Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GOP Primary in Lake Worth

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That's what it looked like today at St. Andrew's Church polling place...signs but no people, a typical look at all of our precincts. I was surprised to hear that at 8:30, 17 people had voted at the Finnish Church and we had the same number at The Lutheran Church at 11:30.

Why would we expect anything different in Lake Worth, a city filled with Democrats, social progressives, a few anarchists sprinkled here and there and Libertarian socialists who promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society.

Poll worker at The Lake Worth Towers

Kicking the Can and other Lake Worth Commission Games

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The Vice Mayor says, "stop kicking the can"
and then kicks it anyway

This beach redevelopment has been going on for at least 12 years and we continue to kick the can down the road. Politicians have an ethical responsibility to put political ideology aside, drop all pretenses of being on the right side of the issue and stop calling each other names so we can start to deal with the tough choices we need to make if we are to avoid the downward path of recent years in Lake Worth. Everyone on our dais has a right to free speech. They were all elected, not just the "visionaries" and therefore they should not be condemned by Mayor Triolo for expressing an opinion.

When it comes to our Casino leases, the Commission members also need to disclose if they have any financial interest in the project or issue before them. Our Casino Leases are what will be the lifeblood of this project. For them, as well as our prospective tenants to be treated in the manner recently displayed at the last city commission meeting, is unacceptable, unprofessional and out of line.

With so many things out of whack in Lake Worth such as our crumbling and pot holed roads, out of control union benefits that are breaking the bank and the growing dependence on special assessments to keep our city afloat, this Commission needs to stay focused by reading and understanding the back-up documents, discuss thoroughly the topic before them and render an intelligent decision. Refer to the city attorney for some legal advice. Not all commissioners are doing this and not all are listening.

To spend 5 to 6 hours on beach leases and then pass the gavel at the end of the night to rescind all votes, is abuse of the Mayoral position and power totally out of control. The Mayor could potentially do this at every meeting as she is on the majority side. Therefore, I question the ethics of such a move and its legality. She ended up kicking the can down the road.

The only times that the gavel is used is to call a meeting to order, or when an assembly has become disorderly, to recess and to adjourn. It should not be used when a motion is or has been adopted.

On page 375 of Robert's Rules it states: ...if the Chair gave ample opportunity for members to claim the floor (speak to the issue) before the Chair puts the question, and no one rises, the right to debate cannot be claimed after the voting has commenced. In the case of the leases, debate was over for hours, the public got to speak as well as the commission body. A vote was taken on some of the leases and NY Pizza as well as Fox Surf were approved. At the end of the night, the Mayor rescinded those votes.

Tonight the can will no longer be kicked down the road. Staff, as well as our real estate broker Snitkin will now make double commission for kicking some old tenants to the curb. Staff and Snitkin did a remarkable job to ensure that our long-time previous tenants, NY Pizza and Lake Worth T-Shop, will no longer feel the pain as they leave our beach bruised and bloodied. They can also be proud that through a bidding war caused by their unorthodox "management" of the project as well as paranoia and belief that they would not have anyone wanting to lease at our building (thanks to a real estate broker who planted that seed), prospects were pitted against one another to an absurdity.

It appears that the new beach merchants will be:

Mama Mias, Units 1 & 2, 1,332 s.f. @ $35 per s.f.
Kilwin's, Units 3,4, 1,332 s.f @ $25 per s.f.
Fox Surf, Units 5,6, 1,348 s.f @ $30 per s.f.
Mulligans, Units 7,8, 5,002 s.f. @ $30 per s.f.

Lake Worth Chamber gets "deal" to settle debt

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Several prominent and/or political members of the community came to a city commission meeting in support of the Chamber of Commerce that owed the city money: former Commissioner Dave Vespo, Greg Rice and even Betty Resch, former city attorney were a few who were present. Some wanted the City to reduce the amount of money owed, others were just there as members in support of their "club."

The Chamber has always been a contentious subject. In past years, the local Chamber delved into local politics taking sides on candidates and issues. One of its past directors always was asking the city or the CRA for money for this or that event, usually getting it until Susan Stanton came on board. The Chamber got so weak that the Downtown Cultural Alliance was formed to help the merchants. It got weaker still when it settled for a lot of money with former director Tom Ramiccio.

A few weeks ago, the Lake Worth Commission abrogated its power once again because of politics. The Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce owed us $10,662.83 that included a "missing" golf cart. The commission directed the acting city manager to settle with the Chamber at 50 cents on the dollar because it was a debt under $15,000 and the acting city manager had "the right" to do that.

The city commission pushed off the hot political potato and took the easy way out. No one on the dais did the right thing. No one stood up for principle. No one stood up for the taxpayer once again. They settled with a political organization. They were watching out for friends. They were watching out for themselves.

Lake Worth Utility - the $40,000 Arch Flash Study

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At tonight's city commission meeting, there are ten items that were postponed from the January 17th meeting related to the Utility that will be voted and approved.

The Lake Worth Utility has always been the black hole. There has never been a city manager who understood what expense was justified and what was not that came out of the Utility. They all have relied on the utility director and professional staff to advise them correctly. For awhile there, we were running through utility directors at the same pace as city managers.

The Utility is very important to our city. Without it, we would not be able to operate our city as we draw $10 million from it to keep our city afloat. We all instinctively feel that something is amiss particularly when our rates are among the highest in the State. How do we really know if we need that Derrick-Digger as an example? Is the price in line? Could we have bought used?

There is a whistle-blowers' law suit against the City right now regarding the Utility. Some have said that one of the whistle-blowers, an Engineer, could have conducted the Arch Flash Study in-house and saved us a bunch of money.

Read William Coakley's article on that Arch Flash Study, How forty thousand dollars of your money got wasted.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New York Pizza now Pushed Out

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Through investigation of corporate listings, Staff determined VFNS, LLC (dba NYPD Pizza) is not the same entity that executed the 1999 lease. The 1999 lease was with the corporation New York Pizza Department, Inc. and individually with Carl Columbia. Therefore they are not entitled to the right of first refusal contained in that lease. VFNS, LLC has offered $32.50 per square foot.

Mamma Mia’s On the Beach has offered $35.00 per square foot for Units 1 & 2 and has agreed to execute a Letter of Credit as security in the amount equal to one year’s rent. They have an excellent credit rating, have the assets to finance the build out and come highly recommended by former landlords.

Jeff Clemens and Little Tuna

Is FL House Rep. Jeff Clemens losing his mind?

Now he has involved himself with the Silver Tour to convince Seniors (you know, all of us dopey people who are all in some state of dementia) on his medical marijuana bill. He is rubbing shoulders with Robert Platshorn, aka, Little Tuna, a jail bird in federal prisons for 29 years for marijuana smuggling. Little Tuna has organized the Silver Tour and Jeff is along for the ride.

Read about it here.

Loser criminals Occupy Oakland

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Beck Diefenbach, Associated Press / January 28, 2012

MSNBC says, Saturday's protests at the Oakland City Hall "were violent anti-Wall Street protests that resulted in about 400 arrests, marking one of the largest mass arrests since nationwide protests began last year."

Read about the anarchists and losers here.

Casino Leases and the Merry-Go-Round

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In today's PB Post, there is an article about the Lake Worth Tee-Shirt Company and the fact that they will not be leasing at the Casino. The owner withdrew his application from consideration. This company was literally kicked to the curb by the City of Lake Worth and by the majority City Commission of Mayor Pam Triolo, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell and Commissioner Andy Amoroso.

Mr. Amoroso, a downtown Lake Worth businessman said, "I do not want to lease space to a retailer that will not thrive at the casino...I don't want to set him up for failure." The City had already done that.

Barry Freedman, owner of the Lake Worth Tee-Shop and a businessman for decades, was at our Casino for 26 years. He had the Right of First Refusal on the space. He got pushed around and pushed out by this staff and commission. Don't you think that he, as a businessman, should know whether he can succeed or fail? Don't you think that he has considered all of the factors of the lease including the rental increase? He had agreed to put up six months rent in advance. The City, if they were negotiating in good faith, could have asked for more if they were so concerned.

During the last one to two years, LW Tee was slow to pay its rent. They had no idea even how to buy inventory as they did not know, from one month to the next, whether the casino was going to be demolished, closed, rebuilt or what. He paid all past-dues to the City of Lake Worth. But even his being late during these unreasonable times is not a reason to kick him to the curb.

The City of Lake Worth assured his failure when they pushed him around, taking away the space he originally was going to get and giving it to an anchor restaurant, and pitted an outside company against him on a different space thus increasing the rental amount to $30 per s.f., $5 dollars higher per square foot than Fox Surf, a store there for 28 years selling the same merchandise. The City refused to give exclusives on any merchandise even though Fox wanted thirty exclusives and Barry asked for one. Both stores would be selling much of the same items as they did in the past. Broker Snitkin said, "That raises a red flag with me." The broker, of course, is paid twice the commission on an outside company coming into our casino. That raises a red flag with me, Mr. Snitkin.

Tomorrow night we shall see if the City of Lake Worth honors Rights of First Refusal and keeps the beach a family-friendly place for merchants and consumer alike when they vote on the anchor spaces. We have always said that we want two separate restaurants with two different owners in the anchor area; one upstairs for more sophisticated dining and one on the ground level for everyday beachgoers. Exposure to the city would be highly reduced under these circumstances.

Rick Santorum on a Balanced Budget Amendment

Allen West - Speech Palm Beach County Lincoln Day Dinner

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Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Next Bachelorette

It's official. Emily Maynard will be the next Bachelorette. She has to be one of the most beautiful and sweetest this show has ever had. Will she finally find love?

According to starpulse.com:

The Bachelorette

Season 1: Success! Trista Rehn picked Ryan Sutter and the couple has been married for seven years.
Season 2: Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee failed to make it past a year of being engaged.
Season 3: Jen Schefft and nobody. None of the guys on season 3 were worthy enough for Jen.
Season 4: DeAnna Pappas and Jesse Csincsak were engaged for four months before it ended.
Season 5: Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski lasted through a year of being engaged before splitting.
Season 6: Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez were engaged for 18 months.
Season 7: Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum were engaged on May 13, 2011 and are still together! (J.P. wasn't her first choice though - she fell for contestant Bentley Williams but he walked out on her in one of the final few episodes of the show)
Season 8: Emily Maynard and ?

Another reason why I like Rick Santorum

During a campaign stop in Greenville, South Carolina, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, said that he rejects the idea of a flat tax and would propose a 10, 20, 30, plan in its place, reports WYFF.com.

“I reduce rates, simplify the code. I don’t go to one rate,” Santorum told News 4’s Michael Cogdill.

“I think people who are lower income should pay a lower percentage, and people who are higher income should pay a little higher percentage. But all rates should be reduced,” he said.

Santorum also argues that the corporate tax should be lifted for companies who produce goods in America.

“We cut the corporate tax for manufacturing all the way back from 35 percent to zero. We need to create jobs for the skilled and semi-skilled. Those jobs, unfortunately, are going to China and Mexico,” he said.

Mitt Romney wants a 25% flat tax. Is he kidding? And Newt has suggested a 15% flat tax.

Turkey Vulture

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Turkey Vulture

This bird was two buildings down from me and in that spot for about one hour today.

These scary looking birds first appeared on earth about 40 to 50 million years ago. They ride thermals in the sky and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses. They are a consummate scavenger, cleaning up the countryside one bite of their sharply hooked bill at a time, and never mussing a feather on their bald heads. Turkey vultures are non-aggressive, and generally do NOT kill. They will not hurt your pets or children. (There are a small number of accounts of turkey vultures killing live prey, but such instances are rare and involve extremely weak or helpless animals, like baby rats, grouse chicks, or small fish.)

This photo is dedicated to the few people who come to this blog and attempt to post vile and nasty comments, who are constantly miserable and find pleasure in trying to make someone else's life as miserable as theirs. You know who you are.

Stepping up to the Plate

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John Szerdi, architect with Living Designs, has decided to run for Commissioner District 4. Also, a College Park resident, Milton Araugo, says he will run for Mayor in 2013.

Szerdi, President of Living Designs Group in Lake Worth, is involved in our beach redevelopment. Someone ask him why estimates are coming in $2 million over our Budgeted bond amount of $5 million.

Quote of the Day - Allen West

"I agree with you, why are we whispering?"

~Congressman Allen West

responding at the Conservative Black Forum. "We can't have this fear of standing up and saying who we are. We shout at football games. We shout at church. We should be shouting about the principles that make us who we are."

Read the rest of the article and the Myths of Black Conservatives at the Sun Sentinel.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Perrigo Company

Has anyone ever heard of Perrigo Co?

Its web site says that it is a leading global healthcare supplier that develops, manufactures and distributes over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and consumer products.

On 13 November 2008, the Perrigo Company acquired Unico Holdings for approximately $49 million in cash. Based in Lake Worth, Florida, privately-held Unico was the leading manufacturer of store brand pediatric electrolytes, enemas and feminine hygiene products for retail consumers in the U.S. The acquisition was expected to add nearly $50 million to annual sales for Perrigo. This branch is located at 201 4th Avenue North according to the link provided by Business Journals. The Post had the address as 2201 4th Avenue North.

The company has been growing through acquisitions and in 2010, Perrigo was named one of the top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies by Fortune Magazine.

On Friday it announced that it is going to lay-off all 175 employees in Lake Worth and filed a WARN Notice with the State.

It's the Sunshine state's time to shine

" The political world looks at Tuesday's Florida primary as a major fork in the Republican road to the White House. With more than 50 delegates available to the winner and 29 electoral votes available in the fall's general election, Florida is the biggest and most important state so far to hold a primary."

Tune in to Face the Nation tomorrow for their live show in Miami. Listen to Allen West, Donald Trump and others and what they have to say about the Republican Primary. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be on hand to give her caustic opinion.

Demi Moore

Back in the 1980's, Demi Moore was part of the Brat Pack that consisted of the hot actors of the day. The "core" members were Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. After an article appeared labeling then as the Brat Pack, many of them were so furious that they stopped socializing together. Some even blamed their eventual failing careers on the article. Subsequently, many used this excuse and resorted to drugs and other anti-social behaviors. Some went on to be really good actors. Demi Moore was one of the ones who made it.

St. Elmo's Fire was her big break and in 1985, she had to sign a contract that declared that she would stop her drug and alcohol abuse. Demi Moore is an excellent actress. In the early 1990's, she became one of the highest paid in Hollywood. I loved her movie, G.I. Jane. She has been married three times. Her second marriage to Bruce Willis had another Brat Pack member as one of her bridesmaids, Ally Sheedy.

But to get back to the drugs--it has been suggested that Demi Moore was smoking "spice" the other night when she went into convulsions. Spice is synthetic pot.

Right now, it is rumored that the PBSO is looking closely at a bar in downtown Lake Worth that has been accused of selling "spice." Synthetic cannabis can precipitate psychosis and in some cases it is prolonged. It has been banned in many states and others are also considering legislation to ban it, including Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio. I wonder what Rep. Jeff Clemens thinks of this?

What will Lake Worth look like in the future?

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Besides all the wonderful accomplishment over the past few years in Lake Worth, Thursday night there was a Tri-Meeting at our Golf Course consisting of the City Commission, Planning & Zoning Board and our Historical Preservation Board to come to a consensus on what our city should look like in the future and revise some of the parameters. The purpose was to discuss Land Development Regulations including city policies, height, density, intensity, design parameters, permitted uses, current and future land uses and the Comprehensive Plan. There was good attendance and those with a particular and specific interest attended as well.

The addition of three (3) new districts was introduced and the discussion of collapsing several districts into one district. The new districts are:
  • the Artisanal Industrial
  • the Industrial Park of Commerce
  • the Mixed Use West.
The Convenience Commercial was renamed Neighborhood Commercial. The proposed collapsed districts include the Mixed Use, Downtown Edges, Downtown West, and Mixed Use Federal Highway, all into one Mixed Use East District (moderate intensity, 20 units per acre residential); and the Downtown East and Downtown Central into one Downtown District (high intensity, 40 units per acre residential).

There also is a split Mixed Use district that was proposed for Dixie Highway. The former Industrial District, Commercial District, Professional Office Districts (four) all have been eliminated.

There are no changes proposed for the Mobile Home Residential, Public, Public Recreation and Open Space, Conservation, and Beach and Casino Districts. When the process began again in March, there were twenty six (26) zoning districts. Now there are eighteen (18) districts in the revised proposals.

The meeting began at 5:30. It was lengthy and public participation was not allowed until the end even though we requested to speak after the break around 9:00 pm. When I left after the break, there was only a handful of the public left.

William Waters, Sustainability Director, is essentially the architect of our city right now and has a lot of respect from the Boards and the citizenry. Most of his vision was adopted with some exceptions:

1. Dixie East-- Staff Wanted 35 feet and 3 stories and under the "assumption" that the bottom floor would be used as parking. P&Z and Consensus of the boards was to keep it at 2 Stories and 30ft.

2. Dixie West-- the consensus was to take P&Z recommendation of 45 feet if the property faces Dixie. If it faces the railroad tracks, 35 feet.

3. Federal Highway-- Staff recommended 3 stories at 45 feet and P&Z recommended 2 Stories at 30 feet. Consensus was to allow 2 Stories at 35 feet with public benefits.

4. Park Of Commerce--The P&Z wanted 6 Stories at 65 Feet and Staff Recommended that is be 4 stories and 45 feet. Staff had determined that the Infrastructure Study indicated that it would not support P&Z Recommendation. The consensus was that we need to tweak the infrastructure plan to allow the higher as suggested by P&Z.

5. Transit Oriented Development--The biggest conversation was the TOD's where staff was recommending on the east rail 5 Stories, 55 feet at three locations, 10th, Lake Worth Road and Somewhere around the 10th or 12th ave south area. That was debated for a while and the Cara Jennings' suggestion was the best for the higher station that it be at the city center and the other two be zoned as just pick up and drop offs with parking.

The TOD on the West Rail Staff--Staff recommended 65ft and 6 stories and P&Z recommended 4 Stories and 45ft. Consensus was for P&Z. Please note on all the TOD's that everyone expressed that there be very CLEAR language that if the TOD's do not happen that the zones must revert to its surrounding properties to ensure conformity with adjacent properties/Zoning.

As one member of the Planning & Zoning Board said, "It was democracy in action." I left the meeting extremely encouraged about heights and keeping our small town feel that will ensure Lake Worth standing out from all of the rest. We now know that with this consensus of our three boards, that will happen, at least for now. Highly qualified in so many areas including planning and architecture, William Waters had a lot to do with that. Thanks to the P&Z, Historical Preservation Board and Mr. Waters for an extreme amount of work and dedication that has been going on in some cases for years.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Jose Rodriguez Mayor of Boynton in hot water

In court documents, the State Attorney's Office charged Rodriguez, 49, with unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, solicitation to commit unlawful disclosure of confidential criminal information and obstruction of a law-enforcement officer.

The charges carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

Read the rest of the story here.

Baby falls from 2nd floor in Lake Worth

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One year old baby falls from 2nd floor after railing breaks.

Florida SB 816

Now some nutty Republican, Mike Bennett of Bradenton, wants to drum up an old overlooked law from the 1980's to force facilities financed by the State or a local municipality to allow the homeless to occupy the facility. Major league games bring multi-millions of dollars into our local communities where stadiums have been built. What the Bill says is:

...requiring the county commission in a county in which a professional sports facility is located to establish a local homeless coalition if a local homeless program does not exist in that county; requiring that, by a specified date, the professional sports franchise that plays in a facility that benefited from financial assistance from the state, and the county in which the facility is located, provide the Auditor General with documentation that a homeless shelter has been operating at the facility from the effective date of the contract between the county and the professional sports franchise; requiring the professional sports franchise and the county to refund any financial assistance received from the state which benefited the facility during the period that the facility failed to operate a homeless shelter; requiring the Auditor General to levy a specified fine against the professional sports franchise and the county if, after a specified date, the Auditor General determines that a homeless shelter is not operating at the facility until such time that the professional sports franchise and county are operating a homeless shelter; providing an effective date.

GENERAL BILL by Bennett; (CO-INTRODUCER) Fasano Professional Sports Facilities;
Requiring the county commission in a county in which a professional sports facility is located to establish a local homeless coalition if a local homeless program does not exist in that county; requiring that, by a specified date, the professional sports franchise that plays in a facility that benefited from financial assistance from the state, and the county in which the facility is located, provide the Auditor General with documentation that a homeless shelter has been operating at the facility from the effective date of the contract between the county and the professional sports franchise; requiring the Auditor General to levy a specified fine against the professional sports franchise and the county if, after a specified date, the Auditor General determines that a homeless shelter is not operating at the facility until such time that the professional sports franchise and county are operating a homeless shelter, etc.

Unless you're a socialist, can anyone imagine anything so nuts? From the Bill Impact Analysis, teams in Florida would be on the hook for $271,539,778.

Shuffleboarding in Lake Worth - Tourism and Tournaments

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The room soon filled after this shot was taken. Willie Howard of the PB Post was there covering the meeting.

Juan Ruiz put on the best meeting that I have attended in a very long time. It was productive, non-political, friendly, and citizens with great ideas for our Shuffleboard Court Building and a few not so great such as inferring that we need to "get with the times." Shuffleboarding may not be popular at the moment in Lake Worth due to factors beyond the control of those who were involved in the sport at our courts, but it can be again and it can draw in many people who will spend money in our City. With the correct facility and the correct marketing, I believe that this can be a money-maker for tourism and tournaments.

With about 30-35 or so in attendance, not one person wanted to eliminate our shuffleboard courts in their entirety but rather, keep them and preserve our history. There was a difference of opinion on whether to save all of the courts (28) as needed for national tournaments or only saving half of them thus reducing our exposure to only local and regional tournaments. At a show of hands of the 26 people who remained, the direction was nearly evenly divided. When all 28 courts are not in use for big tournaments, they can be covered and the space used for other things. Once we remove courts, we will never get them back...sort of like our police and fire.

Shuffleboarding is thought of as a sport for the nearly dead. That is a myth. It is a recreation for all ages. Here in Lake Worth we have a unique opportunity to restore our courts (the same price as demolition) and become a destination on the east coast of the country in a city on the Atlantic Ocean. Cities that offer recreation are always more desirable than those that do not. We already have a beautiful 18 hole golf course and at present, our Casino is being rebuilt to the glory of yesteryear. Our beach redevelopment is still under plan as well as our artist focus. We could put together a great marketing effort for all of our assets including recreation within our City and a special emphasis on attracting shuffleboard tournaments. As the sport grows here, so will the interest around the country and the globe. Can you imagine a better city to visit for recreational and cultural fun than Lake Worth and to be known nationally for our shuffleboard tournaments, drawing people from all over the world.

Children who live by already have school recreation and programs in effect. Adults do not. Our Recreation Department offers children on-going programs like Youth Basketball, Sports Camps,Tennis lessons, Football, Baseball, Softball and Soccer. Swimming lessons are offered in the summer at the Municipal swimming pool.

I don't have a problem with children playing shuffleboard but it must be supervised and specific rules put into effect. The purpose of this building is not to become a teen-town or a place for kids to hang-out. I would like to see those in charge of the Shuffleboard Court Building making conservative decisions when it comes to its uses. I do not want to see our building going down the same path to destruction that it did just a few short years ago. Envisioning tournaments between schools, neighborhood associations, local and county meets as well as national shuffleboarding is exciting to contemplate. It can get done. National meets will put this city on the map and we already have the required amount of courts to do this. We have a volunteer Recreation Board that can get truly involved with this idea.

Right now we have something unique right in the palms of our hands--our own nationally required amount of courts and with grant money, we can refurbish them for a small investment that will bring great rewards in the future.

The only Commissioner who attended was Christopher McVoy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Little Ole Lady on Jeff Clemens Medical Marijuana Bill

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The medical marijuana joint that Jeff Clemens is pushing for Seniors might be good for ya--

A doctor on his morning walk, noticed the old lady pictured above, sitting on her front step smoking a cigar, so he walked up to her and said, "I couldn't help but notice how happy you look! What is your secret?"

"I smoke ten cigars a day," she said. "Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint. Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food. On weekends, I pop pills, get laid, and don't exercise at all."

"That is absolutely amazing! How old are you, asked the doctor?"

"Forty," she replied

Jeff Clemens to solicit Seniors for Medical Marijuana Use

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Jeff Clemens to tout medical marijuana to Seniors. Could that be considered elderly abuse?

Gingrich Heckled

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Byrds are for the Birds

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If you are a prosecutor, can you think of anything sweeter than winning a case after defendants turned down your offer of a deal to pay $1,000 a tree for 109 illegally cut-down mangroves because their view was ruined and then end up having to pay 15 times that? The defendants knew they were doing something illegal because it has been reported that removal of the mangroves was done in the stealth of the night or on weekends. Now the Judge says the defendants owe $15,000 a tree.

Last year the Byrds in Jupiter turned down a reasonable settlement offer from the Town of Jupiter that would have cost them $109,000. Now they will have to pay $1.6 million plus legal fees to the town. The Byrd's attorney says he is confident that he can win on appeal.

The Byrds and their astute attorney forgot they were dealing with Jupiter. Jupiter was similar to the Greek god, Zeus. They were both gods of the sky and would throw lightning bolts if they became angry.

Commissioners on repealing the fire assessment

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On Tuesday night, the Lake Worth Commission repealed the fire assessment. By implementing the Department reductions, elimination of certain positions and deferred starting date of certain positions and the elimination of the costs related to the Fire Services and Street Lights assessments will generate an estimated General Fund savings of $1,443,797.

If we continue along the the same lines, by 2016 our budget deficit is projected at $7 million according to the Office of Budget & Management. Bad Union contracts, the overall recession and the loss in the market caused this financial crisis. Pensions are escalating out of control. The City has promised to pay approximately $67 million in future benefits to past and current employees yet does not currently have that amount in its various pension funds with no means to get the revenue.

You can expect a lower quality of life and a lower quality of services. I don't think that I was elected into office to take this city backwards.

Commissioner Mulvehill, as well as Commissioner McVoy, had guts to stand up for their principles. Compromise, by the Visionaries, was not in the cards. I have always claimed that the fire assessment was nothing more than a money grab. However, it does not negate the fact that Lake Worth, because of past mis-management, has a financial picture that is anything but stellar. The questions to answer are, should the property owners of Lake Worth continue to bail out the City for this run-away train...for all the cash reserves spent by past city managers Boyer and Baldwin...how do we solve our problem...for all the waste of millions by former commissions. Will it ever end? What should we do? Something has to give. If taxing is not the answer, what is?

It seems that we always find a boogy-man...someone or something to demonize...let's not start demonizing that our level of service will decrease...I didn't see anything in these recommendations tonight that spoke to directly to a cut in any services...it's time to start paying attention to what's going on.

The proof is in the pudding when the PBSO and Susan Stanton negotiated a reduction in cost of $1.2 million from the PBSO reducing the man power by 9 people but keeping the level of service the same. However, some services will be directly affected. We already know that staff is thin and many doing multiple jobs.

Don't confuse efforts with results...It's priorities and how we handle what's next for the city and the immediate needs of the city.

The Finance Department looks at financial projects well into the future, not just the immediate and are basing their projections on departmental budgets and Union pension costs. We always should have been looking at cutting costs but the real culprit here are union costs of which we have no control.

Very soon, this Commission will be going through the exact same problems in the upcoming Budget workshops for the next budget cycle. Although we cut some fat on expenses in various operating budgets and deferred some positions, campaign promises were fulfilled. The special assessment has only been eradicated short term. What will we expect in months down the road when we all will finally have to admit that we are in big trouble, that the Unions really don't give a hoot, and we are facing the exact same estimated financial short-falls. We will no longer be able to take the Scarlet O'Hara approach to doing business.

Florida Judge rules and says Farmton is NOT sprawl

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Our State is in

Read about it here

Farmton, a city of 23,000 homes proposed for a remote tree farm in Volusia and Brevard counties, isn't urban sprawl, according to an administrative law judge's ruling in the first case to test Florida's watered-down growth management law.

Senate Bill 416 - Florida Ban on Texting while Driving

Comment Up

GENERAL BILL by Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities;
By: Senator Detert
(CO-INTRODUCERS) Margolis; Lynn

Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving; Creating the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”; prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device for certain purposes; specifying information that is admissible as evidence of a violation; providing penalties; providing for enforcement as a secondary action; providing for points to be assessed against a driver’s license for the unlawful use of a wireless communications device within a school safety zone or resulting in a crash, etc.

The Florida Legislature's intent is to improve roadway safety for all, prevent crashes due to texting, and allow officers to stop motor vehicles and issue a citation to a driver who has been observed texting while operating a vehicle. Texting while driving would be considered only a secondary offense.

Texting is not the only activity SB 416 is set to ban. Reading texts, emails or browsing web pages will also be prohibited.

The texting ban language in this Bill is a start. We need a tough law and ban all cell phone use while driving. The roads are dangerous enough and drivers don't need any more distractions. Next to the scary drivers in general, the second most irritating and annoying occurrence while driving on I-95 is someone talking on their cell phone going 65 miles an hour or those who have slowed down to the speed of a turtle while they talk on their phones.

The Bill is still in Committee but if passed, it will be effective on October 1, 2012.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jeff Clemens and random drug testing

What can you expect when Jeff Clemens wants to legalize medical marijuana. Now he has reservations about random drug testing for State employees.

Read about what Jeff thinks here. Clemens does not think it right that an employee can be fired after one positive drug test. Don't do drugs; they are illegal.

No "Kissing Cousin"

South D Street man accused of shooting cousin 5 times.

"Visionaries" Rule the Roost

Comment Up
Even if the Vice Mayor does appear to be sleeping on the job

With 65 resumes received for Interim City Manager, we still don't have a cut-off date until February 17. The job originally was separate from the Permanent City Manager position thus the separate advertising in order to be legally correct. However, the Interim City Manager position and the Permanent City Manager job has "morphed" into one, per Kurt Bressner. "When we have an Interim city manager in place, he/she can apply for the permanent position," said Mr. Bressner when I stopped him in the hallway.

This is all such a waste of time as Kathleen Margoles should have been appointed as Interim and the City should have immediately gone out for a Permanent City Manager. Now it will be months of delay with June as the estimated time for a new city manager to be hired and five more arduous months for Steve Carr to play the duel role of Acting City Manager and Director of Finance.

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, insisted that an ASPA designation be of importance and part of the desirable requirement for a city manager even though Range Rider, Kurt Bressner, said that it should not be part of the equation, that it was academia based and no where close to the stature of the ICMA certification...not important. ...it has nothing to do with what is important for the job of city manager.

Commissioner Mulvehill strongly requested that the new city manager have city manager experience. This should be a "given" as far as I am concerned. This was "dumbed down" by Maxwell (my favorite word now that someone in the public accused me of this recently on a blog post when the commission rated the requirements for city manager). As Joe Kroll, former Public Works Director has applied for the job, has an ASPA designation with no city manager experience, it is not difficult to see where Maxwell is heading. Kroll is the darling of the politicos in Lake Worth. Kroll always was there to do as they requested and now I have been told that he is blaming all of his screw-ups in his former departments on Susan Stanton.

It wasn't a three strikes and you're out sort of night. At 9:00pm, a motion was made by Maxwell, seconded by Amoroso to vote down the fire assessment. McVoy and Mulvehill dissented. Taxing is never a solution and is the easy way out. Reducing costs is the best solution.

Fiesty little ole lady
The Mayor stayed true to her campaign promise. Mulvehill and McVoy did not change their course in spite of nearly every resident and business opposed to this fire assessment other than one little lady on S. Palmway who agreed with Commissioner McVoy to tax us and one vocal man, who was not present last night, who lives on North O street. As I got up to the lectern to speak, the little lady declared for all those in the Chamber to hear, "She doesn't pay any taxes." (To clarify, she meant property tax advalorem going south due to the recession and commissions still ga-ga in attracting low-cost housing). After I sat down I told her not to be personal. She then turned around and said, "Go to hell." She ran for office in 2009 and got slaughtered. Sometimes the people actually get a lucky break and get it right.

City departments reduced their budget and came up with the money needed to repeal the fire assessment. New resolutions will be brought back to the Commission.

I would wager to say that neither McVoy nor Mulvehill will be running for office again as neither one took the popular vote. It was the Trio that asked for a solution and the city departments cooperated. One up for the Visionaries.

Prior to this vote, Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso have voted strangely and politically by 1) firing the city manager without cause and 2) screwing up the beach leases, driving off Barry's Tees, a tenant for 26 years, and changing the beach operating times to suit a bar. Of course, it all isn't over. The beach leases come back up on January 31. That could be the third strike as we watch their manipulation as to whom goes into the anchor spaces.

Owner of Lake Worth Tee Shop writes to Lake Worth Commission

Comment Up
January 24, 2012

Mayor Triolo
Commissioner Maxwell
Commissioner Amoroso
Commissioner McVoy
Commissioner Mulvehill
City of Lake Worth
7 North Dixie Highway

Re: Withdrawal of Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Company from consideration as a tenant for a Unit at the renovated Lake Worth Casino

Honorable Mayor and Commissioners:

Regretfully, I am choosing to withdraw my business, the Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Company from consideration as a tenant for a Unit at the renovated Lake Worth Casino. I have decided not to pursue a location in the new building.

The 3-2 Commission vote on January 17th against me being awarded Unit #6 was more than disappointing. I cannot understand any reasonable explanation as to why Mayor Triolo, Commissioner Maxwell and Commissioner Amoroso voted against me being awarded Unit #6. I asked my attorney for his evaluation, and with his permission I have attached it to this letter.I have come to the conclusion that in light of that denial and the surrounding circumstances as described in my attorney’s letter, that the current Administration will not treat me in good faith.I have been struggling with this decision, and am tired of the unfairness throughout the process starting last June. Since making my decision not to be further abused by the City Administration, I am at peace with myself.

With age, hopefully has come some wisdom. I feel the best course is to graciously accept the fact that there is an underlying negativity and prejudice against me by the current Administration and Staff. It is time for me to let go.

I look back at my 26 years at the Casino and my relationship with the City with fondness. I have had many wonderful experiences from these years and have met and become lifelong friends with many people, including many former or current City Mayors, Commissioners and employees. Overall, being a tenant at the Casino, where I have devoted so many of my years has been a wonderfully rewarding experience.

I lived through the years of the City’s neglect of the Casino, witnessing it first hand as a long-time tenant. Since the renovation project was first talked about, I was looking forward in anticipation to that time when I, as a long time tenant of the old Casino would be a tenant at the newly renovated Casino. I anticipate that this Casino renovation project will make it a jewel to our City on the ocean. But sometimes fate intercedes so that one does not get to enter the Promised Land. So, even thought I will not have the privilege to be a tenant at the newly renovated Casino, I still love the City of Lake Worth and only wish the City the best of success. Being at peace with my decision, I wish Fox success. We were long time competitors and sometimes things became heated between us, but I wish its business well at the Casino.

I also wish to express my appreciation to Commissioners McVoy and Mulvehill for their fairness, professionalism and responsible exercise of their duties as Commissioners in voting in favor of awarding me Unit #6 at the January 17th Commission meeting. While they were the minority in the vote concerning Unit #6, their affirmative vote was the correct vote. Had just one other member of the Commission voted with them, the entire rental situation concerning the South building would have been completely decided and resolved at this January 17th Commission meeting.

I wish the City of Lake Worth, and specifically the Lake Worth Casino project the best.

Barry S. Freedman
Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Company

Letter from Lake Worth Tee Shop's attorney

Comment Up
Lengthy, but worth the read.


January 24, 2012

To: Barry Freedman
Re: Evaluation of Chances of Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Company obtaining a rental Unit at the renovated Lake Worth Casino in light of the manifest unfairness shown by Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso

Dear Barry:

You have asked me to give you my evaluation concerning your chances of being treated fairly in obtaining a rental Unit at the renovated Lake Worth Casino, especially in light of the manifest unfairness shown to you at the January 17th Commission meeting by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso. I will give you that evaluation in very clear language.Bottom line evaluation, especially based upon the behavior of the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso.

You initially came to me because you felt your were not being treated fairly by the City. You were a long time tenant at the Casino and were supposed to be given a preference in the renovated Casino, along with the other long time tenants. At the time you came to see me, the City plans were to have only 3 units designated for Retail, those 3 Units being Units #5 and #6 (located in the south building) and Unit #7 (located in the north building). Until January 11, 2012, we and the public were lead to believe that you were to be the tenant in Unit #7 in the north building and Fox was to be the tenant in Units #5 and #6 in the south building.

Over the months, when the City presented you with proposed leases, you signed them with essentially no changes. For a period of time, there was a question concerning the language of exclusives desired by you and by Fox Surf Shop, with you asking for only 1 exclusive while Fox asked for 10 exclusives. Ultimately, the Commissioners expressly stated that no one would have any exclusives. You fully accepted the Commission’s policy decision. As recently as January 9th, you signed the proposed lease that the Asst. City Mgr. asked you to sign, making only a handwritten change to give you the same number of 5 year lease options as the City was giving Fox.

On the evening of November 11th, the Asst. City Mgr. sent me an email indicating that the City most likely wanted to use Unit #7, which was the space long designated for you, for additional restaurant space so that the entire first floor of the north building could be utilized as a restaurant. She also advised that Fox was now only interested in Unit #5 and that a completely new prospective tenant, a Women’s Fashion Store, was interested in Unit #5 or Unit #6. Since the long plan for you to be a tenant in Unit #7 was being eliminated, the City wanted your response immediately. And to assist, your response was immediate. The next morning, I sent the Asst. City Mgr. an email that manifested your graciousness in stating that for the good of the City, you would give up Unit #7, but that you wanted to be a tenant in either Unit #5 or #6. Sadly, but not unsurprisingly, absolutely none of your decency or graciousness in immediately giving up Unit #7 was made part of the Asst. City Mgr.’s January 12 Memorandum or at the Commission meeting on January 17

I was shocked to read the Asst. City Mgr’s January 12th Memorandum in which she set forth to the Commission an Option 1 or Option 2, even with the proposed Motions for those Options, and in both Options falsely stated that the only tenant interested in Unit #5 was Fox. That was an absolutely false statement intentionally made, since her own email to me on the evening of January 11th specifically indicated that a Woman’s Fashionwear Shop was interested in Unit #5, and earlier in the day of January 11th, I advised her both by email and telephone conversation that you were interested in Unit #5 or Unit #6 or both Units #5 and #6.Thus, the truth was that 3 prospective tenants were interested in Unit #5 ( you, the Women’s Fashion Store, and Fox).

The Asst. City Mgr.’s January 12th Memorandum to the Commission pointed out that you had added additional language in your Permitted Use description, yet entirely neglected to point out that Fox had also added additional language in its Permitted Use description.

Further, the Asst. City Mgr.’s January 12th Memorandum totally failed to point out that the attached tenant leases were inaccurately presented.On January 10th, you hand delivered two signed originals of the latest version of the lease the City had asked you to sign, and on January 11th I confirmed your hand delivery and also emailed a copy of the latest version of the lease the City had asked you to sign. A copy of that executed lease was not attached to the Asst. City Mgr.’s January 12th Memorandum or even mentioned. Additionally, the Asst. City Mgr.’s January 12th Memorandum also failed to mention or point out specifically that Fox had made significant material changes to the lease language and that the Assistant City Attorney was rejecting almost all of Fox’s cross-outs to the lease. The lease attached to the Memorandum concerning Fox, according to my conversation with the Assistant City Attorney Melissa Anderson earlier that day, had been rejected by her as to almost all cross-outs (at the City Commission meeting, I was not allowed to communicate that information to the Commission). The Asst. City Mgr.’s January 12th Memoranda to the Commission, as stated above, slanted facts against you by misleading or false statement, omissions and lack of material information.

What happened at the Commission Meeting of January 17 shows the extent to which this current Commission majority (the “Commission trio” - Commissioner Maxwell, Mayor Triolo and Commissioner Amoroso) will go to treat you unfairly. You were at the meeting, so you personally saw what happened. Anyone in the audience that night or viewing a tape of the meeting saw what happened -- you were clearly treated unfairly. With the background contained in this letter, this unfairness is even clearer.

The Commission’s decision to lease the entire first floor of the north building to a restaurant tenant eliminated your being awarded Unit #7, the Unit that had purportedly been designated by the City to you as a long time tenant at the Casino. Consequently, only Units #5 and #6 in the south building were available for retail tenants.There was not even the slightest acknowledgment of any appreciation to you that when you were informed on January 11th of the City’s need for Unit #7 for additional restaurant space, you immediately agreed for the good of the City to graciously give up Unit #7, a Unit that you had long been told by the City would be your rental Unit and which you had for a long time made plans to occupy, with the expectation that you would now get either Unit #5 or #6.

In the progression of the January 17th Commission meeting, policy decisions were made concerning the north building. Then, the Commission addressed Units #1 through #6, which is the south building.After approving New York Pizza (Units #1 and #2) and Kilwins (Units #3 and #4), it then became time for the Commission to consider Unit #5. As we know, at that point in time, only Units #5 and #6 were now available for retail tenants.

It certainly appeared pre-ordained from what transpired that Fox was getting Unit #5.There was essentially no discussion by the Commission, the Asst. City Mgr. or Broker about the fact that you and Woman’s Fashion Shop also were interested in Unit #5.This non-discussion was consistent with the pre-ordained result telegraphed by the slanted Asst. City Mgr.‘s January 12th Memorandum in which Fox was falsely stated as the only prospective tenant interested in Unit #5 when the truth was that 3 tenants ( you and the Woman’s Fashion Shop were also interested).There was also no discussion by the Commission, Asst. City Mgr. or Broker of the fact that the Woman’s Fashion Store had offered $30 sq ft for Unit #5 which was clearly more money than offered by Fox which had offered $25 sq ft. There was no discussion that since there was an offer for $30 sq ft on Unit #5, that Unit #5 should be put out for additional prospective tenants who might offer more rent than offered by Fox.There was also no discussion by the Commission, Asst. City Mgr. or Broker of the fact that Fox had expanded its description of Permitted Uses by additional language in its new lease or that this additional language raised any issue concerning the right of first refusal of Fox. Unit #5 sailed through with a unanimous 5-0 vote assigning Unit #5 to Fox.

Now came time for the Commission to consider Unit #6.The rational expectation was that you would be awarded Unit #6.Of course it was expected by you at that moment that you would get Unit #6, since how by any sense of logic, consistency or fairness could the rational expectation be otherwise? After all, so many facts of what had already transpired dictated your getting Unit #6 was the only logical, consistent and fair result: you as a long time tenant had a right of first refusal (like New York Pizza and Fox), your Permitted Use language was expanded but so also was Fox’ Permitted Use language expanded, the rent rate of $25 sq ft that the City, through Asst. City Mgr. Margoles, had advised you it wanted you to pay from the beginning was what you had agreed to pay and signed leases to pay and was the same amount that Fox and New York Pizza had agreed to pay, and these long time Casino tenants New York Pizza and Fox had just received unanimous 5-0 votes by the Commission to get designated Units.[I want to briefly address the rent rate. The City, with the knowledge and participation of the Broker, determined the rental amount for you to pay and that rent rate was put in the leases that the City submitted to you and which you signed.You were told what amount of rent you would pay and the Asst. City Mgr. put the $25 sq ft rent rate in your lease and you signed it.The Asst. City Mgr. and Broker never requested more than $25 sq ft or even inquired as to your paying a higher amount.I am sure that was the same scenario for the other long time tenants of the Casino].

But, rational expectations, fair dealing and logical consistency don’t apply to the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso. After all that had previously transpired concerning the south building, Units #1 through #5, the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso went to the extent of changing the rules by which everyone else was judged so as to not approve you, along with the participation of the Asst. City Mgr., with the Broker in attendance:

A. The Right of First Refusal was given extensive discussion concerning the award of the Restaurant for Units #1 and #2. The Commission voted in favor of the long time Casino tenant, New York Pizza. As concerns you, a BS reason by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso revolved around the fact that your Permitted Use language was expanded so as to perhaps destroy your right of first refusal. Yet, there was absolutely no discussion by the Commission, Asst. City Mgr. or the Broker during the discussion concerning either Unit #5 or Unit #6 that the Permitted Use language of Fox had also been expanded. So, the fact that Fox’s Permitted Use language was expanded was irrelevant to the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso, and the Asst. City Mgr. and Broker, but was highly relevant to them as a pretext in negatively considering you. Very, very unfair.

B. Another example of blatant unfairness against you by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso, was that throughout the meeting this trio adamantly insisted as an absolute, ironclad, rule fiercely enforced by the Mayor that that no prospective tenant was allowed to change what it had submitted. Yet, all of a sudden when it came to you, the rules changed to work against you. The prospective new tenant Women’s Fashion Store (who sought Unit #5 or #6) had advised in writing that it will not be open on every Saturday. In fact, the Broker told the Commission that it was a deal breaker provision for the Women’s Fashion Store if it had to be open Saturdays. It seems beyond obvious for a person of minimal common sense to recognize immediately that it would be a huge issue to the running of the Casino for a tenant not to be open every Saturday, which day will be either the busiest or second busiest day because it is on the weekend. Yet, despite that knowledge, the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso refused to approve you for Unit #6 at the same rental terms and same rate that it had in its immediate previous vote approved Fox for Unit #5. Additionally, the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso was so intent on trying to find some other alternate than approving you that they wanted to see if they could get some other additional new prospective tenant to take Unit #6. Commissioner Maxwell duplicitously expressed how important it was to get more than $25 a square foot when discussing Unit #6, which would be fine and make sense, until it raises the question of why Commissioner Maxwell did not have the same fervor for also trying to get more than $25 a square foot for Unit #5 instead of just approving Fox for $25 a square foot. Did anyone hear during the discussion of approving Unit #5 any desire by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso as to getting more than $25 a square foot for Unit #5 when the Women’s Fashion Store was offering $30 a square foot for Unit #5 or when Momma Mia attempted to offer more than $25 a square foot for Units #1 and #2? The answer is “no,” $25 a square foot was entirely okay to the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso for Fox and New York Pizza, but for you they wanted to try to prevent you from being a tenant or if you were a tenant force you to pay more rent than Fox and other tenants pay. With you, the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso changed the rules to treat you negatively. Very, very unfair.

C. There is no way that the votes of the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso can be rationally explained concerning the vote on Unit #6 given what had happened with the unanimous vote for Fox on Unit #5 and also the unanimous vote for New York Pizza on Units #1 and #2. Of the long time tenants at the Casino, on January 17th,you were singled out for unfair treatment by being the only one denied a Unit by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso. What clearly should have happened concerning the vote on Unit #6, and what would have happened without the dysfunctional Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso is that Unit #6 should have been treated the same as Unit #5 and there should have been a unanimous vote in favor of you being awarded Unit #6. Clearly, you have a right of first refusal like Fox and Lake Worth Pizza, and are similarly situated legally like Fox. Given the small size of Lake Worth Casino, Women’s Fashion Store should have been dismissed out of hand because of its self-imposed refusal to be closed every Saturday. The Broker clearly indicated that Women’s Fashion Store would be closed every Saturday, which the Commission cannot accept (even Commissioner Amoroso indicated that a tenant not being closed every Saturday at the Casino was not acceptable).

So with the procedure followed by the Commission with every Unit in the south building, and by the logic and consistency of the meeting, there was no other reasonable choice than a unanimous vote by the Commission for you to get Unit #6. But by every measure and level of logic, consistency and fairness, the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso treated you unfairly and differently that it had treated each other situation by failing to approve you for Unit #6. If even one of this Commission trio had a glimmer of fairness and competency, you would have been awarded Unit #6 because instead of a 3-2 vote against approving you, it would have been a 3-2 vote approving you. This Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso, each and every one of them, failed blatantly. Very, very unfair.

The fact that that there was a bizarre ending to the consideration of the Casino leases in the south building by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso, in voting to nullify the votes concerning all south building leases except Kilwins should not give you any hope that you will be treated fairly on January 31st. This bizarre ending by this Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso was a manifestation of their monumental incompetence, indicating that they are clueless, wildly out of control and irrationally inconsistent when it comes to logical public policy decisions. You can expect that their unfairness towards you will just take another form should you continue to attempt to obtain a Unit at the renovated Casino. A reasonable person can expect that the City of Lake Worth will be ill served on January 31st by another episode in this third rate bad reality show where terrible public policy decisions result from the grossly flawed decision making of the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso.

From my observation of Commission meetings, a special condemnation should be accorded Commissioner Maxwell. Commissioner Maxwell is such an argumentative nihilist that he appears to fervently wish for multiple personalities so that he would have someone to argue with when alone. To Commissioner Maxwell, nothing concerning the Lake Worth Casino is ever satisfactory; no amount of information is ever sufficient or provided timely; and, it is never time to vote on anything.From Commissioner Maxwell’s time on the Commission, and his understanding of the commitment given to long time tenants at the Casino, his behavior and illogic and vote on Unit #6 in light of his votes on the other south building Units are the most inexcusable.

It is a waste of your time, money and emotional energy to expect that you will be treated fairly by the present Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso. There is a saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You can continue to attempt to obtain a Unit at the renovated Casino, but can any reasonable person believe you will be treated fairly after the events described? Or, is it reasonable to expect that you will again be treated unfairly by the Commission trio of Maxwell, Triolo and Amoroso, who will again unfairly change the rules so as to work against you and cynically justify either refusing you a Unit or requiring you to pay higher rent than other similarly situated tenants?

You are too good a person to continue to subject yourself to this abuse.I am not charging you for the time spent in preparing this evaluation letter because I do not consider it fair to you to charge you for giving an evaluation of a circumstance that I consider so blatantly unfair.

A. Thomas Connick

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Will She? Or will she Not?

Comment Up
UPDATE: 9:10pm
Commission votes down enacting a fire assessment on a 3/2 vote.

Vote for a special fire assessment tonight

Lake Worth Income

Comment Up
In 2010, American median household income was only 0.75% higher than what it was in 1989. This corresponds to a 0.04% annual increase over a 21-year period. In the mean time, GDP per capita has increased by 32.5% or 1.35% annually.

While looking over the back-up for the City Manager recruitment it has Lake Worth's demographics. It says that in 2011, our per capita income was $17,527. Lake Worth is ranked 604 out of 887 Florida cities on per capita income. It states that our per capita income is $15, 517.

Commissioners, please bear this in mind tonight when you talk about special assessing the residents of this city for fire pensions and street lights. The majority of the people you want to assess don't have 1) a pension other than what they save and 2) do not have the income to support any more taxes.

Public Acceptance Steadily Growing on Gay Rights

As Disney contemplated lifting its ban on facial hair, there are larger issues of importance in the area of civil rights. Just ask Gay and Lesbian groups. Delray soon will amend the City's Family and Medical Leave Policy to allow city employees to use family and medical leave to care for their domestic partners.

The Palm Beach Human Rights Council states that in Palm Beach County, public employers that provide domestic partnership health insurance and other benefits include Palm Beach County, the School District of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach State College, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the Office of the Clerk and Comptroller, the Office of the Tax Collector, the Office of the Property Appraiser, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections, the Port of Palm Beach, the Solid Waste Authority, Palm Tran, Palm Beach County Children's Services Council, the Palm Beach County Health Care District, Seacoast Utility Authority, as well as the cities of Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach, the Town of Jupiter and the Village of Wellington.

Soon, the State of Washington will be approving Gay marriage and will join the other states of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

As more and more younger citizens enter politics and business, this trend will continue. Public Religion Research Institute conducted a survey last year and found that there was at least a 20-point generation gap between millennials, people of ages 18 to 29, and seniors, those 65-years and older, on every public policy regarding gay and lesbian rights. So, as older folks die off and religion takes a back seat, all the stereotypes and beliefs of the past will be just that.

U.S. postal stamp up to 45 cents

I remember the 3 cent stamp and the penny postcard. It doesn't seem that long ago but it was back in 1932 when the 3 cent stamp for first-class 1 oz mail was sold. It had been virtually unchanged up until 1958 and the cost has been steadily increasing ever since.

More and more of us are doing our banking on-line. It is estimated that over 63 million of us use on-line banking and automatic bill paying.

On Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service increased the price. This rate increase means a billion dollars a year to the postal service but it has been reported that they lost $5 billion last year. It'll cost a penny more — a 45-cent stamp — to mail a letter starting Jan. 22, and mailing a postcard will go up three cents, to 32 cents. As more and more of us go digital, the 45 cent stamp won't be around for long.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tonight's sky

Comment Up

Another crazy person gets arrested in Lake Worth

This time it was someone on Wingfield who tried to run down his girlfriend with his car.

An Arrogant Little Coup

Comment Up
Andrew Marra wrote again today on Mr. Titcomb's firing in North Palm Beach.

He talks about the firing of their city manager with no explanation to the public. He mentions back-door deals, a mockery of Florida's open government laws and the fact that North Palm Beach's commission listed no reasons for the termination of its city manager.

Just change the name to The City of Lake Worth and we have the same little arrogant type of commission right here. Perhaps they are demigods trying to ascend to true Godhood right on the Lake Worth dais.

Even if he did contribute comments in his city manager rankings.
The category that was missed--
"Do it the way the Vice Mayor tells you to do it."

Allen West -- Principle over Politics and Personal wealth

Comment Up
I thought this an interesting article in today's Palm Beach Post regarding what our Florida elected officials are worth. It showed that in Congress, the wealthiest were nearly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, 13 and 12 respectively although it is mostly the Democrats screaming against the 1%.

Allen West served his country for 22 years in the military. Everyone knows that military pay is low for a hazardous job. Firefighters make 2 times more than the average military man. A staff sergeant (E6) in the army with 2 years experience makes $27,814. A firefighter makes an average of $45,700. In Palm Beach County it has been reported that over half made an average of $90,000 a year in 2010. A Lt. Colonel with over 10 years experience makes a base pay of around $70,000 a year.

With Allen West, throughout his entire career--his interest has always been in serving others-- Principle over politics and personal wealth.

Lake Worth Commission Ranks City Manager Criteria

Comment Up
The January 24 Commission back-up had the composite sheets of the Commission's responses to the city manager profile and attributes and skills important to them. Finally, no more resumes are being accepted. We have 57 to date.

The City Manager made $157,641.67 in salary and 40,662.50 in benefits for a total compensation package of $198,264.17.

180 points is the top score in all categories with 5 being the top number of points for each individual category. The commission's ratings fell into categories with the most important being Critical to the low ranking of Desirable (not too important). This is the outcome of their ratings:

Mayor Pam Triolo...166 points...4.61 average...Very Important

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell...166 points...4.61 average...Very Important

Commissioner Amoroso...173 points...4.80 average...Critical

Commissioner McVoy...138 points...3.83 average...Desirable

Commissioner Mulvehill...157 points...4.36 average...Important

So, as it turns out, Amoroso raised the bar giving the most points to what he expects in our new city manager with Chris McVoy's rankings on the low end of the exercise.

Rankings of City Manager

Due to the rankings of the previous post being skewed, I have deleted it and it will be posted after correction. The City staff had a sheet with all of the rankings going across each category before the individual commissioners. It was not consistent in the order when it came to each individual commissioner's rankings. The order was changed. Thus the last post was wrong. My apologies. A correct post is coming.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little Mama underwent surgery - Lion Country Safari

Little Mama
Photo: Bill Ingram, The Palm Beach Post

Great Apes, or more often referred to as Chimpanzees, can live up to 60 years in captivity. Big Mama is estimated to be 73 years old and lives at Lion Country Safari. Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimps split from the human branch about 4 to 6 million years ago. We are forever reminded of that relationship as we watch their antics, observe their intelligence and their empathy towards one another, reasons why we are always intrigued by these special animals and wonder why we evolved and they did not.

Chimps are probably one of the most popular animals in the world. And despite such popularity, the chimpanzee's survival is most threatened by us. They are endangered in some areas of the world because of hunting and trapping. Chimpanzees have been used extensively for testing drugs for such diseases as AIDS.

Little Mama underwent two hours of oral surgery to remove some bad teeth. Her lower back was also treated for some wounds. There is a belief that Little Mama performed at one time with the Ice Capades back in the 1940's. She pulled through the surgery like the trooper she has always been.

News on the Lake Worth Whistleblower's Lawsuit

On January 18, the lawsuit was amended to include a First Amendment issue. On January 19, Dave Mulvay and Debbie Jackson both were served with subpoenas for their depositions.

VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. §1983


  • Plaintiff realleges and references each and every allegation contained in the receding paragraphs, and incorporates the same as if set forth fully herein.
  • Plaintiff's speech, namely his statements to the commissioners was of public concern regarding the potential harm to the City's energy system.
  • Plaintiff's interest in speaking out to thep1edia outweighed the City's interest in efficient public service, as the subject of his speech was health, safety and welfare of the public.
  • Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff and deprived Plaintiff of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws by its actions, including terminating Plaintiff and causing harm to his good name.
  • As a direct result of Plaintiff's speech, Defendant retaliated against him in violation of the fundamental protections of his basic constitutional rights.
  • Defendant City's discriminatory and retaliatory actions against Plaintiff chilled the exercise of his constitutionally protected speech.

Jeff Clemens stands up for the Environment

You have to be suspicious when groups such as Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Onsite Wastewater Association, the Florida Home Builders Association, Florida Realtors and the Coalition for Property Rights vote for a Bill that would eliminate a statewide requirement for septic tank inspections.

In 2010, SB 550 was passed requiring septic tanks to be inspected every 5 years.

HB 999 was just passed in the Economic Affairs Committee on a 14/1 vote to repeal SB 550. Instead it says that 19 counties with the 33 largest "first-magnitude" springs would be required to conduct inspections unless county commissions vote not to.

One environmental group, Audubon of Florida, approved the Bill if the requirement for inspections is expanded to include counties within the basins of first magnitude springs. Red flags were raised with other groups with reservations such as The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy and even The League of Cities.

The State Affairs Committee Bill, HB 115, terminates future imposition of prohibition of land application of septage from onsite sewage treatment & disposal systems. It maintains a ban starting by 2016 on the land application of septic tank waste that was included in 2010's SB 550. Audubon opposes HB 115, which would repeal the ban.

On a 14/2 vote, this Committee passed HB 115 forward because they "think" it protects the environment; they "think" it has a positive affect. Jeff Clemens, once again, and looking out for Florida's environment, voted against it. This is a typical political situation that pits the rights of property owners against the protection of our environment.

Another Lake Worth Robbery and Stabbing

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Man stabbed on D Street. K-9 units and PBSO helicopters were searching for the two alleged perpetrators.

Do you feel safer?

Jupiter Sunrise by Cpt. Kimo

If you want to see some spectacular photography from my favorite photographer, go to CaptainKimo.com.

This particular shot was taken in Jupiter. 'Captain Kimo' says, "I came up with this idea at the last minute as the sun was peaking over the horizon. Even though it was bone chilling cold, I was sweating trying to get this to line up before the sun rose into the clouds. It took me three handful of shells to make this work."