Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is nothing sacred?

I took these pictures after the charrette presentation last night, just outside the Shuffleboard Court building.  The yellow signs advertise an event being put on by the Political Action Committee (PAC) Save Our Waterfront and Town.  This is not a city-sponsored event and the sign even includes the "Paid Political Advertisement..." disclaimer.  

Since when were political signs allowed on City buildings?

On the copy that I was given by one of the organizers, the word "Puppeteer!" is hand-written in the upper left hand corner.  How appropriate!  Perhaps you will meet the man behind the curtain if you attend?

Good News! 431 N. L. Street

A neighboring resident sent me these pictures today of a City crew boarding up - with real plywood - the main building at 431 N. L. Street!  

However, they were just instructed to board up the first floor.  So, the job will be half done.  How about the second floor?  What about the out-building?  What about the building's future?

We'll see how and when those questions are answered.

Response to Question on Rents: Downtown Lake Worth vs. City Place

More on the whole charrette presentation later, but I wanted to get this up early.  I received an e-mail this morning regarding the comparison to rents between downtown Lake Worth and City Place.  Here is the question and my response:

Question: One thing I want to ask you about was the rents in our downtown.  They claim that our landlords downtown charge more than City Place (over $25/sq foot. if I remember correctly).  Does City Place get tax incentives from the City or County that allows it to charge cheaper rates?  I thought City Place was over $30/sq. foot. 

Response: I don't think there was much of question and answer session, so you didn't miss much.  Some people stayed and talked with the team individually.

I don't know about your opinion, but I think we really got a lot of good information to work with from them.  It was good to have someone come in here from "outside" and tell us about the underachievement of our potential in relation to the market.  That must have made dent in some heads last night - let's hope.

RE the rents downtown.  The comparison to City Place was very revealing.  Rents at City Place - or any retail location like that - would have a range.  I imagine that would represent the middle of the range there.  Restaurants and bars tend to skew the rents higher if there are a lot of them in one area - like our downtown.  That can exclude many traditional retailers who just cannot match the high dollar volume of eating and drinking establishments.  I actually learned that from Robert Gibbs four years ago when I took one of his continuing education classes at Harvard.  So, to some degree, I think that explains our high rent expectations in the downtown.

But, I do think we have to look at the landlord(s) downtown and work with them to charge more realistic rents to entice other retailers here.  One large landowner is Cimigilia.  They contributed to my campaign.  But, from what I have heard, they can be hard to deal with and have held up other downtowns like ours by holding out for above market rents.  They also touched on the need for management of the downtown to coordinate store hours, promotions, etc.  That is not being done right now - and at those rents a quality retailer would expect that.

We also have such a black eye in relation to public perception about how awful it is to do business here - building department, politics, etc..  That doesn't do us any favors.  In the mean time, we are content to burn fossil fuels by driving all over Palm Beach County to meet our retail needs.

There is no subsidy given City Place to lower rents in relation to the market.  The value there was created early by the City assembling the land and facilitating the project.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Don't forget!

The final presentation of the Charrette Team will take place today at the Shuffleboard Court building.  It is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.  This will include a summary from the public's work last Saturday and additional information/analysis from the team performed during the week.

One last housekeeping item:  You might have noticed that I have moved up the "Posts by Topic" so that it is more readily accessible along the right hand side of the blog.  Categorization of posts according to date was moved further down the blog.  I've also attempted to show the labels assigned to each post next to the "Comments" section, but my efforts have failed so far.  I am waiting on an answer from Google on how to make that happen.

Hope to see you tonight! 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Energy Efficient Light Bulbs - What You Need to Know

Most energy efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury, an environmental toxin that is poisoning, flammable and explosive. Reportedly, it can be quite serious if a bulb breaks and the odorless and tasteless toxic vapor is left untreated. According to the EPA, the following steps are recommended if a new-tech bulb breaks indoors:

· Clear the room of people and pets and try not to step on shards of broken glass

· Shut off your air conditioner or heating system

· Open a window and keep everyone out of the room for at least 15 minutes

· If the shards are on a hard surface, use rubber gloves and a piece of cardboard to gather the bits of broken glass. Seal them in a glass jar with a metal lid or put them in a sealed plastic bag

· Use adhesive tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any powder and fragments that remain. Only vacuum if the glass falls on a carpet and only after you have picked up the visible fragments. Vacuuming tends to break apart the mercury and spread the contamination

· Immediately place all cleanup materials, container and garbage bags outside your home

· The next several times you clean the room, shut off the central heating/AC system and open a window prior to vacuuming

· Solid Waste Authority request that all CFLs (broken or intact) be disposed of at one of their local recycling facilities (for locations go to Please do not dispose CFLs with any regular or recyclable garbage

Some "Everything" from Michael Buble...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Quotes from "TruthMatters" (me) on LWM re CDC request for $300,000 grant or forgivable loan...

I understand this Golden CRA/CDC discussion here is like either trying to hold a tent meeting revival in a bar or a bachelor party at a convent. I didn't think there would be many that would acknowledge the "Do as I say, not as I do" approach. 

This part was added a little later. I think we have to remember that the core cause of the crisis was a lack of communication between the Commission and CRA - both directions. You will be happy to know that there is a joint meeting scheduled for later in July - don't have the date handy now. It will deal with CRA budget issues.

Mindless spending is what got them into trouble, that's what they were called on the carpet for, that's what the chairman went down for,

CDC = Project 71% over budget, applying for a $300,000 grant or forgivable loan from the CRA, CRA no money in the budget to support the request, would fund 4 rental units at $75,000 each. 


This isn't about what the CDC does. It has helped many in the community have access to housing they otherwise wouldn't have. I have also known Jo Ann a long time, way before either of us contemplated running for office. The big issue I have is that the thrust of making the CRA responsible was financial accountability and the need to communicate - and much of it was over the Pugh property. Before the body was cold, in walks the CDC to apply for free money from the CRA, through a program that didn't exist - the money wasn't budgeted. All to bail out a project in trouble just a block away from the Pugh property. 

The CRA did the right thing and turned down the request. 

I am sensitive to this since I was accused of having a conflict in my role on P&Z re Sunset and Kilday. I hadn't worked for Kilday for a year and I had been fired from there. There was no conflict. 90 people could have heard that accusation and voted for Jo Ann. Maybe that was the difference in the election? - I don't know. 

This is $300,000. Real money. I hear they are coming back.

What should Jo Ann have done knowing how wasteful the CRA had been? Should she have done nothing and leave the problem for someone else?

Someone on the Commission should've raised the issue. If it was Jo Ann, she should have prefaced her discussion with a public acknowledgment that the agency that retains her services is about to apply for $300,000. If not her, any other of the 4 could have raised the issue. I think it was most appropriate for the issue to be raised by the Mayor, since he was the former chair of the CRA. In my mind, he did not do his job in communicating with the CRA from the Commission point of view. Not since he was elected did he call for a joint meeting between the CRA and the Commission. That would have helped diffuse and direct the situation to more of a positive outcome. 

You do not need to be a board member for it to be a conflict of interest. Jo Ann declared a conflict concerning the Hammond Park grant application due to her involvement with the CDC. She does not have to benefit personally for it to be a conflict - it can be the entity that retains her services benefitting as well. I can provide you a copy of the State statute if you wish. 

Imagine if the CRA had said yes the the CDC request - would they have been brought before the Commission about another example of irresponsible allocation of money? Could this have been a trap? Maybe not, but what about public perception which is really the key consideration when it comes to conflicts of interest.

No, I am talking about being TRANSPARENT in your public dealings. If you are going to make an issue about the control over an agency, you need to disclose what your employer or "entity that retains your services" - statute language - intends to do. You need to disclose that information. 

How do you think the rest of the CRA board would have felt knowing that the person that was the most vocal in their possible takeover would be involved in applying for a $300,000 grant? I would suggest that they and others would question the motivations of the elected official - so maybe that's why she didn't publicly acknowledge that fact. Is that being transparent? 

I don't think so.

Charlie wrote:
We have 3 new members now. I guess Ed Grimm, Pres of the CDC, is going to give you coronary arrest. Yes, No? Will that be a problem for you on the CRA?

As long as he declares a conflict of interest on matters that might affect the CDC, I'll be fine with it. He is very qualified, but he will have to be careful especially as it relates to disposition of property.

ILoveLW wrote:
How do you think the rest of the CRA board would have felt knowing that the person that was the most vocal in their possible takeover would be involved in applying for a $300,000 grant?
Did Golden personally apply for a grant? Look, I don't know if anything was done wrong here so I agree, e-mail Jo-Ann and ask her to explain. Besides, the CRA was spending our money like it was monopoly money. That was the reason for the take-over. These people are appointed by the commission. What difference should it make to them? They don't want to lose their power? Big deal. We don't want them to lose our money on bad deals. I honestly think they should have eliminated the entire Board and started new.

She did not personally appear before the CRA to ask for the grant and I do not know what went on behind the scenes with staff. What I do know is the CRA did not have money budgeted for any kind of grant to the CDC or any group for that matter. They did give Hammon Park a small grant ($50,000?) for green building items. O.k., the CRA may have been spending a lot of money, but wouldn't this grant of $300,000 be just more good money after bad. The CRA thought so and turned it down. This is where the hypocrisy comes in. I don't know if there is a law against hypocrisy in a public official, but maybe there should be. I guess it goes back to transparency.

you haven't established what Jo Ann should have done if no one else was willing to stop the idiots on the CRA.

"Get people talking again" Once the CRA was aware of how the Commission felt about the Pugh property deal, the option was halted soon thereafter. We didn't need the histrionics and the shoot out at high noon drama. Long ago a joint meeting could have been called with the CRA and the result would have been much the same. Unless the real intent was to find a way to oust the chairman. If so,, the tactics worked. Jo Ann could have called for that joint meeting. Doing that would have been better and not as threatening - something I thought Jo Ann was capable of. The bully approach was used instead. 

Jo Ann didn't apply for the grant, had no vote in it, had no benefit from it and in that light, it appears that you're just bustin her balls because she did stand up and call these jerks to account for their behavior which you weren't even critical of.

I have a copy of the application and Jo Ann's name is peppered through it. I've posted it on my blog and can provide a copy of you. For some reason, it was not available on-line with the rest of the agenda. I didn't know Jo Ann had balls, but I guess that is a good description of someone who tries to wrestle control of a volunteer board prior to applying for a $300,000 grant or forgivable loan for her agency. This after scolding them for being irresponsible in spending - then applying for a grant that the CRA didn't have in their budget. 

To me you do seem too bent on finding any little thing against her you can and it sure appears to everyone that your motivation is political because she whopped you on the butt in the election.

I'm not sure that I would classify $300,000 as a little thing. And who else would make this an issue other than me. Surely no one who posts on this site regularly. Jo Ann won the election by a total of around 180 votes. That amounts to 90 people. In district #3 - where Jo Ann lives, I beat her by nearly 400 votes. I don't think you would call that being "whopped". She won a very close race. 

ridiculous that you would expect her to recuse herself because some nitwits on the CRA were blowing money like drunken sailors and nobody else was paying attention and you still can't make any connections there because she didn't benefit in any way and couldn't.

She could have gotten the same result by "getting us all talking again" through a joint Commission/CRA meeting. Instead she chose to intimidate a volunteer board. She was paying attention - maybe so that she would have a better chance at bailing out a failing CDC project? 

My advice to you is if you want this NOT to backfire in your face, put your money where your mouth is and publish a formal complaint to the ethics committee and keep us up on how its going.

I may already have. It's all confidential after you file and only becomes public in the later stages of the investigation.

City Owned Property at 431 N. K. Street

This property was also considered for demolition at the same time as 431 N. L. Street.  It is also a City owned property - formerly owned by Joe DiMauro.

While downtown today, I bumped into a near-by neighbor of this property.  He commented how the City requires others to landscape and irrigate vacant lots, but seems to exempt itself from the requirements.
I post these here for your information and also quote the section of the code regarding maintenance of vacant lots.  Maintenance of existing undeveloped property and properties as a result of demolition. of undeveloped properties  . This section shall apply to all zoning districts and to all property owners or successors in interest located in the City of Lake Worth. All undeveloped properties must have grass or other suitable live plant material planted over the entire site and trees planted in the front setback. Trees shall also be planted in the side setback next to the street on a corner lot. Trees shall also be planted in the rear setback on double frontage lots. All lots shall be properly irrigated as required by the landscape regulations. This section shall take effect six (6) months after adoption or December of 2007. of vacant lots as a result of the demolition of the primary structure.  This section shall apply to all zoning districts and to all property owners or successors in interest in property located in the City of Lake Worth. Any owner of avacant lot upon which a principal structure has been demolished to the extent that it no longer qualifies for a certificate of occupancy must follow the maintenance and planting requirements shown below in section lot tree exemptions.  The following exemptions shall apply to the installation of trees in: 
(1)   The front setback;
(2)   The front and side setback on corner lots; and
(3)   The front and rear setback on double frontage lots.
A.   Qualifying for an exemption.  A property owner can qualify for an exemption if an affidavit is provided by the owner or owner's representative to the planning, zoning, and historic preservation department attesting that new construction will commence within one hundred twenty (120) days of demolition. The affidavit shall be accompanied by the submittal of a building permit application for a primary structure and demolition permit or evidence that an existing permit is active. 
B.   Affidavit.  The affidavit shall be made on a form established by the planning, zoning, and historic preservation department. If the property owner fails to initiate development within the 120-day period, the owner shall comply with section lot variance.  A property owner may apply to the Planning and Zoning Board for a variance from the 120-day time frame based on consideration of the following criteria: 
1.   An unanticipated consequence, such as natural disaster; or
2.   Due to its own fault the city is unable to process the building permit within one hundred twenty (120) days. lot maintenance and planting requirements.   
A.   Ground treatment.  Vacant lots regulated by section must be cleared of construction materials and debris, and must be planted with sufficient ground treatment (sod and trees that are drought-tolerant and sufficient irrigation) to cover the entire lot. Existing ground treatment may be used to meet the requirements of this section. The clearing and planting must be completed within 30 days of the completion of demolition or effective date of this section, whichever is later. 
Slab foundations or other structural features remaining from demolished houses, or from other demolished structures, must be removed.
B.   Trees and/or palms.  Trees shall be planted in accordance with the requirements of section, the landscape design standards of the zoning code. Trees shall be native or drought tolerant and shall be preserved according to section, minimum maintenance requirements of the zoning code. 
C.   Existing trees and/or palms.  Preservation of existing native trees is encouraged and credit shall be given towards the above requirements. If existing native trees are removed, they shall be replaced in accordance with the requirements of section, the landscape design standards of the zoning code. 
D.   Prohibited plant species.  All existing prohibited plant species, as shown in section, prohibited and controlled species, shall be eradicated from the property. 
E.   Removal.  Clearing and removals shall comply with the permit requirements of section of the zoning code. 
F.   Vacant lot planting plan application and approval.   
(1)   Planting plan.  Simultaneously with the application for a demolition permit, the owner shall submit a planting plan indicating the method of ground treatment, existing and replacement trees, and irrigation. 
(2)   Demolition permit.  The building department shall not issue the demolition permit or renewal of permit or issuance of a new building permit until a planting plan is approved by the planning, zoning and historic preservation (PZHP) department. 
(3)   Review of planting plan.  Within ten (10) business days of receipt, the PZHP department shall determine if the planting plan is sufficient and includes the information necessary to evaluate the plan. The PZHP department shall thereafter approve, approve with conditions, or deny the plan within ten (10) business days of the determination of sufficiency. If necessary, PZHP Department staff shall conduct a site visit as part of the plan review. 
(4)   Standards.  The PZHP department shall consider the following criteria in reviewing the planting plan: 
(a)   Whether or not the ground treatment and other landscape materials are consistent with the established character of the neighborhood;
(b)   Whether or not alternative or temporary irrigation methods can feasibly be implemented.
G.   Vacant lot plant installation, maintenance, pruning and irrigation installation.   
(1)   Landscaping shall be installed showing skilled workmanship and according to accepted planting procedures. Plant materials shall be located and installed to provide proper growing conditions and good drainage of root systems. Soil in landscaped areas shall be free of debris, including paving base or fill material and calcareous materials such as shell, lime rock, concrete, plaster, and stucco. Soil in landscaped areas shall consist of sand, peat, mulch, and similar materials. Such soils shall be at a minimum depth of six (6) inches below the root ball and at least ten (10) inches on all sides of the root ball. Planting areas are to be totally excavated whenever plant materials are installed twenty-four (24) or less inches apart. Planting areas containing excessive calcareous materials shall be excavated to a minimum depth of two (2) feet. A minimum of three (3) inches of compacted, organic mulch shall be placed around all newly installed trees, shrubs and ground cover planting areas. The use of melaleuca, rather than cypress mulch is encouraged. Mulch consisting of any exotic, invasive species must be certified seed-free by the producer. The planting of shade, flowering or fruit trees shall be installed in a sound workmanship-like manner according to accepted and proper planting procedures. All trees shall be properly guyed and staked at the time of planting. Trees shall be restaked in the event of blow-overs or other failure of staking and guying. All guy wire and staking material should be removed as soon as the tree will stand on its own but no more than one (1) year after planting.
(2)   Regular maintenance of all landscaping is required. All landscaping shall be free from disease, pests, weeds, and litter. Maintenance shall include weeding, watering, fertilizing, pruning, mowing, edging, mulching, or any other actions needed, consistent with acceptable horticultural practices.
Maintenance shall terminate upon active construction commencement and shall apply so long as there is an active construction site. If construction work stops a new planting plan must be submitted and implemented.
(Ord. No. 2007-34, § 1, 7-17-07)

Slideshow: Condition of 431 N. L Street Today

You'll want to click on the image and bring it up in a larger screen. I've included many captions related to the photos. When viewed full screen, you can adjust the speed of the presentation easier.

I am adding a topic today called "431 N. L. Street" - you can click there to retrieve all the posts related to this topic.

Pictures of the Charrette Team at Work Today.

I dropped by their workshop room twice today.  The second time I had the opportunity to chat with Robert Gibbs.  He is a nationally known real estate/retail expert, especially as it relates to traditional downtown environments.  I really enjoyed my talk with him and we share much the same conclusion when it comes to the potential and attractiveness of Lake Worth.  

I urge you to attend the final presentation by the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council charrette team.  It will take place Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the large room at the Shuffleboard Court building.  Please make an effort to attend to hear their preliminary findings and ideas.

Here are some pictures I took of the team at work and of their work space:

Good News Department

This is a re-post of an item originally posted on 10/26/06.  I bring it forth now since someone posted a comment today.  You can read it by clicking the comment area below this item.

There is more to this story that spans the period from October 2006 to the present day.  I have had the opportunity to bump into this businessperson at least a half a dozen times since we initially met.  Always the topic of conversation: "How is the progress going with Chicks-on-Dixie?"  Once open, this person will be freer to tell the stories that soon migrate into nightmares revolving around our building department.  I'll drive by and get a picture of the building on one of my COP outings.  The business still is not open and, after passing inspections is repeatedly called back to redo already inspected items.  No one involved - the engineering professionals, the contractor, the trades people and most of all the owner - can believe the process they have had to endure in opening this small building as a restaurant.  More later on this same station.  In the mean time, please keep this property, business and those involved in your thoughts and prayers as they attempt to deal with our building department.

You know what? Sometimes you just got to be in the right place at the right time - serendipity, as it were. I happened to bump into a gentleman that owns Lupita's at 4th Avenue North and Dixie Highway. By the way, if you haven tried their tortas - go there now and get them while they are hot! Unbelievable these things are...anyway...

He told me some interesting things. One is that the volume of their credit card business is increasing. Almost three times that of last year. What this means is that their clientele is changing. He was very anxious about the townhouse project across the street - how they were selling and hoping to see the project completed. He wondered when they were going to finish the rest and he was impressed with what he saw.

Business is good at Lupit
a's - now. He is in the process of upgrading the current store with new awnings and more. We should be seeing that in the next few months.

And the real good news is that they are planning on opening a restaurant at 12th Avenue South and Dixie that will serve mostly chicken until midnight. This will be coming through the Planning and Zoning Board so be watching the agendas. The property is a former used car lot that has been vacant for some time. This will be a real nice influence there and a great place for late night - gotta have it - good food.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Power goes out at Lake Worth mobile home park

I've watched the channel 5 and 12 news reports on this.  5 had a more balanced report and showed that the City was trying to work with the owners of the park.  12 was very negative and made out the Mayor as being the heavy and unreasonable.

Cudos to the Mayor for getting his hands dirty, appearing before the press and attempting to get to a solution.  We'll see what happens today.  They say a meeting is scheduled for sometime this morning.

National Crime Night Out - 2008 - 8/5

October - National Community Planning Month

I will be forwarding the following wording to the City Commission for a proclamation so that Lake Worth can designate October National Community Planning Month.


WHEREAS, change is constant and affects all cities, towns, suburbs, counties, boroughs, townships, rural areas, and other places; and  
WHEREAS, community planning and plans can help manage this change in a way that provides better choices for how people work and live; and 

WHEREAS, community planning provides an opportunity for all residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine the future of their community; and    

WHEREAS, the full benefits of planning requires public officials and citizens who understand, support, and demand excellence in planning and plan implementation; and  
WHEREAS, the month of October is designated as National Community Planning Month throughout the United States of America and its territories, and  
WHEREAS, The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, endorse National Community Planning Month as an opportunity to highlight the contributions sound planning and plan implementation make to the quality of our settlements and environment; and 
WHEREAS, the celebration of National Community Planning Month gives us the opportunity to publicly recognize the participation and dedication of the members of planning commissions and other citizen planners who have contributed their time and expertise to the improvement of the (State, City, or County) of  ________________ (insert name of state, city, or county); and  
WHEREAS, We recognize the many valuable contributions made by professional community and regional planners of the _________________ (State or City or County) of _____________ (insert name of state, city, or county) and extend our heartfelt thanks for the continued commitment to public service by these professionals;  
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the month of October 2008 is hereby designated as Community Planning Month in the _____________ (State or City or County) of _____________ (insert name ofstate, city, or county) in conjunction with the celebration of National Community Planning Month. 

Adopted this ___________ Day of  ______________, 2008.  

______________________________________ (SEAL)  
Chief Elected Official  


Palm Beach County sheriff to trim budget by $1.4 million

Monday, June 23, 2008

Selected George Carlin (1937-2008) Quotes

Atheism is a non-prophet organization. 

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence? 

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose. 

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. 

Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town. 

People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. 

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they? 

When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? 

Something you might be interested in...

These are a series of questions posed to me by people on the Lake Worth Media site.  Many of them revolve around utility issues - water, waste water and electricity.  You might find my responses interesting, or maybe not, but at least they are here for you to see.  There is a link to Lake Worth Media on the right hand side of the page.  If you visit there, it is under the forum topic "POLITICAL PLATFORMS".

Anyway, here it goes:

Their questions

1. What should be done with our power generators? 
2. Should we get out of FMPA? 
3. Do you think Jo Ann shouldn't have brought up the CRA? 
4. Do you think the CRA acted in the public interest on the Pugh property? 
5. Do you think we should stick with the county water deal? 
6. Do you think we should stick with giving our waste water away for 30 years? 
7. Do you think the water deal was decided properly? 
8. Are you in favor of yanking 6 to 10 million from the electric upgrade to fund the county water deal? 
9. Have you studied these issues carefully?


. What should be done with our power generators? I understand that they are out of date and are only used during peak demand periods. We were supposed to receive some had-me-downs from Ft. Pierce that were marginally more efficient through FMPA - that was through all requirements program. Is there a secondary market? 
2. Should we get out of FMPA? A qualified yes. If we want the added burden of bargaining for our own power deals and making sure we are independent and produce power ourselves. That may open opportunities for more green alternatives that we could do on our own. However, it is a commitment and perhaps worthy of a referendum. We also have to think our unrepresented consumers of our electric power - Palm Springs, unincorporated PBC, etc. 
3. Do you think Jo Ann shouldn't have brought up the CRA? She should not have been the one to bring it up, especially since within two months of pounding on a volunteer board her agency applies for a $300,000 grant or forgivable loan from the CRA - for a mismanaged project and one that there was no budgeted program for. Communication is key here and I really put most of the blame here on the Mayor since he was the former chair and could have played more of a liaison role - he didn't which brought on the crisis. 
4. Do you think the CRA acted in the public interest on the Pugh property? I would not have gone along with the option. I go back to 2005 when the P&Z was one vote away from approving MVTransit on that site. They had a seven year lease, would have improved the property and provided a needed service to many of our citizens. We could have even worked a deal with them on a trolley/shuttle type service. When their lease was up we would have had land next to the FEC that could be utilized for a station? I never thought that was the best lot anywhere on 6th for residential of any-kind, but especially not rental. 
5. Do you think we should stick with the county water deal? Yes, alternatives should have been investigated and the RO decision and process was flawed, but the decision has been made. This is one where the city reacted when it should have been much more proactive. I'm not sure why WPB is suddenly the undeniable choice on this board. Palm Beach has had terrible results with WPB water and I am not sure of the integrity of their system. They may want us to shore up their budget. I'm suspicious. I think we could have investigated a deal with Palm Beach and our RO, but that would have taken more time than we had. I have an issue with going back on our word after we have made a decision. 
6. Do you think we should stick with giving our waste water away for 30 years? Again, moral issue about going back on our word. I have a problem about giving away anything that is ours without negotiating to our best advantage. If there is any opportunity to re-open the deal, I would push for it and get something out of it for us. 
7. Do you think the water deal was decided properly? See above - the problems with the outfall permit shouldn't have snuck up on us and the City had been consistently behind the ball on this issue. 
8. Are you in favor of yanking 6 to 10 million from the electric upgrade to fund the county water deal? I'm afraid that bond issue is being used as a piggy bank to make up for a whole bunch of mistakes. It should be used what it was intended for. I expect that the City will be issuing another bond for the electrical upgrade. 
9. Have you studied these issues carefully? Not as thoroughly as some (eh hem), but I would base my decisions on recommendations from qualified professionals.

My miscellaneous responses - please go to their site if you want to see what additional comments other posters had.

RE Jo Ann - read the state statute on conflict of interest. It does not have to cause a personal gain or loss - it can be to your employer. I'm not saying this has to be a Federal case, but for the high level of sensitivity you give anyone or anything for being corrupt, I think this at least rates a place on the radar screen. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

Remember, I was accused of having a conflict because my previous employer - some 12 month hence - came and darkened the P&Z board with an application. One of your faithful made that an issue in my campaign.

What about the most obvious issue, wasting millions of our dollars. Does that not count for anything. Would that not be the moral and ethical and responsible thing to do, bring it back to the Commission. What if someone had come before Congress and had proven their case that there were NO weapons of mass destruction. Would you rally your constitutents and end our invasion? Or would you stay in because it was going back on your original vote, spending trillions of our Treasury for a mistake?

Didn't we determine that there were no WMD in Iraq? Yes, there were none. Haven't we until now stayed in Iraq? Yes, but failed policy and wasteful action on many counts. 
Are we going to revisit this long standing policy once someone new is in the place of Commander and Chief? Yes, especially with the Democratic choice. 

Now, what does this have to do with the water and waste water agreements?

Never mind which water option you think is best, it all boils down to a staff that is misinforming the commission and who is benefiting from it? Staff actions have precluded any informed decision making and they know, by the time you see the results it’s too late to fix it… and responses like this are what keeps corruption comfortably in place.

I agree with this 100%. That is the problem with the question that I was asked. I am not sitting up there. If I had not been given thorough information, and I am a good judge of that, I would have called them out on it and not be made to rush to a decision. What we really have to do is to get the people that are up there to understand that there may be other information out there to consider that wasn't considered before. As it applies to the water deal, I do not think that WPB is somewhere to run to for the answer to our water woes. 

My point is we shouldn't even have been put in this position where it was again an all or nothing, time is of the essence proposition. What works is when you have LEADERSHIP that is equipped with even a moderate range radar and a staff that looks at information as a commodity that is neither good or bad - all information needs to be examined so that we know what the possibilities are. And we need to have alternatives if Plan A goes south. All has to be presented so that all the positive and negative implications can be weighed. 

But we are in this position and the decision has been made. The key to this rests in the current Commission. The Mayor is not the leader he said that he was. 

Wes, is that how you think the problem of city staff lying to the commission should be handled… make the taxpayer pay for it and do nothing to stop it?

No, I think if the staff lied, then we fire the staff for misrepresenting critical information needed for a decision and then we revisit the decision - if indeed that was the case. Me, private citizen, recently appointed to the CRA, can only do so much. And I really need to be walked through all this "new information" that wasn't considered to really understand its significance. But, I do work, participate in my community, enjoy my private life and currently do not hold elected office. Thus my question, "Why are you so interested in what I think?" 

This county deal is nothing more than a gravy train for Mock Roos and company.

I believe that is entirely possible. Mock Roos has miliked the gravy train since 1957 and no one is doing anything to stop it. Mary Lindsey and I researched the way to do that - Went to Northern PBC Improvement District where they extracted Mock Roos' tentacles from the operations - it has been done, but it takes time and political will by our LEADERS. 

Think about it

I am.

By saying this, I don't mean to belabor the point, but I do find it hard to believe that, if not an out-and-out conflict of interest (although it may be), rational people able to read this message board do not at least see the hypocrisy in the following series of acts: 

Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden leads the charge for the City Commission to take over the CRA. 
* Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden's reasons for doing so include the need for City Commission budgetary oversight and financial responsibility in CRA dealings. 
* Two months later, the Lake Worth CDC, where Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden is a paid employee and whose title is Project Manager, applies for a $300,000 "grant or forgivable loan" from the CRA. 
* The subject property was given to the Lake Worth CDC by the City in January of 2003. 
* The property is one block to the west and across the street from the Pugh property. 
* The Pugh property was the catalyst for Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden to call for the takeover of the CRA, citing the $15,000 per month option contract on the property among other factors - including the establishment of more rental housing in the area. 
* Commissioner Retha Lowe went on record as wanting only single family homeownership in the area. 
* The reason for the $300,000 grant cited by the Lake Worth CDC was that estimated project costs increased from $761,000 to $1,300,000 since 2003. 
* That is a 71% increase over 5 years - not the 50% as mentioned in the back-up material. 
* The total number of affordable RENTAL housing units proposed is four (4). That amounts to a grant of $75,000 per unit. 
* In comparison, the Pugh property represented 55 affordable rental units and 15,000 square feet of commercial space. 
* Hammon Park was given a grant by the CRA in the amount of $50,000 to support green construction efforts. Spread over its 137 homeowner units, that's an investment of $365.00 per unit. 
The $300,000, if granted, would have to be transferred from another account since the item was UNBUDGETED. 

Commissioner Jo Ann Golden is retained by the Lake Worth CDC as a project manager. Her name is peppered throughout the "loan" application (actually a "grant or forgivable loan" application). Did she know that this "Project 6/E "was in need of $300,000 when she went after control of the CRA's duties? That was only two months ago. The application shows multiple other financing commitments in place, so someone close to the project would have to know about the project shortfall when those negotiations were going on.

So then I am frankly presented with a credibility problem. All the people here that have a very sensitive nose for anything that smells of conspiracy, corruption, "pay for play", whatever chose not to attend the CRA meeting when this application was presented for funding. You also chose not to talk about on this site, while that is all that I could talk about on my blog. And then I am being asked why I would let something go after a decision has been made - and it wasn't my decision to make. 

Frankly, I question the figures, the discussions, the sources, the record, because all that I know about an alternative is from this site. I really do want to believe something - trust me on that. And I understand that a lot of work has gone to preparing these analyses and that effort should be commended - if it is grounded in reality. 

But I hope you understand my reluctance on believing all of the information that is presented here - the above is only one of the more recent examples.