Saturday, February 2, 2008

Development Agreement Amendment re Pool Improvements - Beach

This is a portion of the backup material for another item under New Business. This is on the City Commission's agenda for the 2/5 meeting. It relates to amending the development agreement with Greater Bay to reflect the timing of the pool project, the amount allocated for pool improvements and a release of a default on the part of Greater Bay if the work is not finished by April 30, 2008. That is the deadline of the State grant in the amount of $200,000. If work is not finished by that time, according to the requirements of the grant program, these funds will be taken back. There is no provision here for reimbursement of funds on the part of the developer.

The following two page letter is from Greater Bay. I was on the phone with Peter Willard two days ago and he read the letter to me. They are confident they can get the work done in time - that is, before the expiration date of the grant.

The following is a revised scope of work summary, identification of responsibilities and a description of the work to be performed:

This is the revised budget for the pool improvements. The amount over the $400,000 would be the responsibility of the City.

Fort the rest of the back-up material, click here to be taken to the City's website. There you will find the entire 49 pages worth of back-up material on this item.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Potential Good News re the Beach!

This item is appearing on next Tuesday's (2/5) City Commission agenda under new business. The cover memo from City Attorney Karns below refers to amendments to the ground lease that address the concerns raised by those that sued the City over the beach agreement. Essentially, passage of these amendments would eliminate confusion surrounding the term of the lease so that there is no question that the lease is for no more than 20 years. It also addresses the question about existing sub-leases at the end of the less than 20 year term.

This amendment would also correct the eastern boundary of the ground lease so that it is measured from the bulkhead line from the mean high water line.

Let's hope this puts the matter to bed once and for all. I can't help but think there were better ways of dealing with these issues than the filing a lawsuit.

Award from Rail-Volution Conference

Here is an award I received from the organizers of the Rail-Volution Conference held in Miami last fall. This is in recognition of the work I did as Tour Coordinator and my efforts in bringing experts in mass transit to Lake Worth for a planning charrette - focusing on transit oriented development near our Tri-Rail station. All free of charge.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the ceremony held in Miami last week honoring others who worked on conference preparation and participation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards' Exit Speech

Squeaker on Third Question - 22 Vote Margin!

Lake Worth Question 1 (Vote for 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting
Lake Worth Question 2 (Vote for 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting
Lake Worth Question 3 (Vote for 1)
14 of 14 Precincts Reporting

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Primary Election Results - Still not Final

Primary Election Results (PRELIMINARY)

These results only report early voting for the City of Lake Worth. 18 of 780 Palm Beach County precincts reporting as of 8:11 p.m. (Remember to click on image for greater detail).

City Commission Meeting Going on NOW

Click here to hear the 7 p.m. meeting on the possible canceling of the reverse osmosis plant, status of the electric upgrade and possible purchase of water from Palm Beach County.

I am listening now. Palm Beach County is about to make their presentation to the Commission. The following is the most critical back-up material prepared by staff. If you'd like to see the entire 125 page document, it is available on the City's website.

Beach Visit 1 29 08

Work was on-going when I was there this afternoon. You can see the workers in this picture.

Where is the structural report?

Where is the structural report?

Where is the structural report?

Where is the structural report?

Don't forget to vote!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A couple more thoughts on the elimination of run-off elections...

Last year at this time, we were in the thick of the political season here in Lake Worth. I was campaigning for the District #3 Commission seat, along with a host of other people running for the District #1 and Mayor positions. There was a field of six Mayoral candidates. The District #3 race had three candidates and District #1 had two candidates. At most candidate forums we had a total of 11 candidates talking about their platforms and answering a variety of questions. Now that "candidate forum" format is not the best way to expound on your ideas and satisfactorily respond to concerns and questions, but that is another matter.

What I found interesting is that 7 of those 11 candidates spoke essentially from the same page. And, to a great degree, the remaining 4 were generally consistent on the major issues of the day: the beach and the super majority issue, to name the two that got the most air time. I remember at some candidate forums, it seemed as though the 7 of the 11 running essentially on the same ticket gave the impression to those in attendance that they were the majority opinion of those involved and familiar with City matters. This had the effect of influencing those present that may have limited involvement in City government to think that was indeed the case. I believe the perception this creates is a powerful one, but in reality a manufactured one.

This "appearance of a majority opinion" happens to be a by-product of a system that is used by those who want to gain control and attain power in our city by running as many candidates as possible. The real goal is to use the run-off election - held two weeks after the general election if one candidate doesn't get a majority (more than 50% of the votes cast) - as a place were the divided votes are combined to defeat usually the more organized and better funded candidate.

This system has generally (not universally) yielded candidates that, in my opinion, have become de facto mouthpieces for those that support them and fail to represent the broad majority of citizens of the City. The well-being of the City suffers over the long run and I don't think we need to point out any examples of the number of serious issues there are to address here. Therefore, the major decisions made tend to be those of their "orchestrators" who work behind the scenes and do the bulk of campaigning - human capital and the feet on the street.

It's my conclusion that the most important form of capital in a campaign is not monetary, but in the human capital that is made up of your campaign's supporters and volunteers. I personally would be very much more loyal to someone who was out there banging on doors for me than someone or some organization that wrote a check for the maximum contribution. Don't get me wrong, contributions are important and I personally was thankful for the many generous contributors and everyone who worked on my campaign. Had I been elected, I would have weighed their concerns with others. I just think that is it very easy to point at documented donors and the supposed favors owed to them and dismiss the loyalty and obligation created by one of the more effective contributions in terms of getting votes - that of time and effort.

When you vote on Tuesday, hopefully "YES" on the second municipal measure on the ballot to eliminate the requirement for run-off elections, keep this in mind. The run-off system is a tool that is used by those local Political Action Committees (and there are a handful here) that tend to tear down opposing candidates and focus their negative efforts during the last two weeks of campaigning before a run-off election.

Remember also that the dynamic of Lake Worth elections will change due to the moving of the City elections from March to November - a much larger voter pool that is therefore more representative of the actual electorate living in the City will be coming out to vote on national and state items, in addition to Lake Worth candidates and issues.

Just some further thoughts that reflect my stance on the issue. I'd be happy to hear yours as well.

Additional Information on Valet Operation

You might want to check out a comment left by Anonymous under the previous post on the valet parking situation downtown. Apparently, he/she filed a code enforcement complaint last MARCH and nothing has been resolved. I will check on the code enforcement status this week.

He/she left the following link. Click here and it will take you to where you can see his e-mail to the City and some more pictures of the situation.