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Monday, August 13, 2007

Mayor of West Palm Beach - Talk About a Hot "Mess"- There is no Shame in Resignation

Where is the BET THAT NETWORK'S shame machine when you need it. Lois Frankel, the Mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida continues to shift blame for anarchy that occurred on her watch. Now she has fired the police spokesman because of the negative publicity from the Dunbar Village gang rape.

Two layoffs at the city of West Palm Beach may not have been so random after all, several city hall sources say.

Ted White, a former WPTV-Channel 5 anchor who became police spokesman last year, may have fallen victim to the intense publicity the city received because of the recent gang rape and attack at Dunbar Village.

[T]wo insiders who asked for anonymity said Frankel blamed White for some of the negative press yielded by the horrendous assaults on a Dunbar mother and her son.

As for White, he said he didn't hear any complaints. (SOURCE)
I have been shaking my head at some of the things that the mayor of West Palm Beach has been saying and doing in the wake of the horrific gang rape at the Dunbar Village housing project.

First she did nothing while anarchy reigned in a swath of her city. 717 Calls from Dunbar Village alone in a single year. Now that is a large number in and of itself, but consider the fact that Dunbar Village only has 334 residents. That is over two police calls per year per resident. So a family of five in one apartment would have called police a dozen times in a year.

It is not just Dunbar Village, a few weeks later less than a mile away a 42 year old was raped mere feet from her apartment by a 14 year-old while a group of his friends stood nearby yelling "Hurry Up! Me Next!"

Does Mayor Frankel accept responsibility for what happens on her watch? Does she blame the county? Does she blame the Governor of Florida? NO, she leaps all the way to Washington, DC and blames HUD for not giving her a grant. How much was this grant that the Mayor thought would have preventing her fair city from having the dubious distinction of being home to one of the most horrific hate crimes against a Black woman and child in recent memory?? 1 Million Dollars? half a mil? how about $250,000. Nope. Folks the grant she is blaming fo the anarchy in her city was a measly $165,000. FOUR.YEARS.AGO!

Four years ago, Congress eliminated $165,000 a year that paid for extra policing at the city’s housing projects as a part of a national cutback in housing money.(Source)

I say measly because you mean to tell me that those developers building high rise multi million dollar condos in West Palm Beach wouldn't have coughed up 100 grand to make sure the city where their billion dollar investments rest isn't known for Black teens preying on Black women and girls? You mean to tell me the Mayor couldn't have sold catfish dinners, washed cars, held a telethon to raise 165,000?

Let's put this in perspective. Now granted, my city is a pet-loving city, but recently one of our animal shelters had a chiller go out. This was June 14th. The cost of getting it fixed so the doggies and kitties didn't sweat in the hot Texas heat? A whopping $200,000. Did the shelter director whine? Nope, she had every television station in town doing a live remote from the animal shelter at Noon, 5:00 and 6:00. She took them on a tour and let them see the kitties and the puppies panting as employees placed ice cubes in their doggie bowls to keep the little fellers cool. People starting dropping by to donate after work in the middle of the live feeds. You bet they got their $200,000 and they got it fast, by July 6th. It didn't even take a month.

So if a animal shelter director could raise almost quarter mil for Fluffy and Fido in three weeks, you mean to tell me that you couldn't have found $165,000 to stamp out anarchy and protect human beings?. The primary responsibilities of government is shared defense and public safety, surely there was money hidden somewhere or perhaps you could have gone to your state for assistance or the Chamber of Commerce.

Am I being too hard on the woman? Well there is THIS:

Mayor Lois Frankel will be remembered for her pet project, the $154 million City Center complex that will stand as a monument to bureaucrat furnishings and parking-garage design. (SOURCE)
You could have skipped the furnishing and come up with the $165,000! So it isn't that you didn't have the $165,000, you just elected to use it on something else while the residents of Dunbar Village lived in pure unadulterated HELL.

Woman UP! You ran for office. While no mayor can guarantee the safety of every single resident at all times, you clearly had anarchy in one section of your town that you chose to ignore until something horrific happened. What did you expect to happen after turning your back on the residents of Dunbar Village? If any other landlord had had that many police calls, the place would have been condemned or at least cited up to its eyeballs.

Now you want to fire your press aid because your city got bad press? You deserved the bad press and I hope you get lots more for not accepting responsibility for what you let happen on your watch.

If $165,000 was all that stood between the residents and the carnage at Dunbar Village then you clearly don't have the skills and abilities to meet the unique needs of your constituents. Your performance is way past poor. Mayor, there is no shame in resignation, only in passing the buck for your own failings. You can contact Mayor Frankel via email at lfrankel@wpb.org. Ask her why she didn't scrimp on the furnishings to come up with $165,000.

I am not the only one that feels this way.

UPDATE: After you get through emailing the Mayor, head over to Why Black Women Are Angry. Content Black Woman has been on a tear. Whereas I am stuck on Stage TWO of the Five Stages of Grief, she is clearly trying to make her way to Stages Three, Four, and Five. We're all struggling to make sense out of these back to back horrors that seem to be hitting one after the other.