Friday, March 16, 2012

Inspector general fears county's proposed settlement to lawsuit over city, town payments

Hmmmm.  Click title for link to PBP article.

At the Special Meeting re City Manager Interviews...

Barbara Lipscomb is being interviewed now.  I just got about 10 minutes of the beginning of her interview on video and I will try to do the same with the other candidates.  She is addressing the issue of assessments at this time, in response to a question asked by Commissioner Maxwell.  She has had experience in implementing assessments.  She says that it really is a policy decision to be made by the City Commission.  The Mayor asked how she made her communities that she worked for more transparent to the public.  She said that she has done brochures, newsletters and utilized the Internet to get information out - door hangers as well when it relates to a new program or code enforcement initiatives.  Mulvehilll asked how large an infrastructure project has she managed.  Street improvements, parks  - all multi-million dollar projects.   Generally the projects have come in on time and on budget.  Amoroso asked about city staff and the fact that they haven't had a wage increase in three years.  What sorts of non-monetary compensation ideas would you have for them.  She implemented a four day work week - which was estimated to save money over-all.  Didn't do it immediately, but made the announcement six months before it went into effect.  McVoy asks about challenges with the reputation of City Hall and the administration.  What sorts of things would you do to attract and retain highly professional staff.  She says that pay doesn't do it all the time, but you must provide a challenging work environment where they are free to use their creativity.  She has never cut training or abilities to advance your career.  Maxwell asks in her conversations with the five Commissioners and research of the city, he says that you must have noticed that we aren't all on the same page.  What can she do to address this fact?  She says by leadership and her experience with various crisis situations.  She is a "unity builder" and has a degree in Urban Planning.  She has a pragmatic approach and experience in working with diverse communities.  She says that she is a proven professional and never had an issue with ethics, she is business friendly and believes in strategic planning.

Michael Bornstein - I have the first 10 minutes on video which I will post later.  They are asking the same questions so I will just post the responses.  He says that he would instill a sense of stability for staff and create an opportunity for employees that they are actually happy to come in to work.  That type of attitude starts at the top.  Government gets some hits, but it is a noble profession.  Listen to employees - with sincerity.  He would attract first rate proffessional staff - part of it is pay, but there are other factors.  There are people out there right now that would like to come to Lake Worth that are not totally about salary - they want to be here for the challenge and the tremendous potential.  He thinks he could attract those type of folks.  This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Maxwell asks while he wants to leave his current position.  He is very happy in Lantana - his Commission is happy.  He is happy when he drives into work.  He is at a point in live where he wants to attempt bigger challenges and fulfill his potential.  Having been across the border, he has watched what was going on.  He went to a charette here 20 years ago and they talked about the great layout of the city and that always made an impression on him.  He sees the city at a turn-around point and do not dismiss the economic downturn's importance.  What can the Commission do to make sure you are success.  "Well, you can hire me."  Laughter.  He is a student of city government - You need good data, you make the decisions, I carry them out - "I am the genie in the bottle."  The Commission provides the direction.  Lantana is one third the size of Lake Worth - Mulvehill asks how he can make a transition to projects that may be ten times the size of Lantana's project.  He says that this is a step up in size, but with good staff, communication and direction, we can do it.  How can he contribute immediately - a sense of stability and espirit de corps.  Budget items are longer term - might be three years, but you have to get on a plan to build up reserves and pay for things you need done.  Suspicion of government - how would he build confidence in the community?  On a political level - it should stay in the political arena.  Decisions need to be made based upon information that is accurate and objective.  This should be a standard here.  Completeness.  Admit mistakes.  Bring a commitment to those ideals.  Setting a high standard of what comes to you.  People want to see things.  You have to sit down, listen to people and search for the kernels of truth.  What was a not-so-good situation?  He says that there have been minor things like when staff didn't have a complete set of information on something that he was presenting to the Commission.  Nothing stands out as monumental.  What is the one thing we should know about him before he leaves the chambers today?  He hasn't applied anywhere else.  He took a lot of time to think about this and he is committed to this.  He wants to work as hard as he can for this city.  He has a tremendous level of commitment.  Heart, mind and soul committed to the City of Lake Worth.

Jamie Titcomb - first 10 minutes on video.  He believes that he is a brand builder and was in advertising/public relations for 20 years.  He works well with others and the circumstances to look at the brand the perception of the community.  He knows what needs to be done to change the story.  He is known for working together with people to do this.  He has been here for 32 years - bringing people together, strengthen the brand and melt away old images.  It is a process, it will take time to de-tangle the situation.  Improve the dialog at the community, staff and Commission level.  "Remember when they used to snicker about us."  He is in a microcosm of a Lake Worth situation in the position he is currently in - what he finds where this is going on, internally the staff is a little shell-shocked.  He uses humor here and there to lighten the mood.  He invites people to dialog with him and talk to others - moving away from silos  and allow them to be creative and have discretion in how they do their job.  Then the corporate culture starts to change - then inefficiencies emerge.He reaches out to everyone - even the unreachable.  It's o.k. to work together, it's o.k. to come up with ideas.  Bottom line is about job satisfaction, not necessarily money.  Biggest dollar capital projects where when he was an elected official in Boynton Beach.  Most of his work has been intergovernmental - helping communities plan for projects they want to implement.  Non-monetary incentives?  To Amoroso "Everyone gets a gift-card to your store, Commissioner."  Laughter.  Comp-time, individually communicate about what would make their job more satisfactory, other than money.  Flexibility in hours, work outside their normal functional area, What would he do to overcome suspicion?  He thinks it part of his position that this is something that is focused on.  It starts at the top and works down.  The elected dais is a starting point.  Concentrate on positive problem solving, positive expression of ideas, increase the quality of dialog.  He would be a bit of a broken record on that level.  There are civil and polite ways to agree to disagree.  This is a longstanding issue - to win, someone does not have to lose.  Eventually, the political rhetoric changes.  Lack of experience as City Manager a detriment?  He reminds them that he has over thirty years of experience, half of which has been in the area of local government.  He points out that the city has been managed by people with credentials "up the wazoo" and wonders if that is working for the city.  He is both right and left brain.  Need time to development "best practices."  The past is not the way to do things in the future.  He is coming to be the conductor, not the individual player.

Click here for back-up for Special City Commission Meeting - 3/16 City Manager Candidate Interviews

The meeting starts at 4 p.m. today in the City Commission chambers.  I plan on attending and will blog "live" from there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Suspect arrested in Lake Worth double-shooting

UPDATE:  Click title for link.

Familiar names on list to be Hallandale Beach city manager - Hallandale Beach -

It still seems to be all about Susan.  Apparently her current position with Ft. Lauderdale is a "make do" while she waits for one where she can exercise her considerable administrative prowess. Click title for link.


On South C Street - click title for link.  Check local media outlets throughout the day for more information.  Code Red lock-down at Lake Worth High School and Highlands Elementary.  Suspect at large.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lake Worth narrows manager list to four, including Lantana's Bornstein

Special City Commission meeting for interviews set for this Friday at 4 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers.  Following that, there is a meet and greet social opportunity at the Golf Course Clubhouse at 6:30 p.m. after the meeting.  Click title for link to PBP article.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How one of our municipal neighbors is using the arts to promote redevelopment and improve quality of life...

An overview of Fiscal Year 2011/2012 Art in Public Places Program activities and progress. This video was presented at the Boynton Beach City Commission meeting on March 6, 2012.