Friday, January 27, 2012

Governor suspends Boynton Beach mayor after arrest

Click title for link to PBP article.

Governor Rick Scott has suspended Boynton Beach Mayor Jose Rodriguez

 "It is in the best interests of the residents of the City of Boynton Beach, and the citizens of the State of Florida, that Jose Rodriguez be immediately suspended from the public office, which he now holds, upon the grounds set forth in this executive order."

Habitat for Humanity welcomes Lake Worth resident into new peach-colored home

The CRA continues to impress - click title for link to article on the success of the NSP2 Program.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mango Groves Neighborhood Watch Updated

Good afternoon neighbors!

Last Monday night several neighbors from Mango Groves met with Joel Morganstern to discuss implementing a Neighborhood Watch. Basically we need 40% of the residents of Mango Groves to submit their name, address, phone number and email address. After submitting this information two Neighborhood Watch stickers will be issued to place on your front and back door. A captain will be chosen as a go-between with Joel and our neighbors. Patrolling is not necessary, but communicating crime issues to the captain will be the goal. If this is implemented we are guaranteed two Neighborhood Watch signs that will be placed on street lights in participating areas. The more participation we get, the more signs are available (possibly at a cost). If you are interested in this venture please email us with your name, address, phone number and email address. We will be having a follow up meeting in February after our neighborhood association meeting. If you would like to knock on doors to get more support for the Neighborhood Watch please let us know that and if you know any business owners in Mango Groves please reach out to them about this too. And remember to check out our website for updates ( and like us on Facebook .

Have a great day, Brian

Brian R. Smith 
413 N "K" Street

Newt Gingrich disrupted by anarchist Cara Jennings, not only security concern | BIZPAC Review

Another article on our former two-term City Commissioner's outbursts. Click title for link. Check out the video...Unfortunately, Gingrich refers to her as an Obama supporter. Thanks Cara.

And from another angle...this clip focuses on the "average American."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Delray Beach Human Remains Date Back To 3,000-Year-Old Jeaga Tribe, Experts Say

Dorothy Block, Historic Resource Preservation Board member in the news. Click title for link.

Florida Activist Disrupts a Newt Gingrich Rally in Coral Springs, Fla. - The Daily Beast

Our former two-term City Commissioner grabbing headlines again. Click title for link to article.

Second video from last night's special City Commission meeting...

This follows the first video - note at the end of the first the Mayor said that they were going to public comment.  That didn't happen until after this discussion.  The Mayor and Commissioner Mulvehill get into it here a bit.

From the Special City Commission meeting last night (1/24)...

The Commission acted 3-2 to repeal the fire and streetlight special assessments last night.  This is a ten minute video of the discussion after the motion was made.  Another one about the same length will be done uploading in a bit.  What McVoy and Mulvehill refuse to recognize is that these assessments were presented by the former City Manager as a "given" and essentially non-negotiable from the beginning.  They also conveniently forget that the 2012 (current) budget process came on the heals of the aborted attempt to re-establish the city's own police department - with a study to do so prepared for dubious reasons.  Regardless of how you look at it, this was a way to get around the cap that the city is limited in the amount of revenue it can generate by property taxes.  McVoy - so enamored with the prospect of this alternate method of taxation, at one point, prodded the Mayor to go along with a $1 per month assessment, instead of the $5 per month proposed for residential properties.  I have never heard of such a ludicrous suggestion - especially considering that the assessment program would cost $250,000 to roll out and administer.

There was much wringing of hands on the part of McVoy and Mulvehill last night about how the city is starting to look bad as an after-effect of THEIR draconian budget cutting earlier last year, out-sourcing to private contractors and admitting then that it would result in lower levels of service.  The Mayor reminded people that they can now start the new budget with a clean slate and deal with current realities during a "more open" budget review process.

"Like sands through the hourglass..."

Yesterday, looking at the fountain in front of City Hall.  The City is currently under the most strict water conservation rules issued by SFWMD.  For those of you who have never seen the plaque at the base of the fountain, here it is.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

At City Commission Special Meeting 1/24

Just got here a few minutes ago...around 7:30 p.m.  They have discussed the City Manager hiring item and passed the property lien search fees.  Ed Fry is here and presented amendments to the budget that allow the repeal of the fire pension and street lighting assessments.  I will get the details later on the various changes.  The Mayor is speaking now and explaining the need for the changes and talking about how to prepare the next budget.  Click here for live link to meeting.

Maxwell is asking about some of the details related to the Sustainability Department's positions, including the GIS.  It has been framed that these positions were transfers from other areas of the general fund and not the creation of new positions.  They are reviewing the changes now - some include delayed hires.  I will get more detail later.

McVoy wants to keep the fire assessment - he thinks that $60 per year is $5 a month and that is a "couple of cups of coffee, depending on where you get your coffee."  It is not a heavy burden.  He doesn't remember hearing people complaining that it was too much money.  At least not the poorest people, he did hear from people of better means.  He thinks it's fair and not such a bad idea.  The Mayor asks about the business sector and McVoy thinks she has a point.  He doesn't want to send a message out that they are negative on business.  He says that it is based upon use that is higher then residents.  That use was based upon cost.  "The methodology was robust."  He is in favor of the assessment.  Amoroso is going back to the positions being kept, delayed or eliminated.  Some are moved to an April hire - so half a year.  Special Events, Marketing and Sustainability Manager are eliminated.  The Public Service director is deferred.  Commissioner Mulvehill asks about training and travel has been cur universally - where does it leave us if training is not included.  There are certifications in the department already now.  The Building division is sstill in need of some people to be certified.  For continuing certification in code compliance - more money is coming from code enforcement than "has been the history for the past ten years" - some of that money can be used for training next year.  Waters says that with the market the way it is, they have had very qualified applicants to choose from in their recent hiring.  Amoroso was concerned about training, but he feels more comfortable now hearing from Waters.

Videos coming tomorrow on discussion regarding repeal of the assessments and future implications.

Monday, January 23, 2012

TRNA | January Updates

Good afternoon friends & neighbors! 
TRNA ELECTIONS - I wanted to let everyone know that the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association has a brand new President, Robert Elliott & Vice-President, Steffanie Mayo. Both Bob & Steffanie have been active members of the Association, participating in numerous clean-ups and fundraisers. We greatly appreciate them stepping up to serve as Officers for the Association. Congratulations to you both! We would also like to thank Ryan Anderson for his past three years of service as a TRNA Officer. Due to a scheduling conflict, Ryan Anderson will continue to serve as the TRNA liaison to the Neighborhood Association Presidents' Council (NAPC). 
SHUFFLEBOARD COURTS - This upcoming Wednesday, January 25th from 6 - 8pm there will be a Community Meeting at the Lake Worth Shuffleboard Court. The City's Recreation Department will be soliciting feedback from residents on what they envision as the future of the Shuffleboard Courts. At our last meeting, their was unanimous consent among the membership present to support the following:
1. The preservation of some of the existing shuffleboard courts.
2. For the City to relocate the Lake Worth Museum to the building, with volunteers and oversight conducted by the Recreation Advisory Board. 
We urge all of you to attend the meeting and to voice your opinion on the future of the building & the courts.
CRA/NSP II UPDATE - On January 10th, President Bob attended the CRA meeting for an update on the NSP II grant. Here is his report: "Total expenditures thus far $8.2 million, 35% of total, need to spend 50% by 2/11.  They are prepaying expenditures that are known on current projects, pre-buying materials known to be needed for construction, with future delivery orders, and they are investigating boundaries on pre-purchasing items for the lofts.  Lofts are approved, permits are the next step, hoping to break ground by summer at the latest.  88 parcels have been purchased to date which represent 92 residential properties.  There are 10 land purchases that will be banked to use later.  8 rehabs are completed at this time, 2 families have moved in, there are 21 properties assigned.  They expect to have three additional properties completed this week.  30 properties will be substantially completed within 60 days.  There are a total of 58 units in progress at this time." 
TRNA CLEANUP - The next TRNA meeting is on Monday, February 6th @ 7pm at Compass. We would like to schedule a clean-up for the following Saturday, February 11th. The Association is going to target empty, abandoned lots for mowing. If you have suggestions on lots to target, please email me the location - FYI, the Association has a mower and weedeater, but would greatly appreciate if anyone could volunteer some additional equipment for a few hours. We look forward to a record-setting turnout :)



6:00 PM – 9:00PM

(One 7th Avenue N., East of Dixie)

WHO: Calling all Dads, Grandfathers & Uncles looking to showcase your little princess during a night she’ll always remember.  Show your daughter(s) the true meaning of a “Perfect Date” by actually taking her out on one.  Dress up in your finest attire and bring your daughter on a date to a beautiful ballroom especially designed for a princess like her.  There will be elegant dining complimented by music, games and fun Daddy-Daughter activities.

We haven’t forgotten you moms wishing to bring your handsome prince.  You are more than welcome to show off your son(s) as your pride and joy as well. The Cost:  $36.00/couple, which includes all of the festivities listed above.  An additional $15.00/person is required for more than two (2) people.

Click here for registration form.

I am inquiring about back-up material for this meeting:

There is nothing that I can find on-line yet.  I have asked staff via e-mail and will let you know when I hear something.  This comes from the meetings calendar on the city's website.

Update from staff:


There is no backup material for this meeting. We will have a meeting agenda available to handout at the meeting.  Our goal is to have a open forum discussion between residents and city staff on what residents would like to see done with this facility and the feasibility of those requests will be.  The Leisure Services staff has also prepared a brief survey that will be handed out at the meeting.  If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.



I was also told that the meeting will be at the shuffleboard court building - although there is no indication of the location on the city's website.

Comments left regarding the Casino Building project:

Anon:  Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP)
The GMP of $6,000,000 was approved by the City on June 7, 2011.
There have not been any adjustments to the GMP.
Potential Cost Impact Issues:
The following items are under consideration as additional scope of
work that may exceed the GMP:
□ The Owner is currently negotiating with potential
tenants. These negations may lead to cost impacts that
are unknown at this time.
□ The Owner has indicated that they will be
incorporating the slab on grade and several demising
walls into the project. A/E to provide appropriate
details so a complete scope impact exercise can take

Anon: Can someone analyze the comment above in plain speak? Thanks. 

Skip Rable:  Plain speak = get ready for the change orders to start rolling in. There was no way this was to be a max $6 million project.

Depending on the extent and level of tenant fit out, the City may need to do more to the vanilla box spaces. Also the ground floor tenant spaces are normally left as dirt or sand for bars and restaurants. The tenant can design their space and the plumbing and electrical rough can be installed, then the concrete slab (floor) is poured. Sounds like the City may want to pour the slab now. This may result in a tenant to saw cut the slab to install their unique plumbing and electric lines, if needed, then pour back the trenches with more concrete.

And this before we even begin to think of the utility laterals necessary for the NEW Casino building.

Can you say $7 million, maybe $7.5 million????

Sunday, January 22, 2012

City of West Palm Beach, Florida

Click title for link to the City of West Palm Beach's "Idea Exchange" - where residents can submit suggestions on improved city services or any number of topics. This new service was mentioned during Mayor Muoio's State of the City address. Also note that the City of West Palm Beach is currently reviewing its charter. And, while your at it, cruise through the entire website and then rate it in relation to the City of Lake Worth's.