Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blockbuster coming tomorrow..

Citizen McVoy, as Chairperson of the We Love Lake Worth PAC, writes a letter to Jane West, Esq. dated January 29, 2009. Let's just say that things are different now. Stay tuned.

Locals shrug, tourists revel in rosy image of Paris life - FRANCE-PARIS - FRANCE 24

Cool art and promotional series of displays showing  a rather stereotypical view of what Parisians do and how they do it. These images remind me of New Yorker cartoons. Click here for official website and click title for link to the article.

Editorial: Blame Legislature for dispute over building heights... |

Mr. Marra's take. Click title for link. From the op-ed:
But that does not mean that the activists who pushed for the referendum don’t have a case. Laurel Decker, one of the organizers, has hired an attorney and is weighing legal action. A lawsuit would further delay Lake Worth’s efforts to move forward with more consistent zoning rules necessary to attract development. But it is also true that this law seems ripe for further legal challenge.

A Wagnerian tribute...

Calling for Earth First! Journal Submissions | Earth First! Newswire

Come one, come all - submit any of the following. EF! needs it by 9/1/13 - try and keep it between 700 and 1200 words. Click title for more information.

We’re looking for:

-Action Camp Reflections!

-Egregious Ecological Erotica!

-Biocentric Analysis!

-Anti-Colonial Strategies!

-Luddite Love Poems!

-Letters for Dear Shit for Brains and Dear Ned Ludd!

-Subversive How-To’s!

-Wolf Drawings, Wolf Photos, Abstract Wolf Art!

-Anything you’d like to see in the Earth First! Journal!

Man converts NYC dumpster into a home - Yahoo! News

Taking dumpster diving to dumpster living! Definitely is a "lo-rise" alternative for some. Not sure how the code would handle such a thing. Click title for link.

Yeah Lake Worth, CRA, HUD - PEOPLE!

Friday, August 9, 2013






Tuesday, October 11, 2011
2:33 - 4:08 p.m.

7 North Dixie Highway
Lake Worth, Florida 33460

Reported by:
Kathleen Lusz, RPR


Rachel Waterman, Mayor
Suzanne Mulvehill, Vice Mayor
Jo-Ann Golden, Commissioner
Scott Maxwell, Commissioner
Christopher McVoy, Commissioner
Susan Stanton, City Manager
Elaine Humphreys, City Attorney
Brian Joslyn, Esquire

(The following proceeding was had:)

MS. LOPEZ: Mayor Waterman?
MS. LOPEZ: Vice Mayor Suzanne Mulvehill?
MS. LOPEZ: Commissioner Scott Maxwell?
MS. LOPEZ: Commissioner Christopher McVoy?
MS. LOPEZ: Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden?
MAYOR WATERMAN: Okay. We have a city attorney announcement?
MS. HUMPHREYS: Yes. Pursuant to Section 286-011(8) of the Florida Statutes I desire advice concerning pending litigation in the case of Greater Bay Group, LLC, versus The City of Lake Worth.
MAYOR WATERMAN: Okay. So pursuant to that same Florida Statute cite, we are going to commence a closed door attorney-client session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation regarding the case of Greater Bay Group, LLC, versus The City of Lake Worth. Shut the door at this point?
MS. LOPEZ: Then you have to state the estimated length.
MAYOR WATERMAN: Oh. The estimated length of this session is one-and-a-half hours. And the following individuals will be in attendance: Myself; the vice mayor; all city commissioners; city manager in her part, the designee; the city attorney, Brian Joslyn, Esquire, and our court reporter. And your name is?
MAYOR WATERMAN: Thank you. Okay. So we have to recess now?
MS. LOPEZ: If you recess the special --
MAYOR WATERMAN: Recess the special meeting.
MS. LOPEZ: Yes. To go into the closed door.
MAYOR WATERMAN: Okay. So at this time I'll recess the special meeting. And I would like to reconvene a closed door attorney-client session.
MS. LOPEZ: When you reconvene, come get me. I'll come back.
MAYOR WATERMAN: Okay. 2:35. Thank you.

(Ms. Lopez exited the room.)


MR. JOSLYN: At the beginning of 2008 before the pool work was done and as a result of their dragging their heals, Larry Karns recommended to the city commission that the city go ahead and do the work itself. And we got a letter in from Greater Bay's attorney, the usual huff and puff about how they have been misled on everything in the deal and blah, blah, blah. But he didn't have
a problem with us hiring consultants as long as they weren't going to do any work. I mean I'm paraphrasing.
MR. JOSLYN: So the minute that -- They had the right to do all the construction out there. And the city could hire anybody they wanted to study things. But --
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: If they do work.
MR. JOSLYN: -- if the city was going to try to undertake work itself, then that would be a breach of the agreement. So we have a letter in January saying you can hire people if you want. We got the mid-year structural analysis with no bitch, and then the end of the year they had a completely different position. But, of course, that was after their meeting where the agenda says how can we set up for litigation with the city.
MS. STANTON: Brian, can you -- We are dancing with a big pink elephant in this room. We had a commission meeting on the platform to save the building --
MR. JOSLYN: Uh-huh.
MS. STANTON: -- that's publicly discussed.
MS. STANTON: And the concern potentially of someone perceiving the desire to save the building, what was potentially an indirect way of abrogating a contract. And how are we dealing with that in the process of --
MR. JOSLYN: Well, like I said, we're not talking about anything other than for the period of time that the city was going to control the building. Because at the point that Stratacon came on the scene, Greater Bay's contract was still in place. Everybody assumes Greater Bay is going to go ahead at some point. Clearly they were going to tear down the building. But until they started their work, and until the building was ready to be demolished, the city owned it. The city controlled.
MR. JOSLYN: And the city collected the rent. So the city had liability if somebody got hurt out there. So the fact that somebody wanted to keep the building up doesn't necessarily mean in my mind that they're going to keep it up to the detriment of Greater Bay. It meant they were going to keep the building up while the city still owned it, not that they were going to keep the building up as a way of breaching the contract with Greater Bay.
MS. STANTON: Maybe we could have a discussion. Because certainly, Commissioner Mulvehill, you were at the time hoping the city would save the building, we would renovate it, we would make it historic.
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: I don't remember that. I remember it being a point of can we keep the people who are in the building in the building; is it safe to keep the people in the building so we don't have to kick everybody out.
MS. STANTON: Yes. But, Jo-Ann, when I was hired I was hoping that we could save the building. Not save the building keep the people in, keep the building, save the building. We were going to historically keep it. The building is important. We're going to save the building. And that's always been a concern of mine in this whole thing that that be perceived by even a jury that we created the conditions to --
MR. JOSLYN: Well, clearly that's what they're traveling on.
MR. JOSLYN: Of course that's what they're traveling on.
MS. STANTON: That's in play.
MR. JOSLYN: Of course it is. But what I'm saying is there is a completely separate reason why and a completely different way of looking at it than the way their looking at it.
And I think, quite frankly, our explanation of this makes a lot more sense than what they're talking about. Because the city really did have liability there if somebody -- You know, I mean think about what would happen if you had a concrete block fall on some baby stroller or something. I mean, my God, you'd have some serious problem.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: And I want to add one thing. We did come to the determination that it was going to cost $400,000 to shore up that building, that the only way we could keep it open was to shore it up. And we got quotes. It was $440,000 to shore it up. So I don't know how that relates to -- I know what you're saying is that I ran on a platform of saving the building. But I'm one out of five people. But they're saying there was a conspiracy.
MS. STANTON: But you were one out of five to change the position in the city.
MS. STANTON: To be committed to this contract or find a way to get out of the contract.
MR. JOSLYN: No, no. I disagree. That wasn't what she said.
MS. STANTON: I understand that. But that's how they are portraying it.
MR. JOSLYN: Right.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: Well, I think it's worthy to discuss it so that we know what our --
MAYOR WATERMAN: Be prepared for it.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: I have to say something here. I'm a little confused because this talk about the building thing has been going on for years. When I sat on the commission ten years ago, we talked about a $10 million bond referendum.
MR. JOSLYN: Right.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: And Rodney Romano was out there on Labor Day with a jackhammer trying to bring that bad boy down, and it wouldn't come down. You talk about drama, okay. My point is this -- I'll never forget that day.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: Oh, my gosh. But my point is this: If we had, you know, current present day engineering reports that said, look, this building isn't safe, and for whatever our motivational reason might be that we continue to get more studies and they continue to say this building isn't safe, if I'm sitting on that jury,
I'm saying why in the world are they keeping the damn thing open in the first place, shut it down right now because it's not safe. And then I would turn around and say, well, then we found a study that we liked that says it is safe or it is habitable and re-habitable. And I'm just playing the devil's advocate.
MR. JOSLYN: Well, look, if it was clear, they would never have filed suit. You know, it's not the cases that are clear, or if it was clear the other way, we would have settled instantly or not terminated them.
MR. JOSLYN: But, you know, this is a little grey. All I am suggesting to you is we have an explanation for this that makes a lot of sense. You can order -- I mean why you had a study in 1999 that said the building needed to come down; why do you have a study in 2000, 2003, 2005? You know, a different building official, different responsibility, different liability I guess.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: I thank you for using the term grey, because that's exactly what I was searching for.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: It's a very grey body. It's not clean.
MR. JOSLYN: No doubt. The cases that are clear settle or go to trial. And the cases that are grey are tricky. I mean just there is no doubt.
But I mean, you know, I think when you add up everything, all of it together, it seems to me that it's pretty clear that they fixed on Stratacon as a way to set themselves up for litigation with the city consistent with their agenda.
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: And consistent with past performance on other projects.
MR. JOSLYN: I don't know that. We have not found another project where they have -- Actually, I mean Greater Bay Construction that's a different company entirely. Greater Bay Group, this is there one and only deal.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: Have we deposed everybody we are going to depose on our side?
MR. JOSLYN: Oh, no, no.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: Are we okay? Are we having any hostile witnesses on our side? Because we have a lot of turnover of staff. I mean is everybody pretty much on the same page?
MR. JOSLYN: Uh-huh.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: Or do we have anyone that's going to create a problem?
MR. JOSLYN: No, I don't think so. I think Larry is very helpful. We're meeting almost all day tomorrow to go through documents. He's going to be -- you know as a witness, preparation matters for trial. I met with John Farinelli, the building official, today. He doesn't have a problem with the city and is going to be very helpful, especially about all of the drama at the time they were trying to pull pool permits and all of the deficiencies in their performance at that point So, no, I think we're okay.
MS. STANTON: Let me interject. I mean Brian is our attorney and I'm deferring to him. As the city manager with a separate set of eyes do I feel comfortable that I know how important our case is with the city attorney who this group fired, with a building official that was fired by the city, with Corey O'Gorman who I got rid of, with a number of other characters? When Retha Lowe testified, she couldn't be more positive to the other side. She was yep, yep, yep, yep, yep. She was very positive for the other side. So I mean, yeah, so far the depositions that Brian has taken have been very positive.
It keeps me up at night knowing that this cast of characters, just the collection of people we have with a commission that ran against the project gets in and changes the dynamic. We have a city commissioner now that had a lawsuit against the city.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: No, no, no. I had a lawsuit by the city against them. People mix that up a lot.
MS. STANTON: But the elements here are generally fascinating.
COMMISSIONER MAXWELL: Fascinating is not the word.
MS. STANTON: Fascinating is an understatement.
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: I want to ask, Brian, when you first came to the first meetings that we had about this issue and you were laying out the reasons why you felt that we had a case.
MR. JOSLYN: Uh-huh.
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: And it was more or less about a particular timeline of when they -- And I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was very clearly laid out at the time that it was a particular timeline when they brought up the zoning and when we objected to their being on this project. Is that still in play --
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: -- that initial? Can you just explain that? Because that was I thought --
MR. JOSLYN: The contract is clear. You're talking about the contract language is clear.
MR. JOSLYN: But the zoning approval date, they never got it. So all we have to do is show that you're not in breach of the contract on December 4, 2008. And you have a right to terminate the contract. You don't need to have a reason.
MR. JOSLYN: You don't need to have cause to terminate these guys. What I'm suggesting to you is there was plenty of cause. But you don't need that to have cause.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: Don't need to have it.
MR. JOSLYN: No. It's our option or their option. Either one of us can terminate the contract.
MAYOR WATERMAN: But I would imagine they're saying that we created conditions that would make it impossible for them to --
MAYOR WATERMAN: -- perform and meet those conditions of the contract.
MR. JOSLYN: Not really. What they're saying is that we agreed to extend their financing deadline and that that somehow extends the zoning approval date. But that isn't at all what the letters, exchange of letters say. They're really hanging their hat on Stratacon and some real estate title issues that are really not a problem either. We have testimony that they could have obtained title insurance. So really their -- They've changed their position. They're saying it's Stratacon, it's a cabal of commissioners, and it's title issues.
But, no, I think the timeline -- Look, they didn't perform on time throughout the process. There are a few responses inadequate. They were provided a list of inadequacies.
MAYOR WATERMAN: But we accepted it. If there are few was inadequate, it's irrelevant because the city accepted it.
MR. JOSLYN: No. What I'm saying or suggesting to you is that you can establish a pattern with these guys. They got to a point while they were negotiating the contract where the city manager and Corey O'Gorman recommended that they not continue because they were being untimely.
You had the same problem then with the pool. You had the same problem then with the punch list. You had the same problem with them on Stratacon. I mean it's all along these guys have been -- you know, my father would call it a little different, but half something or other. Okay.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: I have a question. So were those conditions for termination: The punch list; the nonperformance? I mean where is that line that says we have the right to terminate that contract? Or did we terminate it because of the zoning approvals? I mean I thought it was --
MR. JOSLYN: You have the right to terminate the contract because the zoning approval was not obtained. And that is what was done.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: But what I heard you just say is that they were not performing.
MR. JOSLYN: Right.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: That's additional stuff to make the argument.
MR. JOSLYN: Additional. Additional argument especially to go to their damages. How are you guys entitled to this money when you were never performing all along the time? I mean there are number of tracks that are being followed here all the same time.
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: But we're still going with the fact that they did not get the zoning approval?
MR. JOSLYN: Yes, absolutely.
COMMISSIONER GOLDEN: That's the main thrust.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: And that's not what I talked about in my deposition. I talked about nonperformance so --
MR. JOSLYN: Right.
MS. HUMPHREYS: But that's your information.
VICE MAYOR MULVEHILL: That's the information that I had, yeah.
MS. HUMPHREYS: Let's not go too far into specific witnesses and what they testified.
MS. HUMPHREYS: Brian is going to have to leave exactly at 4:00. I want you to have a chance to ask your questions about the case. But mediation is less than a week from now. Susan is going as the city representative. Brian and I will be there as attorneys. But we have to be there in good faith to negotiate. Susan needs some kind of direction on what she can put on the table for mediation. Obviously, it's going to be contingent to coming back and having city approval.
MR. JOSLYN: It always is, yes.
MS. HUMPHREYS: And, obviously, it doesn't sound realistic that we are going to find a number. But we have to go in there --
MR. JOSLYN: We have to have a range.
MAYOR WATERMAN: I would like to know what the economist says would be reasonable rents and reasonable --
MR. JOSLYN: We don't have his analysis yet because we haven't heard what they're saying and how they got to the numbers.
MAYOR WATERMAN: We didn't do our own analysis?
MR. JOSLYN: I just gave you our analysis that their numbers are ridiculous: 55 bucks a square foot; how you get to the 20 -- You're going to say you rent this space out full time; you don't have financing.
MAYOR WATERMAN: I would imagine I would do an analysis of what would be so that we -- I don't know.
MR. JOSLYN: You want to put their number on the board for them?
MAYOR WATERMAN: No, I don't want to put it on the board for them. But I would want to have it in my own back pocket. I mean if I was negotiating the contract, I would want to know what I felt the value of the contract was. If I'm going into mediation, I would want to know what I thought a realistic number was if I got the sense that things weren't looking in my favor. So what would have been realistic square footage lease.
I mean I think we are only getting 24 now. You know five years ago what was realistic? What do other similar sized facilities -- how often -- what are their booking schedules like; how much money are they generating? Why don't – Why haven't we done some projections or analysis of that?


Coming to a blog near you later today...




Tuesday, October 11, 2011
2:33 - 4:08 p.m.
7 North Dixie Highway
Lake Worth, Florida 33460

Reported by:
Kathleen Lusz, RPR


Rachel Waterman, Mayor
Suzanne Mulvehill, Vice Mayor
Jo-Ann Golden, Commissioner
Scott Maxwell, Commissioner
Christopher McVoy, Commissioner
Susan Stanton, City Manager
Elaine Humphreys, City Attorney
Brian Joslyn, Esquire

(The following proceeding was had:)

MS. LOPEZ: Mayor Waterman?
MS. LOPEZ: Vice Mayor Suzanne Mulvehill?

Note: From the Lake Worth Library...


From the first part of the Commission meeting this past Tuesday (8/6) - Commissioner Reports and Comments

Robert Anthony

"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy."

Drone delivers beer not bombs at S.Africa music festival - FRANCE 24

You could get used to this kind of drone attack. Click title for link.

Weather Matters by John Nelander » Blog Archive » Lake O tops 16-foot mark; more rain on the way

It seems that the focus is on our water managers for a number of reasons. This release of water is messing up the St. Lucie River and the dike around Lake O is a big concern. Click title for link.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Complete with Portuguese subtitles!




4:52 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.


Pam Triolo, Mayor
Scott Maxwell, Vice Mayor
Christopher McVoy, Commissioner
Andy Amoroso, Commissioner
Michael Bornstein, City Manager
Glen Torciva, Esquire, Interim City Attorney
Brian Joslyn, Esquire, Outside Counsel

[People mentioned, other than listed "In Attendance", in order of mention: Ms. Anderson, Greater Bay, Jack, Lucerne.]

MR. BORNSTEIN: Look, I parked the car yesterday and Ms. Anderson came up to me and said don't give Greater Bay a penny. So there are people in this community who feel very strongly about this matter.
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: How would anybody deduce from a notice that says closed door attorney-client session for the purpose of discussing the pending litigation, how would they deduce there's a settlement pending, that we were going to talk about a settlement? My point is that information had been sent and circulated and I as specifically told I don't want you to settle. Okay?
MR. JOSLYN: Are those people going to pay by way of special assessment if we get hit?
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: I don't know. I don't know. But for everybody's edification in 25 minutes I don't know what type of a turnout we're going to get for this meeting. I would hope that we're not going to be faced with that. I would hope that of the folks who come and participate tonight would be appreciative of the fact that there has been a risk analysis done and that we're able to kind of put this all together.
MAYOR TRIOLO: Well, Vice Mayor, we have no control over what the public is going to think. We have to be concerned with what the facts are and what has happened and transpired up to this point and what we're going to do about because that's the facts Jack.
MR. JOSLYN: Until two weeks ago they weren't willing to talk about less than three and up to nine months ago where we had the first mediation they weren't willing to talk about less than ten. So the investment the City makes in attorney's fees has resulted I think in them being willing to come down and a mediator leaned on them like he leaned on us.
MAYOR TRIOLO: The difference is when we walked into that room it was at seven and we were trying to stay at like 750 and then we ended up where we ended up.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: I'm just looking for clarification on two points. One in what we can talk about can we talk numbers? Presumably not I would think or we don't want to talk numbers.
MR. JOSLYN: Yes, you just can't talk about specific things that were said at mediation. They sued for 30 million. Their initial settlement demand was 10 that they didn't come off at mediation. We were told by the attorney later that their bottom line absolutely was 3 and we have a potential deal here 1.6.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: And that was my second just for clarification so I understand is 1.6 their number that we can agree to or is that our number that we hope they will agree to?
MR. JOSLYN: No, no, no. They signed a settlement agreement subsequent to City Commission approval.
MAYOR TRIOLO: They wanted 2.5 million. That was the last offer they made. They wanted 2.5 million and they came back.
MR. JOSLYN: Actually, I'm sorry, because I have to give props to your City Manager here. It was his idea -- we were at the 2 to 2.2 million over a number of years and it was your City Manager who suggested you give them a one time payment of less than that to get them out the door, but a number that would be so enticing that it would be real hard for them to walk away. 
COMMISSIONER AMOROSO: And where is that going to come from?
MR. TORCIVIA: It's a budget ordinance that's part of tonight if you agree to go forward it will come out of the insurance fund which is part of our hurricane money. There's about 5 million in there for that and there's about another 3, 4 million that we keep in that reserve to pay out for worker's comp claims and things like that. So there is money, but it's a working fund. I told them basically I was going to have to take quarters out of the couches. I think I also said something about doing some other nefarious activities. 
     And my fear and before we get in there is if indeed there are a lot of people and this becomes sort of a circus as sometimes things happen in Lake Worth, how much explaining are you capable of doing because if there's not enough information out there about why you're agreeing to settle to 1.6 million you're just going to get hammered and I think you're going to get more desperate to have that information come out. What's that point, Brian, that you explain beyond the risk assessment?
MR. BORNSTEIN: I think it's almost similar to what happened in here. I think we do the risk assessment, Brian gives the context, some of the background, the scaries, the jury, mock juries. I would suggest that we don't engage in an interactive process with the public and when they're finished if the Commissioners want to ask Brian or I questions based on that. 
MAYOR TRIOLO: Is this a special meeting? It's a special meeting.
MR. BORNSTEIN: It's a special meeting.
MAYOR TRIOLO: I'm sorry, Commissioner McVoy.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: And I have not contacted anybody. I'm not trying to generate people coming to the meeting, maybe I should have, I don't know, but I have not. I have no idea who is going to show up. I don't think if I had to guess just because I haven't heard anything, I don't think there will be people showing up saying you have to pursue this and go to the mat because we personally were involved. I don't think that's very likely but, and that's just a guess that's based on very little information or none, but that's a guess, but I would make a suggestion that in -- if you do or if either you do or we as Commissioners get into laying out the history and we start saying Commissioner this did that and this Commissioner did that, my own advice even though I philosophically sit more to those views, I wouldn't go there because I think you'll just irritate the hell out of people and won't gain anything out of it.
MAYOR TRIOLO: I personally don't think it's the job of the Commission to do any such thing anyway. I think that it's the job of the attorney to talk about the situation because we couldn't talk about -- I personally heard the conversation in the mediation but I can't talk about the mediation. So therefore my opinions on it are one thing; however, the situation in regards to the legal case is up to Mr. Joslyn to do it. 
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: And I would just stick to that and the risk analysis.
MAYOR TRIOLO:  I can't mention what was said and how many times their names were mentioned and what they said about --
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: I just did some quick math and you used the word irritation. Let me tell you who is going to be irritated. The people of this City are going to be irritated when they find out that we got into this mess in the first place on the backs of somebody being elected to be a third vote for a majority that has done in many cases irreparable harm to this City, financial harm, and the cost of that building in the end is going to be somewhere between 11 and $12 million factoring in the lies that went along with the infrastructure, factoring in the cost for the legal, factoring in the settlement, factoring in the years of human resources that were expended by staff. That's what's going to irritate people. Okay? And as far as I'm concerned we need a complete and thorough vetting and transparent discussion about how we got here and who those players were. And I hope that through our discussions tonight some of that will come up. I don't want to leave anything unanswered when we leave that meeting tonight.
MR. JOSLYN: If I don't cover it, ask me the question and I'll answer it to the best of my ability.
COMMISSIONER AMOROSO: Because as confused as I was coming in as new, so will the citizens that have not sat in the meetings.
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: You mentioned something earlier and you kind of mentioned it and none of us picked up on it and I'm going to throw it out there. And it kind of got spoken to by one of our Commissioners who got sworn it. It was the issue of telling truths. You mentioned that there were flagrant lies put out in the public about what was going to happen with that beach. It's the same type of rhetoric and lies that go on about every issue in this town and we have got to stop this nonsense.
MR. JOSLYN: Every issue that I've been involved with.
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: Every single one of the issues you mentioned, the Save Our Neighborhood, the Lucerne, every single one of those and there was the same core group of people involved each and every time each and every step of the way.
MAYOR TRIOLO: And I agree with you, Vice Mayor, and in fact I didn't say anything when you mentioned earlier, Commissioner McVoy, when you said about it the truth needs to be known and we have to look back and see how we got into these situations but we have to look at that as a learning lesson as well. We can't keep doing this and we can't distort the truths and we can't do whatever. We all have to be on the same page and present all the facts whether they're good, bad or indifferent or whatever people are. I know you said we can't make the same mistakes again, but we also can't make these same mistakes again because we can't afford to make these mistakes again. 


A few observations from Tuesday night's (8/6) City Commission meeting re the LDRs

If you were present on Tuesday night, or if you watch the videos that I have posted, you know that there were indeed moments of high drama. Being constructive, I am offering suggestions, aside from violating state law, on how to avoid or minimize that drama in the future. If I could sum it up in a few words, I would point to adherence to procedure and the integrity of audio records of meetings - especially those held outside of city hall.

First of all, the first reading of the land development regulation (LDR) ordinances took place at the July 16th meeting. Here are the minutes of that meeting that were approved at the 8/6 meeting. I thought it was interesting that Commissioner McVoy pointed out that since he was absent from that meeting, that he couldn't vote for the approval of those minutes.

Note that the only person that commented on this item was Mr. Timm. It would be unusual to have an agenda item that he doesn't comment on. I was in Michigan, but I know that from others who were in attendance that there were many of the same people there at this meeting that the Commission heard from last night but chose to remain silent at this meeting. The reason to have a first reading of an ordinance is to identify anything that requires revision prior to the second reading. If there are a lot of changes, sometimes local governments cancel the scheduled second reading and incorporate those changes in a new ordinance. I believe that some of the histrionics that we witnessed this past Tuesday night could have been at least more muted had the opportunity to speak at first reading had been utilized by this "highly aggrieved" - at least by testimony on Tuesday night - group of people. No one spoke. Commissioner McVoy was, conveniently (?), absent.  All other facts were known at the time regarding HB 537 and the height referendum not being part of the LDRs.

I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that when the Historic Resource Preservation Board made its final recommendation on the LDRs, the recommendation was made to an empty house. Another opportunity missed by this "aggrieved" group of people.

Much is made of the "Tri Meeting" that took place on January 26, 2012 between the City Commission, Planning and Zoning Board and the Historic Resource Preservation Board. It is claimed by members of this "aggrieved" group that consensus was reached at this meeting, held at the golf course. These are sections of the code that we were reviewing at the time and some background graphics that were provided by staff.
This is the section of the code that included some of the area - east of Federal - as prepared by staff which reflected the Planning and Zoning Board's recommendation - a uniform 45 feet east of Federal, with public benefits.

This is the graphic representation that was part of the packet.
So what was included in the staff back-up for this meeting was the Planning and Zoning Board's recommendation which was different than the opinion of others present at this 'Tri Meeting." This from the staff report that represents this fact:
I don't remember coming to this much ballyhooed "consensus" at this meeting. There were some things that the three groups didn't agree upon at this meeting. I believe that height east of Federal is one of them.

This is what doesn't help. This is part of the "minutes" from this "work session" where we were to determine "consensus" on what we were agreeing to allow in the downtown.
Many were under the assumption that this meeting was being recorded and staff had gone through IT to make sure we had a audio record of the meeting. The meeting was held at the golf course clubhouse. I remember microphones being there. It turns out that as staff went to review the meeting - somehow no audio was available. Things that make you go hmmmm.

So let's not get too carried away about the light of "consensus" breaking through the clouds at this meeting. There is no way to know for sure, but it is an easy thing to point to be some people who wish the results had been different.

Just sayin'. Moral of the story: Make sure you take advantage of first reading opportunities to comment and be sure of the technology you are employing to record a meeting.

Pic of the golf course clubhouse...

The picture above is an unedited "as is" picture snagged from the city's homepage slideshow. I was talking with a photographer friend of mine and we were both looking at the online slideshow. To say he had some opinions on the pictures is an understatement. He just chose this one as an example of what he could do with some simple PhotoShop editing. These changes/enhancements took less than five minutes.
The picture above is the edited version. Notice the richness in the color of the sky and grass, compared to the unedited version. Also notice that the loose paper on the green is gone - as well as the SUV parked in front of the building. He also shaded the corners a bit for more of a framed effect.
These are the two versions knitted together, with the edited version taking up the right hand side of the photo. This Lake Worth photographer has many stock Lake Worth pictures and could have been used as a resource and still can.

Michael Bornstein, Lake Worth City Manager 08/09 by High Noon in Lake Worth | Politics Podcasts

Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Michael Bornstein, Lake Worth City Manager, to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios. The city finds itself in the middle of the budget season and we are sure to get some insights on the coming fiscal year. We'll also talk about some positive things going on in and around the city, as well as some of the obstacles and threats which face Lake Worth as it enters its second 100 years.

Click title for the live show between 12 and 1 p.m. tomorrow (Friday 8/9) or after the show airs for the archived version. Leave questions as comments below. Thanks for listening!

Latest West Palm Beach promotional video...

This is put out by the Convention and Visitors Bureau. At 1:12 of this video, Mayor Muoio says "Hello" to all our beaches, including what looks to be a shot of the Lake Worth beach prior to the redo. Check out the pay-per-view sightseeing apparatus - are those coming back?

Check out the website - part of the CVB network. Look at the hotel section and check out the rest of the site. We are referred to as "A diverse enclave, Lake Worth is a true haven for artists and free spirits." It seems to rely on material from the Street Painting Festival and our local B & Bs.

And - do you know the difference between an enclave and an exclave?

From Tuesday night's (8/6) joint work session with the City Commission and the Electric Utility Advisory Board

James O'Connor, Vero Beach City Manager answers questions and provides insight regarding their city's experience in moving to FPL as an electric service provider and exiting the FMPA - getting out of the electric business.

5 reasons to join the Zombie Rampage |

Zombie alert this Friday. Click title for details.

BBC News - Why is cycling so popular in the Netherlands?

Nice article about the cultural differences and bicycle use between the Netherlands and the U.K. Click title for link. Check out the video - had trouble embedding it here - that looks at some of the real world realities bicyclists face in urban areas.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013




4:52 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.


Pam Triolo, Mayor
Scott Maxwell, Vice Mayor
Christopher McVoy, Commissioner
Andy Amoroso, Commissioner
Michael Bornstein, City Manager
Glen Torciva, Esquire, Interim City Attorney
Brian Joslyn, Esquire, Outside Counsel

[People mentioned, other than listed "In Attendance", in order of mention: Peter Willard, Mr. McNamara, Ms Anderson.]

COMMISSIONER MCVOY: [...] Did the person get elected partly on that, that was what they campaigned on? So it's normal that they would vote differently than whoever was previously on, and they were presumably representing the will of the people because they got elected so it's appropriate. But can somebody make a case that this is somehow smelly? Apparently the feeling is they can. So I understand that. Go ahead.
MR. BORNSTEIN: I like the argument of this is democracy in action. Someone got elected on a platform and they did morally what they wanted to do. But on the other side I say well and good, but there's a cost to me. That's Greater Bay's argument. They can make that political decision but they have to pay for that political decision because we had a contract that was going to generate so much. 
MR. JOSLYN: Especially when you have the Mayor and City Manager saying no, we can't get out of the contract, we'll be sued for millions of dollars. 
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: I don't fully understand that, but that makes sense. 
     The piece that I want to bring into the discussion, I don't know that it affects the risk analysis. I agree with your risk analysis that we do not want to wander forward into a 50 percent, a 60 percent chance or 40 percent chance of losing and the cost of losing is multiple millions we don't have and it's tax payer money that shouldn't be sailing off to someone in Rochester. I totally get that. But let me add in a sort of philosophical part and I'd be looking for everybody's response on. What if the true situation is that Willard's outfit, which is Willard who has a very dubious reputation in a bunch of states, doesn't really do stuff, talks a good streak and hooks up with somebody who has actually built some things but it's kind of this loose organization. What if his intent from the get go was never to build a building but was to put us in exactly this situation that we're in now, put us at a point where we're at risk of losing and it's an extortion scheme to get public money into his pocket? What is our responsibility?
MR. BORNSTEIN: How do you prove that?
COMMISSIONER MCVOY:  I'm not asking it as how do you prove it.
MR. JOSLYN: Let me say as the person who has looked at all the documents and I've looked at them a couple of times, there's no evidence that that occurred.
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: That's not what you said in the last meeting.
MR. JOSLYN: Hold on a minute now. There's no evidence that that occurred at front end. It's very clear to me that these guys were taking steps to set the City up by October of 2008, because I have a memo from Peter Willard to himself of a list of talking points where he says just that. Okay? I showed that to the mediator and it didn't sway him all that much. So my view of this is they tried to do this on a shoe string. They came into town talking a big game. They surely did. And they tried to do it on the cheap. And then because things got slowed up with the lawsuits and with the challenges to the zoning also filed by Mr. McNamara up in Tallahassee that stopped the zoning cold for a year that, pardon me, that because they were so tight were running into trouble. 2008 was not the smoothest year as we all know and by that point I'm sure it was clear to them that they weren't going to be able to get financing for this deal and they adopted a new strategy. I think that is potentially demonstrable. I don't believe that they came into this with that as a concept. I really don't believe that. 
MAYOR TRIOLO: Question for you. What is the process, our public meeting is less than a half an hour, our public meeting, what can we discuss and not discuss?
MR. BORNSTEIN: Well publicly you're not supposed to talk about what happened at mediation, but you can certainly talk about the fact that the risk analysis. If you'd like we can lay out the risk analysis.
COMMISSIONER AMOROSO: I would personally -- I thought you gave a very clear layout of it and I agree with it. 
MR. BORNSTEIN: To me it's dispassionate. It's facts. This is the risk.
MR. JOSLYN: And I'd be happy to answer any questions that anybody has I guess.
MR. BORNSTEIN: In terms of commissioners I think your conversation is very appropriate in terms of what's best for the City weighing all these different factors, weighing all these risk factors in particular. 
MAYOR TRIOLO: Can we discuss the mock trials?
COMMISSIONER AMOROSO: We can talk about past commission and how we got to where we are now?
MR. BORNSTEIN: Yes. I think that's what Brian -- I think you have to have that context.
MR. JOSLYN: No doubt. 
MR. BORNSTEIN: Go ahead.
COMMISSIONER AMOROSO: And do we make the decision here or there? 
MR. TORCIVIA: There. It has to be public.
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: I got a phone call yesterday from a resident who was apparently made aware of this meeting and was told that we were going to be talking about this. Apparently an elected official reached out and was talking to folks about this. 
MR. JOSLYN: Were numbers discussed?
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: Yes. My concern is that there's going to be push back saying don't you settle, don't you settle, because there are people in this community that are involved with the very players we've talked about in this meeting here today who are going to want us to go to the mat.
MR. JOSLYN: For them. 
MR. JOSLYN: Well --
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: We've got a problem here.
MAYOR TRIOLO: Already I have the blogs saying --
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: Wasn't the meeting noticed as a closed door meeting on Greater Bay?
COMMISSIONER MCVOY: So that's public information. 
MR. BORNSTEIN: Look, I parked the car yesterday and Ms. Anderson came up to me and said don't give Greater Bay a penny. So there are people in this community who feel very strongly about this matter.
VICE MAYOR MAXWELL: How would anybody deduce from a notice that says closed door attorney-client session for the purpose of discussing the pending litigation, how would they deduce there's a settlement pending, that we were going to talk about a settlement? My point is that information had been sent and circulated and I as specifically told I don't want you to settle. Okay?
MR. JOSLYN: Are those people going to pay by way of special assessment if we get hit?