Friday, July 28, 2006

Where am I? Still in Lake Worth, I think!

Wow. We made it through the week - what with the negotiations on the beach (which finished a day early - thank you very much), the special City Commission meeting regarding the City's negotiating team recommendation and then the Master Plan meeting - the last two over-lapping each other last night.

I'll be reviewing the week in more detail, but for know I want to tell you a little story about Delta airlines and Orbitz. This all transpired this morning.

If things had gone as planned, I would be in western Massachusetts with my father right now. My flight to Boston was scheduled to leave PBIA around 11:30 a.m. and a cab ride around 10 or so seemed about right. But, there was something I couldn't shake regarding my flight arrangements. So, I went to Orbitz (how I bought the ticket) and they said that I was leaving SATURDAY - not FRIDAY. Now even in my foggy state of mind I could figure out something was wrong. I had e-mailed myself the itinerary, with a copy to my Dad and it said Friday - that was only from this past Wednesday. Someone had changed my reservations between then and this morning.

I won't bore you with all the gory details, but between Orbitz (who said they notified me by e-mail, which they didn't) and Delta (who cancelled the flight and re-booked me on a 6 a.m. Saturday morning flight - they even had me "checked-in" and suggested I go to the airport to change my flight if I wanted), we finally got to the point where I am now leaving around noon on Saturday. This is unfortunate in that I will have less time with my father, but I can still make my class (Urban Housing - Mixed Use Development) that begins on Monday. It did give me some time to catch up on things today that would've had to wait until I got back, so it wasn't a total loss.

By the way, Delta did call me about an hour and a half before my originally scheduled flight and told me it was cancelled. Which would have been about the time that I was in the cab heading for the airport ("My bags are packed, they're ready to go, the taxi's waiting, he's blowing his horn"). No offer to compensate, etc. Just beware and check many times before you plan on taking a flight, especially with Delta. I hear that they are canceling flights when they are not full and putting you on the next available flight (like 6 a.m. on a Saturday) to ensure that they have a full plane. Saves on gas expense, I guess.

Anyway, more on what happened Lake Worth-wise once I have some quiet time up north.

Oh, the Commission did move on the beach with Greater Bay - more on that later too.

Just a few words:
Trust, but verify. - Ronald Reagan

Never thought I'd be quoting him.

"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"

Update - Lago Valare S/W corner of Palm Way and Lake

I'd like to give you an up-date on this project. I have posted twice before on this and now I really think we are getting somewhere. I'd like your opinion too.

In between everything else going on this week, we had time to meet with the developer and architect on Wednesday. The two versions here are the result
of a lot of work on the behalf of staff and the applicant's architect. They will present these at our meeting on August 2nd for information only. They will appear on the PZHRPB agenda for a final decision at our August 16th meeting.

I happen to prefer Option 1 (above) - the one with the more plain roof
treatment along Palm Way. The vertical treatment along the northern (Lake Avenue) facade designates the entry to the building and helps with breaking up the facade with a little more visual interest. I think the gable roofs over the other balconies are not needed.

"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Agreed Upon Business Terms - Beach Negotiations

Per the following resolution by the City Commisssion made July 19th (early morning):

"Give direction to staff to resume negotiations only if the Greater Bay Company can provide the information required in the RFP and the Letter of Intent no later than Thursday, July 20th at 5 p.m. in the City Manager’s office. Once received, negotiations to resume with a moderator preferably, the Planning and Zoning Board Chair that was made available in a public observance format beginning no later than Monday, July 24th at 10 a.m. and concluding Wednesday, July 26th at 12 noon and meet Thursday, July 27th at 4 p.m. at City Hall. Additional resources attorney to be provided and meet July 31st to vote or back to the Commission.”
Mr. Boyer confirmed that Greater Bay Group, LLC met the deadline and submitted an updated packet to the City Manager’s office at 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, July 20th.
I presided as moderator of the negotiation sessions. This was on a completely volunteer basis and I played the functional role of keeping everyone on track and focused to the task at hand. It should be made clear that I was not part of the neogtiating team for the City and tried as best as I could to be a neutral entity. From time to time, I would ask for clarification or question items if they were inconsistent with what we heard before - in general, just running the meeting.

The City Commission will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 27 at City Hall to consider these agreed upon business terms.
The following is the wording of the document that was initialed by both parties after our two day public observance negotiating session:



Greater Bay Construction


The following are general terms proposed between the City of Lake Worth, Florida (“City”) and Greater Bay Group LLC (“Developer”), that will need to be finalized and serve as a basis for agreement(s) (to include the AIA document A121 CMc – 2003 with associated 201 General Conditions modified as appropriate to accommodate the specifics of the Project as hereinafter defined) between the parties for design, permitting, construction and lease/management of the Beach & Casino project.

The Project is generally defined as the demolition of all site and building improvements (except the swimming pool tank and pier/restaurant) and reconstruction of driveways and parking, landscaping, underground utilities, beachside promenade/boardwalk, park improvements, parking platform, and “Casino” building consisting of approximately 40,000 square feet of net leasable space on two floors, plus an outdoor café of approximately 800 square feet and three retail bays adjacent to the lifeguard building of approximately 2,970 square feet (“Project”). The Project is illustrated by the conceptual site plan prepared by The Architectural Group and dated July 6, 2006 together with the conceptual floor plans prepared by The Architectural Group and dated July 20, 2006 together with the Developers phasing plan for construction dated July 21, 2006.

Management shall include marketing; leasing; customer and tenant relations; landscape maintenance; building maintenance; parking lot and lighting maintenance, repair and replacement of damaged, destroyed or worn out landscaping, building elements, parking and all site improvement; site security, etc.

Developer’s Obligations

  • Engage the services of design professionals and specialty consultants as needed to design the Project as conceptualized
  • Engage the services of a management company or companies to provide lease-up and on-going management services for the Project (subject to the City’s right to approve the management companies to be engaged by the Developer)
  • Secure all Project financing (except that which will be provided by the City through the County bond funds, the FRDAP Grant, and the Beach reserve fund) for which the Developer will be solely responsible and will be secured by an assignment of the Ground Lease between the City and Developer, and during the construction period an assignment of the Development Agreement between the City and Developer, assignment of contractor agreements, and assignment of tenant leases / rents
  • Complete design drawings sufficient for permitting and construction of the Project
  • Ensure that design and construction of the building and site improvements is of quality that will facilitate a life span of at least 50-years
  • Secure all permits and pay all agency fees necessary to construct the Project
  • Construct the Project in accordance with the conceptual plans, construction phasing plan (to allow for continued use and safety of the Project during construction) and schedule, and except for construction zones, ensure that the property is always open to the public for beach access, existing tenants in the “Casino” building can continue to do business, and the County’s park to the immediate north is always accessible to the public
  • Provide construction surety (payment and performance bond, AIA 312 Form acceptable) in an amount and type acceptable to the City, with the City as obligee.
  • Pay debt on any and all loans secured for Project financing, with the City having an ability, but not obligation, to participate along with the lender in curing any default by the Developer.
  • Conduct Project lease-up for the “Casino” building; collect tenant rents; manage and maintain all elements of the building and improvements around the building
  • Market concessions, enter into agreements with concessionaires, managed concessionaires and collect fees
    • A description of the parameters of concessions (including how this will be managed and who will manage) will be provided at a later date, and will include:
      • Where on-site they will be allowed
      • Type and number of concessions
      • Proposed fee structure
  • Engage the services of an events/festivals coordinator; manage regular events and festivals on the Project (while never precluding public access to the beach or County park to the north) including the provision of security and clean-up
    • A description of the parameters of events/festivals will be provided at a later date, and will be consistent with Ordinances and Policies of the City, and will include:
      • Where on-site they will be allowed
      • Frequency of festivals
      • Proposed fee structure

The City shall also have the right to hold events and festivals to be coordinated with the Developer, and collect revenues derived therefrom.

  • Manage and maintain all parking improvements (including meters, parking spaces, etc.), collect parking fees, address parked vehicles that have not paid fees or time limit has expired by ticketing or towing
  • Manage and maintain all site improvements including landscaping, park pavilions, recreational areas and improvements, boardwalk/promenade open to the public with no fees
    • Need park area management plan
  • Maintain a reserve for replacement in the Project operating budget in accordance with industry standard.
  • Pay the City an annual lease payment of $500,000 with an annual increase based on an acceptable consumer price index (CPIU) commencing on year 2 of lease payments with an annual cap of 5% per annum.
  • Provide the City sufficient guarantee that the Project will be managed and maintained to an acceptable standard. This guarantee could be in the form of a surety in an amount equal to the budget for maintenance and replacement reserve, establishment of a maintenance and replacement reserve, a default provision in the agreement, or other mechanism acceptable to the Parties, to be finalized by legal counsel.
  • Turn all site and building improvements over to the City in a condition satisfactory to the City, and pay the City the unexpended replacement reserve budgeted for the last year of the lease term.
  • Establish a permit parking area with sufficient and agreed upon spaces for permit holders, which areas shall not be improved upon with County bond funds.
  • Manage and maintain all pool improvements including locker room, pool equipment, pool deck, life guards, security, etc., collect user fees for swimming pool. Management and maintenance shall be conducted at a standard consistent with the balance of the Project. The City shall also have the right to hold events at the pool to be coordinated with the Developer, the City to retain any associated revenues.

City’s Obligations

  • Enter into an interlocal agreement with Palm Beach County for the $5M of tax exempt bond funds for the project, Developer to be reimbursed monthly by the City predicated its upon receipt of payment by the County as expenses are incurred.
  • Contribute $1.2m from the City Beach Reserve fund on a reimbursement basis by the City Commission as expended by the Developer.
  • Facilitate contribution of $200,000 from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program for renovation of the pool area, to be reimbursed in accordance with State regulations.
  • Sign permit applications as the property owner and/or provide consent forms necessary for the Developer to obtain construction permits
  • Provide lifeguard service on the beach, and at the pool if approved by separate contract and paid for by the Developer
  • Sell parking permits with City to retain all associated income.
  • Require that when the lessee of the pier restaurant conducts exterior improvements to the restaurant building it be of an architectural style and quality consistent with the Casino building

Additional Terms

  • Agreements are contingent on third party funding obligations as set forth above, and receipt of any required zoning changes as to permitted use required to generate sufficient revenues to support the Project. Permissible uses shall be agreed upon by the City. The parties agree, however that in no event shall a hotel or residential dwellings of any type or nature be regarded as permissible uses.
  • Developer shall protect turtle nesting at the Project in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Developer shall not dredge any sands from the ocean associated with the Project.

"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Letter from Ed Schaerer and Response:

July 19, 2006 submittal to City officials, (revised comments as of 7/22/06)

To: All City Commissioners of the City of Lake Worth

And members of the Planning & Zoning Board.

From: Ed Schaerer / Resident of L.W. for over 43 years

209 S. Palmway, Lake Worth, Fl. 33460

Regarding: Present Fiscal State of City Government, Fiscal Responsibilities and Development Issues.

Dear District Commissioners and Planning & Zoning Members,

First of all, please allow me to thank each and every one of you for your personal time and sacrifice that you have decided to give to the City of Lake Worth. It should be obvious that your decision to become involved in city government was to better our community. With that in mind, I would like to address the following issues and respectfully ask that each and every one of you kindly acknowledge my letter to you, so I can at least confirm delivery was made to your attention. If you care to respond back to me with your own personal opinion or views as well that would certainly be welcomed.

Foremost, I am very concerned as to the present financial state of our City and its current level of effectiveness administratively, as well as the ability to meet its monetary obligations in order to operate as a municipality and fund the various City departments.

This combined with a great many other issues, has me in dismay how and why the City is taking such an unusual and detrimental approach to what would appear to be many lost chances to make a positive change for the “Greater Good” of the City. Certainly we can all agree as to the importance of managing funds received from our current tax base is essential. And if we are having trouble meeting our fiscal responsibilities or recognize that more money is needed to pay for required city services, we need to be thinking positively how we can expand the tax base while improving our City at the same time.

With that being said, it is imperative that City officials remain open to finding new and resourceful ways to help the City grow in a positive direction. Naturally this will require substantial planning and community acceptance for change. Acceptance of CHANGE is without a doubt the most important and fundamental requirement needed to move forward. Yet, change is so often resisted by the uninformed masses, and cannot see the wisdom of a project or understanding of the goal. Without the acceptance of change even a municipality will fall into stagnation and will not be able to survive.

An example of one of my concerns to bring to your attention is the recent and sudden surprise decision of the City to reject what seemed to be a valid multi-family development opportunity that was to be built on 4 th Avenue North and Federal Hwy. I ask you, what is the City’s real agenda or position on growth, and why was the developer of this project apparently given so much encouragement to go forward for such a long period of time and not given the final approval needed to develop this site? Assuredly the developer must have spent a considerable amount of money over this period of time only to suffer a financial loss. How does the city benefit from this action? And is the city taking into consideration the financial losses born by the developer, as well as the possibility of legal recourse taken against the City?

I simply don’t understand the reasoning to mislead or defeat those who are coming to our City with investment dollars in one hand and plans in the other, who could be improving the community. Do we want change or not?

What is the underlying problem here, how can we solve it, and is this the kind of message that we are going to be continuing to send out to the people who try to do business in the City of Lake Worth. Over the years, I have spoken with countless numbers of people who had an interest to bring their money and ideas to Lake Worth. Some were interested in just buying a home and living here and others were contractors and developers looking for renovation and new growth opportunities. And it is with some shame that I tell you, how the City has been unfair an inept in a great many cases in dealing with these people. When will the time come for the City to recognize these inefficiencies and begin to take corrective actions that will hold in place? As a result of the City’s questionable to poor service over the years to the public, and with the uncertain and constantly changing interpretation of policy procedures and continuing staffing problems, have given the City of Lake Worth the bad reputation that it deserves.

Again, I ask you. Is there any individual on this Commission or Planning & Zoning Board that honestly feels as though our City has a good reputation to do business with or is “User Friendly” when it comes to most any aspect related to real estate. Such as the issuance of permits, inspections, code enforcement, planning and zoning issues or community development. And how is the public at large supposed to be able to deal with the real enigma or black hole of the “Historical Preservation” issue.

Although there is a list of definitions that explains what qualifies to be a Historic building, however to the best of my knowledge and research, there are no defined guidelines or clarity as to what the administrative procedures for Historical Preservation really are. Therefore, how are we as residents, or contractors and developers supposed to deal with the “Historic Preservation” factor when it comes to demolition, relocation or preservation?

Dealing with the “Historic Preservation” aspect as it is, seems to be a major stumbling block for many residents who simply want to get permits to make needed repairs. But sometimes can be required to do more work and spend more money than what was intended, or forced to use certain mandatory materials. Some just give up shaking their heads in dismay and others find that their request for permit was turned down completely while trying to make minor upgrades or renovations to their home. Owners must get the approval of a certain City employee or individual, and based on who ever that person is at the time, may or may not have an opinion favorable to the resident and the requested change. Most anything to do with the word “Historical” in it, means there is a whole lot of political and administrative confusion and red tape. And as the city staff positions are constantly changing, with no new clear guidelines to give the owner, it is left to who ever the City employee is, that sits in the chair at that time to give his / her interpation. This is unfair and unacceptable.

There are many even more extenuating circumstances and some very serious and litigious issues that come before us now. This “Historic Preservation” factor combined with other City procedure can have an enormous impact. Take for example when Planning & Zoning Board Members cast their vote as to the acceptance or denial of any given proposed development.

The consequence of the Planning & Zoning Boards decision to approve or deny a project will seriously affect the real value and marketability of residential and commercial real estate.

By the City taking a position to limit the rights of use and disposition of people’s real property, and to do so unfairly or without appropriate policies in place, is likely to have severe financial and legal repercussions.

For example, say you are an owner of a property, or lets say there is a group of (6) six property owners that are all contiguous to each other and each one has signed a legally binding contracts to sell their properties to a Developer. There are now several millions of dollars in the assemblage that is promised to pay and the transfer of title ownership is in the wings of the Boards final decision. Let’s also assume that (2) old houses in this group may or may not have any real Historical significance but the project happens to be in a Historic neighborhood. The two questionable older houses have managed to be relocated to a new location regardless of their Historical relevancy. And let’s just say there were about twenty very good reasons why this would be a beneficial project for the City to approve.

The Developer then appeals directly to the neighborhood residents in good faith and meets openly as to the building a luxury product. And at the same time is working diligently with City Planners and other officials to try and ascertain what is actually required to meet all areas of compliance, such as building setbacks, landscaping, present approved zoning, building height, parking and so on. During which time the Developer asks the City for very specific guidelines as to what will be acceptable in order to get an approval.

Think about this very carefully. The Developer works with City Planners and other officials to try and determine what is required to meet all areas of compliance, and asks for very specific guidelines as to what will be acceptable in order to get an approval.

Lets further assume in this scenario that the city does not adequately give the Developer clear and decisive guidelines on how to proceed or what the City is willing to accept in order to be approved for development.

Subsequently, a regular public meeting and Planning & Zoning forum is held to address issues with this developers project. And as it is normally the case of most well thought out projects and opportunities to enhance the community one way or another for the “Greater Good.” This means change. Yes, that’s right it’s that bad word again for the negative thinking people, CHANGE. And once again as a result of human nature, with any kind of change often comes the mob.

The public meeting room will then fill with a much larger group of the nay- sayers who are opposing change in general. And the topic is rarely an important issue or factor for this group. The main thing is they want to stop it what ever it is, because things will never be the same again if we make that change. And of course this will be the group that will speak out the loudest and block the view of what others are trying see that might very well be a good improvement for the City in a great number of ways.

Although the Commissioners and Board Members who are present might understand the good business sense and positive attributes of the proposed project, they underscore the greater good of the project by looking into the audience and start doing the simple math of how many people are here that oppose the project and are speaking the loudest, versus how many people are here that promote it. Now the Board Members and elected Commissioners start thinking about what is the path of least resistance for that particular moment in time, and how it might be political suicide to deny the now angry mob. Will the City Officials walk out of the meeting with the cheers of the mob behind them, counting up in their minds the false votes for the next election? Or will they look carefully and responsibly at the project that has been placed before them, considering the many ramifications and need to make the overall best decision as to the greatest benefit and highest and best use for the City of Lake Worth. What the outcome of this similar to life scenario will be is yet to be seen.

However, it would indeed be a very sad state of affairs if the City officials and powers that be, were to base their decision making process based solely on the number of people who show up in a public forum to resist change. And that we need for our City leaders to take into consideration the majority of people who did vote for you but do not have the time to attend public meetings. Don’t forget that these are the people who have placed their trust and confidence in you to make the right choices and decisions on their behalf. We need your sound judgment and a good fiscal policy that makes dollars as well good sense for the City of Lake Worth.

I respectfully submit to the City Commissioners as well as the Planning & Zoning Board Members to weigh carefully as to what is the “Greater Good” for the whole City, and in favor of positive change and fiscal responsibility.

You are currently faced with such a decision, whereas a proposed new high- end luxury condominium development project of which the likes the City of Lake Worth has never seen before, is in your hands for approval or denial. This proposed project located on 3rd Avenue S. of Palmway & Lakeside, is now being targeted with a lot of negativity. I am directly impacted by this development, as I would literally look out of my front door and across the street and would see a very big CHANGE.

This change does not scare me, or have me complaining that I would have to look up a little higher to the see blue sky. And I really don’t care what color the building will be painted. As far as the height goes, why not build it to the already approved 60-foot height that is established in our present zoning. I also do not believe the wind currents will be diminished and will continue to flow with the tropical breezes. Instead of living in a problematic rental based neighborhood, it will become one of a more owner based. And perhaps this change will bring back more pride of living in the area. The present power poles and overhead electric lines scheduled to go underground will certainly not be missed. (Revised comments here) (Although I just discovered at the last P&Z meeting on 7/19/06 there was a current moratorium on alleyways and abandonment of such, and apparently this was also new information to the developer, and this is after many meetings with staff and with several department heads. So, this is in my opinion another prime example of leading developers down a path of deception. Otherwise I would encourage the alleyway abandonment as long as access was not denied in any form to surrounding residents.) Look how many other alleyways have been approved for abandonment in the past. I also believe that living so close to such a new landmark building will positively affect and increase my homes market value. And I will be very happy to see the extra landscaping on the west side of Palmway and have hopes that it too will slow down the fast traffic coming down Palmway.

In closing, please consider this letter as my request for you to act on my behalf to make positive changes that will help make our City a better place to live and work. And definitely to approve the permit and plans to build the luxury condominium project south for Palmway and Lakeside.


Ed Schaerer

My response:

Dear Mr. Schaerer:

Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful letter. I met you just briefly before the Planning and Zoning Board meeting last Wednesday night. Unfortunately, I was unable to start the meeting due to a professional scheduling conflict. I am not sure if you know this, but I am a professional urban planner and have been one for 23 years, 17 years of which have been in Palm Beach County. I have lived in Lake Worth for 12 years and currently live on Columbia Drive in College Park. I have also been on the board for 8 years and in my 5th year as Chairman.

I did eventually make it back to the meeting, but only after the alley issue concerning the proposed development at Third Avenue and South Palmway had been discussed. If you stayed for that presentation, you know that the Board made a unanimous recommendation to the City Commission to deny the alley abandonment and relocation request.

As a way to disseminate information, I have started a "blog". You can find it by clicking on the following: In it, I address many of the issues identified in your letter. There is a lengthy discussion of the Board's recent denial of the townhouse project in the 300 block of North Federal Hwy and there is a summary of the meeting where we informally discussed the project you reference later in your letter. I encourage you to review what I have said about our situation and the failings of the process.

You are absolutely correct - the City needs to have standard and decipherable regulations so that the development community and the residents know what to expect and what is expected of them as we proceed through the development review process - particularly as it relates to matters involving Historic Preservation. I have outlined a whole series of revisions and updates to our Historic Districts - they are listed on my "blog" and I recently shared these with the City Commission as part of an update on the Board's activities.

Unfortunately, we are left in the role of Cassandra in that we are able to predict the future but seemingly can do nothing about it due to budget constraints. We need a full staff of competent and well-trained professionals in the Community Development Department - and a full staff for a City of our size would include a director, an urban designer, two planners dedicated to review of projects and two planners dedicated to addressing long term issues (studies, up-dates to the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code, etc.). The prospects of having such a staff are dim at best in the near to mid-term which is a travesty given the critical period that Lake Worth is in as it relates to its physical development.

You might be aware that the City has undertaken a substantial effort as it relates to the development of a Master Plan, which really will take the form of changes to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. These are now coming to fruition and a major joint meeting of the City Commission, Planning and Zoning Board, CRA and members of the Stakeholders Advisory Committee will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Golf Course Club House this coming Thursday, July 27th. I would encourage your attendance at that meeting if at all possible. However, having all the most up-to-date regulations that reflect citizen input is like buying a new car without wheels or tires if you don't have the appropriate number of staff to administer the regulations.

With your permission, if you could send me the electronic copy of your letter, I would like to include it in my 'blog" for others to see along with this response. If you chose not to, I understand - but I do think it would be helpful as many people use it as a reliable source of information. The issues you raise are improtant ones.

Again, thanks for your letter. I would be interested if you have heard from anyone else.

Wes Blackman

And in response to my response:

Dear Mr. Wes Blackman,
Thank you very much for taking the time to respond back to me. So far you are the only person who has been courteous enough or has found the time to respond. So, thank you again for acknowledging me with your e-mail, as well as for your service and expertise that you definitely bring to the City. It is obvious, that you are more keenly aware of the City's problems than I am, and I wish you encouragement in turning the tides of our City affairs that are in such disorder.
Whenever possible, I would like to try an add a positive statement or an idea or two that might be helpful to solving the many problems, rather than just making a complaint. Perhaps I might be able to attend more of the upcoming meetings, and see if I might be able to make a contribution in this area.
Attached please find a copy of my last e-mail response which was recently sent to the City Manager and City Commissioners along with a slight revision of the letter that I handed to you last week. It will be interesting to see if anyone else is willing to communicate with me.
I apologize for sounding negative, but I must say I thought there was some grandstanding going on at the last P& Z meeting by the Board, that may have been fueled on from the nay-sayers who were in attendance and resistant to any kind of change. And I believe that certain comments made by members of the Board that were directed to Mr. David Keir, were totally inappropriate. Perhaps a review of the minutes might enlighten you, or others who might consider what form might be taken to show a more unbiased or constructive way to try and work with those individuals who are bringing development projects forward.
Of course not all projects or development ideas are good for the City, however I believe we should at least be respectful to those individuals who are bringing forth ideas and plans to our City Fathers for review.
Best of luck in your efforts and uphill climb to make the City of Lake Worth a better place to live and do business with.
Ed Schaerer

This just in from Darrin Engle, urban designer:

"Just FYI – Ed Schaerer owns both 209 and 222 South Palmway. 222 South Palmway is one of the properties that makes up The Palms development. At a previous board meeting he spoke as a concerned citizen in favor of The Palms. This was after the public was told that anybody speaking that had financial interest in the development needed to say that, he didn’t. James Hoffman was exposed that night by Herman Robinson, after he admitted involvement. I believe Ed feels he can go under the radar because he does not appear to be part of the development team. According to the county tax appraiser, he still owns 222 South Palmway, it is not one of the properties recently purchased by James Hoffman (226 & 230 S. Palmway) or Brian Swerdlow of Northbrook, Illinois (227 S. Lakeside). The remaining properties are owned James Petric (218 S. Palmway) and 100 Third Avenue LLC (possibly James M. Hopkins, Jr. and Sr.)."

"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"

Monday, July 24, 2006

Meeting – Lake Worth Beach Negotiations

Meeting – Lake Worth Beach Negotiations

July 24, 2006 – 10:00 a.m.

City Hall Conference Room

Preliminary Agenda:

  1. Introductions
    1. City Negotiating Team
    2. Greater Bay Group, LLC Negotiating Team
  2. Motion from City Commission meeting of July 18, 2006: ”Give direction to staff to resume negotiations only if the Greater Bay Company can provide the information required in the RFP and the Letter of Intent no later than Thursday, July 20th at 5 p.m. in the City Manager’s office. Once received, negotiations to resume with a moderator preferably, the Planning and Zoning Board Chair that was made available in a public observance format beginning no later than Monday, July 24th at 10 a.m. and concluding Wednesday, July 26th at 12 noon and meet Thursday, July 27th at 4 p.m. at City Hall. Additional resources attorney to be provided and meet July 31st to vote or back to the Commission.”
    1. Greater Bay Group, LLC met the deadline and submitted an updated packet to the City Manager’s office at 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, July 20th. – Confirm.
  3. Role of Moderator
    1. Appointed per above resolution, serving on a volunteer basis
    2. Facilitator of proceedings – negotiations to be conducted by parties
    3. Public Observance Format
  4. Setting of Time Limits
    1. Goals

i. To cover all topics

ii. If an impasse is reached, we agree to disagree and move on to next topic

iii. Those items that remain unresolved will be identified in a report by the City’s negotiation team at the City Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday at 4 p.m.

    1. Identification of Topics
    2. Decide on end of meeting, breaks - Monday and Tuesday.
    3. Wednesday deadline 12 p.m.
    4. Estimated Time per Item
  1. Setting of Agenda

"Political advertisement paid for and approved by Wes Blackman for Commissioner – District #3"