Where is Cory Neering?

Cory Neering is a man who has thrown his hat into the ring in the race for Commissioner Ike Robinson’s, District 2 seat. Mr. Neering has stated publicly that Commissioners Mitchell & Materio are backing him in the race. We believe if he wins the district he will be Commissioner Mitchell & Materio’s third vote on the dais and support them with his vote for a WPB Charter School & their new endeavor to outsource city water. Yes, you read that right, both commissioners want to outsource our city water. You good with that?

If I wanted to run for a commission seat and sitting commissioners reached out and offered assistance, by guaranteeing me they could swing the western, southern, and black vote and I accepted their offer and was elected would I be reminded that I owed them? Yes, I would. Would I be obligated to repay them by voting their way? Yes, I would. Could I possibly forget the people who trusted my word and placed their faith in me to vote with the city’s best interest in mind. Quite possibly.

When Gregg Weiss ran for Commissioner in District 5 campaign I was happy and eager to offer assistance wherever I could. We walked neighborhoods throughout the city as he spoke to voter’s and explained why he believed himself to be the better candidate, and answered all questions put to him. Mr. Weiss had lists of what is referred to as “super” voters. These are list of voters that show up in city, county, state and federal elections. These are residents, black, white, and brown that take their civic duties seriously, study the issues, and vote. They care about their government and want the best possible representation, and a candidate who will be honest and forthcoming with them.

One of the neighborhoods Mr. Weiss campaigned in was where I have resided and called home for over 28 years, Spencer Lakes. I still retain the list of “super” voters, and they are still consistent in their voting habits because I see them at the polls, and we often discuss the outcome of the election.

Here is what the story is leading to. The picture posted with this story is Cory Neering, and I’m told his son, standing at the entrance to Spencer Lakes taken on Saturday Dec. 6th when Mr. Neering supposedly canvassed the neighborhood, speaking to residents, explaining his views on different issues, and most importantly answering questions that concerned citizen’s had. Voter’s need assurance you are who you say you are.

I first met Mr. Neering when he appeared at our Spencer Lakes Homeowner meeting and made his presentation, and then took questions. The only question I had was where he stood on WPB Charter Schools. Mr. Neering explained he was a parent with children, and believed parents had the right to choose to send their children to public or charter school.

I was surprised to receive Mr. Neering’s picture in an e-mail, and wondered why he neglected to ring my door bell as I am on the list of “super” voters. When I canvassed my neighbors and asked if they received a visit from any candidates, or was any literature left (in case they were out) I was assured no one had visited or left any material.

What does this tell you? It tells me Mr. Neering stood on the sidewalk, had his picture taken, jumped in his car, drove home and placed his picture on face book. Does this sound like a man who is taking his campaign and issues seriously?

Does Mr. Neering care about what concerns the residents of Spencer Lakes, after all we are in district 2, which he will represent? Was Mr. Neering being deceitful with his actions? I’ve answered the question for myself, you have to answer for yourself.

David vs. Goliath …And Wins!

If you have been following the news stories concerning the Chapel by the Lake site and the City of WPB you have learned a 3 judge appellate panel has ruled if favor of Citizens for Thoughtful Growth (CTG), led by Ms. Nancy Pullum, President. Please read the court decision below.

CTG V City of WPB and Flagler Investors

The story written by PB Post reporter, Tony Doris, can be read below, and I urge you to take the time to read it. I thank Mr. Doris for his work and appreciate his sincere efforts to provide balanced reporting on this news story. Mr. Doris is a breath of fresh air.

See: Citizens group claims court victory over South Flagler condo tower

The developer tried an end run around the Planning Board approval, and presented the plan directly to the City Commissioners, who gave approval on January 21,2014 after being told by former City Attorney Claudia McKenna that Planning Board approval and review was unnecessary. Commissioner Mitchell on the dais since 2002, and Commissioner Robinson since 1999 never challenged her statement. Were they “stuck on stupid”?

Mr. Rick Greene, Director of Development Services, reports to Mayor Muoio, and it’s apparent to me the “city” wants this project to go forward. How much pressure will be placed on Mr. Greene, and City Attorney’s to insure it does. Let’s not forget the mayor has the authority to hire and fire all city employees.

It has not been reported if the city will appeal the 3 judge appellate panel decision, and if they do decide to appeal, it will be more tax payer dollars wasted. Your money.

The folks who bring you WPB Watch have asked nothing of it’s readers except to exercise your right to vote. I will now ask one more thing for you too consider with an explanation of why I feel this to be so important.

You have funded, with your tax dollars, the lawsuit that CTG has initiated against the city, in an attempt to force the city to follow their own comprehensive plan for growth. The courts opinion favors CTG argument. CTG depends on contributions from it’s members, and strangers, to help fund their legal fee’s.

I don’t live in the part of the city where Chapel on the Lake is located, but I am well aware that the city could have an interest in my neighborhood or yours, and you could have a battle on your hands just like CTG. What do you do then? This city must unite and come together for the betterment of all. City government can’t ignore it’s residents and rules that they themselves have set. You, as taxpayers, had no say when the city decided to spend your hard earned money, but you do have a choice now. I am asking you to assist the Citizens for Thoughtful Growth with a contribution to their legal fund. I ask nothing of you that I wouldn’t do myself, and my check is going out today. Please send your contribution to:

Citizens for Thoughtful Growth
P.O. Box 3281
West Palm Beach, FL 33402

Checks may be earmarked for legal expenses.

It’s easy to stand with the crowd; it takes courage to stand alone. ~Unknown

Privatization of WPB Water? What Do You Think?

There is a subtle move by two West Palm Beach City Commissioners, Kimberly Mitchell and Shanon Materio to outsource the operation of our city’s water to a private company. During the city’s December 15th Work Session, there was an open discussion, on the dais about outsourcing our water department. The public meeting was contentious as the two commissioners aggressively pushed their desire to hear a presentation from a private company, Poseidon Resources, on the possibility of providing water to WPB by building a water treatment plant outside of our city limits.

The two commissioners said Poseidon Resources has been engaged in talks with the city for a year and a presentation has been in place for 6 months. Scott Kelly is the city’s Assistant City Administrator and the point man for the water project. He allowed a single commissioner, Ms. Mitchell, to request his study on the long term water supply to include the possibility of moving the water treatment facility from its current location on Banyan & Australian Avenue to the City of Riviera Beach, near Florida Power & Light Co., where Poseidon Resources proposed to build a new plant.  Mr. Kelly never should have considered a request from a single commissioner but instead insisted on a memo from the commission board as a whole, before venturing into possibilities other than what he was directed to consider by the commission. The mayor should have corrected Mr. Kelly for acting on  a individual request from Commissioner Mitchell and then asked all commissioners If they would like to entertain the possibility of moving the water plant.

Privatization  of our city water is a false solution for municipal budget shortfalls. The two pro-business commissioners, Mitchell & Materio, seems to have decided, water isn’t so much an essential entitlement as a commodity to be traded like grain or crude oil. That mindset is prioritizing cost concerns over human rights. If citizens don’t put a stop to this move to privatize our water it will be corporatized and injustice will flow wherever they want it to go.

We can see the results of cities such as Lansing and Detroit Michigan, and Stockton California outsourcing their water with disastrous results. The Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton California waged a grass roots campaign that culminated in a legal victory to defeat the privatization of their municipal water utility that was outsourced by their short sighted city council. OMI-Thames water had to return control of the utility to Stockton as of March 2008.

Don’t get side tracked by the non stop red herrings on Clematis Street, in the forms of Screen on the Green, Ginger’s Dance Party, Thursday Night on Clematis Street and the Vegas Lights. We can live without cheap entertainment but we can’t live without water!

A Letter From The First Amendment Foundation To WPB

Commissioner Shows Temper at Meeting

Please read the PB Post story on “West Palm Beach commissioners: Don’t rush into water deal” then return to WPB Watch for the rest of the story.

I attended the City Commission Work Session on 12/15/14. The first item on the agenda was “Water Presentation.” presented by staff member Scott Kelly. Mr. Kelly presented 2 consultants who gave excellent presentations on water supply and treatment, which hopefully would end the city’s problem with our drinking water, and short supply in a drought season. So far so good.

When Commissioners Mitchell and Materio didn’t have their way, the meeting got embarrassingly out of control. Commissioner Materio was very unprofessional from that point on which included picking up her pocketbook and storming off the dais,not to return. The residents of her district would not have been pleased with their representative, and I question why Mr. Kleinberg omitted that fact from his story.

Commissioners Mitchell and Materio are extremely close with Commissioner Mitchell’s
ex husband Richard Pinsky, a lobbyist doing business with the city. How close, you ask?
Allow me to present some background, and how we got to where we are.

After the sudden loss of Commissioner Moss, 4 people along with Shannon Materio applied for Mr. Moss’s seat. Ms. Materio was appointed.

If you were fortunate enough to watch the commission meeting held on Dec.8 you would have heard resident, Paul McCullough, state he had a golfing date with Mr. Pinsky, and when he questioned the appointment he was told the decision was made over the weekend that Materio would be appointed. No sunshine here, just another back room deal.

Commissioners Mitchell & Materio are on the same page 99% of the time. One or the other makes a motion and the other second’s it. Now they want to outsource our water and they decided jointly that Poseidon could handle our water issues.

Now let’s talk commissioners and lobbyist.

Recent residents lawsuits against the city for two developments, Rybovich and Palm Harbor Hotel, claiming the city is not following it’s own master plan concerning height, density, and set back. Commissioner Mitchell and Materio strongly supported both projects. Lobbyist: Richard Pinsky.

Commissioner’s Mitchell and Materio joined forces to have the city purchase land at 8111 South Dixie Hwy. for $2.9 million in an effort to keep Walmart from building a Neighborhood Market. This taxpayer money was not budgeted. Lobbyist: Richard Pinsky.

Commissioners Mitchell & Materio, again on the same page, want a presentation by Poseidon Resources, and they want it NOW, so they can hopefully talk another commissioner into voting with them to have the issue pass, and there goes our water to outsourcing. Lobbyist: Richard Pinsky.

Remember Commissioner Mitchell’s Digital Domain fiasco, where the city lost well over 2 million dollars and nearly lost the land they so willing gave to John Textor? After a court battle we regained the land and the city has 3 offers to build on what is affectionately known as the “tent” site. One offer is from the Related Group. Want to guess which way this will go? I should mention the Related Group lobbyist is Richard Pinsky.

I would like to take an opportunity to thank Commissioners Moffett, Robinson, and especially Commissioner James for asking the tough questions, standing strong and taking the residents best interest to heart. Commissioner James appears to be coming into his own, and presented a strong argument for a special meeting which he received.

We have an election coming up and James is being challenged by Len Fintzy of Riverwalk. If you aren’t aware of who Len Fintzy is please read the story on WPB Watch titled “Who is Len Fintzy?” which can be found in Archives. If Len Fintzy is elected and replaces Commissioner James say goodbye to your water because Mr. Fintzy will always vote with Commissioners Mitchell & Materio. He will be their 3rd. vote. Always.

We also have a race in District 2 between Mr. Cory Neering and Ms. Katherine Waldron. Mr. Neering has the backing of Commissioners Mitchell & Materio and if elected he will be their 4th vote, and will be able to override any veto the mayor may make. At the start of the election cycle Mr. Neering’s campaign received $1,000.00 contribution from a Law firm titled Akerman LLP. Lobbyist Richard Pinsky firm.

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
When the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~~Thomas Jefferson

WPB Exposed…Again

Look up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane, is it superwoman? No, it’s mild-mannered reporter, Pat Beall, an investigative reporter for the Palm Beach Post, fighting for truth, justice and the American way for the residents of WPB.

Ms Beall has done it again, she’s made the front page of the PB Post, above the fold, on December 14, 2014. The revealing story “Eye-popping Fixes for Blight” tells the story of West Palm Beach city housing department still plagued by mismanagement, and ineffective managers, who continues to cost taxpayers millions of dollars in wasted funds.

Mayor Muoio should have a plaque on her desk that reads “The Buck Stops Here” for it is her responsibility to ensure that the residents of West Palm Beach have the most qualified, knowledgeable managers that money can buy. Mayor Muoio who is up for reelection in March 2015, in my opinion has failed in her duties and responsibilities of mayor to the residents of West Palm Beach who put their faith in her 4 years ago.

It is a well-known fact that the city has been through 8 directors in 8 years. Think about that! What does that tell you about the leadership of our city? Elliot Cohen, the city spokesman, was quoted as saying “We’ve hardly hidden the fact that record-keeping in our housing department going back almost 10 years has been unacceptable and we’ve been up front about it.” How can Mr. Cohen honestly state “we’ve been up front about it” when it took the Palm Beach Post multiple investigative stories to disclose exactly what was happening in the housing department. After the exposure by the post then, and only then, was the city “up front”, and I question if the city’s leaders are still holding back information.

You can read the entire story by Miss Beall below, and I ask you to pay attention to the waste of taxpayer dollars, which was intended for the poorest of the poor, the neediest residents, and the city has failed them miserably. Some example of waste mentioned in the story consist of: $700.00 for 23 light bulbs bought and installed (by installed I mean the bulb was screwed into the socket). A home valued at $19,000.00 the city spent $101,000.00 for repairs including $9,700.00 for the owner to stay in a hotel while work was being done. The city paid $600.00 to have a toilet bought and installed. One homeowner was to have a new roof costing $4,500.00 and it turned out to be $44,000.00 rehab job. Are you mad yet? Are you asking yourself “Why isn’t someone in jail?” I know I am.

Mayor Muoio, as the head of WPB has the authority to hire and fire managers and staff. The Post has written stories concerning major problems in city departments such as Human Resources, a total embarrassment to the city and mayor. The city (mayor) has been negligent in Parks & Recreation, IT (Information Technology), and major concern’s in housing and HUD. Do you know who Dorritt Miller is? She is the Deputy City Administrator, drawing a salary of over $200,000.00 /year, and the 4 departments mentioned above report to Ms. Miller. The mayor continues to keep her on the payroll. Why? Mayor Muoio is asking for our vote to continue her leadership another four years. Why should we trust her, with four more years after we have witnessed the last four? Please get involved. If not you, who?

Please read Ms. Beall’s very informative story EYE-POPPING FIXES FOR BLIGHT.

Are Public Officials Texting City Business During Meetings?

In the City of West Palm Beach’s Nov 1, 2010 CRA Meeting, the moment John Textor and his Digital Domain were given the green light to put the screws to the city, Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell’s cell phone lit up and she began to text as the meeting was still in session. Upon adjournment, all game players congregated on the floor of the chambers and Ms. Mitchell joined the celebration, with her head still down, texting. She more than likely was receiving congratulatory remarks on her success in further sinking the city financially with FSU Digital Domain.

In the city’s April 22, 2013, Commission Meeting, a citizen and former commission candidate, Greg Weiss, expressed concern that while public meetings are going on, commissioners are using text messages and communications are transpiring from outside of the chamber and conversations are being held electronically and he felt It was a violation of our Florida Sunshine Laws. Pat Gleason, Special Counsel For Open Government to Governor Rick Scott said, personal text messages, not related to city business are private however text messages related to city business are public record, even If It’s on a commissioners private cell phone. If one attends a city commission meeting that has an agenda Item which involves developers and Lobbyist, one can clearly see all indication of texting on the dais and even gestures directed at individuals in the audience. These violators are communicating electronically about city business and their communications are off the record and should not be.

When public meetings are in session, all cell phones, especially on the dais should be turned off. Public Officials should not be using cell phones for the duration of the meeting because if city business is being communicated through the device, It’s a violation of the Sunshine Law, as well as unprofessional behavior and a distraction. In the Mayor’s October 8th, Southend Neighborhood Meeting, Commissioner Shanon Materio is using an electronic device, whether cell phone or tablet, throughout most of the meeting and only looks up periodically or when she’s speaking. How much of the meeting is she really absorbing while operating an electronic device? If an elected Official is attending a public meeting, the public is entitled to their full attention. In the very beginning of the Nov 11th CRA Meeting, Commissioner Mitchell is holding her cell phone in hand texting and continues to text as the meeting goes on.

Another huge problem in WPB Public Meetings are inaudible discussions because commissioners fail to turn their microphones on, prior to speaking, resulting in their comments being off the record until the mic is eventually turned on. There is a simple solution to that problem and that is, once meetings are in session, city officials should turn on their mics and leave them on. What is the reason for turning the mic off after speaking? Only one speaker is suppose to be recognized by the mayor to speak at one time and all conversations on the dais should be audible to those in attendance and the viewing audience so there is no need to turn the mics off at all. The context of an individuals statement is lost when one is deprived of part of the communication because of the commissioners constant failure to turn their microphones on, prior to speaking.

Other inaudible communications are private discussions via whispers on the dais and passing notes. In an October commission meeting, Commissioner Materio got up from her seat and walked over to City Administrator, Jeff Green and whispered something in his ear while the public meeting was in session. Mr. Green whispered back and the commissioner walked back to her seat. Chances are, 99.9% that what Commissioner Materio said to Mr. Green was pertaining to city business and they don’t seem to understand, there are no whispers allowed in a public meeting If regarding city business and once the meeting is in session, everything spoken should be regarding city business. Whatever the comment was, to Mr. Green, It should have been over the microphone. Why didn’t  Ms. Materio asked for the floor and directed her comment to Mr. Green over the microphone for the public to hear?

I have watched the different city boards in session, whether the Planning Board, Zoning Board, Downtown Action Committee or Audit Committee Meetings and I have not seen any board members, in any of those meetings, texting or using electronic devices when their meetings were in session. They all appear professional and very engaged in their meetings, from start to finish.

All individuals should have some level of moral compass and especially, elected officials who takes an oath of office, committing to do right by the people they were elected to serve and therefore should refrain from illegal and unprofessional behavior while in their capacity of representing and serving the public.  Please citizens, register to vote If not already, participate in the voting process in all local elections and recruit qualified individuals to run for elected office.

State Road 7 In Trouble—Again

The residents of WPB are extremely resilient, as they must be, due to the fact they are in for another disappointment by city leaders. The much needed and anticipated extension of State Road 7 which would help alleviate congestion in the western communities is once again put on hold until 2020.

Mayor Muoio, who resides in Ibis which is next door to the planned extension, and city commissioners who vote to spend city taxes, have hired attorney’s and lobbyist to fight the extension. How many thousands of your tax dollars have already been wasted on a project that will eventually be built. How many more million’s will we pay 4 years from now, because the price will go up, as it always does. Think about this when your stuck in a traffic jam, with to many cars and not enough road.

The mayor has used the excuse the extension could damage the city’s water supply drawn from Grassy Waters Preserve. She has a fear of a car driving into the water and contaminating our drinking water. If they didn’t waste our money on lawyer’s and lobbyist for four years fighting to stop the project they could have used that money to build barrier’s between the road and water supply.

Another water source used by the city is Clear Lake, and car’s have ended up in our drinking water when driver’s mistook it for a car wash. So here’s my question. Was the Clear Lake contaminated and the city failed to warn us, or does the mayor find the fear of contamination an unreasonable excuse for keeping the project from her neighborhood?

The Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) which consist of 11 members, and you can see the list below, met to discuss the project. After being told of the delay, 9 of the 11 members choose to file a formal objection with the state. Two commissioners, City Commissioner Keith James, and County Commissioner Paulette Burdick apparently are A-OK with the delay because they both voted not to object.

The WPB western communities do not want this extension to happen. The WPB western communities vote. Is there a fear of not being re-elected if they don’t toe the line and once again give the west what they demand. Judge for yourself.

Read the PB Post story here and see the list of MPO committee members below. Maybe take a minute to thank them for their vote, and ask the 2 commission’s why they voted the way they did.

Name Title/ Representing Contact Information

Susan Haynie Mayor / City of Boca Raton (561) 393-7708

Hal Valeche PBC Commissioner (561) 355-2201

Mary Lou Berger PBC Commissioner (561) 355-2205

Paulette Burdick PBC Commissioner/Vice Mayor (561) 355-2202

Judy L. Davis Councilwoman/Riviera Beach (561) 845-3464

Michael Fitzpatrick Commissioner/Boynton Beach (561) 742-6010

Gary Glickstein Mayor/Delray Beach (561) 243-7000

Wendy Harrison Councilor/Jupiter (561) 741-2214

Eric Jablin Vice Mayor/Palm Beach Gardens (561) 799-4102

Keith A. James Commissioner/WPB (561) 822-1390

Shanon Materio Commissioner/WPB (561) 822-1390

WPB Voters Lose Again

On Nov.8,2014 I attended a meeting between the residents of Northwood Hills, Mayor Muoio, and guest speaker Jeff Greene. Mr. Greene, an invited guest of the city, is a billionaire developer, who is actively purchasing land in the area. Mr. Greene spoke elegantly, answered all residents questions, and appeared to be an honest man in his dealings while sharing his vision for the area. So what’s the problem?
Mr. Greene mentioned a much needed supermarket in the area with the closing of Winn Dixie on 45th. St. The mayor responded with “If you bring us a supermarket, we’ll give you additional height” and ended her comment to the audience with “we’ve got a lot of positive things happening and we need you to stop suing us, so we can get things done.” Really?

I have no problem with growth in WPB. I have major problems with city leaders who refuse to follow the city’s own master plan that protects residents and the city from overgrowth and abuses in development. I have a problem when the city leaders allow waivers in height, density and setback. What recourse do residents have except to turn to the courts for relief. The lawsuits the mayor referred to are Waterview Towers, Rybovich, and Chapel by the Lake. Does anyone have the belief these people leading the fight enjoy spending time and money in an attempt to see justice done? If these areas don’t involve you, how do you feel about city hall using your tax dollars to fight them? If not your district, be patient the city will get to you eventually.

It appears to me that where the development is happening is of great concern to city government. They are concerned with Minto West development happening. Seems the project is to large, roads can’t handle the influx of that many residents. The County Commissioners need to give this serious thought of overgrowth. If this project goes forward the much needed expansion of State Road 7 is going to happen. See growth is great, just not in my back yard.

I attended the City Commission meeting on Nov. 24 and agenda item # 15 concerns the Downtown Master Plan. I’m talking the height limit on the “old” city hall site. Allow me to refresh your memory.

In March 1996 a citizens petition proposing an amendment to reduce the building height allowed within the waterfront and government district to 5 stories. The city commission approved the amendment. Done deal? Not by a long shot. City officials thought the residents didn’t understand what they were voting on. Let’s ask them to vote again.

August 24, 2010 the voters again went to the polls, and again voted No. Leave the height at 5 stories. Done deal? Not by a long shot.

If you read the city’s “Background” on item 15 it states in part.

“For a variety of reasons, including uncertainty regarding the maximum height permitted * no successful respondent was selected to move forward with this project. The current maximum height of 5 stories was a significant issue with the negotiations.” **

*Are you serious, voters said 5 stories twice. What’s uncertain about that?

** This is a blatant lie.
Navarro Lowery Properties of West Palm Beach, Hyatt Hotels and Concord Hospitality placed a bid to build a five-story hotel. Meaning they would abide by the rules set forth by the voters.

If you read this far you should be aware that this is Commissioner Mitchell’s district.

Ms. Mitchell’s recent motion was for an 8 story hotel on the site because, she said she talked with a few downtown residents, who were some of the original voters for the 5 stories and they don’t have a problem with 8 stories. So let me get this straight. It was thousands of voters who voted but the 5 or 6 that she talked with, said It’s ok. Are you good with this?

So what’s the bottom line? The five commissioners, Mitchell, Materio, Moffett, James, and Robinson all voted to pass Ordinance 4539-14. So we will have an 8 story hotel on the “old” city hall site because Commissioner Mitchell and a “few” original voters said it’s OK. You good with that? Better be, cause the mayor don’t want no more lawsuits.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein