NO on 30 Million Bond.

Who doesn’t want decent parks for kids to play in, somewhere to take the family for a picnic or just enjoy the outdoors. I know I do. Do I trust James and the City Commissioners to make this happen? I do not. Why? History tells us why.  Walk with me down memory lane.

Joel Davis was the mayor in 2000 when residents voted for 20 million dollar bond  for park upgrades throughout the city. Residents voted for the bond.  The repayment of that bond expires Sept.2020.    In 20 years what improvements have been made?

12/2/2019  The City Commission approved Ordinance No.4884-19 for approval of bonds in the amount of 30 million dollars for the improvement of City parks and recreational facilities.  What’s the difference between 2000 and 2020? Actually 10 million dollars along with the same promises which didn’t happen the first time voters approved the bond.  Do you remember?

In November 2016, Palm Beach County voters approved raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent. This 1-cent sales tax increase took effect January 1, 2017
“On November 8th, Palm Beach County voters decided to enact a one-cent sales tax to pay for needed improvements to public infrastructure, parks, and public”   Below is the City website with information the city wanted voters to know how their taxes were spent.  if you take the time tp open the link you will see the message   Page Not Found.  https://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/Penny-Sales-Tax-Projects-in-West-Palm-Beach

Now James, who has no problem with his hands in taxpayers pockets wants another 30 million dollars with another promise to improve parks.  What park improvements were made from the penny sales tax in the past 3 years?  We have new parklets, which the city considers “parks”  So what’s a parklet?  Here’s the description.  “a small seating area or green space created as a public amenity on or alongside a sidewalk, especially in a former roadside parking space.”  In other words plant a bush or tree and place a bench next to it and there you have a parklet.  I imagine this is a fortune in upkeep.

On Jan. 28 I attended a meeting of the Northshore Association with Board President Carl Flick leading the meeting. For those of you who haven’t heard of Carl he is extremely knowledgeable, does his homework and is a wealth of information on the history of his neighborhood, which he has lived for 30 years, and includes Currie Park. He mentioned at the meeting when the bond  in 2000  was suggested that one million dollars was to be spent in Currie Park. He then told the group 100,000.00 was spent. Not much changed in 20 years. Currie Park is to receive millions more if this passes.

Recreational Parks is anywhere a ball field is located including baseball and soccer.  Are you aware permits are required to play in these parks?  So parents are paying their share of the 2000 bond, and pay again if their kids use the facilities. How much money has been collected, and where were the dollars used? We’ll never know.
Now Former Mayor Muoio is involved opening a PAC to pay for the flyers and yard signs that will be seen all over the city urging voters to approve the referendum. The City wants this 30 million and will move heaven and earth to once again dip into your pockets.

A reader reminded me that a majority of the residents are millennials (under 40) and they will vote yes not knowing the history of the previous bond and broken promises of City Leaders, who in my opinion are not capable of handling taxpayer dollars. Remember the 7.9 million dollar no bid contract given to a drinking buddy of James?

The following referendum question will also be on the ballot on March 17, 2020.

To improve public health and protect natural areas and public green space by renovating parks and recreational facilities including playgrounds, safety features, upgraded efficient lighting, park trails, sports courts, athletic fields, community centers and improved accessibility to amenities, shall West Palm Beach issue general obligation bonds not exceeding $30,000,000, bearing maximum lawful interest rates, maturing within 30 years of their issuance, payable from ad valorem taxes, with independent annual audits and citizen oversight?
FOR BONDS            ______

I don’t believe the dollars will be audited annually, and if there is citizen oversight they will be citizens hand picked by the mayor like all committees are. Citizens who will do the mayors bidding.