Money Wasted

Lake Worth Utilities
Waste Meter
... for an arc flash study that Mr. Reyes was qualified to do in house and at no cost to taxpayers.
... the estimated engineering cost of the express feeder which could also be done in house at no cost to taxpayers.
... wasted when insurance requirements were circumvented by the city manager and utility director.
... wasted when plant manager Dave Mulvay’s first attempt at writing a scope of work contained a defect that cost taxpayers an extra $123,098 for tainting the bidding process and giving unfair advantage to one bidder over another. - April 2009
... wasted when the Matrix organizational study to save taxpayers money was scrapped in favor of higher cost outsourcing by city manager Stanton.
... wasted engineering design cost of water piping and tanks (original county water deal) that will never be built.
... wasted when additional costs were incurred for not following insurance procedure on transformer repair.
... wasted when the commission unanimously voted to order transformers when we had equivalent replacements already in stock since the upgrade. - 15 Sep. 2009
Total Taxpayer Dollars Wasted:

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Lake Worth Media FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Category: Main -> LAKE WORTH MEDIA FAQ

·  What's the process to get an article posted?
·  Is this the same as newspaper publishing?
·  Is the personal information I submit secured?
·  What is LWM's mission and goals?
·  Why isn't LWM considered a blog?
·  Is LWM considered an "advocacy site"?
·  How is voting secure? I voted more than once already.
·  Who can vote?
·  Why the emphasis on voting?
·  How much do I pay for membership?
·  Do I have to use my real name to post something?
·  Can people on the site see my email information?
·  If I agree to be interviewed by LWM how am I assured of fair treatment?
·  What's different about Lake Worth Media from other sites?

·  What's the process to get an article posted?

After you have finished editing, press the "Submit News" link to the left of the page in the shaded area block. Your article will then be sent to the editorial staff for consideration.

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·  Is this the same as newspaper publishing?


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·  Is the personal information I submit secured?

Yes. First of all, read our privacy statement on the registration page. Your information is for the exclusive use of Lake Worth Media and for the specific purposes of assuring one vote per person. And to insure that malicious gossip, slander and character assassinations that occur when there is no registration process... will not be occuring here. Further, your information will not be sold, leased, or shared with anyone for any reason without your express consent IN WRITING. And consider this, your name, address, and phone number are published in the phone book and hundreds of companies and businesses as well as the internet already have that information available to anyone. The only additional piece of information we require is your email address for obvious reasons.

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·  What is LWM's mission and goals?

Our central mission is to give the greater public a voice in their government… CONVENIENTLY. Our goal is to exapnd the commission room to include the greater public that cannot attend scheduled meetings and to provide convenient information and scientifically measure public opinion.

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·  Why isn't LWM considered a blog?

Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site. Lake Worth Media provides blog space for its members but that is a small piece of the whole picture. By accurately measuring public opinion through our voting mechanism, we are for the first time in history actually finding out WHAT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE REALLY IS and certifying the results to be presented to government leaders. Making our democracy work better by formulating and implementing a solution is a long way from blogs that may only amount to little more than a shout box for some faction. Making our democracy work better... using our technology and structure is unique to Lake Worth Media.

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·  Is LWM considered an "advocacy site"?

Lake Worth Media isn’t dedicated to any particular position. Even though we have an editorial position it doesn’t mean that others aren’t welcome. The goal of our site is to get the public informed and get them to participate. If each side wants to promote their point of view they need to participate and to get others and the general public to participate. It is an EQUAL PLAYING FIELD. But you can have an argument inside of a cardboard box if you want to but nobody else is going to know what’s going on.

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·  How is voting secure? I voted more than once already.

If you will read the statement right on the survey, you will see it says that anyone can take the survey but only surveys submitted with codes issued by Lake Worth Media will count. No code... no vote. If you have a code and delete your cookies after voting you can vote again but your vote will be averaged and still only count as one vote. So I would suggest not doing that unless you want your single vote diluted to some average of your answers. In addition, you should know that all voting takes place on a secure server as you can see if you look to the bottom of the page when you're voting.

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·  Who can vote?

You must be a registered member with a voting code to have your vote count. Anyone can vote with or without registering, but only votes by registered (and verified) members of Lake Worth Media will have ultimate credibility. Registered voting insures one vote per person. If a valid code does not appear on the survey the vote will be counted as being from an unregistered WAL (World at Large) source. WAL results will be tabluated separately and clearly labeled as such. Within the registered member group, survey results for various subgroups will be compiled when appropriate. For example, votes from business or property owners who reside outside the target municipality will be separately displayed. Surveys in progress may be found on the Active Surveys page. Note: If you want to take more than one survey in a session, you will probably need to delete the temporary cookies from your browser then close and re-open the browser in order to proceed.

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·  Why the emphasis on voting?

Because it gives you a voice that you would otherwise not have. When the greater public participates, accountability goes up, corruption goes down. Without the stability and integrity that a greater public participation can provide, special interests will likely continue to control most local governments. The five representatives in our city, are put in power by small networks and other special interest groups to whom they owe much. These five have absolutely no clue as to what the public will is and in most cases they don't care to know because it makes it easier to serve the interests that put them in power. Let your voice be heard.

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·  How much do I pay for membership?

Nothing. No membership fee.

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·  Do I have to use my real name to post something?

During the registration process you have the option to choose whether you want to use a fictitious screen name or your real name when you appear on the site. A screen name can be anything you choose and that name is the only name that others on the site can associate with your activity. You do have the option of using your real name as your screen name. There are advantages to using your real name as your screen name as we suggest you do... but some people, particularly employees of the city, they will feel more comfortable with their posts attached to a screen name that can't be traced.

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·  Can people on the site see my email information?

That would be a violation of our privacy statement. Unless you choose to display your email information, no one can find that information out.

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·  If I agree to be interviewed by LWM how am I assured of fair treatment?

First and foremost, if any editing of your video interview is necessary - you can sit in on the editing session and your approval will be posted next to the video. It's kinda like, "I'm George Bush and I approve this message." The entire principle behind Lake Worth Media is to present concise, easy to understand information THAT IS FAIRLY PRESENTED. That's why in a contentious issue, we prefer it's the "point people" who present their case... not us. LWM will function primarily as a referee and reality checker.

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·  What's different about Lake Worth Media from other sites?

The origins of Lake Worth Media

Lake Worth Media came about as a solution to a long standing governmental problem; namely that the public was being excluded from government and special interests were in control. The argument has always been that “the public doesn’t care” or that we elect representatives to make decisions for us so "the public isn’t needed." But democracy IS government by the people and commissions are failing at that basic level. They have no idea what the public will is and typically are not concerned enough to find out. This precipitates the huge distrust of government so common nowadays; it encourages corruption on every level and ends up causing rival factions to compete for influence. How can you bring Peace to a divided city unless you know what the public wants? How can you add legitimacy to decision making without a public consensus? How can government have integrity if it ignores the will of the people whose government it is?

Our goal was to make it convenient for the people to get information and participate. So we designed a system that could provide packaged information and measure public opinion accurately. A forum was put in place for the exchange of ideas and solutions to problems.

Other sites

Quick Summary:

Lake Worth Media is dedicated and designed to giving the people a voice in their government. Other sites typically operate in and for the political and financial interests of the owner.

Lake Worth Media has self imposed standards that prioritize integrity and credibility over profit taking.

Whereas the message board and "talk" are the only features of some sites, it is incidental to ours which was specifically designed to make better and more stable communities by making public participation in government… convenient.

Our message board is regulated and has decency standards, some others operate without any decency standards, making it a convenient social/political tool that targets malicious and harmful content at will.

Other sites do not provide for submitting articles for publication whereas it is a central function of Lake Worth Media. On other sites, reading is usually limited to pouring through a maze of confusing topic threads which usually wander off topic and may be full of childish comments.

Lake Worth Media's mission and design is to bring Peace and stability to communities by finding out what the public will is by accurately tracking and measuring public opinion... instead of sitting around and talking about what it might be.

Lake Worth Media has specifically designed the site to enable people to conveniently and effectively participate in their government using Public Engagement Technology (PET). Some local sites and owners have ridiculed this technology and the idea behind it.

And most importantly, LWM's operation is designed to reverse the poor image of Lake Worth generated by the sordid and often malicious gossip by anonymous posters that have plagued other local sites.

Most of all, we wanted to avoid the many pitfalls that have plagued other sites claiming to provide a community service. For example, one local site became so politically aligned that its owner openly boasted that he would become “a power broker in the next election.” On another message board, a former participant sums up the experience: “I find it’s impossible to even carry on a decent conversation about anything here... without being called a racist or some other name… where are the grown ups.”

Without any regulation or standards, message boards are easily manipulated by anyone willing to project themselves as a majority by posting under an unlimited number of phony names. It’s called creating a virtual mob. And no standards means anyone from anywhere in the world can post anything about anybody. These two facts, disguised as first amendment "free speech," created a new political tool where personal attacks, insults, and malicious gossip could be directed at anyone or any candidate to instantly discredit them. The other side would then launch its defense and things quickly turned the site into a gruesome display of malicious and childish behavior that the owner found not only acceptable but very profitable. Although he was asked to clean up the site both publicly and privately, he seemed content to leave it without standards.  Update March 5, 2008: Improvements have been made, some standards implemented and vulgarity, cursing and other foul language has been pretty well eliminated according to some observers.

Although totally unregulated message boards are uncommon on the net; their existence here and there is nothing new. But their presence on a so called “community” website, which usually has rules against posting harmful content… is quite rare and unfortunately has raised the malicious behavior to a new respectability… further advancing a negative and unfavorable image of Lake Worth residents.

The lack of decency standards may have improved traffic statistics for the owner, but it had devastating consequences for the community. Many former participants have voiced their objections saying they were only looking for an acceptance and sense of agreement with others who might share a common view. Many innocent people were deeply hurt by the maliciousness. The lingering effect of these targeted attacks tends to reinforce any negative views of these innocent people. And it not only caused more dissension in the city, more strife, more bitterness, more separation; but it allowed the entire Internet world to witness the worst and most malicious forms of human behavior mischaracterizing Lake Worth residents as a ruthless, whacky mob ready to lynch anyone at the drop of a hat.

But the impact of unregulated message boards is not entirely negative - if properly regulated, they can be used for good purpose. So in the end, the responsibility falls on the owner who in some cases may decide that profit and political posturing are more important than the social and legal responsibility of protecting people from injury and harm as a result of conducting his/her business.

In contrast, the Public Engagement Technology (PET) that Lake Worth Media is based on is primarily focused on building communities and making our democratic system work as it should… bringing Peace and stability to cities by certifying what the public will is. So it is our goal not to commit socially irresponsible errors that would destroy the credibility and usefulness of Lake Worth Media for the community.

Philosophically, Lake Worth Media is different than all the rest

First - Our ideas are perhaps a bit altruistic, selfless, lofty and never been tried before… but if we can make Public Engagement Technology (PET) work… it will revolutionize how government operates and bring back the much needed TRUST in government that is impossible now. Compare that to sites with a self serving practice of exploiting human conflict and hostility for profit. What community service does that provide?

Secondly - our goals are centered on building peaceful and stable communities not exploiting and encouraging hostility and divisiveness for profit. Lake Worth Media is dedicated to providing a unique and innovative solution to a long standing governmental problem: …the people have no voice. We intend to give them that missing voice. In comparison, it is difficult to imagine how encouraging anonymous posters to gossip, insult, slander and hurt people… has any community value at all. In fact, encouraging the worst of human behavior only projects a negative image of the people of Lake Worth… and that is a community DIS-service.

Thirdly, we are dedicated to protecting our members from malicious behavior. Our site is regulated and has procedures and standards in place to encourage adult discourse on a wide range of subjects. For voting privacy and when other personal data is entered we have provided a SECURE SERVER. Nothing is secure on most sites unless you are purchasing something with a credit card.

Fourth, Posting in our forum is by registered members only to protect everyone from the abuses and harmful content so rampant on some message boards professing to be "community service" minded. As we have seen, these message boards can become personal tools of the few with the targeting of vicious, harmful and slanderous content for political advantage.

Fifth, we developed a custom tool to accurately measure and track public opinion through the use of surveys, secure voting and certified statistical analysis. For entertainment purposes, other sites conduct what we call WAL (world at large) polls. Anyone anywhere in the world can vote as many times as they want …skewing the results. In contrast, we can assure one vote per person.

Sixth, our administrators do not “seed” our board with posts to further heighten dissension which in turn is seen as a way of increasing the entertainment value and hit count.

In summary, a quick look at the organization and features of the site confirms the dedication to community service and to making a better American government. With standards and regulation it keeps the site from becoming a "free-for-all" brawl that can inflict hostility and harm at will. The elimination of anonymous posting from anywhere in the world and under multiple names eliminates the childish antics that have done immeasurable harm to our city. And it clears the way for mature discussion and debate which will benefit the community rather than provide opportunity for a few to confuse and derail meaningful debate for their own advantage. Our goal is to provide convenient information summaries and provide for the clear dissemination of information without all the background noise of the playpen.

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The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is editorial © 2007 by William Coakley and unauthorized use is prohibited by law. Anybody who uses, copies or distributes this material in any manner, for commercial or personal purposes, without written permission, would be committing an infringement of copyright.
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