Friday, October 31, 2008
Fun event at Brogues last night for Candidate Rene Varela for Commissioner District 4.
In order to get into the flavor of the event, I had to order a traditional Cuban dinner--chicken with black beans and rice. The band was fabulous too! One of my friends came up from Boynton Beach with her dog, Bebito, and snuck it in for about 4 minutes before she was caught!
If you recall, a lot of Cubans migrated to the United States and became citizens after Cuba started to nationalize everything, seizing land, businesses and companies owned by the middle and upper class of Cuba. By the end of 1960, Cuba had seized over $25 billion worth of property of private citizens there and nationalized all property owned by United states citizens and other foreigners.
Rene's family moved here in 1959 and 1961 and he was raised with the ethic of striving for excellence and working hard and giving back. As your new Commissioner in District 4, he will give the City his full-time attention and work harder than he ever has before or anyone before him.
I sit in the exact same city commission meetings as does the Editor of The Lake Worth Herald. We look at the issues with different colored glasses, obviously.
I agree that the City needs better management on the Staff and elected Commission level. However, the Commission is in charge of this City. They hired the City Manager and Dave Vespo was one of them. They have the power to terminate the City Manager and for 20 months, Bob Baldwin has been leading this city through the direction of the 3 to 2 vote on the dais. Mayor Clemens, Commissioners Lowe and Vespo are the ones responsible for the bad shape of our City.
To recommend Dave Vespo because of his fight to go with the Palm Beach County Sheriff and dissolve our City Police Department that has been in existence for 93 years because crime was getting out of control along with Retirement packages, is a shallow reason for an endorsement. We do not know if the sheriff will reduce crime in our city. If crime was getting out of control during Commissioner Vespo’s tenure (2 years and 9 months now), then why did he not direct the City Manager to set up meetings with our Police chief and get these shifts changed, allowing more men on the streets during peak crime time? Instead, Commissioner Vespo just cried about crime on the up rise, voted to do away with our own Police and spend millions more going with the Sheriff. Just another thing he would never have to deal with again. What we do know is that Dave Vespo has made horrendously horrible decisions that will affect our welfare for decades to come…not only in this decision but dozens more, costing multi millions of dollars, wasted. Rene Varela is my choice for change.
For our local newspaper to say that a Commissioner is not effective in moving the City forward and that is a reason not to vote for her is disingenuous and just plain silly. You can’t be on the short end of the vote and accomplish anything worthwhile in this city or break away from the stronghold of the political machine that has bound us up for years. We should hire a City manager who will give the best advice to our elected officials and not look for them to give him direction. This is why we pay him.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Of all the Candidate Forums, I thought this one was the most boring of all. Not one candidate was on top of his game but all had spurts of excellence at one time or another. Every past Forum had the candidates seated in Alpha order, Commission District 2 on the left side as you are looking at the stage and District 4 on the right which resulted in the two incumbents sitting on each end. It made total sense. I guess the President’s Council of the Neighborhood Associations wanted to find an even more fair approach to this seating. Who knows. Sometimes the simplest of things get turned around.
I have to admit...I was very mad at John Jordan last night. Prior to the incident, he was holding his own in his own way. Mary Lindsey who had been alerted to this possible revelation was prepared for the attack and her explanation was classy and well done. Cara Jennings' retort was perfect.
Dave Vespo still thinks that we needed matching funds to get the $5 million from the County and still insists that we now have twice the number of officers that we had before going with the Sheriff’s Department. Ok, Dave, whatever.
P.S. To the person who put a Mulvehill flier on my car last night while I was at the Pizza Palace, sorry, but I don't vote for Republicans--EVER!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The CRA has just notified the public on-line of a REGULAR BOARD MEETING for tomorrow, Thursday, October 30, at 5:30pm to discuss the approval of an RLI for a Cultural Redevelopment Program. Regular meetings are normally held on the 2nd Tuesday and until recently, on the 4th Tuesday of each month. The 4th Tuesday will now be for Workshops as needed.
When you pull up the back-up on the Cultural Redevelopment Program, you can increase the font on-line but not when printing the document. You need the eyes of an owl. This looks like an important document.
Sometimes when you don’t like the accusation hurled at your favorite candidate or someone attacking his record, you label it as “negative” campaigning. How do you run for office when you are not the incumbent without challenging the opposition’s views and votes and policies he has made? This is NOT negative but rather just plain political astuteness. Why run at all unless you believe your opponent has done a lousy job and you believe that you can do better? You have to be able to tell the voters the whys and wherefores and convince them to vote for you. That’s what running for office is all about.
Don’t send me the glossy flier with the pretty picture telling me you are for this and that. Tell me why you will be better than the other guy and what you will do to straighten out the mess. That’s what I want to know.
I personally think that “negative” campaigning is attacking a candidate on a personal level such as “he’s cheated on his wife; he’s solicited young boys for sex; he’s a Muslim who hangs around with terrorists or even going so far as to tell a lie about the candidate—that sort of thing. Negative campaigning is leaking something secretly to the media that could be damaging to a candidate on a personal level.
It is not negative to impugn a candidate’s record. Get that straight!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
As Nick's life came to a screeching halt, the City of Lake Worth seems to be going down the same road.
REGULAR CITY COMMISSION MEETINGS FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER CANCELED. Regular meetings have not been re-scheduled.
NO CRA MEETINGS OTHER THAN ONE SPECIAL MEETING CALLED? SOME MYSTERIOUS SUBJECT TO BE DISCUSSED AT SPECIAL MEETING on the Cultural Redevelopment Plan.
What is going on here folks?
Up-date: There will be one meeting on November 10 for City business.
An understandable counter-reaction of frustration from citizens that want progress to occur has driven a wedge between many residents in this city. Needless to say, for many potential reasons, the public’s confidence that any project will indeed occur is completely eroded. It is for this reason that currently, all of our hopes and dreams for a respectable beach project are in a suspended state. Without proper leadership and extensive diplomacy, there is little hope to break this impasse.
The best approach forward is to negotiate a path toward the best interest of all residents. This route will be an arduous one, but is much more likely to result in the dissolution of any law suits and move our needed efforts forward. I strongly advocate for moving forward immediately with a general beach site plan that does not include a new building, but preserves its current location for future use, and utilize the county money to upgrade the necessary amenities on the beach so that all (including the elderly and disabled) residents may have access to our great beach.
Our residents deserve to see action now. They also need to be encouraged that their city government is working hard to find resolution on the building itself.
Monday, October 27, 2008
- Starting blocks installed incorrectly. Can't attract swim meets.
- Two diving boards in contract; 1 meter and a 3 meter-- only one used 1m board installed.
- Pool covers used to retain heat were made for residential pool--won't work on a competitive pool as they are too lightweight and will also blow off in a strong wind.
- Heater not connected.
We paid Greater Bay in full but not everything is complete per resident who uses the pool. Who is watching the store? Don't we pay our "project manager" $125 an hour to watch over OUR interests?
How could the Post Review Board choose Commissioner Jennings on one hand and then pick Commissioner Vespo on the other? Don’t they know that these two people are politically diverse in every regard? Their main focus in the interviews was on our beach and going with the Sheriff's Department. Both these candidates are on the opposite end of the totem pole on these issues.
The Post has laid off (in buy-outs) close to 300 people or more right now and their subscription rate has been dropping every year for years according to the Post. More and more people are reading the news on-line.
Hint folks—do your own homework here. Vote OUT Dave Vespo. Vote in Varela. Vote for Shelley Vana. Vote NO on 99 year leases too!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Our C.O.P. volunteer, self professed know it all top COP, will have a lot of trouble fitting into this smaller sized C.O.P. car with all that bag of wind he carries around. Don't get too close to his car with a cigarette butt. This guy really LOVES to hear himself ramble on with the voices in his head.
Can you imagine a real COP being judge and jury, harassing private citizens and making assumptions that someone is always guilty without checking out one fact--ever? Thank God for us all that he just plays at being a COP. He is just another example of what’s wrong with this City.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
While out canvassing today, my friend and I ran into a real live drug dealing place….5 buys in less than 3 minutes while we were close by---broad daylight. Perhaps they know the Sheriff doesn’t work during the day in Lake Worth. Criminals are usually smart and just the fact that they were dealing right in the middle of the morning tells a big story. They are afraid of nothing.
We went to report it all to the police. Guess what? The police station was closed. We called on the phone and got routed to Gun Club Road I guess and ended up with a recording. Called back and got a live person who said no one was there in that department on the weekends. We then called the Mayor and he had some clout—we actually got a Sheriff to call us back for a report.
Do you think the criminals are scared?
Sunday, October 26, 2-6 PM
At the original Wellington Mall
in the southeast corner of Forest Hill Blvd and Wellington Trace
The Mid-County Democrat club invites you to join a celebration of voting: RALLY FOR CHANGE!
Election 2008 is an exciting Presidential election, but in addition to Barack Obama and Joe Biden, there are many local Democrats that will appear on your ballot as well. Here's an opportunity to meet local, county and state Democrat candidates for office up close and personal, as well as representatives from the Obama/Biden campaign.
A sampling of already confirmed attendees are Congressman Robert Wexler; candidates for Florida State House of Representatives: Joseph Abruzzo Dist. 85, Bryan Miller Dist. 83, Rob Ostrov Dist 87, Mark Pafford Dist. 88; Michael McAuliffe, candidate for Palm Beach County State Attorney; Shelly Vana for Palm Beach County Commission Dist. 3; Susan Bucher and Bob Margolis candidates for Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections; and many more.
No admittance or parking fee. Complimentary food and beverages provided. Sample Ballots and a ballot scanner will be available for practice plus answers to voting questions by a representative from the Supervisor of Elections office. First time voters welcome! You could even win a cruise if you buy a raffle ticket!
Bring the family Sunday, October 26, 2-6 PM at the original Wellington Mall in the southeast corner of Forest Hill Blvd and Wellington Trace and let's Turn Florida Blue!
* Bring your completed Absentee Ballot with you and we will hand deliver it to the SOE office
Let's Turn Florida Blue!
It has been reported that the average economic stimulus payment or income tax refund that has not been claimed amounts to $2,431 in Palm Beach County. That is a lot of money, folks!
Better hurry if you want your money as the deadline is December 31 this year.
ON LINE FORM
Friday, October 24, 2008
Meet and Greet Rene Varela
Candidate for Commissioner District 4 who wants to be your first
Where: BROGUES, LAKE AVENUE, L.W.
When: THURSDAY OCTOBER 30
Time: 6.30 - 9.00 pm
FREE PARKING… LIVE CUBAN MUSIC… A LA CARTE CHEF'S CUBAN SPECIALTIES AND DOWN HOME MENU…NO ADMISSION
ALL WELCOME !
Pd Pol Adv paid for by Lynn Anderson independently of Rene Varela. This advertisement was not approved by Rene Varela.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Zeroscaping or xeriscaping?
Whatever it is, someone decided to turn in Commissioner Jennings’ house to Code Enforcement. I guess they did not like all those native plants and succulents she planted to create natural looking gardens using native plants of Florida. Oh yes, and the Commissioner wants to save on water. We are on a one day a week watering cycle! Channel 12 was on the scene and did a segment on it last night.
I have to admit, I like the traditional green, lush grass. I can’t figure out what’s a weed and what’s a flower when I look at zeroscaping but it just shows that Commissioner Jennings is ahead of the curve when it comes to water conservation. She was recently given an award for Florida Friendly Yard which is landscaping set to nine guiding principles which help protect natural resources and preserve Florida’s unique beauty.
She has implemented planned management of our precious resource (water) at her own home, setting an example. She says, “My yard doesn’t look like everybody else’s but more and more people are doing it.”
Why not have something that’s a conversation piece, plants native to our State and help save water at the same time?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
General Election 11/04/2008
|District Court of Appeal|
|Vote For 1|
Shall Judge Mark E. Polen of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office? NO
We are outraged by this Judge's decision to deny the people the right to petition. He has literally allowed the developer to have the rights over the citizens in their own neighborhood and have allowed every developer to stick it in the face of the people throughout the City of Lake Worth.
"Judge Polen is obviously voting with the special interests. I am outraged by the behavior of Judge Polen putting the welfare of special interest groups ahead of the interest of the citizens," says Katie McGiveron, President of Save Our Neighborhood, Inc.
We recommend voting NO on November 4.
CLICK HERE FOR 4TH DISTRICT COURT'S DECISION
The Circuit Court's decision was reversed and remanded with directions.
What I can’t really understand is WHY.
Why did Commissioners Jennings and Golden not get the Greater Bay situation on the Agenda at last night’s meeting? Greater Bay had to have a Site Plan submitted by October 17 after years of delays. This was the DEADLINE. It didn’t happen. Greater Bay did not perform. Anyone surprised?
The only surprising thing is that the two commissioners who have been looking after the interests of the citizens of Lake Worth in this regard along with Commissioner Lowe last night, allowed, once again, to be jerked around by Mayor Jeff Clemens and Commissioner Vespo in caving in to Greater Bay--allowing them to have another chance at this bad deal for Lake Worth.
The clock is ticking and if we lose the County money it is the Commissions fault, not the bad choice it made when choosing Greater Bay Construction.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
SITE PLAN NOT SUBMITTED ON TIME.
At 5:08 on October 17th, Corey O’Gorman submitted a landscape plan for the beach and Greater Bay Construction. The landscape plan was attached to the original conceptual plan from a few years ago.
Calling Greater Bay---Where are you? No Site Plan. Nothing, nada, zip.
Passage of Amendment 1 would remove the following phrase from the current Article, pertaining to property: “…except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law.”
So let’s see here—“aliens ineligible for citizenship”
What does that mean exactly? Illegal aliens, alien terrorists, criminals, etc? WHAT??? Legal aliens can already buy property and now they want us to vote YES to allow illegals to own property in the State of Florida. Who thought up this one? Hey, look…liberal is liberal but let’s not get ridiculous. Sounds like the National Association of Realtors is behind this one---maybe mortgage lenders---perhaps all those other builder groups I have spoken about previously. You guys just can’t get enough.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Not too many people have ever seen this view looking south from the 2nd level of the Casino Building. This is where our lifeguards had an office. Over 70% of our lifeguards were laid off but prior to that, the City decided to make its case that the building was unsafe. Thus, they kicked the lifeguards out and spent $45,000 shoring up a building that they plan on demolishing in March. Well, why not? It’s not money out of their pocket, right?
The lifeguards don’t have to worry any longer about an office and those who are left, pretty soon you won’t have to worry about a building either, if Commissioner Vespo gets his way. He has promised to demolish the Casino by the end of March 2009.
The Greater Bay/Lake Worth contract was signed November 26, 2006 AND financing on the project was due 90 days after or on February 26, 2007. The lawsuit filed by McCauley/McNamara was filed in June 2007.
The Mayor as well as Commissioner Vespo keep on saying that it is the law suit holding up the beach project. This is a great excuse to blame two citizens on something that the majority on the Commission (Clemens, Vespo and Lowe) clearly allowed to happen—NON-PERFORMANCE BY GREATER BAY. The citizens have nothing whatsoever to do with Greater Bay’s silence on its lack of performance.
The Mayor and Commissioners Lowe and Vespo have said that they plan on destroying this building at the end of March. They are determined to do this. You can trust them when they say they will raze this Casino
Was the Site Plan submitted on time?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Town of Palm Beach voted last week to hire a company, HSA Engineers, to test the West Palm Beach water that it buys to ensure that it is safe. The results of this test will come back to the Town Council in December. Lake Worth will be interested in those results. Lois Frankle has authorized millions to be spent in order to improve West Palm’s water. The City takes 233 samples each week to ensure that its water is a good quality and that it tastes great for its 125,000 customers in WPB as well as the Town of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach.
In sixteen days we will have a new City Commission in Lake Worth that will revisit our Reverse Osmosis System and the present Commission’s decision to go with Palm Beach County at a cost of multi-millions of our money to the tune of $14-$15 million dollars wasted when they ended our RO System, spending $18 more million with PB County. What IS going on?
Mayor Clemens said, "I will NEVER drink West Palm Beach water." Soon we will find out if he was right.
There are a few out there trying to make a case about candidates receiving money from out of town contributors. Well, we can’t expect much more when our local elections got moved from March to November (another brilliant decision from the last administration!) and a big percentage of our voters are still out of State, not arriving until usually after Thanksgiving. 75% in my community are not in residence.
This is one of the main problems with moving the election. Snowbirds. So, I wouldn’t make too much of the out-of-state money conspiracy theory. Don’t waste your time thinking about it. Look instead at all the PAC money or money from special interest groups. Now that might be a story!
I received Bob Kanjian’s advertisement yesterday and there was no surprise when I read he was endorsed (which means he received money from) by the Construction Association of South Florida, Associated Builders and Contractors, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Citizens for Economic Growth, Floridians for Smarter Growth, and the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, to name a few of the very same organizations that are fighting desperately to defeat Florida Hometown Democracy and have poured millions into that defeat. These are the same groups that defeated the SuperMajority by 119 votes along with the Power Grab folks right here in Lake Worth.
In order to get the best government that we deserve, we all need to really see the light and reject those candidates who take the money from these special interest groups that have had a stronghold on our State, our County and our City for far too long.
Let's start at the top of the ballot and vote Democrat. Vote for Shelley Vana on November 4 for Palm Beach County Commissioner District 3 and you won’t get “snowed.” Vote for Rene Varela for Lake Worth Commissioner District 4 and get good, fiscal responsibility without a snow job or someone beholding to special interests.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
It just proves that power and money can buy you a Congressional seat and even buy you “love,” temporarily. Let’s hope the voters have more sense than Tim. Tim didn’t even have to work hard for this one but he still managed to screw it up, big time. What a dope.
Tim Mahoney on his multiple affairs--
"First of all, it's not my decision. It's going to be up to the voters. You know, what I did was wrong and, you know, it's going to take a lot of work to build back my relationships with my daughter and my wife and ... to make that better.
"But at the same time, you know, I have not violated my oath of office, nor have I violated any laws. And if you take a look at my work in Congress, people have recognized the quality of the work. . . . I have delivered real results for people."
BUT TIM, THIS IS EXACTLY THE REASON WHY WE DON’T TRUST YOU, "YOU KNOW." You took an oath when you married. You violated that sacred trust. Why should the voters believe you won’t betray them also. Do you really think that we are stupid, Tim? Give it up, Tim!
I don’t remember the exact date that we signed over our 20 acres of beachfront to Greater Bay but it was in July 2006 that the Agreed Upon Business Terms was signed by the parties. Our City turned over our valuable land to a contractor who had NEVER had any experience on developing anything of this magnitude and still has not to this day. The City NEVER really checked them out. The City never visited one project that Greater Bay had developed. And the City did not even know that Peter Willard had submitted a bio that said he was with the Willard Group, Inc. when in fact his corporation had been dissolved. They also stated that Rampart Properties would be the property manager on the new building. This was checked out at the time and Rampart told me that they did not service this area. (They are located in St. Petersburg)
Greater Bay has been involved in building a Starbucks, a day care center, some schools and a Holiday Inn. They have not performed under the terms of the Contract for over two years with the City of Lake Worth. This contract was for a lease of 20 years minus one day. It has already been over two years. How long will this go on? Our City Attorney Karns let them off the hook on their financing because of the “law suit,” forgetting that there are TWO law suits, one filed by the City AND HIM against the citizens who want to vote on the zoning change. Two private citizens filed suit to save our beach and there are some in our community who have forgotten that. Why? Because it has been going on for so long and $55,000 later on the legal suit.
They were supposed to have a Site Plan submitted by October 17 after coddling them for 2 years. Did they? And if they did, why was the public not there? According to the City of Lake Worth web site, there was a Site Plan Committee meeting on Tuesday at 9am. Was this for the beach? How come this was not announced to the public, the very people who are affected?
What sneaky stuff is going on?
Friday, October 17, 2008
DATES: OCTOBER 20 - NOVEMBER 2
Hours: Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.
Saturday 10:00 am. - 2:00 pm. / Sunday 10:00 am. - 2:00 pm.
BE SURE TO TAKE PHOTO I.D.
All PBC Voters may vote at any of the 11 polling sites regardless of your residence.
Early Voting Sites Close to Lake Worth
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS MAIN OFFICE
240 S MILITARY TRAIL, WEST PALM BEACH
WEST BOYNTON BRANCH LIBRARY
9451 JOG ROAD, BOYNTON BEACH
BOYNTON BEACH CITY LIBRARY
208 S. SEACREST BLVD., BOYNTON BEACH
Lake Worth needs a burgeoning business community that is comprised of Lake Worth residents and caters to Lake Worth residents. If we are to complete this community, we must find ways to create good paying jobs employing residents, create businesses owned by residents, and patronize resident owned businesses. This capitalizes on the desire of most people to stay close to home, but more importantly, keeps Lake Worth dollars in Lake Worth, thus providing more revenue for a brighter future for our city and residents.
The key to a successful implementation lies in several principles. We must:
- Leverage Experience to incorporate the best knowledge and solutions
- Remove Barriers to entry of good businesses
- Stabilize Communities and Government
- Create a Desirable City Brand that highlights Lake Worth’s strengths
Thursday, October 16, 2008
"Crime stats are not the way you measure your agency's effectiveness," said PB County Sheriff, Ric Bradshaw.
Crime is down 4.4% County wide according to the above article in the PB Post today and Lake Worth saw a drop of 10.3% in the first six months of 2008. That's BEFORE going with the PB County Sheriff's Department.
“Overall crime rates increased most in Riviera Beach, which saw a 14 percent increase compared with the same period last year. Several cities patrolled by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, such as Royal Palm Beach and Pahokee, also saw hikes in overall crime rates.”
Perhaps all of you have a different idea as to the “perfect” campaign flyer. I know “Andy Rooney” of Lake Worth does. The styles this year are noticeably different and are as unique as each candidate.
The most important element to a flyer is making it visually interesting. Is this something that will catch the eye at first glance and want to make the recipient read more? Size, colors and leaving enough blank (white) space are very important. Don’t make it too crowded. Some candidates think that bigger is better. Personally I like the smaller flyers and reluctantly and even sometimes never read one that has too much information.
For unity, repeating an element is important. Each flyer should have some of the same elements as the preceding one. Something should be repeated on the back side that was on the front side. Don’t ever mix too many fonts, colors or styles. Personally I feel that a flyer should be able to stand alone whether you are reading the front of it or the back of it. Tie in the design of your flyers with your signs.
The layout of the flyer is most important. You really should be consistent in your alignment and group similar items together. Also, photos are a must. People want to see what the candidate looks like as well as his family. If you have a few photos, group them together if you can, not spread out all over the flyer.
You don’t have to tell voters everything about yourself or everything that you have done or everything that you will ever do. You ask the voter to visit your web site for detailed, complete information and solutions. First impressions are very important.
KEEP IT SIMPLE and you won’t look stupid.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Date: October 15, 2008 1:21:16 PM EDT
To: "Pamela Lopez"
Subject: amended October calendar of scheduled meetings
Please note the cancellation of the Oct. 28th CRA mtg. Effective
October 1, the CRA will hold one regularly scheduled meeting on the 2nd
Tuesday of each month. A workshop meeting may be held, if needed, on
the 4th Tuesday of each month.
What's wrong with this picture?
I have talked about signs before. I like this sign. In fact, it is one of my favorites of this election. It stands out. It is readable. The colors are great--purple? dark blue? and red. It is eye-catching. The only problem with it is--it does not tell you what District the candidate is seeking for Commissioner. It is left up to the reader's imagination. This must be on the sign per election law. The disclaimer on the sign tells you but you can't read it.
The candidate just produced a flier that has neither a disclaimer nor does it tell you for what office she is running. ILLEGAL.
Next, the sign is on public property. ILLEGAL.
Sorry, Suzanne. Other than all of the above, I like the sign.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This second Forum (South Palm Park) was much more interesting. Perhaps it was because of the questions (not prepared in advance but taken from the floor) and the candidates had one under their belt. There was no microphone but it worked well in a room where just about every seat was filled.
Dave Vespo had a startling comment on the casino proposed by Greater Bay when he said, “It’s not much bigger than what’s there right now.” Dave! I have Doubts about Dave.
Failed Commissioner responsibility?
1. The Commission, consisting of Dave Vespo, never met with then City Manager Paul Boyer or outside consultant Corey O’Gorman to give them direction in the negotiations with Greater Bay and its attorneys.
2. Although Commissioner Vespo ran on fiscal responsibility, he failed to ask for an independent financial projection for the Greater Bay project.
3. Commissioner Vespo agreed to the “Agreed Upon Business Terms” and never made an attempt to any counter proposal favorable to the City.
4. Commissioner Vespo allowed Paul Boyer to negotiate a “revenue-neutral” deal on the beach even though we will lose millions of dollars over the term of the lease.
5. Commissioner Vespo allowed an assignable lease. The developer can “flip” it or sell the project on a project that is clearly over 20 years.
6. Commissioner Vespo allowed the zoning to be changed at the beach from Public Recreation Open Space to BAC, a commercial zoning. This zoning was changed to accommodate the developer.
7. Commissioner Vespo voted to sue the citizens rather then allow the residents of Lake Worth to vote on this zoning change at their beach.
8. Dave Vespo now, in his opening remark on the beach last night said, “The casino will be demolished by April 1.”
9. Commissioner Vespo, still to this day, does not believe that the citizens have a right to vote on their beach and wants to knock down a building that has not been declared structurally unsound by any engineer.
10. Four candidates out of six say that the Greater Bay project is a bad deal for the City, and I agree.
DO YOU HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT DAVE?
Monday, October 13, 2008
Help eliminate blight—eliminate all political yard signs and illegal political billboard signs in Lake Worth
Every election we go through the same things—
1. Signs placed on the swale or public property, not on private property
2. Signs placed too close to the sign next to it.
3. Too many signs on a property
4. Political Billboard signs that are on public property--PROHIBITED
5. Signs being removed by opponents campaign workers
6. Signs covered up by an opponent’s sign
7. Signs tacked to a utility pole, etc.
I say eliminate all signs within the City of Lake Worth. They just cause further blight.
A fact of the matter is, every candidate is given a packet of instructions and information when he files for office. Political Action Committees get one also. We know from several years ago that Billboard political signs are prohibited under our law. If candidates don’t know or care about the basics of running for office, then I ask, is this someone we want to elect?
Commissioner Vespo got a certified copy of our signage law from the City Clerk dated
Remember these Doubts About Dave on November 4.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Clearly, many problems exist with each service, mainly as a result of historical negligence, but we must redouble our efforts to save these resources as a key to our future. In fact, our capacity to generate electricity and water are the largest potential revenue generating capacities that our city possesses.
What is required is the vision to see our future through these services, the persistence to root out all of the waste and revenue streams already available, and the will to change our current destructive path so that we can move toward a brighter future. Without these vital services, the Lake Worth can not map its own uninhibited path toward much needed progress for all of its residents. For a better future we must:
Restore Vital Services to economical and functional viability
Revitalize all existing external water and energy service providing contracts
Ensure that existing contracts maximize returns for Lake Worth
Innovate to make our city energy and water generation profitable rather than a burden
Alternative water generation methods must be employed
As South Florida wells dry up, Lake Worth becomes an important supplier
Encourage community and home generation of alternative energy
Taking the burden off our generation system
Transition city to alternative energy generation
Removes financially destabilizing effect of world petroleum market
Friday, October 10, 2008
431 N L Street was broken into--again. This is City owned property that is blighted and situated in a drug infested environment. There are continued problems at this location.
Palm Beach County spends a big percentage of its budget on the Sheriff, and we are now counting on the men in green to solve our run-away crime problem. Where is anyone when you need them? Dave?
The Candidates spoke last night at the first Candidate Forum of the election season. The room was decorated with Obama signs and Save Our Reverse Osmosis signs on all sides. It was packed with enthusiastic supporters of their candidates. The Mayor and Commissioner Golden were there but I did not spot Retha Lowe. Everyone had their ears opened to what each and every candidate had to say. The questions that were prepared in advance by Club officers/directors Jim Kelly, Herman Robinson and our Club President, Harvey Millstein and asked by a former candidate in District 4, Barbara Aubel, did not seem to follow the letter that was sent out to the Candidates and were unclear to a few. But, all in all it was a good night.
There was no clear winner in either District in my opinion. It’s a toss up as to whom got their points across best and who convinced the best.
Cara did a great job presenting her accomplishments. I have to give John Jordan a lot of credit at age 82. He was on point with what he wanted to talk about and he is always someone I like to listen to as he tells it honestly, taking no prisoners. My favorite line of the night was Mary Lindsey’s when she said that Jennings has had her time…”the only Ordinance she got passed was against the Iraqi War and that’s still going on.” Great jab. Slam dunk.
District 4 was interesting but not as much as District 2. Mulvehill, the motivational speaker, got in some of her motivational bullet points: “empower the people,” “listen and respond.” It sounded like she has helped everyone out there to be a success. Varela stayed on point and underplayed his accomplishments. Vespo gave his campaign rhetoric. One totally amazing thing he said last night when asked about the Commission interacting with the various Boards and neighborhood associations was “we almost disbanded the CRA due to a communication gap.” Doubts about Dave are getting more prevalent every day.
I am looking forward to the next forum. What about you?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The next time you see Dave, ask him about all these decisions he made for Lake Worth and why we are worse off today than we were 2 years and 9 months ago when he took office.
DOUBTS ABOUT DAVE
are growing by the day!
The driving force to the successful management of any city is a fully verified and dependable budget. This city has survived for far too long without accurate accounting of expenditures and measuring cost-effectiveness of its efforts. Forging ahead to a better future must first begin with creating a system of timely, accurate, and transparent reporting of the city’s liabilities and assets. In an effort to effect such a change, I will demand:
Demand Timely Audits
• Performance-based milestone disbursement of funds for audits
• Call for state review and audit immediately after the deadline has passed without an audit presented
Open up entire budget no less than 3 months prior to submission
• Renegotiate all long-term agreements in favor of Lake Worth
• Re-evaluate utilities mandate and pricing scale
• Re-evaluate and negotiate all taxing districts within the city to find reasonable balance
• Evaluate efficiency measures in all city departments for cost savings to residents
• Apply targeted technology to increase efficiency in city reap savings for residents
Close General Fund Black Hole
• Institute departmental self-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness
• Require quarterly budget analyses to be reported
• Require quarterly report to the public with expenditures and product produced
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Right now, he is 7 percentage points ahead of John McCain in Florida. This has all been caused by this horrible disaster in our financial markets.
Can the Republicans come up with a miracle in time to save McCain as well as our country? Can you even imagine voting for McCain when he wants to privatize Social Security?
1. McCain Voted for Bush’s 2006 Social Security Privatization Plan
2. In 2000 McCain Wanted to Divert Social Security Money to Private Accounts
3. McCain STILL Proposes Privatizing Social Security—Despite What His Website Says
4. McCain Might Raise the Retirement Age and Reduce Cost-of-Living Adjustments.
5. McCain Supported Deep Cuts That Put Social Security Benefits at Risk
6. McCain Voted to Use Social Security Money to Pay Off National Debt
7. McCain Voted Against Protecting Social Security Solvency with a Strategic Reserve
8. McCain Voted to Replace Social Security with Risk-Based Investments
Don’t forget about any of this 27 days from now on November 4. It is time for a change!
Financially, we are in a mess. All these bums who caused this financial crisis got their $700 billion bailout. Who has it hit the hardest? The middle-class taxpayer and the poor, that’s who. The very same guy whose job has been out-sourced or eliminated and the guy who has been paying into that 401k that is now down 40%. You and me. All the Seniors living on a fixed income whose investments are assisting them in order to make it in this world for the rest of their lives. That’s who. Everyone is hurting.
Rachlin LLP, the company hired to do our audit for 2007 for $170,000, finally got it done! Most every city around had theirs out in March. Ours has never been out in a timely fashion since they were hired 3 years ago. Mayor Clemens asked if they could possibly get the audit out earlier and the Accountant gave all these excuses. He did report, however, that we were in good shape: We have $6 mil in an account here, $5 million in an account there and another $2 million over there. About a month ago, Mark Bates told me we are not bankrupt. I was a little skeptical. But now I find out that we have a lot of money sitting around while we downsize and stop services and our electric rates will go up. We always seem to find the money to pay these consultants outrageous sums.
The Auditors asked and got a 7.6% raise from last year and we will now be paying them $183,000. When asked where this money would go, we were told for salary increases of 6 to 15%. I looked at the man next to me and we both went, “Wow!” at the very same time. The Commission approved to hire the auditors again-- no bid, no more questions. Take our money and run boys.
There has not been much financial oversight on the Federal level and at our local level the Commission approved almost $1 million dollars last night that was on the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Vespo says that we just can’t manage anything. How dare they vote to give away our assets, terminate employees, give-away our public transportation (Boynton Beach now owns our Trolleys), hell-bent on giving away our beach and the list goes on and on.
Everyone can come into Lake Worth, ask and get what they want for their services and we say, “Gee, can you go a little easy on us because we just can’t manage anything?”
It is time for a change!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
It seems that Arthur Anderson, Supervisor of Elections, has been in hiding since he lost the Primary and top Democrats and Republicans are worrying about what to do. The Palm Beach County Commission is seeking legal advice as I write. We can't afford anymore fiascos in Palm Beach County.
One of the techniques prevalent in the market is Short Selling. This is done by a lot of savvy investors, hedge funds, etc. to protect their long term investment or “hedging” their bets with offsetting positions. In a nutshell, this is what happens:
1. A Broker lends you the stock
2. You sell the shares and the proceeds go into your account
3. When the prices go down, you then buy the stock at a lower price
4. You then return the shares that you “borrowed” to your stock broker
You end up making money (sometimes small fortunes) on something you never owned. I have always thought that those who short sell are a big cause of a market downturn, not the only cause but one to consider. The market can be manipulated by smear campaigns by short sellers. Also, why allow someone to make a big profit on something they never owned? This never made any sense to me.
I don’t know what happened to our market. To blame it all on the sub-prime mortgage industry, who knows?
Glenn Becks says: "Our current crisis was caused by politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, who perverted the American Dream by treating home ownership as an undeniable right rather than what it really is, a privilege. President Bush aggressively promoted the benefits of home ownership through various policy positions including a reckless down-payment initiative for some homebuyers and praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac even after concerns about their accounting standards began to surface."
Donald Trump blames it all on the price of oil and he is actively buying property.
Right now analysts are looking into what caused this financial freefall.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I hope that the voters tell Commissioner Vespo on November 4 that we can maintain our property and it is our elected officials duty to ensure that. We need to elect people who believe in our City and hire the right people to do the job rather than handing over our City to anyone who asks.
PB County never was told that its request went around our Charter. Since Lake Worth didn't bother to tell them, let the people tell them. Vote NO on November 4.
There is only ONE reason why I am against a lease over 20 years, 20 years less one day, because it is in our Charter... something that was voted upon and agreed to by a big majority of Lake Worth residents. By voting to go around our Charter every time someone wants us to do so, takes the power away from the people who already said NO to anything over 20 years.
A 99 year lease is just an arbitrary time span beyond the life expectancy of any possible Lessee or Lessor. You might just as well deed over the land and get some revenue off the property. A lot of damage can happen in that long of a period. We voted in 20 years minus a day to have that control.
The City needs to take the citizens seriously. We voted on this and we have spoken. Those who wish to lease our public land or public buildings, especially at $1 a year or some other ridiculous amount, should construct leases that will be easily renewed if they are good tenants. Tenants should play within the rules set up. The City should also.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thanks to John Jordan, Candidate for Commissioner District 2, who called in the tip--People at the Lake Worth Towers are worrying about their Meals but now, it seems, they have to also worry about their WHEELS!
Last night, thieves committed Grand Larceny when they came at night under a brightly lighted lamp post and stole all four wheels and tires from a resident's car parked in the Towers' lot on Lucerne Ave. Aside from causing a lot of dents and grease on the car, they were neat thieves, putting the car up on cinder blocks. Their mama taught them right.
Uh, how much did we pay for that Sheriff?
Saturday, October 4, 2008
This is about loyalty oaths. I would wager to say anyone who grew up in our school system took a loyalty oath by saying the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and to the United States of America. Loyalty oaths are required by government officials as well as members of the armed services. All those who joined an arm of our government took one, even if they were their “own man.”
When you are an Officer or a Director of a Political Club such as The Lake Worth Democratic Club, there is a Loyalty Oath that you take, that you sign and one in which is notarized. It is a prerequisite for becoming an Officer. Mark Alan Siegel, the legal arm of the Democratic Executive Committee, says this:
This is not a question of your natural rights; this remains a free country. No one forced you to be an officer of a Democratic Club. You chose to be one and in exchange for that responsibility you agreed not to support any non-Democrat against a Democrat in any race for non-partisan office. You can (and should) free yourself of this restriction by resigning your office, if any. If you do not hold a club or other party office requiring the oath, then you are free to do as you wish, even as a club member.
If anyone does not agree with this, and if loyalty oaths can’t be adhered, it is that officer/directors’ right and obligation to step down and become just a member of the Club or drop out totally. This has nothing whatsoever to do with being another puppet and not making up your own mind as to where your values lie.
The values instilled in me were a direct result of what happened way back then--pay cash for everything when you can--but there has been 79 years from then until now and once again, greed got the best of us. Everyone wants instant gratification and all the material things that they think will make their lives happier. Whose fault is this?
In 1933 the founder of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Senator Carter Glass, was the primary force behind a bill entitled Glass-Steagall Act. This was a strong bill brought about because of the Wall Street crash of 1929. He and the government ultimately did not want to see anything like that happening again. A system was set up dividing commercial and investment banks with the purpose of curbing the use of their deposits should there be underwriting that had failed. In 1956 the government enacted the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, another bill to reduce risk in the financial industry.
The U.S. Congress in 1999 repealed the GSA that eliminated the restrictions between commercial and investment banks with the President saying that he wanted the free market and the banks to regulate themselves. My Republican friends say the Democrats are at fault for the crisis we are now in. I say we ALL are at fault.
Times haven’t changed that much. What happened then are the same things happening now: banks have been too speculative; banks and financial institutions are greedy and made high risk and unsound loans. Citizens bought what they could not afford. It was all about “me.” We can’t control our greed or regulate ourselves. Whose fault is this? We all now must suffer the consequences. Are you crossing your fingers?
Friday, October 3, 2008
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years.
These nations have progressed through this sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith
from spiritual faith to great courage
from courage to liberty
from liberty to abundance
from abundance to selfishness
from selfishness to complacency
from complacency to apathy
from apathy to dependency
from dependency back to bondage.
-- Alexander Fraser Tytler (1742-1813)”
The above was from the web site goofigure.com. It was sent to me by former Lake Worth Commissioner, Scott Maxwell and I thought it was extremely interesting.
Right now with the recent $700 billion bailout, with the main purpose of unclogging the credit markets--passed in the Senate and now in the hands of the House to vote on an updated version by today--we are at the Apathy to Dependency stage of the democracy cycle. Also, our country is officially 232 years in existence. That means we have survived 32 years over the world’s average. That’s like saying “she lived to the age of 90”…10 years past life expectancy. The absolute fact of life is that we all die and according to the stats, so do democracies, a supreme power held completely by the people under an electorate system.
The oldest Democracies:
The government is subsidizing farmers for not growing food; corporations are outsourcing jobs to make more profits; CEO’s are robbing the shareholders blind with corporate packages that are so far out of line it makes you sick, citizens apply for disability when they are physically fine, and the list goes on. Mortgage lenders and financial institutions are the direct cause of this latest crisis. The average citizen has to take a lot of the blame when he buys a house he can’t afford, buys an expensive car, buys designer jeans and charges everything to credit cards, maxing them out, and perhaps even filing bankruptcy. The government putting other priorities before
We all have to pay for this financial crisis caused by dishonesty and greed. The question is, can greed be stopped and can we change the culture of this democracy? It might take tough times to shake us back to reality. It very well could be the difference of our survival.
Last night while walking on
As you witnessed last night, Sarah Palin was terrific. The momentum that McCain had been losing because of the Media and Tina Fey’s portrayal on Saturday Night Live of Sarah, was turned around by a stellar performance.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
As far as I am concerned, both the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and all political parties have a lot to be desired. I probably say that because I consider myself a conservative Democrat and know that no one group has all the answers. Those who are so strongly committed one way or the other to actually go so far as to be rude and insulting have to make me skeptical and wonder if they just forgot to get enough sleep or eat their Wheaties. Don’t get me wrong—you have to fully understand who you support and why but sometimes there really is a fine line of distinction. I thought Hillary and Obama were closely aligned as to thought and policy. Hillary had the most experience and the most prestige. I don’t know how the power play worked to defeat her in the Primary. It more than likely was the big lie and the press doing its dirty deed.
Locally our Democratic Club is going through a crisis of major proportions. The Parliamentarian of the Democratic Executive Committee has told the Officers and Directors that their loyalty and support, even in a non-partisan race, must be with Democrats. PERIOD. There are some in the Club who are fighting that tooth and nail…won’t resign and want to continue on as if all is well and pretend that they don’t understand the By-Laws or that the rules have not been clarified to their liking…some who still support Republicans. The thought process is, if no action is taken then the problem will all go away; we all will forget about it. They should form a Republican Club.
We are a wonderful yet dysfunctional city filled with some dysfunctional people who might mean well most of the time but are part of the problem all of the same. You have to know where your loyalties lie and it’s not with the "enemy," not when you have taken a Loyalty Oath to support Democrats and not when you can’t talk a problem through without total character assassination and someone blaming it on your hormones. We have still, a long way to go towards perfecting just plain civility and good old common sense.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The P.B. Post has written about residency requirements (Oct1) on a few occasions.
When we think of ethics in government, we think of the bigger than life things—the reasons why officials go to prison. But ethics can be the little things, like an elected official who skirts around a residency requirement, hiding where he really lives. Ethics is what makes actions right or wrong. If an elected official covers up something that seems so innocuous, then what else is he capable of? Bad behavior begins with the benign and can grow like a cancer.
Politicians, corporate CEO's, doctors, lawyers and all people should have a code of ethics. Would you trust your life to a doctor who did not practice under a code? We should not entrust our country to politicians who do not adhere to a personal code either. The little things are important and telling about character and who we can depend upon.