Published On: Mon, Aug 15th, 2016

Op-Ed: All Politics is Local

13962745_969624559833568_1030581926226182582_nby: Councilman Robert Weinroth

There’s an old saying, “all politics is local.” But, there is no more “local” than municipal politics.

The City of Boca Raton is fortunate to have attracted a steady stream on intelligent residents from within our community, willing to step up and serve as Mayor and members of our City Council.

So much of what touches us each day, from washing our face to commuting along our streets is impacted by decisions made by the City Council. Public safety, economic development and zoning are all decisions made at the local level.

Term limits have played their anticipated role in creating openings for new candidates to replace those required to periodically step aside making it even more critical that we continue to attract people with the temperament and intelligence necessary to address a broad range of municipal issues.

The decision to run can be tempered by the realization that service will mean less time for family and work. There is also the need to have a thick skin both to weather an election campaign and to take a position on issues impacting our community knowing that few decisions will win unanimous praise from constituents.

That being said, I would be less than truthful if I did not say that, for the most part, this is the most fulfilling job I have ever tackled. Each and every day I am honored to represent our community both at Council Meetings and during the ceremonial activities both within and outside our city.

So why, you ask, am I making this, admittedly self-serving, request that you to Vote YES on City of Boca Raton Question 2 (appearing on back of the August 30thballot)?

Question 2, if approved by a majority of the votes cast, will increase the annual salary of the Mayor to $38,000 and members of the City Council to $28,000.

It is worth noting that compensation for the Mayor and Council Members has not been increased since 1984 when the population was around 54,000.  Today, the population of our city exceeds 90,000.

With growth, greater burdens have been imposed on the Mayor and Council Members in order to properly attend to the affairs of the City. In addition to meeting as the City Council for twice monthly regular meetings and twice-monthly workshops (not to mention Special Meetings, Strategic Planning Sessions and Budget Hearings) the Mayor and Council meet as the Commissioners of the Community Redevelopment Agency, twice each month.

The Mayor and Council members also represent our residents on various other boards and committees including the Metropolitan Planning Organization, PBC League of Cities, FL League of Cities, Palm Tran Service Board, Sober Home Task Force, and many others.

The Mayor and Council Members periodically travel to West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Washington DC to meet with and lobby our elected county, state and federal representatives on issues impacting home rule and our city’s residents.

With a more realistic level of compensation, it is hoped the number of residents willing to run for office will continue to meet the needs of our city as term-limited incumbents are required to step aside.

Boca Raton Question 2 is located on the back of the ballot, which is still available by mail, at 15 Early Voting locations within Palm Beach County (including the Boca Raton Downtown Library at 400 NW 2nd Ave) between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, now through August 28th and at your assigned voting location on August 30th.

If you don’t know where to cast your ballot, your voting location can be determined from the PBC Supervisor of Elections by going online to: www.PBCElections.org/PrecinctFinder.aspx

Please take the few minutes necessary to cast your ballot for the August Primary between now and 7:00 pm on Tuesday August 30th and don’t forget to turn the ballot over to indicate if you approve the adoption of the Mayor and Council Members’ pay raise.  Thank you!

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