Observer Corps

Observer Corps

Observer Corps

OBSERVER CORPS


Understanding how our local governments work is BASIC to League effectiveness. A local League observer is the eyes and ears of the League. Observers learn how the governing bodies work and about issues that are, or may become, items for local study and action. Consistent League presence at these meetings adds to the League’s visibility and credibility.

The objective of the Observer Corps is to monitor governmental bodies for information of importance to the League and the community/state.

Being an observer can be interesting and fun. It puts the League on the inside, hearing decisions that will affect the Observer Corpscommunity/state and the League.

 

 

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Observer Corps Report- PBC School Board

Observer Corps Report- PBC School Board

by Cynthia Sheehan-Hartwell

 

The following report covers the November 15, 2017 meeting of the PBC School Board. The regularly scheduled meeting was held at the Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center and commenced at 5 PM.

 

* The school board voted for Chuck Shaw to remain as chair and for Dr. Deborah Robinson as vice chair.

* University Preparatory Academy is located near Riviera Beach and provides a college prep experience to underserved students in grades K-4. The school population has increased 55% since last year and now enrolls 257 students.

* Dr. Robinson raised the concern that the more prestigious schools provide vocabulary textbooks for each student, but that is not the case for other schools. She requested that an upcoming Reading Workshop include a discussion about

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Observer Corps- October Monthly Reports

Observer Corps- October Monthly Reports

by Katie Gettinger

 

The purpose of the Observer Corps is two-fold:

  • to observe public meetings and report important issues to the LWV
  • to be seen by elected officials because “We matter and we are watching you.”

 

Meetings are open to everyone and are generally held the last Thursday of the month at 1:00 pm at the Compass Center in Lake Worth.

 

If you don’t see your area listed, please consider reporting on your meeting for the Observer Corps.

 

Patty Whitehill let us know about some turnover in Delray Beach.

  • The Mayor is not seeking re-election.
  • Two commissioners will be running for mayor.
  • The City Manager position is also turning over.

 

Jupiter Town Council Meeting was reported on by Katie Gettinger.

  • Health
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Observer Corps- September Monthly Reports

Observer Corps- September Monthly Reports

by Katie Gettinger

How did different towns deal with the hurricane?  Which town is worried about sea-level rise? What will be the property tax rate in Jupiter?  Once a month, League members who attend municipal meetings get together to present and  discuss what happened at those meetings. Meetings are open to everyone and are generally held the last Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM at the Compass Center in Lake Worth.  

Many local meetings were not reported on this month as many Observers were still on their hurrication (the trip you take to get out of the hurricane probability cone) and there are still some areas in need of a LWV Observer to let us know what is happening.  If you don’t see your area listed, please …

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Observer Corps- September Reports

Observer Corps- September Reports

by Katie Gettinger

 

The purpose of the Observer Corps is two-fold:

  • to observe public meetings and report important issues to the LWV
  • to be seen by elected officials because “We matter and we are watching you.”

 

Observer Corps meetings are a high spot for attendees. The information shared is invaluable and terribly interesting. Many of the meetings are reported on in the media, but the Observer Corps goes a step further by reporting on each meeting to our group and following up with discussion.  Additionally, sometimes more than one Observer will be at a meeting and, while they may sit together, they will pick up different information and upon reporting, will expand and enhance everyone’s understanding. It’s a beautiful thing!  Meetings are open to everyone and

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Observer Corps July Reports

Observer Corps July Reports

Observer Corps members have been reading League-approved statements at meetings attended. President Karen Wilkerson has clarified that the approved statement regarding voting rights was read EXACTLY as written, nothing added.

PALM BEACH COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

  • Joyce Smookler read the League-approved statement on Restoring Voting Rights to former felons.
  • Voted to not send certain amendments to Tallahassee concerning workforce housing. Developers want to put funds instead of building units.
  • Regarding Ag Reserve: any action was postponed after commissioners demanded further preparation.

 

DELRAY BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
By Arlene Ustin

Commissioners have gone to Tallahassee and kept on top of Delray issues on a regular basis. The 2018 Florida State Legislative session begins January 9- March 9 – with the likely possibility of being extended).

Two items of …

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BOCC Meeting – July

Joyce Smookler
Joyce Smookler, Observer Corps Chair, read a statement on behalf of LWVPBC informing the Board of our support for restoration of voting rights for felons and encouraging all present to sign a petition in favor of our position. She also shared the news that LWVPBC is the 3rd largest league in the US.

The statement, prepared by President, Karen Wilkerson, will be read at all Board & Commission meetings attended by the Observer Corps members this month. Our goal is to keep elected officials aware of our activities. A different statement will be read each month.…

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Observer Corps June Reports

Observer Corps June Reports

If you do not see your municipality listed below, we probably need your help! Many members are away visiting and vacationing over the summer. Please lend us a hand.

 

Arlene Ustin attended the Delray City Council meeting, and reported that it was, “Quite wonderful.”

  • The city was recognized as an “All American City” because of the kids’ summer programs.
  • A proposal for $27K lifeguard tower updating was approved.
  • A test “Ambassador Program” was discussed.  The ambassadors wear yellow shirts to assist people from 6 AM to 11 PM.  The Delray Development Authority challenged the program’s $290K fund increase to double the staff, saying they should focus on other problems in the area, like discouraging drug use and crime.
  • A redesign of the seawall and docks was also
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Observer Corps May Reports

Observer Corps May Reports

REPORTS FROM MAY MEETINGS

School Board — Vivian Koppelman attended the May 10, 2017 meeting.

Chuck Shaw expressed gratitude to the League for all they have done for the students and the committee.

  • Attendees were urged to call the governor’s office to ask him to veto the Education Bill, HB 7069.
  • Concern was expressed that  African American students weren’t being served, but assurances were made that they were being served.
  • Charter Schools. The Board had tried to deny the approval of Renaissance schools, but because there is a law that doesn’t allow the school board to object, they were overruled. The Board is now suing over this issue.
  • Suggestion for Language Line to be implemented to help out with the language barrier.
  • Odyssey Middle School in Boynton Beach
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Observer Corps April Reports

Observer Corps April Reports

REPORTS FROM APRIL MEETINGS

School Board Debra Chandler reported that Cindy Sheehan-Hartwell, representing the entire LWVPBC, spoke in support of county schools maintaining the privacy of its students.  Our League had voted on this issue at the Annual Business Meeting earlier that day. Notably, politics was not the issue, only support for the children.  PBCBCC–Three sessions were attended and reported on.

  • April 4, 2017 Morning Session–Carol Stender reported that the morning session of the County Commissioners meeting was taken up by further discussion of allowing PACE (a private loan company for home improvement funding, including solar panels) to operate within the county.  Discussion centered on the fact that the loan becomes a tax lien and if the homeowner defaults on the loan, they could
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Observer Corps March Reports

By Joyce Smookler and Carol Stender, CoChairs

Observer Corps

Observer Corps members (left to right) Carol Stender, Arlene Ustin, Nancy Ballen, Joyce Smookler, and Patty Whitehill pause for a photo op before observing the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners meeting.

 

The Observer Corps continues to monitor  meetings throughout the county.  Our ranks have grown to a healthy size, but the need for Observers is never satisfied. A few members have stepped up to coordinate coverage of some cities.  Clare Miller has agreed to coordinate coverage of Lake Worth, Sheila Jaffe will coordinate Boca Raton, and Cindy Sheehan-Hartwell will coordinate the city of West Palm Beach.

Two League members received recognition at the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners Meeting in March.

  • Debra Chandler was appointed to the Citizens
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