Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lisa Maxwell, Career Lobbyist

LOBBYIST.

DEVELOPER.

City Commissioner?




Paid Political Advertisement Paid For and Approved by Citizens Come First, independently of any candidate, 2204 Lake Osborne Dr, Lake Worth, FL 33461. This advertisement was not approved by any candidate.

A Supermajority vote - Let's get that 60%

Latest Poll shows Amendments unlikely to pass

Any constitutional amendment, whether initiated or referred by the Legislature, must be approved by at least 60% of those voting on the measure. Any proposed constitutional amendment imposing a new state tax or fee must be approved by 2/3 of those the voters in the State voting in the election in which such an amendment is considered.

Even Vice President Joe Biden slammed the Republican's use of the Senate's Supermajority rules on January 17, 2010, saying that he's never before seen "the Constitution stood on its head as they've done," and that "no democracy has survived needing a Supermajority."

Joe is wrong. A Supermajority is necessary. We tried to pass one here in Lake Worth a few years back and the same groups fought it like crazy, spending a lot of money and busing in foot soldiers, and won. Now the Supermajority is working to their advantage in the State of Florida regarding Amendment 4. Win or lose, it is important that politicians do not abuse our Constitution by trying to pass important changes to our Constitution by a simple majority. The problem is the big money that influences voters who are confused on amendments. When you talk about $15 million from all these self-interest groups out to defeat Amendment 4, that carries a lot of campaign propaganda.

The Supermajority vote, however, was initiated by the Florida Legislature as a direct result of Florida Hometown Democracy in order to make it very difficult for those wanting to protect our State from being over-built. Politicians in Tallahassee, in bed with the developer lobbyists, put it on the ballot on November 7, 2006 in order to make it very challenging to change the Constitution. It passed on a 57.8% in favor and 42.2% not in favor--not even a Supermajority.

So much for Jeff Atwater

On August 26, 2010, a circuit judge threw out the 2009 developer-backed law known as SB 360 that relaxed transportation and other requirements in targeted, high-density districts around the State. After the Circuit Court denied a motion for rehearing, the Honorable Jeff Atwater, President of the Senate, and the Honorable Larry Cretul, Speaker of the House, appealed the decision to the First District Court of Appeals on September 24, 2010.

Friday, October 29, 2010
In City of Weston v. Crist, et. al, the Leon County Circuit Court declared Senate Bill 360 unconstitutional. If you remember, Charlie Crist had edged away from the environment in protection of developer interests.

Subsequent to this appeal, the Department of Community Affairs issued a statement on its web site as follows:
  • Under Appellate Procedure 9.310(b)(2), the appeal stays the effect of the Circuit Court's decision. Accordingly, Senate Bill 360 is in effect and local governments are entitled to rely on the provisions of Senate Bill 360 so long as it remains in effect. Regarding the Department's review of plan amendments, the Department will apply the provisions of Senate Bill 360 if and wherever they are applicable.” Source
So much for Jeff Atwater who is obviously in the pocket of developer's interests over the taxpayer residents of Florida. Remember this on Tuesday--just another reason why we need Amendment 4 to pass.

Thank goodness for our "Cash Cow"

Sounding very much like a candidate in District 2, a robo call is now going out using an audio of Commissioner Mulvehill where she called our Utility a "cash cow." It is unfortunate that this group and their friends who were in control of the City at one time, a time when we had plenty of money due to over-inflated property values, spent all of the money, ran it into the ground and allowed Unions to negotiate their own contracts that were unfavorable to the City. We must depend on our Utility for a percentage of our operating budget because of past Commission decisions.

Even our City Manager has said that we can not continue to divert revenue from the Utility in an effort to pay for general government functions and high operating and personnel costs. As she said, the "City's current and projected tax base will not generate adequate property tax revenue to fund existing City services without making comprehensive and systematic reductions in both the cost and scope of City services and contractual commitments."

Until such time the Unions agree to much needed and realistic cuts, the City will have to depend on the Utility for cash to operate.

Please be reminded that Blockson and Maxwell have received a lot of $$$ contributions from the Unions and they are beholding to their interests, not the residents of Lake Worth. To date, (Maxwell's G4 was not uploaded to the City web site) Lisa Maxwell has received over $5,000 from the Unions and Blockson has received over $3,000.

Happy Halloween


The Dirty Dozen and BAC PAC group have been throwing acid in the face of citizens for years. They do not pass the smell test and have now been called out for their cutting, sharp, dishonest and devious tactics. They did it last year and this election it is even worse. Trying to maintain our small town charm just doesn't cut it for them. They would much prefer Ft. Lauderdale in Lake Worth. They blame everyone but themselves.

The more dense our city, the more shoppers. The more dense our city, the more developers, contractors, Realtors, etc. to make money. And with more density comes a huge impact on our natural resources. This group of malcontents complain about the high cost of utilities now. Can you even imagine the cost if we have even more strain on water and electricity? It is one thing after the other. Just ask Commissioner Maxwell who is the sole commissioner on the side of halting sensible progress for our city and criticizes everything from reducing our budget by $5 million to the creative financing of our Casino project. He doesn't trust staff and doesn't trust our city manager and he is in support of this group who wants desperately to control Lake Worth's destiny for their own self-interests.

Yesterday we all were sign waving at City Hall--a BAC PAC person, Mary Lindsey, a candidate in District 2, supporters of Amendment 4 and McVoy and Mulvehill. There were two teenagers there waving signs for one opponent in Dist 2. When asked about it, he said that it was for school community credits.

One supporter of an opponent in District 2 and 4 was yelling the entire time she was standing on the median strip even going so far as to point to a car of black people and then pointed to her candidate showing that they had something in common--the color of their skin. The candidate in District 2 was overheard yelling, "The scientist wants to destroy our homes." The two groups of political enthusiasts never talked to each other nor did they acknowledge the other's presence. We were all invisible to the other, afterall, we all have totally different values.

There are actually some in this community, those who have made ALL OF THE WAVES and HAVE TOLD ALL OF THE LIES and who are into themselves, who actually believe that we all can sit down and work things out. Not in this lifetime and this election proves it.

Christopher McVoy, Candidate for City Commissioner District 2

Comment Up
Christopher and Kimberly McVoy

With Christopher's scientific background and experience in government contracts, he will be able to ensure, that when it is time to negotiate a new electric contract, competitive rates and renewable energy will be his top priorities.

Christopher says, "As your City Commissioner, I will help fix the problems of the past and move forward with positive solutions. With my experience in solving water and electric problems, it makes me the most qualified candidate to address high utility rates.

My wife Kimberly and I had our first date in downtown Lake Worth. We bought our home here because we love the city and want to be a part of its future.

I understand the challenges we are all facing. I will put my experience to work improving the city for my family and yours."


ENDORSEMENTS:

The Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach Treasure Coast AFL-CIO

Sierra Club

Democracy for America

National Organization for Women


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Obama in Lake Worth

On November 2, we will get change that we can believe in

On a local level, we will re-elect Suzanne Mulvehill because
she has been outstanding in her job as city commissioner
and we will elect fiscal conservative, Chris McVoy

Well, why not Obama here? Everyone else seems to be involved in our city. I have been getting robo calls from Bill Clinton and several from President Obama. Ron Klein was spotted at our Green Market last week and was even at our Halloween Parade last night. Now that IS scary.

Vote YES on 4

Radicals

You know you are making a difference when a political opponent calls you "radical." After I left the Murry Hills Meet & Greet this morning, I was told that Lisa Maxwell's campaign worker, John S, called me a "radical." I had to laugh at that one because I fall right in the middle of liberal and conservative but with conservative leanings particularly after the mess that the Democrats have made of our country. Anyone voting Democrat this election is the "radical."

The Democrats are calling Col. Allen West the very same thing. I guess Allen West is making a difference and his message is resonating with the people--Klein is scared. The name calling and the sleazy politics begin when the other side feels it is losing.

Suspected drug cartel beheads Arizona resident

Photo from Chandler Police Dept.
Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy
beheaded in Arizona

A man was beheaded in Arizona. The police believe it has to do with the Mexican drug cartel.

For all of you who believe that illegal immigration is okay under ANY circumstances, you need to get your priorities straight.

Col. Allen West knows the score and believes in an Arizona style immigration bill. He will secure our borders and this nonsense will stop.

LED Billboard in Orlando - Amendment 4

Comment Up
Talk about a billboard! This one, saying Vote YES on Amendment 4, goes completely across the highway in Orlando. This photo gives the illusion that it goes across the highway as pointed out by my favorite reader, Wes.


For any of you who missed Commissioner Scott Maxwell's Town Meeting on the Utility Department and its benefits, he has another one this morning at 10am at the Iglesia Puerta Del Cielo located at 709 North "F" St. Lake Worth.

As he has been called to the carpet for the one he held on October 23 for electioneering and being political, we hope that he will take the high road and really give a community service. That is probably asking for way too much. This is deju vu all over again with Mr. Maxwell. He did the very same thing when he was Commissioner the first time. The more one analyzes his methods, the more convincing the rumor is that he wants to run for Mayor next year.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lake Worth Gang members arrested

More gang punks off our city streets

Blockson gets $500 campaign contribution from Congressman accused of accepting bribe

Carla Blockson received another "interesting" campaign contribution. Most of you who have been around for awhile remember Alcee Hastings and his bribery charge involving the Romano brothers. It was a corruption scandal of all time in south Florida.

Read about it here and refresh your memory.

This trial was over 20 years ago but Hastings is still alive and well. While serving as a U.S. federal judge in 1988, he was impeached by the Congress of the United States, and then convicted of perjury and conspiracy to accept a bribe and was removed from office in 1989. He has been re-elected twice since then.

Perhaps when Amendments 5 & 6 pass, it will stop this gerrymandering and Hastings will be history.

Say no to sprawl - Vote YES on Amendment 4

This is what the Vote NO folks want for Florida. We need to give them a resounding NO to sprawl on November 2 by voting YES on Amendment 4. If you don't, this is Florida's destiny.

Don't you deserve a seat at the table? Don't you deserve a vote on how your community should look when politicians continually change the land-uses in our Comprehensive Plans?


Say NO to these government bailed out developers that have ruined Florida. As a reminder how these builders have spent their government bailout (taxpayer money) to defeat Amendment 4--

2010 Contribution --Recent contribution-- 2010 Bailout
Lennar Homes FL-- $367,000-- $251.1 million (the number two offender and the former employer of candidate, Lisa Maxwell)
Meritage Homes-- $ 34,000-- $93 million
M.D.C. Holdings-- $ 39,000 --$142.6 million
Standard Pacific of Tampa-- $132,00--0 $103 million
Pulte Homes-- $567,000-- $800 million
Ryland Homes-- $135,000-- $97.6 million
KB Homes-- $255,000-- $191.7 million
K. Hovnanian Companies-- $ 96,000-- $250 to $275 million
Beazer Homes-- $ 75,000-- $101 million
M/I Homes-- $ 73,000-- $31 million
Toll Brothers-- $ 43,000-- $78.8 million
MDC Holdings-- $ 39,000-- $142.6 million

We need a change for the better

The current system has crashed our economy.

Give the Citizens Control

Commissioner Scott Maxwell's Deception Revealed

Campaign roundup: Lake Worth commish sneaks campaign plug into town hall meeting

LAKE WORTH

— Commissioner Scott Maxwell will not be able to use city staff at town hall meetings he is holding to discuss electric rates because he used a forum Saturday to promote two city commission candidates.

During Saturday's meeting at Calvary United Methodist Church, Maxwell distributed a brochure bearing the city's logo that included this sentence in bold type: "You can exercise your power by helping me gain the two supporting votes from the commission that are necessary to lower the amount of your utility bills!"

The "supporting votes" referred to city commission candidates Carla Blockson and Lisa Maxwell, who is not related to Scott Maxwell.

City Manager Susan Stanton said no staff will attend Maxwell's future community meetings, including two planned before Tuesday's election.

BAC PAC Attack

"It's no wonder qualified people are reluctant to run for office," said District 2 commission candidate Christopher McVoy, an environmental researcher who is the subject of a mailer with macabre lettering that portrays him as a "radical scientist" who will experiment with the city's future. The headline: "Our Lake Worth Community is NOT an Experiment. It's Our Home."

Read the article

Recovery, Water, and Amendment 4: Connecting the Dots

Greg Gimbert, Daytona Beach

When examined up close, Amendment 4 proves to be the only thing on the table that can actually re-fire our economy. Comprehensive Plans are the road map upon which our infrastructure spending is based, our community’s character is built, and our home values rely. These plans have a Land Use component that outlines how much growth can occur and where. Amendment 4’s wording, complete with definitions, shows that we will vote only on changes to that Land Use component – not on other aspects of the overall plan if we pass Amendment 4.

Many of the headline problems of today are directly addressed by Amendment 4. Land Use changes have led to tax increases for unnecessary infrastructure, home values diluted by oversupply, and Florida’s #1 rank, in the nation for political corruption. These are the factors that have led to our economic collapse, and they must be resolved before our economy, our jobs, and our property values can recover.

Amendment 4 is also as much about water as it is about density and height. Once your local usage exceeds the state Aquifer Pumping Limits, the cost to deliver your drinking water will soar. Expect increases of 500% to 900% according to Desalination Plant cost disclosures. My hometown is already using 75% of our supply yet we can still – inexplicably -- build nine times more homes under our existing Comprehensive Plan. My county, Volusia, is using 80% of its water supply, yet it can still build over four times more homes. When you add all of Florida’s plans together, we allow for more than five times more homes, even though many areas are already out of water and buying from neighboring sources. In light of these facts many political watchers think we should have started voting on Land-Use changes a long time ago.

You may hear that Amendment 4 has failed elsewhere.
FACT - It has never really been tried. In St. Pete Beach, well funded speculators skipped the public meetings required by law and purchased their way on the ballot. Next, developer funded St Pete commissioners sat on their hands and watched that train wreck happen. Under Amendment 4 local politicians couldn’t hide in St Pete, and would have to approve change before the public is asked to vote.

Another untruth circulating in Tea Party groups is that 4 infringes on property rights.
FACT - Amendment 4 protects the property rights of current property owners against those who speculatively purchase government influence and then use it to dilute everyone else’s property values.

The biggest whopper is that Amendment 4 will extend the recession.
FACT - Amendment 4 your quality of life and property values, which you and your neighbors will protect at the ballot box. The transparency and security brings may be the only way to lure new retirees into coming to Florida.

Amendment 4 supporters are long term residents who see their quality of life and home value decimated by higher densities, commercial intrusion, political corruption, and soaring taxes. Those fighting Amendment 4 are mega developers flush with federal bailout dollars on a "say anything" tear. In the middle are undecided voters whose neighborhoods have yet to be impacted. How will they decide what’s best for them? With Amendment 4 we can all decide on a case by case basis, at the ballot box. Without 4 we will have no say because we will have no vote.

In an unprecedented time of government-gone-bad, Amendment 4 represents the intent of our Founders and the beauty of our Constitution. It offers us the opportunity and responsibility to protect our collective future against representatives who cease to represent.

Greg Gimbert - Daytona Beach
(386 852-0751 for verification)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Code Enforcement Process in Lake Worth

Comment Up
As our former Director of Community Development, Wayne Bergman, was highly respected by all, I am re-printing his speech to the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association that was held on September 13, 2010.

"I was asked to speak tonight about the Code Enforcement Process.

I supervise the Code Compliance Division of the Community Development Department and our primary purpose is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents and their property through the administration and enforcement of the City’s zoning and property maintenance codes.

Code Compliance inspectors investigate complaints and perform COU inspections, re-inspections and inspections ordered by the City’s Special Magistrate. Inspectors and support staff maintain the record files on each case. The inspectors do their best to establish communication with the offending party prior to issuing a Notice of Violation. Once violations have been corrected and complied, an Affidavit of Compliance is issued. If there is no cooperation, a Notice of Violation/Notice of Hearing is issued. Violations can take several different avenues to achieve final resolution. Some are resolved prior to Special Magistrate hearings and the case is closed by City staff. Violations that are not brought into compliance are presented before the Special Magistrate.

Special Magistrate orders are submitted to the County Courthouse for the recording of code enforcement liens. Upon full compliance and payment, a release of fines is prepared. This is all in accordance with FS 162, Municipal Code Enforcement law. Through this process the City has received 767 complaints of violations and 481 violation cases were started during the last fiscal year.Of these, 561 of the cases have been brought into compliance.

Over the past year the City has adopted changes to Chapter 2 of the LWCOO which allows the issuance of civil citations as an alternative enforcement method under FS 162. The ordinance changes also simplified the process to board-up and secure unsafe structures and changed the way in which the City releases code liens.

Last week the City Commission approved an ordinance that requires the registry of foreclosed buildings, which for the first time will give the City, PBSO and PBC Fire Rescue the lender’s name and contact information and also provide the City and County agencies with the property management company that maintains the property. We are also proposing doing away with the annual COU inspection in favor of an inspection whenever there is a change in occupancy.The annual inspection process was not workable and inspections that take place before tenants or owners occupy a building, or portion thereof, is more meaningful and is a better way to address the deterioration of the City’s building stock. This specific ordinance was approved at first reading and could be adopted later this month.

Some of our New Initiatives:
The Code Compliance Division will improve its community relations efforts by shifting the division’s focus from an enforcement-based approach to a more customer-focused compliance process. New division policies, training, and an emphasis on providing assistance to tenants and victims affected by absentee landlords is being implemented, and inspectors are now targeting more serious blight and safety conditions. Code Compliance will utilize a progressive hierarchy of code enforcement with property owners, business operators and tenants by making immediate contact with the resident or tenants and giving verbal warnings for the infraction, when appropriate, with progressive follow-up.

Some of our current and planned Goals are to:

*Provide assistance and alternatives for families displaced by unsafe buildings.
*Regularly provide code compliance information to neighborhood associations.
*Create and implement a progressive approach to code enforcement.
*Continue improvement in the collection and reduction of outstanding code enforcement fines.

As we discussed with the City Commission this past April, there was the appearance of about $70 million in uncollected code fines. In truth, most of the fines will never be collected. To demonstrate this, we researched the top 20 largest code fine cases of the then-current 750 open cases and presented our finding to the Commission.

SUMMARY:

$13,932,275 – Top 20 Code Cases
$2,156,050 – Supplemental Cases
$6,981 – Administrative Costs
$16,095,306 - Subtotal
$756,700 – Computer Error
$2,611,700 – Remove Improper Fines
$12,726,906 – Remaining Fines, most of that wiped out by lender-initiated foreclosure actions.

Many of the code cases were simply the result of poor case management by the City in the past and revealed many properties with active, accruing fines, in excess of $1 million, for things such as dead shrubs and tall grass. Today we have processed about 100 of the 750 total cases and the phantom fine amount has been reduced from the $70 million in April down to $49 million, with another 650 cases left to review and adjust downward the fine amount that may be actually due the City.

Our Code Compliance staff is comprised of 9 employees and includes an Interim Code Supervisor, 2 secretaries, 5 zone inspectors, and a permit / licensing technician. We are hiring two additional inspectors to be paid by the recently awarded JAG grant. These two new inspectors will assist the PBSO in targeting properties involved in criminal activities. We are currently understaffed in the field, with 1 open Code inspector position and another soon to be open inspector position, although we are actively interviewing applicants.

Our Division is open Mon – Fri, 8 am to 4:30 pm, with some inspector time after hours to follow up on complaints.The Code Compliance Division has a proposed FY 2011 budget of $912,000, which includes the 2 new JAG inspectors, board-ups, property cleaning and some limited demolitions of unsafe abandoned buildings.

Complaints can be sent to us by phone 586-1652, by email or in written form.You can also provide the Code Compliance division the complaint through the City’s automated on-line complaint system accessible through the website."

May the Truth set you Free

To the Idiot who just tried to post here, read the policy on commenting.

P.S. The Post and The Herald are BOTH rags.

P.P.S. To the Idiot again--Don't pray too much in church--lightening will surely strike anyone who refuses to see the truth.

REMINDER--McVoy & Mulvehill endorsed by the Palm Beach Post

Although the Editor of The Lake Worth Herald attends the same City Commission meetings that I do, we rarely see eye to eye on anything. His constant sarcasm regarding Commissioner Mulvehill is not the least bit funny nor appreciated. To constantly side with the developer crowd, the Realtor crowd, the Chamber crowd and those who have managed to ruin our City for years, is revolting. But the newspaper does survive on advertising from these groups. In fact, from what I have been told, the Editor doesn't even live in this City but loves to knock those who actually have made decisions improving it. He has Loretta Sharpe whispering in his ear all of the time, part of the negative group that wants to stop all progress in Lake Worth. Oh, yes, one of his endorsements just recently advertised in his rag.

My Cup of Tea


  • Marco Rubio, (Rep) US Senate
  • Allen West, (Rep) US Congress District 22
  • Michael E. Arth, (NPA) Governor (The only stand-up guy running for Governor on the issues especially Amendment 4)
  • Jim Lewis (NPA) Attorney General
  • Chief Financial Officer - no endorsement
  • Thad Hamilton (NPA) FL Commissioner of Agriculture (Retired Lt. Col. US Army--he has integrity)(Both the Dem and Rep candidates support illegal alien farm labor and have other negatives)
  • Steven Rosenblum, (Rep) FL House District 89 (Clemens is not a choice)
  • Bill Graham, PB Cnty School Board District 3 (I approve of his stand on merit raises)
  • Ann Kanjian, PB Cnty School Board District 4
  • Christopher McVoy, Lake Worth Commissioner District 2
  • Suzanne Mulvehill, Lake Worth Commissioner District 4

AMENDMENTS
Amendment 1: No
Amendment 2: No (This is a warm and fuzzy amendment that we can not afford)
Amendment 4: Yes (to help end corrupt politics and give the people a voice on growth)
Amendment 5: Yes
Amendment 6: Yes (Instead of voters choosing legislators, we have legislators choosing voters! Amendments 5 & 6 will stop that because they create rules against drawing districts to favor incumbents of political parties)
Amendment 8: Yes (According to reports, from 2003 till early 2010, the state has spent approximately $15.8 billion in order to help reduce class sizes through out the state. The Florida Department of Education reports that an additional $350 million is needed to meet class-size caps - including more classroom space and teachers. This cost takes into account cuts to health, education and other state programs in order to eliminate a looming $3.2 billion state budget shortfall. According to reports, if the proposed amendment is approved, no costs would be incurred)
Federal Balanced Budget: Yes

Lake Worth City Logo

Comment Up
As it came up last night that our City Logo is not trademarked nor is it copyrighted, I plan on using it on my web site until such time that our City Attorney knows the law.

As Commissioner Scott Maxwell used the City logo on a recent flier that was distributed to the residents who attended his "Town Meeting," without the City's permission for a function that was clearly for electioneering purposes, perhaps we all should just whore our City Logo and use it for whatever purpose we deem important.

By using the city logo, it gave the impression that 1) his meeting was sanctioned by the City and 2) anything he said was in agreement with the City and the City Commission. Sleazy politicians have pulled this one before and Maxwell's use of a city logo is not the first in American politics. It is unethical, and every election, we have to endure a political group that pushes the envelope.

A motion was made to have our city attorney research policy on using the city logo as she had no idea. So, city attorney, get back to me. Get back to Commissioner Maxwell. Anything goes in Lake Worth--ANYTHING --and no one ever seems to have an answer.

Mayor Varela was true to form and voted against the Motion in what was an apparent act to please his political base. The vote was 3/2, one of the rare votes that Blockson says predominates the dais.

Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill - Nothing but GOOD NEWS

Comment Up

Commissioner Mulvehill says, "I have worked hard to move forward on our beach & casino renovation and I want to see this project through. Help me win another term to serve Lake Worth."

In answer to the BAC PAC attack flier which is FALSE--

1. Mulvehill voted for a Budget that was reduced by $5 million and supported amending the Union Pension Retirement Plans thus saving us millions more. It was Scott Maxwell's uninformed decision in 2002 voting to go with FMPA that caused our high utility rates. It was Mulvehill who voted to get out of FMPA. As there is a 5 year exit clause, we will be stuck in this Scott Maxwell approved Contract for 3 more years. To pay for our reverse Osmosis Plant or if we had gone to PB County for water, we would have had to pay for it. This is a short term increase to support our infrastructure and to have the best water and to be a supplier, not a buyer. This decision by Mulvehill will be proven to be the best decision for the health and wealth of our City besides the Casino.

2. There is no longer wasteful spending at City Hall. That was all addressed in the tremendous budget cuts across the board for every department. Unfortunately, due to Union Retirement Plans and Union salaries, we have had to use revenue from our Utility to operate the City. Suzanne's opponent is supported by the Unions. Her opponent is concerned about the Budget but with Mulvehill's vote to amend the Pension contracts, her concerns should be erased.

3. Mulvehill voted to spend money on the Shuffleboard Court Building because Staff said that it needed a new roof, new ADA compliant bathrooms and the parking lot was pitted and needed to be re-done. Although The Mentoring Center was to lease the building, they will be out the first of the year (Mulvehill voted on this) and these repairs were necessary to maintain our asset under any conditions no matter who occupied the premises. It will soon be occupied by the city Recreational Department.

4. Mulvehill, along with the entire Commission, voted to re-organize the Code Department. We now have, according to Wayne Bergman at a TRNA meeting, 6 code enforcement officers and will have one more in this new budget cycle--one less than we had originally. The Code department has been streamlined to be more efficient. Seven budgeted code officers have been confirmed by the City Manager.

5. Mulvehill did not vote to stop the restoration of the Gulfstream Hotel. Schlesinger, the owner, kept coming before the Planning & Zoning Board (Her opponent was a member of this Board and wanted to give the owner his variances even though they were against our Ordinances and City Charter) constantly asking for variance after variance to build on the west side. His first scheme was wanting to erect a 100 foot building in violation of our City Charter. This building would have loomed down on the rest of the neighborhood. He wanted to take over all the off-street parking and have a Valet service to utilize all city parking on city streets in that area. None of the residents around that surrounding area would have been able to park. Mayor Varela's mother lives across the street from the vacant land at the Gulfstream that the owner wanted to develop. Perhaps we should ask her what she feels about the matter and why her son is supporting Mulvehill's opponent, the very one who wanted the owner to get everything he asked which was not in the best interests of the citizens. It is Schlesinger, the owner of the Gulfstream, who stopped the restoration of this hotel which is now in bankruptcy. He could have restored this hotel when he bought it but he delayed over and over again. The owner owes everyone money.


COMMISSIONER SUZANNE MULVEHILL
ENDORSEMENTS:


The Palm Beach Post

The National Organization for Women

Sierra Club

Palm Beach Treasure Coast AFL-CIO

The Palm Beach Human Rights Council

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Allen West: The American Spirit

Growth Lobbyists have stuck their middle finger in the eye of the voters

Wonks Are Just Shocked That Anyone Supports Amendment 4.

The “Hometown Democracy” amendment is a terrible idea, and I’m voting for it .State and local governments have made an absolute mess of growth management.

This “management” consists mainly of a war of attrition between a developer and the nearby neighborhoods, and inevitably the developers, with their full-time professionals and pockets of capital, outlast the amateur citizens who have to dig into their own pockets to defend their interests.

The Chamber of Commerce and the real estate industry are running expensive PR campaigns to persuade people the economy will collapse if Amendment 4, “Hometown Democracy,” passes. Hey, guess what?

The economy collapsed BEFORE this thing passed — thanks to growth run amok.

The goal of the amendment is not to have people vote on all the changes to plans. The goal is to force governments to create good plans and stick to them. The Chamber says there are 10,000 changes to land-use plans every year, and they’d all need to be voted on. 10,000! That’s not a plan. That’s a developer playground.

That’s a reason to support Amendment 4, notoppose it.

Call me irresponsible. I expect the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Realtors and St. Joe and lots of others will. Under their Orwellian name of “Floridians for Smarter Growth,” they are just shocked, shocked that anyone can support this initiative.

All the wonky “policy” people I know are horrified that growth management may be taken away from, well, the wonky people who have been screwing it all up.

The environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida, which had opposed Hometown Democracy for a long time, has changed its mind. The polls say it’s close, but the business crowd has done its work and scared a lot of peopleaway. Every vote will matter.

Clear-cutting trees, backed-up intersections, flyovers, the ridiculous traffic patterns around our interstates, crowded classrooms, growing costs of keeping up with infrastructure — all have roots in bad growth management.

Slow down development, and our communities will be more livable and our property values will recover faster.

In Tallahassee, some one said we already have more public hearings than the law requires.

Repeated public hearings are stupid. It’s just another way to wear down citizens, who shout and scream and maybe get a “compromise” that the developers expected in the first place, while elected officials take a walk and avoid responsibility.

An army of well-paid professionals represents developers for as long as it takes to get the project through, while neighbors have to dig into savings and take time off from work or family to mount an opposition.

It’s not a fair system. It just isn’t.

The past four years, with Hometown Democracy chugging toward the ballot, gave those “Smarter Growth” developers plenty of time to produce a credible alternative. Tom Pelham, the head of the state’s growth-planning agency who knows what a mess we have, proposed one. But the Legislature, two-thirds Republican and enriched by campaign contributions from the real-estate industry, neutered what was left of state growth-man­agement after Gov. Jeb Bush and even refused to extend the life of Pelham’s agency.

The growth lobbyists don’t want “smarter growth.” They want growth, period. Instead of looking for “smarter management” of growth, they just stuck their middle finger in the eye of the voters.

So there’s only one last chance to bring them to heel: Amendment 4.

Yes, referendums on growth plans are a terrible idea. It’s not the way we should govern ourselves. But what else can you do?

Worry not: The system eventually will find a way to survive with Hometown Democracy. Nothing has ever thwarted the development industry in Florida, and this won’t either. Vote for Amendment 4?

Call me irresponsible.

I call it irresistible.

Neil Skene

Klein continues to Smear Col. Allen West

As Allen West's Chief of Staff said to me, while the Democrats are protesting in front of our headquarters, we will be out campaigning to win District 22.

This video just shows how low the West opponents will go. "The same guilt-by-association game could also be played against Congressman Ron Klein, who has received campaign contributions from Marc Bell, the CEO of Penthouse Magazine- a highly provocative magazine that has been accused over the years of also denigrating women." Source: The Shark Tank

The Buck stops with Sink


I watched the CNN debate the other night with Alex Sink and Rick Scott. After the hour, I concluded that I didn't like either one of them.

For Sink to fire a member of her Staff was over-reacting to a mistake that was totally hers; she is the one who read the message. All of her Staff should have been informed of the rules of the debate...even her make-up artist. It was the make-up artist that brought the digital message on a SmartPhone to Sink. Now who would have thought that a make-up artist would be involved in subterfuge? It was sneaky. Scott was just on his toes at that particular minute to notice it. The make-up artist wasn't fired, only the guy who sent it. Sink knew better than to even look at the message. If she didn't, then she is not on top of even the little things, the ethical things, knowing the difference in right and wrong and proper protocol.

The buck stops with Sink.

President of 1000 Friends of Florida speaks to Florida's Woes

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Oct. 25
The Palm Beach Post

According to news reports, Rick Scott would support eliminating the state's land planning agency, the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA). He claims, "It's really impacted people that want to build things; it's really killing jobs." House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, concurs, noting that DCA's functions could be distributed to other agencies.

Everyone should be sensitive to the need to create and maintain jobs. But blaming DCA for this state's economic woes is tragically misguided.

Since January 2007, DCA has approved comprehensive plan amendments that allow for 558,400 additional residential units and 1.43 billion square feet of nonresidential space, all of which remains unbuilt. On top of this, Florida is among the top three states in number of foreclosures, and has an existing vacant housing inventory of between 300,000 and 400,000 units.

What is really killing jobs in Florida is the fact that with so many vacant dwellings on the market, lenders are understandably unwilling to finance new construction. Once the economy rebounds and the inventory of overbuilt housing is sold, then there is plenty of opportunity for builders to construct the dwelling units and offices already approved by local governments and DCA.

While some candidates are channeling the rage felt by builders and developers, they fail to recognize the level of anger of average citizens who are fed up with the overcrowded roads and schools, sprawling development and degraded natural areas. Widespread public support for Amendment 4, which would require voter approval of each local comprehensive plan amendment, is but one manifestation.

Florida's growth-management laws help to protect sensitive natural areas from inappropriate development and rural areas from sprawling over-development, provide for greater coordination between local governments, balance local issues with state legislative priorities, require that infrastructure be in place to support new development and require citizen participation in the development review process. If Florida loses DCA or key portions of its growth-management laws, all of this could be in jeopardy.

CHARLES PATTISON

Tallahassee

Editor's note: Charles Pattison is president of 1000 Friends of Florida, which advocates for growth management.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sierra Club Florida has Endorsed Amendment 4

Sierra Club Florida

Political Endorsements - Florida Amendments

Sierra Club Florida has endorsed Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution, also known as the Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment. It is meant to give citizens a veto over elected officials' decisions to change comprehensive plans, the blueprints for community growth. You can find more information about this on the web by searching on Florida Hometown Democracy.

The Sierra Club, with 1.3 million members and 35,000 in Florida, has official policies on many conservation issues. They group these into 17 categories: agriculture, biotechnology, energy, environmental justice, forest and wilderness management, global issues, government and political issues, land management, military issues, nuclear issues, oceans, pollution and waste management, precautionary principle, transportation, urban and land use policies, water resources, and wildlife conservation.

Is this what Wes calls a "special interest?"

Scott Maxwell made Motion to Contract with FMPA

Commissioner Maxwell is giving Town Hall Meetings and complaining about high utility rates inferring that if you vote for his candidates, something will change about our rates.

Below is the document where Scott Maxwell made the motion to approve the contract with FMPA which was signed on June 18, 2002.

The next time Commissioner Maxwell complains about the cost of utilities in Lake Worth, (he is having two more town hall meetings before the election) ask him about his vote. Ask him if he is not directly responsible for our high rates.

Click to enlarge

KrazyLoco Lake Worth gang member sentenced to Life

Florida Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison.

Today Manuel DeJesus Medina, a member of the Krazy Locos criminal street gang of Lake Worth, Florida was sentenced. Medina, 19, was sentenced to life imprisonment, followed by a consecutive term of 420 months’ imprisonment, on charges related to two homicides committed in Palm Beach County during January and February 2009.

Read the entire story at 7th Space Interactive

Morning in Florida: What will it be like Nov 3rd?

NASA photo

Morning in Florida:
What will it be like Nov 3rd?

On November 3rd, Floridians will celebrate bright prospects for the Sunshine State. Or -- if Amendment 4 fails – big national homebuilders will celebrate permanent victory over the protests and rights of Florida’s citizens, and the bulldozers will be unstoppable.

At the polls, YOU will choose what kind of a morning it’ll be.

You may have heard lots of false information from the developers about the consequences of passing Amendment 4. The developers' “Say-Anything Gang” wants to confuse you and to protect their power and profits, and all of what they’re saying has been shown not to be accurate. Let’s look now at the very real consequences if Amendment 4 does not pass.

If the developer forces win and Amendment 4 fails, we’ll see more of the corruption -- via campaign contributions and bribes -- that make Florida the #1 most politically corrupt state. Our future will be one of continued sprawl-homebuilding, increasing the number of job-seekers in a labor force already suffering one of the country’s highest unemployment rates. The economy, crashed by the developers, will continue to be dismal and worse.

Florida’s main industries – agriculture and tourism – will be the first to suffer, as they find themselves with tract housing in place of products. No new businesses will want to come to this abused and ever-poorer state. Meanwhile, profits from endless homebuilding will head out of state to Pulte, KB Homes, Lennar, Toll Brothers and the others funding the “Vote No” Campaign. The national homebuilders Anti-4 campaign funds ironically come from your own "bailout" tax dollars.

Without doubt we’ll see an end to Florida’s commendable Growth Management efforts, begun in 1985 and weakened steadily since. Whoever gets into office will merely determine how rapidly this happens. Senate Bill 360 (shifting developers’ costs to taxpayers) will pass again, despite the court's ruling overturning it. The state’s growth watchdog, the Department of Community Affairs, will be dismantled or rendered ineffectual. These events aren’t guesses; they would have happened already except that Amendment 4 was on the horizon.

Politicians and developers have been sitting on their hands for at least a couple of years, holding back on doing their worst because they’d ignite still more anger among citizens and support for Amendment 4. After November 2nd, if Amendment 4 fails, their pent-up greed will be unleashed, unstoppably.

Floridians’ voices will truly be silenced by the newly reinvigorated politician-developer conspiracy. Floridians’ quality of life will sink, with further soaring taxes, reductions in services, inability to sell our homes, and the bulldozing of the State’s remaining natural beauty, fertile agricultural lands, and life-sustaining wetlands.

If you’ve been told that there are “better” solutions than Amendment 4, don’t believe it! Developer-influenced politicians have already killed off those other proposals every time they’ve come up, and they’ll continue to do so. Amendment 4 came to be because the other side concedes there's a problem, but has never wanted a solution that will really work. It's their way or the highway.

And don’t think that if Amendment 4 fails this time, there will be another chance to support it later. No, Amendment 4 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s the result of 7 years of strenuous effort by dedicated citizen-volunteers who collected more than a million signatures, and fought off 7 court challenges from developers. Lacking the opposition’s developer money and paid workforce, Amendment 4 supporters have given this citizens’ initiative their all.

Amendment 4 either makes it or doesn't on November 2nd. This is truly the moment of truth. Floridians urgently need to protect their rights and their neighborhoods by voting “YES.”

Otherwise, it’s back to wringing your hands and protesting developers’ rampages and politicians’ secret deals. Back to soaring taxes, plummeting home values, a boom-bust economy, and stagnant prospects for bringing jobs to a State in a downward spiral.

One simple thing you can still do to make sure Amendment 4 passes is this: Engage others – pass this message to neighbors, relatives, and friends. Get this message out to all voters: the hometown that you save will indeed be your own.

Your future . . . awaits your “YES on 4” vote on or before November 2nd. Before it's too late, take your rightful seat at the table. Give yourself the right to vote on your community's future. Your friends, family, children, and grandchildren will thank you.

Sincerely,
John Hedrick,

Member, Amendment 4 statewide coordinating committee
Chair, Panhandle Citizens Coalition

Riviera Beach gets to vote on Charter Amendment

Can anyone even imagine The Palm Beach Post endorsing a Charter Amendment by the residents of Riviera Beach to keep their public marina public when it involves BIG money such as Rybovich and Wayne Huzeinga? It wouldn't happen in a million years. The Editor told all Riviera Beach citizens to Vote NO to save their marina just like they tell all of us to Vote NO on Amendment 4. It would affect their pocketbook. How sad this is when you have a newspaper with so much influence that is not fair and balanced.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Edward H. Fine of the 15th Judicial Circuit Court (I LOVE this Judge) ruled that the ballot initiative was valid even though the City of Riviera Beach and the Community Redevelopment Agency sued the Citizens Task Force that went out and got certified signatures to get it on the ballot.

Now the people can vote whether they want this land-use change or not.

Just another reason why Amendment 4 is so necessary.

Michael E. Arth for Governor on Corrupt Politicians

Carla Blockson needs to Rethink her Endorsements

Comment Up
If Carla Blockson had ever attended City Commission meetings, which she did not, she would have avoided bragging about some of these highly questionable and just plain awful endorsements. Let's take a look at some of them.

Endorsements for Ms. Blockson:

  • Mayor of Lake Worth, Rene' Varela--the TOTAL FLIP-FLOPPER of all time. NO one (either side of the political spectrum) can understand him. Rene Varela has voted correctly on 99.9% of the issues this year, as has the rest of the Commission that includes Suzanne Mulvehill, however, he has flipped to the other side, a side that is against everything he has stood for this year by supporting candidates that want to stop the Casino and complain about the Budget. His endorsements are confusing and we feel that he is betting his options on his political future. He is betting wrong.
  • City Commissioner Scott Maxwell--This is someone who was elected to overthrow the present Commission by any means possible. He keeps complaining about high utility bills but it was he who had the opportunity to sell our Utility to FPL while he was first in office. He voted to have FMPA as our power source and is directly responsible for the high electric rates. He keeps blaming his colleagues on the Dais. He has voted against the Budget that reduced every department across the Board by $5 million and a Commission that voted to amend the Union Pension Plans. His backers are Unions and those sympathetic to them. He wants to stop any progress in this City by stopping the Casino. He bucks Staff at every opportunity over just about everything. No one understands what in the heck he wants. Give him a lollipop.
  • Former Lake Worth City Commissioner, Dave Vespo--Voted for the flim-flam man and having Greater Bay control our beachfront for 40 years. Stopped our Reverse Osmosis System after spending $15 million dollars and agreed to go to PB County Water. Voted to stay in FMPA saying that "they are dependable" not realizing that this had nothing to do with our Grid. Thus we have higher electric rates thanks to Vespo. As a Banker, Vespo made destructive decisions and his mis-informed "vision" contributed to our financial stress we are experiencing today.
  • Former Commissioner Retha Lowe--We already know what happened to her with Sun Recycling that did untold damage to our landfill and the health of residents in the Osborne Community. She also filed false reports for the purpose of preventing the public from finding out the actual source of Sun Recyling's bundling of $3,000 in contributions. She was in violation of five "willful" Florida Statute violations and fined $2,500. Lowe is one of the reasons why our City is distressed today because of votes that cost our City untold millions of wasted dollars. Also, Carla has aligned herself with the BAC PAC that has solicited contributions from Sun Recyling.
  • Former County Commissioner, Addie Greene--A good friend of Retha Lowe's. Greene dropped out of the PB County Commission race citing health reasons. This was right after her colleagues, Masilotti and Newell were hauled off to prison.
  • Palm Beach County Professional Firefighters/Paramedics--The next five are special interest groups. The Firefighter's Union is no surprise as her husband was our former Fire Chief who condemned the City Manager as well as a few members of the Commission for attempting to withhold Sick Pay benefits when he went to PB County Fire Rescue. Sick pay was not negotiated with the Union and only paid by Lake Worth when an employee is sick. He got his money because of politics on the Dais with a vote from Maxwell, Varela and Golden. They were wrong for not caring about the taxpayer first but rather, they catered to the Unions. As Carla Blockson is condemning 3 to 2 votes that rarely happen, this is one of which I am sure she approves.
  • Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association--Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches--I'm a former Realtor and this special interest group is self-serving.--PEU Public Employee Union PMSA,--Professional Supervisors and Managers Assoc.--one of the WORLD'S WORST special interest Unions. The Unions are the reason that Lake Worth is in a financial crisis. She will never be able to make the tough decisions regarding the Unions and their run-away contracts.

The Constitution Committee endorses Rosenblum District 89

Comment Up--a must read!
Dean Taffel of The Constitution Committee says,
"Steve Rosenblum is the clear choice in District 89. He is a highly principled Constitutional conservative. As with most office holders from Lake Worth (but not necessarily all), Steve's opponent is a (corrupt?) collectivist with an extraordinarily troubling record. He deserves plenty of support and in this year when anything can happen."

Steve For House Web Banner


The voters have a clear choice in District 89:
Left-wing progressive Jeff Clemens or Fiscal-conservative Steven Rosenblum and we need your help to get the TRUTH out to the voters, so they can avoid the CONSEQUENCES of voting for his opponent.

As Mayor of Lake Worth, Steve's opponent:

1- Favored Obama's "stimulus" and still does.
2- Kicked seniors out of their recreation center; leased the building out for $1/year to create a "day labor center" where 80% of the people seeking work are illegal immigrants and had the taxpayers continue to pay the utilities and maintenance.
3- Voted not to terminate the FMPA contract (which requires 5 years notice) which means residents continue to pay 1.5 times more than FPL customers for electricity.
4- Rejected an ethics ordinance proposed by another city commissioner, saying, "I'm not comfortable legislating ethics from the dais," but now claims to have championed ethics reform.
...And the list goes on.

When elected Steve will put taxpayers first, keep taxes low, reduce the size and increase the accountability of government and bring ethics, principles and common sense back to Tallahassee.

You can make a secure, online contribution at:
http://www.electrosenblum.com/donate

With your support Steve will be victorious on November 2nd!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Amendment 4 at the Forest Festival

Residents in Perry, Florida do not want sprawl and over-development
and why would they? The town is beautiful.

Forest Festival in Perry

Perry is located in Taylor County, Florida.
The town was named for Edward A. Perry, who was the 14th Governor of Florida.

Today's moon

94% full

Land on the Moon in Google Earth

"Pants on Fire" says PolitiFact regarding Vote No ad against Amendment 4

PolitiFact speaks to the full page ad that the vote NO group just had in the Orlando Sentinel on October 17 that was full of lies--

Their conclusion--Our ruling

Let's look at what Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy said again in its ad. Citing PolitiFact, it said Amendment 4 "will force counties and cities across Florida to raise taxes and fees."

Well, we can speak unequivocally about this one. PolitiFact Florida never said that what happened in St. Pete Beach's case will happen in cities and counties across Florida if Amendment 4 is approved. We never said it in any other Truth-O-Meter items either. And even ignoring that, PolitiFact Florida never said St. Pete Beach's local hometown democracy rules forced the city to raise its tax rate.

No doubt about it: Pants on Fire! (And no footnote required).

Amendment 4: Power to the People

Guest Commentary by Gwen Azama-Edwards
Daytona Beach

Contact: 386-767-8847 Cell 386-453-4410

Floridians will get the chance Nov. 2 to give themselves new power and a new vote. Amendment 4, on the statewide ballot, is a nonpartisan citizens’ movement that will empower ordinary Floridians. It will give us a seat at the table — a vote — on issues that affect our community.

We all watch politicians approve new developments left and right, and we all watch tax dollars go to pay for schools, police, fire, water, sewer and roads for all these new developments, while our neighborhoods languish. Is a new development affordable to our community? We should get a vote before we’re forced to pay.

Amendment 4 — called Florida Hometown Democracy — will give us that vote. Under Amendment 4, citizens will have the opportunity to give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down — the final say — when their local council or commission approves major development changes.

Politicians are still approving more development today, even though you drive around and see empty strip malls and foreclosed houses. Even if no one’s living or working in those ghost buildings, all of us in the county have to pay for the services, and that means higher sales and property taxes.

Study after study shows development doesn’t pay for itself; we taxpayers subsidize it. Things have been too cozy between Florida politicians and real-estate speculators. They busted the economy, ran off with the loot, and left us paying the bills. What we’re saying with Amendment 4 is: If it affects my home and my taxes, I want to vote on it. That’s just common sense.

Here’s how Amendment 4 will work: Local city or county commissions will study, hold public hearings, and vote on changes to the overall land-use plan (local comprehensive land-use plan) just like they do now. The new step is that once a commission approves a plan change, voters will get to approve or veto it at the next regularly scheduled Election Day. That’s it. If you agree with the commission’s decision, vote for it. If not, vote it down. No special elections required.

These comprehensive land-use plans are designed to guide future growth, and there is plenty of land in these plans set aside for building now and into the future (and that means jobs, too). In fact, all the plans in Florida combined have enough land set aside for enough building to quadruple our current state population.

Under Amendment 4, we’ll hold a vote only when someone insists on building outside the plan’s already approved areas. That makes sense, because everyone in the city or county has to pay tax money to extend services to developments that are outside of our planned growth boundaries. Amendment 4 applies only to changes to the overall comprehensive land use plan. It doesn’t require votes on minor changes like rezonings, variances, or set backs.

Voters won’t vote on every new grocery store or car lot, but will get to vote when politicians decide to change farmland to apartments, or turn a residential area into a commercial zone, for example. After all, when it comes to our homes and our communities, these should be our choices!

— Azama-Edwards is a retired Daytona Beach city clerk and former Daytona Beach city commissioner. She hosts the Truth Radio Show on Goliath Radio, and is president and CEO of A-E Enterprises Inc.

Stop cannibalizing Florida - Vote YES on Amendment 4




Staff runs this City

Update: As told to me by one Commissioner and the Mayor this morning, they relinquished their involvement and turned it over to Staff in order to move the issue quicker and keep politics out of the equation.

If you want to know what is outrageous, it is this entire process of evaluating the contractors for our Casino. Not only did Staff shove out the entire City Commission and exclude them in the process, it sent out an e-mail on Thursday that this meeting would be held and that they could come if they wished.

It is the Commission that makes decisions such as these. This should have been a special City Commission meeting, not just a Staff meeting. It should have been noticed and we should have been able to listen to it on-line. And the Commission should have been able to hear all presentations--there weren't that many.

The e-mail sent out on Thursday to Valerie:
We rescheduled the presentations so that the City Commission can attend if they choose to, the presentations will now be on the morning of 10/25 & the schedule is as follows:

Who runs this City?

Evaluation of Qualifications for Casino Contractors

Click photo to enlarge
Process begins at 8am today

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Commissioner Scott Maxwell's Deceptive Stratagem


An obvious political meeting by Commissioner Scott Maxwell

Town meetings have been arranged by Commissioner Scott Maxwell using the City Logo. More than likely the City of Lake Worth paid for all the costs of the printing that was distributed to those attendees. What could have been an enlightening service to residents of Lake Worth has turned out to be nothing but sleazy politics and a desperate attempt to get his candidates elected as the present Commission voted against him on these issues.

Click photo to enlarge.

City Commission Meeting tomorrow am

This Commission meeting is not listed on the City's web site.

8:00-9:00am Hedrick Brothers
9:00-10:00am Kaufman Lynn
10:00-11:00am Morganti
11:00-12:00pm Final Ranking by Evaluation Committee

General Contractor for Casino

Does Staff really run this City?

Responses from the general contractors responding to the RFQ were opened on October 13. City Staff met on October 19th to rank the proposals and to hear the presentations. Staff picked the following:

Hedrick Brothers
Morganti Group
Kaufman Lynn

Supposedly these three firms will make a presentation at City Hall and the Commission will rank and then select the top ranked firm.

I find it rather incredible that Staff, consisting of
Rebecca Mattey
Joseph Kroll
Steven Carr
Walt Smyser
Rachel Smithson

are experts on what firm would be best for our Casino. Don't you? Why did not all six firms come before the City Commission? As one resident said, "I didn't elect staff to make these decisions."

If it were not for Straticon, this entire Casino project would not even have gotten off its feet...the building would have been demolished. If you recall, it was Straticon that brought in Nutting Engineers that drilled 10 inches into the test area structures, with 3 inch diameters to test the salt and chloride in the cement. They tested the strength. Remember, this was poured concrete and this building has lasted since it was built in 1922 other than some spires and roof and some upper decking. This was done around the parameter of the building. Now Straticon has been removed from consideration by Staff. This company deserves much better.

Scott Maxwell and his Town Hall Meetings - Are they all about Politics?

To what started out as a nice idea, a District 1 Community Meeting held at the Gym in the Osborne area in order to inform the citizens, has turned out to be what we all suspected--politics. Maxwell is now calling his meetings "town" meetings. They have nothing to do with informing the people in his district but they are all about getting out the vote for Blockson and Lisa Maxwell.

Commissioner Scott Maxwell, who is working very hard behind the scenes (we have to wonder how he has time just to be a Commissioner) to turn the dais on November 2, has scheduled two more Town Hall Meetings on the Utility, with high electric and water bills being the hot ticket item for all Lake Worthians, right before the election. The meetings are as follows:

October 30 at Iglesia Puerta Del Cielo, 709 N F St at 10am

November 1 at South Grade Elementary, 716 S K St at 6pm

As everyone knows, we are paying for upgrades to our Utility. We are going forward with our Reverse Osmosis System ( a move that he blames on high water rates). Even without this direction, we would have had to pay 25 million to build an interconnection with PBC and purchase the necessary capacity at the PBC water treatment plant. Commissioner Maxwell as well as his "candidates," Blockson and Lisa Maxwell, complain about high rates but offer NO solutions for reductions and obviously do not understand that we have to pay either way...in either case, we would have had to raise rates.

The Commission must direct the City Manager to stop this cunning and devious political ploy immediately by telling Commissioner Maxwell that no city staff will be involved in his meetings.

Rumor has it that he wants to run for Mayor next year. Is this deja vu?

Who wouldn't want an Ethics Policy?


The Palm Beach Post recently said, " Palm Beach County has spent a lot of effort moving forward on the difficult path of ethics reform. Against the backdrop of multiple investigations and prosecutions of public officials, elected and non-elected, at the federal and state levels, the public has seen how we have been victimized by corruption fueled by greed and arrogance."
Commentary: Put municipalities under ethics scrutiny along with county

In today's Post, it endorses the Palm Beach County Ethics Reform which is on the November 2 ballot, the last item listed on your ballot. It reads as follows:

REQUIRING COUNTY CODE OF ETHICS, INDEPENDENT ETHICS COMMISSION AND INDEPENDENT INSPECTOR GENERAL

Shall the Palm Beach County Charter be amended to require the Board of County Commissioners to establish by ordinances applicable to Palm Beach County and all municipalities approving this amendment; a Code of Ethics, an independent Commission on Ethics funded by the County Commission and an independent Inspector General funded by the County Commission and all other governmental agencies subject to the authority of the Inspector General? (YES) (NO)

Who wouldn't want an ethics policy? Excuses from the Sheriff to be exempt from an Ethics Law as well as Commissioner Scott Maxwell's citing the possibility of not remembering who has contributed to his campaign, were dissed by the Palm Beach Post. Also, an ethics policy would stop the political shinangans of Scott Maxwell that occurred yesterday at his Town Meeting--a worthwhile event that was tainted by him. As I did not stay to the very end of this meeting, it has just come to my attention that at the end of the meeting, a political flier was passed out urging the public to help him gain the 2 supporting votes on the dais.

In any successful political campaign, three things matter the most: Discipline, organization and a clear message. Scott Maxwell had all three yesterday and managed to get his message across by implying if you vote for two candidates you will get lower electric bills. To use the City and its Staff in this manner is revolting behavior by an elected official. This should be addressed by the City Commission at the next regularly scheduled meeting and this Commissioner must be censored, controlled and told to follow protocol.

We can thank Commissioner Cara Jennings for pursuing an Ethics Policy for the past two years and who was stymied by politics. Her pursuit of an ethics policy is approved by Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill as well as Candidate for District 2, Christopher McVoy. After November 2, we might just be under Palm Beach County's oversight for ethics and pay to play violations and even have our own, more stringent policy.

Vote YES on November 2 on requiring a Code of Ethics and an Independent Ethics Commission.

Allen West to Ron Klein: Admit

You Deserve a Vote - YES on Amendment 4


Vote YES on 4

to help end all of this

Carl Hiaasen on Amendment 4

Carl Hiaasen, wrote of Florida's over-development predicament, "… It's hard to imagine a system for managing growth that could possibly be more dishonest, or deaf to the public interest, than what we have now.

Nobody with half a brain believes that development pays for itself. Study after study shows that residents are the ones who pay big-time for sprawl, which is why taxes are so brutal in Florida's most densely populated counties."

Remember these words on November 2. We need a seat at the table.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Town Hall Meeting in Lake Worth on Utilities


The Town Hall Meeting on Lake Worth Utilities "Understanding the Costs and Benefits" was held this morning at the Calvary United Methodist Church.

Commissioner Scott Maxwell arranged the meeting that lasted over two hours with questions from the public. He mentioned that he wants to reduce the cost of our utility bill by 25% over the next three years and it must be done by policy by the Commission. He further stated that it was overly convenient to use Utility funds to operate our City as we have the highest rates for businesses in the State. "We need to change policy and the responsibility is with me and the rest of the Commission," he said. He failed to mention that it was he who originally obligated us to FMPA and expensive power. This Commission voted to end this Contract with FMPA and we will have a new provider in a few years. What could have turned out to be a political meeting for Commissioner Scott Maxwell was brought back on track and to the original focus by Staff.

City Manager, Susan Stanton, said in her Letter to the City Commission on June 25th that the City cannot continue to divert revenue from the Utility in an effort to pay for general government functions and high operating and personnel costs. The entire Commission agrees with this and is waiting for a Plan from Staff that will be presented to the Commission sometime in April 2011, according to Utilities Director, Becky Mattey.

Lake Worth has 26,000 utility customers and has devised a Conservation Program to help all those in reducing their utility bills. Printed material was available and covered information from how to read your meter, free energy kits, and the rebate program for all those buying energy efficient appliances. Joel Rutsky mentioned the importance of cleaning your a/c filter monthly.

Thanks to Staff for putting in a lot of work and giving up hours of time on a Saturday to give citizens an overview of Public Power that was presented by Utilities Director Becky Mattey and Assistant Utilities Director, Clay Lindstrom, Conservation Management by Joel Rutsky and Customer Service by Alvin Colbert.

The Chamber of Commerce IS political

Comment Up

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has contributed at least $565,000 to the Vote NO group, Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy, a PAC affiliated with the Florida Chamber of Commerce in order to defeat Amendment 4. Their PAC has raised over $15 million dollars to defeat the amendment. Chambers across the State were shipped Vote NO signs and they have told their members how to vote. How can there be so many sheep?

At the Chamber's Political Forum at Atlantis Country Club, Executive Director Beth Johnston began the panel discussion by stating that the Chamber does not support any political candidate. Johnston must have had her fingers crossed when uttering that statement because the Chamber gave a $200 donation to the BAC PAC whose only mission is to support Blockson and Maxwell and defeat McVoy and Mulvehill through whatever means necessary, even lies and libelous mailers.

As the Chamber is supporting candidates and opposing a state-wide ballot initiative, the City of Lake Worth needs to immediately--

1. cut off any funding, whether cash, grants, or use of property, to the Chamber
2. no free use of city parks for their events--they pay like anyone else
3. no free city services at these events such as public safety and sanitation collection

Taxpayer money can no longer be used for a partisan operation such as the Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce as thousands in this City do not agree with their politics and citizen tax dollars are helping to support an organization diabolically opposed to their views.

I want the City Commission to make a Resolution that no more tax money or give-aways for events be afforded to the Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Demonstration in Riviera Beach


City governments all across Florida make it extremely difficult to impossible for residents to have a voice. If a city council wants something, you can bet that any opposite opinion from residents will either not be heard or what they say will not phase that city council in the slightest.

On Thursday, Amendment 4 advocates joined with the Save Our Marina folks in Riviera Beach for a banner waving demonstration on Broadway and 13th, right near the Marina. We got a million honks. Finally people are realizing this is the people's marina, and not an industrial boat yard for the billionaire, Huizenga.

The situation in a Nutshell:
Rybovich and partner wanted public land at the waterfront in Riviera Beach.
The City Council of Riviera beach wanted them to have it for 25 years
The residents wanted to keep it public as it always has been
The City said "no way" and voted to change the land-use on a 4 to 1 vote
The citizens formed a PAC, gathered signatures that were certified and got the issue on the ballot.
The City was ticked off and sued the citizens to get it OFF the ballot.
Rybovich was ticked off and sued two of the citizens.
They all went before Judge Fine yesterday at 8am.
The City had 5 lawyers whose argument was the 5 acres or less

Does this all sound familiar?

Rybovich Riviera Beach LLC, owned by the Huizenga family, wants to establish a megayacht service yard at the south end of the marina. On June 2, the Riviera Beach City Council was about to vote on a 25-year lease of the south end of the city marina to Rybovich Portside LLC for a mega-yacht service facility but Rybovich forgot to register the name with the State, so a Riviera Beach resident grabbed it.

The Council ultimately voted to change the land-use for Rybovich.

Rybovich and an associate schmoozed the Council that caved (including Dawn Pardo the activist whose referendum lowered the height of Catalfumo's building at the beach.) So, The Citizens Task Force of Riviera Beach collected 5,000 signatures in about 3 weeks. The Supervisor of Elections stopped counting when the required number was verified (about 2,500) ." The referendum maintains public control of these areas.

On the Ballot:
CITY OF RIVIERA BEACH - QUESTION
AMENDMENT TO CITY MARINA PROPERTY

Shall The City Of Riviera Beach Charter Be Amended To Provide That The Use Of Dedicated Submerged Public Lands At The City Marina Remain Limited To Municipal Park And Recreational Purposes According To Florida Dedication No. 24438-A; (2725) the Municipal Marina Properties, Newcomb Hall, Bicentennial Park, And Spanish Court Shall Be Owned, Managed, And Operated Solely By The City Of Riviera Beach; The Municipal Marina Properties Shall Not Permit Industrial Commercial Boat Repair Operations? (YES) (NO)

Residents in a community should not have to work this hard to fight City Hall but it is the norm. Amendment 4 would have totally decided the issue...change the land-use and lease out city property to a fat-cat or keep the waterfront property and sub-merged land in public control. People should decide land-use changes...they should never be political votes.

Vote YES on 4 on November 2. It's a must.