Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lake Worth looks to boost revenues as budget projections shrink

A PBP article on last week's budget meeting.  This is from the article:
City Manager Michael Bornstein said the budget projections show the city needs to get busy boosting revenue and shaving expenses. But, he said, they’re numbers on paper, not a reason to panic.

Anecdotal to this, perhaps, is a story that I heard from a friend two days ago.  He works at one of the office spaces and has for years.  He parks his car on the street near the office, but it is technically in an area that has a maximum stay of an hour.  He got a $20 ticket from the City for his car being parked too long there.  It would be nice if the city, given the fact that enforcement has been non-existent, would tell the public that this was now being enforced in the downtown.  And now the private lot is closed?  Did the city not pay the rent?  What's going on there?  Click title for link to article.

722 South Lakeside bites the dust...

I think these were pictures taken last Wednesday.  The house had been an eyesore for years after sustaining hurricane damage.  Today, there is some debris still remove, but it is down to the slab.

Sure to be an attention-getter at Tuesday's (8/7) City Commission Meeting

No "sneak peak" with the agenda back-up - I am sure the crowd will be mesmerized with the highlights of the Bonn conference.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Florida Green Energy Works - Chat with Erin Deady 08/03 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Blog Talk Radio

Exciting day today!  Join us for the inaugural broadcast of High Noon in Lake Worth, hosted by yours truly.  Click title for link to the show - live at 12 p.m. today, August 3rd.  The link will also work after the live show, so you can still catch the information from the archived show.

Erin Deady will be joining me to talk about the Florida Green Energy Works.  This item appears on the City Commission's agenda of August 7th - as item 5(b) under Presentations.

Handy links to refer to during the show include the PowerPoint presentation that will be used next Tuesday.  Click here for a set of typical agreements municipalities enter into to be part of the program.

The show has a call-in feature, but of course, only active during the live show.  You can call in your questions at this number:  646 716 9545.  You can also leave your questions under the comments section below this post.

Wish me luck as we launch on our maiden voyage!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

NEW Internet Radio Show: High Noon in Lake Worth

I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new Internet radio show that I will be hosting.  It's called "High Noon in Lake Worth" and the first show is tomorrow, Friday, August 3rd.  Check back here tomorrow morning for link information and connection information.

Our first guest is Erin Deady of Erin Deady, P.A.  Click here for her bio/background information.  She will be here with me to discuss the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program / Florida Green Energy Works for the City of Lake Worth that will be on the City Commission's agenda next Tuesday, August 7th.  It's a program that allows energy conservation improvements to commercial properties to be financed through property tax bills.  Savings from the improvements will allow businesses to pay back the improvement cost over time.  Other communities, such as Delray Beach and West Palm Beach have already initiated their own programs.  Ms. Deady will be here to respond to your questions and educate us on the program in general.

Being the first show using, it will be a bit of a beta performance.  But tune in and I'll try to get a handle on all of the functionalities that are part of the web-based platform.

TRNA | Meeting Reminder & Location Change

Greetings friends & neighbors! 

On Monday, August 6th @ 7:00pm the Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association will be holding its regular meeting. Please note that our meetings will now be held at the Lake Worth Shuffleboard Courts and not at Compass. The Shuffleboard Courts are located in between Lake & Lucerne between North F & North G Streets. 

We would like to thank Compass for all of their help and support of the Association.  

We look forward to seeing you on Monday!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lake Worth’s regional sewer system criticized for sloppy...

Is anyone really surprised about this?  And we were the ones complaining about our customers - and made a big stink (lawsuit) about it.  Another shining legacy from the Stanton era - with roots going back much earlier.  Click title for link to article.

Low Tide - Bryant Park Seawall

Newspaper Takes A Stand On Anonymous Commenters : NPR

Timely report on allowing comments from anonymous persons on a blog.  I tend to be very permissive about what gets posted as a "comment" - there are exceptions and I deleted one today that, upon reflection, was mean and over-the-top.  I can tell you this - that I only comment by using my own name/identification.  I encourage readers who wish to leave comments to do the same.  Click title for link to article.

Editorial: Lake Worth goes low in delaying height-limit vote

I thought that a fresh breeze might be blowing through the ivory towered, corner offices of the Palm Beach Post, but it seems as though they are still breathing the same stale air they have been for years.  Mr. Marra, who supposedly lives in Lake Worth insists that "residents demanded" to vote on the height issue.  Mr. Marra makes it seem that there was this great "welling up" of sentiment, as common residents put down their knitting, exited their front doors and searched out petitions to sign since they were so threatened by the prospect of a small area of the downtown, that is already home to many tall buildings, would become home to two or three taller buildings - up to 65 feet.  In reality, this "redevelopment" process would occur over 10 to 15 to 20 years.

That didn't happen Mr. Marra.  What the residents faced was a small army of hysterical people with professionally prepared petitions.  Each made it seem like the wolf was at the door and that current Commission, by adopting a Comprehensive Plan that would limit heights to 65 east of Federal (what is allowed now) and lowering them in the central part of downtown to 45 feet, was going to physically destroy the "Old Florida" small town character of Lake Worth.  Surely, the truth was not represented as the eager "workers" gathered the signatures in a frenzied canvass of the entire city to meet an impossible deadline that was only possible if the City Commission bent the rules.

What was also not presented at the door was that way back in 2004 - that's 56 dog years - the City began a Master Planning process that was supposed to determine what residents wanted Lake Worth to look like when redevelopment happened.  Over $1.5 million was spent, with much of the effort being directed toward total public involvement, multitudes of meetings were held and immediate changes were made in the form of a zoning-in-progress (that everyone seems to forget) that put an end to what most people thought was wrong with the existing zoning code - much of that targeted at ending what was seen as a proliferation of townhouses.  

Over this immense amount of time, people in power made sure that the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulation creation process proceeded at a snail's pace, if it proceeded at all.  During this span, people in power took advantage of re-interpreting the data that came from maybe 300 attendees at these previously held meetings to determine the "vision" of our city.  Suddenly, we learn from the Grand Interpreters (Jennings and Golden chief among them) that the residents overwhelmingly wanted a two story city.  An unworkable height restriction table was put into the revised Comprehensive Plan that did just that.

This petition drive came at a time when the city is nearly ready to adopt a newly minted Comprehensive Plan, through the efforts of a competent planning staff, that reflects public opinion and is a result of years of discussion and compromise.  I continue to find it amazing that many people that were part of and promoted the petition drive refer to the "Tri" meeting - this was a meeting between the City Commission, the Planning and Zoning Board and the Historic Resource Preservation Board - that a grand consensus was reached on heights throughout the city - including this area east of Federal Hwy.  Strange thing is - even though the equipment to record the meeting at the Golf Course Clubhouse was there - none of the meeting ended up being recorded.   There is NO AUDIO RECORD of that meeting.  Things that make you go hmmmmm....

So, Mr. Marra, this was no groundswell of residents clamoring together to lower heights in Lake Worth.  This petition drive was directed, aided and abetted by the same people that have been involved in this unbelievably drawn out process and have an interest in causing confusion and drawing out the process even more.  The City Commission's action on Saturday at least put a hold on this foolishness.  It may now be possible to actually have a coherent  Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulation pair by the time that this item gets to the ballot.  Then people might actually understand the facts of the matter and we can actually get on with the business of making the city a more economically sustainable place.

If you want to read more drivel, click title for link to the editorial.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mulvehill won’t seek re-election to Lake Worth City Commission...

You can almost hear the tears hit the keyboard as Willie typed this article - click title for link.

Reminded of this speech for some reason...

Proof that there is a God...

Suzanne Mulvehill
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2012 6:13 PM

Subject: RE: Re-election

This letter is to inform you that I have decided not to seek re-election to the Lake Worth City Commission but to instead explore other opportunities in my professional life. My service to the city I love has been both challenging and greatly rewarding, and I am proud of what we have accomplished in very tough economic times.

I ran for re-election in 2010 because I felt a responsibility to the residents of Lake Worth to complete critical projects that were started during my first term. I am confident now that the beach will be completed as planned, and the new electric contract will bring residents relief from the high rates that have plagued us for years. Our new water plant will serve the community with quality water for many years to come.

I want to express my gratitude to those who supported my work and my ideals over the last four years: to preserve our old Florida charm that makes us unique, protect our open space and public parks, and restore economic vitality without compromising our small town feel. It is my hope that someone who shares these ideals will step forward to run for my seat in District 4.

Willie, it has been a pleasure working with you. Thank you

Most Sincerely,

Suzanne Mulvehill

Commissioner District 4
City of Lake Worth, FL

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Suzanne talks to Dr. Alinsky

McVoy's four minute plus lecture and vote on the first motion...

This motion failed by a vote of 2-3, with Triolo, Maxwell and Amoroso dissenting.

Testy conversation after failure of the first motion...

...which would have put the height item on the November ballot.

Maxwell calls out Mulvehill, McVoy, exposes real purpose behind petition drive...

This is also where he puts forward the motion that ultimately passed.  This put the item on a special election ballot for March, 2013.