An Open Message to the Community-at-Large

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Publisher’s Comment:

For years now, BocaWatch and Boca Beautiful have stood side by side advancing the interests of the greater Boca Raton resident in the challenges of overdevelopment. These efforts are now being realized in many ways. In his article below, Boca Beautiful president, John Gore, voices a sigh of relief by suggesting that “…nothing would give (him) greater pleasure than to disband Boca Beautiful.org as no longer necessary…” One thing I know for sure…nature abhors a vacuum…the vacuum that would be created if Boca Beautiful and/or BocaWatch were to disband is unthinkable….the dark side would quickly move to replace the voice…that is unacceptable…To John, I encourage your continued participation and involvement. Boca Beautiful has been instrumental in bringing about this ‘sea-change’ in Boca Raton politics. Its presence is necessary to continue advancing the interests of the residents over the interests of the developer. As for BocaWatch, we are about to enter the next phase. BocaWatch is moving into its next evolution. It will take a few days/weeks to reinvent itself; to continue to fight the good fight for the resident. Stay tuned…stay alert and watch for the new and improved BocaWatch…Thank you residents for your support and readership over the years but most important, Thank you for your vote….

Boca Raton politics have indeed changed for the better!!!

Al Zucaro, Publisher

This week’s City Council elections are a reaffirmation that politics in Boca are indeed changing— for the better.  Resident-friendly candidate Monica Mayotte handily defeated her two opponents.  This despite enormous expenditure on behalf of Armand Grossman by developers.  It is not surprising that Ms. Mayotte won— she had waged an effective grassroots campaign for months—  what was surprising was the overwhelming margin of her victory.  Equally surprising was the showing by political novice Kim Do:  she managed to get 45% of the vote against a well entrenched incumbent.  Nobody even heard of Kim Do three months ago.

What does this mean for Boca’s future?  First, the fact that there are now two resident-friendly Members of the City Council (O’Rourke and Mayotte) means that it will be much more difficult for developers to get anything and everything they want.  Good.  Perhaps the Council will take a pause in development approvals and address other pressing issues like traffic and school overcrowding.  Perhaps they will also get around to a comprehensive PLAN for Boca’s future development, in order to ensure that we have adequate infrastructure in place to support Boca’s population boom.

Tuesday’s results also puts all incumbent members of the Council on notice that we will be watching their votes very closely over the coming year.  Mr. Rodgers has been given an opportunity to show that he is truly ‘resident-friendly’ as he claims.  Mr. Singer has seen that he needs more than slick public relations if he wants to replace Ms. Haynie as Mayor.  And Ms. Haynie knows she must rebuild trust with Boca’s residents if she is to win their votes for Palm Beach Commission this fall.

The politics of Boca has been changed by those who brought us the problems of over development.  Our new City Council has an opportunity to do better.  Much better.

We will be watching.  Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to disband BocaBeautiful.org as no longer necessary and spend more time at the beach— provided I can still get there.

John C. Gore

President

BocaBeautiful.org

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John, President of BocaBeautiful.org is a 13-year Boca resident and lives in Downtown Boca. He is also Chairman and CEO of Political Solutions International LLC, a consulting firm which advises a wide range of clients on government relations organization, competence, issue management and strategy. Prior to his chairing Political Solutions International, Mr. Gore served from 1996-2002 as Group Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, for the British Petroleum Company in London. In that capacity Mr. Gore was responsible for BP’s government and public affairs activities in over 70 countries. He is a 1970 graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and attended Georgetown University Law School. He is married to the former Antonia Stepovich of Fairbanks, Alaska. His outside interests include golf, creative writing, and the arts.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Ms. Haynie has thousands more voters to worry about in November than the Boca Residents and I don’t see much effect on her part to consider us living on the border but not in the city llimits.

  2. Thank you Al and John for your dedication to Boca Raton.

    Al, I look forward to your new and improved website, congrats. Perhaps include the issues in West Boca – an unforgotten part of Boca by the folks in East Boca. I guarantee no one will fall off the face of the earth if you drive past Military Trail :). Perhaps include a “Condo/HOA section” where residents can rant about their Association/BOD. Thanks!

    • Good morning Sandi….Yes we will be expanding our sights beyond Boca proper as events outside the city limits have direct consequences inside the city. I encourage you to continue to contribute articles…I have met with Billy Vale to discuss his entry into the partisan County Commission race against Susan Haynie on the Republican side and Robert Weinroth, the Democrat….The County Commission race will be the next political hotspot and the voters in Boca del Mar are a very significant base to influence that race….I am interested in meeting with your groups. Let’s chat about this in the next few weeks….Thank you for participating and for your words of encouragement. Al Zucaro

      • Billy is on the BOD for the Boca Del Mar Improvement Association (BDMIA) – I use to go to their meetings – good choice. I believe BDMIA has around 10,000 folks living in just the Boca Del Mar area which consists of over 80 communities. For those who don’t drive past Military Trail:

        https://www.bocadelmar.org/frames-community.html

        Believe it or not, people actually live west of 441 LOL – big communities you might also target as well as the Country Club folks from Glades to Clint Moore Rd.

        Mr. Weinroth helped me with the Penn-Florida issue – he’s definitely for the residents! Unfortunately, PF isn’t!

  3. This election did in fact show that just because you are “connected” you will sail into office. I am ok with the City growth if they can address and fix the traffic.

  4. Dear Sandi, I think you are right there is more to see past military. When I got here there wasn’t much. And going to 441 was omg do we need a passport . The thought would make us break out in hives. It is wilderness and going past 441 we thought we would be in a jungle of wild animals. lol. I have found out that there are some great communities and people out there as you said over 10k in all those areas. Hopefully, Boca Watch will be embraced by you folks. 2 years ago when I had my own website called Bocataxwatch where I was campaigning for all of the 1 cent sales tax to go to schools I met a great guy that spent a lot of time helping me. I never forgot him. His name was Billy Vale. I was told he was part of the famous group called the Del Mar 6 that fought off the development of the Boca Del Mar golf course. A true leader never gives up and he surely is after a 20 year battle. I hope to see him enter into county politics. We need more leaders in the county representing the boca wilderness of nice/forgotten folks.

  5. It’s a beautiful thing to witness the power of people; especially when up against a well organized, extremely powerful, and tremendously financed special interest group.

  6. Jack, you are toooo funny! When I was thinking of moving from Atlanta to Boca, my friend said “don’t look past Military Trail, it’s way too far West.” Much to my surprise after moving to Boca in ’96, there wasn’t a jungle of wild animals, although I would welcome seeing them today as I’m a wildlife photographer :). I thought driving past 95th Street off Glades was way too far West. My thoughts have changed. I’m trying to get a “bird sanctuary” @ South County Regional Park. I persuaded the County to build a dog park there – Canine Cove Dog Park. Evert Tennis Academy is nearby. (I think Chris still lives in Boca).

    “We need more leaders in the county representing the boca wilderness of nice/forgotten folks”.

    Thanks for not forgetting Boca’s “Pioneers.” :)….we also need residents to get involved and care about their community.

  7. Everyone makes sense on this thread. No matter where we live, we ARE all connected in some way!

    Development to the monetary benefit of very small minority at multifaceted expense to everyone else is NOT progress by any means except for the “bank account” of the developer (aka, “the Shark” and the “remoras” living off it’s “parasites”)

    I have lived in Florida my entire life and the “Experts” continue to make the same mistakes over and over. They refuse to learn anything from the mistakes (gifts) of other areas re: zoning, and other parts of PLANNING. That’s how arrogant the powers that be often are.
    All building could have been done without the crowding and environmental costs we see now. There should be a moratorium on any new developments until all infrastructure and codes are brought up to snuff.

    For many, the reasons they relocated here have been destroyed and eroding for years due to the hyper-development, aka GREED! More and more residents are grumbling and contemplating heading “North” to Martin county etc.

    I love the idea of a “Bird Sanctuary”. We certainly need it!
    In the St Petersburg area there’s a bird sanctuary called “Suncoast Bird Sanctuary”. Ever hear of it.
    My property is a National Wildlife Federation site right here in East Boca!

    I sure would welcome volunteering to help get a lift off for this!

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