Saturday, May 21, 2011

Scenes from last Tuesday's City Commission Work Session on the Willdan Study...

My comments given about 9 p.m.:

"You know, it's a shame that this meeting was going on three hours and fifteen minutes before public comment began.  There were many people here expecting to talk, in fact the media said that the public would have a chance to speak starting at 5:30 today. Well, now there is a just a fraction of people that were here at 5:30.

I was one of the moderators at last Saturday's "Voice of the Choice" meeting, along with Bob Lepa and Karri Casper.  The major weakness of the Willdan report was the complete lack of public input in its creation.  The meeting we organized Saturday to fill that void.

We designed the meeting to be informational and friendly to all points of view.  We included ways to contact all of you and talked about future meeting dates.  There was overwhelming support for the sheriff by the over two hundred people in attendance.

We are putting together a report from all the groups that were assigned topics at the meeting.  We really need to know what future meeting dates will be when this PBSO issue will be discussed.

Another major weakness of the report is that all of the budget projections assumed there would be no fiscal impact from a change in the police force.  We all know that a change like that would affect public's perception of safety and would further decrease property values.

Like I said, we will have a written report to present to you and we would like to do that at your June 7th meeting, perhaps under Presentations.  I can't tell you everything in two minutes (The timer went off here), but in two hours we were able to come up with three days worth of suggestions.  Thank you."

1 comment:

Jack said...

Great quality and quantity of work product Wes. Your methodology seems to have tapped into resources in Lake Worth people that far exceeds the experience, abilities and wisdom of most of the other side of the dais and the work product of Willdan.
While being gravely concerned about the Budget crisis and wanting the most cost effective numbers for all line items, including Police and Fire,.......I am concerned that the bean counters in charge are leading us over the cliff.
For me, a thorough understanding of the crime being addressed and the EMS being asked for is the basis for any decisions. That was not the direction the City manager gave to Willdan in either study. With such an understanding, priorities and change of emphasis if required, and decisions like 100% or 80% or 60% of desired service can be made.
This process of arbitrarily assigning a numerical value to isolated line items like Police and fire seems to me to be fraught with danger.