Saturday, October 14, 2017

Part 1. Quote by Lake Worth Asst. City Manager Juan Ruiz, “It’s obviously a high point of interest in our community.”

“Evaluation Meeting and Presentations”

“RFQ 17-305 for Lake Worth Beach Complex Conceptual Plans Design, Cost Estimates & Construction Design and Construction Phase”

Meeting in the Commission Chambers on October 12th (and also note, the first of five videos is below).

To the press and news media: Feel free to use all the information you need in the videos taken of this meeting on October 12th. Please credit the source (if your editor will allow it).

Without further ado, below is Part 1 about this “high point of interest in our community” as our assistant city manager stated to begin this meeting last Thursday. There will be much more information to come.

For those of you new to this issue, understand that in the 100+ year history of our City, nothing has drawn more interest, ire, embarrassment, high praise, and yes, even despair, than the Lake Worth Beach and the construction, demolition, broken promises, and the oft-told hysterical nonsense, “They’re trying to steal our Beach!” that continues to this present day.

Many a Lake Worth Commission candidate or mayor’s career has crashed and burned upon its shores. For an interesting look back use this link for former Post reporter Scott McCabe’s timeline beginning in 1912.

How We Got Here. A very brief history:

Pretty much everyone knew about all the problems with the ‘renovated’ Casino structure back in 2013–2014 (which was actually 94% demolished), and many attempts were made to have Morganti (the construction company) and REG (the architect) correct these issues.

But then in September 2015 a news report by WPTV’s Andrew Ruiz hit the air; this finally got everyone’s attention and set off the proverbial storm:

It’s only a problem when it rains. . .
Which delves into the biggest question of all:
Why try and fix the Casino if it may end up being demolished to make way for new
construction at the Beach?

Now back to the issue at hand, RFQ 17-305:

Presentations by CPZ Architects, Inc. from Plantation, FL and Kimley-Horn from Delray Beach.

The City of Lake Worth “Evaluators” (with City Attorney Christy Goddeau present on the dais; also present was City of Lake Worth Purchasing Specialist Melicia Wilson):
  • Assistant City Manager Juan Ruiz
  • Leisure Services Assistant Director Lauren Bennett
  • Casino Facility Supervisor Phil Johnson
  • Aquatics Manager Doug Yoakum
  • Parking Operations Manager Larry Lightfoot

The agenda:

  • Signed oaths submitted.
  • Evaluation discussions.
  • Presentations by CPZ Architects, Inc. and Kimley-Horn.
  • Q&A Session.
  • Evaluations recorded.

“Announcements of Each Proposers Score and Rank.”

By a very thin margin — just 10 points (469 to 459) — CPZ Architects came out on top.

I can tell you from being present, there was indeed a noticeable sigh of relief when CBZ Architects was picked. Reasons for which will be explored in future installments.

The big reason why I think CBZ received the highest score is they are a “fresh set of eyes”. Back in 2010 I was posting on this blog about issues, “related to accessibility and ADA requirements.” And everyone understands now all the problems at the Lake Worth Beach vis-à-vis parking, traffic flow, access for emergency vehicles, and just the terrible oversight back then that now requires so many visitors, wedding attendees, and restaurant-goers to walk that steep dune to the Casino complex.

And maybe some of you will recall all those times I went to the Casino for lunch and,
Are you kidding me? Spent all this money for lunch here and can’t even see the ocean!”
The site plan for the ‘new Casino’ did not receive the critical scrutiny it deserved because anyone who made a suggestion to improve upon it was called a “heretic” by the previous majority of electeds and administration at the time. And, yes, a former commissioner — the one with a PhD — was one of the majority starting in 2010.

Who was responsible for many of these problems?

Kimley-Horn. Having Kimley-Horn do more work at the Casino complex and Beach property is like paying them to come back and fix their old problems. CBZ Architects is an unknown. However, given that they beat out Kimley-Horn in the eyes of the City’s panel is a testament to how well CBZ was prepared.

As stated already, there are five videos of this meeting. To see them all and watch at your pleasure use this link to my YouTube Channel and look for “City of Lake Worth RFQ Evaluation Meeting”.

The City did not record this meeting using its own YouTube Channel. But I decided to show up with my trusty camera and tripod just in case. So these videos taken are the only ones of this meeting. Just in case you don’t know, anyone can show up and record public government meetings if you are not disruptive or obstruct the proceedings. If you’re curious why I took a spot behind the easel in the first set of videos, the answer is easy: you can never block or get in the way of the public. This is one of the inherent problems in the layout of our Commission chambers.

That’s why the recording of public meetings, most times, are taken from the side and not directly in front of the government dais; not that all the press and media care about or even know about that rule.

Remember, this is Part 1.

Many more parts to come. Some short, others
lengthy and in-depth, and some funny ones
too to break things up.

Watch the video below if you have the time and check back tomorrow for Part 2 — which is “obviously a high point of interest in our community” — and will continue to be for a very long time. “Hope springs eternal” and hopefully we’ll get it right this time.

At the 2:00 minute mark in the video below, City Attorney Christy Goddeau makes an important opening statement. Goddeau says this meeting is not about the process to “sell the beach”. NO ONE IS TRYING TO “STEAL THE BEACH!”

After 105 years it’s about time to end that nonsense once and for all [Hello, Lynn and Laurence].

Hope you find this video informative and helpful; use this link (copy and paste to your email) to share it with your friends and neighbors: