2 More City Giveaway’s

45th and Haverhill St.

The city owns a piece of land which is located on 45th and Haverhill Rd. The city toyed with the idea of selling it as a spring training ballpark, which if you thought about it would never really happen, and in my opinion, it did get Parkside Commons off the fence and made an offer to the city for $14 million dollars.

Richard Pinsky, along with Harvey Oyer are the lobbyist for Parkside Commons, and Mr. Pinsky was previously married to Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell.

Claims have been made that the property has been used as a dump for construction debris and tires for the last 30 years, and after Hurricane Wilma (2005 ) was used to dump vegetation. I have lived in this area for 29 years and within a mile of the site. I have never witnessed it used as a dump, I have seen a tire on the edge of the property where someone threw it. You can see a tire on most vacant lots in WPB. The vegetation from Wilma was definitely placed on the site. How much of that remains today after 9 years?

Here’s the part I am having difficulty with understanding. It’s written, “The developer would clean up the site and develop the park more cost efficiently than the city could, then would turn the park over to the city.” I have questions.

Has the city ordered a study to see if the statement above, made by the lobbyists is accurate? Can the developer do it more cost effectively?

Out of the 14 million to be paid, how much is the developer to be paid for the clean up and building of the park? I heard the figure 10 million.

If I didn’t maintain my property, the city code enforcement would be on me with violation notices, they would come in and bring my property up to code, and it would cost me a small fortune. Actually I’m OK with this. If I allow my property to fall into disrepair, I am affecting my neighbors and their property values. Why mention this? Another question: Why did the city allow city owned property to become so run down. They had years to clean up and keep the property presentable. Failure by years of previous leaders, and maintained by present leaders.

The city has the equipment and manpower to clean the land, why doesn’t it? If that’s not feasible, why not bid it out?

We have witnessed the city’s planning and parks and recreation department in action, and I would not be happy with the city planning the park. Why not bid it out and compare prices.

Would that not please the developer, lobbyist, Mayor or Commissioners. Would they have an aversion to saving the taxpayer tax dollars?

The residents would be happy to see the jobs spread around, maybe to minorities and women orientated businesses. Start planning with the residents wallets in mind.

Read the story here.

“Tent” City Property

If you are reading this far the story will seem familiar to you only because you have read it before, up above, the 45th. & Haverhill city story.

The tent city site almost lost to John Textor’s Digital Domain, along with taxpayers gift of 2 million dollars, which Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell moved heaven and hell to make sure happened is back on the market after Mr. Textor declared bankruptcy, and the city spent thousands of dollars on court fees to retrieve the land. To my knowledge no attempt has been made to recoup taxpayers 2 million dollar gift to Mr. Textor.

Good news! The land has increased in value and was last appraised at $14.2 million dollars.

Bad news! The McCloskey Group,who is represented by Commissioner Mitchell’s former husband, Richard Pinsky, has offered the city $13.5 million to build a medical village.

Worse news: The McCloskey group request an incentive of $8.5 million from the city for creating jobs. Really! How long is government going to use the excuse “it will create jobs”?
as a reason to give away city land, with perks, to developers.

There is a humorous side to this story, and here it is.
After The McCloskey Group have been in conference with the City’s CRA for over a year, the proposal has been sent out for bid, with a 30 day response time for other suitors. Really, who do you believe is going to receive this sweetheart deal? You OK with that?

Read the story here.

Waterview Towers Vs. WPB

On Oct.14, 2014 the City Commissioners met and authorized approval of settlement for three (3) lawsuits filed against the city. The total amount was $240,775.00, which when added to previous lawsuits will bring the total for the last 3 years to $2,810,665.00 in taxpayer dollars. The city isn’t done wasting your money.

Because the city cannot follow the rules they themselves set, on building height, density, and set back, three (3) more lawsuits have followed. It appears residents are fed up and not going to take it any more and appear ready to fight back. The new suits are: Chapel by the Lake, Waterview Towers, and Rybovitch. This story will focus on the Waterview Towers Vs. City of WPB, and you will be kept updated as the story progresses.

The cast of character’s are as follows:

Rick Green, Development Services Director, is a member of “staff” who recommends approval of developments such as Chapel by the Lake, Rybovitch, and Waterview Towers.

Ana Maria Aponte is the City Urban Designer.

Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, elected in March 2002.

Richard Pinsky, a Registered Lobbyist in West Palm Beach, and former husband of Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell.

My understanding of the situation is the city (taxpayers) owns the land that the Waterview Towers, which is located on Flagler Dr. along with the Palm Harbor Marina and the piece of land they want developed as the Palm Harbor Hotel. Previous commissioners voted that 2 pieces of this property were to be made commercial (Marina and Hotel) and one residential. (Waterview Towers)

The city gave a 99 year lease to Chase Enterprise who built the Waterview Towers, and to entice people to buy, placed into its documents that nothing over 4 stories was to be built next to the Waterview. Good incentive to purchase.

Now the developers want to build an 8 story hotel, and next to the hotel a 3 story garage, and the city, true to form want the developers to have their way. Now what to do with that pesky documents that say’s nothing over 4 stories. What to do, What to do?

There is a rumor going around, with people in the know, that Chase Enterprise has joined the fray, and there supposedly are letters going back and forth, for which we are trying to get copies. They must be informative because we can’t beg, borrow, or steal them. We will continue trying, and if they do exist we will continue this story.

We obtained a copy of a letter written by the Board of Directors to keep Waterview residents informed of a meeting held on Sept. 19,2014 between city employees, city commissioner Mitchell, and Richard Pinsky. Please click here to read the letter.

Who is Len Fintzy?

Len Fintzy is the President of City Watch, a western community organization, PAC (Political Action Committee) which was founded by Mr. Fintzy. He resides in Riverwalk, located west of Florida’s Turnpike. These gated communities are refered to as the “western” communities. Mr. Fentzy has announced his intention to challenge Commissioner Keith James seat in District 4. As reported in the PB Post Mr. Fintzy has been unanimously endorsed by City Watch, the PAC he created. So basically Mr. Fintzy endorsed himself. What the Post doesn’t mention is sitting commissioner Keith James, and challenger Alex Augustin were never interviewed by City Watch. Talk about the fix being in. You OK with that?

Mr. Fintzy is a personal friend and supporter of Kimberly Mitchell, and has publicly stated that Commissioner Mitchell is like a daughter to him. I will offer examples of just how close they are.

Mr Fintzy and his wife, as a guest of Commissioner Mitchell, joins her for the annual Chamber of Commence breakfast. It’s interesting to know that Mr. Fintzy does not reside in her district. It should come as no surprise that the taxpayers picked up the $80.00 dollar tab for breakfast. You OK with that?

On March 6,2013 there was a meeting held in Riverwalk, and the city listed the meeting as “Riverwalk Neighborhood Meeting” This meeting went unnoticed by residents who try and keep up with the city’s shenanigans. If a resident had noticed, and wanted to attend, it is questionable if they would have been allowed in as this is a gated community. As it turns out the March 6th. meeting was closed to the general public, your name had to be on an entry list to attend. You OK with that?

On Nov.4,2013 at a Special City Commission meeting Mr. Myles Schack spoke before the city commission and below is part of his statement:

“My name is Myles Schack and I am the Vice President of Riverwalk Homeowners Association and I also serve on the city’s Advisory Board. On March 6th of this year, the mayor and city commissioners attended a workshop at Riverwalk and the focus of that workshop was the sharp decline in Riverwalk’s lake levels and the failure of the vast water treatment plant to deliver 10 million gallons daily of reclaimed water, in order to hydrate the city’s wetlands re-use site and help recharge the aquifer.” If Mr. Schack had not attended this meeting and spoke out, residents would not have been aware this meeting took place. You OK with that?

A resident attending the meeting immediately requested the minutes of the March 6th meeting and was told by the city clerk that the meeting was not a city meeting so there are no minutes Unhappy with the response she wrote City Attorney Claudia McKenna and again requested the minutes. Ms. McKenna, true to form, wrote back and requested the resident “call her and she will explain” See nothing in writing. The resident who inquired never received an answer. The western communities are so important to the mayor and commissioners that they travel to them, and saw no reason to inconvenience River Walk by having them travel to city hall. Are you OK with that?

People running for office in WPB court River Walk’s “City Watch” for their endorsement because the western residents have a strong voting Pac and their precinct is on their premises and white residents turn out to vote. River Walk writes a column with
recommendations on how their residents should vote.

After the death of Commissioner Bill Moss Commissioner Mitchell along with city commissioners had her friend Shannon Materio appointed to replace him until the next election. The election between Shannon Materio and Gregg Weiss was on and “City Watch” gave their endorsement to Gregg Weiss. After a call from city hall it appears Mr. Fintzy wrote to residents and said although “City Watch” had endorsed Mr. Weiss, he personally was voting for Shannon Materio. You OK with that?

In 2013 both Commissioner Mitchell and Materio made their intent known that they would seek another term as city commissioner’s. Residents were anxious to learn if their seat would be challenged. A few names were mentioned, and we became very hopeful.

At the city’s September 25, 2013 Budget Meeting (held shortly after Commissioners Mitchell & Materio made their intentions known) Mr. Fintzy stood and addressed the residents and commissioners and made the announcement that City Watch was proud to endorse them both for reelection. Mr. Fintzy endorsed both candidates before learning if and who might challenge them. So if by some miraculous miracle St. Peter came down from heaven and announced he would seek the commission seat He would have been out of luck. Please, tell me you’re not OK with that.

Commissioner Mitchell, in my opinion, runs the city of West Palm Beach, and along with Commissioner Materio, who never strays far from Ms. Mitchell’s opinion, and nearly always vote’s with her is her second vote. If Len Fintzy is elected he will be her third vote on the dais, and then there will be no stopping them. They will run the city as they see fit. There will be no stopping the WPB Charter School, no stopping outsourcing of city job’s, no stopping outsourcing of city water, and developers will have the keys to the city. There are 2 active lawsuits (Chapel by the Lake, and Waterview Towers) with millions to be spent because the city can’t follow their own rules concerning building height, density, and set back. They constantly allow 5 lbs.of crap too be placed in a 2 lb bag. Are you OK with that?

Again, my opinion. One of the biggest mistake residents made when voting was to allow city wide elections. I am not comfortable with the western communities choosing who will represent me in district 2. Without city wide elections commissioners would be forced to work and represent their districts, or be booted from office. They would have no need to meet secretly with western communities and discuss their water problems, or cater to them because they know the west will allow them to keep their city seat. If there was a way to motivate black voter, who outnumber the white voters we could take our city back. Any ideas on how to accomplish that would be appreciated. I hope your OK with that.