A quick question and a short answer: Will the new Lake Worth City Commission and elected officials be thrown off focus from their stated goals? Yes. The Commission and City government is going to thrown off focus. It’s only a matter of time.
The big question is how long it will take to get back on focus once again when calm and public confidence is restored. Jeff Perlman talked briefly about this at his talk given in the City last year.
The example given was the Pulse Nightclub shootings. The City reacted very quickly last June to restore calm doing everything and anything they could. And it worked. Everyone including all of the electeds rallied together to show support for the victims and the city of Orlando.
On a local level, within municipal borders, it’s very important for a city’s elected leaders to voice concerns over any issue, especially one of great concern to the community or a neighborhood. But when trying to set a policy, or leading the public to believe one can set policy, is when things can go very wrong. Specifically, what an elected body can control and what they can’t.
And more importantly — that the public along the way is educated about what a city can do, such as what our Lake Worth City Commission can regulate — and what they can’t regulate and do, e.g., overstep the authority of County, the State, and Federal governments.
One of the best examples is the problem with sober homes and the heroin epidemic. Local and County officials can do everything they can but Federal laws, like the ADA, protect the ‘bad players’ in many cases. The good news: that is slowly changing.
If our local officials, elected or otherwise, makes the mistake of overstepping their authority they could very well send the City of Lake Worth into court.
However, this “veering off course” can happen on a much smaller scale, confusing the public and potentially distracting the Commission off the issues and concerns that got them elected and the goals set forward at the beginning, leaving the public to think their elected officials have more power then they actually do.
Many of you will recall this recent example, what happened after smoke was spotted coming from a crematorium, a business on Dixie Hwy. here in the City of Lake Worth. Crematoriums are regulated by the State, not local governments.
Two more examples: Like when former Commissioner Ryan Maier suggested trying to regulate the volume of train horns. Those pitch and volume levels are set by the Federal government. Even the State of Florida cannot regulate the sound levels of train horns. Below is another example of what happened back in 2015.
If you didn’t know any better you would think the 6-square-mile City of Lake Worth took a major step forward in the protection of the honeybee colonies. Nothing of the sort happened. The first reading of Ordinance No. 2015-17, “to regulate, inspect, and permit managed honeybee colonies” is already regulated by state law and there’s nothing anyone in Lake Worth can do to supersede that.
This was city government looking like it was trying to do something, something that the City can’t do anything about at all. However, that doesn’t mean officials can’t look for help from other electeds in the County or State with more power to change things or fix a problem.
But “I’m protecting bees” does play well with certain constituents that can be confused or convinced into believing otherwise that one can do more to regulate an issue. I believe the item below (see image) was brought forward by, once again, then-Commissioner Maier (if that is incorrect please feel free to send me the correct information).
The problem, once again, with taking on any issue of concern for the community is leaving constituents thinking you have some special powers you don’t have. In many ways, the little City of Lake Worth has very little control over what happens within our borders, but when they concentrate and focus on the things they can change, remarkable things can happen. But. . .
|“To this end, the proposed Ordinance simply acknowledges the State Legislature’s preemption of this area of the law.”|
And lastly, how much staff time and taxpayer money was used to “simply” acknowledge State law?