Wednesday, October 4, 2006

City Commission Meeting - 10/3

I thought it would be good to get a quick post in about the City Commission meeting last night. This is where the Commission voted 3-2, with Commissioner Jennings and Mayor Drautz dissenting, to approve draft interlocal agreement with Palm Beach County that will allow the City access to the $5 million from the 1992 cultural bond issue. The money had been reserved for this purpose for sometime. The discussion centered on whether or not to include the private money offered by Greater Bay for the recreation and infrastructure improvements.

Commissioner Jennings and Mayor Drautz wanted to delete reference to Greater Bay in the agreement. Both also had issue with the agreement including a reference that the City enter into a development agreement regarding the private money in the project and were uncomfortable approving the interlocal agreement without that document in place.

Commissioners Lowe, Vespo and Burns voted for the interlocal for a number of reasons - referencing the need for the money for the improvements, the need to move on with the project and the benefits that would accrue to the City by investment of money from other organizations.

From one account, there were 13 people that spoke against and 34 that spoke in favor. I was one that spoke in favor of approving the interlocal agreement. This is what I said:

"We need to move on as a community in a positive and unified way. Your action is another step down a long path, working through other details, site plan review, permitting and the construction process.

There is plenty of opportunity for public input as we move on.

$5 million represents a significant investment in the City of Lake Worth – one that will have a substantial return on investment in the form of increased economic activity in our downtown.

This project, more than anything else, will boost the morale of the City – let’s put this in the win column.

We really could use a unanimous vote and send a positive message to the County Commission."

I also want to share an e-mail exchange that I had with City Attorney Larry Karns after the meeting. It relates to the Planning and Zoning Board and our review/recommendation regarding the future land use and zoning changes necessary to proceed. It appears below:


Is there a problem with me expressing support for the beach project in light of the zoning changes that we will be considering. I see it as a legislative function and not quasi-judicial. Is that an appropriate distinction? Wes

Response from Larry:

Wes, I don’t see a problem with your expressing support for the beach project. Your consideration of the zoning changes in the future does not prevent you from commenting on the project.

Larry Karns

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

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Free Hugs - Juan Mann Interview- You Tube sensation

Check out this link to You Tube (you should have a high speed internet connection for best results)
Free Hugs
How about this as a new Lake Worth petition drive?

Here is another link to the Personal Democracy Forum - Technology is Changing Politics. The link is to an article regarding the "Free Hug" movement.

Let's remember that when all is said and done, we are all still neighbors with feelings, wishes and aspirations worthy of expression.

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

Found while "Googling"...

Just for kicks and giggles, I "Googled" Wes Blackman. I encourage you to do the same. Apparently there is another Wes Blackman who is a very accomplished musician - don't confuse me with him - my singing is part of my own self expression, but in no way should be considered professional. But, in the "hits" that I got on my name, there was an award that I received in 2001 while employed by the Trump Organization. I haven't included it in my resume, but thought that you might be interested as it relates to the process we used to construct the clubhouse at Trump International Golf Club and the renovation and restoration of the Mar-a-Lago property.

Anyway, here is the text of the press release:

Prestigious Awards to be Presented to Donald Trump for Mar-a-Lago and Trump International Golf Course

PALM BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 13, 2001

The Florida Society of the American Institute of Building Design will present awards to Donald Trump for the Mar-a-Lago Club restoration and the innovative special construction techniques applied to the Clubhouse at Trump International Golf Course at an awards ceremony and presentation February 24, 2001.

The Florida Society of the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) will present the Honor Award of Excellence, the highest commendation presented by the Florida Society, to Donald Trump for the restoration of Mar-a-Lago, formerly the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, and now an exclusive private club in Palm Beach. "Mar-a-Lago is unique in all the world," commented Mr. Trump. "As a collector of great buildings, I thank the American Institute for Building Design for recognizing my efforts in restoring this architectural masterpiece and in making Mar-a-Lago the successful private club that it is today." In reference to the future, an Award of Merit will also be presented to congratulate Mr. Trump on the implementation of a special construction technique called "phased" or "Fast Track" construction for the Clubhouse at Trump International Golf Course located a few miles west of the Mar-a-Lago Club. "The phased construction method is an idea whose time has come. The AIBD feels this new technique will have an important impact on the future of the building design industry," stated Steven Mickley, Vice President of the Florida AIBD.

Members of the media are invited to attend the ceremony that will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2001 at 12:15 p.m. in the Special Events tent located at the Trump International Golf Course, 3505 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33406. The awards will be accepted by Mr. C. Wesley Blackman, Director of Projects for the Trump Organization, and Mr. Pat Capalbo, Construction Supervisor for the Trump Organization who will also speak on the restoration process and the development of the "phased construction" technique. Ms. Barbara Knick, President of the Florida Society AIBD, and Mr. Steven A. Mickley, Vice-President Florida AIBD, will present the awards. Following the awards presentation, there will be a tour of the clubhouse construction site and an overview presentation of the golf course.

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