- The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
A year after the decades-long reign of Mayor Sam Ferreri came to an end, Greenacres is poised to take another major step forward with six charter amendments addressing three of the city’s most controversial topics of the past several years: council term limits; hiring the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; and firing a city manager.
Also, on March 13, voters will decide which two of four candidates on the ballot can play well enough with others to keep the city on its current trajectory.
DISTRICT 3: The dust appears to have settled on the discord that marked many of the council’s meetings in recent years. Through it all, Councilwoman Judy Dugo, 70, has maintained a singular focus on making the city safer. With that, she was a key voice for the city’s 51-member police force merging with PBSO.
While one can argue with the heavy-handed way in which the deal was done, there is no debate about the result. Overall crime is down, and available law-enforcement resources are far better.
Dugo, whom The Post recommends for a third term, considers that an important first step in preparing the city for growth. “We’re now talking about economic growth,” she told The Post Editorial Board, “and hiring a marketing person that can help us conceptualize a vision.”
That vision, she adds, will include improving infrastructure, beautification of medians, code enforcement and “filling a number of empty storefronts in our shopping centers.”
Her opponent is pharmacy owner Brian Willever, 50. Willever questions whether the PBSO deal is financially sustainable, and offers it is an example of the need for more resident involvement in such major decisions.
DISTRICT 4: The Post endorses Jonathan Pearce to return to his former seat on the council. Pearce, who last year lost a bid to replace Ferreri as mayor, was a solid contributor as a council member when he wasn’t sparring with Ferreri. With Ferreri gone, the scuffles should be, too.
Pearce, president and CEO of DMJ Holdings, is a fiscal hawk who will help the city advance on economic development issues. To that end, he’d like to further beef up code enforcement and get accreditation for the fire-rescue department.
Incumbent Councilman Anderson Thelusme, who was appointed to the seat when Pearce stepped down to run for mayor, also sees his financial background as a plus for the city as well as representing “voices that are not being heard.”
Read all of the Post’s endorsements online at www.MyPalmBeachPost.com/2018-endorsements.