Published On: Tue, Aug 7th, 2018

Meet Your Boca Raton City Council Seat A Candidates: Andy Thomson

By: Michael Demyan

Andy Thomson will be running against Kathryn Cottrell and Tamara McKee for City Council Seat A in the upcoming election on Aug. 28. The seat will be vacated by Scott Singer, who is currently serving as Boca Raton’s interim mayor since Susan Haynie was suspended after her arrest in April.

This will not be Thomson’s first attempt at running for a seat on the Boca Raton City Council, as he did so unsuccessfully last year.

Thomson earned his degree in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech and received his J.D. at the University of Miami School of Law. He currently practices business litigation with Baritz & Colman and helps resolve business disputes.

Along with his job at the Boca Raton law firm, Thomson has also been active within the community, including serving as the vice-chair on the city’s Education Task Force, where he has asked city council to add school security to the task force and has advocated to build a new school on Spanish River Boulevard and Military Trail to alleviate overcrowding.

“People want their kids educated in these great schools,” he said. “Over time, we’ve seen a very significant increase, just like we have in the cars on the road, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of students in schools.”

The planned school, which would be for kindergarten through eighth grade, would first be used for students who attend Addison Mizner Elementary as it is rebuilt on its current property. After construction on the elementary school is completed, the new school would be used to help Boca’s growing overcrowding issue in schools.

“Though they’ve tried, the Palm Beach County School District hasn’t been able to plan sufficiently ahead of [the desire to send children to Boca schools] and what we are ending up with are schools that are very, very crowded,” Thomson said.

Schools are not the only things that are overcrowded in Boca though, according to Thomson. The roadways are as well.

“We’re kind of victims of our own success,” he said. “You make an attractive place to live, people want to come here. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about the traffic and I have a background in fixing problems related to traffic.”

Thomson said that his background of transportation planning and traffic studies at a civil engineering firm would make him best suited for the job of improving traffic issues throughout the city.

“I was the guy out on the ground doing the study to figure out how best to address congestion on our roads or better time the lights at intersections,” he said.

He currently thinks that Singer has done well after being thrust into a difficult situation, but after Haynie’s suspension, which he considers to be “a black eye on our city,” public trust of the government will inevitably go down. He feels that as a member of the Boca Raton City Council, he will be able to use his skills to lower divisiveness among the members.

“You best handle conflict not by arguing or by finger pointing or by yelling, but by working collaboratively – by working together – by trying to find common ground, and that’s what I do day in and day out.”

Residents will have the opportunity to hear from Thomson, and hir two opponents at the Boca Raton Tribune Candidate Forum on August 17 at the Boca Raton Community Center. For more information on the candidate forum, please click here.

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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