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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With the City’s 2017-18 budget now final there is perhaps no more important item to review for insights into the narrative of what will be of import over the next 12 months. All eyes should be on the implications of the upcoming final budget vote. BocaWatch has been working on budget items for some time now. Articles have been written and are being written to raise questions of how taxpayer monies will be spent….Residents from around the city point out items that remain undone effecting quality of life while the city council boasts about how frugal Boca Raton leadership is….Really?
With hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves and with expected windfalls from current and future negotiations, it is time to loosen the purse strings and spend monies to the direct benefit of the residents both residential and commercial. What these are should be the focus of a public debate at the Council level with residents being afforded a participation to shape the future.
One very important item in question….What’s Up with the Pension Contracts?
Not much has been heard regarding the contract negotiations for the Police and Fire pension plans. The fact of the matter is that both contracts are up for renewal based on their cycle of negotiations. At the present time, BocaWatch is unable to determine if the negotiations are even scheduled. It would be beneficial for residents if these negotiations were held in a timely manner rather than postponing them until after the March election. A delay would not reveal where incumbents stand on this important issue that impact the future fiscal health of the city’s balance sheet and financing.
Clarion Call…..Opportunity knocks
March 12, 2018 is a scheduled municipal election date for Boca Raton and two City Council seats are up for grabs. This presents Boca voters with another opportunity to elect ‘resident friendly’ candidates to represent their interests going forward. Voters did receive partial benefit for successfully electing ‘resident friendly’ Councilmember Andrea Levine O’Rourke this year. However, one is not enough. It takes three votes to carry, or deny, the measures that come forward for approval at City Council.
What Do We Have Currently?
Thus far, the only candidates to file for the election are incumbents; Robert Weinroth and Jeremy Rodgers. Their voting records speak for themselves.
For his part, Mr. Weinroth is completing his fourth year in office and has voted one hundred percent of the time in favor of high density, high intensity development. With no surprise, Mr. Weinroth primary source of campaign funding comes predominately from the development community. He is not ‘resident friendly’. BocaWatch is now compiling a comprehensive list of the un-resident friendly votes and actions Mr. Weinroth has taken since his appearance in the public arena….This list will be published when complete. In the meantime, BocaWatch will be monitoring the campaign contribution reports, the next due very soon. Councilman Weinroth is also invited for a video interview to go over his voting history and correct the record for any misstatements that may have occurred.
On to Councilman Jeremy Rodgers…
Mr. Rodgers voting record is a bit mixed. His most notable ‘resident friendly’ vote occurring when he voted against the ‘Mansion on the Sand’ at 2500 N. Ocean Blvd. When it comes to development issues for other areas of the city, his record may favor high density development as exampled by his yes vote for increasing density at University Village on Spanish River Blvd over the objections of dozens of residents affected by the extent of that particular project.
More information on Mr. Rodgers’ past and present voting record plus his campaign contribution reports will also be forthcoming in future weeks.
Where Are They?
So, where are the real ‘resident friendly’ candidates? Who will step up and represent the community at this opportunistic time for our city? It is a big ‘ask’ of anyone. It is a big time commitment with big decisions to be made. But if the 2017 election is any yardstick the voters will get behind a ‘resident friendly’ candidate and provide the votes necessary for a win. The timing couldn’t be better. The time is now. Your city needs you.
Al Zucaro, Publisher
Thank you for the praise for being resident friendly, but both the tone and the facts still need correcting. I’ve been extremely resident friendly, and will continue to be. We’re raising 4 future residents ourselves, and we want to enjoy this city as much as all of the other readers, for years to come.
First correction, the municipal election is Tuesday March 13th 2018, not March 12th.
Source: 2018 Municipal Election — The City of Boca Raton 2018 Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
2nd correction, I’ve had MANY resident friendly votes and direction. Being THE ONLY council member to stand against 2500 N Ocean, THE ONLY council member standing against increased height for a building going above 30′ on the barrier island, THE ONLY council member who voted against the last pension contract, THE council member to lead the reduction in density and height loopholes on the barrier island.
3rd correction, University Village was not a resident unfriendly vote. A previous council had already granted similar rights to the 80 acre parcel that sits at the Northeast corner of Spanish River and 95 (next to the new 95 entrance). 80 acres, that’s a big site. The request was to shift some of the previous allotted development from commercial/retail to residential; if I recall, it increased residential density at the expense of retail, BUT REDUCED overall traffic. Several directly abutting neighbors did come out and speak against the project as a whole. At the request of residents (and Council) every conceivable protection was put into the project, the most memorable of which was a 100 ft wooded buffer between the neighborhood and the new university village.
I’ll continue to be the champion of ALL of our residents, even when it means standing up against special interests. If anyone would like to hear more about my campaign or bring up issues, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’re also having our kickoff next Thursday, October 12th at The Little Chalet. I hope to see all residents who would like to learn more, there! Find out more -> http://electrodgers.com/news/re-election-kickoff/ .
Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers
Good morning Councilman….Thank you for better highlighting your ‘resident friendly’ voting pattern. BocaWatch’s readers will appreciate the recap and I invite you to do a video interview with Katie Barr on ‘What Boca Is Saying’. With the municipal election coming up, BocaWatch wants to provide the residents with as much information as possible in order that they should be able to make an informed decision. I will ask Katie to contact you and schedule the interview……. Al Zucaro
It’s ironic. My vote and my wife’s vote are waiting for a “resident friendly candidate”. Many Boca Raton residents are waiting for “the candidates”, but the candidates do not show up yet. Someone qualified and TRULY friendly to residents must come forward and sooner rather than later.
i want to read about this:
• Council members shorten the opportunity for public participation to accommodate a taxpayer expensed junket to Washington D.C…..unacceptable! – The Clarion Call
Where can I find it?