Thursday, May 12, 2016

On City Manager Bornstein: Has his "stamina" been tested? Oh, and a little about critics of the City's CRA

[This is a re-post updating the tenure of Michael Bornstein which thankfully continues. If you've been following recent developments in Lake Worth please also read the blog post that follows this one. And Thank You for visiting.] 

"Michael Bornstein seems to be a happy soul and seems to be happy with the job," [Barbara Jean] Weber said. "I suspect his stamina has not yet been tested."
Ms. Weber quoted by former City beat reporter Willy Howard in a Palm Beach Post article titled, New City Manager Michael Bornstein makes welcome changes in Lake Worth, 6/3/2012

Today (5/12/16) marks 1,487 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing significant about 4 years and 26 days except as a matter of perspective. The previous city manager, Susan Stanton, was fired on December 6, 2011 after just 953 days on the job.

There remain the sycophants in this City who continue to lionize Stanton, attempting to resurrect her tenure with delusional logic, misinformation, and outright disinformation. Below are some initiatives by Stanton her supporters will not tell you about or wish you would forget:
  • The "Day Labor" Center (succeeded)
  • Gutted the Code Enforcement Department (succeeded)
  • The "Street Light" Assessment (failed)
  • Pay to Park in Downtown (failed)
  • Red Light Cameras (failed)
  • Eliminate PBSO and restore the LWPD (failed)
  • The Regional Sewer billing fiasco (super fail)
  • Casino complex fiasco (another super fail)
A local blog at the time, referencing the coming holiday season and the firing of Stanton earlier in the month (December 2012), wrote:

     "In this joyous season, I am celebrating the potential for renewal in Lake Worth which began with a bold move to clean out city management from the top down.
     From Paul Boyer, Bob Baldwin to Susan Stanton… inept, corrupt, wasteful and often cruel leadership disregarded the public and common sense honesty and openness.
     Yes, I know there are those who are disappointed to see Stanton fired but dwelling on one side of her performance while ignoring the other side of the story… is delusional."

Under Stanton, the relationship between the business community and the City was strained, to nonexistent. Under direction of then-sitting commissioners (Cara Jennings, Jo-Ann Golden, and Suzanne Mulvehill), Stanton gutted code enforcement and sent neighborhoods already on the brink on a downward spiral for almost three years. What was undoubtedly one of the worst decisions was playing the role of obstructionist and trying to thwart the CRA's acquisition of NSP2 funds.

Stanton, along with Commissioners Golden, Mulvehill and Jennings, DID NOT want the CRA to acquire the $23 million dollars available to rehabilitate the City. It was only action by the CRA to apply for the funds that allowed many blighted areas of our city to be home to new residents and families. Subsequently, due to the NSP2 funding, the CRA led by Joan Oliva has received national recognition for their outstanding efforts.

So, the next time you hear the critics of the CRA go on and on how they coulda woulda have done a better job understand this is all just delusional revisionism created to alter the past.