Boynton candidates give one last campaign effort outside polls

Campaign signs at Ezell Hester, Jr. Community Park on March 14, 2017. Photo taken by Alexandra Seltzer.

Election Day in Boynton Beach is underway and the polls in mid-afternoon appeared to be quiet and without lines.

So far, there have been no reported voting problems or hiccups in the city.

Up for election is the District 2 commission seat. Incumbent Mack McCray is running against former mayor Woodrow Hay and Dr. Jim DeVoursney. Only residents of District 2 can vote. Click here for a map of the city’s districts: Map

For background on the candidates, click here: Newcomer DeVoursney joins veterans Hay, McCray in District 2 race

McCray stood outside Ezell Hester, Jr. Community Park on Seacrest Boulevard and waved at drivers.

“People that know me stop and chat,” he said, adding he was happy it didn’t rain.

Resident Barbara Ready sat outside representing DeVoursney, and Sybil Mitchell did the same for Hay.

Read: 2 candidates among 500 who got ‘no cutoff’ status from water utility

Further south off Seacrest at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Hay sat outside holding campaign signs with his niece.

“I feel good about it,” Hay said about how the day is going so far.

Resident Minister Bernard Wright stood outside holding a sign for McCray.

“When it all boils down we want to come together for this neighborhood,” Wright said.

The polls close at 7 p.m.

Here is where to vote, according to the city.
Precinct 3188 – Christ Fellowship Church at 801 N. Congress Ave.
Precinct 3190 – Imagine School Chancellor Campus at 3333 High Ridge Rd.
Precinct 4024 – Harvey Oyer Jr. Park at Federal Highway and Northeast 21st Avenue
Precinct 7178 – Ezell Hester Community Center at 1901 N. Seacrest Blvd.
Precinct 7180 – St. John Missionary Baptist Church at 900 N. Seacrest Blvd.
Precinct 7182 – Carolyn Sims Center at 225 NW 12th Ave.
Precinct 7184 – St. John Missionary Baptist Church at 900 N. Seacrest Blvd.

Crowd gets a kick out of theatrical Delray Beach election debate

Candidates Kelly Barrette (left), Anneze Barthelemy (center) and Jim Chard took the stage at Old School Square's Crest Theater on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 for a forum. They are running for city commission Seat 2. (Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)
Candidates Kelly Barrette (left), Anneze Barthelemy (center) and Jim Chard took the stage at Old School Square’s Crest Theater on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 for a forum. They are running for city commission Seat 2. (Photo by Lulu Ramadan / Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — If you’d pressed your ear to the door of Old School Square’s Crest Theater on Tuesday night, you might have mistakenly thought a stand-up comedy routine was being performed inside.

Instead, the candidates in Delray Beach’s upcoming municipal election were throwing playful jabs at one another and using dramatic revelations to share their stances on important issues during a debate.

The Seat 2 race pits against one another Kelly Barrette, a local activist who runs the advocacy Facebook page TakeBackDelrayBeach; Anneze Barthelemy, a social worker and chaplain; Jim Chard, a politically-involved, retired businessman; and Richard Alteus, who hasn’t responded to multiple media requests and has been glaringly absent from public debates.

» RELATED: Delray CFO resignation announced in bizarre manner – during election debate

Barrette, Barthelemy and Chard were all present at Tuesday’s debate and took the opportunity to poke at each other’s weaknesses.

When presented with the opportunity to ask her opponents one question, Barrette asked this:

“My question is for Mr. Chard,” she began. “For the next two minutes, imagine you are Kelly Barrette’s campaign manager, and I am an undecided voter. Please give me the most compelling reason to vote for Kelly Barrette.”

The crowd laughed and applauded.

Kelly Barrette (Contributed)
Kelly Barrette (Contributed)

But Chard’s response also got a roar: “Believe it or not, I’m a big supporter of Kelly Barrette,” Chard said. “I think in the months of the year that she’s here, she does great work.”

It only got more dramatic from there.

Barrette is running on a citizen-oriented platform and boasts no campaign contributions from big-money developers. Chard at one point asked her if she’d taken money from developers, and she responded that she hadn’t.

So Chard pulled out a blown-up image of Barrette’s campaign contributions.

“It’s a good thing we have public records,” he said.

He didn’t go into detail, and declined to share more information with reporters following the debate.

Barrette called it a political stunt, and said her campaign contributions came only from friends, family and loyal supporters.

She jabbed back at Chard for accepting money from developers. (Over-development in Delray Beach, as in many municipalities, is a hot topic.) Chard didn’t deny it.

Jim Chard
Jim Chard

Barthelemy pressed Barrette on her rocky relationship with Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein. Barrette and Glickstein have at least once shouted at one another during a city meeting; Glickstein objected Barrette’s nomination to the Historic Preservation Board in September.

(Barrette even circulated a petition at the time to demand an apology from Glickstein.)

Asked Barthelemy: “Given your relationship with the mayor, the very negative and antagonistic behavior on your part … How do you plan to work that out if you were to become a city commissioner?”

Barrette lightheartedly responded: “If the mayor hasn’t yelled at you, you haven’t been effective.”

Anneze
Anneze

In another dramatic twist, Chard used the debate as a platform to announce the resignation of the city’s chief financial officer, Jeff Snyder. Snyder is the latest in a long list of high-ranking city officials who have resigned or been fired in the past year.

While entertaining at times, Tuesday’s debate did reveal a serious truth: The upcoming election could shift the dynamic of the five-person city commission, creating a new majority.

Barrette has been endorsed by sitting Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz. They typically form the minority vote on divisive issues, like proposed developments.

Said Barrette: “When you elect me, you will have the majority of commissioners who will put the priorities of citizens first.”

You can watch Tuesday’s debate below. (It gets entertaining at the 29 minute mark.)

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.

Mayoral candidate steps down as publisher of Boca Raton blog

Al Zucaro (Contributed)
Al Zucaro (Contributed)

BOCA RATON — Alfred “Al” Zucaro, who announced his bid for mayor of Boca Raton last week, stepped down as the publisher of a local blog that takes stances on city issues.

Zucaro turned over operation of the blog BocaWatch to staff member Jim Woods on Monday, according to the website. BocaWatch, populated by both staff-created and resident-curated posts, is generally critical of over-development in the city and the leaders who support it.

Zucaro stepped down as publisher “in the best interest of the public,” he said in a video.

Zucaro filed to run at 10 a.m. on Jan. 11, the final day in the qualifying period for the March 14 municipal election. His sole opponent is incumbent Mayor Susan Haynie.

Zucaro, a nine-year resident of Boca Raton, served as a city commissioner in West Palm Beach for eight years and once unsuccessfully ran for mayor of West Palm.

Political novice drops out of Boca Raton mayoral race

Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie (contributed)
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie (contributed)

BOCA RATON — Political newcomer Marc Allen Brown who filed to run against incumbent Mayor Susan Haynie in the upcoming municipal elections has withdrawn from the race, according to city documents.

That leaves Haynie running unopposed in her bid for re-election.

Brown cited “conflicts of interest with current business and positions I hold” in his withdrawal letter to the city clerk, sent on Dec. 12. Brown, who did not respond to The Palm Beach Post’s requests for interview, is a local financial adviser, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Haynie has been mayor of Boca Raton for the past three years and launched her re-election campaign in early December.

Haynie told The Post in December that she aims to continue to advocate for quiet zones as Florida East Coast Railway train horns pass through Boca Raton; promote economic development and the retention of jobs in Boca Raton; and continue to increase levels of of service for public safety, following the addition of new police and fire rescue personnel in this coming year’s city budget.

 

Incumbent concedes, newcomer claims Boynton mayor seat

Steven Grant

Steven Grant, 33, is the new Boynton Beach mayor.

When reached by phone Tuesday night, Jerry Taylor, 80, said: “It’s over. He won.”

Taylor, who was seeking his sixth term as mayor, said he doesn’t plan to run again.

“I was honored to serve the city for 13 years. I did my best and I hope the city moves forward,” he said.

Grant, when reached by phone, was celebrating at the Twisted Fish.

“A lot of people didn’t give me any sort of chance in the beginning and I was able to prove them all wrong,” Grant said.

As of 9 p.m. Grant had 2,538 votes and Taylor had 1,906.

Check back for more information on this breaking news story.

Political newcomer has lead over incumbent in Boynton Beach

Steven Grant

Commissioner-Jerry-Taylor-portrait

It’s early in the night but so far Steven Grant has a lead over incumbent Jerry Taylor, 80, in the race for the Boynton Beach mayor’s seat.

Grant, 33, has 1,808 votes compared to Taylor’s 1,513.

This update is from numbers posted at about 8 p.m.

To read the latest headlines from Boynton Beach, go to palmbeachpost.com/boynton

Latest numbers: newcomer beats incumbent to Boynton commission seat

Christina Romelus
Christina Romelus
Mike Fitzpatrick
Mike Fitzpatrick

With late night counting of ballots, it appears that Christina Romelus was able to pull ahead of incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, 62, and win the majority of the votes plus one to claim the Boynton Beach District 3 commission seat.

City Clerk Judy Pyle told The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday morning it appears that  political newcomer Romelus, 27, has won, but she has a call in to the Supervisor of Elections to make sure that is correct.

It is unknown if all provisional ballots have been counted yet.

The mayor’s race is still going to a runoff. Incumbent Jerry Taylor, 80, received the most votes but didn’t reach the majority plus one. He will go head-to-head with political newcomer Steven Grant, 33.

The runoff is March 29.

Read more about the races here: March 29 runoffs are next for Boynton Beach mayor, commissioner races

To read the latest headlines from Boynton Beach, go to palmbeachpost.com/boynton

Incumbent, newcomer to head to runoff for Boynton commissioner seat

Mike Fitzpatrick
Mike Fitzpatrick
Christina Romelus
Christina Romelus

It appears it’s back to the polls for Boynton Beach for at least one race.

Candidates for the District 3 commissioner race had to win the majority of the votes plus one, and no one did. Now, the top two candidates in each race will faceoff in the March 29 runoff.

Incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, 62, will go up against political newcomer Christina Romelus, 27, for the southeast end of the city’s commission seat.

Romelus said she decided to run against one-time commissioner Fitzpatrick to speak for those whose opinions are not heard and are underrepresented. She often describes herself as a mother, entrepreneur and an educator.

Fitzpatrick, who was at Banana Boat in the Boynton Harbor Marina as the results came in, said he expected a runoff.

“There’s been a lot of indications,” Fitzpatrick said when reached by phone. “With early voting, they did a good job with absentee ballots so I got hurt.”

To read the latest headlines from Boynton Beach, go to palmbeachpost.com/boynton

Taylor, Romelus lead so far in Boynton Beach elections

GettyImages-458406740

 

The absentee ballots and early voting results are in!

Here’s what’s going on in Boynton Beach so far:

 

MAYOR:

Jerry Taylor: 50.38 percent (in the lead)

Steven Grant: 17.31 percent

David Merker: 16.05 percent

Carl “The Real” McKoy: 12.95 percent

Piotr Blass: 3.31 percent

Total votes: 4,194

DISTRICT 3 COMMISSIONER:

Christina Romelus: 69.02 percent (in the lead)

Mike Fitzpatrick: 19.38 percent

James Brake: 11.60 percent

Total votes: 1,569

Stay tuned for more election results. 

To read the latest headlines from Boynton Beach, go to palmbeachpost.com/boynton