With close to half of the vote completed late Tuesday night, Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo appeared to secure a fourth term as the city’s leader while city commissioner Scott Maxwell narrowly was ahead of another neophyte, Sarah Malega, in the District I seat, according to results posted by by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.
Triolo was facing political newcomer Drew Martin and held a 73.1-26.9 percent lead with 15 of 17 precincts reporting. Maxell held a 54.3-45.7 percent lead.
Triolo, 50, runs her own advertising, marketing and public relations firm and recently said she ran again to finish the work the commission started.
Triolo said taxable evaluation of all Lake Worth properties in 2012 was $990 million. That number was $1.6 billion in 2017 — a 60 percent increase.
“We’ve done what we said, but we want to make sure we’re protecting our small town charm as we grow,” Triolo said. “We don’t want to be Delray or West Palm, but we want to be the very best version of ourselves that we can.”
Her biggest accomplishment in office, Triolo said, was when Lake Worth’s Electric Utility finally achieved bill parity with Florida Power & Light Co. “We are 18 cents cheaper than FPL now,” Triolo said.
Martin, a 63-year-old environmental advocate, said he wasn’t surprised at the outcome.
“She had a tremendous advantage from the beginning and she’s very popular in the city,” he said. “But we still need to have elections. We bought a lot of good issues to the table. We have very established voters of people voting for people in power, but there are still many questions and issues in Lake Worth. There has been a lot of success as well.”
In the District I race, Maxwell, 59, has been in the seat since 2009. He was originally elected in 2001, served two years, left, then won again in 2009.
Maxwell did not respond to a request for comment.
His opponent is political rookie Malega, a 42-year-old personal auto shopper and gym owner. She said she’s running because she said not enough has been done in her Royal Poinciana neighborhood.
“My team has worked really hard to get us here,” she said. “I love I’ve been able to make friendships and meet thousands of people in the community who are concerned where our city is going and who were happy they had a voice.”
She said she still feels positive about Lake Worth and that’s she’s going back to the drawing board on Wednesday.
“I’ll come up with a better plan,” she said. “As a business owner, my concern are still things happening in Lake Worth.”