Milestone

Sometime this morning I hit thirty-thousand views.  WOOHOO!

Thanks for reading what I have to say, it is much appreciated!

30000

Well Lookey There….

I just hit 1,000 posts…. 1,000!  And they said it wouldn’t last!

Here’s to the next 20,000!!!!

Thanks for reading, commenting and participating!

1000

Lake Park CRA and Town Commission Meetings for March 6, 2013

CRA_logoThe Lake Park CRA and Commission met in regular session last evening in Town Hall beginning at 6:30 PM.  Commissioner Tim Stevens was absent from both meetings and Ms. Sue-Ellen Mosler resigned her seat on the CRA Board because of her busy travel schedule.

The CRA meeting was quick with approval of the past meeting minutes and approval of the CRA Annual Report to be presented to the Town Commission.

An item that was added for discussion was recent parking lot changes on Park Avenue on the 700 Block of the street.  After an extensive discussion regarding the closure of portions of the parking lot, the Town Manager was instructed to meet with all interested parties to find an amicable solution to the issue.

 

 

Immediately following the CRA meeting, the Lake Park Town Commission meeting was called to order.

LPlogonewThe meeting minutes from February 20th were confirmed unanimously.

Lisa Colgan and Guadalupe Laurence were confirmed for the Library Board while Cynthia Grey’s appointment to the Planning and Zoning Committee came down to a 2-2 vote which blocked her from being named to the P&Z.

A series of votes was taken regarding classifying the “Scrub Area” as conservation land and working with Palm Beach County to open this area as natural parkland.  Each of the three votes was approved unanimously.

A site plan resolution for a SERVPRO operating within the Industrial area of the Town was approved 4-0 to allow expansion of the business.

The commission voted 4-0 to allow the Town Manager to enter into a contract with a company to provide all copiers, fax, scanners for the Town and to consolidate the services.

An item came before the Board that would be paid for by existing grant monies to expand the Town’s “Eye on Park” program allowing for six security cameras to be added to the Town’s present camera system.  The new camera’s would allow for full coverage of the entire Town.  I made a motion to approve the item, however there was no second.

It was made clear that Commissioner’s Longtin and Hockman were not in favor of the enhanced security opportunities and their “no votes” would have killed the item permanently.  I advised the Mayor NOT to second the item and to allow it to come before a new Commission in two weeks who may have more interest in security and public safety for the residents.  Staff was directed to bring the item back on March 20th.

After public comment the meeting was adjourned.

My final commission comments reflecting on the past four years may be found here.

Lake Park Commission Meeting, February 20, 2013

Lake Park Town HallOn Wednesday evening, February 20th, the Lake Park Town Commission gathered in Town Hall for their regular twice monthly Commission meeting.

All Commissioners were in attendance.

Mayor James Dubois called the meeting to order and added two items to the agenda.

Resolution No 03-02-13 supporting the formation of an International Baccalaureate primary programme at Lake Park Elementary School.

A discussion of the Town’s Lobbyist.

Commissioner Longtin added a discussion item to bring back the “Home of the Month” program.

All items were added to the agenda and it was approved.

Public Comment featured two speakers.  The owner of She Sells Seashells Boutique at 941 Park Avenue introduced her business and welcomed all who would like to stop in.

A representative from Kiwanis spoke in regards to the March 30th Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for Lakeshore Park, he requested free parking for the event.  I motioned, Commissioner Longtin seconded and the free parking was approved 4 – 1 with Mayor Dubois in opposition.

(This is how easy it is for special events to get free parking.  If you will remember in our last write-up of a Commission meeting, I explained how Mr. Hockman complained that the Pirate Fest was not given the same, even though no one, including Mr. Hockman requested it.  The request and process took less than 4 minutes, in the future maybe Mr. Hockman will remember this when expressing his concerns about how the Town does not support the event producers.)

Resolution No 03-02-13 was passed 4 -1 with Commissioner Longtin in opposition.  This resolution expressed the support of the Commission for Lake Park Elementary to become an International Baccalaureate School.

Items 1 and 4 of the Consent Agenda were passed unanimously.  They were the meeting minutes of Feb 6, 2013 and setting a called special meeting for the Board of Directors of the Lake Park CRA on March 6, 2013.

Items 2 and 3 were pulled from the agenda by Commissioner Longtin.

Item 2 was a resolution designed to revise and wave certain fees for use of the Town Hall Facilities.  The item was rejected 3 – 2 with myself and Commissioner Stevens on the losing side.

Item 3 declared certain Town owned property as surplus and eligible for disposal.  This item was passed unanimously after Commissioner Longtin’s questions were answered.

Items under discussion and possible action included a request to produce a Lake Park promotional video that would be linked to the Town’s website.  This item was discussed for several minutes and additional options were explored.  The staff was directed to take concerns back to the video producer and also undergo discussions with a second party.

Mayor Dubois brought back an issue that had been deleted by staff during our most recent budget negotiations.  During that time, the Town Manager recommended not renewing the Town Lobbyist contract when it ended in early Feb.  At the time the Commission went along with the recommendation of Mr. Sugerman.

I have regretted this decision since it was brought to us.

After discussion, the Commission voted 4 – 1 to renew the contract of the Town Lobbyist as his services have been a vital asset to the Town.  The Legislative body sees the lobbyist as an important partner to have as we move our Town forward.

Commissioner Longtin brought forward a request to bring back the “Home of the Month,” in Lake Park.  I 100% support this motion and cannot wait to see us bring this program back!  I recommended that Code Enforcement be in charge of choosing the winner each month and that was agreed to by the Commission.

With that, the meeting was adjourned.

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A couple of notes moving forward….

THIS WEDNESDAY, February 27th the Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce will host a Candidate Forum at 6:30 PM in Town Hall Chambers.  All are invited to attend.  The event will be shown on Comcast Cable Channel 18 and in replay on the Lake Park website:  www.lakeparkflorida.gov

The candidates for Commission are:

Diane Bernhard; Kimberly Glas Castro; Erin Flaherty; Steve Hockman; Michael O’Rourke and Kathleen Rapoza

It is so awesome to see 5 wonderful candidates running for Commission, hopefully with the decision by Commissioners Longtin, Stevens and myself not to run for reelection, the Town will have a brand new group of 4 Commissioners in March!

I will have more to say about the election in the coming days, but I encourage you to get to the know all the candidates, compare their records to their words and see who is best to manage the finances of our Town and help us move towards the future ~ TOGETHER!

Lake Park Commission Meeting for February 6, 2013

Lake Park Town HallLast night the Town of Lake Park Commission met in Regular session.  The meeting was adjourned in Town Hall at 535 Park Avenue at 7PM.

Barring any surprises or election run-offs, I will now serve as your Vice-Mayor for two more regular session meetings and then one final meeting to certify the election with a new Commission.

Several people have asked if I plan to continue writing the meeting minutes after my term ends.  At this point I plan on continuing to cover Lake Park Commission issues, but don’t promise that I will be watching every meeting as I have a couple of projects that I look forward to devoting large blocks of my time to.

It will be fun to cover the meetings from off-dias as I will be free to comment on things that I would not while in office.

Now, enough about me, let’s get to the business at hand.

The February 6, 2013 meeting was called to order by Mayor James Dubois, all Commissioners were present.

After minor additions and one deletion, the agenda was approved.

The Bridges of Lake Park gave an emotional presentation on the Healthy Beginnings System as provided by their organization.  While parts of the presentation were difficult to hear and see, the topic is important and I commend Bridges for bringing this forward.

The full commission approved the meeting minutes of January 16th; 5 – 0.

Ordinance NO. 01-2013 a text amendment to reflect changes in the Florida statute was discussed on second read.  The statute deals with notice requirements of Code Enforcement issues and what is required by the State.

After an extensive conversation, the item was approved 5 -0 after being amended.

The next three items dealt with Scrub Land located in the town and owned by Palm Beach County and Lake Park.  In totality the three ordinances changed the zoning on the property, created a conservation district and placed the scrub area into this conservation district.

Commissioner Longtin and I both expressed our concerns that the county has done nothing with this land after many years of plans have sat at the county level with no action.

While we agreed that the county has led this along for far too long with no action, I feel it is important to create the district and encourage the county to move forward.

Commissioner Longtin’s request was to hold off on final zoning until after the county has committed to action on the property.

The three ordinances were passed with the land placed into a conservation district.  Respectively the items were passed 5 – 0, 5 -0 and 4 -1 with Commissioner Longtin voting against the final element.

The Commission then moved into a time of Discussion and Possible Action.

One item was removed from this section of the agenda, an item to authorize the Mayor to execute an engagement letter with Bryant Miller Olive, PA as Bond Counsel for refunding of two outstanding debts of the Town of Lake Park.  I do not know why this item was removed from the agenda and no explanation was provided by the Town Manager, the request was made and approved.

Three items were added tot he discussion section of the agenda.  Mr. Hockman added a discussion on the Pirate Fest and Commissioner Longtin added a discussion on Voting Rights and the contract for our Town Attorney.

The fist item discussed was Mr. Hockman’s.  For several minutes Mr. Hockman expressed his concerns that the producers of the event were upset and felt as though they were not supported by the Town.  While he discussed having concerns for several minutes, the only item Mr. Hockman ever actually offered as a dissatisfaction was the Town’s enforcement of parking meters.

What the commissioner did not mention was we have had numerous requests by producers to waive parking fees, for the most part we have always agreed to the fee waiver.

What the commissioner also did not mention was he could have brought the request forward to the body as a whole and requested the waiver on behalf of the event, he did not make the request.

As a matter of fact, I cannot think of one instance when a commissioner asked for fee to be waived that it was not.

It has been common practice that we as a commission have done this when requested by our fellow elected officials.

While Commissioner Hockman’s campaign speech was a nice touch, the truth is if the producers, or the Commissioner, would have made the request it more than likely would have been granted.

I understand the producer not knowing to make the request and hopefully the next commission will waive the fees; however Mr. Hockman did know the practice as he has been one to make the request on previous occasions.

In past weeks the Commission has been discussing CDBG funds that the Town is applying for.  At last night’s meeting we came up with our top 5 priorities the funds would be used for.  Those items in order of preference, and with the name of the commissioner supporting are shown below …

Repairs at Tennis Center

Dubois, Hockman, Longtin, Stevens

Afterschool Program at Library

Dubois, Rumsey, Stevens

Electronic Marquee at Town Hall

Rumsey, Hockman, Longtin

Create a Dog Park

Rumsey, Stevens

Demo Wall and add Lights at Marina

Rumsey, Stevens

The commission voted unanimously and retroactively to approve an expenditure for the purchase of a C500W Encoder.

The annual parking meter maintenance contract was approved 3 – 2 with Commissioners Longtin and Hockman voting against.  The contract has been in effect since Jan 1.

Commissioner Longtin requested the commission’s support of a draft resolution opposing unfunded state mandates.  The item was supported unanimously.

The final two discussion items were at the request of Commissioner Longtin added to the agenda.  Commissioner Longtin requested a conversation be held in April regarding the possibility of the Town’s voting system being returned to the format used prior to the 2009 Justice Department report.  This was supported by all commissioners.

Finally, Commissioner Longtin brought forward her desire to evaluate the Town Attorney’s contract.  After discussion on the topic Commissioner Longtin made a motion to move into a 60 day notice of termination.  With no second by a fellow commissioner, the motion died.

After further discussion I questioned Mr. Baird on several aspects of his work with the Town.  Tom Baird has been the Town’s attorney for 10 years, during that time period he has worked with 5 Town Managers, 4 Finance Directors, 5 Public Works Directors, 3 Community Development Directors and 3 Town Clerks……  read that list again…in just over 10 years, our Town has had the following…..5 Town Managers, 4 Finance Directors, 5 Public Works Directors, 3 Community Development Directors and 3 Town Clerks.

I am not impressed by this record…. honestly I am disgusted by it.

Mr. Baird has been one consistent cog in the Town’s wheel for over a decade.  Mr. Baird has not had a raise since 2007 and he has provided consistent work for the Town in areas of turmoil and success.

With this said, I find the idea of termination for our attorney to be detrimental to the Town’s future.  I motioned to extend the Attorney contract by three years.  With a second to the motion, Mayor Dubois asked the attorney if her were amenable to a reduction in fees if he were given a three-year contract.  A reduction was negotiated and the contract extension was approved 3 – 2 with Commissioners Longtin and Hockman voting against the extension.

After final comments, the meeting was adjourned.