Friday, July 31, 2009

Sun setting on Lake Osborne

On the August 4 City Commission Agenda

Repeal of Ordinance 2005-53 to rezone 4.02 acres of land located at 826 Sunset

Repeal of Ordinance 2006-04 concerning a large scale amendment to the FLUM at 826 Sunset

Call for a referendum on Nov 3 to secure public recreation as the primary use of the LW Public Beach

Ballot Title: Securing public recreation as the primary use for Lake Worth Beach

Ballot Summary: The present Charter does not establish public recreation as the primary use for Lake Worth Beach. This referendum will assure that public recreation is the primary use of the City of Lake Worth Public Beach and that the ancillary uses, currently constructed and existing, on the City of Lake Worth Public Beach are protected and maintained.

Call for a referendum on Nov 3 to prohibit dredge and fill projects at the LW Public Beach

Ballot Title: Protection of Lake Worth Beach from dredge and fill type artificial nourishment type projects

Ballot Summary: The present Charter does not protect the Lake Worth Beach from dredge and fill type artificial nourishment projects. This referendum will protect Lake Worth Beach by prohibiting beach dredge and fill type artificial nourishment projects on Lake Worth Beach and by prohibiting the use of Lake Worth Beach as a means of ingress and egress for beach dredge and fill artificial nourishment projects adjacent to the Lake Worth Beach.

Also, Lisa Wilson is back on the agenda to give her presentation of The Lake Worth Resource Center, aka, The Mentoring Center, aka, Illegal Hiring Hall

Endeavour Lands

At about 10:45 or so this morning, there was a loud boom--it actually shook the windows in my porch. I thought it was a storm coming up until I looked outside. I was told that it was the shuttle coming back into our atmosphere. This is the first time that I can ever remember a sonic boom from a shuttle return. I guess that is what is was.

Chamber of Commerce Spotting

"But Susan, I HAVE TO HAVE THAT MONEY to operate
Evening on the Avenues
This is one of our most successful events!
What ever will we do?"

Tom Ramiccio's License tag.
Tom was sighted at City Hall waiting to meet with City Manager

The Sunset issue -- response to the Lake Worth Herald Editorial

Comment Up
Although the Sunset case has been going on for nearly four years, the local newspaper just does "not get it." This single family neighborhood would not have been mired in controversy if not for Nadine Burns who spearheaded this annexation, David Vespo and Retha Lowe on the Commission as well as the P&Z's, Wes Blackman and John Paxman, who were in power at the time. Blackman and Paxman are still for changing this neighborhood even though it was against our Comprehensive Plan to do so. This has all been political from the get go and The Herald is right along in that vein. You did notice Wes Blackman's face on its front page and the article announcing that Wes had written an Op-Ed piece for them appearing on page 6. Commentary is fine and opinion is fine but should it not have some semblance of truth?

The Lake Worth Herald referenced a law case as if it is something to be worried about in the Sunset issue. The differences in the case of Town of Largo v. Imperial Homes Corp as referenced in this week's Editorial section of The Lake Worth Herald and the Sunset case are as follows:

Imperial Homes entered into a contract to purchase property contingent on the property being rezoned to allow higher density. The Town rezoned the property and Imperial Homes then bought the property.

The owner of the 4.02 parcel already owned the property. The owners then asked to be annexed in and the zoning changed.

According to Nancy Stroud, outside counsel for the City, the Sunset owners don’t have the same complaint, “because Sunset did not wait to purchase the property contingent on the re-zoning, but purchased the property before it was granted any approvals including annexation approval. She goes on to say that until the FLUM is effective, the zoning designation is inconsistent with the currently effective County FLUM designation. She also told us that “it is highly unlikely that a claim would be successful based on actual use.”

If you were at the Workshop Meeting at the Compass building months ago, Ron Exline stated that the zoning/land-use was NOT in effect. Both Lang and Kintz were there. They knew it. Everyone there knew it. So, how do you change the facts?

In the Stroud report it is stated that—

  • The owner’s purchase of the property occurred prior to the 2005 rezoning, land use amendment and annexation agreement.
  • Even after the rezoning, annexation and plan amendment approvals, there was obvious controversy (“red flags”) about the approvals, including legal challenge to the plan amendment
  • The annexation agreement may be considered contract zoning on which the owner cannot legally reply
  • The rezoning is not valid until a consistent FLUM designation is effective on the property
  • There are no obvious expenditures for further permits or other costs since the original rezoning
  • The downturn in the residential real estate market substantially diminishes the market foresee ability of the use of the property for townhouses.

So, we must come to the conclusion that the Bert J. Harris Act is not a “strong card to play” as quoted by the Herald but rather a weak pair of twos by Lang and Kintz.

The Herald can’t understand why the City would put itself in the position of a lawsuit when the developers won in the Appellate Court. They won on the 5 parcel State Statute issue regarding the right to a referendum. This has nothing whatsoever to do with a law suit that could, but probably won’t, go before any Court for a Bert J. Harris taking. Two entirely different issues. Anyone can sue for anything; it does not mean they have a case.

Now, everyone knows that the Comprehensive Plan controls the permitted density. The investors who own this property were well aware of the contention, that there had been hundreds from the neighborhood speaking out. They should have known that zoning is a police power, not a “slight of hand” as quoted by the Herald.

The owners, as well as the Planning and Zoning Board, knew that this parcel was an enclave. "The total area to be annexed must be contiguous to the municipality's boundaries at the time the annexation proceeding is begun and reasonably compact, and no part of the area shall be included within the boundary of another incorporated municipality." In order to access the parcel, you must cross over a County Road.

As far as former City Manager, Paul Boyer, dying to testify on behalf of the Sunset owners because he hates the City of Lake Worth, I think Mr. Boyer understands politics. He has moved on with his life. Lake Worth is not and was not important to him. He has worked for city governments for a very long time. His firing was initiated by former Commissioner Nadine Burns, and supported by the rest of the Commission at that time, Dave Vespo, Retha Lowe, Cara Jennings and Mayor Mark Drautz. Mayor Drautz was not happy with the midnight hour for this surprise termination. Mr. Boyer was made to sit there for nearly 6 hours to be shocked by a motion made by Burns. It was extremely embarrassing to witness. People treat their dogs better. But the question is, how can Paul Boyer "nail Lake Worth?" For what? Will he also be hiring Greater Bay's attorney?

The City is now going forward to repeal the two Ordinances involved with this property. As any different zoning that might have been discussed has never been in effect; it is not "down zoning" anything. The owners never had the zoning. The present Commission, on proper reflection, has approved appropriate zoning based on the premise of preserving single family neighborhoods, something that Commissioner Lowe now agrees.

Hopefully the Lake Worth Herald will now understand the facts of the matter but then again, probably not. It is always politics that keep us from moving forward and doing the right thing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Homeless on a Jet Plane

Comment Up
Lynda Mahoney asked if I had heard the news last night regarding the Mayor of New York wanting to send the homeless to Florida?

In checking this out, it appears that Mayor Bloomberg defended a New York City program to send homeless out of the State because it costs $36,000 a year to house one...sending them on a plane out of State is cheaper.

Where do most want to go? Florida is a top destination choice. Do you think they've heard about Lake Worth yet?

The Nucleus

Comment Up

I am sure that some of you are aware of the little gang of hard boiled eggs within our city—you know, the ones who always carry an egg beater with them to beat you down no matter the subject and never have a civil word…the ones who always said that they were the vocal majority until they lost at the polls. They still think they are the nucleus of this City.

I look forward to hearing a couple of you at the debates. I sincerely hope that you understand the heartbeat of the city

which is not--

Encouraging more aliens

Encouraging more slum and blight

Encouraging more rentals

Encouraging more absentee landlords

Encouraging more waivers and variances to special interests

Encouraging more waste

Encouraging more out-sourcing

Encouraging more waive of bids on city contracts

Encouraging going with PB County Water as our main water supplier

Encouraging spending millions of piping to the County instead of getting WPB water for free as we build our RO

Encouraging the 24.kv electric

Encouraging higher fees for everything

Encouraging lousy customer service

Encouraging harder and more expensive methods/costs for obtaining public information

Encouraging city matters and decisions being discussed and decided upon out of the sunshine

Encouraging gag orders

Encouraging less accountability and transparency

Encouraging a CRA to spend money on highly questionable programs

Encouraging changing land-use and zoning for developers

Encouraging more and more people and groups asking for hand-outs

Encouraging no Ethics Policy

Encouraging more tunnel vision when it comes to what Commission they want to blame for all of this mess.

Sunset spotting

Spotted this morning at City Hall were John Lang and Paul Kintz, owners of the Sunset parcel, ready to go into a meeting with City Manager Stanton. The really smart guy in all of this was Ray Smith who sold the property to them for $1.5 mil. He is living on the other coast of Florida and totally removed, enjoying his retirement, not caring if the neighborhood is screwed or not.

Cost and Control

Comment Up

Remember when we were in the merging mode of our police to PB County Sheriff’s Department. A year goes by quickly. The issue for me was all about Cost and Control. It was never about whether the Sheriff would be better at the job or not. It was going to be the same 91 men and that was a guarantee that the same men would stay on the job here for at least the first year. The following are the costs for police:



2009…..$16,053,718 budgeted with $15,294,500 forecasted

2010…..$15,567,000 budgeted ?

Several neighboring cities just received Stimulus money for their police departments: Boynton Beach got $1.95 million; West Palm Beach got $1.79 million; Delray Beach got $1.36 million; Riviera Beach got $1.28 million; Fort Pierce got $1.14 million with 3 other cities received stimulus to avoid lay-offs and fill vacant positions. It is a fact that with more police visibility, crime drops. We have heard that is the case here but we never get stats.

If you attempt to drop by the police department after normal business hours or on weekends, plan on using the phone at the door that will connect you to Gun Club Road for help. We are now just a number--District 14-- with the same amount of officers we had before the merger according to the Sheriff’s Department website.

I have hit Lois Frankel hard in the past for what she did regarding the city center but I also will give credit where it is due. Her city’s police union is voting on whether to pursue a merger with PB County but she, and the rest of her commission say “no, not interested.” If anyone can stand up to the Union, it is Lois. Lois Frankel is a sharp cookie and knows that a merger would be the first step of losing control. One thing for sure, Lois never loses control and she has the art of negotiating down pat by uttering one simple word—NO.

Just consider if we had kept our own police department, we would not be faced with 7% raises; we could have been a part of the Stimulus that would have offset a tremendous cost during this horrible economy. And we still would have our own police department that says we are a full-fledged city instead of being a mere shell of what we were.

Eric Brown is Green around the edges

Eric Brown of Orlando says that he will be voting against Amendment 4, not because he is against it but just because. HUH?

Eric is President of EcoBuild USA. He is a general contractor. He wants the building industry to rise again from the ashes and thinks Amendment 4 might cut into his potential income. He says if there is more "green" building we won't need Amendment 4. What does "green" have to do with it? Sprawl is sprawl whether green or not.

You got it all wrong, Eric. Amendment 4 will protect the State from unnecessary building and constant changes to our local Comprehensive Plans by a vote of the people it affects. NUFF SAID.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Over 200 Economists say "NO" to Obama

The Same School of Lame Knocks

What IS it about developers? Were they all created out of the same mold? Did they all go to the same school?

Daniel Davis, councilman from Jacksonville and Chair of the Seaport-Airport Special Committee, is lobbying hard and furious AGAINST Florida Hometown Democracy. Why? He is the Executive Director of the Northeast Florida Builders Association. NUFF SAID.

The Political Seed - Dying on the Vine

Comment Up

Not once did I hear a CRA Board member say what needed to be said—drastically cut the budget. The truth of the matter, and looking at the cold hard facts square in the eye, were non-existent. Eliminating programs and really reducing this CRA budget that was presented by Staff was not considered. Reality did not cross their minds last night--they will have $2 million dollars less to work with than they had. Donna made an attempt, got shot down, but it was really about the big ticket items.

The entire reality was overlooked and skirted over. It was all about justifying its existence for without programs to toss money to, there would be no reason for the CRA. The Chair, Mark Rickards, who I happen to like a lot, even went so far as to suggest that the City pay the utilities on 6th Avenue South and 10th Avenue North. Was it not the signature of the CRA to spend $15 million dollars on these two roads—their claim to fame--their biggest and most expensive failure to date? Now that the economy has tanked, the mindset of the CRA is to keep spending.

Staff was not too thrilled that it most likely will not get money from the City as a supplement and said that it will have to reduce the budget by the amount promised or $500,000. Well, yes, that's smart. You don't have the money; adjust the budget.

The biggest revelation last night was just the Budget in general. Even the Director had no clue as to where $200,000 went. No one can find it. She can’t tell us what monies are left in what line items. No one has a clue. The CRA’s motto--Just give us the money and we will spend it. The Director said even if the NSP Grant does not pan out, she wants to go forward with the Cultural Redevelopment anyway, a project and a direction for which the community had no say. $700,000 is budgeted this year and consultants are under contract. They rarely give updates. “Just pay us our contracting fees,” they say.

What got this country into so much trouble were all the people who bought with money they did not have nor could afford to pay back. They were convinced by bankers and mortgage brokers who were motivated by commissions. Large development projects have been halted in mid-stream…bankruptcies all over the place…businesses that are losers being bailed out by Stimulus and projects waiting for government grants in order to survive.

The CRA, however, won’t budge on its credit card mentality—won’t budge on the Cultural Redevelopment, because, gee, it was the top priority afterall…planting seeds it was said.

It is allowed to exist by the political seed of the 3 to 2 vote.

District 89

Comment Up

This District is now down to two announced candidates running for Mary Brandenburg’s seat in the Florida Legislature as Elissa Pearl formally dropped out to run for Jess Santamaria’s County Commission seat. Good luck, Elissa. Everyone loves Jess.

We now have Electrical Engineer Pete Brandenburg, Mary’s husband, and her former Aide, Mayor Jeff Clemens running. Mary and her husband have been together ever since they met in college. Pete has held no political office but he comes to the table with a lifetime of experience just being with Mary through her entire political career. It all rubs off. Jeff, on the other hand, has held the elected position of Mayor of Lake Worth, is personable, knowledgeable and is driven.

This will be an interesting race: name recognition or a great glossy. Any bets?


Comment Up

It used to be M&M's that were my weakness; now it is chocolate covered raisins!
Up 50 cents from $2.50 for an 11 oz bag to $2.99

It is estimated that 300,000 more workers will now lose their jobs due to the new minimum wage that just came unto effect on Friday...up 11%. Great timing, wouldn't you say? Wages go up 11% and Raisinetes go up 20%. Campbell soup that used to sell for 89 cents a can a year ago or so is now priced at $1.67 cents a can. Campbell's says it is the price of packaging and raw material costs. Always something but never greed.

With this minimum raise comes higher prices and I noticed that again prices were up at our local Publix yesterday. You have to wonder why there are constant increases there. Even this minimum wage barely affects our State as we have always paid a higher minimum wage than mandated by federal law...$7.21. So a 4 cent increase will not be noticed.

Yesterday at Publix, there was one distinct difference --Management has told every worker to be friendly, smile and tell us to have a great day. They think it will psychologically ease the pain of increased costs for just about everything. Smile at the customer while he is getting screwed. I told them instead of a great day that I would appreciate the cost of goods going down, not up, and I would be able to put up with a little grumpiness from time to time.

Some experts are blaming the price of food commodities, up by 30%, on ethanol production. Some are also saying it is labor and retail costs that are the culprits. More than likely it is energy costs, the weak dollar and unregulated speculation in the futures market. The blame is Hedge Funds. The manager at Publix last year blamed it on futures and I think that he was being forthright.

A 20% increase every time you turn around is getting very old! Publix, must be factoring in this wage increase for all the States in which they do business as an excuse to raise prices and charging now for its speculation in futures. Either that or it is paying the salary for the extra help to continually change the price on all goods from week to week--definitely a full time job.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CRA Director fired

Different city but the argument is similar...the lack of cleaning up slum and blight led to the ultimate demise of its director as well as the fact that the commission had a different vision.

Dawn Pardo, Council Chair in Riviera Beach and whose CRA is under the authority of the city commission, suggested "closing the CRA office in the Bank of America building on Broadway and moving the CRA staff into the municipal complex on Blue Heron Boulevard. She also suggested reducing the size of the CRA staff and using the savings to attract new businesses into the city."

Read more. Commission fires CRA Director

Tertimony of Administrator at Martin Memorial

Sotomayor endorsed by Judiciary Panel 13 to 6

Comment Up
Lake Worth is very divided just like our national politics is.

There are people within our city who keep wondering why we all can't get along. They keep on wanting to promote meetings and "get togethers" like that will make a difference in where I stand on an issue. They believe that they will be so convincing that they will make me do an about face all of a sudden and love pavers. They forget all the blasphemy of the past. They want to ignore the horrible decisions that have led us to where we are: our water, our beach, Sunset, The Lucerne, the Gateways, etc. They want us to have short memories, forgive and move on and treat all the injustices of the past like they are no big deals.

So, no surprise here on the Sotomayor confirmation--13 to 6 with all Democrats on the Judiciary Panel voting for her with all but one Republican voting against her nomination.

Beach and Sunset Ordinances

Today there were two separate Public Notices; one on the Charter Amendment Ordinances for the beach, 2009-18 and 2009-19 and the other was on the Sunset property Ordinances, 2009-20 and 2009-21.

To locate the ad pertaining to the beach in the PB Post, you will find it under Legal, Classifieds, on page 14d.

To locate the Sunset legal notice, it was advertised in the Sports Section page 2c.

We say that the Sunset issue has been more of a battle than a sport over the past four years.

Stick to Water and Veggies - No Fun!

Our favorite guy!

You know, I have to admit that I think about weight everytime I open that little bag of chocolate covered raisins. Now that the bag has gone up 20%, I may just decide that Nestle’s greed did me a favor.

It costs $147 BILLION more a year just for eating French fries and chocolate! The average American is 23 pounds overweight. That doesn’t sound too bad. What is the standard?


City and CRA Budget

The Workshop was held in the City Hall Conference room last week and it was broadcast. A 53 page handout was prepared by the Finance Department and passed out to the Public at the meeting. Finance will be hiring two new employees in the coming budget—a cash investment manager and a secretary. The Audit will be finalized by the end August due to the delay of the outside auditors starting late on the process.

The City Manager said that we were $8 million behind where we wanted to be. There will be NO salary increases this year and there will be a re-alignment of staff. She will be recommending that several positions be deleted. She wants to develop a Budget and Management Office and allow Finance to concentrate on Finance.

I am not sure if the CRA Budget was discussed (I left early) but its Director, Joan Oliva was present for this meeting. Her contract already factors in a 5% raise so she will not be subject to the City government’s moratorium on raises as the CRA does not fall under the City. With the huge decrease in ad valorem this year, we have to question whether the CRA is actually costing the city money.

Susan Stanton says that what they discussed at the budget workshop will NOT be the final budget.

After looking over the proposed budget of the CRA for 2009/10 based on its latest projections of TIF, etc, they are still being as ambitious as possible even going so far as to dip into an unreserved Fund Balance for $1,558,051 and listed an expectant $500,000 from the City in order to meet their budget.

In view of personnel, office and all programs estimated to cost $3,831,900 for this coming year’s budget, it seems that the CRA will not have the money for this very aggressive budget based on Mark Bates’ suggested millage rate of 5.9999. The City Manager has already said that the city’s budget will be adjusted (which means it will probably go lower) so the CRA should be looking to cut a lot of programs, if not all.

Proposed Budget for CRA:

Cultural Redevelopment..........$700,000

Maintenance Fund Transfer......$ 25,000

Office Expenses......................$209,008


Principal & Interest..................$958,346




The above totals ..................$3,831,990.

Based on Finance's projections and the millage that was approved last week of 5.9999, the CRA will be getting $1,121,886 from the County and $1,459,563 from the City for a total revenue of $2,581,449.

The CRA says it will get the following additional revenue:
Interest $13,000
Supplement from the City of Lake Worth: $500,000
And it lists a Fund balance (what fund?) of $1,058,551

You can see by looking at the above figures that office and salaries are costing $$459,200 and principal and interest on the Gateway debt is nearly $1 million a year. So the sources of funding for the CRA are TIF funds, a small amount of interest earnings, reliance on the City giving back $500,000 to them and on top of all that, they plan on using a portion of the unreserved Fund balance to operate this budget.

Although the Cultural Redevelopment Program was rated as the TOP priority of both the CRA and the City Commission out of 20 categories, receiving 92 points out of 110 total (Commissioner Lowe was absent for that meeting), they still want to go forward with this program which will cost $700,000 this coming year, of which $210,000 is obligated under a Contract. No where on the rating list was slum and blight, the main objective of this Board. Without eradicating blight, any amount of money spent on redevelopment of a cultural destination is foolish. To me, the priorities are backwards. Clean up the neighborhoods, clean up the blight, clean up the slum, get homeowner occupancy, allow property values to rise and get the city healthy BEFORE you worry about an artist’s center in the City.

Prior to the Cultural Redevelopment Program, the top priority of the CRA was 6th Avenue South and 10th Avenue North beautification programs which have cost us nearly $15 million with a projected cost on 10th Avenue North when completed of $8.8 million.

There are a handful of residents here, some of whom are rumored to be running for office this election cycle, that still believe that spending this kind of money was a good decision even though it has not met the objective and probably will not, if ever, until this economy turns completely around years from now. Obama is throwing everything at the economy to make that happen and banks are starting to free up a little of the Stimulus. To have attractive Gateways is a nice idea but come on--$15 million dollars nice?--but it still will not be any deciding factor for people to move into this city and actually live here or establish a business here. We must clean up this city first. That should have been the priority.

This has been the problem with the CRA all along as you can see. The Board has not changed its direction even during a time when its budget is down nearly in half. It still wants to go forward on development with money it does not have, rather than cleaning up what is already here.

Tonight the CRA will discuss its 2009/10 Budget.

Gee, City Commission--won't you see the light?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Green enough? The Lake Worth Beach

Comment Up

It gets so annoying to keep having to listen to some talking about everything "green." Let's just get practical. What about that?

Today at the beach. Green everywhere! What is the point of spending $5 million dollars to rearrange our parking lot when it is NOT necessary? And by the way, only one maintenance guy picking up trash was on the green park. People come to go to the beach and fish at the pier, not to look at grass. I asked five people at random...why are you here today? They looked at me as if I was nuts. Seriously. I didn't expect any of them to tell me they came to look at grass or sea oats.

Clean up the parking lot. Let's repave them, if they need that, which they don't...plant trees down the middle. Let's call Gail Silverblatt from the Tree Board. She has thousands of trees to give away. Let's refurbish the walkways and put in pavers, whatever, and re-do the restrooms. We don't need to screw around with ANY of our parking.

The money is just burning a whole in their pockets. We do not need to spend this money on parking lots and screwing up our roads.

Jury says "no" to illegal alien

Comment up reminder
Martin Memorial Hospital officials in 2003 sent Luis Alberto Jimenez, an illegal alien, to Guatemala, his legal country, on a private plane costing them $30,000. Luis had run up more than $1.5 million in medical bills that he could not and would not pay.

It is too bad that illegals continue to try and drain our system. Today, the Jury decided with the Hospital against his guardian who was suing for over $1 million. Sometimes our justice system works. It is amazing that illegals have the right to sue.

Suggested language new Beach Ordinances titles

Update: Charmaine Kelly of the Supervisor of Elections office just called me back. The Title of the Charter Amendment is limited to 15 words and the ballot summary language is 75. She did not know about the advertisement if it had to follow any specific amount of words.

What the Florida Statutes say

The Post needs a two day leeway in order to advertise. These are drafts and there might have been some changes before submission. We should see these two items advertised tomorrow.

What the State of Florida says. Check out #4 on number of words. Is PB County different? Is this a different type of ballot question? Is this only for a citizens' initiative? Or does it not matter at this point as long as we get something advertised?



The Price of Honesty -- is it too costly?

Comment Up

I don't know what will happen to Howard Jordan or Andres Reyes. There is always a psychological contract with employees. Most of them have strong opinions. When you get employees who have a lot of expertise in their fields and they come forward with something they consider valid enough to complain about and then they are treated with contempt or disdain and now termination, then management has violated that unwritten contract with them.

When I was working and had a problem, there was no one to complain to. Even in one of my first positions when an incident came up, I put it in writing and gave it to the boss. It was then on his conscience to deal with it in the manner he felt best. You instinctively know the art of survival and don't cause waves. It was either think it through, put up with it or find another job. My bosses through the years never presumed to know more than I did about my job. Perhaps I was lucky. This sort of decision should no longer be in the workplace--shut up or leave. Employees need to feel empowered; they need to feel relevant and not made to feel like another Joe Schmo, particularly when it comes to what they are convinced to be a Homeland Security issue. What could be worse?

I am rather sure that neither one of these employees would have come forward if their supervisors had given them the attention and applied urgency to their concerns that they believed necessary. Perhaps it was given but they were not aware; they got no satisfaction. They, without a doubt, were offended that what they considered a breach of security was treated so lightly and that they were dismissed as meddlers and thorns in the side of management. They have been trained to be aware of unusual happenings and unauthorized access to computers. They knew it could be extremely serious. What they didn't know was all the trouble they would be in for reporting it.

Employees need to know that what they say to management will be acted upon, investigated and a result or solution found. They should never have a fear of being fired or have a fear of being belittled. Not being privy to what happened, sitting down and discussing it would have done wonders. Instead it was left to fester until it got out of hand.

Susan Stanton is now considering an Employee Review Board and this is a positive step to retain highly qualified, professional staff. We all need to be treated fairly and held in high regard by our employer. When we are not, it is human nature to say or do something stupid. No one should end up paying the ultimate price for being honest.

So, to the bully kid in the sandbox, that's my spin on the situation. I have no idea if access to our computers on two occasions was dangerous or not. The real problem is that employees were not taken seriously who thought it might be and who had the good sense to report it. The Mayor would not agree with me, but there should be a better process for employees to report incidents without reprimand and I would like to feel certain that all our employees are treated with respect, whether management feels it deserved or not. That is why they are supervisors to begin deal with these matters in a professional and respectful way.

Our City Manager knows first-hand what it feels like.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Florida Hometown Democracy Debate

The first debate on Florida Hometown Democracy takes place at the Leon County Civic Center and hosted by the Capital Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee on Thursday, July 30th at 11:30am.

Everyone in that area come on out and support Lesley Blackner and watch Ryan Houck try and make an argument that makes sense.

For more information go to Capital Tiger Bay and r.s.v.p.

Susan Stanton on the Comprehensive Plan

“After extensive conversations with the Department of Community Affairs and legal counsel, it has been determined that the most prudent way of proceeding with resolving the zoning issue associated with the Sunset property, is for the City Commission to rescind the property land-use zoning that was approved regarding the Sunset Property at the time it was annexed into the City.

While the property owner may ultimately begin litigation concerning the City’s decision to rescind the zoning associated with this property, it is the City’s belief that this potential action will not have any impact on the City’s ability to transmit the Comprehensive Plan directly to the DCA for review and ultimate approval.

At this point in time, the administration will be planning to submit the rescinding of the Sunset Property land-use/zoning for its first reading at the August 4th Commission Meeting. Additional activities associated with obtaining approval for the Comprehensive Plan will be the submittal of the City’s Capital Improvement Program directly to DCA for an informal cursory review on July 20th and the transmittal for the City Commission review and approving the water supply plan is set for August 19th which will follow the Planning and Zoning Commission’s review and approval.”

Bill Ramos for State Senator District 28

Joe Negron, Republican, gives the same old argument: if you don't like what someone does in office, you can vote them out. This does not work! We know it. He knows it. We have seen first-hand right here in Lake Worth the damage caused by elected officials. By the time you vote them out, millions of tax money has been wasted.

Democrat Bill Ramos asks, “Do we continue to elect the same people who are beholden to the same groups and agendas that have lead us to where we are, or do we dare vote for leaders who are unafraid and innovative enough to lead us into the new future we so desperately need?" We can answer that for you Bill.

There is no other choice but to vote for Bill Ramos and here are a few reasons why:

He supports the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan

He believes in a sustainable way to run our State and wants to ensure that we remain a tourist destination

He wants fair taxes for corporations as well as individuals and wants to bring our budget under control

He knows that we cannot continue to allow developers to pave all over our State

HE IS FOR YES ON 4 in 2010!

So, all of you in this District, Remember Ramos on August 4 in this special election.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Read what Joe has to say about Florida Hometown Democracy

"I like Florida Hometown Democracy because we have watched the current system for at least the last 40 years, with commissioners approving project after project with more density in them than they deserve, and we see the result all around us."

Read more of what Joe Florio of Jensen Beach has to say......

Robert Helta

I am very sorry to learn of the death of
Helta, Robert K., 64, of Lake Worth, who died on April 1 .

I didn't save too many e-mails from Bob but one in my file from December is as follows:
Just sent another email re: CRA:

"This will be the second e-mail regarding my disapproval of the outrageous pay increase for the CRA Director.

At a time when our city is in financial distress cutting services and employees, how could such a irresponsible decision be made? Are we not living in the state of reality and dealing with the same issues. The CRA does not generate funds for the city , it spends them and as the past has shown ~ NOT too wisely!

I live in district 4 and feel that this city is digging itself deeper in debt with every unwise decision it makes, this pay increase just being another.

I expect to receive a reply from one of the people my tax dollars help to support.



As you can see, Bob only had a few more months to live but he was still standing up for his beliefs until the end. He found me on the Internet and we became friends through e-mails and common beliefs. I had no idea how to reach him--he did not answer his phone nor his e-mails. I assumed that he just had moved from the area, fed up to the hilt. Someone tried to take-over his web sites just awhile back, posting all the crap that some do in this City.

I will miss him and am shocked to learn of his death.

"Undocumented immigrants?" Tell it Like it Is

Comment up

I guess no one missed the story entitled “Undocumented immigrant role model faces deportation” in today’s local section of the Post. Why can’t anyone call it like it is—Illegal Alien. You can’t be undocumented unless you were once documented. Churches, of course, always have to get into the act of agreeing and sympathizing with those who break our laws. Others have to say we are “racist” when we speak out on this issue. Illegal alien is not a race option. Illegal aliens are constantly breaking the law.

Fredy Avellaneda, 27, was hauled here from Mexico by his parents when he was ten years old. He lived in Pahokee and graduated from high school there with honors; he was smart. He wanted to go to college but had no social security card.

I had only three thoughts when I read about Fredy this morning—1) if he was so smart, why did he not try and get documented and 2) if he was so smart, why did he want to continue to be an illegal alien and 3) why didn't Pahokee High School educate these kids on how to become citizens. Yes, it is true--Fredy was hauled here as a child but he has been an adult now for some 9 years. It is a knee jerk reaction to think how horrible this is for Fredy the former choir boy getting rounded up by ICE and all. Did he just go brain dead during the last decade? Did all his “smarts” just disappear?

So he, along with others here illegally and who have learned to ride the system, will probably be given some break and they will hope for Obama to reform our Immigration Policy. In the meantime, our immigration laws continue to be abused, not only by the illegal aliens, but by government itself. There is a law in this country for helping those to invade America; it is called “treason.”

Don’t you think that this should have been a top priority of Pahokee high School to teach these kids how to become legal? ICE was doing its job. Fredy should have done his and taken the steps to become legal.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Drop Dead!

Well, we’ve all said it, especially when someone has done something so personally vile, so unforgivable like when your best friend has an affair with your spouse or your roommate has run off with your money that you had hidden under the mattress. The words are normally reserved for the most egregious action unless, of course, you live in Lake Worth. It is not a nice thing to say to anyone and usually only provoked by the most unusual of circumstances. It doesn’t take much here in this City. All you have to do is advocate FOR something the other person does not or just not agree with them to even the smallest of degrees. Then you automatically become Public Enemy Number 1 with all the vile adjectives and made up lies thrown in to boot.

It is just coming out now in the press that Osama bin Laden’s son, Saad, was killed in action while working as a terrorist for Al-Qaeda (meaning vanguard of the strong) in Pakistan. Our U.S. counter-terrorism team (the team they say does not exist but really does) is about 80-85% certain that he has been killed. Al Qadea, however, is so secretive. Not too much is known about Osama or his son for that matter. It is one group that takes a loyalty oath to Osama and promotes its Islamist struggles throughout the world even having operatives here in the United States. It has been known to engage in suicide bombings and the Twin Towers was the most horrible to date.

If you see the guy to the right walking around
call Homeland Security immediately!

No one can confirm whether Osama bin Laden is still alive but he has not been seen in years and his voice has not been heard since December 2001. It is believed by intelligence factions that he is dead. If the government knows, it is not confirming.

The Fatwah (a legal pronouncement in Islam) —

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Makka) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah'.

So, clearly, wishing Saad to “drop dead” is appropriate. And he did. May you get your 70 virgins on the other side of hell and may your father join you if not already there.

Behind the Brown Door - revisited - Florida Hometown Democracy is the Key

Spooky and Ominous. What's behind that door?

Behind the Brown Door was an article I wrote for Lake Worth Media in November 2007. The PAC that hired the group behind this door is still out there and still spreading the lies about Florida Hometown Democracy. They hired John Thrasher as a spokesman then. Does anyone remember him?

Florida Hometown Democracy has received the bulk of its contributions from the Sierra Club, Lesley Blackner (one of its founders) and other concerned citizens or environmentalists like Steve Rosen...caring people and who, unlike developers, have no other motive but to preserve our State and all its splendor.

A few years ago, Save Our Constitution, a PAC, hired John Thrasher as a spokesman for them. The Group also includes many builder groups as well as the Florida Chamber of Commerce, a group that I refer to as "evil" and one that always gets its hands into Florida politics when it involves development. It doesn't matter whether it is a 4.02 parcel of land in Lake Worth or a development issue that involves the entire State. They are right there to leap down and snuff out the people's right to vote and they have tons of money.

Associated Industries, which represents Florida businesses, including Publix Supermarkets Inc., is heavily behind the group out to defeat Florida Hometown Democracy. They, back in July 2007, hired a Palm Beach County public relations firm, Public Concepts. This is their door. I thought it an interesting enough shot to bring back to remind all of us that evil lurks behind the brown door. Marketing companies, like lawyers, went to the same school. (Okay, let's hear from all my lawyer friends out there)

Vote For 4! 2010 is the year. This time all the residents of Florida can decide whether we want urban sprawl and every square inch of land paved over. This time, voters can make a big difference in preserving the beauty of our State. There is no doubt in my mind how you will vote in spite of the huge developer money ($3.5 million reported so far) machine behind the defeat of this grassroots, environmentalist effort.

The Brown Door picked a loser for a spokesman two years ago and developer groups have a losing argument against Florida Hometown Democracy to this day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Tonight’s meeting commanded a unanimous vote on all four items on the Agenda.

  1. 4% increase in waste removal fees now up to $19.50
  2. 3% increase in stormwater up to $6
  3. tentative operating and debt service rate of 5.9999mils + .3401 or a total of 6.340 mils
  4. Two Beach Protection Charter Amendments for November’s Ballot

Primarily there will be language drafted to secure recreation as our primary use at the beach and control the size and intensity of commercial uses.

The next amendment has to do with the prohibition of beach nourishment dredging projects within property limits of Lake Worth beach as well as the prohibition of dredge and fill.

I thank the City Commission for wanting to finally go forward with protecting our beach. It will be up to the people at the polls, something we have been advocating for several years. We are confident that the voters will vote "yes" to protect the beach allowing all of us to enjoy the ancillary operations there while protecting the beach from increased commercial activity.

Say Yes on 4

"Everything opponents of Amendment 4 say wouldn’t be allowed by giving land-use decisions to the voters, is already allowed in every land-use code in Florida."

All the arguments from the developer backed opponents of Florida Hometown Democracy are dispelled in Steven Estes' article. He reduces them all to the silliness they deserve.

To read more,

We're asked to fear ourselves

CERT Training last night

The Sunset on Lake Osborne was taken on the way home from class.

Feral cats at Public Safety Building

Stanton says, "Watch my terror!"

A supposed Homeland Security issue is nothing according to Susan Stanton, City Manager of Lake Worth. "It is not technically possible to have cascading power failure to FPL's power grid."

READ MORE of the PB Post Editorial.

The mystery here is why, if there was nothing to it, the cover-up? It is always the cover-up that is worse than the "crime."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No Crime says the FBI

FBI says "No security breach at Lake Worth Utilities."
Read the article

Let's move on an Ethics Policy

PB County Jess Santamaria said that the national Media is to blame for the County being called "Corruption Capital of the United States."

No, Jess. The blame goes to Tony, Warren and Mary.

On Tuesday PB County commissioners voted on creating an Ethics Commission and also have an inspector general who will be the watchdog on ethics in Palm Beach County government.

This is a great thing and hopefully we will get our own Ethics Policy created and passed as brought up Tuesday night by Commissioner Jennings and agreed to by Mayor Jeff Clemens.

City Manager fired - Wife a Porn Star

Now normally problems begin in a City when we do NOT have full exposure from our City Manager and he/she hides things from the public or manipulates Staff. Fort Myers Beach had just the opposite problem--complete exposure sans clothes.

Read about it here--
City Manager fired because wife a Porn Star

Close call Defeat

Finally they got one right--the Senate blocked the Gun-Rights Measure. If you have been reading about this, gun owners wanted to expand their rights by carrying their concealed weapons across State lines.

Forty-six States license the carrying of concealed weapons with Alaska and Vermont allowing concealed weapons without any permit.

I would like to see the banning of all assault weapons and strict regulation on all gun sales.

See who voted for and against the bill--CLICK HERE
Two Republicans voted NAY.

Power and Money control the outcome

For one, I can’t understand why certain members of our CRA and their friends are so concerned whether or not the CRA is taken back under control of our City Commission or remains an independent Board. They continually cry and moan that they might soon be just a memory and keep saying that they have worked so hard. Afterall, if this volunteer Board really has the best interests of the City of Lake Worth as its objective, why does the thought bother some of them so much? The work of the CRA will get done either way. Is that not the goal?

It all boils down to power and money. This is one of the two most powerful Boards within the City of Lake Worth. The difference with this Board is that they are working with millions of dollars. And if you go with Mark Bates’ projections (and there are two on the table) the CRA will possibly be working with $2,338,184 million for this coming year.

It goes back to Henry Kissinger’s statement when he said, "Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world."

In the case of the CRA, volunteer citizens, not elected officials, have control of over $2 million dollars and this is a low amount for them. We have witnessed as to how they have spent and wasted this money year on year. We have been a witness to their rude epistles toward the very body that appointed them in the first place. You can't even get rid of a member who is insubordinate. Is this what the City deserves?

Waste after waste, time after time...multi millions of dollars. It is all about a political majority on this Board that wants to take the city in its district in a certain direction and has the power and money to do so. We have even witnessed a member saying, "Well, we've got the money and it must be spent." They do not have to answer to the City Commission. They need not answer to anyone but themselves. This is absolute power--almost! Very seductive nevertheless.

Take it back City Commission. It has been out of control for far too long.

Budgets, millage, and rate increases

It is Budget time once again. For us, we all work under a budget of some kind, whether it is structured and you keep your expenses and revenue on a spreadsheet or you simply know what you earn and what you are obligated to spend during the month. We all know that much of our income is down due to the loss of jobs, salary raises very small if any, falling interest rates and stock going south. We also know that prices are going up for every consumer good that we buy and Lake Worth is no exception.

Here in the City of Lake Worth, we will be working with revenue from falling property values of nearly 24% as costs continue to rise. Salaries were increased this year across the board by 5%. The Finance Department, along with other departments, has struggled to come forward with a budget that makes sense to all. But unlike you and me who must come up with a solution to run our households by cutting expenses when our incomes are down, the City of Lake Worth has one huge gigantic pocketbook to draw its funds—you and me. Unions continue to eat up the fat as does overall spending.

On Thursday, July 23 at 5:30, there is a special meeting wherein Mark Bates will be presenting the following:

  • Increased fee for waste removal of 4% for residential. Commercial rate unknown but higher.
  • Increased fee for Stormwater of 3%
  • A millage increase of either .9274 or 1.9274

I am rather sure that this will be presented to the Commission as a lower millage than last year. The truth of the matter is, the taxpayers of Lake Worth will be paying much more money to the City of Lake Worth for EVERYTHING!

Last year we paid 7.65 mils plus .2328 for debt service or a total of 7.8828 mils. This included Fire Rescue services. Later, Fire Rescue was shuffled off to the County. One of the main reasons for the urgency of outsourcing it was to eliminate that part of the millage rate of 2.95. That would now appear on our tax bill instead and free up more millage for the City giving it a cushion because it only can tax to 10 mils under law. We, of course, were hoping that the City would take the fire rescue portion of it right off the top this year. They didn't. We knew they wouldn't.

The proposal for this year in Mr. Bates' back-up is 5.9990 with .3041 for debt service or a total of 6.3031 total millage. Fire Rescue is now up to 3.5062 for 2009/10. If you just take the difference of what we paid last year that included fire and what is proposed for this year that does not include fire, the difference is -1.58 mils. Now add back in fire rescue of 3.5062 and we are at a whopping 1.92 mils more than last year. It was imperative to move Fire Rescue to the County just to operate this City and maintain a comfort level. The total amount we will be paying is therefore 9.8102 including debt service.

Yesterday I received a spreadsheet with a different proposed budget that indicted a millage of 4.999. Adding back in Fire Rescue of 3.5062 and debt service of .3041 you get a total of 8.8102. So, subtract last year's total of 7.8828 from 8.8102 for a total increase of .9274 or almost 1 mil.

Now, potable water is up. Irrigation water is up starting August 1. Recreation fees are up. We payer higher prices for our electric than our neighbors with FPL. The County has raised its taxes and we have to pay them too. Last night the Commission raised public information fees, a basic duty of a government under the law but they want to squeeze all those who request anything. Put the information up on the web site then. All fees are up. There is NO break from this City.

I had requested a copy of the proposed Budget that will be discussed at 9:00am on Thursday, July 23rd and have been told three times now that it does not exist. As of 9:35 this morning, there is no budget prepared for public information. No one will be able to study the Budget and how it applies to the new millage rate proposed by Finance.

This is a special meeting so the city staff is looking for a vote of acceptance. Sure hope that the Commission got a copy of the proposed Budget and has time to digest it all. Right.

Florida Hometown Democracy - Give yourself a vote

"Development interests are gearing up for a fight, stocking their war chests with millions of dollars to do battle against the people they fear most in the world:


That's right, you."


For for 4 in 2010

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Security Breach in master SCADA computer

Tonight during public commentary, two employees spoke on a national homeland security issue that occurred at our power plant. This issue could not get solved through management and the situation has been covered up. One employee who is in charge of testing all protective devices that control and monitor the entire electrical system in Lake Worth, said that there was a breach of security. He states that he has now been yelled at, humiliated and told to leave the Director's office and that he would be fired.

Channel 5 was there tonight and I was told it was because of Mojito's. It seems that in reality it was on the possible homeland security cover-up at Lake Worth Utilities. This should be on the 11 o'clock news tonight.

Definition of SCADA:
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) or Distributed Control System (DCS) networks are large, distributed systems responsible for automatic control of everything from refineries to railway signals. These systems are critical to the safety of national power grids, petrochemical facilities, and commuter and freight transit. These critical points of control must be forcefully protected at all times.

What the experts say about SCADA

21 Steps to Improve Cyber Security

Bully for 4

The Full Plate kept the CRA alive

You have to have some protein to go with this Full Plate.

Originally when the Commission made the decision to have this meeting with the possibility of taking it back, I was surprised that they did not at least appoint a new Board first when they had that opportunity. But one hour before the applicants were to arrive for their interviews, the Mayor decided that a 5 minute interview was not long enough and had city staff cancel the interviews. No one understood the real motive behind this as all previous interviews for all other Boards through the years were five minutes at a crack. It was this action that put "taking back the CRA" in motion.

Mayor Clemens was in his top form last night, doing his normal song and dance routine, manipulating the commission at every opportunity and making up stuff. He was Chair of the CRA at one time and has a "love" for it no matter what just like the husband whose wife has cheated on him, "but I still love her." But, it was not he who defeated the motion to dissolve the CRA in its present structure and bring it back under the power of the City Commission with two volunteer members. It was the Twinkie defense--a full plate!

Even Commissioner Lowe sounded on top of her game—wasted money on the Pugh property…wasted money on other things…problem with the CRA and some of its members…not working towards the mission, but when it came right down to it, she said the Commission was being burned out right now—too much on their plates.

Commissioner Jennings had requested that City Manger, Susan Stanton, present the options to the Commission at last night’s meeting. “Do you have them?” she asked. “No,” replied Stanton, “I was too busy.” (Even the City Manager has too much on her plate I guess) “Did you ask the CRA Director to get them?” asked Cara. “NO”, said Stanton. Throughout the entire night, Commissioner Jennings was a shining star. She said it WAS about the money; it was black and white.

Folks, this was an extremely important meeting and all the facts were not in the hands of the Commission to render a decision. This is a Board that is totally independent of the City Commission and can make its decisions in any way it chooses. The City Commission has control over the CRA’s budget only. That is it. And it is POLITICAL, Mayor.

Commissioner Golden was right on when she said that our City was in a disaster and that we need a cohesive Board that will work with the Commission and keep the best interests of the people in the City. Golden asked if the CRA was functioning as it should. “Has it ever?” she asked.

Commissioner Mulvehill wanted something other than black and white. She said that she had a full plate. She wanted to know if there was a way to make the relationship better and wanted the Commission to have more input.

David Tolces, the CRA attorney, was saying as little as possible—wanting to keep his job I guess. He should have told Commissioner Mulvehill the truth. The CRA does not care what you think, Commissioner. The CRA can do what is pleases with the tax money and they don't have to report anything to you.

There were NO options presented by the City Manager as requested by Commissioner Jennings. How can a Commission make a motion based on ….??????? What???? This should have been tabled right then and there.

A few members of the audience showed up and spoke after receiving Mayor Clemens e-mail…like Chip Guthrie owner of the Potty Doctor. He's hoping to apply for a grant one day. Chip, who NEVER comes to a CRA meeting and has NO clue as to what is going on in the City other than his business is down. He said that the CRA has done a “great job.” How does he know that? What have they done? Planted some trees on 6th Avenue South, a road that you can’t even cross to get to the other side? That cost us $5.8 million dollars. The Pugh property scheme? 10th Avenue North debacle of $8+ million, who knows? We still have slum and blight all over our city. I watched time and time again with residents taking advantage of a system with their hands out for free money. It is one sickening joke on the people of Lake Worth.

When it comes down to the full plate excuse, you have to realize that it is not the CRA Board members who do all this work. It is the Director and her Staff. The CRA Board reads the back-up, discusses it and then decides on whether or not it is a good or bad idea to spend the money that is recommended. It is not that time consuming. Taking it back would not have added that much more work to their plate.

I don’t think our City Commission did the people of this city a service last night by using the full plate excuse. This much money should be under the control of our elected officials, not appointed citizens because the CRA has not done its job. There has been way too much waste. And the CRA volunteers are not more qualified than the Commission to decide how to spend tax dollars as one resident suggested. We elect our Commission to be accountable. We do not elect the CRA.

Not all is lost. If the CRA does stay under the control of a volunteer board, I would like to see the terms reduced to two years, the same term as a city commissioner. It is either time now to appoint new members to this political Board or Commissioner Mulvehill can bring it back for another vote tonight. That IS the black and white of it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Famous beyond our wildest imagination!

America's Most Wanted

ACORN--the Spoof!

This is too good not to share. CLICK HERE to read about ACORN BUYS ACLU AND GREENPEACE.

Socialism Corrupts

What makes this country great has always been the citizenry. My two grandmothers (one from France and the other from Norway) and one grandfather from Scotland immigrated to this country. My other grandfather was born here and that side of my family has been here forever it seems. But they all registered, and my grandmothers perfected their English and they all became proud citizens. They worked, paid taxes, contributed to the health of our nation. One knitted socks for our troops during World War II. They all had a common thread, however--if you were a citizen and worked hard, you could succeed and live a good life in a country that gave you every opportunity for that success. They did not come here to freeload. They came here to be a part of what makes America great.

Nearly a year ago, I started to believe that the Democratic Party was being infiltrated by those with extreme leftist views. Being a centrist, I had a lot of personal problems with the way the Party was heading even coming to believe that this country was heading down a Socialistic path that was not in the best interests of our citizens and the health of our nation. My first step was to resign from the local Democratic Club. That resignation was basically prompted by the displaced loyalties of some members. But many issues came before that led me to the action. Today my beliefs are even stronger as I read Sam’s (member of the local Democratic Club) Letter to the Editor in this morning’s paper.
Everyone should have equal rights, coverage

The problems of health care and inadequate coverage seem unlikely to be fixed by not covering poor people, illegal or not.

I worry that people let out racial bigotry when they class people as illegal. I don't think we want a society where one group has more rights than another, in health care, transportation or jobs.

Lake Worth

The latest Rasmussen report says on Socialism: There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism. You can see what is happening in the Democratic Party.

Now, basically what Sam said shows that he is a compassionate person but he misses that mark when he calls me a “racist” and calls all the rest of us bigoted as well, just because we want to protect our country from those taking advantage of our goodwill. That is ALWAYS “their” argument, without fail, and it has nothing to do with the reality.

Sam has a problem with the word “illegal.” Well, if they are not citizens of this country and they have crossed our borders, have no documentation that proves they can work here, then they are illegal aliens. If they violate the laws on immigration to this country, then they are illegal. In a socialistic society people would all be treated the same—none of us would have any assets and the government would take care of our very existence from cradle to grave. You still would not be able to cross a country’s borders and take advantage of its system and freeload on the citizens of that country. That does not happen anywhere but in America.

I agree with Sam when he implied that everyone should be able to have health-care, transportation and jobs. Where I draw the line is, that person should be working within the provisions of his own country where he is a citizen, not someone else’s country to pick up the tab. No one is entitled. That is why we stress education so much in this country. That is why our country has always been light years ahead of the rest. That is why we have the best public education system in the world that is supported by all the citizens of this country. It is not supported by the illegal alien and obviously, it is not supported by the Socialistic movement here, the freeloaders who believe that we are all entitled just because we were born.

You can see what is happening just in our own city with the illegal hiring hall—giving our public building, paying the utilities, etc, for a group that is taking government money to find illegal aliens jobs. We have nearly a 10% unemployment rate but our government thinks it's perfectly rational to give away a public asset in this means. Their job is to look after the citizens here, not the illegal.

The reason why our number one status on the globe is quickly evaporating is because of some groups in this country that purport that everyone is “entitled” to everything whether they are a citizen here or not; whether they have a job and are productive or not, whether our corporations are competitive in the marketplace or not, whether the citizens have bought houses they can’t afford, whether people are buying within their means and racking up unbelievable debt, and the list goes on. No one is ENTITLED to one damn thing and that is the problem. We are a country that tries to take care of the poor, the sick and the uneducated. We can’t afford the burden of aliens believing that they are entitled to reap the rewards of our system and we sure can’t afford our socialistic citizens believing it also. Their goal is to try and make you feel guilty and throw up the "race" card . Nauseating.

The truth of the matter is, Socialists believe and blame our Capitalistic Society on all the inequities of society. They are no different, in my mind, than any other terrorist who is trying to undermine our nation.

The illegal alien needs to leave our country now and let this country figure out how to take care of its own. That is its basic obligation. They should then apply to become a citizen--do it the legal way. Our laws need to be enforced and also respected by the citizens of this country. We, as citizens, give them the greatest free gift of all...the right to legally immigrate to the best country and most caring country on Earth. My grandparents found that out.

If we do not quickly change the philosophy and the culture that is becoming prevalent here, before long, none of us will have anything. America, as we know it, will cease to exist. Otherwise, as a neighbor of mine just said, let Sam carry the burden of the bill, just not Uncle Sam.