Thursday, August 6, 2009

How safe is our downtown Post Office from closure?

Click title for link to complete, current list. Right now, it appears that only the "Lantana Branch" is listed - but is anyone making sure that ours will not be a victim to closure? Hello?

10th Avenue

I had an occasion to come back to Lake Worth last night going east on 10th. It was the first time I have seen the lights on both sides of the road - it looked like a new city! An inviting entrance to a small coastal town - just what it should look like. It is going to be fantastic once complete, but it's such an improvement even now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One signed up in mayor's race, as qualifying for Lake Worth city election opens

Click title for link to PB Post article. The Lake Worth Herald, Leonard Saffir called today and asked if I was running for anything. I responded that once I know, I will let them and everyone else know.

E-mail to Commissioners, et al this morning (8/5)

Thank you for considering and discussing many of the questions I posed on the Beach Protection Amendment language. I was able to listen to it on line after I left the meeting.

Can someone forward me the up-dated language? I want to be as accurate as possible - many people are asking for it.

I still wonder about the purpose of it - other than getting people out to the polls to vote for certain candidates, I'm not sure it does anything substantial.

And, I thought it was interesting to hear Laurence McNamara talk about the "re-creation" of the 1921 Casino building - isn't that the same word that is found in the phrase "public recreation?"

Thanks.

Wes Blackman

Please Vote "yes" on the Beach Protection Charter Amendment. The sun may rise in the West.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Click here for link to Florida Statutes regarding small scale land use amendments...

Excerpt

163.3187 Amendment of adopted comprehensive plan.--

(1) Amendments to comprehensive plans adopted pursuant to this part may be made not more than two times during any calendar year, except:

(a) In the case of an emergency, comprehensive plan amendments may be made more often than twice during the calendar year if the additional plan amendment receives the approval of all of the members of the governing body. "Emergency" means any occurrence or threat thereof whether accidental or natural, caused by humankind, in war or peace, which results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the population or substantial damage to or loss of property or public funds.

(b) Any local government comprehensive plan amendments directly related to a proposed development of regional impact, including changes which have been determined to be substantial deviations and including Florida Quality Developments pursuant to s. 380.061, may be initiated by a local planning agency and considered by the local governing body at the same time as the application for development approval using the procedures provided for local plan amendment in this section and applicable local ordinances.

(c) Any local government comprehensive plan amendments directly related to proposed small scale development activities may be approved without regard to statutory limits on the frequency of consideration of amendments to the local comprehensive plan. A small scale development amendment may be adopted only under the following conditions:

1. The proposed amendment involves a use of 10 acres or fewer and:

Click here: Wholesale source for votive candles!

I've had to light so many recently in prayers for our city. Maybe we can put together a large order and save on shipping and handling.

FYI - New Feature on Blog

Scroll down the blog and look in the right hand column. You will see a "player" that you can use to hear archived Internet talk shows. The one that Jim Stafford and I did last night is now up and accessible. If you didn't have a chance to hear it live at 7 p.m., you can now hear it anytime of the day. We plan on doing more in the future. Let me know if you are interested in doing a show with us.

As always, thanks for visiting!

Thought: The proposed Beach Ballot measure is like a referendum mandating that the primary source of light on Earth is the Sun.

...along with sneaky "gray area" wording that might protect existing tenants and the casino building - in the condition they're in.

Message from City: NEIGHBORHOOD SUMMER FUN

NEIGHBORHOOD "SUMMER FUN!"

ACTIVITIES WILL INCLUDE:

with the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office in Lake Worth Additional Support provided by:

The Palm Beach County's Sheriff's Office along with the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency and the City of Lake Worth, will be hosting a day of "Summer Fun" with the community. This fun filled day for the citizens of Lake Worth will allow residents to meet and interact with their local law enforcement reprsentatives along with their neighbors. A Visit from the PBSO K-9 Unit, The PBSO S.W.A.T. Truck (the Hulk),LW Fire Rescue, and PBSO Marine Unit. Bounce House and Many ther Guests AUGUST 15TH 10am to 2pm 200 Block of North "B" Street, Lake Worth FREE Hot Dogs & Sodas (NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED) will be
served and a free raffle will be held for attendees

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is Committed to our Youth!

The Universal Language...

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jim Stafford and I did an Internet radio show tonight.

Look for link to archived show later. More shows to come.

Commissioner Mulvehill's Response...

FYI - I have e-mailed my questions on the ballot language to the City Commission and City Manager.

Other Questions on the Beach Ballot Language

How is "currently" defined? Is it as of November 3rd 2009, the day of the election? Or is it whenever anyone wants it to be? Is the "current" tenant mix forever protected, secured and maintained in its current mix and proportion of uses? Does this mean that if a T-Shirt shop goes out we need to find another T-Shirt shop to take its place? What happens if the city doesn't abide by its own Charter?

Another thought came to mind: How about having a similar ballot amendment for the shuffleboard court building? It's zoned Public Recreation and Open Space. Shouldn't we declare that the primary use for that property is public recreation?

Assignment: Define "public recreation."

Another Issue: Time between First and Second Readings

The City is also racing the clock to get these ballot measures - and the Sunset matter - public hearings accomplished. For the Beach Ballot measure, it's to meet a 5 p.m. August 7th deadline to get the ballot wording to the Supervisor of Elections office. If there are significant changes to the wording, it may throw the whole timeframe out the window as it would have to be re-advertised - as was the case with the Community Relations Board. I am sure Commissioner Jennings will bring up this as a reason that we can't make drastic changes or additions to the wording.

This is what the State Statute says regarding first and second readings:

Florida Statutes:
166.041 Procedures for adoption of ordinances and resolutions.--

*******************************

(2) Each ordinance or resolution shall be introduced in writing and shall embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith. The subject shall be clearly stated in the title. No ordinance shall be revised or amended by reference to its title only. Ordinances to revise or amend shall set out in full the revised or amended act or section or subsection or paragraph of a section or subsection.

(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) [Zoning Ordinances], a proposed ordinance may be read by title, or in full, on at least 2 separate days and shall, at least 10 days prior to adoption, be noticed once in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. The notice of proposed enactment shall state the date, time, and place of the meeting; the title or titles of proposed ordinances; and the place or places within the municipality where such proposed ordinances may be inspected by the public. The notice shall also advise that interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Alternative Beach Amendment?

How about requiring a vote of the residents of the city of Lake Worth whenever a major (insert quantifiable threshold - dollar amount, square footage) improvement project is proposed for the beach property? Then we will know what the "people" want and not what Commissioner Jennings or her "people" tell us we want.

Beach Charter Amendment: Proposed Charter Language Next (8/4) City Commission Meeting

Click title for link to complete back-up material.

Why does this seem like an answer to a question that hasn't been asked? Its vagueness leaves more questions unanswered in the process. Let me explain.

First of all, this is put forth by Commissioner Jennings. She is the one that brought the so-called "Ethics Ordinance" before the City Commission right after the qualifying period for last year's election. She called it that on the campaign trail and liberally pointed out that then Commissioner Vespo didn't vote for it, which she thought was quite an indictment on him. People she talked to would usually gasp and hold their mouths shut with their hands in horror and say "Cara, say it isn't so." as they picked up her non-recyclable "Cara" lawn signs on their way out the door.

Never mind that it wasn't a complete "Ethics Ordinance" - something that then Commissioner Vespo called for. No, it was a prohibition from anyone making a contribution to a candidate that had, or might have in the future have, a contract with the City. Well, a lease is a contract. So, it turns out that Commissioner Jennings' favored candidate, the present Commissioner Mulvehill, sacked many $500 contributions from most of the tenants of the casino building. Had that "Ethics Ordinance" passed, she couldn't have accepted their contributions.

And, even with the celebrated "progressive" majority on the City Commission since November, we still do not have an ethics ordinance. This is also in lock step with the political history of Lake Worth - be sure to be on the "right" side of the beach issue and make sure to wheel it out prior to any election. This time it's a perfect distraction to the fact that nothing has happened at the beach and all appears to be in limbo - except for the continuing deterioration of the Casino building.

This proposed Charter amendment is offered in the same spirit. It's a not-so-subtle way to mobilize her voter I.D.'d base, get them to the poles and have them vote for "her" candidates. This is the way a political machine works.

This is how the acting City Attorney describes the "Program Impact" in the memo to the City Commission:This is how the proposed ballot language reads:

Let's analyze this. The use of the word "secure" here means to me that something will be locked away forever. There is no going back and that public recreation is somehow threatened at the beach. Public recreation as a "primary use." How is "public recreation" defined? At what point does it become "primary?" How is that quantified? How will this be enforced? Why is it needed? Most of the 19 acres consists of parking spaces and asphalt for automobiles? Is that the primary use? And what is the "beach?" Is it the entire 19 acre property or is it the strip of sand along the eastern side of the property?

The Charter of the City is like the Constitution to the United States. As such, you need to be cautious when you amend it. There is a reason that the Charter does not establish public recreation as a primary use - that's because it's addressed in the zoning code. Do we want to include zoning-types of regulations in the City Charter? Maybe some do, but the point needs to be made by someone. Here is the wording of the existing "Beach and Casino" zoning district:



Notice how recreation is a principle use in both the areas identified in the BAC zoning district. It even restricts retail square footage allowed to 7,200 s.f. - less than what is there now. The associated land use deisgnation restricts the square footage to 7.7% of the total square footage of the land area - I would say that is secondary to any public recreation space or parking lot by a long shot.

What are the "ancillary uses?" Are they buildings? See the phrase "currently constructed?" How is a "use" "constructed?" Answer: A "use" is not a physical thing, it's an activity. Does this mean we are protecting the current building east of the Coastal Construction Control Line? Does it mean that we are protecting and maintaining the existing building in the form that it is? Does the word "existing" as applied to "uses" refer to the current tenants of the building? Are we maintaining and protecting them and their operations by passing this ballot measure?

I think you could make a good argument for the importance of all these questions given the vagueness of the wording here. But, remember, if you ask questions you are against the environment, against preservation, against public recreation, for corporate greed, for tall buildings everywhere, for asphalt, against trees, against anything living, against John G's, etc, etc, etc.

Thanks Commissioner Jennings for the large helping of Motherhood and Apple Pie. Now, can we talk about what is really important?

It's too bad because this is a real fear that the community has and could be addressed in a responsible manner. This language just channels their fear into electing certain candidates.