Two months and 29, 28, 27...
If the City of Lake Worth is to kick off a year long celebration leading up to the actual 100th anniversary of the date Lake Worth was incorporated, there are exactly 2 months and 29 days left to do that. Now, of course there's nothing that says the City HAS to put on a parade, or adopt a special logo to draw attention to the occasion, but if anyone at City Hall is thinking these might be good things, time is running short to get the show on the road.
Citizen and civic groups have already come together to plan various events throughout the city and throughout the year leading up to the Anniversary. They've secured a website, a FaceBook page and they've generated a lot of (and I hate to use the term) grass roots enthusiasm for bringing Lake Worth into the next century with a WOW and not a whimper. The Commission has asked that they receive regular updates from the citizens and civic groups on how they're doing, when they're doing it and what day and time Commissioners running for re-election should turn up for the photo-op.
It's no secret that City Hall has been staggered with staff reductions. I don't know if the $85,000 budgetted for an events coordinator has been re-budgetted for something else or not. I do know that it's not outside the realm of reasonable for the City to assume some responsibility for some sort of recognition that after 100 years, we're still here. And when I say "the City", I mean the City government that was established those 98 years, 9 months and 2 days ago. I don't mean the City Residents who have pulled together to put on a year long, meaningful, personal, non-municipal array of celebration events, the likes and scope of which would stagger the bureaucratic imagination if any existed.
The City attempted to form an advisory board to make recommendations to the City, but the only recommendation the advisory board made was to please not form an advisory board and cripple their joint and independent efforts with unnecessary Sunshine Law restrictions an advisory board would have to comply with. That hardly leaves the City with nothing to do to but wait around for the citizen group to do it all on their own. In fact, I can't imagine the City would be terribly happy if one of the citizen group participants decided on their own to revise the City logo to commemorate the Centennial.
As it happens, there IS a group within City Hall that has the authority to budget for a parade, or add a little Centennial oomph to the City logo all on their own! They also have the authority to use the City Meetings and Events Calendar on the city's website to keep track of all the events the citizens group is planning. Not to mention, they have they authority to grant permission for those groups to use City facilities and services for events should those be required and requested. AND, this group within City Hall just happens to meet 3 or 4 (or more) times every single month!!! This particular group inside City Hall not only has their very own name tags; they have a promotional budget. They have the juice to amend that and every other City Budget whenever they like. They have big comfy chairs to sit in while they meet and they have real nice electronic gizmos to keep track of what they decide to meet about.
The Lake Worth City Commission is not by any definition a volunteer group, except that they've each asked to be elected. And they sure aren't paid very much for the ridiculous amount of overtime they spend doing what was supposed to be a part time job. But they are paid more than any of the volunteers in any of the citizens or civic groups that are putting their free time to work on this fabulous project. Just because there's no one on Staff at the moment to farm any of this out to doesn't mean the Commission can't pick up a little of the slack. We are lucky to have marketing, advertising and business professionals on our Commission.
Maybe we could impose a little more on their sense of civic pride and love of all things historical to contribute some of those talents in time to kick off the Lake Worth Centennial Year Celebration in 2 months and 29 days with a special city Logo, a City website centennial calendar and maybe the promise of a spectacular parade next June. Just a thought.
And by the way, the logo at the top of this Panda Paper is not available. It is not original artwork. It's a compilation of the City Logo and an uncopyrighted image I found in Google Search with the dates added. It is presented here as nothing more than a festive reminder.