Martino: Say NO to the ‘Kool-Aid’

In part due to the overwhelming passage in 2014 of Term Limits the City of Palm Beach Gardens elected five new City Council members. Council members’ faces have changed and the dais nameplates have changed. But so far not much else has changed. The “newbies” promises of change have not materialized. The expectations of term limits have not kick-started the change in governmental style and culture as some expected. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

Ten months into having five new Council voices the “newbies” sound and act like the “oldies”. A sense of arrogance still permeates the singular monthly scheduled Council meeting. The administration is still “stroking and cajoling” and the “newbies’ seem to like the “Kool Aid” being served. The pledge of transparency is still wanting. The promise to hold regularly scheduled workshop meetings on agenda items remains unfulfilled. The 2018 budget expenditures did not decrease as alleged during the Council campaign but actually increased by approximately 7.4%. Even though 16,000 Gardens registered voters approved the new 2014 Term Limit Law, the “newbies” voted to shatter term limits as mandated, as well as, disenfranchising the registered voters from the democratic election process in Palm Beach Gardens under the pretext and ruse of modernizing the City Charter.

Ten meetings and what innovative and fresh initiatives have the “newbies” offered? What of substance to improve the everyday lives of Gardens residents have they accomplished or even discussed? Unfortunately, from my perspective, there is not much of consequence that I can relate too. For what it’s worth, I would suggest that the Council’s agenda would better serve the residents if it attacked some of the real and everyday neighborhood problems facing a sixty year old City. Permit me to list just a few in no particular order…

  • neighborhood cut-through traffic on streets, such as, Holly Drive, MacArthur Blvd., and Lighthouse Drive
  • Town Hall-Plat 6 Foot Bridge
  • upgrading and code enforcement in City areas that contain multi -family Duplex units as found on the east side of Holly Drive between Ironwood and Lighthouse Drive in Plat 1
  • median landscaping improvements along Alternate A1A from PBG southern boundary to Hood Road
  • influx of sober homes in older neighborhoods
  • discussion of management of Brightline train expected problems and status of upgrading of PBG crossings
  • discussion assessing needs of older original Plats and neighborhoods of the City

So am I being unfair, or overly negative, opining as I do. I think not. I am just reflecting on the obvious. Yes, Palm Beach Gardens is a great place to live and 94% of residents in a recent survey say so. Yet there are issues and problems that need solutions. I have lived in the Gardens for 53 years and it has always been that way no matter who the Council members are.

My advice to the current City Council members is to resist the “stroking and cajoling” and to say no to the “Kool Aid”. Oppose self-serving tendencies and the temptations of the special interests. Reclaim the prerogative of the City Council to create “policy and direction” for the Administration to implement. Generate policy for innovative and fresh initiatives that serve the needs and pleasures of the residents who gave you their trust.


One Response to “Martino: Say NO to the ‘Kool-Aid’”
  1. Billy Miller says:

    I just got through reading Michael Martino”s Say No to the Kool-Aid and agree with his comments 100%.
    Council needs to do something all they seem to care about is themselves and all there friends that live in all the Gated Communities in Palm Beach Gardens.

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