Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Special Edition of Worth Noting, a New Years message from City Manager Mike Bornstein called, “One City”

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"Aside from the Mayor and Commissioners, I am the only other person in our community who is immersed on a daily basis in all the difficult problems we face as a City. While we live in paradise, there are many issues and most times we creatively come up with an effective, efficient and legal way to deal with them. However, sometimes we fail to get beyond the legal authority granted to us by state law and/or our limited resources due to our financial condition.

As City Manager, I also get to fully appreciate the tremendous value of what we are and what we have as a community. Lake Worth citizens: the friends, families, neighbors, business owners and visitors who inhabit and enjoy the many wonderful places, buildings and shared spaces each day are what really make Lake Worth that special place. It is truly a place to call home and unlike any other in the county."

[and. . .]

"As for problems like potholes and the poor condition of our streets throughout the City, the fact is that there is not enough money to cover the costs. The money currently available for streets just pays to patch potholes, make small repairs, and do an occasional project in coordination with a utility project that must be done under the pavement. Citizens ask about grant money and there is only one source for residential streets called a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). It is based on our poverty rate, which is around 30%. The Commission has been investing this money into Greenway and roadway projects such as 10th Avenue South and the upcoming Barton Road and Tropical Drive project. Again, we are coordinating with a much needed water line replacement project there. The CDBG grant is approximately $250,000 a year, so it is nowhere enough to solve the problem citywide which would require well over $50 million just to catch up."

[and lastly. . .]

"In the past couple of years we have developed a new website, created a newsletter insert in the utility bill, set up a Twitter account, and most recently started an email newsletter and an online electric utility map to check outages. In the coming year we will be working to open more lines of communication by creating a Facebook page. We are also exploring specialized online engagement for people who do not attend meetings, improved surveys, and more traditional town hall meetings across the City. Solutions to the issues that concern you start with you getting involved. We are committed to doing a better job of giving you all the information you need to understand the issues and to provide input.

Lake Worth is known for how passionate the citizens are about our City. As City Manager, I believe that what joins us is greater than anything that separates us. While sometimes extreme points of view dominate the discussion, most everyone I see genuinely cares about our City, its future, and wants the best for all. We face many challenges in the coming years and the only way we will be able to meet them is by seeking out the points where we agree and working through those areas where we do not agree as a community. We are well on our way of being the best version of ourselves – One City."