Friday, December 11, 2020

Former District #2 Commissioner - Mac McKinnon

 From Carol Webster, Lake Worth High School Alum, passed this word on to me today:

"I’m sorry to share with you that I got word this morning that former LWHS coach and former LW Vice-Mayor Mac McKinnon lost his fight with Covid last night.  He was truly a kind and caring man.  He played an important role in the lives of many in Lake Worth and the surrounding area.  He was a teacher, coach and public servant.  He will be missed."

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A note to my friends, supporters and residents of the City of Lake Worth Beach:

After being contacted by, and reaching out to, fellow Lake Worth Beach residents this past October, it was clear that they wanted a new direction for the city and were not satisfied with those who indicated a desire to run for the position. Most of the people I talked with suggested that such a candidate was me and running for Mayor would fill that need.

After much reflection and consideration, I’m announcing that I will not be continuing my campaign for Mayor. After consulting with family members, trusted friends, colleagues and key supporters, I realized that the most important factor was relatively easy to recognize: The relatively recent decision to run for office did not provide enough time and resources to be able to win in March of 2021. 

A further realization was to be an effective Mayor in a sizable, diverse city like Lake Worth Beach, one must be prepared to dedicate more time to campaign than my current and projected business volume was going to allow me to do.  Suddenly we were engaged in a full-time effort for the campaign to raise enough financial resources to compete in a potential 5-way race. We also quickly discovered that raising money to compete during a pandemic, when so many of our neighbors are suffering badly from the impacts of Covid-19, proved especially challenging. 

I wish the best of luck to the remaining competitors for the job. I pledge to stay involved as a vocal participant in our local government. I urge the next Mayor and Commission to move forward on what would have been the foundations of my campaign. 

These were to improve the quality and increase the volume of communication coming from City Hall to our residents and businesses. We must vastly improve customer service and look at the quality of the experience residents and businesses have when doing business with the City. I fully support the City conducting a comprehensive Charter review and will continue my efforts in helping make the Lake Worth Beach dais be more representative of our diverse population in that regard.. Finally, we must go forward with improvements to the oceanfront park, the disposition of a city swimming pool and the Blueway Paddling Trail project. Successful execution of these opportunities will increase the quality of life for all City of Lake Worth residents.

I thank everyone  for their support and encouragement. I hope everyone stays safe, wears their masks and enjoys the best holiday season possible under different and challenging circumstances.

With continued love for Lake Worth Beach, I remain...

Wes Blackman

Resident of Lake Worth Beach

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The public in this City of Lake Worth is screaming, “We can’t hear you!” From May 16, 2018 - Over two years ago.

Below is a post about the importance of reaching out to Neighborhood Associations prior to making big decisions at the City Commission level. This is above and beyond statutory requirements. It would be more than the standard effort required. This is something I've always supported: more communication from the City prior to considering items that will have a profound effect on residents and property owners.

Click on image to enlarge:
William Waters is the Dir. of Community Sustainability. On March 7th he said, “Neighborhood associations could be noticed.” And the board attorney said at this same meeting, “[W]e are meeting the statutory requirements.”

Our residents in this City deserve better than just the minimum effort when it comes to communication.

Below is the video of last night’s City Commission meeting, “First Reading, Amending Chapter 23, Land Development Regulations”. It was hard to watch. The public, however, needs to commended for being so respectful and coming forth with their well-thought and researched observations and complaints.

A Tweet from last night (please pause to load):

The public was calm and reasonable. And so was the City Commission. But to the staff it was like the public was talking to a bunch of people so completely out of touch and disconnected, hoping and praying that they’ll finally get it this time.

The public gets it. The City staff doesn’t. And there are too many people between the staff level and the Commission that don’t get it either.

Did you know this City has a “Neighborhood Planner”? What exactly does that person do?

This City of Lake Worth needs to learn how to communicate with all our neighborhoods. Why it’s taking so long to learn that bypassing the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’s Council (NAPC) is a really bad idea is beyond comprehension. Waiting for Commission meetings to hear from the public is way too late as evidenced by a packed house last night.

Having this many people show up at a
Commission meeting is not a good thing. 
This is a sign the City has a communication problem.

Check back to this blog later on today and tomorrow for more about this meeting. Briefly, several items from this agenda item will come back to the City Commission for another First Reading on June 5th. For the rest of everything from “Ordinance 2018-07” it’s back to the drawing board. Again. Is anyone surprised?

The public is saying, “We can’t hear you!” And the reason is there are too many people working for this City who are not listening, or worse yet, don’t care.

This “New Business” item on the agenda took up 2½ hours last night at the City Commission. Would encourage everyone to watch this video in short segments over the next day or two. Commissioners Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson were out of town attending an Urban Land Institute conference in Savannah.

Public Comment begins at
the 1 hour and 10 second mark.