Saturday, April 13, 2019


A young Mark Foley at his store on 502 Lucerne Ave. Image below from The Palm Beach Post. 

Click on image to enlarge:

Mark Foley was a City of Lake Worth commissioner from 1978–1979 and 1982–1984. Later he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1990–1992; then the Florida Senate, 1993–1994.

Foley returned to private life in 2006 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for eleven years. His most recent accomplishment was saving Spring Training baseball in Palm Beach County and locally on the Monday following Veterans Day in 2017 Foley was a feature story in The Palm Beach Post noting his attendance and contribution to the military memorial monument installed in the Downtown Cultural Plaza.

Now all these years later Mr. Mark A. Foley is in limbo. Another City volunteer with a whole lot of experience ‘sitting on the shelf ’.

In 2017 Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Herman Robinson nominated then-sixty-three year old Mr. Foley to serve on a volunteer board. Since 2017 that board has met just one (1) time. That’s right. One time. And Mr. Foley is still listed as a volunteer board member in this City.

What other board or boards could Foley be asked to serve on? Boards that actually meet every month or every other month on a regular basis?

Beginning with the Tree Board in 2017 and most recently with the Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB) the entire process and bureaucracy of volunteer advisory boards has come into question at the City Commission through no fault at all of the City’s volunteer board members.

The process is to blame. Not the people.

Volunteers make up an important part of City operations. Our volunteers donated a total of more than 16,640 hours, which represents $410,885.00 in value. We could not function without this significant help from our citizens.

—Quote. Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City address, Feb. 26th, 2019.

The public and City staff and the City Commission takes great pride in the volunteer board process but on the other hand it’s not fair to the volunteers many of whom lack a clear direction and then on February 19th the topic of the Electric Utility Advisory Board came up which pretty much summed up the entire problem.

The issue comes down to how many volunteer boards does a six square mile municipality need? For example, there is the Citizen’s Advisory Committee that was formed after the Neighborhood Road Bond passed in November 2016. There are always vacancies on that board and most times the board cannot reach a quorum. How fair is this to all the other volunteers that do show up and to Finance Director Bruce Miller who has to spend a lot of time ‘herding cats’?

Probably seeing change coming sooner than later the Tree Board held an Election of Officers last Thursday and on the agenda was discussion of the Tree Board’s mission statement and future goals.

To make your voice heard on this topic the next regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission is next Tuesday at 6:00.

Interestingly, Item 9A on the LWB Commission agenda is, “Ratification of appointments to various advisory boards”.