Single District Vs. at large

Nancy Graham was elected as WPB first strong Mayor and served from 1991-1999.  In 1997 the city moved away from Single District voting to at large. Here’s the story.

                                                  BALLOT QUESTION

CHANGING ELECTION OF CITY COMMISSIONERS FROM FIVE SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS TO AT-LARGE.

Shall the City Charter of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, be amended to provide that the election of City Commissioners be on an at-large basis rather than by five single-member districts?

Outcome:

The City Commission of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, hereby finds and declares the results of the general election held on March 11, 1997, in said City as follows:

On the referendum question proposing an amendment to the City.

Charter to provide that the election of City Commissioners be on an at large basis, attached and incorporated hereto as Exhibit “A,” the following votes were cast by the qualified electors residing and voting within said City:

1,897 Yes – For the Amendment

647 No – Against the Amendment

As important as this vote was 2,544 people bothered to vote on the issue. Shame on us.

As you are aware, and for those who aren’t, WPB has 5 districts and are represented by 5 City Commissioners.

Kelly Shoaf, District 1                        Up for re-election in March 2020

Cory Neering, District 2

Richard Ryles, District 3                   Up for re-election in March 2020

Joseph Peduzzi, District 4    

Christina Lambert, District 5           Up for re-election in March 2020

 

There are two paths for returning to Single District Voting.

1: A super majority of commissioners (4 of 5) can place it on the ballot, and we don’t believe that will happen although it would benefit them because they would campaign in their district only.

2: The more difficult route is what we will attempt.

What is needed to make this happen?

An attorney to draw up the paperwork and guide us on our journey, who may take this on Pro Bono, and be a hero to residents.

Another 6 volunteers needed to speak to voters and gather signatures.

$$ needed for copies, advertisement and possible Attorney costs.

We may be back and ask for contributions to make this a reality.

         Palm Beach County, Supervisor of Elections

A recent trip to the PBC Supervisor of Elections we were advised we would have to gather 5% of 69,000 registered voters in WPB for a total of 3,450 signatures. She suggested we gather a minimum of 4,000 signatures. (People will tell you they are registered voters and are not.)

Signatures are then sent to the WPB City Clerk, along with a check. To verify signatures cost $.25 ea; and when they verify 3,450 signatures the count stops and hopefully placed on the ballot.

                              Single District Vs. at large.

“In a single member district the voters elect one of the candidates for a seat in that district. While “at large” is when the commissioner is elected from the city as a whole rather than by a district. All of the seats are never up for election at the same time.”

                     Why return to Single District voting?

It holds Commissioners responsible for their district and they can be re-elected or defeated in the next election. He/She will pay attention to their districts needs, and not worry about developers needs/wants.”

Heavy voter turnout can be found in the Western Communities, (District 4) and they vote to protect their interest and way of life. Example: the expansion of State Rd.7 which they oppose and officials have spent millions fighting to insure it wont happen.

If false political fliers are mailed to voters and state a commissioner is in favor of the expansion, they are voted out of office. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.

Another example is the OBD (Okeechobee Business District) and Commissioners Moffett, Materio and Neering who voted against the Related project. What was the outcome?

Moffett retired from politics, Materio was defeated by Lambert and Neering wasn’t up for election so he was safe for the moment. Below is an excerpt from the PB Post on a comment made by Commissioner Neering, and the entire story can be read below.

“He was one of three commissioners who last September shot down the plan to create an Okeechobee Business District. Despite heavy pressure, including threats that development interests would run candidates against him, if he opposed the plan because he felt there wasn’t enough information on how the plan would address the issues of traffic, spot zoning and how the plan could benefit the entire city and not just one parcel, coveted by developer The Related Co.”

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/who-wants-your-city-commissioner-west-palm-resident/78Hyiecz7U4pL7CXiBcxgM/

I don’t want District 4, the Chamber of Commence, Cornerstone Political Consultant or Related choosing my commissioner in District 1,2,3,or 5 and I don’t want developers threatening my commissioner if they don’t vote their way they will find a candidate to run against them while throwing untold thousands of dollars, from unknown sources, to insure their defeat.

One argument I heard against single district voting is all Commissioners vote on all the issues and should be campaigning in all districts. Well we have been doing that for the last 22 years and what has it done for residents? And what happens when a commissioner runs unopposed? It is a win for developers when threats and money flows to commissioners with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

We are looking for volunteers willing to speak to their friends/neighbors and gather signatures in the North and South end of the city. The Western communities are gated and if a reader lives there and is willing to help we will have needed petitions delivered.

I want commissioners to vote in the best interest of their constituents, not in the best interest of one particular district or developer. I hope you feel the same.

Questions-Comments

Sandymac36@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken!

“Cops and Scholars’ Program” This program was started by Sargent William Nealy “We’re placing all our resource on the kids that were getting into trouble, but we’re not doing anything for the kids NOT getting into trouble. So this evening was all about Darshayla, Trenasia, and Ruben. The three kids got a free meal at Brother Jimmy’s courtesy of CityPlace, and a full meet and greet with the mayor and police chief.” The three kids above had dinner with Sargent Nealy and other officers. Heartwarming story that can be read below. https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/cops-and-scholars-program-attempts-to-bridge-the-gap-between-kids-and-police-in-west-palm-beach

West Palm Beach Police Department in Southern District of Florida to Receive Project Safe Neighborhoods Award won in 2018. “The West Palm Beach Police Department’s community engagement initiatives are extensive, and include not only national programs, but also local programs like “R.I.P.” program that interacts weekly with juvenile offenders arrested for gun and violent crimes, and “Cops and Scholars,” which champions kids in vulnerable communities. West Palm Beach Police Department also serves as a partner to many outside organizations and programs. All of these efforts are contributing to the success of PSN in local West Palm Beach communities.” The PB Post conveniently left this story out of their editorial. Read the story here. https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/west-palm-beach-police-department-southern-district-florida-receive-project-safe

Coffee with a Cop program. Where kids and parents meet with officers at McDonalds while parents drink coffee and kids eat ice cream and discuss whatever is on their mind.

Conversation with a cop program. I attended this program in May and parents discuss problems in their neighborhood while cops take notes and explain what the police can and cannot do. One grandmother impressed me when she said all her grandchildren are involved in either sports or programs and are not allowed to run the streets.

Chief Mooney has a Master’s degree in social work, experience in community outreach, and years of experience as a hostage negotiator, police trainer, field operations supervisor, patrol division shift commander and internal affairs commander. What I find admirable is her common sense approach to problems in the Northend.

From all I read troubled teen’s are looking for acceptance and a place to belong and the gangs are more than willing to accept them as members of their families, and once they are in impossible to leave.

It appears to me that Chief Mooney concentrates on the younger generation in an attempt to keep them safe and free from these welcoming gangs with programs she approves and encourages her officers, like Sargent Nealy. to contribute possible ideas to aid the community.

One new program involves volunteer’s who are willing to travel to crime scenes after a death in an attempt to help family members remain calm and explain why they cannot approach their loved one. Police officers and Detectives are on the scene looking for the perpetrators and evidence that may have been left behind. Law enforcement depend on DNA, and when hysterical family member praying the police are wrong and it’s not their family member. If it’s a parent I can’t imagine the pain they endure and just want to hold their child which could very well contaminate the scene and evidence will be lost. No parent should ever bury their children.

There is a City Commission meeting Monday night (6/3/19) at 5:00 PM and Mayor James will ask the commissioners to approve Frank Adderley as WPB new Chief of Police.

If you support Chief Mooney please take the time to appear at the meeting and let your thoughts be known. If you decide to attend please be on time as it is the first item on the agenda and bring your parking stub with you to be validated.   Commissioners please don’t fix what isn’t broken.

Here you can find a story on Frank Adderley, the mayors choice to lead the WPB Police Dept. https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/new-broward-sheriff-gregory-tony-fires-agency-leader-and-scott-israel-ally-frank-adderley-11047087

How Lucky Is Florida?

I am going to start this story with an admission. I want President Trump to build the wall.

Former Mayor Muoio declared WPB a Sanctuary City, until Trump said no Federal Money for Sanctuary Cities. What did she do? Changed the wording. WPB will be a “Welcoming” city. Wasn’t necessary because courts ruled Trump couldn’t withhold federal funds.

Listening to the news this morning President Trump is sending 500 immigrants a month to Palm Beach & Broward County. Read the story below.

https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/border-migrants-expected-to-be-sent-to-palm-beach-broward-counties

“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says there are between 11 million and 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.        Read the story below.

https://www.thecentersquare.com/national/analysis-illegal-immigrants-cost-taxpayers-billion-annually/article_b51222e8-8b7b-11e8-8546-37063af1f318.html

“WASHINGTON — The number of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border last month was the highest total for February in 12 years, according to statistics released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday. In 28 days, and in the same month President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in order to build a border wall, 76,103 immigrants without the needed documentation to enter the U.S. either presented themselves at legal ports of entry or were apprehended by Border Patrol between ports of entry.”       Read the story below.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/highest-february-total-undocumented-immigrants-crossing-u-s-border-12-n979546

Below are the leaders of the Democratic Party who will not fund a border wall. President Trump needs to spread the wealth and send immigrants to California, Maryland and New York.

Leaders of the Democratic Party are listed below.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY)

Closer to home Former Mayor Geri Muoio has a 5 bedroom and 3 full & 1/2 bathroom. I figure she can “welcome” 1 large family (mom, dad and 3 children or 2 smaller families mom, dad with 2 children. If any reader does not want the wall please contact PBC Sheriff Rick Bradshaw and let him know how many you can welcome into your home.

I am all for legal immigration, but want to know who is entering my country and believe they should have sponsors.

Do you remember the 1980 Mariel boatlift when Castro opened Cuban prisons and mental health facilities and 10,000 refugees became our problem.

Do you remember 9/11/2001 The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  They were here legally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Changes, Many Not Good For The City

As Mayor of our city, Keith James is off to a rough start removing key people from postilions they excelled in and a few that retired immediately after the election.

Lets look at a few.
A staff member who for years kept the Mayor’s office running smoothly retired right after the election.

Dorritt Miller who “knew where the bodies were buried” and people reporting to her worked in fear of being fired and in my opinion she should have been replaced years ago, there are two stories circulating city hall. She retired or she was fired. Important fact: She’s gone.

Christine Brevik who brought the IT Department into the 21st Century was fired, but I am told she is being rehired next week. That is excellent news for the city and she never should have been fired in the first place.

Peter Bieniek, Director of Public Works. Peter was hired by Muoio 2 years ago and it didn’t take long for him to prove himself worthy of the job. Peter put new procedures in place, and had other ideas that would have improved the efficiency of the process, eliminating unnecessary steps, using modernizing techniques, or taking other approaches. So what happened? Scott Kelly happened. As I have been told by numerous insiders who watched the interaction between the two men. After hearing different versions I can only conclude Kelly was in fear of his own job due to the fact Peter was doing an outstanding job, and may one day replace him as Assistant City Manager.  After the election Kelly went to James and complained, and James fired Mr. Bieniek, I can tell you honestly that Scott Kelly has personally lied to me on certain issues, along with residents of the city when he makes presentations concerning developments. Scott Kelly was one of five executives fired from the city of Jacksonville, Fl. in 2012. if he was not good enough for Jacksonville what makes him good enough for WPB? James definitely fired the wrong guy. Read the story below.

https://www.jacksonville.com/article/20121210/NEWS/801242052

When the IA (Internal Audit) completes an audit of different departments the head of the department appears and answers any questions whenever the committee member or staff need clarification.. I attend all IA meetings, and have heard Ms. Brevik and Mr. Bieniek on occasions when committee members and staff commend them on the job they have done, and continue to do. Want to know how both managers handle the praise? “They couldn’t have accomplished it without their staff members.” Ask the guy who picks up your trash and yard waste what they think of James firing Peter, they will tell you. Both managers had the respect of the people reporting to them. Nuff said.

I am going to digress here and you will understand why if you continue reading. I watched a program where they asked middle school students grades 6-8 (ages 11-13), and high school grades 9-12 (ages 14-18) if they ever consumed alcohol. A shocking 20% said they had. The experts came in and spoke with the kids and they all left a little smarter than when they arrived. They were told of peer pressure and manipulation. The children thanked the experts and one young lady said she understood how she was manipulated and would not be again. So the experts came in and spoke to the kids with a hope of turning their thinking around, and it worked at least with one young lady. They reached out to the young and I believed were successful. Do you believe they would have had the same outcome with College age kids, who are set in their ways and know absolutely everything.

Police Chief Sara Mooney always reached out to the young children while making the rounds in the toughest neighborhoods in the Northend. She is reaching the kids because this is where change begins, with them, not the gang members who destroy and terrorize a neighborhood.

It’s my opinion the WPB Police Dept. is the finest in the state, led by the strongest Chief. I am not naïve enough to believe all police officers walk on water and some should never wear the uniform because they bring disgrace on themselves and their department. The remaining cops put their lives on the line every day protecting citizens who despise them for the uniform they wear. The PBA (Police Benevolent Association) President John Kazanjian endorsed James for Mayor. If a cop is accused or terminated they can turn to the PBA for protection, and they step up. The PBA did not step up for Chief Mooney, but defended Palm Beach Gardens police Officer Nouman Raja who was found guilty of manslaughter with a firearm and attempted first degree murder in the 2015 shooting death of Corey Jones. Thank God the jury made the right decision or once again police would be the bad guys painted with the same brush. How do you rid the departments of the bad guy’s when the PBA defends them? Corey Jones’s family finally received justice. Read the story below for the PBA reaction for finding Raja guilty.

https://www.wpbf.com/article/pbc-police-benevolent-association-reacts-to-raja-verdict/26751289

James is replacing Chief Mooney with Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley. Don’t know anything about Former Chief Adderley, but Neighborhood Scout is reporting on Fort Lauderdale, “We found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.”  If you weren’t aware WPB have three excellent Assistant Chief’s  West, Spatara and Kahil.  Why does James constantly overlook excellent choices to look elsewhere when replacing people that are not replaceable? Now you know the reason why workers moral can be in the dumpster.  Read the stat’s below.

https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/fort-lauderdale/crime

One of the best program introduced by Chief Mooney, and there has been many, is the “Community Response Team.” and Officer Courtney Sullivan is our neighborhood Community Officer. She reached out to a few residents and supplied her phone no; along with her e-mail address for any resident who wished to talk to her concerning problems in their neighborhood, like drugs. There are too many residents throughout WPB who are afraid to talk to police for fear of retaliation.  If you ask Officer Sullivan not to park her police car in your driveway she wont and that is one way of protecting residents. Officer Sullivan reached out to the Board of Directors with an invitation to speak before residents to let us know she was in the neighborhood and approachable. That was approximately 6 months. The board has not accepted her invitation. I can tell you from experience I called her and her response was faster than white on rice, but that wont help residents who aren’t aware she’s in their own neighborhood waiting to assist them.

It is my understanding city hall has received complaints concerning Chief Mooney’s removal as Chief of Police and after the uproar from Mayor Muoio and others James offered her a position as Chief of Police for Emergency Management. Now this is just my opinion, and take it for what it’s worth. James never expected Mooney to accept the job, but accept she did. Mayor Muoio knowing how Keith James felt about Chief Mooney gave him her endorcement after he told her he would leave Mooney in place as Chief. James lied. Was Muoio that nieve? Hadn’t she learned how strong women intimidated him? Again my opinion.

If you didn’t know, Keith James is a Harvard Graduate. My wish is had common sense and used it.

Channel 5 ran a story on Mooney and Muoio’s response. They mentioned 2 commissioners who were basically OK with James decision, but didn’t name the commissioners. Again just my opinion it was commissioner’s Peduzzi and Lambert. I believe those 2 because I have heard Commissioners Neering, Shoaf and Ryles defend the chief.
What would happen if those 3 commissioners didn’t confirm a new chief of police for WPB?

Hear news 5 report below.

https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/former-west-palm-beach-mayor-calls-replacing-police-chief-a-travesty

I Have A Questions—But No Answer

I live in a community with retired teachers and a few starting their careers. I had a conversation with a new teacher and asked how much homework she sent home with her kid’s and her answer was “my kids don’t do homework.” I was shocked remembering how much homework I had as a kid. My next question, which I regret asking (sometime ignorance is bliss) was why. Her answer was shocking. There aren’t enough books to go around.  I spoke with her recently and she informed me she did receive 3 1/2 % pay raise, and no the school still doesn’t have enough books to go around.

Let’s do a small bit of history:

January 1988  Fl. voters approved a Referendum approving the lottery to benefit schools. I voted approval, brought billions to the state, and I learned a lesson.

January 2017  “When county residents voted two years ago to hike the county’s sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, the move was supposed to raise $2.7 billion over a decade for the school district and the county’s municipal governments. Palm Beach County’s 10-year “penny tax” may last for only nine years, thanks to higher-than-expected sales countywide since the tax took effect in January 2017.”

Please read the entire story below. The state beat expectations of 2.7 billion and in 10 years they will ask voters to approve an extension for another 10 years. Hope I live long enough to vote no.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20181112/palm-beach-countys-10-year-penny-sales-tax-increase-may-last-just-9-years

 

Nov. 2018 Once again homeowners were called upon with a new Referendum. “The tax would add $1 for every $1,000 in taxable value, contributing $800 million to the district’s coffers over four years. The owner of a $225,000 home with a $25,000 homestead exemption would see a tax increase of $150 per year.”  This tax will run for 4 years. Read the entire story below. In four years they will ask for another  extension.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/fl-ne-voter-guide-palm-referendum-20180925-story.html

 

If you voted for this tax increase, below is the Referendum wording on the ballot.

REFERENDUM TO APPROVE AD VALOREM LEVY FOR SCHOOL SAFETY, TEACHERS AND OPERATIONAL NEEDS

Shall the School Board of Palm Beach County have authority to levy 1.00 mills of ad valorem millage dedicated for operational needs of non-charter District schools to fund school safety equipment, hire additional school police and mental health professionals, fund arts, music, physical education, career and choice program teachers, and improve teacher pay beginning July 1, 2019 and automatically ending June 30, 2023, with oversight by the independent committee of citizens and experts?

Seems pretty clear to me, so why are folks demonstrating at the PBC Supervisor of Elections office? Charter schools are suing and want a piece of the pie, and the media’s attention is the way to go. I only hope they are protesting at the State Capitol also.

“One area that opponents of charter schools largely take issue with is their management by for-profit companies. In the state of Florida, a higher percentage of charter schools are run by for-profit corporations than are nationally. About 45 percent of Florida’s charter schools were managed by for-profit corporations in 2017-18, according to the report, significantly higher than the national rate of about 15 percent.” Read the story below.

https://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20180918/new-report-questions-growth-of-charter-schools-in-florida

 

“A tax package approved by a Florida House committee Thursday seeks to settle the dispute by requiring school districts to share revenue generated through property tax increases with charter schools.” Read the story below.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-tax-plan-school-funding-20190411-story.html

 

“March 2019 – Florida falls in national teacher pay ranking to 46th. The Sunshine State swapped places with Arizona, now 45th. Florida teachers got some bad news this week that bolsters their case asking for better pay: The state dropped from 45 to 46 on the National Education Association’s annual report of average teacher salaries.”  FYI Florida is short 2200 teachers.

Is Florida a third rate country? Read the entire story below.

https://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2019/03/13/florida-falls-in-national-teacher-pay-ranking-to-46th/

 

Below is one more example of how the Florida Legislature respects what voter’s approved.

Nancy Graham First strong mayor 1991-1999        And the beginning of the end for WPB

March 1996 Voters pass 5 story limit on Flagler. Part of the story reads.

“If the referendum passes, no skyscrapers could be built east of Olive Avenue or in the Government District along Banyan Boulevard. New towers would be allowed only along Okeechobee Boulevard and Lakeview Avenue, east of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.” Read the story below.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1996-03-11-9603110072-story.html

 

When we voted for the second time to keep the building height at 5 stories, officials ran to the Tallahassee Florida Legislature’s and they ruled against voters, and WPB can and did go as high as developers wanted and have no problem spending millions of dollars in lawsuits.

My question, with no answer is. Why do we keep sending these guy’s to Tallahassee?

 

 

 

 

Who is Sean Jackson?

The Black Republican Caucus of Florida held a news conference Monday afternoon where they called for WPB Police Chief Sara Mooney to step down effective immediately. Sean Jackson has a history with the city and in my opinion it’s not good. In the interview he stated he was at the scene on the double homicide last Saturday and within an hour he learned who the shooter was. Bullshite. Also said he had a conversation with Mayor James, Commissioners Cory Neering, Joe Peduzzi and Richard Ryles. Why didn’t he have a conversation with the two women commissioners Shoaf and Lambert? Does he have a problem with women? He also has an opinion on who should be the next Chief of Police, but wont mention HIS name at this time, and please take the time to listen to Rick King of the PBA (Police Benevolent Association. Hear the press conference below.

https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/west-palm-beach/group-calls-for-west-palm-beach-police-chiefs-resignation

 

Sean Jackson A former West Palm Beach city commission candidate is being accused of a hit and run in the city hall parking garage. When first asked about the incident by The Post, Jackson said, “My bumper tapped another car and that was that.” But this week he denied ever hitting the car, saying the “frivolous” charges were dismissed. Please pay attention to how he treated the women garage attendant, and the owner of the car he hit. Read the story below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20130516/NEWS/812056628

 

Inside the Bru’s Room Sports Grill in Boynton Beach, Carly Cass, a lesbian, says she was accosted and nearly assaulted by Sean P. Jackson, a Palm Beach County Republican Party operative. Jackson, Cass said, grew angry and eventually stated, “You want to be a man, I’ll beat you like a man.” My opinion Jackson is a bully who has no problem threatening women. Read the story below.

http://southfloridagaynews.com/Local/lesbian-says-republican-threatened-to-beat-her-like-a-man.html

 

City website 4/29/19 Work Session with the mayor and commissioners. The only item on the agenda concerned the Police Dept; and guess who placed it on the agenda? Commissioner Joe Peduzzi the mayor’s right hand man. He is to James what James was to Muoio, their yes man. Rumor’s were flying around after James was elected Mayor his top priority was to replace Chief Mooney. You judge for yourself.

https://vimeo.com/channels/781231/333149934

 

Mayor Muoio nominated Chief Mooney, and needed the commissioners to vote on her nomination but no vote needed to fire her. Does that sound right to you? Four commissioner’s voted for approval with James voting no. He wanted to look elsewhere. Chief Mooney has the backing of her officers, and if you talk to them they will tell you morale has never been higher, and I never met a cop who didn’t respect her.

She has initiated new programs and community outreach such as, Cops working with six year olds to join the Boy Scouts, cops reading to 3rd. graders, having lunch with cops, police going into elementary schools and talking to the kids. There is more, but you get the drift. It appears she is trying to reach the kids before they become a satistic like the 18-25 year old African Americans who join a gang to belong and it’s these very gangs who are killing each other in the north end of the city.

If I could make a suggestion to Sean Jackson come join in the monthly Peace Walk headed by Kevin Jones, a man dedicated to make the area safer. Where police go door-to-door talking with residents, handing out flyers, job applications, placing signs in yards to promote peace, but also to build bridge’s between law enforcement and residents, especially the children. Also take a “Ride with a Cop” and see what goes on during their shift, and please request the North End ride along.

Two pictures below show Officer Pinto with a child who love the Segway and line up to take a short ride or just to stand on it.

Chief Mooney completely unaware the picture was taken. She is at the April peace walks and that is the position you will find her in, on her haunches talking with the kids, handing out peel and stick badges. You would think she was given each child the Hope Diamond as they hold onto her every word.

Now that’s building bridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CTG Sues City Over Development.

Well here we go again, another battle with the city over development.
We have another 24 story waterfront condominium going up on Flagler Drive. City Commissioners ignored the zoning rule concerning height density and set back. They broke all the rules for developers–again. This project, like many others is trying to place 100 lbs. of baloney into a 1 lb. bag. It don’t fit.

All 5 commissioners James, Shoaf, Lambert, Ryan and Neering voted in favor of the project.

James: was rewarded with the title Mayor of WPB.

Shoaf: believes transit plan, minority hiring plan, a housing plan, an art plan, innovative design and preserving green space.   Naïve?

Lambert: “I do care very much for this city,” while her vote continually say’s something different.

Ryan: lost and is no longer a problem for the city. Irony: Ryan took Lambert under her wing and she appeared with her at varius function’s around the city educating her. Lambert endorsed James. Kick in the ?

Neering: People are surprised he voted for this project and ask why.
It takes 3 commissioners to approve or stop a project and he does not have the support to swing the vote residents want or expect.

In my oppinion residents can depend on 2 commissioners Neering and Ryles. Were short one who cares.

New commission Joe Peduzzi in my opinion is definately in James corner and like Lambert and Shoaf will vote for developers and against residents, and will fight the State Rd 7 expansion wasting millions more of taxpayer dollars. He was very clear at forums and meet and greets.

So, what do we do? In March 2020 3 commissioners are up for re- election, Lambert, Shoaf and Ryles. Commissioner Ryles is finishing Ryan’s one year term in office, and must run again.

What am I going to do? I’m going to vote for whoever challenges Lambert and Shoaf regardless of who they are. We cant do any worse than these two. I’m going to vote to send Ryles back to the commission to assist Neering. If we are fortunate (smart) enough to replace Lambert and/or Shoaf residents stand a chance of taking their city back. Remember their vote to always assist developers, big money will be thrown at them.

Reasons I’ve been told folks don’t vote is because it is a waste of their time: Really?
People who do not vote are the reason we can’t elect decent representation. Don’t take the time to learn what is going on or it’s not their neighborhood so who cares.

Other people, like CTG (Citizens for Thoughtful Growth) spend countless hours watching what the city is doing, and more endless hours trying to convince them this is the wrong project for the city.
When the commissioners are ready to vote the project they invite people to the meeting who will speak in favor of the project.

The story in the Palm Beach Post, which can be read below, mentions the resident’s name who spoke against the project.
A resident who spoke in favor of the project no name mentioned. Why?

Read the story below.

 

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20190311/among-citys-tallest-west-palm-gives-go-ahead-to-south-flagler-drive-24-story-waterfront-condo-tower

 

What’s an EB-5?

The first time I heard the expression EB-5 was uttered by former City Commission Materio. The powers to be were discussing a new development and Materio was directing her comments to Mayor Muoio and I can’t recall verbatim but it went something like this.

Materio: You know this project is an EB-5, and we know what that means.
Muoio: Shaking her head up and down in agreement.

Well I’m sitting in chambers and not only don’t I know what it means I’m aware Materio was upset with it. I make a note to myself to find out what EB-5 means.

Before I could investigate 60 Minutes did a story on it and now I’m upset. Basically 60 Minutes said wealthy foreigners were buying their way into the U.S. Below is an excerpt from Lightstone Investment and the information along with an application can be found.
Read the entire story below:

ABOUT THE EB-5 VISA
Have you been looking for inroads to high level real estate projects in the Unites States? Are you interested in an expedited United States green card?

If you are foreign to the United States and a high net worth individual looking for immigration opportunities, the EB-5 visa program may be the right solution for you. An eligible investment into a US business through the EB-5 visa program is the fastest way to a permanent United States green card for you, your spouse and eligible children.

The EB-5 program is actively seeking foreign investors in commercial projects that create at least 10 new US jobs. This program is one of the fastest and easiest ways to receive a green card with no sponsorship needed.

https://visit.lightstoneeb5.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqNzXvqTQ4QIVxF6GCh3vXQEAEAAYASAAEgJcZfD_BwE

This shouldn’t surprise anyone:

Related is one of the largest private real estate developers in the United States and operates its own EB-5 regional centers.
Read the story below:

http://www.relatedeb5.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqNzXvqTQ4QIVxF6GCh3vXQEAEAAYAiAAEgI6cPD_BwE

How many readers have heard of Hudson Yards in New York? It’s a Related project and you have to read the story to believe it. Residents were asleep until they woke up and saw the size of the project. Too late.

“The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed”

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/04/hudson-yards-financing-eb5-investor-visa-program-immigration/586897/

China is the biggest user of EB-5 in America.  If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion. Start taking Chinese speaking languages, we already owe then $1.13 Trillion.

https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-debt-to-china-how-much-does-it-own-3306355

This is happening while illegal residents are pouring over the border by the thousands and President Trump wants to build a wall, which I am in complete agreement.  Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, is fighting the wall tooth and nail. Below is a picture of Pelosi’s house not the one I originally posted. My bad.

https://www.politifact.com/facebook-fact-checks/statements/2018/dec/13/blog-posting/no-nancy-pelosis-home-doesnt-sit-behind-high-wall/

 

 

Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

The last thing on my mind Monday night was attending the City Commission meeting. Monday is the day I work on my lawn. trimming, weed whacking, edging and mowing the lawn leaves me feeling like I have 5 acres of land. I just want to relax with my feet up, and that was the plan, until I checked my phone and had messages and text’s telling me Police Chief Sara Mooney’s job was in jeopardy and Mayor James would replace her. I attended the meeting, and there was a change in procedure and the City Commissioners made their comments at the beginning of the meeting instead of the end. A member of the public attended and wanted the commissioners to address the rumor of the Chief’s removal in their closing comments. That didn’t happen. Now I am asking for their comments on the supposed rumor. Hopefully the media will follow up.

Mayor James addressed the “rumor” of Chief Mooney being fired and basically said it was just that, a rumor. Really? I sat in the audience when Mayor Muoio announced that she was appointing Assistant Chief Sara Mooney as the new WPB Chief of Police, and needed the vote of the City Commissioners to ratify the appointment. Four Commissioners approved the appointment with Commissioner James stating they should “look outside” the department to insure the best candidate was found. He was the only commissioner to vote no on her appointment. That alone should have been a sign of what was to come.

Previously the city did look outside for a new Police Chief and appointed Vince Demasi in 2012 and he resigned in 2014 and recommending that Assistant Chief Bryan Kummerlen be promoted as the new Chief. He was and served until his retirement in 2016 when he recommended Mooney as the best person to replace him, and Mayor Muoio agreed. Read the story below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime–law/west-palm-names-year-veteran-new-police-chief/EtQnvUrFXYmVd1ITg1pWuJ/

 

The first City Commission meeting led by newly elected Mayor Keith James was held on 4/8/19 and an item on the agenda was “Proclaiming April 14 -20,2019 as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week” Proclamation was to be accepted by Police Chief Sara Mooney, who was absent from the meeting and the award was accepted by Telecommunications Manager, Suzette Dodd and Assistant Telecommunications Manager Natasha Potter. So where was the Police Chief? She was at the PBC Convention Center, along with an estimated 2,000 people discussing homelessness and racial profiling. Personally I prefer she attended the event at the convention center than receiving a proclamation. Please take the time to read the story below. To me it is very telling, who was invited, and who couldn’t be bothered to attend.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20190408/homelessness-racial-profiling-to-be-addressed-at-annual-peace-meeting

 

The piece below was written by Andrew Loftholm who is a reporter for WPTV.

From Andrew Loftholm at channel 5 on Facebook about possible firing of West Palm Beach police chief:

“I just talked to Keith James, Mayor of West Palm Beach, on the phone. He said the rumor that Chief Mooney would be let go tonight is “ludicrous and it’s false.”

Long term, “anything is possible,” he said.

John Kazanjian, the president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association (the police union) told me on the phone,

“it’s not happening tonight.”

Important to note: Mayor James has a 50 person transition team that is reviewing all positions with the city, including public safety.

A public safety liaison will be appointed at tonight’s meeting.”

Another item on the agenda is #14 which reads “Public Hearing and Second Reading of Ordinance No. 4835-19, amending the Code of Ordinances at Chapter 62- Personnel Policies, to update and clarify allowable severance payments upon separation from employment” In other words after the city fires you your severance pay will go from 12 weeks to 20 weeks, “to certain classifications of employees” I take that to mean the upper echelon will be well compensated for taking our city in a direction that benefits developers. In my opinion it’s worth the price to get rid of them and I have suggestions.

One other concern I have under the new administration is for Beverly Mahaso, Manager of the Internal Audit Dept; and is responsible for bring fraud and waste to the city’s attention so that corrections can be made. She was trained and recommended by Roger Strout to replace him upon his retirement.

Once again Commissioner James stating they should “look outside” the department to insure the best candidate was found. They did just that and it was found Beverly was the best candidate.

The Mayor supposedly has no jurisdiction over the Internal Auditor, and when Mayor Muoio was first elected with James the Internal Auditor was Imogene Isaacs who was forced out by James, and as I was told directly by Ms Isaacs once Commissioner Muoio was elected mayor, her time with the city would be ending. Read the story below

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20120216/NEWS/812036562

 

So Commissioner Lambert is now the President of the Commission, will she be Mayor James puppet, as he was Mayor Muoio, and find a way to eliminate Beverly Mahaso?

I have to ask myself why some men are intimidated by strong women which in my opinion are both Sara Mooney and Beverly Mahaso.

If you are out and about and see a cop, ask them what they think of the Chief. I have and found them to be protective and supporting of her. Many stating morale has never been higher. If James terminated the chief I will pray for a blue flu and maybe the governor will check out the City of West Palm Beach as suggested by Gregory Daniel in the above story.

 

FYI: Please be aware that newly elected Commissioner Richard Ryles will serve the remainder of Paula Ryan’s term of one year and will seek re-election along with Lambert and Shoaf in 2020. Be vigilant.

 

 

 

Hurricanes, Restaurants & City Place

When you receive your city water bill there is an informational sheet enclosed and contains useful info but I question if the powers to be read it and understand what they are releasing. A few months ago we received one called

“Flood Hazard & Preparation Information” and one paragraph caught my attention and it was written:

“Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history. It is also based on rainfall, tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.”

That makes sense because I have noticed that asphalt and cement will never absorb water as easily as green space. It tells how to prepare for hurricanes, flooding and evacuations, and states “If mandatory evacuations are issued, you must leave.”

So say we are hit with a hurricane of the century, and we are ordered to leave. Now keep in mind the estimated population of WPB is 110,222 according to the most recent United States census estimates. West Palm Beach, Florida is the 20th largest city in Florida based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau. Let’s take one development Ibis a gated community and the figures below are from their website.

Total Population: 9,097

Total Household: 3,154

Average people per household: 3

Cars: 3,927

Ibis is one of a dozen gated communities and residents of Ibis and others do not want the State Rd 7 extension, and city officials spend millions of taxpayer dollars to insure the elite have their way.  The extension would give those developments another means of escape. Well there is always Okeechobee Blvd.

Speaking of Okeechobee Blvd. I received info. on another closing in City Place, which is owned by none other than Developer Related. Here it is.

“As if Related could be even less popular with downtown residents, the latest victim of skyrocketing rents at City Place is The Panera Bread Co. At some point our elected officials should have conversation with Related. This has worked in other cities. Enough is enough. Panera & Related could reach an agreement if they act in good faith. There has been dozens of closings over the years. The Brewzzi location has been empty for over 5 yrs. now. How is that good for any of us?”

It appears to me the millenniums and bicyclist are not supporting local businesses and seniors who do dine out wont go where they can’t park and feel safe.

I recently wrote a piece on Clematis VS Northwood, and if you missed it you can catch up by reading the story below. I wrote it was up and coming and would draw business away from Clematis and City Place.

Last February Mayor Muoio was a guest for the grand opening of Mestizo Peruvian Cuisine a new restaurant in (guess where?) Northwood Village. The story finishes with “It is the latest edition to the popular and award-winning restaurants in the neighborhood.” This is an area where you can park on the street, with no parking meters, and keep an eye on your auto.

http://wpbwatch.com/2018/08/clematis-vs-northwood-rd/

 

Just received more info on City Place and it’s private security can be read below.

‘This past Saturday evening a riot broke out at the Burger Fi restaurant at CityPlace. A large gang of teenagers had a brawl and, according to employees, security was non-existent. The restaurant
had to close for repairs until Monday, had to change their hours & now has to pay for security detail. Many of you know the politics of the security at CityPlace. It needs to change NOW. We need our elected officials to take action & stop putting people’s lives in danger. This email is going viral so everyone can take action before a major crisis occurs. Thank You for your support.’

It’s a plus for the city and neighborhoods when residents are involved in their neighborhood and speak out about the problems. Read about the private security firm below.

 

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

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