Your Invited 3/15/2016

The City of West Palm Beach will hold its General Election on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, for the purpose of voters approval of a referendum question and to elect a City Commissioner to District 1.

Commissioners Ryan, District 3 and Commissioner Materio, District 5 are unopposed so they will have another term.

Commissioner Moffett has two challengers who have qualified, so voters will have a choice this year and I ask you to vote wisely after knowing Commissioner Moffett’s voting record on two very important issues city residents recently faced.

1- The city, under the direction of former Commissioner Mitchell, and the support of Commissioner Materio, attempted to form a City of West Palm Beach Charter School. Now would be the time to remind voters how many Charter Schools have failed in Palm Beach County after receiving funding that was transferred from public schools. “No Child Left Behind” left many children behind when money couldn’t be found for text books, a shortage of teachers or decent wages for them.
Commissioner Moffett was the first to speak out publicly against the school, and continued to speak out until Commissioner James and retired Commissioner Robinson were on board and those three votes were enough to stop another plan to plunder the public school system.

You may recall the Digital Domain (another school) fiasco when the city voted to award John Textor the deed to a piece of property valued at 10 million dollars along with 2 million dollars cash that has not, and will not be recovered. The land was recovered after a court battle costing more thousands of dollars courtesy of the taxpayer.

2- Another item discussed on the dais was once again led by former Commissioner Mitchell, and again supported by Commissioner Materio, and that was to outsource the city’s water supply. This was hotly contested and tempers flared to the point that Commissioner Materio left the dais, not to return for the remainder of the meeting.
Commissioner Moffett, was outspoken from the beginning concerning this ridiculously bad idea and once again with the help of Commissioners James and Robinson the proposal was defeated. Can you even begin to surmise the cost of your water bill if this was allowed to proceed?

These two very important issues are enough to remind me who’s side of the issue Commissioner Moffett was on, and in my opinion she deserves another term, which is why she has earned my trust along with my vote.

The following referendum question will appear on the ballot:

“Shall the City Commission of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida be authorized to grant, pursuant to s.3, Art. VII of the State Constitution, property tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that are expected to create new, full-time jobs in the city?”
Yes- For authority to grant exemptions.
No- Against authority to grant exemptions

The City of WPB is extremely business and developer friendly. It appears to me developers request are more often than not granted. I offer one example.

CMSJR Development appeared before the commission with a request to build rental apartments on Skees Road, off Okeechobee Blvd; one mile from the turnpike.
Residents from High Sierra, a development consisting of 32 homes appeared before the commission and simply requested the project be scaled back, and allow responsible development.

CMSJR previously built rental apartments in Lake Worth named Casa Brera and here is the comparison between the two projects with similar land size.

Casa Brera: 92 rental units on 12.2 acres or 7.7 units per acre.
Skees Rd. 245 rental units on 12.29 acres or 20 units per acre.

The project will move forward and could possibly bring an additional 500 cars daily to the Okeechobee corridor as the city continues to fight the State Rd. 7 extension.

On top of the gift mentioned above, the city now want to grant developers property tax exemptions.

Question: If the voters allow this to pass, who do they think will make up the shortage of tax dollars the developers will be saving?

Answer: The homeowner’s of course.

I had a discussion with a friend who told me it wasn’t a concern of her’s because she rents.

Well, duh, when the owner of her apartment receives his tax bill and pay’s his share plus the developers share and raises her rent, then it will concern her.

This she understood which is why she told me she will vote No to grant property exemptions to developers. Were on the same page here, hopefully you are too.