Saturday, February 3, 2007

Chance Meeting...

Funny story. About two days ago now, I was minding my own business walking my dogs down Federal Highway (I guess we were actually taking care of their business - ha!). Anyway, a gentleman was walking north on the opposite side of the street as we were walking south. Upon seeing me, he crosses the street and introduces himself. He had just read this blog, read about my dogs and was going to check out where I lived. Well, in the process, he stumbled upon the whole family. We had a nice conversation. He is from the mid-west as well (Oak Park, Illinois) and has been active in historic preservation activities there. He has invested in properties in West Palm Beach, but knew that Lake Worth was really where it was at. It had a sense of place, a history and was being kind to its roots and heritage.

As we were talking, wouldn't you know we bumped into Jeff Clemens (who was running around with his campaign's yard signs). All three (err, five) of us had a nice exchange, Jeff left and Warren walked back with us to the house. The following is an e-mail from Warren sent after our meeting:

Hi Wes,

I still can't believe the timing of running into you today.
Meeting you and Jeff in the same short period had a real "meant to be" quality about it. Ordinarily, it wouldn't be like me to display signage for a candidate without learning more about their positions, but meeting both of you at the same time convinced me the Midwestern God's had spoken. Besides, not only did I discover that both of you have the good judgment to live in the right neighborhood, you both chose homes on the right side of the street! I could
never support a candidate whose front door bakes in the Sun all day long.

Seriously, I've tried to do my homework about you and the other candidates as best I can. I'm limited to the amount of time I can spend reading (due to a medical condition I have with my eyes), but talking with you two today
encouraged me that neither one of you embraces the idea of over-developing Lake Worth. I have a very urban consciousness, but I get concerned when I see too
many multi-family projects being approved. I understand the concept of population growth to support tax-generating commercial development, but these mega-projects threaten to over-burden the roads, dilute single-family property
values, and destroy the basic character of Lake Worth. I won't make the mistake of investing my time or energy in a town whose leadership lacks the sophistication to understand that.

I hope we'll have another chance to talk sometime. I saw some of those old post cards on your web site that showed the original Lake Worth Casino, and wondered if recreating something like that is what's being talked about over on the beach front. I just assumed "casino" meant gambling, and development meant "high-rise", but the opulent structure pictured in your post cards gave Lake Worth something priceless..... An IDENTITY.

Thank you for spending so much time with me today,

Warren Stewart
1828 N. K Street
And, my response:

Thanks Warren and nice to meet you too. Serendipity as it were. Yes, the original casino building had some interesting architecture, but happened to be in a very vulnerable position as it relates to storms, etc. The plan is to emulate the building, but not be a replica. We haven't seen the final plans for the building yet, but they should be moving forward during the later part of the

And thanks for your assessment regarding Jeff and me. I'd really like to keep up a dialog with you and keep you informed on happenings, etc. Thanks also for displaying my sign and I am sure that Jeff appreciates that too.


"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"