To the Boca Raton resident,

BocaWatch offers its platform to all announced candidates running in the March 2017 municipality elections to publish their position papers and platforms. Below is the first of these articles.

Andrea Levine O’Rourke, running for the City council Seat B has published this essay on ‘Preserving Golf and Green Space in Boca’ This is the first candidate paper submitted.

BocaWatch is interested in the platforms of all candidates.

BocaWatch will provide unrestricted access to the readership to all candidates. However, BocaWatch is most interested in identifying those candidates that support a ‘resident friendly’ platform.

Boca Raton has seen enough damage done by those elected officials that are and remain ‘Developer Friendly’.

You, the reader, will know the difference…..


Al Zucaro, Publisher

Open Letter From Andrea Levine O’Rourke, Candidate Boca Raton City Council

November, 2016

As the elected officials of Boca Raton move closer toward a final decision on “golf in Boca Raton,” it prompts me to reflect on certain issues that remain important to me; the beauty and advantages of open green space.

Open Green Space

The Ocean Breeze Golf Course issue is similar in some ways to the citizen’s initiative that protects our city owned Intracoastal waterfront properties.  The latter issue won resoundingly on the November ballot, indicating the residents of Boca Raton are very protective of their open green space.

Parks and green space have always been an iconic treasure in Boca Raton.  Entering Boca Raton from the South, on Federal Highway, the first thing that greets the traveler’s eyes are beautiful, large, grassy medians and open space…much different from the cities left behind. That is only a small part of the reason Boca Raton has earned the reputation as “The City within a Park,” a tag line that is effectively used for ‘selling’ the attributes of Boca.

As undeniable growth occurs in Boca, it is important to keep in the forefront the city’s dedication to green and open space.  Yes, we can have growth.  Yes, we can have new building development.  And yes, we can preserve, even expand and beautify our open space.  To accomplish all three takes vision, planning and cooperation.

Championship Golf in the City of Boca Raton

We are also known as a playground for fun in the sun with our beautiful beaches, waterways and golf courses.  However, with the closing of the neglected Ocean Breeze Golf Course the city lost its only championship, public golf course in Boca.  Of course, if one lives in one of the many gated country club communities, getting on a course is easy.  For the many thousands that do not have that access, and for the untold thousands of visitors, they must travel outside of Boca for their golf outing.  That means resident and tourist dollars leave our city.

Our very own Greater Boca Raton Beach and Parks District Commission sees the value in public golf in Boca and has offered to work with the city in the purchase, operation and maintenance of the Ocean Breeze course at Boca Teeca. As an example of their dedication to make golf in Boca happen, Beach and Parks has entered into discussion with Greg Norman for a highly recognized golf instructional school.

With the impending sale and or swap by the city of the municipal golf course on West Glades Road, the decision on negotiations that affect golf at Ocean Breeze now rests in the hands of our city council.

Although some may think golf is not a flourishing business, I believe having a 27-hole championship, public golf course in Boca Raton will be a winner!  It can be a driver for economic development…look what the Allianz Golf Tournament brings to our community.  It will preserve much valued green space.  And most importantly, it will allow public golf to remain in our city, a community known for its beauty as well as recreation. The value doesn’t always come in dollars. One must consider quality of life and legacy.

If you elect me, a longtime resident of Boca Raton as your city council representative on March 14th, I promise you that my decisions will always be based what is in the best interest of our residents.  “We Can Build Our Future Together.”

Please come out to meet me and support the campaign effort on December 12th at Rocco’s Tacos – Boca Center, 6-7:30pm