Martino: Lack of Transparency Thwarts the Intent of the Sunshine Law

It’s a new year, 2016, but it’s the same old business as usual concerning the City Council of Palm Beach Gardens. The Palm Beach Post delivered new, and heretofore, unknown information concerning the “baseball stadium fiasco” of 2013 and 2014 further delineating unknown facts about the City’s deep rooted secretive involvement, such as, the City Manager gallivanting around the USA and Canada promoting a Gardens site for a $100,000,000 baseball... [Read More...]

Martino: Avenir, a Project Whose Premise is Promise

Having reviewed all publicly available documentation proposals and more recently attending the Palm Beach Gardens Planning and Zoning meetings I find the Avenir development would and should be a welcome addition to the City of Palm Beach Gardens. As a member of the City Council of Palm Beach Gardens and Mayor at the time that these 4700 acres were annexed I am satisfied that Avenir, as presently proposed, more than ratifies my vote and expectations... [Read More...]

Martino: Shady Lakes Dr Extension Short-Sighted and Punitive

Shady Lakes Drive, to extend or not to extend, that is the question. It was respectfully addressed by the residents of the Shady Lakes development at the December Palm Beach Gardens City Council meeting. The residents came with a reasonable portfolio of suggestions which were presented under the gun of the 3-minute public comment rule imposed by the City Council. Upon conclusion of the Shady Lakes residents’ comments, the Mayor proceeded to chastise... [Read More...]

Martino: Feather Your Nest

Did you know that in September 2004 the then part-time Palm Beach Gardens City Council which included some of today’s part-time City Council members (Russo, Jablin, and Levy) conveniently approved an ordinance that doubled their existing salaries to $24,000? They also provided themselves with profitable benefits, such as, self-serving automatic annual cost-of-living raises, and health benefits for themselves and their dependents. In... [Read More...]

Martino: Return to the Sunshine of Council Chambers

In an August 5th Palm Beach Post article discussing the City of Palm Beach Gardens budget process several statements attributed to Council members Eric Jablin and David Levy attempting to defend a flawed course of action are very troubling. They excoriate any semblance of openness, transparency, and accountability in the process of governance that the current City Council is following and in particular with the creation of the City’s 2015-16... [Read More...]

Martino: Consent Agenda Demonstrates Why Council Needs a Monthly Workshop

I just reviewed the City of Palm Beach Gardens August 6th agenda. Under the Consent Agenda item the City Council is spending nearly 9.4 million dollars of taxpayer money without any discussion among themselves or presentation to the residents. How disappointing. But that’s par for the course in Palm Beach Gardens. It’s business as usual the less the public knows the better. In any event, my criticism is with the City Council’s process. My concern... [Read More...]

Martino: Council Should Add a Budget Workshop in August

In my last “Martino Minute” presentation I began a discussion on opinions that I have concerning the City of Palm Beach Gardens budget process. I would like to continue with some further observations critiquing the City Council’s involvement, or lack thereof, in the budget process. The most obvious premise about any budget is that it needs to be funded with money. The City of Palm Beach Gardens budget monies are partially raised from various... [Read More...]

Martino: Time for Significant Tax Relief

It’s that time of year again when the Palm Beach Gardens City Council begins determining how to budget for the City’s needs, wants, and desires. In my opinion, this is the most important and compelling component of the voter’s trust bestowed upon the elected Council members. From my prospective, the City Council’s participation in preparing the 2015-16 budget for the City should be open, transparent, and communicable with the public. The Council... [Read More...]

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