Delray election: Chard, Johnson apparent winners


The Delray Beach City Commission will welcome two newcomers after Tuesday’s municipal elections. Jim Chard and Shirley Johnson beat their opponents handily, according to unofficial results from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Both Chard and Johnson, with all precincts reporting, appeared to have the majority vote in a citywide election that requires only a plurality to win. They’ll join the five-person commission that will be responsible for approving or denying major developments, hiring high-ranking city staff and regulating the city’s sober home industry.

Chard, a retired business executive, defeated Kelly Barrette for Seat 2. Barrette is owner and founder of TakeBackDelrayBeach, an advocacy Facebook page.

Two other candidates in the race, Richard Alteus and Anneze Barthelemy, didn’t come close to those two. Alteus is a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy and Barthelemy is a chaplain and social worker.

“I think this is really a reinforcement of the direction that Delray has been taking for the last 25 or 30 years,” Chard said. “We don’t want to go backward; we want to move forward.”

Johnson, a retired business administrator, beat Josh Smith, a retired educator.

More than 6,000 votes were counted.

Both Chard and Johnson said during the campaign that they want to promote development in areas that could use an economic boost, such as the Congress Avenue Corridor and areas along Atlantic Avenue west of Swinton Avenue.

They both also support the current commission’s effort to tighten restrictions on sober homes.

Barrette and Smith ran with the endorsements of sitting Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz, who typically formed the minority vote on divisive city issues, such as proposed developments.

The pair, who ran on low-growth and resident-oriented platforms, had hoped to win seats and land shift the power dynamic of the city commission.

“The majority of people on Delray seem to want a more urban vision for the city,” Barrette said shortly after the results came in. “I have to accept that.”

She plans to remain involved in city politics.

Chard and Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment by publication time.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

After Irma: Palm Beach’s weeklong shutdown challenged, defended
After Irma: Palm Beach’s weeklong shutdown challenged, defended

Looking to restock his refrigerator three days after Hurricane Irma tore through Palm Beach County, attorney Richard Ryles headed to the Publix in Palm Beach. But, like scores of mainland residents discovered in the aftermath of the storm, the wealthy island was off-limits to nearly everyone who didn’t live or work in the tony town — not...
Aronberg: Fix Obamacare so unethical sober homes don’t exploit opioid crisis
Aronberg: Fix Obamacare so unethical sober homes don’t exploit opioid crisis

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg in 2016. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg says in a Time magazine op-ed that unscrupulous drug treatment providers have manipulated Obamacare “to foster a cycle of relapse, rather than recovery” and...
Starbucks exec Howard Schultz sure sounds like a 2020 presidential candidate
Starbucks exec Howard Schultz sure sounds like a 2020 presidential candidate

Since announcing in December that he would step down as Starbucks chief executive, there has been speculation that Howard Schultz is eyeing a run for president in 2020. A couple weeks back, I pegged him as the businessperson most likely to win the Democratic nomination.  Well, Howard Schultz sure sounds like a candidate.  Schultz spoke with...
Former Obama officials form group to combat Trump rollback of consumer protections in higher ed
Former Obama officials form group to combat Trump rollback of consumer protections in higher ed

A cadre of attorneys and policy advisers from the Obama administration is teaming up to do what they say Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems incapable of doing: protecting students.  They have formed a coalition, called the National Student Legal Defense Network, that will partner with state attorneys general and advocacy groups to combat what...
Would GL Homes plan mean Ag Reserve flooding in hurricane?
Would GL Homes plan mean Ag Reserve flooding in hurricane?

The images from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are as fraught as they are fresh: wind-whipped waters flooding out neighborhoods; residents using boats and kayaks to reach their homes and businesses. Opponents of GL Homes’ plan to build more in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve say agreeing to the developer’s request will...
More Stories