Thursday, February 28, 2013

Illegal banner on Gulfstream Hotel

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Special magistrate hearing might occur if banner not removed
a special magistrate hearing could be held next week to address the code violation if the banner is not removed before then. -

It would behoove the Friends of the Gulfstream to get it down, apologize for defacing an historic building and erecting an illegal sign. However, our Charter says that the city can take it down. Why don't our city officials read the Charter? Any sign or signs in violation shall be removed by the city after notice to the property owner, which the city did on February 25th at 11am.

Yes on Amendment 2


South Palmway
another neighborhood "in the know"--
getting closer, Loretta

Federal Highway Motel under contract

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An active source in the real estate business has informed me that the Holiday House Motel property located at 320 North Federal Highway consisitng of 11,810 s.f. just sold again. In February 2006, it sold to Holiday House for $2 million. In January 2008, the property was sold to JGB Properties for $1,250,000

The economy is starting to turn and properties are selling. Good news for our small, quaint low rise city.

Quote of the Day - Loretta Sharpe

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"I didn't know a banner was a sign."

~ Loretta Sharpe, member of the Historic Preservation board, local Realtor for 26 years and former candidate for mayor of Lake Worth.

City Notice of Illegal Sign

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Letter is dated 11am on February 25 and tells them to take it down within 48 hours. Still there. These people are above the law.

County Commissioners vote on Up-Zoning - Century Village

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The most important person on today's dais

Today is the day that the Palm Beach County Commission decides on the Century Village/Reflections Bay perpetuity case. If you recall, it had to come back to the commission as Shelley Vana was absent from the January 24th meeting where the vote ended in a 3/3 on the rezoning issue for a builder to build 689 homes, town houses, retail and a civic center. Vana is the swing vote here. I would not put too much confidence in Vana's vote on the side of 13,000 residents in Century village and her upholding a Contract they have as she has already shown her colors in the Hatcher Mango Groves up-zoning situation. Hatcher Mango Groves went before the PB County Commission on January 3rd to change the zoning to high commercial and she voted against the Hatchers and those property owners living around the property. She lost that one.

Century Village is asking for a delay in the vote to allow a judge to consider the deed restriction on the property on "perpetuity," that prevents anything being built on it other than a golf course.

Palm Beach Post
Letters to the Editor
January 31, 2013

Century Village residents get shafted by officials

Just three of seven Palm Beach County commissioners have taken it upon themselves to change the time-honored and universally accepted definition (see Webster’s Dictionary) of the word “perpetuity” from “forever, unending” to “whenever we feel like it.” What’s next? Our environmental areas protected “in perpetuity?”

I do not live in Century Village West Palm Beach, but if this betrayal can happen to them, it can happen to any of us. The residents of Century Village were promised a golf course. What they are now getting is a run-down piece of property intentionally ignored by the owner in hopes of getting approval to build a community that is opposed by the majority. If this property owner cannot even have this parcel mowed and cleaned up, why would anyone believe that he could build and maintain a whole community in a proper manner?

My fellow Palm Beach County residents, do not let our representatives redefine the conditions of a contract. If they get away with it now, what’s next?

ARLENE OLINSKY

Royal Palm Beach

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Banner gone

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Banner was removed as of 2 pm today, according to the city manager.  SURPRISE! A resident just looked (8:00pm) and it is still there.

On Signs

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In Lake Worth, the maximum allowable sign area for a political sign shall be six (6) square feet. The total aggregate sign area for all political signs on a parcel of private property shall be twenty (20) square feet. If more than one political sign is posted on a parcel of private property, each sign shall be affixed to its own stake, pole, or other supporting structure and shall be placed no closer than twenty-four (24) inches from any other political sign on the same property. As used herein, "parcel of private property" means real property consisting of one or more adjoining lots under common ownership and not owned by a governmental agency. 

The owner of the parcel of private property on which a political sign is located shall be deemed responsible for compliance with the provisions of this subsection. Any sign or signs in violation shall be removed by the city after notice to the property owner. The notice shall be posted on or near the noncomplying sign, shall advise as to the requirements for correction and shall allow forty-eight (48) hours to take corrective action. In addition, notice shall be given to the owner telephonically or in writing. 

If you have a property that is listed in the National Register, you can  arrange for a commemorative plaque. You can NOT erect a sign or banner on the property.

Love the Gulfstream and Love a low rise city

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Sign spotted in an up-scale neighborhood. No "white-trash" here as some opponents like to tell me over and over again...if you don't agree with heights going higher, you are every dirty name in their book.

Thoughts on the Height Referendum

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Heights Referendum in Lake Worth - Vote YES on 2

If WHEN it PASSES:
It will send a very strong signal to our elected officials that they need to maintain the small-town character and aesthetic of Lake Worth as we re-develop. At a recent workshop, the P & Z board voted to upzone the Tropical Ridge neighborhood (increase the allowable density of dwelling units). This area is dense enough with the 25' lots. Increasing density is going to exacerbate traffic issues and will definitely have a negative impact on neighborhoods that are single family residential. The Charter Amendment vote will be a powerful deterrent.

If it FAILS:
We will have a developer's free-for-all. There will be no turning back if this amendment fails  It will give the city the green light to develop to any height allowed in the charter (65' east of Dixie and 100' west of Dixie). They will use it as a mandate to increase densities and building heights.


Those in the TRNA neighborhood instigated the Respectful Planning PAC referendum as they were adamant about keeping their neighborhood single-family residential because they knew that this was in their best interests as well as the city's. These are hard-working folks who have a lot of pride in their single family neighborhoods and that is the only special interest they have. Those across the city in various neighborhoods wholeheartedly believed in keeping our downtown small and  helped in the petition process to bring this to ballot. After a right in your face commission obstacle of not allowing it to be voted upon this past November, it now will be on the ballot March 12

Just remember,  some members of the highly politically charged Planning & Zoning board as well as the Historical Resource Preservation Board, and this majority commission are not the final voices in this city--you are!

It's your city. It's your quality of life that is in jeopardy. It is not about a hotel. Do not let those with special interests trick you. Vote YES on March 12.

The Simple Solution -The Illegal Banner

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People who run things are so damn stupid at times. Perhaps that is why our country is in the shape it is in. No one can grasp the simple premise of not spending more than you make. Even as kids when we got an allowance, we knew when the money ran out, that was it...no more candy bars that week. The government--that's a whole different ball of wax. If they're not printing money, they are spending it like there is no tomorrow. If they continue the way they are, there won't be a tomorrow...at least for your kids and grandkids. And this leads me in to what I really want to talk about--ineffective government.

Two people who sit on major boards, boards that have the power to change the way this city looks,  are responsible for what the city manager calls a "college prank."  Unfortunately, it is much more than that. It is defacing a building that is in the National Register of Historic Places. It is breaking our sign laws. They had no permit. Not only did the people behind this PAC, Greg Rice and Loretta Sharpe, know better, they didn't give a fig. This was cute stuff and all fair in war and politics.

I just can't help but wonder why the city manager and its crack legal team are jumping through hoops relegating it all to a code violation-- what to do they ask themselves as they wring their hands. People. It is simple. Just tell these "prominent" citizens who knowingly and willfully broke the law to take the damn thing down. Did you ever think of anything that simple that requires little effort or endeavorment?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Does Shanon Materio have an advantage?

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Before Shanon Materio was appointed as West Palm Beach city commissioner she said that she wasn't interested in the process of running for election this March. Now that she has been in office, she is "having fun with it." Her opponent, Opponent Gregg Weiss, says he didn't seek the appointment because he didn't want unfair advantage at election time.

The Fence Test by Jeff Foxworthy

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To change the pace a little--If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
A Democrat demands that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
If a Democrat decides he needs health care, he demands that the rest of us pay for his

 If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
 A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended."

Well, I forwarded it.

Note: Tthis was submitted in an e-mail and unverified. However, the message stands.

Yes on Amendment 2

Q & A on Lake Worth Charter Amendment

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There are a few on the growth side of this issue who constantly complain that we won't debate them--we won't give them any information. I don't know where they have been but the points below might help.

Q- Why do we need the Height Limit Charter Amendment?
A - During the Master Planning process, 75% of participating residents wanted building heights limited   to four stories or less.  The commission recently changed the Land Development Regulations and the Comprehensive Plan to allow high-rise development along Lake& Lucerne and the adjacent neighborhoods.

Q - What does the Height Limit Charter Amendment propose?
A - The Charter Amendment proposes to limit heights to 45 ft. from the intra-coastal to F St and 35 ft.from F St to A St, between 1st Ave South to 2nd Ave North.

Q - Don’t the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) already limit heights to 45 ft.?
A - Height limits in the LDRs and the Comprehensive Plan can be changed by the city commission at any time, as just happened. The only meaningful protection is to limit heights in our City Charter. Only the voters can amend the Charter.

Q - Why does the Charter Amendment limit heights to 45 ft. (4 stories) and 35 ft. (3 stories)?
A - There are three reasons:
1.   Good planning requires compatibility with surrounding structures. The 45 ft. heights will allow for quality redevelopment to improve our local economy without encroaching on our neighborhoods or the historic downtown.
2.   The new train station will require 45 ft. in the Transit Oriented Development District (just west of city hall).
3.   Residents in neighborhoods west of Dixie are fighting to limit maximum building heights to 35 ft.  in their single family neighborhoods.

Q - Why does this charter amendment only protect the downtown corridor?
A - This is the area where high-rise development will happen first. It is important to our economy to preserve the low-rise, Old Florida character of our downtown as this is the main reason that visitors, new businesses and homeowners are attracted to our city.

Q - Won’t high-rise development generate needed tax revenue for the City?
A - No, the entire area covered by the Height Limit Charter Amendment is in the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) District so tax revenues from new development in this area will go to the CRA, while increased cost of services will be paid for by the City.

Q - How will the Height Limit Charter Amendment affect the Gulfstream Hotel?
A- We believe that reopening the Gulfstream is an important part of revitalizing our local economy.  The Gulfstream Hotel is protected under the Height Limit Charter Amendment; it can be restored or rebuilt to its current height. Any expansion to the Gulfstream can be built to four stories.



Political advertisement paid for and approved by Respectful Planning Pac,  126 N. E St., Lake worth, FL  33460

Monday, February 25, 2013

Illegal Banner on the Gulfstream Hotel

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Just a code violation says city manager Michael Bornstein when speaking about the illegal banner on the Gulfstream Hotel. Loretta Sharpe, member of the Historic Resource Preservation Board said she didn't know that!!

“I am offended,” Bornstein wrote in an email reply Saturday to resident Robert Waples. “This is a college-level stunt to gain attention. Feel free to play inside the political arena with this issue, but please keep the city entity out of it.”

You can't make this stuff up!

Lake Worth Street Painting

click here to see photos and a complete slideshow of the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival.

Garrett McNamara in New York Times article

The New York times writes, "The area has a reputation as a dangerous spot for its turbulent gales, crushing surf and frequent accidents, though on a recent day the sea was flat as a reflecting pool. Normally, though, the waves crash on shore with a special power, and for years residents were not even sure they were safe to surf."

Read more on Garrett McNamara and the impossible wave.


The only sign you need to read


With all the political shenanigans of late--
  • an illegal banner on the Gulfstream,
  • defacing an historic building that is in the National Register which is clearly illegal,
  • telling voters that we are trying to destroy this city by keeping it low rise,
  • telling voters that we want to destroy the Gulfstream Hotel,
  • and a yard sign with a false message by The "Friends"--

the above sign is the only one you need to read.

 VOTE YES ON MARCH 12

If it's good for the goose - Part II

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Banner on someone's garage

The owner of this property has to admit he never would have thought of it until the illegal banner was placed on our beloved historic Gulfstream Hotel building. He says if Code gives him a problem, he will tell them it will be removed as soon as the illegal banner at the Gulfstream is removed and not a day earlier.

Stand up for our small town

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Yesterday, while walking in our downtown with my Respectful Planning t-shirt, I was inspired by those who stopped or stared and read the message. They all were in agreement--keep our great downtown small. It was an easy "sell."

Where do you see yourself fitting into the fight to keep your downtown a low-rise city? Are you spreading the word to all your neighbors? Are you walking and talking about the issue that has become a blood bath in Lake Worth...a bloodbath of lies from developers and their friends who love The Lucerne and who all want a final hold on what we have--a friendly, small downtown with charm galore and the reason why people visit in the first place.

We have no place here for developer types whose only motivation is building up our prime real estate in the downtown for their greed...making money off our little and very vibrant downtown, their only motivation for their subterfuge--illegal banners not withstanding. They can make plenty of money from building 4 story buildings but some people never make enough of it; they want more of it and they want to do it off the backs of you and me and our great little city. We have the entire Dixie Highway corridor for them. They can go at it.

Are you going to tune out or stand up for what you believe?

Please get out and vote YES on Amendment 2 on March 12

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tonight's Sun

It's good for the goose

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then it's good for the gander!

When you think about it, this does make sense;
 the other does not.

Tropical Beauty


It looks like the Hibiscus schizopetalus from
 tropical Eastern Africa 
and it's growing on a gorgeous Hibiscus tree in my yard.

Thought I would get away from despicable Lake Worth politics for a moment. Have a great Sunday at the Street Painting Festival.

Bullies with Power

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This is not the perfect graphic for this blog
 but it does have a message that is true

Some anonymous wonder attempted to post that I don't know what the Fuck I am talking about when it comes to the illegally hung banner on the Gulfstream.  They continue to tell the public that  I am one stupid broad.  I know egregious acts when I see them. I know when people pull clever moves on a weekend so Code can't do a damn thing about it.  Even that statement is not true as the City Manager Michael Bornstein was notified and could have called a staff member down there to remove it. We will have to hear all about how it is a CODE ISSUE and not what it really is--blatant breaking of our laws by two members of the Friends of the Gulfstream PAC, people who have big connections with big people. Talk about conflict of interest.  Talk about special interests. Talk about friends in high places. Talk about bullies.

The PAC put the banner up, permission from the owner to install or remove is moot. The PAC needs to take it down. These people are on city boards and as such know the laws --they broke them intentionally.  They represent the City by being on a city board and the City needs to do something about it, now. The PAC should be fined to the max. They now have a yard sign that is one big lie. Their tag line is the most ridiculous lie of all. It is what they do best.


I want those people to be removed. If these boards don't remove them, then they are all complicit in corruption. And that wouldn't surprise anyone.

What's more, this incident changed my mind on March elections and I am now leaning to keep November elections and would like everyone to vote them out of office this November. We can't afford these people in office one minute longer. They all laugh in your face and are bullies with their power.  They stomp on you and walk all over you every chance they get for their special interests.

Winning an election by dishonesty is not winning anything and we are all losers for it. Bullies with power are dangerous to our sensibilities and democracy itself.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Time to Resign

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Friends of the Gulfstream PAC spent $437.00 for the banner they had erected across the Gulfstream Hotel. Loretta Sharpe and Greg Rice, (the PAC) know this is illegal.

These are people who sit on the Planning & Zoning and Historic Resource Preservation boards. They know better but they went ahead and broke our city rules with offensively bold impudence and insolence. Those who sit on city boards are held to a higher standard. Isn't it about time these people be accountable to the people they serve and not their own special interests? Time to step down.

Quote of the Day - On Referendums

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There are many good quotes about the referendum process but I like this one:

"In an era when politicians have rigged the system to guarantee 95 percent reelection rates and are increasingly disdainful of the will of the people, the need for initiative and referendum has never been greater. I&R strikes fear in the hearts of bureaucrats and politicians alike, because it implies self-government, hence reducing their importance."


~ Ed Crane, President of the Cato Institute

We have witnessed the extremes that our elected officials, staff and some members of city boards as well as some neighborhood association presidents will go to on the height referendum. They have attempted to skew democracy at every opportunity using lies and fear.

The Instigator - Arrogance and Avarice

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Once again, Wes Blackman has pulled a rude, political stunt. On his blog he has posted an invitation to debate him at the Lake Worth Playhouse and even has scheduled a date and time. What a guy! His sole motivation to using me as his punching bag is because he is losing the argument and fears the opposition. He does this with consistency.

I am a writer. I am not a public speaker nor am I a politician. I have no ego to fulfill and no desire to be in any limelight. What I do is write the truth and my opinion based on those truths. People have the choice of accepting it or not...their prerogative.  I am doing exactly what I enjoy doing in the most honest way I know.

The public stage is for actors or clowns or bad politicians. It is even for "wannabees" who have lost two elections and want to "get even" and direct our city (banner or no banner) on a SINISTER path the people reject.  Greed and dishonesty are not my bag and frankly I am becoming more angry with the hypocrisy of those decision makers who literally have the power to ruin people's lives and impose their will.  I will leave that all to Mr. Blackman and others.

May the voters in the next election finally become aware that our city can't afford arrogance and avarice.

Vote YES on Amendment 2



Friday, February 22, 2013

Tonight's Moon


91% of Full

Oscar Pistorius goes out to the shooting range when he wants to relax, calm down or let off steam. I shoot photos of the sunset or the moon. I think Oscar has a better idea.

Don't get Duped!

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Friends of the Gulfstream are trying hard to dupe you.  Don't get fooled by emotion and lies. They are out to pull every trick in the book and to make you believe that we will never have a hotel opening in our town if you vote to keep it a low rise city. The Gulfstream Hotel is grandfathered in and the Charter Amendment does not affect it and cannot change it. The height remains as is.

Repeat--The Height Charter Amendment will not affect the Gulfstream Hotel. Respectful Planning PAC believes that reopening the Gulfstream is an important part of revitalizing our local economy.  That will be up to the bank and whoever buys the property. The Gulfstream Hotel is protected under the Height Limit Charter Amendment; it can be restored or rebuilt to its current height. Any expansion to the Gulfstream can be built to four stories.

Did they get a sign permit? Did this pass code? Is the City in collusion? Did they have permission from the owner?

Materio challenges Weiss' claims

Shanon Materio challenges her opponent, Gregg Weiss, when wearing his citizens' patrol uniform, the mere sight of it helped stop a potential robbery. Read about it here

Marco gets last laugh

No discussion about the state of the union but much fuss by Democrats over Marco Rubio sipping water. They couldn't blast him on his message but instead blasted him on water. You can't beat the Republican entrepreneurial spirit--taking a trumped up negative and turning it all into a positive.

Rubio's PAC made $119,000 from all the useless Democratic commotion. Read more...


Marco Rubio and Netanyahu toasting with water bottles

You can't trust a Politician

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Be cautious if uttered from the mouth of a politician

So, when you hear politicians and politically appointed board members say "We just have to grow the downtown so developers can make money or we will die," call them to the carpet. Remind them that we have been a small town with a small downtown for 100 years and people like it that way.

Street Painting Festival begins tomorrow in Lake Worth

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Photo by buttons

Lake Worth's Street Painting Festival begins on Saturday, February 23 through Sunday the 24th.

The 19th Annual Street Painting Festival will draw visitors who watch as more than 400 artists use the pavement to transform downtown Lake Worth into a temporary outdoor gallery of original art and masterpiece reproductions, according to the Street Painting Festival web site.

Even though our Street Painting Festival is Number One to me, on Tuesday night the Mayor mentioned that we are the largest street painting festival in the world.  Ah oh, it looks like we are competing with a city in California that surpassed our numbers in 2005. Perhaps their artists have dropped off in the last 8 years. Read about it here.

On Heights and Political Shenanigans

Comment Up--Mayor answers question

I e-mailed the mayor to confirm her State of the City Address that has been announced on another blog to be held on March 11 from 6 to 8pm at the casino ballroom.

Is the date coincidental?  If the State of the City Address takes place on March 11th, not at all. This is very well planned out for a last minute political rally for growing our downtown vertically from a majority commission that just refuses to allow the referendum process to go unimpeded.  The Mayor's speech is happening the day before the election.

And a reminder of the mayor's famous quote of a year or so ago-- "I am not political." Actually it would be nice if elected officials represented all of the people and not their own special interests. They never do. They need to stay out of the referendum process which would be the ethical and democratic thing to do.

As far as the state of the city is concerned, we are working our way out of the financial meltdown that hit us particularly hard  because of the smaller properties on smaller lots and the many rentals that have been neglected by slum landlords.  Let's work on the slum, the blight and the crime. If you don't do that, NO ONE will want to move or bring a business here. We just had two people shot to death in the hood the other night. We need a major hotel...no doubt about it but a developer can  make money on a four story hotel. They are being built every day. But investment in our city is limited because no one has on blinders to the crime, the blight and the slums in our neighborhoods and the many growing pot holes all over town.

Back on December 1, 2012, the City hired a consultant, Steven Fett architect from Miami and an old school chum of William Waters to perform certain architectural design services in order to present its case of a Hotel Enterprise District. The term of his contract is for 3 months, another strategic play right before the election.  He was hired after the commission denied the referendum to be placed on the November ballot. The city paid $7,500 of your tax money for Mr. Fett's services. The mayor did not sign the contract and signing contracts is one of her duties per the Charter. It was signed by Glen Torcivia and Michael Bornstein, not one of their duties mentioned in the Charter.  Mr. Fett was recommended by William Waters for  "education" and to persuade the citizens to the majority commission's point of view.  He showed his vision for the blocks between Federal and Golfview Roads and there were no surprises--just bigger buildings and many with no parking.


With the Chair of the Historic Preservation Board saying "The wolf is not at the door," it did not seem that way to all those sitting in the chamber on Wednesday night. The appointed political boards and staff presented one side of the situation ( based on fear) and they should have refrained from political commentary in light of the referendum. If the wolf is not at the door, and it could take 50 years they tell us before changes are made, why are they trying and lying so hard?

Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux recently said, "We've (Florida) had the worst GDP recovery in 100, slower even than the Great Depression. We've got a lot of room to make up for what was really a depression in Florida." This is something that planners and developer types don't ever want to admit or tell you. Instead they like to tell us that it is silly people with silly reasons such as wanting to keep our downtown small and quaint that are holding up what they consider "progress."

Let's protect our downtown.  Vote YES on amendment 2 on March 12.

The most important blog of this campaign

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Architect's granddaughter of the 1922 Casino sends letter of congratulations

Congratulations sent to Dee McNamara--

Just wanted to congratulate you on your dress at Saturday night's opening of the Lake Worth Casino.
I remember 7 years ago, when I was visiting my parents (James Addison), you and I had a conversation about saving the Casino as my great grandfather had designed it. I'm so proud to see the completion of the project and know G. Sherman Childs would be proud as well.

My thanks to you and your husband for your steadfast determination to see that the project was as beautiful as the original building was! Wish I could have been there Saturday, but I plan to be down later this Spring.

Brenda Addison Watson

Editor's note:  G. Sherman Childs designed our original City Hall, the birthday Cake Castle as well as other properties. He came to Lake Worth from Minnesota in 1912. His daughter Jean was the first-born girl in the city and was the mother of our beloved, James Addison, who was here for the Centennial Ball.

Why it is imperative to vote YES on Amendment 2

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The reasons why we need to protect our city from buildings growing taller in our downtown and why we need a charter change--

No matter what city staff has to say about a hotel enterprise district and no matter how interesting all these little graphics and propaganda is that they and height advocates are spewing--these are facts that they don't want you to know:

  • HRPB can approve demolition of historic structures in order to assemble multiple properties for larger development—without a vote of the residents. HRPB has a documented history of doing this.
  • P&Z can approve variances for everything in the LDRs except land use and density-- without a vote of the residents. P&Z has a documented history of doing this.
  • P&ZB can approve a “planned development,” which allows “relaxing or waiving of height, setback, lot dimensions, lot area requirements, an increase in density and/or a decrease in minimum living area per dwelling unit”-- without a vote of the residents. I believe the Lucerne is a planned development as well as Hammon Park.
  • The Commission can change any or all of the language in the LDRs--without a vote of the residents.
  • The Commission can amend the comprehensive plan at any time--without a vote of the residents.  And there is little oversight in Tallahassee anymore.
I don't know if you feel the way I do about politicians but one way to ensure that they are accountable to the people is to be specific in our Charter. The facts of the matter are, if we want to restrict heights in our downtown, keep our downtown small as well as hold politicians' feet to the fire, we must vote

YES on Amendment 2

Terry Coxe is gone

A childhood friend has passed. Normally I don't post obituaries but Terry Coxe, graduate of Lake Worth High School class of 1960, was a memorable figure.  I remember, to this day, how he came up to me in 7th grade and said, "Gee Lynn, you just shaved your legs."  I was mortified. Terry stood out at school as a leader, a prankster and loved and participated in sports. He was loved by all and will be missed...he is gone but his memory will live on.

Terry "Coach" Coxe, 71, of Tallahassee, Florida, passed away Thursday, February 14, 2013 at his home following a lengthy illness.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, February 23 at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, 2015 Fleischmann Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Mother Teri Monica will be officiating. A reception will be held immediately afterwards to celebrate Terry's life. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Francis Wildlife Association.

Terry was born on February 4, 1942 in Traverse City, MI to Thomas and Jane Coxe. He graduated from Lake Worth High School in 1960. He obtained a bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University and a master's degree from the University of Florida. On March 14, 1973 he married Martha "Betty" Coxe of Melbourne, Florida.Terry was employed as a coach, an educator, and a child advocate for juvenile justice. He was an avid sports fan, especially the Florida Gators and Miami Dolphins football programs. He also enjoyed reading, golfing and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Terry is survived by Betty Coxe, his wife of 39 years; sons Casey Coxe (Summer) of Lewisville, TX, Matthew Coxe (Keri) of Orlando, FL, and daughters Kelly Cannon (Tim) of Gainesville, FL and Kristy Coxe of Bridgewater, MA. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Madison, Skylar, Haley, Terry, Charlie, Jacob, Caroline, Sean Thomas, Kaiden, and numerous friends that enriched his life.

Joint Propaganda Meeting last night

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At last night's joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning and Historic Resource Preservation board it was suggested by William Waters, Sustainability and Director of just about everything when it comes to our city and how it looks, that the entire city might or could end up as an Enterprise Zone with the exception of Vernon Heights because we're poor folks, poorer than dirt we've been told.

Now, think about that.  This would be an appointed board that you can't get rid of that would have the unelected power to make important decisions that could change the look of our city forever--all to attract tax free economic development anywhere in the city.  They could borrow money to achieve their end. The could raise money through bonds. Our commission would be rendered impotent and essentially this city would be lead by people we don't know and did not elect. At least we have the power every two years to change the dais.

It is more important than ever that everyone vote YES on Amendment 2 especially since this commission voted to have an Enterprise Zone Board that in some ways will be more important than they are.

I also want to thank all those board members who refrained from getting political last night. There were mainly only two, possibly four, members who couldn't stay away from politics (I don't need to mention them by name as everyone can take a good guess) and at least two of them, based on their performance last night, should resign from the boards for conflicts of interest and interfering in a referendum. One member opened up the "can of worms" which lead to some citizens talking about the heights and expressing their feelings about what they are proposing as a "Hotel Enterprise District."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

South F Street Shooting

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Read about the shootings.

Smart Growth Assistance for Lake Worth

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Lake Worth, FL among Recipients of Smart Growth Assistance Provided by EPA


Contact Information: William McBride, 404-562-8378 (direct), 404-562-8400 (main), mcbride.william@epa.gov

ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the City of Lake Worth, FL will receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

EPA consulted with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation to select this year’s 43 recipients from 121 applicants through a competitive process. EPA staff and national experts will conduct workshops that focus on the specific sustainability goal each community chose in their initial application to EPA. The agency offered nine tools this year, including using smart growth to build economic and fiscal health, exploring neighborhood planning for healthy aging&creating a Green Streets Strategy, and creating sustainable strategies for small cities and rural areas.

Lake Worth is receiving assistance with using Smart Growth to build Fiscal and Economic Health. Smart Growth strategies have inherent efficiencies and can minimize property values and associated revenues. This tool outlines strategies and approaches that can help cities integrate their land development policies, their municipal budgets, and their long-term economic development goals. These strategies could reduce service and infrastructure costs and increase revenues in an era when limited resources mean that growing inefficiently is no longer an option.

“Creating resilient communities is vital to protecting public health and the environment, “said Regional Administrator Gwen Keys Fleming. “EPA’s Building Blocks Program will give city leaders and other community partners Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities among EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. The partnership is helping communities across the country create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.

Nationally 43 communities - rural, urban, and suburban - will receive technical assistance to pursue sustainable growth that encourages local economic development while safeguarding people’s health and the environment. To date, 141 communities have received EPA’s assistance through the Building Blocks program. Together, EPA, HUD and DOT form the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates investments in housing, transportation, and environmental protection to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.

More information on the Building Blocks program: >http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html

The Age of Obama

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We are apparently working with the Mexican government to advertise that "food stamps" are just around the corner, or should I say on north of the border. This is immoral, insane and an insult to every legal immigrant who came to this land to work and enjoy the rule of law.

We now have people who expect something and an Obama administration desperately pandering for Mexican American votes by encouraging people to use those benefits. Put me down as a naturalized citizen who finds this appalling.  I can not believe that we've reached this point but we are living in the Age of Obama.

Read more on what a legal immigrant has to say about illegal aliens by Clicking here

The Enterprise Zone

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Hey, it's all about economic development. What the heck.  Why not?  Right?

On July 3, 2012, City Commission approved Resolution No. 27-2012, finding an economic need within the City to create an enterprise zone. It authorized staff to proceed with the application process for the creation of an Enterprise Zone. The City Commission adopted Resolution No. 27-2012 because it determined that an area exists in the city which chronically exhibits extreme and unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment, physical deterioration and economic disinvestment as defined and measured pursuant to section 290.0058, Florida Statutes. This area was never identified.

Last night the city commission voted unanimously to create an Enterprise zone and turn over more of its powers. The zone will be in a mysterious area of the city as the zone was not mentioned or even discussed, in order to stimulate economic development.  It is to incentivize and induce private investment in distressed areas in order to restore the economic productivity of such areas and to create economic opportunities.

It was mentioned that our city is the second poorest city in Palm Beach County and therefore it needs a bunch of help. The question I have is, in July they had an area in mind and last night that area was never discussed. Why? Therefore, it can't be the Mayor's dream of a hotel district. That is not a depressed area of our city. It could possibly be the Park of Commerce because as poor as we are, we can't afford paying even for the infrastructure that is needed in order to develop it.  I suppose this new Board could declare the entire commercial/industrial/mixed-use areas of our city enterprise zones and therefore include the block from Federal to Golfview even if it isn't depressed.  What member of the board would be a citizen at large from that area?  The mobile home park on Boutwell is destined to disappear if government has anything to do about it.

The primary disadvantage of a tax-free enterprise zone is that the businesses operating in the zone will not pay taxes or will only pay a reduced amount. This will cause a big reduction in potential revenue to the city.  Businesses that locate into a tax-free enterprise zone will also have an unfair advantage over other existing local businesses located outside of the zone.

The City will be paying for the  Board's overhead  consisting of 9 members including one citizen at large who lives in the enterprise zone. The city will pay for travel expenses. It will pay for staff.  The city commission will have little say on the decisions made by this board.  The Board will be able to borrow money and make loans. It will be able to execute contracts, something the mayor does by our Charter and by electing her, we want her to do. It will be able to procure insurance and bonds against losses and it will have the powers to assist businesses within the zone. One thing that they will do is to investigate laws that are barriers to their objectives in order to circumvent them to achieve their ends.

Where is the zone? Are there any other enterprise zones  in PB county that we would be competing with? Why would a commission, once again, give up its powers to an appointed Board? What cost will the city have to bear for formulating such a board? If a loan goes unpaid, is the city responsible to pay it back or is it the federal or state government? While enterprise zones were originally intended to provide tax incentives to businesses for locating in impoverished neighborhoods, virtually all state programs have changed their zone designation rules to permit the designation of non-distressed areas as enterprise zones.  Has Florida? Will you be living in an Enterprise Zone?

We have already seen what the CRA has accomplished...little, although they brag about spending $23 million. When the Lucerne condo was built, the CRA gave the developer $1.2 million over a 10 year period from taxes generated by the building. A former commission made a big mistake taking $5 million in bond money that the property owners  have been paying for all these years and gave up control of our beach to Palm Beach County for 30 years just to redesign parking lots and roads that are worse than before.  Are we now going to give up control of our commercial/industrial areas or whatever areas this board declares enterprise zones? Sometimes "free" money and incentives are not free.

Although it was not explained very well last night, Vice Mayor Maxwell wants to have a workshop to inform us after the fact. I am sure that he will explain why giving up tax revenue is well justified to attract economic development and well justified for this Board to be able to take out loans to pay for it all and why we don't have a pot right now to...fix those holes.

Democratic Club Meeting


Lake Worth Democratic Club
Meeting information
 
Date and time:
 Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm
Place: CJ's Island Grill,
 Lake Ave, LW
Speaker: Susan Bucher

Human Rights Council Endorses Gregg Weiss over Shanon Materio

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The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance has endorsed Gregg Weiss in his race for the West Palm Beach City Commission District 5 seat. The Voters Alliance is dedicated to electing candidates who will work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.  

"Since 1988, our organization has endorsed candidates who support our community's initiatives," said Rand Hoch, Chair of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.  "Having interviewed both candidates, we have determined Gregg Weiss is better informed about what our elected officials must do to address the unique concerns of the West Palm Beach gay and lesbian community."
   
From 2000 to 2012, the District 5 seat was held by Bill Moss, who died suddenly last year shortly after his re-election. 

"Bill Moss was an eloquent and outspoken advocate for the rights of the city's minorities and women," said Hoch.  "The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance firmly believes Gregg Weiss is best qualified to pick up where Bill left off."

"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance." said Weiss. "Commissioner Moss was a champion of LGBT issues and I hope to continue where he left off as City Commissioner. Throughout my years of public service I have supported LGBT causes and issues. It is important that every person who works for the City or comes before the City is treated fairly and equally and I am committed to that process."

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance, which is known throughout the county for its successful get-out-the vote drives, has also endorsed Allan Hendricks for Boynton Beach City Commission (Seat 3), J. P. Sasser for Pahokee Mayor and David Levy for Palm Beach Garden City Council (District 1).  Additional municipal candidates seeking the Voters Alliance endorsement will be interviewed in within the next two weeks.

"Over the past 25 years, we have trained our supporters to become 'super-voters' -- citizens who vote in every federal, state and local election," said Hoch.  "Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance supporters make up a large voting bloc which often makes a significant difference in low-turnout elections."

According to Hoch, the March 12 municipal election is expected to be a low turnout-election.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dave Kerner's Enterprise Bill in the house Moves forward

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Press Release

Representative Dave Kerner (D-Lake Worth) has moved HB 101 (Lake Worth Enterprise Zone) out of the Economic Development & Tourism Subcommittee this week. On a vote of 12-1, the committee approved the bill and has sent it on the Finance and Tax Subcommittee.

"I'm honored that the Economic Development subcommittee overwhelmingly passed this legislation, and many thanks to Chairman Trujillo for hearing this bill. It's important to my district, it's important to creating jobs, and it's important to me."

Enterprise Zones give certain tax and fee incentives to designated areas of the state, and must be approved by the legislature by general law. Kerner said, "Mayor Pam Triolo and the commission passed a resolution designating the need for an enterprise zone, and I wouldn't have taken on this task if I didn't believe in their efforts. I know the city, with its current leadership, is prepared to take advantage of these incentives. That's why it is an honor for me to carry this legislation.  Enterprise zones are unique in that they don't just give tax payer money to a city for development. To reap the incentives, businesses must move there, jobs must be created, people must become employed. Only then, do the incentives kick in."

This bill has particular importance to Rep. Kerner. "I was born and raised here. I live here. My father served this city for 25 years as a police officer. This is what representing Floridians is all about; passing meaningful legislation that will help our communities realize our full potential by creating jobs, employing our residents, and helping our neighborhoods thrive."

The bill must still be heard in Finance and Tax Subcommittee before moving to the floor for a full House vote. The Senate Bill is being carried by Sen. Jeff Clemens, who also represents Lake Worth.

Representative Kerner represents District 87, which consists of Lake Worth, West Palm, Greenacres, Palm Springs, Lake Clarke Shores, Glenridge, and Cloud Lake. He was elected in 2012 to the Florida House of Representatives. Senator Clemens, who represents Lake Worth in the Florida Senate, will be sponsoring this legislation in the Senate.

                                           ###
Sincerely,

Representative Dave Kerner
Florida House of Representatives
87th District
226 Cypress Lane
Suite 250
Palm Springs, FL  33461
(561) 641-3406

Bryant Park's NA meeting and the City's Propaganda

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Click to enlarge

Rendering of the Hotel Enterprise District
 desired by the majority commission

And just think, this rendering looks familiar--similar to those drawings accredited to Mulvehill that have been attacked and picked apart by the opposition like a pit bull in heat. This rendering mitigates any argument the opposition ever had on drawings that supposedly former Commissioner Mulvehill presented to support the referendum of keeping a low-rise city.

After last night's neighborhood association meeting for Bryant Park, I can see why I got a few nasty comments today all from the same anonymous person who is obsessed over the amount of property taxes I pay saying "who cares what you think, no one listens anyway." When you are losing an argument, some resort to being a bully but then, they have probably been a bully all of their lives. It just was not a good night for the Friends of the Gulfstream folks who were sitting in the back of the room with poker faces. And even though the city has had six months to "educate" the people, and going so far as to delay the election to March and spending $21,000 of taxpayer money to do so, their politics and false reasons are just not sinking in.

It certainly was obvious that the majority of those who attended the neighborhood association meeting hated the idea of a hotel district, the mayor's idea supported by the majority commission.  Those in attendance made it clear that they don’t want that kind of height or massing in our city. They used the phrases “small town,” etc. They complained about parking, traffic, turning Lake Avenue into a "canyon" of tall buildings. They objected to a hotel district. They want small shops, walkable streets and the small town feel that we have had for 100 years. They weren't even that interested in the Gulfstream Hotel especially allowing additions to go to 65 feet.  Some were even appalled.

Enterprise Zone Development Agency

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Under New Business on tonight's agenda is the creation of an Enterprise Zone which is a specific geographic area targeted for economic revitalizing.  There is nothing in the backup of what area the commission might want to target but that will be a mission of this Board. All the Commission knows is what its been told--that Enterprise Zones encourage economic growth and investment in distressed areas by offering tax advantages and incentives to businesses locating within the zone boundaries. Currently there are 59 state Enterprise Zones.  Included within that total are:
  • 3 Federal Enterprise Communities
  • 2 Federal Empowerment Zones
  • 30 Rural Enterprise Zones
  • 29 Urban Enterprise Zones
How this came about to be voted upon tonight is the mystery. Was it the commission's desire to have a hotel enterprise zone? Was it presented to the city by the CRA that has now spent all of its $23 million NSP2 grant and needs something more to do? Did State Senator Jeff Clemens, former chair of the CRA, initiate the idea? He is sponsoring bill 270 in the Senate--

GENERAL BILL by Clemens-- Enterprise Zones/City of Lake Worth;

Authorizing the City of Lake Worth to apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for designation of an enterprise zone; providing an application deadline and requirements for the area of the enterprise zone; requiring the department to establish the effective date of the enterprise zone, etc. Senate Committee References: Commerce and Tourism (CM) , Community Affairs (CA) , Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax (AFT) , Appropriations (AP) Last Action: 01/17/2013 Referred to Commerce and Tourism; Community Affairs; Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax; Appropriations Effective Date: January 1, 2014

The city is suggesting a 9 member appointed board for a term of 4 years of staggered terms. It will have a budget from the Commission and a staff consisting of a CEO. It could  even have its own legal staff.

It has been determined by HUD that along with the problem of drawing boundary lines within the city there are two other problems we face when cutting taxes for enterprise zones:  dilution of the effect by general tax-cutting and the fact that tax policies seem to have little effect on business decisions to relocate.

This sounds like just one more volunteer board that can make big decisions and members can't get removed without a big hassle and absolutely no guarantee of any success when it comes to attracting business development to Lake Worth.

McCain on Meet the Press


3 year old in Lake Worth found wandering at 1:30am

Read about... 3 year old boy on North A Street.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The downward spiral of social and economic dysfunction


Lake Worth Olympic Pool

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Rumor still has it that City staff wants to drain the water and fill in the pool in order to build an office for beach staff that will include the new casino marketing manager. Even the recreation manager, as of just a month ago, told someone that a pool doesn't belong on the beach.

Where do they learn this stuff? And better than that, why do they believe it? Perhaps they don't, but it is an expressed opinion and a negative to convince all of us stupid people out here that we don't want our pool at the beach, a place it has always been.

There's something about a small town

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Small Town charm
Lake Worth, Florida


A petition in Maryland just got turned down by the elections board--not written clearly enough. This one, however, was written by developers for developers!

Their referendum drive involved a number of properties, including Green Spring Station in Lutherville, where the owners hoped a voter challenge could overturn a zoning decision that limited their ability to expand and renovate. Some community groups criticized the petition drive, saying that promoters misled voters to protect their own economic interests and that paid signature gatherers lied to residents when asking them to sign petitions at shopping centers and other public places.
That's life in the big city.

Come on down to Lake Worth where opponents of Respectful Planning Pac tried every means available to thwart the petition on the downtown heights issue (they even told people the volunteers lied and used funky drawings depicting tall buildings!) but RPPac's petition was well written and gave voters a lot of information.


Now opponents are being disrespectful and telling people that the merchants say they have lost business because we don't have a hotel that is opened.  Of course it had nothing to do with the recession/depression that we were in, right? If merchants aren't making money now it is because they don't have a product that the consumer wants to buy.

As opponents are getting out propaganda via the city staff and city boards, if anyone needs facts on the ballot initiative or if you would like a yard sign, call someone in the PAC.

See ya on March 12.  Vote YES on 2. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shanon Materio's Accusation

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West Palm Beach Commissioner gets even with hotel proposer after he endorses her opponent. Is it just a "he said, she said?"

City commissioners are deciding between two development teams to build a downtown waterfront hotel, but the process could be muddled with Commissioner Shanon Materio’s statement that a contender had discussed the project with her.
Clint Glass is a senior vice president of Balfour-Beatty Construction, which is working with the Crocker Group, part of a team that wants to build a 12-story building on the old city hall site. He denies asking her about the project when he interviewed her Feb. 8 in his role as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches’ political action committee.
A five-person PAC panel interviewed Materio and her opponent, Gregg Weiss, to decide whom to endorse in the March 12 election for the seat she was appointed to in 2012. The PAC endorsed Weiss.

Read more... about Shanon.


McNamaras at the Centennial Ball

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Religion in America

One of the recent Gallup polls had to do with finding out the MOST and LEAST religious States in America.

See where your State lies.

Next, there should be a study conducted to see if there is any correlation between the Most and the Least Religious and who they voted for in the General election. I would wager to say that on average, Red States are more religious and they went with Mitt Romney. Next they could do a study on which states have more crime, Red or Blue states. And the saga can continue.

The Lone Survivor



Out of eight hatched, this is the lone survivor.
 It's tough out here.

Public Trust, Public Corruption

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City Staff, City Planning and Zoning boards and political neighborhood associations are doing everything they possibly can do to "educate" the citizens to their way of thinking--higher buildings in our downtown. It is all over a hotel. They say that no developer will build a hotel unless they can build high. We say, "Popycock" and we know otherwise.

On Wednesday, there is a joint meeting of the P&Z and the Historical Resource Preservation Board whose majority of members have publicly advocated for growing our buildings taller in our downtown. A couple of them, Loretta Sharpe and Greg Rice, even formed a PAC to oppose the citizens referendum. Is this an ethics violation?  Some believe so and some believe that they should immediately step down from their board advisory roles. Afterall, they are supposed to look out for the public welfare in an unbiased way. Others believe that what they are doing is just another form of public corruption.

As this ballot initiative was a citizens iniatiative, city boards as well as staff must proceed cautiously in what they do and what they say. As cityethics.org says, Public corruption is pervasive at all levels of government in Florida. This is according to a December 2010 report, "A Study of Public Corruption in Florida" by the 19th Statewide Grand Jury. According to the grand jury report, between 2000 and 2010 a total of 8,241 arrest charges were made and there were 1,126 convictions for public corruption. Florida led all states in public corruption convictions. Cadets at West Point and other military academies swear an oath not to lie, cheat or steal or tolerate others that do. Public officials should be held to this same standard. Our democracy cannot function properly unless there is public trust in elected officials.

Thomas Jefferson said that: "When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself a public property.


Meeting Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Meeting Time: 6:00PM
Meeting Location:Lake Worth City Hall Conference Room