Good News/Bad News

Good news

I attended the TPA (Transportation Planning Agency) meeting and there was a full house in attendance  and all were concerned with the State Rd. 7 extension. I wont keep you in suspense, State Rd. 7 extension will be built.  Maybe.

Two Commissioners Neering & Peduzzi sit on the board and represented the City. Lambert is the alternate. Neering had a previous appointment and left before the vote was taken. Lambert took his place on the dais and along with Peduzzi voted against the extension. To my surprise County Commissioner Greg Weiss also voted against it.

Shoaf spoke against the extension insuring Ibis continued support and vote for all four commissioners.

Former Mayor Muoio, City Attorney Rothenberg, outside attorney’s representing the city and Scott Kelly who told the board Mayor James sends his regrets as he must attend another meeting and Kelly read James pathetic statement. It makes sense to me James was absent, he wont need the Ibis residents for 3 more years.

TPA sent out a computer survey and we received a map of the area on SR7 project-Public Input Results on SR7 Extension.  OPPOSE (109)      SUPPORT (1,100).  Here’s the shocker. Of the 1,100 in support 35% were Ibis residents who want the extension, but afraid to speak out for fear of being ostracized by their neighbors.

There were so many people in attendance we had one minute to speak, and the first speaker up was a gentleman named Richard. He is a retired Captain with 30 years experience with PBC Fire Rescue and also a Certified Paramedic. His last 15 years working for Fire Rescue was at the Acreage Fire Station.  He has been on many serious calls on Northlake Blvd along with the City of WPB and the City of Palm Beach Gardens backing each other up on fire department calls.

He explained to me the stations in the area.
Station 8  City of WPB services Ibis.        Station 17 PBC  on Jog & Beeline
Station 26 PBC  Acreage.  Station 63 Palm Beach Gardens on Northlake.

Richard told me the extension is invaluable and would allow quicker access in an emergency and would save lives. Ibis and the new Palm Beach Gardens developments would benefit this road the most.

Likely scenarios:  There is a house fire or a serious multiple car collision. If the 4 fire stations mentioned above are available, then more than likely they will all be used for this type of call. Now what happens when another emergency comes along?  Where is your next fire station coming from?

This is where the extension comes in for their benefit. There are three fire stations in close proximity to Okeechobee and State Road 7.  They can easily travel the extension straight to Ibis’s East Gate without having to detour through the Acreage.  This would be a huge savings in response time. Richard has been on many calls with multiple fire stations working an incident and then another call comes in nearby and the 911 dispatchers are asking Incident Commanders if they can cut a unit from the call to respond to another call in the area. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is No.

Station 8 is across the street from Ibis.  The other stations mentioned above are over 10 minutes away.  Would you still be against the extension if the time needed to save your life could be faster with the extension?

Peduzzi spoke of the pristine drinking water that Grassy Waters has and the City cant afford to have it contaminated by the extension.  Really?

I spent my 1 minute telling the TPA board Ibis has already contaminated Grassy Waters with their run-off of Fertilizer and Insecticides. Had time to mention the 2 Ibis residents who appeared before the City Commission and thanked Mayor Muoio for once again appealing a decision made in favor of the extension. Last words out of the residents mouth were “You know Mayor we don’t want those big, big trucks out there.” That’s the real issue, they don’t want to deal with traffic and congestion. If that resident has a heart attack and dies because of the time it took for paramedics to arrive, she can have comfort in the fact she helped save the endangered Snail Kite.  The other excuse the city uses.

The board voted 16 for and 5 against the extension. I have no doubt James will again appeal the decision, spending millions more. Residents have no idea how many millions has been wasted on SR7, and I doubt the City knows either.

Did I mention the lucky residents in Ibis and Baywinds had buses provided for them to attend the meeting. No parking problems for them. Who paid for the buses? I have it boiled down to Muoio using “Park Bond” money or Lambert using Campaign funds. I saw 4 buses.

Now The Bad news.
Over 4 years ago Mayor Muoio along with Chief Mooney started the “Peace Walk”  and residents would walk in the toughest sections of the  north end neighborhoods while viewing  flowers set against a building or street poll indicating the death of (usually) a young man. The walks are held the 3 third Thursday of the month. I recall being absent once.
The purpose of the walk was to show residents we cared and were united with them against the violence so prevalent in the area. I always felt safe because we always have a police escort watching over us. If a walker ventured off to talk to a resident the cop was with them, always watching.
At today’s walk there were 12 of us and we were told the police would not be present with us because of “budget restraints”  ? Another brilliant idea of James. Leave 12 people on the streets of the north end violent section.
We walked up a street and people went left, right, straight ahead or stayed in the one spot. Four groups of people, wearing yellow shirts proclaiming peace in the “hood” without police protection.
How does Chief Adderley feel about leaving residents in this situation?
James a Harvard Graduate, without a drop of common sense. It’s on him if a resident is injured while on a Peace Walk but I’m sure he’ll lay flowers on the street.

I was so upset I neglected to mention the police on Segway’s. Young kids would surround the cops begging for a ride and they always obliged them. The smile on the kids face standing on the machine in front of the cop going for a ride. You couldn’t buy that kind of trust and goodwill. Made it appear cops aren’t so scary after all. This is where you start, with the young kids and learn to build trust with the police. Even the parents would be smiling because their kid’s were having a great time.

James and the Police Chief want to get a handle on the gang’s and murders committed in the streets. Pulling cops from the north end during a Peace Walk isn’t the way to go. You had a toe in the door and you blew it.

You have given us a “Fire Fee” want us to vote for the “Tax Bond” which will be used for God knows what. Are you considering a “Cop Fee”?