We should change city name from WPB to Related

May 10, 2018

As hard as I try to accept the recent election of City Commissioners I read the Palm Beach Post and find myself upset all over again. Here are some examples of why.

Understand the City Commissioners serve as the CRA board of directors.

4/29/18 story by Tony Doris: “Transformative project can’t even get a vote”
“Plans for a major north-end development with micro-condominiums, affordable apartments, offices, a grocery and a park, have collapsed over city commissioner concerns the developer couldn’t make it happen.”
Commissioner Neering (who was 1 of 3 commissioners to vote against Related “One Flagler” brought the item up for discussion, and couldn’t receive a second to move the conversation forward. Why?

Commissioner James was quoted as stating “The financing plans for this one seemed unnecessarily complex and sophisticated.”

Commissioner Ryan also quoted “I listened, I heard the financing and the cost of construction, and I knew this was not a real deal.”

Two new commissioners sworn in 4/5/18 and attended the CRA meeting held 4/23/18 a full 19 days in their new position had this to say in part.

Commissioner Lambert “I wasn’t comfortable with the financing”

Commissioner Shoaf while not uttering the word Financing but did say “she wants smart growth, but the right kind, as well as other aspects of how the deal was structured”

Commissioner Neering was “dumbfounded” none of his colleagues would second the motion to discuss the project.
Commissioner Neering–it’s not a Related project of course they aren’t interested in discussing it.

Mayor Jeri Muoio, who is solidly behind the Related project’s and strongly supported Lambert’s campaign was quoted in the PB Post calling her win “good for business.” I agree with the mayor 100%. Unfortunately it will be bad for residents.

Now I expect both James and Ryan along with the mayor to take these two women “under their wings” and show them how business is done in WPB.
They now have the votes needed to move any Related project forward, and move forward they will.
Money well spent by developers.

“One Flagler” which residents were solidly against was defeated by Commissioners Materio, Neering and Moffett, and after the election I spoke from the podium and said it would be brought back for consideration. Well, 5 weeks after the new commissioners were sworn in it is on the agenda for the planning board for 5/15/18 @ 6:00 PM in City Hall.
This is an extremely important meeting and if you can attend, please do, and speak up. “Friends” of City Hall will be on hand telling the board what a wonderful project this will be.
Gee, maybe Related will bring pizza again and place kids not old enough to vote in the chairs so residents must move to the Flagler Room.

Related plans to build an 18 story 300,000 square feet, Class A office tower dubbed 360 Rosemary.
With Related’s 4 friends on the commission this shouldn’t be a problem.

One of my recent stories I wrote about how close the City, Related and the Chamber of Commerce are. If you missed the article I repeat they are thisclose. So how about the commissioners work on this for their next project as their always concerned about money for improvements residents ask for.

The Chamber Of Commerce rent’s a city owned property located at 401 North Flagler Dr. for $1.00/year. No, that’s not a typo error and you read it correctly, $1.00/year.
Tax collector appraises the building at $10,929,710.00
City owned property pay’s no taxes.
It is illegal to place election signs on city owned property and when a resident sent an e-mail to Mayor Muoio, Jeff Green, City Commissioners and Code Enforcement about a “Lambert” sign on the Chambers site and asked that it be removed. Mayor Muoio said to leave it alone, so it may be tough for Ms. Lambert to consider raising their rent.