NCON and SENA Join Forces

From: Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods
Subject: NCON letter regarding proposed zoning changes

Date: June 29, 2020 at 6:14:59 PM EDT
To: Keith James, Rick Greene,  Angelina Jones -Vann  June 29, 2020

CC: Christie Fox, Christina Lambert, Cory Neering, Joe Peduzzi and Kelly Shoaf

Dear Mayor James:

The North End Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON) held a special meeting on Sunday June 28, 2020 to discuss concerns about the city’s Planning staff initiative to amend the Planned Development (PD) zoning district. The changes included increasing the minimum acreage for proposed developments in both the residential and commercial PD zoning districts.
For the residential PD districts, the proposal drops the minimum acreage from 10 acres to 1 acre.

On May 19, 2020, the City’s Planning Board narrowly approved (by a vote of 4-3) the proposed code revisions and forwarded these proposed revisions to the City Commission. We have come to learn some of the Planning Board expressed concern that the public had not been adequately notified about such consequential changes. As a result of this and other public outcry, the City’s staff has scheduled a public comment meeting to be held on-line tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at 5:00 PM.

We believe the impacts of these potential changes have not received adequate public scrutiny. NCON asks for this process to be slowed down and opened up for public input.

The public should be allowed more of an opportunity to review and comment on important matters such as these prior to being brought to vote. Lastly, it should be noted that the COVID-19 Pandemic may not be the best time to accomplish this goal considering public hearings are only being held on-line and may not reach less connected residents.

At this time, NCON seeks answers to the following questions or concerns:

1) What are the full impacts of reducing the minimum acreage of PD’s from 10 acres to 1 acre?

2) Will this drastic reduction in minimum acreage constitute illegal spot zoning?

3) The city’s planning analysis lacks the actual reasons for such a drastic reduction from 10 acres to 1 acre. Could the Northwood Pines minimum acreage be a higher threshold to obtain favorable benefits, while maintaining the necessary protections for Northwood Shores established single family communities?

4) What is the full impact of retaining Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Element Policy 1.7.1? We’ve received conflicting staff claims that it was already removed five years ago. A check on-line shows that the FLU policy continues to be listed.

5) Why is FLU Policy 1.7.1 being added to the Zoning Code? Will this inclusion (with its suggested exemptions to density, acreage, height, setbacks, and floor area ration (FAR)) be used to reverse or undo the Zoning Code’s exacting standards?

6) Given the historical and repeated use of Policy 1.7.1 to override current zoning standards, what is the City’s rationale for retaining Policy 1.7.1?

7) Could Planning staff explain the original impetus for this proposal? It appears unlikely that residents in established single family neighborhoods would ask for less protection.

In summary, we believe changes of this magnitude should not be rushed. NCON asks that this process be slowed and opened for review by the communities in which it impacts. Staff should strive for greater public input. NCON is willing to work together with the City and SENA on a collaborative approach to ensure our zoning and code restrictions work for the City’s planning purposes as well as protecting and improving our communities.


Cathleen Ward,  Chair North End Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON)

SENA – South End Neighborhoods Association

NCON- Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods





Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You

I forwarded a message I received to WPB Watch readers and received responses either thanking me or setting me straight on my understanding of the changes to the City’s Zoning Code. This is being published to correct my misunderstanding and to better inform residents of the changes coming, that not only affects the south end of the city, but the entire city of West Palm Beach including the gated communities in the west, Ibis, Riverwalk, Bay Winds and gated communities in The Villages to name a few.

In my opinion Mayor James is taking full advantage of the Carona Virus to keep city hall closed to the public, and this extremely critical meeting will air on Zoom, and residents will be told they can participate with comments. Not true.

I watched the Zoom meeting on James “Town Hall on Social Justice, Racial Equity and Police/Community Relations.”
I made 2 comments which were not read along with Rodney Mayo’s asking James why he didn’t correct statements made concerning the Peace March that turned violent and police used tear gas and rubber bullets when James stated “Let me be very clear. Those allegations are 100% unequivocally false.”
Mr. Mayo also asked for an explanation why James cancelled the Peace Picnic in WPB.

I digress to show readers what they can expect when they respond to the City’s Zoning Code with concerns they express. Comments will be carefully selected and read.
Back to the Zoning Code changes, and please take the time to read the entire piece found at the end of this story.

“The change of just a few words in the Zoning Code would allow a Residential Planned Development (RPD) if you have or are able to assemble one acre of land. A one acre PD in any future residential land use designation, especially single family residential, under the new language essentially changes the rules governing “included but not limited to” setbacks, lot sizes, yards. The effect of the changes will allow higher density development, on smaller parcels, and with no meaningful restrictions on setbacks, height, parking, landscaping and the like.”

I offer my development as an example of what can happen if the City Commissioners pass this amendment which I never thought could affect where I have called home for 34 years.
My development has 187 lots with single family homes built in the 80’s. If a developer decided they wanted to build in my neighborhood he would simply buy 4 homes, tear them down and build condominiums or townhouses with few restrictions on *height, **setback or ***density.

*Height restriction laws are laws that restrict the maximum height of structures.
**A setback is the minimum distance from a property line that a building can be built.
***Residential density means the average number of families living on one acre of land in a given area.
Developers can change my neighborhood from 4 homes, with an average of 3 people and 2 automobiles each to a condominium 15 stories high, 4 apt’s per floor for a total of 180 residents and automobiles.
If residents don’t unite and say enough is enough this change will happen.

City Commissioners:
Do not blindly accept Staff Recommended Motion: Approve.
Staff is going to approve, if they want to keep their jobs.

Remember the past when you didn’t do your homework and took staff’s recommendation because you are not allowed to ask questions. God forbid their answers don’t coincide with Mayor Keith James. Please do your homework.

Click below to read about proposed City Zoning Code changes:

Click below to take one minute survey. Let the city commissioners know your thoughts.

Please consider attending this march and bring your masks, signs and manners. The Palm Beach County Clergy Alliance is asking Clergy throughout Palm Beach County to join us in a Clergy Led March “Denouncing Racism, Demanding Justice and Changing the Spiritual Climate”. This March will take place on Sunday, June 28, 2020, at 3:00 Pm starting from Friendship Missionary Baptist Church 718 3rd Street West Palm Beach, Fl. and we will we march to the Palm Beach County Courthouse 205 N Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach Beach, Fl.

CRA new leadership

The City Commissioners also sit as the CRA board, and as you may be aware Mayor James has fired Jon Ward who was the head of the CRA. Now we need a new leader so the city sent out RFP (request for proposal) and received 5 finalists.

Artie Jones, III

Allison Justice

Kristin Mory

Giovanni Moss

Jeffrey Oris

Next thing we know the PB Post reports:

“Both Giovanni Moss, a former Davie redevelopment official who works for Innovative Emergency Management, in Fort Lauderdale, and Kristin Mory, Deerfield Beach’s director of Economic Development, were city commissioners’ first picks for the key West Palm Beach post after interviews in February. But Johnson told commissioners, who act as the CRA board of directors, that both candidates have withdrawn for the key West Palm Beach post after interviews in February.” Read the entire story below.

At this point I am questioning why, after interviews, both Moss and Mory withdraw their names for consideration. What do people from Fort Lauderdale and Deerfield Beach know about the CRA that residents of WPB don’t?

So the city comes up with plan B and decide to look “in house” for a replacement, and the 2 finalists are

Allison Justice interim director of the CRA. She was next in command after Jon Ward and obviously WPB still has a contract with RMA (Redevelopment Management Associates) owned by Kim Briesemeister and Chris Brown. Here is one story about RMA, and there are many others.

“But Local 10 News has learned that Briesemeister may be taking advantage of one of those business opportunities, purchasing a two-building property in 2015, right in the middle of the district where she has been directing millions of the public’s dollars. She and business partner Christopher Brown purchased it for $750,000 two years ago. Today it’s assessed at nearly $1 million.

“The city didn’t know anything about it,” Pompano Beach Commissioner Beverly Perkins said.
Perkins said she believes it is a clear conflict of interest. “We’re paying RMA $1 million a year, and we’re not paying them to buy personal property,” she said. “That’s a no-no.”    Read the entire story below.

The second candidate is Chris Roog, Director of Economic Development for WPB.

Now the city held a Zoom meeting on the CRA which I watched and you can see the entire meeting below. I would appreciate you viewing the meeting when you have time and it runs for less than an hour. I want to bring attention to a couple of things such as Commissioner Kelly Shoaf’s comments and James facial expression at comments made.

The CRA has a budget of over 30 million dollars annually and a decision should not be made easily or in haste. The Community Redevelopment Agency’s two districts — Northwood/Pleasant City and Downtown receive the lions share of tax dollars.

Commissioner Shoaf asked that 3 meetings be held on the issue.

1st meeting: Listen to the presentation and commissioners to ask questions and gain knowledge.

2nd meeting: Allow public comments from residents. We are the people who will fund the changes in the above mentioned districts.

3rd meeting: Commissioners would decide who will oversee the WPB CRA.

I loved the idea of 3 meetings. Commissioners would hear from the public (2nd. Meeting) and actually go away and consider our input and decide in the 3rd meeting. Hopefully by now you have noticed James expression. He doesn’t like the idea. Lambert and Neering seemed to like it, but Peduzzi saw no reason for 3 meetings. Next thing I know everyone wants 2 meetings, so Shoaf goes along with the majority.

Commissioner Shoaf raises the question if it was time to open city hall and begin public meetings again. James rolls his eyes heavenly. If James can prolong public meetings until his term in office ends he will be a happy man.

The two meetings below were held this week in the Commission Chambers:

Tues. 6/16/2020 @ 6:00 PM Planning Board Meeting COMMISSION CHAMBERS

Wed, 6/17/ 2020 @ 9:AM Special Magistrate Code Compliance Hearings


Watch the meeting here:

My last thought before publishing this story. How about city leaders abolish the CRA and spread the money around like on drowning Flagler.

James Many Broken Promises

Can you remember back to Mayor Keith James campaign? He said he was going to keep the city moving in the same direction it already was moving as he was supportive of the direction the City was going.

Has he been keeping his campaign promise??? Lets check, and double click his campaign promises. One lie after another, but it got him elected.

After taking office, his very first act was to dismantle the African American advisory board. During his campaign they challenged his lack of involvement in issues that faced their community. Instead of stepping up, he eliminated everyone who would challenge him on that board. Everyone looked like James.

Internally, he created two new Assistant City Manager Positions, a Director of Safety and Security (code name for personal body guard) and a Director of Neighborhoods first position. This cost taxpayers in WPB in excess of a half million dollars. I watched James abuse taxpayer dollars for 8 years as a city commissioner with his constant travel. Well now he travels with his private security all over the country. Now taxpayers pay for 2 which includes travel, hotel rooms, food, rental cars and every other nickle they can squeeze out of us.

His next act was to go after the police chief, Sarah Mooney, even though he told the Police Benevolent Association and former Mayor Geri Muoio he would not replace her. This lie was told in order to get their endorsement. When he was challenged, he said that was not what he said. Another lie.

His next change was to the Community Redevelopment Agency. He pushed Jon Ward out the door stating he wanted to go, “in a different direction”. Saying this is nonsensical as the CRA has more large projects underway in the past few years than in the last 20. While looking for a new CRA director, he promoted the Assistant CRA director, Allison Justice, to “acting” CRA director. In the hiring process for a new director, James publicly attacked his acting director saying he was not impressed with her attention to detail. Even though, it was her attention to detail that made the new Clematis Street what it is. He went on to say he wanted the CRA to go in a different direction, but never says what that direction is. Would you be surprised to know he left her as the Acting Director when no one accepted his job offer?

This bit of news really upset me, and I want City Commissioners to pay attention. Next he replaced the Clean/Green team in the Historic Northwest Neighborhood with Property Works. This team was created to offer African American men from the neighborhood who may have had problems with the law a place to have a job and make themselves marketable. These young men worked city own lots and mowed lawns, trimmed trees/hedges and cleared lots of debris This program was created as a grass root program being run by the Northwest Community Consortium which is lead by Teresa Johnson. Ms. Johnson was a former member of the African American Advisory board that was eliminated as Mayor James first act.

The city gave a contract to an outside vendor which replaced the young men who were left once again with no job—no income. City Commissioners voted approval for the new contract. Were they told the contract was to replace young men who needed a hand up not a hand out. These young men all looked like James.

When Assistant City Administrator Scott Kelly retired, he promoted Department Director Poonam Kalkat as acting Assistant City Administrator. She is a strong female, so is it any wonder that he chose a male from Miami over giving her the position? Do we really have to recruit from Miami? Is there no one qualified in WPB?

I just learned that Ms. Morse was terminated from her position May 2020 by Mayor Keith James via City Administrator Ms. Johnson. Another “strong” woman James can’t deal with.

The latest casualty is his administration is Community Engagement Manager, Wendy Morse. She retired as WPB Police Captain after 25 years of service to the city. When Mayor Jeri Muoio reached out and asked her to accept a new position as Director of the Office Public Life, a newly formed department created by the city. Wendy accepted the position in Nov. 2017.

Ms. Morse responsibilities was to engage in dialogue with different neighborhoods and bring their concerns back to the city for the betterment of the neighborhoods, while interacting with all city departments on projects that would affect the public realm and specifically in the Northwest area, and to enhance safety. Can you see a pattern here about James treatment of women? How about his lack of care for the Northwest Community? He has continued to dismantle every program to deal with the community at a local level.

I reached out to neighborhood leaders and was told she was well respected and as one neighborhood president, Carl Flick told me she was “amazingly helpful” made herself available to residents and will be missed. It takes a long time to learn about the processes and community in the City of West Palm Beach government. Every time Mayor James replaces a long time employee we all loose. It costs time and money that we do not have to spare in these days of budget decreases.

Take for example Mayor James Director of Neighborhoods First, Tiffany David. The only “Neighborhoods First” Project she has done has been an illegal dumping project, which the Police, Code Enforcement, and Public works already had. In fact, the CRA under Jon Ward and Allison Justice purchased cameras so criminals in the Northwest Neighborhood who dump could be prosecuted. Have you driven around the Northwest Neighborhood lately? There is trash everywhere. So much for her only program. She has not endeared herself to the community and spends her time running around after James telling him how great he is. For this, she makes nearly 100K/year. Many community members have logged complaints against her because she won’t return phone calls, cancels meetings at the last minute, and overall has let the community down.

Ms. David attended a meeting with The North End Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON) with James who spoke briefly and left telling residents Ms. David would answer their concerns.

James wasn’t out of the parking lot when David left the meeting.

A story written in Nov. 2019 concerning David is below if you missed it.

The city is working on the 2021 budget and we have already been told there will be cutbacks including possible layoffs due to James incompetience. Last one hired, first one fired. See my suggestion below.

Texts Responsive to 119 request – GreenJ

Thank you Lake Worth

This story is a follow up from the recent story titled “James Fails The City Again!” James canceled a Peace Cookout at the last minute and Lake Worth generously offered to host the event. Here is what I witnessed.
Approximately 200-250 people attended and I believe the low turnout was due to the last minute change of venue from WPB to Lake Worth.
Mr. Mayo provided food, tents, table and chairs and a band. Everything WPB demanded before the permit was issued. I hope Mr. Mayo gets a refund for the cost of the permit.

There were invited speakers and one young man impressed me. His name is Ricky Aiken and he established “Inner City Innovators” Below was copied from their web site.  Double click picture’s to enlarge.

“Inner City Innovators was born from a need. A deep need to help the youth of communities, centered in the neighborhoods of West Palm Beach, Florida.

With a rising crime rate, and shootings happening right and left, our Executive Director, Ricky Aiken, saw that the time for change wasn’t two years or ten years into the future, it was now.”

Mr. Aiken is committed to making a difference with young men living in the north end of the city who were in danger of making bad decisions that would impact the rest of their young lives. This takes money. Where does he get the money to keep the program running? Public donations and sponsorship from businesses in the area. Not one penny from the City of WPB to keep young men who look like Mayor Keith James out of trouble and on the right path. See web site

Also at the event was the Lake Worth Mayor and 3 LW Commissioners, along with our own Commissioner Cory Neering and former Commissioner Shanon Materio.

After a while it started to rain and that’s when all hell broke lose and people running to the band area and dancing their hearts out. These ladies could really move, and they kept me and others entertained.  I must add the band was great and I even recognized some of the songs they played from my days. Nice walk down memory lane for me.

It was a great event that went on without a problem. I did notice 3 Sheriff deputies were on hand but were not needed

I would like to address the 5 WPB City Commissioners here:

Please do what you can to open the city meetings to the public. You do realize that James will keep Zoom meetings as long as possible so he wont have to  look/listen to the common folks.

James Fails The City Again!

I don’t ask much of my readers but I’m asking you to read the attachment included with this post before reading the rest of the story.  Double click to enlarge.

Rodney Mayo is well known in WPB. He owns many restaurants around the city and that includes a few on Clematis St.

Mr. Mayo is the man who asked police last Sunday to let the protesters disband on their own. That did not happen.

James signed a Declaration of State of Local Emergency (curfew) followed by an “Amended” Declaration at the request of the Police Chief. The curfew was to be enacted from 9:00PM until 6:00AM. At this point the Mayor and police were the only ones with knowledge of the curfew. Noticed by a reader both Declaration were not “stamped” by the Clerk, which may have made it invalid. I’m not sure it needs to be recorded but interesting fact. WPB Watch readers are the best.

Police officers addressed the crowd by a mega phone and an armored vehicle that looked like a tank and told them to disperse because of a curfew that had been imposed that no one knew about. Right after that, police opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. In a press conference James denied tear gas was used until Mr. Mayo showed the police the empty canister and the police admitted a mistake was made and the wrong canister was used. A week later we are still waiting to hear from James.

Soon after being sworn in as Mayor his first directive was to hire a gentleman names Gregory Key at a salary of $125,000.00/year. Mr. Key’s job description is “security.” By security I mean James personal security.

Talk around City Hall is he is obsessed with his security and after finding a poster in his office left by a staff member he was seen running up and down the hallways demanding to know who was in his office. A card reader was then installed on his office door. End of “open door” policy.

Mr. Key accompanies James everywhere If James travels, Key is with him.

Believe me James likes to travel. As a Commissioner I watched him abuse taxpayer dollars for 8 years. Fortunately for the taxpayer the Corona Virus slowed him down. We pay for both men’s air travel, housing, food and other expenses. James always takes care of James.

The man is obsessed with his own safety so don’t go to protest expecting him to appear and speak. You will observe the Second Coming before you observe James. He is safer in his gated community, where he’ll stay.

If you read the attachment you know Mr. Mayo jumped through every hoop the city requested, only to have James cancel the event at the last minute once again letting down the people who look like him.

Well all is not lost. A church in Lake Worth is only too happy to host the peace event that West Palm Beach refuses to. Sunday from 12 to 4PM at 2000 No. D Street in Lake Worth. Bring your appetite and good manners.

A sincere thank you to the City Officials of Lake Worth allowing the event to be held in your city.


Did James Overstep

Florida Alert! West Palm Beach Mayor Bans Carrying Firearms for Self-defense & Bans Sale of Guns/Ammo

Well it appears Mayor Keith James has upset the NRA (National Rifle Assoc.) The Federalist and America’s 1st. Freedom. The good news is they have millions of readers in Florida.

DATE: June 4, 2020
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President

City of WPB Amended Declaration of State of Local Emergency

I.” The sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size of description;” Read James Declaration below:


“Florida Mayor Bans Sale Of Guns And Ammo During State Of `Present Danger”

JUNE 3, 2020 By Madeline Osburn The Federalist

“In declaring a state of local emergency due to riots and civil unrest in the city of West Palm Beach, Florida, Mayor Keith James banned all sales of guns and ammunition Sunday. He also declared all citizens are prohibited from possessing firearms in public places.” Read story below:

” James cited a Florida statute that allows public officials to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights by preventing the sale and public possession of firearms.” Read the Statue below:


“West Palm Beach, Florida, Bans Firearms Sales and Public Carry”

by Garrett O’Leary, Assistant Editor America’s 1st Freedom June 3, 2020

“The mayor of West Palm Beach, Fla., declared a state of emergency on May 31 that banned the sale of firearms and ammunition as well as the right of citizens to carry a firearm for personal protection in public unless they are members of law enforcement.” Read the story below.

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order in April that exempted firearms and ammunitions manufacturers from the state’s restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Florida Governor’s Order Supersedes All Local Orders – Firearm Industry Can Remain Open Throughout Florida”

Read Gov. DeSantis executive order below:







Good vs. Evil

Police Officer Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck, who is black, for eight minutes and 46 seconds while three police officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao looked on and did not intervene to aid Mr. Floyd and their inaction helped caused the death of Mr. Floyd.

Officer Chauvin had eighteen conduct complaints filed against him with only two resulting in reprimands. Sixteen times he was told his actions were acceptable which eventually led to the death of George Floyd. Well, that action was not acceptable and that led to our country, and the entire world, being in turmoil. How was this cop still in uniform?

I listened to a Police Chief in another state who said that any cop who found Mr. Floyd’s death acceptable “needs to turn their badge in now”

I watched another cop with a young black man on the ground, face down, and a second cop placing handcuffs on him when I noticed the cop had his knee on his neck when the other cop took his pants leg and moved his knee to the young man’s shoulder. As I’m writing this another video showing yet another cop doing the same thing.

Protester’s vs. Looters

There is, and always will be “strength in numbers” and when people have had enough of injustice they have one way to bring attention to their cause. They come out by the thousands and protest, and that gets the attention of people in a position too rectify the situation.

Smashing windows, burning property, and looting stores that has accompanied peaceful demonstrations make some hesitant to support the protesters. We must remember looters and peaceful protesters aren’t the same people and we should never paint them all with the same brush.

Protesters have formed a line to protect a police officer from harm when he was separated from his unit and threatened. Ask yourself who they were protecting him from. Certainly not law abiding citizens just trying to make us a better country but from people taking advantage of a situation to drive a deeper wedge between the police and black residents.

It is impossible for me not to support the police but I was brought up being told by my parents if someone is bothering you find a cop, they will keep you safe. How sad black parents feel they can’t tell that to their children.

In my opinion the WPB police are the best in the state and I have watched them interact with young black children in the Peace Walk and also the “Coffee with a Cop” program. Both programs benefit the police and the residents.

I don’t want to see college students tazed and dragged from their cars. I don’t want to see the police run down in the street and murdered by people who only have the desire to pull this country apart. We are smarter and better than that.

The majority of police are decent hardworking people who come to our house when called, who work to keep us safe, and want to go home to their families at the end of their shift. I repeat we should never paint them all with the same brush.

I commend all the Police Chiefs who have taken a knee with the protesters in solidarity now is the time to stand up and take a hard look at the men/women in your command and begin the process of removing the bad apples from service. State Attorney’s need to prosecute the bad ones and Police Unions need to stop defending their actions.