You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

breaking news

Florida lawmakers move closer to gambling deal

Editorial: Bennett, Berger, Kerner for support of sales tax

Palm Beach County will be facing myriad issues over the next several years: a growing homeless population, an opioid epidemic and increasing development pressures, to name a few.

For the purposes of the November election, however, the deciding factor may be the proposed penny sales tax increase, which would raise the county’s 6 percent sales tax to 7 percent.

That’s why The Post endorses Tony Bennett for the County Commission District 1 seat, Dave Kerner for District 3 and Mary Lou Berger for District 5.

The county needs money for things like falling lights at parks, potholes in neighborhood roads and leaking roofs at government buildings. That’s as true today as it was three years ago when a waffling board of commissioners refused to go through with a half-penny increase in the sales tax to address the burgeoning infrastructure issues. The problems didn’t go away. They got only worse.

Bennett, a Jupiter attorney and political newcomer, told The Post Editorial Board that it’s “fiscally irresponsible” not to support the tax hike at this point. “The truth is that we have major infrastructure needs, and they have to be paid for,” he said, maintaining that a penny sales tax — though regressive — is better than the bond issue preferred by Republican incumbent Hal Valeche.

Valeche paints himself as a “thought leader” on issues such as ride-hailing services and the new spring training baseball complex, but dismissed concerns he is out of touch with residents in his district who say he supports developments that don’t have enough roads, utilities and schools to support them. “I’m not a rubber-stamp vote for development,” he insisted.

In District 5, Berger faces the same question regarding growth and development. As county mayor, she oversaw the commission’s vote to approve the controversial Minto West development — a vote that led to them being “snookered” by the developer’s decision to incorporate it as the town of Westlake.

Berger, a Democrat seeking a second term, admits that the commission “has approved a lot of development,” but attributes it to staff recommendations and the need to follow regulatory criteria. “It may be time to look at the criteria again,” she told the Editorial Board.

She supports the sales tax hike, and sees it as a way to help deal with what she calls the county’s “No. 1 priority”: homelessness. “Yes, we have a homeless shelter, but it’s not good enough,” she said. “We have homeless veterans coming up from Broward.”

Her Republican opponent, Taniel Shant, vehemently opposes the “17 percent increase” in the sales tax. And while he agrees with Valeche on the bond issue option, he adds that he would have first preferred a top-down audit to find any waste, fraud or abuse.

The Post stands by its Aug. 30 primary endorsement of Kerner to replace the retiring Shelley Vana in District 3. A lawyer, former police officer and an effective two-term member of the state Legislature, Kerner has proved to be a young leader with ideas, energy, an ability to get things done and a knack for appealing to a variety of constituencies.

His opponent, no-party candidate Sean Hogan, did not meet with The Post Editorial Board.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: The nightmare of the North Korea-Trump standoff

President Donald Trump is scary in many ways, but perhaps the most frightening nightmare is of him blundering into a new Korean war. It would begin because the present approach of leaning on China to pressure North Korea will likely fail. Trump will grow angry at public snickering at the emptiness of his threats. At some point, U.S. intelligence will...
Letters Educate boaters regarding ‘no-wake zones’

Educate boaters re: no-wake zones I wasn’t surprised to read about the injured rower, “Injured teen rower still in hospital,” (Sunday), in The Post. Boaters frequently ignore the “no wake zone” in and around this area. I am not sure if it’s lack of education on the boaters part or lack of police presence. If the...
POINT OF VIEW FPL’s solar progress in step with Audubon’s goals
POINT OF VIEW FPL’s solar progress in step with Audubon’s goals

On a sunny Florida day in South Florida, I watched the American flag rise and fly over hundreds of acres of black solar cells. It was an amazing experience to think that the million panels I was looking at were replacing energy from conventional fuel combustion plants. Yet this solar field feeding directly into the power grid was not using any water...

Editorial: Forget ‘death spiral,’ Obamacare should be fixed, not killed
Editorial: Forget ‘death spiral,’ Obamacare should be fixed, not killed

An inconvenient fact is elbowing its way into the national discussion about Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), to use the formal name, is not “failing,” not “exploding,” not in “death spiral.” It’s not, that is, unless President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress push it over a ledge. Which Trump...
More Stories