WPB Slow To Keep School Children Safe!

For too many years WPB Resident, Mr. Cleveland, has appeared before the mayor and city commissioners with a simple request. Please install a blinking warning light at the Pleasant City Elementary School, located at 2222 Spruce Avenue, to inform drivers they are approaching a school area, and school is about to be adjourned, and the speed limit drops to 20 MPH.

The last response from the city to Mr. Cleveland was that a GRANT was coming in 2015 and a light would be installed at that time. In the mean time we can pray the children cross the street safely. For residents not familiar with the Pleasant City School, it is attended by African American children located in a crime ridden section of the city, a few blocks south of the celebrated Northwood Road and within one block from St Ann’s Center for the homeless and one block from the city’s problematic Blum Park.

Here are a few of the mayor and city commissioners priorities, and where taxpayer dollars are spent:

District 1 Commissioner Sylvia Moffett: The CRA (city) has for over 5 years, spent, and continues to spend $12,500.00 a month for a Wine & Cheese Festival held monthly at Northwood Village. Over the years it has cost the taxpayer over $750,000.00 dollars.

District 2 Commissioner Robinson: Travels behind Holland & Knight, a lobbyist firm, who has a contract with the city for $144,000.00 a year to represent us with the ” League of Cities.” and the “National League of Cities” The commissioners placed $10,000 in the 2014 budget for travel and with the budget year just beginning Commissioner Robinson and James have spent over 1/2 the budget on one trip to Seattle, Washington, and have no qualms spending $400.00 a night for an “Executive Suite” in hotel’s.

All five city commissioners receive $500.00 a month “Car Allowance” (some call it a slush fund) and when Commissioner Robinson travels to Orlando for a League of Cities convention for the day, he bills the city $100.00 for gas and tolls. This expense is always approved by assistant administrator Dorritt Miller. What is the “car allowance” used for if not gas and tolls?

District 3 Commissioner Mitchell: Made a recommendation that $25,000 be placed in a fund for lobbyist, in the 2014 budget meeting “because they work so hard” I guess a contract of $144,000.00 a year isn’t enough. I assume Commissioner Mitchell is referring to Holland & Knight and not her mother Anita Mitchell, a lobbyist, and recently elected PBC GOP chair, or her ex husband, Mr. Pinsky also a lobbyist. I hope the city will not funnel tax payer dollars to any lobbyist.

Commissioner Mitchell along with WPB Mayor Muoio, is pulling out all the stops to bring a Charter School to WPB. Residents are upset with this idea due to the fact that the city does not do well with “schools” and taxpayer dollars. Commissioner Mitchell brought us the deal of the century with John Textor’s Digital Domain. If you recall, that cost the taxpayer over 2 million dollars, and untold thousands more to reclaim land that was worth an additional $10 million dollars which the city gave to Textor. Commissioner Mitchell, arrogantly claimed she would do it all over again, which apparently she meant with the talks now turning to charter schools. Commissioner Mitchell, claims the charter school is to help ” the poorer kids in depressed areas receive a decent education” and never mentions the millions it will take from already failing public schools and put those millions into the cities “for profit” charter school. This writer believes it’s the money and not education of “the poorer kids in depressed areas” that drives this project, but the dollar signs in Mitchell’s eyes.

District 4 Commissioner James: Read District 2 as these 2 commissioners travel together to these conventions. Commissioner James had the audacity to present a bill for $845.56 to the city for attending a convention for the Florida League of Cities held in Hollywood, Fl. which is located approximately 50 miles from WPB, but opted to spend over $350.00/ night for 2 nights stay in a motel, along with 3 meals a day plus taxpayer dollars for gas, tolls,and valet parking.

District 5 Commissioner Materio: Was instrumental in leading the city to purchase a piece of land in the south end for $2.9 million dollars, for the purpose of purchasing land to keep Wal-Mart out of the south end. The 2.9 million was NOT in the city budget for the year.

With the millions of dollars spent by the WPB mayor and city commissioners as stated above, they have not, for too many years, cannot find a few thousand dollars to place a warning light to keep young children safe who are being released from school by slowing down traffic to 20 MPH. The very children they profess to care about and want them to receive a good education, they cant find the money to keep them safe while crossing the streets. It is time for the city politicians to stop telling residents they love them and start showing them.

When residents cant be bothered to address their elected officials, by attending meetings or in the least sending an e-mail you are letting them know their actions are acceptable to you and your children. If not you—-Who?

Some information on the “Florida League of Cities” which Commissioners Robinson & James so fondly run after spending thousands of dollars annually. This piece was taken from the PB Post dated 1/23/14, and reads in part “Clemens ethics bill draws heat” A bill filed by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth. Clemens proposal (SB 606) which he says was sought by the Florida League of Cities. The bill he introduced would drastically change the tougher ethics standard for public officials passed in 2013.His bill would lift most gift-reporting requirements for elected officials & public employees; shield officials from ethics complaints if they acted after getting advice from a lawyer; and allow for penalties up to $5,000.00 against someone who files a complaint “with malicious intent “What citizen would ever file a complaint against an elected official if they could possibly have a $5,000.00 penalty placed against them? No wonder they still call us Corruption County!