A lawyer and a retired firefighter will compete Tuesday in a runoff to resolve the last of four open commission seats.
In the March 12 election, in District IV, Cory Kravit, an attorney, finished slightly ahead of Joe Casello, a retired fire lieutenant and electrical contractor, but neither received the 35 percent needed to win outright.
The other two candidates in District IV were real estate broker Sharon Grcevic and Don Scantlan, chairman of the city’s financial advisory committee, who lost the 2011 race to then-incumbent Marlene Ross by only seven votes.
Ross resigned in December 2012 and the seat has had an interim commissioner, retired city press officer Wayne Segal, since December.
Because Ross’ term was set to run through 2014, the runoff winner will serve for only one year.
In the other races decided March 12, former 2-time mayor Jerry Taylor won the seat again, insurance executive David Merker was elected in District I, and city firefighter lieutenant Michael Fitzpatrick took the District III seat. District II commissioner Woodrow Hay, who’s been serving as interim mayor for 13 months, will return to his commission seat.
Casello supports a new police headquarters but would prefer to keep it downtown rather than at the tract the city already owns on High Ridge Road near Gateway Boulevard, next to the current fire-rescue headquarters. Kravit also supports a new headquarters, but favors the High Ridge location.
Casello and Kravit both have said they would listen if the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office made another proposal to take over police duties.
On the 1927 high school building across from city hall, which a team plans to convert to a multimillion-dollar downtown events center, Casello and Kravit don’t oppose the group spending its own money but don’t want any city money spent.
In 2007, the city commission approved, over the recommendations of its planning board, a variance that would allow a proposed Holiday Inn near Congress Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard to go five stories high. The project stalled but now is back for a full up-down vote.
Casello said he would study the issue to protect the city from a lawsuit by the developer. Kravit said the developer and residents should try to reach agreement before the city decides anything.
Term: Until March 2014. Salary: $22,257 annually
Personal: Age 61.Married, one daughter. Education: Graduate, Quinsigamond Community College.
Professional: Retired fire lieutenant. Retired electrical contractor.
Political: Unsuccessful bid for Worcester, Mass., city council, 2009.
Issues: “It’s time to tell the business community Boynton Beach’s open again.” Supports City Manager Lori LaVerriere but would have approved a lower raise. Not preferring or endorsing other candidates. Says police need a new headquarters.
Personal: Age 32. Married, one daughter. Education: Graduate: University of Florida, Stetson University Law School.
Political: First attempt at elected office. Member, city planning and development board.
Issues: “The city needs stability, stability, stability, stability.” Says city has been run “like a circus.” Not supporting other candidates. Would rather see more appointees on CRA board. Probably will support megachurch opening a campus at Boynton Beach Mall.