Friday, January 4, 2019

Lake Worth City Commission Work Session on Thursday, Jan. 10th at 6:00.

But first, before we proceed. . .

Please Note: Exactly one month ago tod
ay at the City Commission, on December 4th, 2018, was the kerfuffle over “PEACE” (learn more about ‘PEACE’ below). And sadly, what happened last month now has some bringing up all that nonsense about ‘sanctuary cities’ once again. To learn the facts about ‘sanctuary’ click on this link.

‘Sanctuary’ is a political tactic to get the public all riled up and upset. ‘Sanctuary’ in reality is a myth. It’s a red herring. It’s the boogeyman. Or the wolf at the door. Call it what you wish. 

Don’t let this political nonsense interfere with our LOCAL politics!

Some are claiming that because Commissioner Herman Robinson voted “Yes” on an agenda item last month that therefore he supports ‘sanctuary’. Completely ludicrous. 

Later on in this blog post is more about what happened last month. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled program today.

Below is the agenda summary for next week at the City Commission Work Session: proposed modifications to the LDRs and the long-awaited completely redone landscape regulations as well. With Hurricane Michael and the devastation caused by fallen trees still fresh in everyone’s minds the updates and changes to the City’s landscape regulations will be very welcome news for the public.

Briefly, whilst on the topic of landscape regulations, what a mess! Last October 16th was Second Reading of Ordinance 2018-15. How this proposed ordinance even got this far is a mystery. Bypassing a workshop with the entire City Commission was a huge mistake.

At one point staff asked for direction going forward and all they got back was blank stares from the Commission. Basically the electeds said go back to square one and start all over.

To learn more about that formerly proposed ordinance last year and about increased code enforcement activities within what’s called “the CDBG Target Area” click on this link.

And word is. . .

Soon there will be a Work Session on the Casino and Beach property as well. That will most certainly generate much interest.

And no. Everyone can take a sigh of relief.

Thus far there has been no work session or workshop scheduled about PEACE and $10,000 for those of you who recall agenda items 12C and D at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission. For those of you unfamiliar with this topic learn more at the end of this blog post.

Ironically, because of a group called PEACE our City could be headed for a nasty political skirmish. How charming! The municipal elections in March are just over two months away.

And of great importance is parliamentary procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order, and how elected officials and the public conduct themselves at public meetings. There needs to be City Commission workshop on this topic very soon.

Hopefully there will never be another presentation from PEACE (People Engaged in Active Community Efforts), at least not until after the upcoming March elections. Ever since what happened on December 4th there appears little headway has been made getting West Palm Beach and/or Jupiter to take the lead on this issue and there appears to be little interest in this City of Lake Worth taking the lead either.

Agenda item 12C (Resolution No. 78-2018) did pass on a 3-1 vote on Dec. 4th but without the funding (Item 12D) the vote on 12C doesn’t matter (see video below)

Cooler heads have prevailed such as Commissioner Herman Robinson’s suggestion that this City wait for WPB and Jupiter to step up with a major commitment and funding first, to scale, and then maybe the County Commission and PBSO will take another look. A very big leap of faith considering the County Commission overwhelmingly rejected the proposed program by PEACE and so did PBSO. And City Manager Michael Bornstein’s suggestion also makes a lot of sense: hold off doing anything until the next budget cycle.

But more about PEACE at a later time. Or not.

Now to what is happening next week,
information “Worth Noting”:

To download the entire agenda click on this link and scroll down for the January 10th “Agenda & Backup”. What follows are the two executive briefs:

Executive Brief:

Land Development Regulations Section 23.3-6, Use Tables

Summary: Overview and discussion of modifications to Land Development Regulation (LDR) Section 23.3-6, Use Tables.

Executive Brief:

Amendments to Section 23.6-1 Landscape Regulations.

Summary: Review and discuss Amendments to the Section 23.6-1 Landscape Regulations.

Background and Justification: Based on staff’s review of the ordinance, staff is proposing to amend the following sections:
  • Article 1- Section 23.1-12: Definitions.
  • Article 6- Section 23.6-1: Landscape Regulations staff is proposing to repeal the existing section in its entirety and replace with an amended section once all changes are discussed.

Scrolling through the agenda for next Thursday one can clearly see A LOT of changes have been made to the Landscape Regulations. And that is a very good thing, for example, the entire section on volunteer boards being able to levy fines has been eliminated.

And a lot of over-burdensome regulations have been taken out completely or simplified. It sort of looks like a chainsaw (aka, strikethroughs) were used on the formerly proposed regulations which will please many in the public and of course those who would be left to enforce all those pages of proposed regulations.

Stay tuned, as they say.

Now back to ‘War and PEACE’, politically-speaking of course.

To look over that particular item on the agenda click on this link and scroll down for the December 4th Regular Meeting and look for “Agenda & Backup”. Agenda items 12C and D are on pp. 109–117.

Ironically, the big news of the night on December 4th had nothing at all to do with PEACE. It had to do WPTV reporter Andrew Lofholm showing up for First Reading of Ordinance 12E, “Ballot language to change name of City to Lake Worth Beach by referendum on March 12, 2019”. It passed unanimously. Again. But this time 4-0 with the mayor absent.

But anyhow, the group PEACE presented a project by “FaithAction” headquartered in North Carolina and South Carolina:

FaithAction offers presentations on the history, purpose, logistics and impact of a community ID card program, as well as intensive training and materials for communities interested in joining the FaithAction network.

To learn more about this program, for presentation rates and more information contact:

Exec. Dir. Reverend David Fraccaro.
Call 336-379-0037

If the program presented by PEACE ever makes it back to the Palm Beach County Commission or to PBSO maybe an invitation can be extended to the police chief in Burlington:

“The Burlington Police Department has been involved with the FaithAction ID Card program for several years. Every month we are able to attend an ID drive and engage new residents. We discuss many aspects of public safety and build great relationships with folks who previously were suspicious or fearful of the police. These relationships lead to enhanced safety for immigrants and citizens alike.” [emphasis added]

Police Chief Jeffrey Smyth, Burlington, North Carolina.

Hard to believe but the City Commission took two hours and twenty minutes for agenda items 12C and 12D. After thirty minutes, by the rules, it should have been sent to a workshop to be scheduled for a later date. At one point during discussion of Item 12C Mayor Pam Triolo had enough and went home.

The vote to approve Item 12C was 3-1 with Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso and commissioners Herman Robinson and Omari Hardy in the majority and Commissioner Scott Maxwell voting in opposition. 

The video below is the last twenty minutes or so of Item 12D that kind of sums things up nicely:

And lastly, as contentious as these two agenda items were nothing ever got reported about this in the press or news media except for a letter to the editor that somehow got published in The Palm Beach Post.