Letter: Hart-Woods: When I Am Mayor

After enduring over four hours of totally unproductive pseudo-political miasma at the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council meeting last week, I concluded I must do one of two things: leave town or become mayor.

A few local xenophobes would be delighted the opinionated English guy was no longer around, but judging by the endless groans of dissatisfaction from the public (yet again denied voice by the time-wasting, rambling, repetitious rants of “I’m innocent, I tell you!” Councilman Ron Jarriel) at the hopeless goings-on in the meeting, I’m betting more educated folk would like, well, dare I say change?

The town Luddites can breathe easily. I can’t take my citizenship test yet. But soon…

Once elected, I’ll have the following priorities:

1) Do away with Underwood Management and their endless self-serving, pointless paperwork-creating activities. Don’t know what or who that is? It’s an independent company we, the taxpayers of Loxahatchee Groves, pay around a quarter of a million dollars a year to “manage the town.” For which read, send out code violation notices, victimize residents, obstruct business and extort extra money from the council and residents by whatever means possible. The owners live in Stuart. Town Manager Mark Kutney lives in Wellington, and the code enforcement officer (whom we pay extra at $50 an hour) lives in Fort Lauderdale. None of them live in, understand or care about our town. Its interests come second to their fat paychecks. They will easily be replaced by a strong competent town clerk (who lives in the Groves) reporting to me. No one will even know they’ve gone.

2) Do away with the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District obscenity of one acre, one vote and replace it with one person, one vote. England did away with feudalism in 1648 when Oliver Cromwell chopped off the king’s head.

3) Do away with the LGWCD as a self-governing body. One competent man with a two-man team reporting indirectly to me through a nominated councilman will get the job done. Another significant savings.

4) Make the mayor (me again) and genuinely elected councilmen with no personal agendas (I’ll see to that), pro-active in governing the town and totally accessible to the public. Each councilman will have specific responsibilities, and the mayor will ensure they’re met. There’ll be weekly “surgeries” where the public can have one-on-one meetings with their elected officials, who will then do what they can for the people.

5) Hunt down and fine all local business people who disdain this fine country by employing illegal immigrant labor. Young Americans will get their jobs back in our town.

6) Burn the hopelessly corrupt and over-invasive ULDC and replace it with a simplified town charter.

7) Clean up the town. I’ll have litter collectors out daily. I’ll also fine anyone littering.

8) Negotiate with banks to get progress on foreclosed and abandoned homes.

9) Set about the process of arranging a referendum to determine if the townsfolk want to continue being an incorporated town or whether they would like to be governed by the county once more. (It couldn’t be worse than it is now!)

10) And if we stay as a town, I’ll make it the best darned town in Palm Beach County to live in. Forget selling out the townsfolk to the college; that’s a real and constructive way to increase property values.

Of course, the old guard council will cling, like a dying man to life, to its 15 minutes of fame and its notion of power — not to mention the $6,000 a year they outrageously voted for themselves and their privileged position from which they can line their own pockets. They will continue to fail as statesmen until removed as they have signally failed in all matters since the council was first formed.

Underwood Management will similarly wriggle and squeal to keep their greedy hands on the town purse, but as more and more about how they are fleecing the town and its residents becomes known, they’ll be only too pleased to get back to Wellington, Stuart and Fort Lauderdale.

Until I am elected, I pledge to observe and make public all that which they try so desperately to keep secret. And I encourage all free thinking residents of Loxahatchee Groves to pay more attention to what’s going on in our town.

Tim Hart-Woods
Loxahatchee Groves