Elections Have Consequences; Examine the Candidates Carefully!


This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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Here we are, six weeks to the day from casting our votes on March 13th. Have you considered the candidates you will vote for? Our City is in all of our hands and we will determine what goes on in City Hall for the next two years at a minimum.

Respecting your vote, all I ask of you is to examine the candidates. We will be electing a “person” who will indelibly impact our community during their tenure. May I suggest you consider the person before party.

It is now well known our Mayor and the largest property owner in the City had a secret relationship for years. She voted for his projects but you did not know she was paid to do so. Does that not speak volumes about our Council? Look at the other 3 incumbents. All of them have received vast amounts of money from special interests. Do you think for one minute they are not beholding to their money source? Look at the voting records of Haynie, Singer, Rodgers and Weinroth – predominantly for development.

Please, we have to elect individuals who will fight for: Community, Schools, quality of life, well conceived and planned development benefiting all interests – residents first and commercial enterprise second. We can do this together but not with the deck stacked against the voting residents. Singer and Rodgers did not take up schools or planning when they were initially challenged by Councilwoman O’Rourke. They were protecting their big money contributors until they read public sentiment which forced them to “seem” interested.

I urge you to vote for candidates who feel and show their love for our City like Andrea Levine O’Rourke, candidates not in the pocket of special interests and developers. As registered Republicans our family will vote for Monica Mayotte and Kim Do though, both Democrats, because these highly educated, corporate experienced, resident friendly candidates have the skill, experience and ability to be quick studies of issues and will work for us. Not so with Armand Grossman and Jeremy Rodgers. They are being paid to work against us and our quality of life values.

Thank you,

James Hendrey

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  1. Thank you SO MUCH James, for your support, advice, and endorsement. I will do my utmost to represent the voice for all stakeholders of Boca Raton, first and foremost the residents!!!

  2. Is this a BocaWatch endorsement? It’s not, but it sure looks like it.

    James, You’ve completely lost credibility with your false facts. I’ve asked you multiple times now to bring up any vote in particular that I’ve made in the last 3 years, and you always talk about “the votes” but never want to discuss any vote in particular.

    A quick recap of some of our major votes over the last few years:
    Councilman Jeremy Rodgers..
    -Voted AGAINST Beach mansions and overdevelopment.
    -Voted AGAINST granting additional HEIGHT on the beach corridor.
    -Voted and ADVOCATED FOR controlling height on the beach corridor.
    -Worked with the School board chair and the surrounding neighborhoods to find a win-win scenario on schools. Boca Raton has jumped ahead of many others to get the first new elementary school in decades. Verde elementary and Via Verde will not be doubled up.
    -Voted AGAINST the single largest conversion of city green space to development (Boca Muni, ~189 acres).
    -Voted against UNFUNDED long term fire pension liabilities
    -Advocated, pushed, and voted FOR golf in Boca
    -..but voted AGAINST over-spending $24M of taxpayer funds on Ocean Breeze, which was already protected from development.

    James, I know none of that fits your false narrative. You brought up voting record. There’s some above. I’ve proven time and again I’ll do what’s right for the city, regardless of special interests. Happy to discuss ANY vote, but let’s stick to the record and the facts.. Please.

    Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers

  3. James, also, you say I said nothing? I followed up with Mr Scarpa the very next day. He was speaking in public comment, the portion had been moved, and he left before we got to councilmember response time later in the meeting. Here’s my response (and his) from our city email. Again, please stop your personal vendettas and false narratives.

    [Chris Scarpa]
    Wed 11/15/2017 1:34 PM
    Councilman Rodger’s ,

    Thank you very much for the unbelievable response time. You, Mr. Singer and Mrs. O’Rourke are beginning to restore my faith in the system. I will stay in touch periodically without being too much of a bother.

    I truly believe that you three care after seeing your responses to my emails. I’m going to spread the word that you do !

    I’m waiting for a call back from Frank Barbieri I’m looking to see if he has any suggestions on how to move this forward.

    Thank you again for your valuable time.

    Best regards,
    Chris Scarpa.

    > On Nov 15, 2017, at 12:56 PM, Rodgers, Jeremy wrote:
    > Hi Chris,
    > Thanks so much for reaching out! I had planned to reach out to you, and I believe Scott probably is also. I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to wait around and talk to us, and to reach out to me.
    > Normally we have our council meeting reports directly after public comments. We go through issues raised in the reports, but with the agenda move, that put a big gap before our usual response time. I didn’t want to draw out an already lengthy meeting out of order, so i waited. In retrospect, I should have chimed in at the time.
    > School quality is definitely a big part of the quality of life and value of Boca. City Council doesn’t directly control a lot of these factors, but I agree, we need to work with you and other parents to be advocates with the school board. It’s my job to help you with whatever I can!
    > I would point out we do have two public high schools in Boca (Spanish River and Boca High) and 3 counting FAU high), plus Olympic Heights nearby, but none of that helps the issues you brought up. interested to hear more, particularly on the challenges with students eating lunch and navigating to class on time?
    > I really appreciate you being proactive on this Chris — let’s get the discussion going and then take it to the school board for their thoughts!
    > No worries on the spelling, the D is easy to forget 😀
    > Very Respectfully,
    > Jeremy Rodgers
    > Deputy Mayor, City of Boca Raton
    > PH: 561-393-7708
    > Learn more about our great city at http://www.MyBoca.us

  4. James, respectfully I feel your position is lopsided/biased…there is no doubt, as the City moves into future, growth will impact its visibility, and quite frankly, on a global basis and also require change to the infrastructure of Boca Raton. I believe all politicians require donations to continue on track. But to suggest the Mayor or any of the incumbents specifically were “paid” (I believe that’s the word you used) for their vote, is a travesty of the facts. So please be a little bit more careful in your “facts” as Jeremy Rogers has pointed out above. Thank you…

    • Alan… take your point… donation are a necessary element of today’s political environment. I do however think it’s fair to judge a politicians future direction … and in these cases.. past direction .. based on “who” is doing the donating.
      People don’t support politicians because their handsome or pretty… they support them because they expect them to champion their causes.
      Mr. Rogers, Mr. Spinger and our tainted Mayor have satisfied the expectations of their contributors….. The Developers!

  5. Jeremy,

    Thank you for your response. Please show “US” your votes for the past three years on major development projects. Or, regarding education – you said nothing the night Mr Scarpa spoke where both Ms O’Rourke and I chastised the Mayor and you, sir, for not speaking up. The Mayor “Schools are not our responsibility” and you sat mum at the podium. Like – “Let me see which way the wind blows then I will raise my voice”.

    The Park Referendum. I sat down with you and you promised to support our efforts if we got the signatures. YOU DID NOT. You could, but did not, vote to accept our or honor your commitment to me because the Chamber of Commerce was your benefactor and wanted to sell all our parks and stated so in a public meeting.

    Regarding planning – mum at the podium you chose not to immediately support one colleague who instantly read the presenters attempt to circumvent the law. – She said “Wait, we need a plan, it is required”. You let her set the predicate because you have this money coming from developers. The money colors your decisions and it should not. You should always seek, though you have had only one meeting, the opinion of your constituents though we have urged you to do it – “listen to us Jeremy”. Win the hearts of the people and show you will work for them through their eyes as you negotiate points on development. Don’t take the money, it casts doubt on your credibility, it does in my eyes.

    Folks, this exchange of ideas and positions here in BW is important for you, Jeremy and me, but most of all YOU. This is the only forum we have for exchange of thought unlike other venues. Thank you in advance for your kind consideration of both sides of important arguments affecting us all.

    Alan, You and I agree on many issues and I value your advise, really I do. One stand out for me is the fact our Mayor admitted she was paid $12,000 for 7 years or $84,000 and falsified state documents.
    Now she says she can vote for her benefactor – wrong. So, based on my above statements and money coloring the decision making, I will hold to my points. I am for development and like most citizens we just ask that it follow code, with few exceptions and meets the plans adopted by ordinance by our city leaders. Tower 155. Required – 2 acres, allowed, 1.25 acres. Rule by exception does not work for me or the community.

  6. ‘Mr. Hendrey,
    Your statement “As registered Republicans our family will vote for…” is very telling in and of itself. Basically, because of your party affiliation you are driven to support a “Republican” candidate. While this influencer has a certain merit at the state and federal levels (for obvious House/Senate majority reasons), my feeling is that in a race such as this the individual candidate (remember, it was YOU who stated we would be electing a “person”) must stand on their own merits and not those of what many believe to be an oft misinterpreted definition of what makes one Republican or Democrat.
    I’m not going to bore you or anyone else with anything more than to say that “As an Independent I will vote for…the best ‘person’ for my city’s future”
    A Native Son since ’61

  7. David, Thanks for the dialogue. Monica Mayotte and Kim Do are both Democrats. I am with you 100%. Its about selecting the right person for the job. You strengthen my position. Politics should mean nothing in this race.

    • Absolutely, political affiliations are a non issue for me and should be for others who simply want the best for Boca.
      I do, however, feel that Jeremy Rodgers IS the right man for the job and will support him with my vote and my voice.
      With Jeremy, Andrea and Monica in City Hall I feel confident that Boca will be moving into the future with a better chance to effectively address the concerns of many of its citizens who felt betrayed by the *current mix*.

  8. Mr. Rogers continues to be a gas bag with little results…. I continue to ask… a vote against the developers “dreams” and exceptions where your vote mattered. Where your vote did anything but serve as a throw away to hide under your well financed cooperation with the development and Chamber elements of our City.
    Development is good and necessary.. I must echo The previous writer.. development that doesn’t require exceptions to code to line the pockets of the developers.We can have managed and planned development and growth with ethical City officials that care about our community.
    That leaves you and Singer… and obviously the Mayor…to your Chamber and Developer

  9. James,

    My interest in local politics is on the more recent side due to my proximity to Midtown. I can tell you that my interactions with both Mr. Rogers and Mr. Singer have been completely open and honest. It doesn’t matter that Andrea officially proposed a plan for Midtown. What matters is that we had 4 votes in favor of that plan. You obviously worked hard to mobilize your readers and you should take some pride in the fact that the majority of the Council members heard their constituents. I think that the Council members now understand that regardless of where their financial support may come from, votes are what ultimately gets them elected.

    Perhaps you should base your opinions on more recent Council actions which have been decided pro-resident. It appears that you have a personal vendetta against some of the Council members which is unfortunate. It takes away credibitliy from Boca Watch which is otherwise a great source of information regarding local politics.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  10. Seth,

    I hope you don’t feel misspelled words negate the opportunity to learn or appreciate a thought provoking effort on the part of a citizen. We all slip up on spelling from time to time, especially when penned via cell phone.

    I have spoken quite a bit to Mr Singer and Mr Rodgers one in one. You are correct in your observation: in recent months – they have changed their tune. But, only because citizens like you and I hold their feet to the fire. This form of conversation is long in coming and we need to seek more of it. Many, many of us have asked to have constructive and meaningful dialog with our Council as a whole, with open exchange – they refuse. You and I get 5 minutes to express our thoughts on complex issues unless one is willing to spend time with each and every Council member.. The ONLY Councilman putting his neck on the line in person is Scott Singer to his under appreciated credit.

    What do do not see are the special interests and their attorney lobbyists filing through City Hall. I urge you to go to the City managers office and read the sign in log over a few months and you will learn who is pushing their agenda on the public.

    Join in Seth because I am sure you have constructive ideas.

  11. Mr. Rodgers I’m not sure yet how I feel about you posting my email as an exsample of how you are truly interested or care about the exstrimly concerning and growing worse by the week conditions of our public schools do to over crowding.

    Just so we are all clear I reached out to you and Scott Singer 1st, the next day and yes both of you responded immetitly.

    You stated that you were interested in hearing more about the lunch situation and and the problems in navigating the hallways.

    How ever when I followed up with you and Scott Singer in an email about two weeks later on the facts that I gathered from Frank Barbiari our school board represenitive I never hear back from either of you. I wish I was as tech savvy as you I would attach that email to this thread. Or better yet you could do it like the one above and maybe respond to it now 3 months later.

    Best regards,
    Chris Scarpa.

  12. Chris,

    I’m away on drill this weekend but I’ll post your other email when I return to town; I don’t recall your last email having a question, but will confirm. .I’ve continued to work with Frank Barbieri and our communities. I hope you watched the meeting where the school hoard presented at council? There are significant plans for expansion at Spanish River. High

  13. Mr. Rodgers that’s great that there are plans to exspand Spanish River high school. I am very happy for the students that are zoned to that school. They are going to need every bit of that added capacity based on the rate of development out west. However I’m not clear how that alleviates our problem at Boca Raton community high school, in east Boca Raton. Mr. Rogers you stated in your first email to me that you were concerned about 3600 students going to lunch at the same time, having to sit on the ground and terrible congestion that occurs in between class changes. Unfortunately sir I haven’t heard from you since that initial email,the one that you posted above as an example of how you are concerned. Mr. Rogers the children, young adults and teachers of this community deserve a much better effort to say the least. The world that I rotat in says if you talk the talk you need to walk the walk, we haven’t seen that yet from this commission.

    Best regards,
    Chris Scarpa.

  14. Mr Scarpa,

    Over the last few years, members of this council have fought and lobbied the school board to keep Boca kids in Boca schools (successfully), met with our local school board member, neighborhood leaders and hoa boards of neighborhoods big and small, allocated land to be used for a new school and find a win-win proposal satisfactory to different areas of the city, pushed to jump ahead of other areas of the county to get the first public school in Boca in well over a decade (much more if not considering choice schools, and continued to increase focus on education. It’s far from perfect, and I agree the job’s not done yet, but I can promise you, we’re trying.

    Interesting I just found out today PBC School superintendent is leaving in June. Keep an eye on who gets the nod for replacement. Mr Avossa appeared to be doing a great job and have things on track.

    Here’s your second email, as you requested: Since your email, besides the above, we’ve also had the school board out to city to discuss both causes and solutions. Did you attend or watch that meeting?


    [Chris Scarpa]
    Tue 11/28/2017 11:23 PM
    Rodgers, Jeremy;

    Hello commission Rodgers,

    I had two lengthy conversations this evening with Frank Barbieri,he was very candid and straightforward.

    He laid out several different scenarios to deal with the overcrowding in our schools”we both agreed”that none of them were even close to being the best solution for the children and young adults of Boca Raton. One of the solutions was rezoning to send children from East Boca out to schools in West Boca .You can only imagine how this information is going to be received in the community.

    We talked in length about the Palm Beach County school Board’s authority or jurisdiction over developers. He told me they have zero authority over what developments get approved to be built in the City Of Boca Raton. This completely contradicts what Mayor Haynie told me last week. He said at this point he would recommend that the city council scrutinize very closely any future residential development in the city based on the fact that all our schools are at or over capacity.

    We also discussed impact fees and how these developers are being charged minimal impact fees.

    Based on this information I feel that the city needs to be petitioned to stop any further residential development until our schools are fixed.

    The children and young adults quality of their educational environment should take absolute precedence.

    Commissioner I can tell you care please help us fix this.

    Best regards,
    Chris Scarpa

  15. Mr. Rodgers, thank you for your reply, the good news about our dialogue here is that we continues to keep this issue in the spotlight. I did not see or attend the meeting that you had a couple weeks after I first approached the city Council on the issue of Boca High school. I would agree that the city Council meeting with some of the school board members it’s a good start, I look forward to attending the next workshop when is that scheduled for ? Obviously one meeting is not enough as this problem, particularly Boca Raton community high school grows worse by the week.The effects of the overcrowding is really starting to take its toll on the teachers the administrators and students ,there’s many situations going on over there currently that are clearly the effects of jamming teachers and students into a facility like sardines.

    It will absolutely be attending the next meeting that our city Council has with the Palm Beach County school Board to address this shameful situation.I will check the calendar for those upcoming dates. Unless you have them on hand.

    Best regards ,
    Chris Scarpa.

  16. I saw a video of the Susan Haynie kick off. She’s giving up her hard fought Mayor’s seat to run for higher office. Remember how she slandered BW volunteers to win that race?
    You were in the video DM Rodgers, front and center with your kids. Aligning yourself with this individual also aligns you with her actions and votes, votes that have damaged this community dating back years.
    Haynie bullied residents who first opposed Archstone, going above and beyond to silence them. She has opposed all Waterfront iniatives making 28000 voters jump through hoops to preserve our parks. People are judged by the company they keep … didn’t we all learn that from our parents?


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