Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quote in Palm Beach Post, referring to Michael Bornstein: “I suspect his stamina has not yet been tested.”

Image posted by The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) mocking City Manager Michael Bornstein when he was
first hired, now over 5 years ago.

“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 reporter Willy Howard on 6/3/2012 in a Palm Beach Post article titled, New City Manager Michael Bornstein makes welcome changes in Lake Worth, published 5 years, 3 months, and 14 days ago.

Today, September 19th, 2017, marks 1,934 days since City Manager Michael Bornstein was hired on April 16, 2012. There is nothing significant about that except as a matter of perspective. The previous city manager, Susan Stanton was fired on December 6, 2011 after 953 days on the job. Stanton’s tenure was marked by divisiveness and a lack of outreach to the greater community.

Under Stanton, the relationship between the business community and the City was strained to non-existent. The relationship with the CRA was contentious, at best. She created such a rift with our neighboring cities that only until a few years ago are they no longer wary of partnering on projects fearing Lake Worth would be too much trouble.

A classic photoshop from the inimitable Tom McGow from 2011 poking fun at the self-described ‘progressives’ as the City continued to fall
apart all around them.

A local blog at the time referencing the coming Christmas holiday season and the firing of Stanton, 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.

and. . .

“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.

One of the least remembered and bungled efforts by Stanton was the “Fire Assessment”. Here is an interview NBC5/WPTV did with Commissioner Andy Amoroso after Stanton’s firing and he references the failed Fire Assessment initiative by Stanton.

Here are some initiatives Stanton supported:
  • “Day Labor” Center (succeeded)
  • Gutted the Code Enforcement Department (succeeded)
  • “Street Light” Assessment (failed)
  • Red Light cameras (failed)
  • Eliminate PBSO and restore the LWPD (failed)
  • Regional Sewer billing fiasco
Without doubt one of the worst policy decision by Stanton was being an obstructionist thwarting the CRA’s acquisition of NSP2 funds. Thankfully that effort failed. She along with commissioners Golden, Mulvehill and Jennings did not want the CRA to acquire the $23 million available.

Another classic from McGow. This one from 2009 where The Obtuse Blogger (TOB) left this short observation: Very unfortunate comment. Indeed.

It was only action by the CRA to apply for the funds that allowed many blighted areas to be home to new residents and families. Since then the CRA, led by Joan Oliva, has received national recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Bornstein with Mayor Pam Triolo receiving recognition for the City’s municipal golf course.

There are many new residents of this City and many don’t know how we got to this point. In many ways, such as the code enforcement department, there is still a lot of work to be done. However, when you understand things in perspective, code being gutted and needing to be rebuilt from the ground up, you can understand how much hard work has been done.

That’s why some people complain this blog focuses too much on the past. Why? They don’t want you to know what happened “back in the day”:

Quote by a well-respected City resident.

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