Presidential Election is over–Lets move on.

The day after my eighteen birthday my dad accompanied me to the Election Office where I was registered as a Democrat. The first time I ever voted was for John Fitzgerald Kennedy for President.

I have voted in every election since, always voting straight democratic. If Adolph Hitler came to America and ran for POTUS on the democratic ticket he would have my vote. If Jesus Christ ran as a republican, doubtful. I don’t write this with any pride, just wouldn’t cross the line.

Then came 2008 and a contest between Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I voted to nominated Hillary Clinton for president. She lost, he won, and the country was forever changed.

We had Obama Care forced on us which turned into a complete disaster, and everything he said would not happen did indeed happen. I lost my doctor, my out of pocket expenses and hospital stay doubled. Are you aware you can spend a week in a hospital without a doctor admitting you, and Medicare wont pay a dime toward your care. Prescription drugs–forget it, when the drug company’s are allowed to raise prices a thousand fold for life saving medication. Seniors are still faced with prescription medication or food/rent. The only time I ever protested was over Obama care where I proudly waved a sign “Eleven million ILLEGAL aliens are not uninsured Americans”.

Congress passes Obama care in 2010 when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi comment was, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” The next day I changed my voting status from Democratic to Independent.

President Obama’s decision to send 1.7 Billion to Iran, a terrorist country that has sworn to destroy America. Now they have the money to do it.

President Barack Obama has directed officials to prepare to accommodate 10,000 Syrian refugees. Syria, along with Iran are on the Terrorist Watch List. The 10,000 have arrived. How well were they vetted? Think a terrorist or two slipped in?

Now this is my opinion:
To insure Ms. Clinton wouldn’t challenge Obama for his run in 2012 he appointed her Secretary of State. He may have done Americans a favor if they only paid attention.

Mark (Oz) Geist was one of five security contractors stationed in Benghazi, who co-authored the book 13 Hours– The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, Libya. I read the book written by a man who lived through the horror, and the four men, Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods four American heroes who did not survive the 13 hours at the hands of terrorists.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. at a Senate committee hearing held in Jan. 2013 asked Ms. Clinton, (who as Secretary of State was responsible for the security of the embassy) “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans” Ms. Clinton’s reply “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

Do you think it made a difference to the families of the four men mentioned above? If she had won the election she would never have been recognized by Iran, Syria or other terrorist nations because of their disrespect for all women.

I understand the stories about the Clinton Foundation, her e-mail scandal, her lying and patronizing the American People, but Benghazi is the one that causes me pain to this day, and if she couldn’t protect these four men, what makes you think she could protect the United States?

FBI Director James Comey investigating her e-mails,and Clinton Foundation, and he reports to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The investigation was nearly squashed after a meeting between AG Lynch and Bill Clinton when their planes were parked next to each other on a tarmac? Both parties denied discussing Hillary’s investigation, but spent an hour discussing their grandchildren. Bless the reporter who noticed and reported the incident.

Tonight I turn on the news and learn of demonstration’s in downtown WPB, Miami and Orlando and other parts of the country where thousands of residents are protesting and waving signs stating that “Trump is not my President” I understand their frustration, for the last six years I didn’t feel President Obama had America’s best interest at heart. A good question to ask yourself is who is financing these demonstrations?

I believe before he leaves office President Obama will grant Hillary Clinton a pardon, so all investigations will come to a close. You don’t pardon innocent people, and justice will be denied once again.

Reasons I voted for Trump: He wants to keep ILLEGAL aliens out of America–me too. He wants to appeal Obama Care and fix whats broken about it–me too. He wants to bring our jobs back home–me too. He wants to tax the super rich–me too. He wants to repeal NAFTA called “Worse Trade Deal in History”–me too. Law Enforcement’s across the country have endorsed him because they believe he will protect them from the war on cops–me too.

Mr. Trump won the election, Hillary Clinton lost and people should accept that and move on. Remember this is America, you can live where ever you choose.

9-1-1 Your Invited

Have you had an emergency serious enough to call 9-1-1 and wonder what happens after your call is answered?
Let me share 2 recent events that happened in my neighborhood.

In August I heard a light tapping and went to investigate and the tapping stopped. A few seconds later the tapping continued. It came from the direction of my front door and when I checked the “peep hole” I saw two young men standing there. I was trying to determine if they were neighbors, but didn’t recognize either man, when all of a sudden one man backed up and went to a window. I saw him cup his hand around his eyes as he attempted to look in my window.
The man left standing at the door proceeded to bang loud enough to wake the dead. Now I had no illusion as to what was happening, and I was damn mad, and did a foolish thing.
I stormed out my door and confronted him asking what he wanted. He gave the standard answer asking if “Tony” was home. I told him there was no “Tony” at this address and if I didn’t answer the door was that telling them no one was home and they were free to break in and steal whatever they wanted.
The guy at the window ran for the car and jumped into the open back door, followed by the second man. They were considerate enough to back into the driveway so I could read their license plate. I called 9-1-1 to report the incident and within minutes there was an officer at my door. A few minutes later another officer arrived and I was told they were dispatched at the same time. While the officer was at my front door the other canvassed the neighborhood looking for the car.
The officer took a report and then advised me to never, ever open the door and confront anyone again. I new it was a foolish thing to do, but I was so angry to think they would come into my home, destroy my peace of mind, and steal what I worked so hard for.
So finishing my story let me warn you to not ignore strangers at your door. Let them know someone is home without opening the door. I offer you a few suggestions on what to say.
“Just a minute while I wake my son, the police officer”.
“One moment please while I put my shotgun down, I’m in the process of cleaning it”.
“Please wait while I bring my Rottweiler in from the backyard”.
The police officer explained the light tapping at my door was to see if I had a dog in the home. A dog would hear the tapping long before I did and warn unsavory people there was a dog inside ready to protect his home/master.

Another recent incident that happened last weekend.
A neighbor was coming home from work and saw a group of at least four young men walking the neighborhood at 3:30 AM. He pulled into his driveway and observed them walking up driveways and checking car doors. When they arrived at his car he opened the door and stepped out while asking what they were doing. They scattered like the cockroaches they are. The sad end of the story—He didn’t call 9-1-1, but neighbors with outside cameras picked them all up, working both sides of the street.
All these young men did was move onto another neighborhood hoping to get lucky.

It upsets me when residents complain about crime in their neighborhood, but do nothing to help the police catch these criminals.
You can’t turn on the news or read a paper that doesn’t tell the story about car jacking, and loss of property because people can’t be bothered to lock their car doors and leave valuables in plain sight.

Did you know a police officer will visit your homeowners association meeting and talk to residents about keeping yourself and your property safe from people who would do you harm. An officer came to our meeting and the one suggestion that stuck in my mind was do not leave your garage door opener in your car if you park outside. That will allow easy access to your home. That was one of many excellent suggestions given.

With all that said the Dispatch Center at the City West Palm Beach Police Dept. has extended an invitation to all concerned citizens who would like to learn about the City’s 9-1-1 system which will include what to expect when you call, why they ask the questions they do, why they need the information they ask, how calls are prioritized for service, calls from cell phones vs residential phones, among other topics.
The presentation could be life saving to you and your loved ones.

It is my understanding there is much misconception concerning 9-1-1 calls so please consider attending the Power Point Presentation, listen to the people who deal with thousands of calls a year in order to keep you and your neighborhood safe.

Information is a powerful tool and the WPBPD is reaching out to residents, asking for help, and asking residents to do whatever possible to keep crime from their neighborhood and that starts with a 9-1-1 call. Please consider attending. What have you got to lose, except crime.

The Meeting Place & Date:
WPB Police Station 600 Banyan Blvd
Oct. 25, 2016 (Tues.) at 7:00 PM

Business Owners & Citizens of the City of West Palm Beach please join us for a presentation with a Q & A session about the functions of the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center
Please reserve your spot by e-mail to: [email protected]


Between writing this story and publishing it the neighbor with the outside cameras made a copy of the men checking the cars in our neighborhood for the police. Hopefully the police will recognize the crew, but I’m not sure what can be done at this time. It would have been better if the man watching them made the call, and the police could have caught them in the act. ? Lost opportunity.

Coffee With A Cop

West Palm Beach Police Dept. are inviting residents to join them for a cup of coffee.

When: September 28,2016

Where: McDonald @ 2421 Okeechobee Blvd. between 8-10 AM

Join your neighbors and local officers for complimentary coffee and conversation. There will be no speeches or agenda,just a chance to get to know the officers in your neighborhood, ask questions,and discuss ideas.

I particularly like the “discuss ideas” with the police.

Do you have an idea or suggestion on how to make the streets, your neighborhood and your loved ones safer? An idea or suggestion is not useful unless it is shared with the people who can make a difference.

If you watched the news this month you heard about a shooting at a strip mall in Houston where several people were shot. A video captured the sounds and sights of residents running from the sound of gunfire, while 5 or 6 police officers ran toward the shootings.

That shooting come days after a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead.
A 20-year-old man stabbed 10 people at a Minnesota mall before being shot to death by an off-duty police officer. Even when the officer has a day off, they are still on duty protecting us.

In Sept. WPB had 3 separate shootings in the Northend of the city and you can’t take anything for granted. You can no longer assume you can safely walk in your neighborhood or shop at a mall. The crazies are out there, and you never know when or where they will strike.

The residents can’t fix the problem without the police, and the police can’t fix the problem without our cooperation.

Please join the police for coffee and conversation. Your idea may change things for the better and make us all safer.

What have you got to lose?

Peace in the Streets

The City program “Peace in the Streets” continued monthly throughout the summer led by Rev. Kevin Jones who organizes and gets the word out inviting residents to join in the march in an attempt to show solidarity in a troubled neighborhood.

The City provides a police escort with a minimum of six officers to accompany the walkers, who split into two groups to cover more of the neighborhood.
We talk to the residents who are outside and ask permission to place a “Peace in the Streets” sign on their property.
We offer young men between the age of 18-24 an application for “The Mayors Initiative Program.” The City has arranged with businessmen to hire these young men in an apprenticeship position. With the amount of new construction jobs this could be a dream come true for many.

Over the summer walkers have had their own personnel police escort due to the lack of participation from residents which I admit can be discouraging when only five or six people show up to walk neighborhoods in 90 degree temperatures, until you notice many of the homes have no air conditioning. Then you take a moment to thank God for what you have and the advantages He has given you.

I admit to becoming discouraged and wondering if we even make a difference in people’s lives and then a resident offers you a bottle of cold water, another takes the time to thank you, another places a sign in their yard,a young man says he is looking for work and fills out an application. Yes, we are making a difference.

This last Thursday I arrived for the march to see 20-25 folks ready to march with us, a very pleasant surprise.
Channel 5 was present and I assume due to a relatively peaceful summer, the problems are back with a vengeance with three shootings in Sept; and they realized there was a story to be told.

I spoke with a resident who accepted a yard sign and we talked about the recent shootings when she pointed to a group of young men standing on a corner 2 blocks away.
I asked if they were gang members, and she replied yes, that’s “their” corner to sell drugs.

At a recent City Commission meeting I invited residents to join us in the Walk for Peace hoping a few more folks would attend.
A resident watching the meeting from home, named Matt Chambers, made the decision to join the Sept. walk and had the foresight to send his own invitation on his Facebook page. I saw many new faces in the crowd, and they mentioned they were from the south end of the city, and I asked them why they were walking today, and they said they read it on Matt’s Facebook page.
I credit Mr. Chambers for the turnout, and a sincere “Thank you” to him for taking the time to attend and send out invitations.

This is the difference one man can make.

The next march is to be held on 10/20/2016 at Coleman Park,1116 21st. St to start 6:00 PM.   Please join us.

The Report Is In

The city’s Internal Auditor’s report on the Procurement Process is complete and will be presented to the City Commissioners for their approval.

The city of West Palm Beach’s Procurement Department is under the responsibility of the Deputy City Administrator Dorritt Miller, in the procurement of goods, services and construction of the highest quality at the most reasonable cost through fair and open competition. Its primary responsibility includes:

Determining procurement methods
Facilitating solicitations
Monitoring the Small Business Program
Monitoring Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) Procedures
Developing Procurement Policies and Procedures

Number of Purchase Orders Issued:

FY 13/14                                FY 14/15

1,871                                      2,109

Value of Purchase Orders Placed:

FY 13/14                                   FY 14/15

$77,189,758                             $195,934,846

The Procurement Department is responsible for issuing solicitations, conducting/ attending pre-bid and proposal conferences, reviewing responses and facilitating the contract award process. Their primary goal is to ensure a fair and competitive solicitation process. In other words they purchase everything from scratch pads to new police cruisers, and it’s accomplished with a staff of two Purchasing Agents two Senior Purchasing Agents and one Accountant +7 staff members who are responsible for procurement beginning with the planning stages to contract execution.

Completed Solicitations                             FY 13/14                       FY 14/15
Invitation to Bid  (ITB)                               50                                    35
Request for Proposals  (RFP)                   17                                    10
Request for Quotes  (RFQ)                       17                                      7
Quotes (Under $25,000)                           27                                    37
Invitation to Negotiate  (ITN)                     2                                      6

Here are examples of what the City Auditor and his staff analyzed, and recommendations for improvement.

Statement of Objectives::
(1) Whether the level of adherence to the Procurement Department’s formal procedures and good business practices are providing adequate management of the City’s procurement function.

(2) Whether the level of adherence to the Procurement Departments formal procedures and business practices is providing the City with reasonable assurance that goods and services are being procured at the lowest cost and ensure the highest quality.

Audit Conclusions and Summary of Findings::

(1) Procurement has opportunities to better comply with the requirements defined in its formal procedures.
(2) Procurement should improve the department’s training, monitoring, and support practices to help ensure proper supporting documentation is maintained and goods and services are procured at the lowest costs/highest quality.

(1) Opportunities for Improvement:

The Procurement Departments formal procedures indicate that the Procurement Department’s responsibilities include coordinating with the user of department’s prior to the issuance of a formal purchase order or contract especially in cases where technical equipment, specifications, plans, or designs are involved.

Due to a reduction in personnel over the years, the Procurement Department has not had sufficient staff to keep up with the workload. This resulted in eliminating formal communication efforts with departments. Formal efforts for tracking user and vendor satisfaction have not been high on the department’s list of priorities.
Not having adequate communication links with Procurement Department users could result in items not being purchased timely and needed goods and services not being available, or being purchased at a higher price/lower quality than appropriate to meet the user’s needs.

(2) Measuring Cost Savings & Other KPI’S: (Key Performance Indicators)

The Procurement Departments formal procedures indicate that the Procurement Department’s responsibilities include procuring goods, services, and construction that will meet departments requirements at the least cost to the city.
According to the Project Management Institute, there are several KPI for evaluating the procurement function. The following are a few of the most notable KPIs.
1. Managed Spend and Total Spend.
2. Clients Contentment.
3. Lead Time for Procurement
4. Obtaining Feedback from Sellers.
5. Productivity in Purchasing.

Because of the magnitude of Procurement issues, some of these requirements have not been addressed.

Without these tools, the Department does not have the means to ensure that this requirement is adequately met. If goods and services are not procured at the least cost to the City, it could result in taxpayer dollars not being economically spent.

(3) Supporting Documentation and Purchase Order Processing:

The Internal Auditors reported the following report on a sample of 42 purchase orders processed.

a. Nine (21%) of the purchase orders did not have supporting documentation showing how the city determined that the vendors selected provided the lowest price and best products/services.
b. Two (5%) of the purchase orders had only one price quote. According to formal procedures, three quotes were required on these purchase orders.
c. Three (7%) of the purchase orders did not have complete electronic documentation on file supporting how the City determined that the vendors selected provided the lowest price and best/product.
d. For one purchase order, the Letter of Engagement was signed by the vendor, but did not have the mayor’s signature.
e. One $550.000.00 purchase was for a piggyback contract of an existing State fuel contract. The procurement department did not seek any additional proposals to determine if better terms or pricing were available. See example of “Piggyback” below.

Internal Auditor testing for the proper processing of purchase orders (P.O.) and invoices noted the following
a. Nine (21%) of the purchase orders included charges that were invoiced prior to the date the PO was approved.
b. Procurement could not provide signed/approved versions for 2 (4%) of the P.O.
c. As of 1/26/16, two (5%) of the P.O.’s have not been invoiced. Procurement did not have information on why these purchase orders had not been invoiced. During our audit Procurement was able to determine the reasons for these purchase orders not being invoiced.
d. One P.O. dated 1/13/15, to Duval Ford for police vehicles was not invoiced until November 2015: Procurement did not have information on why this purchase order had not been invoiced. During the audit, Procurement was able to determine the reasons for the ten month delay.
Item C & D have me concerned, especially the new police vehicles. Did the cost escalate in the ten months since purchasing? Why was no explanation provided? Did the City sanitize the auditors report?

Conducting Procurement Seminars:

The Procurement departments formal procedures indicate that the department’s responsibilities include conducting Procurement seminars to aid City personnel in understanding the operations of the Procurement Dept.

the Procurement department has a limited workforce. Developing, scheduling and presenting seminars have not had the highest priority.

If Procurement seminars are not conducted, it could result in City personnel not being aware of and not following department policy and procedure.
Maintaining the City’s Vendor Database:

The Procurement Department does not have formal written procedures for maintaining the city’s vendor database.
Please see “Demand Star” below.

Procurement Departments formal procedures indicate that the department is responsible for the input and maintenance of the vendor database and supplier list information in Oracle.

At one time an individual was tasked with maintaining the vendor database. However, that person left the city, and no one was assigned to take over the day-to-day responsibility. IT also lost the person who maintained the database for the IT Dept. Over time the performance of this task was discontinued.

the risk associated with vendor relationships include the facilitation of fraud schemes and/ or poor vendor performance, resulting in taxpayer dollars not being economically spent and managed.

                                                  Who is Marcum?

Marcum is the outside auditor with a five year contract to inspect City Records, as mandated by the State of Florida. Marcum’s contract has expired, and the State will not allow any vendor to re-apply, once the five year contract has expired. Smart, a new set of eyes will be used. A new vendor must be found. Each meeting I have attended, a representative from Marcum was also present, and each meeting had a complaint concerning the difficulty in obtaining city records in order to complete an audit.

The Internal Auditing dept. is missing one committee member due to his relocating to another city approximately 6 months ago. The city needs to replace him sooner rather than later. I personally want that extra set of eyes on the city.

The Internal Audit Dept. is short an employee due to her resignation after the birth of her second child.
Mr. Strout mentioned he found a replacement who has relocated to WPB from Nassau County N. Y. where she was the Audit Manager for 30 years. Sounds experienced to me, and hopefully the City Commissioners will not drag their feet in making her an offer.

The Auditors report mentions numerous time the Procurement Dept. is short staffed. I can only imagine the effect it has on employees and the difficulty attempting to keep ahead of the work load.
After the meeting I spoke with Mr. Frank Hayden, the Director of Procurement, and asked him the total number of employees who reported to him. His answer was 12. I then asked how many was needed to have his dept. run efficiently. His answer 15.
This is the dept. that is responsible for millions of dollars for purchasing goods, services and construction.
With the responsibility Mr. Hayden has, why does the Deputy City Administrator, Dorritt Miller deny him the staff needed to do the job?

                                                      “Demand Star”

This is a purchasing program recommended to the City. As you read above the City recently ordered new Police Cars. The city advertises in the P.B. Post and letters sent to car dealerships in the area.
Demand Star would reach hundreds of car dealership in Florida while describing exactly what the city needed, and what equipment was to be installed. The city would receive hundreds of bids. A win for the city.


The city made a $550.000.00 purchase for a fuel contract, which was piggybacked on a contract of an existing State fuel contract. In other words we paid what the state paid for a gallon of gas. Here’s my objection to “Piggybacking”

First you have to assume the State made the best deal possible.

Now, say I own Sandy’s Shell and I have a fundraiser for Mr. Smith, who is running for political office in Tallahassee. I help raise $300,000.00 for his campaign. He’s elected. The State needs to purchase gas for State auto’s, trucks, State Troopers cars. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to remind Mr. Smith what I did for him. What are the chances I receive the contract?

I’m beginning to understand why Mayor Muoio refuses to have the Internal Auditors Report televised on Channel 18. What residents don’t know—wont hurt them.

Schools & Jobs

Jobs and schools those 2 magic words that politicians regularly use to con the public into voting for a change to the constitutional amendment or a city charter, which eventually hurts the pocketbook of every taxpayer in the state, Palm Beach County, right down to the City Of West Palm Beach.

Lets start with public schools.
In 1986 Florida voters authorized a lottery through a constitutional amendment. The purpose was to alleviate the money shortfall and enhance Florida public education. The lottery was a great success and over the last 30 years the state has raised billions of dollars.
Did the state put these funds in a designated account to be used on education? No, they did not. The funds were placed in the general fund to be doled out as politicians saw fit.
Pennies on the dollars went to teacher salaries. More pennies spent on books and supplies and schools in disrepair.
In PBC many school children have to share books, and there are not enough for students to take home so no homework assignments are given.
The booming business in Florida are Charter Schools where millions of dollars are given each year,money taken from public schools. While the majority of them fail, they are allowed to keep the land and building, and are not responsible for returning funds borrowed from you, the taxpayer.
“No child left behind” is a dismal failure. There are thousands of children who are forgotten and left so far behind I question if they will ever catch up.
If Florida wont invest and educate children who will? Well, there’s always the gangs.

On April 11 I attended the city commission meeting where the city passed Resolution No. 105-16 in support of Palm Beach County and the School District of Palm Beach County’s plan to raise the sales tax by one-cent to pay for needed improvement to public infrastructure, parks, public safety initiatives, and economic development.
Economic Development: WPB is beginning to resemble Miami and Broward with the construction going on in the area. The city has allowed this while they complain about flooding throughout the city streets. Have you noticed concrete and asphalt will not absorb water very well? Where will the water eventually go? In your house.
The city desperately wants the one- cent sales tax to pass. They need the money for reasons given above. If their so desperate for funds why give businesses a free ride on tax exemptions? Why throw this money away?
When I complained about the business exemptions the mayor explained to the audience the city commissioners would vote on every exemptions presented to them. Sure, they will vote to give Marriott the exemption, and tell the Hyatt no exemption. Which business will sue the city? All will receive the exemption.
The one-cent sales tax issue will be on the November 8,2016 ballot. Please think before you vote, and know the issues.

The March 15 election there were 3 items placed on the ballot. 1: to nominate your choice for president, 2: elect a city commissioner, and 3: to allow businesses to receive tax exemptions for new and expanding businesses.

Many residents voted for #1, and left the polls without voting their choice for commissioner, and many saw the “jobs” and voted for #3.
When speaking to residents they didn’t fully understand #3 and believed they were voting for jobs only. I repeat know the issues.

WPB City Commission President

Commissioners Moffett, Ryan and Materio were sworn in for another 2 year term. Commissioners Ryan and Materio were not challenged, Moffett had 2 challengers and won reelection by 59% of the vote. That should tell readers that residents throughout the city were delighted with her leadership and wanted it to continue.

Now lets talk about the City Commission President and how the seat is filled. After the commissioners are sworn in the sitting president nominates the next commissioner to become Commission President, and if the majority of commissioners vote for approval it’s a done deal.

Supposedly the commissioners are rotated for a 1 year term, and sit to the right of the mayor. If the mayor is absent from a commission meeting the president chairs the meeting, and signs city documents. If the mayor falls ill, the Commission President runs the city, with the help of the Commissioners.

2012 Commissioner James 1 year term ended. Commissioner Mitchell said that Commissioner James had done such a good job, she wanted to nominated him for another term as Commission President. Commissioner James said he was going to nominate her for the position. All in all it was a disgusting display. So with the votes from Mitchell, Materio, and Robinson the deal was done, and Moffett was cheated from the position of City President.
Why? I believe it was Commissioner Moffett’s “punishment” for refusing to go along with 2 items important to Commissioners Mitchell and Materio. The WPB Charter School, and outsourcing of city water. I along with others were extremely upset and voiced our opinion, which of course was ignored by city officials. I attended the swearing in and you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to miss how it was orchestrated. Totally disgusting, and showed exactly how petty they could be.

2013 Commissioner James sat as Commission President for an unprecedented 2nd. term.

2014 Commissioner Moffett was nominated and approved for the position of City President.

2015 Commissioner Moffett was nominated and approved for a 2nd. term. This was just as wrong in my opinion, and should not have happened. Mitchell lost her bid for Mayor, and the remaining Commissioners may have thought a second term would “make up” for cheating her the first time around. Judge for yourself.

2016 Commissioner Moffett nominated Commissioner Materio as the City President, and Commissioner Ryan left early due to family business. Commissioner James voted against Materio as president. Obviously nothing petty about Moffett.

I was not happy with Materio as President, but knew in November she would be nominated.  Why? Let me explain.

The City Commission oversees the Internal Auditor namely Mr. Strout who has recently finished 3 audits and will be presented to the commission at the 4/11/16 meeting for approval. The audit on Parks & Recreations will be the next story written on this site.

Mr Strout has been the City Internal Auditor for over 3 years, and meetings were held on a monthly basis for the first 2 years, and 3 residents were always in attendance. Then meetings changed to quarterly.

Commissioner Materio never attended a single meeting until Nov. 2015, when she arrived 45 min. late. She also attended the 3/24/16 meeting, and arrived on time. This is when I realized she would be nominated City President. You have to show up eventually to get an idea of how the meeting’s are run. Those two meetings were her dry run.
For what it’s worth Commissioner Ryan has attended every audit meeting, and Neering has attended most of them.

A request of Mayor Muoio: Please don’t leave town, and stay healthy.

Prediction: In 2017 Commissioner Materio will nominate Commissioner Neering for City President.

Your Invited 3/15/2016

The City of West Palm Beach will hold its General Election on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, for the purpose of voters approval of a referendum question and to elect a City Commissioner to District 1.

Commissioners Ryan, District 3 and Commissioner Materio, District 5 are unopposed so they will have another term.

Commissioner Moffett has two challengers who have qualified, so voters will have a choice this year and I ask you to vote wisely after knowing Commissioner Moffett’s voting record on two very important issues city residents recently faced.

1- The city, under the direction of former Commissioner Mitchell, and the support of Commissioner Materio, attempted to form a City of West Palm Beach Charter School. Now would be the time to remind voters how many Charter Schools have failed in Palm Beach County after receiving funding that was transferred from public schools. “No Child Left Behind” left many children behind when money couldn’t be found for text books, a shortage of teachers or decent wages for them.
Commissioner Moffett was the first to speak out publicly against the school, and continued to speak out until Commissioner James and retired Commissioner Robinson were on board and those three votes were enough to stop another plan to plunder the public school system.

You may recall the Digital Domain (another school) fiasco when the city voted to award John Textor the deed to a piece of property valued at 10 million dollars along with 2 million dollars cash that has not, and will not be recovered. The land was recovered after a court battle costing more thousands of dollars courtesy of the taxpayer.

2- Another item discussed on the dais was once again led by former Commissioner Mitchell, and again supported by Commissioner Materio, and that was to outsource the city’s water supply. This was hotly contested and tempers flared to the point that Commissioner Materio left the dais, not to return for the remainder of the meeting.
Commissioner Moffett, was outspoken from the beginning concerning this ridiculously bad idea and once again with the help of Commissioners James and Robinson the proposal was defeated. Can you even begin to surmise the cost of your water bill if this was allowed to proceed?

These two very important issues are enough to remind me who’s side of the issue Commissioner Moffett was on, and in my opinion she deserves another term, which is why she has earned my trust along with my vote.

The following referendum question will appear on the ballot:

“Shall the City Commission of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida be authorized to grant, pursuant to s.3, Art. VII of the State Constitution, property tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that are expected to create new, full-time jobs in the city?”
Yes- For authority to grant exemptions.
No- Against authority to grant exemptions

The City of WPB is extremely business and developer friendly. It appears to me developers request are more often than not granted. I offer one example.

CMSJR Development appeared before the commission with a request to build rental apartments on Skees Road, off Okeechobee Blvd; one mile from the turnpike.
Residents from High Sierra, a development consisting of 32 homes appeared before the commission and simply requested the project be scaled back, and allow responsible development.

CMSJR previously built rental apartments in Lake Worth named Casa Brera and here is the comparison between the two projects with similar land size.

Casa Brera: 92 rental units on 12.2 acres or 7.7 units per acre.
Skees Rd. 245 rental units on 12.29 acres or 20 units per acre.

The project will move forward and could possibly bring an additional 500 cars daily to the Okeechobee corridor as the city continues to fight the State Rd. 7 extension.

On top of the gift mentioned above, the city now want to grant developers property tax exemptions.

Question: If the voters allow this to pass, who do they think will make up the shortage of tax dollars the developers will be saving?

Answer: The homeowner’s of course.

I had a discussion with a friend who told me it wasn’t a concern of her’s because she rents.

Well, duh, when the owner of her apartment receives his tax bill and pay’s his share plus the developers share and raises her rent, then it will concern her.

This she understood which is why she told me she will vote No to grant property exemptions to developers. Were on the same page here, hopefully you are too.

Where Do You Draw The Line?

I attended the WPB City Commission meeting held on 2/1/16 and witnessed the removal of a black resident, Douglas Ellington from the Commission Chambers. Here are my view’s of the altercation.

Residents can address the Mayor and City Commission for three minutes, on any Non-Agenda Items. Residents are free to commend, or criticize them, and many do.

Residents are also allowed three minutes to address any item on the agenda, and are free to agree or disagree with the city’s decision, once again many do.

At the February 1,2016 meeting Mr. Ellington was the first speaker called and he was polite and calm as he addressed the commission. He claims he was fired due to him being a “whistle blower”. When his three minutes ended, Mayor Muoio thanked him for his comments and said his time was up.

Mr. Ellington continued talking and Mayor Muoio again told him his time to address the Commission was over to no avail. She offered him the opportunity to meet outside chamber’s with City Administrator Jeff Green. He refused. The mayor then explained there were other residents waiting to address their concerns with the city. Mr. Ellington apologized to the audience, but continued to disrupt the meeting and refuse to leave the podium. Mayor Muoio adjourned the meeting, and she and three commissioner’s left the dais while Mr. Green again invited him to meet and discuss his situation.

A black resident from the audience approached Mr. Ellington and while I couldn’t hear the conversation she appeared to try and reason with him. Mr. Ellington continued speaking.

A white police officer was called and he spoke with him, and made every attempt to persuade him to leave the podium. He continued speaking. A black officer appeared and spoke to him. He continued speaking. The officer then placed handcuffs on him and he was escorted from chambers. I believe both officers were respectful of Mr. Ellington and went above and beyond the call of duty to try and reason with him.

City Administrator, Jeff Green, stated Mr. Ellington was given the opportunity to sign a citation rather than be arrested but he said he would return. What choice did the city have?

Mr. Green stated Mr.Ellington was fired approximately five years ago and was set to attend a disciplinary hearing but he refused to attend. Green further stated he was terminated because he wouldn’t come back to his job.

Mr. Ellington was arrested on two separate occasions on Aug. 5 and Oct. 15 2015 after by-passing security guards and metal detectors and running the stairs (with a security guard in pursuit) in an attempt to reach the mayor’s office. When police were called he refused to leave the building and was arrested. Monday night was his third arrest for trespassing at city hall.

“First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right’s of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence, or rebellion.”

Another speaker at that meeting was William McCray, a former black WPB Police Officer, fired from the city, and is now with the PBC Sheriff’s Officer. Mr. McCray successfully sued the city and the city settled with him for $300,000.00.

McCray stated that on 1/19/16 Mayor Muoio was disrespectful to him and violated his right to free speech when she would not allow him to speak.
What he failed to mention was he arrived late, and the agenda for public comment was over and they had moved on to the next item. If you have a desire to verify this information, please visit the city website and watch the City Commission Meetings held on 2/1/16 City Commission part 1 and 2.

He then mentioned how Commissioner Moffitt, who chaired the commission meeting on 12/7/15, allowed a “white woman” to address the commission although she arrived late to the meeting and did not submit a card requesting to speak. At this meeting I was the “white woman” who can be seen on camera walking to the city clerk with card in hand while McCray was addressing the commission. McCray then stated that’s what you do for white people and won’t do it for black people. If you wish to verify my version please view City Commission meeting held on 12/7/15.

I recall at a commission meeting when Commissioner Moffitt was chair, she stopped me from speaking on an agenda meeting when I veered off subject and she respectfully brought me back to topic at hand. She was right, I was wrong.

In closing I will add at the 2/1/16 meeting one of the agenda topic’s was found on the consent agenda and was item # 8 concerning parking meter’s and the homeless. I wanted to address the topic and turned in a comment card. Unfortunately the Commission had just voted on the consent calendar and Mayor Muoio stated comments would not be heard on the issues. Did she violate my right to free speech? Absolutely not. Did I learn a lesson? Absolutely, be on time.

Town Hall Meeting

In August 2015 Commissioners James and Neering held their first Town Hall Meeting which was considered a success with between 100-125 residents in attendance.

On December 8, 2015 the second Town Hall Meeting was held, which I attended.
When I pulled into the parking lot and saw the number of cars present I believe the meeting was going to be another success. When I walked into the building and asked where the Commission’s meetings were being held I was directed to another building with approximately 12 cars in the parking lot.

There was a total of 22 people in attendance which included Commissioners James, Neering, and Moffitt along with Pastor Kevin Jones, Assistant Pastor of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.
In the audience was Commissioner Ryan, two representatives from the Palm Beach County Gang Unit, and a representative from the Children’s Service Council along with two young women with teenage boys.
One of these young boys stood out as he spoke of his fears and hopes for his neighborhood.  He is being raised in a two-parent household and maintains a 4.0 grade average, and proudly mentioned his grandfather was a WPB Police Officer. One woman spoke and told the story of how her son was murdered.

Pastor Jones spoke of the “Mayor’s Village Initiative” and all that it offers. Below are the highlights of that initiative.

Mayor’s Village Initiative

The Mayor’s Village initiative is a city of West Palm Beach initiative which focuses on the plight of African American boys and young men.
The goal of the initiative is to prevent and reduce youth violence and to improve the outcomes of African American boys and young men in targeted areas of the city. The village consist of government agencies, businesses, concerned citizens, the faith community, nonprofits, philanthropy, and schools. The city will act as an umbrella and pull its vast resources together to help address this issue. At this time, we are focusing primarily on the North End of the city.
The current programs under the initiative reads.

Community and Police Dialogues- The dialogues consist of 4 to 5 week conversations between police officers, community residents, and community social service providers. These dialogues create a safe and and non-confrontational space for these individuals to develop trust, better understand each other’s experiences, and work together on solutions to build positive relationships between law enforcement’s and residents.

Kids & Cops Workshop- This workshop is a discussion between African American teenage boys and police officers. It is an opportunity for the youth to express their thoughts and feelings about their relationship with law enforcement. Additionally, it allows the young men to hear from police officers about their roles in the community.

Neighborhood Accountability Board (NAB)–  This program is geared for youth 12 to 18 years of age. The goal is for the youth to repair the harm that was caused in the community. A child that commits a first time misdemeanor offense qualifies for this program. They must be referred by the Police Department or the State Attorney’s Office. The conference consist of the offender and their parents, the victim (if they want to attend), and a board that is comprised of trained neighborhood volunteers. They talk about the offense and agree on appropriate sanctions. The youth have approximately 90 days to complete their assigned sanctions. If they complete the sanctions, the offense will not be on the record.

Operation Youth Violence: Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention:  The West Palm Beach Police Department developed this program in response to the high number of arrest concerning our inner city youth. The program is geared toward first-time felony offenders between the ages of 13 to 24. The goal is to provide them with the necessary resources and mentoring in hopes that they will become productive members of the community. This is a collaborative effort between government agencies, the faith community, and other public / private entities. These youth are offered the opportunity to enroll in GED programs, job readiness courses, counseling, and subsidized employment. These services are provided through the Urban League of Palm Beach County and the Pleasant City Youth Empowerment Center.

Workforce Development Program:  The goal of this program is to connect residents to employment. The goal is also to assist them in overcoming any barriers to obtaining employment. We have educational institutions, community groups, and the private sector at the table supporting this program. Many of the jobs require training and it is our goal that we make training available for the residents knowing that, at the end of the training, a job is waiting.

All the information above was available and the Commissioner’s and Pastor waiting to share with residents. Unfortunately, too few residents received the message.

The North End of the city is made up of thousands of hard-working residents who just want peace, to work and provide for their families. They should not live in fear because their children want to play in the front yard.

Unfortunately there are a handful of criminal types and it appears that peace is not on their agenda. A good example: On Sunday December 6, two 18 year old men were shot on the street in the North End. Neither man will cooperate with the police. Can the city expect retaliation in that shooting in the coming weeks?

The North End of the city has a problem and I don’t believe the residents can fix it without the help of the police department. The police department cannot fix the problem without the help of the residents. What are we waiting for?

The last Peace in the Street March for 2015 is scheduled to be held on Thursday Dec.17 starting at 5:15 PM. Please meet @ Coleman Park Community Center located at 1116 21st. St. WPB Fl;  where residents and police march together.  Working together = success

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