Residents of this rural community — dubbed “Florida’s Last Frontier” — face a stark choice in Tuesday’s election for Seat 2 on the town council: reelect an incumbent councilman who favors building a controversial college campus or vote for an outspoken community activist and political novice who opposes the new campus because of the commercial development it will bring.
While Vice Mayor Jim Rockett, elected to the town council in 2010, said designs for Palm Beach State College fifth campus are a “perfect fit for the rural character” of the town, McLendon, one of two residents behind a petition to block the campus, said its construction will ruin the town’s turn-back-the-clock way of life.
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Personal: 38. Married, two sons.
Education: Studied air conditioning service and installation, Local Union 630 Apprenticeship.
Professional: Owns air conditioning service and installation business.
Political: First time running for public office.
Issues: Favors limited government, a referendum on Palm Beach State College building its fifth campus in Loxahatchee Groves. Opposes selected code enforcement and increased commercialization.
Personal: 66. Married, One son, one grandson.
Education: Bachelor’s in accounting, Pace University.
Professional: Run a plant nursery business. Worked in accounting, finance and business planning with IBM and Siemens Corps. for more than 40 years.
Political: Elected to town council in 2010; served on the town’s finance advisory and audit committee.
Issues: Supports the construction of a Palm Beach State College campus; wants a better Town Hall facility, a red light along Okeechobee Boulevard and the establishment of a community-wide trail system.