Waxing Crescent--36% of full
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Well if this won't get Bill Coakley (former mayoral candidate in Lake Worth) to rise again among the living, nothing will. He's been fighting helicopter noise ever since he moved to his house on Lake Osborne Drive and no one sees him anymore. Now it is the price of water that will get him hopping again.
He is the President of Lake Osborne Estates Neighborhood Association. They buy their water from Aqua Utilities who buys the water from Lake Worth. Aqua is asking for another rate hike of $4.1 million which will be a 30 to 55% increase.
Bill's main complaint he says, is that "The problem for us IS the rate structure. We are a unique pass-through water consumer. AUF (Aqua Utilities Florida) is not adding any value to the LWU (Lake Worth Utilities) water we receive …yet we are paying nearly double what a Lake Worth resident pays for the same water."
Read about Aqua Utilities trying to screw its customers again and about to hose down Coakley. Coakley says, "This is just more Wall Street thievery, corporate greed being served over public interest. It is obvious that these people are thieves and taking advantage of this situation that has been given to them by the State. It is total abuse of the public by sticking it to them... philosophically, ethically and morally wrong."
Yeah, I know. I gave Dustin Zacks, former candidate for Mayor, a "hard" time. It was no where near as hard as he gave to Mayor Waterman, a woman who is raising a family and making a sincere effort to rise above the economic hardships that she and millions of Americans have endured over the past several years.
But Mr. Zacks was right when he talked about volunteer city boards and the politics behind some decisions. Zacks also suggested that the city do background checks on those individuals applying and in so many words he said not to appoint jail birds. I agree with all of that. It is just common sense.
Wellington will now have a new Ordinance that will make it easier for boards to kick out their own members if they miss 2 meetings in a row or 4 out of 6 meetings for any reason. They will also be doing background checks. One city councilwoman complained about the cost of a criminal background check but background checks don't have to be in-depth or costly. If there is a felony conviction within 10 years of appointment, that person will not have a chance on a city board. They are not doing a credit check, the very thing that was used against Waterman. At least Wellington understands someone's finances or lack thereof should not be held against them.
I would like to see The City of Lake Worth take stronger action and not be allowed to appoint anyone who is 1) an anarchist or 2) convicted of any crime. I think we should even be tougher than Wellington and not limit it to just felonies. There are many despicable acts that are anti-government and anti-social that should be considered when a government appoints anyone to represent the city.
The City of Lake Worth was able to reduce electric rates in October 2011 through a comprehensive cost of service study which evaluated the costs per rate class and usage patterns of customers.
One component of the rate structure includes a minimum charge for each rate class based on the base cost to provide service to that rate class. For residential customers this cost is $34.50, for Commercial non-demand customers, the cost is $50.00, and for Commercial demand customers, the cost is $140.00. These minimum charges recover the cost of the infrastructure, metering, and billing required to provide electric service.
So, not everybody's bill went "UP" by $34.50. .... just those who use less then 194KWh.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Unable to be at tonight's event for charity, Mayor Triolo just gave a sizeable donation to the Lake Worth Woman's Club.
This musical celebrates the upcoming Centennials of the City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth Women's Club. This event benefits the charities which the Lake Worth Women's Club supports.
Featured are familiar old-time songs and dances including ones from the roaring twenties, the Art Deco thirties and jitterbugging forties. Everyone is welcome to tap their feet and sing-a-long.
A fashion show will take place in the lobby during intermission with clothes and jewelry from local shops.
Buy your ticket at the door. 8pm, Lake Worth Playhouse.
From the Budget:
FY 2012 Residential Electric Rates
All resident customers, irrespective of consumption, will pay a minimum monthly cost of service charge of $34.50.
Back in August I wrote a blog about increases that were in the Budget...Lake Worth Tax Payers Taking a Hit.
Originally during the budget meetings there was some discussion about the $34.50 cost of service charge. There was much confusion on the part of the rate payer because we were not told the facts. Even the Commission did not understand that each and every person who had a utility account would be paying $34.50 regardless of whether he used electricity or not. If you read it literally from the Budget, that is what it says regardless as to how you want to interpret it.
Last night, after pulling teeth for a short time, we finally got the City Manager who was the guest speaker at Bryant Park Neighborhood Association to admit, after first denying and saying "no" that we would not be paying $34.50 regardless of consumption, that "yes, all 16,000 plus utility customers that use Lake Worth utilities are now paying $34.50 a month regardless if they use $500 worth of electricity or zero KwH." After the meeting, a staff member even agreed that there should be a line item on the bill indicating this charge so that it would be transparent to the consumer.
Now this morning I got an e-mail from the city manager saying "No, your bill did not go up by $35.00. Not sure what more I can say." You can see why all of us are confused and our heads just keep on spinning.
On Thursday night, the Finance Advisory Board, non-experts in the Utility, will be discussing the City's possible conversion costs, its process and plans. Even though the FAB is there to support the numbers and the city manager's direction, some questions to consider and items that can be put off 10 or 20 years according to a source:
- the need for the 138 kV tie line $4 million
- the 11th Avenue Sub $1.75 million
- the 4th Avenue Sub $1.75 million
- the 18th Avenue Sub $1.75 million
- the 6th Avenue South Sub $600K
- the 138 kV Tie Line Repair $700K
- the Scada Installation $515K
59% of married men cheat. So why is anyone surprised or does not believe that Herman Cain screwed around with impunity with multiple women for years? According to reports, the more successful and the more money one makes, the more likely that one will cheat. "Disclosures filed during his campaign in 2011 categorized Cain's wealth as of that time as being between $2.9 to $6.6 million, with Cain's income for both 2010 and 2011 combined being between $1.1 to $2.1 million." Source: Wikipedia
Cain was literally having a ball!
I got my Lake Worth Herald yesterday--always a pleasure. That was sarcasm in case you didn't notice. Mark Easton's editorial was brutal--probably the most brutal I have ever read in The Lake Worth Herald-- but he's entitled to his opinion. A few years ago I was the subject of a fictional article by Patrick Parrish in order to sell newspapers. It was pathetic.
Easton, President and Publisher of The Lake Worth Herald and now the Editor and general do-it-all, slammed the local blogs. Not only did he slam them; he threw them against the wall in a ruthless attempt to discredit them. All newspapers should be worried about blogs. More people read them than ever before and subscriptions to printed news is dropping like huge rocks.
Blogs are, more times than not, at the pulse of what's happening and they're not going away. Even most mainstream newspapers have Blog sections. They may come and go and mine might be gone tomorrow but there will always be another that will pop up and take its place by some interested writer. Those involved in writing blogs in this City are well informed and knowledgeable on the facts; it is only our opinions and politics that differ from time to time.
To set the record straight, no, Mr. Easton, it is not the blogs that are the problem in reporting about the workshop that was changed by request of Commissioner Scott Maxwell to a special meeting and then back to a workshop last week. It was not this blog that reported anything inaccurate. There were no "venomous slanderings." Nor were there any "nonfactual babble" as you put it. The only babble is what I read in your editorial.
We are just looking at all of this, Mr. Easton, through different colored glasses. Openness and transparency was not evident in changing a meeting at the last minute and luckily this Commission saw that too. And Mr. Easton, prove to me that there was not a Sunshine Law violation by the city manager.
Dr. McVoy has an advanced degree--a Doctorate. He does not need anyone else to think for him. So, he needn't apologize to anyone. Also, Mr. Eston, you invented some sort of conspiracy theory as to why Dr. McVoy knew that Suzanne Mulvehille was not polled to change this workshop to a voting meeting. You made an invented and false assumption. Also, you attacked Rachel Waterman who has every right to have an opinion just as you do. Your attempt to trivialize the former mayor in this manner is beneath contempt. She lost by 220 votes if you care to recall.
Blogs get it right more often than not. You are accusing blogs of doing something that you yourself just did in an editorial. Hypocritical politics--good for your goose but not the gander? And my view of the event and political opinion just differs from yours, Mr. Easton. That's all it is here. Bloggers write for the sheer love of it and to get their opinions out there. Opinion and POLITICS and of course, I don't wear those rose colored glasses or depend on advertising to keep on blogging.
Monday, November 28, 2011
William has asked that you be sent notification that the tri-body workshop meeting scheduled for November 30, 2011 will be need to be re-scheduled to a later date. It is anticipated that the new meeting date will be set for the latter part of January.
Please accept our sincere apology for the inconvenience, but also be reminded that all City meetings are subject to change.
An update will be sent as soon as additional information is available.
We appreciate your continued patience.
Sandi DuBose, Executive Secretary
Planning, Zoning, & Historic Preservation
Back in August, I provided a link to TripAdvisor reviews on Johnny Longboats. This is a reminder.
Reviews you can trust
Johnny Longboats reviews from TripAdvisor
- Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Late Night, Dessert
- Good for: Bar scene
It was exactly 20 days ago that we elected a new mayor and a new Commissioner for District 3. They won on their promises. They won because the voters wanted anyone elected who would not be a rubber stamp for the city manager. We wanted to end the complaining and do something about it. They won because there was resident uproar for grabbing the cash in a fire assessment bill that was to pay outrageous and run-away fire pension costs or so we were told. Actually it was being dumped into the general fund. It was implemented in order to tax all of us for anything in the future that the city could get away with when it needed funds. They won on the idea of less spending and stopping the waste.
Mayor Pam Triolo said that she would work to eliminate the fire assessment and all planned assessments by reducing the budget through "My comprehensive plan where I have already identified over $2 million dollars in unnecessary spending." Commissioner Amoroso said, "I will fight to cut taxes and unnecessary fees."
In today's Palm Beach Post it states that Mayor Triolo remains "hopeful" that the assessment can be eliminated. Amoroso says he needs more time to figure it all out. That does not sound like "fighting" to me.
Reward departments for coming under budget. Don't move the funds around just to spend them somewhere else. Do not continue to waive bids. Stop the spending. Stop the waste and slow the growth of government. We can do without these new positions in their entirety other than the Internal Auditor.
The number of NEW positions added to the budget.
Economic Development Manager
Community Marketing Coordinator
Events Program Coordinator
Internal Auditor (this can be an independent contractor position)
We can do without some capital improvements until the economy improves. Ask the unions to cooperate--well you can at least ask. If they don't comply, outsource the department until such time we can afford these employees. Do what it takes to live within the means of those paying the tab.
Commissioners, do not fall into the same trap that the former commission did with Commissioner Mulvehill to this day saying, "It's becoming clear that it is not possible to eliminate the fire assessment without jeopardizing the future of the city." This is all political rhetoric. The only thing that is clear is that some on the dais didn't learn a thing from the November 8th election. Did Triolo and Amoroso?
UPDATE: Shuffleboard Charette canceled til further notice
Soon there will be no more shuffleboard courts--just another part of our history wiped out. This all started with a past commission that allowed our building to be trashed and taken over by illegals. Then it was determined by the city manager that it would be too expensive to refurbish or replace the courts that had been there for decades and had been used for a urinal, cigarette butts and other abuses by people who came for that free lunch on government money.
One city commissioner recently got defeated and the mess at the Shuffleboard Courts Building was just one of the reasons. Now the city says that the building will be used for the recreation department...that the courts are coming out. Ooops, but I thought shuffleboard was a recreation. Read my blog from October 10, 2011 that may change the minds of elected officials on getting rid of our courts. I sent it to them last month but who knows if they ever read anything. It would be nice to hear back from at least one commissioner on anything..."Lynn, I agree or disagree with you and here are the reasons." They never let me know; they won't commit; no commission ever does. It is one of the first things they learn in Being a New Commissioner 101..."Don't return calls and never, never, put anything in writing."
The city manager says, The City of Lake Worth's Leisure Services Department will be hosting a community meeting to discuss potential recreational programs and amenities for the newly re-modeled Lake Worth Community Center formerly known as the "Shuffleboard Courts Building." The first thing you can do is to stop re-naming our buildings!
The City has scheduled a Charette, to provide an open forum for recreational opportunities and programming, tomorrow at 6pm (Tuesday November 29th), at 1121 Lucerne Avenue, (Shuffleboard Court Building) where interested residents can come and make suggestions on their vision for the center and hear the voices of the community. Please come and take part in this important community meeting and let us have your thoughts.
Unfortunately this conflicts with the benefit Centennial Fashion Show at the Lake Worth Playhouse by the Lake Worth Women's Club that I will be attending. Perhaps there will be someone else there speaking for the courts, the seniors and our history.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
The following video is of the original auditions in Chicago up to the opening night in 2008.
Lake Worth, Florida has always been a family town, a town with small town charm, filled with unique shops and super friendly people. You can bring Fido as long as he is on a leash. Parking is free. Everyone who visited yesterday to stroll the Avenues in order to buy or just window shop on a beautiful day was reminded of our family friendly city that is full of delights. Some of the comments:
"I prefer this to the mall. The malls have the same stores and merchandise."
"I believe in the local business culture here; I like the feel of the town."
"We just moved from London two months ago and we love Lake Worth."
Read more about it at The Palm Beach Post.
We, along with these folks who visit our city, also want to keep our Lake Worth beach park a family destination with a soon to be built brand new casino where we can have a bite to eat, an ice cream cone and buy our suntan oil.
with homeowner and friends
Last month, Robert Waples and his not-for-profit, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, along with many volunteers did what they always do--helping a needy neighbor in a community. On this day they ventured out of Lake Worth to patch up and paint and did what it took to repair a house in West Palm Beach (owner seated in wheel chair).
Not only at times does Rep. Allen West don snorkel and fins cleaning up ocean reefs in his District 22, on this day he wore his handyman clothes working for someone less fortunate. This was not done for a photo op; the press did not know about it. West appeared, rolled up his sleeves and got to work painting and repairing and lending a hand.
So this Thanksgiving we want to give a special thank you to all the community volunteers for caring so much and constantly giving back. These are special people who walk the walk never expecting a word of thanks.
NASA's super-sized Mars rover Curiosity is en route to the Red Planet after a successful liftoff from Cape Canaveral yesterday. Amateur astronomers are monitoring the mission's progress:
Duncan Waldron of Brisbane, Australia, photographed Curiosity's spacecraft and its booster rocket shortly after a separation burn over the Indian Ocean while Scott Ferguson of Titusville, Florida, caught the rover leaving the Earth-Moon system at a distance of 161,877 km. Curiosity is due to reach Mars in August 2012.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Socialists don't like it but Detroit Democratic Mayor Dave Bing threatened unions Wednesday with a state takeover of city finances if they do not agree to massive concessions to help close the city’s budget deficit. Bing is demanding city workers accept 10 percent pay cut, increased health care costs and changes to work rules.
He is also calling for a “voluntary” reduction in benefits by the city’s 22,000 retirees and the layoff of 1,000 of the city’s 11,000 public employees...Under his plan to downsize the city, Mayor Bing has threatened to close down neighborhoods deemed “unviable,” cutting off services like fire protection and trash pickup to drive the remaining residents out.
Read the rest of the article from the World's Socialist web site.
Looking for Something Unique to Give this Holiday Season?
What better gift can you give then the chance to experience unique, live theatre events on an historic stage?
Finish your holiday shopping today with ease.
In "my day" it was known as Nude Beach. Nudists, a voyeur or two and free spirited people would park cars along N. Ocean Boulevard and walk through what seemed a jungle to get to the beach. No one bothered anyone. The Police stayed away. It sure has changed and is now family-friendly.
If you enjoy wildlife, there are 150 species of birds, 2,500 species of butterflies, you can also watch the Loggerheads, Leatherbacks and green turtles laying their eggs...no lights or noise from any bar at any Casino to worry about. It's how all our beaches used to look before the developers "found Florida." They, in conjunction with local and state politicians, allowed them to take over and ruin our natural shoreline by building high-rise condos all over the eastern seaboard of our State.
Now, even Lake Worth will be allowing a bar to occupy our new, six million dollar building at our beach-park and close early in the morning. And just like those developers who ruined our State's natural beauty, the Lake Worth Commission and city manager have forgotten the family-friendly thing too.
MacArthur Park is located in northern Palm Beach County along Jack Nicklaus Drive in North Palm Beach. Just drive north on North Ocean Boulevard from Singer Island and you will run into it. The park is open from 8am until sundown 365 days a year. The entrance fee is $5.00 per vehicle, maximum of 8 people. Park visitors can participate in a variety of recreational activities, including kayaking, fishing, bird-watching, snorkeling and sunbathing on a quiet beach.
So, for an interesting excursion over this holiday weekend, visit MacArthur Park, a taste of how Florida used to look--beautiful and serene.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thank you, Friend.
David (Heather's guy),
Cousin Sue (who lives in the same community as I),
Cousin Heather from PA & moi
We continue to discuss the beach redevelopment and the cost overrides that will definitely occur. One cost that the city can totally eliminate is that of a wind turbine. I have written the former Commission and the city manager to no satisfaction. Susan Stanton replied to me on October 7: God ………………… that is what they said about the car, electricity, flying machines ……. personal computers ……….etc. Gee, you are so ………………………………………… yesterday !
"This whole wind energy mess just further illustrates how the American people have been played by their elected officials who bought into the global warming hysteria that spawned the push for wind energy in the first place. And now that the renewable energy tax subsidies are gradually coming to an end in some places, the true financial and economic viability, or lack of wind energy, is on display for the world to see. Read the rest of the article here.
As one engineer in the know said, "This will be exactly how McVoy's folly at the beach will turn out for the folks of Lake Worth if the high winds during a hurricane don't destroy it first." This is just another thing that the Finance Advisory Board can look into.
I have never understood these people, you know, those who wait in line for a day for stores to open at Midnight so that they can get some crazy deal. All of it is nuts.
Here in Lake Worth many of the stores are discounting their merchandise today and tomorrow and encouraging us to come on down for lunch and shop the Avenues. They are promoting Black Friday and Small Business Saturday in Lake Worth where we have so many unique Mom & Pop stores from art, antiques, pet accessories, clothes and even a juice bar for a cool drink after all that avenue strolling. There will be street performers and musicians.
For a fun day, come on down to Lake Worth.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Now, you don't think that I can get away from Lake Worth politics that easily do you?
On Monday night Rebecca Hinson, art teacher at South Grade Elementary, hung some of the art work that her little children did for their Mothers for Thanksgiving Day. Moms always cook the best turkey and bake the best pumpkin pies, right? So, they all drew pictures of flowers for their Mom.
Rebecca has been hanging the art work at our City Hall for the past twelve years with nary a word from anyone. In fact, it was always encouraged. The City Manager took one look at it and told her to "take it down." It was eventually taken down by staff. Rebecca says, "It's the People's House, not just the City Manager's."
Now I certainly don't advocate anyone coming into City Hall and doing whatever they please without permission. Protocol has a way of changing with different administrations and city managers. I do recall some t-shirts that were hung there just a few weeks ago for some cause that I have now forgotten but they were hung in such a way not to mar the walls. We did just spend money on painting the hallways and re-decorating. Rebecca said, "A little masking tape won't hurt anything and it means so much to the kids."
Rebecca, who teaches art at South Grade to about 500 students, came back later Monday night while the meeting was still in progress, ladder in tow, and hung the collage again. On Tuesday morning it was gone--again. Our city manager taught a teacher a lesson. We all can learn new things every day.
Thank you kids for remembering your Mom...
we appreciate you and I am sure that your Mom does too.
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals." Steve Garvey said, "You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential."
"The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going and what he wants." Today it is spending it with family and friends and finishing the holiday with a good cup of coffee and a great piece of homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
No surprise here at least as far as the Finance Advisory Board and its consistency.
The Finance Advisory Board (FAB) met last week to further discuss implementation of the Lake Worth Casino Business plan including the issues raised by the Commission about hours of operation and tenant suitability. The FAB after extensive discussion with the City's leasing agent and review of the Business Plan and discussion of the impact on turtle nesting adopted a motion (4-0) supporting 7:00a.m. to 2:00a.m. business hours for the casino facilities.
Before we even began the Casino "rehabilitation" a survey was conducted on what the people wanted at our Casino and beach. When it came time to rank the architects who had submitted and answered our RFQ ( firms eventually narrowed down to six), REG won out by one vote.
I have always said that Cara Jennings was a "mixed bag" for me. On many occasions she showed her brilliance and the final choice of the architect for our casino was one of those times. When it comes to politics, most elected officials put the public opinion aside and conveniently forget. It is usually about what they personally want, not the public with their attitude being, "I know best." Politicians are constantly compromised. Thanks to Jennings remembering and considering what design look that the people have always said they wanted, her vote was what won the contract for REG, a West Palm Beach firm.
Politics played heavily behind the scenes to hire Living Designs Group that wanted to design an art deco style building. Maxwell, Varela and Golden fell into the trap...Varela for "green" features and political connections (he had already flipped his politics once elected)...Golden's choice was a complete surprise because she very well knew the will of the people. Mulvehill voted for Beilinson Gomez as her first choice and Cara Jennings voted for REG.
Living Designs was located in the Eco Centre, a Romano "green" building, across from City Hall. LDG insisted that they were a local architectural firm, however, the main headquarters is located in New Mexico.
Some of the Highlights and Results by largest percentage:
- 41.3 percent of those surveyed wanted something done with our casino
- 40.1 % said that the current mix of businesses was acceptable
- 79% supported the rehab of the casino building
- 51.9% said that the history of the building was very important
- 62.2% said that the original 1922 casino building design of Mediterranean Revival was what they wanted in a design approach
- 62.5% said that architectural style was very important
- 51.9% said that the historical approach combined with green features was very important
- 90.8% wanted small restaurants
- 87.6% wanted small boutique shops
- 73.5% wanted equal restaurants and shops
Hours of operation:
- 43.8% wanted breakfast, lunch and dinner; 36.5% said breakfast, lunch, dinner and Late night
- 36.8% said dawn until late evening (no one said a closing in the morning) NO ONE.
"The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad, and Mr. Schweizer (Hoover Institute fellow Peter Schweizer and author of Throw Them All Out) details the most lucrative methods:
accepting sweetheart gifts of IPO stock from companies seeking to influence legislation, practicing insider trading with nonpublic government information, earmarking projects that benefit personal real estate holdings, and even subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavorable to an industry. The list goes on and on, and it's sickening."
I keep saying that the "occupiers" need to take their message to Washington.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Read more at the Sun Sentinel.
There are times when I just would like to punch someone's lights out. Paul, you represent the City of Lake Worth and I think you have done a less than mediocre job. Can you imagine, a super salesman as he tells us he is, couldn't sell an ocean and Intracoastal waterview in our Lake Worth Casino...that the building was "not upscale" enough for this "client." It's a construction site for heaven's sake. Did you show him what the finished product will look like?
Sometimes it is embarrassing to ever have been affiliated with the real estate industry especially when a broker constantly pushes Johnny Longboats and tells us that the rest of the tenants will have a problem with us if Longboats pulls out. We need someone who believes in this project and remembers who his client really is--the guy who pays him the commission.
Crime is up and now they are stealing tires and wheels in the middle of the night. Criminals did this a few years ago at The Lake Worth Towers, posted on this blog. There they even have some sort of security.
This theft occurred in the Residents of Lake Osborne Heights neighborhood. The owner awakened to find his car on some sort of block with all his expensive wheels gone.
If anyone has any information, call ROLOH President, Robert Waples at 561) 247-3606.
Workshop, special meeting, and then back to a workshop. It all took about one half hour to accomplish but in the end, it was the smart thing to do. The room was packed with people wondering what was going on, some calling their attorneys at the last minute once word spread that it was a special meeting and the commission would vote.
In spite of Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell defending his inquiry to possibly change the workshop to a special meeting by saying, "I never requested that it be a special meeting," and also having the City Clerk announcing that proper notice was indeed given, they all finally voted on the meeting reverting back to a Workshop. Mulvehill was absent.
As notice was not in the Palm Beach Post as it usually is, proper notice in the mind of the City Clerk is a simple notice on the bulletin board at City Hall. In this case, it could not have been done before 3:13:04 pm on Friday afternoon when the secretary, Silvinia, forwarded the "non-request" of Maxwell's to Assistant City Manager, Kathleen Margoles. The City Manager, Susan Stanton, wanting to please the new Vice Mayor at all costs, then contacted the Mayor about Maxwell's suggestion that a special meeting might be in order and asked if she agreed. At that point the city manager became a conduit and Sunshine Law was violated. Also, the Mayor is the only one on the dais who can call a Special Meeting. As this meeting was already scheduled as a Workshop, it was only changing the voting possibility.
This Commission, however, wanting to be open and transparent as well as the fact that much of the material was not in their packets, some given to them after 5pm the day of the meeting, and the information not uploaded to the City's web site until after 6pm on Friday, voted to change the meeting back to a Workshop.
The question was asked by the Mayor, "Why didn't the former commission establish hours for the casino?" The former commission, strongly influenced by the City Manager, left it open ended with the idea that the market place was going to dictate the hours. As only one possibility for an anchor contacted the real estate broker, Paul Snitkin, with interest on the space, Longboats had a lucrative bar business and requested early morning closing. At that point, all enthusiasm stalled to look further for any other anchor. The City had an anchor that fell into its lap with no work involved. All the City Manager had to do now was to convince the Commission that in order for this whole project to be viable, the beach hours would have to be early in the morning to early in the morning. Nothing else mattered.
It was said last night by Commissioner Amoroso that he thought Midnight during the week and 1am on the other 4 days was acceptable. It was also mentioned that yes, this is a beach park but the Casino was a commercial building. With this new commission focusing on business as a priority, it won't matter if any resident objects to the beach "flavor" changing. Triolo wanted a compromise on the hours, have them like Palm Beach (that does NOT have a bar on the beach other than one in the Breakers perhaps that is totally enclosed) and agreed with Amoroso. The only entity mentioning hours at all has been Longboats. They offer and we either say yes or no.
There have been all sorts of excuses for allowing Longboats and its late night bar business to dominate our Casino. Even Stanton dissed the turtles. Don't look for any shop having an exclusive. The T-Shirt company will now be allowed to sell surf boards I guess. Scott Maxwell made the strongest points throughout the night speaking to the financials, the cost of the turtle lights, the fact that only one anchor was presented, and even saying that there was "no transparency in the process." He stated in no uncertain terms that the public was not going to pay one dime for this project and said that he has a "sneaky suspicion it will cost more than $11 million." He further stated that the City Manager had manipulated minds and it all has turned into a "head game."
The Commission has asked the public as well as the Broker to come forward within the next two weeks and present any interested anchor. Maxwell might have one in mind. They have asked the city manager to give them complete and true projections, some of which will be impossible until the end of January. We all must be assured that the building will pay for itself and with the turtle light fiasco, no one on staff can even give a best or worse case cost scenario on that or where the funds will be found.
Although the meeting lasted for about 3.5 hours with nothing much accomplished, what was portrayed to the public was a strong commission that will not tolerate proceeding without all the information they have requested. No more game playing will be tolerated.
Also, look for our beach to now become a destination for a late night bar even though it was only a few years ago that We Love Lake Worth PAC petitioned and received 2,613 signatures saying differently. One individual who lives in this city and who was close to this huge undertaking and petitioned, wants to forget what it was all about. Even though salesman Snitkin described Longboats as family-friendly, no little kids are out after 11pm hanging out in bars.
Closing hours will be decided on December 6 with the choice of 1) 3 days at 11pm and 4 days at Midnight or 2) 3 days at Midnight and 4 days at 1AM.
Evening on the Avenues
6 - 10pm
Holly Days & Tree Lighting
6 - 10p
Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll & Window Contest
5 - 9p
Bonfire on the Beach
6:30 - 10:30p
12 - 6p
Light-Up the Night Parade
6 - 8p
Evening on the Avenues
6 - 10p
Sounds of the Seasons
6 - 10p
Bonfire on the Beach
6:30 - 10:30p
Twas the Nightmare After Christmas
6 - 10p
Monday, November 21, 2011
Jeff Clemens is trying to get his Medical Marijuana Bill on the ballot in 2012.
Dr. Kirt Rusenko, Marine Conservationist for the Sea Turtle Protection program at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton says:
My main concern for sound pollution is frequencies below 200 Hz which is the range of the heavy, thumping base heard from many cars on the road. Turtles do not hear well out of the water for the higher frequencies but the lower frequencies are literally transmitted through the entire body of the animal and it does disturb them. My concern for sounds at the restaurants is the low frequency bass that seems to be a part of every bar/lounge everywhere. I do not know if there is a noise ordinance in Lake Worth, but one may make this point moot."
This is the same sound that has been driving residents crazy who live near certain bars in the downtown. It is the same complaint that prompted the City to enact a Noise Ordinance. Helen and Bud Greene are thinking of moving from this city because the noise ordinance has not been effective.
There are still some bar supporters who believe that residents don't have any rights when it comes to a decent night's sleep. I am sure that these will be the same people who want our beach opened to 1am with open air restaurant bar band noise polluting the entire coastline of Lake Worth and beyond and calling us "old farts" for being the least bit concerned about it..
From: "Scott Maxwell" smaxwell@LakeWorth.org
Date: November 18, 2011 6:44:15 AM EST
To: "Pamela Lopez" PLopez@LakeWorth.org
Subject:Monday night meeting
Is the Monday night 11/21/11 meeting a workshop or a special meeting? It has just occurred to me, that if not already the case, that it might better to assure that it is held as a special meeting in light of the cm's leaving town the very next day for a week.
A special meeting could give the commission the potential tool to take formal action on topics already scheduled that may in some cases be beneficial to the city in terms of negating the need to wait for an additional meeting to formally take action(s).
Sent from my iPad
From:"Silvina Donaldson" sdonaldson@LakeWorth.org
Date: November 18, 2011 3:13:04 PM EST
To: "Kathleen Margoles" kmargoles@LakeWorth.org
Cc: "Susan Stanton" sstanton@LakeWorth.org, "Pamela Lopez" PLopez@LakeWorth.org
Subject:FW: Monday night meeting
The Vice Mayor is looking for a Special Meeting (please see email below). I spoke with Pam Lopez, who is out of the office today, and Pam asked me to send an email to the City Manager to see if the Monday Commission meeting can be changed to a Special Meeting, as requested by the Vice Mayor, Scott Maxwell.
What's he really up to?
If we believe in folklore and creatures who subsist by feeding off the life essence of living things, Scott Maxwell, with new found powers, is going for blood tonight in a meeting changed by him at the last minute from a Workshop to a Special Meeting. This change was made on Friday afternoon and not posted to the web site until after 6pm. The rule, and one in which he has insisted be followed, is normally 11 days to have all back-up and everything on the agenda.
How many times have we all heard him berate the city manager for not following the rules. In this case, he changed the entire meeting from a non-voting discussion meeting for informational purposes to one in which he can take action. Worse than that, the entire commission was not polled and the public, the very people they said that they would listen to, is also swept under the rug of this new "transparency."
What was to be a meeting for extensive discussion purposes has now changed to something much more serious. Last week when the commission was discussing an upcoming meeting date, Commissioner McVoy said that Monday would not be good for him that he had a standing Monday night commitment. Maxwell would have been the only one on the dais who would have remembered that. He must have forgotten, however, when he insisted on Monday, the day before the city manager leaves for Thanksgiving. McVoy said that he would change his outside commitment to suit the majority who certainly could have cared less about any prior commitment that he had. Maxwell wanted it; Maxwell was going to get it. I understand that Suzanne Mulvehill has a class on Monday nights and we do not know if she will be in attendance.
The City Manager admits that the fire assessment must be addressed immediately. The bills are probably programmed to be sent out to every property owner and every pastor in town. And just like an alcoholic that can't get enough, Longboats is giving some small compromise on closing hours from 2am to 1am staying opened for 18 hours instead of 19. They run a bar business you know. It is great to know that we are committed to spending $6 million on this 1922 style Casino because Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny.
Each one of these key issues will require extensive dialog between the new Commission and staff to incorporate potentially new policy direction that has been discussed during the past
couple of weeks, says the City Manager.
- Repeal of the Fire Services Assessment
- The Casino and Beach Redevelopment Plan
- The operation of a City Trolley
- Composition of the Centennial Celebration Committee
- Continuation of the Energy Conservation Program
- Reevaluation of the Power Supply RFP Ranking Evaluation Criteria
- The potential for a one-day trash service
- Use of Billboard settlement money
- The Customer Utility Service RFP
- Lake Worth Lagoon Access Policy
Good luck on all that "extensive discussion" bit. Perhaps the purpose of this meeting being changed from a workshop to a voting meeting is not about the above topics at all. If you see blood tonight, you will know the truth.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Losing an election is never pleasant. Losing by 220 votes had to have been a blow. It is rare when we hear from a losing candidate. Rachel Waterman writes and thanks her supporters and gives us all advice to stay connected:
I can hardly thank everyone enough for all that we did together these past few months. For your support, time, money, confidence, ideas, energy, and inspiration, I will always be grateful. We stood for fairness and justice - our karma will reward us for sticking to the issues and promoting transparency and fairness. Many new friends were made – friendships that have improved the spirit of our community. I am proud of our campaign and all who helped us.
Now, some work has to be shouldered by each of us. Stay involved in our City’s business. Attend the City Commission meetings, or listen online. Go meet the city commissioners and let them know who you are, and call and email them. Educate them about the depth and breadth of opinions in our city. Write letters to the newspaper. Serve on a city board. Our elected officials represent us all - not just those who voted for them and it is up to us to inform them of our perspectives, needs, and how their decisions impact us.
I have had some phone difficulties but they are all fixed now - please make a note of my number - my personal cell phone is 561-574-7103. My personal e-mail account is email@example.com. Please contact me anytime.
And, again, thank you for all your support. I am honored to have served as your Mayor.
(WASHINGTON)---- Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today after voting in support of H.J .Res 2 - a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
"As our nation passes $15 trillion in debt this week, the House of Representatives has once again let down the American people and instead chosen the path of continued spending beyond its means.
The Balanced Budget Amendment would have put our nation on a path to fiscal and economic sustainability. However, by their vote today, the majority of House Democrats and their Party have made it obvious they prefer the road of increasing debt and enormous deficits. I further found it appalling that House Democrats clapped and cheered on the House Floor at the failure of the Balanced Budget Amendment.
I am proud to have supported a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution – an identical Amendment that was passed by a vote in the House of Representatives of 300-132 in 1995, only to fall one vote short in the United States Senate.
I commend the Members of the House - both Republicans as well as 25 Democrats - who voted for this amendment and put their country before politics. The Balanced Budget Amendment made perfect sense- ensuring the United States spends only the taxpayer dollars the U.S. Treasury collects each year. But unfortunately, too many Members of Congress put politics before America's future.
When I – along with 86 of my Freshmen colleagues – were elected a little more than a year ago, we pledged to change the conversation in our Nation's Capital. Despite today's failed resolution, I believe we have changed that conversation. It is more important than ever Americans continue to get involved in the political process and elect legislators who believe in doing what is right for this country. Americans are balancing their family budget, it is imperative leaders have the courage to do the same."
I called a friend of mine yesterday and asked him his feelings about closing times at our beach. His answer? "I don't care about that. The beach is two miles away and it doesn't affect me." As it was a friend, I didn't want to get into an argument that our beach is not ALL about him and the fact that it is not a NIMBY situation...that a larger focus should be considered.
It was a disappointing reaction. It is our beach and even he, as a taxpayer, contributes to the maintenance and care of our beach even if he does live 2 miles away and never visits the beach.
What if a townhouse was to be developed in a single family residential neighborhood across town? Should he not care about that when all along he has advocated for single family low rise residential neighborhoods to stay intact?
We all should care very much about our beach park. Further commercialization of our beach was never the vision. We had some drum beaters that wanted our beach closed at Midnight. I thought they had one hell of a nerve. Extending the closing hours was never addressed in our beach redevelopment because no one ever considered that a bar would want to locate there and demand early morning closing hours. It was out of our radar of reality. That is why turtle lighting was totally a non-priority.
A Commission should not be able to change our closing time to suit a tenant to support his bar business.
It costs us a lot of money to feel safer. We are always being told that we are safer and that crime is down. PBSO even reports that to the city. Technically they are correct...overall, crime is down by 0.8 percent here in Lake Worth based on the categories that were reported in the Post's article. What we are not told is that statistic involves basically two crime categories: robbery and aggravated assault, down 19% and 12.6% respectively, which skews the entire crime category percentages with the remaining crimes listed below. Read about it here.
Crimes in Lake Worth are up for--
Murder is at 2 cases, the same as last year.
The Post reported that Lake Worth has had 1,042 crime cases this year compared to 1,034 for 2010.
As the holidays approach, crimes will escalate. Crimes for week ending November 16, some of which are not included in the above report.
Proactive Policing 8
Pedestrian Stop 8
Vehicle Recovery 2
Quality of Life 22
Property Crime 5
Property Crime 5
Family Offense 14
Weapons Offense 2
We all feel safer though.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Florida's economy depends on the real estate market - and Florida's real estate market is in the dump. Florida leads the nation in the statistics of all bad categories - from foreclosures, to underwater property, to empty homes and condos. Latest statistics show that foreclosure procedures in Florida's courts take nearly three years. In the meanwhile homeowners and condo owners living in community associations have to pay the bills of their neighbors, causing more owners to default on their own bills.
Reforms are needed in order to stop more families from going bankrupt, defaulting on their bills. If our real estate market doesn't recover - about 50% of all homes and condos are located within community associations - we will never see Florida's economy coming back to normal.
Listen to Milena Macias's arguments and why the C.A.M.P. 2012 Bill is so important for Florida's economy.
Who wants to move into a community association where you are liable to pay your neighbors' bills - or where you need minimum $25,000 in spare change in order to enforce your rights according to Florida statutes?
LISTEN LIVE ON SUNDAY, November 20, AT NOON!
Listen on the Internet at: 850WFTL
Studio Call-In Number: 877-850-8585
Derrick was killed while riding his bicycle by a hit and run driver in 1991 at the corner of Sunset and 6th Avenue South. His family set up a foundation that raises money for scholarships.
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The Lake Worth Library was officially dedicated in 1941 and opened with 10,000 donated books. The building is approximately 60' x 70' and was designed to complement our City Hall (now the Lake Worth Annex) . Through the course of these years, there is no estimation of how many people have visited our library but one thing for sure, we all have a soft spot for our building and all its history.
On Monday, the City Manager, once again, will bring up the library as a way of finding funds in order to eliminate the special fire money grab assessment. The City staff has always threatened closing our library--if we want this then you can't have the library argument. Scott Maxwell at one time even implied that we go with the County, an idea to which the head honcho probably agrees...just one less expense to worry about.
One member of the Library Board says, "I believe the use of reserve funds in the manner proposed by the city manager at the request of Mayor Triolo constitutes a notice that the library will be closing.
It may take two years or three, but you cannot run a city department on reserve funds and expect new revenues to appear a few years down the road out of nowhere to fix things when those funds are gone.
Mayor Triolo, Commissioner Maxwell, and Commissioner Amoroso seem to be considering whether to close the library down in 3 years or less."
Please note, former Mayor Waterman suggested using the rest of our reserve funds to reduce the fire assessment, not get rid of it. That was a bad idea and she got defeated as a direct result of approving the Budget and raising taxes.
As the Vice Mayor, Scott Maxwell, indicated at the Swearing In Ceremony, he wants the heights of our buildings to be in-line with the Charter. This means that the entire look of our City could change. Next, we will start to look like Fort Lauderdale. This, again, was NEVER the vision for our city by the vast majority of people who responded to the Master Plan.
Keeping our small town charm is important to keeping our identity. It is just as important to me as retaining our history, our library, our historic buildings and not further commercializing our beach park.
From the Planning & Zoning Board...a member writes:
From a Public Information Request that will be in the Back-up for Monday's Agenda:
Dear Assistant City Manager Margoles:
This email is in response to your email that states the following:
Mr. Connick, We are proposing eliminating exclusive language from the leases. Please provide language for Section 1.8 of the lease to address the permitted use for Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Company. When I receive the preferred language I will revise the lease.
My understanding from the Special Meeting on October 19, 2011 was that the City Commission was considering the exclusives as concerns Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. and Fox Surf Shop.
If the City Commission’s position has changed, it has not been publicly stated as changing.
I have recently spoken to both you and City Manager Stanton about this matter and am disappointed in the City Manager’s high pressure attempt to force Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. to drop its request for its very narrow exclusive.
I have advised the City Manager that I am disappointed in the City Manager appearing to act in a policy making capacity because policy making is the exclusive Charter right of the City Commission.
I have advised you and the City Manager that Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. desires a very narrow and limited exclusive for only 4 name drops for apparel items: “Florida,” “Palm Beach,” “Lake Worth” and “Lake Worth Casino,” from which it derives 100% of its business. Fox Surf Shop has an expansive list of merchandise, so that it is unfair for it to also go head-to-head against the tee shirt shop.It does not make any economic sense for those retail stores at Lake Worth Casino to be in direct head-to-head competition with each other, and as a policy decision it detracts from the overall rental situation at the Casino. Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. should not be pressured for its reasonable position in requesting a very narrow exclusive, especially in light of Fox's intended extensive product line of merchandise.
Whether there are to be exclusives given to tenants is a policy decision that should be made by the City Commission rather than the City Manager. In fact, the proposed leases contain exclusives as concerns Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. and Fox Surf Shop, but Fox Surf Shop was not content with an extensive list of exclusives and wants either to have Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. eliminated as a tenant or to go into direct head-to-head competition with Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. concerning 4 name drop apparel items. There is a Workshop this Monday, November 21, 2011, and the issue should be discussed at that time before the City Commission.
From speaking with City Manager Stanton, it is clear that she is going to continue to speak negatively about Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co., and there is nothing I can do to prevent that. But, this kind of behavior is not helpful to the City.It is unfortunate that the City Manager behaves like she makes policy for the City. Lake Worth Beach Tee Shirt Co. would rather hear the City’s position from the City Commission, than from the City Manager or her Staff.
I request that a copy of this email be placed in the material provided to the Mayor and City Commissioners for the Workshop on Monday, November 21st.
A. Thomas Connick, Esquire
A. Thomas Connick, P.A.
411 E Hillsboro Boulevard
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Friday, November 18, 2011
The Monday City Commission meeting that was voted to be a Workshop has now been changed (from a request by Scott Maxwell) (and agreed to by the Mayor) to a Special Commission Meeting. That means that all the important discussion items can be voted upon. When speaking to one commissioner, he knew nothing about the change from a Workshop (where a vote can not be taken on any agenda item) to a Special meeting (where a vote is taken).
A few highlights:
Hours of Operation at the beach
The hours of operation of each proposed lease has been changed to reflect closing times not to exceed 12am Sunday through Thursday, and 1am on Friday and Saturday for restaurant spaces. Johnny Longboats, of course, dictated the closing times.
Staff also consulted with Dr. Kirt Rusenko, Marine Conservationist for the Sea Turtle Protection program at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton regarding hours of operation and noise levels. He stated normal music inside a facility has less of an impact, if any at all. DID YOU TELL HIM THAT THE WINDOWS WOULD BE OPENED? In response to a request for best practices he replied:
“With regards to hours of operation of the restaurants, closing at 11 PM would be less potentially disruptive than closing at 2 AM. Years ago our lighting ordinance was in effect from 11 PM to sunrise and buildings that had lights on until 11 had almost no hatchling disorientations indicating that nests generally hatch after 11 PM. Although the females do sometimes nest between 9 and 11 during season, the majority of nests found the next morning occur after 11 PM. If people were
restricted to the restaurants and near vicinity but not the beach, there should be far less potential impact on nesting females and emerging hatchlings (that are very easy to step on). A lot of people on the beach at night in any one area will scare nesting females away from the active area. I am guessing that Palm Beach Environmental Resources Management would play a role in the hours of operation of the pier and possibly the restaurants.
Anderson & Carr showed the 2nd floor space to another restaurant today.
They are willing to pay $5 more per s.f. or $30.00 per s.f. on a 10 year lease.
Fox Surf & Lake Worth Tee
Staff has discussed removing exclusivity clauses from the leases with Fox Surf and Beach Shop and Lake Worth Tee Shirt Shop. Fox Surf and Beach Shop is amenable to renegotiating a lease without an exclusivity clause. Mr. Connick, attorney for Barry Freedman, has indicated his client wishes the lease for the new space to contain an exclusivity clause.
The Broker has submitted a Letter of Intent from Kings LLC dba Lake Worth Fashion and Swimwear, a Women’s Fashion and Swimwear Company, for retail space at the Casino at thirty dollars a square foot. The company is interested in either retail space. That could possibly mean that one of our long term tenants could be caught in a squeeze and might not get the space.
The CCCL permit for the beach has been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection on November 16, 2011. See Construction Permit detail on the City Manager's weekly Report #125.
We just can't get enough when it comes to "sustainability" in Lake Worth nor can we get enough of managers and commissioners traveling to and fro. They all sure do work hard and this has become the norm even if some of it IS a free lunch and Commissioner Maxwell won't admit it. This time the excuse is "sustainability" and it is one of our Staff.
Our Assistant City Manager was a panelist at the Tallahassee Sustainability Conference. She traveled to Tallahassee a few weeks ago to present at the 2011 Sustainable You Conference sponsored by the Collins Center for Public Policy, the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. The City Manager announced that Ms. Margoles was a participant on a panel consisting of representatives of Lake Worth (unnamed), West Palm, Lantana and Boynton Beach that featured discussion on innovative initiatives to plan for and promote energy conservation. The title of the session is "A Rising Tide Floats All Boats: New Sustainable Partnerships."
This panel, headed by Erin Deady of Lewis, Longman & Walker, (the same law firm whose request for legal expenditures in the amount of $50,658.89 was pulled from Tuesday night's agenda by Commissioner Maxwell with NO explanation--yes, I do repeat myself) featured new innovative partnerships in planning, grants, funding and initiatives to plan for and promote energy conservation among several municipalities. This certainly sounds worthwhile as we have an energy conservation program in effect and that department swears people who have complied with the energy audit results are saving big bucks.
The conference was held at the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center, 555 West Pensacola Street Tallahassee, Florida 32306
Ms. Margoles also presented locally on Sustainability in the Public Sector on November 17 for the Palm Beach Green Building Council.
Anyone traveling on taxpayer money, particularly when it is out of State, to any conference anywhere should give a presentation in front of the public. I, for one, would be interested.
Now that we know that no one on staff or those that we hired considered lighting for turtles on our beach redevelopment, we still must address the grave situation if we are to have any business at our new casino that stays open after dark.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, improper outdoor lighting is probably one of the greatest issues affecting sea turtles. Sea turtles, one of the oldest animals on earth estimated to be here for 110 million years, must be protected. Light pollution and turtles just don't mix. Many species are on the verge of extinction and improper outdoor lighting is a major cause.
The FWC protects and manages...
- More than 575 species of wildlife
- More than 200 native species of freshwater fish
- More than 500 native species of saltwater fish
Because of the needs of our nearly 19 million residents and the millions of visitors we attract worldwide, we must balance the needs of our wildlife as well.
After our new Casino is built, we will be attracting more visitors than ever before spending money at our beach and in our City. Let's hope Rick Scott doesn't get his hands on this department.
The turtle lighting must be within the guidelines of the FWC. All exterior lighting for the entire project area including structural and landscape lighting must be reviewed and approved by FWC regardless of whether or not the area is seaward of the CCCL. Second level balcony lights, along with all of the lights, will be addressed in that the lights will not be allowed to illuminate areas seaward of the crest of the dune at the time of their night inspection.
The Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management has approved our turtle lighting application to install 610 exterior fixtures within the Sea Turtle Protection Zone and are specific as to what is authorized to be installed within the STPZ.
The City Manager is fighting the exclusivity in the potential contracts and is discouraging some of our long term tenants. She literally is wanting to give our beach control away to a tenant to dictate terms as our anchor by allowing them to have a bar business opened until the wee hours of the morning. She is making policy decisions on her own and convincing commissioners that her way is the right way and the project will fail unless we cement leases now and allow our beach to move in a direction that never was our vision.
When asking the city manager how the city was going to pay for this lighting, she said, "Once we finalize the design and know the cost and scope of lighting needs, the money will come from the capital budget, grant funding and revenue from the casino."