Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunset 8-31-14

Bond Referendum Election Results


1st Column: number of registered voters
2nd Column: Ballots cast
3rd Column: % of turn-out
4th Column: For bond
5th Column: Against bond

Charlie Crist Telling the Truth


Published on May 30, 2014

Playing Games

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City Hall and the City Commission-- Are they still playing games?  The regularly scheduled meeting for September 2 will now be on September 9.  The September 16th meeting has been rescheduled to September 23. I would guess that meeting two weeks in a row is a heavy burden.

When will you certify the election results, commissioners?

The November Man

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Something about flames

I liked this movie even though it is getting poor reviews. People are overly critical in today's world. I like any message that tells the tale that the good guys win over evil. It was full of action and never a dull moment with 61 year old Pierce Brosnan in a great role. He still has what it takes.

It shows the world for what it is...sometimes even those for whom you think are your friends, aren't.

And for some really HOT stuff, Click here...

Rick Scott wants to cut taxes

Some of Rick Scott's proposals that did not pass in Tallahassee:

$200 million in sales-tax holidays
$120 fee reduction on the $225 charge for first-time vehicle registrations
$120 year reduction in taxes on cell phones and the 
6 percent sales tax on commercial leases

He again wants to reduce  auto registration fees and give a reduction in property taxes on homesteaded property if the value goes down or stays level. In all, it is a billion dollar tax cut for Floridians.  Read more... at Bradenton.com.


Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/08/30/5329898_gov-rick-scotts-most-ambitious.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Quote of the Day - Sheriff Joe Arpaio

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“The border is still not secure and probably never will be 100-percent secure. I’ve been working there 34 years on both sides, and anything can happen. Anybody can cross that border, whether they’re Central American, Middle Eastern or terrorist.”

~ Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Read more... at WND and their exclusive interview with Arpaio.

A James O'Keefe photo
from his film spoofing Osama bin Laden crossing our border

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Late afternoon at Lake Worth beach

No potholes over here. 
Beautiful day at Lake Worth beach
The restaurants were crowded and everything will be busy over this holiday weekend. 
All the foliage is growing and it is looking healthier after all the rain.
Commissioner Amoroso's beach clean-up was this morning and the
beach looked terrific.

Roaches and Pizza

Capri Pizza on North A Street was shut down because of roaches in the kitchen.

Read about it...

Brawl on North D Street

Read about it here.

Never a dull moment in our little city by the sea--ceramic pot, handgun, bat and a 5 year old as a human shield.

West Palm Beach to Settle with HUD

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Back in May 2012,  federal authorities arrived at the West Palm Beach Housing Authority and confiscated paperwork of those individuals who had participated in the Section 8 home ownership program. The Director of the Housing Authority. Laurel Robinson, wife of the Chair of Lake Worth YES PAC,  referred all inquiries to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and said that she did not know of any instances of fraud. People were eventually fired at the Authority. Read more on that story

According to the Housing Authority, the biggest public housing community in West Palm Beach is on the brink of a $44 million redevelopment where Dunbar Village stood. It has been reported that they will take in its first tenants for nine new townhouse units this month. Everyone remembers Dunbar Village that was on all the news channels for the brutal gang rape that took place there in 2007 involving a mother and her son.

Now HUD has come back to West Palm Beach and the city has agreed to settle with HUD in its latest demand. They will repay $3  million caused by poor management of low-income housing grants.

Read today's article from the Palm Beach Post.

Palm Beach Zoo free admission for kids

The Palm Beach Zoo says--

As a reward to all the hard working parents of South Florida, for the first time ever, this Labor Day weekend the Palm Beach Zoo is offering all kids under 13 free admission with a full-price adult admission. 

This special deal started Friday, August 29th and goes through Monday, September 1st, including regular daytime hours, Safari Nights on Friday night and Roar & Pour on Saturday night.  Remember, kids must be accompanied by an adult and please keep the number of children per adult at a manageable number for adequate supervision.  Palm Beach Zoo management reserves the right to determine adequate supervision.

Are you Worried?

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According to Rasmussen, sixty-five percent (65%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track.  A year ago, 29% said the country was heading in the right direction, while 64% said it was going down the wrong track. So, people are still very worried about the economy, the lack of leadership, the lack of jobs, our lack of border control and wars going on all over the place and not to forget the depletion of our treasury. Rightfully so.

People were also worried about new taxes to the City of Lake Worth to be used on a "field of dreams" as well as all the unknown factors with its plan to tax you for 34 years on basically 25 miles of streets out of 72  that need it the most and once repaired will only last half that time.

That's why half the voters voted AGAINST getting in big debt for so long. Dreams don't cut it; facts do.

Lake Worth Mayor wants to tackle FEMA

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After Frances destroyed the pier in 2004

Mayor Triolo wants to fight with FEMA. Were you even here then, mayor?  When you take money from anyone you need to be accountable for those funds and that includes the taxpayers. You just can't go off willy-nilly and spend taxpayer money because you want to, i.e., $50,000 for a bond campaign.

FEMA originally wanted $8 million returned and asked the city to give them verification that their submissions were accurate. We went from a demand  total of $8,152,776 in questionable, false or disallowed charges that FEMA had wanted returned to them and ended up with a request of $3.986 million that they still want.

The amount of time that has evolved from the three hurricanes to the present, has caused the city to lose some of the documentation and the mayor feels that should not be held against them. We are still talking about nearly $4 million big buckaroos! Click here for the scoop on what we owe FEMA.

Below is the real scoop, if you want to read the real scoop...not sure that some of you want to know the truth, or you can continue to listen to the present administrations' narrative that they are right and the government is flat wrong.  FEMA does not want to bankrupt a city; they just want their money returned. This is the same sort of concept when we lost the Sewer case and had to capitulate because of bad record keeping and we could not support our claim.

HURRICANES FRANCES and JEANNE

HURRICANE WILMA



Friday, August 29, 2014

Crashed and Burned - LW 2020

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Crashed and Burned

Will the city come up with another retroactive law
that doesn't apply in order to overturn a legal election
won by the people?
Or will they just try to moan and groan about the number of people who were "turned away" at the polls because of some "faulty" new equipment.  All of these "turn-aways" will now come out of the closet.
An Idiom

Mayor Triolo on Channel 12

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I was a Poll Watcher.  I tried to vote at 7am.  The machine did not take my Driver's License. I went home, came back one hour later, and all was working well. We all got through it.  The referendum FAILED at the ballot box. I understand that the City Clerk, Pam Lopez, is conveniently away and won't be back until Tuesday where she will certify the election. In the meantime, Mayor Triolo and the crack-jack legal team is looking to reverse this election just like it did in the election of 2013.

View the mayor's interview on channel 12 of last evening.

The Future of America

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(Reuters) - A group of people caught up in unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white officer killed a black teenager, sued local officials on Thursday, alleging civil rights violations through arrests and police assaults with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Read more... at Reuters.

Lake Worth's Financial Position

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From the C.A.F.R:


The C.A.F.R. for the period ending September 30, 2013 says that the financial health of the City is continuing to be under pressure.

The City’s property values increased for the first time since 2008, by 4.8% or $50,138,016. Similar increases are expected in the coming year which will help ameliorate the pressure on financial resources for maintenance of public infrastructure and staff compensation and benefits. The total net position of the City at September 30, 2013 was $219.9 million, reflecting a decrease of $3.7 million.

So, we continue to operate in the "red" and the city needs you to bail them out. They needed you to bail them out by voting in a $63.5 million bond. It wasn't all about roads and infrastructure, was it?  They need money just to keep afloat. 

Obama "switched sides" says former CIA operative

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CIA expert spills beans on Obama treachery This CIA expert is telling WND what a few members of Congress have confided in private, but declined to say on-the-record ...

Neither the rise of ISIS nor America's weak response is an accident.

Here is Obama's act of treachery -- committed in plain sight -- that explains it all ... Read the latest now on WND.com.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fishing for Bass

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Debbie just keeps "doin" it

Today big mouth Debbie Wasserman-Schultz delved into what she does best--name calling.

Stupid attacks are an ugly trend in American politics and it really has been perfected by Democrats. Read about it...

Her political pitbull tactics continue on as she has no grip on what's going on in this country or the world.

Debbie likes Obamacare and I guess securing our borders is not that important to her or our nearly $18 trillion dollar debt. She took it out on Senator Rubio for offering solutions. To be perfectly clear--Marco Rubio wants to win a Republican majority this November. Debbie is helping him do just that.

Greed is out of control

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It's going to take Rick Scott to fix this mess. Greedy investors are buying up condominium units cross the State and forcing condo owners out. With 80% control, they can force other residents to sell at low prices because of a 2007 loophole in Florida law.

This could be a huge political albatross for Scott if this is not addressed as Florida has hundreds of thousands who live in condominiums Click here

Message from ROLOH President

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ROLOH Meeting
September 9 at 7pm
Location: Education building at the Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church, 6th avenue South and Sunset Drive.

We are currently waiting for confirmation from Emergency Management to be our Speaker for the evening to go over all types of disasters that could be a possibility and what we should know and do as individuals and neighbors.

We hope that you will help pass the word on to other neighbors around you and encourage them to come see what our meetings are about. No Dues just Good News! Be a part of your neighborhood by meeting and greeting other neighbors who make the Residences of Lake Osborne the great place that it is!

Robert Waples, President

Is Jimmy Carter Nuts?

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Read about his latest crazy intent.

I guess he ranks right up there as the worst president of the United States with Barack Obama gaining on that distinction.

Cultural Jihad to Undermine the United States by its own hand. download it here.

Quotes of the Day - The General Obligation Bond was Not Meant to Be

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"I think they played a dangerous game of Russian Roulette with every business and property owner."
~ Katie McGiveron, Chair Citizens Against Unfair Taxation PAC


"Those people would have voted 'no' .  They're just against everything. I'm emotional on the issue because it would have been  a step forward for the people who need it the most. Some people voted selfishly."
~ Herman Robinson, Chair Lake Worth YES PAC


"This city has been more about politics than about progress.  My job just got harder because I don't have the money for the roads and infrastructure."
~ Mayor Pam Triolo

Commissioner Amoroso said that the city has some big problems and I agree. Amoroso was just asking for the basics to be done.  If just getting the "basics done" is going to cost $131 million, a figure that the city failed to reveal,  then we DO have a problem. When you can have 30 public meetings to push forth an agenda to re-do roads and infrastructure in our poverty ridden city that is crawling out of a major recession with high unemployment, then it was not meant to be.  Taking $50,000 of taxpayer money to push your message forward, collude with a PAC formed to help you along to ensure a vote FOR, the tax was not meant to be. When you can produce document after document supporting your greedy agenda, have meeting after meeting, and spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars as well as thousands of dollars on staff time to push this forward on the property owners for 34 years, it was not meant to be.

Those who believe that some group was behind the AGAINST vote just to be against something is sadly mistaken. The group was a handful of people (the majority of whom were senior citizens) with little money and resources that brought the message to the people by walking door to door and giving them the facts of the matter, something the city failed to do.

Personally I do not believe there was any lesson to be learned here by the city.  They will  continue to trample on the residents in order to get their way.

Foes blame Lake Worth for over-reaching with $63.5 million bond issue.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunset 8-27-14

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resembling a volcano

City officials at the Supervisor of Elections in Riviera Beach

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Scrutinizing the provisional ballots--
Lake Worth had 33 provisional ballots. Of those, 7 were from people who had come back and voted at the polls and 26 were from precincts in LW, most from N K St. 21 of the 26 were rejected. 5 were accepted. So the vote total could change by 5 at most either way. It is likely the margin will stay the same.

Laurence McNamara and David Brodie were in attendance representing the interests of CAUT.  David reported  that the city attorney, Glen Torcivia, asserted objections to the board’s rejection of the ballots. The ballots were in sealed envelopes so we could not determine how the voter cast his or her vote on the bond referendum. Regardless, even if all 5 voted “For” the bond, it would still be insufficient to overcome the 26 vote deficit or narrow the margin below .5% to authorize a recount.

It is expected that the vote will soon be certified.

photos by David Brodie

The Cash Grab

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OBSESSION
The domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
(oh, what can I say--go to the bully blog.)

MONEY-GRAB
An undignified or unprincipled acquisition of a large sum of money with little effort.
(The effort was the $50,000 money-grab to ensure the humongous money-grab. No one had to walk the streets in 100^ temperatures--they got to hire people.) 

STACKING THE DECK
Looking at only one side of the picture...to arrange something in a way that is not fair in order to achieve what you want.
(This is what the city has done by its "education" methods. This is what the NAPC did by not allowing a debate on the issue.--no debate is as bad as stacking the deck.)

DEMOCRACY
The common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power. An organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights. and the right to vote.
(The city took $50,000 of the people's money to essentially promote its political agenda.  A PAC was formed that raised nearly $20,000. The opposition ((AGAINST)) did not have an equal PLAYING FIELD to promote the other side of the argument. The city cancelled regular public meetings 6 weeks  before the election so that no one could utter an objection.)

TYRANNY
Oppressive power exerted by government. 
(The City of Lake Worth and the Commission is doing this for all the reasons mentioned above.)

If there is no trust, why would anyone give them $63.5 million bucks unless there is more to the story.



Lake Worth Bond Referendum

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Winning at any cost sometimes backfires. And sometimes there is a small group of volunteers who can make a difference and overcome insurmountable odds.

17 of 17 Precincts Reporting
PercentVotes
FOR BONDS
49.58%1,542
AGAINST BONDS
50.42%1,568
3,110

The Palm Beach Post reported that Lake Worth bond appears to be rejected, pending provisional votes. But as we all know, the Bullies in this city want and expect to get their way. They don't take "no" for an answer. But one thing of which I am certain, the city is divided. The other thing that I know, without any doubt, if CAUT had more volunteers and more money, this election would not have been close. Volunteers did what they could whereas the city blitzed the electorate over and over again.

The money difference was mind blowing:

The city in all its desperation voted itself $50,000 of taxpayer money to campaign. Along with a PAC that was formed to help them out in advocacy, the total was $69,950.00 with $1,650.49 in In-Kind contributions.  They spent $45.36 per voter to capture 49.58%.

Citizens Against Unfair taxation had a total of $6,230.42 of which $1,007.13 was In-Kind contributions that covered paper, ink and graphic design. It spent $3.97 per voter to win 50.42%. In my precinct, 3078, the AGAINST vote won by 67%.

Now there will be screaming and shouting and people demanding a re-count and camping out at the Supervisor of Elections door, scrutinizing the provisional ballots looking for any little thing that could turn this election in their favor. More city taxpayer money will be invested in its legal team to see just what in heck they can do to reverse this shocking end.

It just proves that every vote does count and the message needs to be heard, not just one side of it.  To all of those with whom we spoke one-on-one during the hottest weather in years, we are forever grateful for understanding the facts and can only hope that the city will now listen to the people.  And just think, Scott Maxwell won't have to leave meetings early to walk the streets and knock on doors of those with AGAINST signs, undermining our effort with his political clout and power.

The outcome of this election gives a message to the city that it screwed up and should have given the voters a more reasonable plan with a shorter term and it should have been open and honest, but it wanted to win and it came close. And just think what CAUT could have done by the city allowing debate and on an even playing field.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Voters today Palm Beach County

Out of 843,505 registered voters in Palm Beach County, as of 2:46pm, 26,230 people have voted.  When I left my precinct this morning, only 73 had voted.

Lake Worth Herald

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Maybe Mark Easton, third generation publisher of the Lake Worth Herald, must have read the Palm Beach Post wherein it stated:

"Under the plan, (Lake Worth 2020) property taxes rates could rise by 35 percent, making Lake Worth's rate by far the county's highest. The resulting jolt to the city's economy will likely drive up rents for businesses and renters, which could lead to some businesses closing or looking elsewhere to open up." Palm Beach Post, August 12, 2014

"...Underneath that surface, the flaws aren’t hard to find: high taxes, high crime, high poverty, low education, low city employee morale...just to start the list." Palm Beach Post, June 26, 2013

It is too bad that a newspaper, so biased as the Lake Worth Herald, can with a straight face, accuse those against the general obligation bond of lying and "scaring the hell out of unsuspecting voters" never giving one example to support the outrageous allegations.

Easton came down unfairly hard with his snide Pelican Pete statement (without mentioning his name mind you but everyone involved in the bond issue knows who he was speaking about) on successful businessman Dennis Dorsey, a Lake Worth High School graduate, who has done so much for this city and who is Treasurer of Citizens Against Unfair Taxation PAC.  Easton has even gone so far as to tell those who are opposing this huge money-grab to either "love it (Lake Worth)  or leave it."  I have been in Lake Worth since 7th grade...I do love it and do not want to see debt that is so exhorbitant that could very possibly put us in a precarious and dangerous situation, not only for our city but residents and businesses alike. A smaller amount of money was asked for (about 1/3rd the existing bond amount) but the city wouldn't hear of it.

The Lake Worth Herald building For Sale
Lake Worth's oldest business. First publication was May 23, 1912
one year before the city incorporated

Blast from the Past - A David and Goliath moment in time

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Election of March 2005
Remember this mayoral election that occurred on 3-22-05? Mr. Romano had raised ten times the amount of his opponent and lost the election:

Romano: $54,555
and newcomer,
Marc Drautz with little money, $5,250.

The moral of the story? Well you get it. It isn't always the amount of money you collect although many believe that it takes three things to win: "The first is money, and the second is money and the third is money," a line from the book the Dark side of Camelot and attributed to Joseph L. Kane, a campaign operative of JFK's. In the case of the City of Lake Worth, it is $50,000 of taxpayer money to be used for campaigning for the general obligation 30 year bond to ensure its passage. The taxpayers' only voice will be at the ballot box, not an even playing field.

It is the amount of public disgust that motivates the voters to change the tide. It is the simple fact that some elected officials (too many) just don't listen to the people they serve and consider anything they might say in opposition as "uninformed," "emotional," or "just plain not in their best interests." In other words, they consider you stupid. They are only there to please their "friends."  They have lost touch with the people and have no clue what the people are thinking because they are surrounded only by their inner sanctum that isolates them and leads them to believe that they are right. They call out the other side and say that they are "disingenuous," a nicer sounding way of saying "you are a liar" and all of the other things mentioned above. Arrogance usually will bring defeat or at least it should.

So, David slayed Goliath in 2005 for whatever reasons. It can be done again on August 26, 2014.

Marc Drautz
55.63%

Rodney Romano
44.37%

Lake Worth Bond Referendum

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunset 8-25-14

Top Lake Worth Property Taxpayer

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Palm Beach Mobile Home Park LLC that owns three separate parcels near and at The Park of Commerce, is the City of Lake Worth's top taxpayer. His property is worth $8,361,194.00 up from 2013 by over $300,000 a year.
The owner will pay a total of around $280,474 in taxes on his parcels. If this general obligation bond should pass, he will be paying an additional $26,254 a year, for 30 years, on the last issuance based on today's value.  Of course the value will rise, so the estimate is askew. The calculator on the Lake Worth web site can't even calculate a property worth this much money.

At the moment, I have been told that the City of Lake Worth wants to take 40 feet of right away from him for their burning desire of having a Lake Worth 2020 promenade that is expected to have Royal palms planted down a medium strip, etc. I understand that the property owner is not the least bit happy with the monetary offer.

It's great to be cavalier with other people's money.  Government has a way of doing that. Years ago, if the city wanted your property, it would strangle you with various code violations that would multiply daily if not paid.  Eventually the city would confiscate the property. This new strategy is just to strangle you with taxes.  This general obligation bond will assure that the rents will escalate on the 335 families or so who live in this mobile home park occupied by people who predominately live on fixed incomes. Living in a mobile home park is not affordable any longer when you consider not only the lot rent but water and sewer and all taxes are rising along with the highest insurance rates in the nation.

This is a business owner who does not take money from the government on affordable housing grants that offset his expenses but he does lease lots for those to park their mobile homes.

But on August 26, you can tell the City "no way" by voting AGAINST.

Lake Worth YES Pac wants this badly

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Money isn't everything but the Lake Worth YES Pac thinks it is. $50,000 wasn't enough for this group.  They raised $19,950,00.  It has to make everyone sit up and take notice--spending $70,000 to win an election is not about potholes. It's too bad that every voter will not know about this obscene amount of money to put this city in debt for 34 years.

It got some large contributions from the following:
  • $5,000:  Marty Welfeld, Parrot Cove resident
  • $1,000:  Friends of Mark Foley, former Congressman who sent suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages to teenage boys who had formerly served and were at that time serving as Congressional pages
  • $2,000:  Southern Waste Systems, the company that dumped all sorts of questionable stuff on our landfill and was involved in suspicious campaign contributions to a resident who was fined by the elections commission for accepting them.
  • $1,000:  Weiner, Lynn and Thompson LLC in Delray,  municipal and county land development zoning regulation lawyers.
  • $1,500:  Hudson Holdings Lake Worth LLC, a property management company in Delray that recently bought The Gulfstream Hotel
  • $1,400:  In-kind contribution from a community affairs manager for printing
  • $2,000:  Committee for a Prosperous Florida PAC:
The Committee for a Prosperous Florida is also empowered to make contributions, within limits approved by Florida law, to political committees supporting candidates or issues in the State of Florida. The Committee was established in 2013 by Jeremy Ring of Margate and Jeff Clemens from Lake Worth. All of its contributions and expenditures are accessible by the public via their website.

Vandalism to our City Property

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There is always a group doing something devilish and illegal it seems during election time. March 2013 it was their illegal banner at the Gulfstream Hotel, not only once but twice. The two leaders of that PAC were appointed to city boards. Now it is someone on the YES side of this vote who has painted graffiti on our city street with what appears to be non-washable paint.

The owner of the house who lives in Parrot Cove Neighborhood (where one of its residents just gave $5,000 to the LW YES Pac) where this vandalism and prank took place says: Looks like City Yellow CAUTion Paint.  Call the sheriff (561.586.1611 #2 Dispatch) and report the vandalism to our city streets. This is so much more than just any other Graffiti Tag any where else in the city. "SIZE" or "VoTE"  This is destruction to our property. Cost to clean it up? Part of $50K Education PAC the city has going on!

Blast from the past - A general obligation bond in Lake Worth that was defeated by wide margin

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Blast from the past or Quote of the day--take your pick.  Travel back in time to year 1989 when a bond with proceeds going towards multiple issues was on the table in Lake Worth.  The city government was not transparent and was not candid with the voters. Voters rejected the bonds by a margin of 64 to 36 percent and Lake Worth was only asking for $11 million.

"Lake Worth listened only to those within or tied closely to city government. There were three projects within the bond and one was a new police station that was not urgent but desired by city hall. The city bowed to pressure from police interests and presented all three projects to voters together on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. They left it."

~ Bill McGoun
Palm Beach Post
A Tale of Two Bond Programs

It sort of rings a bell, doesn't it?  Three bonds...three issuances? They are only listening to their core group--not the people.  They don't even want to hear from you. No plan B...They tell you to "take it or leave it", as they take your money to shove all this "educational" (the biggest crock and deception of all)  material down your throat.

And that's what you need to do tomorrow at the polls--leave it.

"Grab the Cash" before the next Bubble, says the city

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What do you do when you are cash poor?  You buy on credit until that dries up or you stop buying. In Lake Worth, they just keep buying as we have been operating in the red for the past two budget years. The "free lunch" is alive and better than ever. It is the hope of the city and the commission that their "grab the cash" plan will work at the polls tomorrow. They have done everything under the sun to convince you.

The commission is trashing your mailbox with junk trying to sell everyone on rebuilding our infrastructure in our tired and 100 year-old city...fixing the potholes and paving over the few streets that are still gravel.  They appeal to you that kids need sidewalks to keep them safe. Potholes are much more "right in your face" and a "selling point" to convince you to buy into their Roads Improvement 2020 plan that will obligate every property owner in this city for 30 years or more and then they will have to turn right around and fix the roads again.

Can you even imagine what you will be paying as property values rise? This is to attract development, not just the poor to whom they have been catering over the past several years by literally spending $23 million to build 138 houses dotting every poor section of our city with the hopes that those surrounded by this new housing will also improve their homes...the trickle up theory. Didn't work; never does. Now in order to raise tax revenue, they are engaging in affordable rentals..BIG TIME. They like to tell you that the one on Boutwell is NOT affordable rentals but it is according to HUD standards and definition.

But the main reason this is on the ballot is to attract developers and to change our quaint city forever.  Realtors are ready and some people are hurrying out to get their license so that they can cash in when the time is right. They are not happy with no growth and property values falling to a ridiculous low.  After all, real estate commissions are based on value.  They want to give developers a big break by YOU paying for the infrastructure at the Park of Commerce so that they might develop there. How long will it take for the city to recapture your $11 million minimum investment in that land?  Another 50 or 100 years? The government has done everything possible to ruin our city by building affordable rentals which will cause more slum, blight, the homeless, and crime. They even went so far as to not to honor the vote on heights in our downtown...a new low for any elected official.

No one is addressing this false sense of recovery that we are all experiencing at the moment.  The housing recovery seems to be just another stage of the foreclosure crisis with the same city players who regenerate whenever there is a boom. We have a lot of investors who are buying again with banks playing games. The bubble is back.

We very well might end up as we did before as this could be a false recovery. Even your property has been assessed on this "recovery." 8.9% increase in value based on what?   Institutional buyers are snapping up cheap properties. Banks, once again, are giving cheap mortgages. People are buying. We are still poor and slum and blight has no where to go. If the bubble bursts, we will have more folks in foreclosure than we did before who won't be able to pay their ad-valorem.

This commission does not listen to you.  Make them listen tomorrow when you walk into that election booth and cast your vote AGAINST.

Early Morning Sky

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunset 8-24-14

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Thought for the Day - Lake Worth Bond

The bond debt, should this money-grab pass, will be over in year 2049. 34 years from the start of the first issuance, property owners will be paying this tax. That is a long time to be paying down a debt for road repairs that will only last one-half that time, if we're lucky. What then?  Do it all over again? 

Vote AGAINST bond in Lake Worth in Creole

If Rick Scott can do it I guess CAUT can to it too!

First Against ad in Creole:

Chè Vwazen, Tanpri vote kont $ 63.5 Milyon dola Bon yo taks Lake Worth.

Eleksyon yo se madi mwa Out 26th 2014 ak ou se kritik. Te kapab eleksyon sa a pral pran desizyon an trè kèk elektè yo Rezon ki fè yo vote kont Bon
1. Lake Worth ta ka taks yo pi wo a nan PB Konte
2. Road Reparasyon ak infrastruvture pou tout? NON, verite a se City Sit wèb la di pral sèlman 30% nan wout nou yo dwe repare ak lajan an wout.
3. $ 63.5 Milyon dola enterè plis ak ecpenses yo te ka koute $ 131 milyon dola sou 30 ane.
4. Yon fado taks 30 ane pou ou, timoun ou ak timoun yo Grand ou a se yon tan long.
5. Nou ta ka papye ekri soti nan kay nou, komisyon sa a deja te vote pou dlo ak egou pi gwo pousantaj; Ajoute bond la a ak taks sou pwopriyete ta ka skyrocket!
6.Landlords gen plis chans yo pase ansanm New taks la pa chaje pi wo pri lwaye.
7 Gen NO CAP sou pou chak kay kantite lajan ranbousman ak estimasyon yo City yo baze sou sipozisyon eteye. Biwo de vòt yo Out 26 yo louvri nan lè 7 dimaten-7pm Tanpri vote kont obligasyon.

Mèsi!

Paid Political advertisement by Citizens Against Unfair Taxation, 2121 Collier Avenue, Lake Worth, FL  33461

"We just want the millions--shut up about the facts"

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The devil is in the details and with Lake Worth, it's about what is not said--


I am reprinting these facts because they are important. From the very first presentation, the city has said that the roadway and utility plan involve 71 miles. Although the city has changed, crunched or eliminated numbers, there has been no diversion from the number of miles in its plan.  We don't know if there will be major repairs or just simply cutting and filling in a pothole as it is not described with any detail. No facts are given as to how much money will be spent on any given road.  Here are the facts--the cost and percentages as given to us by the city in their own printed material:

The bulk of the millions will be spent on
 25 miles of roads

The city implies that it is 71 miles that will be reconstructed and hands out a red map with most of the streets outlined to show us what they will be doing.  Is this is the most deceiving map ever devised?

25 miles -55 pci = $71.01 million
11 miles +56-65 pci = $3.31 million
20 miles +66-75 pci = $3.36 million
15 miles +76-83 pci = $1.54  million

The city manager continues to describe Lake Worth as 7 square miles.  At this point, who knows? There are many estimates on the number of overall miles.  Wikipedia says that there are 6.46 miles with 5.64 being land.   Lake Worth Quick Facts says that there are 5.87 land miles.  Don't want to be accused of nit-picking like you know who but the point here is that there is no precise number of miles in this city.  So, let's just round up. Land miles are under 6 and that is what will be affected by their road plan. If you don't know this basic fact of the size of the city in which you govern and then you ask property owners to fund a $63.5 million bond, then how in the heck can you tell us that there are 116 miles of paved roads and alleys. It must be from one of those Mock Roos studies sitting on a shelf that cost $150,000 right along with all those Plan B 's.

The city tells us that they had only allocated $448,528 in the budget for the Streets Division.  Why?  You get the politicos who are always talking about a former commission that "gutted the code department" (it was two people less--we were going through massive budget cuts) but why didn't the city with this commission add more personnel to the streets maintenance department that only has one supervisor and 4 crew members if the roads are so damn bad? This commission has been on the job for nearly three years and all of a sudden they are excited about rebuilding Lake Worth from the ground up...a 100 year old city for gosh sakes. Perhaps it is all about the money that is exciting--they want a money-grab?

The city has no idea what it will spend on each road...NONE...and they would never commit to that because they don't have to do squat on your road. The city can change its mind at will. LW 2020. The ONLY thing that is certain is that the city wants you to approve of an overall debt of  $131,000,000.00 for 34 years (the city does not tell you that) and they are counting on the property owners to actually pay these ad-valorem taxes over the lifetime of this bond. But it won't matter if someone can't or won't  pay.  The rest of the taxpayers will pick up the slack.

No trust; no bond

Lake Worth wants our money but not our input

Letters to the Editor
Palm Beach Post
August 23, 2014

Lake Worth 2020 needed citizen input

Today, I received a mailer “provided … by the City of Lake Worth” titled “There’s more to Lake Worth 2020 than just rebuilding our roads.”

In it a photo of a streetlight with bright blue light producing sky glow and light pollution exemplifies why on Tuesday I am voting against the $63.5 million bond measure.

This lack of attention to detail creates doubt about the city’s effort to upgrade the city’s infrastructure. Unfortunately, there was no design charrette to gather public input. To formulate a sound plan, City Hall needed to hear from citizens as to the type of infrastructure that would best serve the city and how best to pay for it.
The plan calls for replacing petroleum-based asphalt that increases the “heat island effect,” with the same paving product, which is a decidedly undesirable outcome for South Florida.

“Design by Nature” principles, such as “native plant swales” to manage water runoff, filter pollutants and increase rainwater infiltration, have not been incorporated into the plan and no design review was undertaken by the city to use “context sensitive solutions” to evaluate how streets can become “complete streets.”

Accepting the 2020 plan as is will put Lake Worth at a competitive disadvantage with cities such as West Palm Beach and Delray Beach for decades to come.

RICHARD STOWE
LAKE WORTH

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunset 8-23-14


Next to the sunset...actually I like this one.

City Campaign Event

Event will let Lake Worth residents see how bond would raise taxes.

Read more...

The Post hit it on the head when article stated that it might be the city's "last campaign event," but I am sure we will still have robo calls and mail on Monday.

Quote of the Day - Marco Rubio

“I remain deeply concerned that despite the preponderance of evidence that proves ISIL is a fundamentally evil and dangerous terrorist threat to the United States, President Obama continues to appear unwilling to do what is necessary to confront ISIL and communicate clearly to the American people about the threat ISIL poses to our country and to our way of life.

ISIL is not a problem for only Iraqis or Syrians to solve. A piecemeal approach will not eliminate the growing threat to the United States and our allies. If we do not do more to assist our Iraqi partners and those moderate Syrians who are fighting ISIL and directly target ISIL’s leadership and networks in Iraq and Syria, I fear that James Foley will not be the only American to die at their hands.”

~ Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio speaking to the barbaric, atrocious and evil act committed by ISIL in the beheading of American journalist, James Foley, who was forced to read an anti-American statement seconds before he was executed. The country wants to find the guy who did it. Let's obliterate the entire evil mess of human garbage. We need a leader like Benjamin Netanyahu.  Click here for some interesting facts on James Foley.

Just the Facts

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Received another propaganda piece in the mail yesterday along with Scott Maxwell's robo call. There were several bits of "educational" material that were inaccurate but this blog is only touching on one--the Senior Exemption. The city made a mistake. They really should have asked a Senior about this exemption.

The city said in order to get the Senior exemption, income can not exceed $20,000 a year..


To be precise, you can get a Senior exemption if your income does not exceed $27,000 a year, NOT including social security or tax exempt bond interest. Big difference in what the city told you and the facts.

And that's the problem.

No trust; NO bond.

Finance Advisory Board chair in Lake Worth recommends a FOR vote

So what's new?

Op Ed piece in Sunday's Post from the chair of the Finance Advisory board, a board that has always advocated the position of city Hall. Most all board appointments are political.

Lake Worth can't Recoup its investment

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Letters to the Editor
Palm Beach Post
August 23, 2014

Lake Worth can’t recoup investment

Lake Worth 2020 lists a cost of $9.6 million to be underwritten by city taxpayers to construct infrastructure for the Park of Commerce as part of the $63.5 million bond on Tuesday’s primary ballot.

In addition, a road-widening and installation of a median with mature Royal palms is planned for the length of Boutwell Road from Lake Worth Road to 10th Avenue North. This will add several million to the cost of the Park of Commerce plan.

The east side of Boutwell is predominantly a trailer park, and the west is privately owned, mostly empty land.
Even if this commission’s “field of dreams” were to be fully developed and built to the extent of Lake Worth’s Land Development Regulations, it would take well over a hundred years for Lake Worth taxpayers to recoup this $10 million-plus investment.

LAURENCE MCNAMARA
LAKE WORTH

At the Lake Worth Playhouse last night

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Because this is a city event, they don't even have to pay the Lake Worth Playhouse one dime for using their facility.  They pass a hat for electric usage and clean-up. The city, with its $50,000 money grab for campaigning should have paid the playhouse, a theater that depends on donations.

With no debate allowed on the most important issue to face Lake Worth in 100 years, CAUT volunteers got to the Playhouse before 5:00pm. We brought our printed material and signs.  We were given permission to display it on the table that had been set-up inside taking 1/3rd of the space. Later City Clerk, Pam Lopez arrived and uttered one word, "OMG." She tried to remove all our material but was told by the manager that we could have our information there.  Presumably the city protested our using "their" table  because about 15 minutes later, the theater manager came outside and informed us that the city had requested the table and therefore it was theirs..to remove our stuff.  We did. She brought out a table to the outside that we could use.

We are used to the city stampeding the voters on this general obligation bond and just matters in general like last year's heights referendum.  They are desperate for the money and have never wanted nor did they expect us to object. They seemed surprised that we were even there. The YES people were very late to the theater, arriving about one-half hour before the "educational" event that started at 7:00pm. Greg and Layla were there.  Herman was there waving a sign. A few of their friends were there as well, one walking down the street screaming, "You are a bunch of idiots." That's when a car stopped and requested a bunch of signs.

When the voters vote AGAINST on Tuesday, they will be crying a different tune.

Herman Robinson, YES PAC chair with
 Katie McGiveron, AGAINST Pac chair.
Notice the YES sign has a different design and message. Good call. I would imagine NO ONE knows what in the heck Lake Worth 2020 is nor do they care, not for $131  million over-all for 34 years, with the city expecting to receive taxes from the few to rebuild our city from scratch. To Vice Mayor Maxwell and this commission it will be a dream come true if it passes.  To others, it will be the biggest tax nightmare in a century with people putting their Realtor on speed dial for an early Wednesday morning call. And for all the AGAINST people, we know that the city will then come up with Plan B, something they have told us does not exist.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sunset 8-22-14

At the Beach this morning

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Two BFF's with smiley faces about to have breakfast at Mulligans.
In front of Barry's shop at the Lake Worth casino getting pressure cleaned and sealed
Beautiful Lake Worth beach dotted with blue umbrellas
No swimming--rip current

Winds of Change - Blowing in the Wind

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Just like the glass being half full, making your numbers more impressive is done all of the time. But what is fact vs. embellishment or twisting the reality? What is just a marketing ploy to cement your narrative? We know and we were told that 30% of the roads would be resurfaced.  That is a fact. Then after the finance director left in the middle of the night, the facts changed.  Now we are being told that 73% of the roads will be rebuilt or repaved and in another report it is 70%.

Let's get some definitions from the city of
resurfaced
rebuilt
repaved

Basically the city says it's all the same.  Now The Lake Worth 2020 presentation states that 71.5 miles of roadway will be repaved.  This is 70% of the City-owned roads.  It includes both reconstruction and roads where needed and resurfacing of other roads.  Reconstruction includes improvements to either the road base and/or asphalt.  Resurfacing includes improvements to the asphalt.  The online map allows people to identify a road segment and receive information concerning the type of project related to that road.  Either type road improvement will result in the road being improved to a newly paved condition.

And after we let all of that sink in, let's get the specifics on exactly what will be done to each road on the very red map and the cost for that work.  City Manager Michael Bornstein says “There’s only so much you can fit on a postcard.”  Well, you've been "educating" the people for two years, why isn't the estimated cost all broken down precisely on the web page?

Operating on a Deficit with huge unfunded Pension Liabilities

Politicians want to blame every Lake Worth administration over the past 50 years for the condition of our roads.  The fact remains is that retirement benefits take the biggest part of our operating budget.  There is NO money left over to have new roads ever since the Unions got a hold of this city.  Employees believe that they are entitled to 80% or 100% of their salary for life after reaching age 55 or whatever it is now. We are lucky to be able to afford the basic services that cities must provide. On top of that, the taxpayers are very generous and award them better than average salaries with benefits they only can dream about.

Lake Worth commissioners need to do something about this uncontrollable union retirement benefits and make serious changes. Instead, they sweep it all under the rug--too political and they "care" about their employees. Have you even heard one discussion on this?

At the end of fiscal year 2013, Lake Worth taxpayers contributed the following into the various pension funds for that fiscal year beginning October 1, 2012 ending September 30, 2013:

 Employee retirement system: $3,293,953.00
 Police: $1,733,395.00
 Firefighters: $1,845,288.00

At that time, non-controllable costs were 66.55% of our operating budget with that percentage projected to rise to 69.31% in 2014. I'm not even going to mention the massive amount of unfunded liabilities (a situation that could lead to bankruptcy) as I have gone over that numerous times in the past.

Out of a proposed operating budget of $31,006,779 for FY2015, controllable costs are $9,953,178 and we only took in $5,646,125 in ad-valorem. This shows everyone how poor we really are but the "free lunch' is here to stay or until there is another commission.

How do you run a city that is so far in debt, spends more than it takes in, increases department budgets and hires more personnel which means more retirement and medical benefits, and stay afloat?

They come up with this clever phrase about getting into the 21st Century and want to tax the people on some emotional pothole fix and want to grab $63.5 million. Has anyone thought about how much money that is or where it all will end up?

What will Lake Worth do?

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Letter to the Editor
The Palm Beach Post
August 22, 2014

What will city do to maintain roads?

In 2002, Flagler Drive was completely rebuilt from the roadbed up. It was silky smooth. 12 years later, its surface resembles a mottled and irregular washboard.

Lake Worth wants to put us into debt for more than 30 years, spending $35 million of the $63 million bond on road repair, which we can expect to last a similar period.

What does this commission plan for 12 years from now when the roads will again need replacement and our taxpayers are still saddled with another 20-plus years of paying off this huge debt?

DEE MCNAMARA
LAKE WORTH