Join us for our December lunch as
The King’s Academy Chorus Presents a Holiday Celebration
We will also have the Installation of Officers for 2012.
Where: Bear Lakes Country Club, 1901 Village Blvd, WPB, FL 33409
(Club rules: no jeans/cell phones silenced)
Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Time: 11:30 a.m. Doors Open, Registration, Meet and Greet, Buffet
12 noon to 1 PROGRAM
Cost: $20 Members; $25 Guests includes complimentary valet
RSVP: (561) 832-0695 or firstname.lastname@example.org by noon December 12
Today’s RCPB Luncheon was focused on activism. After the Invocation and Pledge led by Sid Lanier, Club President Melissa Nash welcomed Honoraries – Gary Nikolits, PBC Property Appraiser and Bill Diamond, Palm Beach City Council. Melissa then had several club members briefly comment on their experiences at Presidency 5 and CPAC-FL in Orlando the prior week.
Melissa then introduced Slade O’Brien, Florida State Director of Americans for Prosperity. While Slade covers all of Florida, he lives in Palm Beach County. He has been leading several seminars on activism and GOTV in the area and folks should take advantage of the next ones when available. For more information on AFP Florida go here..
Slade also mentioned a few other organizations: True the Vote was one of them. Also he suggested joining Liberty Linked as an activist website that enables one to connect with fellow conservatives. He talked about the importance of social media in the upcoming election cycle, and touched on Anita MonCrief and her whisteblower role in the Acorn scandals.
Melissa also pointed out that future REC meetings will be held at the Vista Center and that October’s RCPB meeting will be a Special evening meeting with a panel discussin Illegal Immigration in Florida.
Pictures by Delia
Back in June, the County began public meetings about its ongoing Charter Review. If you recall – the County Charter is its ‘constitution’ and describes Home Rule. There are 20 Home Rule or Charter Counties in Florida. Palm Beach County does not have a formalized Charter Review process, and this is the first comprehensive review to have taken place.
The Charter and the county’s charter review website can be found here. While there are a few changes that the Commissioners would like, citizens can input their own suggestions via the County Website. Suggestions are limited to 300 words per suggestion. Here is a link to the survey page. You can make as many submissions as you like.
Personally, I am not in favor of a few changes favored by several of the Commissioners – a) changing the county commission makeup to include a few at-large commission districts, and b) to have non-partisan elections for County Commissioners.
I have a few changes that I am submitting in order to make for better governance without bogging down the document or specifying so much detail that the slim charter becomes unmanageable. You may have others. If you would like to submit any of the ones listed below, just click on the [copy] to the right of the suggestion you would like to copy, and then cut/paste from the text that comes up and submit that to the survey link above. Each of my submissions are shorter than the 300-word limit per submission.
Friday, August 26, is the last date on which submissions will be accepted on the county website.
The following is copied from the Yes on Ethics website post entitled “Grassroots react negatively to Drafting Committee’s attempt to rewrite the Inspector General Ordinance”
Thanks so much to all who took the time to turn out Wednesday afternoon, February 9th, at the Vista Center. About 20 people from South Florida 912 and South Florida Tea Party attended the meeting with a sizeable group of other members of the public. There were also a few representatives from the cities.
Speaking generally in opposition to the large-scale rewrite proposed by League of Cities attorney Trela White, and generally in favor of the minor changes proposed by Inspector General Sheryl Steckler were June Perrin, Fred Scheibl, Iris Scheibl, Newbolt Wilson, Mike Lamayer, Jason Shields, Victoria Thiel, Bob Newmark for the Voter’s Coalition, Nat Roberts for the Economic Council and Suzanne Squire.
It’s possible that others would have spoken, but due to a change in the agenda, public comment was placed at the beginning of the meeting – an action which precluded any public comment regarding the day’s discussion. Several folks arrived later, assuming they would be able to speak at the end of the meeting. Representatives of the cities did not speak during public comment, but did submit questions specific to the IG Funding discussion later in the meeting.
The committee appeared unresponsive during the comments, did not thank the public, and went right into their discussion. They also did not acknowledge the emails sent by the public, many of which were also sent to us at email@example.com. It should be noted that this committee has met three times before, with the mission to modify the existing ordinances so as to include the 38 municipalities in jurisdiction. Because of the attempt to rewrite rather than modify the ordinances, very little has been accomplished by this group to date, and it appeared that public scrutiny of their process was an irritant to some of the members.
Two significantly different ordinance drafts were submitted – one by Inspector General Steckler and one by League of Cities counsel White. The first discussion was about which draft to discuss. The ‘Steckler’ draft was fairly close to the original ordinance and is the one we would like approved. The ‘White’ draft is entirely rearranged, with phrases separated into different sections, purportedly for clarity and clarification. Unfortunately, it makes it next to impossible to compare with the original, and changes in spirit are evident throughout. There are many issues we have with the ‘White’ draft – however discussion didn’t get far enough to address those yet. Samples of both drafts can be found HERE. Ms. Steckler’s draft was selected for discussion, and the wording of “Sec. 2-422. Office created and established” was finally approved as written. An Applicability section will be written for the next meeting and added prior to this section. The funding subcommittee had three meetings and devised a funding methodology that was agreed to by members John Wilson, Joe Doucette, Mo Thornton and Iris Scheibl. After some discussion with the committee, as well as comments and responses to the city representatives who spoke, the committee agreed to the methodology and requested that the funding section of the ordinance be drafted by Assistant County Attorney Lenny Berger.
Debate has not even commenced to functions, authority, powers – nor many other major areas that will have heated discussion. The next meeting will be on Febuary 24th at 1pm and the committee will focus entirely on the Inspector General Ordinance with the intent of making faster progress by dedicating a longer period of time for the meeting. It is difficult to see how the committee will meet its specified goal of March 30th with so few meetings and so little progress to-date.
Vigilance will be required and we ask that as many people who can continue to stay focused on the progress of both the IG and Ethics Ordinances. Much of the effort expended over the last two years to insure independence of the Inspector General could be wasted if this committee is allowed to greatly change the substance and spirit of the ordinance.
The representatives of the municipalities on the Inspector General (IG) Drafting Committee are balking at the oversight role of the IG. The municipalities are saying that we, the voters, didn’t understand what we were voting for and that we simply didn’t want ‘pay to play’ activities by our elected officials. They are attempting to weaken the scope of the IG, saying that the IG should not be able to review and report on mismanagement or inefficiencies or to second guess the municipalities’ decisions in any way – when it is precisely those types of decisions that can ‘waste’ the tax-payers dollars.
1 – Attend the Wednesday, February 9th meeting at 2pm at the Vista Center, Vista Center Hearing Room, 2300 N. Jog Rd (just northeast of Okeechobee Rd) – listen to the discussion politely, and when there’s time for public comment, please state that: you as a voter knew what you were voting for and that you believe that the ‘independent oversight of local government operations” is key to the IG’s role.
It is important that we have a large turnout at this meeting. Please make every effort to attend in person.
2 – Send emails to the drafting committee members stating that you support the scope of the IG as described in the original ordinance to “detect misconduct involving abuse, corruption, fraud, waste, inefficiencies and mismanagement” and that the same scope must now apply to the municipalities. The email addresses are:
REPRESENTING THE COUNTY:
|David Aronberg – Committee Vice Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Donna Raney – County Attorney’s office||DRaney@pbcgov.org|
REPRESENTING LEAGUE OF CITIES
|Kurt Bressner – Committee Chair||BressnerK@bbfl.us|
|Trela White – League of Cities Attorneyemail@example.com|
REPRESENTING OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
|Sheryl Steckler – Inspector General||SSteckler@pbcgov.org|
3 – “like” the Vote Yes on Ethics facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vote-YES-on-Ethics/104294449637067) so that you can see future action alerts or go to http://ethicspbc.com
4 – Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “I want independent oversight of local government” in the subject line.
In 2009 many of you worked very hard to see that an independent Inspector General was put in place for Palm Beach County, as well as Ethics Ordinances.. You stood up at County Commission meetings, you signed petitions, and you saw the Inspector General’s office get implemented. Then in November 2010 the people voted. An overwhelming 72% of voters wanted these ordinances and for the Inspector General’s scope to apply to all of the municipalities in the county.
The Charter Amendment called for a drafting committee consisting of representatives from both the League of Cities and the County, in equal representation plus the Inspector General for the IG Drafting Committee, and the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission for the Ethics Drafting Committee. The role of the IG committee is to write a new ordinance, using the original as a basis to incorporate the municipalities.
The Charter Amendment (http://www.pbcgov.com/countycommissioners/pdf/charter.pdf), in Section 8.3, defined the role of the Inspector General:
“The county shall, by ordinance, establish an Office of the Inspector General to provide independent oversight of publicly funded transactions, projects, and other local government operations”
The original IG ordinance (2009.049 – Sec. 2.422), stated that the office of the Inspector General was to “detect misconduct involving abuse, corruption, fraud, waste, inefficiencies, and mismanagement by elected and appointed county officials and employees, county agencies and instrumentalities, contractors, and other parties doing business with the county and/or receiving county funds.”
The IG ordinance drafting committee has spent 3 meetings now debating the wording of the Inspector General’s scope. The next meeting is to be held on February 9, 2011 at 2pm.
JUPITER GOP ACTION CENTER
AUGUST 17TH (TUESDAY)
5:30 – 7:00 P.M.
810 SATURN STREET, SUITE #28
WINE & CHEESE
FURNISHED BY THE REPUBLICAN CLUB OF
THE NORTHERN PALM BEACHES
(SINGING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM)
VICE-CHAIR OF THE REC
STATE COMMITTEE WOMAN
COME MEET OUR CANDIDATES
GET INVOLVED FOR VICTORY 2010
INFO CONTACT: LINDA GORE (561) 744-5522 OR
CLICK HERE for early voting locations
The Supervisor of Elections was mailing out individualized-by-precinct ballots last Monday. I know that I haven’t received mine yet. However – you can view your ballot on-line. Go to the SOE precinct finder. Click on ‘find your districts’. Fill out your address and then when you get to the screen that lists your options, click on ‘view sample ballot’, put in your party affiliation and it will bring up your ballot and polling place.
Remember – even if you aren’t registered in a political party (eg you’re NPA) – you still may have items on the ballot – Judges, School Board, etc. Please take the time to check and make sure. Every vote counts!
UPDATE – If you know people who live in Palm Beach Gardens – please spread the word. If anyone wants to call/walk to collect petitions, please contact Rob Palladino via the website link below.
There is always a continuing pro/con debate about term limits for any office. Ideally – people can vote their officials out. But in practice – once an incumbent, always an incumbent – unless accused of some gross malfeasance – and not even then! A group of concerned citizens is trying to get enough petitions signed by Garden’s residents to get this on the ballot in November. See their website here.
If you live in PBG and want to let the people decide whether to institute term limits or not – please print out the petition (on plain white paper) and send it in!
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum was the headliner for a special Friday RCPB luncheon. We had a full house as we enjoyed an excellent, served luncheon, which allowed us to keep our attention on our speakers and minimize moving around.
Melissa Andrews, club President, kicked-off the meeting – informing us that AG McCollum was running a little late, but that we’d start with club business. David Donnally led us in the Invocation and Pledge of Allegience. He was followed by Lou Galterio, who sang the National Anthem.
Kimberly Mitchell, West Palm Beach City Commissioner made some initial comments and introduced Ellyn Bogdanoff (FL Representative, District 91), candidate for FL Senate 25. Ellyn spoke about accomplishments in Tallahassee and the difficult challenges for the following year. Anita Mitchell, club 2nd Vice President, then told us of her long time support of Bill McCollum and welcomed him to the podium.
(Story continues below the pictures.)
McCollum, candidate for Fl Governor, addressed several issues, including Florida’s lawsuit against the Healthcare law (based on two primary issues: using the commerce clause to force individual mandates, and adding additional people to the Medicaid roles without state control). He segued to the business environment and how we have to make the Florida business and tax environment a draw for attracting new types of businesses. He then tied Education into the mix – stressing the need for merit pay for teachers, some way of phasing out tenure and measuring progress. Continuing education for science and technical education was a must. Bill McCollum also addressed the status of the campaign – directly confronting the issues he has with his primary opponent, Rick Scott. He took one question from the audience on the issue of states’ rights vs the federal government which are key to both his suit on Healthcare as well as his stance in joining Michigan, along with several other, in support of Arizona’s immigration bill.
Next, the general call for candidates brought out Sherry Lee (candidate for PBC Commission District 2), Joe Budd (candidate for US Congress District 19), Tami Donnally (candidate for FL House 85), Albert Key (candidate for FL House 84), and Nancy Cardone (candidate for FL House 83). Starla Brown won our drawing for the South Florida Golf Card – congratulations, Starla! And Lou Galterio closed the meeting with his rendition of “I’m Proud to be an American’.
Reminder – this is our last meeting prior to the primary elections on 8/24! Please work for the candidates you support in any way that you can.
Attorney General Bill McCollum, Candidate for Governor
Hon. Ellyn Bogdanoff, Candidate for FL Senate (Dist. 25)
WHERE: Bear Lakes Country Club, 1901 Village Blvd, West Palm Beach
BLCC Policy: Business Casual Dress (No Jeans); Please Silence Cell Phones,
Friday, July 16; 11:30 Gathering; Lunch and Program at noon
(NOTE: CHANGE to FRIDAY)
COST $25 Members
RSVP by Wednesday, July 14 NOON — 561-697-4911 or email: