And The Beat Goes On

Yes, the beat goes on, and it’s just a guess, but the constant BEAT just might be the sound of heads banging against the wall.

Unfortunately as much as we might find ourselves wanting to use this stress reduction kit, we should probably avoid doing so because we need to remain completely conscious and alert. If the beat is not the sound of heads banging against the wall, it might be a hypnotic beat meant to lull us into falling asleep on our watch. They’d like that wouldn’t they? Nice try, but that will only make us dig in our heels and dig into the details even further.

Who Needs Fiction!

Forget the latest novels full of intrigue and complicated plots with their twists and turns! I suggest we all start reading the town agendas instead. The more you follow the story of our town, the more you will find the read fascinating. Whether you know it or not, you are one of the characters in quite a piece of stagecraft. It’s a mystery in many ways, and for the most part, sad to say, most Lake Park residents are unwitting participants. Worse thing is that those pushing this stuff through know that and are taking full advantage of the fact. 

It’s likely that most don’t realize that due to their poor choices in the last election, or their lack of a vote at all, they have allowed what’s underway to ramp up. Oh, but that’s right; they don’t even know what’s underway! We might all expect to find ourselves caught up in the drama in the near future, whether we like it or not, just as those living by the Marina have. Our town representatives (most of them) are whisking us into this unwanted story. And actually, don’t think “future”; think “now”. Town hall seems to be on a daily mission to draft and implement their plans at ramming speed. Don’t believe me? Read the agendas! Without more citizens on alert, paying attention and demanding some accountability and restraint, Lake Park will continue to be rewritten for us in ways we will not have chosen.

Here is the Agenda for Wednesday, November 16, 2011. Like I said, taking this on is not going to afford you much time to kick back in that hammock…unless that is, you don’t care who writes your story for you and who tells you what to do with your life, your property and your town. In that case, by all means, feel free to go back to sleep.

The Lone CRA Board Applicant

I refer you to the first item on the town’s agenda. Someone please explain to me how the town received an applicant for a newly open CRA Board position on November 2nd when the position was not even open until 2 days later when Gladys Bryant resigned after deciding to close her business? Now this lone applicant is being brought before the commission this week to be voted upon? The agenda states no other application has been received. Why would it have?! How would anyone even know the position was open until it had at least been announced at a CRA Board Meeting or Town Meeting first, or until it was listed somewhere prominent where everyone could have seen it? Were all CRA businesses contacted to let them know of the opening and given ample time to consider applying?

This is the current story of Lake Park. This rush to usher in what appears to be a hand-selected candidate is unacceptable. Is there not a standard practice in place in the event a board member resigns that would offer more individuals the opportunity to apply, or is this another case of town STAFF picking and choosing who sits on boards, committees, etc., ushering in yet another one of their “friendlies” into the seat with a recommendation to the commission for approval? Well, it sure looks that way. How did the non-resident business owner applicant know the position was open before it became available and at such an opportune time so close to the resignation of Ms. Bryant? and how is it no one else has applied?

Questions need to be asked at the Commission Meeting.

An Aversion to the Details

There was an unexplained desire by Commissioner Stevens last week to make meeting minutes more general and not to include details in the future. Why would a commissioner not want details provided in meeting minutes?

This aversion to the details being recorded is a concern for those who do not get channel 18 (This has been a problem for some time, yet nothing has been done about correcting the signal strength problems either), and for those who do not have the money or desire to purchase a DVD of each meeting and for those who cannot attend meetings. The minutes are the only way many have of knowing what happens at the town meetings, and they provide an important reference to what was discussed. Cutting out the details and discussions and who said what and when will only make accountability more difficult. This is unacceptable.

Citizens Requiring Accountability from Politicians (CRAP) needs to demand that the minutes be detailed and provided at each meeting for the one prior. This is our town and these minutes are, after all, in part, for the benefit of the town and its residents. It is not the administration’s job to scrimp on valuable information so the employees have it easier. In addition, didn’t the town advertise for another assistant in the clerks office to help handle such duties? Why then go and lower expectations and responsibilities after persuing a new employee to help with such tasks? That doesn’t make any sense. This is also irresponsible and would be a detriment to the overall ability of the citizens to stay informed about what is being said and done by those we pay to work for us.

Overwhelming the System

Are any of you familiar with this tactic? Clearly it is being used by our Town STAFF to ram things through that clearly need more time and attention than is being offered for consideration. The sheer volume of text and information being presented every two weeks with STAFF recommendation for approval in a hurry, but actually needing thorough debate and discussion, is quite the ploy.

There are many items of importance on this agenda to be discussed this week. We will continue with the following tomorrow:

A RUSH Resolution (this must be done by the 23rd, hmmm…) authorizing the Mayor to sign and submit a grant application for the 2011 Florida Department of Law Enforcement Grant. This relates to Eyes on Park. According to this section, there are now changes to the Eyes on Park grant, a grant which was passed as described at the time. Now it looks like they want to add more to it that we did not agree to previously, in order to get about another $5,500.00. Note the conditions and consider the cost to maintain them.

Section 2 Problem Identification – This is a MUST READ – enjoy the contradictions and eye opener that this is. Who is the Subgrantee Organization mentioned in section 4?

Fund Balance Policy

This is about fund balance reporting and government fund definitions. – Tricky business. Please consider it all. If you know about this stuff, please do the due diligence on it for us.

Fuel Reader Management and Fuel Purchase Agreement

More stuff that we need time to wade through.

Interlocal agreement between Palm Beach County and numerous local municipalities creating a bioscience Land Protection Advisory

To protect lands set aside for bioscience. Why? What is the significance to our town and the county? Why is this such a prevalent part of our town’s comprehensive plan? Why does the county and our town want this so badly?

Pay attention to the Authority of the Board section.

Section D-1  -Please read the whole proposal and think about what this section means.

The Plot Thickens

This is your story and the plot is thickening by the minute. Read, read, read.

The meeting is Wednesday at 7:00. We’ll get into more of this agenda tomorrow.