- The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
MAYOR: In the nearly 6½ years that Pam Triolo has been mayor, Lake Worth’s taxable valuation has risen from a total of $990 million to $1.6 billion.
Long-neglected streets, water and sewer lines have at last begun to be upgraded thanks to a voter-approved $40 million bond issue. A solar farm is producing 2 megawatts of power on a former landfill, one reason the city-owned utility’s notoriously high electric bills are dropping a bit. “We’re now 18 cents cheaper than FPL for residential,” she boasts.
Now that these and other projects are underway, Triolo says, “I’d like to see that they get done, and done properly.” She’s earned that chance.
Triolo, 50, who runs her own advertising, marketing and public relations firm, has demonstrated an ability to push the city forward despite its reputation for fractious politics — no small feat.
When she took office in 2009, the city had more than 2,200 vacant, foreclosed and abandoned properties. With new codes enacted and enforcement improved, there were fewer than 500 in 2017.
Crime rates, fueled by the heroin epidemic, too, have improved. The latest figures for the first six months of last year show a 13 percent drop.
Triolo is opposed by Drew Martin, 64, an environmental activist and former member of the Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District. He ran unsuccessfully for the County Commission two years ago.
CITY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 1: Incumbent Scott Maxwell, 59, has held this seat for nine continuous years, and for two years before that. It’s time he made way for a challenger with fresher ideas.
Sarah Malega, 42, is a gym owner, personal auto shopper and neighborhood activist who said she twice voted for Maxwell, only to be disappointed in his responses to such intensely local problems as run-down properties and too-few stop signs.
As a business owner, she backs “smart business growth.” And she thinks systematically. For instance, she suggests two specific improvements for code enforcement: upgrading archaic software, and hiring four part-time officers to handle simple problems such as a mattress on a porch, freeing full-time officers to delve into more serious complaints and occupancy inspections.
In the March 13 election, we endorse Triolo and Malega.
Read all of the Post’s endorsements online at www.MyPalmBeachPost.com/2018-endorsements .