Monday, February 11, 2019

TONIGHT at 7:00. Candidate forum sponsored by the South Palm Park neighborhood association.

The details about tonight’s event is below. And this is worth noting:

This Election Season is being framed as a “war of words” which is complete and utter nonsense.

These annual events are not for entertainment.

However, these candidate forums can be very entertaining at times, but those times are few and far between. The public and the candidates all take this very seriously as they should. But above all these candidate forums are also very important. They are an opportunity to get up and close to all the candidates. Any one of these forums can make or break a campaign.

But most importantly, the candidates will talk about the issues of importance to them. And for some candidates these forums can prove devastating if they do get elected or re-elected. Because many times the public will remember what you said. In other words promises made and promises broken. This City has seen too many of both.

Election Day in this City of Lake Worth is on March 12th. There will be several more candidate forums coming up as well including one sponsored by the Lake Worth Business Committee on March 7th which will focus entirely on the concerns and future of our business community. Stay tuned for more details to come.

Unfortunately, the editor(s) and beat reporter from The Palm Beach Post are trying to frame one upcoming election as a “war of words” in their annual recap of Election Season a few weeks ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. A true ‘war of words’ was when the editor at the Post called former Commissioner Chris McVoy a “gadfly”. But by trying to gin up a ‘war of words’ that takes attention off the issues. For example, in the case of Commissioner Omari Hardy and his challenger Cathy Turk this is a battle of sorts. And a very healthy one.

What is happening in this City is a healthy exchange of ideas. It is most definitely a spirited debate at times but to compare this upcoming election to a ‘war of words’ is just silly. In comparison this Election Season is one of the most civil in many years. A lot of people may think a little too civil.

Tonight’s candidate forum will be held at The Beach Club bistro located at the City’s municipal golf course at #1 7th Ave. North. This event is open to the public and will begin promptly at 7:00.

South Palm Park is Lake Worth’s oldest incorporated Neighborhood Association. . . . The South Palm Park Neighborhood extends from the East of Federal Highway at the alley east to the Lake Worth Lagoon and from south of 5th Avenue South to the City of Lake Worth City limits (18th Avenue South), including South Palmway and South Lakeside Drive, comprising single family homes.

Can’t make any promises but Yours Truly, Wes, will try to show up with my camera to record the forum this evening.

In the meantime, let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

Back in late February 2015 just happened to catch a very special moment at a forum at the Beach Club (see video below). Former District 2 Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, and Mr. Ryan Maier were running on a slate of issues including “Save Our Beach!” Mr. Maier went completely off script and when he did then-Commissioner McVoy looked like he swallowed a hair ball.

The video below is a lesson: Stay on message!

On the topic of Bryant Park and the Lake Worth Beach at one point Maier says, “Why isn’t the city making any money here?”, referring to our two popular public parks. At about the 35 second mark in the video the crowd bursts out in laughter but Maier continues on unfazed by the public reaction.

McVoy, sitting to the left of Maier, takes repeated glances at Maier like, “Won’t you please shut up already!”

Maier had issues with going off script and he did it a lot. But for some reason the public let him slide. But not after he got elected. He paid the price for making promises he could not keep. Maier opted not to run for re-election in 2017 and enter Commissioner Herman Robinson who was elected to represent District 4 and a relative unknown named Omari Hardy defeated McVoy.

Now here we are and both commissioners Herman Robinson and Omari Hardy are up for re-election themselves.

Briefly, before we get to the video of Maier from four years ago, this really makes the case for our elected officials serving three-year terms. By referendum in March 2017 terms for our electeds was increased from two- to three-year terms.

Former-Commissioner Maier struggled his first 1½ years as an elected official. He was beholden to McVoy and the group that helped him get elected. But then he began to separate himself from all them and went on his own way. But it was too late. He only had six months left before facing the voters once again.

A three year term would have been very beneficial for Maier. A two-year term means elected officials have to ramp up for re-election only after one year in office. A three-year term takes that pressure off. And increasing compensation for elected officials was also a very good decision. These were two initiatives first brought forward by City Manager Michael Bornstein.

Would encourage everyone interested in the future of this City to attend at least one of the upcoming candidate forums and learn more about the issues and all the candidates.

Without further ado. . .

Mr. Ryan Maier from four years ago and watch McVoy closely to Maier’s left (seated). Priceless.