Whoever wins on March 12, the Boynton Beach City Commission will have a majority of first-time officeholders. Fortunately, there are candidates who would bring the right experience with their fresh perspective.
District III. Two of the four candidates stand out. Realtor James Brake has served on several city boards. He doesn’t like the idea of contracting for law enforcement with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Like all the candidates, he wants to see more development in the old downtown. One potential project is renovation of the 1927 high school building. Mr. Brake said he might support committing up to half of the $4.5 million cost to help the private developer. We believe that would be too much of an investment for the return. The debate probably will be over helping the developer with permitting costs.
Boynton Beach firefighter Michael Fitzpatrick has a blunt assessment of the 1927 high school: “Architecturally, it’s nothing.” He opposes transfer of the land to the developer. Mr. Fitzpatrick, who would retire if elected, estimates that in addition to his work for the fire-rescue department he has spent “more time on advisory boards than the other candidates combined.” He knows the issues better than Mr. Brake, but he also calls Jerry Taylor “the most effective politician Boynton Beach has ever had.” We recommend Mr. Fitzpatrick, but the city hardly would lose with Mr. Brake. The other candidates are landscape designer Gaylord “Allan” Hendricks and retiree Ken Hall.
District IV. The winner will serve the last year of Marlene Ross’ term. She resigned in December, the day ethics charges were filed against her. All four candidates are friendly and civic-minded. As one of them, Realtor Sharon Grcevic, says, “We all get along.”
Only one, though, can win. Lawyer Cory Kravit doesn’t know enough about the issues. Joe Casello is a retired firefighter from Worcester, Mass., who knows the issues and is “outraged” at the corruption of the last two years but hasn’t spent as much time on city boards as the other two candidates.
Those would be Ms. Grcevic and Donald Scantlan, an official with Workforce Alliance. Ms. Grcevic has served on the planning and development board since 2005 and is vice-chairwoman. She opposed the height variance the commission granted for a hotel near Leisureville. Mr. Scantlan is chairman of the Finance Advisory Committee, and calls himself “the best prepared candidate” in the race.
Actually, he’s the best prepared of any commission candidate. He ran for the District IV seat in 2011 and lost to Ms. Ross by seven votes. He would keep the police department, would spend “not very much” on the 1927 high school and would not settle with Ms. Bright. Like all the candidates except Mr. Taylor, he wants no part of David Katz.
District I. This race has just two candidates, neither of whom is impressive. Realtor Carol Brenner and insurance executive David Merker offer almost no specifics. Since Mr. Merker served as an elected official in New Jersey, we recommend him based on marginally greater experience.
for The Post Editorial Board