On Nov.5,2013 @ 3:00 PM, when most residents are working, the city held a Special City Commission Meeting on CRA Outsourcing Presentation. Unfortunately there were 6 residents in attendance, which is the norm, and the plan for afternoon meetings.

Three companies, CH2M Hill, The Urban Group, and RMA were the finalist. The Urban Group was quickly eliminated when Mr. William Waters had the courage to question city leadership, and told the mayor and commissioners the African American community has long been ignored.

That left CH2M HILL, a global firm, and RMA (Redevelopment Management Associates) run by Kim Briesemeister, who headed the CRA from 2004 until she resigned in Aug. 2013 in her bid to take over WPB CRA which has a budget of 28 Million dollars. In 9 years here are a few things Ms. Briesemeister has accomplished for the city.

City Center: Built the library and garage component of the the new city hall. Residents, upset with the project, and many believed the residents should be allowed to vote on the issue, sued the city. The courts agreed, let the residents vote. Then mayor Lois Frankel, obviously aware that the residents were not able to make an intelligent decision, rushed to finished the project and denied the residents the right to vote on the project.The city lost in court to a citizen’s alliance group that cost taxpayers $300,000 in legal fees.

Waterfront: Spent $30 million dollars revamping the waterfront. Residents should visit the waterfront and witness the lack of use. Yearly Boat Show uses the area.

Northwood Village: Turned a blighted area in Northwood into a shopping and restaurant destination. Taxpayers are paying $12,500/month for Wine, Cheese & entertainment in this area, and taxpayers have been paying for 5-6 years. If you visit this area, walk one street over to the city’s Blum Park and join the men drinking out of brown paper bags. The city will not supply bags or beverage.

Digital Domain: The city gave prime city land valued at $10 million, along with $2 million to Digital Domain in a partnership with FSU (Commissioner Mitchell’s Alma Mata) for a digital animation college.It was reported in the PB Post that Kim Briesemeister approved the deal between the city and Digital Domain, and said CEO John Textor was fully vetted. On Sept.10,2012 Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, Kim Briesemeister, and City Attorney Claudia McKenna drove to John Textor’s home for a private meeting. On Sept.11, 2012 Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy. On Sept.13,2012 Ms. Briesemeister home was burglarized, and two laptops were stolen along with two briefcases filled with paperwork. A week later another burglary and more computer equipment were stolen. Ms. Briesemeister stated it was a private matter and refused to discuss the matter. It leaves one to wonder if the computer’s and briefcase’s contained information on Digital Domain, lost forever.