Broward News

West Palm Mayor's Stubbornness to Defeat Reason

If you're down a dark West Palm Beach alley on a Friday night, say, with your Ferrari hat and Ed Hardy shirt giving you away as either rich or a douche or most likely both, what you're probably worried about is the tweens. You know, those skateboarders who hang around on the corner and listen to their rock music and are apparently the source of all crime for the city.

That's at least the way Lois Frankel thinks of it. The West Palm mayor says that after the city barred kids from downtown, crime essentially stopped. She told WPBF:

"Downtown West Palm Beach is practically crime-free since we put in this curfew. It's been one of the most successful initiatives in the history of the city."

When I called yesterday for stats to back up that absurd assertion, Frankel's peeps didn't return my phone call. But then, who would expect them to when she says something that's, well, completely absurd?

What's also absurd is this ordinance. Not because it bars kids from downtown late at night but because the person who wrote it was a buffoon.

The ordinance is so vague that courts will be quick to overturn it says, Boca attorney Barry M. Silver, who has made a career suing governments for stupid ordinances. He asked Frankel to throw out the ordinance in this letter he sent to the city on Friday.

Will Frankel do the right thing? Um, no. Why? Because Lois Frankel is stubborn.

Silver explains Frankel this way: "She's not the type to seek consensus." Instead, she'll likely fight the ordinance in court, costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys' fees, until the court sides with the law-breaking skateboarders and throws the thing out.

Silver gave the city 10 days to respond to his letter. He expects he won't hear anything, which will lead to him filing a lawsuit. Or maybe Lois Frankel will figure out how to meet someone in the middle. Which is as likely as the skateboarders letting you out of the alley without making fun of your Ferrari hat.

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton