Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Letter from Ed Grimm, President of the Lake Worth CDC re CRA Grant Application and 2007 Financial Statements (un-Audited)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I greatly respect Mary Lindsey and her work - trying to make the city a better place to live. We have worked together on some projects and share similar passions. We communicated quite frequently, until recently.
I saw Mary at the City Commission retreat a few weeks ago. It was after that meeting that I suggested we go to lunch and chat, which we did. The conversation turned to her future involvement with the City. At one point she said that half of the people hate her in this city because she was for the beach and against the super-majority initiative. The other half, she said, hate her for continuing to run for Mayor and the unintended consequences that resulted. Others were told a similar story at other times and places; I was not the only one who heard this from Mary.
I agreed with her assessment, although "hate" was a bit strong of a characterization - but that was her choice of words.
I asked her why she still involves herself in meetings like the one we attended that day and she said, "For my own self interest". I responded that was too bad as I thought she had more of an altruistic interest by her involvement.
That was our lunch.
Now, this was also at a time when there was a lot of discussion regarding who were possible candidates interested and ready to make the commitment to run for the District #2 seat. Long thought of as a possible candidate for District #2, Mary did not in anyway seem interested in running for the seat. Time was wasting for someone to come forward and decisions had to be made.
So, that's when the wheels started turning. Soon Jim Stafford will be announcing his candidacy for the District #2 seat. I will be his campaign manager. We have already met with many in the community. We have universally received a positive and encouraging response. Jim brings a unique perspective. His background includes being a teacher, a small business owner, family man with two young boys and someone who has demonstrated his concern for this community in many ways. Not the least of which was starting a community Internet message board where people could discuss their views on a wide (sometimes very wide!) array of topics. And, on top of that, he happens to be bilingual in English and Spanish.
I wish Mary all the best in whatever she choses to do. But, the fact is, we have to come together if we want someone other than Cara Jennings sitting on the dais after November. I'm not sure how this strategy meeting being held today will help in accomplishing that goal.
Some may want to interpret that somehow I blame Mary for me not winning the District #3 seat last year and therefore I hold some sort of grudge. The theory being that had she not been in the Mayor's race, there would not have been a run-off and the full forces of the calvary could have been unleashed in support of my campaign.
Was that to blame for the outcome? No. Was it a factor? Yes. It was a factor along with a list of at least 99 other reasons. All 100 or so ingredients combined in a whirling stew that resulted in the final vote coming out the way it did. What happened happened for a reason and I do not hold a grudge.
Let's make a commitment not to model ourselves after the two Democratic presidential candidates currently tearing each other down while their Republican opponent builds his support for the November election.
A quote from Laurence McNamara speaking on saving Old Bridge Park:
|If we hadn't, the glut of unsold and foreclosed properties would be even greater. We met the head of condo assoc from Courtyards of Lake Worth. He told us there were 12-15 foreclosures there out of 51 townhomes and that the majority of occupied units were renters. |
That's the reality. Lets work diligently to clean up what we have, refurbish what we have--not build new townhouses and condos. TOD's are not the priority either. We need to get down to reality right now. This is serious. Forget about the dreams until we fix what we have. Spending another 6 million on 10th Avenue North should not be a top choice for any commissioner to focus on.
If you hadn't noticed, the building boom that we experienced over the past 5 years was a national and international phenomenon (google Spain Housing Market).
What is there now contributes much more to the tax base (actually the CRA TIF capture) than what was there. The unsavory and criminal activity is gone and not affecting the adjacent neighborhood. I happen to live a block away from the Courtyards and it is a good neighbor.
Prior to it being redeveloped, the developer presented the plans before the neighborhood association and they agreed with the concept and suggested changes which were incorporated into the plan.
Foreclosures are another national trend and especially so in the South Florida area. There is nothing unique about the Courtyards that would make it more prone to foreclosures, other than people not having enough income to cover their mortgage. As for renters in townhouses, it is a fact of life. Townhouses are governed by a HOA that takes care of outside maintenance so the impact of renters "not being proud of their homes" is not as much of an issue as it is in single family neighborhoods.
So, while not perfect, the property is much better now that it otherwise would have been had not the Courtyards been developed. We were able to capitalize on the market at the time and improve the area.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or
We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone
and with many.
We will revere and obey the City's laws, and will do our best to incite
a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or
set them at naught.
We will strive increasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic
Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not
less,but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.
I just found out that the City has known about this outage since at least MARCH of this year. Let's sincerely hope that we do not have multiple liability lawsuits due to the 3 to 4 month delay in getting things working there again. The condition might have been in existence much longer too, who is to say?
This is an excerpt from my blog about a fishing outing I took last night using the Lake Worth boat ramp. Please direct someone to address the non-working streetlights at the boat ramp. Also, Bryant Park was being thoroughly watered upon our return around 10:15 to 10:30 p.m. last night. Is that the approved time for watering? And, can we manually over-ride the system since we have had plenty of rain recently anyway?
Thanks for your attention to these matters.
We had a great time last night out on the Lake Worth lagoon. Jim Stafford prepared his boat and we were off with two other friends for a night of fishing. Leaving around 6 p.m. from theLake Worth boat ramp, we enjoyed our time out in the fresh night air until returning around 10:30 p.m. We used squid as bait first and I had the most luck initially with a lot of Lane and Mutton Snapper. Some of the Lane were just large enough to keep, but all were thrown back in for another day. It was quiet on the water with little boat traffic. What there was turned out to be a lot of young adults, if you can call them that, that liked high speed and loud music. We did have what were two close calls by boats that came too near our anchored craft, which was clearly outside the channel and well lighted. So, if you do go out, be prepared for people that either don't know what they are doing or are doing so impaired.
I must show you these pictures, which I will share with the Mayor, Commissioners and City administration. We got back to the boat ramp around 10:15 p.m. Ladies and gentlemen, it's dark at that time of night. If you have ever put in or taken out a boat at the Lake Worth boat ramp, you know that it takes many delicate maneuvers to make it in safely - both you and the boat. We had an in-coming tide and a moderate breeze from the south that helped guide us in initially. Once roped off, we were in the DARK. There were two overhead "cobra" light fixtures that were both out. Any light you see in these pictures is due to the camera flash. Is it too much to ask that a boat ramp open to the public all hours of the day and night be equipped with adequate lighting?
Then, as we headed for our vehicles, we noticed that all of Bryant Park was being watered and, by judging the puddle size, it had been on for a while. I think we have had enough rain recently.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Oh gee, I forgot I still had this clip in my camera. I have two digital cameras and this is from the one that I use mostly for work. Emptying out the memory card, I found a couple of these snippets of David Webber performing on the Cottage's patio one evening this past April. Here he sings a bit of the Beetles.
By the way, David's dad Bruce is hobbling around from a freak accident which happened about a month ago. If you are in the area of the Art Shop downtown, stick your head in the door and wish him well. You'll be happy to know that he is on the mend. In the video below, Bruce joins David on stage for fun during an Elvis song.
Response to Commissioner Jennings quotes in the Palm Beach Post
"I think we should be fostering a positive relationship between code enforcement and residents so there will be more compliance," said Commissioner Jennings. "Coming to people's homes after dark will only foster a negative relationship."
Once again, the District 2 commissioner is trying to stop the in enforcement of laws in our community. As the son of a legal immigrant, I personally understand why people come to our great country. Allowing an Illegal population to thrive and grow in Lake Worth presents a clear and present danger to the sustainability of our community. We cannot allow what were once single family homes to be over-occupied or allow the unsafe conditions that result to continue. Lake Worth needs to actively pursue the enforcement of our codes and yes, sometimes at night when people are home. I'm sure drug dealers and other criminals would prefer day time visits.
I support increased enforcement of our code and an expansion of the department to attack this problem head on! Lake Worth cannot continue to be Palm Beach County's discard pile for unwanted populations. It's time to move this city forward and code enforcement is one of the keys to doing so. Acting far ahead, before a crisis unfolds, is the best way to accomplish this goal through consistent and fair code enforcement.
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Jim Stafford for Lake Worth Commissioner District 2