Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Tobacco has been around in this country since the 1700’s. Originally grown for pipes and snuff, demand changed to chewing tobacco and cigars. Later came the cigarette and a new market brought untold wealth to tobacco farmers. As a young adult, I used to live on a farm in Tennessee that raised tobacco and cattle. This was a heavenly place.
Everyone who ever smoked sort of remembers about when he started. Sixteen was the age for me and I thought it cool. We all did. At 17 and at a Mid-Shipmen’s Ball in New York City, I switched to Pall Mall (non-filtered) as I had run out of Marlboros and my date from Annapolis smoked these. This was even cooler than cool! This was my first step to the heavy stuff! I was addicted, or so I thought. A pack back then cost 25 cents.
Back in 1964 the first Surgeon general’s report was released which was the first of many reports linking smoking with cancer and health issues. Staying in denial was part of the fun. You knew you were smarter than the Surgeon General. Then one day it just dawned on me that what I was doing was totally crazy...smoking a pack a day. Why was I contributing to a pre-mature death? I guess I started thinking of my mortality. When you are very young, you don't. I quit immediately, just like that. It took 26 years to do it. This is why I know it is not an addiction. The only addiction is the one big lousy habit of smoking, not the tobacco, at least for me. Now it has become a very expensive one for those who haven’t kicked it.
Stats by State
Florida is considering raising the tax on a pack by $1.00 and manufacturers have already anticipated the price increase by raising a pack to $4.50 and a carton to $41. Why is the government doing this? Do you think that it is our health they are worried about?
They are taxing it to death because of lost revenue due to all those who have kicked the habit. Ouch!
Literally, the health industry and government will make the tobacco industry in this country non-existent…drive it right out of business. It will be as obsolete as 8-tracks and cost- exorbitant to export. And then the government will have to come up with some other plan to tax us to death.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Let's get some of that money before Addie Greene leaves office. It is estimated that she has at least $1 mil ready to dole out. Since we didn't get any of the Stimulus money, perhaps we can get some of this?!?! Mayor? Help!
Tomorrow at 5:30 there is a commission workshop on 1) Reverse Osmosis Treatment Plant options and 2) discussion on the P.B. County Water Contract.
After reading on this it seems to me that Staff, again, is a stumbling block. It is telling the Commission by reminding them of the options, once again, for the hundredth time, that they just don’t know what they want, not really and they are there to tell them. It says in the back-up, “The Commission may choose to change the past policy decision (going with PB County Water) and direct the Administration to construct a Reverse Osmosis Plant.” THE COMMISSION ALREADY TOLD YOU THAT.
Staff says that it can go with PB County Water and not have to bond out any more money by using the bond money we have. I was always under the impression that the bond money was for building a Reverse Osmosis Plant. It is in the covenants. If that is the case, how can the city use this bond money for PB County water? How does that work?
Staff is giving the Commission the three options AGAIN. How many times do they have to do that before they understand that the vote was to go with the Reverse Osmosis system? How many times will the Mayor be filibustering the water issue? How many more times will Staff try to swing this back around to staying with the County? Next it will be trying to change the Commission’s mind on exiting FMPA. Wait and see.
Regarding the segment on PB County Water, all the back-up is on the beach. Confusing? Yes. That is the strategy. : The backup has now been changed.
While Susan Bucher is working hard to restore the image of the Supervisor of Elections Office with transparency and accountability, in Lake Worth it is business as usual. We still do not have an Ethics Policy. How long has it been since Commissioner Jennings first brought up the subject and Commissioner Lowe did not disclose that she had a relationship with Sun Recycling?
There was a lot that went on in our city last year: Mayor Clemens stating that he would evict anyone for “clapping,” Dave Vespo nearly jumping over the dais because Katie McGiveron, Chair of Save Our Neighborhood, called the Mayor by his first name, The illegal labor center, shoring up of the Casino because someone said the building was “unsafe,” Billboard blight, spending a million more a year to go with the Sheriff, endless discussion on exiting FMPA, endless discussion on our water source—voting in April 2008 on a 3 to 2 vote to end our RO and go with PB County Water, possible take-over of the CRA due to bad financial decisions, Lowe pushing for the exclusive agreement with Sun Recycling Systems for roll-over containers services. There was a lot of time expended on nutty and controversial and political things. One good decision was joining the law suit against the Town of Palm Beach.
Commissioner Lowe is once again in the news today in the editorial section of the Palm Beach Post.
What ever happened to our proposed Ethics Policy that has been brought up over the last year? It went to the Attorney General on June 17, 2008. We got back his opinion. Why has this died? Full disclosure is easy. If a Commissioner can’t do that or refuses to do that, then he/she needs to resign and it is up to the people to demand it.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The candidates for City Manager will be here on April 5th and 6th. Members of the public are invited to meet and greet them on April 5th between the hours of 4 and 6pm at the Lake Worth Golf Course.
At one of the City Commission meetings where the subject of hiring a new city manager was brought up, a few commissioners discussed the possibility of hiring locally. We had a very well qualified applicant living in Lake Worth who has a Master’s Degree and has worked for the County government for years. He did submit his resume for consideration.
Jo-Ann Golden nipped that in the bud when she suggested that only applicants with at least seven years of
This is what I said, taken out of context from the complete article:
If I have said it once, I have said it a half dozen times--let’s get the best manager in the United States and I don’t care about the cost. I don’t mean one of these over-paid corporate execs. Is there any city in the 50 states that is doing things right? Let’s steal that manager away…give him a free house. Whatever.
The only thing that I have advocated is to hire the best. Recommending the immediate hire of a local resident for two months, to set us on track, makes sense to me. I have never said to go around the RFQ process for a full-time city manager. It is time to think out of the box. Nothing is worse than what we have now. We are in crisis mode. To continue on with what we have, even for two months, could kill us. To continue doing business in the same vein may not be productive.Now it is certainly your prerogative to agree or disagree with that but that is not the argument or the problem here.
A few people advised me not to even give this guy any attention by writing about his Big Lie but I think lies should be cleared up particularly as he is getting the attention he craves at the expense of it.
My biggest problem with this particular attack blogger is that he rarely gets it right because his purpose is not about that. His purpose is to defame citizens by lies and distortions. That is his game along with the half dozen followers who post under multiple fictitious handles on his board. At least the National Enquirer tries to be factual.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
From the NASA web site: Mission Control has given space shuttle Discovery a "go" for the deorbit burn. The burn lasts three to four minutes, slowing Discovery enough to begin its descent. The deorbit burn will occur at 2:08 p.m. EDT, leading to a 3:14 p.m. landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Traveling at 16,900 miles per hour.
General Motors and Chrysler have just about used up all the bailout money--$17.4 billion in Federal loans. Together they employ around 140,000 workers and they are about to run out of cash, again!
G.M wants $16.6 billion more. Chrysler is not quite as greedy. It only needs $5 billion. THAT IS BILLION!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now they both say that they need to negotiate with the Unions that have brought them down. NEGOTIATE? The companies are hoping that the Unions will make concessions so that they can avoid bankruptcy. HOPING?
Unions—get smart. United States government—get smart. Obama said Thursday that “we need to preserve a U.S. auto industry. We will provide them with some help.” SOME help? The auto industry is off shoring and jobs are being lost in droves to overseas plants. There is nothing in the bailout agreement that says the money needs to stay here and provide jobs for Americans.
So what is there to preserve?
Jobs, jobs and more jobs is the key. Americans, we the people, should be encouraged to and want to buy American. Corporations must be told to keep jobs in this country and start to hire if they are using our money. And the Unions must get realistic or there won’t be any more jobs in this country to worry about.
This bailout stuff is getting dumber and dumber. It is a gamble, with no strings attached. Gamblers never win and the government seems to be losing with our money.
Friday, March 27, 2009
It is really disgusting when a citizen of this city is allowed to tarnish the reputation of another by printing crap on his web site. That is bad enough. But his outrageous behavior has been going on for years against Bill Coakley and his friends, myself included. He thinks that he is protected by the Freedom of Speech. Even in spite of his hatred, not too many people are paying attention. This time he decided to take it further. Time to get even again. Time to hit between the eyes, his true specialty. Truly pathetic. Instead of doing something constructive, his aim is to malign certain citizens at every opportunity. He gets his jollies off doing it. Sick puppy.
Even worse, is Connie Hoffmann, the supposed professional that the City of Lake Worth hired to find a City Manager who should know better than to perpetuate the lie and even go so far as to write City Attorney Karns who then sent the complaint to the State Attorney’s Office. Three fools in
I want an answer to that question too. This is all political bull. William Coakley has written about Karns in the past. It is also a known fact that Bill has little use for private citizens causing havoc against other citizens by lies, deceit, distortions and bully tactics such as the attack dog blogger. No one believes that blogger and people can see right through his motives and the “anonymous phone call” explanation. A bully is a bully and this guy will never rise to become productive and this was all a setup from political enemies. Perhaps even Connie Hoffmann was used too by someone at City Hall but she should have known better. She should be smarter. Larry Karns will be leaving in a few months and it can't come too soon.
My communication with Ms. Hoffmann went nowhere. She refused to answer my inquiry—
1. ----- Original Message -----
From: Lynn Anderson
Subject: your e-mail to City Attny Karns
Dear Ms. Hoffmann:
I was shocked when a letter crossed my desk relative to William Coakley who had aspirations of working for the City of
Bill Coakley is one citizen who has exposed corruption and who is held in the highest of unquestionable integrity, not only by me, but everyone other than his political enemies. For you to imply otherwise, is character assassination at its worst.
I have enclosed the document to ascertain if you did indeed send it to Larry Karns and if the letter is genuine. I would greatly appreciate a reply.
2.. -----Original Message-----
From: Lynn Anderson
Subject: Fw: your e-mail to City Attny Karns
Dear Ms. Hoffmann-
I am just wondering if you got the e-mail below.
3. From: connie hoffmann
To: Lynn Anderson
Subject: Re: Fw: your e-mail to City Attny Karns
I did receive your email, but have chosen not to discuss this subject with anyone other than my client, the City of
4. From: Lynn Anderson
Thank you. I want you to know that I will be writing about it in the near future.
I particularly enjoyed Frank Cerabino’s column today. He took a serious approach to a serious subject, unlike some of his writing, and it turned out to be one of his best articles.
He was comparing the transgressions of Father Skehan to Mary McCarty. One of his Catholic friends said that Father Skehan should not have been held to the same high standard as Commissioner McCarty because he has been a Priest for over 4 decades and did a lot of good in the community. Yes, evil people can be charming and cunning, do good deeds and in this case, they can be priests.
Father Skehan had committed grand theft of over $800,000 from the Church, St. Vincent Ferrer, where he was Pastor for 40 years. Skehan pleaded guilty to stealing more than $370,000. He also forfeited a $366,000 condo, about $381,500 worth of rare coins and $40,000 cash. Retired Delray Beach detective Thomas Whatley called both priests, Skehan and Guinan, “professional money launderers” and estimated that more than $8 million had been misappropriated over decades at the parish.
Mary McCarty, on the other hand, received gifts and gratuities that she failed to disclose such as free lodging or heavily discounted room rates. She also named a bond underwriter without disclosing that her husband, Kevin, had an interest. Which person did more damage? Which person was more evil? Which deed was more egregious?
Father Skehan was given a break by getting a 14 month sentence for what he did, a horrible violation of trust. He is 81 years old and the Court considered his age. He says that he was set-up. Have you ever seen a crook that said he was guilty?
Today, Kevin McCarty, Mary’s husband, will be sentenced and the Editorial Staff at the Post is calling for blood and thinks he should get at least one year in jail. Kevin has a 91 year old Mom that needs him. I know. Some of you will say that he should have thought of that before he enjoyed discounted hotel rooms when he was with his wife, etc. Compassion needs to be considered in his case, not only for what he did in comparison to the Priest but for his mother. Kevin McCarty has admitted complicity and has asked the Court’s as well as everyone’s forgiveness.
If everything is judged by its opposite, then I have to wonder if Kevin should even go to jail.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
There are only three people who have ever declared that the Casino was unsafe: John Farinelli, a building inspector who is no longer with the City of Lake Worth and obviously did not read the previous building inspections when he made that statement. He left the employ of Lake Worth mysteriously in the middle of the night;
Wes Blackman believes that the holes and cracks in the façade have occurred from spawling and consequently believes that the Casino is unsafe--even spoke about it a few times publicly at Commission meetings… forgets that Rodney Romano jack-hammered holes in the building and never repaired the concrete…he forgets that Mayor Jeff Clemens ordered the same thing to happen last year and he forgets that not one engineering report said that the rebar was bad or that the building was unsafe;
Joe Kroll, Public Services Director, who parrots the first two. Joe is a “company man” wearing too many hats.
Staff continues to get in the way. After 5 engineering reports on the Casino, the City hired, once again, another company to provide a structural analysis for $19,400. This appeared as an addition (the last minute) to the regular Agenda on February 17th. The City paid this from our Beach Redevelopment Capital Fund and it was approved by Bob Baldwin (what else did Bob Baldwin approve at the last minute before he left Lake Worth?) and Mark Bates. The City just did not believe the previous 5 reports. It was determined that condemnation would occur. Once the building was demolished, it was open to development by all those salivating to get hold of our casino—friends of the City.
The City Commission was blackmailed into accepting Farinelli’s report that the building had to be shored or demolition had to occur by March 31, 2009 and it forced the Commission to proceed by voting to hire an eventual company that will do the shoring.
Now we spend money on CPH to do another structural report and now we will go out on an RFP to have some company do more shoring up of the building. We have already spent money on shoring. It was around $50,000. If we had proceeded in restoration of the existing building, the contractor would have shored up this building for FREE as part of the building process. But the City loves to spend money. Loves it.
Regarding Greater Bay—
As far as the threat of Greater Bay, I don’t know why there are people who still think that they have a claim to anything. Anyone can file a law suit. We know that they do not have the money for an injunction, cost of which is prohibitive (I have been told 10% of the entire project in CASH), for a law suit that would be considered frivolous and they are just spinning wheels trying to get the City nervous.
It seems that the only people siding with Greater Bay are those who wanted our Casino demolished, are against the citizens who want to restore our Casino, and are friends with developers as well as wanting Greater Bay taking over our public beach. Why would anyone want that? Perversely and perhaps without admitting it, they want the will of the people to fail. Even Lonnie Mills, President of the Lake Worth Alumni Association who represents 28,000 members, wants to restore the LW Casino. Those who are against this just want to be able to say, “See, I was right, it wasn’t worth saving and you were wrong.”
This increase of 13.25% is not just to fund a Reverse Osmosis System. Burton and Associates was hired on August 5, 2008 to do a rate study. The rate increase is necessary to meet current water and sewer utility operating expenses, annual capital improvement costs as well as existing loan covenant requirements. The Bond covenant says that the money will be used for our own RO Plant. The 13.25% equates to $5.18 more per 5,000 gallons of potable water usage. Whether we proceed with getting our water supply from Palm Beach County or our own Reverse Osmosis, we would have to raise the rate to do it. Eventually and hopefully, we will own our own water plant and be a seller of water instead of a buyer, not totally dependent upon Palm Beach County.
The City has never asked for a re-bid for building a Reverse Osmosis system. Why not, Mayor? Mock Roos has said that it could be 40% less than the figure that the City continues to use. We have already received an unsolicited bid of $10 mil to complete our RO and we still have bond money to do that. As water is becoming the planet’s most valuable commodity, in the future this will prove to be a very wise decision. We have already spent $15.2 mil on our RO System (bond money). Gallon per gallon it will cost the same if we had our own RO System or if we went to PB County for our water source. Which makes more sense? And why don't you like the taste of WPB water, Mayor? It is a free connect. Lois is hurt.
The County wants our water and we seem determined to give it to them.
Yes, it is too expensive to play golf and the course is in average to bad condition. A golfer this morning told me that it was in very poor condition. Improvements are necessary. The City chose to raise rates for our members and raise golf fees. Consequently they have had a drop of revenue in both categories to the tune of $314,000. It was unwise to raise rates at this time. Don’t you think that Finance would see this and conclude that they have lost members and lost golfers and correct this?
Consumers control the price of goods and services to a lot of respect. When the price gets too high, they cut back or don’t buy it, particularly on expensive entertainment. The golfers have told the City this by not playing golf. I have spoken about recreational rate increases on two occasions now but to dead ears. We can see, just in the golf course alone, that we have lost dearly because of it. If anything, make rates even more favorable so that golfers will play. Even JCD Sports agreed to that concept. Don’t drive them away during this economic crisis. It is better to lose $100,000 than the projected $284,000 that we are losing. The City has raised rates across the board for recreation believing in our Public Services Director and his recommendations. Bad move.
What we need is a golf professional with managerial abilities…someone who has been around and understands golf courses. This would do more for us than anything I can think of. Who wants to play on a course without a golf pro?
Why does the City neglect every asset we own?
Is there anyone out here who needs to be reminded of what our Lake Worth Casino looks like thanks to the total neglect over the last decade of our city officials? I don’t think so. But what you might be reminded of is what it could look like again after restoration.
Please go to STRATICON’s renderings and see its potential. Click on Plans.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
One of my good friends called this morning defending Cara Jennings and her action in
Ms. Lowe was found guilty of willfully filing false reports for the purpose of preventing the public from finding out the actual source of the contributions from Sun Recycling. As you recall, Sun Recycling got the contract to re-open our closed dump that is in Commissioner Lowe’s district and Sun also was awarded another contract in the City of
I agree with my friend that Ms. Lowe’s actions were fallacious. She committed fraud against the people. It was her “cover up” that got her into the trouble for violating Chapter 106, Florida Statutes, not for accepting the contributions. Cara Jennings, on the other hand, demonstrated in front of a foreign government, blocking the sidewalks and causing a ruckus. The police asked her to move because of safety and she refused. They did not tell her that she could not demonstrate; just that she had to move. Cara Jennings has little respect for the police. She has admitted that. Although not breaking her Loyalty Oath when she took office, she believes that "authority" is hers to decide; the police said otherwise and the law prevailed.
Both situations, Lowe and Jennings, are irrational—one was deliberately deceptive and a “con” on the citizens, resulting in a $2,500 fine and the other, the Jennings episode, was caused by a total lack of respect of authority and for the people who voted her into office that resulted in her getting arrested and a night in jail. Both situations are a mockery and an insult to the office and to the people these Commissioners represent.
Protest Guttierez AMNESTY Promotional Tour in Orlando and Miami
As you are probably aware pro-AMNESTY forces are mounting a another huge offensive to force another AMNESTY down the throats of citizens, the most likely date expected to be in September, 2009. The easily dislikable Rep. Luiz Guttierez is out promoting AMNESTY in a promotional tour billed as the "Congressional Hispanic Caucus Family Unity Campaign".
The two Florida stops are Orlando on Saturday, March 28th and Miami on Sunday, March 29th.
Are you fed up enough to wave a NO AMNESTY sign at one of these events? Are you angry that more than 10 million Americans are out of work while 7 million illegal workers still hold jobs in our country? Are you upset that the promotional tour will continue to distort the immigration issue with phoney words like "undocumented immigrant" and "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" while completely ignoring the rule of law and negative impacts to US citizens and legal American workers? Are you angry that our elected officials are striving to kill E-Verify, one of the few effective federal programs?
FLIMEN does not have the resources to organize a massive counter-protest. It's up to YOU! Please pass this message around and urge others to protest. If anyone in Orlando would like to help organize this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. FLIMEN VP Dave Caulkett help organize the Miami site.
Bring a sign and be there!
Saturday, March 28th
TIME: 11 a.m.
7215 Forest City Road
Orlando, FL 32810
Sunday, March 29th
TIME: 3 p.m.
Nahbi Ministries International
1001 N.E. Kings Highway
Homestead, FL 33030
Gutierrez: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq9diqP4PzI 8 1/2 minutesPelosi Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KsaiRRd_Aw 7 minutesPelosi Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeQetMHfngQ 7 minutesThe petitions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlG3Ll8da5U 5 minutes
Lois Frankel is always pushing buttons to the limit. She will never take “no” for an answer, not when she wants something. And that is exactly what she did with the City Center. She got it built in spite of a political action committee, the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers, that fought against it and won in court. Frankel allowed the suit to go all the way to the Supreme Court and she lost. She rammed ahead and ignored the citizens and refused to listen to the people or to Ms. Mitchell who rightly stated that Lois was wrong with her “we’ve got money to burn” mentality. The most egregious action of the Mayor was building that building when it should have been put to a vote of the people.
When the Mayor just pushed all the buttons to do what she wanted to do rather than the will of the people, Kimberly Mitchell stood up and said, “no.” Why now, when the city center is complete and West Palm Beach is in debt for over $100 million should Ms. Mitchell now say it’s all okay and forget the wrong, forget the debt, discount all the 6,000 citizens who signed the petition, forget the law suit that they won, and forget what the Mayor did. She is standing up for principle, something far more important that becoming a “team player.” And this has nothing to do with being a sore loser as the Post stated today.
Only weak people go along with the flow. They lack the inner strength to stand up for what is right, and in this case, stand up to a strong Mayor such as Frankel who pushed the wrong button. Kimberly took the right stand so why now should she do any less just to have her name on a plaque that she doesn’t believe should be there in the first place?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
$11,050 was up for discussion for payment of liability insurance for Hands On Consulting.
Donna Ross suggested that they divide the cost 50/50 between Hands On Consulting and the CRA as it was included in the original contract and this was a cost not anticipated by the CRA. Brendan Lynch made a motion to pay the premium with the stipulation that if the contract is cancelled, then the pro-rata share of the unused premium be returned to the CRA. Funds will be taken from the newly created Cultural Redevelopment Department.
The vote was to approve payment.
Re: Cara Jennings Protest
There will be a protest in front of the Lake Worth City Hall from the hours of 3:00pm to 6:00pm on Thursday March 26. The protest is in regard to the actions of Cara Jennings and her behavior as an elected official within the city of Lake Worth. The people are tired of her lack of professionalism and unneccesary attention she has brought to the City of Lake Worth. Materials for signs will be present at the location. For more information please contact me by replying to this email or call me at 561-255-5480.
Today we talked about a Golf Contract for 2½ hours. Apparently there were 3 different scenarios but only back-up for Scenario #2, the one that Staff chose. Why is Staff choosing the Contract that the Commission should accept? Laura Hanna said that Scenario #2 is what the Commission asked them to negotiate. Why then were others presented? The Mayor defended Staff on that point saying that, “Yes, they did have all the back-up they needed.” But actually, they did not. If the Commission had understood all the different options, then there would not have been discussion on this for 2.5 hours. I still don’t understand why we can’t hire one good administrator at our Golf Course, preferably a golf professional that can handle the job. This Contract will be brought back.
Next came the Beach Feasibility Report. This report was full of holes and just plain wrong data. I can’t believe that Steven Schriever of Fishkind could not call a half dozen general contractors and just ask them what a 35,000 square foot building might cost. Just get some idea guys. Fishkind relied on staff for information. Where in the world did they come up with this stuff? To even factor into a projection using 25,000 square feet for retail/commercial is out of whack. BAC zoning calls for 7,200 square feet max. Anyone on Staff should have caught this blaring discrepancy. Where was Staff? This discussion took at least an hour and will be brought back with Straticon giving Fishkind some estimates on construction costs. Fishkind got away with this embarrassing report by saying it was just a draft. Why then was it on the Agenda to be voted upon? Why was the word “draft” not mentioned until the end? Just more delay. And we are paying this guy $22,450 for this?
The Commission voted 4 to 0 to shore up the building at a cost of between $40,000 to $70,000, with actual costs unknown
This morning, Jess Santamaria made me think. His problem is that not enough of us are interested in what's going on and therefore he is losing his interest in government. This got me thinking about the feasibility study on our beach.
It is no surprise here that the forces that be are trying to sabotage the beach with this latest feasibility study.
This study should have compared the same square footage to build new versus restoration. It did not. When you have one scenario of basing revenue on 13,477 square feet and the other basing revenue on new construction of 35,000 square feet, (12,000 sq. ft for restaurants and food service, 13,500 for retail/commercial, 6,500 for ballroom and 3,000 sq. ft. for the Museum) which one do you think might come out on top? The study even shows only 5,000 sq. ft for the ballroom area for restoration but they use 6,500 sq. ft. if the building is built new. A Museum is not even used in the restoration scenario but is used in the building new. Confusing?
When you have a cost to construct that is so far off base--$10 million to restore versus $5 million for new, it has to make everyone wonder who, what and why are we getting a study such as this?
Straticon has already said that they can restore/build a 35,000 square foot building for $7 mil and a 50,000 square foot building for $10 mil. This is restoring the building to a grandeur we have not seen in over 50 years. Hedrick Brothers started out at $14 mil and then went down to $10 mil on 35,000 sq. ft. This report says that a restoration of a 35,000 sq. foot building is between $7 mil and $14 mil and decided to use $10 mil as their number. The report admits that the true costs have not been determined but have been discussed. With whom, I ask. It fails to mention that important factor. Was it staff? Was it a builder?
This study should only have been on building a
50,000 square foot building, restore or new.
35,000 square foot building, restore or new.
Base the revenues on each per the square footage that the tenants will occupy.
Factor in the ballroom revenue and the possibilities for subdividing for future revenue.
Give us ideas on Revenue bonds and the remainder on a General Obligation Bond.
It is no wonder that Jess Santamaria is discouraged and says he probably will not run again. His reason? He says that not enough citizens are participating in government—too much apathy. Here in Lake Worth we have active people but still the elected officials and the staff do not listen. Everyone just goes on his merry way and does what he pleases anyway.
When Cara Jennings threw the curve ball and said I will go with whatever is cheaper, every developer around the southern hemisphere perked up his ears. When she insisted that we get a “vision” for our beach, every person with their own agenda went to work to sabotage our footprint at the beach.
You can view the study below.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Commissioner Retha Lowe gets fined a negotiated civil penalty of $2,500 on Elections Violations for false reports involving Sun Recycling Companies. If the Election Commission does not receive the signed Consent Order within 10 days, it will proceed with the case. Before this became final, it was approved at a public meeting.
Read the FINAL ORDER
I thought the Cara Jennings getting arrested story would be over but lo and behold I get to the Opinion section of the Post just now and there are three letters published in support of Commissioner Jenning’s Constitutional right to do what she did. And as one letter pointed out, this city is housed with immigrants, free-thinkers, old hippies, artists, etc., giving that as the excuse for being thrown in jail as acceptable. Breaking the law is never acceptable.
No one has ever said that she didn’t have the right. What people said was she, being an elected official and representative of the City of Lake Worth, should have had more respect for her office, respect for common sense, more respect for the people she serves, more respect for the laws, more respect for authority and MOVED to the other side of the street when asked to do so. But no, she refused believing that her authority was higher than the law.
As quoted, “Andrew Rosenkranz, the Florida regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said many of the rallies around the U.S. protesting the Israeli government's actions have attracted anti-Israel extremists. Because of that, Rosenkranz called Jennings' participation in the Miami event "disturbing at the very least." The Anti-Defamation League has been fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds. Its ultimate purpose is to “secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.”
Personally, I don’t think anyone really cares why Cara Jennings went to Miami with her leftist friends in order to once again, protest for something. I think it is “protesting” that turns them on, not the cause. It’s sort of like they awaken in the morning and decide what to do next. Oh, let’s use stilts today. No one has said that is not her right. Getting arrested is also her right. It is time now to grow up and be a City Commissioner and with that comes the responsibility of representing this City well and to the best of her ability. She did not do that when she got arrested. The Commissioner represents all of the people here, not just her liberal friends.
The Freedom of Speech is not absolute. I like Cara for many things but Commissioner, you were wrong on this one.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Read the article
I told Cara that she could become the very best Commissioner Lake Worth has ever had--or the worst. It is really up to her.
Regarding the beach, Activist James McCauley says, "You are getting paralyzed by analysis. Seize the moment. Lead, follow or get out of the way." Another leader in our community said yesterday at City Hall after seeing the three renderings, "The people wanted the beach cleaned up, not changed ! The whole process has been hijacked and I blame Cara for this sick, ingenuous FARCE! What happened to the 4 to 1 vote to move forward with rehabbing the Casino ?! Developers aren't the only ones trying to steal the beach from us."
Saturday, March 21, 2009
There are three drawings of what the beach/park could look like. Two of the drawings have a parking platform/garage. One takes out the loop road. It is very important that everyone get down there today and voice your opinion.
The above drawing is really beautiful. I told Michael he would probably get some complaints from some people in that coconut palms are not native even though they are considered the most artistic and beautiful of all. He said that we could pretend that they washed ashore. This photo shows what can be done with a little imagination.
When asking about the Survey, I was told that the questions were devised by Michael Singer Artist and LW staff, with Commission approval.
In Leonard Pitts column this morning he talks about the impending death of newspapers and mentioned that 63 percent of all Americans taking a survey by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism would not even miss their daily newspaper.
I worked for a company years back that was employed with workers, but not thinkers to any stretch of the imagination. They did not read. They never took the time to go to a library or even buy a book at their local grocery store. I asked someone in the corporate headquarters one morning if they had read such and such in the morning paper and her reply, “No, Lynn, we will leave it up to you to let us know what’s going on.” These people were great at sarcasm, their one and only talent besides “stupid.”
I talked to few people out where I live who do not get the newspaper…say they can’t afford it. That is just about the poorest excuse for ignorance I have heard. I would rather hear them say, no, I just want to stay ignorant and turn on the TV. They can give up that one Twinkie per day that is causing their disconnect.
The only way that we will ever be able to stay ahead of the bad guys from gaining total traction and control are our reporters who write for our local newspapers. You honestly do not think it is the Internet and the blogs, do you? National news web sites will keep us advised instantly. This is a great service. Blogs, on the other hand, are nothing more than gossip, one-sided opinion for the most part and bull from some. Here in Lake Worth, there is still one guy who mouths off and belittles and lies about those he professes to hate. These are the people who will not be missed…the bully badgers of Lake Worth.
Our newspapers are what keep this whole mess of a society honest. Newspapers are the only thing left that has a semblance of truth and they will expose corruption with the facts, (The Palm Beach Post on PB County corruption as an example). Would you rather have the truth or get your reporting from some blogger who has never risen from the sand box, who probably never reads the newspaper, and in essence has NO view but can only attack someone else, who can't spell in spite of spell check, and whose only reason for being alive is to “take someone down” just because it’s sport, arm-chairing everything with venomous one-liners, never with any original thought of his own.
Let’s hope and pray that newspapers last forever!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Read the TIMELINE
This criminal, described as an Hispanic male, had no luck at all. He broke into a home owned by a Major in the Sheriff's Department this morning on South Palmway and 6th Avenue South and the Sheriff shot him to death. I talked with Rene Varela who lives in that neighborhood. He did not hear the gunshot but did witness a lot of sheriff's vehicles.
Read the story from the Post
Read the story from the Sun Sentinel
If we don’t have the money, we are not going to buy. If prices continue to rise, we will never buy anything but the essentials such as gas and food. Our habits will and have to change drastically. Retailers out there just don’t seem to be getting that. Take Publix. Everything is up other than eggs I was told by the store manager on Lake Worth Road. Such a deal! Movie houses are losing revenue. No one can afford to see a movie these days. What do they do? Yup, raise the cost of a ticket; raise the price of popcorn. The State of Florida doesn’t care either because the price to ride on our State Highways as well as traffic tickets are going up so that the State can generate over $63 million in new found revenue.
Our City, as well as other governments, is so strapped for cash, it is implementing creative ways to get money. Lake Worth has raised ALL recreational fees, as an example. They will not even consider taking money away from the CRA but would rather sock it to the little guy. Planting a seed is fine during a healthy economy. They make a decision to unman our beach, eliminating lifeguards two days a week during the height of tourist season, finally deciding that was a dumb move.
Now they have out sourced our Fire Department to Palm Beach County with every taxpayer here paying 2.95mils for fire rescue. Prior to that it was the Police and then our stormwater fee. What else can we expect while no one will take a cut in salary but instead, management implements raises, laying off other workers to pay for them.
They still talk about a new government center and a new library but put a match to $14 million dollars that we have already invested into our Reverse Osmosis Plant. Hopefully, that fateful decision will be overturned and we will end the County water deal. Water, in the future, will be our most valuable commodity. The Mayor voted to give away our waste water to Palm Beach County. Is there anything else to give, Mayor? The only things left are the golf course and the beach. What about our entire city?
Some people are really struggling to stay in their homes; others live on social security and fixed income watching the value of their money drop in half. They worry whether they will even make it to the end of their normal life. The government should be considering these things when they get creative, not worrying about how the CRA can give away our money to people who want hand-outs. There is no reason why someone living in a property valued at over $1 million, as an example, should get free money from the CRA and pay the same as a poor person for storm water or why some poor working stiff has to worry about taking his family to the beach. I don’t buy the argument that “the beach is still affordable.” Everything, right now, is a big question mark when you take out your wallet. Lake Worth politicians still think it a-okay to spend nearly $15 million dollars on the Gateways. How do they justify that?
So, it seems, as we are in this severe recession, and people have no work; they are losing their homes; they have no health care, that the government, the protector of the citizen, continues to devise ways to sock it to us, giving hand-outs to deadbeats while the average citizen pays the price. And what Stimulus money did Lake Worth get?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The stats below were just sent to me by Joyce Tarnow, President of Floridians for Sustainable Growth.
Because of the U.S. economic disaster, Florida did not grow it’s population in 2008. That is temporary. U.F.’s Bureau of Economic & Business Research projects a “...normal growth of about 317,000 a year between 2010 and 2020...”. The Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research projects a population of 20 million in Florida possibly as early as 2015.
In the seven years from April 2000-April 2007 we grew by 16.9% to 18,680,367.
During those seven years natural increase accounted for 12.5% and net migration topped 87.5%.
Those same years saw three counties, Flagler, Sumter and Osceola increase by over 50% while St. Johns, St. Lucie and Walton counties experienced population growth from 40.6% to 41.3%.
In March 2009 U.S population was 306,019,421 with a net gain of one person every 13 seconds. The growth included the addition of one international migrant every 36 seconds. While the U.S. is growing at a rate of 0.6% approximately 3 million added annually, Europe and Japan have a growth rate of minus zero. YOU NEED TO GET INVOLVED! Join us, get in the loop......
Florida Municipal Power Authority stopped its payments to Florida Public Utilities for natural gas starting in January this year. They gave no notice to our City. They gave no explanation. We just found out when we got a past-due notice from Florida Public Utilities Company. This amounts to $60,600 a month that Lake Worth will now have to pay. FMPA based its decision on our Commission’s vote to exit FMPA’s All Requirements. The City is now preparing itself for an inevitable lawsuit as it contends that FMPA is responsible. This just cements the reason for getting out of FMPA.
It is always one thing after another here. Just when you think you have made strides to really turn it all around, something happens to jerk our city right back into the dung. We are continually attempting to climb out of the problems that we have made for ourselves by past bad decisions. We can’t seem to rise above it all. However, there is always something or someone that gets in our way.
Everyone out there wants all this money that we DO NOT HAVE. They seem to get it. Every contract is favorable to everyone but Lake Worth. We should learn a lesson—play hardball too!
Now comes our beach. Michael Singer has a survey on the lakeworth.org web site. I took it yesterday. They should have skipped it. It is totally unbelievable to me, particularly when two commissioners just got elected on what the people wanted for our beach, to go through these hoops once again. It is one bad joke on the citizens of Lake Worth. Putting this obstacle in our path at the pretense of gathering public input is just like walking backwards. We are back to square one.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Reserve announced today that it would pump an extra $1
trillion into the mortgage market and longer-term Treasury
securities in order to revive the economy.
They say that we are an active city with progressive ideas. I really have to wonder about that. We do have some activists here, people who take an interest in our city government and the direction it takes to provide us with a better standard. To overlook or to support what is “wrong” is ridiculous and I will continue to speak out about it no matter who is in office; I don’t care if it were my brother--Commissioner Jennings actions are not an exception. Her actions were not about the right to free speech. Yes, she did protest on her own time, her right, but she should have moved when asked. Instead, now the City of Lake Worth gets another black eye. Wrong is wrong.
Have you ever gotten the feeling the Mayor is hell bent on giving our city away to the county? I am talking about giving it ALL away, not just one little segment because, as he said, “we won’t have to worry about unions and retirement benefits.” To me, this “deal,” as well as several in the past, did not pass the “smell test.” There was just something about it. Last night there were several things totally “wrong,” but I will only speak on the main one, of course, that of the Fire/Rescue deal with Palm Beach County.
I am skeptical especially when a projection is built on false data to begin with. Take the annual city property value change estimate, as an example. This calculation was used to convince the city commission that we were going to save money. The city projects a drop of 3% in value over the next few years, then in year three it only drops to 3%, year four stays at no depreciation and then it starts to rise. This part of the deal was barely explained.
Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office has already predicted a 12% drop in property value. The County Administrator, Bob Weisman, says this: “Because of the slumping housing market, property values are expected to decrease about 12 percent -- more than double the drop originally estimated. That results in a bigger drop in property tax revenues, which would require a higher tax rate than previously expected to cover county expenses,” according to Weisman. The County is considering raising its taxes by 8%. If this is the case, we will be paying much more than staff’s spreadsheet has indicated because of lower property values. So where did our Finance Department come up with a 3%?
The very fact that this was on the Agenda, with no notice to the public, is concern enough. The City Commission should never vote on a contract of this magnitude without understanding every facet of the agreement and how it will affect us. We continue to get into horrible contracts for Lake Worth. And what about that supplement that the County wants us to pay? Why do we have to pay that? Is the City afraid to say "no?" The County, as usual, just had to have an answer by Friday, or else! We, of course, want to believe in staff and that they are not leading us astray. It is the obligation and duty of each Commissioner, however, never to vote on something for which they have little or no understanding or even one unanswered question. That is irresponsible. We should have had an attorney with expertise in these types of contracts, go over it, line by line. It would have been worth the cost.
For some reason Mayor Clemens has decided to give our entire city away to the County on a silver platter. We even are in the hole with the PB County Sheriff deal; it appears that we will not be much better off with the Fire/Rescue deal either. Again, just like the police, half of our firemen have elected to stay in our pension fund. We will still be paying for pension costs as before although the Mayor stated that we would no longer have that cost. He has given the County our valuable waste water; has given the citizens of Lake Worth a horrible deal on potable water by contracting with the County, still insisting last night that we are going to increase our water rate to pay for an “unnecessary plant” when the Reverse Osmosis was mentioned. The cost projected for that was offered by Staff and we know that it will cost much less now, per Mock Roos, because of economic conditions that prevail today. It is cheaper to build than it was previously. The Mayor advocated for a 99 year lease on Snook Islands to the County and convinced the voters that it was a great idea to give a long term lease to PB County because we would not have to maintain our own property. Let daddy do it.
The County will take everything we own regarding our fire department. We will never be able to have our own Fire Department again. That is the bottom line. What an awesome decision the Commission made for the stakeholders of this City on information they just received minutes before the meeting. The PB County Fire argument was that we have been talking about this deal for a year. Yes, that is true, but we did not have a Contract before us to analyze.
Now, to hold onto our city, we increase recreational fees for our residents…nickel and dime the residents to death. Well, you have to generate revenue somewhere, right? Watch what happens at the budget meeting. Do you really think our millage will be reduced by 2.95%, the amount that it will cost us on our tax bill to go to Palm Beach County? Do you still think that our CRA will be crying and begging to get off the hook for any reduction in its budget? And that 2.95% is at the will of PB County. It is not fixed and can be increased down the line and trust me when I say, taxes rarely decrease.
We have been a city for nearly 100 years. We have had our own police and fire departments, something a city has when it is Chartered. It is at the point now that there is no need to be a city any longer.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
13.5 years as city manager of Ft. Pierce. Said to be laid-back and does not micro-manage. He is known for the rebirth of the historic downtown district and by so doing, brought the rest of the area together. Electric Utility experience. No Photo available.
Pam Brangaccio—MA, BA
County administrator for
Thomas Hoover—MPA, BS
Actively seeking a job in a warmer climate, Mr. Hoover resigned his position on
Susan Stanton—MBA, BAFormer
Click HERE For PB Post article.
|Jail Number: 090022578||IDS: 2272448||Loc: WDC|
|Date Booked: 03/16/2009||Time Booked: 18:37|
|Case Number: M09014990|| || |
|Charge: RESISTING OFFICER WITHOUT VIOLENCE TO HIS PERSON||Bond: $ 1000**|