Tuesday, April 4, 2017

“Hmmm. Why doesn’t Lake Worth have a volunteer advisory board overseeing homelessness and make policy for the undocumented?”

The answer is easy. The City of Lake Worth cannot overstep the authority of the County, State, and Federal governments. And even if the City were permitted to tackle these issues, the money would not be there to enforce anything. The City is now moving forward addressing 30+ years of benign neglect of our infrastructure — such as in Districts 1 and 2 — some areas with a large minority population and undoubtedly many undocumented people as well.

The City is not picking and choosing whose lives to improve. The goal is to improve everyone’s quality of life: no matter if one is a U.S. citizen or not.

But there’s trouble looming and here’s why.

If a citizen approaches an elected or City official tomorrow and asks for a volunteer advisory board to be created to address “civil citations” for undocumented immigrants what can that City official say? If Consent Agenda Item 9I passes tonight (see below), well, the answer will have to be, “I’ll bring it up at the next Commission meeting”. And can the mayor and other commissioners say, “No”? That will be difficult if that agenda item passes tonight.

And then the City will have one more advisory board when it’s already hard enough to find volunteers anyhow. And more staff time will be needed. And more money too.

And all this because last November the City made a terrible mistake. They opened the door:

Click on image to enlarge. Consent Agenda item 9I tonight:

The City of Lake Worth has no jurisdiction over the C-51 Canal. Read more about this below.

“Commissioner, why doesn’t Lake Worth have an advisory committee about the undocumented? Because they don’t care?”

A little while back posed this: “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.”

Here’s an excerpt from that blog post:

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.

The City Commission tonight can do what they want as an elected body. They can pass the Consent Agenda item without discussion or pull it from the agenda and talk about it.

This issue revolves around the project called the “Blueway Trail”: use this link to read about it. To say the jurisdiction for Blueway Trail is complicated is an understatement: there’s the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC), the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), County and State interests, etc. Local cities, businesses, and others have been part of the process and discussion as well.

In conclusion just have this: At the TCRPC meetings and the Blueway Trail Coalition meetings thus far, have there been any City of Lake Worth property owners in attendance — specifically any with property along the C-51 Canal — east of the Spillway structure?

And if one were truly interested in being engaged in the process, and wanted to provide input, wouldn’t these meetings be a good place to show that interest? Ask questions? Express concerns?

Click on image to enlarge:
The C-51 Canal between the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. Property owners along the canal have what’s called an “easement”. Learn more about that using this link.