Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Neighbor to the North...

I happened to be caught by the drawbridge in February and these photos have been nestled in my hard drive since then. Coming back from some work in the Town of Palm Beach, this turned out to be a good opportunity to get some shots of the downtown West Palm Beach skyline - which they rightly can claim they actually have. The view above is looking towards the southwest, along with the west side of Lake Worth - or the Intracoastal Waterway.

Not sure if you know this or not, but when I moved down to Florida in 1989 from Michigan, I worked for the City of West Palm Beach as an Associate Planner. Even though having limited experience in transportation planning, I was annointed the transportation planner at a time when the City was finishing up its Comprehensive Plan, in response to the 1985 Growth Management Act and according to Administrative Rule 9J-5

It was a good place to work just to get an orientation of what south Florida was all about - professionally, personally and otherwise. I happened to come from a very dynamic and active downtown environment - living in and working for the City of East Lansing, Michigan. When I started in West Palm Beach, the downtown could easily be described as a ghost town - complete with the Florida variety of tumbleweeds making their way down Clematis Street. This was a time when there was not the strong Mayor form of government. That made its way into the administrative structure of the City a little before the time I left. This was when Ron Schutta - someone with a singular and strong civil engineering focus - was the City Manager. I think the late Pat Pepper was Mayor when I started with the City. West Palm Beach had a Commission- Manager form of government similar to what we have in the City of Lake Worth now.

The above picture is looking a little more west, just south of the north bridge. You can see the signature silhouette of the "Darth Vader" building at the extreme right hand side of the picture