Saturday, August 18, 2007

Evening on the Avenues - 8/17 - w/ Lake Worth Talk.com

We had a great time at Evening on the Avenues last night. Lake Worth Talk.com set up a booth for the second time this year. Jim Stafford, the host of the site will try to do this once a month or so. The picture below is of the booth in the early part of the evening. From left to right is Jim Stafford, Matt Falvey (the Fish Doctor), Don Cavanaugh (Rainbow Radio) and me, Wes Blackman (Truth Matters). Nice group shot of hosts of the various talk shows on the Internet site. Notice the nice displays from all the site's sponsors on the table in front of us.

Here's local Talk Show host celebrity Walter Baker (the Lunch Box). Walter did lots of meeting and greeting, handing out Ed Morse tote bags kindly provided by Ed Morse Honda and Dan Winkel.


And the always lovely Mary Lindsey (former Mayoral Candidate and President of the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association) made an appearance at the booth. We had a nice talk and caught up on some things. Always nice to see Mary.


Maggy, from Pali's Pizza dropped off some tasty pies that we gave away to passers-by - nicely cut into manageable squares for easy munching. Here she is yucking it up with us early on.


Jim attracted a bevy of friends - I think the pizza helped a little bit.


Below is a little bit of original artwork by Matt Falvey. Matt worked on more art while hanging out in the booth with us. We're going to have to go fishing again soon.

Some of the early group enjoying the band in the Cultural Plaza.

Here are some vendors setting up for the evening.


Dan Winkel with Erica. Erica is recovering nicely from knee surgery.


More interested and interesting on-lookers to the booth. Nice steady flow of visitors throughout the evening.


Pictures of Vicent and J.R. Stafford, respectively. Gina Stafford came down with the kids about mid-way through the evening.


Some general shots as the evening progressed. The band was good and played a lot of juke box favorites (also some big karaoke hits that had us singing along in the booth).


Meet Tony. He's from Connecticut and has been here about a month and a half. He moved down here with his girlfriend and is looking for work. Happens to live on North O Street. He says that he can do shipping and receiving, roofing, waiting tables, dishwashing, etc. and is hearing from everyone to come back in October or November. And, he says, everyone says "Go on to the Compu-derrrr." - something he doesn't want to do. He said he had the same job for 25 years up north. Anyway, he turned out to be quite a character as his story was sort of on a loop that didn't have a beginning or an end. So if you see Tony around and can help him out with a lead on a job, I am sure he'd appreciate it.


Our canine friends were well represented too. I nearly brought Mars and Venus with me - maybe next time?


Well, the crescent moon told us it was time to pack up and say good night to the nice folks that came to visit. "I'm so glad we had this time, together...just to have a laugh or sing a song, seems we just get started and then before you know it, comes the time we have to say good-bye."


Well, not quite, on the way home we made it to the Mad Hatter. Here's me doing an "Artie Johnson" imitation through the roses that our guy Felix brought by a few minutes earlier. Felix has a regular route up and down Dixie Hwy . He stops in the local watering holes and offers fresh roses for sale. He is a Lake Worth institution, for sure.

Friday, August 17, 2007

We Love Lake Worth, Inc. PAC - Second Quarter Treasurer's Report

One page, no further detail regarding individual contributors. This is dated July 10, 2007.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

City Sues We Love Lake Worth, Inc.







Monday, August 13, 2007

In case some of you missed these pictures:




I have a .pdf copy of the structural report dated March 2001 related to the condition of the Casino building. Please e-mail me wesblackman@gmail.com for a copy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Musings about the proposed budget...

Don't forget the budget workshop is this coming Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers, City Hall. No agenda is up yet on the City's website. If there is anything additional other than the budget, I will let you know. There is also a Planning and Zoning Board meeting to discuss the draft revisions to the Comprehensive Plan at the Golf Course Clubhouse at 6 p.m. I'll try to attend both, but it's too bad that these are occurring at basically the same time. Some questions upon further review of the budget:

  • We are reducing the number of employees by a net of 27 (601 present + 15 additions - 42 positions eliminated = 574) and the general fund budget is increasing by $7,963,092 or 19.975%

    And the Utility fund is increasing $4,992,225 or 6.838%.

    The Enterprise funds are flat - actually less than the current budget year.

    Is this fiscal constraint? Yes, we are going to be abiding to the 9% decrease from the rollback rate, but user fees (Certificate of Use program) and utilities are increasing. Is this the new "heroin", as Mayor Clemens proclaimed on the campaign trail, referring to the utility contribution to the general fund? Who is the group that will be hardest hit by the impact of these new fees?

    How far down the road are we on the decision to go to the Sheriff's department? Don't we need our own municipal police force? Are there other areas that we can look at privatizing to save funds in the future?

    Was the Fire Department left out of the budget making process? Do the impacts there actually contribute to our meeting the County's concurrency targets on staff per vehicle?

    Where is the line item showing what we are paying for outside legal fees? The contractual services listed under the Law Department budget seem unusually low for the amount of outside counsel the City employs.

    Where are the savings from increased internal controls? This would not likely show up in this coming year's budget, but we should figure out how to quantify this so that we can assess the impact in future years. Any savings can be used to increase reserves.

    Please feel free to add to these concerns and comments related to the proposed 2007-2008 budget.

Truth Matters 8/12

Just an FYI - there is no Truth Matters show tonight. We will return next week when the topics will be further revelations regarding the budget - is the decision to go with the Sheriff's department already made? - and we will explore the whole topic of ethics, conflict of interests, honest services and my experiences.

Have a good week!

New Tracking Software...

On August 1, I installed Google Analytics in addition to my Free Stats tracking software on this blog. The Google version gives more detailed information, but lacks the timeliness of the Free Stats (which isn't free, by the way). You might be interested in this map generated by the new one. Since August 1, I have had 146 visits from 22 different cities from around the Globe. The World Wide Web is just that.

You might have noticed that I have included a "Quote of the Day" in the right hand column. Today, I added a scrolling lyric sheet from a selected song - in honor of my interest in Karaoke. I'll change it periodically to reflect some favorites of mine.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you continue to enjoy this blog!