Wednesday, August 1, 2018

“Still have a lot to do but your political footing is solid.”

—Quote. City Manager Michael Bornstein following certification of March 2018 elections.

A short time after Bornstein was hired as city manager back in April 2012 for the City of Lake Worth, the long-time Palm Beach Post beat reporter Willie Howard* wrote this opening line in a news report,
After six weeks on the job [Bornstein] is cutting through the tension at city hall, bringing a sense of calmness and teamwork to a city commission known for heated debates and red-eye meetings.

So as the City goes through the another budget process, grapples with the Electric Utility and wrangles and debates once again over what and who gets what, just know it will be leadership and “a sense of calmness and teamwork” to get it all done. Without further ado, here is the entire quote from Bornstein on March 20th this year addressing the City Commission following the municipal elections held the previous week:

“Just congratulations on the return [re-election] of the three of you all, mayor, vice mayor, vice mayor pro-tem. I was speaking earlier to the Kiwanis breakfast and marveling about our election process.
     And for all its flaws and the campaigns that sometimes seem to be difficult, it’s a marvel that we have a peaceful transition of authority and power that occurs regularly and correctly and that the competition and the vetting of ideas and the talking about visions that candidates have when they put themselves up for elected office is something that is just amazing.
     When you look around the world you see people that wish they had representative government that was anywhere close to what we have. We see like in China, where now we have the president for life, I guess, or in Russia where no one dares question whether or not he’s going to be president for life, for all our flaws it [representative government] is a marvel and something we shouldn’t take for granted.
     Having been the student of government, and also my career for last almost twenty years being in government, it’s been a tremendous pleasure working with elected officials, particularly this body, this has been a difficult environment sometimes to work in and for you to work in.
     You go to the store where your constituents shop and you’re readily accessible. You’re not off in some far off conceptual place like Washington or Tallahassee. And the gridlock and just the craziness, the partisan politics that goes on in those levels of government, we need to keep that out of here and you have done that successfully.
     You’ve stayed focused across party lines. You are all very different but you have a shared vision. And I just wanted to say as your city manager, it’s a privilege to work here and with you and for you. I think we work together very well as a team.
     I truly believe the fact that you did get re-elected, in many ways is an affirmation of the direction that you’ve been given to this organization and to this City. Just going back six years ago when I first got here it’s been a tremendous, tremendous turnaround. Still have a lot to do but your political footing is solid.
     You’re coming from a position of clearly having the people that you represent say, ‘continue on, you are doing a good job’.
     And I just want to say thank you on behalf of the organization and myself and look forward to the next three years or more.” 

Your City Commission. Mayor and
commissioners for Districts 1–4:

Take a few moments and contact your elected leadership. But instead of complaining, like everyone else does, ask what you can do to help.

*Willie Howard is now a writer for The Coastal Star and was recently featured in an article titled, “A raft of press awards for The Coastal Star”. At the 66th annual Excellence in Journalism Competition sponsored by the Florida Press Club, Willie Howard won a first-place award for sports reporting and a second-place award for environmental reporting.