Two long-time, civic-minded residents are running to be Delray Beach’s next mayor. The Post believes that Cary Glickstein would bring more of the attitude change the city needs.
Mr. Glickstein is a homebuilder who has served on many city and community boards but never has held office. We agree with his observation that over the last few years, because of “economic changes and leadership changes,” Delray Beach has suffered from “complacency.” The joke, he says, correctly, once was that someone in Delray Beach would be holding a community discussion every Saturday afternoon. Now, there is more a sense of “detachment.” Says Mr. Glickstein, “Delray is at its best when you engender community input.”
One example of that detachment is former City Manager David Harden’s resistance to Delray Beach being covered by Palm Beach County’s Office of Inspector General. Even after Delray Beach voters strongly asked for such oversight in the November 2010 election, Mr. Harden persuaded the commission to join 14 cities in a lawsuit against paying for the office.
Mr. Glickstein is running against Tom Carney, co-f0under of a legal/financial firm who has been on the commission since 2011 and was appointed mayor in January to fill out Nelson “Woodie” McDuffie’s term. Mr. Carney supported the lawsuit. It looked even worse because of Delray Beach’s mention in the documents charging former County Commissioner Mary McCarty, long known for her involvement in city politics.
Mr. Carney now says he wants the city to drop the lawsuit. To prove that change of heart, he says, he led the effort last fall to place the city’s community redevelopment agency, housing authority and downtown development authority under the inspector general. Still, Mr. Carney should have pushed back much earlier. Mr. Glickstein says, “Given what’s happened in Delray Beach with recent (contract) issues — Waste Management (the garbage contract) and insider deals — we should be encouraging the (Office of Inspector General), not clipping its wings.”
In the Seat 1 commission race, The Post recommends Realtor Shelley Petrolia over Realtor Kurt Lehmann and Alexander Christopher.
Ms. Petrolia ran unsuccessfully in 2009. Like Mr. Glickstein, she believes that the commission became too passive under Mr. Harden, who retired in January after 23 years as manager. Successor Louie Chapman takes over April 1, and Ms. Petrolia said the process by which he was chosen was “terrible.” She does not intend that as a criticism of Mr. Chapman. We believe that Ms. Petrolia would bring the same new attitude as Mr. Glickstein.
Mr. Lehmann has served on several city boards, but he has had a series of financial problems that raise doubt about him overseeing the budget. Mr. Christopher is vague about his ideas.
for The Post Editorial Board