Sunday, February 3, 2019

“Last Wednesday night. Cara Jennings showed up. So did Chris McVoy, PhD.”

UPDATE: About the CDBG meeting held last Wednesday evening at City Hall.

Below is more information, updates, and the meeting minutes from Mr. Jerry Kelly.

And if you happen to believe CDBG funding cannot be used for code enforcement, well, think again. The proof is below.

Yes, it’s true. Both Cara Jennings and Chris McVoy, PhD., showed up at Lake Worth City Hall last Wednesday evening. And so did their cohorts panagioti and javier, people who believe capitalizing names is offensive because it draws too much attention to ‘self’. Now imagine for a moment someone in that group named justin case.

And a contingent from the PBCTU showed up too and so did two PBSO deputies. It was quite the scene.

Without getting too far into the weeds, the Palm Beach County Tenants Union (PBCTU) are the ones who had a ‘gathering’ outside City Hall on January 15th. It was supposed to be a protest but a protest requires ≥ 4 news organizations to be present. But only WPBF reporter Anthony Kustura showed up. No other media. Not even the beat reporter from the Post bothered to show up.

And the latest development is. . .

Chris McVoy, PhD, is being appointed next week to the Lake Worth Tree Board by Mayor Pam Triolo which may actually be a very good thing if he manages to stay out of American Foreign Affairs. McVoy is the former District 2 commissioner who lost to Commissioner Omari Hardy in 2017. In a real nasty turn and a war of words the editor at The Palm Beach Post called McVoy a “gadfly”.

But if McVoy can manage to turn around the Tree Board and get it back on course maybe the editor at the Post will apologize. That was a real mean thing for the editor to say.

And maybe prior to next Tuesday’s meeting of the City Commission the mayor can prepare a dish of baked ziti for everyone, including Dr. McVoy, just for old times sake.

However, balancing out the public meeting on CDBG funding last Wednesday were two elected officials and many others from the public with concerns as well.

Briefly, some background. The situation with CDBG funding began last October when City Manager Michael Bornstein referencing specific neighborhoods west of Dixie Hwy., “[W]ho suffer daily from the unacceptable conditions and thuggery” became a feature story in The Lake Worth Herald.

To try and defend their substandard practices the slumlords’ argument became that CDBG funding cannot be used for code enforcement. A silly argument and just plain hogwash as you will learn more about below.

So then the slumlords went to ‘Plan B’. Trying to rally support from their allies with the politics of fear, “The Wolf at the Door” tactic using the loaded word ‘Gentrification’ which is oftentimes called “The ‘G’ word”.

Moving on.

Below is an update from Jerry Kelly about last Wednesday’s meeting in the City Hall conference room. Mr. Kelly is the City of Lake Worth’s grant analyst and he led the meeting on the FY2019–2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.

Yours Truly was at that meeting and noted on this blog in many ways last Wednesday was about,

“New Lake Worth” vs.
“Old Lake Worth”.

It was a reminder about how far we’ve come. To learn more about that meeting on CDBG funding, see some photos taken at that meeting, and to find out what the group PBCTU is and a whole lot more information click on this link.

What follows is an update from Mr. Jerry Kelly. Last Friday he sent out an update extending appreciation for everyone’s attendance and input. Kelly wrote,

The suggestions that you shared will help the City determine the best use of the anticipated FY2019–2020 CDBG funding the City expects to receive from Palm Beach County.

Below are minutes taken by Kelly and he noted a City Commission Special Workshop will be held prior to the final application being sent to the County. Kelly encourages anyone with questions or concerns to contact him at 561-586-1654 during business hours or send an email to:

And take note of the highlighted text in yellow below referencing CDBG funding and code enforcement.

Meeting minutes:

FY 2019–2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Public Input Meeting.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

City Hall Conference Room.

Introduction of Staff and Attendees. The meeting started at 6:09 p.m.

Overview: A brief overview of the purpose and history of the CDBG program was provided, including HUD’s statutory formula for funding allocations made to those jurisdictions that qualify as entitlement communities. As the City does not qualify as an entitlement community, it has entered into an agreement with Palm Beach County to become a sub-recipient under its Urban County Partnership. As such, the City is eligible to receive the amount of CDBG funding that it provides to the County partnership as determined by the statutory formula for eligible CDBG activities. The County will provide this allocation to the City only for CDBG eligible activities that it will fund as funding for public service and administrative.

The CDBG-eligible activities allowed by the County include acquisition of real property for a public purpose, demolition/clearance, infrastructure and improvements, public facilities and improvements, historic preservation and code enforcement. [emphasis added] In addition, all eligible activities must meet one of the National Objectives of the CDBG Program of benefiting low and moderate income persons, preventing or eliminating slums or blight, or meeting an urgent community development need.

The County has developed the Lake Worth CDBG Target Area in which all CDBG activities are presumed to meet the National Objective of benefiting low and moderate income persons. Eligible CDBG activities are not restricted to the Target Area provided the service area of that activity is either located in a low and moderate income area according to the U.S. Census (51% or greater l/m population) or meet one of the other National Objectives.

Application Process and Staff Recommendation:

The County typically announces that it will accept applications from its sub-recipients for eligible CDBG activities in March of a given year. It is anticipated that the City’s FY 2019–2020 CDBG allocation will be similar in amount to the current allocation of $294,477.

Those in attendance requested a follow-up meeting to continue discussion of eligible activities to better determine the eligible activity that residents want for submission to the County for FY 2019–2020 funding. This meeting could occur as a special workshop before the Mayor and City Commissioners. There will be no staff recommendation made for a particular CDBG eligible activity. Rather a list of the eligible activities supported by the community will be given to the Mayor and members of the City Commission for their review and consideration. Public comment will be allowed and encouraged during this meeting.

Public comment was encouraged at this CDBG meeting held last Wednesday and many took advantage of the opportunity. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Going forward the public will have many opportunities to voice their opinions and concerns. No one is being shut out of this process as some have suggested.

So please stay tuned, as they say.