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Never in the history of the world – or certainly Boca Raton – would anyone reject the honor of being appointed Deputy Mayor. In the past 13 months in Boca Raton, however, it has happened twice.
Let’s go back a year to begin to understand why.
During the last election cycle, Council Member Scott Singer threatened over and over to run against Mayor Susan Haynie. Ultimately, he was afraid to give up his seat and his bravado dissipated. But at the organizational meeting, it was clear he had hatched a new plan. He wanted to be Deputy Mayor instead…but not last year…..
With Haynie preparing to run for County Commission, Singer did not want the Deputy Mayor position last year; he wanted it in the same year that Haynie would resign. So, when, in 2017, then-Council Member Weinroth nominated Singer for Deputy Mayor, Singer declined and instead nominated Council Member Rodgers. Haynie, who under Roberts Rules should not second a motion unless she passes the gavel, jumped in and seconded the motion without, in fact, passing the gavel.
Rodgers, of course accepted. Because who would not want to be Deputy Mayor?
Today, a year later, Rodgers, returning the favor, jumped in to nominate Singer for, you guessed it, Deputy Mayor. Who seconded this nomination? Haynie, of course, again without passing the gavel.
The political stink was overwhelming. Then things got worse.
Council Member O’Rourke made a substitute motion and nominated Rodgers. Her reasoning was simple: Singer had rejected the position a year ago, and with both Haynie and Weinroth leaving the dais to run for County Commission having continuity and stability would be critical.
Newly elected City Council Member Monica Mayotte made her first move on the dais, and seconded this responsible motion.
But the contrived backroom political deal, made a year ago between 3 conniving politicians, stuck, and on a 3-2 vote, Singer is now the new Deputy Mayor giving him a leg up in the race to replace Haynie; the City Charter requires a special election to determine who replaces Haynie when she resigns her seat in November.
When challenged by Council Member O’Rourke, Singer argued that this is not political gamesmanship. Really??? How can it not be political when the motion is made and seconded by two of three conspiring politicians; all of whom endorsed each other this election cycle; all of whom have overlooked pending ethical challenges against Boca’s embattled Mayor, Susan Haynie; and all of whom endorsed failed City Council candidate, Armand Grossman?
NOT POLITICAL….believe that and I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!!!
Singer, as Deputy Mayor, will become ‘acting’ mayor for the months between the Haynie resignation and the special election sometime in early 2019. Believe me, running the race for Mayor as the incumbent is far superior to running the race as a mere candidate.
But, alas, the residents are seeing through this; seeing what these politicians are doing. The residents will not forget. These shady political types are more interested in their hold on power and their individual political advancement than they are in good governance and fulfilling the will of residents.
In fact, Singer’s silly move here likely may have triggered a viable opponent for Mayor – an opponent who will, without fear and intimidation, inform the community at large of these contrived political practices and who will use this kind of backroom dealing against Singer in his bid to become the next Mayor of Boca Raton…..
Stay tuned, stay informed….BocaWatch will continue to provide you with the information needed for an informed vote in the elections later this year and early next year.
Al Zucaro, Publisher