McKinlay, Bernard advance as mayor, vice mayor in Palm Beach County


Melissa McKinlay has been elected by her fellow Palm Beach County commissioners to the largely ceremonial post of county mayor during an organizational meeting Tuesday morning.

Commissioners then selected Commissioner Mack Bernard to serve as vice mayor, positioning him to succeed McKinlay.

Paulette Burdick is the out-going county mayor. Colleagues had once blocked her move from vice mayor to mayor, but she was chosen for the post after last year’s elections brought Bernard and Dave Kerner to the commission.

The county mayor presides over commission meetings, signs official communications on behalf of the county, represents the county at government functions and hosts an annual ball whose proceeds are used to combat homelessness. She and the vice mayor remain as voting members of the seven-person commission.

McKinlay, whose commission district includes most of western Palm Beach County, has been outspoken on the need to combat opioid abuse. She has also joined Burdick in pressing for more affordable housing.

Bernard, an African-American, attorney and the only minority on the commission, has sought to make sure appointed boards and commissions are diverse. He has also raised concerns about whether firms owned by women and minorities are getting a fair shot at county contracts.

In brief remarks after being chosen mayor, McKinlay thanked Burdick and gave a nod to Bernard.

“It has been a pleasure to sit next to you,” she said. “Vice Mayor Bernard, I’m excited to serve by your side.”

Burdick, a former Palm Beach County School Board member whose commission term ends next year, thanked her colleagues and County Administrator Verdenia Baker, whom she praised “for your professionalism and your leadership.”

In addition to affordable housing, Burdick has raised concerns about the environment, open space and agriculture, all of which she has said is threatened by development.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Vacation rentals become focal point of state vs. local power struggle
Vacation rentals become focal point of state vs. local power struggle

Six years ago, Aline was on the verge of losing her Boca Raton home. The single mother was employed but a divorce had left her bad off financially. Additionally, she struggled to care for her aging parents. Anxious to turn things around, she spotted an Airbnb newspaper ad. A former hotel owner, Aline jumped at the chance to make some extra money renting...
Eric Trump says dad would be ‘hugely impeded’ if Dems take Congress
Eric Trump says dad would be ‘hugely impeded’ if Dems take Congress

Eric Trump and wife Lara speaking to Republican activists at the West Palm Beach Marriott today. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post) WEST PALM BEACH — Eric Trump thanked local Republican activists for their grass-roots efforts today and warned that his father’s agenda would be “hugely, hugely...
Trump’s first year: JFK comparisons, golf, missiles, the 561 Cabinet, other Palm Beach highlights
Trump’s first year: JFK comparisons, golf, missiles, the 561 Cabinet, other Palm Beach highlights

Presidents in Palm Beach: JFK and Jackie with kids on Easter in 1963; Donald and Melania Trump at Easter last year. (Kennedy photo from JFK Library; Trump photo by Melanie Bell/Palm Beach Daily News) PALM BEACH — John F. Kennedy was America’s first Palm Beach president, but Donald...
Shutdown: Some Senate Dems from Trump states vote with GOP; Florida’s Bill Nelson does not
Shutdown: Some Senate Dems from Trump states vote with GOP; Florida’s Bill Nelson does not

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (left) supported a short-term spending measure to avert a federal government shutdown; Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson was opposed. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Five Democratic senators from states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016 broke with party leadership late Friday and voted...
Here's what has happened during previous government shutdowns
Here's what has happened during previous government shutdowns

It’s fairly certain the government will shut down. If the Senate doesn’t pass the short-term spending bill —passed earlier by the House — by midnight Friday, it will happen. Under a shutdown, thousands of federal employees would go without pay and national parks would close, among other things.  Here's a look at the key...
More Stories