WPB vs Kids vs Priorities

A few years ago a friend mentioned to me a problem residents were having with the”City of West Palm Beach Westward Park” which is located across the street from Westward Elementary School, and both park and school are located in what is known as the “North End” an area long neglected by city officials. According to public records the school is 92.4% black.

I recently attended a fund raiser for Katherine Waldron, who is running for city commissioner in district 2 and she mentioned she had toured Roosevelt Estates, and a resident walked her down to the park to have her witness the deplorable, unsafe conditions residents have lived with for years.

Ms. Waldron took pictures and sent them to Mayor Muoio. Mayor Muoio forwarded the e-mail and pictures to city staff, with a request to look into the matter. When Ms. Waldron followed up she was told the job was sent out to bid. OK so far so good.

Now I’m remembering hearing about this park, and wanted to see how bad it was for myself. I called a friend, who knew where the park was located and asked her to accompany me, and my camera. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Now I want to know how this neglect went on for so long when it is such a hazard for school children living and attending school in the area. View pictures here



Here is what I was told

Concerned citizens have given permission for me to use their names in this story, other’s want to remain anonymous. So here we go.

In Jan. 2012 William McCray, at his own expense, had pictures taken and blown up to poster size to show at a city commission meeting, He had a friend hold the poster’s while he explained what they were looking at. The city camera never left his face, and the TV audience were not shown the pictures and decay of a city park. Mayor Muoio responded “Oh yeah, I saw those things” Most likely when she was touring for votes in her run for mayor. Obviously she never looked back.

At the following Commission meeting, a resident spoke and asked “Mayor, you said you saw the bad conditions of Westward Park so why didn’t you call It in?” She didn’t respond.

On Nov.10 I planned to attend the city commission meeting and show the pictures but at the last minute had an emergency and couldn’t attend. The city had advance warning and were ready. Mr. McCray spoke briefly on the issue, and questioned when it came to black residents why the city had to wait for grants to accomplish anything.

The city was aware of the problems 3 years ago, but knowing pictures were to be shown made ready a package complete with bidding.

WPB Westward Park is located in Commissioner Mitchell’s District 3. Commissioner Mitchell, along with the mayor was aware of the situation.

At the commission meeting Ms. Mitchell responded to Mr. McCray with a statement that in part included ” It’s unfortunate government works as slow as it does. It frustrates me.”

The ex-President of Roosevelt Estates South Neighborhood Association said, an invitation was extended to Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell several times and she never appeared at their meetings. He also said Mitchell made an appointment to attend their meeting and was a no show and didn’t call. One example why “government works as slow as it does”

How can city government work so quickly when Commissioner Materio, District 5 requested the city spend $2.9 Million dollars to purchase land to keep Walmart from building, in her district? How can city government work so quickly when they voted for Digital Domain and that cost taxpayers well over 2 million dollars? How can city government work so quickly with the charter schools, where the mayor stated no taxpayer dollars will be spent, and they have already spent thousands on consultants, and requested their 6th. opening date extension, which was wisely rejected by the PBC School Board.

How do you fix this broken city government? I offer my opinion.

One error the voters made is when they changed the city charter from single to city wide voting district’s. If the voters were to reverse that decision,it would force city commissioners to pay attention and work for their respected districts. There would be no more running to Riverwalk, Len Fintzy, and his City Watch who commissioners and mayor continually request endorsements. When Mitchell and Materio were up for reelection in March 2014 Mr. Fintzy, stood at the podium and endorsed both candidates, which discouraged challengers. City Watch endorsed Mayor Muoio without even interviewing mayoral candidate, Rubin L. Anderson. Do you believe that to be fair?

So why does the “western communities” pick commissioners for district 3. Kimberly Mitchell, district 5 Shanon Materio, district 1 Sylvia Moffett, district 4 Keith James, and district 2 Ike Robinson? The commissioners pander to Mr. Fintzy, and City Watch, and to complicate matters Mr. Fintzy is running for city commissioner in district 4, and guess what, City Watch has endorsed Mr. Fintzy. He endorsed himself. Please take the time to read “Who is Len Fintzy” written in WPB Watch, which will explain the relationship between him and Commissioner Mitchell.

Now let’s look at district 2. We have 2 candidates Katherine Waldron and Cory Neering. Mr. Neering received a campaign donation of $1,000.00 from Akerman LLP who is affiliated with lobbyist Richard Pinsky, X husband of Commissioner Mitchell. Coincidence?

Anyone watching City Commission meetings, and I invite you to, Channel 18 every other Monday @ 5:00 PM. You will witness Ms. Mitchell in action. Completely disrespectful to Mayor Muoio, and commissioners, talking over and interrupting them. Residents have a precious 3 minutes to voice their concerns, and she has interrupted residents with questions, to the point their train of thought is lost. The only thing that doesn’t stop running is the clock and her mouth.

If I had to choose one word to describe Ms. Mitchell, it would be Bully. It appears to me the mayor is only a figure head in city government.

Now if Mr. Fintzy and Mr. Neering are elected, that will give Ms. Mitchell a super majority on the commission, ( Herself, Materio, Fintzy & Neering) and can over ride any veto the mayor may make. There will be no stopping her.

If I were to run for city commissioner, and received the help of Ms. Mitchell in getting elected, would I feel obligated to vote her way? Maybe.