Meeting – Palm Beach County League of Cities

By Ellen Norman

A general membership meeting of the Palm Beach County League of Cities was held at the Greenacres Community Center on March 29. Representatives from all the towns in Palm Beach County, commissioners, and interested community groups were in attendance.
Rita Thrasher, from America’s Promise and our speaker at the March Hot Topics Luncheon, and Nancy Yarnell, the director at the Your Aging and Disability Resource Center, were representative of the types of groups in attendance. Ms. Yarnell noted that 30,000 Florida seniors were not re-certified for food stamps because they did not know about a new law that requires certification on a yearly basis!

Homelessness
Major themes of the meeting were preserving home rule and the need to put a face on homelessness. Unbelievably, 3,800 boys and girls live on the streets of Palm Beach County.
A lawyer for the League of Cities presented several cases of interest. One case concerned the Palm Beach County Affordable Housing Ordinance. The case is on its way to the Florida Supreme Court due to a reversal in the 4th District Court regarding a city collecting a lien on a foreclosed property, despite the fact that the property was allowed to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance by the parties who foreclosed.
The county has a committee to oversee state block grant funds that can be used to either purchase or repair homes.

Communication
Lastly, as the general media is in a crisis situation, a presentation on communication was given. The discussion was precipitated by the shooting of a young man by a police officer in Palm Beach Gardens. The following was emphasized:

  • the need for established protocol before a crisis occurs
  • establishing and maintaining important community relationships
  • utilizing technology to facilitate communication during a crisis
  • actively engaging in community outreach after a crisis

Ethics
The meeting ended with noting that April is Ethics Awareness Month and that integrity, values, and honesty are important in all relationships.