Palm Beach Post Endorsements

The Palm Beach Post endorsements for West Palm Beach.

“But the key word here is “progress.” The city is in the midst of a multi-billion-dollar construction boom.”

Construction boom? Call it what it is. Building homes or commercial developments in excess of demand, creating grid lock throughout the city.

“The tax base is growing at a healthy clip.”

Sure is, doubling Fire Fee, raising sale tax. We have a mayor who never practiced don’t spend money you don’t have.

“But most importantly, there is an effort to make sure all of that newfound largesse is distributed fairly around the city.”

Seriously, when the rest of the city receives the same service as the gated western communities that will be a fair comment.

“The Palm Beach Post supports the proposed bond which is actually a replacement of an expiring $20 million bond issue from 2000 as it will help the city address one of its greatest needs and residents’ greatest wants.”

Please tell us what improvements, at what parks, were made with the first 20 million. Where’s the money?

“We agree. It will be good to see Currie Park, which is slated to receive the biggest block of money from the bond issue, finally get the attention it has so long needed so that it can become the waterfront asset the city’s North End deserves.”

Currie Park was to receive a bigger block from the original 20 million. What happened?

“Plans for the bonds also include $3 million to expand and renovate Gaines Park, $2.5 million for the Howard Park Tennis Center, $2 million for the South Olive Park Tennis Center and $1.3 million to replace Phipps Park concessions, bathrooms and walkways.”

How many dollars are slated for the dog parks or to add more around the city? The new baseball stadium with 160-acre costing over 148 million to build. Why not eliminate one soccer field to allow a dog park for that area of WPB?

“Residents may be feeling a little “tax fatigue” from the last few years of referendums, but West Palm Beach leaders are smart to propose the bond issue now, while rates are low and before the previous bond completely sunsets. Responsibly, the city has promised to follow through on transparency by allowing the advisory commission overseeing the one-cent sales tax revenue to do the same for the bond issue.”

The city promised transparency and the advisory commission hand picked by the mayor. That’s comforting. Residents are not “feeling tax fatigue” residents are exhausted, and the city will tell residents what they believe we want to hear, and if they get the 30 million it will be business as usual as history tells us.

“Two commission seat races are also on the ballot. The Post endorses first-term Commissioners Kelly Shoaf and Christina Lambert to retain seats in District 1 and District 5, respectively. (Commissioner Richard Ryles forfeited his District 3 seat to challenger Christy Fox when Ryles inexplicably did not qualify by the filing deadline.)”

Fox was a former Related girl. Her along with Lambert and Shoaf will be the three votes needed to run the city as James and “staff” see fit.  Residents be damned. Nuff said

“The Post Editorial Board has been critical of Shoaf’s and Lambert’s positions against the State Road 7 extension, and for the Okeechobee Business District. And their glaring absence from a special city commission meeting on a controversial $8 million no-bid contract was embarrassing.”

The Post didn’t mention One Flagler along with the 3 issues mentioned above are among the 4 biggest issues in WPB, and Lambert & Shoaf voted to create the situation, and voted too continue wasting millions more attempting to stop the State Road extension. Oh yes, let’s give them another 30 million dollars.

“But Shoaf, who is once again facing minister and community activist Martina Tate-Walker, has worked hard to bring and keep attention on the oft-neglected North End. She has kept public safety and economic development “for everyone” at the forefront, And Shoaf, 36, is a forceful advocate for much-needed affordable and workforce housing in the city.”

Does Commissioner Shoaf consider $1,200.00/month for 1 bedroom apt. affordable?

“We’ve made some headway,” she told the Post Editorial Board, “but West Palm Beach can certainly do more.”

Agreed, all we need is responsible leadership.

“Lambert, 40, is learning on the job as well ‒ most importantly, with regard to community engagement. Last fall, to the chagrin of her district’s residents, Lambert voted to support a two-lane bikeway on South Flagler Drive.”

She will pay the price in her district. Drive through District 5-yard signs are 10 to 1 in favor of Steven Sylvester.

“To her credit, Lambert admits that she and the city needed to “do a better job of outreach.” She is now one of the commission’s biggest advocates for improving response to residents’ concerns and connecting them more easily with the right city staff.”

The City Commissioners aren’t allowed to connect with city staff with questions per order of 1st Muoio and now James. My opinion, and I offer an example. City Hall Legal and Procurement advised James not to allow a 8 million dollar no bid contract to go forward. James ignored the advice and it was placed on the Consent Agenda and passed. Would the vote have been different if Commissioners were allowed to ask questions of the 2 departments mentioned above? Commissioner Neering has spoken out on the issue and wants to be allowed to speak and ask questions of staff. Both Shoaf and Lambert were silent on the issue. Obviously, they never heard the adage “Strength in Numbers.” They both should have had Neering’s back. Both had the mayors back, as always. 

“We are mindful of Lambert’s limitations in her first term but are hopeful that she will be more responsive to her constituents in a second term.”

You call that an endorsement? The Post is “hopeful,” she will do better if re-elected.  We can’t afford 2 more years of her deciding the outcome for our city, and hopefully after 3/17/2020 residents will take our city back with responsible leadership. It’s a mystery who wrote this editorial as no name is offered. I understand–I wouldn’t want my name associated with the endorsements either. No wonder the media is circling the drain.
Read the Palm Beach Post endorsements below.