Lambert votes Yes on WGI Contract

March 23, 2020 Two meetings at City Hall, CRA and City Commission. What I want to draw your attention to is in Bold type, my opinion in italics and if you have difficulty understanding what you are about to read, don’t feel bad it’s written to confuse us.

CRA meeting: Resolution No. 20-18 authorizing a funding interlocal agreement between the City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency for the Banyan Boulevard Streetscape project.

A RESOLUTION OF THE WEST PALM BEACH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVING A PROJECT FUNDING INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH AND THE WEST PALM BEACH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR THE FUNDING OF THE BANYAN BOULEVARD STREETSCAPE PROJECT; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Agenda Cover Memorandum No.: 22079

Staff Recommended Motion: Approve Resolution 20-18.

Background: The CRA’s Strategic Finance Plans for the City Center/Downtown CRA District, Amendment No. 14, identifies infrastructure projects located within the Historic Northwest and funded with the Series 2019 Bond, and specifically the Banyan Boulevard Streetscape.

The City and CRA worked together on the design of Banyan Boulevard. The design features a raised bike lane, additional lighting and trees, a treed median, enhanced crosswalks and signalization and better connections from the Historic Northwest to Downtown.

Resolution No. 19-1 approved the issuance of $110,000,000 in Series 2019 Bonds for the CRA. As part of the bond issuance, the Banyan Boulevard Streetscape was allocated $15,400,000. The GMP was received on February 12, 2020 with a total price of $15,461,731.56 for phase 1. Funding will be provided through both the CRA Bond as well as the City’s Engineering budget.

Companion Resolution Nos. 57-20 and 58-20 will be presented to the City of West Palm Beach City Commission.

This project is in Commission District 3: Richard Ryles.

Fiscal Note: $20 million from bond proceeds.

I didn’t plan to attend the CRA meeting, walked in late in time to hear Commissioner Lambert say she was told by the WPB Ethics Officer it was acceptable for her to vote on the issue. I returned to the atrium and grabbed a copy of the CRA agenda.

On the CRA agenda there is no mention of the contractors contracted to do the construction, but I knew it had to concern the Wantman Group (WGI) Turns out I was right, WGI named on City Commission agenda.

City Commission meeting:

Resolution No. 57-20 approving the Guaranteed Maximum Price for Banyan Boulevard Streetscape project for the Construction Contract with Whiting-Turner establishing the GMP and Resolution No. 58-20 approving the Project Funding Agreement by the CRA to Banyan Blvd Streetscape project.

Resolution No. 57-20: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, APPROVING THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK CONTRACT FOR THE BANYAN BLVD STREETSCAPE PROJECT BETWEEN THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH AND WHITING-TURNER TO ESTABLISH A GUARANTEED MAXIMUM PRICE; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Resolution No. 58-20: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, APPROVING THE PROJECT FUNDING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE WEST PALM BEACH COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY AND THE CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH FOR THE FUNDING OF THE BANYAN BLVD STREETSCAPE; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Background: The City issued its Request for Qualifications No. 17-18-402, for Construction Manager At Risk services for Downtown Streetscapes and Alleyways. Whiting-Turner Construction Company, was awarded a Construction Manager at Risk Contract for Banyan Blvd Streetscape, on May 17, 2019. Banyan Boulevard is a major collector road, with over 14,000 Annual Daily Trips, for Downtown West Palm Beach connecting Australian Avenue to Flagler Drive. In 2013, the City prioritized paving on Banyan Blvd. as part of the Public Works Bond to improve deteriorated road conditions. The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the City of West Palm Beach are partnering with Engineering Services to implement complete streets and enhance safety and efficiency of the corridor. The City retained Wantman Group (WGI), to perform a traffic study, investigate road conditions, and recommend a sustainable typical section. The scope of work includes but is not limited to: drainage improvements, street lighting, ADA access, landscaped median, midblock crosswalk enhancement, traffic signalization, smart city technology, and sidewalk and bike access. Whiting-Turner (WT), a contracting firm, was retained as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) to build the project.

Banyan Boulevard has historically been considered a dividing line between downtown, the Northwest Neighborhoods and the northern border of downtown West Palm Beach. With the proposed improvements, Banyan Blvd will be transformed into a highly visible Gateway into the downtown district. Design for the Banyan Boulevard Improvements is funded utilizing Capital Acquisition Funds and CRA Bond funds. In accordance with its contract, Whiting-Turner Construction Company submitted a Guaranteed Maximum Price for the Banyan Blvd Streetscape, last revised February 11, 2020, in the amount of $15,461,731.56. The City desires to approve the GMP and proceed with the Banyan Blvd Streetscape Project. Resolution No. 57-20 approves the Guaranteed Maximum Price (“GMP”) for the Banyan Blvd Streetscape at $15,461,731.56 and authorizes execution of the First Amendment to the Contract establishing the GMP. Resolution No. 58-20 approves the Project Funding Agreement with the CRA for Banyan Blvd Streetscape. COMMISSION DISTRICT: District 3: Commissioner Richard Ryles.

The Wantman Group has received another lucrative contract from the city. This is the same company who employs Jeffrey Brophy, senior vice president of WGI and Mr. Brophy owns a home in Andros Isles and rented his home to then City Commissioner Keith James who voted approval on every contract that contained a WGI contract.

It gets better for WGI after City Commissioner Christine Lambert was sworn in and 4 months later WGI hired her husband Monty as a Senior Business Development Manager. It doesn’t get any better for WGI or the Lambert’s.

The contract that Lambert voted “yes” at both meetings do you believe she wont benefit from her vote?

How could the WPB Ethics Officer not believe this was a conflict of interest? My opinion I look to the no-bid contract for James friend Willie Perez, PSC Security. James tried to convince us both City Attorney and Procurement agreed it was their “opinion” that bids were not needed and a contract straight to PSC was acceptable.

Residents were outraged and spoke out at the City Commission meeting and strongly suggested both City Attorney and Procurement Manager be fired for their “opinion.”

Well it turns out both departments advised Mayor James that bids should be sought for the eight million dollar contract.

James sat there listening to residents knowing that the City Attorney and the Procurement Manager did their job and he didn’t do his. Disgraceful the way he continually throws people under the bus. 

Important Info on Covid-19

I received an email from a friend and believe it important enough too send on.

“Just got this from Cornell:

Information from Vienna’s laboratory studying COVID-19 say vast majority of people who died had ibuprofen/Advil in their system so do not take it!! Those who recovered did not take ibuprofen so if you have symptoms, take Paracetamol only!!! Looks like this virus thrives on ibuprofen so don’t do it and tell everyone you can!!!

Please pass this information on to everyone in each family.  I don’t want to miss anyone so share as much as you can, or copy and paste!

I just spoke with my friend who is a nurse at VGH (Vancouver) and they just learned that Advil makes the virus 10x worse.  Tylenol ONLY for the time being. She said Advil kick-starts the virus into pneumonia.

She also said they are not releasing the correct number of cases on the news and they have patients coming in everyday and some currently on ventilators. Soon they won’t have enough room in the hospitals to treat patients and will have to turn people away. They’ve canceled all surgeries to use the OR for available ventilators, but it still won’t be enough.

She also said she found some people in there 40’s and 50’s who were previously healthy to be on ventilators and having major difficulty breathing because they took Advil.

Also 4 doctors at VGH are now infected and she said she has never seen her doctors so worried before.  So please no Advil and stay safe!!!

There are a few articles online

No Advil

No Advil or any NSAIDS!!”

PS:

Excedrin is recommended. Below is taken from their website.

“Excedrin contains a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer. Aspirin is in a group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant.”

Walgreen’s was sold out of Excedrin and I asked the pharmacist when they expected another shipment. She walked me over to the shelf and showed me a bottle of “Walgreen Pain Reliever acetaminophen 500 mg.

She then took the time to explain this was Excedrin in a Walgreen package. I bought it, took it home, and went to a neighbor and she showed me her bottle of Excedrin. Both pills were red, round, and the same size.

People have to buy the name brand and sitting right next to it is the same pill in different packaging, costing half the price.

WPB Will Cheat To Win An Election

March 10, 2020 I posted the story “Government we can do what we want.

Soon after I published I received a phone call and was told a resident contacted City Administrator Faye Johnson to complain. Ms. Johnson had the signs removed with a heads up to Code Enforcement to continue checking the area and remove any political signs placed on the property The complaining resident called me and mentioned “If you want something done Faye Johnson is the person to call at City Hall, the signs have been removed.” I immediately updated the story.

Five days later the Lambert/Shoaf political signs are back in the City Hall Courtyard where early voting at the library was in full swing. The signs visible to all who were there to vote. I assume James is back from another trip to Washington DC and overruled Johnson on the placement of the signs.

Below is a quote taken from the PBC Supervisor of Elections.

No-Solicitation Zone

“Political signs may not be placed within 150 feet of the entrance to any polling place, or polling room where the polling place is also a polling room, or early voting site. Before the opening of the polling place or early voting site, the clerk or supervisor shall designate the no-solicitation zone and mark the boundaries (s. 102.031(4)(a), F.S.).”

I don’t know how close to the library the signs were placed, and I don’t believe the city much cares. The City’s Mayor Keith James is so anxious to get his “girls” re-elected, while bragging he’s a lawyer who graduated from Harvard, and is aware the signs are illegally placed and the city is breaking the law. James does not care. The Harvard attorney thumbs his nose at the residents of WPB.

The last story I published on March 10 concerning political signs was sent to James, Johnson and all 5 City Commissioners. They read the story and knew it was wrong but Lambert and Shoaf placed them anyway.

These are the 2 women asking for our vote, asking us to trust them again when they stand with James also thumbing their noses at us to show contempt, to insult or to disrespect us.

Another picture taken on Sunday shows mostly younger people sitting on Clematis St. partying and sitting on sidewalk tables along with a crowded restaurant appearing not to be aware of the Coronavirus disease that is quickly spreading around the world.

Can the city at least remove them from the sidewalk, or are they afraid the businesses will object?

 

WPB City Hall Officials: I have a sign for you that is at least honest. Feel free to use it.

Government We can Do What WE Want

While walking into WPB City Hall during the previous election (2 years ago) I saw no less than 12 Lambert political signs. They were placed into the ground wherever possible.

I happened to walk in and immediately saw previous City Administrator Jeff Green. I asked him what was up with the signs, and understood it was illegal to place any political sign on government owned property. Mr. Green’s response was “I have more to worry about than the signs.

Lambert signs were also placed at the Chamber of Commerce on No. Flagler which is owned by the city and taxpayers are exceedingly generous and rent them the building for $1.00 a year.

Well, the city is at it again.

What you are looking at are political signs in WPB City Hall. They were not present when I attended the City Commission meeting on 3/9/2020. Political signs are for the Shoaf and Lambert re-election and of course the Park Bond, which I find hard to believe residents would vote for the Park Bond again after voting for a 20 million bond in 2000 and very little taxpayer money actually went into the parks. Can you believe James is telling us our tax bill will not increase due to the new 30 million bond. 10 million increase and our taxes will be the same.

City Hall can be used for early voting and voters can’t miss the signs when entering.

Unfair advantage to both challengers Stephen Sylvester and Martina Tate Walker.

UPDATE:

I have been advised political signs have been removed from city property.

Palm Beach Post Endorsements

The Palm Beach Post endorsements for West Palm Beach.

“But the key word here is “progress.” The city is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar construction boom.”

Construction boom? Call it what it is. Building homes or commercial developments in excess of demand, creating grid lock throughout the city.

“The tax base is growing at a healthy clip.”

Sure is, doubling Fire Fee, raising sale tax. We have a mayor who never practiced  don’t spend money you don’t have.

“But most importantly, there is an effort to make sure all of that newfound largesse is distributed fairly around the city.”

Seriously, when the rest of the city receives the same service as the gated western communities that will be a fair comment.

“The Palm Beach Post supports the proposed bond which is actually a replacement of an expiring $20 million bond issue from 2000 as it will help the city address one of its greatest needs and residents’ greatest wants.”

Please tell us what improvements, at what parks, were made with the first 20 million. Where’s the money?

“We agree. It will be good to see Currie Park, which is slated to receive the biggest block of money from the bond issue, finally get the attention it has so long needed so that it can become the waterfront asset the city’s North End deserves.”

Currie Park was to receive a bigger block from the original 20 million. What happened?

“Plans for the bonds also include $3 million to expand and renovate Gaines Park, $2.5 million for the Howard Park Tennis Center, $2 million for the South Olive Park Tennis Center and $1.3 million to replace Phipps Park concessions, bathrooms and walkways.”

How many dollars are slated for the dog parks or to add more around the city? The new baseball stadium with 160-acre costing over 148 million to build. Why not eliminate one soccer field to allow a dog park for that area of WPB?

“Residents may be feeling a little “tax fatigue” from the last few years of referendums, but West Palm Beach leaders are smart to propose the bond issue now, while rates are low and before the previous bond completely sunsets. Responsibly, the city has promised to follow through on transparency by allowing the advisory commission overseeing the one-cent sales tax revenue to do the same for the bond issue.”

The city promised transparency and the advisory commission hand picked by the mayor. That’s comforting. Residents are not “feeling tax fatigue” residents are exhausted, and the city will tell residents what they believe we want to hear, and if they get the 30 million it will be business as usual as history tells us.

“Two commission seat races are also on the ballot. The Post endorses first-term Commissioners Kelly Shoaf and Christina Lambert to retain seats in District 1 and District 5, respectively. (Commissioner Richard Ryles forfeited his District 3 seat to challenger Christy Fox when Ryles inexplicably did not qualify by the filing deadline.)”

Fox was a former Related girl. Her along with Lambert and Shoaf will be the three votes needed to run the city as James and “staff” see fit.  Residents be damned. Nuff said

“The Post Editorial Board has been critical of Shoaf’s and Lambert’s positions against the State Road 7 extension, and for the Okeechobee Business District. And their glaring absence from a special city commission meeting on a controversial $8 million no-bid contract was embarrassing.”

The Post didn’t mention One Flagler along with the 3 issues mentioned above are among the 4 biggest issues in WPB, and Lambert & Shoaf voted to create the situation, and voted too continue wasting millions more attempting to stop the State Road extension. Oh yes, let’s give them another 30 million dollars.

“But Shoaf, who is once again facing minister and community activist Martina Tate-Walker, has worked hard to bring and keep attention on the oft-neglected North End. She has kept public safety and economic development “for everyone” at the forefront,  And Shoaf, 36, is a forceful advocate for much-needed affordable and workforce housing in the city.”

Does Commissioner Shoaf consider $1,200.00/month for 1 bedroom apt. affordable?

“We’ve made some headway,” she told the Post Editorial Board, “but West Palm Beach can certainly do more.”

Agreed, all we need is responsible leadership.

“Lambert, 40, is learning on the job as well ‒ most importantly, with regard to community engagement. Last fall, to the chagrin of her district’s residents, Lambert voted to support a two-lane bikeway on South Flagler Drive”

She will pay the price in her district. Drive through District 5 yard signs are 10 to 1 in favor of Steven Sylvester.

“To her credit, Lambert admits that she and the city needed to “do a better job of outreach.” She is now one of the commission’s biggest advocates for improving response to residents’ concerns and connecting them more easily with the right city staff.”

The City Commissioners aren’t allowed to connect with city staff with questions per order of 1st Muoio and now James. My opinion, and I offer an example. City Hall Legal and Procurement advised James not to allow a 8 million dollar no bid contract to go forward. James ignored the advice and it was placed on the Consent Agenda and passed. Would the vote have been different if Commissioners were allowed to ask questions of the 2 departments mentioned above? Commissioner Neering has spoken out on the issue and wants to be allowed to speak and ask questions of staff. Both Shoaf and Lambert were silent on the issue. Obviously they never heard the adage “Strength in Numbers.” They both should have had Neering”s back. Both had the mayors back, as always. 

“We are mindful of Lambert’s limitations in her first term, but are hopeful that she will be more responsive to her constituents in a second term.”

You call that an endorsement? The Post is “hopeful,” she will do better if re-elected.  We can’t afford 2 more years of her deciding the outcome for our city, and hopefully after 3/17/2020 residents will take our city back with responsible leadership. It’s a mystery who wrote this editorial as no name is offered. I understand–I wouldn’t want my name associated with the endorsements either. No wonder the media is circling the drain.
Read the Palm Beach Post endorsements below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/20200304/post-endorsements-west-palm-beach-parks-bond-issue-is-needed-shoaf-lambert-should-keep-their-commission-seats

Your Vote Counts

The many opportunities Americans have, and in my opinion the right to have our voices heard at the polling booth stands out as one of our best opportunities to let government know if they will continue to have our support or not.

We have another election coming on March 17, 2020, and we have heard “lip service” for months from the mouths of 2 commissioners namely Lambert and Shoaf telling us what they are going to do for us if re-elected. They don’t mention the harm they have done in the last two years with their votes to insure the political agendas and special interest desires are met. Residents, they depend on the public’s short memory to “forget” what action elected officials have taken to dip further into our pockets, make it more difficult to get from point A to point B with the overbuilding and traffic concerns, city streets in disrepair, not to mention flooded areas.

When voting was over in 2018 a friend and I took a trip to the PBC Supervisor of Election Office and they couldn’t have been more generous with their time and patience. Here’s what we learned.

My district is 7058 and there are 2,363 registered voters. 154 went to the polls and 90 voted by mail. 2,119 people did not vote.

My friend is district 7130 and there are 2,473 registered voters. 177 went to the polls and 86 voted by mail. 2,210 people did not vote.

I have heard the excuse why bother to vote, nothing changes. Well nothing will change if we can’t bother to show up at the polls and take our city back. I’ve written before and it bears repeating. People vote in a National Election, to choose who they consider the best pick for the Presidency. They vote in State Elections to choose the Governor, but can’t be bothered with City Elections. If you have a pothole or your street is flooded who are you going to call, the President or Governor?

City officials have always pandered to the western communities going above and beyond to insure their wishes are granted (no extension of State Road 7) WPB city officials grant their wishes, do everything they request and then wait for their reward, which is the western  community vote to insure they spend another 2 years in office.

Enough, time for a change, and I have made my decision. I want new leadership, and I don’t want the city to squander tax money claiming they are going to update city parks, when the same promise was made 20 years ago and 20 million gone. Now they want 30 million with the same promises. How many residents remember voting for the park bond 20 years ago?

I am tired of the western communities, voting to reward them for favors granted which is why I am voting for Steve Sylvester, and Martina Tate Walker, while voting no on the Park Bond. If we take the time to vote there are enough of us to take our city back,

Dog Parks- Dogs Beware

When the news media report on child or animal abuse the general public has a tendency to become very upset. Children and animals (pets) depend on us for everything. Ask me, I have been catering to my pets for years. I have always had 2 dogs at a time (twice the work) but they were company for each other when I was away from home. Today I have KC and she’s enough for me and hopefully I am enough for her as long as I’m able to reach her treat jar.

Years ago my 2 dogs and I would visit Village Paws Park on Saratoga Rd. and meet up with our friends. Same people every day, seven days a week usually from 5-7 PM. We would sit on the benches talking and watch our dogs play and chase each other. Good times had by all.

The dog park consisted of 3 sections, one for small dogs, one for large, and the third section was left empty until the city sprayed for flees and ticks, then that section would be padlocked and the 3rd. section would be used. Good system, but never used.

 

My group meet for 3 years and we never saw the section closed, meaning they never sprayed the area. This became evident when I had ticks crawling up my walls, and needed an exterminator.

 

The three sections has a wide gate and when they were opened it allowed the lawn mower to travel the 3 sections and cut what the city refers to as grass. My group always met in the “small section” and Bob was a regular along with his small dog Romeo, and they were bonded at the hip. One day Romeo got through the gate opening and a large dog grabbed him by the back of the neck, two shakes and Romeo died right there.

 

My dog, Bear was a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and they  originated in Ireland and used as Herding Dogs. Well my Bear used to run the fence line attempting to herd the large dogs next door, and in a week he wore a rut in the dirt and I would come in with a rake and bags of topsoil and he would start over. Notice the slab against the fence where a dog tried to dig under the fence, and the space between the fence and grass where dogs would run.

A few years ago after much complaining a woman from the city named Leah Rockwell and her associate from Parks & Rec. meet with me at the dog park and I pointed out the problems with the park, especially the fence opening, and the dog that was killed and the section the dogs wore down running the fence line. Her associate was busy taking notes which I considered a positive sign. I asked if it was possible to have the 2-3 foot wide area along the fence line filled in with cement to avoid have rut’s in the ground and replacing sod. I was told the city had money in the parks budget and it would be done. When I met with the group that nigh and told them we were thrilled.

The pictures you are looking at with this story were taken on 3/4/2020. Promises made, but not kept.

So the city wants voters to pass the 30 million dollar Park Bond and making promises like they did in 2000. Promises that were not kept then and wont be kept now. Did you know “The city is not legally allowed to lobby voters to support the bond, so Muoio said her PAC, Vote Yes for WPB Parks, plans to raise money to get the word out.”

This is typical of how the city does business, doing an end run around the issue and get the former Mayor to do the deed. Read the story below, and please don’t be fooled like we were in 2000. Be smarter than we were and vote NO on the Park Bond.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20200131/former-west-palm-mayor-spearheading-effort-for-major-improvements-to-cityrsquos-parks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good News/Bad News

Good news

I attended the TPA (Transportation Planning Agency) meeting and there was a full house in attendance  and all were concerned with the State Rd. 7 extension. I wont keep you in suspense, State Rd. 7 extension will be built.  Maybe.

Two Commissioners Neering & Peduzzi sit on the board and represented the City. Lambert is the alternate. Neering had a previous appointment and left before the vote was taken. Lambert took his place on the dais and along with Peduzzi voted against the extension. To my surprise County Commissioner Greg Weiss also voted against it.

Shoaf spoke against the extension insuring Ibis continued support and vote for all four commissioners.

Former Mayor Muoio, City Attorney Rothenberg, outside attorney’s representing the city and Scott Kelly who told the board Mayor James sends his regrets as he must attend another meeting and Kelly read James pathetic statement. It makes sense to me James was absent, he wont need the Ibis residents for 3 more years.

TPA sent out a computer survey and we received a map of the area on SR7 project-Public Input Results on SR7 Extension.  OPPOSE (109)      SUPPORT (1,100).  Here’s the shocker. Of the 1,100 in support 35% were Ibis residents who want the extension, but afraid to speak out for fear of being ostracized by their neighbors.

There were so many people in attendance we had one minute to speak, and the first speaker up was a gentleman named Richard. He is a retired Captain with 30 years experience with PBC Fire Rescue and also a Certified Paramedic. His last 15 years working for Fire Rescue was at the Acreage Fire Station.  He has been on many serious calls on Northlake Blvd along with the City of WPB and the City of Palm Beach Gardens backing each other up on fire department calls.

He explained to me the stations in the area.
Station 8  City of WPB services Ibis.        Station 17 PBC  on Jog & Beeline
Station 26 PBC  Acreage.  Station 63 Palm Beach Gardens on Northlake.

Richard told me the extension is invaluable and would allow quicker access in an emergency and would save lives. Ibis and the new Palm Beach Gardens developments would benefit this road the most.

Likely scenarios:  There is a house fire or a serious multiple car collision. If the 4 fire stations mentioned above are available, then more than likely they will all be used for this type of call. Now what happens when another emergency comes along?  Where is your next fire station coming from?

This is where the extension comes in for their benefit. There are three fire stations in close proximity to Okeechobee and State Road 7.  They can easily travel the extension straight to Ibis’s East Gate without having to detour through the Acreage.  This would be a huge savings in response time. Richard has been on many calls with multiple fire stations working an incident and then another call comes in nearby and the 911 dispatchers are asking Incident Commanders if they can cut a unit from the call to respond to another call in the area. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is No.

Station 8 is across the street from Ibis.  The other stations mentioned above are over 10 minutes away.  Would you still be against the extension if the time needed to save your life could be faster with the extension?

Peduzzi spoke of the pristine drinking water that Grassy Waters has and the City cant afford to have it contaminated by the extension.  Really?

I spent my 1 minute telling the TPA board Ibis has already contaminated Grassy Waters with their run-off of Fertilizer and Insecticides. Had time to mention the 2 Ibis residents who appeared before the City Commission and thanked Mayor Muoio for once again appealing a decision made in favor of the extension. Last words out of the residents mouth were “You know Mayor we don’t want those big, big trucks out there.” That’s the real issue, they don’t want to deal with traffic and congestion. If that resident has a heart attack and dies because of the time it took for paramedics to arrive, she can have comfort in the fact she helped save the endangered Snail Kite.  The other excuse the city uses.

The board voted 16 for and 5 against the extension. I have no doubt James will again appeal the decision, spending millions more. Residents have no idea how many millions has been wasted on SR7, and I doubt the City knows either.

Did I mention the lucky residents in Ibis and Baywinds had buses provided for them to attend the meeting. No parking problems for them. Who paid for the buses? I have it boiled down to Muoio using “Park Bond” money or Lambert using Campaign funds. I saw 4 buses.

Now The Bad news.
Over 4 years ago Mayor Muoio along with Chief Mooney started the “Peace Walk”  and residents would walk in the toughest sections of the  north end neighborhoods while viewing  flowers set against a building or street poll indicating the death of (usually) a young man. The walks are held the 3 third Thursday of the month. I recall being absent once.
The purpose of the walk was to show residents we cared and were united with them against the violence so prevalent in the area. I always felt safe because we always have a police escort watching over us. If a walker ventured off to talk to a resident the cop was with them, always watching.
At today’s walk there were 12 of us and we were told the police would not be present with us because of “budget restraints”  ? Another brilliant idea of James. Leave 12 people on the streets of the north end violent section.
We walked up a street and people went left, right, straight ahead or stayed in the one spot. Four groups of people, wearing yellow shirts proclaiming peace in the “hood” without police protection.
How does Chief Adderley feel about leaving residents in this situation?
James a Harvard Graduate, without a drop of common sense. It’s on him if a resident is injured while on a Peace Walk but I’m sure he’ll lay flowers on the street.

I was so upset I neglected to mention the police on Segway’s. Young kids would surround the cops begging for a ride and they always obliged them. The smile on the kids face standing on the machine in front of the cop going for a ride. You couldn’t buy that kind of trust and goodwill. Made it appear cops aren’t so scary after all. This is where you start, with the young kids and learn to build trust with the police. Even the parents would be smiling because their kid’s were having a great time.

James and the Police Chief want to get a handle on the gang’s and murders committed in the streets. Pulling cops from the north end during a Peace Walk isn’t the way to go. You had a toe in the door and you blew it.

You have given us a “Fire Fee” want us to vote for the “Tax Bond” which will be used for God knows what. Are you considering a “Cop Fee”?

South End Neighborhood Association Invites You!

It is not often I write something positive on WPB Watch but here it is.

The South End Neighborhood Association is inviting everyone in the city to attend their Fiesta on Flagler in Support of Family Promise North / Central Palm Beach County.

Their inviting the entire city. I have seen these groups in Florida and you can attend if you live in the development or know the Pope.

They will have a dozen vendors supplying food, and I’ve eaten in a few of the restaurant and found the food excellent. The only bad experience was when my dish was empty.

Support of Family Promise

“In the United States Families now make up the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. A mother loses her job, a father is kept from working by an injury, a family is forced from their home by fire or natural disaster. Healthcare costs soar, public transportation is underfunded, affordable housing is almost impossible to find. These are just some of the reasons one out of every four homeless persons is a child.”

Anyone who lives in the city knows we have a large homeless population which the City has difficulty dealing with. The South End is off to a good start with their second Fiesta. lets support them in their endeavor.
Open the link below and read the date, location and food vendors. Then come and meet new friends.

http://www.Fiestaonflagler.com

Open Letter to Commissioners and Mayor

On 2 separate occasions Commissioner James voted to approve $114 million dollars to developer Michael Mananoff to build a mixture of office, hotel, and residential space north of downtown tri rail station. Thankfully it went nowhere and $114 million was saved from developers.

Here’s the question: The city obviously has millions for a developer, so why are they asking residents to vote for a $30 million Park Bond? Appears they already have the money, why aren’t they applying those dollars to for parks?  Saving it for another developer? James was very generous with taxpayer dollars as a commissioner. No holding him back as Mayor. Please remember this story when you are in the polling booth wondering if you should vote yes or no on the Park Bond. Please read the CRA minutes for July 17, 2017  Item #8 here:   07172017 CRA minutes

CRA minutes for 1/9/17 item #2     01092017 CRA minutes

James hires a new Police Chief Frank Adderley. Soon after taking command of the department Adderley stood at a podium at a commission meeting and stated he was told (I assume by James) the department was short 5 officers, and Adderley learns 25 officers are needed. Adderley is now aware he is working for a mayor who lies is less than honest. Residents knew he lied was less than honest 1 month after being sworn in as mayor.
Here’s the question:  Why aren’t they using part of the $114 million to hire the needed 25 officers? If you are being attacked who would you want to come to your aid, a cop with a gun or a security officers if you can find one.

Commissioner Lambert:
County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay apparently pulled her endorsement of Lambert “due to blatant lies in 2 recent campaign emails” Double click the Tweet to enlarge and read the entire message, McKinlay obviously has ethics, and I was shocked to hear Lambert lied was less than honest.

One of my biggest disappointments in City government is Commissioner Richard Ryles who ran successfully against Christie Fox in 2018. Residents worked extremely hard to insure he was successful, and his voting record as a commissioner proved to us he gave thought to his vote and actually listened to residents. We were hopeful.

Fox decided to run in 2020 again challenging Ryles and he has decided not to seek re-election.
Friend’s of mine attended a forum at the DNA Speakeasy Political gathering at Voltaire, and mentioned it was very dark with a small crowd. The candidates spoke for approximately one minute and the real reason for the forum was another spiel on the Park Bonds. Small crowd, City plan foiled. This all leads up to one story, and here it is:
Christie Fox made an appearance at the DNA Speakeasy and my friend spoke to her about concerns residents were having with development and traffic throughout the city. Fox response: “Traffic caused by a 5 story building was the same as a 25 story building”  Commissioner Ryles, you let a Fox in the hen house and not a bright one but will listen to the Mayor, “staff” developers and the Chamber of Commerce.

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