Monday, January 31, 2011
By Letters to the Editor for Monday, Jan. 31 Posted: 11:06 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011
With regard to the Lake Worth commissioners considering allowing "dog parks" and "making plastic bags available for pet waste," I advise them all to take a walk in Bryant Park any weekday morning. Just be sure to stay on the path, as this beautifully and expensively renovated park is a minefield of dog waste that no one ever bothers to pick up.
They can see the groups of dog owners throwing sticks and playing with half a dozen dogs at a time while noting the posted pet waste sign (Ordinance 99-4) and plastic bags at the north entrance that go unused.
Get a grip, folks. People cannot be encouraged to pick up after their pets because they don't even pick up after themselves.
Take a walk downtown on Lucerne Avenue and observe the sidewalks and storefronts encrusted with cigarette butts (more dog poop!) and other litter despite our new (expensive) purple garbage cans being within a few feet. In a town where the city fathers pride themselves on such progressive ideals as going "green," our major asset, the beach, is one big ashtray.
The commissioners should budget for some garbage bags, take a morning stroll and see what their future plans will result in. Over and over again. It stinks.
OMB 1. FY 2011-2012 BUDGET
The FY 2011-2012 budget process has begun. Based on the latest projection of revenues and expenditures for the General Fund, the City will have a shortfall of $4.5 million if no changes are made to expenditures.
Ms. Stanton says, "The budget team, and Department Directors, in conjunction with my office, will be working to identify ways to eliminate the shortfall."
Perhaps we can ask the Unions. We can't even get rid of a Union worker if they are not up to snuff.
Giving legal status to the 11-12 million illegal aliens in the U.S., and the extended family they will bring in, is not humanitarian, it is not social justice for our own citizens and legal immigrants.
It is not humanitarian, it is paralyzing denial. The U.S. is not immune to the social upheaval we are seeing in Egypt and Tunisia. We have high unemployment, 12% in Florida, Egypt has 9.7%. We are experiencing water shortages and an ongoing energy crisis.
There is not one critical issue in our country that will improve with more population and by ignoring the rule of law.
Florida’s budget shortfall is over $3 billion yet it cost Florida taxpayers $5.2 billion* for services to the 700,000 illegal aliens in Florida in 2009. These misguided cost centers mean our K-12 education goes lacking, and our social services at all levels are short changed. The budgets for our justice system from courts to incarceration centers are underfunded.
You can make a large change in this picture by starting with mandatory E-Verify support. SB 518 sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays has been filed. We need you to call the office of your State House rep and your State Senator. Do not allow the big money folks who shot down Amendment 4, the Hometown Democracy effort to derail this Jobs bill. No jobs for illegal aliens, no job magnet and they will leave.
Joyce Tarnow, President
Floridians for a Sustainable Population
Broward and PB County's Most Wanted
As some believe that the Sheriff's Department is reducing crime in Lake Worth, let's help them out even more by keeping our eyes peeled for the most wanted criminals.
The Broward Sheriff's Office and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office list these individuals as their most wanted fugitives. Law enforcement officials warn that you should not attempt to apprehend or detain any of these people. If you know the whereabouts of a fugitive in Broward County, call Crime Stoppers at Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS. In Palm Beach County, call 800-458-TIPS (8477)
The answer is obvious, but most "experts" in the mainstream media continue to insist that as long as U.S. GDP is increasing and as long as the stock market is going up that our economy is improving.
Read more about Paper Money madness.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The voters spoke in November. What did they say? Cut the spending and cut taxes. And just like our City Manager who says it is imperative that we make changes to Union benefits and how we do business, Governor Rick Scott intends to do the very same thing with State employees' benefits.
"Scott believes Florida's free retirement program is 'unfair to taxpayers' working in the private sector. Florida is the last State not to require employees to contribute to their own pension, while some States offer free retirement to only a limited class of workers."
As in Lake Worth, the majority of cities across the State are strained because of Union pension costs. Many are spending more on retirement benefits than on payroll such as Pensacola, Pembroke Pines, Jacksonville and St. Petersburg.
Lake Worth's Pension contribution in 2010:
General Employees: 29.4%
As our City Manager Susan Stanton says, "the current pension benefits promised by the City are unsustainable given the City's current and projected FY 2011 revenue resources." Defined benefit plans must end and employees must contribute to their expensive health plan.
At the State level "Reform is coming," said Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, chairman of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee. On a local level, we need to support our City Manager's goal to implement a Defined Contribution Plan, a plan supported by Bill Thrasher of the Finance Advisory Board, and reduce Union benefits.
The Union's response?--a contract is a contract.
She has no family. She is 86 years old. She is in a wheel chair. She doesn't complain and maintains a sweet attitude. Ethel Harris has been in the news of late. She has her own horror story but she has not let it get her down. In spite of a few who took advantage of her and someone who abused her who received a 35 year prison sentence for his crime, she remains positive. And after being a victim of an assault about four years ago, she was eventually kicked out of her nursing home when she ran out of money. PBSO, District 14 had a Fundraiser for her yesterday. There was waiting room only and no one minded.
PBSO wanted to help her. It knew how needy and deserving she is. You see, her home needs a lot more than just a little TLC. There is a roofer who has volunteered to give her a new roof. Termites are literally eating her home away. The appliances and her a/c need to be replaced. Lake Worth Utilities managed to get a Grant for Ms. Harris in the amount of $3,000. This will be used for a new air conditioner. Volunteers, such as her friend Mark Parilla who is president of her neighborhood association as well as Robert Waples will be helping to weather proof her windows and doors and place insulation in her attic.
On Saturday, Ethel found new "family" that cared about her...many residents of the City of Lake Worth, the Sheriff's office and Benny's. Benny's kept the Fundraiser going all day. Over and above Benny's contribution, there was a big glass jar for donations that amounted to $275.
If you want to help in any way by volunteering or giving a donation, call Deputy Donovan at 561-586-1611 or go to the web site, Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches and donate on-line.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
"Despite reports that indicate Florida's extremely friendly to business, Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders continue to accuse the Department of Community Affairs of making the state inhospitable to those who want to work here."
Read the full article at the Orlando Sentinel.
What is Jihad?
Report from AlJazeera
Pyramids closed. No police presence today. Violence and chaos. Where is the Egyptian Military?
Friday, January 28, 2011
What did it? The union benefits and the Countys' reluctance to raise taxes and reduce services. Read more at Global Economic Analysis.
A country with 79 million people--Egypt. When you think of this country, the things that come to mind are pyramids, mummys, and the Great Sphinx. You never consider riots of tens of thousands of people.
An Overview of Egypt.
Mubarek is a dictator and Egypt is a very important ally to the U.S. Sometimes you have to weigh the options...a dictator or allow radical Islamists to dominate the entire -Mid-East. Mubarek has been a central player in our efforts for peace between Israel and Palestine and has been central in efforts to combat al Qaeda.
Egypt is a Republic. "The official opposition and political pressure groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood that says--The organization's motto is as follows: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." They are active in Egypt and make their views public. They are represented at various levels in the political system. However, power is concentrated in the hands of the President of the Republic and the National Democratic Party which retains a super-majority in the People's Assembly."
Hello LWDC Board members,
Attached is the loyalty oath which our organization requires us to affirm. Please fill it out, witnessed by two people other than yourself or by a friend who is a notary. Return it at the next meeting or sooner should you see me or Drew.
"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."
IN THE MATTER OF ARBITRATIONS BETWEEN:
The Lake Worth Public Employees Union, FMCS Case No: 10-00441-3
Arbitrator Phyllis Almenoff
City of Lake Worth, Florida,City/Employer. (Issue: Violation of CBA Article 24-(A))
Local 359, Union/IBEW,
FMCS Case No: 10-53413-3
Arbitrator Marsha Murphy
City of Lake Worth, Florida,
(Issue: Violation of CBA Article XV, Section 15.03-(D))
The Lake Worth Professional Managers and Supervisors Union/PMSA,
FMCS Case No: 10-00439-3
Arbitrator Martin Soll
City of Lake Worth, Florida,
(Issue: Violation of CBA Article 24-(A))
OPINION AND AWARD
By agreement, the instant three arbitration matters were jointly heard by the undersigned arbitrators at the City’s corporate offices on November 8, 2010. At issue is whether during the term of the 2009-2010 fiscal year, as charged by PEU, IBEW and PMSA (the “Unions”), the City violated the below quoted contract sections of its collective bargaining agreements (“CBA”) with each Union which similarly require the City to furnish bargaining unit employees an actual no cost/no premium “HMO” health insurance plan. Following the hearing, comprehensive post hearing briefs were submitted to the undersigned arbitrators by the parties.
There is no dispute the City provided health insurance plans to each of the bargaining unit employees for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. However, after carefully reviewing the hearing record and the parties’ post hearing briefs, the arbitrators unanimously find and hold that during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the City, as charged, violated each of its collective bargaining agreements with the Unions by not providing to each of the bargaining unit employees an actual no cost/no premium “HMO” health insurance plan. The instant grievances, accordingly, shall be sustained/awarded in favor of the Unions.
Each of the grievances is sustained/awarded.
The parties shall jointly and forthwith agree upon and implement procedures to identify and make whole each of the bargaining unit employees who suffered monetary damages during the 2009-2010 fiscal year resulting from the City’s above stated contract violation(s).
The Arbitrators retain jurisdiction limited to resolving any disputes regarding paragraph one (1) immediately above. This opinion and award is otherwise final and binding.
Electronically signed and e-mailed to the parties this 24th day of January 2011.
Article 24-(A) of both the PEU and PMSA bargaining agreements with the City state in relevant part, “The City shall furnish HMO health insurance for all employees at no cost to the employee.” Article XV, Section 15.03 (D) of IBEW’s bargaining agreement with the City similarly states in relevant part, “The City will pay 100% of the employee’ modified individual group health insurance (HMO) premium.”
The following Letter to the Editor of the PB Post appeared in Thursday's paper. This entire belief, especially by an Officer of the Lake Worth Democratic Club, is the main reason why I resigned from the Club several years ago. Now I would resign because my politics has changed.
Not only is Mr. Goodstein an Officer of a political club but he was the Campaign Treasurer for Democrat Rene Varela, Mayor of Lake Worth.
If you recall, Rene Varela lost his election the first time around for Commissioner District 4. A main factor in this defeat was that certain Officers and Directors in The Lake Worth Democratic Club did not support him and gave their money and allegiance to a Republican in that District. His so-called friends in this Dem Club, campaigned against him, their own Club member. I doubt if they have ever apologized to him for this egregious and despicable action.
There is no earthly reason why anyone who is an officer or a director of a political club would give their support to anyone other than someone in the same Party. There is a guarantee when they take that Oath that they will adhere to it and that the rest of us can trust them to make the correct choices. There are higher standards for officers and directors and rightly so. If you want to support someone out of the Party, then form another Club and called it something else because what you are doing is disloyal and not what the Club stands for.
On September 28, 2008, Mark Alan Siegel, Chair of the PB County Democratic Executive Committee wrote, "The loyalty oath prohibits, in addition to any opposition to Democratic nominees, the support of any non-Democrat against a Democrat in any election other than judicial races. This clearly covers non-partisan races. Support is more than in their heart or in the privacy of the voting booth; it involves overt action, including speech, on behalf of the non-Democrat. Specific facts matter. I am sympathetic about your club's internal stresses. All I can do is ask people to live under our rules and honor the oaths they freely took to hold the offices they sought."Mr. Siegel forgot what he wrote when he endorsed Charlie Crist, former Republican and now an N/A, over Democrat, Kendrick Meek.
Party loyalty oaths repugnant
Political party leaders seem to want to control elected leaders by demanding strict loyalty for their past support. But do we want leaders who kowtow to party apparatchiks rather than think for themselves? We elect people, and look to leaders, for their judgment. Any party leaders who expect strict obedience misunderstand their limited role. Most people don't know who they are, and they have not been elected to a damn thing.
The Palm Beach County Democratic Club had disagreements over the oath - because of elected officials who endorsed Charlie Crist - and suffered for it. I regard the loyalty oaths of both parties as repugnant. If you can't earn followers, it's no good to try to intimidate compliance. If you can't get the members to cooperate, it's time to think about your efforts. The oaths risk repelling people of good will from entering into the political process.
Editor's note: Sam Goodstein is treasurer of the Lake Worth Democratic Club.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
William Daly, of JP Morgan Chase, was recently appointed for one of the most important and influential jobs in American government-- Chief of Staff to Obama. He is the former Mid-West Chairman of JP Morgan Chase.
JP Morgan Chase received a bailout of 25 billion of tax payer funds and was caught implementing a plan to outsource thousands of American jobs to India which would cost 400 million.
Read all the nasty, nitty gritties involving JP Morgan Chase.
Obama said he chose Daley, an executive with JP Morgan Chase, because “He has a deep understanding of how jobs are created and how to grow our economy.”
Again, just when you think Obama is on the right track...
Balderdash. Rubbish. Baloney. Bull.
To me, the illegal immigration situation has never been about jobs that Americans refuse to do. Even FLIMEN is using that excuse to sell the idea of kicking the illegal out of town. Americans losing their jobs to illegals may be true but primarily that excuse is all propaganda coming from industry that wants to use cheap labor, the very same people who jack up prices whenever they please. Instead of the government extending unemployment benefits, perhaps some of these people would actually go out and get a job even if it is "beneath them."
I did not vote for Adam Putnam for Commissioner of Florida's Agricultural Commission for one main reason--he believes an exception should be made to illegal immigration when it comes to those aliens working the farms. There should never be an exception to the law. That is something a Court should decide, not Putnam.
Farm laborers who want to work in America need to get a Green card, a Visa, or get a U.S. citizenship application and wait their turn just like everyone else--not sneak across our border, live here and never go home, have children here and force labor costs down, making big farmers more wealthy than they are now.
The big farmers get government subsidies to influence the cost and supply of goods. The Agri industry has constant and influential wheeling dealing going on. Farm subsidies have the direct effect of transferring income from the general tax payers to farm owners. How ironic is that when we witness the escalating prices in the grocery store every week.
William D. Snyder who is running for Sheriff of Stuart, is right when he states that we should implement the E-Verify System and implies that Americans should be happy with a job, any job, rather than free-loading on the system. And that's the problem. As long as some of the unemployed who qualify for this type of farm laboring job can get an unemployment check for another 99 weeks, they are going to take their time looking for a job. The highest amount you can receive is now at $300 a week.
It is past-time to make E-Verify the law.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Over two months ago, the Finance Advisory Board recessed until it received further clarification from the City Commission as to its goals and objectives. Were they to be pro-active or reactive? All that the Board members had to do was to read its own Mission Statement but the Board's goal was having much more authority and clout. They couldn't stand being ignored.
In the Joint Meeting, the Commission told them to do their own thing in that regard but to come back and give them a list of what they felt important to focus upon and they would do the same. Last night they compiled the list. A motion was made and passed last night to be a Pro-Active Board. It wants to be so proactive that it wants to meet more than one time per month.
What this now means is that the Finance Advisory Board, after taking a vote on an issue, a direction, a plan, will get the respect it believes it deserves from the Commission at least to the point of listening to the Board’s recommendations and the reasoning behind them. Quarterly joint meetings are projected.
This Board was created and established to serve in an advisory capacity to the City Commission and the City manager. Its purpose is to promote transparency in the City’s Budget process and allow for additional citizen input on major financial decisions. It further states that the Board shall consult with and advise the CM and the City Commission in matters affecting the annual operating budget, capital improvement program and all financial policies.
The evening started out with a few members taking the lead. John Pickett stated that they had never formalized how to report findings and did not give enough time on how to communicate to the Commission. It was clearly stated by Mayor Varela at a city commission meeting to put it in writing to him and the Commission. Later came the Red-Light camera revenue issue. Although the Commission already has said "no" to Red-Light Cameras, the Board is putting this back on its list. They don't like the word "no."
Bill Thrasher said that the City Manager was concerned that the board could not be insolated from politics. This is a valid concern as it was clearly political last night from two of the Board members, Pickett and Plotkin. Bill also said that the views and thoughts should be theirs and not influenced by the public. I believe that this is somewhat contradictory to the Mission Statement but agree that proposals should all derive out of a Board consensus.
Pickett wanted to discuss the Union arbitration law suit ruling that just occurred on January 24 and the impact to our budget. He added this to the Agenda. This was a surprise because some members were not aware of this ruling as it had not yet reached the public. Even our Finance Director, Steve Carr, was taken back and was not prepared to speak to the issue. It seemed that a few Board members want to decide whether or not the City should file law suits at all or even defend itself by weighing the pros and cons. These legal decisions are up to the City Attorney and the City Manager, not this voluntary Board. The Board is not qualified. Carr advised that it will cost the City $60,000 in medical benefits that affected 42 employees. The Unions love to sue.
Picket said that he could not find any benefit in owing our own Utility...could "not think of one." Well, there are many benefits to owing our own Utility. The main one is Control. We have control on our pricing, distribution, and capital improvements. We have lost control of our police and fire and this is problematic for the City. We tried very hard to lose control of our water and thanks to this Commission, we regained control with our Reverse Osmosis System. We don't pay any taxes on things that we purchase for our Utility. It is not a public company so we don't have to pay a dividend.
One complaint was franchise fees. By State law, other cities to whom we provide utility service can charge a Franchise Fee of 6%--Palm Springs. Even though we provide service out of the City limits, I do not believe that the County is charging a franchise fee but this is unverified. Where the Board might be able to free up revenue is to look into the various city departments, etc. where we are charging ourselves for electricity.
The Casino was brought up--again. Members Pickett and Plotkin were still complaining about the finance plan for it. Mr. Pickett's friend, who works for him, devised the Finance Plan for the Casino and he had approved of it. So now what's the beef? This has already been voted upon by the Commission and the Casino is going forward. Another concern of Pickett's was putting the "right" tenants in the Casino building and this did not necessarily mean the present ones. The beach tenants have been leasing space form us, some for nearly 40 years, and it has been the desire of the Commission to have local as well as our present tenants occupy the spaces. If they can no longer pay market rent when the building is ready for occupancy, they will no longer be there. We have said all along that they will pay market.
All in all, I thought that this was the most political meeting the FAB has ever had, not only from a few of its members but the public as well. It went along election "lines" and the losers are still bringing up the same old stuff that has already been decided upon by the Commission. If I were the Commission, I would be annoyed if this Board insisted that it is "right" and the Commission is "wrong" and force the Commission to reconsider decisions already made.
The Board has no clout and does not have the authority by Ordinance to ever have clout. Just advise and your mission is done.
In October, NASA conducted the first test flights of its newly acquired Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, a jet-powered drone that can fly at altitudes up to 65,000 feet (where it can avoid the rough weather of polar regions) for more than 31 hours at a time. It can literally fly to the other end of the earth on a single tank of fuel.
Many companies are developing drones: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, The Naval Research laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences, to name a few. There is nothing greater than U.S. ingenuity.
Ready in 2018
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Unions are socking it to the City of Lake Worth. We are not alone. The Unions are running like a pack of mad dogs throughout the U.S. Where is Ronnie when you need him? They want the entire country to be another Detroit.
In a period of free-falling economic times that we have seen in our city with property values, as well as cutting way back on every department in the City ( principally due to excessive union benefits that they have bludgeoned us all with, they are trying to get even more unfair and un-American leverage for their workers. Their cry--"let's bring Lake Worth to its knees."
Read more about the rancid Union crap at The Liberty Zone. This is an interesting tale.
Federalized security screening at airports has been such a success that President Obama wants to apply the same government "expertise" to the realm of online commerce and commentary.
The White House cybersecurity coordinator, Howard Schmidt who was the former vice president and chief information security officer and chief security strategist for eBay, joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7 to announce what amounts to a national ID card for the Internet.
Read more about Obama's Internet Passport at The Washington Times.
What's next? ThoughtCrime?
- Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1
I had this pic up last year as I was so impressed with Deerfield Beach and its beach.
Only Coconut palms, pavers (not monolithic slabs that the developer wants to install at our beach) as well as real green grass, not the xeriscaping that Lake Worth is promoting, thanks to all the "greenies" (Cara Jennings and the Mayor).
You can't find anything much more lovely than this beach.
Come hear from your Congressman on the important issues in Washington and be prepared to voice your concerns, issues and suggestions.
Thursday, January 27th at 7pm
South Florida Bible College
747 South Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach, FL
Monday, January 31st at 7pm
St. Mark's Catholic School
730 NE 6th Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL
Monday, January 24, 2011
The Planning and Zoning Board met on the Casino and said that additional oversight of the proposed landscaping should include an emphasis on as little sod use as possible (along perimeters) as well as an appropriate ratio of deciduous trees verses palms, and a process for archaeological oversight of the project’s construction should be a requirement.
I think all government can be a little bit officious to the point of stupid at times. People come to Florida to see THE PALM TREES. They especially like Coconut Palm trees.
The P&Z wants to see a bus stop on the plan even though NO BUSES GO TO LAKE WORTH BEACH. Whatever.
Now I know why I never see a Sheriff vehicle in Lake Worth--they are out investigating murders in other parts of PB County.
Now that a lot of the illegal aliens are leaving Lake Worth because of lack of jobs and the closure of The Mentoring Center, aka Illegal Hiring Hall, we should see less alien victims of crime and less misdemeanors as far as the immigration population is concerned. Not only are they leaving here, they are leaving the State of Florida, a drop of 27% over the past two years. They are also leaving the country. Pew Researcher, Jeffrey Passel said, "We've seen a reversal in what had been the long-term growth in the illegal immigrant population."
We now have Rick Scott who wants to implement E-Verify. This should scare most all of them off and crime will steadily reduce. Those advocating for PBSO at any cost, will give the kudos to the Sheriff who can't even ask an alien where he is from.
Allen West on the Sharia enemy--"I think one of the critical things that we must come together on is that there is an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization. So we must be willing to recognize that enemy. We cannot have a national security strategy that does not recognize it in specific and understand its goals and objectives.
So once again, we can tailor, you know, our internal goals and objectives as far as our security systems, our political systems, economic systems, our cultural and educational systems, so that we can thwart this. And it comes back to one of those strategic goals that you mentioned, reducing the sphere of influence of this Sharia, you know, ideology that is tied into Islam. But I think that is our most threatening part, is the Sharia philosophy."
Blocking traffic in the left lane is a huge source of frustration for many drivers,” said former Mayor of Lake Worth, Jeff Clemens and now a member of the Florida Transportation Committee. “Lane courtesy is important and can help ease road rage and traffic congestion. House Bill 177 will make Florida’s roadways safer.”
Read about HB 177.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I have always been a proponent for recognizing achievement, not mediocrity, however the Union is a tough nut to crack along with its members.
Read more about it HERE. It's a start.
The City is paying Ms. Margoles $18.5 thousand more a year than it paid Rachel Smithson as Assistant to the City Manager. The Post in a previous article said that Smithson was paid $50 K a year.
The starting salary is expected to be in the range of $74,250-116,970. Fringe benefits are competitive with the local market.
Mr. DeWoody, former Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Palm Beaches, was sitting next to Ms. Margoles at the last city commission meeting, and is the broker from Compass Realty who will be the exclusive broker at our Casino and who said that "I don't have to cooperate with other brokers." We have to wonder if he was introduced to the CM by Ms. Margoles as no one knew of him.
The first African Americans came to this country in 1619 as indentured servants. Black men got the right to vote directly after the Civil War. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution gave all male citizens the right to vote in 1870. In 1920, all women got the right to vote under the 19th Amendment. However, the vast majority of blacks did not vote until the vigorous Civil Rights Act of 1964 that brought the 15th Amendment into the 20th Century.
Today we have a Black President and here in Florida the people voted in Col. Allen West. We have all come a long way. The voters did not care about the color of the candidate's skin. The media continues to point out that these great leaders are black. Until we all get over judging people by the color of their skin, we still have a way to go.
“All people know the same truth; our lives consist of how we choose to distort them.”
"Gaspard comes from the same world of radical left-wing community organizing that shaped Barack Obama. A former left wing operative of ACORN and the SEIU executive, Gaspard is well schooled in the brutal, street-smart organizing tactics taught by the late Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. He will now take over as the Director of the Democratic Party."
ACORN Executive to take over reins of the Democratic National Committee
Just when you give Obama a little bit of hope, the people get a triple threat.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The PB Post Editorial today said that the City of Lake Worth should not be spending money on a Study to explore our options regarding Public Safety, namely police. Why is it their business? I disagree with this editorial as I do with a large percentage of them. We should always be exploring options. By not doing so, we continue to make poor and costly decisions. This is just good business.
Marra states that PBSO said that it would "work with Lake Worth." The City asked for another decrease and the PBSO said "no," that they would walk off the job. Marra also states that we in Lake Worth have had "significant improvements in resident's safety and quality of life." Please cite them. The fee that we pay to PBSO was only lowered last year because the number of men was reduced by nine but the increase per the Contract can still be raised to 7%. Yes, gang activity has been greatly reduced thanks to Ric Bradshaw's Gang Task Force that worked County wide. This task force has now been dissolved in April 2010 because of budget constraints. Perhaps we should again, ask for a decrease.
Was it the change of uniform color or was it a management problem when we dissolved our own police department? We still pay for the Sheriff in our ad valorem. Is this duel taxation? Don't get me wrong--I like the Sheriff. The problem for me is, can we afford the Sheriff?
Newsmen are in a Union, the Newspaper Guild. Can they be objective when a little, struggling city such as Lake Worth is being strangled by the Unions and the very expensive PBSO and only want to find out its options, something we should have done well before we made the emotional and political decision to turn over our policing to PBSO over two years ago, another 3/2 vote.
- Gary Carlin, Marketing Professor at Florida Atlantic University. He will lead the Task Force.
- Lake Worth resident, Carli Smith, representative from the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
- Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, Director Joan Oliva
- Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, Beth Johnston
Rene Varela: Jim Durbin
Scott Maxwell: Greg Rice
Christopher McVoy: Victoria Skinner
Suzanne Mulvehill: Ian Esplin, Owner Kayak Lake Worth
Jo-Ann Golden: Rachel Waterman
Thanks to all of the above who have volunteered to get Lake Worth ready for its 100th Birthday. Perhaps Beth Johnston of the Chamber of Commerce can pull in all her anti-4 allies to help--all the ones with the big bucks and big ideas, all the while "keeping politics out of it."
Friday, January 21, 2011
I suggest all those who are critical about everything in this City, volunteer. Let's start with all the hypocritical faultfinders who complain about any progress here--you know, all those who believe that we can really afford all those Union Retirement Benefits; PBSO; who find fault with Golden and the CDC; all those who supported the recent employee protest; just all those cynics in general who love to complain about the Sun not coming up at night.
Let me know when you volunteer so I can announce it to the City how wonderful you are. Maybe Peter Timm could be the first to volunteer as he loves to mock the dais. Pelican Pete would be a good choice. Perhaps after being on the job for awhile, you won't be fighting against progress such as our Casino, our RO Plant, and our height limits. Tom Ramiccio, get back in the picture...you don't have to wait until November.
While professing not to have a concrete plan just yet, House Speaker, Republican Dean Cannon said yesterday that his Chamber would make an effort this year to strengthen the Legislature’s hand in proposing changes to Florida’s constitution.
Cannon wants some law and order in the Florida Supreme Court...on property taxes, health insurance and redistricting.
Two groups under the PLO umbrella, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Hawatmeh faction (DFLP-H), have continued their campaign of violence.
Read about it here
In this country, we can allow so many stupid acts by people and terrorist groups.
According to the latest stats from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 311,926,077 people in the United States. 38,990,760 are on a government subsidy for food. As the number of people using food stamps goes up, J.P. Morgan makes more money. On top of that, JP Morgan is saving money by "outsourcing" food stamp customer service calls to India.
P&Z Project Number 10-00000001
Lake Worth Beach and Casino
Redevelopment: Consideration of a request by Michael Spruce, P.E. and David DeYoung, AICP/Kimley Horn, Agent for the City of Lake Worth, owner of the Beach and Casino (BAC) property located at 10 South Ocean Blvd.
Parcel numbers: 38-43-44-26-00-001-0010 and 38-43-44-26-00-001-0020. The subject property is located in the BAC zoning district. The request is for Site Plan review providing for redevelopment of the subject parcels and for the following Variances from Section 23.18A.02.01B of the Lake Worth Zoning Code:
• Variance from: East 75-foot Setback for Buildings (from 75-ft to 60-ft)
• Variance from: East 45-foot Setback for Ancillary Uses (from 45-ft to 0-ft)
• Variance from: North 200-foot Setback for Buildings (from 200-ft to 105-ft)
With one of the normal suspects from the public trying to derail this project, all three variance requests passed the Planning & Zoning Board with no dissenters.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
This city is in a financial mess, we need someone to take the reins who has extensive governmental & financial experience. LEADERSHIP is sorley(sic) missing at all levels of government and I cannot sit by and watch this city continue to decline because of a lack of vision and planning. November is around the coner(sic) and Im(sic) excited... about our future.
Former mayor Tom Ramiccio
9:34 AM, 1/19/2011
Pelican Pete has been around City Hall for what? 20 years or so? He still has it all confused and he still does not know that the Commission operates under Robert's Rules.
When the Mayor is absent, the Vice Mayor takes over the Mayor's duties and the obligations of the Mayor's chair. The Vice Mayor does not move her chair to the Ladies Room. She moves to the Mayor's chair.
So this old bird needs to take the time to bone up on Robert's Rules and perhaps then he would not be such a smart azz, I mean bird.
Yesterday I had the privilege of touring the ECR Plant located on Haverhill Road, West Palm Beach adjacent to the Florida Turnpike. The tour was conducted by the Executive Director Joseph Carlini along with our own Walt Smyser at Lake Worth Utilities. Those attending the tour were Commissioners Jo-Ann Golden, Scott Maxwell and Christopher McVoy. Robert Waples of our Planning & Zoning Board attended along with myself.
When we first arrived, we were immediately taken to the employee kitchen and treated to oj, coffee, donuts and bagels with cream cheese. That was a nice surprise as I still was not functioning that well due to the late city commission meeting of the night before and literally had to drag myself out of bed to make it on time.
This treatment facility, built around 1973-4, is situated on 360 acres, manned by 53 employees round the clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The operating budget is $21 million. Mr. Carlini is paid by West Palm Beach and is the only employee who is non-union. The rest are either members of the SEIU or PMSA Unions. He introduced us to four of his top management team, Jackie Michels, Senior Project Engineer and a former employee of Mock Roos; Tim Martin, Plant Superintendent; Don Long, Plant Superintendent; and Anthony Armeli, Maintenance Supervisor.
Mr. Carlini comes from Largo, Florida and worked there for about 19 years. He knew our City Manager Stanton very well saying she did a lot of great things for the City of Largo.
The water that we waste, which is about 150 gallons per person per day, is treated at this plant. Each residence has a pipe that is connected to a network of underground pipes and pump stations which carries the wastewater to this facility. They then process it and remove the pollutants and junk. It is all disinfected before it is discharged.
At the end of the tour, I was convinced that there was no one alive with more expertise than Mr. Carlini. He was interesting, informative and a most cordial host. Waste is not something that we normally think about and it is truly an involved process. It made me wonder how in the heck did we all manage 100 years ago? We all learned a lot.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Republicans including Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, said the repeal vote was just the first skirmish in what will be a protracted battle.
"Obamacare as we know is the crown jewel of socialism," Bachmann said. "This is not symbolic. This is why we were sent here, and we will not stop until we put a president into the White House who will repeal this."Read about it HERE.
Read more about it at The Examiner.
Mary Lindsey wrote a comment on the Post: 85 Mr. Howard, not 40. Eighty-five brave souls risked certain retaliation by showing up and asking for one thing only - that the Lake Worth City Mangler follow the rule of law and negotiate in good faith. That's all.
On the table last night was contracting with Willdan Homeland Solutions for a study on our policing for a cost of 45,900. This is something that should have been done over two years ago before we dissolved our own police department and gave up all our assets to PB County. At that time, it was an emotional decision and it was political.
One of our prominent merchants' son was accosted in the downtown area. Through their actions and influencing their friends on the dais (Clemens, Lowe and Vespo, commissioners who took campaign contributions from these very Unions), the very expensive dye was cast. No study. No concern about cost. Our police chief got a $280,000 severance. We gave it all away instead of replacing the management.
As Susan Stanton, City Manager, said in August 2009, "We are paying an extremely high price to get a premium service." She did well last year by reducing the cost by $1,221,206 for Sheriff's Services. This resulted with 9 less public safety officers in Lake Worth.
Last night residents gave the Sheriff credit for reduced gang activity and said that not having the Sheriff would produce more gangs, more crime, etc. No it will not. The Sheriff reacts to crimes after they have been committed, not before. Sheriff patrols all of Palm Beach County. Lake Worth is not an exception. In fact just by being in the County and paying County taxes, we can call PBSO. We pay for that service on our ad valorem.
Instead of re-organizing our existing police department several years ago and putting more men on the street, the City voted to give away control of our police department that had been in existence for over 3/4's of a century.
The possible options that will come forth from this Study are
- proceeding with our current and expensive option, staying with PBSO with no changes
- fully re-constituting our public safety departments
- partial re-constitution
- renegotiating the contracts with PB County
- creating new partnerships with other public safety agencies.
The vote was 3/1 with Scott Maxwell dissenting on a study that will be completed in four months. This is something that really should have been done 2.5 years ago.
Muni Code is totally useless now that the City of Lake Worth made a decision to end its participation...all for a measly $7,600.
Staff says, "As part of the budget cuts, the cost to codify our ordinances into the Code books and provide on-line, were eliminated.
As of Oct. 1, the Code book will remain unchanged. Afterwards, any new ordinance approved will be in the large area which can be researched by description. Just select the item by number and the ordinance will be displayed in its entirety. Staff will not be amending the code book. The cost savings represented $7,600, not $20,000" a figure that I picked up from something stated from the dais.
$7,600 is a drop in the bucket and another example of a lousy cost cutting-- another way for the City to be less transparent with the public.
Take a look at what I'm talking about.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
From time to time Bills have been introduced in Congress seeking to declare children born of foreign nationals that declare that they are not subject to the "jurisdiction" of the United States, and therefore not entitled to citizenship via the 14th Amendment, unless at least one parent were a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
On January 5, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011. H.R. 140 would end the process of granting automatic birthright citizenship to the babies born in the United States to illegal aliens. This Bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
"The original intent of the 14th Amendment was clearly not to facilitate illegal aliens defying U.S. law at taxpayer expense. Current estimates indicate there may be over 300,000 anchor babies born each year in the U.S., thus causing illegal alien mothers to add more to the U.S. population each year than immigration from all sources in an average year before 1965."
Send Congressman King an e-mail and let him know that you agree--the law needs to change as birthright citizenship incentivises illegal immigration by making anchor babies eligible to sponsor their illegal alien mothers and other relatives once they turn 21.
The birth of a baby doesn't right the wrong of its parent.
The Intent of the 14th Amendment as brought forth in 1866 by Sen. Jacob Howard:
"Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."
"The Orlando to Tampa project will not only bring 5,000 construction jobs to Florida at a time when we desperately need them but will also make an international impression as the home of the first high-speed rail of its kind in this country," said Associated Industries of Florida president and chief executive Barney Bishop III.
No surprise that Associated came out with that statement. They put a lot of money into defeating Amendment 4. To those people, "everything" was a jobs killer and building anything was their objective. Let's build a high-speed rail to Disney World, they said...why not, the Feds are paying for most all of it from the Stimulus. This train estimated at $3 billion will now cost 5 to 7 billion for a few customers so that construction workers can have jobs for a few years and developers can make millions.
Associated Industries, rail advocates and the Chamber "have grown increasingly anxious in recent months as Scott has made good on a campaign promise to seek a feasibility study of the project before moving forward. At stake is $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money that would pay for most of the construction."A feasibility study is ALWAYS appropriate when you are spending bucko bucks. Lake Worth will be voting on that very thing tonight for a Police Consultant Study.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Following the City's Holiday Lunch, the Mayor and Commission received the following message from executive Director Jack Seddon representing two of our local Unions--(PMSA/PEU) Employee's, and Professional Manager & Supervisor's:
"To all you Scrooges -
Merry Christmas to one and all - if you don't feel guilty for your lack of integrity you all ought to at the very least "chip in" and pay your employees bills. At the very least give them a damn turkey or ham - or a chicken to deliver daily eggs. Remember Tiny Tim. (not that you would).
What a worthless bunch you collectively are."
The ONLY turkey here is Mr. Seddon.
"Duvalier, who was handed the presidency at 19 by his father, Francois "Papa Doc'' Duvalier, ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986. In a U.S.-brokered deal, he fled the country for France amid massive unrest after anti-government demonstrators clashed with security forces and his private militia, the dreaded Tonton Macoutes."
The Tonton Macoutes worked through informants in every niche of village and city sectors. According to Wikipedia, the Tonton Macoutes were relentless in their arrest, torture and subjugation of Duvalier's political enemies. An effective tool of the Tonton Macoutes was Haiti's wholesale belief in voodoo and the ability of the Tonton Macoutes to destroy and capture their souls. "Baby Doc" used them as his personal army during his administration.
Read more: The Miami Herald.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Those rhetorical bombshells detonate locally with increasing frequency – and much greater volume.
“It’s gotten extraordinarily nasty at every level and from every source and every point of view,” said former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Palm Beach Gardens. “How un-fun it is to be in politics today because of the personal attack and the things you go through. No longer do we come together in times of peril; we start dividing and conquering in a brutal way. Politics has gone from a blood sport to a nuclear war.”
Isn't that what Foley did during our last election when he was making a big bru ha ha over the "missing" 500 ballots?
After the City of Lake Worth jackhammer's the shuffleboard courts because it can't justify the cost to replace the destroyed courts for all the old people and those who enjoy the sport, this will be the next sign they erect on the new landscaping... being a "diverse" city and all. But then again, perhaps they won't, as someone will surely call them racists or give them the finger for not understanding their culture.
Do you remember when Mayor Mark Drautz tried to educate these "undocumented residents" by having a flyer printed and distributed in the high immigrant sections of our city? He was ridiculed and he was tarred and feathered by one political faction here.
Good intentions or not, you can NOT educate these folks. If you could, you would not see cities in South America and in Mexico in total ruination. It is their culture and it has nothing to do with being poor.
Why would City Manager Susan Stanton say such a thing? How dare the city staff do this. Is there some sort of quid pro quo going on--of course, behind the scenes, out of the sunshine?
Replacing our courts with xeriscaping (because it will NOT be grass as the City has something against grass), will only encourage the same activity that has been going on there for the past two years while the City looked on and allowed the tenant to destroy our property. Why didn't we kick them out sooner?
But this is not about the illegals, or is it?
Resurface the courts which is about $4,000 per court and let the shuffleboard enthusiasts continue to do what they've always done in Lake Worth for 80 years, play the game. This will be a Recreational Building, won't it? And I almost forgot, send the bill to The Mentoring Center. Or better yet, send it to those Commissioners allowing this to happen.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
City Manager Susan Stanton sees a recreation center as an opportunity to create a space that can both accommodate and integrate the town's diverse residents. Am I allowed to swear on this blog?
Plans will be limited by money and space constraints, but.....Read more about how our history is being erased right before our eyes.
Illegal immigration should not be about politics.
"House Republicans will try to fill the immigration reform vacuum left by Democrats with legislation designed to send illegal immigrants packing and deter others from trying to come to the U.S."
Read more about it HERE.
Today's the day for our Tree Festival from 9am until 4pm at the Cultural Plaza organized by our Tree Board. Martin Cybluski, tree horticulturist, will be there to answer your questions.
Come on down and buy trees, bromelaids, orchids and more.
Joining the ranks of the homeless in Lake Worth with the City declaring that there is NO money for anything, much less art, the Lake Worth Art Leaque at our City Annex building has moved out.
Lake Worth Art League is Homeless
And I thought the goal was to be an artist's haven, attract artists and art.
Instead of keeping and spending money in THIS country, something that would build up OUR economy, President Obama has now devised a way to send more of it offshore. Travel to and fro will be easier as well. Obama said that his Cuban policy does not have to have Congressional approval.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, the new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, assailed the revision, saying they "will not help foster a pro-democracy environment in Cuba. "These changes will not aid in ushering in respect for human rights,'' Ros-Lehtinen said. "And they certainly will not help the Cuban people free themselves from the tyranny that engulfs them.
These changes undermine U.S. foreign policy and security objectives and will bring economic benefits to the Cuban regime."
Read about it HERE.
Friday, January 14, 2011
If you're an Illegal, don't step foot in the State of Kentucky.
Senate Bill 6 would make it a state crime for an illegal immigrant to set foot in Kentucky, and it would authorize police to approach people and ask about their immigration status. The Senate voted 24-14 last week to pass the bill without knowing its cost.
Finally, a member of Congress with the balls to tell the truth regarding Haiti--
Haiti has been one of the most corrupt and poorest countries on the Planet. According to Wikipedia, "Political corruption is a common problem in Haiti. The country has consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt nations according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, a measure of perceived political corruption. In 2006, Haiti was ranked as the most corrupt nation out of the 163 that were surveyed for the Index. The International Red Cross reported that Haiti was 155th out of 159 countries in a similar survey of corrupt countries."
“To ensure that U.S. foreign assistance to Haiti remains transparent and effective, I also plan on introducing legislation to that end this Congress, calling for increased and sustained oversight over U.S. funding to Haiti,” said Lehtinen.
On Tuesday night the CM said that this coming year will be worse than the previous year because of falling property values. This has been affirmed by others. There will be an estimated shortfall of $3.5 mil to the City. But how much money do we really have? Without an Internal Auditor, we will never know.
Raising the electric rates, is the latest rumor/suggestion coming out of City Hall to help get us out of the hole. Yes, I said RAISING the rate.
No wonder Ms. Stanton said that we do not want to sell our Utility. It IS a cash cow. If even serious consideration is given to raising our rates or if a rate increase is implemented, it won't be employees on the chopping block this time. It will be 38,000 residents storming the Chamber calling for the City Manager's head.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Lake Worth High School is in desperate need of track and field sports equipment. The school doesn't have enough funding to buy a new one. The high jump pit is dangerous and not usable. They are trying to collect funds for this before January 25, as they need to order one and have it arrive before the first home track meet February 24.
Your help, even in very small amounts, would greatly be appreciated. Small amounts gathered together can do it. Above is a picture of the equipment. One of the high jumpers was 3rd in the county last year as a freshman, and now will be at a huge disadvantage without the equipment to practice on.
When it comes to Lake Worth, the City Manager is holding all information as if it were glued to her chest...nothing is transparent and the communication is like hitting your head against a brick wall. The balance of power is gone. Last night's Finance Advisory Board met with the City Commission and City Manager to discuss its frustrations. The secrecy at City Hall was evident. It honestly will be done "my way or the highway" so thinks Susan Stanton.
There is not much you can do with an appointed Board but give them the run around--no announcement of Board meetings in the Post, no audio of the meetings for the public, 95% total lack of data requests fulfilled, no access to staff, no nothing but the chance to meet with recommendations falling on deaf ears.
So, thinking that you have a chance to be heard and your message understood and that this is open government, is nothing but an illusion. The balance of power is gone. A majority of the communications to your commissioner is passed on to the city manager to "make the call" before it is answered and to bring that commissioner back into her fold. The City Manager says, "I like transparency, but..."
The C.M.'s weekly meetings with the City Commission after 21 months has caused commissioners to fall into her line. Cara Jennings gave her argument on many occasions to no avail. Commissioner Scott Maxwell has not taken up her offer for weekly meetings but meets occasionally with her after hours. Stanton said that she was going to bring him around too.
I talked about Jim Jones the other day. This, to me, is along those lines. The Commission is all drinking the Kool-Aid. After last night's joint meeting, the first in 9 months, the Commission did make an attempt to smooth down the ruffled feathers. There will be another meeting in one month's time. The Finance Advisory Board will bring its ideas as to what it wants to pursue; the Commission will do the same. Future meetings will be determined.
Everyone on the Finance Advisory Board needs to put on his/her dancing shoes because this will be "business as usual, waltzing around the room." No transparency and little communication from City Hall.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The entire system on illegal immigration is corrupt.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent was expected to appear in federal court today for allegedly harboring illegal immigrants, including his father, at his San Ysidro home.
Read more about this guy HERE. I sure hope that they don't give him a little pat on the wrist.
If any of you have been to Commission meetings over the last few months, you have probably noticed this gentleman from time to time sitting in the back row. He has been spotted at City Hall for quite some time. The question is, what is he doing hanging around?
1. I sincerely hope that he is going to "right the wrong" on our landfill that Sun Recycling screwed up. Sun has been successful in law suits. But he messed with Lake Worth this time. If you recall, Sun dumped over 6,000 truckloads of construction material on our landfill, some of which is 3.6 or 3.8 inches thick, hauling in material from south Florida construction sites. Our reclamation of the land was again, dead.
Two videos from the Osborne Center Meeting of December 7, 2007:
Sunset Video part 1 dated 2007 - Lake Worth Media
Sunset Video part 2 dated 2007 - Lake Worth Media
County garbage deal is questioned
2. I featured our new recycling truck last week in its new colors. Coincidentally, it is painted in the exact SAME color blue as Sun Recycling's. Is Mr. Medico here to try and get any of our garbage business back?
Do you think that it will be all a last minute surprise why he has been hanging around City Hall and we find out that a deal was made out of the sunshine?