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 social interest:

  • Opioid Manufacturer Litigation Presentation: Attorney Mark Dearman, representing the firm Robins, Geller, Rudman and Dowd (with offices in ten states) demonstrated clearly the role certain pharmaceutical companies played in promoting this raging epidemic for profits in the billions. His firm offered services to bring a suit against specific Big Pharma companies for misrepresenting opioid products as nonaddictive. They were negligent, deceptive, and therefore, fraudulent. According to studies, 80% of the epidemic we suffer today began with prescribed opioid medications.The firm will absorb costs of litigation and hopes to win funds for emergencies and treatment. Delray has been ground zero with overdoses and deaths.
    • The commissioners voted unanimously to accept the offer. (In the Palm Beach Post the following day, Delray was on the front page as the first municipality to go to the source of this horrific plague destroying a generation cutting across all social lines.)
  • Public Comment–Petition Drive to Restore the Voting Rights to Former Offenders: Arlene Ustin presented the position the LWVPBC holds on this campaign to have a citizen-initiated Amendment added to the Florida Constitution placed on the 2018 ballot. Many in the audience and some on the dais have already signed. I was very well received by all – they clapped!

 

LAKE WORTH
By Claire Miller

  • Local sheriff’ deputy spoke about calling regarding opioid.
  • Claire Miller read a LWVPBC-approved statement regarding voting rights. All present signed the petition.

 

GREEN ACRES

  • Approved mileage rate.
  • Amended building regulations.
  • Adopted a new model of floodplain regulation. FEMA has since remapped and increased flood zones.
    • Discussion of new FEMA maps so all municipalities are affected. Best to research and buy insurance through the government.

 

PBC BOARD OF EDUCATION
By Vivian Koppelman

  • $66,000 missing.
  • Discussion on charter schools.
  • PTA started discussion in joining Broward in suing state. Discussion continued weighing the advantage of sueing on our own.
  • Odyssey school closure.