Tom Campenni

Friends & Neighbors is designed to give you the information that is happening within our County. My goal is to inspire you to get involved and make a change to make Martin County the best it can be. There is lot’s to do! – Tom

News And Views

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1

IN THIS EDITION OF THE NEWSLETTER

 

Since the beginning of Covid, all travelling has been curtailed, but taking a vacation overseas has been even more complicated. Several trips we have planned have been cancelled. All in all, the past eighteen months has been very limiting.

 

In about two weeks, we have a vacation coming up. And this time, it even appears that we will be lucky enough to take this long-planned trip. That means we will be taking a break from writing and reporting. This will be the last newsletter until October 10TH  which will be our next publication date.

 

This week we have Pine, McChrystal, Hafner and Howard in our usual lineup along with Carol from United Way and Fletch from the Boys & Girls Clubs. Jackie Hofelder has her non-profit slant. And we report on all the different meetings that have occurred in the past couple of weeks.

 

If you want to get something off your chest, send us your thoughts in an email that we can publish. Please remember that writing me a letter and sending it by regular mail will not result in it running. This is a digital newsletter. And anonymously sending an email will not be taken seriously so save your efforts. Also, please remember that we cannot publish every email we receive due to space constraints as well as some of the emails contain contents that would be offensive to any reasonable person.

 

However, if you have some information about a story I should know about, send me an email. I will need to have your name and a way to speak with you but will not reveal that info to anyone. Many people speak to me on background or off the record, and they haven’t been compromised in the newsletter. You won’t be either.

 

See you when I return.

 

2

 

OUR NEW CHARTER SCHOOL

 

For the past few months, I have heard about a new charter school coming to Indiantown.

 

As I spoke to people some who were involved in the creation, I promised not to write about it until the official announcement. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I have some thoughts.

 

First, I am extremely happy to see another charter school in Martin County, especially in Indiantown. This one will be operated by IRSC. It will be a public charter like Clarke Advanced Learning, but this one will be more focused on Career & Technical Education.

School Board Chair Marcia Powers had a hand in it. That will go a long way to cutting some of the red tape at the district. There is already one multi-million-dollar sponsor for the school who, for now at least, wants to remain anonymous.

 

25 acres of the proposed fairground property in Indiantown will be used for the campus. The BOCC has already instructed staff to begin working on creating a lease for that portion. At some point, the county will need to move on the rest of the acreage and just begin to use it for further economic development. The fairgrounds can be built by the county on the same property but with a much smaller footprint. Who runs the fair can be decided at a later date.

 

This is a good deal for Indiantown’s high school students as they will no longer need to travel to South Fork to go to school. Though the public charter will be open to all Martin County residents, it will naturally draw from the Indiantown community.

 

As a public charter, it will be entitled to pupil funding and yet be able to have a much more creative curriculum. This may alleviate the need for another regular high school being built in the district for a decade. It will save taxpayer dollars. Is there any doubt that this model is the way we should be educating kids?

 

The U.S. is stuck in trying to instruct children in a system that was conceived 150 years ago for a country that has outgrown it. Parents want choice in how their children are educated. For generations of factory workers, farmers, and clerks, our current public education system worked more or less. Many of those jobs are gone and those that remain need different skills.

 

There should be a range of disciplines that all children are exposed to and experience. Charters give kids the opportunity to identify the right learning niche for themselves rather than having to fit into any particular academic slot. It can be liberating.

 

3

 

ACROSS THE WIDE ST LUCIE

 

I attended a meeting at Stuart City Hall, facilitated by City Manager David Dyess, between Brightline and the marine industries.

 

It all had to do with garnering support for replacing the railroad bridge in Stuart over the St. Lucie. The current bridge is nearing its 100th birthday. The span has passed every inspection for integrity. Probably early next year, the rail company will begin to replace the structure’s motorized gears, but the span will operate the same as it does now…slow and without much clearance!

 

That will be a problem for Martin County’s boating industry. As passenger rail begins (and make no mistake it will begin) by early 2023, the bridge will be in the down position longer and longer. The deal with Martin County calls for it to be up for 15 minutes per hour. Those who want to travel north or south to the inlet by boat will have a reduced time window.

Bridge Hunter

Boaters need to have a new bridge. The commercial marine industry needs to have a new bridge for a free flow of traffic and goods. Florida needs to have a new bridge because boating and marine commerce are the third largest industry in the state.

 

The money to build a new bridge is in Washington waiting to be appropriated. The state is ready to pitch in and Brightline will earmark funds for the replacement they said. The city may be willing to be the sponsoring government and maybe the county too. So, what is the holdup?

Money bills originate in the House of Representatives. Congressman Mast would have to not only endorse such an appropriation, but he would also need to actively work the process to obtain the funds. I was told that he was invited to come to this meeting or send a member of his staff, but no one from his office showed.

 

When he was governor, Senator Scott was a proponent of the railroad, so it does not seem that there would be a problem with passage once the appropriation reached the upper chamber. Brightline will be doing a scoping study as the first step in the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process for obtaining an appropriation.

 

Some may believe that if the bridge is not replaced, the planned passenger rail will be stopped somehow. That is simply not true. In Hobe Sound and Port Salerno, the railroad is being double tracked right now. Even Indian River County, the last litigant that tried to stop the train, has lost the last court case.

 

Martin County was smart and did receive concessions such as safety features for settling its case with Brightline. It is now time for federal, state, and local government to step up to the plate and make sure we get our piece of the infrastructure money. You could not have a better project. A new bridge that can be raised and lowered rapidly will make sure the boaters of Palm City, western Martin County, and even those on the west coast of Florida have passage to the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Representative Oberdorf is a Palm City resident. Senator Harrell lives on the river north of the bridge. Representative Snyder has many avid boaters in his district which is on the St. Lucie. Boaters especially, but also every resident, need to reach out to them.

 

Most importantly and the key to having this happen is Congressman Mast. As I already wrote above, he needs not only to introduce the appropriation but actively work to bring home that bacon.

 

This is pure advocacy on the part of Martin County voters. It is not about slogans, happy talk, or politicians telling you what you want to hear. This is pure old-fashioned politics as practiced forever. Stuart and Martin County have a need that can only be solved by money. Congressman Mast controls those strings. He needs to get actively in the game and not just mouth platitudes.

 

The train is coming. Even if everything is perfect, you and your boat can be waiting up to 45 minutes to pass through under current conditions. Is that what the people who live and have made their homes here deserve?

 

4

 

NON-PROFIT PERSPECTIVE

By Carol Howaart-Diez

United Way of Martin County President-CEO

 

This month I would like to take a moment to pause and reflect.

In a few days, we will be facing the anniversary of one of the most horrific events to take place on U.S. soil.  Twenty years have gone by since the terrorist attacks on September 11th.  Most people over the age of 25 remember exactly what they were doing on that Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, when they learned that an airplane flew into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

 

Some say it is reminiscent of remembering where you were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  I wasn’t born yet but I do have friends who tell me they were in school or work and everything stopped.  This is very similar to what happened 20 years ago.

 

I remember I was at my former United Way training volunteers on how to assist in running a United Way campaign in the workplace.  Every year, the individuals I was with reach out to me and let me know they are thinking about where we all were on that day.

 

What I would like to ask everyone is to remember back to that time too.  Think about what happened in America.  Think about how we, as a nation came together as Americans.  We all stopped what we were doing to contribute our time, money, and other resources to those directly impacted by the terrorist attacks.  It didn’t matter what side of the political aisle you were on, we were Americans first and foremost.  I think we all need to go back in time to the days after these horrific events and remember.

 

In trying to keep the memory alive for the 2,977 victims from that day, the AmeriCorps Seniors program of United Way of Martin County will be partnering with Martin County Fire Rescue, the Health Department of Martin County, OneBlood and Martin County Board of County Commissioners to host a Remembrance Day event on Saturday, September 11th at Jock Leighton Park in Palm City.  The program will begin at 8:30 am sharp so get there early to be a part of it.  Volunteers will be handing out 2,977 American Flags and asking individuals to pass it on and do a good deed that day.

 

For those who can’t think of something good to do, we will have the OneBlood mobile right on premises to donate, the Heath Department will be giving out free COVID vaccines and Fire Rescue will be walking the Memorial Bridge in full gear to honor those who perished.  Volunteers will follow them after a brief program which will feature the National Anthem sung by local realtor Alannah Ghazal, comments from Commissioner Ed Ciampi and a Fire Rescue representative.

 

There will be a moving dance performance from Turn Up the Heat which will be a 9/11 tribute.  In addition, there will be a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. which is when first plane from American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

 

Please join us and so many others in Martin County to honor and remember that day.

 

Carol Howaart-Diez’s opinions are her own and may not reflect Friends & Neighbors viewpoint.

 

5

 

PINE’S PONDERING

By Tom Pine

 

Letters were sent out to Martin County residents notifying us of the meeting on August 24, 2021, about an increase for trash pickup.

The only reason the county notified us, is because state law requires that any increase to Ad – Valorem Assessment, that taxpayers must be notified of the upcoming meeting. The cost of the printing and postage was about $33,000 based on the cost of the mailings of our property taxes in 2019, to over 82,000 households in Martin County. If it wasn’t for the state law, it would probably have been buried in the consent agenda like many other things are.

I was at the meeting and every resident who spoke, spoke against the increase for Waste Management and the commissioners who spoke were for it. The vote was four to one in favor of Waste Management. But wasn’t it just another con job pulled over on we the taxpayers of Martin County since the contract had been signed months earlier?

Since Waste Management had already received the new recycle bins and started delivering them to households throughout the county. Maybe technically speaking the increase wasn’t valid until after the vote but in reality, it was a done deal before the meeting ever started or why would Waste Management ever buy the new recycle bins to start with.

This entire situation stinks!

This is a real good learning experience. This is a good example why we the Martin County Taxpayers can NEVER allow any county commission to pass a Fire Assessment Tax. The same indifference towards we the taxpayers of Martin County would prevail if just three commissioners wanted to increase the Fire Assessment Tax.

At the beginning of the commission meeting there was a proclamation presented to House of Hope. They gave a presentation declaring September as Hunger Action Month stating that there are 17,000 adults and children living in Martin County with food insecurity.

Is this not the height of hypocrisy 17,000 children and adults going to bed hungry in Martin County and our county commissioners have the gall to increase trash collection 24% in the first year with up to a 5% increase every year after till the contract ends.

I have heard several people over the years say that the state or federal governments are the ones that should take care of housing and feeding the homeless. I totally disagree, it is our county government that creates the problem, they should be held accountable for the problems they cause.

 

Truth To Power

 

Tom Pine’s opinions are his own and may not reflect Friends & Neighbors viewpoint.

 

6 

McCHRYSTAL’S MEANDERINGS

By Frank McChrystal

 

It’s official.  Martin County is the land of the RINO’S.  I thought republicans were more serious about conservative values such as freedom of choice.  I guess not.

 

While all local commissions and school board are thankfully stopping short of mandates, each is promoting the experimental vaccine in their own way.

 

I ran across an old friend who works at the City of Stuart.  He asked if I had gotten the vaccine and informed me that the city is offering a hundred dollars to all employees who get the jab.  Great!  My tax dollars are going to promote the vaccine

 

Martin County is trying a different method.  Vaccinated employees will be eligible for paid leave in case of Covid exposure or infection.  Non vaccinated employees will need to use personal sick leave for Covid exposure or infection. Great!  My tax dollars are being used to promote the vaccine.

 

The Martin County School Board policy of vaccine promotion does not use my tax dollars.  However, it is the most egregious.  Vaccinated students exposed to Covid with no symptoms may remain in school.  Unvaccinated students exposed to Covid with no symptoms must quarantine along with all siblings.  This discriminatory policy will force two parent working families into making a decision they normally would not. This policy needs to end yesterday!!

 

I’m hoping my comrade RINO leaders will dive deeper into this worthy topic.  The stats coming from Great Britain and Israel are eye opening and confirm Dr. Malone’s fear of antibody dependent enhancement. In the very near and very dark future, Covid will be considered a disease of the vaccinated.

 

My confidence in our political leader’s ability to think critically is waning faster than a Pfizer vaccine administered in February or March.

 

I think I need a booster!!

 

Frank McChrystal’s opinions are his own and may not reflect Friends & Neighbors viewpoint.

 

7

Herbie’s Hobe Sound

By Herbert Howard

 

Just when I thought it wasn’t possible, I found a new place to walk in Hobe Sound.

The new Hobe Sound Scrub Preserve.  If you go along A1A traveling south past “downtown” Hobe Sound, you will see it on your right. Just past Jenkins Landscaping.  Which is notable because Commissioner Jenkins was the one who pushed the county to acquire this land from the late Mr. Hamm. (Ever hear of Hamm’s beer?  Yes, that Mr. Hamm).

 

So, I decided to look.  I was so impressed that it has a fitness area, two, in fact.  I decided to try that another day.  I walked through this lovely area of forest on a beautifully groomed shale trail.  It was very early in the morning.  I was the only one in there.  On a gorgeous Florida summer morning…temperature about 78 degrees at 8:00am I expected to see more walkers.  Or cyclists.

 

This trail would be excellent for a trail bike I assume.  So, I want to let everyone know about this fine new asset to our little burg.  As I walked along, I felt that feeling of being “in the wilderness” but since I could hear US1 (a detriment, I admit) and neighbors working on their lawns, I didn’t feel too isolated.

 

Some mourning doves and a rabbit were a bit startled by my intrusion as I came upon some picnic tables and a second fitness area.  (Which I again decided would be very useful …. next time).   There is a lovely hill which I can imagine my grandsons running up and down.

 

There are uphill trails in this park which is enough of a workout for me.  Some sand trails venture off the main shale trail if you want to vary your walks.  I was impressed all in all so I came home and did a bit of research.

I found Martha Ann from the County to be a great deal of help. The Park opened on March 30, 2021. Gopher tortoises and scrub jays are among the native inhabitants although I did not see any on this walk.  It consists of 27 acres.  Eventually they plan to link it up to the regional trail networks.

 

So, give this park a walk before everyone else discovers it!

 

Herbert Howard’s opinions are his own and may not reflect Friends & Neighbors viewpoint.

 

IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER DO SO FOR FREE HERE

 

8

 

HAFNER’S CORNER

By David Hafner

 

 

During the Village of Indiantown Council Meeting on August 19th an idea was brought forth that will help the residents rather than the village issue fines to them.

 

It was suggested by Councilwoman Susan Gibbs-Thomas that when members of the community find themselves in the crosshairs of code enforcement, instead of fining citizens who may be unable to complete the necessary repairs or actions, a network can be created so members of the community can be alerted and come together to help the one in violation.

 

The framework of Gibbs-Thomas’s idea is to create a list of organizations within the community that are willing to be on call when a resident’s home is found to be in violation of the code. Some organizations can be fiscal supporters supplying materials for the repairs. While others will be the doers going out and doing the work to bring the home back within compliance of the code. As a Martin County 4-H club leader, I contacted Councilwoman Gibbs-Thomas to ask that my 4-H club be added to the list of willing organizations.

 

I really appreciate this idea and think it fits in well with the helping one another mindset of the Indiantown community. We have seen similar examples of neighborliness many times in the last couple months with cleanup efforts at the Indiantown YMCA, at Booker Park, and in other community cleanup efforts throughout the year.

 

By inviting community members to be a part of the cleanup, and bringing homes back into code, it gives those members and organizations a stake in the community and fosters community pride. That community pride, I say, is what will keep Indiantown from losing its identity and feel as new homes and businesses continue to be built within the Village.

 

A good neighbor asks for help and allows his neighbor to give help, and I think initiatives that bring people together to better their neighborhood fosters a spirit that drives the heart of the community.

 

David Hafner’s opinions are his own and may not reflect Friends & Neighbors viewpoint.

 

9

 

FLETCH’S PERSPECTIVE

By Keith Fletcher CEO & President of

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County

 

Creativity, instructor enthusiasm and cool learning materials can go a long way toward sparking a kid’s intellectual curiosity. Certainly, that’s the case for Jordan Lester.

 

The 10-year-old member of our Palm City club loved a self-reflection project—featuring a paper skeleton and 3-D models of human organs—led by Adan Esquivel-Garcia, one of our certified teachers and instructors during our summer enrichment program.

 

“He makes math and science more fun,” says Jordan.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County (BGCMC), we aim to make every summer break as fun and as academically beneficial  as possible. Still, we approached this summer with particular zeal.

Many Martin County children in need—a description that fits the majority of our members—endured the brunt of last school year’s challenges and uncertainties. Ensuring their readiness upon return in the fall motivated our team to make this summer even more special and impactful than most.

 

This goes beyond our strategy to combat the Covid slide. If you’ve read a news article in the last 10 years, you know the United States suffers in our international ranking in math and science.

 

In 2018, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tested more than 600,000 students from 79 countries. U.S. students ranked 30th in math and 11th in science. Both marked improvements from 30th and 17th standings, respectively, three years earlier. Better, but a long way from best.

Improving members’ math, science and reading skills also produces other welcome byproducts in their behavior.

 

“When I come here,” says Jordan, “I’m not too shy.”

That’s putting it mildly, says Jaylynn Christie, program associate at our Palm City club.

 

“He’s always engaged and always willing to participate no matter what the activity is,” Jaylynn says. “He’s the prime example of what a young leader should be.”

 

Jordan did his schooling virtually last year and entered our summer enrichment program part-way through. He enjoyed robotics, computer games, healthy cooking classes and STEM activities.

 

Our Spark program—where the kids run around, play, and learn about sportsmanship—is still Jordan’s favorite part of his day at the club. And like I was at his age (and for a while, even later), if you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he’ll tell you he “has no idea.”

 

But thanks to teachers such as Mr. Adan and a project aimed at helping kids discover more about the human body, Jordan knows he likes math and science. That kind of discovery—complemented by mentorship that fuels his positive attitude—can change the direction of a life.

 

If multiplied, it just might change the academic rankings—and direction—of a nation.

 

Keith Fletcher’s opinions are his own and may not reflect Friends & Neighbors viewpoint.

 

10 

CONSTITUTIONAL CORNER

 

Here is where we will post notices from our constitutional officers:

 

And from our Supervisor of Elections:

 

From Our Property Appraiser:

 

 

Immediate Release

August 31, 2021

 

Martin County Property Appraiser Office Cautions New Property Owners About Solicitation Letters

 

Stuart, FL – The Martin County Property Appraiser’s Office cautions property owners about solicitation letters periodically mailed to residents.  These letters encourage property owners to pay a service fee for a Property Assessment Profile, which includes property information such as values, exemptions, comparable sales, legal descriptions and building characteristics.

Below is a sample solicitation letter.  In this instance, a $95.00 service fee is charged for this information.

IMPORTANT: All this property information can be obtained for FREE from the Martin County Property Appraiser’s website (www.pa.martin.fl.us).  You do not have to pay for any property information.

“With such an active real estate market, new property owners may feel this is a necessary expenditure.  It is not.” said Martin County Property Appraiser Jenny Fields.  “In addition, I caution property owners that these data reports can be inaccurate. It is always best to call, visit or email our Office if you have questions about your property and we will be happy to provide you the information you need.”

For more information about the Martin County Property Appraiser’s Office, please visit their website at www.pa.martin.fl.us, call (772) 288-5608, or email at info@pa.martin.fl.us.

 

 

 

 

From Our Tax Collector:

 

 

F YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER DO SO FOR FREE HERE

 

Friends-and-Neighbors-of-Martin-County-Letters-To-Tom
I urge those who are reading this newsletter to send an email expressing their opinions on subjects. When a reader sends one, it will be included if I find it relevant and I have adequate space. I may edit the letter because of length and clarity. You don’t have to agree with me to have your letter in Friends & Neighbors. All you must do is send it to Info@friendsandneighborsofmartincounty.com or fill out the form on the website.
 

IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER DO SO FOR FREE HERE

 

The first letter is from Deborah Lee Greer:

 

Good morning, Tom!

 

I enjoy your newsletter and am glad to see it in my inbox again!  I would like to quote you in a project I am working on for my Leadership Martin Class 31 homework assignment.  Is that ok with you?

 

I told her she may.

 

 

The next letter is from Mary F DeKlyn:

 

I’m delighted; too bad Palm City missed the boat.

I’m glad I wrote to the commission and mayor as suggested by Costco.

Thank you,

Pam Oullette of Jensen Beach writes:

 

Biden believed after 20 years the Taliban was kinder and gentler because they had been reformed. He trusted the Taliban so much that he provided them with 83 billion dollars’ worth of military equipment that could be used against Americans or sold to China, Russia or North Korea. His woke brain did not function on all cylinders with that decision.

 

Biden trusted the Taliban so much that he did not inform our NATO allies or the Afghan commander of his decision to abandon and leave Bagram airport in the middle of the night. Seems like he chose to side with the Taliban rather than our European allies and the Afghan commander. Biden claimed the Afghan military did not want to fight but yet he did not communicate his plans with the Afghan commander.

 

Biden trusted that the Taliban would assist in protecting the Kabul airport while our military evacuated American citizens. His trust in the Taliban led to the deaths of 13 young American service members. Biden stated it was ISIS-K who were responsible and not the Taliban. Will the American people ever get the true story from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Biden’s MO is deflecting from the real issues as he walks away from questions. Walk away Joe!

 

Biden did not know the meaning of no man left behind. He justified the reason why some Americans were left behind in Afghanistan after 8/31 was because they chose to stay. Sounds like a Biden cover up statement. Biden’s new plan is to negotiate with the Taliban to get the remaining STRANDED Americans in Afghanistan out has created a humanitarian crisis.

 

Biden’s trust in the Taliban is disgraceful and un-American.

 

IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER DO SO FOR FREE HERE www.friendsandneighborsofmartincounty.com

And next from Mike Carelli:

 

Excellent issue. Thank you, Tom.

 

 

From Tom Steele beating the same drum:

 

Almost everyone who is in the ICU or on a ventilator is unvaccinated?  Where are you getting this information that you’ve failed to reference like any responsible journalist should, because I’m not finding it on Florida Health Department’s website?

 

Then how is it in the MA Delta outbreak, 74% of those who tested positive were vaccinated? https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/30/provincetown-covid-outbreak-vaccinated/

 

Unless you don’t understand how math works, for the average covid death to be 78 with 2.6 co-morbidity factors, that means largely old, sick, fat people are the one’s dying of covid. Sorry if that hits too close to home!

 

Also, to compare this to smallpox is asinine, if you actually look at the statistics, which I will once again provide for you… https://ourworldindata.org/smallpox

 

Before the introduction of a smallpox vaccine in 1796, on average 7.6% (1-in-13) of all deaths were caused by smallpox. Following introduction of the vaccine, we see a clear decline in smallpox deaths.

 

Covid has killed 1/200th of 1% of the world’s population, so the other 99.98% should get vaccinated by a non-FDA approved vaccine that was rushed to market, when 328,000 people die every year from FDA approved medications?

 

https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

 

When you died from smallpox it was actually smallpox that killed you, regardless of your age, health or fitness level. When it comes to covid it’s more like shooting the guy who just got run over by a semi and didn’t have long to live anyway.

 

If you want to save lives and make people aware of real threats, why don’t you work on banning tobacco products that are responsible for double the number of covid deaths annually, and approaching 1 BILLION in total.

 

IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER DO SO FOR FREE HERE www.friendsandneighborsofmartincounty.com

Another Costco from Joan Stewart:

 

I don’t believe that Costco will be a pleasant addition to our community any more than it was in Palm City.  I believe that our commissioners may have been “rewarded ” to allow this in the face of so much objection.  We have much bigger problems on the horizon.  Too much rapid growth is never positive.  How many more condos, apts, etc will be built this year or next??  

Lastly from Ted Brown:

 

Tom

 

Love the newsletter. 

 

Do you have any idea what’s going on with the old Wendy’s and Harper’s Bar parcels on US 1 and Palm City Road. 

 

Thanks 

My answer:

 

No…It is a landlord/tenant matter. Probably no need to come in for approvals.

 

 

IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER DO SO FOR FREE HERE www.friendsandneighborsofmartincounty.com

MartinCounty Friends-and-Neighbors-of-Martin-County-Commission

COUNTY COMMISSION MEETING AUGUST 24, 2021:

 

Several months ago, this newsletter more than once wrote about the county’s bidding process for a new trash hauling contract. After 30 years, it seemed like a good idea to see other options.

 

The newsletter analyzed the bids and stated that the present waste hauler, Waste Management, was the most expensive of the three bids. The staff was split on which company to choose. The county commission ignored the bidding process and instructed staff to come up with a contract with Waste Management which then put aside the other bids.

It is true that the information in the bidding documents did not reflect the extras that Waste Management performs, and that the customer expects. Yet if those extras were so important, why were they not contained in the bidding documents so that all bidders had a level playing field. It was gross mismanagement of the entire process.

 

At a county commission meeting, many businesses, nonprofits, and even some individuals spoke in favor of retaining the company. There was no secret that their contract called for a 24% residential increase on October 1st.  A few individuals protested and the only organization that opposed retaining Waste Management was the Martin County Taxpayers Association whose president, Kevin Powers, spoke during public comment.

                       Pinterest

While the meeting was reported in other local press including the Stuart News at the time the decision to retain Waste Management was made, it was only in this newsletter that many articles were written following this story. Then why was there no public outcry? Because besides our readers, residents and taxpayers were just not aware.

 

The commission behaved badly in this matter. They clearly wanted to keep Waste Management and the public RFP process be damned. The only no vote was Commissioner Hetherington who stated that the integrity of the process was compromised. Every other commissioner ignored doing the right thing.

 

The reason that the Waste Management bid was higher was the company knows that Martin County does not follow the provisions of the contract. They put out much more bulk waste than what was called for in the RFP. It is common to have people put out more vegetation waste per household that is allowed. Certain gated communities require that their containers be picked up from their garages or doors. And those communities pay extra to Waste Management.

 

How were the other two companies supposed to know the special deals? I haven’t the slightest idea. They were damned if they did and certainly lost when they did not.

 

Now the TRIM Notices are going out and everyone in the county except the City of Stuart, which has its own sanitation utility, will receive a 24% increase. However where were these taxpayers during the hearing process? It was not a secret.

 

This newsletter was reporting on it in real time. The items were prominently displayed on the county’s website.

 

Citizens need to be involved. They need to read the BOCC agenda and speak with their commissioners. They need to gather information by reading this newsletter, the newspaper, the county website. And hold the commissioners responsible by making sure they have opponents and voting for the candidate that represents your interest.

Except for Hetherington, the commission let down their constituents. There was nothing nefarious…it was just as my columnist Tom Pine would say, “the good ole boys are in charge.”

 

Now the time has come to vote the increase in the MSBU to support the negotiated 24% increase with Waste Management. The contract is signed. Remember almost everyone who spoke at the commission meeting agreed with paying more to Waste Management. All agreed except Hetherington.

 

The motion was made by Heard seconded by Smith to increase the MSBU by 24%. It passed 4-1 with Hetherington dissenting.

 

WRITE YOUR OWN RULES

Ed Ciampi has championed changing the depth that someone can mine his property from 20 feet to 40 feet. In Martin County when a property owner is mining the owner is not digging shafts to go deep into the bowels of the earth. They are excavating and creating a pit.

 

The applicant wants to change Article 4 of the LDRs. He has been trying to do so since at least 2019. By writing his own changes, he does not need to rely on staff to do so. This tactic is not that unusual. He wants to sell sand and 20 feet deeper to mine will be worth much more to him.

 

While Ciampi may want to proceed, the other commissioners are a bit more cautious. Staff said it does not have the expertise to know whether the proposed changes would affect the aquafers or not. Usually, the county would hire its own outside consultant paid for by the applicant which is included in the development procedures. In this case, since the applicant is the change agent and there is no specific project, there is no money to do so.

 

In his motion to move forward, Smith incorporated a provision for the applicant to pay up to $10,000 for the county’s expert. Ciampi was perfectly willing to have the applicant’s expert work for the county also. The other commissioners did not think that was a good idea.

 

Smith did not see the reason for it to go back through the process including the LPA. Heard, Hetherington, and Jenkins thought it should. The LPA had rejected unanimously the application.

 

The commission voted 5-0 to move forward with the county expert on board, and if staff decides there is a need, it should go to the LPA again. The applicant’s presentation can be found here here

 

INDIANTOWN CHARTER

 

The county is on board with leasing the land to Indian River State College (IRSC) to build a public charter high school in Indiantown. It will be operated in a manner similar to Clarke Advanced Learning on the Chastain Campus.

 

There is already a substantial anonymous donor who will be contributing millions to make this come true. It will have a strong Career and Technical Education (CTE) component. During the day, instruction will be geared to high school students, and there is talk about evening classes for adults.

It will encompass 25 acres of the 107 acres on the fairgrounds site. The fairground board appears to be ok with the use. Even if they are not, I believe that the project should move forward with the county now being the prime mover of everything out there. It is a great location and why not make the property more economically vibrant.

 

The commission has asked staff to come back with a MOU to lease the property and get another high school started.

 

RAISES FOR THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR AND ATTORNEY

 

When I was in business, employees would come to me and ask for a more prestigious title. Most times, as long as the title accurately reflected the work being done, I would agree. When they asked if a raise went with it, I more times than not said no.

 

In some regards, that is partially how I feel about raises for the county administrator and attorney. There is no better title, so the commission is forced to talk about money. As a taxpayer I feel the pain of spending additional dollars. But let’s consider why raising salaries are the right thing to do.

Taryn Kryzda has over a half billion-dollar budget plus 1000 employees. That is big business, and it is not only one business. The county is more like a conglomerate. Utilities, public works, fire/rescue, and many more disparate operations that she is required to oversee. She is also responsible for liaising with the constitutional officers including the sheriff whose staff is almost as large as the county’s.

 

If this were the private sector, Kryzda would be in line to make more than $219,000. That is only part of her compensation. During discussion, there was no mention of her total compensation package including deferred compensation of $39,000 (think about it as stock options in the private sector), retirement medical, and car allowance.

 

Smith was right when he said that being the CEO of a government is much different that in private industry. It requires a different skill set. Kryzda is retiring in less than a year. This will be the opening salvo in negotiations with her probable successor, Don Donaldson.

Everything I said applies to Sarah Woods who is running a law firm in essence. Her increase to $202,000 is not exorbitant. She returned to this position after retiring from it. This also may be setting the stage for the next attorney.

 

A motion was made by Ciampi and seconded by Smith to accept staff recommendation. It passed 4-1 with Heard dissenting.

 

The compensation survey can be found HERE

 

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City-of-Stuart stuart-city-commision-2020

CRA MEETING AUGUST 23, 2021:

 

Jessica Seymour of the Treasure Coast Planning Council gave a presentation regarding the area known as the Triangle District.

It was very informative and in general the board liked it sufficiently to ask that it be brought back as a formal resolution for adoption. The area encompasses Federal Highway to Dixie Highway and the streets of California, Camden, and Akron. Within that, the most urgent problem needing attention is the Baptist Church property. It is for sale and would be key to keeping the district in proportion to the historic nature of some of the existing uses.

 

The board passed the CRA budget for 2022. It is more than $3.5 million. Contrary to what we thought was going to occur with COVID, which was a slow down with tax proceeds and property values being reduced, instead we are still in a very hot market. There are many worthy projects that will benefit from increased funding or new projects. That does not mean the board and commission should waste taxpayer dollars.

 

Three years ago, the commission made a deal with Stuart Main Street that, in return for a very favorable lease for Flagler Place, Main Street would be weaned from its City of Stuart subsidy of $70,000 per year. It was to occur over three years with funding levels decreasing each year. This is the third budget year, and the organization is still receiving the full $70,000.

 

That is the problem with government. It can be seen with the county commission, other municipalities, and Stuart. Why is it that this non-profit deserves such government largess year after year? It is simple…political insiders on the board (mostly not even Stuart residents) collecting money from Stuart taxpayers for what purpose?

 

If asked, they would say they are performing valuable services for the downtown like “Rockin’ Riverwalk,” various craft sales events, and a couple of festivals. How valuable are they to the city? The organizations may say that they bring people to our stores and restaurants. Where is the study by a professional organization that bears that out?

 

And say that, for argument’s sake, Main Street’s role does result in increased revenue for local businesses. Why then wouldn’t the downtown businesses chip in to fund such a great organization? A review of the membership roster of Main Street would show that it is not composed of downtown business owners but rather an assortment of mostly non-Stuart residents who meet once a month and do what?

If the commission believes that Stuart Main Street should have a $70,000 subsidy, a cheap lease on Flagler Place, and now the Stuart Sunday Market at less than the previous vendor paid, then debate it in public. Don’t hide it in the budget and suggest that fiscal prudence is key. Meier and Matheson have made a little noise about the subsidy but really have not tackled the reasoning for it to continue pass the three-year deadline that was originally agreed upon.

 

$70,000 can be better spent by the commission within the CRA than providing the Flagler Center clubhouse for select friends. This is the kind of corrupt deal that makes people cringe.

 

COMMISSION MEETING AUGUST 23, 2021:

 

During his comments, Commissioner Matheson called for a discussion about our current wetland regulations. It may be because commissioners have need for mea culpas for their Costco vote.

Matheson said we should look at the county’s rules. The county’s rules cause more problems than the city’s regulations. They also were written for an area many times larger than the city’s seven square miles. What is good for 500 acres does not work for 20 or 1 acre.

 

Several years ago, before Meier was a commissioner, several parcels came in for approval. I remember then Citizen Meier made an impassioned public comment about how this landowner was asking to mitigate wetlands not on individual parcels but by taking one parcel and placing all the wetland there for the entire project. His solution did not produce a feel-good result of a little here and a little there. What he did was create a real habitat.

MEIER

At times Meier and especially Matheson have used the PUD process to gain more in the way of concessions than what would have been if just code had been followed. That is a good outcome.

 

It was obvious to McDonald, and he said so, that Stuart just did an overall comprehensive plan review and did not change its wetland regulations. Stuart has about come to the end of annexation of county properties. There is just not much left.  What the city has are infill areas. Small areas need a different approach than adopting the county’ s wetlands regulations.

 

The motion to have a workshop was 5-0. Who would vote against mom and apple pie? There have been many workshops on affordable housing, housing, more housing, etc., and the result has always been the same…work for the staff and a finding that the city has had it right all along.

 

LAND SALES AND SCHOOLS

 

In Stuart in 2008, the first attempt was made to net lease a property known as North Point just north of the old Roosevelt Bridge. Fast forward to 2021 and the commission approved a sale under certain parameters. A public referendum a few years ago gave the city permission to sell the property instead of lease it.

 

Over the years several, would-be developers took turns attempting to buy or lease the land for boat yards, office buildings and hotels. Yet magically their ideas were more dreams or concepts, but most definitely they never came to fruition.

 

The latest incarnation of the art of this deal is to buy the property subject to an appraisal. There was no talk at the meeting of what will be built there but probably a restaurant, maybe an office building and perhaps boat slips could be contemplated. After 15 years, I cannot become too enthusiastic about the chances of success.

 

It passed 5-0.

 

Then came the second piece of city-owned property for sale. Several years ago, as part of the approval of what is now Osprey Preserve, a developer gave a piece of land (1.78 acres) to the city for a future fire station. The city has determined that the station would not be well situated there.

 

It received an unsolicited offer for that property with the price subject to an appraisal. There was a little hemming and hawing by Meier regarding whether it should be sold because of the types of trees on the property. When it was discovered that the tree fund had money, but nothing had been set aside for a station McDonald inserted a provision that the proceeds should be allocated to building a fire/rescue station north of the bridge.

Meier was a little hesitant but ultimately relinquished and voted for the sale since it was an isolated piece. It passed 5-0. Since a new fire station will be within the CRA how about diverting the Main Street money to something that needs to be funded.

 

The Oaks Classical Christian Academy needed conditional use approval to rent a couple of classrooms at St. Mary’s Church on East Ocean for its school. It is conditioned on the 18 students that are currently registered but no more than 25 can be enrolled. A group of moms appeared to plead their case. It is home schooling with a part time classroom component.

 

I would imagine that after a few years as the children become older and need more sophisticated classes, this will fade away. Until then, the commission voted 5-0 to approve.

 

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Martin-County-School-Board

The next meeting will be September 9, 2021.

 

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Town of Sewall's Point Friends-and-Neighbors-of-Martin-County-Sewalls-Point

COMMISSION MEETING AUGUST 24, 2021:

 

The primary focus of this meeting was financial.

 

There was discussion from Vice-Mayor Campo regarding having more detail when going through the budget numbers. The last item of the evening was an explanation of personnel cost. So far in this cycle, the budget has been presented in the same detail going back several years. If a commissioner, or for that matter a member of the public, wants to see detailed numbers, then those detailed numbers should be available.

 

Staff should make a commissioner feel fully informed about what they are voting on. This level of detailed information is a good way to do so. 90% of elected officials will not bother to read most of their packet, so making a simple presentation is easiest for them. Others want to wallow in detail. However, having the information available is the key.

 

If you want to wallow, here it is.

 

The commission had asked their attorney to construct an ordinance to make sure the .39 millage increase would be dedicated to financing the capital project. Tompeck was very much in favor of limiting the money to funding borrowing for South Sewall’s Point Road. Fender wanted to make sure that it would sunset once the loan was paid off.

Berger mentioned that the new road would require some maintenance especially the new drainage aspects. Campo strongly disagreed and felt that it was staff overreach. Kurzman piped up that there is expense to maintain these capital improvements especially baffle boxes.

 

A review of the current budget shows that they do not have enough money to maintain the infrastructure the town has now. For example, if a homeowner spends $100,000 on landscaping and then has someone cut the grass once a month and nothing else is done, the homeowner has just wasted $100,000. The same thing applies to the town’s infrastructure.

 

The town attorney explained the difference between an ordinance and a resolution. The ordinance becomes part of the town’s legal code. A resolution sets policy. He thought they would be better doing a resolution. It was kind of hard to tell, but I believe most commissioners thought the same.

 

Fender believed that if there is any money left at the end of the project, it should go to other capital projects outlined in the comprehensive plan. He was alone with that belief. The attorney will bring back a budget resolution and a separate resolution that the .39 mill increase can only be used for South Sewall’s Point Road construction.  

 

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Village-Of-Indiantown Friends-and-Neighbors-of-Martin-County-Indiantown-Village

COUNCIL MEETING AUGUST 19, 2021:

Mayor Hernandez gave her State of The Village address sandwiched between a proclamation about Senior Citizen Day and a discussion by Pastor Jared Stewart of Christ Fellowship. She did it sitting down in her chair at the council table.

 

I remember Indiantown’s inaugural “State of The Village” address by Susan Gibbs Thomas when she was mayor. It was held in the school auditorium. Perhaps because it was the first, it was special.

 

I cannot remember last year’s address, nor will I remember this one. It was not Mayor Hernandez’s fault. There just was not anything that we did not already know. The only other local government that gives an address is the county. They are not memorable either, but they have nicer surroundings.

 

Perhaps it is just time that the village stops doing it. The entire address can be found here

 

Manager Brown mentioned that he had received 10 to 15 proposals for architectural services for the new village hall. He also mentioned that a construction manager would have to be hired at some point.

Jeff Leslie, who was a principal that sold the waterworks to the village, had a consulting contract for a while. Brown now wants to reinstate it to help with negotiating development agreements. He anticipates it will be for a minimum of six months but no more than a year.

 

During discussion regarding what funding bills to ask their local state legislators to introduce, it was determined that finishing the ongoing sewer project was the most important. Brown stated that he was looking at an $11 million grant for that purpose, but the council felt they wanted to proceed with it anyway.

 

The second project was to bring water to the 107-acre fairgrounds. That is the more expedient one to go after because of the economic benefit. While I have very little hope that the Fair Association will get its act together, I think the county is close to using the bulk of that property for economic development projects.

 

There is already a charter high school that will take 25 acres and use it for their campus. It will be operated by IRSC similar to Clarke Advanced Learning, but I have been told it will be more for CTE (Career & Technical Education) students. There is a benefactor that has already committed to several million dollars in funding.

 

The council also changed their “preferred local vendor” category for contracts from the vendor being in Martin County to Indiantown only.

 

The council took the last step in approving the 5-year fire/rescue agreement with the county. I hope the council members learned their lesson in overreach. They cannot buck the will of their constituents. 

 

The resolution can be found here

 

COUNCIL WORKSHOP AUGUST 26, 2021:

 

This was the first workshop meeting with the new schedule.

Workshop courtesy of Lumberjocks

The council will have these meetings, at which no votes take place, on the 4th Thursday of the month. It was initiated so that council members can interact with their constituents. I saw one constituent present.

 

Will this handicap their ability to vote in a timely manner on projects? In the long run, I believe it will. Having only one voting meeting a month may not prove enough to move the village’s business forward. Only time will tell.

 

Daniel Magro from Aclus Engineering, the village’s utility consultant, outlined those projects that are in the works and those for the future. Most will be done by a SFR grant which requires matches. Indiantown does well obtaining grants, and the utility needs upgrading.

 

You can find the presentation here

 

Manager Brown stated that the village would be receiving nearly $3.6 million in ARPA (America Rescue Plan Act) funds over the next two years. There are certain guidelines as to how the money is to be spent.  There will be two temporary employees added to keep track of this funding. Much of the money is slated to be spent on the parks and water utility.

 

You can find the breakdown here

 

Susan Gibbs Thomas added an agenda item to discuss code enforcement. Several residents received code enforcement letters about putting on new roofs and not obtaining permits. With all the back and forth, it was not clear whether it was three, ten or more residents.

 

According to code enforcement, they ride around and if a roof seems new, they issue a code letter. That is an interesting approach to finding violators. I guess it is up to the homeowner to prove their innocence. According to Gibbs-Thomas none of the homeowners that contacted her had put on a new roof in years.

This happened back in April, but even so, that is no way to issue violations. I understand that sometimes miscommunication can happen. I just do not see how that is acceptable.

 

Something deeper is happening though. It appears that Gibbs-Thomas’ concerns are not taken seriously by the other council members. She is definitely not one of the guys. The animosity, at times, is palpable. I do not know what can be done to make it a more congenial body.

 

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Town of Ocean Breeze

The next meeting will be October 11, 2021.

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Jupiter Island Jupiter Island Sky View

The next regular meeting is September 15, 2021.

 

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In The Spotlight

by Jackie Holfelder

Spotlight

 

 

Jackie is always looking for a good story…you may reach her at: jackieacolumn@gmail.com

 

Kathy Derringer Retires from Helping People Succeed

 

One of the best-liked and most-respected people in the Treasure Coast nonprofit world is getting ready to kick back after almost four decades of working to improve the lives and well-being of generations of infants and toddlers.

 

Kathy Derringer, Vice-President of Helping People’s Succeed’s Baby Steps Department, has won numerous awards and accolades for her tireless work creating programs, seeking funding and never losing sight of the 501(c)(3)’s mission.

 

Through it all, she has remained modest and self-effacing, always ready to take on the next challenge.

Kathy Derringer Photo provided by HPS.

Kathy is leaving for the best of reasons: to spend more time with her family and to travel.

 

I can’t think of a nicer person that I’ve met over the years covering the nonprofit scene, and I wish Kathy all good things in the journey ahead. I know she will be sorely missed at Helping People Succeed.

 

 

Fun and Fundraising at Family Promise Bed Race

 

You may not be familiar with Family Promise of Martin County: the nonprofit opened its doors in 2020 and in spite of the obvious challenges facing a new organization born during the first year of the pandemic, they’ve risen to the occasion.

 

The inspiration for Family Promise began with Karen Olson, a woman who regularly encountered homeless people in New York City. She looked to the religious community for help, convinced that together they could make things happen and within ten months, 11 area congregations came forward to provide hospitality space within their buildings. All the pieces fell into place and on October 27, 1986, the first Interfaith Hospitality Network opened its doors.

 

Family Promise now has more than 200 affiliates in 43 states, using the services of more than 180,000 volunteers and 6,500 congregations. Family Promise provides shelter, meals, housing, and job placement support to more than 67,000 homeless family members annually, 58-percent of them children.

 

In Martin County, it is the only shelter able to keep families together.

But they need money to do that, which brings us to the Family Promise 2nd Annual Bed Races on October 23.

An entry from last year’s Family Promise Bed Race Photo provided by Family Promise of Martin County

It’s the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser of the year, representing the hardship homeless families feel wondering whether or not they will have a bed to sleep on each night.

 

It’s a serious problem but it’s a fun event, offering you the chance to get creative and design a bed like no other!

The entry fee for a five-person team is $150. Teams build a bed on wheels and race to the finish line. Details and rules will be emailed to team captains upon registration.

 

The fun takes place on October 23 from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. during the Hobe Sound Hometown Festival at Doc Myers Park, 10000 Old Dixie Highway in Hobe Sound.

 

For more information about the Family Promise 2nd Annual Bed Races, email info@mcfamilypromise.org

To learn more about Family Promise, visit www.mcfamilypromise.org.

 

Stuart’s Gem of a Military Museum

 

If you’ve never visited The Road to Victory Military Museum (RTVMM), you’ve missed one of Stuart’s most unique spots.

 

The mission of the Museum is to honor and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served – and are presently serving – our country in one of the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

By displaying historical artefacts, uniforms, military weapons, vehicles and photographs (both historical and personal), not only is homage paid to the heroes, but visitors are informed and educated about their noble endeavors.

 

The Museum’s collection grows each year, thanks to military donations from visitors, organizations, veterans, and their families.

Photo provided by RTVMM

RTVMM is a 501(c) (3) that is staffed and managed by an all-volunteer board and funded by donations from visitors and such special events as static military vehicle and weapons displays requested of the museum.

 

A great community partner, the museum also organizes and manages Veterans Day Parades and is involved in a variety of other events.

 

Road to Victory Military Museum is proud of its Victory Rangers youth program, which instructs young men and women aged 14-21 military history and work life trade skills.

 

Victory Rangers receive extra curriculum school volunteer credit hours with the museum’s program.

 

Unfortunately, the program is currently on hold due to Covid 19, but it will be reinstated as soon as possible.

 

RTVMM is located at 319 SE Stypmann Boulevard in Stuart, at the south end of Memorial Park (Ocean Boulevard). It is open every Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and upon special advance request to provide tours of for veterans’ groups.

 

Road to Victory Military Museum is always on the lookout for volunteers.

For more, visit www.facebook.com/roadtovictory, call 772-210-4283 or 703-835-4166 or email rtvmm@gmail.com.

 

Thanks to Georgia Shurtts for sending us this great information.

 

Behind the Scenes at Children’s Service Council of MC

 

Chances are you’ve heard of The Children’s Services Council of Martin County (CSCMC) but maybe you’re not quite sure what it does.

 

CSCMC is a dedicated funding source for children’s programs proven to make a measurable impact on the lives of residents of all ages.

 

Its mission is to enhance the lives of the children of Martin County and to enable them to attain their full potential.

 

Thanks to Cheree Ramirez, Manager of Community Engagement for the Council, In the Spotlight is able to take you inside one of the Council’s monthly meetings, this one from August 23.

 

At this meeting, the Council approved the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) and CSCMC’s staff recommendations for the 2021-2022 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Healthy Children Funding Priority Area.  This RFP included the following focus areas:

 

Maternal and Infant Healthy programs to ensure that children experience positive birth. and health developmental outcomes.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention programs that increase positive mental health and behavioral outcomes and increase the child’s capability to address stress and adverse, traumatic events. These programs may also serve to prevent or reduce the use of alcohol/or other substances.

Physical Health programs that focus on healthy behaviors that promote physical health.

 

CAP and CSCMC staff recommended funding allocations to 11 of the 19 proposed RFP programs for a total of $2,820,340. The Council approved $2,810,649 at the July 26, 2021, Council meeting.  Staff recommended that the deficit be taken from the $11,786 budgeted for the Tobacco Free Partnership match dollars that are no longer needed.

Photo provided by CSCMC Attendees at the August 23 CSCMC meeting

Council members were presented with the recommendations at the Programs Meeting, held on August 11th, 2021. CSCMC’s meetings are open to the public and are posted on its website under Calendars & Meetings > CSCMC Community Calendar, where you can also find Agendas/Minutes/ & Packets for every meeting, as well as attachments in full detail for recommendations approved.

 

  • Florida Department of Health- Martin County
  • HPS, Helping People Succeed, Inc.
  • House of Hope
  • Light of the World Charities, Inc.
  • Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.
  • Project L.I.F.T., Inc.
  • Tykes and Teens, Inc.

 

The Council voted unanimously to approve $80,000 to be allocated toward the 2021-2022 Developmental Funding Recommendations (up to $35,000).

  • Hibiscus Children’s Center, Inc.- Shelter Literacy Program
  • Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.- The David Cardno Father & Child Resource Center
  • SafeSpace, Inc.- SafeSpace Prevention Program (Y.O.U.R. Program)

 

For more information on the organizations and programs that are funded with your tax dollars through Children’s Services Council of Martin County, follow them on Facebook or visit www.cscmc.org

 

And speaking of Cheree, she’s currently “Dancing Around Martin” to highlight the providers and programs that CSCMC funds. She’s an alumni dancer from MC Healthy Start Coalition’s Dancing with the Martin Stars.

 

On September 25, she’ll be taking to the Starstruck Theatre stage with her alumni partner, Rachel Terlizzi, Overall Winner from 2014 DWMS, dancing for healthy babies and healthy families.

 

Jackie is always looking for a good story…you may reach her at: jackieacolumn@gmail.com

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Final Thoughts

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Being a leader is more than just being in charge.

 

A boss is in charge. A boss does not have to be inspirational. Nor does he/she have to be empathetic. The only one essential for a boss is to be able to pay the people he has hired.

A mayor, a governor, and a president are supposed to be leaders. Their role is inspirational, they need to be empathetic and communicative. Leaders lead not by coercion but by making us see their vision. You are not a leader if you make people follow you through intimidation and fear. Those are the traits of a dictator or crime boss.

 

The best leaders are those that do so through example and not asking anyone to do what they would not. You have heard the expression, “that I would follow her through the gates of hell.” People do not do that for a bully or an oppressor.

You are not a leader if you make one person or group a scape goat. Leadership is the art of addition not subtraction. Those that need an object of hate to keep the crowd are not being leaders but demagogues.

 

Sometimes a leader is not even in charge of anything. They lead by just doing their jobs, volunteering in their communities, and being a good parent and spouse. How many of us can say that?

 

The qualities of leadership have been constant over the centuries. At times, the people that we have allowed to lead us have not been leaders. The crowd may perceive a leader because he may talk tough and look to cast the problems of society on a group. Those erstwhile leaders always say if we can get rid of that group our problems will go away. How sad.

 

In the Gospel of Mark 10:43-45 Jesus states: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Now that is how a real leader leads!  

 

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GET THE WORD OUT   Friends and Neighbors of Martin County are your eyes and ears so that you know what is going on in Martin County’s municipal and county governments. I attempt to be informative and timely so that you may understand how your tax money is being spent. Though I go to the meetings and report back, I am no substitute for your attending meetings. Your elected officials should know what is on your mind.

Tom Campenni 772-287-5781 (o) 772-341-7455 (c) Email: thomasfcampenni@gmail.com

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

Articles I wrote in the past few weeks:

 

From Medium: Economics Will Always Lose Out To Political Expediency

 

HERE

 

Another that ran there: There Is No Equivalency

 

HERE

 

And from Martin County Moment, Stuart Taxpayers Continue to Subsidize A Private Entity:

 

HERE

Other Articles:

 

PACIFIC LEGAL: CALIFORNIA HAS PROHIBITED DOOR TO DOOR CANVASSING EVEN FOR POLITICAL MATTERS. IS IT A VIOLATION OF THE 1ST AMENDMENT?

 

HERE

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES: WHY BIDEN’S LACK OF STRATEGIC PLAN LED TO DISASTER IN PULLOUT

 

HERE

 

ANOTHER FROM THE TIMES: CONGRESS HAS THE POWER TO DECLARE WAR WHY WON’T IT DO SO

 

HERE

A REPORT FROM THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUST RECOMMENDING THAT MUNICIPALITIES BE GIVEN MORE FLEXIBILITY BY STATES TO RAISE TAXES

 

HERE

 

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES CALIFORNIA FINALLY CONFRONTS BAD ZONING:

 

HERE

 

PAUL KRUGMAN NEWSLETTER:

 

HERE

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES: EXAMINES WHY FLORIDA IS AN EPICENTER OF COVID

 

HERE

 

AND ONE MORE TIMES: PIECE EXPLAINS WHY WE NEED TO PREPARE FOR MORE SHORTAGES

 

 

HERE

CHARTS:

 

TWO CHARTS THIS WEEK FROM THE VISUAL CAPITALIST:

 

FIRST WHAT COMPANIES BELONG TO THE TRILLION DOLLAR CLUB:

 

HERE

 

WHAT LANGUAGE DO COUNTRIES WANT TO LEARN:

 

HERE

 

 

GLOSSARY

Annual Medium Income (AMI)

Basin Action Management Plan (BMAP)

Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)

Business Development Board (BDB)

Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)

Career & Technical Education (CTE)

Center For Disease Control (CDC)

Centum Cubic Feet (CCF)

Children’s Services Council (CSS)

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Community Development District (CDD)

Community Redevelopment Board (CRB)

Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) 

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Emergency Operation Center (EOC)

Equivalent Residential Connection (ERC)

Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU)

Evaluation & Appraisal Report (EAR)

Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA)

Federal Rail Administration (FRA)

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Full Time Equivalents (FTE)

Future Land Use Maps (FLUM)

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

Hobe Sound Local (HSL)

Indian River Lagoon (IRL)

Land Development Code (LDR)

Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS)

Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSUM)

Local Agency Program Certification (LAP)

Local Planning Agency (LPA)

Martin County Fire/Rescue (MCFR)

Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO)

Martin County Taxpayers Association (MCTA)

Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)

Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU)

Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY)

Organization For Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD)

Planned Unit Development (PUD)

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Preserve Action Management Plan (PAMP)

Request for Proposal (RFP)

Residential Planned Unit Development (RPUD)

Right of Way (ROW)

Secondary Urban Services District (SUSD)

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

South Martin Regional Utility (SMRU)

State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP)

Storm Water Treatment Areas (STA)

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Urban Planned Unit Development (UPUD)

Urban Services Boundary (USB)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Zoning-In-Progress (ZIP)

Photo Capt Kimo