Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is this guy's middle name Willard?

Read about him HERE.

He wants control of our pool? Are you kidding me?
He couldn't make it in the UK but
God, who told him about Lake Worth?
Is this the guy?


"I think they are totally incompetent, all these meetings and all this money I have blown on marketing," he said.

"I feel they are waiting for me to find the money myself or leave."

Yup, anyone seeing this guy here offer him a way way ticket out of town.

Read MORE


One Up for Granny

Granny says, "Pipe down Tom. Quit touting your horn at me. Get your head above water."


Granny thought she heard him say that he wanted
to screw up the Lake Worth Pool

Susan Surprised

Cost of Sheriff's Services

Financial Advisory Board Results - The Final Two

Comment Up
Former elected official beaten to a pulp?

More often than we know, senior citizens take abuse. I'm not talking about physical abuse, they get that too, but the other kind--abuse from those who believe because we are older that we just can't cut the cake anymore. Age discrimination is something very real and until you experience it yourself, you can't really relate.

I bring this up because of a statement said to me in the parking lot at City Hall after the meeting on Monday night. A friend of Mary Lindsey said that Ron Exline was a bad choice--intimated that he was too old to figure it all out--different times--therefore just not up to snuff was the implication.

Personally, I feel that I am more "with it" now than at any other stage of my life and Ron is too. It has all been a growing up experience and those life experiences are invaluable. Albert Einstein said, "The only source of knowledge is experience. "

Because the original tally was added incorrectly, the Commission had to re-vote for the final two members to the Board. This mathematical mistake is unfortunate on so many levels.

How the voting went:

Maxwell…Ron Exline and Mary Lindsey

Jennings…Laurel Decker and Ron Exline

Varela…Laurel Decker and Mary Lindsey

Golden…Laurel Decker and Ron Exline

Mulvehill…Laurel Decker and Ron Exline

I think Mary Lindsey would have been an asset to this board and would have devoted all the necessary time to come up with answers. She did it when she tackled our Utility and the Budget would have received the same amount of attention. However she was not chosen. Her work ethic is tops. That's politics. You can't expect a potential "boss" to hire you when you have shown repeated contempt for them in public.

Laurel Decker who is a CPA will be very valuable to this board. CPA's work under very high ethical standards. They understand principles of professional responsibility, the public interest, integrity, objectivity and take due care and have competence in all that they do. She is non-emotional when it comes to finances. She will get to the heart of the matter.

I know Ron. He is a good friend of mine and I believe him to be a perfect choice for the Financial Advisory Board. Ron Exline, a former Mayor of Lake Worth, worked on government budgets for 8 years. He knows exactly where to look for answers. He has the experience and knows the techniques used in government accounting which is different than general accounting. As he says, “Things aren’t always as bad as Staff says—they have a tendency to hoard.”

Thrift sometimes is not a way of life in government. We need a reformer…someone looking out for the taxpayers. Citizens do come first. Ron will be making sure of that and in his case, age makes no difference when it comes to ability, experience and honesty. He will be the bloodhound on this Board.

Let Stanton do her Job

The Palm Beach Post said that our Commission gave a mixed review of our City Manager. Not really but sort of. As reported yesterday, she got a 3.48 rating overall...a high rating and a 4.1 average from Jennings, Golden and Mulvehill. Varela and Maxwell gave low ratings.

Well, the City Commission in so many words told Susan Stanton to treat employees a little kinder and a little gentler. Now she can protect the public works director even more than she has. Let's hope he doesn't move any more parking lots. Frankly I have no idea what she has said or hasn’t said to employees. One thing that we do know, the majority of them is working better than they ever have before and the City is showing the results of her leadership. One main reason this City was in so much trouble was because of Staff. Ms. Stanton is correcting this.

The critique of Stanton has given employees the “out” to complain and the comfort to know that they can. They found sympathetic "friends" at Scott Maxwell’s and Rene Varela’s office. No more excuses. You all will be evaluated now that the City is implementing performance reviews for all. Can you just see it when that one employee is rated “needs lots of improvement” and goes crying to the Mayor or Commissioner Maxwell?

Stanton needs to be able to do her job.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jeff Clemens

Remember this guy? Trust me Jeff, when I say, Lake Worth will never forget.

Jeff Clemens Campaign Web Site

Check out his Accomplishments

Bill Flying High

Always liking a challenge and bringing attention to what's wrong with the world, lately Bill Coakley has been "fighting" annoying helicopter pilots. As a pilot himself, he knows the proper protocol and it "ain't happening in Lantana," says Bill, as helicopters fly low over his house.

He is now involved in his investigative report on helicopters at the Lantana Airport and those who fly them. This is an escalating world-wide problem that he blames on ineffective government in the monitoring and control of helicopters.

Follow his report at Lake Worth Media.

The City Manager Evaluation Matrix - Balance of Cool

Comment Up
There were 9 categories:

Providing Information, Providing Advice, Financial Management, Personnel Management, Accomplishing the Job, Citizens Relations, Intergovernmental Relations (Maxwell gave her a rating of 20% on this category), Communications and Management Style.

Overall, our City Manager received an average 4.1 out of 5 by Jennings, Golden and Mulvehill. This is excellent…a B grade. This is what our Poll indicated—the majority of the people who took it believed that our City Manager was doing a Good to Excellent job.

The Vote, 5 being the best score.

Maxwell…1.6

Jennings…4.2

Golden…4.1

Mulvehill…4.8

Varela…2.7

Stanton…3.2 (when evaluating yourself, you always have a tendency to score yourself lower)

The Mayor and Commissioner Maxwell, two individuals who have been in office for four months, decided that they had a clearer understanding of our City Manager's performance over the last 11 months; they knew best. Both rarely attended city commission meetings until they had decided to run for office. Maxwell even had the “proof” with him although he never cited one sentence or one paragraph to prove that his low score for Stanton was deserved. The book was colored Red but the final outcome was all Green, a natural balance of cool.

What's going on at Bryant Park?

It's hard to tell what is going on since AA Engineering pulled out. There is no information on line as to whether the City went out on a bid system in order for the City to contract with some other company to complete the work. The person in charge never answered my e-mail. Maybe Staff is working behind the scenes to figure it all out. You guess?

Since we have that area prepared to dig, they could put a pool there with a waterslide. Then we wouldn't have to worry about some people wanting to screw up our Olympic pool at our beach and could slide to their heart's content. Watch the people at Bryant Park scream at that one! Suzanne Mulvehill's dog would bark his lungs out.




Gee, we can't even find the money to complete this mess or make repairs to that roof. I would estimate that a waterslide would last about 1 year no matter where it was in Lake Worth. Not sure what would be first--closed because of repairs due to lack of maintenance or little Tommy taking a nasty slide and breaking his head...law suit and then bankruptcy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Susan, our City Manager

A lot of time and thought went in to Susan Stanton’s performance review…the first one in my memory that we have had in the City of Lake Worth. It was professional. Commissioner Maxwell even had a book 2 inches thick that he had compiled on Ms. Stanton which even included information from her employment in Largo. He has done employee evaluations for 30 years and spent 35 to 50 hours in preparation for Ms. Stanton's Performance Review.

All Commissioners, for the most part, were very thoughtful in their analysis of Ms. Stanton.

As we sit on the other side of the Dais and rarely have a chance to speak with her on issues, it is impossible as a resident to really evaluate her. We see the tangibles and know that the City, finally, is going in the right direction. We are not privy to her management style or when she does not use a kid glove approach with her subordinates. We only know that she is soft-spoken but has been surprised about the range of intensity from some of our citizens and on a few occasions spoke out about it. Motivating employees to perform to the best of their ability is good. We have seen a lot of mistakes over the years with employees coming and going as they pleased. Everyone can be better. She is making everything more transparent and requiring employees to be more accountable.

The employees in our city have, in the past, been running this City. They are not used to a strong take-charge leader and I am confident that this has been hard for some to adjust. Over time, they will. We did not hear what some on the Commission were concerned about as far as what interpersonal skills she needed to improve upon but we have heard the rumors that from time to time she will use a swear word. This was not discussed. So the major gripe was addressed cautiously and particulars were avoided completely.

Ms. Stanton has over 18 years experience. She knows her work level. If she would rather work than take a vacation that should be her prerogative. I was actually the very same way when I worked—I never took a vacation. It would have bored me to death. She knows she still has many challenges in front of her. Let her set her own pace. She knows what she is doing. She loves to work. If she wants a vacation, she will take one.

As far as having her get out into the community more and talking to the citizens, I just do not see the purpose of this or why it was a criticism. She has way too many fires to still put out without worrying about the residents. That is what the elected officials should be doing, not the city manager. If you call her office, her secretary, Mary, will make an appointment for you.

Scott Maxwell’s suggestion of a monthly financial report is excellent. In this way the Commission can determine if each department is working within forecasts and it could red flag any problems. It will be a good gauge and they will receive less budgetary surprises going forward.

All in all, it might have been interesting listening for all of us in the Chamber or at home but the time and effort was essentially an exercise that was unnecessary to conduct in public. Ms. Stanton came out with what I am assuming was good job approval over-all. After two hours of discussion on a performance matrix that took all sorts of time and research to devise, we never learned the actual results.

The "Pill" that Lake Osborne Heights would not Swallow

The only "planning" that this little gal does while wearing
her pill box hat, is scheming on
how to get her next doggy treat


I thought it out over several days and decided to publish Katie's rejected blog from Wes' site. I eliminated the words that might be considered "character assassination" and offensive to Wes. Her post to his blog was not an "anonymous" post as suggested. It was no more so than most posters there such as (Luther), Jack and Jim, all those who use only a first name or fictitious names and/or those who use disparaging adjectives towards others with a different view. Her using Wes' real name of "Charlie" a derivative of Charles, was certainly more flattering than those on his site calling people "looney."

Most people know her ID after having posted for 1.5 years now on my blog. I am 100% against character assassination or subjecting people to ridicule to make points but in this instance, we have read enough malicious commentary from that and other blogs for years from those who will not allow anyone to have another opinion or just simply debating a subject. I can well understand why Wes rejected the post. Politics is flaming hot in Lake Worth.

Although her second post was denied, the message is important and its content is relative to an on-going legal and political situation involving our Comp Plan land use change that was approved by the former Planning & Zoning board and a former City Commission. It has involved an entire neighborhood and has taken countless hours over 4 years and money to stand up to what the residents know was an egregious act by P&Z. Those on the P&Z who voted to change the land-use, as well as that Commission, did a disservice to all those in that neighborhood consisting of approximately 1,000 people as well as all of the neighborhoods in Lake Worth.

As we adamantly support the single family neighborhood, we object to the political power of a few to sabotage our Comp Plan for the sole welfare of developers or for whatever purpose they may have. If we had Florida Hometown Democracy in place, we would have been able to vote on this important land use change but instead, a commission on a 3 to 2 vote had the sole power to possibly change an entire single family neighborhood at a snap of its political fingers.

I want to personally thank all of those in Save Our Neighborhood as well as the residents of Lake Osborne Heights for standing up for truth and decency and helping to defend and preserve the single family neighborhood.

Vote Yes on November 2, 2010 for Amendment 4.

Katie's rejected post below:

"Charlie, calling you a growth w$%^* was not character assassination. It was not a totally successful attempt to characterize you and the rest of the "club" that you ran. I don't like calling the group a Planning and Zoning Board because that would imply that some professional standards were used in the decisions that were made. No planner would have approved of the density or zoning on a piece of property located where the Sunset property is. Your recommendations went against everything that our million dollar master plan said about multi-family zoning.

It took an honest Commission to finally fix the "mistakes" that were made.

Charlie, if a developer wanted something, they knew which town to come to...developers giving other developers everything that they wanted. And that's why, Charlie, I shouldn't have called you and your group growth w$%^&*. You were really a bunch of developer p*&^% (procurers, offenders, wrongdoers). You didn't answer any of my questions, Charlie.

And finally, Charlie, I really don't get the whole Jackie thing, other than it tells me you spend WAY too much time thinking about pill box hats."


Katie McGiveron, President, Save Our Neighborhood, Inc.
Guest Blogger here only because you would not publish this comment on your blog.

Reverse Osmosis has its own Website

The City of Lake Worth Reverse Osmosis Water Plant Web Site

Follow the Progress

Clean-Up on Collier scheduled for Apr 3

COMMENT UP
Photo by Joanna Aiken
Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County
Community Service Coordinator

The next clean-up for this property is Saturday, April 3, beginning at 10am. There is plenty to do before the house painting can begin. All of you willing to help out, come to 2212 Collier Avenue and don't forget your gloves.

City Manager Susan Stanton Accomplishments - Repairing the Potholes and Beyond


Tonight at 6pm, our city manager's job performance will be reviewed by the City Commission.

This is the first time, as far as I am aware, that we have had a formal review such as this of a city manager. Personally, I think it ridiculous to have such a review of someone at this level of employment and I have stated the reasons previously. Primarily I can't understand how a Commission (The Board of Directors) does not understand what our City Manager (the CEO) has done for the past 11+ months. What should be about substance and not style will be nothing more than a complaint fest for some Commissioners provoked by some of their backers in a Public Forum. It is my prediction that when the process is completed tonight, Ms. Stanton will be offered a Contract.

There are always mistakes along the way when you are incorporating change--trusting staff too much that was not accustomed to taking direction or reporting back the facts; listening to certain vocal citizens too much or others not enough; believing the political hype. Hinting for a major change to our beach (aquatic park) after a plan has already been approved by the County and the Commission, is one that comes to mind. The scope of this "dream" has not been explained. There are a few others. Perhaps these are nothing more than ideas for revenue or projects for future consideration in a city with NO money. Pushing personal agendas is not the role of a city manager.

Let's fix the potholes in our streets and maintain our assets already in place before we take on any new capital projects or play Powerball.

Ms. Stanton arrived one week early for her job. She was hired to stop the bleeding: find solutions, implement a plan and correct the problem-- not simply putting on a Band-Aid as we had done in the past. She immediately settled into the community. Ms. Stanton said to me, "I love my job and I love Lake Worth." Have we ever had a city manager who ever declared this? Have we ever had a city manager that worked 12 to 14 hour days? She came into the biggest mess ever and has achieved plenty with plenty more to do.

These are the accomplishments of Ms. Stanton--what she has done and what she continues to do. She, as far as I know, has always performed her job and has fulfilled all requests of the Commission and continues to bring others to conclusions. She is a "perfect fit" for Lake Worth and Lake Worth for her.

Being strategic when spending money – thus saving money. She’s very cognizant, creative and strategic in spending and saving money
  • Hired Taurinski to get a structural engineering report of the casino building for 6K BEFORE we went forward with spending 450K for shoring up the building.
  • Hired a grants writer so we wouldn’t lose grants that we already received and to generate additional dollars for the city in difficult budget times. Didn’t rehire the outsourced grants firm that had no accountability.
  • Recommended hiring a new auditing firm – thus saving the money more than 100K in the cost differential with the previous auditing firm. The Audit still begins was too late. We should have an Audit in March or April, not the last day by law.
  • Hired someone who reviewed our insurance policies – found a duplicate policy – savings to city 60K annually.
  • Had website redesigned without spending the 50K that was budgeted.
  • Hired an auditor due to conflicts with the Bryant Park seawall project.

Restructured operations to build a more efficient city government
  • Deleted positions early on that were no longer needed or that could not be funded.
  • Let go of a number of top level employees to build a more effective level of upper management. (Laura, Rachel, John Farinelli, for example).
  • Restructured the code department and moved valuable employees into a new department.
  • Brought on top professionals and new employees with a fair and equitable salary.
  • Let contracts end that were not in the best interest of the city. (Farinelli was making nearly twice the salary of a building official and was able to be paid in this way because he was under a contract)
  • Creating a more accountable staff and changing the philosophy of “we do it this way, because that’s the way it’s always been done.” i.e. decisions being made in the field that should be brought to the Commission. Bryant Park fell through the cracks as did the lack of maintenance of the Pump House at our Pool. This was totally hidden by those in charge.

Creating openness and transparency in government and more citizen involvement
  • Weekly manager’s reports.
  • Recommended the financial advisory board.
  • Demanding more workshops and more commission meetings

Brought her expertise in helping to resolve discrepancies of previous commissions/promises and cleaning up our past of poor management
  • Compass building issues.
  • Fire department MOU that was not approved by the Commission.
  • Facilitated rescinding the ordinance for the Sunset property.
  • Helped facilitate disputes in the city’s contract with the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Saving the casino building – discrepancy over whether the building can be saved or not is resolved.
  • Revolved the uncertainty about the city being able to get the $5 million from the County – project is preparing to move forward.
  • Created a consistent 10% retirement benefit rather than differing benefit packages for different management personnel and costing the city more than necessary.
  • Resolved conflict of staff preferences in this regard.
  • Implemented a Customer Service seminar that resulted in friendly and more helpful staff.

Leverages the city’s assets and position to resolve conflict and bring a good solution to the city
  • Mediation of the water contract and working through this to create the solution the city wanted (building the RO plant) without the extreme penalty that the County was going to demand.
  • Got the money for the billboards with strong follow through after two years of being jerked around.
  • Working through the sewer issues of cities that have not paid us (in process).
  • Working through the dispute over who is to pay the 60K/month for the gas line since FMPA stopped paying.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

14 Amendment - Is it being mis-interpreted?

I have said before that I believe that some of our Bill of Rights should be studied closely and changes considered and applied for this Century as nothing is the same as it was 200 plus years ago.

Today, George Will challenges the interpretation of the 14 Amendment and says,

"Appropriately, in 1884 the Supreme Court held that children born to Indian parents were not born "subject to" U.S. jurisdiction because, among other reasons, the person so born could not change his status by his "own will without the action or assent of the United States." And "no one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent."

Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school says this decision "seemed to establish" that U.S. citizenship is "a consensual relation, requiring the consent of the United States." So: "This would clearly settle the question of birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens. There cannot be a more total or forceful denial of consent to a person's citizenship than to make the source of that person's presence in the nation illegal."

Read his column on Immigrant babies and Citizenship

McGow is Under Water

COMMENT UP

Library Board - New Appointee Brian Smith


Our present library was built in 1940 thanks to the Pioneers. They raised money as well as the collection of books that had grown to 10,000 through the efforts of an appeal by the Lucerne Herald newspaper that was sent to 6,000 people throughout the country. They said at the time that they were very proud that they didn't accept one dime of federal money. Unlike the mindset of a lot of people today, their philosophy was "Where Federal money goes, Federal control follows."

Brian Smith, featured above, applied to our Library Board and was a shoo-in as he was the only candidate. Highly qualified, he has been a professional librarian for three years with a Master's Degree in Library Science and Information. He had wanted to work at our Lake Worth Library just a short distance from the home he owns on North K Street but Lake Worth has a hiring freeze. He is working at the Delray Beach public library. Brian belongs to the Palm Beach County Library Association, the FLA and the ALA.

Lake Worth is extremely lucky to have a new resident that loves our city and wants to volunteer his time and expertise to our Lake Worth Library. Welcome Brian.

Control Growth Now

Dan Lobeck, president of Control Growth Now, said putting comp plan amendments before local electorates may have kept in check the real estate boom that has cost jobs.

"Overdevelopment has crashed our economy," Lobeck said.

Read about it HERE

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Florida Association of Counties do NOT want Florida Hometown Democracy

No surprise here. Most politicians know where their bread is buttered and it is not from those who elected them into office. It is, however, from those groups with huge resources contributing to their campaign funds--developers, Realtor's Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

"In just two years (2007 to 2009), commissioners around Florida voted to change local plans to allow a staggering amount of over-development -- 520,000 more houses, 1.2 million more people, and 1.3 BILLION more square feet of commercial and office space."

Read about it HERE

International Space Station flash

See the timeline and the coming together of the International Space Station

Clean Up at 2212 Collier

Comment Up

This is a great day for the beach but instead, some really fabulous people showed up with rakes and gloves in hand to pitch in and help an elderly homeowner on Collier. I missed seeing the Mayor who was there helping but I did manage to get a few photos of Commissioner Maxwell wearing his back brace and working up a sweat. Katie was working earlier. It was hard work on a hot day but all so worthwhile...giving back to someone in need...there is nothing more worthwhile than that. There is a long way to go to get this property in order.

I talked to Steve Viles who has helped out this owner in the past but being only one guy to handle all of this was an awesome and impossible endeavor. Steve was out of work for 6 months and just recently found a job with a Painting outfit in Jupiter. Even when he wondered sometimes where his next meal would come from, he was out there volunteering and helping others. Incidentally, Steve is looking for an efficiency to rent in Lake Worth. He is an amazing guy.

Thanks to Robert Waples' intervention, the ROLOH neighborhood was called to pitch in and help out this home owner who is a senior and on a walker and who can't physically attend to these chores. Robert has arranged a special trash pick-up for Monday morning. It is this sort of thing that brings neighbors together and it makes me so proud to know these guys.

In one of the shots you will see Robert and Steve along with a couple of prison laborers with Deputy Mark Lozano who is in charge of the Prison Labor Program for District 14. He set my mind at ease when he explained to me that the labor used in the neighborhoods and in our alley ways is not from hard-core criminals but those with minor infractions such as not having a driver's license or a ticket for a DUI. Part of their sentence is community service.

Starting this Wednesday at our police station, PBSO will be starting a free 9 week program beginning at 6:30 to 9:30pm that will educate us on Homeland Security, K-9 Units, Financial Crimes, Bomb Squads, Violent Crimes, Narcotics, etc.

Thanks Robert for this remarkable neighborhood association event and to all those who volunteered.

All in a Day's Art Work

This is original "art" by Tom McGow.

Idle hands are the devil's tools,

but maybe not idle for too much longer--He is starting a handyman service. When Loretta hires Tom, as a handyman, Tom can inform her that she probably did not know what was talked about back in 2006 regarding competitive swimming at our pool--(running back and forth from Costa Rica and all). Does Loretta really believe that we would spend one-half MILLION dollars on pool fix-ups for the hell of it or on no vision? Oh, forgot. Not sure if Tom, was living here either. He certainly was not at commission meetings. We know that the city manager was not here to listen to all the commentary regarding national meets.

Nevertheless, there are always several opinions on the direction of our beach and I don't need to provide research for an opinion. Tom has made this more than just a difference of opinion so he gets it right back.

Right now there are a few taking the "company" line on having an aquatic park. Tom took the Varela/Jennings commission line on the Singer plan that eliminates our parking in order to have bushes..."green." Tom has told us all that we can walk from the lower level up the dune to get to the beach or drop granny off at the upper level and drive back down and park. (This was Greater Bay's plan). It was a lousy plan then and it is a lousy plan today. The aquatic park is Susan Stanton's idea and she is pushing hard for it.

Will the taxpayers have a say? You know--all the adults that pay the bills? Adults and Seniors are being pushed out of most recreation in our City--why not the pool? This city is not all about Jungle Jims for Johnny and sandboxes for Suzie. Thanks to Commissioner Mulvehill and the rest of the commission, we at least got back Concerts In the Park.

Lake Lytal Pool with waterslide

Perhaps the problem is in the perception of an "aquatic park" and what features it may have and how many acres it will cover. I got an e-mail from someone who said that we should rip out our pool and build it in the south end of our beachfront. He's not a taxpayer here...lives out of state even...implied when we hired Michael Singer we lost a great opportunity to make some money...we screwed up on our design. Some people like the idea of Disney at the Lake Worth beach but many of us do not. Is our voice important?

Perhaps all Tom is talking about is nothing more than a waterslide .... something like Lake Lytal, picture above, that might be a good idea to attract more kids at our pool. Shudder to think about the liability insurance. One reason why we haven't had anyone swimming is that the pool has not been heated. The water is freezing. Maybe we will soon come up with a financial feasibility plan for our Casino build-out. There has been total silence on that and in two weeks we choose the architect.

If it is more than just a waterslide, and it is actually a water theme park (aquatic park) that they have been talking about, then you have to wonder why some people just love to spend money especially when we don't have two nickels to rub together. Obama's trickle down economy-- Borrow and pay later; file for foreclosure; become bankrupt but definitely use the other guys' chips while all you responsible people are paying for it all.

All in a day's art work.


:>)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Go back to the Sandbox Kid


Well, since Tom asked me to provide research for an opinion, I would like him to provide a complete cost estimate AND FINANCIAL FEASIBILITY STUDY to build an aquatic park and explain why he would want to just set a match to over $1 mil at our pool facility that is virtually ready to make money. We just spent nearly $450,000 on repairs. Does Tom have any idea what the value is of our pool and facility?

Should the City of Lake Worth perhaps get into the printing press business and start printing funny money?

Message from Dave

Dear Friends,

Who knew? When did they know? And what does it mean for Florida’s taxpayers?

Last week I asked these and many other questions after it was announced that a massive state contract with a private company, Convergys, had been transferred during the company’s sale to a foreign-owned firm.

In December, Florida signed a 5-year, $248 million contract with Convergys to manage the human resources for thousands of state employees. Three months later, Convergys announced that it -- and the contract -- was being sold to a foreign-owned company.

The contract has always been controversial. As you may recall, back in 2003 and 2004 there was a serious data breach under the Convergys contract, and the Social Security numbers and bank account information of more than 100,000 state workers were mistakenly shipped to foreign countries. We must ensure this never happens again.

Another concern involves transparency: Did Convergys know that it was about to be sold when it was negotiating the contract with state officials? If news of the impending sale had been disclosed three months earlier, the state could have reconsidered and re-bid the entire contract.

I will continue to keep a close eye on this contract and sale to ensure the protection of Florida taxpayers as well as the security of our state employees' sensitive data.

Sincerely,

Dave Aronberg

Tom, the Dozer

Grrrrrrrrr

Financial Advisory Board

Jennifer Marchal, CPA
Received unanimous vote from City Commission

The City Board interviews went well. I am always impressed with those who interview and want to volunteer their time. The people in our City are amazing and these applicants were all highly qualified.

Basically, the Commission over-looked politics in its appointments with the possible exception of four people: Paul Blockson, our former Fire Chief, and Mary Lindsey, former candidate for Lake Worth political office, applied and did not get appointed only receiving 2 votes each. Both were well qualified for this Board. Some behind the scenes believe that Mr. Blockson would have had a conflict of interest as pension retirement benefits would be looked at within the scope of duties of this new Board and our millage rate is affected by fire rescue. I would guess that the Commission took this into consideration. The others were Ron Exline, former Mayor and Commissioner, and Laurel Decker, a CPA, each receiving 3 votes.

The Finance Advisory Board was established to promote transparency in the City’s budget process and allow more citizen input. It will advise the Commission as well as the City Manager.

Laurel Decker wants to tackle the Utility, a mystery to all of the taxpayers of Lake Worth. As expenditures are projected at $163+ mil in this fiscal year, we get the biggest percentage of revenues from our Utility. William Thrasher, the City Manager of Gulfstream with an MBA and a Financial Manager got 5 votes. His philosophy is to look, learn and investigate. John Pickett got 5 votes and stated that it was time for him “to get out of the stands, put on a helmet and get into the game.” Jessica Plotkin receiving 4 votes and Secretary/Treasurer of Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association, had a good interview as did Darrian Dority who received 5 votes.

From high school graduates up to those with Master’s degrees and CPA designations, all had a common goal--transparency, allocating funds and spending wisely, and looking for waste so that taxes might not have to be raised.

The Park of Commerce is now on Its way

Comment Up

The City Commission approved a contract with Camp, Dresser and McGee (CDM) for the park of Commerce Needs Assessment Study for $455,000. CDM will be evaluating the necessary infrastructure to support the development.

The U.S. Department of Commerce EDA Grant was $250,000 and will be applied towards the total contract award. CDM will determine the existing architecture and all information will be imputed into a GIS database which will become the property of the City of Lake Worth along with all specs and plans. They will provide a Master Plan and Environmental Report with development recommendations. $35.033 will be spent on public participation.

CDM won the contract out of eight applicants and has formed a team consisting of Erin L. Deady of Lewis, Longman and Walker, "a legal firm that focuses on specialized and often technical areas of environmental and land use law, employment law, government relations, public finance and real estate law. Specific talents, knowledge and contacts are necessary for each field." Deady, along with Jane West of Collins West, represented McCauley/McNamara in the law suit against the City of Lake Worth regarding the Greater Bay Contract. Their suit was withdrawn once Greater Bay was removed by the City.

Also on their team is Collene Walter of Kilday & Associates. Kilday merged with Urban Design at the end of 2008 making it the largest urban design, planning and landscape architecture firm in Palm Beach County. Ms. Walter, if you recall, is the one hired by the investors of the Sunset parcel who came before the City Commission and spoke against the neighborhood and our Comp Plan.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Florida Entwinded By Serpent of Sprawl - Vote Yes on Amendment 4


Gainesville Sun
Letters to the Editor
Published: Friday, February 26, 2010

Florida entwined by serpent of sprawl

The Graham Center at UF recently hosted a talk by Bob Rhodes on growth management that was billed as part of the series on Florida history. Rhodes is a real estate lawyer whose clients include the St. Joe, Arvida, and Disney development companies. The talk was mainly a trashing of the Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment 4 (A4).

There is presently a serpent in the system allowing ugly sprawl. The proposed state constitutional amendment specifies that local voters will have the final approval on any amendments to the local seven-year comprehensive land use plan.

It is reported that about 350,000 empty housing units exist in Florida, and that present comp plans project a population of 100 million. Those numbers suggest that without control we are planning to build houses to nowhere.

If Bob Rhodes and the developer industry defeat A4 on Nov. 2 they will have a free rein to continue the sprawl. The Graham Center should allow FHD to present its historic version of Florida's growth management.

Chuck Hawkins, Gainesville
Florida Hometown Democracy Committee

The Vision for our Pool - are Politicians Changing it?


I don't mind an aquatic center per se at our beach just as long as it does not eliminate competitive swimming and our ability to market national meets and it is affordable. I don't want to see some waterslide getting in the way of national swim meets or granny taking a dip. To say that the idea of a competitive pool with national meets is antiquated, is far from the truth. Right now, what we planned when we spent $450,000 is completed, paid for and almost ready to go.

What has been a big mistake all along is no night swimming. This is the time when kids and families are free. When I was a kid, the pool was always opened at night and it was packed. For Commissioner Golden to say kids that want to swim can use the Lake Worth High School pool, is true only to the extent that the high school pool is limited to students that attend Lake Worth High School as well as those schools they compete against, according to a source there. Besides, why shouldn't they, as well as all residents, use our own municipal Olympic pool if they so choose? The high school's pool could never hold any national or champion meets not even a County event and those are the events that bring the $$$ to a city.

Building an aquatic center is very expensive. Multi-millions. We already have our facility virtually ready to go for national meets. We designed this pool for competitive swimming. All we have to do is hook up the electricity and do repairs to the Pump House and perhaps get decent timers.

According to the NCAA, "the events that make the biggest impact on hotels and restaurants come through youth swim and diving associations, which could bring dozens of teams, hundreds of athletes and families. The groups most often compete in youth and masters competitions for swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming."

Getting a national meet here would mean national publicity and would attract tourists and visitors from all over the country and even internationally. We would be in every Sport Magazine around. We want our city to become a destination. We have NEVER tried to get a swim meet here so how can anyone say that our location or this vision is not working? I would wager to say that there are very few Olympic size pools on a beach, a place that everyone wants to visit. Can you imagine competing for a national meet with a city say in West Virginia? There is no comparing when you have an oceanfront facility.

We just completed our pool for the purpose of national meets and now some are complaining we are not making enough money to sustain the pool and some want to change its purpose. Well, we didn't have a heated pool. We lost out all season long. Do they think that changing direction now is wise? Money to fund an aquatic park doesn't grow on trees. Can we have some conservatism here please especially when our budget is short by $1.7 million dollars.

The City Manager came up with the idea of an aquatic park. Perhaps it is a great plan but it takes money and it should be decided by the people. Let's give the original plan a chance. We already agreed on this vision. Why then are there always people who want to change direction in mid-stream?

When we become a wealthy city, we can think about Disney World at our beach but hopefully we will all realize by that time that keeping our small town charm is best and the decision we made to become a national destination for competitive swimming-meets was a great decision.

Florida Hometown Democracy

"Growth decisions are too important to leave in the hands of politicians."

The argument of the opposition to Florida Hometown Democracy is that special interests with the big bucks will come into our neighborhoods and persuade the voters that a bad development is what they really want. They really think that we are all that stupid.

What has bogged down the State of Florida are decisions by politicians. We have seen all the bad political decisions and self-serving votes from the dais right here in Lake Worth.

Read what Joe Engelhardt has to say -->
Helping amendment 4

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lake Worth High School Debater headed to Nebraska

Junior Now a Veteran in Grand National Participation

When the dust settled after last weekend’s high school debate Grand Finals held at Palm Beach Lakes High School, Lake Worth High School Junior Jennifer Price was one of the competitors still standing! She came in first place in the Original Oratory category. For Original Oratory the speaker writes, memorizes, and performs his or her own speech. Jennifer’s topic was “Life is not Fair.”

Her win qualifies her for the Grand National Competition scheduled for later this Spring in Omaha, Nebraska.

Last year she placed second overall in Palm Beach County for Declamation, where competitors memorize and perform a famous speech. Debate team coach Jim Peterson said he’s extremely proud of the accomplishments of this young team member. “There are seriously talented debaters all over this district and the competition is fierce,” he stated, “It’s no small achievement to be headed to the national competition---and this is Jennifer’s second year—last year she went to the Tournament in Albany, New York,” he added.

For more information, contact Assistant Principal Brett Packard, 561-533-6322 or email Packard@palmbeach.k12.fl.us.

Census 2010 Lake Worth Targets Snowbirds

Last night while waiting for the Workshop meeting to being, Shauna came in and gave me an official button for prior work in distributing fliers for the Census.


And later, Annabeth arrived with my Census bag full of new fliers targeted at Snowbirds. Some of these people have been a little confused on the Census form as to whether to fill it out or not because this is not their primary residence. This flier tells them how important it is to fill it out here as this will determine how much funding Lake Worth will receive for health care, senior centers, road repairs, police, etc.


With the condo associations on Lake Osborne Drive alone, these units represent well over 1500 people, with the majority of them residing here seasonly.

Luther


This is a citizen who hides behind the anonymous post
calling me a "Looney" and says disparaging things to make points.
Today it is about Senior housing.
Only LOSERS eat crap like this!!
Suck it in, man.

Our Pool Pump House

Comment Up
This morning, the plumber described our Pump House as an "old facility" and said that we all wear out from age. It's true--everything eventually wears out but using "age" as an excuse for neglect is unacceptable. These photos show that what has happened at out Pump House is more than just about "age."

Some of the old wiring pulled out

Corrosion on wires

Interior of Pump Room

The Pool, the Golf Course and the Moon

Last night's Moon

The moon wasn't full last night. Full moons are traditionally associated with temporal insomnia, insanity (hence the terms lunacy and lunatic) and various magical phenomena such as lycanthropy but nevertheless, we did get some strange commentary from Commissioner Jennings. She called in to the meeting and stated that she didn’t know if she could justify fixing our pool or spending money on our golf course at the expense of other recreation when we had so many budget constraints.

The workshop was informative and I was impressed with all of our Staff. Rachel did a great job on her Sustainability Program. Next came the golf course with Michael Moskowitz of our Finance Department and Chris Waller, our golf pro. We were reminded last night on how close we came to outsourcing our golf course. At the time, I, along with others spoke in favor of hiring a golf pro to turn it around and Chris has done that. I am really excited about our course and the direction it is heading. Commissioner Maxwell mentioned the poor food at the restaurant and personally, I have always found the food great and served in large portions.

The course is now profitable and the restaurant is also. They will be rebuilding 9 holes, sign a lease for 80 new golf carts and will creatively enhance marketing and advertising of the course, one of the most important assets we have in this City and one that will drive tourists here.

Our pool was discussed and spending $57,700 to fix the pump house in order to get it ready for summer activities. We have already missed out on national meets because we had NO pool cover and therefore could not heat the pool. We recently turned down a group from Finland. Thanks Greater Bay. The vacillation in cost estimates regarding the pool pump house repairs was never brought up but the new Facilities Manager came up with a “game plan” to use in-house staff.

Only two commissioners stood up last night. Commissioner Maxwell said in no uncertain terms, “I want to see the pool kept open.” Mayor Varela said it was “critical” to get it repaired earlier than 10 weeks. We had a commissioner already bringing up raising prices and another one suggesting a waterslide. Let’s not get the cart before the horse here. The City Manager again said she didn’t know where she was going to get the money. Just get it and please make sure that Staff does not allow our property to ever get into this condition.

All in all, I could not understand why this was all discussed at a workshop other than to just cause a delay. The pool repairs need to start now but instead we must wait until the next meeting where commissioners can vote on it.

If we are ever going to turn Lake Worth around, we had better take care of the reasons why people want to come here. This city is so unique to have these wonderful properties. These are the assets that will make Lake Worth a tourist destination and bring in lots of money. It will not be the library that Commissioner Jennings is worried about or some soccer field for little Johnny. People will be coming to Lake Worth for our beach, our golf and our Olympic pool, the only one on the ocean on the entire east cost of our country. Use the money from the billboard mafia. You have my permission.

Kick Butt Day

It's really a good idea to Kick butt!

And this is the Day to start!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

High level Homeland Security exec turned in by co-worker

Jury Finds her Guilty

Apparently the crime was not in hiring an illegal alien but encouraging the illegal to stay in the United States and violating the oath she swore to uphold. The Jury spoke and said "No more double standards." She could get 5 years.

On-Line Video coming to Lake Worth?

This is what the City of Blacksburg, Virginia provides to its citizens--live and archived video of commission meetings--Click HERE and then click on view.

Susan Stanton has promised something similar to this for the City of Lake Worth.

Opposition's Argument to Amendment 4 Thrown Out - Found Invalid

FERNANDINA, Fla., March 22 --

The Nassau Analysis Group today disputed the findings of potential job losses due to the Hometown Democracy Amendment, Amendment 4 on the November 2010 ballot, that had been issued by an economics consulting firm.

The Nassau Analysis Group (NAG) is a not-for-profit organization comprised of former corporate and government financial managers and economists that analyze local economic and tax issues to provide guidance for local governments. NAG rejected the findings of the Washington Economics Group, Inc. (WEG), a for-profit consultant to large corporations including developers and land speculators, which earlier this month issued a report critical of Amendment 4.

“The statistical conclusions cannot be validated,” the NAG report states, because “assumptions necessary for the economic formula used by WEG are not identified.”

Using the phrase “garbage in, garbage out,” the NAG report states, “The starting assumptions are the creation of the author and designed to achieve the desired conclusions.” It goes on to point out that “the WEG study's reference date from which Florida is falling into a steep decline is pre-recession and reflects what has already occurred rather than what will occur once Amendment 4 is approved by the voters.

WEG’s Web site says, “successfully meeting client objectives since 1993.” Its Florida clients include WCI Development Companies, the St. Joe Companies, and Flo-Sun Sugar Corp. The WEG principal who wrote the report has been a campaigner against Amendment 4. WEG titled its report "An Economic Impact Analysis of the Proposed Amendment 4 on the Economic Development of Florida."

Stating there is nothing in the report that deals with Amendment 4’s impact on development- related jobs, the NAG report concludes: “The unsupported assumption of the WEG report is that the real estate development boom continues today and will be ended if Amendment 4 passes, an assumption that is obviously false. Once the matter of assumptions is questioned the entire analysis loses validity.”

Nassau Analysis Group
P.O. Box 38
Fernandina FL
904 -491-6817; 904-321-0597

A Big Voting Block


In 2008 the Senior Citizen population, age 65 and older, was 36,789,000 or 12.3% of the nation and the majority of them vote.

Baby Boomers age 60 to 64 are about to flood the senior ranks of approximately 15 million. It is estimated that the senior population will increase from 36.8 million to 51.7 million in 2013.

City Board Interviews Thursday

Beginning at 6pm this Thursday in ten minute integrals, Board and Committee applicants will be interviewed by the City Commission.

Following is the list of Boards and applicants:

City Recreation Advisory Board – 1 vacant position
Austin Brookley
Jessica Plotkin
Karen Tribendis

Community Relations Board- 2 vacant positions
Austin Brookley
Ford Eloge
Chad Layton
Brian Smith
John Morrissey
Denise Tamayo
Karen Tribendis

Construction Board of Appeals – 1 vacant position
Ibrahim Chalhoub

Finance Advisory Board – New board with 7 open positions
Paul Blockson
Ted Brownstein (out of town)
Laurel Decker
Darrian Dority
Ron Exline
Mary Lindsey
Jennifer Marchal
Dee McNamara
John Pickett
Jessica Plotkin
William Thrasher
Brian Wells

Library Board – 1 vacant position
Brian Smith

Planning & Zoning/Historic Preservation/etal – 2 alternate positions
Ibrahim Chalhoub
Laurence McNamara
Christopher McVoy
Jessica Plotkin
Brian Smith

Sister City Board – 4 vacant positions
Jill Aerts
Elizabeth Flynn
Serge Louis-Jenue
John Morrissey

Note: This is a Draft, subject to possible change

The Yo Yo

Comment Up
Remember back on February 16th when Joe Kroll, the Public Works Director, surprised the Commission and shocked the public when he stated that the pool, due to safety and health reasons, had to be closed down immediately and the city would have to cough up $150,000 for its repair.

It seems that the pump house just wasn’t pumping and literally was corroded, etc. All the photos that were presented displayed long time neglect. The filtration system was shot. The City Manager said we didn’t have the money and suggested we have a waterslide and turn the whole thing into an aquatic park with a couple of commissioners loving that idea...Bizarre.

Then on March 2, Joe came back and said “Ooops, I made a little boo boo. It won’t cost $150,000; it will cost $275,000." Talk about a popular guy that night.

They closed down the pool.

Well, tonight, once again, the pool repairs will be discussed and now he says it will be $57,700. Cost estimates that were up and down like a yo yo in the past are now coming to the table with an itemization and will take ten weeks to complete with in-house labor. The water circulation and the electrical systems will be replaced.

Staff says it still can’t figure out where to find the money to make these repairs on a pool that we just spent $450,000 to upgrade. Staff is still throwing in the idea of an aquatic park.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coffee with the Mayor

"You see a different group of faces than you do at city hall, which is a good thing," Greg Rice said. "More mayors should get out and hear what people have to say."

The problem with this statement is--Politicians really do NOT listen to the people. All those who do not follow politics closely in Lake Worth have a tendency to believe politicians when they say--

"I know how to balance a budget and practice fiscal responsibility.
I promise a new vision for Lake Worth.
I will bring a fresh approach to solving Lake Worth's challenges.
I will work hard to make our community affordable.
I promise to hold the line on property taxes."

In just a few months, all that has gone by the wayside--just more political promises. Tax hikes are always the easiest way to solve budgetry problems.

Another tax Hike Likely, Lake Worth Mayor Warns

New Auditors in Lake Worth


We have new auditors-- TCBA Watson Rice LLP. They began their work on March 8.

Possibly one of the most important departments we have, and right now, we are minus a Finance Director and just lost an accountant III that will not be replaced due to a "hiring freeze."

TCBA lists its core values as: Transparency, Honesty, Ethics, Creativity, Organization, Reliability and Excellence. This company has been around for 36 years with 200 trained specialists in 8 States and Washington, DC. The only office in Florida is located in Miami.

Let’s hope that the City of Lake Worth takes their advice and that they find all the missing $$millions$$. If they suggest prosecution or any controls as did our former auditors, the City needs to follow their advice. That is why they are paying them.

Yes He Did

It was an amazing feat--the deals were cut and there was tension nearly to the end--would it pass or not? Here is the message sent out by President Obama:


"For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,"

President Barack Obama

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Moment in History - Government Take-Over of Healthcare

Comment Up
"Anybody who's ever dealt with me knows not to mess with me."
Nancy Pelosi

“These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views -- but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.” -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), writing in USA Today, August 10.

While thousands demonstrated against healthcare today, Pelosi, Lewis and Hoyer eta'l walked defiantly in front of them straight to the Capitol. "We don't care what you think," was the message they radiated. Afterall, Pelosi had worked diligently behind the scenes, wheeling and dealing through bribery, backroom deals and coercion in order to ensure that Obama's Healthcare Plan would pass. This was her moment.

It is said that this is the biggest socialistic program in the history of the United States in spite of every poll and survey saying that the majority of Americans do not want this Plan and want smaller government.

In 1948 while campaigning for president, Norman Thomas of the Socialist Party of America said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” Norman, if you're looking down on us, your statement has come true.

The Obama Healthcare Bill passed at 10:45pm on March 21, 2010--a moment in history when America went down the path to Socialism on a partisan vote (not one single Republican voted for it) of 219 votes to 212.

Beginning of Spring

The Spring Equinox (March 21)

A little trivia--In the Spring, the sun rises due east (hence the term East-er) and sets due west. Day and night are of equal length.

The Seasons are all pretty much the same for us living in Florida as we have wonderful weather all year around that is conducive to growing beautiful flowers.

Some unique photos of Spring wildflowers, click here--> Florida Wildflowers

Mayor's Clean-Up Day

April 7--See the Flyer

Registration Form due by March 31.

2pm today History will be Made

Comment Up
President Obama's Healthcare Plan will come to a vote at 2pm today in the House. Democrats say they have the necessary 216 votes plus some and the Republicans say they do not.

Nancy Pelosi has always said that they would not vote on this until they were certain that they had the Vote. The Democrats keep talking about this as the most important piece of legislation since Social Security. Look what the government has done to that.

According to Rasmussen today, 50% of all voters say that they’re less likely to vote this November to reelect a member of Congress who votes for the health care plan.

Bryant Park - Parking Hole

Comment Up
Bryant Park - City of Lake Worth

The Project:

Replacement of 2000 linear ft. of seawall
2000 linear ft. of road path
220 piles and 220 panels

Installation and drainage pipes and flow control valves

The work was being done by AA Engineering Services that recently submitted a change order that Lake Worth has denied.

Everyone is wondering what is going on as neighbors report that the entire crew is off the property along with their equipment. A big hole has not been filled in on what is the new parking lot. Also a few more palm trees must be relocated in order to accommodate the widening of the new lot.

This should have gone to the Commission when the design changed. Instead, we now have an engineering firm that says it has completed the project. We are left with an unfinished parking lot that is nothing but dirt because we have not caved in and paid a change order. I believe the intent of the City is to get bids from new firms to finish the work.

Florida SB1902 and HB1319

I have talked about police, fire and employee overtime pay going toward retirement benefits as something that had to be fixed as it was financially devastating for cities particularly the City of Lake Worth.

Now, according to City Manager Susan Stanton, the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday will be addressing this very thing in SB 1902. HB 1319 will be heard on Thursday by the Government Affairs Policy Committee.

Two important provisions from Stanton’s manager’s report:

Section 112.65, Statutes (All Public Employee Defined Benefit Plans)

Provides that overtime, unused accrued sick leave, or any other form of compensation other than base hourly or yearly salary may not be used in calculating “average final compensation” for pension purposes.

Section 121.021, Statutes of the Florida Retirement System)

Redefines “compensation” and “average final compensation” for purposes of the Florida Retirement System to exclude overtime, accumulated annual leave,or other forms of compensation other than the actual salary paid to a member. Section 215.986, Florida Statutes.

It is important for everyone to call Committee members. Click the links above or click on the City Manager's Report and all phone numbers are listed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Evening

Kill the Bill Rally - Obama Healthcare Plan


After entering the meeting at the House of Reps today and to loud cheers of approval, President Obama said, --"We're going to get this done.

It is in your hands, it is time to pass health care reform for America, and I am confident that you are going to do it tomorrow.

Don't do it for me, don't do it for the Democratic Party, do it for the American people. They're the ones looking for action right now."

FACT: The latest Rasmussen Poll has the healthcare plan at 43% of the American people in favor and 53% opposing.

9-12 Rally against Health Care Bill

912.org has rally planned today--

Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:00 PM

Meet at
Intersection off 441 and Okeechobee
10100 Fox Trail Road South
West Palm Beach , FL 33411
561-506-5258

Congressman Ron Klein on Illegal Immigration

Comment Up
From: Congressman Ron Klein
To: lynn113@comcast.net
Mon, March 15, 2010 11:46:23 AM
Subject: Responding to your message

Thank you for contacting my office regarding immigration reform in the United States. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

Please know that I share your concerns about the serious economic and security problems created by poorly implemented border security programs. Reforming the Department of Homeland Security is critical, particularly as we work to strengthen our domestic economy and curb illegal immigration.

You may be pleased to know that I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3308, the SAVE Act of 2009, legislation which would set forth border security and enforcement provisions, including increases in border patrol and investigative personnel, expansion of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism along the northern and southern borders, and mandatory use of E-Verify for all employers. This bill would improve our interior enforcement capabilities and provide our border patrol with the resources they need to effectively do their jobs.

Additionally, on January 28, 2009, I voted in favor of amendments to H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that will increase funding for measures to strengthen U.S. border security. H.R. 1 will ban companies from receiving small business loans if they have hired, recruited, or even referred for employment any illegal alien. The bill also provides for $700 million to hire more border guards, deploy effective border technology, and continue construction of the border fence.

The number of illegal immigrants in the country today makes it clear that neither our efforts to secure our borders nor our immigration laws are effectively working. If we are serious about stopping illegal immigration, we need to change the status quo. We must replace rhetoric with adequate resources for equipment and law enforcement along our borders to fight crime and secure our borders.

We must also focus on what brings illegal immigrants to this country in the first place. Until we focus on the source of the problem, we will not deter illegal immigration. I support real penalties for employers who take advantage of illegal labor.

In the past, Congress has only paid lip service to addressing this problem. Illegal immigration is a drain on our tax resources, it depresses wages unfairly for Americans, and is a matter of national security. We must utilize our law enforcement capability to the best of our ability.

Please be assured that I will keep your views firmly in mind as we consider immigration policy reform in the House during the 111th Congress.

Thank you again for taking the time to write. I sincerely appreciate your input and hope that you will feel free to contact me anytime I may be of assistance to you. In addition, I hope you find my website (http://www.klein.house.gov) a valuable resource in keeping up with events in Washington and the 22nd district of Florida.