Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Just a reminder: Is the Gulfstream Hotel still sitting vacant because of Code Enforcement? No. That’s complete nonsense.

Maybe later on The Palm Beach Post will blame Code Enforcement for the weather and bridge openings too.

After beat reporter Kevin Thompson’s article about the Gulfstream Hotel last January the Post backpedaled and fast. It was completely nonsensical to report blaming Code Enforcement for the problems ongoing with that hotel. The reaction if you recall was swift from both the public and the City’s electeds and staff.

Soon thereafter the City hired a communications specialist.* A coincidence? Draw your own conclusions.

It was just last September, in response to another article about Code Enforcement, City Manager Michael Bornstein became “infinitely aggravated” and took Thompson to task and calling his news report, “egregious” and “incompetent”.

And. . . prior to that, remember when those two ficus trees on North Palmway were “big news” concerning Code? A breaking news story in the Post with a huge photo and even a TV news crew came flying into town?

Those two trees on North Palmway weren’t a major news event or even a minor one. It wasn’t news at all. The reality is that was a simple code case that went through the process, something that happens all the time all across this country. But this is Lake Worth and there are some who are really good at dangling shiny objects in front of reporters to get their attention.

The Post was implicating Code Enforcement is a bureaucratic mess. True, the Code Dept. is a work-in-progress and has been an issue for many years. We learned last year at a City Workshop work continues to fix that department.

However, to understand the reality of the situation takes hours of research — but that takes resources and time for a newspaper — of which the Post has little of or tolerance for.

*The City’s new communications specialist is Ben Kerr. Phone: 561-586-1631; email: bkerr@lakeworth.org

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