With the November 8th General Elections now behind us, it is time to focus on the next issues of concern to residents as the new year approaches.
A sampling of these are listed here in an inclusive not exhaustive list for you, the resident, to be aware of….
BocaWatch attempts to identify and highlight those items moving forward in the City’s processes that will have significant impacts on our quality of life, months if not years, down the road….some examples are as follows:
- 2500 N. Ocean Blvd….an example of the City Council’s refusal to fight for and protect Boca Raton’s beach;
- University Village’s impact on the over-capacity, ‘failed’ roadway of Spanish River Blvd;
- Planned Mobility…the City Council’s granting of higher density to ‘enrich’ the developer/landowner at the expense of quality of life;
- The ‘Midtown’ Boca Raton project….an increase in density and congestion in our western communities in the Town Center area from Glades Road and beyond along the Military Trail corridor;
- Enhancing city parks and recreation area in locations beyond the Intracoastal Waterway communities;
- Western Annexation….expanding the city limits way beyond the ‘original vision’, the Mizner vision;
- And so many more….
BocaWatch’s objective is to uncover projects that will have dramatic impacts on quality of life issues for residents; projects that are in the pipeline while in their early stages so that residents can be heard well in advance of that moment in time when impacts are virtual done deals. The resident needs to be made aware of such impacts by their elected official. Elected officials have an inherent responsibility to make sure that the resident is informed. This is only done when the elected official accepts as gospel that the resident is at the top of the city’s organization pyramid. Once that is the ‘a priori’ starting point, elected official will be fulfilling their obligation. Special interests, the developer community, the chamber of commerce are secondary to the resident and these interest groups’ considerations should follow only after the question of how is the resident impacted and/or benefited by granting their request….
The guiding principle is captured in the term ‘Resident Friendly’….Resident Friendly is met when the elected official is the voice of the resident; the voice of reason for how Boca Raton residents define what is and will be in the city’s future….
Looking ahead, the March ’17 local elections are just some 120 days away….In this election cycle residents will have an opportunity to express their voice in three regards.
-These are as follows: Mayor’s seat, as of today, 2 people have filed to run
Mayor Susan Haynie, incumbent
Marc Allen Brown, a Boca Raton newcomer and political novice
(Rumor has it that a third contestant, Former Deputy Mayor Peter Baronoff , is about to enter the race.)
-City Council Seat A currently occupied by the incumbent
Councilman Scott Singer who is seeking a second term. No challenger has stepped forward yet to challenge Mr. Singer for this seat;
– City Council Seat B, an open seat as the incumbent, Councilman Michael Mullaugh, is termed out. Three residents have filed for this seat
Andy Thomson, an attorney who recently moved into Boca Raton to run for the City Council, active in the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.
Emily Gentile, an resident living on A1A, active in Chamber of Commerce interests, Downtown Advisory Committee, and several other boards/organizations.
Andrea Levine O’Rourke, a long term resident activist in Boca Raton, and a FAU Alumni, former chair of the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowners Association and the Golden Triangle HOA; a leader and community activist and member of Boca Raton’s Downtown Advisory Committee.
Of all the above contestants….Andre Levine O’Rourke and Councilman Scott Singer have published, at this early stage, papers that address the concept of ‘Resident Friendly.’ BocaWatch encourages you to visit each of their campaign websites and review their position and measure for yourself their commitment to the interests of the residents over that of the special interests.
BocaWatch will invite all candidates to publish position papers. Once published, BocaWatch will apply a ‘Resident Friendly’ analysis as the measurement for these submittals. Candidates running in the March ’17 election are encouraged to participate so that the broadest cross section of Boca Raton voters can evaluate who they represent and what they stand for….….
Stay tuned….It is sure to get interesting….
Your vote is your voice…let your voice be heard