2 meetings 1 PB Post Story

There were 2 meetings held on 11/25/19. “Special City Commission Meeting” held at 8:30AM, and the “Mayor/Commission Work Session” @ 9:00 AM. Both meetings held when residents were at work. Being retired I attended.

The “Special City Commission Meeting” had 2 items on the agenda, and I was interested in the first item concerning the CRA. Long story short. The Fleet Management Fund has a net deficit of $200,000.00. This requires a transfer of $600,000.00 from General Fund Reserves to the Fleet Management funds. On the bright side when it was reported the Internal Audit (IA) was going to be done early 2020, Jon Ward, Director of the CRA stated the City had no authority to audit them, even while they were spending tax dollars. The CRA is and has been hemorrhaging  money and the audit will be very telling.

Commissioner Lambert was missing when the meeting began, but arrived on the dais at 8:39 just as James was calling for the vote@8:40. Before she put her bag she voted approval.

The 9:00 AM meeting concerned (1) “Strong Mayor Duties and Responsibilities” City Attorney Kimberly Rothenburg was to make the presentation, and (3) Security Services, City Attorney Nancy Urcheck to make the presentation. Ms. Urcheck made both presentations due to Ms. Rothenburg was a no-show.

(1) According to James the 5 Commissioners are not allowed to ask any questions of any staff member, ever. If they need a question answered they are to go through Tiffany David who answers to the Mayor. In a previous story I wrote about Ms. David who makes appointments with Presidents of Homeowner Association, who either cancels or don’t show up or ducks out 5 minutes after James leaves a meeting. They can also ask questions of Interim City Administrator Faye Johnson, who also reports to the mayor.

When residents call their commissioner with a problem they don’t want to wait weeks or months for a reply. James said staff was inundated with questions. When Mayor Muoio was in office she had a City Administrator and 2 Assistant Administrators. James has appointed 5 Assistant Administrators. Do the math: 5 city commissioners and 5 assistant administrators. In my opinion James is either trying to control what information the commissioners are receiving, or the assistant administrators don’t know the answer.

(2) Security Services. Larry Keller, Special to The Post wrote the story and it can be read in it’s entirety below. Here are excerpts and my comments in italics

“The city has set a Jan. 10 deadline for proposals with a target date of May 11 for a new security guard contract. The city commission proceeded Monday to rescind its controversial three-year security guard contract”

This could have been accomplished earlier if Commissioners Peduzzi, Shoaf and Lambert bothered to show up when Commissioners Neering and Ryles attempted to rescind the contract 9/27/19. 2 months wasted, but not for PNC who keeps their contract. Now James is telling us May 11,2020, 2 months after we vote for 3 commissioners. in March 2020. If Shoaf and Lambert are re-elected for 2 more years would you be willing to bet the contract wouldn’t go right back to PSC. The 3 missing commissioners had excuses, but with 110,222 residents living in WPB relying on them, I don’t consider this a part time job. Show up, or move along. You represent us not James and PSC.

“This month, the owner of the city’s shopping and entertainment district, Rosemary Square, dropped PSC as its security guard contractor”

And it didn’t take them 9 months either.

“Commissioners expressed remorse for their vote on PSC’s no-bid pact Monday.”

I heard Commissioner Neering and Ryles express remorse, both said they were sorry. That tells me they acknowledge their mistake which enables both of them to learn and not repeat. Lambert, Shoaf and Peduzzi have never made an admission they were wrong or explained their vote.

“Commissioner Cory Neering  wondered if PSC should be given notice immediately that the contract is being rescinded and letting its predecessor take over until a new contractor is selected. My whole point is I made a mistake in terms of the initial vote … and wish I had been more outspoken regarding that,” Neering said. “Let’s not pretend this current service provider isn’t embroiled in a major issue in our city”

By predecessor he means Giddens

“Commissioner Kelly Shoaf, whose district includes Northwood, said she was vehemently opposed to the idea of using the previous security contractor. Every neighbor in the Northwood area can give you a story of previous security firms that have underperformed,” Shoaf said. “Things have vastly improved there and the merchants are the ones who will be affected.”

Vehemently opposed, what does that mean? It tells me you would not vote for Giddens or any security company but PSC. You cam certainly do that after you are re-elected. Thank you for your service Commissioner Shoaf.The merchants will be affected, how about the damn residents who have been accosted at Rosemary Square under the protection of PSC. Guess their too busy sending pictures of their penis to see where their employees were hanging out in groups, or when I attended a recent meeting and 5 PSC security  were socializing on the 2nd. floor, how safe was Clematis St.?

“It isn’t known if PSC will put in a proposal to continue operating as the security contractor.”

Of course they will submit a proposal. They already have 3 votes on the commission if two of them are re-elected namely Lambert and Shoaf.

“Mayor James pointed out that only he, not the commission, can end the current contract with PSC, and he still favors doing so.”

Excuse me James, it was the Commissioners who rescinded their vote and the contract.

“Like commissioners, he said he wished he had obtained more information before approving the PSC contract. “If the administration is at fault, certainly I have big shoulders,” he said”.

Your shoulders aren’t strong enough to admit this contract was in the bag. What did you, Perez, Green, Peduzzi, Adderley  and Morris discuss over drinks at the Blue Martine, all sitting at the table known as the Table of Corruption, the new fall colors?

Read the entire story below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191125/west-palm-maps-out-plan-timeline-for-bids-on-79-million-security-guard-contract

 

 

Who Is Responsible for PSC Security Services in WPB?

Well that would be former Mayor Lois Frankel who introduced PSC to WPB in her final years as Mayor in 2010, upsetting the police department in the first no-bid contract to PSC.

“Tension between Frankel and the police exploded this month during a police protest of SunFest.

Mayor Lois Frankel defended her actions today, hours after the Post’s Page2Live posted a copy of the mayors unpaid ticket for violating the right on red law. When asked if Frankel could fairly be judged in a city court, she responded: “I don’t think the police or court or anyone around here would be giving any breaks at all.” Frankel did catch a break earlier this year when an officer reportedly let her off with a warning when going more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone.” Read entire story below:

http://westpalmbeat.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2010/05/14/frankel-on-red-light-violation-wouldn-call-it-the-criminal-act-of-the-year/

When her term as mayor ended she moved on to Congresswoman Frankel where she continued to insure PSC and Willie Perez would once again receive lucrative contracts.

Congresswoman Frankel and Perez did their best to keep Wellington safe also. Double click picture to enlarge, then check out Ft. Lauderdale.

“Fort Lauderdale’s Downtown Development Authority awarded a lucrative, no-bid contract for its security patrol program to a private guard firm with political ties to Congresswoman Lois Frankel.

Frankel was actively involved in the DDA’s selection last year of Professional Security Consultants (PSC)Democrat Frankel’s glowing endorsement of PSC and its regional boss, Willie Perez, was used in a marketing PowerPoint presentation to the DDA’s board of directors before it voted unanimously on June 12, 2014 to hire PSC without seeking competitive bids.

Two months after the vote, PSC’s founder and owner, Moshe Alon, began contributing to Frankel’s campaign. Alon has contributed nearly $11,000 to Rep. Frankel’s election campaigns since August 2014, according to Federal Election Commission records. Read entire story below.”

https://www.floridabulldog.org/2015/12/firm-tied-to-us-rep-lois-frankel-gets-no-bid-contract-owner-gives-her-campaign-11k/

Follow-up story:

“Congresswoman Lois Frankel’s endorsement of a private security guard firm whose owner poured $11,000 into her campaign after her support helped him land a sweet, no-bid government contract appears to have run afoul of House ethics rules prohibiting business endorsements. Ethics principles restrict how members of Congress may interact with commercial enterprises. However, records and interviews show that Rep. Frankel was actively involved last year in pushing a company called Professional Security Consultants (PSC) for the lucrative job of providing a team of unarmed “security ambassadors” to the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to enhance safety with foot and bicycle patrols in places like Riverwalk.

DDA minutes show that Democrat Frankel introduced the company to DDA officials, and later met with a DDA delegation about the matter. The DDA soon hired PSC without seeking competitive bids. PSC’s contract continues this year with the program’s budget doubled to $200,000 with help from the city.

The company also featured Frankel’s official photograph and endorsement of PSC and its regional boss, Willie Perez, in a PowerPoint marketing pitch to the DDA’s board of directors before its unanimous June 12, 2014 vote to hire PSC without seeking competitive bids.”

Frankel herself wrote a “To Whom It May Concern” letter of recommendation for Perez under letterhead that identifies her as “Representative Lois J. Frankel Member of Congress.” If you read the entire story below you can read her letter of praise.

https://www.floridabulldog.org/2015/12/firm-tied-to-us-rep-lois-frankel-gets-no-bid-contract-owner-gives-her-campaign-11k/

You may be aware that WPB has a shortage of Police Officers which is why we have a need for private security, and if a serious incident occurs PSC calls the WPB Police Dept. who investigates and make arrest, How’s this for an idea? Hire the missing police, pay them a decent wage so they don’t have to depend on overtime to feed and house their families. Problem solved.

If dreams came true Representative Matt Willhite would also include Lois Frankel in asking  Governor DeSantis too investigate her along with WPB Officials.

Matt.Willhite@myfloridahouse.gov,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My Cop” Officer Donawa

I had my 3rd. ride along with a cop and this was different because I rode in my neighborhood with Officer Donawa who I will refer to as “my cop” because that is exactly what he was for 4 hours.
I met him at the police station and received my marching orders, wear your seat belt at all times and stay in the cruiser unless he invites me out.
As usual I started out being noisy and asked him if he was married, and he is. Do you have any children? Yes, one son 4 months old. I said I would like to see a picture of him when we stop. We stopped immediately and I was shown a picture of his son. I should describe him as handsome being a boy, but he was absolutely gorgeous. Although my cop was wearing a bullet proof vest which is both heavy and constricting you couldn’t help but notice his chest expand with pride.

He met his wife at gymnastics and the story sounded like he chased her until she caught him.

My cop went to Culinary School where he became a chef, and still loves to cook. Lucky wife.

Now the ride and my experience.

We rode the streets where I have lived for 33 years, and right around the corner he showed me streets, businesses and schools I never knew existed.

We stopped at a development on Cumberland to check on a condo that is behind a 6′ fence and an unlocked gate. He walked into the courtyard saw sliding windows were intact and the front door secure. All’s well. Later I thought he had no idea if someone was behind that fence and would have done him harm.

At Sam’s warehouse there was a man panhandling and my cop stopped and told him “first and last.” The man picked up his belongings and walked off. I asked what he meant by “first and last.” First and last warning.

At 45th and Military another panhandler standing in the medium strip and when he saw the cruiser moved to the sidewalk. The cruiser made a U-turn, stopped the car and rolled down the window to talk to him. The man started to walk toward us and was told not to approach the car and he kept coming. Another warning was given and my cop jumped from the car and approached him saying he told him not to approach, why did he continue to walk to the car? The man apologized and was told to leave the area. He did.  I had to ask why he got upset with the man coming up to the car. He explained I was his responsibility and you never know what they will do or weapon he might have. Never thought of it glad he did.

We checked shopping centers where it was plainly marked “fire lane no parking” and cars were parked. He left the cruiser to speak to a man sitting in his car, and all of a sudden he turned and jumped back into the cruiser and once we got on 45th. St. the sirens and lights came on and he was traveling east and moving quickly. Once he passed the light he moved even faster, and explained there is a problem at 45th and Greenwood involving a truck and train. If you are familiar with 45th. St. there are 3 travel lanes and we were traveling in the middle lane. At one point there was no traffic in the right lane and with lights and sirens blaring do you think motorist would pull over as the law demands. Two cars didn’t. What would their response have been if we were rushing to someone they loved in need of help. Unbelievable.

When we approached Greenwood he was going to make a left hand turn, and what I didn’t realize is there were 2 cruisers behind us. The traffic moving east and west was stopped at the traffic light and my cop instead of making the turn, stopped at an angle and blocked cars from moving if the light changed. I can explain this now but at the time my mind went to he was going to jump the curb, and we were going to end up in a field. While this thought was running through my mind his arm reached out across me in a protective manner. I now understand the meaning of adrenaline rush, and his maneuver requiring skill and care which was exciting.

Well it turned out to be nothing. A semi was parked in the field, facing north and south and there was a lone train car on the track and everything seemed OK. We rode up Greenwood just to make sure we were at the right place. We were.

When we were leaving there was a car parked at the lights again on Greenwood and the driver had on his emergency flashing lights. My cop radioed one of the cruisers that followed us down and asked for assistance. He wanted another cruiser to stop traffic while he pushed the car across the street. I asked him “Your going to push him across the street”?.  Yes I am can’t have him holding up traffic. As he was getting into position a family member came and assisted the driver.

Sometime during his shift he was the first officer to respond to a call for a man named Johnny, a homeless man, complaining of chest pains. Johnny was transported to St, Mary’s Hospital, and my cop wanted to check on him. When we entered the emergency room Johnny was in the hallway, on a stretcher sleeping, and was to be admitted when a room became available.
We proceeded to the nurses station and when the nurses looked up they were all smiles and welcoming him. He introduced me as his partner and the smiles got wider.
The two officers that followed behind us on 45th St. named Officer Bales and Goldberger met us in the hospital and their tradition is to have ice cream after shift and they  invited me along. Of course I went, and it was
the perfect ending to a ride along.
So Johnny will never know the cop came back to check on him and a broken down motorist will never know a cop was preparing to help. I realize I can’t be greedy calling him “my cop” He was everybody’s cop that day.

Stay safe Officers Donawa, Bales and Goldberger, stay safe everyone.

Did The Diversion Work?

Tony Doris of the Palm Beach Post wasted no time writing the story on the City Commission meeting held on 11/18/19 with the City residents filling most of the seats. The news stations were also all over the story with channel 5,12 & 25 reporting the story on the 11:00 PM news and again this morning @ 6:00 AM. The PB Post story can be read in it’s entirety below, and I have provided readers with excerpts (again) and my comments with my opinion in Italics.

“West Palm Beach City Commissioners were unanimous in wanting more information, including hearing former City Administrator Jeff Green’s side of the story.”
“City commissioners Monday night unanimously rejected settling an ex-employee’s case over allegations that former City Administrator Jeff Green sexually assaulted her.”
“The five commissioners expressed severe reservations about settling without the city having consulted Green to judge whether the employee’s allegations had merit.”

Along with their vote, I hope they realize the authority they have in controlling the city purse strings, and they don’t have to approve everything the mayor and staff request. Good for them, and I hope they continue to listen to residents when the TV cameras aren’t rolling, and they aren’t up for re-election in 4 months.

“Several called for a full investigation of the allegations before they would consider settling based on the accuser’s word alone.”

If events unfolded as reported a full investigation is indeed warranted, and a suggestion was made that FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) do the investigation, and I agree. Police Chief  Adderley was seen socializing with James and Green and an investigation should be made by independent  law enforcement.

 I have been told on good authority, when employees enter City Hall with an entry card after normal working hours the lights automatically come on, and the camera’s start recording. It should be easy enough to confirm if both Green and Esposito entered together, and left separately, and how they both appeared.

“Mayor Keith James, sharply criticizing Green’s alleged behavior, had urged the board to approve the $180,000 settlement, saying the city could end up paying much more if the matter ended up in court.”

“But the five commissioners all said they needed more information, despite strong statements by the city attorney and interim city manager that texts and other information provided in mediation convinced them Green committed heinous, unethical acts that left the city open to a much more expensive settlement.”

In my opinion if the commissioners approved the settlement they would have contributed to a major cover up and what the mayor and staff don’t want residents too be aware of. This story is far from over and hopefully the press will keep digging until all is exposed.

“The lawyer for fired city employee Sharagay Esposito has alleged that Green sexually assaulted Esposito in a City Hall conference room in June.”

There are 2 people who know what happened that night, Green and Esposito. The truth will win out, go back and check the cameras, unless they weren’t working that particular night, or accidently erased, or termites ate through the wires.

“But Green on Sunday denied the allegations to The Palm Beach Post and said he never had sex with Esposito. He said the city has never asked for his side of the story.”

Green is the first one the city should have had a discussion with over the allegation. Why didn’t they?

“He added that Esposito told Green’s wife, Barbara, with whom she was best friends, that she would be going to the press with made-up allegations because she wanted her job back.”

Once again 2 sides of a story. One is lying and one is being truthful. Which one?

“The allegations of assault were disclosed in a letter Friday from Esposito attorney Isidro Garcia to West Palm City Attorney Kimberly Rothenburg.”

Well, there went the confidently agreement.

“Rothenburg conceded she never called Green to get his side of the story. Neither she nor Johnson detailed the allegations at Monday’s meeting because of confidentiality requirements governing the mediation.”

What “confidentiality requirements governing the mediation?” Esposito’s attorney, Sid Garcia, reported to the city the rape alligation, possible whistleblowers complaint, problems with Garcia’s manager. What else is in the “confidentiality” report they didn’t want commissioners or the public made aware of?

“Green said the Esposito lawyer’s letter, forwarded to him by The Post for comment, was the first he’d heard of any sexual assault allegations against him and that the city never called to confirm the allegations. I haven’t heard of any of this before,” he said, adding that he never had sex with Esposito. Green’s attorney, Denise Bleau, called the allegations “absolutely and categorically false.”

That tells me if the PB Post hadn’t sent the letter to Green he would not have known of the alligations against him. Shame on the mayor and staff. They even attempted to keep Green in the dark along with residents.

The majority of residents who showed up, and spoke out, asked the commissioners not to approve the settlement. This was the hot story of the day and probably into the rest of the week.

The story last week concerned Ms. Esposito’s involvment with Willis Perez, a friend of James, and the winner of the almost 9 million dollar-no bid security contract.

As most know a picture of Willie Perez penis was text to Ms.Esposito, and every time James mentioned the “graphic” picture it was followed by Green’s name and many people I spoke too assumed the text picture was sent by Green.
I have known for weeks what the picture contained and the name of the sender but actually questioned myself, proving if you tell the lie or make misleading statements enough it becomes fact and believable.
I am willing to give James the benefit of the doubt and assume he believed the picture was sent by Green. Would love to know his reaction when he discovered it was actually his friend Willie, who he along with Green and City Attorney Rothenberg pushed the contract through the system.

An attorney representing PSC and Perez asked the commissioners not to cancel the security contract due to the fact PSC had already spent 200 thousand dollars on new equipment. If that’s true, they get the money they spent and WPB get’s the equipment along with the sales invoices/slips. No re-imbursement for equipment used in other cities where former Mayor Lois Frankel also has secured  security contracts for Perez.
We heard from PSC security guards who praised Perez and what a wonderful guy he is, and doing a great job for the city.
We know what kind of guy Willie is, and they can’t pull on my heart strings.

Leah Gaines a woman who appeared knowlagable to me (please google her) informed the City Commissioners according to the City Charter they had the right to cancel the contract with PSC, and they should investigate if that is indeed a fact. If true please follow through and cancel the contract.
Please don’t wait for James to do it, he lied over a month ago when he said he was cancelling it. Why hasn’t he? Willie has known James for years as a commissioner and now mayor. Does he know things and is James afraid Willie will “spill the beans” if he does cancel the contract?

Also on the agenda was item 13 which the commission was asked to approve many millions of dollars on improving the design of Banyan Boulevard.
A staff member in planning for the County spoke and asked the commission to consider the work being done on the weekend and nights so traffic wouldn’t be impacted as heavily. He explained the County sent a letter to the City with their concerns. So far so good.
At the meeting Commissioner Neering asked Interim City Administrator Johnson if the commissioners were sent a copy of the letter, and he simply overlooked it? She replied she did not send the letter to them. Appears it was sent to her and the mayor. Important information was held back from the commissioners, and I hope they file it away for future reference, and I thank Neering for having the common sense to ask the question. It passed 4-1.  Four commissioners knew they weren’t given all the information they needed to make an informed decision again, so why didn’t they postpone the item?

While were on the topic of City Commissioners not receiving the information needed to make informed decisions. On the no-bid contract Commissioners were not told that Procurement and Law were against the contract. What changed their opinions? My guess, James.

Read the entire story below:

West Palm Beach commissioners reject $180,000 payout over sex assault allegations

 

 

 

 

Agenda Review Meeting 11/14/19

Here’s what you need to know about the Agenda Review meeting held 11/14/2019.

First of all Keith James was absent along with Commissioner Neering. I’m told James has been MIA all week.

Now the public is aware the graphic picture (penis) sent to Ms. Esposito was not that of Former City Administrator Jeff Green but Willie Perez, the Regional Security Manager of PSC Security the company that received the nearly 8 million dollar no-bid contract from his pal and drinking buddy Mayor Keith James. Here is how the Resolution was written. Please pay attention to “Background”

Resolution No. 380-19 approving the Conditional Settlement Agreement dated November 5, 2019, in the amount of $180,000.00 in the pre-suit matter of Sharagay V. Esposito and the City of West Palm Beach.

A Resolution of the City Commission of the City Of West Palm Beach, Florida, approving a Conditional Settlement Agreement Dated November 5, 2019 For $180,000.00 In The Pre-Suit Claim Matter of Sharagay V. Esposito and the City of West Palm Beach; Providing an Effective Date; and for other purposes.

Staff Recommends Motion:

Approve Resolution No.380-19

Background:

On October 4, 2019, Sharagay V. Esposito was separated from City employment. Ms. Esposito, through council, requested and participated in pre-suit mediation relating to claims against the City concerning her employment and separation from employment. An agreement has been reached with Ms. Esposito to resolve all claims against the City of West Palm Beach, it’s agents and employees, including all attorney fees and costs, for $180,000.00. In exchange for such compensation, Ms. Esposito has signed a full release of all claims relating to her employment and separation from employment.

Section 2-268(g)(4) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, provides that the authority for settlement of all claims in excess of $30,000.00 shall require approval of the City Commission by formal resolution. Resolution 380-19 approves the Conditional Settlement Agreement.

Here’s what I noticed in “Background” those 4 little words it’s agents and employees

“Agent” A person who is authorized to act for another (the agent’s principal) through employment, by contract or apparent authority.

Is PSC an agent of the City, I believe so.  Is James protecting Willie Perez and PSC from legal action from Ms. Esposito?

If WPB employees are involved is James protecting others from legal action from Ms. Esposito?

Below are excerpts from PB Post Tony Doris story Posted Nov 13, 2019.

“After a storm of public disapproval over the sizable no-bid award to a friend of the mayor and Green, James announced on Oct. 15 that he would cancel the contract and put it out to bid, after all, at the recommendation of his new, interim city administrator, Faye Johnson.”

“As of last week, though, city spokeswoman Kathleen Walter confirmed that the mayor did not in fact cancel the contract. PSC will continue to handle security service citywide until the new contract solicitation yields a winner, she said, which could take months.” Read the entire story below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191113/city-security-contractor-sent-sexual-photo-ex-west-palm-employee-alleges

If I am understanding the excerpts correctly, a month after James said he would cancel the contract he has not, and according to Ms. Walter it “could take months” I’m concerned for Ms. Walter’s job.

Is James still ensuring Willie Perez will draw a salary? If only he took care of residents as well.

Commissioner Peduzzi stated he wants a closed meeting with attorneys and commissioners because he still had questions of a legal matter.

Commissioner Shoaf stated she wanted an open public meeting.

Which of the 2 commissioners has drinks and pal’s around with James and Perez? Remember it’s a guy’s club.

I spoke with a friend and he asked a good question, one I didn’t have an answer for. Maybe the commissioners or mayor can help us out.

If the commissioners are foolish enough to approve the settlement, how about deducting all money spent by the city, including the $180,000.00 from PSC contract. You know the same one James was going to cancel.

PS

I attended the DNA (Downtown Neighborhood Association) meeting on 11/6/19 at 6:00 PM in a building on Clematis St. When the meeting ended guess what I saw? Five (5) PSC Security men hanging around inside the building on the 2nd. floor.  How safe was Clematis St residents.?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$180,000 Magic No. For James

At the Nov.4,2019 City Commission meeting items 3-15 were placed on the Consent Calendar.
Want to pass a Resolution and hide it from the public, place it on the Consent Calendar and pray no one notices.

It is generally Commissioner Lambert who moves to accept the Consent Calendar, another Commissioner second’s it and it’s a done deal. The Commissioners passed 13 Resolutions in less than 5 minutes. Now that’s moving a meeting along.
It appears the $180,000.00 pay out to a former city employee, Sharagay Esposito, was also placed on the Consent Calendar, but all 5 commissioners requested it be placed on the regular agenda which would allow discussion. Below is the story written by Tony Doris, reporter for the Palm Beach Post, and I have included excerpt from the Post story, and my comments in Italics.

“She left the city Oct. 4. in what was described in her personnel file as a resignation. The file, obtained by The Palm Beach Post through a public information request, includes no explanation why she left.
That is the day when, Mayor Keith James said, he learned a city employee had received a “graphic text photo” that “implicated” then-City Administrator Green.”

Ms. Esposito was fired, she did not resign, which tells me the City of WPB is still falsifying public records. Why isn’t the state looking into this?

In every story I have read James is quoted as saying “graphic text photo” and then mentions Green in the same sentence. The average reader would assume Green sent the picture. He did not, and instead of describing it as a “graphic text photo”  why not call it what it is? A man took a picture of his penis and sent it to a city employee.
The only question remaining is who’s penis is it? It’s not Jeff Green’s, but in a previous story he admitted to receiving the picture also but deleted it immediately.

“Esposito, though low in the city hall hierarchy and despite her checkered work history, hung out with the upper echelons. She was one of several members of a loosely assembled, high-level group that socialized at the Blue Martini lounge at Rosemary Square in recent years, a source close to the group said.
This group at times included Mayor James, Police Chief Frank Adderley, Deputy Chief Rick Morris and commissioner Joe Peduzzi, in addition to Green and Willie Perez, senior regional director of security guard company Professional Security Consultants, or PSC.”

Rosemary Square name changed from City Place. Nuff said.

“Green’s resignation wasn’t solely tied to the photo.
The change of guard came after a series of issues placed the new mayor in a bad light, foremost among them the no bid guard contract, which James and Green recommended go to their friend – Willie Perez and PSC.”

Once again, Nuff said.

“Though Green left quietly, saying his departure was a matter of mutual consent with James, Esposito hired a lawyer. The city on Nov. 1 reached the tentative settlement with Esposito to avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit, James said.”

Avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit, or attempt a cover up,  not to mention the total embarrassment James would suffer when the name of the penis owner is disclosed. When an unsolicited text or e-mail of  a sexual content is sent, is that not a felony, and should be investigated by authorities?

In my younger day’s I used to think “Peyton Place” had it all, not even close.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191112/exclusive-rsquographic-photorsquo-complaint-could-lead-to-180000-settlement-for-west-palm-city-worker

Who Is Stephen Sylvester?

I don’t know a lot about Mr. Sylvester, but discovered one thing about him I absolutely did like.

Below is a little bio about him and believe it or not one thing jumped out at me and you never know what will grab a voters attention. This grabbed mine.

“He also led a drive to relocate a Gumbo Limbo Tree from South Olive Elementary to South Olive Park that was planted in honor of Arbor Day in 1970 and slated to be destroyed during school reconstruction.”

If Mr. Sylvester cared enough about a Gumbo Limbo Tree to fight to have it relocated what might he do for residents who are concerned about the direction our city is heading?

I don’t know a lot about him, but I know enough about Commissioner Lambert and her voting record to know I want new leadership in District 5.   Read the good news below.

Sylvester is challenging incumbent Commissioner Christina Lambert, who has filed to run for re-election.

Sylvester is a native of West Palm Beach.  He was born in St. Mary’s Medical Center and attended our local south end schools: South Olive Elementary School, St. Juliana Catholic School, Conniston Middle School and Forest Hill High School.

Sylvester has a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Education from the University of Florida, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Physical Therapy from Florida A&M University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Boston University.

Sylvester is a physical therapist and was the Owner/Director of Intown Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Inc. from 1993 to 2015.

And, Sylvester served on the Ethics Committee (Florida Chapter) of the American Physical Therapy Association and was the former Chair of the Ethics Committee from 2005-2008.

From 2003 to present, Sylvester has also been a former Adjunct Professor and current Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance in the College of Education and Behavioral Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

While at the University, Sylvester worked with the college to develop an 8-week exercise program focusing on patients who are experiencing cancer-related fatigue prior to, during and following adjuvant therapies.

He also developed a 5K walk/run training program for overweight/obese children at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Sylvester has also been actively involved in the City of West Palm Beach in several capacities.

Sylvester served on the South Olive Elementary – School Advisory Council (SAC) from 2015-2017.

Sylvester also served on the Board of Directors of the Southend Neighborhood Association (SENA).

In 2000, Sylvester organized a group of West Palm Beach citizens to preserve the character of South Flagler Drive.

He also led a drive to relocate a Gumbo Limbo Tree from South Olive Elementary to South Olive Park that was planted in honor of Arbor Day in 1970 and slated to be destroyed during school reconstruction.

Sylvester has also been involved with numerous local charitable organizations.

Sylvester served on the Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation, served as a coach for the Team in Training Program and organized a Running Injury Prevention Program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and organized a Running Injury Prevention Program for the American Red Cross.

Sylvester is also the Past President and member of the Rotary Club of Palm Beach.

Sylvester’s son (13) currently attends Bak Middle School of the Arts.  His daughter (14) attends Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

 

James In Over His Head.

The city’s no bid contract just keeps on giving and giving. This has exploded into a story City Hall can’t contain and slowly but surely the facts are coming out thanks to reporters who carry big shovels and keep on digging. Here’s the latest which includes new stories. I have printed excerpts on different stories and hoping you will read the reporters entire piece. My comments will be in Italic. If you skip anything please don’t let it be the last 2 pieces, and please don’t skip ahead.

Former City Administrator Jeff Green was not one of my favorites drawing a city paycheck, but he doesn’t deserve to have his reputation destroyed either. So here we go.

Wanda Moore Chanel 5 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A $7.9 million security contract did not go out for bidding. Instead West Palm Beach officials gave the contract to security firm Professional Security Consultants.

After weeks of backlash, West Palm Beach Mayor James Keith suddenly reversed that decision, now allowing bids. He cited new information he had received from interim city administrator Faye Johnson as the reason for his change of heart.

Mayor James said he has asked Johnson, who replaced Green, for a full review.

“She did a full review of the process and of every step taken, including the decision by staff to cancel or reject all bids without my knowledge during my first week in office,”

Reporter: “And that information was not given to you by the previous city administrator?”

Mayor: “I did not have that information. No.”

The story below has Jeff Green taking the hit for the no bid contract, and James had no knowledge of it of it what so ever. LOL

https://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/investigations/west-palm-mayor-controversial-security-contract-stemmed-from-lack-of-info-from-ex-city-administator

CBS12 News is learning a graphic text photo could be at the center of City Administrator Jeff Green’s resignation last month. According to Mayor Keith James, Green was asked to resign last month after Green took part in some unacceptable behavior. “To say that I was extremely disappointed and downright appalled by the alleged conduct surrounding this matter is an understatement,” James said. James says a city employee revealed a “graphic text photo” that implicated Green. He isn’t saying what the photo shows, but says it was something the city cannot tolerate. “I absolutely, unequivocally condemn the alleged behavior at the center of this situation,” James said.

City Commissioner Richard Ryles says Green’s behavior involved sexual misconduct. “If any of the facts that I’ve heard are true, then — you know people do stupid stuff every day of the week. If it’s sexual misconduct, you see it all over the country, in every sector of life, it’s unfortunate. It happens,” he said. Ryles says the city has reached a legal settlement with a female city employee in this case, which he says the city commission was not consulted about. He’s asking for a special city commission meeting next week to discuss that.

People have known about this picture for weeks. We know what the picture shows, and we know the man involved. It is not a picture of Jeff Green and I was amazed how many people were led to believe it was due to the comments from City Hall. Apparently Commissioner Ryles was mis-informed also. If the commissioners had no knowledge of a settlement with the woman, who engineered the settlement? The commissioners control the city’s pocketbook and would have to approve a settlement.  Read the story below.

https://cbs12.com/news/local/west-palm-beach-mayor-says-graphic-photo-led-to-resignation-of-former-city-administrator

25 WPBF Terry Parker Mayor Keith James stunned his fellow commissioners and the public Monday night when at the end of the commission meeting he announced the real reason city manager Jeff Green resigned last month is because of a graphic text sent to a city employee – that apparently only James and a few others knew about.

“An employee revealed a graphic text photo and implicated the former city administrator,” said James, adding he immediately asked Green to resign.

Wednesday morning. Green  said by phone he was also flabbergasted at James’ new statement.

“I was surprised by Mr. James’ comment and i was a little taken aback and while I’m on a cruise right now I’ll be happy to address it when I get back in town,” Green said.
Asked if James’ allegation that Green was implicated in the graphic text were true, Green replied: “It was not me that sent any sort of text to any person.”

Green said the text photo was sent to the female employee by another person who copied him on it, and he immediately deleted it.

Mayor James’ spokeswoman said he declined to speak further publicly about the issue at this time.

This is my opinion. Obviously the commissioners were kept in the dark by James who originally said Green was fired over the no bid contract that was orchestrated behind his back his first week in office. Commissioners were surprised a settlement agreement was made with the women, appears they had no knowledge of it. He pointed his finger at Jeff Green hoping the true culprit wouldn’t be found out. It’s only a matter of time before the name is revealed, and James attempt of a cover-up is over. Read the story below.

https://www.wpbf.com/article/exclusive-former-city-manager-jeff-green-denies-sending-graphic-text/29716610

PB Post Tony Doris   For all its vaunted efficiencies in letting one company handle security citywide, the fact that it also was in the best interest of one of the mayor’s buddies raised eyebrows. How did the contract collapse, after James and City Administrator Jeff Green advocated forcefully for it and won a unanimous vote of the city commission?

Johnson, an assistant Palm Beach County administrator who previously served as St. Lucie County administrator, joined James’ team in West Palm Beach in August as an assistant city administrator.

“When the mayor talked to me about taking the interim position, I gave that some considerable thought before saying ‘yes.’ And one of the threshold decisions for me in accepting it was that there was not going to be an expectation that, as the interim, I would just carry the water as it had been done before,” Johnson explained to commissioners.

“As a professionally trained administrator, it was important to me that, in the context of (being) the interim, that I would not compromise my professional training. And when he committed that I could operate on that basis, I said I could take the interim assignment.”

In this case, though, there was no justification in city law for bypassing open competition, she said. “That gave me the first cause for a major pause,” she said.

And when she looked at other contracts the city had executed without bidding, this one was much bigger, she said.

“I had, probably, a more spirited discussion with him than I’m having here,” Johnson told the commissioners. “He agreed that, based on me taking him through my training, that our process does not line up with best practices when you talk about open competition for procurement. And so, I’m glad that the mayor valued the years of training and experience and that he agreed.”

When a city bypasses bidding, Johnson said, “that justification, in my experience and training, has to be above reproach. And I don’t think anyone here can confidently say it was above reproach because we have too many questions about it. And so that’s how I concluded that it was in our best interest that we do a redo on that particular contract.”

“I will put the commission on notice, as I have put the mayor,” she said. “The spending trends that we have in the city absolutely have to be changed if you’re going to then do a millage reduction…. One has to change in order to accomplish the other.”

Mayor James, for his part, said in a release that Johnson’s review convinced him of the need to put the security contract out to bid.

“The public’s trust and confidence in the contract selection process and in their city government is paramount,” James said. “I look forward to the process playing out, in the interest of full transparency and to ensure the contract is above reproach. I am genuinely grateful to Ms. Johnson for her review.”

Please take the time to read this most important story below to learn more about Faye Johnson the Interim City Administrator, most qualified for the job with honor and integrity. Even James says I am genuinely grateful to Ms. Johnson for her review.”

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191025/west-palms-interim-city-manager-lets-mayor-know-im-not-just-going-to-carry-water-on-big-decisions

So why the hell is the ad below on the City Website? Two strong women in WPB namely Police Chief Sara Mooney and now Faye Johnson and James can’t work with either of them. He can shine his own shoes because these 2 women certainty wont. Commissioners speak up. The mayor hires and fires but you have opinions. Please express them., loudly and publically.

https://wpb.org/Departments/City-Administration/City-Administrator-Job-Opportunity

 

Are City Commissioners Expecting To Much?

 A few years ago I attended a Mayor/Commission work shop and heard Commissioner Materio state a resident approached her with a question, and as her commissioner she expected an answer.
Materio couldn’t answer her because she didn’t have the answer, but assured the resident she would get back to her as soon as she had one.
Commissioner Materio went to the department manager and asked the question. Know what she was told?
The manager’s/supervisors had a directive they were not to respond to commissioners questions, but instead refer them to the City Administrator.
At the time the City Administrator was Jeff Green.
Needless to say Materio was frustrated by Mayor Muoio response.
Now this is my opinion. Control, absolute control by the mayor’s office.
A manager may unwittingly divulge something the city didn’t want out to the public.
Send them to the City Administrator and responses will be given without  saying a damn thing.
That was then, this is now.
James mentioned how busy City Administrator Johnson was and I believe it. She has to keep an eye on the future and clean up the mistakes from the last 8 months. There are 5 Assistant City Managers can’t they answer a question? Suggestion: Loosen your grip, James.
At the City Commission meeting on 11/4/2019 Commissioners Neering and Peduzzi were equally frustrated because apparently they were told to direct their questions from residents to Tiffany David, the Mayor’s designated director of the city’s new “Neighborhoods First Initiative”.

Ms. David is to be James liaison between himself and the neighborhoods.

So how will that work out? It wont. Why? History tells us why.
Ms. David, who worked tirelessly on James election campaign was hired as a Director at a starting salary of $95,000.00/year. Dedicated city employees on the job for 25+ years don’t come close to her salary, but what little they earn they deserve.
If you attend or watch Commission meetings you know who Carl Flick is. If you don’t he is the President of the Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association, and they are damn lucky to have him. This is a guy who pays attention to his neighborhood and residents. He is outspoken at commission meetings and has for years complained about the flooding on North Flagler Drive. When he speaks he respectfully reminds the dais that flooding has continued for 40 years on sections of North Flagler. 2020 will be a new year and hopefully the city will move forward with the plans to correct the problem or the only difference will be when he speaks next he can honestly say resident’s have been living with the flooding for 41 years. I offer that little bit of information for one reason.
The Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association invited Ms. David to visit and see for herself the problems they are having and also the problems that will happen in the future if the city moves forward with their asinine plans to convert the Broadway Corridor from 4 lanes to two.  
Ms. David had put them off for months with one excuse after another.
Finally she made an appearance with Assistant Director Armando Fana who according to Mr. Flick, Mr. Fana paid attention to everything that was said, asked the right questions, and was a true professional.
Ms. David on the other hand appeared not to be able to focus, and spent too much time on her phone. Not respectful. I would take it as what you have to say isn’t important enough for me to listen or pay attention.
The North End Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON) held a meeting last Saturday and the city invitees included James, Deputy Chief Morris, Jose Tagle and Tiffany David.
I spoke with Carl Flick for an update and he said all the speakers did an excellent job and James was outstanding telling the neighborhood the city’s plans for North Flagler and other North End needs. James was pressed for time and introduced Ms. David and told a crowd of 80 people she would introduce herself and answer questions they may have.
Well 15 minutes after James left, so did Ms. David. Mr. Flick immediately texted her and asked her not to leave, she was the next speaker. She didn’t respond.
A follow up “thank you” e-mail sent to James also noted Ms. David’s early departure. Ms. David’s response the following Monday was the President of NCON, Catherine Ward, told her she didn’t have to stay. Untrue. 80 people were waiting for Ms. David to speak since she was now the liaison between them and the city. They finally had a direct link to city hall.
James could do a hell of a lot better as far as liaisons go. Residents need someone they can trust, and know they are being heard and that is not Ms. David.
City Commissioners should be able to ask a simple question of a City Administrator. So no, they are not expecting to much and I can’t see Ms. David as a help to them.

Win At All Costs: Part1

March 17, 2020 is the date for the election of three City Commissioners. This story is part one of 4 stories and concerns the last election and what transpired in what the Post compared to “The city hadn’t seen the likes of this kind of nastiness since Mayor Jeri Muoio defeated former Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell in a knockdown, drag-out, no-holds-barred mayoral brawl back in 2015.” 
In the Muoio/ Mitchell election Rick Asnani of Cornerstone was the political consultant for Muoio. History repeats itself.
Why was the 2018 election run so nasty and unprofessionally,
why were lawsuits filed? There was a lot at stake, namely Related’s project the OBD (Okeechobee Business District) and I ask readers to pay attention to the dates and my thoughts and opinion will be in Italics
Sept.2017  “The city commission rejected the OBD proposal by a 3-2 vote.”
Materio was one of the 3 who voted against the proposal. What could Related do to get the 25-story office building near the waterfront built? One option would be to defeat the 3 commissioners who listened to residents and rejected the proposal. After the vote was taken, Mayor Muoio commented how disappointed she was and came out strong in support of Lambert and Related’s OBD project.
 
April 2018 “Christina Lambert was sworn into office as West Palm Beach City Commissioner for District 5 defeating Materio by 183 votes.” Lambert and Shoaf rode into office with votes from the western community. Think your vote wont count? If one neighborhood took the time to vote a different outcome may have been possible. Lets not repeat our mistakes in 2020. Your vote is crucial.
Lobbyist Lawyer for Related Companies Harvey Oyer (middle), Christina Lambert (bottom) Rick Asnani (left) political consultant for Christina Lambert and Related Companies community outreach. Gopal Rajegowda, (bottom right) Vice President of The Related Companies. See how close they are? Click to enlarge picture.
Aug, 2018 Mayor Muoio in 4 short months brought back the Related project.  After they were sworn in Lambert and Shoaf voted to approve the OBD. See what money and dirty politics can do to a city, and it’s residents, but what a gift to developers. 
June 2018  PB Post “Former West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shanon Materio alleged in election complaints Thursday that her opponent’s political adviser, Rick Asnani, hid contributor names by having campaign donors give through shell corporations.

In three complaints she said she filed to the Florida Elections Commission, Materio alleged that Coalition for American Jobs, Inc., Taxpayers for American Jobs, Inc. and Citizens for Safer Neighborhoods, Inc. collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for political purposes without declaring themselves political organizations, which are required to identify contributors.

All three were created and run by Asnani, whose Cornerstone Solutions, Inc. served as Lambert’s political consultant leading up to the March 13 election, the complaints said.

Any group that collects more than $500 for political purposes is required to register and identify its donors but these three didn’t, according to the complaints. At least one passed $55,000 or more to a political organization called WPB Residents for Integrity in Government Inc., which in turn paid for negative mailers about Materio. That organization is run by Bill Newgent, a political operative allied with Lambert and Asnani.”

“I have not been involved with any of those committees nor have any knowledge of their donors or activities,” Lambert said Friday in an email.” Lambert was the candidate does she expect us to believe she didn’t “have any knowledge” of what Asnani and Newgent were doing to insure her election? Does she expect us to believe she didn’t approve flyers sent to the public? She doesn’t know who contributed to her campaign? She didn’t know how crucial her vote would be to Related?  She knew how to vote in Aug. 2018.

“These corporations Asnani set up aren’t businesses of any kind,” said Richard Giorgio, president of Patriot Games, another of the county’s most active political consultants, who did not work for Materio or Lambert in the election. “They have no employees, don’t generate any revenues. They’re simply being used to shield money from the public. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are going into these corporations and the money goes to political committees. So they’re skirting state statutes by hiding contributions”  I assume  Richard Giorgio of Patriot Games a successful political consultant knows how the game is played and I appreciate being informed of the games Cornerstone played in the 2018 election. How much money did Related and the Chamber of Commerce funnel into Lambert’s campaign? Read the entire story in the PB Post below.

 https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/west-palm-commissioner-foe-consultant-hid-election-contributors/C2mdnwmndykxSMIZesWLSI/

Below is a piece by PB Post  Rick Christie

June 2018  “It’s been nearly three months since challenger Christina Lambert unseated West Palm Beach Commissioner Shanon Materio by a mere 183 votes in a heated, and increasingly controversial race.

And Materio is back for Round 2. According to the Post’s Tony Doris, she has filed three complaints with the Florida Elections Commission alleging that three shell companies were created to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars for political purposes without declaring themselves political organizations — which are required to identify contributors.

The political purpose? Electing Lambert.

The contributors? Voters don’t know. But shouldn’t they, for the sake of transparency?

Lambert, a newcomer with business community ties, managed to knock off the more seasoned Materio mainly because she had the money. She also had in her corner Rick Asnani, one of the county’s top political consultants.

That’s all good. Lambert won the seat, and is ensconced on the commission. Ready to vote, among other things, on a rejuvenated plan to create the Okeechobee Business District (OBD). Yep, the same OBD that would allow the construction of the 25-story One Flagler office building pretty much on Flagler Drive.

That’s not all good. A number of city residents — vocal city residents — don’t like the idea of building the tower on an already traffic-clogged Okeechobee Boulevard. They especially don’t like the fact that the issue seemed dead after it was defeated when it came before the commission in September.

Election campaigns laws exist for a reason. The primary one being so that voters know who is influencing or attempting to influence candidates that are vying to represent constituents.

We know that transparency is a good thing… and “democracy dies in the darkness.”

But this long after the election, is there value in Materio’s insistence on knowing the names of the people or entities that contributed to those three mysterious shell companies created by Asnani? “

I will not live long enough to understand Christie’s last paragraph. I am grateful to Shanon Materio for filing the complaints against Rick Asnani of Cornerstone. As a voter I want to know who the elected officials will be grateful too for donations and who they may feel obligated to repay by their vote. If Materio didn’t file complaints do you believe they wouldn’t try their luck again with the upcoming election. Hopefully they will think twice, but my mind is made up and I’ve lived long enough to know a leopard can’t change its spots or simply put it’s impossible to change their character.  I will now pay attention to a candidates political consultant and have learnt to vote for their opponent.

Read the entire story below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20180604/NEWS/812041046