For whom I am voting in 2016

So, I get asked quite a bit as to whom I am going to vote and putting out these “voter vote for meguides” is an easy way for people to see how I plan to vote. Hopefully, many will get educated about the candidates and the issues rather than simply going straight down the ballot voting for the “D” or the “R”. If the “D” or the “R” are the best candidate for YOU in a particular race, then that is great. Over the years my philosophy in voting has moved away from strategy to instead voting FOR the most freedom-based candidate and the most freedom-based issues in any particular election. I have limited my selection to only those I personally can vote. If you wish to see more expansive recommendations for Palm Beach County, you can visit the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County’s Voters Guide. Oh, and way down near the bottom of the ballot you’ll see my name, vote for me!

So, that being said, here are my picks:

President & Vice President

Gary Johnson & Bill Weld

Gary Johnson is clearly the most freedom-minded candidate in the presidential race of the three that will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Floridians will have a choice between six candidates (not including write-ins) for president, but again, only three will be on the ballot in all 50 states so I narrowed my choice to within those three.

United States Senator

Paul Stanton

There are seven candidates for which to choose (not including write-ins) and I am choosing the Libertarian.

U.S. Representative – District 21

Paul Spain

Since only Spain and Frankel are in this race, excluding the Write-In candidate Mike Trout, Spain gets my vote. I am strongly tempted to vote Trout as I have met him several times and there are things I do not agree with Spain on, Spain remains the most freedom-based candidate.

Florida Senate – District 31

Jeff Clemens

Since Jason Swaby recently withdrew his write-in candidacy, Jeff Clemens is the winner of this race as he ran unopposed by a Republican or Libertarian. Perhaps next time around he will be given more serious competition so voters will have a choice. I like Clemens on many issues; however, he is not freedom-focused. 

Florida Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Judges

I am voting NOT TO RETAIN any of the existing judges in these races. If someone can convince me otherwise, feel free to shoot me an email and I will update accordingly.

15th Circuit Judge – Group 4

No opinion and not certain who I will vote for at this time

County Court Judge – Group 11

Gregg Lerman

Good, freedom-minded judge, though he is bound by the law.

The following are NON-PARTISAN races

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 2

Matthew Bymaster

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 3

Jesse Jackson OR Stephen Jara

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 4

Karl Dickey

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

No. 1 – Solar – NO

I supported and voted for a better version of solar change for Florida during the August 30, 2016, primary which was passed. This version is not the better option as even environmentalists are against it.

No. 2 – Medical Marijuana – YES

Contrary to the scare tactics being put forth in recent advertisements, this amendment is ONLY for using cannabis for medical purposes and nothing more. There are many patients, especially seniors and those with cancer, who could benefit from cannabis treatment.

No. 3 – Tax Exemption – NO

Although this amendment is well-intentioned, it will only cause the rest of the taxpaying population to pay more. We need to get away from what we have been doing by creating tax exemptions for a special class of people and move toward lowering everyone’s tax exposure.

No. 5 – Tax Exemption – NO

Although this amendment is well-intentioned, it will only cause the rest of the taxpaying population to pay more. We need to get away from what we have been doing by creating tax exemptions for a special class of people and move toward lowering everyone’s tax exposure.

Countywide Question – Sales Tax Increase – NO

This 17 percent increase in the county’s sales tax is not only unnecessary, but also immoral. Although portrayed as a one cent increase in the county’s sales tax, it is actually a 17 percent increase. Any news outlet or politician describing it as a “penny tax” is not being honest about what it will cost the general public, especially those in the county who can least afford it.

See an excerpt from the new book ‘Liri’

An excerpt from the new book Liri: An Adventure Toward Freedom:

The last Saturday morning of September was warm and muggy. Edi normally awoke to the laps of waves hitting the beach just steps from his bedroom; however, this morning he abruptly awoke by a loud banging on their front door and incessant ringing of their doorbell. The sun was just starting to rise over the horizon.

FBI Agents Lecter and Timmons were at their front door, both with sweat on their foreheads. There were three unmarked FBI cars in Mariana and Edi’s driveway and the other FBI agents stood next to their cars looking toward the street. Edi opened the door shirtless, wearing only boxer shorts, annoyed at the abrupt awakening.

Order your book today before the price rises!

content-4764765-DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL (1)

See an excerpt from the new book 'Liri'

An excerpt from the new book Liri: An Adventure Toward Freedom:

The last Saturday morning of September was warm and muggy. Edi normally awoke to the laps of waves hitting the beach just steps from his bedroom; however, this morning he abruptly awoke by a loud banging on their front door and incessant ringing of their doorbell. The sun was just starting to rise over the horizon.

FBI Agents Lecter and Timmons were at their front door, both with sweat on their foreheads. There were three unmarked FBI cars in Mariana and Edi’s driveway and the other FBI agents stood next to their cars looking toward the street. Edi opened the door shirtless, wearing only boxer shorts, annoyed at the abrupt awakening.

Order your book today before the price rises!

content-4764765-DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL (1)

My New book – Liri: An Adventure Toward Freedom is now Available on Amazon! Get it now for introductory price!

My new novel, Liri: An Adventure Toward Freedom is now available on Amazon for Kindle download here!

The Kindle version of the book is initially available for $3.99. On August 15, 2014, the price will rise to $5.99 and on August 29, 2014 it will rise to $7.99. The paperback version of Liri will be available via Amazon on or before August 29, 2014 and will initially be priced at $9.99, then $12.99.

As I stated before, Liri is my first novel and have started working on my next book which will be of greater quality and depth. It will be published in mid-late 2015.

You do not need a Kindle in order to read Kindle books. There are apps available for your PC or MAC that are free. There are also apps for your Android tablet/phone on Google Play or your Apple devices in the App Store. You are also able to download a simple app to read the book in your web browser.

If you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon. If not, then…don’t 🙂

Although we did our best to find any errors in the book, I welcome hearing of any errors so when the book is revised before going to print as a softcover, we may include them. Send corrections to karldickey@gmail.com.

Liri has been a positive learning experience and I hope you enjoy!

 content-4764765-DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL (1)

Libertarians on the Palm Beach County ballot

Qualification to be on the November General Election ballot ended yesterday, June 20, 2014 at noon. Since most media will not inform the public as to the libertarian candidates that Palm Beach County voters will see on their November ballot, we thought we’d do that here. The following qualified candidates may or may not be Libertarian Party ‘branded’ candidates, yet they at least have libertarian-leanings.

See who those candidates are here.

Wyllie-1

5970 SW 18th ST #331, Boca Raton, Florida 33433 888.394.0908 Fax: 561.208.6545 www.KARLDICKEY.org NEWS RELEASE FOR RELEASE ON: April 1, 2010 Contact: Karl Dickey Tel: 561.237.5586 Email: karl@karldickey.org PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSION GIVES BILLIONAIRE’S PET PROJECT $800,000 Commissioners raid Gramercy Park Community Center and Science Museum fund Boca Raton, FL – With no debate during the March 23, 2010 county commission meeting our county commissioners redirected $800,000 to the John and Tussi Kluge Center for Creative Education. The vote was 7-0 which meant every commissioner on the dais was in favor of this subsidy. Karl Dickey, candidate for Palm Beach County Commission said today, “Perhaps they felt sorry for Mr. Kluge who saw his net worth drop from $9B to $6B this past year so they felt the need to fill the gap for his project while diverting funds from their intended purposes. Public bonds are voted on by the public for a specific purpose and shouldn’t be raided as we see time and again by politicians for different purposes. I thought we had at least two fiscal conservatives on the Board, apparently not. Unfortunately for Palm Beach County taxpayers this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.” John Kluge can be found on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list and is a resident on the island of Palm Beach. Last year Kluge gave $400 million to Columbia University which begs the question, if he can afford to give Columbia $400 million, certainly he could find $800,000 to “fill the gap” of an education center that bears his name. Karl Dickey applauds Mr. Kluge’s financial success and his great philanthropy, simply not at the expense to the taxpayers of Palm Beach County. The funds were derived from the 2002 $50 Million Recreational and Cultural Facilities Bond which had a specific project list designated by the county commission at the time. Much of the public bond money was to be used for the expansion of the South Florida Science Museum. # # # paid for and approved by karl dickey, libertarian for palm beach county commission, district 4

Source: http://karldickey.org/press/20100401%20Palm%20Beach%20County%20Commission%20gives%20billionaires%20$800k.htm

Commissioners raid Gramercy Park Community Center and Science Museum fund

Boca Raton, FL – With no debate during the March 23, 2010 county commission meeting our county commissioners redirected $800,000 to the John and Tussi Kluge Center for Creative Education. The vote was 7-0 which meant every commissioner on the dais was in favor of this subsidy.

Karl Dickey, candidate for Palm Beach County Commission said today, “Perhaps they felt sorry for Mr. Kluge who saw his net worth drop from $9B to $6B this past year so they felt the need to fill the gap for his project while diverting funds from their intended purposes. Public bonds are voted on by the public for a specific purpose and shouldn’t be raided as we see time and again by politicians for different purposes. I thought we had at least two fiscal conservatives on the Board, apparently not. Unfortunately for Palm Beach County taxpayers this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.”

John Kluge can be found on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list and is a resident on the island of Palm Beach. Last year Kluge gave $400 million to Columbia University which begs the question, if he can afford to give Columbia $400 million, certainly he could find $800,000 to “fill the gap” of an education center that bears his name.

Karl Dickey applauds Mr. Kluge’s financial success and his great philanthropy, simply not at the expense to the taxpayers of Palm Beach County.

The funds were derived from the 2002 $50 Million Recreational and Cultural Facilities Bond which had a specific project list designated by the county commission at the time. Much of the public bond money was to be used for the expansion of the South Florida Science Museum.

5970 SW 18th ST #331, Boca Raton, Florida 33433 888.394.0908 Fax: 561.208.6545 www.KARLDICKEY.org NEWS RELEASE FOR RELEASE ON: April 1, 2010 Contact: Karl Dickey Tel: 561.237.5586 Email: karl@karldickey.org PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSION GIVES BILLIONAIRE'S PET PROJECT $800,000 Commissioners raid Gramercy Park Community Center and Science Museum fund Boca Raton, FL – With no debate during the March 23, 2010 county commission meeting our county commissioners redirected $800,000 to the John and Tussi Kluge Center for Creative Education. The vote was 7-0 which meant every commissioner on the dais was in favor of this subsidy. Karl Dickey, candidate for Palm Beach County Commission said today, “Perhaps they felt sorry for Mr. Kluge who saw his net worth drop from $9B to $6B this past year so they felt the need to fill the gap for his project while diverting funds from their intended purposes. Public bonds are voted on by the public for a specific purpose and shouldn't be raided as we see time and again by politicians for different purposes. I thought we had at least two fiscal conservatives on the Board, apparently not. Unfortunately for Palm Beach County taxpayers this is not an April Fool's Day joke.” John Kluge can be found on the Forbes World's Billionaires list and is a resident on the island of Palm Beach. Last year Kluge gave $400 million to Columbia University which begs the question, if he can afford to give Columbia $400 million, certainly he could find $800,000 to “fill the gap” of an education center that bears his name. Karl Dickey applauds Mr. Kluge's financial success and his great philanthropy, simply not at the expense to the taxpayers of Palm Beach County. The funds were derived from the 2002 $50 Million Recreational and Cultural Facilities Bond which had a specific project list designated by the county commission at the time. Much of the public bond money was to be used for the expansion of the South Florida Science Museum. # # # paid for and approved by karl dickey, libertarian for palm beach county commission, district 4

Source: http://karldickey.org/press/20100401%20Palm%20Beach%20County%20Commission%20gives%20billionaires%20$800k.htm

Commissioners raid Gramercy Park Community Center and Science Museum fund

Boca Raton, FL – With no debate during the March 23, 2010 county commission meeting our county commissioners redirected $800,000 to the John and Tussi Kluge Center for Creative Education. The vote was 7-0 which meant every commissioner on the dais was in favor of this subsidy.

Karl Dickey, candidate for Palm Beach County Commission said today, “Perhaps they felt sorry for Mr. Kluge who saw his net worth drop from $9B to $6B this past year so they felt the need to fill the gap for his project while diverting funds from their intended purposes. Public bonds are voted on by the public for a specific purpose and shouldn’t be raided as we see time and again by politicians for different purposes. I thought we had at least two fiscal conservatives on the Board, apparently not. Unfortunately for Palm Beach County taxpayers this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.”

John Kluge can be found on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list and is a resident on the island of Palm Beach. Last year Kluge gave $400 million to Columbia University which begs the question, if he can afford to give Columbia $400 million, certainly he could find $800,000 to “fill the gap” of an education center that bears his name.

Karl Dickey applauds Mr. Kluge’s financial success and his great philanthropy, simply not at the expense to the taxpayers of Palm Beach County.

The funds were derived from the 2002 $50 Million Recreational and Cultural Facilities Bond which had a specific project list designated by the county commission at the time. Much of the public bond money was to be used for the expansion of the South Florida Science Museum.

Libertarian Candidate Says to Slash Commissioner Salaries

Karl Dickey for Palm Beach County Commission
5970 SW 18th ST #331, Boca Raton, Florida 33433 888.394.0908 Fax: 561.208.6545
http://www.KARLDICKEY.org
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2009
Contact: Karl Dickey Tel: 561.237.5586 Email: karl@karldickey.org
Libertarian Candidate Says to Slash Commissioner Salaries
County commissioner candidate wants salary reduced to $60,000
Boca Raton, FL – Palm Beach County commission candidate, Karl Dickey said this morning, “Our county commissioners should take a pay cut showing they are serious about getting the budget under control. We need to slash commissioner salaries by at least 35%.”
Although such a reduction is mostly symbolic based on the size of the county budget, it would show taxpayers they commissioners are serious about reigning in the spending. Reducing salaries has been brought before the commission in the past without success.
Karl Dickey is suggesting a pay of $60,000 for county commissioners as the median family income for county residents is around $50,000. Mr. Dickey added, “The high-flying times are gone and the commissioners need to get real. I would even support a proposal to bring the salary down to as much at $50,000.”
Mr. Dickey is also encouraged by county administrator, Robert Weisman’s commitment to submit the 2011 budget excluding all non-mandated items.
# # #
PAID FOR AND APPROVED BY KARL DICKEY, LIBERTARIAN FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 4

Time to Get Serious With the Palm Beach County Budget

Time to Get Serious With the Palm Beach County Budget

County commission candidate suggests serious cuts in county budget and a cut in commissioner salaries

 Boca Raton, FL – Palm Beach County commission candidate, Karl Dickey has been pressing the Board of Commissioners to heed a more conservative fiscal budget for years. Unfortunately the commissioners continue to have trouble saying “NO” to those coming before the commission with their hand out.       

Mr. Dickey said this morning, “Our county administrator, Bob Weisman, has been trying for the last four years to get the commission to cut the budget. You really have to have sympathy for Mr. Weisman. He has literally begged commissioners during public meetings to reduce the county budget, however we continually see people and special interests lined  up asking for money and shockingly, the commissioners dole it out. It is time each and every department, including the Sherriff’s office, participate in the needed cuts for the 2011 budget. It will not be pleasant or easy, but it must be done. I have not been overly impressed with the budget workshops and strongly feel they should be held in the evening so the public can have greater participation.”       

Karl Dickey suggests the selling off the North County and the Pahokee airports, reduce the Sherriff’s office budget ($25M in 2011), reduce the community services budget by $10M, end new jail expansion, reduce commissioner salaries to $60k, close the lobbying office, and many more.

To attract more business, the county government should adopt more libertarian principles, thereby reducing the “red tape” many businesses face when setting up shop. The county could easily become a haven for those individuals and businesses seeking a place to live and operate where the taxes are low and the government is not all-encompassing.       

During the “good times” Palm Beach County commissioners forced taxpayers into a situation where multi-year obligations must be met making it difficult to cut the budget substantially. The multi-year obligations are for projects that produce nothing and often cost taxpayers either directly or via lost opportunities. Mr. Dickey has outlined a few improvements for the 2011 budget here and will offer more substantial budget recommendations in the future.       

The county government should not have created the boondoggles such as Mecca Farms and the endless tax subsidies doled out to large businesses and organizations.

# # #

Original document can be found here:  http://karldickey.org/press/20091210%20Time%20to%20Get%20Serious%20With%20the%20Palm%20Beach%20County%20Budget.htm

paid for and approved by karl dickey, libertarian for palm beach county commission, district 4

Libertarian candidate blasts county moratorium on pain clinics

From today’s Palm Beach Post, Post on Politics by George Bennett  http://www.postonpolitics.com/2009/12/libertarian-candidate-blasts-county-moratorium-on-pain-clinics/

Our Jennifer Sorentrue reports that Palm Beach County commissioners this morning approved a one-year moratorium on approving new pain-management clinics amid concerns that drugs are being dispensed with insufficient controls.

A recent Palm Beach Post investigation found that more than 30 such clinics have opened in the county since 2007. Among the people running pain businesses are convicted drug dealers, serial criminals and former addicts, according to a review of county, state and federal records.

Libertarian commission candidate Karl Dickey blasted this morning’s 6-0 vote, saying commissioners are “punishing the many for the actions of a few. Whereas we understand some pain-management clinics have abused the system, it is outrageous for the county government to ban the ability of legitimate clinics from opening.”

Dickey is the only announced challenger to Republican Commissioner Steven Abrams.

Read the rest via Libertarian candidate blasts county moratorium on pain clinics.

Libertarian, Karl Dickey, to serve on panel “America’s Role in the World” event

The following excerpt is from an article in the Palm Beach Daily News, written by Joseph Luciano which can be found here:http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/news/2009/10/31/Academia1101.html

Spanning the spectrum — The Campus Diversity Committee at Palm Beach Community College is bringing together a group of community and political activists for a discussion on “America’s Role in the World.”

The panel discussion will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, in Room 127 at the BioScience Technology Complex on the Eissey Campus, 3160 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.

The event is part of PBCC’s celebration of diversity, which is being held college-wide in November. It is free and open to the public.

Panelists will include Ray Del Papa, a peace and justice activist who is a member of Miami for Peace and School of the Americas Watch, South Florida; Maria del Valle, director of the Centro Cultural Español in Miami; Karl Dickey, Libertarian Party candidate for the Palm Beach County Commission; Jill Hanson, a labor attorney and immigrant rights activist who serves as president of the El Sol immigrant resource center in Jupiter; Sharon Wallenberg, a peace, justice, environment and health activist and a member of Pax Christi USA, Palm Beach Chapter, which is part of the national Catholic peace movement; Sheldon Weiss, president of the North County Democratic Club; and Allen West, Republic Congressional candidate for Florida’s 22nd District.

“We wanted to get people who represent the voice of the center, left and right. We wanted to have a range of opinions on this important subject,” said David Pena, director of the library at PBCC in Palm Beach Gardens and a member of the Campus Diversity Committee.

Libertarian, Karl Dickey, to serve on panel "America's Role in the World" event

The following excerpt is from an article in the Palm Beach Daily News, written by Joseph Luciano which can be found here:http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/news/2009/10/31/Academia1101.html

Spanning the spectrum — The Campus Diversity Committee at Palm Beach Community College is bringing together a group of community and political activists for a discussion on “America’s Role in the World.”

The panel discussion will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, in Room 127 at the BioScience Technology Complex on the Eissey Campus, 3160 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.

The event is part of PBCC’s celebration of diversity, which is being held college-wide in November. It is free and open to the public.

Panelists will include Ray Del Papa, a peace and justice activist who is a member of Miami for Peace and School of the Americas Watch, South Florida; Maria del Valle, director of the Centro Cultural Español in Miami; Karl Dickey, Libertarian Party candidate for the Palm Beach County Commission; Jill Hanson, a labor attorney and immigrant rights activist who serves as president of the El Sol immigrant resource center in Jupiter; Sharon Wallenberg, a peace, justice, environment and health activist and a member of Pax Christi USA, Palm Beach Chapter, which is part of the national Catholic peace movement; Sheldon Weiss, president of the North County Democratic Club; and Allen West, Republic Congressional candidate for Florida’s 22nd District.

“We wanted to get people who represent the voice of the center, left and right. We wanted to have a range of opinions on this important subject,” said David Pena, director of the library at PBCC in Palm Beach Gardens and a member of the Campus Diversity Committee.

Interview w/ LibertarianViewpoint.com

Karl Dickey was recently interviewed for LibertarianViewpoint.com regarding his campaign for Palm Beach County Commission.

————————————————————————————————–

In keeping with our goals of trying to get interviews with all the Libertarian candidates running for office April continues to track them down and ask them pertinent questions. She caught up with Karl Dickey, candidate for County Commissioner in Palm Beach. Her interview is posted here in its entirety. Enjoy!

Q: It’s a conundrum to some people. The wealthy are objects of envy, but heavy progressive taxes only create a class of dependents that are resentful of the hand that feeds them. Meanwhile, as can be evidenced from activities like the Robin Hood Foundation’s, not only are the wealthy indoctrinated to feel guilty about their property holdings, they’re still extraordinarily generous givers. Is Palm Beach getting wise to the indoctrination?

A: Firstly, although I realize many have envy for the wealthy, I do not subscribe to that notion. But more to the question, it would be difficult to know the thoughts of Palm Beachers and their reasons for giving to their favorite charities – whether out of guilt, altruism, or for the potential tax benefits. I do fully support the use of more private charities over the inefficient and often corrupt government-run and government-funded charities.

Read More…

Ritzy trip? It’s no day at beach for poor officials

Ritzy trip? It’s no day at beach for poor officials

Shared via AddThis

By Frank Cerabino

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My heart goes out to the Palm Beach County commissioners who have slogged across the state to do the public’s business at a luxury resort on Marco Island.

It’s not as easy at it seems.

More local news
Latest breaking news, photos and all of today’s Post stories.City Pulse
On the beat,
behind the agenda: Post reporters cover your area in City Pulse.

<!– State news
–> <!– Storm 2006: Hurricane news
–> <!– Sound off in the forum
Columnists
Crime, live scanners
Photos | Special reports
Weather | Traffic | Obituaries
–>

Share This Story

You have to get up every morning at a beachfront resort, pull yourself away from the buffet, avert your eyes from the 18-hole golf course, sidestep the spa, and head to a meeting room for a discussion of plebeian topics, such as public transportation or homelessness.

It’s enough to drive you back to your room for the scented soap and the mini-bar.

How easy can it be to focus on the homeless when you’re staying in a resort that asks, “Searching for Paradise?”

Not ideal. Certainly, the fact that taxpayers are ponying up about $10,000 to help pay for the trip to the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort comes as some solace.

But it’s a true test of public service, and I’m not talking about the champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries that come with the resort’s “escape romance” package.

They deserve a break, and a tan

This is no escape for our public servants. It wasn’t their idea to take time out from the daily task of finding ways to lay off county workers and grind out a few dollars from an overstretched budget.

They’re just part of a Florida Association of Counties gathering. And so it’s only fitting that four of our commissioners and some staffers show up.

After all, one of the seminars is on “honest services and public integrity.” Not having Palm Beach County public officials at that discussion would be like holding a steroids chat without the teammates of Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds.

So I applaud them. It took a great deal of courage for our county commissioners to go to this conference, knowing full well that they’d be criticized by commission hopefuls such as Karl Dickey, who has suggested checking them for tan lines when they return.

I mean, c’mon, Karl. Some of that tanning will certainly be warranted. A golf outing is actually part of the schedule, and there may be some accidental tanning during the early moments of the sunset dinner cruise.

Fertile ground for ideas

I think you just need to trust that our commissioners are working hard, instead of imagining the worst, which would be that Commissioners Jeff Koons, Karen Marcus, Steve Abrams and Shelley Vana are there to take advantage of the resort’s “fertile turtle package” – a pituitary gland-stimulating couples massage combined with fertility-promoting aromatherapy and a “special offer for couples who actually conceive during their visit.”

Ugh. Now look what you made me do: Ruin everybody’s breakfast.

Are you happy? All this distrust of your public officials has led to a visual that will take hours to erase.

So just take a few deep breaths. Calm down. It’s no big deal. Our commissioners are just learning how to get by in these tough times by spending a few days at a beachfront resort in Southwest Florida.

It’s not as if they’ve disappeared to Argentina.

Ritzy trip? It's no day at beach for poor officials

Ritzy trip? It’s no day at beach for poor officials

Shared via AddThis

By Frank Cerabino

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My heart goes out to the Palm Beach County commissioners who have slogged across the state to do the public’s business at a luxury resort on Marco Island.

It’s not as easy at it seems.

More local news
Latest breaking news, photos and all of today’s Post stories.City Pulse
On the beat,
behind the agenda: Post reporters cover your area in City Pulse.

<!– State news
–> <!– Storm 2006: Hurricane news
–> <!– Sound off in the forum
Columnists
Crime, live scanners
Photos | Special reports
Weather | Traffic | Obituaries
–>

Share This Story

You have to get up every morning at a beachfront resort, pull yourself away from the buffet, avert your eyes from the 18-hole golf course, sidestep the spa, and head to a meeting room for a discussion of plebeian topics, such as public transportation or homelessness.

It’s enough to drive you back to your room for the scented soap and the mini-bar.

How easy can it be to focus on the homeless when you’re staying in a resort that asks, “Searching for Paradise?”

Not ideal. Certainly, the fact that taxpayers are ponying up about $10,000 to help pay for the trip to the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort comes as some solace.

But it’s a true test of public service, and I’m not talking about the champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries that come with the resort’s “escape romance” package.

They deserve a break, and a tan

This is no escape for our public servants. It wasn’t their idea to take time out from the daily task of finding ways to lay off county workers and grind out a few dollars from an overstretched budget.

They’re just part of a Florida Association of Counties gathering. And so it’s only fitting that four of our commissioners and some staffers show up.

After all, one of the seminars is on “honest services and public integrity.” Not having Palm Beach County public officials at that discussion would be like holding a steroids chat without the teammates of Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds.

So I applaud them. It took a great deal of courage for our county commissioners to go to this conference, knowing full well that they’d be criticized by commission hopefuls such as Karl Dickey, who has suggested checking them for tan lines when they return.

I mean, c’mon, Karl. Some of that tanning will certainly be warranted. A golf outing is actually part of the schedule, and there may be some accidental tanning during the early moments of the sunset dinner cruise.

Fertile ground for ideas

I think you just need to trust that our commissioners are working hard, instead of imagining the worst, which would be that Commissioners Jeff Koons, Karen Marcus, Steve Abrams and Shelley Vana are there to take advantage of the resort’s “fertile turtle package” – a pituitary gland-stimulating couples massage combined with fertility-promoting aromatherapy and a “special offer for couples who actually conceive during their visit.”

Ugh. Now look what you made me do: Ruin everybody’s breakfast.

Are you happy? All this distrust of your public officials has led to a visual that will take hours to erase.

So just take a few deep breaths. Calm down. It’s no big deal. Our commissioners are just learning how to get by in these tough times by spending a few days at a beachfront resort in Southwest Florida.

It’s not as if they’ve disappeared to Argentina.