Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last night's Playhouse Debate put on by NAPC

The place to be last night was the Lake Worth Playhouse for the Neighborhood Association President's Council debates.  I remember the place being more crowded in previous years than last night.  While the main floor was fairly full, there were still plenty of seats in the back of the theater.

Things started outside around 6 p.m. when the various supporters started arriving to wave signs on Lake Avenue.  While I was out there, many in cars slowed up to ask when the debates were, so it did serve as good publicity for the event.  The program started around 7 p.m. with Jim Sackett from WPTV doing the moderating. It was more of a debate format this year as each candidate had 25 minutes in a bank that they could use as they wished to respond to questions, pose their own or respond to other candidates' responses.  This 25 minutes was exclusive of the 2 minute introduction and wrap-up speeches.  At first, I was optimistic about the flexibility of the format, but every candidate left minutes in the bank.  The last tallies given ranged between 13 and 15 minutes, so when it was all over, I would estimate that everyone had about 10 minutes left.  That's unfortunate since the candidates' missed opportunities to discuss water rate increases and could have clarified the facts regarding some of the issues.

I am uploading YouTube videos of the introduction speeches.  Most came out intact - I missed the very first part of McVoy's and only got a portion of Maxwell's due to issues with the camera.  Stay tuned.

Carla Blockson and Lisa Maxwell got some good licks in.  After a long, rambling response by Chris McVoy on all the wonders of the beach project, heaping wreaths at the feet of the current Commission's efforts, Blockson immediately pointed out that the original question was: How are you going to make Lake Worth attractive to businesses?  She went on to say that the difference in utility rates between FPL and Lake Worth is substantial enough to deter businesses from locating here.  Just before, Commissioner Mulvehill talked all about the beach in answer to the same question, suggesting that once completed, the beach will draw 500,000 additional tourists to Lake Worth.  Where are these numbers coming from?  The beach is really not going to be that different than what it is today, even though we are spending $12 million on the overall project.  No one brought up the curious connection between Commissioner Mulvehill's "passion" for the beach and her substantial contributions from tenants there.  Maxwell talked about "utility crack" meaning the money that is generated by the electric and water utilities that is funneled into the general fund.

A neighbor who attended last night came up to me afterwards and said, "She looks like she's from Palm Beach in that suit, that's not Lake Worth - who is she representing?"  This was referring to Commissioner Mulvehill's silk suit.  His words, not mine.  I hope she has other clothes to wear, because that's all that we have seen her in during the campaign.  I think it's an attempt to give a "gossamer" quality to her.  Another friend told me about how a local real estate person, who specializes in west of Dixie properties, called him and asked if he could put Mulvehill and McVoy signs in his yard.  Now, who is really in the pockets of real estate people?