Welcome to The Street, Lake Park.
(Sorry, but this first post got out of hand. Future posts will be shorter!)
Have you taken a look out your window and down the block lately? How’s the view from your front porch? Do you see what’s going on out there? How do you feel about it? We are about a 2.5 square mile town with soaring potential that once oozed small town charm, but that’s been quashed by our town’s growing love of government.
Small Town…Meet Big Government
It’s a love affair alright. Our small town administration loves them some progressive government, be it in the form of perpetually chasing after more government money, cow-towing to the Department of Justice or courting more control, cloaked by smart sounding but misleading language, such as sustainable development*, just for starters.
You’d have to be driving with your eyes tightly shut not to see some of the sad results of that small town/big government marriage as you come and go through Lake Park each day. It’s a rocky relationship and it’s “offspring” are telling the tale. In a recent city meeting, everyone was scratching their heads, trying to understand why businesses don’t want to come here. Really? If you live here and drive the neighborhoods each day, it’s not too hard to figure out. It’s not just the look of the neighborhoods that have deteriorated, although many are dreary; behind the scenes, among those who make our town’s decisions, the “progressive” “smart” solutions are a spit shine which represents their desire for more money and more control, masquerading as something for the common good. This has changed the environment of our town to its detriment.
The hands and feet of residents out walking their dogs or sitting idle on porches or hunkered down within air-conditioned walls watching the tube, and even those out actually out trying to make their part of the world a little nicer, have everything needed to restore the little gem known as Lake Park. It’s called a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Big Hearts meet Small Government
If it is to be done, we are the ones who will create a meaningful, beautiful and thriving place to live. We, along with our neighbors, will do it ourselves one day, one person, one home and one block at a time, or it will not be done. We must start small and take more care. We must be people of honor, neighbors who join together for our hometown.
While you’ve been going about your business, there are hands and feet that HAVE been at work in Lake Park, and it would be wise to know their mission and question their goals. Those who represent us in the town seat must always be held accountable.
You can see the results of what they’ve been up to on every block, hear it in the grumblings of your neighbors over code enforcement woes, experience the intrusion of restrictions and fees implemented for permitting, and you can feel its affect upon your life in regard to things ranging from rundown neighborhoods, the Marina project, policing issues (had a break-in recently? Have drug buyers and sellers on your block?) and parking meters to name a few.
There has also been a noticeable push to create dependency among residents. This attitude is evident even within the town commission itself in regard to dealing with the smallest of town problems. When commissioner Hockman and Longtin decided to roll up their sleeves and fix a problem that remained unresolved through town meetings, they were chastised and threatened with ethics violations. The accusing commissioners seemed to feel bureaucracy trumps common sense and personal responsibility. Those with our town’s best interests at heart and a small government relationship would empower all of us to take more responsibility for our own lives and property, leading by example rather than waiting for the government to do it for us.(1) Bravo, Commissioners Hockman and Longtin. Thank you for exemplifying true leadership.
As days go by, we will share personal stories of what has been happening in our town and on our blocks. Your stories. Your viewpoint. You may be unaware of the framework that is in place and growing in our little town. Some of the buzz language adopted by city administration should set off alarms. So we want to connect with each other and identify what it is that’s really going on, reverse some trends and return our town to America’s founding traditions.
You may want to consider that the outcome of the recent special election tipped the scales in favor once again of bigger government. The cozy team elected by a few hundred people out of 9,000 residents and 4,000 voters was selected and campaigned for by town employees. The result of that election: less debate and discussion on what matters to residents; more of our money will now be required for the city coffers where it will be spent on projects from which residents will likely reap little benefit.
So forget the maintenance and improvements you want to perform on your own aging property. You have high taxes to pay so the CRA can perpetually redevelop Park Avenue until it fits in with a broad global initiative*. Besides, we have some hefty town employee salaries and pensions to pay. Never mind that you haven’t any retirement yourself. You are at the mercy of those who think they know better than you. Not only will they be happy to spend your money, but they have set their sights at rebranding what we think in relation to our property rights.
If you have concerns about Lake Park, check in and see what there is to see, hear what there is to hear, and please share what you see going on or would like to. And while it’s too late to change the outcome of the Mayoral and Commissioner special election for at least the next two – three years, we can stand together, build our presence and raise our voices and create a plan for renewing our town and the control of it.
We welcome your viewpoint. We won’t always all agree, although rather than merely vent, let’s discuss and create some new ways to make Lake Park a sparkling gem once more.
Big Hearts and Small Government, now that will be a match made in heaven.
* More on this to come!