Friday, March 12, 2010

Deerfield Generosity, CRA has Big Bucks

If you want to buy the empty mostly finished store on the S curve, the CRA thinks giving you $150,000 is a good idea. The bank that holds the foreclosure on the store won’t come down in price and to get it sold Keven thinks that we should give our money to someone to help them buy it. That way, in ten years the tax money we get back from having it operating will pay us back.

There are so many holes in that thinking that it is hard to know where to start. I think we should let it sit, just like so many private homes and condos have to. Soon the bank will realize it has to lower the price to get rid of it. Or, if the bank wants to hold it until prices go up, so be it.

Many of us are in that position. But, I really don’t think many of us are in the mood to give a bank more money, after the mess they got us into with their sub-prime and no interest loans. Let them hold on to their deteriorating lump for as long as they want to. Sure it is an eye sore, but remember the building across the street from it, the old auction house, the city let it sit for years, accumulating code violations and falling apart, compared to the auction house, the green thing is beautiful.

Pack 'em in at the Deerfield Beach

Looks like the city is going ahead with spending CRA money to buy up properties in the beach area. Watch out, if you have a place that is not being used to its “highest and best use”, you are in danger of being under the magnifying glass of the city. The CRA board (the commission) agreed to have CRA head Kevin Klopp hire a real estate consultant to help with the buying. If you want to know what the beach area might look like imagine all the little single family houses and little motels being replaced with up to 25 units per acre, as that is what most of the zoning is in the area.

Before the bubble burst (brought to you by those who thought more housing was needed) the overdevelopment frenzy had started. Now, there are so many empty condos, townhomes and stores and foreclosed houses that thinking of building more is asinine.

Oh, yes. The thought is to have a bond issue to pay for the acquisitions, paid off by the taxes the new buildings will bring in. As if!

A Stall on the Cove Shopping Center?

Wazzzzzup with Mayor Peggy trying to delay the start of fixing up the Cove Shopping Center Parking lot? At the last CRA meeting she went on and on about it. As far as I have been able to determine only the Cove Restaurant and the Pandora Jewelers are against having the lot beautified and re-striped with a net gain of parking spaces. Why they don’t want it, who knows.

I suspect the Cove Restaurant owner’s reasoning is in line with some who see $$$$$$$$$$$$ in leveling the whole center and putting up a Mizner Park type center. After all they own some lots over by the marina. (We know how well that fiasco went over in Boca Raton, they are still in debt and the home owners are footing the bill. That was a loser from the get-go.)

The “bring in the wrecking ballers” had their chance in the many meetings and workshops held for the business owners and residents. Over and over a super majority of folks said they like the center as it is but fixed up. So, the city planned a redo of the parking lot, paver sidewalks and money for any business owner who wanted to fix their store fronts. They also came up with a theme for the center; a Key West look. Over time as the stores take advantage of the fa├žade incentives the center will be really cute.

BUT, why the stall? Did Peggy have a hand in holding the start up? The project is out to bid, but the details about how it will work are on the back burner. Well, were on the back burner until Commissioners Bill Ganz and Joe Miller demanded they get going. Bill said, “I don’t want a single delay on the Cover Shopping Center. There is a huge difference between the Hillsboro Blvd. job and this. Don’t slow it down, do it fast, you can’t please everyone. After all they are getting it for free!” That was said when insisting that Keven Klopp set a meeting that he said he has been too busy to get around to, (was it his idea not to have the meeting?) with the designers and get the plan done. Well done, and well overdue! This has been years in the doing, and by all rights should have been done long ago.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tea Party? Coffee Party??

I learned about the Coffee Party on the Eye on Miami blog (see list at right)

and followed the posted link which came up with this from the New York Times:

Coffee Party, With a Taste for Civic Participation, Is Added to the Political Menu
(Whole article:

Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party.

The Tea Party argues for stripping the federal government of many of its roles, and that if government has to be involved, it should be mostly state governments.

“The way I see it,” Ms. Park said, “our government is diseased, but you don’t abandon it because it’s ill. It’s the only body we have to address collective problems. You can’t bound government according to state borders when companies don’t do that, air doesn’t. It just doesn’t fit with the world.”

Still, she said, “we’ve got to send a message to people in Washington that you have to learn how to work together, you have to learn how to talk about these issues without acting like you’re in an ultimate fighting session.”

Ms. Park and chapter organizers said they would invite Tea Party members to join their Coffee counterparts in discussions. “We need to roll up our sleeves, put our heads together and work it out,” she said. “That’s, to me, an American way of doing this.”

Growing through a Facebook page, the party pledges to “support leaders who work toward posi-tive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.”

The slogan is “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal gov-ernment is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

There is even a Broward County Coffee Party, this is from their face book page:

Join the Coffee Party Movement in Broward County, FL We encourage our fans and vistors to sign the civility pledge. Thank you - Coffee Party

As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.

I’m not too sure what they are all about but Gimleteye over at Eye on Miami has a good take on it:

“I'm hoping The Coffee Party isn't planning to persuade disaffected conservatives with vente lattes and croissants. Still, a slow drip is better than a limp tea bag. But I'm not volunteering for The Coffee Party.

I'm affiliating with The Keg Party, Bud Weiser, its chairman, and Sam Adams, party secretary. The Keg Party is a place Joe Six-Pack can call home.

The Coffee Party has a tag line: "Stand up and wake up".

The Keg Party: "Drink beer, not tea". I'm feeling better already. Keggers United!”