Closing Remarks, Commissioner Christopher McVoy, 2010-2017
March 21, 2017
It is not often that a scientist is granted the opportunity to participate directly in the American experiment of democracy (and not every city that gets the benefit of a scientist!)
I am honored to have been able to represent all the residents of this quirky city in South Florida that continues to attract folks from far and wide.
I am honored to have been able to serve as “voice of reason,” as a “voice of the people,” unburdened by allegiances to vested interests.
I am proud of our many accomplishments:
- The Burton modeling and analysis applied to our budgeting
- Our signing onto the Four County Climate Change Compact
- Our commitments to local sourcing and apprentices on publicly funded projects
- Our use of internationally recognized designers at our beach and at our living shoreline
- A beautiful building at the beach
- A state of the art RO plant
- Beautiful greenways
- 2 Megawatts of solar panels on our landfill
- Our installation of real time electric and water meters to help residents save money
- And many more
But our work is not done. Here are some specifics that I hope this new Commission will address:
- Code enforcement – spell out our priorities for all to see
- A program to reward good landlords, shame bad ones
- A gun violence prevention program. Consider the ShotSpotter technology
- Balancing the care for our different parks – I still cringe at the lack of bathrooms, the lighting, the tables and benches at Howard Park
- Our continued reputation for expensive electricity – use the new meters and a household-by-household program to address
- Customer service!
- Public Safety – address long standing problem areas such as the Holiday House Hotel on Dixie Hwy, others on Federal Hwy
And here are some areas where I am confident that together you can develop visions that will lift up and inspire our city:
- Quality of life in our neighborhoods, especially speeding, trucks and cut through traffic – develop a city wide set of goals, approaches and a plan. Work hard to involve residents – make it a community effort
- Environmental, especially energy. Help Lake Worth become nationally known for true leadership in this area – you can do it!
- Sober homes. This community has compassion but it also needs to feel safe. Learn to distinguish between good sober homes who provide a needed service and the duds who just profit and hurt us.
I would like to close by handing over the torch:
- I am entrusting all five of you, new and old, with the protection of our city’s greatest asset – it’s heart and soul.
- I recognize that this is not an easy task, and that it generates more questions than answers:
o What gives a city Heart and Soul, why does our city have more of it than Lantana or WPB or most other cities in South FL?
o What strengthens heart and soul, and what weakens it?
o Can it be measured in dollars or square feet developed? Probably not, and yet we need both dollars and square ft.
o Are there slippery slopes that could threaten our heart and soul, and that will be hard to reverse before it’s too late?
o How does diversity, all kinds of diversity, fit into the picture? How do we smooth the edges?
o These and more are all important questions to get right.
- So I challenge each and every one of you to do your best, not for yourselves, but for ALL in this city
- I challenge you all to do your utmost to hear from all viewpoints in the city, to cultivate, to welcome real public input – it will help you to find answers
- I challenge you to find ways strengthen our city as a whole – the finances, the sense of safety, the quality of life, the compassion and the tolerance.
- I challenge you to protect and strengthen the Heart and Soul that makes our city a beacon within South Florida
- Be that light and Godspeed!