Clematis VS Northwood Rd.

Clematis Street was the place to be for entertainment with shops, restaurants and too many bars rocking the night away with loud music that the city allow to remain open into the wee hours of the morning. Now add residents who chose to buy condo’s in the area who complain to the city about the loud music keeping them awake at night. So who’s complaining? Appears to be the “older generation”.

The Millennia’s (also known as Generation Y) is anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22 to 37 in 2018) is considered a Millennial. This age group wants to be able to work, dine, have their entertainment, bicycle and walk in the downtown area without worry of the evil automobile slowing them down.

So Mayor Muoio decides to travel to Copenhagen, comes back home converts WPB into Copenhagen by tearing up Clematis St; removing parking meters to narrow streets and widen areas for outdoor dining, walking and bicycling. Outdoor dining is very important to restaurant owners and diners so the city in it’s infamous wisdom placed “No Parking” hoods over two meters right across from City Hall, allowed restaurant owners to place a small table and chairs in the road gutter for patrons dining pleasure. That plan didn’t last long.

After attending a commission meeting I stood outside Duncan Donuts talking to a friend when a dozen bike riders converged on the area, and I would estimate late teens or early 20’s taking over the courtyard, jumping their bikes off and on steps and small wall. One came at us very fast, dropped his bike, skidded toward us and at the last minute pulled his bike up while laughing like hell and flew off down the stairs. I thought I was going to be thrown through D.D. plate glass window. City Hall security personnel witnessed the incident on camera, came outside, and the punks rode off. At the next meeting I told the tale to the mayor who advised me to “call the police”. (There are two police officers stationed in the commission room during meetings and they keep the politician’s and residents safe from harm.) I mentioned to the mayor I would have notified the police but they were busy escorting her to her car in the garage. Obviously she doesn’t feel safe in the city hall parking garage without a police escort. She may be onto something there.

We had two recent incidents with a vacationing sidewalk diner being stabbed in the neck while lunching with her daughter, and another 60 year old woman stabbed in the chest while riding her bike. It was decided to hire security personnel to walk Clematis Street.
Please read the stories below.–law/police-arrest-suspect-stabbing-year-old-biker-downtown-wpb/JXykwx6FqoVJbdEfKYzMWP/


How’s that working out? Businesses are leaving Clematis St. and the Y generation can walk and bike in complete safety without diners, shoppers and visitors along with auto drivers getting in their way. I hope there are enough of them to sustain what few businesses will be left on a street that is slowly dying with help from the mayor and city commissioners. Have you heard Clematis may be made one way—-maybe. What a dismal failure.

Please read story below:


Old Northwood
I went on an excursion this morning and traveled to Old Northwood with Northwood Rd; being my destination where dozens of quaint shops and courtyard restaurant appeared to be thriving. Rumor has it the Alchemist will be relocating to Old Northwood along with other businesses. Better not wait long I only saw a couple of empty store fronts.

A picture of Northwood Road shows wide streets with on street parking, and please notice no parking meters. Free parking where diners can dine and shop while keeping an eye on their auto’s. What a concept.

WPB Penny Wise-Pound Foolish

If you travel on Village Boulevard do you take the time to appreciate the landscape, the medium strip separating the 4 travel lanes with well trimmed Oak Trees, grass that is virtually free of weeds, the flowers planted at the entrance to “The Villages?” We have The Villages to thank for the upkeep from 45th.St to Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.

Here’s the story:
There are 54 West Palm Beach Parks & Rec area’s which the city is responsible for it’s upkeep. While I have the upmost respect for city workers who maintain the 54 parks there are too many parks and not enough staff to maintain them all properly. They virtually run from one park to another trying to maintain the area.
While some parks receive extra attention others have grass cut along with the weeds, and a few, plain and simply, are a disgrace.

Recently removed from Village Boulevard were the Australian Pines, and here is the history of the tree according to Google.
“Australian Pines were introduced from Australia to Florida during the 1890s.

Appearance: This tropical evergreen tree grows up to 150 feet tall.

Habitat: Australian pine now occurs throughout South and Central Florida and because of its aggressive growth rate, never plant Australian pine trees. There are native trees that provide shade and do not harm the environment. Possession of Australian pine with the intent to sell or plant is illegal in Florida without a special permit. Australian pine trees tend to uproot and topple during high winds and pose a significant hazard to coastal storm evacuation routes.”

Many years ago the city planted the pine trees along Village where the needles on the ground were ankle deep, the rain washed the needles down to the storm drains where they overwhelmed the drains, and the outcome was severe flooding in the area.

The city spent $800,000.00 to remove the pines and plant palm trees with Coco Plum hedges in between and when the hedges are grown they will need to be maintained. While traveling Village I noticed a fern growing on the fence, and am familiar with this fern because my development has a problem with them growing on our Coco Plum. I brought a piece of the fern to the Mounts Botanical Garden where they identified it for me as the “Old World” climbing fern. Here’s the story on the fern:

Why the Old World climbing fern must be managed:
Highly invasive in natural areas.
Severe threat to Everglades tree island communities
A canopy producer that smothers native trees and shrubs.
Can serve as a fire ladder that carries fire into native tree canopies that normally wouldn’t burn.
The fern is rapidly spreading in South Florida’s public conservation lands.
About now you may be asking yourself why is she making an issue of the pines if they have been removed. The issue is not the pines, the issue is the vine.

While traveling Village I noticed the vine overtaking a fence that separates 95 from Village. I contacted Commissioner Neering who reported the vine to the city. Later that week I saw a couple of men pulling the vine from the fence. Well done Commissioner, and thank you.

Well damn the vine is making another appearance and will continue to do so until the root is removed and city workers continue to pull the vine off the fence, hedges and palm trees before they smoother $800,000.00 dollars worth of taxpayer dollars.

So what’s the solution?
The Villages have a contract with the city to maintain the medians on Village Boulevard and in my opinion it’s money well spent. Eight years ago the city decided they could save money by trimming the Australian Pines and that’s when it all went to hell. The city allowed the pines to get out of control with months of no trimming and then proceeds with “Hat Racking” known as Tree Abuse, by removing the top of the tree while ignoring the fast spreading vine. (WPB had code enforcement violate homeowners for “hat racking” in my development when homeowners were actually trimming trees back before the start of hurricane season)
The “city” should contact the Villages and sign a contract allowing them to maintain the new plantings and control the vine before $800,000.00 flows to the storm drains. penny wise, pound foolish, if they don’t/wont.

8/13/18 City Commissioners to vote OBD

City Commission meeting to be held Aug.13,2018 @ 5:00 PM. Commissioners will vote on the OBD

“A City initiated request for the approval of the following: Public Hearing and Second Reading of Ordinance No.4783-18: an amendment to the Downtown Master Plan Element of the Comprehensive Plan in association with the creation of the new Okeechobee Business District within the Downtown Master Plan.”

Sept. 2017 when this proposal was presented to the City Commissioners it was defeated by Commissioners Materio, Moffett and Neering.  Both Commissioners James & Ryan were in favor of the project.

This entire OBD has only one purpose and that is to allow Related Group to construct a 25-story, Class A office tower, on Flagler, 400′ off the waterfront, where residents voted twice construction was not to exceed 5 stories.

This is “Spot Zoning” at it’s worst. Disrupt, and upset thousands of residents to appease one developer. The city has repeatedly denied the project was “Spot Zoning” and if you repeat the lie enough, it becomes fact. The city insults the intelligence of it’s residents.

Ask yourself- if it was defeated in Sept. 2017 how can it possibly be on the Aug. 2018 agenda for a Second reading? Well, In March 2017 we had an election with 2 commissioner seats up for grabs namely Moffett and Materio.

Here’s how the election went:
Commissioner Moffett had 2 challengers namely Martina Walker and Kelly Shoaf. The day qualifying ended Commissioner Moffett dropped out of the race leaving Walker and Shoaf in the running. Commissioner Moffett was retiring to oversee her Non Profit Organization she was about to start. Good timing. Kelly Shoaf had the backing of Related, Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Muoio.

Commissioner Materio had one challenger, Christine Lambert who was working hand in hand with Related, Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Muoio who wanted this project done come hell or high water. What can they do to make this happen? Get Lambert elected, at all costs.

Commissioner Neering was not up for re-election.

Outcome of the March 2018 election: Shoaf and Lambert elected and sworn in April 2018.

2 months later on June 2018 OBD was back on the agenda, and passed unanimously . I imagine the champagne was flowing at Related and the Chamber of Commerce.

2 months later Aug. 2018 the second reading will take place and I believe it will pass again unanimously.

Champagne will flow again, Related will win and residents will lose. Did anyone really expect the city to look after the taxpayer?
In my opinion Mayor Muoio would never have pushed this project as hard as she did if this were her first term because she would have never seen a second one. She has nothing to lose and maybe something to gain.

Commissioners James and Ryan have much to lose. James is term limited out and has nowhere to go but try for the mayors seat in the upcoming March 2019 election. Ryan who has never had a challenger has thrown her hat in the ring for the mayors seat also. To run for mayor she must resign her commission seat.

Unfortunately, many members of the public have a short memory when it comes to politics, but with only 7 months to election I believe Monday’s vote will be remembered. Let’s hope.

The mayor and commissioners will invite folks to the meeting who will speak favorably for the OBD. If you are against the project please join us on Monday Aug. 13 @5:00 PM and let your thoughts be known.

Below are 2 letters sent to the city from the Palm Beach County and Florida of Transportation along with an article from the Palm Beach Post all concerning the OBD. Please take the time to read them, as the city wont share them with residents unless you learn about them and request a PRR.

Florida Department of Transportation , consisting of 3 pages
Sent: 8/7/2018
To: City Administrator, Rick Greene
From: Director of Transportation Development
Read letter below
West Palm Beach 18-1ESR FDOT Comment Letter (1)

Palm Beach County, consisting of 12 pages
OBD Objection Letter
Sent: 8/3/2018
To: City Administrator, Rick Greene
From: Assistant County Administrator, Patrick Rutter
Read letter below.
OBD Objection Letter 080318

Read PB Post story below
PB Post Article

City of WPB Fire and School Taxes

Before you start reading this story I would suggest you have your 2017 tax bill at hand.

West Palm Beach recently issued a booklet “Community Workshop Fire Assessment Rate Resolution” and this booklet contains  information such as what other cities and towns are charging residents for Fire Assessment Fee. Here is what the city isn’t telling you.

Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Vero Beach, Stuart, Mangonia Park, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington along with most Florida cities don’t have a “Fire Assessment Fee.”

“This increase is necessary to generate additional revenue of approximately $2 million.”

At a commission meeting 3 years ago an item on the agenda was to transfer funds to a fire station that was in the process of being built, and reading “background” section it stated that a million dollars was spent on the “shell” of the building. The “shell” to me is pouring the floor, 4 walls and the roof. Staff Recommended Approval, so of course it passed. When I went to the podium to complain and read aloud what the resolution said the commissioners started turning pages to see what I was talking about. What member of “staff” was responsible for watching tax dollars, and why wasn’t the commissioners aware of what they were voting for until it was brought to their attention?

“This is not a tax, and therefore the assessment fees apply to all residential property, regardless of homestead exemption”

Non-ad Valorem Assessment: In Florida, the real estate tax bill is a combined notice of ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments. Non-ad valorem assessments are not based on value but a unit of measure determined by the levying authority. The assessment periods vary and may not be based on the calendar year. Examples of non-ad valorem assessments are stormwater utility, fire and rescue, and solid waste collections. Check your 2017 tax bill and you should see Solid Waste Authority of PBC $172.00 and City of WPB $25.00. The city wants to raise the assessment to $50.00.

“A 46% increase in call volume in the past 10 years”

I’m not surprised at the 46% increase due to the city’s over development, creating severe traffic congestion, angry drivers caught in gridlock, not listening to residents, while favoring developers to build whatever they want, wherever they want. Our elected officials created a disaster and don’t know what to do about it except allow more development such as the OBD (Okeechobee Business District) and Related 25 story tower on Flagler, where residents voted twice no buildings over 5 stories. Two commissioners James and Ryan are hoping for the mayors seat in 2019. I will be the next mayor of WPB before either of them, and I’m not even running.

“In 2008, the City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 4141-08, establishing an annual recurring Fire Services special assessment program for properties within the City, to fund the assessable cost of providing fire services, excluding Emergency Medical Services (EMS)”

Have an emergency, need an ambulance, it will cost you between $700.00 to $850.00 plus $12.00 mile. Read the charges and see what the city collected over a five year period. The total is $15,625,633.00 and does not include 2017 where the opioid epidemic is in full swing, so I assume that would be the $850.00 charge. Passed under Mayor Muoio’s watch.


I have an idea. Instead of giving developers millions in tax incentives to build in WPB how about Staff Recommend Approval for a developers fee of $100,000.00 for every floor built over 5 stories? That will buy a few new fire trucks. Problem solved. Your welcome Mayor Muoio and commissioners.  A public hearing will be held 8/27/18 @ 5:00 PM, please try and attend and let the commissioners know your thoughts.


School Taxes Local and State.

School Board is asking voters to approve a new tax to insure children are safe in schools. This will be the 3 request in 4 years, and may be placed on Novembers ballot. Read story below:

The median price of homes currently listed in Florida is $294,900. The latest proposal would add $1 to every $1,000 in taxable value or an additional $295.00. Last year my taxes for School Local was $208.50, School State was $356.48 for a total of $564.98. I have homestead and senior discounts. God help those who don’t.

I want Teachers (Which make all other professions possible.) and children to be able to attend schools and their only fear is not having their homework done. I am in favor of having law enforcement in all schools to insure their safety. I know someone has to pay for it so here’s my idea. Every hand gun manufactured and sold in Florida pay a gun tax of $500.00. Every gun normally used by the United States Military pay a gun tax of $10,000.00 ea. If the NRA wants to do business in the State of Florida they must pay 10,000,000.00/year.

The Florida Lottery began operation on January 12, 1988 when Tallahassee politicians told voters the money was needed for teachers pay, new school construction, and enough books and supplies so every child would benefit and thrive.
Well, the lottery has been going strong for 30 years with untold billions collected, and pennies on the dollars going toward it’s intended purpose.
After 30 years we should be graduating Einsteins not having kids murdering other kids and teachers in a classroom.
Do you ever get tired of politicians using kids and jobs when they pull on your heartstrings for more money.
Latest joke was voting for medical marijuana to help cancer stricken children and seniors.
Well we passed it, and not with my vote, and now the hell with medical marijuana, their already working on recreational marijuana.
They tell you what you want to hear, get it passed and on the books and the new business thrives and once again businesses are born, and leaders still lie.

Let the people who created the problem pay to fix it. That would be developers, gun manufactures and the NRA.