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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  The Casino pig sty
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 01:04:15 EST by admin

Lake Worth

The town pig sty

What an embarrassment to taxpayers this is. Six months after LWM reported on the filthy conditions of the Casino walkways, the filth is still there for everyone from all over the world to see just how much value we place in cleanliness.We spend over $100,000 to keep gum and litter off our downtown walkways but because we don't get much rent from the Casino, we leave it looking like a trash heap. We just spent nearly a half million on the pool and reconstructed the deck with very expensive pavers but we leave the most important part... where people walk to get to the pool... looking like we were on skid row. What is public works doing so intently that they completely ignore doing anything about this eye sore and leave it an embarrassment for everyone to see? Is this the image we want to project of ourselves to the world who comes to visit here?

I couldn't stand it any longer so I created a virtual solution. I grabbed some pavers from the pool deck and set to work. I scrubbed off the chipped and fading multi colored paint that lined the edges of the walkways and put in a new edge and curb of freshly poured concrete. I removed a few of those filthy ridiculous industrial garbage cans... ridiculous because code enforcement won't allow them to be seen from the street in residential neighborhoods... but at our Casino, we literally stick them right under everyone's nose... right out in front where every passing car can't help but to see them. Even the concrete tables look scruffy with all the paint chipped and worn off. So I touched up the paint on one table and then called it quits for the day... I was worn out. What do you think? Does it look better when its cleaned up and fancied a little?


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Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 05:52:27 EST
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I am so happy that you did this story. We all know that the City has never alotted one dime for beach maintenance and improvement, not in at least 5 years. WE can't get the structural engineering report that will prove that this building does NOT have to come down. The City continually tells me that a current report does NOT exist. We know it does. The 3 Commissioners, backed by developers, ALWAYS want to knock things down or give them away. That is the mindset. Let the people vote. Once and for all. Bravo--great story.



Re: Lake Worth Casino & Beach (Score: 1)
by Chris on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 07:49:49 EST
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I have been utilizing our Lake Worth Beach just about every day for the past 38 years. Rain, cold, wind. etc. I've been surfing there since I was 8 years old, and I'm 46.

Before that I use to visit my grandparents in Atlantis and came to LW Beach with them beginning about 1968.

Here's the real story, our beach has looked like the last thing on any one's mind for each of those years that I remember.

I remember researching the income from the beach in the early 90's, and the City's biggest income source at that point was.......PARKING FINES!!!!! Great way to keep our visitors coming back. The rental income of stores facing the Atlantic Ocean worked out to be about $7-$9 PSF Gross Rent!!

So I have supported the GB deal mainly because this City should never be in charge of developing, building or running a thing. If LW had the tax base of the Town of Palm Beach (we gave away most of that when we said that we did not want the crappy land between our Beach and Sloan's Curve) then I would be all for a passive park meaning NO SHOPS. Just Bathrooms and a Pier concession. But we could not possibly maintain a quality passive park with no additional income other than parking fees and fines. Show me a REAL long term plan to maintain our beach by renovating the existing building or making it a passive park and I will listen.

But I digress, I would love to see just an ounce of caring what our beach looks like. A little cleaning up, painting oh and here is one of the most ridiculous features of our dysfunctional beach, when you rinse off at one of our showers no one thought to make a path from the shower to the parking lot. Nope you rinse off and then step into the sand!?!!? It truly is the only public beach that I have seen with so little though to its patrons

Ending on a positive note :) the water is great, the surfing can be terrific, the sand (once the silt crap from PB goes away) is the best around.




Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by FrankS on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 08:32:30 EST
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Pavers sure do make a difference. These would not cost that much. Thanks for showing us how this would look.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 11:13:19 EST
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The City must include a line item expense for casino/beach/park maintenance. There is absolutley NO excuse for this neglect. The citizens should be shouting to the roof tops. I have never bought the argument that the city just never gets anything done and therefore we should give our assets away to someone who will. THAT IS B.S. If we have a citizen who can go out and do graffiti removal, then we can hhve a maintenance staff that can keep things clean. If they can't do their jobs, fire them. But the main thing is, get it in the budget where it has not been. Once there, there are no more excuses for this disgusting lack of pride and total neglect.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 12:00:57 EST
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Truth - Since the downtown pavers are at least cleaned once in awhile then maybe we just need to put the beach into the CRA district as it should have been in the beginning. If the city had good management, the Casino wouldn't look so run down because its the one thing that all Lake Worth COULD be proud of. And BTW, if we just threw away 14 million on water, wouldn't that refurbish our Casino building or put up a spectacular new one?



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by TruthMatters on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 12:55:28 EST
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Well then, since the City has trouble maintaining its most important piece of property - apparently due to the low rents being collected from the tenants, as someone has suggested, then perhaps the tenants themselves should have an agreement that they will maintain the area in front of their stores at their cost.

And, contrary to some people who may like to mislead the public, the City retains ownership of the land under the GB arrangement and therefore is not, by definition, giving it away. The City will collect $500,000 in lease payments per year and be relieved of the maintenance burden.

Finally, don't be so sure about that structural study (the latest one) giving this building a clean bill of health. I betcha that it says the contrary and that is why we are not seeing it.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 13:12:02 EST
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Inreresting perspective, Wes.
I think misleading the public is when you say we will get $500,000 in lease payments over 20 years, an amount that doesn't even cover our expenses in even the first year. We will be losing money on that deal throughout and it certainly will not leave any money for maintenance. The City negotiated away any profit sharing with GB.
The low rents the City receives is their own fault. They can't dare charge a tenant a high rent when the City has allowed the building to crumble, never even cleaning the sidewalks. The City already passes on the real estate taxes to these tenants and that is not cheap. The tenants pay high insurance rates. If I were one of the tenants, that sidewalk would be clean. But--they may not have the right to hire out and do the sidewalk. That may not be part of their lease. Besides, we know the City wants the building to look like hell warmed over, don't we?



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by TruthMatters on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 13:30:08 EST
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Those tenants are big financial supporters of your candidates, by the way.




Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 14:14:52 EST
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Those tenants are big financial supporters of your candidates, by the way.

Nothing to ponder about here, TruthMatters. Why in the world would they support any candidate that was actively campaiging for their demise...some of whom have been there for nearly 4 decades? They want to be there and I want them there also.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by hondalife007 on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 15:45:50 EST
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Pay to play Wes? Would everyone who contributed to your campaign be considered pay to play or just some of them? The merchants downtown did the pay to play on a huge scale when they supported that PAC and its outside money. These people are trying to protect their business. This is not corruption on their part.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by KatieMcG on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 15:55:34 EST
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Don't those big black Nadine cans look great? I think they look right at home in this blighted pig-sty . Thanks again , Nadine. What a fitting memorial to you. The beach was let run down on purpose so it would be easy to steal from the people with the excuse,'We're just a helpless little city that can't take care of anything , please ,developers,saviors of the world and liners of our pockets,come save our beach". The tenants have shown no balls in this fight, and quite frankly I say knock down the damned building and have something like Kreusler park next door.This beach belongs to the PEOPLE ,you criminals,not three Commissioners with EVERYTHING to hide !!! LET THE PEOPLE VOTE !!!



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 16:13:18 EST
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TruthMatters redefined "Pay to Play" to mean a political contribution from anyone. Ridiculous!! "Pay to Play" is a form of corruption that means money exchanges to buy political favors such as zoning changes, permit variances etc. TruthMatters should know about that being on the zoning board. Merchants at the beach giving campaign contributions is nothing different than developers contributing to Wes's campaign... has nothing to do with "Pay for Play" right Wes?



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 17:20:14 EST
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TruthMatters, you changed the definition of "Pay to Play." I was just pointing that out and my statement about you being a zoning board member and knowing about "Pay to Play" is just that. I live here and I know about it. You know what it is, so why did you redefine it?

Now when you say that money being used for lawsuits is coming from the merchants at the beach to protect their low rent, do you realize what you're saying? Think about it. You better be able to prove your accusation. Show where they have given a single nickel toward a law suit and you will be tops in my neighborhood.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by ILoveLW on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 17:32:06 EST
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Wes, you and I are never going to agree on development as a cure all. Don't fool yourself that the real estate market will turn around in a hurry and might help our tax base. Not going to happen. Even with a crush of boomer retirees, it will take years to work off the accumulated inventory. I would hate to even make an estimate of the number of empty housing units in the State but 2 mil is probably not unreasonable. Maybe one of our favorite Realtors can come on and tell us.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by hillraiser2008 on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 18:41:39 EST
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The pavers look magnificent. What program do you use? I am very impressed with your talent. This is giving a visual on what it could look like with just a small investment here. The building could be renovated. If not possible, I say build the new one right where this one is. Let's get it done.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by ILoveLW on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 18:54:20 EST
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The DCA has capitulated and given in to the City's request for BAC zoning after the City and O'Gorman gave them what they requested and satisfied their demands. Past ordinances will be repealed and the new BAC zoning will be in effect after another public hearing on May 20th. It is been a long road and we have always known that this would eventually occur. It is still in conflict with our Charter and hopefully the people will get to vote at some time in the future. It is a shame that we will no longer be zoned public recreation and open space. Anything can happen now.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 19:09:56 EST
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Dear Wes--In response to your use of the word "cabal" to describe a poltiical action committee, please, for once, understand the meaning of that word. :) You used it to slander us on the Stafford site. Citizens Come First then and Citizens Come first now (two different PAC's) is out in the open and transparent in every way. There is no intrigue going on. We have been very straight forward in what we believe and what we campaign for. Campaigning for our beliefs is what people do and what PAC's do. We raise money where and when we can. It is all reported. As I recall, we got money from some of the beach merchants but definitely not all of the merchants. Raising money is the hardest thing to do. People want the win but they don't come up for air when it comes down to crunch time. The want the win but do little of the work.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by KatieMcG on Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 09:48:40 EST
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Look,if the city wanted to make the beach look decent ,it could do it very cheaply ! The business owners should all be ashamed . They are also to blame. ( Cheap b******s )! The Casino building was grandfathered in over half a century ago,so cut the crap about the charter violating no commercial business.Or better yet, go ahead and tear it down. After they lose the law suits Lake Worth won't be able to build anything again after it goes back to it's proper PROS zoning.Truth says, wrongly, that the BAC zoning is very restrictive. Restrictive is in the eye of the beholder, and we know that in the eyes of Lake Worth and developers,the word RESTRICTIVE JUST DOESN'T EXIST !!!!!! Get ready for the new Lake Worth gambling experience if the law suits don't stop the theft of our beach.



Re: The Casino pig sty (Score: 1)
by hillraiser2008 on Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 17:44:13 EST
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Those pavers really look nice. Can you imagine them building a huge building across from Benny's. Number one, it would take years to complete. we have no idea how many but at least 3. They have had a staging area now for the pier and what an unsightly mess. How long has that been going on? Can you imagine construction of this magnitude going on at our beach. I can't stand the thought. Those who voted for this on the Commission really must have a loose screw.


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