Letter: Hart-Woods Critiques Groves Council Meeting

If the four-hour crushingly dull previous meeting was the warm-up act, the most recent Loxahatchee Groves council meeting was more fun than anyone could expect. It was nothing less than a cabaret of hoots, horror and dishonor. An evening studded with local stars giving stunning performances.

Thais Gonzales was magnanimous in victory over council bullying and intimidation. She handed her fully signed petition into the town office. You can only guess what the town officials said once she’d left.

Her magnanimity was not reciprocated by the council. Two out-of-town developer types showed us how we could turn Loxahatchee Groves into a Stepford sister town by Photoshopping plans of Wellyworld onto what will one day (soon, by the look of it) be referred to as ‘bygone’ Loxahatchee Groves. Their nightmarish vision of how Loxahatchee Groves might look was straight out of the Town Planners Book of Bland. Fair play, though; their hideous destruction of our town did include a path around a pond for horseback riding — no trailer parking or equestrian access. Details, details…

Who knows? Perhaps our horses might like a little supermarket car park activity as they cut along?

Howard Voren humorously took a page from history and suggested we draw a line in the B Road sand and give the 75 acres back to the county so they can have a college in their own back yard — kind of like the British attempt at solving the Jewish/Palestinian problem back in 1948. Go Howard!

Marsha Newell told us about the “Ghost of Loxahatchee Past,” a roaming woman who can apparently walk through locked gates.

Ron Jarriel attacked Mark Kutney for not having sufficient information. Jim Rockett kicked Mark while he was down because he didn’t know anything about the insurance the town’s vendors are supposed to have.

In a “to heck with it” moment, the mayor announced he didn’t want to be mayor, then realizing his gaff quickly added, “after the next three years.”

Rockett heroically offered to “give up” his $6,000 a year as he felt it was excessive. Well, it might be for what you do, Jim! Anyone else remember he’s up for re-election?

Grace Joyce, rarely seen at council meetings, there presumably at the invitation of the failing council, yet again banged on about how the college proposal was aired properly. Didn’t the 260 signatures in three weeks tell you anything, Grace? As if ignoring public opinion wasn’t enough, Grace then had a brilliant Orwellian idea and suggested the names of signatories should be made available to the council (they are anyway, Grace; it’s public record) so they could “visit” them all personally to “explain” things.

There were gasps of astonishment at the insanity of the suggestion, much less the sinister nature of it. Even the mayor was clearly embarrassed at the idea of a Loxahatchee Groves “thought police.”

And still, despite the 260-strong hand of the inevitable on their shoulders, the council, with one shining exception, remained obstinate in their opposition to freedom of speech. They again wasted time defending the indefensible college approval fiasco. They might as well have put on red noses to match their red faces and carried on driving their clown truck with no forward vision and only rear-view mirrors straight down the road to defeat.

The shining exception was Councilman Tom Goltzené, who, invoking Oscar Wilde’s extraordinarily useful observation that, “A man who does not change his mind does not think,” pointed out to his council colleagues that the writing was on the wall. He implied that better writing on it, then the council stood up against it and proposed a motion for the referendum. Four cowardly silences followed. Motion denied but case proven. Our town fathers are bad dads.

Top of the comedy bill and hilarious last word went again to Jim “riotous” Rockett, who wanted us all to see some nice lights he’d found to illuminate stop signs. Who said accountants don’t have a sense of humor? Don’t know about you, Jim, but most folk around here I know have enough trouble ignoring them without you spending town cash putting flashing lights on top! Perhaps it may be more appropriate to spend the money on the referendum?

Tim Hart-Woods
Loxahatchee Groves