As the newly elected president of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations, Myrna Rosoff wants Palm Beach County officials to commit to a long-awaited park for suburban Boynton Beach and to resume COBWRA’s role as watchdog of the Agricultural Reserve. While she’s at it, she wouldn’t mind getting another county library branch in COBWRA territory.
Despite a still-languishing economy, Rosoff is a determined activist who does her homework, so she has as good a chance as anyone for making west Boynton’s wishes come true.
Q: As a young lawyer, you did some pioneering work in those days, didn’t you?
A: I was part of the first all-woman law firm in New Jersey. I started a fathers’ advocacy group. In those days, custody of the children almost always went to the mother. We brought in psychologists and an accountant. The bar association did not allow the interdisciplinary approach then, but several years later New Jersey set up the same thing.
Q: You started early in a completely different type of business, too.
A: Peter got transferred to northern Virginia and I still had two children in school, so I couldn’t start another law practice. We moved so many times, I never had wall-to-wall carpet. I had rugs that we just rolled up.
Then one of my clients said he had a deal that I couldn’t turn down. He was in direct marketing, and he asked if I would set up an operation for D.C., Virginia and southern Maryland. With all the political parties, it was a highly competitive field. I worked from my home, set my own hours and got a car and an expense account. I also did legal work on Capitol Hill.
Q: How did you pick where to live in Palm Beach County?
A: The first thing I did was draw a circle around Kings Point, where my parents and my aunts lived. We had some friends on the east side of Aberdeen, and I wanted somewhere that had activities. We built the third house in this development.
Q: You had some adventures moving to west Boynton when it was undeveloped, didn’t you?
A: In those days, there wasn’t a Hagen Ranch Road yet, and Jog Road didn’t come down this far. We bought our house from the plans, and there was a sand pit in the yard. It was just like quicksand. Just like in the movies, I leaned forward and was able to get myself out. I went running to the builder, but he assured us that there were no sinkholes. There were always snakes in the front yard, and I just shoved them away.
Q: What were the other challenges of being a member of a new homeowners association?
A: When the builder left, we formed a (transition) committee. The builder had been operating the country club for 10 years, so there was wear and tear. There was also the golf course and the equipment to operate it. Things got a little hairy, so we set up a legal fund. We asked for $200 from each family and built up a fund of $200,000. We went to the builders and said, ‘We can fight this out in court and the lawyers will make out. Or we can negotiate.’ So we negotiated. I was very pleased.