Published On: Mon, Dec 9th, 2019

From the Desk of Your Palm Beach County Commissioner

By: Robert S Weinroth

Safety Tips for the Online Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping online is more popular than ever! Reportedly, over 80 percent of U.S. consumers plan to shop online for holiday gifts. In 2017, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 300,000 online-theft complaints. Victims reported losses totaling $1.4 billion.
Consequently, the following are some precautionary measures when shopping online.
  • Shop at websites you trust: Some websites are fabricated by people who just want your credit card information and other personal details. To play it safe, consider doing online business with retailers you trust and have used before.
  • Beware of rock-bottom prices:  If a website offers something that looks too good to be true, then it probably is and may only be a scam to get your personal information.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi networks use public airwaves which can allow someone the ability to intercept the data you send and receive. Since shopping online usually requires personal information such as credit card numbers and addresses, it’s highly recommended that you don’t shop online or log in to websites while connected to public Wi-Fi.
  • Passwords: create strong passwords using a complex set of characters (upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols).  Avoid using the same password on multiple accounts and personal information such as birth dates and children’s names.
  • Watch out for email scams: Clicking on emails from unknown or unrecognizable senders could infect your computer with viruses and malware. It is highly recommendable that you don’t open these emails or any links or attachments associated with them.
  • Report the company: If you suspect the business is bogus, notify your credit card company about the charge and close your account. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC offers an identity theft recovery plan, should you need it.
On behalf of myself and my staff, Lucia Bonavita and Alexandria Ayala, we wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday and Happy New Year.

Discount Prescription Drug Card

Palm Beach County residents have access to a free prescription discount program through a mutual agreement between the county, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and Caremark. Even though this has been available for a number of years, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the program. 
Any county resident can use the program. It can also be used if you have a prescription insurance, since it may save you money on drugs your existing plan does not cover.  There are over 59,000 participating pharmacies nationwide with 296 in Palm Beach County.
The card offers an average of a 20 percent discount at participating pharmacies of commonly prescribed medications and an average savings of 50 percent on 3-month supplies of select generics through mail service.
Savings are also available on high-tech and injectable drugs through a specialty pharmacy. The program also offers discounts on certain pet medications.
Again, the program is free and does not require any type of claim form.
To obtain additional information on the discount prescription drug program and/or print a card visit rxsavingsplus.com/ or call 1-877-321-2652.

County Commissioners Elect New Mayor and Vice Mayor

l-r: Hal Valache, Robert Weinroth, Mary Lou Berger, Dave Kerner, Melissa McKinlay, Mack Bernard and Gregg Weiss

Every November, the Board of County Commissioners holds its annual reorganizational meeting in which the commissioners elect a new county mayor and vice mayor.

This past month, Commissioner Dave Kerner was elected mayor, and I was elected vice mayor. I am honored to be selected by my fellow commissioners to serve as the county’s vice mayor and would like to extend my congratulations to Mayor Dave Kerner.
At the meeting, we also had an opportunity to extend our gratitude to outgoing Mayor Mack Bernard.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Education Foundation of Palm Beach County

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County under the watchful hand of its Executive Director, James Gavrilos, has connected the business and philanthropic sector to the world of public education. Currently, innovative programs funded by the Education Foundation are impacting the lives of over 122,000 students in the School District of Palm Beach County. 
From robotics to literacy programs that use multi-sensory strategies to teach reading skills to our most vulnerable students, the Foundation’s programs are making an impact. Additionally, other programs such as literacy, college and career readiness are also making a difference.
In 2015-2016, the Education Foundation launched Red Apple Supplies to ensure that teachers would no longer have to spend their own resources to provide school supplies for their students. Beginning with our highest-need schools, Red Apple Supplies is steadily expanding so that one day soon no teacher in Palm Beach County will ever again have to use their own resources to buy supplies for their students.
In 2018-2019 school year, the Foundation served 106 schools, providing over $1.4 million in funding through various grant programs. They also provided over $600,000 in school supplies.  Consequently, over 122,000 students and 1,500 teachers and administrators were impacted.
For more information, visit educationfoundationpbc.org/.

BCC Briefs

At the December 3, 2019, Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board took the following action:
Lake Okeechobee – received a report from Col. Andrew Kelly, commander and district engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, on Army Corps activities around Lake Okeechobee and related regional water conditions.
Loxahatchee River – authorized the mayor’s signature on a letter to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) recommending the SFWMD communicate its support of the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and requesting SFWMD to collaborate with the county on alternative water resources solutions.
License plate readers – directed staff to draft a policy allowing the installation of license plate readers (LPR) within county-maintained right of ways for law enforcement purposes only, as requested by local law enforcement agencies and municipalities. LPRs provide personal information from license plate images to law enforcement agencies in support of their official duties and serve a public purpose by enhancing the safety and security of the public.
Baseball – received a report on a research study by Downs & St. Germain on the economic impacts of Major League Spring Training Baseball in Palm Beach County. Four MLB teams, the Marlins, Cardinals, Astros and Nationals train locally at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium and FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. In 2019, the teams drew a combined attendance of 270,857; 54 percent or 146,263 traveled from outside of Palm Beach County, occupying 53,800 hotel room nights. Overall economic impact from the stadiums was $70.1 million, with visitation impact of $51 million and $19.1 million in team spending.
Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium – directed staff to continue negotiating a proposed term sheet identifying key provisions of a developer agreement and sports facility use agreement with Jupiter Stadium Ltd.
Advisory panel – sitting as the Child Care Advisory Council, reappointed Mary L. Morris to a three-year term on the Child Care Advisory Council through September 30, 2022.

The County Salutes the Florida Atlantic Owls on their ConferenceUSA Championship

It was an exciting two weeks for the FAU Owls as they beat Southern Miss on November 30th becoming the ConferenceUSA East Champions. The following week, the Owls took it to UAB with a decisive win to become the ConferenceUSA Champions.
This is the second Conference Championship for FAU in three years.
Conference USA Champion FAU will take on American Athletic Conference’s SMU in the sixth annual Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl.
The game will feature two of the nation’s top scoring teams, each with 10 wins this season.

The game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3:30PM at FAU Stadium. It will air on ABC and ESPN Radio, as well as locally on ESPN 106.3 FM.

According to Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl executive director Doug Mosley. “The offenses will likely be putting up big numbers. Both teams are exciting to watch and make for a highly anticipated matchup.”

SMU (10-2), led by head coach Sonny Dykes, posted its most wins since 1984 and its sixth 10-win season in program history. The Mustangs won all six home games this season, marking the first time SMU has won every home game since 1968 (4-0 at the Cotton Bowl) and the first time to win every home game on campus since 1939 (5-0 at Ownby Stadium). SMU only lost by one score in its two losses on the road. SMU is ranked sixth in NCAA scoring offense, averaging 43.0 points per game.

FAU (10-3) will be the 16th conference champion to play in the sixth-year history of the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. FAU is ranked 16 in NCAA scoring offense, averaging 35.2 points per game. The Owls won the 2019 CUSA football championship and earned their second CUSA title on Saturday against UAB. The 49-6 win was the largest margin of victory in CUSA title game history.

After five years being played on the Tuesday night before Christmas and aired on ESPN, the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl will kick off for the first time in the afternoon (3:30 p.m.) live on ABC.

The game debuted in 2014 and has been well received in the community through its first five years. It has twice held the distinction of matching up two conference champions – Marshall University vs. Northern Illinois University (2014), and UAB vs. Northern Illinois (2018). In all, six conference champions and another three conference division champions have played in the game. Among the bowl’s alumni who have moved on to the NFL are current Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (FAU, 2017) and Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (Memphis, 2016). Eleven Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl alumni were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

FAU’s Head Coach, Lane Kiffin stepped down after the game on Saturday and will be taking the reins of Ole Miss early next week.

ESPN reports the Lane Train is headed back to the SEC.

Ole Miss confirmed Lane Kiffin has signed on to become the Rebels’ next coach, shortly after he led Florida Atlantic to its second Conference USA championship in his three seasons as coach with a 49-6 win over UAB on Saturday.

Kiffin, who informed FAU’s team of his move following the game, recorded 10 or more wins in two seasons with the Owls and finished with a 26-13 record. Kiffin also had been a strong candidate for the coaching vacancy at Arkansas, but pivoted to Ole Miss earlier in the week, sources said.

The Ole Miss job will be the fifth head-coaching job for Kiffin, 44, who also coached Tennessee, USC and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. His contract at Ole Miss will average a little more than $4 million per year, sources told ESPN.

Kiffin spent 2014 to 2016 as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, helping the Crimson Tide to an SEC championship in 2014 and a national championship in 2015. Kiffin was named FAU’s coach before the College Football Playoff in 2016.

Kiffin becomes the fifth current SEC head coach who has served as an assistant for Saban. Ole Miss hosts Alabama on Oct. 3, 2020.

Don’t miss your chance to see great college football in Palm Beach County. There will be events throughout the county leading up to the game on Saturday December 21st. For full details and ticket information, go to: www.CheribundiBocaRatonBowl,com

 

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. As a newly elected County Commissioner, Weinroth has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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