What are Commissioner’s Thinking?

How is West Palm Beach City Government run?

The Mayor makes policy for the city.

The five City Commissioners are entrusted with tax payers dollars and I expect them to be diligent and conscientious with their decision’s to spend, not throw away tax payers dollars. I expect government responsibility, and wise decisions made too provide for the future of WPB.
The City Commissioners also sit as the CRA board.

Here’s the story.
1/9/2017 at a Special CRA meeting developer Michael Masanoff informed city leaders he needed $114 million taxpayer dollars to build a Transit Oriented Development project in downtown West Palm Beach and three City Commissioners voted their approval for the payout over the strong objections of the city’s Finance Director, City Administrator, and CRA Executive Director.

Mayor Muoio vetoed the commissioners vote, but unfortunately it may not over. Below is an open letter to residents from the mayor explaining her decision. Please take time to read her message. At the end of her letter I have listed the commissioner’s name and e-mail address, along with my comment. Please take the time to send them an e-mail and express your thoughts.

An Open Letter to Our Residents from West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio

Yesterday, for the first time as Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach, I exercised my authority to veto a vote by our city commissioners.

The commissioners, serving as members of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board, voted Monday to give away $114 million dollars in future tax revenue to a private developer.

The developer, Michael Masanoff, wants to build a mixture of residential, office and hotel space in an area just north of the downtown TriRail station. His project is commonly known as the Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Monday Mr. Masanoff asked the CRA to give him $114 million dollars in return for building his project.

The deal gives Mr. Masanoff one hundred percent of tax revenue created by the project for twenty-nine years. We would receive no property taxes created by the project until approximately 2045.

The vote to give away the tax dollars was 3-2. Commissioners Paula Ryan, Shanon Materio, and Keith James voted in favor of the payment. Commissioners Cory Neering and Sylvia Moffett voted against it. As the Chairperson of the Board, I do not vote. The Board’s approval came over the strong objections of the city’s Finance Director, City Administrator, and CRA Executive Director. All three testified the project does not warrant such a level of funding.

Even in our city’s darkest economic times, we have never given away one hundred percent of our tax revenues to a developer.

CityPlace, built at a time when no developer would consider construction in or around the acres of blight that afflicted our downtown, only received eighty percent of the tax revenues as an incentive. Surely today, with billions of dollars in new development in the pipeline, we do not need to use $114 million dollars of public money to convince a developer to build in our city.

I have heard the argument that this is essentially “found” money only generated because of the project. Supporters claim there would not be $114 million dollars if it were not for the project. Do we really believe the only way for a project to succeed in today’s economy is to receive a $114 million dollar government handout?

Michael Busha, the Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, even while testifying in favor of the TOD, admitted that he had never heard of this level of public support being offered for a private sector project.

The precedent set by this level of public subsidy is irresponsible and dangerous. And with all due respect to my colleagues on the dais who claim this deal sets no precedent, they are not fielding the calls to my office from other developers outraged at the preferential treatment.

No incentive package for a developer has ever approached anything close to $114 million dollars. Even the multi-use project planned for our old city hall site, for example, is receiving less than $3 million dollars in public incentives.

My decision to veto the funding is not easy. A transit-oriented development supports many of my administration’s goals. Alternative modes of transportation, walkability and reducing carbon emissions are all priorities close to my heart. I support the project. But I do not believe we should give away $114 million dollars of the public’s money to get it.

I applaud Commissioners Cory Neering and Sylvia Moffett for seeing the error of granting such a deal, and I hope their colleagues on the CRA Board have a change of heart should this issue return for additional consideration.
Mayor Muoio

On 1/17/2017 there will be a Special CRA meeting and the City Commissioners may attempt to override her veto.
The 3 commissioners who voted in favor of the developer are Commissioners James, Materio and Ryan.
Two commissioners who voted on the side of the taxpayers are Commissioners Moffett and Neering.
Mayor Muoio’s term as mayor will end in 2019, and I will bet there are a minimum of 2 and possibly 3 are considering a run for her seat. Do they expect this to be forgotten, or brought up over and over again at election time. The commissioners hold their seat because people believed they would work for the good of the people, not every developer that comes down the pike. Here are their addresses and please remember “Silence means Acceptance. It will take 4 votes to override Mayor Muoio’s veto.

Mayor Jeri Muoio [email protected]
Commissioner Keith James [email protected]
Commissioner Shanon Materio [email protected]
Commissioner Paula Ryan [email protected]
Commissioner Sylvia Moffett [email protected]
Commissioner Cory Neering [email protected]

Trump has his work cut out for himself

On Jan. 6, 2017 Outgoing President Barack Obama threw a star studded farewell party for himself and wife Michelle and reportedly the cream of the crop attended such as Robert DeNiro, Jay Z, Steve Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Al Sharpton to mention a few.

On Jan. 6, 2017 At approximately 1:00 PM Esteban Santiago, 26 years old, flew into Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. airport from Alaska, deplaned, visited the men’s room, loaded his firearm, exited and shot to death five American citizens and wounded eight others. Many other’s sent to the hospital with chest pains while others with broken bones. I cannot tell readers the names of the people who were murdered because their names have not been released by law enforcement until next of kin have been notified, but was pleased to be able to name the stars that attended the Obama’s farewell party.

It is now 9:AM a full 20 hours since the airport attack and the country has not received a statement from President Obama concerning the attack.. What are his priorities?
Obviously the “star studded” gala.

I will make a prediction and predict President Obama, a day or two before leaving office will grant a Presidential Pardon for Hillary Clinton, although I can’t understand why an innocent party needs a pardon but we’ll see.

On Jan.20,2017 Donald Trump will be sworn in as America’s 45th. President of the U.S. and here is my wish list for my country.

I’m OK if he doesn’t have a party after his swearing in because I want him clear headed on Jan. 21 if he is needed to address the country because a state has been attacked.

I hope Obama care is overturned due to the fact it is a total disaster. When this 4,000 pages of health care was passed in Washington, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, led the charge to get it passed, when asked what it contained she stated “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Seriously, she said that, the Washington elite passed the bill without reading it. We voted for them, so we can blame ourselves for not paying attention, and voting for color, gender pacific or political party.
I lost my doctor, my out of pocket deductibles doubled, emergency room visit up 48%, and doubled the cost of a hospital room.

I want our borders secured, and I don’t care if it takes a wall to do it. There are an estimated
11 million illegal aliens in the United States. If I were a terrorist wanting to harm our country I would enter through the Canadian or Mexican border where tons of illegal drugs pour over the border annually. Unfortunately the drug demand is here and drastic steps must be taken.

I want President Trump to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Goods manufactured in Canada or Mexico are eligible for duty-free treatment or reduced duty rates under the North America Free Trade Agreement. Not a good deal for America, great for Canada and Mexico.

I want President Trump to take a hard stand on crime in America.
One extremely upsetting story this week was told about four suspects who are facing hate crime charges after an 18-year-old mentally disabled man was bound, beaten, taunted with racial slurs and forced to drink from a toilet over a two day period, and the thugs posted a video broadcast live on Facebook.
The disoriented victim was found wandering the streets of Chicago by police. He managed to escape his tormentors when a neighbor threatened to call 911 over noise coming from the apartment where he was held. The suspects were identified by police as Jordan Hill, 18, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, and sisters Brittany Covington, 18, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington.
Two of these pathetic individuals are woman. What happened to women who were nurtures and put the band aid on the boo-boo?

I want President Trump to defend law enforcement who are brutally murdered for no other reason than the uniform they wear.
Who cant remember the heightened tension between communities across the country when two police officers and one sheriff’s deputy were shot and killed during an ambush in Baton Rouge by a black gunman who was later killed by responding officers. In Dallas, a black gunman opened fire on police during a protest against recent police shootings of black suspects; ( how do you promote peace by inciting violence?) the gunman killed five officers before being killed by authorities. There have been 63 law enforcement officers murdered in 2016.
Cities must find a way to terminate law enforcement jobs who prove to be a disgrace to the uniform, and endanger fellow officers like the eight officers mentioned above.

Some cops spend more time with each other than they spend with their families, and they are aware of who isn’t fit to wear the uniform. The hell with the blue line, those bad cops will get the good ones killed. Speak up. I offer examples:

Walter Scott, an unarmed black man,was fatally shot by Michael Slager, a white police officer after he was stopped for a non-functioning break light. Slager was charged with murder after a video surfaced which showed him shooting Scott from behind while he was fleeing, and which contradicted his police report.

Closer to home a recording of Corey Jones’ conversation with roadside assistance cast dramatic light into the confrontation between the stranded motorist and Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja at the Interstate 95 PGA Boulevard off ramp. The entire conversation was recorded by roadside assistance. The conversation recorded was taken from the State Attorney’s report below.

Corey Jones: “Huh?”
Officer Nouman Raja: “You good?”
Jones: “I’m good.”
Raja: “Really?”
Jones: “Yeah, I’m good.”
Raja: “Really?”
Jones: “Yeah.”
Raja: “Get your (expletive) hands up! Get your (expletive) hands up!”
Jones: “Hold on!”
Raja: “Get your (expletive) hands up! Drop!”
Within two seconds, three shots ring out.
Ten seconds later, three more shots ring out, one shot per second.
33 seconds after the final shot is fired: Raja calls 911 on his personal cell phone. “Drop that (expletive) gun right now!” Raja screams before the 911 dispatch operator can utter a word.

I invite readers to check out the “Justice Network” which can be found on channel 25.3 (air) and 209 (comcast). Programming runs 24/7 and you will get an education on cold case files, forensics, DNA, absolutely everything involving law enforcement, and they are true cases. After 9:00 PM all about drugs pouring over the borders from Mexico and Canada. The war on drugs, I am convinced we can’t win.