Dirty Business

The City Commission meeting held Sept. 25, 2017, three Commissioners Moffett, Materio and Neering voted to defeat Related “One Flagler” 25 story office building.

I have learned that Rick Greene, Development Services Director, holds a quarterly “Developer Outreach” meeting between the city and developers doing business in WPB. The last meeting was held November 9, 2017; and from that meeting rumors hit the street that if Related didn’t receive the backing from City Commissioners to build their 25-story office building named “One Flagler” on the waterfront, they would “draft” people to challenge Commissioner’s Materio and Moffett for their commission seat, and if they were defeated in the March election “One Flagler” would be brought back to the commission for reconsideration.

I did what I could to verify the story by sending a PRR to the city wanting information on the “Developers Outreach” program and received from Rich Greene almost a hundred pages of presentation’s made at the meeting.

What I wanted to know is if Related attended, and how the conversation went. I made a request for more records. Below is the e-mail exchange between Mr. Greene and myself.

“Thank you for the information. I also requested a copy of the recording of the meeting along with the minutes, and also would appreciate viewing the sign in sheet of those who attended the meeting.”
His response was immediate:
“This meeting is not recorded nor do we have a sign in sheet or minutes. This is a periodic update of what is happening in our Department and what projects have been approved or under construction in the City.”
Rick Greene, AICP

I can’t prove or disprove the rumor, but I believe where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Here’s the question you should ask yourself:
Did Related “draft” Christina Lambert who is challenging Shanon Materio for District 5 seat and Kelly Shoaf who it appears has a clear run for District 1.
If these 2 women are elected, and the rumors are true, residents will live with “Flagler One” like it or not.
In any election I pay particular attention to who endorses candidates. It’s a tell all of where the candidates stand and how they could possibly vote on issues important to residents.

Chamber of Commerce
Their mission statement below was taken from their website.

Our Chamber Means Business

The Chamber is a proactive organization that achieves results and meets community needs. The association has always been on the cutting edge of the community’s critical concerns, working for new small business programs, representing business interests at all levels of government, promoting tourism and recruiting new business and industry to the area.
The Chamber’s strength is derived from its diversity and number of members. Both large and small businesses, from virtually every profession, are represented within our organization. These members make the Chamber one of the most effective and respected business associations in the state, providing both input and the manpower to see that the needs of area businesses are met by the city, county and state governments.
As a unified voice for businesses, the Chamber accomplishes collectively what no one business can do alone, dealing with the many issues that affect the community’s quality of life.

Governmental Affairs Committee

The committee reviews proposed area, state and federal legislation impacting the business community. The role of the governmental affairs committee is to accumulate information relative to candidates for the Palm Beach County Commission and West Palm Beach City Commission and convey it to members, along with recommendations for candidate selection in the City and County elections. The Government Affair Committee meets on an as-needed basis.

About Leadership West Palm Beach

The mission of Leadership West Palm Beach is to cultivate the leadership potential of those individuals who reside or work in the City of West Palm Beach and utilize their skills to foster the development of programs and opportunities that would enrich and improve the quality of life in the Palm Beaches.
Participants are exposed to a variety of aspects of the community including government, health and human services, education, economic development, arts, culture and festivals, neighborhoods and even the water catchment area. All of these areas are integral components of our community. Informing the class participants generates leaders with a well-rounded knowledge base to assist in future planning and decision-making for the betterment of West Palm Beach.

Dennis Grady President/CEO had his wife introduce Ms. Lambert at a recent event. So the Chamber is endorsing Ms. Lambert.
Good for Related, bad for residents.

The Chamber of Commerce did not endorse Materio, but 2 of my personal heroes for the city did, namely the PBC Police Benevolent Association along with the Association of Firefighters. Both organizations know Materio has their back, nice to know she has their support.

A story in the PB Post reported the following:
“Moffett was one of three commissioners who voted against Related Cos.’ plan to rezone the Okeechobee Boulevard corridor and allow a 25-story office tower in a 5-story waterfront zone.
Shoaf said she has not yet formulated an opinion on the controversial issue, which could come up again if elections create a commission more sympathetic to the developer.” Really!

Please consider everything, do your homework, and most important vote in the March 13,2018 upcoming election.
These are the people who make decisions that effect your everyday life financially and environmentally.

If your too busy to vote, OK, just please don’t complain about the direction the city is moving in.