Wednesday, August 8, 2018

“Hey, Lake Worth, it’s 2009. No worries. Let’s party like it’s 1999!”

Do you remember The BCE!

Before we get to The BCE! and what happened here in this little City of Lake Worth nine years ago. . .

Public meetings this week: Today, August 7th, 2018 through Thursday, August 9th, 2018.

  • Today (Wednesday, 6:00) is a Historic Resource Preservation Board meeting.
  • Tomorrow (Thursday) is Budget Work Session #4 at the Commission.
  • Also on Thursday the Tree Board meets in the City Hall conference room, this meeting begins at 5:30.

Whilst on the topic of the City budget. . .

Without further ado, “Hey, Lake Worth!” Do you remember 2009?

A very revealing graphic is below from April 2014 (see “General Fund Revenues vs. Expenditures”), included in the back-up material at a City Commission Budget Work Session. For some perspective, Cara Jennings was elected in 2006 and JoAnn Golden in 2007, the two original members of The BCE!

In concert with The BCE! the former city manager, Susan Stanton, was hired in 2009.

But very briefly about “Visioning” in this City of Lake Worth is this recent blog post about code enforcement. Whilst our elected leaders were looking forward this year was a previous administration from back in 2009 looking on:

At the all-day Visioning Work Session held on July 24th, 2018 . . . note the framed photograph on the wall.

Click on image to enlarge:

The ‘Best Commission Ever!’ (aka, The BCE!) was the former 3-member band that ran the show, the majority consisting of self-described Anarchist Cara Jennings (District 2; standing next to American flag), JoAnn Golden (District 3, sitting), and then-District 4 Commissioner Suzanne Mulvehill.

There remain some — fewer and fewer all the time — that refer to the former majority of Jennings, Golden and Mulvehill as ‘The Best Commission Ever!’, a reckless reign, that three member band that stopped playing for good in 2011.

The BCE! is still glorified from time to time which is called historical revisionism. What actually occurred is spending was completely out of control.

By the way for everyone wondering, also in the image above, the framed picture hanging on the wall at City Hall is former Mayor Jeff Clemens who ran and won election to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010. And the rest is history, as they say.

Former District 1 Commissioner Retha Lowe (standing, center) who often challenged the majority of The BCE! opted not to run for re-election in 2010 when a former commissioner (Scott Maxwell, 2001–2003) returned to the scene.

The majority on The BCE! and Maxwell did not get along very well.

After what happened in 2009 it was left up to future elected officials to pick up all the shattered pieces of this City following the Great Recession.

Click on image to enlarge:

In 2009 there were twenty-eight municipalities in PBC. South Bay and Pahokee suffered the worst following the Great Recession. The third worst hit? The City of Lake Worth.

In 2011 Pam Triolo became the mayor and Andy Amoroso replaced Golden on the City Commission. They both joined Scott Maxwell who had been elected the year prior. One of the first things “The Three” did — the new majority of Triolo, Maxwell, and Amoroso — was fire Stanton. In April 2012 Michael Bornstein was hired to be the city manager.

So the next time you hear anyone talk about how great The BCE! was, well, now you know really what happened. And maybe take a few moments and wonder how much further ahead our City would be right now if a former administration hadn’t recklessly squandered so much money away back in 2009, wearing blinders and acting like the year was 1999: