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WPB Insider Newsletter - April 2, 2017




West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio





















April 2, 2017






A Special Message from Mayor Muoio:

Why We Designated West Palm Beach as 'Welcoming City'



At Monday’s City Commission Meeting, Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution designating West Palm Beach as a “Welcoming City.” I could not be prouder that the City is taking this action.


By designating West Palm Beach as a “Welcoming City,” the City is clarifying its position as it relates to enforcement of Federal Law. We took this step due to the City’s limited resources, the complexity of immigration laws, the clear need to foster the trust of and cooperation from the public, including members of the immigrant communities and the need to effectuate the City’s goals.


The resolution also recognizes the following:

  • The City wishes to promote use of its services by all of its residents who are eligible to receive them. Individuals eligible to receive a City service must not be inhibited from seeking that service because of fear or anxiety.
  • Individuals should know that they may seek assistance of City agencies regardless of personal or private attributes, without negative consequences to their personal lives. The race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, sexual identity, or socio-economic status of a person in need of services should never negatively influence the work performed by City employees.
  • The City finds that assistance from a person, whether documented or not, who is a victim of, or a witness to, a crime is important to promoting the safety of all its residents, and that the cooperation of the City’s immigrant communities is essential to prevent and solve crimes and maintain public order, safety and security in the entire City.

By designating West Palm Beach as a “Welcoming City,” the City celebrates its cultural diversity and acknowledges the positive contributions of our immigrant communities.

  • Does this mean that West Palm Beach is a ‘Sanctuary City?’ By designating West Palm Beach as a ‘Welcoming City’, we codify what the City’s practice has been for a number of years.
  • Is the City doing anything illegal? We continue to obey state and federal laws and all case law. We will comply with federal immigration authorities when appropriate. If Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) approaches the City to appropriately execute a warrant, we will execute that warrant. It should be noted that it is unconstitutional for the City to do the work of ICE.
  • Will the police check immigration status? West Palm Beach Police do not. Technically, constitutionally, local governments are not to take over federal roles and responsibilities.
  • Will the City arrest immigrants who break laws? If anyone—U.S. citizens commits a criminal act, we will arrest them. Again, if ICE approaches the City to execute a warrant, we will execute that warrant. Law and order still stands.
  • Why a resolution and not an ordinance? A resolution sets policy or direction for City employees. An ordinance is a local law governing how all individuals should act.  We are not passing a law for other people to follow.

Thank you to those of you—on both sides of the issue-- who turned out at the meeting or called or emailed my office to make your voices heard. I also would like to recognize and applaud the entire City Commission for their action. Finally, I wish to call on Congress to bring forth new immigration laws, so that we can address this issue in the manner that it needs to be addressed.





Jeri Muoio




West Palm Beach Water Ranks among

Best Tasting in Florida


The City of West Palm Beach tied for second in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Best Tasting Water Competition – Region VI. 21 utilities in Palm Beach and Broward Counties competed. The water was judged using four subjective criteria: odor, taste, color, and clarity.


“We’re excited about this new distinction,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “We have a surface water plant that is unique in the region. From source water to treatment to delivery, all that combined provides a product that’s palatable to many people, and we’re proud of that.”


The AWWA Best Tasting Water Competition is held annually in each of its twelve

regions. The regional winners are entered in a state competition. The state winners go on to the national competition. The Seminole Tribe won top honors in Region VI this year, and the City of West Palm Beach tied Plantation for second. The City of West Palm Beach won the Region VI competition in 2015.


“West Palm Beach gets its water from the surface water found in the Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve,” said Poonam Kalkat, Director of Public Utilities for the City of West Palm Beach. “This surface water plant is key to our ability to deliver great tasting water to our customers.”


To learn more about the AWWA Best Tasting Water Competition, visit




Calling all Business Owners!

On May 13th, the City will host our Annual Young Adult Job & Resource Fair at Gaines Park from 9-noon. The event is geared toward individuals between the ages of 17-25.


If you are business owner in the City who is looking to hire a young adult for the summer, consider becoming a vendor at the event. It's an opportunity to support a young adult who is interested in working.


On Monday, April 3rd, you will be able to register for the fair at 


For additional information, contact Kevin Jones at (561) 822-1413 or This is event is being sponsored by X102.3.

Fine Forgiveness at Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach

Amnesty for overdue and lost materials runs April 3 through May 14


Inspired by West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio’s pledge of West Palm Beach as a City of Kindness, the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach wants to forgive and reconnect with long-lost patrons during its Fine Forgiveness Program. Beginning April 3 through May 14, 2017, the Library will waive all late fees, no matter how long overdue, as well as charges for  lost materials including books, CDs, DVDs and other items. The goal of the campaign is to recover thousands of outstanding items and welcome back thousands of patrons whose access to library materials has been impeded by overdue fines or charges associated with lost materials.


The Fine Forgiveness Program would require cardholders to come into the library with current identification to verify their address and return any overdue materials.  Fines for those overdue materials would be waived, and charges associated with lost items would also be waived during the six week amnesty period only. The amnesty program would apply only to items checked out before the April 3, 2017 amnesty period begins. Fines and lost book charges for Interlibrary Loan items (borrowed from other libraries) will not be waived at any time. Each cardholder must be present to be eligible for forgiveness and families are encouraged to visit together.


“The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach is committed to eliminating barriers to accessing important library services,” shared Chris Murray, Library Director at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. “It is especially important that all children have access to the library and restoring privileges to our juvenile cardholders would allow them access to vital summer programs and services. We are proud to support Mayor Muoio’s Kindness Pledge.”


The goal of the program is to recover as many of the unreturned items and to reinstate as many of the 17,627 blocked cardholders as possible. Of the 13,302 juvenile cardholders, nearly 42% are blocked from accessing crucial children’s programming. Over the past 10 years, the Mandel Public Library has lent 7,775,477 items including books, DVDs, CDs and digital resources.


“We’re excited to welcome back residents and families to the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and to provide necessary literacy resources to thousands of local children,” shared Mayor Muoio. “This amnesty campaign is a shining example of our commitment to create a kinder, more gracious city.”


As an additional incentive, library staff members will engage in random acts of kindness, to coincide with Mayor Muoio’s City of Kindness Pledge, to reward patrons with tokens of appreciation once the items are returned and the cards are reinstated.


Mayor Muoio signed the pledge on February 14 with the hope of creating a culture of kindness in the City. Since the launch of the #TeamKindnessWPB movement, residents and local organizations have performed community cleanups, randomly distributed $2 bills to new friends, and donated books and teddy bears to young children.


Once library cards are reactivated, residents will gain access to the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach’s impressive menu of services including employment preparation training, engaging children’s programming, literary discussions, fitness classes and nearly 500,000 online eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, and music.  These digital items are automatically returned at the end of the load period and therefore cannot be lost or accrue overdue fines.


Patrons interested in participating in the program should stop by the library reception desk with a current ID or contact the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach at (561) 868-7700 for more information.










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