Friday, September 11, 2009

Palm Springs?!?!?!???!!!!?? 800 jobs not in Lake Worth.

Click title for link.

COLUMN: New factory not just a cosmetic change


"Cosmetics maker Oxygen Development expects to employ 800 people - more than Scripps Florida. Only this project isn't costing the county a dime. Oxygen is making the move from Deerfield Beach in Broward County to Palm Springs because of federal stimulus money."

"Palm Springs, a central-county town of 14,500 with an aggressive approach to growth, is hurting in a county with an 11.3 percent jobless rate. With construction scheduled to start in January and take at least 18 months, the plant is unlikely to open before 2011. When it does, it could provide the kind of job base that is so rare in South Florida and America, for that matter."

Read on and cry. I wonder how tall their plant will be?

My Campagin is Endorsed by the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, Inc.

The Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. endorsed my campaign for Lake Worth City Commissioner. I am humbled to receive their letter on the anniversary of the day that so many first responders gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Wes Blackman for City Commissioner District #3

Agenda for 9/14 Special City Commission meeting

Click title for back-up - commentary to follow.

Then and now...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hurry...Catch the City Commission Budget Train!

This just came from the City Clerk's office a few minutes ago...

This is the agenda for today's public hearing on the budget and a host of other items - including establishing fees for the use of the boat ramp and increasing electric rates!

This is totally unacceptable to have notice of the agenda for this meeting delivered less than 6 hours before the meeting starts!

Click here for Song and Associates Report on City Buildings

This was presented at the February 21, 2006 City Commission meeting. The current City Manager made reference for a need to study each of the city's facilities in her budget transmittal letter to the City Commission.

Perhaps reading this report would be a good start. I do not agree with all of their conclusions regarding the future use of buildings but it's worthy of additional discussion.

Another sneaky City Commission Special Meeting coming up this Monday re Comp Plan...

How other communities see the importance of an accessible, informational website...

Town of Jupiter

City of Boynton Beach

City of Ft. Meyers

Only Mention of Today's (9/10) City Commission First Public Hearing on Budget

To get this "notice" above, you have to click on Meetings and Events on the Home Page. Below is where one would usually find a copy of the agenda for the meeting - where most people look.
Is there any more important a meeting than reviewing the City's annual budget and the setting of the millage rate? Does it make you wonder why the City apparently doesn't want you to know about it?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2nd Installment - Review of 2009-2010 Budget

1st Installment - Review of 2009-2010 Budget

Click here for link to Commissioner Jennings' Letter to DCA re LW Comprehensive Plan

There are so many things wrong about this, it's hard to know where to begin. This is a process that has been going on for four plus YEARS. First reading had already taken place with very little comment from the dais. The Planning and Zoning Board has met over and over on this, each time in public and accepted public comment at each level of review. Part of the public comment could, and should, have included comment from Commissioners and the Mayor. There have been plenty of opportunities. But at the very last minute, Commissioner Jennings' comes in ready to make substantial changes to the document, with the support of certain other Commissioners (eh hem.)

One of the major things wrong about this is that this letter is from one of the five elected people in the City - somehow that is supposed to be representative and authoritative?

One of the guiding principles of this re-write of our Comprehensive Plan was to reflect that height is a valuable commodity in Lake Worth - and that we want to restrict it in order to retain our unique character. As such, height was to be used as leverage to achieve many public benefits - the higher you want to go, the more public benefits you will have to provide. In order to be effective, the height that you allow must provide enough of an incentive so that the private sector is able to provide that public benefit. Restricting height to 3 stories or 35 feet - and providing public benefits - will not result in the desired end. The cost benefit ratio is weighted too heavily towards cost - there is no incentive for anyone to redevelop a piece of property under this scenario. It would be a "de facto" moratorium on redevelopment in Lake Worth - period. I guess that's what those in power want now as I have identified before in this forum.

Now, I understand that City Manager Stanton wants to slow down the approval of the Comprehensive Plan for even more public input. This is a product of the lack of institutional memory in City Hall - a major part of the $1 million spent on this master plan process was to ensure broad public involvement. I have never understood that Commissioners do not support our existing public meetings and encourage the public input process taking place at their own advisory boards.

And we still do not have a Comprehensive Plan that is in compliance.
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Wes Blackman for City Commissioner District #3

I'll be taking part in Park(ing) Day -2009 in Lake Worth

Click title for link to the worldwide event website. I participated in last year's event and helped organize the CRA sponsorship. This is where the parking lot at the southeast corner of J and Lucerne is transformed into a park for a day. Participants use individual parking spaces as their canvas to unleash their creative forces. Come by say "Hi" - stop for a picture with the candidate! Babies welcome! More information to come, but it will start at 2 p.m., Friday, September 18th.
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Wes Blackman for City Commissioner District #3

Last week's Tweet-Up at the Can Can Cafe - City Place

Met a whole bunch of tweeters last week at a local Tweet-Up. Jim Stafford and I attended. There were many interesting people in attendance and we made a lot of good connections. If you're on Twitter, don't forget to follow me. You'll find that I send out a lot of planning related items - some that you won't see on the blog. As we approach the election, expect more campaign related tweets. If you're visiting CityPlace, check out this cafe - complete with periodic Can Can dancers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To the many new blog visitors...

First of all, thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. As of today, there are over 2,200 posts spanning a three year period of Lake Worth history. If you're interested in a certain topic, the search function in the upper left hand corner of the blog is a great resource to find what you're looking for. Also, you can simply review the most recent posts by scrolling down the page, check out the topic list or by date along the right hand column. If you are on Facebook, make sure to send me a friend request and become a supporter on my campaign page. That is where you'll find up to the minute news about what is happening on the campaign trail.

Also, feel free to comment and ask questions under the various posts on the blog. You can always e-mail me your questions at

Once again, thanks for all the interest and I hope you find the blog entertaining and informative!
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Wes Blackman for City Commissioner District #3

Will PBCC become Palm Beach State College? Trustees vote today

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Truth still matters...

As I make my trip down the campaign trail, I am hearing how my opposition is misrepresenting me. It's good when people tell me these things since I am able to clarify where I stand on the issues and leave them to judge the intent of the person or persons that gave them misinformation. There are two that I heard about today that I will address here:
  1. I am not against immigration and I am not against immigrants. Consistent with my position in the last campaign, I am for a labor center. Our country is made richer by the contributions of people from all cultures. The Federal government has abdicated its role in metering immigration and communities have to find ways to lead immigrants towards productive and safe futures in our society. One of my main platform planks is that we need to be consistent in our decision making process - regardless of the issue at hand. Zoning and building rules were overlooked in the establishment of our labor center - while we make others jump through endless hurdles when they attempt to open a business in Lake Worth. Likewise, when a claim is made that the Resource Center serves everyone in the city, then it should REALLY serve everyone in the city. The main reason for my impromptu visit to the Resource Center was to determine if that was the case - I am still not totally convinced. By the admission of the Resource Center's director and sitting City Commissioners, the building is becoming more and more inadequate to serve its intended function. Conflicts are erupting between the building's traditional users - shuffleboarders - and users of the center. We need to have the freedom to critically think and ask if this indeed is the right place for this sort of use. To have my stance on the issue interpreted as being against immigrants is a gross misrepresentation. If anything, I want the Resource Center to better serve ALL of the city's residents and I want it in a place that makes sense for its operation - and the city as a whole.
  2. Parking at the beach. It's horrible that the result of the $5 million grant will just facilitate additional paving at the beach - more and darker asphalt with different stripes and jeopardizing Lake Worth resident decal permit holders does not seem an acceptable solution. Although I acknowledged that it would be politically unacceptable and impractical, I offered a "green option" of parking downtown in a parking garage and busing people to the beach - opening up tons of green space there. Other Commissioners, including Commissioner Golden, talked about this idea as an option. We need to have the freedom to discuss all ideas and evaluate them against each other. I want to make it clear: I am upset about the amount of asphalt at the beach and we need to find ways to reduce paving. Decked parking at the beach is an option worth examining - as are all ideas that would demonstrate Lake Worth is doing all it can to be a leader in green redevelopment - another part of my campaign platform.
Come to think of it, I wonder what my opponent's campaign platform is. ??
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Wes Blackman for City Commissioner District #3

Click here for link to City Manager's 2009-2010 Recommended Budget