Sunday, November 9, 2008

A $350,000 jewel of an item courtesy of Commissioner Cara Jennings...

Those of you that subscribe to the city's Tropic-mail service might have received this announcement last week:
The Grand Opening of the Lake Worth Resource Center, located at 1121 Lucerne Avenue, Lake Worth, Florida is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 8, 2008 and is expected to run through 1:00 p.m.

The Lake Worth Resource Center seeks to improve the quality of life for all Lake Worth by bridging and enhancing communication between the different ethnic, cultural and religious groups within the community.

A coalition formed by several agencies, community based organizations and churches (the City of Lake Worth, The Mentoring Center, Palm Beach Community College, Our Lutheran Savior, Cristo Es la Respuesta, Maya Ministry of Diocese of Palm Beach, PBC Environmental Coalition, Buena Fe Center, Maya Quetzal, Grupo Broadway, Lake Worth Global Justice, Organization of Mayan People In Exile, Adopt-A-Family, Interior Dimensions Group, Church of the Nazarene, Trinity Church International, and Society of Friends of the Quaker) have collaborated and joined efforts to find solutions to various social dilemmas and are committed to support the initiative by providing services such as educational programs, immigration orientation and public safety to name a few.

(You really need to check out the links in the above paragraph. Remember, this went out in a city press release.)

The partnership exemplifies what government, community organizations and citizens can do when they join efforts to find solutions to social dilemmas. "Education is the key to economic growth both in family and community and we are very excited about our role at The Lake Worth Resource Center" said Monica Delgado of the Dr. Kathryn W. Davis Global Education Center at PBCC.

The center allows registered workers to meet with registered employers and obtain work for wages. Occupational training, language and literacy instruction, counseling, health education, legal and other services are available to any Lake Worth resident registered with the center. Workers and employers will be educated about their rights and responsibilities while assuring workers are paid fair wages. Additionally, the center provides K-12th grade academic tutorial classes, adult education classes, public safety education programs, and computer education classes in the center's computer lab.

For more information, contact Lisa Wilson, Mentoring Center COO at 561-670-1147
I highlighted some of the above where I thought there were sweeping assumptions or pronouncements that have yet to be proven.

So, on the agenda tomorrow night is item buried again on the consent agenda relating to the $350,000 of un-budgeted city funded improvements to the building that are necessary in order to accommodate this new use in a city recreational facility. Seems that Commissioner Cara Jennings, Commissioner Golden and Mayor Clemens not only ignored the zoning issues involved with the establishment of the Day Labor Center - they also ignored the building code implications from the change of use category from assembly to business. See the following back up material on the item:

In contrast, Compass is leasing a city building and funding over $500,000 (and counting) of improvements including mold eradication and the installation of an elevator. This is coming from Compass' own resources. It should be noted that Commissioner Cara Jennings voted against that lease.

Once the city spends this $350,000 for the roof, windows, access issues and ADA modifications, we will have a facility that will be marginally improved. However, its life may be short due the prospect of a new city hall or other municipal facility on that land. In a sense, spending the money on this building encumbers it longer and makes it less attractive for another municipal use. The phrase "trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" comes to mind.

Oh, and per the press release (one of the precious few issued by the city) it's open for business - lacking required improvements. This also exacerbates the feeling that the City doesn't have to comply with codes it enforces on everyone else. Talk to anyone currently enduring the certificate of use process or doing permitted work through the building department.

So Commissioner Jennings and your ardent supporters, there are more reasons to question the use of this building as a Day Labor Center other than racism. Playing that card - especially on election day - was inappropriate on many levels.


Anonymous said...

What? A new city hall. Over the dead bodies of Cara, Joanne and Suzanne. After they stop the new casino the next victim will be a new city hall.

Anonymous said...

Cara is an anarchist. Anarchism is a call for disorder and injustice, hiding behind a facade of a promotion of freedom. In practice, it is violence and destruction.

Anonymous said...

So in a time of budget crises, we are going to provide services to illegal aliens, put them in a public building that is not zoned for that use and pay for improvements instead of providing adequate city staff and services for the citizens.

Yes, by all means, let's do that and elect Mulvehill to back Cara in all her future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

The balance of power has shifted. The East West division are finally coming to light and the establishment can no longer bay elections!

Go Cara! She will make Jewel (Lake Worth) a truly progressive community. The 1st on Florida's east coast!

Anonymous said...

The center is for any and all of our residents, period. It is uninformed to call it a center for illegals. Even our L.W. high school graduates can benefit from the services being offered and in this economy and job market it is needed more than ever.
By the by, though, the building has been considered fine as is for the shuffleboarders, why not for the new tenants?
If something breaks, let's fix it then.
I know this sounds like a radical, illegal idea, but it is common sense. Laws were made to help us, not bind us to impracticality.

Wes Blackman said...

Where did I refer to it as a center for "illegals." Cara portrayed it as a "resource" and/or an "employment" center - apparently recognizing the sensitivity of "Day Labor Center" - which does not mention the word "illegal" either. The building is being used for a MORE INTENSE use now and therefore is no longer grandfathered. Our "sworn staff" - per back-up, is honor bound to bring the issue up.

I'd start plans for a big bake sale and craft fair to fund the improvements.

Anonymous said...

Very Simple

Raise the Rent to cover the cost


Don't rent it out, if you can't afford to maintain it.

Anonymous said...

YOU are definitely not uninformed Wes. i was referring to the previous poster and the many who sling around that term.
I still think that we should grandfather it in and fix as needed.