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Lake Worth Also-Ran Files Boarding House Complaint Against Commissioner Jennings

Lake Worth gadfly and blogger Wes Blackman, who ran and lost his latest bid for District 3, against Jo-Ann Golden in the last city elections, appears to have pitched headfirst off the deep end -- and we're afraid the Juice is partially to blame.

When we last caught up with Blackman back in November, right before the elections, he was still speaking in coherent sentences. He had what sounded like sensible opinions on undocumented residents and for reforms that would make commissioners more accessible.

But Blackman was evidently so put out by our recent profile of City Commissioner Cara Jennings' garden and her politics that he has now filed a complaint against her with the Florida Department of Business and Regulation for "keeping a boardinghouse."

Jennings, who keeps an open house in the long tradition of activists of every country and age, is doing nothing of the sort, of course. Her home on C Street serves as a gathering place for like-minded lefties -- agitators who'll show up for an informal meeting or flop on a couch for the night.

But that hardly makes Jennings a modern-day Mary Kane. The difference between running a hotel and living unconventionally is too fine a point for Blackman, who cites city regulations banning more than four three unrelated people living in the same house and laws that require a license for "advertising or renting a roominghouse or boardinghouse for transient occupancy." 

The complaint is likely to go exactly nowhere, since Jennings doesn't advertise or rent rooms to transients. But with this latest silly sally against the commissioner, Blackman joins the folks who once called Channel 12 to complain about Jennings' front yard and compost pile. When the TV crews showed up, Jennings gave them a lesson in organic gardening and recycling that left the camera crew nonplussed.

Blackman, who lives in the well-manicured section of Lake Worth called College Park, doesn't think there's room in Lake Worth (by any definition, a decidedly eccentric city) for anything but ticky-tacky: each little box containing a mommy, a daddy, 2.4 kids, and a golden retriever. His knee-jerk defense of the status quo looks like plain old harassment and dirty politicking. We'll try to catch up with Blackman later today for some clarification.

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Gail Shepherd
Contact: Gail Shepherd

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