The House was not packed last night. People had already given up from the last meeting. Public Hearings are essentially a waste of time. "Minds" are already made up. Two candidates were in the room taking notes. One spoke.
The Budget: Impossible to follow--impossible to read--it's about as transparent as a steel door. The budget went up from last year. Instead of reducing spending, it has been increased. But 3 commissioners voted for it last night (Mulvehill was absent) as well as raising the millage. Just a few short days ago, Mayor Waterman rejected the fire assessment (for all the wrong reasons) but last night she voted FOR the Budget that has the fire assessment in it. How can anyone be turned in such a short time? Aliens.
As someone said, "The three stooges were on the dais tonight"--talking down to the citizens and sucking up to Staff, complimenting them on a wonderful "500" page Budget. They don't even know the number of pages in it so it's no wonder that they have no compunction to make us pay and pay. Staff couldn't even tell us the proposed budget amount figure when asked by Maxwell.
It was a kiss fest to those who were about to rape the citizenry. They gave compliments to FAB Chair Pickett's Presentation that was not presented at all (it was in the back-up and they could read it they were told), ignoring the parts they did not like such as eliminating the Conservation department. The FAB sided with Staff 100% on the Budget and insisted that it was not a rubber stamp to the city manager. The commission gave political kudos as well to the IBEW, and no one explained how the DROP plan, left in the contract, is a benefit to those who pay it. We all wonder why these negotiations took so long. Kisses were given all around instead of where they really counted, to the people for whom they represent and pay the taxes they just voted to raise.
The Mayor tried to be polite to the taxpayers who showed up. Her contempt almost got away from her and it shows more than anyone sitting on the dais. How dare anyone question their authority. There was a totally condescending and arrogant attitude from the pack; they were the only ones who knew best and would not defy the city manager, the leader for whom they worship. Commissioner McVoy is trying his damdest to get to the front of the pack, if not already there.
One person who spoke to me about the meeting had this to say: "It's not any surprise that she (Stanton) got what she asked for; the commission is oblivious in managing the city. It is the responsibility of the CM and staff to present direction and when it is as misguided as the current proposals are, the expectations have to be lowered.
The very first thing that needs to happen is the leadership of LW-- all of them have to admit they have a serious problem and not bury their heads in the sand. Then, and only then, will they be able to start to correct the dysfunctional issues that are all around them. People would have more respect and offer more support if they admit the reality and not pretend everything is ok; it's not. This is where the CM needs to be a leader and begin the process, but she is so enamored with herself that the process can't start. And the commission is so on her side because of her tyranny status and believe that they are on the leading edge of political correctness."
The four on the dais have put themselves in the hands of the city manager and thus the entire populous of Lake Worth is in jeopardy. They could have found cuts in the budget; they did not try even though we spoke often, wrote to them as well, and asked that they do. No one bothered. They accepted the city manager's assessment of the legal robbery/fantasy--grab the cash and get in a better financial position, even though the city keeps leading us all down the garden path to bankruptcy through wasteful spending. Our message has always been, stop the spending. Their message--we can't.
As a friend said, "Someone has to finally say it's over, the citizens have. Now it's time for someone to be a leader." No aliens need apply.