March election: Meet the candidates running for Delray Beach commission

DELRAY BEACH — Six candidates, none of them incumbents, are running for two vacant seats on the city commission that will soon be responsible for approving or denying major developments, curbing the rapid growth of the sober home industry and hiring high-level city staff.

Seats 2 and 4 on Delray Beach’s commission, both at-large seats rather than by district, are up for grabs in the March 14 municipal election. Four residents have applied for Seat 2, vacated by Al Jacquet after he won a state House seat in November; two have applied for Seat 2, while current Vice-Mayor Jordana Jarjura dropped her bid for reelection.

The makeup of the commission could change the outcome of debated developments that will up for approval following the election, including the $200 million Atlantic Crossings project planned at Federal Highway and Atlantic Avenue and the Swinton Commons proposal planned in the historic district along Swinton Avenue just south of Atlantic Avenue.

The commission will also be responsible for hiring a city manager— as the former manager, Donald Cooper, resigned in December — and approving soon-to-be-crafted regulations to Delray’s bustling recovery industry.

These are the candidates running in March:

SEAT 2

Kelly Barrette (Contributed)

Kelly Barrette (Contributed)

Name:  Kelly Barrette

Occupation: Creator of TakeBackDelrayBeach, an issue oriented Facebook page with 6700 readers, avid volunteer, former small business owner 15-plus years (art gallery)

How long have you lived in Delray Beach? Nearly six years.

Have you held elected office before? If so, when and which position(s)?  “No, but I have been an active participant in several Delray Beach city commission campaigns.”

Delray Beach boards/committees you’ve served on:  Board member of Delray Beach Historic Preservation Trust; Board member of Sandoway Discovery Center

Previous bids for elected office: None.

Three goals should you be elected:

1. Finalizing the new ordinances for sober homes and ensuring rigorous enforcement

2. Streamline our city’s development approval process

3. Address infrastructure repairs and safety issues in neighborhoods.

“Projects can take years to go through our city’s approval process. We need to limit extensions and take the politics out of this process by sticking to our land development regulations.  There are numerous advisory and ancillary boards that could possibly be combined for more efficiency.  However, public input must not be minimized.  Many neighborhoods are waiting for repairs and upgrades – from new seawalls in the Marina Historic District to sidewalks and streetlights in the NW/SW – these items must be addressed. There is an increase in crime – mostly car and home break-ins – more of a police presence may be required in some areas.”


Anneze Barthelemy (Contributed)

Name: Anneze Barthelemy, MSW

Personal occupation: Social worker and chaplain

How long have you lived in Delray Beach? Twelve years.

Have you held elected office before? If so, when and which position(s)? None

Delray Beach boards/committees you’ve served on: None

Previous bids for elected office: None

Three goals should you be elected:

  1. Safety: “We have a great police chief. He is very optimistic and cares very much for all of the residents in Delray Beach. We have great police officers and we want to keep those officers and ensure that their salaries are comparable to other cities. We don’t want to lose our police officers, because of pay, after investing in them and giving them the best training. Guarding our city is a very stressful job and we want make sure that our officers are content and rewarded for their hard work. A safe city with low crime rate will attract more visitors, which will boost our economy.”
  2. Sober homes: “I will work hard to bring solutions to the sober home issue. We want to create the best solutions for those struggling with addictions. New ordinances are necessary to ensure that the tenants in those homes receive proper treatment and we want to make sure that their rights are not being violated. The owners must be held accountable and we need to have a system in place where we can monitor the effectiveness and successes of these homes. I will advocate and encourage our residents to advocate in Tallahassee for Bills that will help our city to decrease the amount of Sober homes in Delray Beach.
  3. Youth services: “We need to invest more in services for our youths in order to prevent delinquency, drug use and gang involvement. We want to ensure that our youths receive the mentoring necessary in order for them to excel in their education. We want to make sure that our youths are graduating from high school and ready for college. I will closely work with Palm Beach County school board and ensuring are graduating seniors are ready for college.”

Jim Chard

Jim Chard (Contributed)

Name: Jim Chard

Personal occupation: Retired business executive.  Also served as administrator in city government

How long have you lived in Delray Beach? Nearly 15 years

Have you held elected office before? No

Delray Beach boards/committees you’ve served on: Congress Avenue Task Force as member and author of portions of the report; Comprehensive Plan Rewrite, vice chair; Site Planning Review and Appearance Board (SPRAB), vice chair; Chamber of Commerce, board member

Previous bids for elected office: None

Three goals should you be elected:

  1. Bring sober home catastrophe under control through carefully designed programs, local law changes, coordination with State officials and neighboring communities and enhanced law enforcement.
  2. Aggressively pursue implementation of projects to rebuild crumbling roads, water and sewer pipes, and sea walls, including a bond flotation to begin funding a backlog of $250 million dollars of deferred maintenance.
  3. Enact changes to Comprehensive Plan, zoning, and ordinances to make Delray an entrepreneurial hub, a job engine, and a place our children want to come back to in order to launch their careers.

Richard Alteus, also running for Seat 2, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


SEAT 4

Josh Smith (Contributed)

Name: Josh Smith

Personal occupation: Retired educator

How long have you lived in Delray Beach? 51 years

Have you held elected office before? No

Delray Beach boards/committees you’ve served on: Code Enforcement Board

Previous bids for elected office: Delray Beach City Commission Seat 3, 2014 (lost)

Three goals should you be elected:

  1. To select an effective city manager
  2. To carefully monitor legislation being crafted (for sober homes), similar to legislation in Arizona that withstood legal challenges
  3. To strongly support and encourage development in geographic areas with of the city with little and no development (along West Atlantic Avenue and the Congress Corridor)

 

 


Shirley Johnson, also running for Seat 4, did not respond to the questions posed.