Friday, July 9, 2010

So much for an unbiased survey on the Casino building....

The city added a link on their website late yesterday afternoon.  I provided a link from this blog to it at the top of the right-hand column.  There are 31 multiple choice questions, with some opportunity to enter original responses.  You also have to identify yourself, which may inhibit people from participating, but it will cut down on opportunities to stuff the ballot box.

Why is it biased?  Check this out - it's the paragraph after a recital of the architectural history of the building:
The building's location east of the coastal construction control line is a reason NOT to invest money in the existing building.  It is actually an argument for a new building that would be west of the coastal construction control line - meeting current construction standards.  Some of you may remember the dramatic Powerpoint presentation made by Commissioner Cara Jennings about the perils of coastal construction when another proposal was before the City Commission - complete with scenes of people running away from waves pounding the beach.  Here's one of them:
And, in her presentation, Commissioner Cara Jennings also talked about the importance of "managed retreat" from the ocean due to the threat of rising ocean levels.  Here is another image from that presentation:
You can review the entire presentation by our District #2 Commissioner by clicking here.  The point is that you cannot tell the public that since the building is seaward, or east, of the coastal construction control line, it's a reason to rehabilitate the building - unless you don't want to represent the facts the way they are and present a biased version to those that are taking the survey.

Let's go back to that paragraph, at the second point that is made:

Can someone show me a study that examined the costs of rehabilitating the existing building versus building a new building?  An accurate assessment was never done, but here the city is telling the public that due to the costs of the new building, the decision was made to rehabilitate the old.  Why are we lying to the public?  Is the community's attachment to the existing building due more to the fact that tenants of the existing building contributed to and promoted Commissioner Jennings' and Mulevhill's campaigns?
Menu board at John G's October 2008
What a wicked web we weave when we try to deceive...

It's only when we get to question #12 that the public is asked the following:
This is the question that should have been asked by the City Commission after it exited the contract with Greater Bay - with enough facts present to make an informed, impartial decision about the expenditure of public money.  

Remember too that people are asked to identify themselves as part of this survey - possible political retribution?  I wouldn't rule it out.


Russ Hibbard said...

This poll is disappointing in that it is specifically written for REHABILITION OF THE CASINO PROPERTY. Please remove the business agenda and direct attention to the beach as a NATURAL asset, not a commercial one.

The first beach rehabilitation plans were accepted by the City of Lake Worth in 1983, and never funded. Since then, there have been several proposals, public charrettes, and financial schemes both private and public. None have been honestly presented or planned.

The Casino structure has been shown to be condemnable and should be razed. Any new structures should be placed behind the Coastal Zone building line.

For the meager budget available, the most intelligent thing for Lake Worth Beach is to emulate Boynton: Remove all structures, eliminate the last vestige of Old A1A, and return the area to native dune & landscape. Provide ADA access and a boardwalks across the dune to the beach. Provide new structures for restroom facilities and perhaps pool cabana if the pool were retained. Parking and pool revenue will be adequate to accomplish what is required; the studies were done and should still be available. If not, request same from our neighbor to the south, Boynton Beach.

Simplify the road entry, placing a manned kiosk to collect parking fees: A flat fee of $5-10 dollars per car for non-residents. Residents pay nothing. It has worked very well for Boynton for years.

After 27 years of kicking this dead horse, providing a natural beach as one of Lake Worth's finest assets could be the impetus for renewal of confidence that Lake Worth is what it's slogan claims: where the tropics begin. Enough posturing and pointless dog & pony shows. TWENTY SEVEN YEARS of stupidly rehashing this issue is quite enough.

Russ Hibbard said...

Forgot to mention: took the survey, which requires ID... my comments were posted as above. Retribution? We'll see. Considering the general mood, it's hard to imagine anything gained politically by ignoring common sense.

I'm so tired of the "leadership" in this town's BS...

Luther said...

Don't worry Wes. Cara's editing of the REG Survey questions takes out all chances the input data resulting in anything other than Cara's decision to use the existing footprint.
Also, no Historical monies or designations of any kind are available for the Casino project. What I suspect is going to happen is the co-architect-Living Designs Group--will design an exterior Casino structural shell that will accommodate a modern design skin that is compatible with the recently Commission Approved modern details that will be incorporated into the PBC $5,000,000 renovation funds---Sails, bench-planters, etc. They were designed by the Cara-Rene backed Michael Singer Group.

Boy is Lynn going to be upset when she finds out.

Anonymous said...

If people would smarten up some in this city, they would boycott John G's. I hate when businesses, big or small, use their power to control and dictate political matters here. It really bugs me that John G's is already promoting Cara and Suzanne again. I will now not go there anymore and hope many others will not put them on a pedestal anymore and boycott them too. I hope this backfires on them, not sure it will, but they deserve it. Andy A. and others downtown also do the same thing, using their business fascades to promote their candidates, often for the same reasons John G's does, and I do not frequent their businesses either because of it. I hate when businesses get political due to their own averice ways and gains. It stinks. Greed greed greed, lies, lies, lies...... how many of the deadly sins is John G's and others promoting?

Anonymous said...

Russ Hibbard has the right idea. Knock that ugly building down and make the beach a beautiful park. Eff john G's.

Anonymous said...

Geeze, we started out with a salt water pool, a place to change clothes and shower, a snack bar and a place to buy a raft and tanning lotion and tee shirts and bait.

The political football has been going back and forth for as long as I can remember.

No one (VOTERS) ever voted on re-habbing the old building. If this building were private, it would have been condemned 40 years ago when they put up those gargantuan columns to hold up a two story building.

Renovation costs could be much more than tearing it down and rebuilding, but then we may never know because the commission won't allow the cost estimates to meet public scrutiny.

NEW building technology would allow a much more efficient (energy and usefulness) and stronger building.

I have worked on the infrastructure of the building and have seen firsthand what 100 years of beachfront can do to a structure. It ain't pretty.

I agree with the assessment of the Lake Worth Building Official who was fired because he condemned the structure as UNSAFE.

Can it be re-habbed? Sure, but at what cost? THEY don't want you to know!

John G's is a great asset to our city. I'd love to see them in a new, larger, nicer space paying reasonable rent to us, their landlord.

Russ Hibbard said...

Well, "Anonymous"... you're mostly on target but:

Sorry, John G's has never paid reasonable rent and calling it an "asset" is absurd. No private business should ever take precedence over the public weal.

Anonymous said...

Never is a long time. Mr G started that business and brought it from a non-descript little snack bar to it's pinnacle, which was when he retired (my opinion). He probably paid reasonable rent when he took it over. He also negotiated a pretty sweet deal when he renovated his interior 15(+/-) years ago with a long-term lease (30 year)to be able to recoup his investment. That said, my asset comment was much like I considered the Bamboo Room an asset of Lake Worth. I'd love to see more businesses like these in Lake Worth.

Any venue news, Russ?

Russ Hibbard said...

Businesses operating on public property should be considered a source of revenue meeting suitability and performance requirements as determined by competent city planning. The public might enjoy certain places long enough to wax nostalgic, but there's no guaranteed legacy.

True community assets are something more:

Patrick Lannan's gift of his museum to the city was a rejected potential asset. The loss of civic autonomy of the boat ramps and (potentially) the beach are squandered assets. The golf course is a poorly managed asset. The city rejected a positive asset in a youth skate park. The master plan created gratis by two of the best urban planners in the business was unanimously approved, ammended "in spirit" only, ultimately abandoned the entire Lake Ave./Lucerne western corridor as part of that "in spirit" plan. Lost assets. A utility with so many financial skeletons and poor long-term planning that it's our most troubled asset. And yet, our most important. Poor choice in not selling the grid to FPL long ago for a healthy profit, guaranteeing our little town's bond rating would remain AAA for decades.

These are commonwealth assets, ALWAYS more important than anyone's business deal, sweet or otherwise. Long-term leases on any prime public property without appropriate increases and profit sharing are added expenses to every one of us.
Sorry, I don't believe in subsidies in any form.

Never IS a long time... opportunities gone forever, lost by decisions made out of political and personal calculus. It has to stop... we can't afford any more small minded thinking.

Regarding Bamboo Room: stay tuned. IF employment numbers improve well enough (I have my doubts) we'll consider re-opening this fall or more likely, next spring. Meanwhile, the property is continually improved and maintained. The rumor mill is entertaining, though.