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