We want To Hear From You=Joke

I attended the City Commission meeting held on 2/22/2021 and was interested in 4 items on the agenda, items # 4, 9, 10 and 17 and here is is the outcome of the meeting and includes information on items #3 ,5, and 6. Below is the final agenda for the meeting if you are interested in reading it.


At the start of the meeting Mayor James asked the City Administrator, Faye Johnson if there were any changes to the agenda, and Johnson replied # 4 was pulled, meaning commissioners would not vote on the item, and no discussion was needed. The City Commissioners unanimously approved items 3, 5 and 6.

# 3. City Commission approval is requested for appointment of Kevin Volbrecht and Cristine Perdomo as a member to the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency Technical Advisory Committee.

# 5. City Commission approval is requested for the Mayor’s reappointment of Ms. Bonni S. Jensen to the Golf Course Advisory Committee.

# 6. City Commission approval is requested for the Mayor’s appointment of Christopher Chase to the West Palm Beach Housing Authority.

# 4. (pulled from the agenda) City Commission approval is requested for the Mayor’s reappointment of Dr. Deandre J. Poole to the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee for a term of two years (2) that expires on March 8, 2023. Dr. Poole has served over the maximum allowed number of terms (3), and it is required that the City Commission confirms his reappointment. Agenda Cover Memorandum No.: 23219.

Dr. Deandre J. Poole is running for District 2 City Commission seat after Commissioner Cory Neering chose not to seek re-election. Keith James has endorsed another candidate and although Mr. Poole has served for 6 years on the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee and was to be reappointed for another 2 year year term, James has decided to pull item # 4 from the agenda.

Why would James pull the item? I can only think of one reason he didn’t want to highlight any of Mr. Poole’s accomplishments.

The city allows residents to speak on any item for 3 minutes and I submitted cards to speak on item 9 & 10 which can be read below.

9. Resolution No. 219-20 authorizing the assessment of city liens in the total amount of $36,593.58 for unpaid water service, sewer service, and stormwater service charges for the month of May 2020.
Background: In accordance with the Code of Ordinances of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, 2003, Sections 90-4 and 90-5, the City imposes liens on private real property for delinquent payments due for utility services. The liens to be assessed by Resolution No. 219-20 are for unpaid water service, sewer service, and stormwater service charges for the month of May 2020. The list of properties to be assessed and the associated charges are in Resolution No. 219-20 as EXHIBIT A – Utility Lien List – May 2020. If not paid, these liens may be foreclosed by the City.

I asked James if he was going to foreclose on these homes because people were unable to pay their water bill, then I just waited for an answer that never came.

10. Resolution No. 36-21 authorizing the assessment of city liens in the total amount of $27,010.60 for unpaid water service, sewer service, and stormwater service charges for the month of August 2020.
Background: In accordance with the Code of Ordinances of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, 2003, Sections 90-4 and 90-5, the City imposes liens on private real property for delinquent
payments due for utility services. The liens to be assessed by Resolution No. 36-21 are for unpaid water service, sewer service, and stormwater service charges for the month of August 2020. The list of properties to be assessed and the associated charges totaling $27,010.60 are in Resolution No. 36-21 as EXHIBIT A – Utility Lien List – August 2020.
If not paid, these liens may be foreclosed by the City.

#10 was basically the same with only the month and dollar amount changed. James refused to allow me to speak to item 10 and when I protested he asked for an opinion of City Attorney Kim Rothenburg and I honestly didn’t hear her reply due to her mask, and I emailed her.

“At last nights CC meeting James would not allow me to speak to item 10 and when I protested he asked for your opinion which you gave. Unfortunately wearing a mask I did not hear your response. Could you please let me know what you said?

“Sorry you were unable to hear me. I will be sure to speak louder next time. I will listen to the tape and let you know exactly what I said, but my recollection is that I advised the Mayor that public comment for the consent agenda could be limited to three minutes based on the rules adopted by the Commission relating to public comment.”

When she finished I asked James if I could speak to item 10. He said no, I was done. What’s the next step for James, figure out a way to eliminate public speaking altogether?

Mayor James answer’s to no one, listens to no one and never explains his actions. Is WPB a strong mayor form of government or a dictatorship?

If the people who say they support Deandre J. Poole actually go to the polls and vote WPB is one step closer to healing.

Deandre Poole receives two key endorsements from the Hispanic community.

Police Can’t Catch a Break with James.

On 2/11/2021 I attended negotiations between the City and the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) and what caught my attention was the topic of “take home cars” and I walked out with more information that I will share with readers thanks in part to FOP Vincent Castiglia, Florida Labor Council / Staff Representative. Jose-Luis Rodriguez, Chief Human Resource Officer represented the city and both sides were respectful of each others opinions.
Months ago I learned the Police Dept. switched from the PBA to the FOP and questioned the move. A little history below.

For over 20 years the Police Dept. was represented by the PBA (Police Benevolent Association) and members voted overwhelming to switch to the FOP because membership felt they were ignored by PBA County and their leadership.
Within the PBA, chapters can not make decisions for themselves without the County’s
involvement or approval. There have been many times over the years that the County leadership made decisions in direct opposition to the vote of their membership. Appears to me the PBA interest was more concerned with the city than it’s membership.

The FOP is organized differently, in a bottom-up format. The FOP is a member driven organization and is the oldest and largest police union in the country. The local membership and leadership make decisions for themselves and the members have a vote.

The issue regarding the take home vehicles. The city has recently taken a stance that they will not cover an employee who is operating a city vehicle “portal to portal” meaning to and from work if they are at-fault in a crash. This is based on a court case from about 2014 “Garcia vs Hollywood” which set a bad legal precedent. In that case, the Hollywood officer was represented by PBA. Mr. Castigila was making the point, case law will not change until it is challenged in court, and should the time come, FOP is willing to do so. Unfortunately, until then cities will use this case law to their benefit if they believe it suits them.

Currently, WPB Police have take-home vehicles (marked and unmarked). This is a benefit to the city as much as the employee. There are numerous fleet studies that show a take-home vehicle program is more cost-effective because the vehicle isn’t continually being operated and there is a sense of ownership to the officer. These vehicles are essentially the officer’s office on wheels so they take care of the vehicle and it lasts longer in the fleet. The other benefit is a quick response to incidents for which officers are called out from home. These can range from a detective responding to a crime scene, a K9 handler being brought in to conduct a track/ search, or specialty units like SWAT, Bomb Squad, etc. Without a take-home vehicle program, officers would have to respond from home to HQ (head quarters), load their vehicle and then respond to the scene accordingly.
There are several problems with this approach. As far as detectives, the main concerns are evidence protection and witnesses.
Patrol officers respond to scenes and hold it until the arrival of the detectives who assume the investigation. The detective is the subject matter expert who then makes decisions on how the scene is processed and evidence is collected.

Timeliness of their arrival is extremely important especially when the scene is outdoors.
Timely response by units such as SWAT is simply a life-saving issue. The quicker these specially trained officers can respond to a scene, the quicker they can take action. Who doesn’t remember the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Are you aware the Pulse nightclub shooter originally surveilled City Place as a potential target?

Officers currently pay the city a fuel surcharge for the use of the take-home vehicles. This is calculated on a sliding scale. The amount increases as with the number of miles until it reaches the max 40-mile limit. This was put in place around the time of the 2008 market crash and the high fuel prices. The city calculates the 40 mile radius “as the crow flies” from police HQ. They completely ignore the fact when the officer crosses the city limits, they are technically on duty and have a duty to act.

In new negotiations the city has suggested officers obtain a rider to their personal insurance policies to cover the operation of the city vehicles. The problem is, there very few insurance companies that will issue these riders. These can be very expensive and the officer has to move their personal vehicle/ property to these companies for coverage. The insurance company will not issue the rider solely for the city vehicle because the officer does not own it. Based on the experiences of officers from around the state, even with the rider when a claim is made to the insurance company they deny the claim and states the officer was operating an emergency vehicle and has a duty to act at any time. The officer is then placed in between the insurance company and the city. Eventually, the insurance company of the party whom he collided with will then file a civil lawsuit against the officer.
The city covering police cars has not been an issue until lately. It has never been an issue
through several city administrations. The exact reason for the change is unknown, but in my opinion James is abusing his authority once again.

For this fact, most agencies have agreed to cover the officer “portal to portal”. It is kind of the cost of doing business, and they are simply seeking the city to do the same for our officers so they can do their jobs and serve the city.
At the recent meeting the city represented the issue to be much bigger than it really is. The vast majority of crashes involving police vehicles are while the officer is in performance of their duties…..ON DUTY. The number of off duty crashes, in which the officer is at fault are small, and I can’t believe Mayor James is treating our police officers in this manner.

A comment was made about parking the police cars, and not taking them home if the city doesn’t agree to cover the officers, the union will recommend the officers not participate in the take-home vehicle program and cease the fuel surcharge deductions. This is the only way to limit the potential liability the city is exposing the officers to by not covering them. Additionally, there is not enough parking to store all the police vehicles so there may come a time when the public sees Clematis Street lined with marked police vehicles. Hopefully they wont get to that point.

While I am writing about police cars are you aware the police department is going to be forced to take approximately 20 vehicles out of the fleet this year (2021) due to being contractually obligated (age of vehicle/ mileage) to do so.
There are no replacements for these vehicles because the city denied a capital improvement request made last year for the purchase of the replacements. As a result, officers will be “hot seating” cars meaning they will operate the vehicle for their 11.5 shift and then hand it off to the officer relieving them who will drive it for his/her 11.5 shift. This 24 hour operation of these vehicles will certainly reduce the lifespan. The vehicle problem only gets worse in the coming budget year when another block of vehicles will have to come out of the fleet and there is an existing shortage.

WPB is currently 18 of 22 police agencies in PBC, earning lowest paid in dollars and benefits.
The other agencies are very small cities & PBC School Board. WPB is currently significantly behind smaller cities with smaller tax bases. This is the result of many years of ignoring the issue and allowing the police dept. to deteriorate. As a result the city has a serious recruiting & retention problem. The pay issue makes it very difficult to attract the best candidates. Many have been passed over by other agencies and our police dept. are becoming a training ground. Young officers are gaining experience while looking for a better paying job with another city or PBSO, and who can blame them if they are risking their life for us don’t they deserve to be paid properly? This issue then leads to other issues like staffing. When they can’t recruit, they can’t staff properly. Short staffing then leads to management being forced to pay overtime or order officers to fill patrol shifts (paid in OT).

Remember the PSC Security no bid contract with the city for $7.9 million dollar that resulted in a law suit and the city was forced to send it out for bid? No surprise PSC won the contract again, only difference the new contract was for $9,045,086,50 and when asked about a million dollar increase James stated the cost of living was being raised to $15.00/hour and the taxpayers paid to raise PSC staff wages, and now the city’s police officers are with hat in hand asking for a decent salary and benefits.
The WPB Police Dept. contract ended on Sept. 30, 2021 and they continue to put their lives on the line for us for going on 6 months, while James with the aid of City Commissioners gave taxpayer dollars to PSC.

James wants the police to add their police vehicle to their private insurance while he takes advantage of taxpayers by having the city purchase his Chevrolet SUV. Taxpayers pay the insurance, and James receive a $500.00/month gas allowance.

Our police officers deserve better.



City’s Monkey Business

It began with the 1/25/2021 City Commission meeting where 2 Resolution’s were discussed.

Item #4 “Resolution No. 3-21 authorizing the assessment of city liens in the total amount of $41,600.11 for unpaid water service, sewer service and storm water service charges for the month of October 2020.” Last line states “If not paid, these liens may be foreclosed by the city.”
The city can take your home, put you and your family on the street which adds to the homeless population and are subject to a $500.00 fine or 60 days in jail if your caught urinating of dedicating in parks or city streets. The city (James) claims the city is not criminalizing homelessness.

Item #8 “Resolution No. 347-20 Finding that property located at 630 5th. St. is not needed for city purposes, declaring the property to be surplus, and authorizing the conveyance of property under the Housing Assistance Incentives Program to Neighborhood Renaissance, Inc. for the development of a single-family home in the Historic Northwest Neighborhood.”
Resolution No. 22-21 approving a conveyance and Development Agreement and award of development funding to Neighborhood Renaissance, Inc. in a sum not to exceed $96,500.00 for the construction of a single-family home located at 630 5th. St. The total cost to develop this property $307,074.00. The City’s financial contribution to this project shall not exceed $96,500.00.” Can’t help but wonder where the city found the money. There have been to many homes owned by the city that are being sold as surplus, and I asked the question at the recent CC meeting if these homes were foreclosed on for non-payment of the water bill. I waited so long for an answer my 3 minutes ran out, and I never did receive a response.

Item #12 “Ordinance No. 4924-20 An Ordinance of the City Commission of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, approving the sale and conveyance of city-owned property located at 225 Monroe Drive to 225 Monroe, LLC. authorizing execution of a sale and purchasing agreement for $450,000.00. The City received (5) offers to purchase City-owned property located at 225 Monroe Drive ranging from $405,000.00 to $499,900.00.”
The City accepted a sale price of $450K when they could have had a sale price of nearly 50K more. The City’s reasoning 225 Monroe, LLC has performed historic renovations on several properties including Park Slope Town and Courtyard Homes a 14 home new development. In addition 225 Monroe, LLC received the 2020 City of WPB Historic Preservation Award.
Smart move by the city to present the award, kind of locks then into  receive more properties to renovate. City claims they have the experience to do a good job. OK, but how does the city know what a different company, offering more money, can do if they aren’t given the opportunity?

And how about the city give us the name of the company that has done all the renovating never mind the moniker 225 Monroe, LLC.

If Monroe, LLC acquires another property, say at 10 Smith, will that be known as 10 Smith LLC?

These properties are located in Commissioner Lambert’s district and I can’t help but wonder if the company her husband works for Wantman Group (WGI) is working behind the scenes in some capacity.

The City Commission meetings are televised and saved so residents can view the meeting at any time after they are posted. The 1/25/2021 meeting was handled differently. A reader called and asked why the meeting was not posted on line. I checked and the only part of the meeting residents could view was the last 5 min. of the meeting when James spoke about city business. The entire meeting along with  resident and City Commissioners comments were eliminated.

On Sunday (1/31/2021) afternoon the entire meeting was posted.

I left the meeting (my bad) when it came to the Commissioners comments so I missed Commissioner Peduzzi request the city post an upcoming meeting concerning the State Rd. 7 extension which took place on Thursday 1/28/2021, a meeting I didn’t attend because I didn’t know about it. If it was posted on the city website I would have been advised and definitely would have attended. Obviously the mayor didn’t want a showing of residents, while Peduzzi wanted the city to act in the sunshine. I checked previous meetings and the State Rd. 7 was not listed on the city website.

Below is the only part of the meeting residents were allowed to view of the 1/25/2021 City Commission Meeting.

Below is an excerpt from a story reported by channel 5 and the entire story can be read below

“Two new workshops are scheduled Thursday to redesign the controversial State Road 7 extension project in West Palm Beach.

The extension of the road in the western area of the city has been a point of contention for years, leading to a lawsuit by the city and millions in legal fees to stop the construction.” Read the story below.


Another meeting not posted on the City website:

The WPB Fire Fighters are scheduled to go before the Special Magistrate sometime in February, and not being sure of the date I inquired and received the information below.

“The impasse hearing is currently scheduled for the 3rd and 4th of February, however the City is claiming that the hearings are not required to be public and therefore did not notice the public accordingly. The union has requested that the Special Magistrate issue an opinion. If he is not willing to do so we will seek an opinion from an Attorney General. If that happens, it is unlikely the hearing will proceed on Wednesday but the question has be asked, “why is the city afraid to have the hearing out in the open for all to watch?” The firefighters welcome the public and hope as many as possible are able to watch via Zoom.”

I have attended Special Magistrate meetings and it always concerned code violations with the city and homeowners and couldn’t understand what role they would play in negotiations with a new FF contract, so I asked another question and received the response below.

“Impasse hearings are governed by he Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC). PERC provides a list of Special Magistrate that both the city attorney and union’s attorney reviewed and chose one together. The Magistrate is suppose to be a neutral party, the cost of which is split between the firefighters and the city. There is also a rating system so the lawyers were able to see how often this particular magistrate sides with the unions versus the city. That being said, with the issue surrounding the attempted private hearing could force the selection of another Special Magistrate.”

“We have also put together a website to outline the issues that we are facing an seeks the publics support in our fight with the City. Check it out and let us know what you think. http://wpbfirefighters.com

Most things never change except the city has hit a new low with their attempt to keep the public at bay by not posting meetings.

UPDATE: 2/3/2021

The Special Magistrate ruled in the favor of the Fire Fighters, ruling the meeting MUST be made public. One win for the good guys/gals.

The end.




WPB Fire Emergency

You  hope it never comes to your neighborhood, but eventually it does. You have an elderly neighbor who becomes ill and taken to a hospital, discharged after a week and sent home. All is well again, until it’s not.

This happened in my neighborhood and after being discharged from the hospital my neighbor became to weak to walk and slept on the couch his first night home.

The next morning his wife and son found him on the floor and being unable to lift him called 911. Of course the WPB Firefighter/ Paramedics responded as always.

My first observation was Captain Dylan Michelini, Drive Engineer John Wilson and Firefighter Stephanie Rosario all arrived wearing masks while the family were mask less. I realize at a time like this they are in panic mode and face masks are the last thing on their mind. I mention this for the sole reason of pointing out how dangerous their jobs can be.

The equipment came out and his vitals were checked and the family was advised all were good, and transport back to the hospital wasn’t needed. Then came the above and beyond the call to duty.

Captain Michelini made numerous suggestions such as remove the area rugs due to a tripping hazard, and also to acquire a seat walker to assist my neighbor being able to be more independent and his fear of falling. When the 2 men lifted him Firefighter Rosario placed her feet in front of his feet to prevent him from sliding forward when he was lifted and placed on the coach. Another suggestion was have him sit on a chair as the couch was low and harder to life himself up.

These three Firefighters took the time to insure the family understood the process of keeping their husband and father safe. A typical day in the life of a Firefighter, but extremely stressful for the family.

I recently attended the meeting between the Police and the City  in their negations for a new contract. They advanced as far as the Firefighters did. Both contracts expired Sept. 30,2020, and soon it will be 4 months without a new contract, pay raise or benefits.

The city skyline is alive with cranes putting up  new buildings and the City Commissioners just approved $1.8 million to add an additional 600 jobs to downtown. Are we growing at fast rate? I checked and here’s the answer.

With a 2020 population of 112,852, it is the 19th largest city in Florida and the 263rd largest city in the United States. West Palm Beach is currently growing at a rate of 0.80% annually and its population has increased by 12.94% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 99,919 in 2010. WOW! Guess what hasn’t grown? The WPB Fire and Police Departments. 

Police Dept.  Remember the $7.9 million no bid contract for PSC Security Guards? In the end PSC received the contract for $9,045,086.50. When James was questioned on the increase of over one million dollars he claimed the cost of living wage was to increase to $15.00/hour. OK, so why are the taxpayer paying the increase? Should the owner of PSC be paying the increase from their profits, and not the taxpayer’s pockets? That is the reason our police officers are having difficulty gaining a new contract. James preferred giving our dollars to PSC rather than the police officers who guard the city.

Fire Dept.  James claims we have new fire trucks and stations and that’s a good thing and I thank the City Commissioners for voting approval but what the hell are new stations and fire engines good for if we don’t have men/women to manage them?

Is Mayor James even aware of the low morale in both departments? Does he care? Does he feel responsible? No, he doesn’t. Why does he do the things he does? Because he can, who’s to stop him?






Your Dollars Explained

WPB Watch story recently posted I requested City Commissioners stop giving away tax dollars until Mayor James and City Administrator Johnson reach agreement with the WPB Police & Firefighter. Did they?

1/11/2021 “City commissioners Monday approved up to $1.8 million in job creation incentives to a major unnamed company from the Mid-Atlantic states considering bringing 600 jobs to downtown West Palm Beach.
Acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency board, the commissioners are offering $3,000 per job, to be paid after the company creates them. The payments would be made over four years.
In addition to the money, the company would get expedited permits through the city Construction Services division for the build-out of the new office space.
Four major office buildings are in various stages of planning or construction in downtown West Palm Beach.” Read story below.


I was reminded the city has a budget with dollars allocated for varies projects and I mentioned how many times the commissioners were asked to move dollars from one account to another basically robbing Peter to pay Paul.

A comment from a Fire Fighter. ” Our members didn’t sign up to fight fires, mitigate gas leaks, scuba dive in the city’s canals, cut vehicles apart on City’s roadways, or perform life saving medical interventions for the residents because of money, they knew going into this field that amassing wealth wasn’t their destiny.”

What I learned was all firefighters are paramedics. A fireman can pull you out of a burning building and also do CPR to insure all is being done to give you a fighting chance, and transport you to a hospital.

At the 1/11/2021 City Commission meeting the word was out that City Commissioner Cory Neering would not seek reelection as District 2 Commissioner. When the public was allowed to speak Fire Fighter Ryan Stacey presented Commissioner Neering with a firefighters helmet and thanked Commissioner Neering for his years of service and mentioned of all the elected officials who seek their endorsement with promises, Commissioner Neering was the one to keep his.The helmet was a great gift and the look of surprise on Cory’s face was priceless, but in my opinion the words Mr. Stacey spoke was the real gift. Cory Neering kept his promises. He will be missed by many.  Double click to enlarge picture.

city insert with water bill  Residents recently received their water bill which included a flyer namely “City of West Palm Beach: Your Dollars Explained” Double click the flier to enlarge and I draw your attention to the bottom right hand corner. The city claims:
Police Officers: 391, Firefighters: 244, Cost to operate Police & Fire $107,766,563.

I offer you the true numbers, straight from the horses mouth.

Police: “Our authorized strength is 314. We currently have 15 vacancies” So there are 299 Police Officers to protect a population of 109,767 (2019). Where are the missing 92 officers the city claims to have?

Fire: “Currently there are 239 firefighters across all ranks. We are currently in the process of hiring 37 using a Federal Grant that the firefighters (not the city) secured. Even after hiring this large amount we will still need 15 more in the near future if all stations are to be fully staff. Currently station 8 and 9 are not fully staffed. These numbers don’t account for planned retirements, injuries, and people leaving due to poor pay and morale.”

The city claims 244 Firefighters. What is needed 239+37+15= 291 needed to fully staff WPB Fire Dept.

A day in the life of a cop in WPB.

“A 33-year-old man is behind bars after police say he pulled the trigger of a gun while it was in the holster. Eugene Upperman is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, resisting arrest with violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and discharging a firearm in public. On Sunday just after 4 p.m., West Palm Beach police say Upperman’s girlfriend called 911, saying he pointed a gun at her. Two officers patrolling the area responded and confronted Upperman at 21st Street and Division Avenue.” These 2 cops are among the lowest paid officers in Palm Beach County. Read the story below:


1/14/2021: I attended the CWPB / Iaff Collective Bargaining Session: It was an attempt to negotiate a new contract between the city and firefighters. This meeting was different because the Mayor and City Administrator were not in attendance, and Mr. Jose-Luis Rodriguez, Chief Human Resources, negotiated for the city, and I believe did a good job. Both sides were very professional and respectful of each others view point. What was missing was the tension in the room which I believe was due the Mayor and City Administrator not in attendance.
Mayor James, our first responders deserve better.
The end


Debtors Prison

Forgive me readers, I can’t seem to let 4919-20 go. It upsets me as much as the city not reaching an agreement with the Police and Fire Departments contract to insure they are not listed as #1 being the lowest paid in the Police Dept. in the County. Over 3 months without a contract and knowing James he wont allow their paycheck to be retroactive.

December 28,2020  City Commissioners passed Ordinance 4919-20 which regulates and prohibits certain conduct that would negatively affect the aesthetic beauty and the health, sanitation, and public safety of the City’s Downtown and Northwood Areas.

(1) prohibiting panhandling or soliciting in the Downtown and Northwood Areas:

While living in Florida I have never been approached by a homeless person asking for a handout. I am constantly approached by panhandlers holding their signs with their message and of course ends in “God Bless You” True story: A few years ago, it’s Christmas time I’m exiting 95 @ 45th. St. going home when I see 2 well dressed young (20-25) couple. She’s sitting on a suitcase and he’s holding a sign ” Trying to get home for Christmas.” I pulled over gave them a $20.00 bill and wished them well. A few day’s later coming off 95 at the end of the ramp there they are again, same couple, same suit case and sign. I pulled over exited the car and demanded my $20.00 back. Last I saw them they were running west on 45th. St. Panhandling can be seen daily on 45th. & Military. Same 4 people standing on the corners, same signs. The police must be working on the problem because the man that works daily @ Walmart has been missing lately, maybe he went home for Christmas.

(2) regulating sleeping and “camping” in those areas:

Homeless don’t have a place to lay their head at night. The lucky ones, if you can call them lucky, have a car where they sleep in the heat or cold. Talking about cold WPB had a temperature in the mid 40’s this week.  Commissioners Neering and Peduzzi objected to section 2 and voted approval after they were assured it would be removed. 

(3) prohibiting public indecency, public urination and public defecation.

Commissioner Shoaf mentioned she witnessed a man step outside of a bar and urinate in the alley. The city should have code enforcement check to insure that particular bar had restrooms. He has money to drink, he certainly can afford a $500.00 fine to avoid spending 60 day’s in jail.

When I wrote that last line I was remembering the stories of  “Debtor’s Prison” and went on the internet to investigate. Here’s what I found.

ACLU: “Debtor’s prisons were abolished in the United States in 1833. Until that time, failure to pay what you owed could and did land you in jail. Nearly two centuries ago, the United States formally abolished the incarceration of people who failed to pay off debts. Yet, recent years have witnessed the rise of modern-day debtors’ prisons—the arrest and jailing of poor people for failure to pay legal debts they can never hope to afford, through criminal justice procedures that violate their most basic rights.

A debtors’ prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. Through the mid-19th century, debtors’ prisons (usually similar in form to locked workhouses) were a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Destitute persons who were unable to pay a court-ordered judgment would be incarcerated in these prisons until they had worked off their debt via labor or secured outside funds to pay the balance. The product of their labor went towards both the costs of their incarceration and their accrued debt. Increasing access and lenience throughout the history of bankruptcy law have made prison terms for unaggregated indigence obsolete over most of the world.”

Justipedia: “The incarceration of people who defaulted on their loans in debtors’ prison originated under the logic that punishing people for failure to pay their loans back would deter defaults. In debtors’ prison, however, there was no chance that the person could generate an income in order to pay back the loan.

Meanwhile, slavery became more and more socially disfavored. In the United States, slavery was defined as forced servitude. Once slavery was outlawed under this definition, debtors’ prison had to be outlawed too.”

When Did Slavery End? “On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation, and on January 1, 1863, he made it official that “slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…in rebellion,…shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

So in closing I guess the homeless can be indecent, urinate and defecate in public–just not in the Downtown and Northwood Areas. Do I have that right?

30 years before the end of slavery the US ended Debtors Prison. When I’m feeling melancholy and wishing for the “good old days” I don’t mean back to the the eighteenth century.

The end

James offers services of WPB FF

Updated 1/8/2021 @10:20 PM

Below are stories that I have no problem linking together. Please take the time to read them and draw your own conclusions. Below are excerpts from WPTV Chanel 5, PB Post, City website and WCJB TV-20. My comments in italic.

Corona Virus (COVID-19)

“James went onto say he’s offering support from West Palm Beach to Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County in their efforts to vaccinate the community. The West Palm Beach Fire Department stands by ready, willing and able to help administer the vaccine to City residents, James said in a statement.”

James doesn’t mention that 55 FF have caught the virus, and currently 5 are still sick with the virus from transporting our loved ones to the emergency rooms. Also doesn’t mention The city is still under a state of emergency and requires anyone working overtime to fill out a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) form 214 that details exactly how they spend their work day for reimbursement. Money to be made here unless your a FF and working without a contract since Oct.1,2020 with no end in sight. Where is the Fire Fee that all homeowners and Businesses must pay? My guess in the city’s general fund, to be used as James directs. Read the WPTV Chanel 5 story below.


West Palm considers selling naming rights to raise money.

“The decision to have staff study the possibility came at the suggestion of City Commissioner Christy Fox.

City Attorney Kimberly Rothenburg confirmed the law allowed cities to sell naming rights to facilities

City Commissioner Christina Lambert said she wondered whether such a program would require a staffer dedicated to initiate it, and what that might cost. Corporate sponsorships might be more feasible, such as advertising at an amphitheater, she said.

Commissioner Cory Neering cautioned that staff already might be stretched too thin to have running such a program added to its responsibilities.

Mayor Keith James asked whether the money raised would go into the city’s general budget or be required to go toward specific purposes.

Different approaches are possible, the city attorney replied. A nonprofit foundation could be formed to accept contributions, as was done with the library, or a procedure could be adopted to allow the money to go into the general fund, she said. She questioned whether donors could be found who would allow their money to go into the general fund, as opposed to directing it to a specific need such as parks or the library.”

Commissioner Fox apparently put her cell phone down long enough to come up with a reasonably good idea. Thoughtful questions from Lambert and Neering. James of course wanted to know if the funds could be placed into the general fund, along with the Fire Fee. The parks and library don’t need the funds due to Mandell’s generosity and parks have their 30 million Park Bond. How about homeless people? No, that’s been fixed, the city will fine and /or jail them. Read story below:


6/23/2020 Ocala’s fire service fee ruled an unconstitutional tax.

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) – “A ruling by the Fifth District Court of Appeals could lead other cities to assess their own fire fees.
Their ruling reversed a decision made by a circuit court judge who initially considered it constitutional last year.
As the fee was bundled among the city’s utility, it gave little option for residents to opt out, court documents said. The plaintiffs also argue that residents could choose not to pay the fee, but that would require disconnecting from the City’s water, sewer and electric service.
The court ordered city leaders to establish a fund to reimburse residents.”

Well, here we go. WPB officials were told this was a bad idea long before James doubled the fee to $100.00. Maybe the Fifth District Court of Appeals wasn’t aware that staff “Recommended Approval.” Reminds me of when a reporter asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi what was in the Obama Affordable Care Act. Her response: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Read the story below:



Below is on the agenda for the 1/11/ 2021 City Commission meeting, Item #10

Resolution No. 14-21(F) amends the General Fund full-time equivalents (FTEs) to restore one (1) Executive Administrative Assistant position in City Administration, restore one (1) Senior Administrative Assistant position in Internal Audit and restore professional services funding in the Internal Audit Department as well as eliminate a Library Assistant position and add On-Call hours for the Mandel Public Library.

Resolution No. 15-21(F) authorizes the appropriation or transfer of City funds in Fiscal Year 2021.


Agenda Cover Memorandum No.: 23186
Staff Recommended Motion: Approve
Resolution No. 14-21(F) and Resolution No. 15-21(F).

This item is, in part, to effectuate changes to the FY21 General Fund budget that were discussed with the City Commission during the final budget adoption hearings. Two of the changes relate to restoration of the Senior Administrative Assistant position and professional services funding of $60,000 in the Internal Audit Department. Funding for these two items were removed from the budget during preparation of the preliminary FY21 budget as part of a series of cost reduction measures to balance the General Fund budget. However, based on the adverse impact to the efficient operation of the Internal Audit Department and as discussed with the Commission, alternative reductions were made. Therefore, the funding can be restored from carryforward dollars as was committed.

The third change is to restore the Executive Administrative Assistant position in City Administration, which was also eliminated as part of the cost reduction measures. This occupied position was going to be eliminated as part of meeting the Mayor’s Office 5% budget reduction and would have resulted in a staff layoff. In light of the Commission’s concerns about staff layoffs, instead of eliminating the position, the funding for the vacant Vision Zero position was eliminated. However, the Executive Administrative Assistant position was not included in the adopted FY21 General Fund position and needs to be added back into the FTE compliment.

Approval of Resolution No. 14-21(F) would amend the FTE General Fund budget by adding back one (1) Executive Administrative Assistant position in City Administration, one (1) Senior Administrative Assistant position, including professional services funding of $60,000, in the Internal Audit Department. The total funding required for these changes is $166,680 from General Fund carryforward fund balance.
The last item is a newly proposed change in the Library Department. Staff is recommending eliminating one (1) Library Assistant position that was recently vacated through an internal promotion and to backfill the position by adding one (1) on-call Library Assistant position, which will provide sufficient staff coverage for the Library’s first floor Customer Service desk. This reallocation will result in a cost saving of approximately $23,200 for this fiscal year. Staff recommends City Commission approval of Resolution No. 14-21(F) to provide FTE count changes and Resolution No. 15-21(F) to provide budget.
Fiscal Note: Approval will add two (2) FTEs, $60,000 for Audit Professional Services, eliminate one (1) FTE, and add one (1) on-call position.

Another point to be made on the city website under Employment Opportunities is listed a job for a mayor’s Chief of Staff, pay grade 4 with a salary of $63,000.00 to $94,000.00. He doesn’t need a chief of staff with a little over 2 years to serve.
Commissioner’s, you 5 people control the peoples tax money and must approve every dollar spent and I respectfully ask you not to approve item #10 or the mayor’s Chief of Staff position when it is presented for consideration. Any item brought before you that will cost the city money until the Mayor and City Administrator have a contract with our Fire Fighters and Police officers who have been without a contract since Oct.1, 2020. It’s time to stop telling both departments you love them, it’s time to show them.
The end



#9 Public Hearing and Second Reading of Ordinance No. 4919-20 amending the City’s Code of Ordinances to prohibit certain conduct that threaten the aesthetic beauty and public health and safety in the Cities Downtown and Northwood Area.

Mayor Keith James and Commissioner Lambert ran for office with the promise of working on the homeless problem which is estimated at 400 people. 4919-20 is James solution and residents witnessed his frustration while attempting to bully the commissioners into approving the Ordinance.

James started by stating “This ordinance is not a criminalization of homelessness,” and repeated his statement several times. The Ordinance carries a penalty of a $500.00 fine or 60 days in jail. Not one commissioner asked the question does the city impose fines and jail people who are not criminals?

Channel 5 had their cameras in chambers and their story can be read below I will include a few excerpts and my response in Italics. “But the debate over camping/sleeping in public areas began to weigh on commissioners Cory Neering and Joseph Peduzzi. Both questioned whether it was the smart thing to include in the ordinance to Mayor James’ frustration.” Two commissioners who used common sense, but in my opinion should have tabled the item until a later date when they could have investigated the matter further.

“I think you should specify what it is you are trying to work on,” James said.”  When James wants to make change he tells staff to “make it happen” and if they want to keep their job they will say and do what is necessary to insure a yes vote from City Commissioners. Staff stands before the commission and make their presentation’s and spin their tale, and this is the only time commissioners can ask questions of them. If a commissioner has a question on a particular item 3 days before the meeting they are NOT allowed to ask the question and possibly investigate staff’s answer.

The PB Post wrote a story on Ordinance No. 4919-20 and can be read below and I want to bring to readers attention The Lords Place who has worked tirelessly for more than three decades and have devoted themselves to the Homeless population. My comments in italics.

“The homeless are people who are choosing the streets because that’s all they know, or all they have,” Diana Stanley, CEO of The Lord’s Place told the commission. Her organization had a contract with the city to provide outreach to the city’s homeless until it was terminated a month ago.”  The city terminated the contract and cant be bothered with the homeless except to hide or move them from sight due to their aesthetics not blending in with the mayors definition. Definition of aesthetics “a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty”  So why did James not renew the contract with The Lords Place?   https://thelordsplace.org/


I agree urinating and defecting in public is 100% wrong but where are the homeless to go? I know city parks have restrooms and a friend helped me locate a few public parks with facilities. Here are pictures of 3 such parks, each one locked 24/7.

Now this is criminal  restroom in Drayer Park!










Restroom in Phipps Park: Can’t even get a drink of water, never mind using the facilities.








Gaines Park: Witnessed a group of young men playing basketball, and asked them what they did when they had to use the facilities. One young man said restroom is never open. I asked him “what do you do?” His answer: Lady don’t ask. I smiled and left them to their game. Gaines Park is near The Lords Place, and homeless can be seen waiting for their lunch, probable their only meal of the day.

If anyone should understand homelessness it should be Mayor Keith A. James. He has had 3 foreclosures, case # 19970211085, 20130486593 and 20150106271. Multiple tax liens, to many to list, and had his City Commission paycheck garnished case # 20180394843. Readers can verify this with the PBC Clerk of Courts, and this is the man elected to run the City Of WPB.


In closing I must ask where was Commissioner Lambert during this very important meeting and vote?

We sat and listened to City Clerk Carson read into the record residents who wanted their views known and there were approximately 25 cards, and I didn’t hear one that asked the commissioners to pass the Ordinance. The entire time the statements were read Commissioner Fox looked down, and I thought she may be texting, in fact I’d put $$ on it. Commissioner Fox, very disrespectful to Ms. Carson, other commissioners the audience  and the opinion of the people who submitted their cards and If I didn’t know better I would believe your mind was made up on how you would vote.

The end.

One Failure After Another

For the record I believe City Administrator Faye Johnson is doing the best job she can while answering to Mayor Keith James who lives by the motto “my way or the highway” and “get it done”. When she accepted the position as City Administrator is this how she pictured her position or does she have any regrets?

Aug. 2019 Joined the city of WPB as Assistant City Administrator.
Oct. 2019 Promoted to Interim City Administrator.
Jan. 2020 Promoted to City Administrator.

The City Charter calls for the City Administrator to live within the city limits.

Faye Johnson lives in unincorporated PB County, and she has the responsibility of leading the talks between the WPB Fire Dept.(IAFF)  and the WPB Police Dept. (formally PBA now represented by Fraternity Order of Police (FOP) and as of today no agreement has been reached with either first responders.

City claims money is tight and cuts must be made which will start with city employees either furloughed or laid off. If employees either resigned or retired we were told positions would not be filled meaning employees had their responsibility plus the extra work of their missing co-worker. If an employee was represented by the Service Employees  International Union (SEIU) they were given a 3% raise. Not a union member, no raise.

At the commission meeting held 11/30/2020 item # 9 passed unanimously. Here it is:

Resolution no. 350-20 (F) authorizes the creation of three (3) full time equivalent (F.T.E.) positions and personnel detail within the 309 Series 2020 General Obligations Bond Fund to support the completion of Park Bonds projects: and

Resolution No. 351-20  (F) reallocates budget appropriations and within Fund 309 from professional services to Salaries and Benefits to fund the positions. That is how the 2 resolutions reads. Here is what it means: Mayor Keith James decided to hire three (3) people and pay them a salary of  $875,000.00 over three (3) years.

How did previous Mayors handle the Park Bond without the positions listed above? They can’t find the money for first responders but can find close to a million dollars for 3 new positions.

Mayor James found $9,045,086.50 for a five (5) year contract for his good pal  Willie Perez from PSC Security Company. PSC received the raise so no more money left for our first responders.

Ms. Johnson depends on the Palm Beach County Firefighters and Sheriff’s Dept. to protect her life and property, and if she lived within city limits she may view the talks differently.

If she lived on No. Flagler she would understand the problems the area has with severe flooding for the past 20 years.

If she lived on So. Dixie Hwy. she would have a better understand of the residents concern on what is developed on 8111 So. Dixie. At one city commission meeting James made the statement the land belongs to all WPB residents, not just the southend and I agree with him, but he should be aware whatever is constructed will not effect me and the area where I reside but will effect the southend residents.

If she lived in my area she may better understand our concern of the traffic situation around 45Th.St. and Village Boulevard with the new construction of over 300 apt’s. on Village Blvd. and 374 on 45th St. along with a 150 room hotel. Development will not effect 8111 or No. Flagler flooding, but will indeed impact residents in my area.

Below is the article written by PB Post Joel Engelhardt and I have included it for readers. Below is a sampling of the article. Read who was the City Attorney, and what politician wanted Grand Jury testimony silenced. The city put the residents of Waterview Towers through hell for years. FYI  “staff recommended approval.”

“WEST PALM BEACH — Sometime in the distant past, the city made a mistake, a simple unforeseen slip in a complex series of agreements.  The city made money off that mistake. Now, the city could be forced to pay millions.

A still-unfinished proposal floated a year ago to resolve all the issues surrounding the Palm Harbor Marina and its adjoining condo tower on Flagler Drive calls for the city to pay the condo owners $2.5 million  to buy the rights to a sidewalk the city already owns.”




Action Summit

The notice below is posted on the city website. Sounds good until you remember Mayor James previous committees that went no-where and I don’t have much faith in his “Mayors Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Equality” All of a sudden YOUR VISION and your input on the priorities that matter most to you is what the city is seeking. Then it hit me. James is starting his campaign for re-election for a second Mayoral run. So tell the people what they want to hear.

“Action Summit”
Post Date:11/13/2020 11:48 AM
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA (November 13, 2020) — Join us on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for the first-ever West Palm Beach Racial and Ethnic Equality Action Summit! This highly interactive virtual public event will serve as an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to weigh in on the priorities that matter most to them and to influence the work of the Mayor’s Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Equality. This is a chance for us to hear YOUR VISION for a more equitable City of West Palm Beach. Your input will play an important role in influencing local decisionmakers and recommendations from the Mayors Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality.” Read the invitation here: https://bit.ly/3ptUfeK

This is how James cares about your input and vision from his early day’s as a City Commissioner, and two commissioners who attempted to have the timing of the meetings and public comment scheduled to a more convenient time for residents to be included.

Keith James has demonstrated a record on the West Palm Beach City Commission of being opposed to greater citizen input/ participation at City Commission meetings. Below are excerpts:

“The city commission leaves the public comment part to the end of its meetings, sometimes more than three hours after they start. Only a few residents usually remain, and they are normally there to criticize the mayor and commissioners.

Commissioners Shanon Materio and Kimberly Mitchell want to allow the public to speak early and return public comment to a more convenient time for residents, like it was before former Mayor Lois Frankel advocated for the late-meeting comments.

Most of Palm Beach County’s larger municipalities allow public comment at the start of their meetings.

Mayor Jeri Muoio doesn’t favor the move but said she’d put it on the commission’s agenda if requested. Commissioner Keith James agreed with Muoio that public comment is best at the end. “Those who have matters on the agenda which are scheduled probably deserve to go first simply because there has been an effort to get that item on the agenda,” James said.  The city commission favored business owners and senior citizens over working-class residents Monday, electing not to move meetings to the evening and keeping public comment at the end of their agendas.

Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell wanted the starting time of meetings to be moved from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. so people with regular work hours could attend. The commission voted in 2008 for a 5 p.m. start time, but then-Mayor Lois Frankel vetoed the measure.

Mitchell also said at Monday’s commission work session that she wanted public comment scheduled at the beginning of meetings so residents wouldn’t have to wait hours to speak. However, Commissioner Keith James said the commission needs to address its business agenda before hearing from the public. (Palm Beach Post, January 28, 2013)

“I would like to get the legislative business done so those who are there for legislative business are assured their opportunity to address us,” James said. (Palm Beach Post, May 10, 2011)

Mayor Muoio attempted to move public comment to the end of the meetings and received pushback and she listened, I’m  sure much to James distress, and left public comment at the beginning of meetings.

Now that James is king he does what he wants and listens to no-one.

From 2011 thru 2020 the last people James wants to hear from are residents, and if he could find a way to end it–he would.

Let’s end on a positive note. The Fraternal Order Of Police and Firefighters the two organizations that are there for us are now asking for our help.

You’ve read this far so please take the time to view the link below and if possible let’s help them help the Marcos Children.

Join WPB First Responders in Support of a Fundraiser. The Marcos children tragically lost their mother this year and are orphaned. Help us support them and their foster family as they are forced to adapt to their new life.


The end



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