Published On: Tue, Feb 27th, 2018

Meet Your Boca Raton City Council Seat D Candidates: Paul Preste

By: Michael Demyan

Paul Preste will be running against Armand Grossman and Monica Mayotte for City Council Seat D in the upcoming election on March 13, with the winner taking over for incumbent Robert Weinroth.

Preste has lived in Boca Raton for 12 years and currently practices internal medicine in Fort Lauderdale. He is also affiliated with the Holy Cross Hospital and was a lobbyist for the Adult Care Association of South Florida. He received his medical degree from the University of South Florida. This will be his first time running for political office.

“I’ve never ran for election anywhere else because for 38 years I’ve been one of the most industrious doctors in Fort Lauderdale,” he said. “I’ve decided to run because I’m community minded and people oriented.”

Preste feels that he can bring unique answers to problems facing Boca Raton that other candidates cannot, especially in regards to traffic in the downtown area.

“Nobody has come up with an idea how to negate this problem in a way that we don’t have to talk about it every year when a politician is running for office,” he said.

Preste suggested a way to solve the problem would be to divert traffic away from Federal Highway to Dixie Highway, creating a bypass. Then after a five to 15 year adjustment period, add a second floor of highway above Dixie Highway.

With overdevelopment being widely discussed, Preste believes that the people should decide what they want to see in Boca Raton and not settle for the vision of developers.  

“The number one thing I hear is how Boca has changed because of over-building and I started thinking, ‘You know what? It is,’” he said. “Somebody and some companies have really been able to penetrate Downtown Boca and have actually changed the skyline. Is that good or bad? For me, I am a representative and I am a person for the people.”

He does, however feel that the current city council has done a good job in their positions, but he would like to figure out why overdevelopment has become a problem.

“A lot of things that the city council have been doing are good. I don’t know enough because I’m not an insider yet. I don’t know enough of why and how the number one complaint from the residents of Boca, being over-building, I don’t know how that all came about. It seems like in the last two, three years, they have opened the floodgates on the ability to build.”

Preste, along with the other candidates, also believes that overcrowding in schools has become a major issue in the Boca Raton community which needs to be addressed. He suggests that once a solution comes to Boca, it should be shared with other cities.

“We need to make a root cause analysis of why it’s happening, but it’s not only happening in Boca,” he said. “We have a solution for Boca and we can export that solution eventually to other cities. The solution is to look at each school and understand the need for more space and we build at the school or the need for more schools and we build new schools.”

He wants to take the idea of helping other cities to heart, with other ideas for Boca potentially being utilized in other places around South Florida.

“We are the best city to live in,” Preste said. “We can come up with methods that we can export to other great communities to answer problems of mass shootings and maintaining coordinated traffic lights. These seem like such small issues. I just went from mass shootings to traffic lights. This is what Boca is most interested in and dealing with most of the conversation in our [recent city council candidate] debate was traffic, parks, swimming pools, traffic jams, coordinated lights.”

Preste said that he wants to be a voice for the people of Boca Raton. What they want to happen, he wants to turn it into a reality.

“I have unwavering integrity. I am going to give my faithfulness to the city residents of Boca Raton and I will fight for them on every issue that they feel they’re not being dealt fairly. I will be their best voice.”

The Boca Raton Tribune will be hosting a candidate forum at the Wayne Barton Study Center, 269 NE 14th Street, Boca Raton on Thursday, March 8 at 6.p.m. The event is free and open to the public, however, due to seat limitations, you must register online by clicking here to receive your complimentary ticket.

About the Author

- Michael Demyan is the associate editor and reporter for The Boca Raton Tribune. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University where he received a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Twitter: @michaeldemyan

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