Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunset 8-19-14

Historic Resource Preservation Board

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We talked about board appointments the other day and it seems that Wes Blackman's re-appointment slipped through the proverbial City of Lake Worth crack??--

At the July 16th HRPB meeting at the end of the meeting during Board Comments (audio is on the city website) Wes Blackman says he is concerned because his term is up July 31st, 2014 and the City Commission does not have a meeting till Aug 19th.

On tonight's consent agenda are the re-appointments and appointments to the various boards. He is not among them. Yet now on the city website his term has been extended to July 31st 2017. Poof--just like that!

Re-appointments are not automatic as shown by the consent agenda item tonight of re-appointments. Who reappointed him without a vote by the city commission? Perhaps there is another "amended" agenda? Maybe Blackman's eyes had deceived him and he was simply mistaken about when his term ended? Or perhaps ignoring protocol for one of the good ole political boys for a job well-done is the standard for this commission? 

Roadwork on 15th Avenue North

This is Commissioner McVoy's street and it looks like there is massive road work in spite of Lake Worth 2020. McVoy was never against fixing roads--just the lack of information provided by the city. He has always said that they have an obligation to present both sides of the issue, pros and cons, if you will.


The Red truth of it all

The city has been presenting information to all the voters on the roads that will be resurfaced/reconstructed.  They can't really tell us what all the RED means.  The map they constructed shows the entire city in RED implying that most all of the streets will be done in some way shape or fashion.  At least that is their intention to rope you in.

The truth of the matter on the miles of improved roads and the amount of millions to be spent is as follows:

25 miles -55 pci = $71.01 million
11 miles +56-65 pci = $3.31 million
20 miles +66-75 pci = $3.36 million
15 miles +76-83 pci = $1.54  million

Another truth of the matter is that the city IS IN THE RED.   They are spending more than they receive and they have done this for the past two years.  It is no wonder why they need you to give them $63.5 million and bail them out.

Vote AGAINST bond on August 26th.

College Park Neighborhood Association to present tonight

Comment Up

Tonight at the city commission meeting, we will listen to an update from the College Park Neighborhood Association.  We will have to listen to its invitation/appeal for everyone in the city to go to its Lake Worth 2020 presentation three days before the election. Of course, neighborhood associations are not political or so we have been told.

It's sickening that the City strategically put College Park on the agenda as a presenter tonight.  The City really believes that we are all stupid and nothing they are doing is anything but "education." After all, City Attorney Glen Torcivia did a 13 page report telling them that.

Lake Worth to hire new External Auditors

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We are hiring a new external auditor.  TCBA Watson Rice LLP has been with us for years.  The external auditor just audits information provided to him/them  BY the city. They don't do any investigative work to see if the numbers jive but if they see any irregularities or illegal acts they will make a written report to the Finance Director (he left mysteriously in the middle of the night), the city manager and to the commission. TCBA knows the inner workings of our departments and all the staff but the city is hiring a new firm.

The City’s contract for financial auditing services with TCBA Watson Rice LLP expired at the conclusion of the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 annual financial audit. The City issued a request for proposals for financial audit services and received seven proposals. These proposals were evaluated based on technical qualifications, audit approach and fees. The proposals received were reviewed and three firms short-listed. The firms short listed were (alphabetically) TCBA Watson Rice LLC, Cherry Bekaert LLP and Keefe McCullough. These firms made their presentations to the staff Audit Committee on July 22, 2014. After the presentations concluded the staff Audit Committee discussed the presentations and ranked the firms. Keefe McCullough received the top ranking. Negotiations by City staff proceeded with the top-ranked firm.

I move to approve/disapprove an Agreement with Keefe McCullough (out of Ft. Lauderdale) for auditing services for: 1) an initial three year agreement with fixed fees of $82,500 for Fiscal Year 2014, $84,500 for Fiscal Year 2015 and $86,500 for Fiscal Year 2016; and 2) upon mutual agreement of both parties, optional renewal of two additional one year terms. Option Year One at a fixed fee of $88,500 and Option Year Two at a fixed fee of $90,500.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tonight's Sky 8-18-14

One proud mama

Another Suspicious Fire in Lake Worth

Read about it...

This is one way to get rid of abandoned houses that cause slum and blight.

The Truth, the Whole Truth...

“The intent (of the law) is that municipalities should be impartial. They should list the pros and cons. They skirted around the costs of it.”

~ Commissioner Christopher McVoy

Talking about the City of Lake Worth's massive marketing campaign and its non-stop outreach to the voters on the General Obligation Bond that will be on the August 26th ballot.

Bullying the Palm Beach Post

For obvious reasons, the bully blogger is giving the Palm Beach Post reporter hell today for his article that just appeared that for the most part was fair and balanced. In fact, I would say that the City got a little bit more press time.  The Bully is ridiculing him for referring to Herman Robinson, Chair of the Lake Worth YES PAC as a developer.  Well, the fact of the matter indicates that he is a General Contractor and general contractors are involved in and with those who do build houses and commercial properties, etc.  Hey, this is election time, and some people like to re-invent the wheel and discredit anyone and everyone and make mountains out of molehills. They want to nit-pick everything to death.

Licensee Details
Licensee Information

Main Address: 114 OCEAN BREEZE
LAKE WORTH  Florida  33460-4233
License Mailing:
License Information
License Type: Certified Building Contractor
Rank: Cert Building
License Number: CBC1257447
Status: Current,Active
Licensure Date: 04/28/2009
Expires: 08/31/2014

Special Qualifications
Qualification Effective

Construction Business

Lake Worth's one talent: Obfuscation

Comment Up

On May 22, the District 1 meeting was held at the Osborne Center to "educate" the voters.  An information sheet was given to Peter Timm by Mr. Wood, our then Finance Director, that said that this GO bond, if passed, will cost $131,013,442 for its 30 year duration. I wrote Mr. Wood the following day and asked-- Can Finance please confirm this figure. Do you have an interest rate established or any cost particulars? Who is the bond writer? Bond writer cost? Attorney costs? Bond adviser costs?  Any other  costs associated with getting this bond?

Mr. Wood responded to me saying the following: "We are using an estimate of 5.50% at this time to determine the overall cost of the 2020 program.   We are using a cost of issuance for the total amount of the issue of $63,200,000 (note: the figure changed a few weeks later as has this entire plan to $63,500,000) to be $900,000.  This amount is inclusive of these items you listed. No detail costs can be established until there is an authorization to move this program forward."

This interest rate is low and certainly not even logical considering that we have no bond rating and our city is in the shape that it is in and they have told us that the borrowing will cost us over double the principal amount. This same information sheet then appeared on the city's web site until recently.  Of course our finance director was in the city's employ until recently as well.

Since they are obfuscating the facts, then what else are they hiding?

No trust; no bond.

The Snow Job

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Isn't this about the biggest snow job ever perpetrated on the residents of Lake Worth. One would think that they are building new roads throughout the city.

Kava, Kratom, Dylan and Danger?

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Illegal snipe signs from not too long ago

Back in August 2013, Dylan Harrison along with his partner John Shealey, were sentenced to federal prison.  Shealey got 18 months and Harrison got one year and a day. What had they done?  Both were manufacturing synthetic drugs in their warehouse, Kratom Labs, that were illegal and were charged with  unlawful distribution of controlled substance analogues (synthetic cannabinoids). Kratom Labs was located in West Palm Beach.  The warehouse eventually blew up while they were making the drugs in cement mixers.

Dylan Harrison admitted to being an addict and he said, "Being a drug addict, I know the pain drugs cause," but he went ahead and made millions of K2 or Spice and synthetic marijuana that was even being sold to children.  When they were sentenced, they had to turn over $2 million in assets.

Yesterday the Post featured an article and it asked the question, "Did Kratom addiction kill this young man?"  It was about a young guy who committed suicide and his mother believes it was from Kratom. The county is now looking into banning kratom which is a psychoactive herb with opium effects and said to be addictive and widely available in the U.S. You can buy it at gas stations or trendy kava bars.

Harrison is now out and was just seen on Lake Avenue. Mr. Harrison has two businesses in Lake Worth--The Kavasutra where he sells?  and Greenline where he sells electronic cigarettes. Jeff Clemens' office is situated between Harrison's two businesses.

As one person said to me, "Dylan Harrison is out of prison--seen downtown on Friday--this is more of a danger to our community than a tax increase."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The most important vote in Lake Worth's 100 year history

Today's Post reported on Florida's primary Voter Turnout:

2002:  29 percent
2004:  26 percent
2006:  20 percent
2008:  18 percent
2010:  22 percent
2012:  21 percent

So if you average all of that out,  you have a turnout of approximately 23 percent for a Primary election.  If you take all the registered voters in Lake Worth (15,258) not including military and overseas, that would mean an approximate 3,508 voter turn-out.  Of course, not all these voters will bother with the referendum.

And a little trivia on voter turnout in Lake Worth--only 2,311 voted on the heights referendum. With the city's propaganda on this general obligation bond referendum where they are desperate for the cash, more voters may show up and cast their ballot. They even have the city manager, who has now crossed the political line, out campaigning for this bond.

This is an important election for Lake Worth, the most important in its history. And that's why the city has put on a full court press.

The City of Lake Worth's Thin Fine Line

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"The city is walking the fine line of a state law that bans tax money from being spent on ads that tell people how to vote. While city administrators want the bond to pass, the law says they can’t take sides in their own ad campaign."

Palm Beach Post

In the case of Lake Worth, $50,000 of taxpayer money was grabbed to "educate" the voters.  Even its Newsletter mailing to every utility customer stated:  "Lake Worth residents in the August 26 primary election will be asked to approve $63.5 million general obligation bond..."  How many thousands has the city spent on Torcivia Law firm to give legal opinions? There is NO fine line when it comes to this newsletter...the city crossed it on its very first mailing and propaganda piece..

Lake Worth City Board Appointments

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Board POLITICAL Appointments or in some cases, "pay-backs"

  • City Tree Board: Mayor’s reappointment of Jeannie Fernsworth for a term ending on July 31, 2017
  • Historic Resources Preservation Advisory Board: Mayor’s appointment of Loretta Sharpe for a term ending on July 31, 2017.

  • Planning and Zoning Board: Vice Mayor’s reappointment of Mark Humm for a term ending on July 31, 2017
  • Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals--Vice Mayor’s reappointment of Mark Szafarin for a term ending on July 31, 2017
  • Historic Resources Preservation Advisory Board: Vice Mayor’s reappointment of Jimmy Zoellner for a term ending on July 31, 2017

  • City Recreation Advisory Board: Commissioner Szerdi’s appointment of Serge Jerome Jr. to fill an unexpired term ending on July 31, 2015

Electric Utility Advisory Board: City Commission’s reappointment of Caroline Clore for a term ending on July 31, 2016