Commissioners' votes prove they're OK with 'pay-to-play'
Date: Sunday, September 21, 2008 @ 07:01:34 EST
Topic: Opinion



Laurence McNamara

Commissioners' votes prove they're OK with 'pay-to-play'

Palm Beach Post Letters to the Editor
Sunday, September 21, 2008

The three votes against the Ethics Reform Ordinance proposed by Lake Worth City Commissioner Cara Jennings indicate the continued addictions of commissioners Retha Lowe and David Vespo and Mayor Jeff Clemens to $500 out-of-town contributions from developers and others who want to pay to play in Lake Worth.

Commissioner Lowe said she wanted to hear how the residents felt before she voted for it, yet her record indicates she votes against the expressed feelings of the residents on important issues such as giving up control of the beach.

Mayor Clemens said he would like to vote for ethics reform but worried about "politicians sitting on a dais making an ordinance to regulate contributions." Politicians are elected to make ordinances, but he apparently does not want to jeopardize his contributions.

Finally, Commissioner Vespo said this ordinance was proposed by Commissioner Jennings because she won't get business contributions and he needs to get a third lawyer's opinion before passing it. Commissioner Vespo has received countless out-of-town contributions from developers and their shell corporations and faces a reelection campaign against two challengers who are more qualified.

Commissioners Jennings and Jo-Ann Golden voted for a clean, honest government in Lake Worth; Commissioners Vespo and Lowe and Mayor Clemens showed their comfort with the pay-to-play status quo.

LAURENCE MCNAMARA
Lake Worth
Editor's note: Laurence McNamara is chairman of Citizens Come First, a political action committee.





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