Sunday, February 10, 2019

Is politics in the City of Lake Worth of interest to you?

If that is indeed the case, then you will be interested to learn the annual candidate forum at the Lake Worth Playhouse was held last monthin Downtown Lake Worth.

Below is information about this annual event, recent political history to put it all this in context and there are also five (5) videos to watch at your convenience. 

For those of you unaware, this cannot
be emphasized enough:

Terms for elected officials in this City is now three (3) years! Up until 2017 terms for electeds was two years. So please make your choices wisely on Election Day, March 12th.

If you wish, scroll down to the end of this blog post to begin watching the videos from the candidate forum. FYI: Also upcoming will be individual neighborhood events to meet and hear the candidates of which many find just as informative, or even moreso, than the annual debate at the Playhouse.

Stay tuned for the date, time and locations to come.

Later in this blog post are links and more information about the YouTube videos taken at the Playhouse. One new wrinkle is one can take a poll so you can vote for who impressed you the most. But more about that later.

What follows is a lot of information. Much of it you will find useful and informative heading into the upcoming elections.

What was the big surprise of the night at the Playhouse? Find out after these two photos.

First, let’s set the stage.

Things started off a bit slow this year.

But then things picked up later as each of
the candidates’ cheering sections showed up.

That’s why it’s called the Playhouse, folks!

Of note: There will be no candidate forum at the Playhouse in 2020. Because the City went from two-year to three-year terms for elected officials the next forum at the Playhouse will be in 2021 if the NAPC decides to continue this event.

The big surprise of the night was Cathy Turk. She is challenging District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy. It’s Turk vs. Hardy with no other challengers in the race this year. The oratorical skills of Hardy are well known and it was the former commissioner in District 2 who withered under the assault; that would be Chris McVoy, PhD, the hand-picked successor of Cara Jennings.

And that in the endorsement for Hardy the editor at the Post called McVoy a “gadfly” didn’t help much either. A ‘gadfly’ is not a very nice thing to say about an elected official. It’s actually kind of mean-spirited.

The election results from March 2017:

Both Messrs. Hardy and Robinson won outright in 2017. This year Robinson drew three challengers on March 12th! Of course, this is a tactic to try and force a run-off election on March 26th.

It was the Playhouse debate in 2017 that really set the stage for Hardy’s election. However, Cathy Turk was very well prepared and this election will most likely go down to the wire. A very close race to be determined on Election Day, March 12th.

One of the major points made at the Playhouse is the City of Lake Worth now has three-year terms for elected officials. This was approved by the voters in March 2017. So when watching the videos on YouTube remind yourself that person on video will be much the same person sitting on the City Hall dais next month.

Also on the March 12th ballot are two referendums. The sale of public property at 501 Lake Ave. was never brought up at the Playhouse forum. However, renaming this City to become the “City of Lake Worth Beach” was a question asked of the candidates. Of course the silly notion of changing the zip codes was brought up again but that was smacked down by Commissioner Scott Maxwell last December.

The crowd seemed evenly split on the issue but of this everyone can agree: making the issue of renaming this City already has gone a long way in marketing and branding how special this City is. And why. And the press and news media has most certainly taken notice and that now includes GateHouse Media.

About photo below: The missing person on the stage is William Joseph (candidate in District 4); a no-show. To look over all the campaign treasurer reports turned in thus far and who was very early and who was last to take the field in the upcoming March elections click on this link.

The view of the stage at the Lake Worth Playhouse.

Click on photo to enlarge:

From L–R (standing): NAPC president Jon Faust, District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy and challenger Cathy Turk. Next is District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson, no-show candidate, then challengers Tom Copeland and Richard Guercio on the far right.

Campaign treasurer reports are always a good gauge, especially now just 1 month from Election Day, to see how popular an incumbent or a challenger is. So far Commissioner Robinson’s fundraising has far outpaced all candidates in both races. Tom Copeland is Robinson’s strongest challenger but still far less than Robinson. Messrs. Joseph and Guercio are far off the pace.

In District 2 Commissioner Hardy has raised close to 4× Turk’s campaign contributions. But maybe the performance by Turk at the Playhouse will translate into more support.

The Playhouse moderator each year at the annual Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) is the inimitable Mr. John Paxman who also sits on the board of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Again this year Paxman did an excellent job at the Playhouse. The host again this year was outgoing NAPC president Jon Faust.

By the way, Craig Frost is the incoming president of the NAPC and he will have some very big shoes to fill. So everyone wish him luck.

Without further ado!

There are a total of five videos from the candidate forum at the Lake Worth Playhouse, Parts I–V. The first of the videos is below.

To watch Part II up to the concluding statements by the incumbents and the challengers (Part V) click on this link.

Once again, in each video, near the end of each one, you can select any of the five participants who impressed you the most. These polls are completely and utterly unscientific and prove nothing at all. But since using a poll on YouTube is sort of cool we’ll see how this works and if it reflects in any way the election results on March 12th.

And in conclusion, on polls and polling one can think of a YouTube poll sort of like endorsements in The Palm Beach Post, like a coin flip or a dart thrown at the wall. Remember, the editor(s) at the Post picked Sarah Malega over long-time District 1 Commissioner Scott Maxwell in the March elections last year.

In retrospect, many now believe it was Drew Martin
who ruined the chances of Sarah Malega winning
in March of 2018:

And just a reminder: Mayor Pam Triolo and commissioners Andy Amoroso (unopposed last year) and Maxwell are serving three-year terms. Up for re-election in 2021.

Both Districts 2 and 4 up for election
on March 12th are City-wide elections!

Enjoy the video: