Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Then and Now--Conan the Barbarian or Arnold the Meek?

Why not spice it up a little? Indulge a senior citizen.

Well, he still looks pretty good but age is catching up to Arnold as are bad decisions in the State of California. What worked ok years ago when Arnold said "if it bleeds we can kill it," is singing a different tune today as the State will be out of money in less than two months with no options.

Arnold is still spouting his political rhetoric—Here is an example of his latest:

“Linking hard-working people (referring to the illegal immigrants in California) to economic strife could lead to atrocities, crime and executions just as it did when Nazis governed Germany.” (Arnold is from Austria, a country of only 8.3 million people—California is nearly four times larger in population than Austria)

What worked for Governor Schwarzenegger years ago is not working now. Times have changed and millions of people are simply walking over our borders becoming a burden on legal Americans. Now here is a State with a deficit of over $21 billion and each year it is spending anywhere from a reported $5 billion on up to $15 billion a year on illegals. No matter what you read on this monetary figure, it is always different because you never can get the truth from government when they want to minimize the problem.

He doesn’t think the spending on illegals is a problem which actually should be his number one priority to solve. He should be "terminating" this cancer of illegal immigration and walking down the aisle at the State Legislature as Conan the Barbarian instead of Arnold the Meek.

Rare bird trying a comeback

With declining population, the Woodstork is on the endangered species list. Yesterday's front page of the Post had a great story on the Woodstorks' return. Even as protected as the Everglades is for our wildlife, only 12 baby Woodstorks survived in 2008. Environmentalists are very excited about the comeback of this bird which was due to our long drought this Spring.

The Woodstork is rare to see here as most are migrating and breeding north of Lake Okeechobee. Development in south Florida has driven them further and further north and what was once a population of 20,000 pairs 80 years ago dropped to as low as 2,500 pairs in the late 70's.

The Florida Homebuilders Association, the anti-Florida Hometown Democracy group, wants this magnificent bird taken off the endangered species list so that they can resume their building anywhere they choose.

I saw three of them yesterday morning right in front of my residence on Lake Osborne. They were under the shade of a Palm tree. It truly was a magnificent sight.

P.S. Don't forget Yes on 4 in 2010.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New appointees to Planning & Zoning


Linda Davis
Ron Exline
Lynda Mahoney
Robert Waples
Manuel Occhiogrosso

Ruthie Madoff, the little woman

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Unlike Tammy Wynette, Ruthie did not stand by her man today. After 50 years of marriage, she just didn’t know this guy afterall. She didn't even show up at Court. She was just washing that man right out of her hair.

As her husband gets 150 years for the crime of the century, Ruth pretends like she knew nada. Ruthie Madoff was Bernie’s bookkeeper but SHE KNEW NOTHING. Ruthie gets to keep $2.5 million in cash. What happened to that $15 million she pulled out of a brokerage account just days before he was arrested?

Bernie baby, she wasn’t worth it. And you got what you deserved!

The changing of the times

"Justices Rule for White Firefighters in Bias Case

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that white firefighters in
New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of
their race, reversing a decision that Sonia Sotomayor, a
Supreme Court nominee, endorsed as an appeals court judge."


It really is "what's right"

Sid Dinerstein's Letter to the Editor

It's rare when I agree with Sid, Chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, but today he hit it on the money. This goes back to my message of yesterday: it is not the messenger but the message.

Sid talks about the over-paid government workers who are also protected by Unions that have caused our problems in today's climate. The County wants us to pay more taxes but they can't say "no" to the real cause. It reminds me of the Joan Oliva raise of last year of 10%. We were not against Joan. That never was the argument and the majority of the CRA did not understand that, for some unknown reason.

If the County wants to charge xx amount in taxes, and increase them by xx percentage, then every top County employee on the payroll should take that same percentage in a pay and benefit cut. That might be a start.

The Wrong Message

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Paperwork erases Glades score. Read about it HERE

Dick D, one of our Lake Worth High School alumnus' sent this link to me this morning. This is one way to skin a cat. Because the Glades school is an alternative school, it somehow got to change its grade from an F to an A. The school got to "work" the system.

When I was a student I always thought it was the teachers. If they were good, we would learn something; if not, we would be mediocre. I was in a school system in New Jersey that was ranked top in the nation at that time. Kids got motivated by grades, not football. We didn't have cell phones and the like to distract our attention from the goal. We had to dress very conservatively as well. My ninth grade math teacher told me not to bother taking algebra--I would never grasp it. I had to take it for college. The next year, I walked back to the Junior High School (High School was 10th, 11th and 12th grades) and showed him my report card--an A. I hope that he learned something that day.

Now, with the illegal immigration situation that is predominate in some of our cities that are ranked poorly, kids can't even read or write English and have a problem even in their own language. Children come from homes where parents are not focused on their education as previous generations have been. I believe now that it is the students' fault and the parents' fault. The rest of the problem stems from too much text messaging--too much lack of attention to education--too many students coming from families that have been in entitlement programs...the wrong message growing up.

Some of you in education may feel differently. Let's hear from you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hysterical Arguments against Florida Hometown Democracy

Great article by Jane Healy from the Orlando Sentinel on the hysterical arguments against Florida Hometown Democracy that will NOT cut the mustard.

She says, "The truth is, the strongest argument against Amendment 4 is that it conflicts with representative government, in which elected officials make the decisions they were elected to make. But that must not make for good campaign slogans."

Read the rest of the article HERE

Keep in mind--Yes on 4

Solar energy at your house

This is something that our present commission has touched upon. We need to look into renewable energy alternatives. Commissioner Jennings is a big advocate for this. Although solar is costly, there are some incentive programs through the State and Federal governments. It is feasible that you could get anywhere from 60 to 90% of your initial costs reimbursed.

Lake Worth Utilities is too expensive. We have our own power plant and charge more than a public company. Why? I hate to keep harping on management but that is what I look at first when costs are much higher than they should be.

The Commission took the first step by making the correct decision to exit FMPA but that will take five years. In the meantime, FMPA is trying to commit us into paying for two nuclear plants in Levy County and their general counsel threated us with high electric costs. I guess he didn't realize that they are too high already.

Let's start talking and learning more about solar.

“It’s not who’s right; it’s what’s right”

While glancing at the Funeral Notices this morning, the thought occurred to me that all of these people were special-- not only because they probably loved and supported their families, or they gave back to their community, or they fought in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting in five combat zones but just because each and everyone of them was unique in what they brought to this world. They all had their “what is right” and “what is wrong” lists for life.

We know that there is good and evil. Sometimes it is easy to discern because of the circumstances of the act itself. Someone commits a heinous crime, there are consequences; it is an evil act. In the case of Lake Worth, if good is what improves the community then evil is its opposite. For people to neglect their properties allowing them to go to blight, is bad for our city. A can of paint doesn't cost much.

To know the difference of good and evil can only be decided by your inner self, by wisdom and information…not by those who are feeding at the trough. Is it right to build 100’ in the air if the majority of people want lower height restrictions? Is it right that the CRA has decided what our city will look like and now has directed tax dollars in a direction undecided by residents here? Is it wise, as an example, to allow people to cross our borders and cause the legal citizens here untold problems even to the point of ruining the oldest high school in Palm Beach County? Is it right to believe that all people, regardless of their circumstances, deserve the best life possible in this world? Who is right? In the case of illegals, you must revert to the laws of our land.

One gentleman who just passed on was 83 years old wise. Under his photo today there was the quote entitled for this blog. This is the underlying premise that should be considered all of the time before we make judgment. Because someone has advocated for something different than yourself, should not put them on your Hate List to ridicule and harass until the end of time. It’s all about what is right…what is correct…what is just…what is legal…what is fair. As there are, more often than not, two sides to an issue, it is often about compromise--but it should always be about what is legal and what the legal residents of our city want. And if an opinion does not hurt anyone else, that person is entitled to it.

As we all try to work out and work through our problems in Lake Worth while gearing up for the forthcoming election, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on what is right—not who said it, not the person who may not fit into your role of perfect or someone you may not want to invite to Sunday dinner—but what they said and what they believe to be right. Ponder the “what is right.” Do not base the future of our city on whether you will financially benefit as a developer, a Realtor, or the Chamber of Commerce. Do not base it on whether you don't personally like someone because they are different than yourself, are outspoken, flamboyant, take action or do not fit into your mold. Base your decision on what is smart for our city overall and the legal citizens that those decisions affect the most.

That would be the wise thing to do as not everything is black and white, good or evil, but for sure, it is not who is right but what is right.

Can't Take Smart out of Stupid

"Stupid growth" has been around Florida for decades, brought about by the same building, real-estate and banking industries that make up most of the membership of the Chamber of Commerce, that work as part-time state legislators and local commissioners. They are the supporters of the misnomer "Floridians for Smarter Growth" — the same group that played a huge part in getting us in the mess we are in today.

Read more of the article by Dori Sutter, Winter Springs, in today's Orlando Sentinel.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Everyone deserves affordable health care

Answer to Wes on Sunset

I speak for myself on ALL issues. This is my opinion; this is my commentary and it is all based on facts pertaining to Sunset. This is not "hyperbole" as Mr. Blackman would like to suggest. There is absolutely NO exaggeration here. The "other side" always likes to imply that you are a lying SOB when you don't agree with their point of view.

Mr. Blackman was the head of the Planning & Zoning that voted against Sunset. Now he does have a friend who lives in that neighborhood who goes along with anything Mr. Blackman professes. It is nice to be loyal to your friends but it is not nice to be disloyal to your entire neighborhood. That is ALSO opinion.

Planning & Zoning is not God here in Lake Worth although at times you would not know it. It has been allowed to get away with unbelievable variances and waivers and even demolishing historic properties. It continues to allow the owner of the Gulfstream Hotel to hold up, indefinitely, the opening of the hotel which could have been opened nearly four years ago, the day the property changed hands.

Hopefully on Monday night, all that will be changed when the new Commission has the opportunity to appoint new members to that Board. Also, I want to mention that Phil Spinelli originally voted with the residents of Lake Osborne Heights when the issue came before P&Z years back. I also want to mention that our Mayor, Jeff Clemens, has said publicly that this Sunset project does not belong in that neighborhood. The entire present Commission has agreed. That is NO hyperbole!

Thirst For Water Power Point

Is the Commission losing its Power?

To comment, click on title
Comments up

Economic growth through development should exist hand in hand with good environmental policy that protects what is valuable about our State for generations to come. When it comes right down to it, we are most concerned with our immediate environment first, our own neighborhood. Afterall, if we don't solve these development issues at a local level, we will NEVER solve them throughout the State.

So the same thing can be said about our City and how it grows and where up-zoning developments are allowed. When the decision was made to up-zone a single family neighborhood by annexing in the Sunset parcel, the Planning & Zoning Board only considered one owner and not the 450 residential owners in the neighborhood when it elected to do so. It never considered the Comprehensive Plan that is our bible. The politics on the commission at that time, voted with the one owner and allowed it. Their thinking was, "well it too is residential and it will give us more tax base if we can double the number of units there." It was 100% political, based on a ridiculous reason and no consideration of the residents and the Plan in place. They (Planning & Zoning and the Commission) could have cared less.

The University of Florida recently did a study that found over the next several decades, development will need all (yes, I said "all") of our land in south west Florida. Our farmers are selling out for high prices. Our birds are disappearing and so are many of our animals. Clean water is a scarce commodity and paved over land by development prevents water from filtering down to the aquifer. Builders just want to continue to build while some of us are trying to make some sense of it all as reports say that our water supplies will just disappear some day. We are literally running out of what sustains life itself--water.

There are developers who would love to get their hands on this

The Everglades used to cover over 4,000 sq. miles and today it is one half that and much of the water is polluted with nutrients and our wildlife habitats disappearing. Developments have been encroaching on our Everglades. Here locally, we have a developer who wants to change our single family residential neighborhood and build townhouses, something totally inconsistent to the neighborhood and a project that is not needed. There are 3 million empty housing units in south Florida. More and more foreclosures are happening every day and our city is in the process of foreclosing on properties throughout Lake Worth.

The Commission was told by its own hired attorney that the Sunset parcel was contract zoning (ILLEGAL)...that it could easily be changed because it is a police power of the City...that the amendment was not effective and that the owner has not made further applications for a site plan approval or other City approvals necessary for development of the property. In other words, all he did was buy the property before he was granted any approvals including annexation approval. The investor took a business risk; that's all it was. The 450 residents of this neighborhood had no idea that they took a risk when they bought into this neighborhood that is zoned Single Family 7 because the Comp Plan assured them differently. They had no idea that a majority commission or politics could turn the tide on their investment and their lives.

There is NO Bert J. Harris taking here as there are no grounds and the City's paid attorney told the Commission that, told the P&Z Board that and told the City Manager that as did Richard Grosso, land-use attorney.

Our Comprehensive Plan, adopted on January 20, 1998, was signed by then mayor Tom Ramiccio and commissioners, Retha Lowe, Bo Allen, Jose Sosa, and Lloyd Clager. Regarding Single family 7 in Section01.01.03.01, it says:
"Future development in the single-family residential category shall not exceed densities of seven dwelling units per acre."
So, who is bending staff's ear? Why can't the City staff follow the Commission's direction and get the zoning and Land Use Map changed on the Sunset parcel? Five commissioners voted with the neighborhood and now all we get are stalls and different information depending upon who is lobbying staff this week. We even have the present Chair of Planning & Zoning, John Paxman, against the neighborhood and its desires. We ask, "why?" We have a P&Z Board that just complains when a Commissioner wants to change something in the Comp Plan before submittal to the DCA. We again ask "why?"

Is the Commission losing its political power? If not, why is the Sunset parcel dragging on with no change to the Land-Use Map and all promises unfulfilled all these months later?

P.S. Vote Yes on Amendment 4 in 2010.

WPBF on Lake Worth High

In case anyone missed this segment on Lake Worth High School, Channel 25 last night, I have posted the transcript as well as video below.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Message from former principal of LW High School

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Dear alumnus or friend of Lake Worth High School--

Today's Palm Beach Post carried a story regarding LW High receiving a letter grade of "D" from the State. The story stated that the school was one of the worst in the State and is in danger of being closed or taken over by the State. This came as a shock to everyone, especially the principal and staff who had worked very hard expecting to raise the C grade of 2008 to a B in 2009.

It is also surprising to see the State take such drastic action as the school has been a C school for the past 3 years while other schools were rated lower for 3 or more years without drastic action being taken. The only explanation I have for that is that the State changes the rules every year. Politicians control the school system and we all know what a great job they do.

The bottom line is this: Lake Worth High School has a tremendous number of immigrant students who come to America without any formal schooling even in their native land. In other words, they are not literate in their native language.

We introduced magnet programs in the 1980's to bring students from other schools in an effort to offset this influx but other schools increasingly initiated magnets of their own. This meant students were no longer coming from other areas of the county as their neighborhood schools now have the same programs. Add to this mix the fact that more immigrants continue to move into our boundaries. Net effect is that Lake Worth High now has, primarily, students that are "Their own."

I support our principal, Dr. Ian Saltzman, and his faculty 100%. No one could have worked harder than they did throughout the school year. A new Chief Academic Officer who has a track record of moving schools has joined Superintendent Art Johnson's staff and will be working very closely with the school next school year.

Lake Worth High is the oldest school in Palm Beach County and has had its share of ups and downs. We will survive this and bounce back, believe me. We are blessed with a great principal and faculty. We also have wonderful students who desperately want to learn, graduate and be gainfully employed. These students realize that an education is their key to success. Six students from the class of 2009 have received scholarships to attend Ivy League schools. No one could expect more from our teachers.

Hang in there and continue to support your alma mater. Better days are a'comin! Once a Trojan, always a Trojan!

Dave Cantley
Alumni Board Member and President of Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Foundation
Principal 1980-1999

History of Illegal Immigration

Obama introduces steps to Immigration Reform.

Rubio gets Huckabee endorsement

The far right Mike Huckabee says that Marco is sick of government hand-outs, that they are hurting our economy. So are we. Why then, does Marco shy away from the illegal immigration problem in our State, a problem that is costing legal taxpayers a big fortune? Why?

While a guest on The Ed Morrissey Show, he said, "I am for securing our borders, and I am not in favor of amnesty." However, Border Control Now, a group that has been tracking him, says just the opposite. Who do we believe? Marco's voting record or the illegal immigration watchdog, Border Control Now?

The Nut keeps falling from the Tree

ACORN International now has changed its name to get away from the negative stigma it has experienced over the last year. Now it will be called Community Organizers International.

This really is a joke. I worked for a public company that did this very same thing, not once, but several times. Upper management thought by changing the name of the corporation, it would be able to continue fooling the public as their plan was to continue to rip off the investor. They were no different than Bernie Madoff. The ineffectual SEC allowed them to get away with it. Shareholder value kept going south as they raped the corporation. It didn’t work. The company eventually went out of business losing billions of investors' money.

It will be the same with ACORN. A name doesn't change your morals, your integrity, your corrupt ways. With the same old management, renaming and re-branding will do no good and they will only be fooling themselves by thinking they are fooling us. These people have learned how to milk and abuse the system for far too long.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Love Lake Worth

Denial of Settlement on legal fees

Dismissal of Law suit

The Lychee

I don't know how I have gone though life never having tasted a lychee until yesterday. It must be that I don't frequent Chinese restaurants? This is an amazingly sweet, fat little fruit tasting similar to a grape. The taste is actually sweeter and quite perfect. After looking it up on-line, Florida is the lychee growing capital in the United States. I don't recall ever seeing this fruit. If you haven't tried one, call Wes.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson has died.

Read the report

LW High barely passes with a D

Comment up

A lot of you saw the article days ago ranking Lake Worth High School as a "D" school. Here is the latest article--
No wonder they want to do away with FCAT.
Article from June 19

Howard Park

Howard Park

This park is named after D.D. "Dad" Howard, the City's first Superintendent of Streets and Public Improvements in West Palm Beach. This is a 13.8 acre campus and includes: tennis courts (7 clay and 2 hard), shuffleboard courts, a walking trail, ball field, basketball courts, playground, pavilions, and picnic areas...also a few dog parks!!

Naughty at dog park last night

Even a pet pig was at dog park!

Are you a "racist?" Your local Socialist movement on the go

A message from a local activist and frequent jailbird who says if you don't accept illegal aliens wholeheartedly, you are then a "racist." Anne Braden was married to a Socialist, Carl Braden, who was convicted of sedition and sentenced to 15 years in 1954.

Support Anti-Racist Organizer Training
July 3rd, 7-8pm: Soma Center, 609 Lucerne Ave, Lake Worth, FL
July 5th, 6-8pm: Society of Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse,
Donations Appreciated

This fall, local activist Lynne Purvis will be leaving us to participate in a 4 month anti-racist political education and leadership development program in San Francisco. The Anne Braden Program is designed to support the vision, strategy, and organizing skills of white activists in becoming accountable, principled anti-racist organizers building multiracial movements for justice. Before she leaves, Lynne wants to speak about her upcoming training, the need for anti-racist organizing here in Lake Worth, and how everyone can be involved. Lynne would like to gauge interest in setting up reading/study groups concurrent with her training. Donations toward the cost of her program will be greatly appreciated.

The Anne Braden Program is put on by the Catalyst Project, a center for political education and movement building based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We organize in majority white sectors of social justice movements with the goal of deepening anti-racist commitment in white communities and helping to build multiracial movements for collective liberation. We do this by creating spaces for activists to collectively develop deeper political analysis, vision, strategy and organizing skills. Our work is based in the belief that all people have a right to dignity, housing, food, healthcare, meaningful work and healthy communities. We organize with the understanding that anti-racism can be a catalyst for challenging all forms of oppression and creating fundamental change.

For more information, contact Lynne at lynnejpurvis@gmail.com or 561-588-9666.

Thanks and hope to see you there.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah passes

Florida Times Union

Speaking about Florida Hometown Democracy now that Amendment 4 is on the ballot in 2010-- "That would mean that the developers who have controlled city, county and state officials like puppets for decades would no longer be the only kingmakers. The people whose lives are impacted by growth run amok would also have a powerful voice."

Read more about it--
Be Wary of Ballot Trickery

Today's News

Comment up

Florida Power & Light wants to charge its customers 31% more while its CEO, Lewis Hay III, received $11.5 million last year in compensation. Certainly sounds fair.

State Farm says “no way.” It wants to be unregulated and to be able to charge what it pleases to homeowners for property insurance. They are getting out of this ungrateful State and will discontinue 1.2 million insurance policies. Can they please take their other insurance business with them too?

A roaming bear traveled across our State looking for berries and got sedated near Southern Boulevard. Over development in our State has caused stress, confusion and harm to our wildlife. This bear will be relocated near Georgia. Let’s hope the developers don’t track him down and decide to build.

Governor Mark Sanford of S.C. along with John Ensign, Senator from Nevada, lose the possibility of running for President because they got caught with their pants down. What we do for “love.”

All those worried about Global Warming don't need to afterall. When it happens, if it ever does, Planet Saturn might be our future destination. It was discovered that one of its moons has an ocean underneath. Water!

Paris Hilton, blogger, called a Black Eye Pea member a “faggot.” He got decked and now he has sued for $25,000. Remember, he’s the one who brought down Ms. California for answering a question honestly about marriage.

The PB Post reported that Associated Industries (builders) lied about Florida Hometown Democracy and that its web site STILL has false information on it. Also they said that the Chamber’s revocation drive to get people to rescind their signature on FHD petitions violates the rights of the people to petition as well as the integrity of the ballot.

The PB County Commission spent a week on Marco Island at taxpayer expense for a conference to keep up on homelessness, transportation and energy reform. Isn’t the County laying off record numbers of employees and taxes are going up. Won't these decisions possibly just drive former employees and citizens TO homelessness, cars repossessed and unpaid high FPL bills?

Amendment 4 debated this morning at 11am

John Hedrick with Florida Hometown Democracy will be matched against the Chamber's Adam Babbington. You're welcome to call in to the show in addition to listening-here's the link to find the show:

Program details

Launch the Player

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PB Post Editorial on Florida Hometown Democracy

Sometimes the Post is right on the money; this is one of those times!

Blogger blows hot air

Comment up
He seems to spend an incredible amount of time dissing everything I say even to the point of making stuff up...a compulsive obsession. All this hot air might just set his pc on fire. Whatever you do, don't stand behind him. If you recognize this blogger call Tall Tales Anonymous or his doctor so that eventually he can be allowed back into the world of rationale. And tell him to pull up his pants.

Our water situation

The problem:

The City's existing water permit expires on January 11, 2011 and has a current allocation of 2,765 MGY for water from the Surficial Aquifer which was reduced to 2,124 MGY. The South Florida Water Management District further reduced our withdrawals to 5.28 MGD but we use 6.2 MGD's a day on average.

Our well field is located one mile west of the Intracoastal Waterway and we have the potential for saltwater intrusion.

What to do?

Build our own Reverse Osmosis System. There is a Grant available from Stimulus money in the amount of $2.5 million and we have a chance at it. In order to get this Grant, the Commission must vote on going forward with our RO system at the next Commission meeting as it must be submitted by July 12 in order to qualify for any grant money.

Also, the Safe Yield Study must be done and will be key to the renewal of the City's Water Withdrawal Permit. Brown and Caldwell won that bid for $49,928.

The citizens already conserve on Phase III restrictions and we can't expect them to reduce further.

PB Post article

Irrigation schedule for Lake Worth

Maya, learning to dive

Florida Hometown Democracy is the ONLY way to save our State

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Until the middle of the last century (that makes it sound like a long time ago which it is not), we were the least populated state in the nation. Air conditioning opened up our state and we now have over 16 million residents. Immigrants found us because of the warm climate and beaches on all three borders. We have received over 3 million new residents in the past 10 years. We get over 60 million tourists per year. We have the highest percentage of elderly of any other State. They come here for the same reasons—great weather and a nice lifestyle.

Illegal immigrants have doubled in the past 10 years and it is predicted that water use will rise by 30% by 2020. The water source in central Florida will dry up in 5 years. We lose between 7.3 and 17 million gallons of water per day as more and more of our State is being paved over. We are losing the Everglades, losing trees and nature and losing the opportunity to use the soil as replenishment for groundwater.

Florida Hometown Democracy will give the voters the say on whether land uses are changed in their communities and whether or not we want our State to die a quick death. We need the vote because our legislators have done a terrible job for the citizens of Florida.

Next year, Vote YES 4 Florida by voting yes on Amendment 4.

P.S. And let’s build our own RO plant right now.


Or this?
It's up to you

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Waaaaaaa the heck happened?

Comment up
Notes from the Special Meeting today at City Hall--Just notes, don't hold me to them.

Do you ever feel like you are back to ground zero? Or that you have experienced deja vu? That’s sort of how I feel after today’s meeting on our RO and on our Casino building. I will have to agree with Retha that it FEELS like 30 years since we have been discussing the beach/Casino. But let’s take it in order of how it was presented at today’s workshop meeting…a workshop where the public could not utter a word or even complain that it was held in the small conference room instead of the city commission chamber that would have accommodated the public as well as it being audio taped. The Mayor put us in our place telling us this was a workshop "for them" to discuss city business. There were a lot of comments that I wish we had on tape.


On May 5, 2009, Staff was directed to go forward with an RO plant. We had plans done two years ago by Mock, Roos,Engineers for a 4.5 mgd system that also included discharging concentrate into the ocean. We now know that discharging effluent into the ocean is no longer an option. Mock Roos wants to charge us $200,000.00 more to change the specs, downgrade the system to 3 mgd’s and get the plans up-to-date.

We got a short presentation by the Utility Director for a 3 mgd system. Why less mgd's than originally planned? We were told it is because we don’t need a 4.5 mgd--yet. We are now in water restrictions and that 3 mgd’s are sufficient to meet our daily demand through 2018, 9 years from now. NINE YEARS. Beyond year 2015, 6 years from now, we will need another water source to reach our peek demand. There is a grant involved here that may or may not be favorable to us.

There was a presentation made by a geologist, Steven Duranceau, PHd, PE, University of South Florida, Director of Environment System Engineering Institute, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering and Nanoscience who says—the only way that the City of Lake Worth should proceed is deep well injection. There are 114 systems in the State of Florida and most are using deep-well. Anything else would either not work or be too expensive. He says that our City is on the right track; he explained the benefits of deep-well; we can get it permitted and we can get it to work. He suggests that we get in now before regulations get tighter.

Then Commissioner Jennings says—“I am concerned about deep-well injection.” She is basically against it because of unknown factors and wants some other alternatives.

So, there we are on the RO. Where are we? First you say you do, and then you don't, it's undecided now, so what are ya gonna do? tra la la la la.


Last Fall, the Commission agreed to restore the Casino. We were supposed to get all these costs estimates and a financial projection on the rental rates and the income generated at the beach to see if we could go out on a Revenue Bond or have to do a General Obligation Bond. Eight months later, we have nothing.

City Manager Stanton had 10 points she wanted the commission to consider. She said that she would bet her next pay check that building a new building would be cheaper than restoring the present building. We already have one bid by Hedrick Bros. to build new for a 35,000 sq. ft building for $10 mil and an estimate by Straticon to refurbish the building that disputes her opinion. Mayor Clemens agrees with Stanton. I don’t know why he believes this when he sat in the same meetings that I did and testimony was totally different. Straticon even said at one of the last meetings on the Casino that he could build it for $175 a sq. foot and have a building in the 1920’s grandeur. So, if we build a 35,000 sq. ft building with Straticon, this comes in at $6.125 mil. As far as cost over-runs, we stipulate in the Contract that this is a flat cost. Bid it right.

Also it was said that we have no engineering report on the casino. Well we had at least four or five but these are the latest that I can remember:

The Lakdas Report that WAS done from observation

The Dunkelberger Report that used a Windsor Test Probe. No danger of eminent collapse...no catastrophic structural failure...Needs maintenance.

Straticon brought in Nutting Engineers that drilled 10 inches into the test area structures, with 3 inch diameters to test the salt and chloride in the cement. They tested the strength. Remember, this was poured concrete and this building has lasted since it was built in 1922 other than some spires and roof and some upper decking. This was done around the parameter of the building.

Not one report said that the building was structurally unsound.

Next comes Commissioner Jennings now worried, once again, about Global Warming and what might or might not happen 100 years from now building on the Coastal Construction Line.



Basically what happened here was City Manager Stanton wanted to make Elaine Humphrey’s the new City Attorney and give her a six month's trial. The hire of a city attorney is a function of the City Commission. The City Attorney answers to the Commission, not to the City manager. It is imperative that the City Attorney not be chosen by the City Manager as these are two separate powers and one will keep the other in check. After talking about an assistant city attorney position, Ms. Stanton said that the City Attorney’s staff was hired by her. Commissioner Jennings stated that the Commission had the powers to hire all attorneys under our Charter and even read the Ordinance.

One citizen who thought I was sleeping through various parts of the meeting was heard to say, “She might be able to get the trains running on time but she might not be able to get them going in the right direction.” Now, staff will weed out the various 80 resumes that have been received, pulling out all those with municipal law experience. The Commission will get a chance to interview qualified applicants, as well as Elaine Humphreys.

I personally like Elaine and find her very enthusiastic and like the idea of hiring from within for all the reasons Commissioner Mulvehill stated. However, this is one of the top jobs in our broken City and we need to be sure here.

Gulfstream Hotel and Celi's Appeal

Even when you get a majority vote as did Charles Celi last night, you lose.

Last night’s special meeting on whether to grant Charles Celi’s appeal was longer than I anticipated. Jennings, Golden and Mulvehill really gave the entire situation a lot of thought and voted to grant his appeal and to reverse the approval of the Planning & Zoning Board regarding Schlesinger’s request for a time extension on the Gulfstream Hotel. The vote was three to two with Clemens and Lowe dissenting.

The owner continues to get time extensions and the hotel sits there, empty with nothing getting done. Last night it was because of the economy but no proof was presented to the Commission that the owners can't get financing. We are supposed to take their word. It is always something with that owner who is allowed to get away with it. You would think that the Mayor has a pony in this race because he is always contemptuous of Mr. Celi and he acts like Judge Judy. He even had to pass the gavel last night as his face got more red.

As pointed out last night by the owner’s attorney as well as the Mayor who harped on it over and over again, the decision was whether P&Z had enough information at the time to render a decision on that particular extension. That was ALL it was about according to them. How do you know if the P&Z had enough information? This owner changes his mind more often than I change my sheets. It had nothing to do with the fact that Schlesinger has been playing the system so that he does not have to do anything with the property with change after change from the original approval given in December 2005, Now, it was brought out in testimony, he has yet another plan—a different plan than what was approved last night on the time extension.

This is one big bad joke on this city and the Mayor and Retha Lowe continue to play this sick game.

The other twist was when Celi jumped up after the meeting and said, “I lose again.” The entire dais looked at him incredulously. "What do you mean? " He then said, “Jeff, you know that it takes a 4 to 1 vote on an appeal.” He didn’t. I didn’t. No one did. Even the City attorney was silent. It just shows that Celi is honest and looking for an honest shot at this deplorable situation. Jennings, Golden and Mulvehill tried to give it to him.

Blackner letter to the Editor on Florida Hometown Democracy

Read the Letter to the Editor in today's Palm Beach Post by Lesley Blackner.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't forget; the Gopher needs us too!

Ryan Houck does not have a "smarter" plan.

We did it!! Florida Hometown Democracy will be Amendment 4 on the November 2010 ballot

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Monday, June 22, 2009, the Florida Division of Elections certified Florida Hometown Democracy's proposed constitutional amendment for the November 2010 ballot as Amendment 4 will give Floridians who are tired of government of the developer, by the developer and for the developer an avenue to change the status quo. We will be urging Floridians to Vote yes 4 FLORIDA--Give yourself a vote on growth

Blackner also wants to thank the many, many Floridians who have gotten this important reform to this threshold. “We all collected petitions, donated money, talked to our friends and family to make this happen. Now we have to make sure Hometown Democracy gets to where it needs to be: in the Florida Constitution.”

Blackner reminded Floridians to beware of the deceitful proposed amendment hiding under the name “Floridians for Smarter Growth.” "This ridiculous proposal pretends to give a vote on growth but the devil is in the details: voters get a referendum on a comprehensive plan change only if 10% of the voters go in person to the supervisor of elections office to sign a petition within 60 days of passage. It discriminates against many, many Floridians, including the home-bound and military deployed abroad, who are excluded by design from participating in any such petition process," she added.

California Dreaming

It is a real shame when I think about California. I dream of the way it once was. I always thought of that State as light years ahead of the rest of us. It was exciting to live out there right after the Height Ashbuy era. San Francisco back then was the most exciting city to be in other than New York. Here it was the home of Silicon Valley—the Apple Computer, Bill Gates and everything high tech that has and is changing our world so rapidly. Everyone was living the good life and paying their fair share of tax. Illegals had not found us yet...had not found the free handout and had not yet figured out the stupidity of our generosity and our unwillingness to enforce the laws of our land.

We had the migration of workers to labor on the farms but they always went back to their own country after the harvest. They were here to work and make a living but not to freeload off America.

What caused our most populated State with a $21.3 billion dollar deficit to be in fast meltdown mode? What caused the Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger to say—“Our wallet is empty. Our bank is closed. And our credit is dried up.”

Right now the Governor will be laying off tens of thousands of teachers and 5,000 government workers. Did they ever think about stopping the influx of illegal aliens to the State that is costing them an estimated $15 billion a year? The Governor wants to be remembered for budget reform but instead he will be remembered for coddling the illegal at the expense of his citizens.

Every State in these United States had better start addressing this problem or we will be next, right behind California.

In Lake Worth, it's ok to have bad taste as long as you know it's bad

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Is this really pretty?

The reasons why I like standards within a community--

Betty, Tom, and my good friend and sister PAC member, MaryBeth, whose house is purple and green if I recall and very cool, will disagree but actually, when it comes right down to it, I love Gated Communities. Gated communities are always beautiful and I always say that every time I see one, especially if it has a fountain out front. That will always get to me.

I like them not only for the sense of security you get but the community has set rules and standards that all homeowners must abide. You never have to live next to a slob. You never have to live next to a guy who runs down his house, paint chipping and fascia falling off, has weeds instead of a lawn, raises chickens, lets his dog run free and it undoubtedly finds your front lawn, or keeps his garbage out on the streets.

My personal goal would be to always have the community looking impeccable, beautiful and inviting. Landscaping is maintained, fertilized and all lawns are manicured and shrubs trimmed in well run communities. Trees are pruned when needed. There is a lot of attention to appearance. This is probably why I love living in a condominium community. It is run by people who care what the community looks like and there are rules and regulations by which everyone must live. That is why most people move into a condo. They don't want to live next door to that guy who never cuts his grass, throws wild parties and throws his mattress out on the street not even knowing his trash pick-up day.

A gated community is more peaceful and quiet and the communities tend to have very low crime. People put a top priority on beauty and security. There are color schemes that must be approved. And I say, thank God. You can not have a yellow colored house with red trim, as an example depicted above which is not Lake Worth. Thank God, again. Sometimes you have to have standards as there are some people with no taste (I'll be hearing from you on that one!) and it is always your bad luck that they move next door. Always. Standards ensure property values and enhance the overall appearance of the neighborhood.

Would you prefer this?
Somewhere up on N E Street I believe. Do you want to live next to this guy?

Or this?

To me, the most beautiful neighborhood area in our city is Vernon Heights.

If people would just take care of their properties even the wild colors might not be that offensive to me, but they DON'T! Right now, within the City of Lake Worth, the color standards for painting your house or business no longer exist.

When the paint standards were eliminated, it was all a pretense on individuality -- freedom of expression. It GOT you, didn't it? Sort of like Michael Singer's design at our beach--We want more green so let's design a survey to prove that's what the people want! It just gets at your heart strings.

What really was going on here when the city eliminated the paint standard was setting the plan in motion to cater to all those uninvited "guests" in our country who came from south of the border or just others who say they want to be "free"to do as they darn well please..."No siree, no one should have the right to tell me what color my house should be"...or those who want to call attention to themselves and got caught up in that individuality crapola. We all can fall for it.

Actually, I would kind of go for the multi-colored houses and the pink flamingo on the front lawn if the owners kept impeccable yards and took pride in their homes. Many of them don't.

The small, multi-colored cottages are really attractive-- but as learned at a City Commission meeting from one member of the public, grass is ONLY for the wealthy and she made the word "wealthy" sound like a swear word. It was the inflection in how it was said...wealthy, ugh...the implication being if you live like me you can be a part of my group, the people with inner knowledge, the only ones going to heaven. I am not sure if this citizen was against grass or the wealthy (I think it was both) but she was definitely only for her own preference of xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping? Do you want this?
Code should be called.
If I still lived in the house where I was raised, this is what I would be looking at on a daily basis. What is living under all those weeds?

or this? Directly adjacent to messy yard above.

We will soon be repainting our City Hall Chamber. What about a medium light lavender with light gray or white trim? Tasteful but colorful and it will go with our carpet and seats.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Special Meeting Tuesday, June 23 at 1pm

On Tuesday at 1pm there is a special meeting on the following:
  • Report by the Utilities Director on a Reverse Osmosis Plant development (1 hr). This will be on the size, financing, and deep well injection.
  • Update on the Casino (1-1/2 hrs) Our City Manager believes that this building needs to be protected and preserved
  • Budget update (1 hr) (no back-up at this time)
  • City Attorney recruitment process (1/4 hr) City Manager is recommending the elevation of Elaine Humphreys as City Attorney.

"Sunshine is the Greatest Disinfectant"--Inspector General fired!

Obama fired Inspector General, Gerald Walpin, for "no" reason. He was just doing his job investigating AmeriCorps money that went to a community group called St. HOPE Academy

The Socialistic ACORN tree

Banyan trees and the Schlesinger Stall

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Our Banyans have been here longer than
The Gulfstream Hotel

You don't have to travel to Sri Lanka, Paraquay or India to see interesting Banyan trees. Here are three right on the north side of our City Annex, probably growing for 100 years or more or at least as long as our Gulfstream Hotel has been in existence since 1925.

Now if we could just get the Gulfstream Hotel to open and have a place for tourists to stay, we could use our trees as a tourist attraction along with our fabulous waterfront golfcourse, our beach, Bryant Park and our vibrant downtown. We need a downtown hotel and we need THIS hotel to open.

Charles Celi's appeal is to be heard on Monday at 5:30 on The Gulfstream Hotel. Mr. Celi's lawsuit is not the holdup on why this hotel has not opened since 2005 when it was bought. Look to favorable decisions made by our own Planning and Zoning Board, allowing the owner delay after delay, extension after extension. It is wrong to want to add to an historical property and this is what Schlesinger wanted. This property will sit here until the market turns and then, who knows? Your guess is as good as mine.

In the meantime, we now look at containers on his property, an eyesore to our downtown. It is just one travesty after another--with the owner of the hotel telling the City to "stick it in your ear" and he has been allowed to get away with this, not only with his delay tactics on opening his hotel but using this property for something that is absolutely NOT allowed. The Code fine on this egregious violation is just a little slap on the wrist for Adam Schlesinger.

Which will live on longer? Our Banyan trees or the Schlesinger stall?

You didn't really think this was about trees, did you?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Take the Poll - Article on Florida Hometown Democracy

Lesley Blackner says, "We just went through this binge growth where basically developers got everything they wanted, and what did they do? They ruined the economy and destroyed the fiscal health of local government. They've ruined the state, not only environmentally but I'd argue economically and fiscally as well."

Take the Poll at the PB Post on whether we should vote on long-term growth plans.

Hot night at Cultural Plaza - Evening on the Avenues

The kids, as well as their parents, had a great time with the Rita girl

This guy was going to need a little chocolate energy after wearing
this garb on a very hot and humid night

Rubio Crushes Crist in Straw Poll

Good news was reported for Marco Rubio, who's challenging Gov. Charlie Crist in the 2010 GOP Senate primary:

"Rubio won overwhelming support from Republican party leaders in Pasco County (around Tampa-St. Petersburg), which neighbors Crist’s home base of Pinellas County.

Rubio received 73 votes to Crist’s 9 votes in a countywide straw poll of the Senate primary.

That's a blow to Crist, who was endorsed by the country GOP when he faced a competitive primary in 2006. And it's consistent with the (anecdotal) gripes of many prominent conservative activists throughout the Sunshine State."

We know that polls, regardless of the numbers participating, are usually indicative of the feelings of the people. In this case, it was Republican Party leaders and they are supporting Rubio over Crist. The Democrats better get hustling because Rubio is picking up momentum, not just over Charlie Crist, and there is no one out there who has his charisma to get elected.

The City will keep its head above water by building our Reverse Osmosis System

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This morning I thought that I would sit down with a cup of coffee and take my time, relax, and read the Post. I didn't get past the editorial on Lake Worth water and the Mayor's statements. As I am hardly an expert on water and just a consumer like everyone else, I have been at every meeting regarding this subject. There were some glaring statements in today's paper that need attention.

We all know that water is considered our most valuable resource and essential to life itself. Believing that, I ask you would it be better to be a supplier of water, with the ability of selling it to municipalities who need it and containing the costs for our residents, or being a buyer of water and being totally dependent upon someone else for our water and its price, a cost that will always go up, not down?

A few years back when I learned that the City planned on dumping waste from the Reverse Osmosis System into our ocean, I immediately said, let’s cut our losses now and stop this. People jammed City hall and spoke in outrage that we could even consider doing something so vile as to contaminate our living reefs. Then the State DEP said that we could NOT dump effluent into the ocean—no more killing of our coral reefs. I then changed my mind again because we could use deep well injection whereby waste is pumped into deep wells where it is contained in the pores of permeable subsurface rock.

When we were given the scenario analysis of either buying our water from Palm Beach County or continuing on with our own Reverse Osmosis System, we were never given the option of buying emergency water from West Palm Beach while we finish our RO. It was not even mentioned. The PB County water was going to require us to spend $24 million in capital costs to interconnect with Palm Beach County which would amount to 2 MGD in 2009 and 1 additional MGD through 2012.

The interconnect was already in place from West Palm Beach and all we were going to have to do for emergency water needs was to turn on a valve. Cost? Nothing but the water itself. The continued insistence on buying from Palm Beach County because the Mayor did not like the taste of West Palm Beach water was incomprehensible. And I like Skippy peanut butter over Jif, but they both have the same nutritional value and you can get used to any taste over time. Lake Worth Media has written on the taste of West Palm Beach water and I even helped with a video on it which will only be used in an emergency and until we finish building our own RO. This is to be short term.

Building our own Reverse Osmosis system giving us initially 3 MGD’s and expandable up to 9 MGD’s was estimated to cost us $39.8 million. Note that this figure was at the original estimate given to us when costs were nearly double. The City has already been told that it would cost much less (anywhere from 25% to 40%) and the Mayor just continues to ignore that fact. Why have they not had the project rebid? What are they waiting for?

In either case, we, the citizens of Lake Worth will have to pay more for our water to pay for either PB County or our own RO and we are right now with new water rates in effect since April 1. We will be paying this increase for five years. The Mayor suggests in today’s paper that the increase of 80% in our water costs over this period is due to the cost of paying for our Reverse Osmosis System only, which is allowing us to be an independent supplier of water, not a buyer. He fails to mention, once again, that either way we elect to go, we would have to pay for it. He conveniently forgot to mention that we must also pay for the piping to be built providing us with Palm Beach County water. Why does he do this?

He also states that we don’t know whether we can get a permit for the discharge. I ask why has the City not applied for a permit? We were already told by the DEP that it will be NO problem, so why is this continually brought up by the Mayor who does not like the taste of West Palm Beach water. Just apply for the permit. What is the problem here?

There are some who want to be cared for from cradle to grave. We have seen our city literally give away our police and fire departments and outsource many other things with the reasoning that it is cheaper and will save us money. There are others who have vision and want to remain independent and say that to control your own destiny is better than having no choice at all.

The County took advantage of our City and we had elected officials who allowed it to happen. We now have a change on the dais and we need to go forward with our own water supply and take all the necessary steps to finish our own Reverse Osmosis System and buy emergency water from West Palm Beach. And once our initial investment is paid as a result of the decision made by visionaries on the dais to go with our own water system, this will allow us to always keep our head above water.

PB Post Editorial The Post says that some say the WPB water tastes "bad." Did they ask anyone who drinks it in West Palm Beach how they like the taste?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Two in Florida vote NO to E-Verify

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Allen Boyd of the 2nd Congressional District up in Florida's Panhandle and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Broward County voted NO today thus refusing to make federal contractors use E-Verify to keep illegal aliens out of jobs.

Why did these elected officials vote against giving federal contractor jobs to American workers?

Read about it here

Doing the right thing

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The City Manager in Largo, Florida, the city where Lake Worth's City Manager, Susan Stanton, used to be at the helm, just fired its police chief. The beef? An officer fixed a ticket, violating two policies, and the police chief did not fire him--gave him a 3 day suspension instead.

We like to see strong city managers who do the right thing. Perhaps Largo is just lucky in finding city managers with the right stuff (courage and integrity) as that same character trait was lacking in its elected officials in general who put our city manager through the ring.

Eyes Wide Shut

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Ryan Houck, Executive Director of Floridians for Smarter Growth (great title, doncha think?) a group that wants to build anywhere it desires in the State of Florida (move over turtles), does not want to be told by the residents that they don’t want urban sprawl. Oh no. Ryan doesn’t like that one bit.

Today he told the grassroots’ people all over our State to sleep with one eye opened because he and his bullies were coming after all of us who support Florida Hometown Democracy. Coming after the people! They don’t even like the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in Florida Hometown Democracy’s favor. Justice can’t even prevail with that guy. Another group, Associated BUILDERS (you notice I said BUILDERS) want to fight the Supreme Court's decision too.

Folks, builders do not want to lose their foothold in our State. They would rather destroy the Everglades first before that would happen. Anything for a buck.

Houck now says that he will use the same tactics as FHD. What are they? I would rather doubt that they will use the same tactics when his group, backed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and every builder alive are waiting to come out of the woodwork to defeat the people's movement, Florida Hometown Democracy. His group consists of the very people who want to build over every square inch of Florida. Why? For money. "The hell with Florida" is their motto.

The people have had it with over building in our State. Ryan never says where we are going to get the water. He never mentions that it costs every one of us MORE money, the more that they build. Infrastructure costs alone are mind boggling. The environment is sacrificed for their greed. The other thing that they never mention, are the 49 other states in this country where they could go and leave our State in peace. We would be happy to give them all a one-way bus ride out of town.

Tired of being bullied, the voters will take him at the polls, all the while sleeping with eyes wide shut, knowing that constant changes to our local Comprehensive Plans in favor of bad development are not what we want for our communities.

Read the article.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lake Worth Code Enforcement

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It might be difficult to imagine as you ride or walk around our city that Code Enforcement is on the job. I want to assure you that they are!

I was at my 2nd Magistrate meeting at City Hall with Alan Ruf, Attorney from Boca Raton who resided as Magistrate over the cases.

What prompted my interest today was The Gulfstream Hotel. As reported on previously, the owners are using this property as a staging facility for another project out of our city by storing huge containers, contents unknown. (Let's hope that the contents are not hazardous) This is against our City Code. They even have a security guard around the clock.

Security guard at an out building on Gulfstream property

If anyone has driven by the Gulfstream, you can't help but notice the containers on the property. Code Enforcement sent the owners, CSC Lake Worth LTD Partnership a certified mail on June 4th letting them know that the containers were against our Code and that their case would be on the docket today. The green card was not returned nor did any owner or representative of the property appear at City Hall today.

Therefore, the owners of The Gulfstream have 10 days to come into compliance. If they do not, a $100 day fine will be imposed. Also, they must pay an administrative fee of $275.75. The Gulfstream is considered vacant commercial property and is assessed at a value of $405,000 even though it sold for over $12 mil in July 2005. Taxes are $8,649.

Two people spoke from the public on this property and one said that $100 a day was not enough. I agree. The City of Lake Worth has bent over backwards for these owners and all they do is stick it in our ear.

I was very impressed with our Code Enforcement inspectors who spoke. They have an extremely tough job particularly when they must enforce the ordinances of our city on an owner who has lost her job and is trying to raise children and put food on the table. One such owner was there and I brought her into Commissioner Mulvehill’s office to see if any help could be found for her. Hopefully, there are agencies out there that can help people such as this owner as she can not afford to pay fines when she has no job.

One owner at 15 S. Palmway bought a property in 2000 which has one more unit on it than allowed by Code. I talked to the owner before the hearing and she told me that she has never been notified until she received a letter of a possible foreclosure proceeding by the City of Lake Worth. The property is in excellent condition, valued at $882,543 on the property tax roles and they pay $20,620 in ad valorem on it. Their attorney and our acting city attorney walked out together and I am confident that something will be worked out with them.

There were 75 cases, with a vast majority heading for foreclosure, that were heard this morning with code enforcement officers, Kerry Hurley, Michael Morabito, Joel Rutsky and Ronny Beltran giving evidence for the City. The files they keep on each property are impressive.