Saturday, July 28, 2012

Commissioner Mulvehill to Mayor Triolo: "Yes, Mother..."

Just back from the City Commission Meeting (7/28)

The Commission voted unanimously to have the City Manager negotiate a contract for interim legal services with the firm Glen J. Torcivia and Associates, P.A.  They then took a break and got on to Item B - of course, immediately Commissioner Mulvehill made the motion to approve the ordinance placing the height restriction question on the ballot, with second reading scheduled in time (by August 10) to put the item on the November ballot.  This motion failed on a 2-3 vote, with Triolo, Maxwell and Amoroso dissenting.  Commissioner Maxwell then made a motion to approve the ordinance on first reading and set a second hearing date for September 18, 2012 - which would set the item to be on the ballot for a March election.

That motion passed 3-2, with McVoy and Mulvehill dissenting.

I am currently processing some videos from the meeting - which includes Commissioner Mulvehill responding to Mayor Triolo by saying, "Yes, mother..."  It will be well worth watching the video(s)

Listening/watching the City Commission meeting...7/28

Click here for link.  I'll be showing up before 2 p.m. to witness discussion of Item B on the agenda which relates to the treatment of the petition signatures for the ballot issue on height as put forth by the Respectful Planning PAC.

If you look at the video coming from the Commission Chambers, the city attorney's seat is empty.  That became a big issue at the beginning of the meeting raised by both Mulvehill and McVoy.  They especially wanted an attorney present when they discussion action on Item B.  McVoy got a little indignant, in response to a comment by Mr. Bornstein that the city attorney works for the Commission, saying that it was the City Manager's job to make sure that the appropriate staff is present.  He left the meeting presumably to see if Ms. Humphries would be available later this afternoon when the item is discussed.

I thought it was interesting to hear the amazement of the second attorney being interviewed at the legal department's $1 million annual budget - he thought that was high for a city of Lake Worth's size.  I think it was Commissioner Amoroso said that the current city attorney works about 80 hours a week.  The attorney's response was classic:  "Doing what?" he said.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Special City Commission Meeting - Saturday, 7/28

Click here for back-up material, which was just made available on the city's website at 10:45 a.m. this (Friday) morning.  The first part of the meeting will be devoted to interviewing law firms to provide interim legal services for the city in between now - with the departure of the City Attorney and the Assistant City Attorney - and to when the City Commission ultimately hires another person for city attorney - or finds that working with a law firm is a more efficient and effective way to go.  Interesting that the memo from staff notes the large number of lawsuits facing the city.

The last item results from certification of petition signatures initiated by the Respectful Planning PAC. Here are the options the City Commission has for the meeting tomorrow (from Pam Lopez, City Clerks memo):
Clearly, option #4 is the best option.  If the municipal elections are moved to March - which will also be on the ballot - , this measure can be put on that ballot.  After all, residents and investors have waited eight years for resolution to our Master Plan process that was designed to make sure that the city has a coherent set of Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations - what is an extra six to eight months more of uncertainty?  There is no need to rush something to the ballot that confuses the issue more.  Second reading on the Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for August 8th.  That document is the result of years of compromise and many pairs of eyes examining it in extreme levels of detail.  Can we just get on with the business at hand and stop with the political sideshows?

There is plenty that can allay the FEARS of those who signed the petition (whatever they were told) in the LDRs.  Rome is not burning and the wolf is not at the door, only to the extent that certain people continue to create confusion when and where we don't need it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Urban Arts Lofts - as seen from aloft...

Mayor Pam Triolo makes dinner for the Allens

Group submits signatures to get building-height question on...

Click title for link to article.  The following should be interesting, to say the least, to see how it plays out:
Submitting the signatures alone does not guarantee that the amendment, which would limit building heights along Lake and Lucerne avenues, will be on the November ballot.
The signatures must be verified to ensure they belong to registered city voters. Checks of the signatures submitted Monday should be complete by the end of this week, Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said.
In addition, city commissioners must approve an ordinance on two readings by the Aug. 10 deadline to place the question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Decker said she expects the commission to consider the ordinance placing the question on the ballot on first reading Aug. 7. She said the PAC is asking Mayor Pam Triolo to schedule a special meeting Aug. 8 or Aug. 9 to consider the ordinance on second reading so city voters can cast their preferences on Nov. 6.
“We’re looking for a hero here,” Decker said.

City Commission Appointments to the Historic Resources Preservation Board

Last night, the following people were appointed to the HRPB:

Juan Contin
Wes Blackman
Herman Robinson
Judith Just
Loretta Sharpe
Jimmy Zoellner (construction field) – Alternate
Mark Clary (architect) – Alternate

Click here for applications and resumes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Carol and Paul Allen

Let's recap this week shall we...July 15, last Sunday, I see a story air on WPTV Channel 5 about Carol and Paul Allenwho lost everything in a house fire and were only able to save their four birds and two dogs. The inventory of blessings as of today Sunday July 23, 2012 at the time I hit the post button are as follows:

1. Lake Worth landlord donates apartment
2. I have asked the City Manager if he would waive full/partial utility deposit (pending answer)
3. Anonymous man has instructed the Allens to shop for a trailer which he will pay for.
4. Father Victor Lopez of Lake Worth (Pam Lopez, City Clerk's husband), through a family that reached out to him, has facilitated the donation of all the furniture in a fully furnished two bedroom home.
5. Dr. Patel of Family Dentist of the Palm Beaches in his Lake Worth office saw the Allens at 9:45am today July 23, 2012 
and took first impressions and expedited the ordering of two brand new sets of dentures.
6. Robert Waples donated a computer, monitor, printer, table fan, box of dishes, board games, tomato planter
7. Jenny Weed donated a box of dishes
8. William Waters Director of Sustainability City of Lake Worth donated some beautiful pieces of furniture
9. AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt donated an adorable bedroom chair
10. Terry & Buttons Brokovich gave me $55.00 for the Allens which I will give them tonight
11. Sunday night Mayor Pam Triolo who cooked dinner all day today will served the Allens at my house a turkey with fixings, baked ziti, salad, garlic bread and we will sit down to eat as a family.  IT WAS DELICIOUS!

I hope you share the news of these blessings that are a direct result and answer to prayers and reaching out to neighbors in Lake Worth.  We live in an AMAZING CITY! I am so PROUD THAT LAKE WORTH OUR HOME! 

Best wishes,
Mark A. Parrilla
Genesis Neighborhood Association, Inc.

The Surprising Hot Spot for Entrepreneurs: West Palm Beach | Next Avenue

Click title for link to article on the attractiveness of West Palm Beach to entrepreneurs - but specifically second and third time career people.  I am sure that much the same could be said for the entire Palm Beach County area, but it would be nice to see Lake Worth in a headline like this.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Best Urban Block in South Florida? It’s out there. » Florida Redevelopment News Clips

This is a great idea!  There are many blocks that could serve as stiff competition in a contest such as this...right here in Lake Worth.  Click title for link to the Florida Redevelopment Association page or click here for a link to the Miami Herald page which talks about the contest.  Interestingly, architect Rick Gonzalez - designer of the NEW casino building - is one of the jurors in the contest.  I found this quote by him poignant in light of the recent debate/debacle on heights here.
Many urban designers like Gonzalez believe a moderate to mid-rise scale is best. In his experience, he said, what works best are building lots from 50 feet to 150 feet wide, and buildings of two to 10 stories, with a variety of businesses on the ground floor like cafes and shops, and on the upper floors offices or residences, including hotels.
“A great block would be one that all of us would like to live, work, play and learn on,’’ Gonzalez said.
But it’s not inconceivable that a great block could be found in a skyscraper district, if built with an orientation to the street at the base, like in many sections of Manhattan. Some experts say pedestrians hardly notice anything beyond four or five stories above their heads.
ad more here: