Leave No One Behind, America Did Just That.

UpDate 8/31/2021 @ 1:32 PM

August 26, 2021, 9:30 AM EDT bombing
Manuel Balce Ceneta American soldier coming home.

“A Navy carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, during a casualty return at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Soviak died in an attack at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, along with 12 other U.S. service members supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.”


U.S. Rep’s. Lois Frankel, D-Fla. “I join those condemning the horrific attacks that claimed so many innocent lives, including those of American servicemembers. As the mother of a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, my heart is grieving for the families of those who were injured or killed,“Like so many Americans, I am grateful to our military, and our diplomatic and intelligence communities for their courage and patriotism.” It is illegal to place political signs on government property which Frankel and James are well aware. Here they are endorsing Biden for president. One of the worse traits of politicans is they can’t admit they may have been wrong. So what do they do? Must be Trump’s fault.

Watching the news I saw and listened to Congresswoman Lois Frankel speak on the bombing in Afghanistan’s Kabul airport. Frankel showed pictures of her son, in military garb, who served in Afghanistan and came home when his tour was up, and when questioned about Biden’s handling of the situation she said “this is not a time for politics., and I have faith in President Biden” I have been all over the internet and couldn’t find the interview to show readers. It’s gone! I don’t understand Frankel’s son being part of the story, and I assume it is the pride she has in her son’s service. I’m glad he’s safe but I can’t help but think thirteen members of the military were returned in flag draped coffins. Frankel can call her son and invite him for Sunday dinner. Family members of the 13 fallen heroes will never have the chance.

Aug. 6 — The Taliban takes control of its first province — the capital of Nimroz province in Afghanistan — despite the agreement it signed with the U.S.

Aug. 15 — Taliban fighters enter the Afghanistan capital Kabul; the Afghan president flees the country; U.S. evacuates diplomats from its embassy by helicopter.”

Aug. 16 — In a speech to the nation, Biden says, “I do not regret my decision to end America’s warfighting in Afghanistan,” and deflected blame for the government’s swift collapse.


The problem I’m having is why were the troops withdrawn before every American was safely removed and how about the thousands of Afghans who helped America in the war?

“U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice that’s prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.”

Now the Taliban has a list of names they can hunt down and murder.


WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters)   “For the first time since 2001 there are no American troops in Afghanistan after the United States completed the evacuation of most of its citizens and thousands of at-risk Afghans.

The Biden administration has said it expects the Taliban to continue allowing safe passage for Americans and others to leave Afghanistan after the U.S. military withdrawal is completed.”    My grandmother called that thinking Delusions of Grandeur, I believe it applies here.

Tens of thousands of at-risk Afghans, such as interpreters who worked with the U.S. military, journalists and women’s rights advocates, have also been left behind. It is unclear what their fate will be but officials are concerned that the Taliban may retaliate against them.   Some officals are willing to tell the truth.


My final thought. This war in far from over. The fight will continue if not in Afghanistan then on the shores of America. Another Biden blunder, open our borders where US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it caught 180,034 migrants, mostly single adults, in May.” Thats one month, and please take a moment to read the graph.


Hopefully our airports are safer now since 9/11/2001 after terrorists entered the US and may have been told “Welcome to America” we taught them to fly planes, and they flew them into buildings. America was under attack. We entered Afghanistan. Is it possible the hundreds of thousands of illegals entering America do not mean us harm.

I don’t know the answer, I do know that America should never, ever leave American’s behind on the battlefield.

Now we have, but Biden met his deadline of withdrawal. Why don’t I feel good about it?





Cornerstone New $80,000.00 Contract

To: Keith A. James, Mayor
From: Stacey R. Weinger, Sr. Asst. City Attorney
Date: January 31, 2020
Matter No: 24597.001
Dept. 100 Mayor’s Office
Re: Cornerstone; Park Bond; Educational Campaign; Priority Contract”

The 12 page contract was signed by Mayor Keith James and Rick Asnani on 2/4/2020. The entire contract for $80,000.00 can be read below.


RFP No. 19-20-206
Educational Campaign Services To Inform Voters about the Park Bond Referendum
(Revision 12.11.19)
The City of West Palm Beach hereby solicits proposals from responsible and qualified firms to provide educational campaign services to inform voters about the upcoming referendum on the issuance of a bond to fund improvements to the City’s Parks.”

I placed a PRR to see if any companies supplied proposals and 3 companies did.
1: L.B. Limited & Associates, Inc.
2: Upscale Events by Mosaic, LLC D.B.A. The Mosaic Group
Ann Marie Sorrell, President & CEO
3: Cornerstone Solutions, Rick Asnani, President & CEO.

The second proposal, Upscale Events by Mosaic, please notice the owner is a woman. How serious is James with his ” Mayor’s Task Force for Racial & Ethnic Equality” Also on the City website this humerous little piece reads in part:

“Sec. 66-257. – Purpose. (a)The MWBE program is intended to eliminate discrimination against MWBEs with respect to certain contracting opportunities as found in the disparity study. The MWBE program is intended to provide opportunities for participation by minority-owned and women-owned business”

(MWBE)  “Minority/Women Business Enterprise.

By now readers are aware the contract was awarded to Cornerstone Solutions, Mayor Keith James Political Advisor and Campaign Manager.

If you recall the last 2 stories and contracts awarded to Cornerstone the $248,000.00 contract (Covid-19) didn’t need City Commissioners approval due to James declaring it an “Emergency” and the $29,500.00 contract (Census) also didn’t receive conversation or a vote from Commissions due to the contract being under $50,000.00.

I attend most City Commission meetings and didn’t recall the Park Bond being on the agenda, and placed another PRR for the date of the meeting where the Commissioners voted approval of the $80,000.00 contract.

My request in part:
“One more issue with this contract. Could you please send me the date the City Commissioners voted to approve the contract to Cornrtstone Solutions for Contract # 24597.”

City’s response:

“According to the City’s records, did contract did not go before the City Commission.”

Well, there you have it a Mayor who does what he wants, when he wants, make the rules as he goes along, and seriously who’s to stop him?

I remind readers:

8/19/2021 James has declared “State of Emergency, and as I said previously I smell another Cornerstone Solutions contract in the making.

“FURTHERMORE, pursuant to Section 252.38(3){a)5 Florida Statutes, I hereby exercise my authority to waive the procedures and formalities otherwise required by law pertaining to:”

There are 8 procedures & formalaties James can waive and I listed #2 & 8. The entire list can be read below.

#2. Entering into contracts;   #8. Appropriation and expenditure of public funds.


Cornerstone Solutions has received a total of $357,500.00 in contracts without a question or comment from residents or City Commissioners.
I received this comment from a reader after posting the last story, and liked it enough to share with readers.

“Emergency power supersedes everything, thus the five Commissioners are just props on the dais. we have five props. “Prop” a pole or beam used as a support or to keep something in position, typically one that is not an integral part of the thing supported”
Contract can be read here: Cornerstone Contract $80,000.00

RFP can be read here:    Cornerstone & 2 additional proposals $80,000.00 contract

The end.

Cornerstone Receives $29,500.00 Contract.

My comments and questions in Italic

To: Keith A. James, Mayor
From: Samuel A. Thomas, Sr. Asst. City Attorney
Date: September 15, 2020
Matter No: 26085
Dept. 290 HCD

“Services: The Services shall include: Cornerstone will conduct census outreach services. Cornerstone will help plan, create, and implement communications about the importance of completing the 2020 Census.”

Re: Cornerstone Solutions Florida; 2020 Census Outreach Svs.; Consulting; MP
Contract/ CO/ WO Amount: $ 29,500 Est. Expiration Date: 9 -30-2020
If authorised by the Procurement Code, the procurement method is: consulting service under $50K.

#3  Fee: The total Fee paid to Consultant shall be: Twenty-nine Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($29,500.00), based upon: Budget amounts within the Budget categories may be adjusted as long as the total Budget does not exceed $50,000″

The 7 page contract # 26085 was signed by Mayor Keith James and Rick Asnani on 9/16/2020, and the contract can be read below.

The Mayor can use taxpayer dollars without the City Commissioners vote, and possible knowledge, as long as the total dollar amount does not exceed $50,000.00. In 2 day’s this contract was signed, sealed and delivered and I have no knowledge if the contract paid out more than $29,500.00 or $49,999.99.
Cornerstone Contract $ 29,500.00

The previous contract saw tax dollars awarded to Cornerstone for $248,000.00 and all the Mayor needed to do was declare a “DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY” and again City Commissioners vote was not needed, along with no bids for the contract. Cornerstone contract was for an “EMERGENCY SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR COVID-19 VACCINATION ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM”

Here we go again! On Aug.19,2021 Mayor Keith James declared:

“City of West Palm Beach Declaration of State of Local Emergency” (Public Health Emergency- COVID-19)

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Keith A. James, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, do hereby declare a State of Local Emergency, effective immediately, for the City of West Palm Beach Florida, pursuant to Chapter 166 and Section 252.38(3){a)5, Florida Statutes, and Section 2-2 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of West Palm Beach. This State of Emergency shall be effective for seven (7) days, unless terminated earlier.
FURTHERMORE, pursuant to Section 252.38(3){a)5 Florida Statutes, I hereby exercise my authority to waive the procedures and formalities otherwise required by law pertaining to:

1. Performance of public work and taking whatever prudent action 1s necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community;
2. Entering into contracts;
3. Incurring obligations;
4. Employment of permanent and temporary workers;
5. Utilization of volunteer workers;
6. Rental of equipment;
7. Acquisition and distribution, with or without compensation, of supplies,
materials and facilities;
8. Appropriation and expenditure of public funds.

The State of Emergency may be extended for additional periods of seven days.”

The entire Mayor’s State of Local Emergency can be read below and I smell another contract in the making.


Two contracts issued to Cornerstone Solutions totaled $277,500.00 and still rising. Cornerstone was also awarded a contract for $ 80,000.00 to promote the Parks Bond Educational Campaign in Jan. 2020. When I receive the PRR (Public Records Request) I requested the story will be forthcoming. Total contracts to Cornerstone $357,500.00.

I can’t help but wonder why the contracts were not awarded to businesses owned by minorities and women. Did Mayor James forget his “Mayor’s Task Force for Racial & Ethnic Equality” James did remember his Political Consultant Cornerstone Solutions.

Dec.2018 under former Mayor Jeri Muoio:
WEST PALM BEACH — “The West Palm Beach City Council voted unanimously to approve the creation of a Minority/Women Business Enterprise Program after a study showed businesses owned by women and minorities were underrepresented among government contractors.” Read the PB Post story below.

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No Misuse Of City’s Fire Fee?

8/4/2021    Mayor/City Commission Budget Work Session. Fire Assessment Fund.

This presentation was to be presented by Mr. Mark Parks, Chief Financial Officer for the City.

8/2/2021 (Mon.) Mr. Parks was removed from City Hall and placed on paid administrative leave.

8/4/2021 I attended the Mayor/City Commission Work Session and asked a City Commissioner why Mr. Parks was escorted from City Hall, and the answer was “I didn’t hear anything about it”

8/5/2021 Ms. Johnson sent a text to City Commissioner informing them of Mr. Parks being escorted from City Hall. When text are used by public officals how easy is it to tell residents requesting a PRR (public Records Report) it does not exist.








THE MEETING for the Fire Assessment Fund
If you choose to open Ms. Johnson’s comments which was taken from the City Website.

“City Administrator Johnson: Fire Fees Support Valued Fire Services for the Public’s Safety”
At the end of the statement you will see:

“Click here to watch City Administrator Faye Johnson’s presentation at the August 4, 2021 Budget Work Session.” Ms. Johnson’s presentation runs for 1:17:34 and you will see the history of when the Fire Fee was established, previous City Commission meetings when Former City Administrator Jeff Green gave his presentation on why the City should double the fire fee from $50 to $100, and former City Commission Cory Neering request quarterly reports on the fire fund.

“Click here to download a copy of the PowerPoint from City Administrator Johnson’s presentation.” The Powerpoint consists of 35 slides and I have posted slide # 11.

” Slide 11 FY09 – FY18 Fire Assessment Fee
• The total Fire Assessment Fee collected for the period was $19,675,963 of which:
$11,434,115 (H) was allocated within the Fire Assessment Fund and $8,241,848 was allocated to the General Fund.”

Firefighters have always claimed the fire fee collected was not always used for the purpose of the collection, and the City has made their point.

“During the Budget Work Session, the City Administrator refuted the union’s deceptive and untrue claim of fire fee funds ‘misuse.’ Ms. Johnson affirmed the city’s proposed uses, as well as past uses, are indeed legal, compliant with city code, and appropriate”

“I want to start out by emphatically stating that there has been no misuse of the City’s fire fees. Secondly an objective is to clear up the descrepancy about the 2019 commitment on the use of the fire fee increase revenue. I want to have a discussion on the fallacies and what was represented to the board at that time, and then point out the missed opportunities to rectify the record. Also I want to clarify the transparency issue related to administration providing quarterly fire fee work sessions. So again three objectives confirm, clear up and clarify.”

City Commission meeting held 8/26/2019 requesting the Commissioners double the fire fee from $50 to $100.00. Former City Commissioner Cory Neering requested former city administrator, Jeff Greene have quarterly reports on the fire fee dollars, and Green agreed. At the time Johnson was the Assistant City Administrator.

From Aug. 2019 until Aug. 2021 Commissioners have not received one update. Commissioner Neering did not seek another term, Commissioners Fox and Warren were not yet elected. Why didn’t Lambert, Shoaf or Peduzzi follow up on Neering’s request?  Please do so going forward.

Ms.Johnson said she didn’t have all the information and wasn’t going to guess at the figures for a quarterly report.

Johnson and James were instrumental in negotations for a new firefighter contract for over 11/2 years, how could she not have the figures?

Ms Johnson mentioned former City Administrator Jeff Greene on the fallacities and promises he made to the fire dept. concerning 2 new fire truck’s and firefighters to man the truck’s. The fire dept. received one new fire truck and the City hired a crew to manage it.

Reason the other fire truck wasn’t purchased, or a crew hired. The money was not in the budget. How about the $8,241,848 collected and allocated to the General Fund?

Ms. Johnson further states in part, and this is when I thought she sounded defensive.

“There are consequences if I as the City Administrator knowingly take action to either mis-use, mis-appropriate or mis-apply public dollars thats not an action that I am going to put 35 years of a stellar career in jeopardy, and just think about that, why would I? What do I stand to gain by knowingly mis-using, mis-appropriating or mis-applying fire assessment fees or any other fee’s in the City’s coffers. It does not make logical sense”

Ms. Johnson works at the pleasure of Mayor James and possibly a salary of $261,450 + benefits would be an incentive.

City Administrator Faye Johnson’s  “Confirm use of fire fees complies with City Ordinance 4141-08. NO MISUSE OF FUNDS

2. Clear up discrepancy about 2019 commitment in use of Fire Fee Increase Revenue
• Fallacies in what was represented
• Missed opportunities to rectify record

3. Clarify transparency on quarterly Fire Assessment Fee Work Sessions

If you open “Click here to download a copy of the PowerPoint from City Administrator Johnson’s presentation.” you will view slides on the history of Fire Fee.
Ms. Johnson’s statement, presentation, and powerpoint can be seen below.



This figure is what the City claims it received in 2020 for the Fire Fee fund





After placing a PRR (public records request) this is the figure sent from the tax office.

$89,398.76 difference.




The good news the City and Fire Dept. have reached an agreement on a new contract.

Update: In order to have the City’s Internal Audit Dept. do an audit of the Fire Fee collected it takes a vote of 3 of the 5 Commissioners to vote approval to audit the books. I respectfully ask the Commissioners to move forward with a City audit.

The end

Ghost Strikes Again

People were asked to join the Peace Walk on Fri. 8/6/2021 @ 7:30 PM.

When I arrived the Police had baracaded the streets where the walk would take place and residents living in Pleasant City knew something was happening.

When I first arrived the first thing I witnessed was a cop on a Segway with a young boy riding in front and smilling from ear to ear loving every minute of the ride. In my opinion that ride helped to build trust and respect for our police officers. My hope is when that young man hears a negative comment about police, he will remember the ride with a cop.

People who arrived were treated to a meal which included bags of McDonald’s hamburg and cheeseburgers along with trays of baked beans, potato salad, hotdogs and hamburgers, soda’s, water and assorted chips, and slushies for the kids, all food was donated by Ricky Wade, owner of a McDonalds franchise, and Derrick McCray owner of McCrays Barbecue who also generously donated his time to cook.

When everyone ate their meal it was time to walk it off, and Chief Adderley addressed the walkers stating “A 22-year-old that lived right here in this community just standing on Spruce and 17th streets was murdered one night. We had groups of about 15 that stood around and watched this homicide and we still don’t have any leads on it, The community is also dealing with open drug sales.” Story by WPTV (5) can be read below.

At 8:30 the walk began and we hadn’t walked very far when I noticed how dark it was and said a silent prayer I don’t embarress myself by stepping in a pothole, falling on my face. One picture is worth a thousands words , and this is an area we walked. I cant tell readers what street we were on because it was dark enough I couldn’t read the street sign. People I spoke to who live in the area told me they don’t dare go out at night for fear of the crime in the area.

Police will never get a handle on crime without the help of the residents and residents will never have peace without the help of the police. It’s a hand and glove operation. City leaders want their communities safe from preditors and don’t want to be on the list of most dangerous city’s to live in. I see it as residents, police and City Officials working together. The police are talking to city hall requesting street lights be added to the area, and it is a very dangerous area to reside in.  The picture posted are residents walking, please double click to enlarge.

Entomologists are people who study insects, Police are people who study criminals. I searched for any animal/insect who feared the light for comparison and came away with the Cockroaches.

Will Keeping Lights On Keep Cockroaches Away? “Cockroaches are nocturnal and will avoid the light. However, that’s not because it harms them. They understand they cannot properly hide or evade predators in open sight.”

The specialized undercover GHOST unit have been busy arresting the 15 suspected felons in Pleasant City, and please note the majority of them live on or near Spruce St.

The cops and residents are trying to make a difference, now the city must do what is necessary to insure proper lighting in the area.
Is it possible to engage FPL in the conversation. The more street lights, the safer the streets.
FPL installs the light’s and residents pay the electric bill. Win-Win.

At the end of the night there were leftovers and officers Angel Vargas and Seth Buxton boxed a couple of meals, along with bottled water and delivered them to 2 homeless men living in a van on the route we had taken. Well done.

A special thank you to Steven Wright from R.C.G. (Risk Control Group) who accompannied me on the walk.


The End





Cornerstone Receives $248,000 Contract

My comment & questions will be in Italic.

The City of WPB entered into a contract (# 27128) The $248,000.00 contract was awarded to Rick Asnani the Founder and President of Cornerstone Solutions. According to their website they are: “a full-service political consulting and strategic communications firm” Please note dates, The entire contract can be read below and the following documents are included.

4/1/2021 Memo (1) page

4/02/2021 “EMERGENCY SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR COVID-19 VACCINATION ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM” Agreement between the City & Cornerstone) (14 page)

March 29,2021 DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT “This form must be completed when declaring an emergency procurement to be authorized by the Mayor and submitted to the Director of Procurement.” (2) pages.

By declaring an emergency City Commissioners will not be asked to approve the expenditure. Were Commissioners aware of the contract?

March 2021 “City of West Palm Beach: COVID 19 Vaccination”
Submitted by: Cornerstone Solutions Prepared by: Rick Asnani, President & CEO”     (8 pages) No date was listed, just month & year.

03/29/2021  “Department requesting emergency determination Housing and Community Development.”
Name: Jennifer Ferriol: Director of Housing and Community (2 pages)
Date emergency initially identified: 03/13/2020
By Whom: President of the United States.
Signed by: Jennifer Ferriol: March 29, 2021
Nathaniel Rubel: Procurement Official: March 30,2021
Mayor Keith James: 3/30 /21
Why is Jennifer Ferriol, Director of Housing and Community requesting emergency determination? Is she qualified to determine an emergence or was it at James direction?

Frank Hayden was Director of Procurement, and if you ask people who have worked with him they will tell you he is a man of integrity with a great work ethic. Mr. Hayden was responsible for informing Mayor James he must put out to bid a contract for a security company, but James gave the 8 million dollars contract to PSC, the city was sued, and James walked it back. Mr. Hayden recently was transferred to the Office of Economic Opportunity. I question if his transfer had anything to do with a $248,000.00 contract to Cornerstone. Possibly he didn’t want his signature on the “Department requesting emergency determination”

If the President of the United States identified an emergency on 03/13/2020, why did it take a full year for the City to declare it’s own emergency, and give another no-bid contract to a Political Advisor, when the media has kept us informed with up to the minute information for over a year?

WPB will hold a General Municipal Election on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 to elect 3 City Commissioners. Commissioner Fox, Lambert and Shoaf have qualified for re-election. Both Fox and Lambert will have Cornerstone Solutions as their political consulting firm.

Cornerstone Solutions (Rick Asnani) was Keith James political consultant and ran his campaign for City Commissioner for 8 years, and was instrumental in getting him elected as Mayor. James will be looking for his second term as Mayor in 2023 and Cornerstone will once again be his go to guy. I hope the residents of WPB are not funding his campaign.

March 29, 2021 to April 2,2021: 4 days from start to finish a new contract appears and taxpayers are out $248,000.00. Mr. Asnani has been seen in City Hall on a regular basis and I am curious to know if more contracts to Cornerstone are out there. Without declaring an emergency, the City can award contracts under $50,000.00 without City Commission approval. 

Read the contract and additional documents below.

Cornerstone Contract $248,000.00

Cornerstone  Invoices.

Cornerstone Transmittal_Memo (invoices)

The end