Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The City Commission meeting last night: Random notes.

Now that the City is recording meetings and posting them to YouTube it’s not necessary for Yours Truly to show up with my trusty camera all the time. The City’s video, by the way, has already gotten 60+ views.

I would strongly encourage you to watch the presentation by the Town of Palm Springs’ City Manager Richard Reade using this link near the beginning of last night’s meeting. Mr. Reade did an excellent job.

In a move, long overdue in my opinion, Mayor Pam Triolo is taking firm control of meetings. On this topic, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell said, “The purpose of [Commission] meetings is not for discovery”, and that elected official should do their own research and meet with staff. With some leeway, agenda items will have ½ hour of debate (and then move to Workshop if no decision is made), each elected official will have “two shots” with a three-minute limit, and need to say, “Madam Mayor” to get noticed.

This may seem a bit overboard for some, but they are the City’s rules. The public will come to appreciate meetings done properly over time, I believe. Although we like to be “quirky”, meetings should be done in the proper way. It’s too bad these rules weren’t enforced when a former commissioner would vociferously pontificate at every meeting.

More random thoughts, in no particular order:
  • City Manager Michael Bornstein said there is a timeline underway for the Casino and pool; he’s going to “get the scope and a RFQ”.
  • Attendance at the Memorial Day event was dismal. Exactly the case for the City starting a Facebook page! And The Palm Beach Post published the wrong time.
  • On the parking ordinance and towing of vehicles, Commissioner Amoroso said, “It’s not unique to Lake Worth or Palm Beach County.” Maxwell said, “We don’t want your money. We want your compliance.”
  • At public comment on this issue of “booting” vehicles, a strong case was made for keeping a two-minute limit. The public shares the responsibility to do research prior to making statements that just create more community confusion. That’s the reason why the City changed from a 3-minute limit to two minutes. It should probably stay that way.
  • “Dear Dustin” did it again. A very funny moment.
  • Overwhelming support from the City Commission to give City Manager Bornstein a raise. Commissioner Herman Robinson said, “Mike’s team is great for the future of Lake Worth.” Mayor Triolo remarked, “Changing our entire organization was not easy . . . I don’t want you going anywhere. We need you.”
  • The Eden Place Neighborhood at their presestation is “no longer dormant.” And they’re planning to highlight their “mid-19th Century homes”, get a neighborhood watch up and running, and another November yard sale (very popular last year).
  • The CRA’s West Village ground-breaking was a very big deal.
  • Maxwell attended the Shark Tank event at Barton Elementary. Big attendance and much excitement.
  • Banyan Printing has been a City business for forty years. Thank You!
  • Amoroso talked about the Equality March in West Palm Beach this Saturday. He’s been re-appointed at the National League of Cities, and will be out-of-town and miss the next Commission meeting. His first missed meeting ever since becoming a commissioner.
  • Mayor Triolo seems encouraged about changes to the County Impact Fee system. The City had “$6 Million in impact fees to the County. Only $30,000 came back to the City.” She is still, “not happy and not quiet” about this problem.
And the mayor said of Gov. Scott’s veto of money for the Park of Commerce (POC):

“We’re fighters. We’re scrappy. We are on the move the last 5 to 6 years”, and our mayor is “going back every year” to get money from the State Legislature for the POC. For a project that will create so many jobs and more investment, it was stunning to hear about that veto by Gov. Scott, a self-described ‘job creator’.