Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Every once in a while...

Someone sends me a copy and paste version of a post made by Lake Worth's trivial blogger. I long ago gave up reading it myself for reasons purely related to sanitation and sanity. However, there are times where I must point out the various "out takes" of history that this local blogger makes. One such example comes from the 1/20/14 post entitled "Blast From the Past - The Rest of the Story." In it, history is so contorted that there is barely any resemblance to the realities present at the time.

Let's go back to the time period of 2010, the time frame referenced in the post. Remember that before Commissioner Maxwell made his tour explaining the content of electric bills, we had the cabal couple of Shauna Coolican and Annabeth Karson marching around town being paid $26,000 + or - to "educate" people on the importance of being counted by the U.S. Census that was taking place that year. As such, they were given access to all sorts of community groups, condo associations and others that would normally be "off the radar" in terms of contact information, etc. This information was not only helpful to the U.S. Census but also helpful in accumulating data for future municipal elections. Maxwell's community engagement was in the shadow of this shadowy effort, of which the community still hasn't seen a full reporting of how the money was spent and what effect it had the success of the Census count. By the way, what started out as a quest to prove that Lake Worth had a population of at least 50,000 so that we could have access to more unrestricted CDBG funds (no County involvement), failed miserably. The results of the Census showed that the city of Lake Worth had a little over 34,000 people in 2010.

We must also recall, and it is completely ignored by the trivial blogger, that 2010 was an election year for McVoy and Mulvehill, Districts 2 and 4 respectively. They both were re-elected to two year terms. Commissioner Maxwell's launched a purely educational program that reviewed what goes in to preparing utility bills, where the city gets its power from and what is coming in the future in terms of finding another power provider. If it was his intent to "knock McVoy and Mulvehill out of power", then he failed in that effort. Then City Manager Stanton's over-reach by restricting city staff from being part of these events was one brick in the foundation of her future termination.

Flash forward to the year 2011 - that's the one right after 2010. This is when we had the famous "Wildan Study" for some $40,000 which was commissioned to determine the feasibility of recreating the city's own police force in a matter of 8 months and ditching PBSO in the process.

This is when the community rallied around keeping the services of PBSO. Green signs were on planted on most yards that sent the message "Keep PBSO." The community gathered at Compass during May of that year by the hundreds to make sure that the residents would have a "voice in the choice" of whether or not to keep PBSO. The response was overwhelming in support of continuing with the sheriff. This turned out to be the only public hearing on the issue - not sanctioned by the City Commission. Stanton and the majority of the Commission at the time (McVoy, Golden, Mulvehill) were in full retreat claimed that getting rid of the sheriff was never a real option (ha!) and that it was all part of the city's negotiation strategy. (Remember that Mayor Varela resigned prior to this imbroglio - preordained or just prescient?)  Sheriff Bradshaw saw right through this and was willing to compromise on his budgeted amount anyway, without the city having had gone through these machinations and riling up the residents. Stanton was wrongly given credit in the reduction of the sheriff's budget by those on the dais as a face-saving measure.

But that whole FIASCO - and don't forget about the same drill with fire rescue and the idea of a special assessment for County fire rescue services - completed the rest of the foundation for the ouster of Stanton once the "adults in room" showed up after the November 2011 election. Stanton was shown the door in December of that year.

So that, my friends, is the real "rest of the story."