Sunday, February 28, 2010
From February 19 to February 25, there were 259 reported crimes. This included one vehicle theft and one vehicle theft recovery. All in all for the month of February through the 25th, Lake Worth has had 972 crimes. Cpt. Silva and the Mayor have both said that crime is down. What ever was it before? Can we ever have a crime statistic comparison?
Driving up 6th Avenue South yesterday, there was a guy who passed me doing at least 50 mph. There is never a sheriff in sight when that happens. This road has become a speedway for some individuals. As 61 traffic violations were part of the 259 reported crimes, don't ever try walking across that road. The next thing we will see is a little cross in memory.
The cost of running for local office has hit an all new high. With the exception of Rodney Romano raising more money, Rene Varela raised $40,860. But wait…$23,770.86 of that was for a professional political consulting firm, SMDG.
This appears to be the same political consulting company that worked on Lois Frankel's and Sharon Bock's campaign. But wait...it also worked on President Obama’s campaign! The President of the United States for crying out loud. Rene didn’t want all of us to know that so it was slipped in on his final T-Report.
Between deceptive fliers, deceptive robo calls, the head of the Republican Party PB Cnty doing a campaign call, total character assassination of the opponent and his wife by ugly supporters, owing your soul to the Unions and now a professional consultant, I don’t see how FDR could have won this election. Rene was serious when he told us to elect career politicians into office. This is his first step.
I met Honey years ago when I used to drive down from the northern part of the County to attend Lake Worth Democratic Club meetings before I moved back to
You would never know that she has had this exciting life rubbing elbows with Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman. To this day, she stays informed on what is going on in
Always doing good work for the City and others, Honey started a scholarship fund in the Lake Worth Alumni Foundation's Dollars For Scholars several years back in the name of her late husband, Watson B. Duncan III.
This is another reason why we need Florida Hometown Democracy. The elected officials, not only want to build two condo buildings on that site but the land use must be changed for them to do so. Enough is enough.
This is an historic building and the residents of Palm Beach need their voices heard.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The (Orlando) Sentinel's editorial Sunday ("How to beat Amend. 4") is thought-provoking, indeed.
The first suggestion, "Stop approving the very type of development that residents hate," is certainly in keeping with the feelings of this lifelong resident of east Orange County. The boondoggle created during the past 10 to 15 years at the southeast corner of Econlockhatchee Trail and University Boulevard is a prime example.
This 10-acre parcel in an established residential area was rezoned for office space. The developer clear-cut almost 10 acres of a heavily wooded and supposedly protected wetland area. He then built one of several buildings that were proposed, black-topped and lighted at least two-thirds of the parcel, and installed a retention pond where the wetland had been.
The residents were not pleased. The upshot is that in the past three years, the building has had only two tenants and the bank has taken over the property. I say, let this happen in neighborhoods all over the county. This will assure the passage of Amendment 4, and perhaps the taxpaying, voting residents will secure a voice, however small, in what transpires in their communities.
Martha Tempest Orlando
People have been predicting the end of the world since God knows when. The Library of Datesetters has the beginning of the doom and gloom at year 44.
Supposedly, according to the Mayan calendar, the Earth will end in the year 2012. They say that the Planet X returns, the Milky Way aligns with the Earth and the Sun on
Right now there is an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in
With all the strange weather phenomena over the last several years, it makes even a skeptic, such as I, wonder...what is going on? With countries testing nuclear explosives underground, it makes us all sit up and take notice when there are no explanations to the strange things going on….dead fish, more cancer victims, violent weather changes, etc. Nuclear tests can involve many hazards.
In 1954 we had Bravo, which is considered the worst nuclear accident and caused untold problems: changing weather patterns and contamination of populations and food supplies. These problems have occurred from nuclear tests from other countries as well.
Is it just scientific happenstance of which we have no control? Maarten Keulemans has a web site Exit Mundi. He says this regarding the most likely way that the Earth will die—“Some stuff is simply inevitable. It WILL happen no matter what. His number one theory is that the Sun will die and incinerate our planet-- a super volcano will erupt one day and the universe will eventually die - although scientists still disagree over the details.”
As everything has a beginning and an end, people will be theorizing and discussing about the end of the Earth until the end of time…:)
WHEREFORE, Defendant, CITY OF LAKE WORTH, respectfully requests that this Court strike GREATER BAY GROUP, LLC’s Complaint as a sham, enter Summary Judgment in favor of the CITY OF LAKE WORTH on the merits and further award the CITY OF LAKE WORTH its reasonable attorney’s fees as provided under 57.105. Fla.Stat. and granting such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.
The above is a paragraph in the recent Motion To Strike filed by our outside attorney, Brian Joslyn of Casey, Ciklin, etal. Joslyn's argument is that the Supreme Court has said that "it is a judicial prerogative inherent in a court to strike out pleadings that are either sham or frivolous." He proceeds to give all the arguments as to why Greater Bay's suit is a sham. He is also asking that our legal fees be reimbursed.
But we all knew about Greater Bay. Our three elected officials then had to have known as well but they proceeded anyway. What was really happening at our beach? What was motivating that Commission to make all the wrong choices and to give away our beach? What motivated one political faction in this City to run Mark Drautz out of town on a rail, a mayor who stood up for what was right--stood up for the people? I have my ideas on this one. It would be another "dirty dozen" story.
As one person said who e-mailed me yesterday, "Thank God he didn't get a hold of our Casino." Greater Bay did enough damage in the short time they were on our beach property with the pool renovation.
"Teamwork is key to the success of our projects" states Greater Bay Construction Company president Tim Steele. Greater Bay used sub-contractors because they knew nothing about pools and contracted with Pugh, a "friend" of the good ole boys. You remember the CRA scandal on his property at 6th Ave South. Our pool repairs originally were to cost $391,000. Before too long, the cost jumped up to $424,826. As everyone now knows--
- the pavers are sinking because sand was not packed correctly
- an incorrect sized pool pump was installed
- inferior materials used
- the pool pump house is unsafe
- the pool had to be closed
What about warranties? Are there any? What about insurance that Greater Bay carried? Peter Willard, if you recall, blamed the shoddy work on Pugh Pools, his sub-contractor. Greater Bay, however, is ultimately responsible for this mess.
Because of prevailing politics at the time in our city, Greater Bay was allowed to continue with our pool after non-performance and stalling, from inception, on the original Ground Lease and Development Agreement. When you reflect on all that occurred, you wonder how this could have happened...how did all this corruption take place for so long. Why wasn't our project manager looking out for our best interests? What happened to our staff that was directly involved?
Instead of Greater Bay suing us when they never performed, we should be suing them.
- Starting blocks installed incorrectly. Can't attract swim meets.
- Two diving boards in contract; 1 meter and a 3 meter-- only one used 1m board installed.
- Pool covers used to retain heat were made for residential pool--won't work on a competitive pool as they are too lightweight and will also blow off in a strong wind. We had to contract with Lincoln Equipment for a new pool cover because what we paid for was inferior in every way.
- Heater not connected.
Greater Bay even goes so far as to blame former city attorney Larry Karns and implied that Karns improperly recommended that the City solicit bids from other developers for the necessary pool improvements and not proceed with Greater Bay. Karns made this recommendation because they had failed to execute the City approved Amendment 1 which had to do with going forward with work on the pool which originally had been scheduled later in the original Agreement. An ineffectual city attorney overall, Karns' advice was right on this one but the Commission did not listen.
On February 8, 2008 and on a 4 to 1 vote with Commissioner Cara Jennings dissenting, the Commission voted for Amendment 1 to the Greater Bay Contract allowing them to proceed with repairs to our pool. Mayor Clemens, Commissioners Lowe, Golden and Vespo voted YEA in spite of the city attorney's legal advice. Have you ever heard of anyone going against the advice of their attorney? Lake Worth is an anomaly. Not only is it a mystery why various commissions continued in support of this sham (corruption or ineptitude) but it is because of bad decisions such as these that got us to where we are today.
Willard is finally running out of games in spite of his $40 million dollar law suit against the City of lake Worth. Some birds never know when to stop chirping.
Friday, February 26, 2010
This is a very interesting article and worth reading, if only to realize how corrupt we have become over the last 60 years from the top down and on both sides of the isle. Paul Volcker says mortgage market will have to be reconstructed.
Most people don't remember that Paul Volcker was the Fed Chairman under president Jimmy Carter, the guy who took the interest rate to 20 percent ( my ex-wife and I bought a home in 1983 at 18 7/8 % - and nobody in the family on either side said a word to us about not doing it - which I gave back to the bank after 10 yrs and nothing happened to us because of it).
Our government knows it has a problem and they might have to bring interest rates back up to say 20% (that's one of the reasons that Vocker is on board) but, if there is no economy now at 0% how in the hell will there be anymore at 10% or 20%. If it wasn't for Fannie/Freddie/FHA and all government backed loans there would not have been 1/2 the economy that we had over the last 60 yrs and it was the white collar, so called educated welfare recipients - corporations- (big builders like TULL BROTHERS, etc.) and their dividend earners that made out (or they thought because they reinvested in the stock market and most have lost it all). And then the white collar blames the working poor white & black at the bottom for all the problems. We have been robbing ourselves and it does collapse--we are here and now.
The Government has become all-- it can't work; it will be ugly and we will muddle on. Nothing has changed; Wall Street and the 2% have not missed a step.
What would Jesus say to him particularly as he is a man of "the cloth?" "If any of you want to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me." This guy hammered in the nails.
Five years is not enough.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It gets very tiring people when you have so much incompetency on a daily basis in our City. Our vision was to have a competitive pool. We spent $450,000 to assure that would happen. We had a project manager in charge. What does he do? He makes sure the bills are padded and Greater Bay walks home with the cash? And he still does work for the City.
The pool heaters have never been hooked up as far as I know. We never got the right pool cover to retain the heat and we never got the 3 meter board. The racing boards were installed incorrectly. We got the wrong timers. Our pump station is totally #$%^ed up and Joe Kroll, our Public Works Director who was and is in charge, now must tear up the newly placed pavers and the City must come up with $150,000 for repairs. Instead of finding the money the suggestion was to---
close the pool, have a water park and install a water slide. I think it is time to fire everyone or lock them all in City Hall so they can't get out. No more splashy ideas. It is time for tighter management controls and conservative decisions. John Rinaldi is right--We can't manage anything. How in the heck would we ever be able to manage a waterslide?
Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and other banks have been in the news over reports they secretly helped raise $1 billion in credit for Greece, in a way that was off the balance sheet and helped hide Greece's big debt woes from European Union Regulators.
Read more about it HERE
(a) A person who is a member of any appointed board or committee of the city and who qualifies as a candidate for the office of mayor or city commissioner shall, prior to or at the time of qualifying, resign from the board or committee. The resignation shall be in writing, shall be addressed to and delivered to the city clerk, and shall take effect immediately.
(b) This section shall not be construed as an additional qualification for the office of mayor or the office of city commissioner. A member of a city board or committee who qualifies as a candidate for the office of mayor or city commissioner without resigning shall be deemed to have resigned from the board or committee at the time of qualifying, creating a vacancy which shall be filled by the city commission.
(Ord. No. 99-15, § 1, 5-18-99) Sec. 2-22.
Palm Beach County's water department wanted to regionalize Lake Worth Water into its system. They had their eye on our water for years. They did not give a hoot that we had already invested $14 million into our RO system and they convinced a previous Commission, that had no clue, to enter into a bad contract. Lake Worth is famous for getting into bad deals. It is the same sort of idea of a parent stealing from his own child. Reprehensible.They strong armed the City of Lake Worth, a poor city, for millions and wanted to steal our valuable water wells.
PB County attempted to lock us into a 40 year contract with a built in rate increase, thus forcing us into paying $2.5 million in piping only laid to bring other cities into their regionalization. And there are still really uninformed people out in our community as witnessed by the couple of comments under the Post article.
We are well out of this deal. Thank God we won’t have to see Brian Shields again. The County's settlement agreement was received by the City of Lake Worth on January 20 with the implication, take it or leave it because "we are confident that we could recover the full amount of our original costs should the matter be adjudicated..." The threat of law suits are always part of the game.
My calculations have us paying right under $3.7 mil. Once our RO is built and this contract over in three years, we will then be a supplier of the most valuable commodity on Earth.
The Lake Worth Democratic Club had several candidates attending its meeting last night at Pegasus in spite of the heavy downpour.
Paulette Burdick spoke prior to the general meeting as she had another meeting to attend. The best quip of the night was when Harvey Millstein said to Ms. Burdick, “PB County passed on an ethics committee so maybe you will stay out of jail.” Pete Brandenburg was there running for District 89 as was Jeff Clemens.
The "Pro" and the Con were there regarding Florida Hometown Democracy. Both speakers are native Floridians. Our own Katie McGiveron, sounded like a seasoned "pro" on the subject. Speaking for the very first time ever in a public forum regarding the ballot initiative, she stood up to Councilman, David Levy from Palm Beach Gardens. Lesley Blackner, founder of FHD, could not attend.
I just never really know for sure if politicians get it wrong on purpose or if the lie is just something they perfect as they go along. Mr. Levy, a geologist, was first elected to office in 2003 and is in his 2nd, three year term as Vice Mayor of his city. He comes up for re-election on March 9. You can bet that he is backed (financially or philosophically) by every builder organization that ever existed for his loyalty to growth at any cost. Incidentally, Palm Beach Gardens Treasury Reports are not on-line.
Mr. Levy’s biggest argument was turning Florida Hometown Democracy’s arguments 180^. He said that Amendment 4 was bad for the environment, his most outlandish lie of the night. Well, not quite—there was another one that stood out when he said that every 7 years we would have to go out for Referenda on our Comp Plan. It is a statement such as this that convinces me that we need to be in charge of where we live. Voting “good” people into office is the biggest challenge we face.
He referred often to St. Petersburg Beach as an example of why Amendment 4 was “bad” even saying what happened there was “the clone of Amendment 4.” This is when Katie stepped in to explain to the club membership that St. Pete Beach did not have Amendment 4, that is was like “putting a saddle on a cow and then crying when you didn’t win the Kentucky Derby.” (If anyone wants an explanation as to what really happened at St. Petersburg, let me know. I will be happy to send you information)
In summation, Amendment 4 is on the ballot because elected officials are gutless; they can’t say “no” to bad growth. And it almost seems as if they will never say "no" to any building. With enough units on the market to accommodate 100 million people, we don't have to worry about housing for those who are migrating here. Katie said, “I am tired of people telling me that the voters are too stupid to vote on land use changes. Commissioners are not smarter than we and didn’t grow another brain when they got elected.” Harvey Millstein's quip is how many of us feel about elected officials and our State is proof positive of their reckless disregard.
On November 2 we will all be able to vote on how we want our communities to look if a commission dares to change a land use in our Comp Plan, our legal bible. Politicians have done a dreadful job for decades and their messes have finally caught up to us all.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Thanks to our City Manager, Susan Stanton, and the never ending persistence of Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill, train horns on the CSX will be silenced.
Jennifer Marchal a member of Save Our neighborhood, has been working on this issue for four years to no avail. She met with the city manager several months ago who literally took the bull by the horns and got it solved. Jennifer and Tripp Ciocci learned that Tom Drake of the Federal Railroad Administration would be here in Lake Worth on February 3 for a diagnostic review of the railroad crossing. They immediately passed on this information to City Hall. Mr. Drake reported that all crossings were in compliance with the FRA's Quiet Zone Calculator. Therefore, all we had to do was file a Notice of Intent to create a Quiet Zone and Notice of Quiet Zone Establishment.
Something that had gone on for years was solved within weeks with no budgetary impact.
Many thanks to Mike Moskowitz, John Lamb, Suzanne Mulvehill and City Manager, Susan Stanton and especially Jennifer and Tripp for never giving up. We will soon be able to sleep without hearing those train horns every hour on the hour all night long. Now if we could just get rid of that barking dog.
Immediate Notice to Terminate—that’s what will be given to Hands On Consulting, now hands off. Due to lack of performance over this past year, the CRA voted unanimously to end the agreement with consultants that we hoped would give us the start for the Cultural Renaissance dream. I am still unsure whether our own City did not have something to do with the fact that Hands On just could not come up with any properties that made it impossible for them to perform. The CRA has limited funds. It just didn’t work out. We are not
Even with the CRA director implying that the deal could stress the budget, the CRA voted to approve the motion on the Lease (eventual purchase) at
We will be buying this property for much less than its appraised value with owner financing and then spend a possible $600,000 for interior and exterior restoration and rehabilitation. Instead of handing over cash to some entity, we are spending it on an asset that will be owned by the CRA and only become more valuable--one in which WE can make money instead of someone else. Unless the country goes into a major depression and recovery will be long and hard, this is one major CRA decision that makes dollars and cents in the long-term.
This is, without a doubt, the best and most responsible CRA Board we have had in years. Frankly, I am impressed with every single member. (Ok, I'm pushing it here) Although still touting how wonderful
Now if we could only get that $500,000 cash back from Publix.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Read how the Unions, Politicians bankrupted Miami
What Cesar Figueroa has to say--
More to the point--There's no prospect for growth in profits from buying American labor. The capital owning class has no more need for us (U.S.A.). Take a good look at Haiti, Cuba, New Orleans, that's the future for people who have only their labor to sell. How could we think that we would be on top for ever?
Feb. 23, 2009
TALLAHASSEE - Julie Hauserman has been named campaign manager for Florida Hometown Democracy, Constitutional Amendment 4 on the November 2010 ballot.
The outcome of this meeting was determined in the first ten minutes when Ryan said, “We acted in good faith and there will be no new elections.” We all stayed to hear the “rest” of the story.
Last night the room was filled. There were even four deputy sheriffs in attendance, just in case. It was a peaceful and respectful meeting. If there was any character assassination it was not from those who wrote the letter of complaint regarding TRNA’s recent election of officers. TRNA opened up the floor to anyone there, allowing them to speak for two minutes, even non-members. I agree with Laurel Decker when she said that only TRNA members should have been allowed to address the Association but the new Board did not want that criticism thrown into the pot.
I am glad I attended this meeting for one reason—I believe Ryan Anderson’s clear explanation as to why the election meeting date was changed and that the previous Board acted in good faith. Was it appropriate to change the meeting date? That is in question. Some members that did not receive an e-mail or failed to read the e-mails or the web site, did not know of the meeting change and therefore wanted a new election. Elections are "traditionally held in January" and many residents relied on that. I can well understand their disappointment and feeling left out or disenfranchised in some way. Did the Association do everything it could have to get the word out? Perhaps not. Even Daniel Robleto wanted to know more about their outreach.
Sylvia Williams, Vice President
Are they a valid neighborhood association without By-Laws? They are not even a 501 (c)3 yet. So, if they are just a neighborhood association in name only, I guess they can conduct their elections any way they choose. I am not familiar with the rules but pose this question--if they do not have by-Laws, can they even become a member of the President's Council? This election episode has now motivated the neighborhood association to correct these deficiencies that have been going on since September 9, 2005 when it was first incorporated. Javier Del Sol is working on By-Laws as is the new Board. Ryan did say that they had been too busy in the past with cleaning up the neighborhood which took precedence over anything else, thus the failure of all past Boards to follow through on the process.
Panagioti had a point when he said that leadership is earned. I agree with that. Elections are very important. It doesn't matter if a resident of the neighborhood fails to attend meetings or fails to get involved in crime walks and community events. His voice is still important. The fact that there were members who, for whatever reason, did not learn about the meeting change, should be reason for deep concern from this new Board. One resident there, who is not political, even said she thought it was a "set-up." I wouldn't think that a new Board would even want to start its term under a cloud.
The neighbors were there for an hour listening about and speaking on an election already decided and an outcome that was not going to change from a new Board that was determined to keep its leadership. There were no apologies. Nothing else mattered.
To continue to say that NA's are not political is being utopian in some way. Just the very fact of having elections makes it political from the start.
Monday, February 22, 2010
As a reminder, operating costs for the T-3's are 10 cents a day; equivelant to 500 miles per gallon; save over $25, 000 per year compared to gas powered vehicle.
Finally spotted one at the Street Painting Festival since writing about them back in September.
Mondays are bad enough but waking up to a dismal, rainy day doesn’t help. And then I started to think about TRNA’s 6pm meeting tonight at Compass and the day just became more dreary. Power grabs among members of a neighborhood association are just so unsavory.
Neighborhood Associations SAY that they are not political and I say everything we do and believe is based on politics. As Thomas Mann said in The Magic Mountain, “There is nothing that is not political. Everything is politics.” This was proved in the Bryant Park parking lot fiasco. Neighborhood Associations need to take a stand on issues that affect them and that is every decision made in this City. Moving a parking lot never should have turned out “political” but BPNA along with some residents made it so. Often times I hear NA presidents saying, “We are not political. We do not want to get involved in politics.” This is a bunch of hooey. Those neighborhood associations that don’t involve themselves, will be ineffective in ever getting anything positive done.
Tonight we get to hear both sides of the story—whether or not Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association’s election was properly noticed and per its By-Laws. Tropical Ridge has so many problems (and goal aspirations), that Mary Lindsey still has her finger there. City Commissioner Jennings, along with CRA Commissioner Jessica Rockstein who both live in that neighborhood, are some of the members who are asking for a new election.
The argument as I understand it: Proper notice was given for TRNA’s new election to be held on January 4. At the last minute, that meeting was rescheduled to December 28. Notice was delivered late that morning and posted on the web site and in an e-mail. There was no reference to elections taking place that night. Many people did not receive notice and arrived on January 4th for the election meeting. I would imagine that members want to be convinced that this was not just another "deceptive flyer." This all occurred between Christmas and New Year's when many people have made other plans, are out of town, etc. and relied on the original meeting notice.
If there are that many people who are members that believe that the meeting was not noticed properly, why not just have a new election and make everyone happy? What is there to fear? But this is politics, right?
Mary Brandenburg is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 89th District since 2003. She served on the City Commission of West Palm Beach from 1999-2002.
Brandenburg is President of the United States Control Systems Corporation.
She is a member of many organizations, including the Government Affairs Committee/Leadership West Palm Beach Coordinating Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Grassy Waters Preserve, Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce, Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Women's Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Democratic Women's Club, and the Palm Beach Civic Association.
Brandenburg did not provide answers to the Florida State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test. The test provides voters with how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected.
Paulette Burdick is a registered Democrat. After graduating from Northeastern University in 1971, she relocated to Palm Beach County. Ms. Burdick is married to Gregory Burdick and has a son who graduated from Palm Beach County School District.
Ms. Burdick was elected to the School Board in 1994 and served two terms as Board Chairperson. She is the past president of the South Florida Consortium of School Boards. She currently serves on the School Readiness Coalition, Pine Jog's Education Advisory Board, School Health and Behavioral Health Initiative, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Ms. Burdick was chosen to serve on the Teacher Recruitment and Retention State Task Force. She has served on the Children's Services Council, Business Development Board, the Center for Creative education, Florida School Board Association, Community Alliance and America's School of Promise.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Bottom left: Katie and John
Bottom right: Kyle and Barbara Jean
One lady who stopped said that she never wanted to see another Lucerne condo in our City. We assured her that with Florida Hometown Democracy in effect, it would only happen if the majority of people voted for it.
FHD would love to hear from all you "politicians" that have some ax to grind, who feel that your power will be eroded if the people actually keep you in check with FHD. Give us a call and we will be happy to set you straight. Remember politicians, with this bad economy, don't look to receive too many developer contributions. The Florida Chamber's PAC just spent $ 5 million trying to prevent FHD from even being on the ballot.
Sometimes, the good guys have to win.
How to Beat Amendment 4
Scoop on how our Region gets over-built
When you wish upon a Boom
Barbara Jean was just thinking of generously tipping Justin, our waiter, when he must have read her mind. Lo and behold, the management brought over this delicious platter of desserts--on the house--whipped cream and all.
No good deed goes unnoticed or unrewarded. Perhaps the management at Toojays noticed Barabara Jean's energy and her always positive attitude.
P.S. She ate that entire platter all by herself! :)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
at Street Painting Festival
Robert Waples, president of ROLOH and Bernie Siler bottom right.
Upper left are C.O.P.'s from Murry Hills
"A Citizen Observers job function is to patrol a designated area, to include area shopping centers, churches, synagogues, public facilities and schools; observe suspicious occurrences, people or objects; check closed houses; contact elderly and infirm individuals upon request. If a situation does arise, the Citizen Observer reports it via radio or hard-line phone to the complaint desk of the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office. "
This is a video from June 2009 when FHD was still asking for signatures on its petition. It is now on the ballot, so signatures are not a concern, but this short video is very informative on Comprehensive Plans and why FHD is necessary. Notice the sprawl--something we want to end unless you just want it.
Your vote will count on how your city will look if a municipality dares change its Comprehensive Plan for a developer. You, as a voting citizen of Florida, will have the right to say "yes" or "no," something not in the developer's play book. We know that politicians just don't want you to have any power or say over your own community. Their favorite line is, "Leave it to us; that's why you voted for us." And look what they have done.
See you at the Street Painting Festival today.
Friday, February 19, 2010
“Perceptions that ACORN is a charitable organization are simply wrong and part of ACORN’s efforts to deceive the American people,” Issa said.
“ACORN is a political machine that uses a complex corporate web, connections to the SEIU, and powerful political allies to break laws in pursuit of a partisan agenda. This report shines more disinfecting sunlight on ACORN’s secretive methods of abusing taxpayer funds and charitable donations."
10am to 6pm
Katie and I will be in front of City Hall on Saturday at 11am on Dixie Highway bringing awareness to Florida Hometown Democracy. Stop by and say hello. If you don't know what the November 2, 2010 ballot initiative is all about, we will have the answers for you to consider.
Street Painting Festival, Inc.
Click on to read about the SLEAZE
Nissan sent out a flier that gave the impression that it was from “an official government agency” recalling Toyotas when all along it was just a shoddy mailer from Nissan.
We hope that someone in
Persuading someone to vote for your candidate predicated on scare tactics and lies brought about by misleading and dishonest literature should not be condoned. I hope that the Attorney General agrees.
The Postmaster General would probably say it was ok because there was no official seal of the City of Lake Worth on it, just another reason why they are operating at a loss of between $6 billion and $12 billion, debt surpassing $10 billion, and a $1 billion cash shortfall. For any business, those are some ugly numbers. But gain through deception is even uglier.
Nissan was consumed by greed. Lindsey and FACT were consumed by power and intense hostility brought about by their own faulty perceptions. Both are wrong in what they did. Now that the Mayor has officially stated that our government must be less political and more functional, I am sure that Rene Varela would agree that deceptive practices such as these should cease immediately. Right, Mayor?
These fliers are nothing more than dirty dealings and need to be officially flushed down the toilet.
Supreme Court Decision
Yesterday, in a lengthy 4-2 opinion, the Florida Supreme Court struck down the revocation legislation passed by the Florida Legislature back in 2007 to keep Florida Hometown Democracy off the ballot. The Court ruled that “the politically charged counter-petition revocation campaigns created by these provisions would essentially eviscerate and render meaningless the citizen-initiative process.”
The Court further noted that Florida Hometown Democracy has been the only citizens’ initiative targeted by the sleazy process. Newly elected state Senator, John Thrasher (former uber-developer lobbyist and proposed Chairman of the Florida Republican Party), spearheaded the revocation effort. Under Thrasher’s name, tens of thousands of bogus, lying letters were mailed out to trick voters into revoking their signatures on Hometown Democracy petitions. His crew also hounded petition signers with phone calls. The Court reacted to Thrasher’s tactics by noting: “Indeed, the record before us contains evidence that frustrated Florida electors were actually duped and misled by a partisan letter into revoking their signatures only to later discover that they would face potential criminal prosecution if they attempted to re-sign the relevant initiative petition.
The entire campaign against Florida Hometown Democracy has been one desperate big lie after another that we have steadily defeated. Here’s a brief chronology:
The bogus, trick “Floridians for Smarter Growth” petition. The Florida Chamber of Commerce spent about $5 million on a petition designed to make sure you could never vote on whether you want your community to be further wrecked; Thrasher’s bogus trick revocation campaign that they spent $500,000 on to get a handful of revocations; The latest anti-4 lie is that Amendment 4 will kill jobs. Our developer- opposition fails to mention that they are the folks who killed Florida’s economy and its jobs with their reckless speculation and over-development. Now taxpayers are forced to live with the consequences of higher taxes and falling home values. Our opponents always fail to mention that we have enough growth on the books for decades to come that could be built right now. But building has stopped because we have a glut of over-development and foreclosures.
Amendment 4 won’t stop growth that follows the local plan. Moreover, we are confident that voters will approve projects that benefit their community. But Florida voters are sick of seeing destructive development rubber-stamped. Amendment 4 offers the only solution to change the status quo.
All this goes to show that you can’t believe anything our opposition says, as the Florida Supreme Court observed.Read the entire Florida Supreme Court ruling above.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Writing about Bryant Park and in Joe Kroll's moving the parking lot, the Lake Worth Herald writes today, "Kroll made a decision and perhaps he should have communicated it better to Stanton." Perhaps? No perhaps about it.
The Herald is purposely MISSING the point and skirting the truth in its editorial. Moving the parking lot WAS a big deal. This is not some minor little repair decision made out in the field. This is the parking lot in our major park. What was approved by the Commission changed when that decision to move our parking lot was made. It then became a NEW plan and should have come back to the City Manager and then the Commission. Staff went around the City Manager; Kroll authorized work without authority. Can you understand that yet?
We can't afford a run-away staff in the City of Lake Worth. We had it before with some staff and they are now terminated. It is the City Commission that is responsible and held accountable--that is not a making a mountain out of a molehill.
State of the City Address 2-17-10
The State of the City Address at the Lake Worth Playhouse was attended by approximately 200 people, many of whom were Varela supporters. As Politicians are always "running for office," the Mayor gave a brilliant campaign speech. He presented all the appetizers but forgot the meat and potatoes. “We need a government that is less political and more functional,” said Mayor Rene Varela and both sides of the political faction gave thunderous applause. Varela forgot that he just played politics on Tuesday night with Commissioner Mulvehill.
The speech was exactly what most of the people came to hear....up and positive and reinforcement as to why they voted for Varela in the first place only three months ago. This speech was not about our trials and tribulations we are experiencing during what he called the "largest economic downturn since the great depression" or what was needed to turn our City around after he told us of our $1.7 million shortfall only into the 2nd quarter of our new budgetary year. He appealed to the residents here to help out, get more active, offer ideas and even went so far as to ask them to vote for career politicians who believe in public service. Wasn't it these career politicians that got this country in this horrible mess? He also reminded us that his term is up in two years.
Varela said that he is going to start a Coffee with the Mayor Campaign where he will be visiting local restaurants and citizens can come in and ask him questions. Great idea to get to meet the people and campaign over a coffee latte. Great idea to be able to give a little meat and potatoes to a few folks one at a time, something that was not on his plate last night.
As my good friend Barbara Jean Weber would say, “I respectfully disagree with you,” and I do with her assessment of the Mayor’s speech. I do agree with her, however, that it was exceptionally delivered but the nearly one hour really was a great campaign speech. The Mayor’s intent was to only give the cream and sugar but he avoided the coffee altogether.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Rene had election promises and declared:
- I’ll fight to hold the line on taxes by diversifying the local economy to expand the tax base.
- I’ll work hard to create high-quality jobs by focusing on green, clean technologies to attract new businesses to our city. (Green is nice but what about just plain old ethical businesses?)
- I'll save our natural resources.
- I want to shore up the Casino. We can't afford to restore it. (This one will not be a reality)
- I’ll streamline governmental regulations for small business owners. (This one will be a reality)
- I’ll make government more efficient. (Let's get rid of the incompetent Staff and take politics out of some of the decisions like Bryant Park)
- I’ll balance the budget and live within our means. (Not happening...say NO to the Unions--oh, forgot--you got campaign contributions from them)
- I'll re-engineer our Utilities. (Please explain--you never did explain this...does it mean getting rid of incompetent staff that blows transformers?)
- I’ll work as hard as you do.
Everything on the Commission’s Agenda last night was voted in on a 5 to 0 vote with the exception of the Bryant Park Seawall Project that involved the Public Works Director’s unauthorized decision to move the parking lot to the middle of Bryant Park. To move it back would cost $80,000 and we don’t have 80 cents.
Commissioner Mulvehill gave a presentation on a possible solution but had to endure the politics of Varela and Maxwell that nearly stopped it. She was encouraged by many citizens to come up with a “logical solution to an illogical” problem. She did just that.
Commissioner Maxwell said, “We have to support our staff.” Commissioner, we only have to support them when and IF they make the right choices. In this case, Joe Kroll did not. Maxwell further stated that he “sees this as a way to disconnect from the community.” Wrong again. This is to make staff ACCOUNTABLE, something that has not occurred for many years in Lake Worth and the insubordination continues now.
We got to witness the condition of the pump station at the Lake Worth pool, a pool that just opened last year after we spent $450,000. The pump station is in deplorable condition. Why is that? Why doesn't staff take care of our assets...do their jobs? Why do they not routinely check on these things? Why do these things come to the Commission’s attention when it costs us money…in this case $150,000? This is when you have to say, Commissioner Maxwell, that staff can NOT be trusted. Now, right in the middle of our Season, we have to close down the pool because of deteriorated electrical wiring and plumbing that pose a health hazard to the public. Our pool will not be reopened until such time we can come up with the money for the necessary repairs. Most of all, it is because STAFF did NOT do its job in the first place. The pump station is under Joe Kroll's authority. He needs to be held accountable. He was not.
Next, we have the Dirty Dozen faction in a packed chamber room only there to make Bryant Park a political football when all it is about is doing the right thing for the residents of this City. I am disappointed in some of the residents who have been pulled into this and making it political when it should not be. If you did not get a chance to sign a petition, then that’s too bad. I didn’t sign it either but I will stand up for the principle here, not the BS politics.
I am extremely disappointed that a resident and former Planning and Zoning Commissioner, Lisa Maxwell, can personally “put down” Commissioner Mulvehill by belittling her in public. I am even more shocked, but not surprised, at former Commissioner, Bo Allen, who spoke and had to bring up gays at the park and “blow jobs.” Pretty sad stuff. And to Mr. Allen, who just does not want to “get it,” we are discussing Bryant Park because there are hundreds of residents who do not want a significant alteration to our major park without public input. We are discussing it because the Public Works Director went around his authority.
I have to say that I am disappointed with the City Manager as well. I can't even imagine an employee going around the city manager's authority. That IS shocking. I was told that the Bryant Park Neighborhood Association did not want to get involved and that is disappointing. Most of all, I am disappointed in Maxwell, Varela and Golden for protecting Kroll who cost us plenty, not only in Bryant Park but $150,000 at the pool as well as a loss of income for the rest of the Season. When is enough enough?
I want to thank Commissioners Jennings and Mulvehill. Cara was at the top of her game last night on many issues. She is really sharp, thinks on her feet and delivers. When she is focused, nothing can muddy her clear perception and understanding. Mulvehill's presentation pointed out other possibilities. She did exactly what a Commissioner elected in our City should be doing. I also want to thank Tracy Peterson who lives near the Park and was the organizer behind the “542.”
To sum it up, how did this happen last night considering Joe Kroll's history... a staff director who has mislead the City with poor decisions:
- Joe Kroll is in charge of our pool. He failed to include the pump station in the scope of work. He has failed to even maintain this asset.
- The City of Lake Worth now loses revenue and has to endure a major expense.
- Can we trust his estimate of $150,000 when his estimate for the Shuffleboard Roof was $73,000 when contractors were saying it would only cost $25,000?
- He claimed that there were health and inspection records at City Hall on the Land Fill when none existed anywhere.
- In a carefully constructed presentation based on a skewed interpretation of flimsy data, he called for the demolition of our Casino, a structurally sound asset, which would have cost us millions of dollars.
- Totally dropped the ball on silencing train horns when given all of the information necessary to get it done.
- Next we have Bryant Park and going beyond his authority to make a major change to our Park
The 542 residents that signed the petition protesting the parking lot stood up for you and for me as did two Commissioners, but in the end it meant nothing. Joe Kroll, who knew he had the vote, was protected by three commissioners who believe that listening to a handful of residents and protecting staff at any cost, is better than protecting the rights of the rest of us.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Ever since Straticon presented last year at City Hall for our Casino restoration/refurbishment/renovation, I have loved their design. This design was done by BRPH, one of the firms that presented on Saturday. To see all the details of the original Straticon concept by BRPH, CLICK HERE. When you view it, you will notice that only one-half of the building was enclosed in that concept and that it took on an effect of the 1920's look and feel.
It is elegant in its simplicity
We had mentioned on many occasions the practicality of enclosing the entire upper floor. In using this design, we will get 11,000 s.f. of rentable space on the ground floor, 13,000 s.f. of space on the 2nd floor and not depicted here, 3,044 s.f. of rentable space on the loggia behind John G's.
This design of BRPH, a full-service firm in existence for 45 years and one of the top fastest growing firms in the nation, incorporates the look of the 1920's as well as the 1930's because of the window design on the second level. It has a bell tower over John G's that was there in the 20's. It has an entry in the middle that advertises our Lake Worth Casino as did the original building.
This firm designed this building to come in within budget and it considered our requirements--a clear understanding of the cultural and historical importance of the casino site.
I also liked Slattery & Associates' design although it did not enclose the entire 2nd floor. Depending upon cost, that can be achieved. Slattery & Associates has worked with 14 municipalities in PB County. Their entire presentation was top notch and they covered all basis. Slattery presented 3 different designs as our RFQ was not definitive as to what period it wanted to restore. All 3 designs were outstanding and you can view them on Wes's blog. Their firm is in close distance to our beach; they have a professional relationship with a preservation architect who will be working with them; they plan on being true to the time period of the building; they have commitment. They can create a similar style to the 1920's and stated that there would be major demolition if restored to that period. They are very experienced at obtaining Grants. They want to capitalize on the history of the building. The existing businesses will be temporarily relocated.
The Mayor asked about "green" features and both these firms have Leed acredited professionals.
The other presentation that I wanted to hear but missed was Beilinson Gomez. If you go to their back-up, the design is right on the mark. As our RFQ did not specify what period we wanted to achieve, they had a little of all.
Barbara Aubel was at the meeting in the morning and she likes the firm of Living Designs Group. Tom McGow just did a blog and it appears that he likes the same firm that designed a concept on the more modern side. He is a Michael Singer fan. LDG is a Lake Worth firm. Unfortunately, I was not there for their presentation. Barbara Jean Weber was not there for the entire presentation either but she liked Slattery & Associates as well as BRPH. Wes Blackman was there for the entire meeting and has not yet decided on a top choice but is leaning at this time towards BeilinsonGomez. He wants to see the list narrowed down and then require that the short-listed firms come back on an RFP so that we can get to the particulars, especially cost. Jim Walker of Golfview Road liked Song & Associates, Rick Gonzales and Beilinson Gomez.
Note the square windows on 2nd level
Published with permission of Lake Worth Media
Haitians have been abused for an untold number of years—hundreds perhaps. Recently they have had to endure the worst natural disaster in this hemisphere, a 7.0 earthquake that killed over 200 thousand people and caused major damage to Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other settlements.
36 large U.S. corporations pledged over $1 million each. The Red Cross raised $10 million plus with 15% of that money coming from U.S. corporations. The U.S. government pledged $100 million as a starter. Stars like Sandra Bullock gave $1 million. The Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund raised over $12 million. The list is endless when it comes to donations from all over the world.
So why then are the Haitian victims who are now homeless and own no possessions, have no means to work or buy one thing, are told that they can not have a tent to live in because they are too costly and too inefficient and then are handed a TARP?
This abuse of these people has gone on long enough.
Monday, February 15, 2010
WHO ARE THEY KIDDING???????????????
HAVE WE RECEIVED ANY OF THE MONEY ?????????
Can we get rid of the Billboard Mafia hold on Lake Worth?
There were wonderful "pets" in our Cultural Plaza on Saturday that were looking for homes. There is so much animal abuse that it makes you sick. You don't even want to hear the horror stories that were told to me. The next time you see an animal that is abused, speak out; call the ASPCA or some other organization--call the police if you have to.
Also, it is against Palm Beach County law, as of 9-1-2003, to chain or tether your dog out doors between 10am and 5pm. If you see this, call 561-233-1200 ext 0 to report it.