Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This, that and the other thing...

Thought you might be interested to see where people have been visiting from over the past 30 days. This is from my Google tracking software. The other one is tracking about the same and the pace is still about what it has been - up since the summer months. I expect as we head passed the holidays into the new year, the volume will increase. Thank you all for coming here. Regardless of the reason for your visit, I hope you find this site informative - and if you are entertained a little too, that's o.k.

Given the holidays, we are suspending the "Truth Matters" show until after the new year. Greg Vannier and I will gear up again in 2008 to review what has been going on in Lake Worth from time to time - probably will keep the show on Tuesday nights. If you have a suggestion, or if that just doesn't work for you, please contact me at wesblackman@gmail.com. You can also catch the archived shows on the Lake Worth Talk.com homepage link.

I'd like to share a story with you. Normally, I wouldn't do so, but this scene has been repeated in many different places, on many different topics in my travels around our city. There are also others here that do a lot of work behind-the-scenes and not-so-behind-the-scenes that experience the same thing. We talk about the similar situation in which we find ourselves. Last week, while at the Democratic Club gala, I happened to sit next to people who were ardent supporters of my opponent and eventual winner (by a slim margin) of the District #3 Commission race.

Now, let me say that I am glad that we could all be in one room, as local Democrats, coming together to celebrate a milestone in the history of the club. And, I hope that we will be able to unite forces this coming November 2008 and make sure that the Democrats return to the Oval Office and make a good showing in Congress.

But, I thought it fascinating that the same people that were so "for" my opponent were feverishly asking me about about how I was coming on the cleaning up of North Dixie Hwy. - they had heard that I had some involvement. It was one of my campaign platforms and it is in desperate need, but not something that I have focused on recently. To my knowledge, nothing much is happening in that area except the construction of a new catering/take-out building and another derelict gas station that has finally been re-done - both which were approved while I was on the Planning Board.

One, who reads this blog, asked me why my friend just can't write a check to the City and buy the building at 431 N. L. Street. Well, let's see. First of all it isn't on the City's surplus property list (something that is reviewed by the Planning Board and approved by the City Commission). Second of all, we have something that requires a referendum to sell City property that might get in the way of this and other hurdles. This is an important structure that has been "saved", but only temporarily. How long does a structure last that is unprotected from the elements in our South Florida environment? Is our Commissioner, whose district the historic property is in, doing anything about it? The answer is "no".

Then I was asked, "How are things going on the Planning Board?" - I was polite in my answer and gave them an update on the Comprehensive Plan changes and how the land development regulations should be coming out early next year. We talked about how Treasure Coast's Kim Delaney came down to Lake Worth and helped put in some goals, objective and policies in place to make sure that we rank high in the need for a transit station once things get rolling. And then I talked about how we were able to get the Rail-volution conference here for a charette and set some good direction about the area around the Tri-Rail station.

NEWSFLASH: I resigned from the Planning Board last December prior to the election and do not hold any position on any board in the City of Lake Worth.

Then we talked about freight traffic on the FEC and how nice it would be to get trains to stop blowing their horns. I said that there is a way to do it, it is complicated and the likely body to get that started would be the CRA, as they were successful in West Palm Beach, in doing so. (Train horn is sounding in the distance as I write this.)

And then I thought, these are the same people that campaigned against me, supported and voted for the current District #3 Commissioner and the same ones who said that I wasn't "diverse enough" to be put on a soon-to-be-sunseted board after the election. And at the same time they read my blog and there seems to be an expectation that I still am "up to speed" on what is going on. And then I wonder, what has our current District #3 Commissioner accomplished in comparison and wonder how much different things might have been had 90 more people "checked Wes" on March 27th?

March 27th has come and gone. In many ways, I continue as I would have had things been different on that night - I am doing all that I can to make the City a better place to live and put us in better strategic position in relation to other Palm Beach County municipalities. Handicapped as we all are that are not in an appointed or elected or official position within the City.

So, when you think that all is lost in Lake Worth and the hole keeps getting deeper and deeper, that the Commission seems completely detached from reality and you can't reach our costly City Manager by phone or e-mail, that negativity reigns during public meetings - rest assured that there are many good people working on the sidelines trying to make this place better - just as the two are that I was talking to last Tuesday night. All is not lost - but we might do well to ask ourselves how we elect our leaders and how that contributes to our current state of affairs.

That is the point that needs to be made on January 29th. More later on that topic.