Is this the fault of this Lake Worth administration? Consensus has it that City Manager Michael Bornstein, City Attorney Glen Torcivia and Commissioner Scott Maxwell wanted to get rid of it. FDOT was approached. Sources say that the city came up with a plan and suggested that FDOT charge them for air-rights in order to force them out.
Originally this location under the I-95 overpass was owned by the school. When I-95 was being built, the school gave it to the State so it could store its equipment with the understanding and agreement that once their equipment was removed and I-95 built, the school would be able to use the property again.
Many years ago, the city tried to collect fees at the flea market and eventually just gave up on the idea and it has been allowed to operate solely for the children's benefit. Lake Worth High doesn't have to spend any money on advertising as the market has been around for 30 years and people come from all over.>
Lake Worth High is one of the poorest schools in Palm Beach County. Many of the students have difficulty speaking English. Proceeds from the market have been used to enhance educational programs and provide scholarships to needy students. The flea market gave $25,000 to Dollars for Scholars this year, money that went directly to Lake Worth high School students.
The flea market used to take in about $240,000 in vendor fees annually and made about $100,000 a year in profit. The school uses the flea market proceeds to buy classroom supplies, books for in-class libraries in order to pay for campus beautification projects and to buy prizes for students who perform well on required tests. Why would anyone want to ruin that?
City Manager Bornstein wanted them to pay for a business license about three years ago so that they could capitalize off the backs of poor children. Never in the history of Lake Worth High School, founded in 1922, has a Lake Worth city government worked against children to grab a buck.
Now I just learned that the flea market general manager who has been there for many years, Ralph J. Milone, has been terminated by Elvis Epps, principal of Lake Worth High School. What will happen next to the flea market that has given back so much to Lake Worth High School?
UPDATE 2:05PM Ralph Milone's contract has been extended...still general mgr.
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Ralph Milone, grey jacket,
LW Flea Market General Manager at $1,000,000 Dinner