How well do you know your candidates? There are a total of five candidates running for office with only four seats up for grab. Three of the candidates are currently sitting on the commission and are running for re-election. There are two new candidates that have stepped up decided to run.
For the past three years, the current commission have accomplished several items. Such as pushed out the former town manager for something the former town manager that he replaced along with the town employees. This was the town manager who has made a difference in the town by removing a lot of the hold backs that the former town manager had installed. Items such as the locks at town hall. The glass window in the manager’s office receptionist desk. Made the town hall feel more friendly than it was in the past were it was like walking into a high security building. Everything he did was in the open and he was honest with the residence. You might not like everything he did but he did have the town’s best interest at hand and making you feel more welcome than past town managers did.
Other things that have happen over the last three years is that the current commission has given raises to the town employees when there was a surplus at the end of the year. Yet the town’s baseball field has been left go. The playground has now been closed for three years and the town does not maintain it the way they want you to maintain your lawn. There have been several times that local residence took the time to mow the grass because it was over two feet high. The town was not cutting the grass. The park is an eye sore.
You ask the public works manager about it and his excuses are that they turned it over to the baseball league and it’s their responsibility to maintain it. Yet, you will find the town staff mowing the ball fields. Why not the playground area?
Another thing is that the current commission has spent a lot of time on the US 1 corridor. This is an area with very little growth since it consists of small pieces of land with different owners. No construction except if a new business was to move in. However, they are treating it as if there are plans for a developer coming in and buying up several blocks. Then they are going to tear down what is there and build all new shops. Sounds great but that is not happening any time soon.
The most important item is that the taxes have gone up again this year and yet we get no more for it. There are no more sheriffs on the street. Crime is up although they will tell you it’s down. As a residence, you never see any sheriff’s driving around town except when there is a shift change. Then you see them come into town and shortly after that they are leaving town.
The big question is; do you really know what the candidates stand for. Let’s start with the three that server on the current commission now. First you have Kim Glas-Castro who also serves as the Vice Mayor. If you saw her one post card she sent out, it had a statement that she only raises taxes when it’s in the residence interest. When is it in a residence interest to pay more taxes? We all know that government treats our money like it’s an endless bank account that they can keep spending and we will pay for it because we want to pay more taxes.
Have not seen or heard of anything she has done to benefit the town residences or business owners. I do know that there has been several that have packed up and moved their business because they are tired of the constant hassle from town hall code enforcement.
She claims to offer transparency but to date, I have not seen any nor does she provide any info about that. She has not provided any communication between town hall and the residents/businesses. Maybe her close friends might hear about items going on but, what about the other residents in town. So much for maintaining the family-friendly atmosphere and the small town feel.
Now you have Michael O’Rourke running for re-election. Big question is what has he done for the town? From what I have seen and heard, he is great at telling you what you want to hear, but when he gets up to talk at the commission meetings, he has done a one eighty on the item. The signs of a typically politician. Tell you what you want to hear so he can get your support and then flip flops on the item in hopes you don’t follow up on it. He also states on his post card mailing that he put in place noise abatement ordinances. How little does he know that what the town has created is a law suit waiting to happen? It is left to the officer to determine what is loud and is not loud. We all hear different and what is loud to one may not be loud to someone else. What was in effect for the sound ordinance was just fine. Why did they have to change it? Now it’s open to the one who wants to create problems for their neighbors. He also states on his post card that he kept the Earl Stewart expansion compatible with our neighborhoods. From what I saw he was like a lost puppy a not understanding the drawings. There is really no difference in the building from the first meeting to the next meeting other than a few additional trees and landscaping to hide the design. He then states that he led the way to receive just compensation for Jasmine Drive. Funny, I remember the town manager hiring the appraisal company and he did not like what they had to say. Actually, he did not understand what the guy was talking about and how he came up with the value of the land. The commissioner demanded to get a new appraisal and toss him out. Then he wanted Earl Stewart to pay a second time. I guess he would keep going until he got a value he liked.
The next is Erin Flaherty. Again, not sure what he has done. Keep in mind that he has connections to the Community Garden so any vote for that he should abstain from. Also, any vote that effects town staff, he should also abstain since his mother is a town employee and any vote could and will affect her. Not reassure what he does from day to day to support his family. He was living at home with his mother, sister, girlfriend (maybe his wife now) and his kids. Houseful of people.
Now we have the two new candidates. First there is Anne Lynch. Can’t really say much since nobody I talked to really knows much about her or what she stands for. Base on questions from the Palm Beach Post, she is for raising taxes. Her comments look as if she is for big government. Tried to talked to her at an event and she really did not want to take the time to answer any questions. She would rather walk around holding her sign. That tells me a lot about her.
Next there is Charles “Chuck” Hallden. Don’t know a whole lot about Chuck except he was at one time one of the parking meter code enforcement officers. Chuck is for lowering the taxes as the property values go up. Can’t really say much more since I really don’t know him.
As for all the candidates, if I have to vote, I guess I would give my vote to the new person rather than one of the sitting commissioners. It’s time to send the message that they work for the residences and not themselves. Tell them they can be voted out just as easy as they get voted into office.
However, all of the candidates will get elected but one. So who will that be?