Friday, March 2, 2012

TRNA | Meeting Reminder

Happy Friday friends & neighbors!

Just a friendly reminder that on Monday, March 5th @ 7pm, the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association will be holding it's monthly meeting. Please join us at Compass Community Center - 201 North Dixie Highway.

We look forward to seeing you there!


As an accountant? At $60,000/year? I think many of us would question her accounting abilities, unless those abilities are used to obfuscate. Click title for link to article.

Not what you would expect for the "Best City Manager."  Ever.

By popular request...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lake Worth signs off on $6.7 million in work for city beach project

If you haven't already seen this, here is the PBP take on Tuesday night's meeting. Click title for link.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

R.I.P. Davy Jones

My take on the special City Commission meeting last night (2/28)....

You can see my account while I was at the meeting and then the video from the public comment portion of the meeting.  A couple interesting things happened during the meeting.  During public comment, Mike Spruce with Kimley Horn got up and volunteered some information in response to the Commission's preceding questions about the cost and timing (when the dollar amount was known) of the parking lot lights.  He said that it was never the intent of the group working on the specifications that the entire parking lot would be lit up.  The Commission let him go over his time, responded to his statements and asked additional questions.  This could and should have been done during staff's (Carr and Margoles) presentation.  Then Micheal Singer, himself, and Jason Bregman from this office got up and were afforded the same opportunity.  Apparently the two of them had been working over the past week examining the bids and Morganti's fees.  They were of the opinion that Morganti's fees were high and that some very important items that would add to the longevity and attractiveness of the final project had been value-engineered out.  There were also concerned about the small number, sometimes only two bidders, for an item like paving the parking areas - which amounted to around a $1.6 million item.   They even recommended that the City Commission not act last night, delay for at least 10 days to see if some reduction in the GMP could be found through alternate methods - and getting additional bidders in.  Margoles feared that the City could face legal challenges since the bids are now in the public realm and anyone could say they could do it for less money to get the job.  Hmmm.   Ultimately, the City Commission did not go along with the delay - fearing the wild card proposition that the County Commission could decide enough is enough and take back the $5 million.

Public Comment eventually resumed, but after a 10 minute recess the Mayor called so that people could "cool off."  This sprang from the following back-and-forth.  Maxwell got on the subject of leases and that Fox Sports Shop has dropped out from being a tenant.  When asked when she found out about this, she said maybe the day before.  Then Maxwell said that he found out at least a week ago - casting aspersions at staff for again being left out of the information stream, which had been a thread throughout the meeting anyway.  To that Margoles said, in a bit of a smart aleck tone, "Good for you."  You can over analyze this, but she had been on the defensive all through the meeting and staff basically was saying that this had been a long process, assumptions changed along the way, that mistakes might have been made, but that doesn't mean that the City should not go forward now and approved the GMP.  The consequences of not doing so would be dire.

Things that are clear for me.  Stanton did more than her fair share of withholding information, Morganti probably manipulated the timeline so that no other answer could be given other than going ahead at their established GMP and that the project - touted by McVoy as being an environmentally sensitive project done by a "forward thinking" city - was really not bid out in any way but a conventional way and therefore will fall short of the lofty environmental talk coming from the dais AND be more expensive than anticipated.

All in all a disappointing effort, but one that the city was backed into a corner, yet again, with little chance to do anything else but approve what was before them.  Can we ever end this syndrome?  Perhaps for our next 100 years?

Cool...Why? The artist point of view...

Videos from last night (2/28)...

Authorities: Missing Lake Worth girl feared she was in trouble, hid from searchers

She's been found! Click title for link to article.

More public comment from 2/28 meeting...

Missing Child Alert

PBSO and State authorities have issued a missing child alert for a 12 year old girl from Lake Worth. The child has diminished mental capacities and has been missing since early last evening.

The girl is black, five feet tall, 135 lbs. with black hair worn in a bun. She was last seen wearing a pink and black zebra striped shirt, black leggings and green sandals. Her name is Tatiana.

Last night PBSO began searching in the neighborhood around her home on South M Street with door to door canvassing and reverse 911 calls asking residents to keep watch. Bloodhounds and the PBSO helicopter were also dispatched as the search expanded.

As of 6AM this morning, the search continues with a team from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children joining the search.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Tatiana is asked to please call PBSO at 688-3400 or the District 14 command center here in Lake Worth at 586-1611

Please share this important alert with your friends and neighbors.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Federal grant buys Lake Worth 90 properties

The PBP also had an article on this, I couldn't link it to the blog. If you ever question the professionalism of those who work for the benefit of Lake Worth, do not point the finger at the CRA. Click title for link. Go team!!

Live from City Commission Meeting - 2/28 - Beach GMP contract

Click here for link to back-up material.  Click here for live audio.

Carrr is giving a history of the project and what has preceded up until tonight.  The Commission was given the current cost information at the 12/20/11 meeting.  Commissioner McVoy is absent so far.  The seawall repairs only include the cap.  He says that the seawall was found to be sound.  He is reviewing the Interlocal Agreement with Palm Beach County.
More people here now at 6:11
Carr still.  Morganti has brought a GMP bid based upon responses from various subcontractors.  The bid includes the utility portions of the project - some of these have been budgeted for previous years and are being moved forward.  These have to be done at the same time that the other improvements are being done since these are underground.  He says that the GMP addresses all the Interlocal Agreement items.  Staff is requesting approval of Amendment No. 1 with Morganti tonight which includes the GMP - staff recommends moving forward.  There are a number of risks if we do not more forward with the project and could jeopardize the money made available through the Interlocal Agreement with the County.  He is saying that the infrastructure needs to be re-done regardless and would be money spent anyway.  The casino building is on time and on budget.  The tenants that the city has signed leases with will soon start with their improvements of their own spaces.  He is saying that the bank is still fine on their commitment for take out financing on the building.

The Mayor confirms that there is a $1.3 million over what had been anticipated.  She asks what will not be done due to the overage.  Carr says no specific project was attached to those dollars in the 2012 budget.  She was told by the former City Manager that she knew that this was more than a $5 million, in May of 2011.  Was the Commission aware at that time?  Carr says yes.  Mazwell said that his motion was to go ahead with the project only if it were not over $5 million.  Carr says that the estimate of cost was higher than $5 million.  They are saying that the "beach" portion is $5 million - it is the utilities, lighting and seawall repair that make it over.  Mulvehill is sorting out the changes since 2009.  Margoles says that Singer and Kimley Horn did a beach site plan study in April of 2009 - it was what people initially wanted at the beach.

Maxwell regarding the turtle lights and the seawall issue.  He says that a contractor would know that both would have to be addressed at a beach location.  It should have been there on day 1, and it probably was, but no one discussed it at the time - since it put the project over the $5 million.  Margoles says that it was discussed before many Commission meetings.  She says that the item should have been priced from the beginning - it was only in May.  Maxwell says that we may never know the truth of how we got there tonight.  He said that we need to be transparent and that the city has not been up until this point - like saying the building is not being torn down, etc.

Maxwell says that anything over $5 million includes everything but turtle lighting, seawall, utilities, etc.  Mulvehill says that these options are now requirements.  He is saying that this never really was a $5 million project.  She says that hindsight shows where the mistakes were.  Margoles says that this was a process.  It was not possible to assign a project cost without all the design elements in place.  Maxwell points out that the Morganti contract was passed by the City Commission at 1 a.m. - part of the May 3rd, 2011 meeting.

6:40 p.m. - McVoy still not here.

The Mayor is asking what is in and what is out of the plan.  Margoles is reviewing the "green" items and she says some are out now, but they might be able to phase them in later on.  Margoles says there is more in than out.  Amoroso is not comfortable how we got here.  Why did we find out about the lighting so late in the process?  Margoles says that they weren't aware of the cost - they knew about the requirement - but it was only in May that they found out the price.  $800,000 includes lighting the western half of the parking area.  Maxwell says that there aren't a whole lot of poles out there now.  He wonders how you can spend so much on lighting.  More on lighting... Maxwell says that if we don't go ahead with this, then the building cannot open.  Margoles says that is right.  They share frustrations.

Carr says how we got here, he supposes is important, but if we want to move the City forward, this has to be done now.  A decision needs to be made.  The Mayor says that it has been her goal that things are on time and on budget.  She is walking the walk.  She is upset that this has been known for a long time and there has been a lack of transparency up until this point.  Everyone knew but the public that this was not a $5 million project.  She agrees with Mr. Carr.

McVoy appears at 6:55 p.m.

The Mayor is entertaining a motion.  McVoy wants a 30 second re-cap before a motion.  He is getting a report on the green elements of the project.  I will get the public comment after the motion on video for posting tomorrow.  McVoy appreciates everyone's patience with his situation.  The project has had a long course, he is unhappy that some things are not in and maybe there can be cost savings along the way that may help put those things back in.

Snook Islands - Grand Opening - 2/29 @ 9 a.m.

Do you get the impression that the City Commission has a lot in common with Judy Garland here?

From the "That was then, this is now" file...

Click here for a presentation made to the Commission on December 8, 2009.  It was done at the time that the current agreement with the County on the $5 million was renegotiated.  Here are some of the promises made then that are conveniently being forgotten about now:

We are now paying for a reduced and value-engineered "Singer Plan" and are paying for the utility improvements ourselves.  Interestingly, the utility work was bid out and part of the proposed Morganti GMP.  Was an analysis ever done to determine if the city's own labor forces could do any of this work?  And it is important to remember that this was billed as a 100% Palm Beach County funded project.  The truth emerged only after the departure of our former City Manager that the city was on the line for project costs over and above the original assumptions.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Shuffleboard Court Survey

Former location of shuffleboard courts, north of current City Hall.
Click here for survey looking for responses on what to do with the Shuffleboard Courts and building.  Return to me or to Juan Ruiz with Leisure Services.

Product of Public Information Request:

It seems that Morganti is not familiar with Florida Open Records laws.  See below:
This is part of a transmittal from Morganti to Kathleen Margoles dated 2/20/12 which includes a breakdown of subcontractor bids for the GMP to be considered at tomorrow night's City Commission meeting.  If the GMP is $6.488,384, what is the big secret about who is doing the work?  In order to have a firm number, that information is already known and should be available to the Commission and the public.  Why the lack of transparency?

Parrot Cove 2012 Home and Garden Tour


The Parrot Cove Neighborhood Association, in Lake Worth, Florida announces its third Home & Garden Tour scheduled for Sunday, March 4 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.  The event will take place in the Parrot Cove neighborhood which is from Lucerne to 13th Avenue north and from the Golf course on the east to Federal in Lake Worth.  Pedicabs will be available at no charge.

Eight homes, two churches and the golf course are on the tour route.  In addition to touring the inside of these homes and their gardens, there will be art exhibits in the gardens of the neighborhood’s two bed & breakfasts – Mango Inn and Sabal Palm House.  Plus, there will ‘classic’ cars available for viewing.

Ticket price, $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event, includes food tastings from local restaurants and beverages including wine, champagne and water.  

On the day of event, purchase tickets at the point of entry – St. Andrews Church at Lucerne and Palmway (we cannot accept credit cards). Ticket desk will open at 1:30pm but homes will not open until 2:00pm. Prior to the event, tickets can be purchased at Studio 205 and Paws on the Avenue on Lake Avenue in downtown Lake Worth and Lake Worth Farmers Market on Saturday mornings at A1A and Lake Avenue or purchase them online at  There are a maximum of 500 tickets available. Purchase them in advance and you will pay the discounted rate and be assured of a ticket.

The event will take place rain or shine – tickets are nonrefundable.  Minimum age for attendees is 21.  No pets will be allowed.  


Follow-up Shuffle Board Court building meeting tonight (2/27) at 6 p.m. at the building itself.

Putting a rumor to rest...

It seems that some people have the impression that the city is working on expanding the College Park Historic District to include the area east of Federal Hwy.  Please see the following correspondence from this morning between me and William Waters:

Is there anything being considered about expanding the boundaries of the College Park district to include east of Federal Hwy.  If so, to what extent and when would this happen?  Thanks!


Good morning.  At this time, the Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation Division has more than enough to fill its plate, and the new staff members are not likely to be here for another month.  As part of the revised LDR adoption process, we will need to reevaluate and re-designate each of the City’s six (6) historic districts.  During the resurvey work we can look at what would be a more appropriate boundary to the College Park Historic District.  I do caution that we really must get our entire house in order from customer service to forms, policies and procedures to the review process and Board activities prior to my being able to recommend we include any additional areas in historic districts.  Unless we are able to administer the districts we have with a high level of customer service and efficiency, I do not think it prudent to add any more neighborhoods.  With historic preservation, the quality of our efforts is far more important than the quantity of our efforts.  Thanks and we can discuss more at our next HRPB meeting, which has a heady number of cases including the Zoning in Progress for the LDRs. 

William WatersAIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
FL AR#94136 & FL ID#5745

Director for Community Sustainability
City of Lake Worth

Thanks.  Don't think that my question indicated support for expansion - I agree that we have to manage what we have now well before we take on more.  You should be aware that there is a "buzz" in the community about the prospect of including the area east of Federal in the district.  You may hear more about this - I do not know where it is coming from.  So the H zoning designation would, for now, only be for the areas currently part of historic districts?

Yes, we are not proposing that any of the local historic districts will change in size or configuration except for the Old Town Historic District as I can’t seem to wrap my arms around the justification for the current boundary.  It does not match the National Register boundary and that is problematic for me.  Thanks.

William WatersAIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
FL AR#94136 & FL ID#5745

Director for Community Sustainability
City of Lake Worth