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Money Wasted

Lake Worth Utilities
Waste Meter
$50,000
... for an arc flash study that Mr. Reyes was qualified to do in house and at no cost to taxpayers.
$200,000
... the estimated engineering cost of the express feeder which could also be done in house at no cost to taxpayers.
$591,898
... wasted when insurance requirements were circumvented by the city manager and utility director.
$123,098
... 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
$64,000
... wasted when the Matrix organizational study to save taxpayers money was scrapped in favor of higher cost outsourcing by city manager Stanton.
$450,000
... wasted engineering design cost of water piping and tanks (original county water deal) that will never be built.
$59,975
... wasted when additional costs were incurred for not following insurance procedure on transformer repair.
$82,620
... 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:
$1,621,591
 
 

 
 
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  What a dirty political ambush really is
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 @ 11:39:49 EST by admin

Editorials

What a dirty political ambush really is

An editorial by William Coakley

Well, its not often a chance arises to let out some line and actually rag on something funny. Funny ...not because the event isn't sad enough for taxpayers who will be footing the 20 million dollar bill, but funny because the headline in our local Herald sounds so serious that some even took it seriously. But you have to know the editor to understand his sense of humor.



All this has to do with this week’s commission meeting and commissioner Jo-Anne Golden’s expose on the level of corruption it took to sucker the mayor and commissioners Lowe and Vespo into screwing the people out of millions of dollars on a water deal we didn’t need. The headline was this:

Golden Talk – Dirty Trick – Called worst political ambush ever

Well first of all, it couldn’t have been “the worst political ambush ever” because that event had already taken place when the mayor and commissioners Lowe and Vespo shafted taxpayers to the tune of 20 million dollars for a 40 year water deal with the county. Did they really think no one was paying attention to what they were doing? Right on the city manager’s cue, the mayor and commissioners Lowe and Vespo in perfect concert, attempted to eliminate every alternative but the most expensive one… county water. Of course this doesn't make any sense unless the trio was connected by a conduit... but does anyone know for sure?

It was obvious that the commissioners weren’t prepared for Golden’s systematic analysis from the record, showing exactly what they did and when they did it... complete with full screen video clips of the mayor scoffing at the existence of any valuable information other than what he had been given by staff which had been carefully orchestrated to support the county water deal. Much to the mayor’s surprise, just 8 days after his decision, a city memo leaked out which confirmed what Golden had been saying for the 5 months preceeding the vote… other less costly options existed which the commission was not told about but most importantly… they didn’t care in the least to know about. When the trio (mayor and commissioners Lowe and Vespo) had the chance to redeem their ill conceived decision, they flatly refused; Vespo even saying that normally he would have reconsidered it but because he got "ambushed" with Golden's report, he wasn't going to do it.

But, Golden's report was very tame, neutral politically, free of any personal attacks or inuendo; just the facts and history laid out methodically which exposed the corruption of process leading to the decision in favor of the county deal. And so what ...if a few guilty commission members suffered a little embarrassment which was long overdue. Okay, so they called it “a dirty trick.” But mind you, it was only "a dirty trick" because they got ambushed at their own game. And with all the hot air and protesting that erupted after the report, neither the trio or any of the few critics offered a single fact, figure or statement that refuted anything in Golden’s report. As one observer put it… that’s probably because they really didn’t know anything about the water issue to begin with.

So ask yourself, which ambush is worse… one that screwed taxpayers out of 20 million because the mayor and commissioners Lowe and Vespo went with the flow or the ambush that exposed them for what they did to the people and the city for the next 40 years? That’s the humor... they got nailed at their own game and fortunately its far from over.

Most people would consider a deliberate 20 million dollar waste a criminal act… and so its understandable that the trio was squirming a bit as the public was finding out for the first time just how recklessly they had proceeded to commit the city to a water deal which will take us out of the water business. It is clearly a scandal of mamouth proportion and their actions have already triggered calls for recalling their decision and seats. And in a few months it will be front and center as a key election issue when candidates will be asked how they feel about saving taxpayers money.

But in all fairness before closing it must be said that although the trio was a willing accomplice in the city manager's plan to outsource everything but the city clerk... the real culprits are the city manager, Robert Baldwin and his counter part Mark Bates who carefully “manipulated and controlled the information to elicit a specific outcome;” the quote from the summary in commissioner Golden’s report.


 
 

 
 
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Re: What a dirty political ambush really is (Score: 1)
by ILoveLW on Monday, May 26, 2008 @ 11:52:00 EST
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I blame Jeff Clemens, Retha Lowe and David Vespo.
There have always been people manipulating the Commission. It is up to them, the commission, to discern truth, fiction and corruption. Jo-Ann Golden tried to. They told her to shut up. Cara Jennings tried to. Clemens, Vespo and Lowe just scoffed. The Pelican listened to its favorite real estate broker on S. Palmway. We all have people we listen to but doing your own research and digging up the facts are the only things you should count on.




 
 

 
 

Re: What a dirty political ambush really is (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Monday, May 26, 2008 @ 16:00:58 EST
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Ambushing the people is easy work with three brainless wonders up there who are too lazy to find out anything on their own. They promise everything before the election. Vespo said he would look out for the public purse and while he was doing that, he was emptying it. For Clemens its just a matter of let's get on to the next decision and Lowe has her famous mantra "we need to move forward tongiht." These people need to be run out of this city for what they did.

I haven't always agreed with Jennings and Golden but at least there's some evidence of brain cell activity. Jeff on the other hand, didn't even know we had generators on our power site and thought FMPA was giving us generators "for free" while Vespo insisted on voting for the FMPA deal that he knew absolutely nothing about, sound familiar?




 
 

 
 

Re: What a dirty political ambush really is (Score: 1)
by KatieMcG on Monday, May 26, 2008 @ 16:39:28 EST
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Vespo,Lowe and Clemens are obviously communicating behind the scenes. Is Mr. Baldwin their coach ? Who is the little gopher go-between ? Who is "visiting" Dave at his new bank offices ? They are not even trying to hide the fact that they know which way to vote on the issues even before the council meetings.No wonder Jeff thinks any comments by the public are a waste of time. He doesn't listen to reason, he and the other two stooges get mad and cry "AMBUSH ". Can criminal charges be brought against this trio who just cost all of the citizens 20 million dollars? Unfortunately,I don't think that being criminally stupid can be answered with criminal charges. I hope that all of you idiots that were fooled by Clemens ,Vespo ,and Lowe into voting for them are happy !These three can't be tried in a court of law, but I GUARANTEE that these three will be crucified in the court of public opinion when everyone finds out what they did.




 
 

 
 

Re: What a dirty political ambush really is (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Monday, May 26, 2008 @ 18:33:22 EST
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It is rather ridiculous to believe that 2 commissioners can have a telephone conversation and not discuss City business.
We need to set the bar higher.
Perhaps we, the citizens, can give them an oral test. We ask them questions to see if they can answer correctly. Anyone answering 90% or better gets to stay. (I said we needed to set the bar higher!!) The rest get to resign and we find replacements until they can get a passing grade. We do this periodically.
This is not a free lunch.
The City has been paying dearly for their lack of attention.




 
 

 
 

Re: What a dirty political ambush really is (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 @ 08:54:53 EST
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and how did we end up with Bates? Our former public works director Frey and finance director Costello got fired for writing huge checks without commission approval and Bates does the same thing in North Palm Beach and so we fire Frey and Costello and hire Bates. Then as the internal auditor suggests prosecuting OUR thieves, we hire yet another thief who is hired without commission approval. Only in Lake Worth




 
 

 
 

Re: What a dirty political ambush really is (Score: 1)
by FrankS on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 @ 07:22:23 EST
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I didn't take the article as funny. Also I don't think Clemens and Vespo could care less. They got a lot of pleasure in what they said to Golden. It was their "golden" opportunity to punch her one more time. The people saw through their deceit. We are lucky to have Commish Golden. Politics sucks in this city.




 
 

 
 
 
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