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By 4 votes, Maniglia unseats Jarriel for Loxahatchee Groves council


Political newcomer Phillis Maniglia has unseated longtime Loxahatchee Groves resident Ron Jarriel for Seat 1 on the town council.

Maniglia’s win came by a very narrow margin: Just four votes. She had 255 votes and Jarriel had 251, according to the Supervisor of Elections website just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. A third challenger, Neil O’Neal III, had 85 votes. The margin between Maniglia and Jarriel was not great enough to force a recount, and runoff elections in Loxahatchee Groves only are held if there is a tie.

RELATED: Road conditions shape Loxahatchee Groves town council race

The 60-year-old Maniglia is a longtime resident and Realtor in the town, and said she decided to run for office to bring fresh ideas and more transparency to the council. She made her decision to run for office as the town struggled to improve the condition of its dirt roads.

“Our town is in the worst condition ever,” she told The Palm Beach Post last month. “We don’t even have it in our budget to be able to fix those roads.”

Maniglia said she supports making the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District dependent on the town. A bill approved by both the state House and Senate would allow the town’s voters to decide in October if they want Loxahatchee Groves to effectively absorb the district, with the board of supervisors dissolved and control handed to the town council.

“We have two governments right now. Never in my world when we incorporated did I realize that the water district wasn’t going away,” she said. “The reason why this dependency came up is because nothing was getting done. The water control district was fighting with the town council … and nothing was getting done.”

Maniglia also said she would like a return to civility on the dais. “The lack of respect to councilmen, residents and landowners speaking their concerns needs to stop,” she wrote in her response to The Palm Beach Post’s Know Your Candidates questionnaire.

Jarriel, 66, is a retired firefighter who served on the council for nine years, and for another nine years before that sat on the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District Board of Supervisors. He said he decided to run because he felt he still had “good work” to do on the council.

The 21-year-old O’Neal is a Realtor. He said he decided to run because he felt it was time to bring a new perspective to the council.



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