pre 11/12/2010 vote);

2. Thaler supported a developer for an ill-fated aquarium to the tune of millions of dollars (11/12/2010 vote);

3. Thaler sponsored a measure to award himself $6,000 a year in expenses without having to provide documentation (9/20/2012 vote);

4. Thaler supported a $650,000 contract in a questionable bid process to a company tied to a convicted felon (9/20/2012 vote);

5. Thaler heavily lobbied to rename Heritage Park, primarily dedicated to our war veterans, after himself (9/20/2012 vote);

6. Thaler billed taxpayers for personal car repairs when he was no longer in office (City Finance Records check # 007887 issued to Thaler);

7. Thaler used city staff to run his personal errands while he spends summers in his second home in Connecticut (disclosure by former city manager).

** Wait a second… summers in Connecticut?! Would that actually make Thaler the part-time commissioner he has been claiming he was not?

CONCLUSION: Lew Thaler’s record as an elected official and thereafter (not that of his family or acquaintances) is a matter of serious concern for SIB voters. In fact, there are too many embarrassing Thaler votes to mention in campaign flyers, including Thaler’s vote to stop the feral cat feeding program. Thaler thought it would be a better idea just to let the cats starve. This was his ordinance on his last day in office, the same day he failed to get Heritage Park named after himself. It was an unfortunate “let them eat cake!” note with which to end his political career.

FACT: Despite running for office several times and having been a candidate for this particular race for over a year and a half, Lew Thaler has improperly used his campaign funds, which triggered a Florida Elections Commission investigation and shows Thaler’s ignorance and/or disregard for the most sensitive of campaign rules….the one relating to dollars.

CONCLUSION: Neither Thaler nor his close advisors are familiar with or care to respect campaign rules and procedures. We should be concerned by this amateur-hour performance from a supposed seasoned politician and his team.

FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler has every intention to ignore our City Charter, the City’s constitution, as well as our Comprehensive Plan. He has campaigned promising to be a full-time mayor when our City Charter requires a full-time professional City Manager and a part-time mayor and commission. For more on this point, please refer to our article at http://sibreporter.net/2014/09/in-%e2%80%9clew%e2%80%9d-of-quality-thaler-offers-quantity/. In fact, in a debate forum on October 22, 2014 at the Trump III, Thaler stated that he would not permit the City Manager to tell him how to implement public policy, and referred to the City Manager disrespectfully as a “hired gun” that needs to be watched over every single day.

CONCLUSION: Thaler is misleading voters and/or has no idea how our city is supposed to be run.

FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler accused Bud Scholl of missing all but one City Commission Workshop. What he fails to tell you is that Bud Scholl purposely does not attend these NON-MANDATORY “agenda” meetings because he believes it compromises Sunshine laws and deprives residents of the full discourse the Sunshine laws are intended to protect.

CONCLUSION: Thaler is trying to mislead voters and/or does not understand our Sunshine laws.

So, those are the facts and our conclusions. We hope this was helpful as you prepare to vote for the future of our City. The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter is privileged to recommend residents give their vote to Commissioner George “Bud” Scholl as our next Mayor of Sunny Isles Beach.

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Mayoral Candidate George “Bud” Scholl – A Power Leader In Health Care

By The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter

Mayoral candidate George “Bud” Scholl has been recognized by The Business Journal among the top 50 executives as “Power Leaders in Health Care for the great influence they have on the industry in South Florida.”  Bud Scholl, formerly CEO of Community Blood Centers of Florida, oversaw the merger of three organizations, making OneBlood the third largest blood bank in the nation.

This select group of leaders head the most important institutions, including hospitals, academic medical programs, insurance companies, research organizations, and innovative service providers.

See more: http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/gallery/84611?s=image_gallery&img_no=80

 

 

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SIB MAYORAL CANDIDATE LEW THALER UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE FLORIDA ELECTIONS COMMISSION

By The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter

It has come to the attention of the SIB Reporter that the Florida Elections Commission has begun an investigation into the financial campaign records of 77 year old Mayoral candidate, Lew Thaler. On September 29th, the FEC received a 91-page complaint filed by a Sunny Isles Beach resident who discovered irregularities in the required Campaign Treasurer Reports filed by Thaler covering the period from April 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014.

Specifically, it is illegal for municipal candidates to use personal credit or debit cards for campaign expenses and later have the campaign reimburse them. Legally, they can only use a debit card issued from the campaign’s bank account, but must disclose all the items as they would normally appear on a bank check. Thaler has now run for office three times and should certainly be familiar with the rules, however he allegedly still did not follow the strict guidelines set forth by the FEC.

According to Thaler’s official Campaign Treasurer Reports and the complaint filed with the FEC, Thaler may have used either a personal credit card or debit card for many of his campaign expenses, and was later reimbursed personally by his campaign. The filings indicate he made improper expenditures on over 100 occasions through August 31, 2014. In accordance with state law, each unauthorized entry is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine per occurrence which could potentially reach a staggering fine in excess of $100,000.

The Florida Elections Commission has not issued a statement as of this writing but is commencing with a full investigation. We are unaware if the Florida State’s Attorney is involved as yet, but will keep you updated on any governmental decision in this matter.

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IN “LEW” OF QUALITY, THALER OFFERS QUANTITY

By The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter

 

Based on his mailers and presentations, it is clear that Lew Thaler does not understand how our local government is structured and is intended to run. We would like to help him out (as well as those voters he may have confused).

Our City Charter acts as our City’s constitution and clearly describes that we operate under a Commission-Manager form of government, very much like other  municipalities in South Florida. The City Commission is responsible for setting policy, approving budgets, determining tax rates, hiring and firing charter officers and the development of community land policies.  The Commission, which includes the Mayor, reviews and votes on the policies that define official parameters, including those within which the City Manager must perform his duties. The Commission works on a part-time basis, which allows our elected officials to serve our City in addition to having independent careers.   As with other municipalities, the part-time nature of the Commission’s role in Sunny Isles is reflected in the salaries our City currently offers: the Mayor receives an annual salary of $14,000, whereas the City Manager receives an annual salary of $212,000.


The City Manager, selected by the City Commission, is responsible for the administration of all departments and divisions of City government and for carrying out policies adopted by the City Commission. He is responsible for the appointment, supervision and removal of all City employees except our City attorney and his staff. He prepares and submits budgets to the Commission, an annual report on finances and administrative activities of the City. (More information can be found at www.sibfl.net ).  In short, the City Manager, a full-time well compensated professional, is the one who manages our City.

Lew Thaler is disingenuous when he states that he will be your “full time mayor” knowing that one is not required or needed.  Thaler wants voters to believe that he is more qualified than a business executive because he can offer quantity of time, while we prefer the idea of Bud Scholl offering  more than ample quality time.

What Lew Thaler also fails to mention is that Commissioner Scholl will keep regularly scheduled hours at City Hall. Furthermore, when not physically at City Hall, Bud Scholl will still be  readily accessible. In today’s world, individuals are no longer tied to a particular desk at a particular place, but rather execute in a more mobile, fluid manner through various technologies. Bud Scholl and most residents understand and prefer this. Perhaps Lew Thaler does not, and as such continues to push his antiquated notion.

Unlike Lew Thaler, informed voters understand that being a municipal leader can, and often does, go hand in hand with being a successful business person.  For example:


  • Aventura, our neighbor to the west, had Mayor Jeff Perlow who successfully combined being mayor and a partner in a law firm. Aventura with a population of 36,981 is much larger than Sunny Isles Beach (population 21,395). Their charter specifically states “the position of Mayor is considered to be part-time.” The annual salaries for the Mayor and City Manager positions reflect the different level of responsibility and are similar to those in Sunny Isles: Aventura’s part- time Mayor earns $10,000, while the full-time City Manager’s salary is $231,974.72.


  • Miami Beach, our neighbor to the south has Mayor Philip Levine, a successful businessman who is currently CEO of Royal Media Partners, the exclusive partner of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. Miami Beach’s population is 90,588.  The part-time mayor’s annual salary is $10,000, while the full-time City Manager’s annual salary is $255,000.

  • Let’s not forget that a little known place called New York City, with its population of over 8,000,000, had Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a high profile billionaire businessman who managed to run the Big Apple quite successfully while also handling his many business interests around the globe.

Of course, we could go on and on.  But we won’t.  You get the point.

The choice for this mayoral race is:  Bud Scholl, a successful businessman whose time management skills are so exceptional that he has been able to be a family man and grow various businesses while successfully serving as Commissioner in Sunny Isles Beach.  Or, Lew Thaler, a man who apparently, and by his own repeated admission,  needs to work full time hours to perform a part time job.

 

Quality or Quantity? It’s up to you Sunny Isles Beach voters!

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IF WALLS COULD TALK: A Disturbing Look Into The Troubled History of Mayoral Candidate Lew Thaler’s Condominium

By The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter

Lew Thaler was elected Commissioner from September 2003 through November 2012. During his commission term, Thaler was also appointed Vice-Mayor by Mayor Norman Edelcup. Thaler lives at Ocean One condominium, 19333 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, which was built in 1999. According to annual corporate filings, Lew Thaler has served on Ocean One’s Board of Directors at various times beginning in 2001 to the present. Thaler is currently Board Treasurer. Moreover, Thaler served on its Financial Committee. It is obvious that Lew Thaler has actively participated in overseeing building operations at Ocean One.

Ocean One’s newsletter Ocean One Waves is available on the internet. These newsletters clearly reveal a record of mismanagement, waste, abuse of power and possibly worse. While the newsletter’s version of events is highly disturbing, we may never know the full extent of what really happened. Taken directly from the Ocean One Waves newsletter, we summarize below the incredibly bad situations which negatively impacted the quality of life for residents at Ocean One:

1. Illegal Board elections from 2009 and continuing until 2013. Lack of cooperation among Board members.

2. Fifteen Lawsuits that drained financial resources.

3. Hiring contractors without getting competitive bids.

4. Unfulfilled financial obligations left over from a 2010 balcony assessment.

5. Long term problems with transparency, accountability, dereliction of duty of key personnel (General Manager, Maintenance and Housekeeping).

6. Dangerous black mold remediation necessary to Spa bathrooms caused by undetected leaks in men’s & women shower rooms, saunas, bathrooms & foyers contaminating walls, tiles and insulation materials which had to be discarded.

7. Ongoing troubled projects: Renovation of Lobby and structural repair of building. Numerous deficiencies – sloppy painting, poor installation of wood panels, wallpaper and carpet of inferior quality causing work to be halted and redone over and over. Significant cost increase and delays renovating elevator cabs.

8. Fire Code Citation issued in March 2006. Lien not satisfied until December 2008. Ocean One paid fine of $5,085. Source: Miami-Dade County Clerk Code Enforcement CFN#20080791758

9. Unsafe working conditions for building employees.

10. Lack of security of costly building equipment. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment (42” TV, computers, DVD player, drill machines, saws, tools, office supplies, walkie-talkies, etc.) went missing. Items were returned only after warning employees that police would be called.

11. Outdoor beach furniture shabby, rusty and sagging. Plans to replace pool and Tiki Hut furniture put on hold due to “too many more important projects with higher priorities.”

12. Plagued with endless difficulties the Blue Wave Café eventually closes.
a) Café phone did not work making it impossible to order room service to apartments.
b) Café subsidies cost Ocean One up to $4,000 monthly. Ocean One waived rent, provided free utilities but food and service was poor.
c) Repelling odors of frying garlic, onion, fish emanated from Café into Lobby.
d) Many complaints of anti-sanitary conditions, inconsistent menu items, portion sizes.
e) Café received numerous Warning Violations by both the Miami-Dade Fire Department and by the City of Sunny Isles Beach Building & Zoning Departments.

Sources: Ocean One Waves-March 2013, July 2013 issues
http://cgpnewsletters.com/uploads/Ocean_One_MARCH_2013.pdf http://cgpnewsletters.com/uploads/Ocean_One_JULY_2013.pdf

These violations of law and incidents of blatant mismanagement exposed residents and employees alike to dangerous health hazards resulting in a diminished lifestyle. The cost of these blunders was simply passed on to residents.

During the years all of these unfortunate events were taking place, where was mayoral hopeful Lew Thaler?  LEW WAS THERE!

This was Lew Thaler’s home, yet Lew Thaler was apparently unwilling or incapable of being an effective problem solver at Ocean One Condominium.

Lew Thaler could not provide the capability and leadership necessary to meet those challenges and resolve problems at the condominium building where he lived.  Therefore,  how can we expect him to successfully perform the far more complex duties required as Mayor of Sunny Isles Beach?

If his building’s situation is any indicator, it is clear that having time to be engaged, and giving it a go, so to speak, is no substitute for competence.  In short, perhaps an “A” for effort, but he is not exactly valedictorian when it comes to results.

 

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This tragic news just in…

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/08/09/Breaking-Rabbi-Fatally-Shot-While-Walking-to-North-Miami-Beach-Temple

Stephanie Kienzle of VotersOpinion.com provides more information with printable MDPD flier on this homicide go to:

http://www.votersopinion.com/2014/08/11/miami-dade-police-department-seeking-homicide-information/

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NOTHING TO REPORT by Patrick Abbruzzi

Book Review by Sharon Elster, Editor

Nothing to Report by Patrick Abbruzzi is a compelling portrayal of police on patrol in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island that takes place during the deeply troubled times of the 1960′s through the 1980′s.

Although the book is a novel of fiction it is, in fact, based on actual incidents. As such, Mr. Abbruzzi’s meticulous attention to details presents a gritty reality of the hazards police encounter every day on the streets of New York City. This fascinating book takes you on a gripping  journey filled with stories of danger, passion, betrayal and redemption. Mr. Abbruzzi skillfully manages to create an honest and touching account of the lives of New York’s Finest which holds the reader captive until the very last page.

Patrick Abbruzzi is a retired Lieutenant who served 28 years with the New York City Police Department. His parents, Walter and Ida Makarevich are longtime residents of Sunny Isles Beach.

For more information on this book go to: http://amzn.com/1494738074

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Sunny Isles Beach nears lawsuit settlement with Temple B’Nai Zion

By Sharon Elster, Editor

After the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of Temple B’Nai Zion’s religious discrimination lawsuit against the City and Mayor Norman Edelcup, and although a trial date had been set for December 2014, the parties may be close to a settlement. More details are not available at this time but before an agreement is finalized, it must be publicly voted on and approved by the City Commission. For more, go to:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/23/4196837/sunny-isles-beach-close-to-settling.html

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