Saturday, April 11, 2009
So, this says to me that the City Commission really does want to have the public either know what is going on or is discounting the input that the public may have on the recommendation. Why all the secrecy? (you can click on the image below for a zoomed in view)
My list of questions and concerns are these:
- This cost the city $25,000 - did we get our money's worth? I don't think so.
- This completely "punts" on the building placement issue - by showing the building in the same place as it is now leads one to believe that the building will be rehabbed as part of the project. Do we have an accurate estimate re the cost of doing either a new building or rehabbing the old? Oh, that's right - we have Straticon helping on the estimates - excuse the sarcasm, but that's not objective.
- If the existing building is used - where is the loading space, dumpster etc.?
- Look at the crazy traffic circle just north of the building - how would that work in real life?
- It looks like the tenants have had their say in the creation of this plan - notice the employee parking is intact to the west of the building.
- The designers still insist on calling the hill at the beach property the "dune" - which gives it inflated environmental importance that it shouldn't have. In actuality, it was the barrier island's western shoreline before the area west of the casino building was filled in after WWII. The barrier island was very narrow here before.
- They got away without a parking garage by more efficiently laying out the parking area to preserve the amount of parking spaces required by the County - while opening up more green space. This is a worthwhile approach usually, but the angle parking makes me wonder how easy it will be to unload beach gear from vehicles parked next to each other. And then you got to hike.
- The road nearest the beach has been moved further west and so has the parking area on the east side of the property. I am sure that some people will feel strongly that is a mistake.
- What are all the miscellaneous buildings springing up between the road/parking area and the seawall? Remember Commissioner Jennings being so concerned about miscellaneous buildings at the beach? How soon some forget. These are all seaward of the Coastal Construction Control line - as is the existing casino building.
- There is also no access in between the north and south property lines along A1A - why?
- How are the engineering estimates coming along on drainage, water, sewer and electric? I hear there is a big dollar figure there that the city is firm on.
- There is a small dotted line goes across the HILL and is labeled "accessible trail." Really? Does it really meet the grade and surface requirements for accessibility?
Friday, April 10, 2009
My friend who lives there sent me this message as issued by the Mayor's office. I thought you'd be interested in the e-mail transmittal as well as the content what they send out to residents:
Attached, for your information, is the City Manager’s “Information Sharing” report, reflecting the highlights of this morning’s weekly staff meeting. As usual, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or comments.
Department Director Staff Meeting of Monday, April 6, 2009
For some years now, we have incorporated the organization’s shared values in the Annual Budget. They are:
Involvement and participation of citizens in city government
Delivery of efficient and effective quality services
A customer oriented approach to everything we do
Honest, respectful and ethical behavior by all city employees
Stewardship of responsibility for city resources
Accountability for performance and finances
In a recent article in the International City/County Management Association magazine, the topic of value-based leadership was discussed. Here are some practical steps to strengthen our ethics and shared values:
Know our values
Recognize behavior that is consistent with our shared values
Live the values
Coach others toward value acceptance
Admit mistakes and right wrongs to restore trust
Police Department conducted a testing process for the position of Police Officer. A total of forty-four (44) applicants participated in the process. Thirty-eight (38) candidates passed the first two testing hurdles (written examination and physical abilities test) and are taking part in the oral board process at the time of this writing.
Water Distribution - Cross Connection Control Program: Staff field inspected 29 existing commercial sites and added them to the City’s cross connection database. To date; 8,616 of the 12,136 locations throughout the city are now in that database. The meter technicians have turned in 20 reports of cross connections since being trained to recognize these potential hazards. Their reports consisted mostly of hose bibs installed directly to water meters on vacant lots, which are illegal, and without an approved backflow device. They are a great risk of contaminating the city’s water system.
Water Treatment Plant - Kathleen Saurez, one of our operator trainees completed her 2080 hours of on the job training allowing her to become a licensed operator. She had completed course work and passed the state exam prior to being employed by the City. Congratulations Kathleen!
It is that time again; in the coming month, the Assistant City Manager will begin putting together the Spring/Summer 2009 edition The CITYHALLways. Please submit your article ideas to your Department Director.
Reminder….Coconut Craze Day is this Saturday, April 11th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Laishley Park. For more information, please visit http://www.mainstreetpuntagorda.org/events.html.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
7. Paducah, Kentucky
What makes it special: Think about artist towns, and one of the first ones that cometo mind is Paducah. With more than 50 artists living, working and selling their creations, this small town features a fantastic cost of living, mixed-use properties, lots of art events, a performing arts theater, an art center, a community theater and the charm of the south. It’s not just about the business, but the camraderie of Paducah, with its pot luck dinners, study groups and artsy atmosphere, that makes it a special
place to live.
What it offers: Besides a central location and the support of other professional artists, Paducah offers a $2,500 reimbursement for any design or renovation costs involved with the purchase of one of their charming properties, plus 100 percent financing for the purchase and rehabilitation of an existing structure or the building of a new structure. If you’re building, there are even free lots available for new construction.
Contact: City of Paducah Planning Department, 270-444-8690, email@example.com
Sec. 18-146. Statement of findings and purpose.
(a) The town council has found that Palm Beach is internationally known and has become a worldwide synonym for beauty, quality and value.
(b) In recognition of the fact that beautiful communities can be created only through a deliberate search for beauty on the part of the community leadership, architects, planners, realtors and the building industry, backed by an appreciation of the visual world by the people, the town council has created the architectural commission.
(c) Public action for improving community appearance, as embodied in the architectural commission, will provide the ultimate designers of individual structures with the larger contexts in which their particular works will be viewed. Since the beauty of a community involves the aesthetic quality of all one sees in moving about, it goes far beyond the design of individual architectural facades.
(d) Zoning is the single most powerful legal enforcement of an overall urban concept, but alone it does not create beauty, aesthetic order, or amenity. The task of the architectural commission is therefore to preserve various elements of urban beauty and require that new projects enhance the existing elements.
(e) The essential foundation of beauty in communities is harmony. The plan for achieving beauty must grow out of special local characteristics of site, aesthetic tradition and development potential. Some local areas of natural beauty are the beaches, ocean and intracoastal waterway. The vistas and visual delight of these should be allowed only to be enhanced. It is the intent of this article to achieve a pleasant and comprehensive cohesiveness in community development.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
In other business last night, the Commission on a vote of 3-2, with Lowe and Clemens dissenting, sent JCD packing. They were the firm that was stepping into run operations at the golf course. They had successfully turned around the West Palm Beach golf course and this was meant to piggy-back on the contract. The three in favor of the status quo supported the existing employees. Apparently JCD did a lot of work in advance of their relationship being formalized in order to help the city better the operations there. Another opportunity lost.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I think she is a great choice and am very optimistic about the selection.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The PB Post made it seem like I announced, when in fact that's not what happened. I told George Bennett that I am planning on running for Mayor. Slightly different than announcing, but it's more about timing. I haven't opened a campaign account. I am still actively serving on the CRA and do not have to resign until qualifying period ends in August - assuming I follow through on my plans to run.
Keep checking back here for further announcements. For now, if you're curious about who I am and what I stand for, this blog gives you over 1,500 opportunities to find out more about me. If you like what you see here, tell your friends and neighbors about me - ask them to check out the blog. You can leave a message via the "Grand Central" button on the right-hand side of the blog or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That's a way to arrange a face-to-face meeting. If you are part of a group of people, I'd love to arrange an opportunity to chat with you all in the near future.
Let's all get involved so that Lake Worth is known for being responsive to its residents' needs and is first when it comes to communicating with its residents. We have a long way to go.
Tomorrow they plan to make the decision - at 5 p.m. prior to the regular Commission meeting. I'll check the city's website later today and see if they have the meeting audio available so you can listen to it yourself if you have time.
Again, an 8:30 a.m. meeting on such a big decision is not advisable, as far as I am concerned and the Commission is not leaving a lot of time to think things over before they act. Another rushed decision?
I am really impressed with the strength of the candidates. Fingers crossed!
Here is the excerpt regarding Lake Worth:
Question: What makes an "activist" in the eyes of the media?
With Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens not seeking reelection in November so he can pursue a 2010 state House bid, voters could see a broad spectrum of potential replacements.
Chamber of Commerce prez and former Mayor Tom Ramiccio, blogging urban planner Wes Blackman and longtime activist Javier Del Sol say they're in. Maybes include TV personality Greg Rice and veterinarian/Democratic activist Rene Varela.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
About 30 or so people attended a talk given by the visiting Mayor of San Francisco. The remarks in the video surround issues related to gay marriage and the importance of the courts in propelling the movement. After this, he took some questions and one was about the various "green" initiatives led by San Fransisco, increasingly followed by other communities. One of them is making possible urban wind generation such as this installation:
Check out this link to San Francisco's Department of the Environment for more detail on the many city -sponsored programs designed to address environmental and, many times, social justice issues.
Representing Lake Worth were Mayor Clemens, Vice-Mayor Golden and Commissioner Mulvehill. Commissioner Muio from West Palm Beach also attended the talk. Afterward, Lake Worth resident Drew Martin mentioned to me that he wants to see Lake Worth pass a ban on plastic grocery bags. I told him to work through the three commissioners that he supports and wished him luck.
4pm - 6pm
LW Golf Course Clubhouse (take 7th Avenue North all the way east, dead ends at the golf course)
The City Manager is a very important position in our city as they carry out many responsibilities: ensuring that all city departments run smoothly, over-seeing all major city projects, balancing the budget and hiring/firing department heads. Most importantly, the City Manager is responsible to carry out the policy and directions given by the City Commission.
The City Commission will be interviewing the City Manager candidates next week. Your input on the best person for the job is vital! Please attend the meet and greet. Copies of the candidate resumes are available at City Hall, or online.