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Palm Beach Civic Association
Fall Directors Meeting
Thursday, November 4, 2010
12:00 p.m.

Northern Trust Bank
440 Royal Palm Way
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

Directors Fall Update
Ned Barnes, president

We’re seeing new energy and enthusiasm at the Civic Association these days.  You can tell by how active we’ve been this summer--and by the positive response to our programs.

One of our goals this year is to be more visible in the community.  As a result, we’ve been way “out in front” in the recent elections:
• Last July, we sponsored a packed house “Candidates Meet and Greet” at Nick and Johnnie’s.
• Three weeks ago, we had an overflow crowd for our Debate between Ron Klein and Alan West that was carried live on Channel 5 TV.
• On the day before the election we held an Election Forum called, “The Last Chance to Make Up Your Mind” featuring most of the local candidates on the Palm Beach ballot attended.

We want to help Town residents understand the key issues so we walked people through every ballot issue and constitutional amendment at a special Civic Association Symposium with the Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Director.

At the Civic Association, we weigh in on important governance issues so our Executive Committee analyzed in depth two of the ballot initiatives, Amendment 4 and the County ethics proposal, and issued a statement on why those propositions would not be good for our Town.

This year, we want to ramp up our publicity and improve out ability to get the word out so we were very pleased by all the people who used our web page to educate themselves on the candidates and the issues.  Our communication director, Mike Brown, reports that the day after the Klein-West debate, 1,545 visitors clicked on our web site, the most ever.

And, the ultimate compliment: During the campaign, the Shiny Sheet came to us and asked if they could publish our information on the candidates in their paper.

This summer, we did lots of other things at the Palm Beach Civic Association:

We want to provide a forum for every interest group, whether we agree with them or not, so we hosted a public meeting for Pat Flynn to discuss his referendum on the Plaza and other public landmarked structures.

We want to give Town residents a voice in their community so we conducted a survey on the new Publix and held a symposium to find out what kind of new store people really desire.  We published the results in a letter to Publix, the Architectural Commission and the Shiny Sheet.

We want to get more involved in issues that affect us outside our community:
• We attended County Commission meetings and met with County officials about holding the line on spending.
• We weighed in against a proposed sales tax to fund fire rescue services.
• We lobbied the County Commission not to disband the Citizens Committee on Airport Noise (CCAN).

We want to make a difference in people’s lives so we got involved in the Town’s budget process, spoke at Council meetings, and wrote letters to the editor urging the Council to hold the line on increasing taxes.

Now a new season is underway—and we’re revved up and ready to go:

We want to increase our membership so we’re holding our Welcome Home Reception for members only at the Paramount Courtyard on November 17.  We’re encouraging everyone who isn’t already a member to join the Civic Association and attend.

We want to reach out to other community groups so next month, we’re meeting with a new citizens’ group called the Palm Beach County Taxpayer Action Board (TAB) to see how we might become more active in Palm Beach County issues.

We want to help everyone understand important Town issues so, in December, we’re holding a Symposium on Shore Protection with Town Manager Peter Elwell to talk about the upcoming beach renourishment program where sand will be trucked in from the middle of the state.

We want to get more involved in day-to-day concerns:
• We’re working with Town Council member Bill Diamond to develop a comprehensive beach cleanup program.
• In January, we’ll be sponsoring events for residents to hear the candidates for Mayor and Town Council.

I want to thank Pat Cooper for all his work on behalf of Town residents this summer.  You can’t imagine how much Pat has done for the Civic Association and the Town these last few months.

I want to thank Bob Wildrick, the other Town Council members and Town Manager Peter Elwell for stepping up to the plate on some very challenging financial issues.

And, I want to thank all of you, our directors, for your major support and confidence in the Civic Association.  With your backing, we anticipate a very productive year.