Thursday, February 7, 2019

Work Session tonight at City Hall: Broad discussion of education issues and proceeds from County sales tax increase.

If you plan on attending this public meeting at 6:00 tonight in City Hall what follows is information “Worth Noting” and broadly very important for everyone in the public to understand.

Following the heading “Background” below is why and how this public Work Session came to be.

This blog post today about the meeting this evening makes broad use of the word “broadly”.

This public meeting is an opportunity for the City Commission, the administration and staff to broadly discuss two topics in a general or approximate way — in other words broadly — just basic ideas and not dwelling on the minutiae or getting bogged down in details. In other words tonight will be a wide and broad discussion. Or it should be if the rules are followed.

Not broadly, but very specifically, Mayor Pam Triolo runs City Commission meetings.

Also not broadly, but specifically, the public and all
City Commissioners need to follow the
instructions from the mayor.

This City has a “Commission-Manager form of government”. This is also not broadly speaking.
It’s actually quite specific.

So if this evening you have an issue of importance to you that is un-broad, or very specific, then tonight’s meeting will not be of much help to you. Please attend a future public meeting where your issues and concerns will be specifically addressed. Remember, this meeting will be a broad discussion about public school education and proceeds from the County’s sales tax increase..

A broad discussion tonight about education could be trying to find ways to increase literacy in the Guatemalan community by more access to pre-school education or some other means.

A broad discussion about the sales tax proceeds could be one about parking in the Downtown or demolishing the condemned pool and structures at the Beach to add more parking.

Now let’s move on. Of course, broadly speaking.

It will be up to Mayor Pam Triolo to decide whether or not to allow public comment and depending on the public in attendance, if many from the public do show up this evening at 6:00, the mayor will likely allow public comment. But don’t be surprised if the opposite happens.

If there is public comment tonight do expect very loud and one-issue groups to try and dominate this broad discussion, for example, those who want a brand new pool at the Lake Worth Beach and/or those upset with code enforcement.

And hopefully if that happens the mayor will remind that person that this particular work session is a broad one, not about any specific issue. And whilst on the topic of public comment, if public comment is permitted tonight, follow the rules! Follow the instructions from the mayor and when your time is up say “Thank You” and briskly return to your seat.


Last December District 4 Commissioner Herman C. Robinson requested a Commission work session on the County sales tax proceeds and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Scott Maxwell also requested a discussion on education initiatives in this City vis-à-vis preschool education and improving the performance of our public elementary schools.

On proceeds from the ¢1 sales tax discussion brought forward by Robinson:

The Sales Tax allocation has not been fully outlined and has instead been used to address immediate issues as they arise. This discussion is to provide staff with direction on how to proceed in planning for and using the remaining Sales Tax resources.

If you plan on showing up tonight for this public meeting understand that using money the voters approved by referendum has very strict rules for how that money can be used. In other words those rules are not broad.

For example after the Neighborhood Road Bond passed, also in November 2016, some were excited thinking this money could be used for trees along the City’s road network. But that excitement did not last long after reading the ballot language. The voters in this City of Lake Worth did not vote by referendum to plant more trees. They voted by a “whopping 69 percent” to fix the roads and potholes, not plant more trees.

To learn more about referendum ballot language click on this link.

And yes. Hard to believe but there are still people who think constructing another brand new pool at the Lake Worth Beach is a good idea. No, it’s not. It’s a terrible idea. To learn why click on this link.

Specifically, a new pool at the Beach is very broadly limiting public access to a public pool for the vast majority of residents in this City. And this City should soundly reject that idea. Both specifically and broadly.