PREDITIONS II…..so how did we do????

If BocaWatch were a major league baseball franchise, it would have ended the season with a .667+ winning percentage….not bad for a first time try….

As predicted,

Candidate Chapman did call for a Boca Raton Town Hall meeting to be held sometime over the next few weeks at a yet to be determined location….

Candidate Rodgers did elaborate on his vision of Boca Raton as a technology and education destination with the sense and feel of a university town……

But….I did miss with the third prediction…not entirely, but clearly a miss…

Candidate Sauer did not call for all candidates to take an oath or pledge that they would never support heights in excess of what is already approved in the city’s ordinances and guidelines….

The reason I give myself a ‘plus’ here is that she did establish her platform on those principles but may have seen the political folly of calling for such an oath….

SO WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED….

For those of you that could not be there today, the entire debate will be broadcast on Comcast channel 20 and U-verse channel 99 as follows:

Friday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. • Sunday, February 8 at 8:00 a.m. • Monday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m.

This schedule will be repeated weekly leading up to the elections on March 10.

The debate was extremely professional. Candidates were given 4 minutes to make their opening statements; 3 minutes to respond to questions; and 4 minutes to make closing statements at the end.

Kudos to the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowner Associations for organizing this debate and to the City for providing the venue and broadcasting capability.

TOPICS ADDRESSED

1) Business Development Strategies;

2) “Responsible” Development Defined;

3) Height and Density Proclivities;

4) Traffic and Parking Needs;

5) FAU/20th Street Corridor Development; and

6) Annexation Views;

Overall the debate was civil and informed. The candidates staked out their respective positions and articulated suggested paths to achieve them.

Jamie Sauer, the establishment candidate, responded consistent with her theme that she ‘loves’ Boca Raton, is a lifelong resident who chose to live here, raise her family here, establish her business here, and has a propensity to ‘give back’. The comment most noteworthy was that, different from her opponents, she is already contributing to the betterment of the community. However, her answers were generally surface level offering little indication as to how she would propose to achieve the goals espoused.

Frank Chapman, clearly the strongest personality on the dais, demonstrated this strength by leaving the audience with a degree of confidence about his position as the agent of change in this election. He makes the point that Council members represent the citizens and not the developers who profit from their approved projects within Boca Raton. He offered concrete suggestions as to how he would go about bringing change and how he is best equipped to reign in the ever-expanding developer demands and requests of the city and its citizens.

Jeremy Rodgers, clearly the surprise candidate of the day, was well informed and articulate. He gave strong opinion on his vision of the future for Boca Raton and it’s changing demographic. Of all the candidates, he alone touched on items like the relationship between the Interim Design Guidelines and the, still to be adopted, Pattern Book. But, his strong suit was in espousing the inter-relationship by the city with the Chamber of Commerce and the FAU Research Park for economic development

FIREWORKS…..

The best sparring of the day was between Chapman and Sauer with the distinction being dramatic….

Sauer has a list of developer interests financing her campaign while Chapman is taking no contributions from the developers to finance his.

Sauer states that she is not able to fund the campaign without the developer dollars but that she will remain an independent thinker on issues concerning these donors.

Chapman argues that her position is naïve. That these developers and their financial support allow for privilege and access when it comes time to vote on their projects.

Sauer states that she is honored to have attracted support from people such as former Mayors Susan Whelchel and Steven Abrams as well as other elected and appointed names.

Chapman states that this infiltration of these establishment types represent how Boca Raton has arrived in its current posture and demonstrates the root cause of resentments held by the citizens and contained in most any fair reading reflecting the voices of the people.

So…..

There was much too much covered to report on a blow by blow basis. I highly recommend that you, as a concerned citizen voter, watch the broadcasts at the scheduled times listed above….BocaWatch will refrain from any actual endorsement of a particular candidate but will, as best as it can, provide a fair reporting and specific observations of the events leading to election day…..GOTV……

Al Zucaro, BocaWatch