Published On: Tue, Sep 6th, 2016

Barry’s Buzz – Sept. 7, 2016   

       The Palm Beach County School District spent $350k on consultants.

     Boca Raton residents were split on whether to quadruple City Council members’ salaries. The pay raise would be the first for the city’s elected officials in three decades. The mayor’s annual salary would rise from $9,000 to $38,000. Each council member’s annual pay would increase from $7,200 to $28,000. Boca Raton residents also voted to change the rules for filling council vacancies, including the office of mayor. This means it is no longer up to remaining council members to appoint someone to a vacant seat until the next scheduled election. And the deputy mayor will not step into the mayor’s seat in the event it becomes open. The decision of who joins the council will instead go to a special election, which could cost taxpayers upward of $100,000.

     Florida Atlantic University officially announced a $5 million gift from Phil and Susan Smith to establish The Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise at FAU’s College of Business. The main tower at the College will be named Phil Smith Hall in honor of the FAU alumnus.

     Siebert Financial Corp., which has an office in Boca Raton, has been purchased by Kennedy Cabot Acquisition, LLC, getting 90% of Siebert stock.

     Office Depot’s headquarters in Boca Raton has been awarded a gold re-certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design. This is the sixth year the company headquarters, at 6600 N. Military Trail, has been LEED-certified.

     More developers have expressed interest in buying the Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course west of Florida’s Turnpike, putting the tally at 10 written proposals in the last year. The developers, who want to build homes on the course, have submitted offers since August 2015 ranging from $2.1 million for a portion of the course to as high as $45 million for the entire property. City officials received one to two written proposals a week during last month alone. The first came in Aug. 5 from Toll Brothers. The developer offered the city $38.5 million for the property and plans to build at least 400 single-family homes and 150 multi-family units.

     The Boca Raton Municipal Cemetery has been running out of graves to bury the dead. But now, a new solution may extend its capacity for many more years. City Council members this month will consider converting the cemetery’s unused walking paths into 1,172 burial plots. Of the 9,430 graves already at the cemetery, only 85 remain available for purchase. The city sells about 80 plots a year. Under a proposal, 8-foot walkways that extend north to south would be converted into additional plots, generating an estimated $3,762,120 in revenue for Boca. Any money that would be brought in by the sale of the proposed plots would go toward upkeep of the cemetery.

     Palm Beach County homeowners could face increased property tax bills to go along with a proposed sales tax boost, under a $4.3 billion county budget tentatively approved. Road repairs and the Sheriff’s Office would get more money under the spending plan, which banks on voters in November approving a sales tax increase to pay for everything on the county’s construction to-do list.

      Palm Beach County residents will pay the same amount in yearly trash fees under the Solid Waste Authority’s budget. The Solid Waste Authority Board approved a nearly $280 million spending plan. Trash disposal fees will hold steady at $170 for single-family homes, and comparable commercial fees also will not increase. Palm Beach County residents living outside city limits will be paying slightly more for curbside collection. That’s due to a 1 percent inflation-driven increase for county contractors hired to collect garbage.

   Sully, When the Bough Breaks, The Wild Life and The Disappointments Room opens at the Boca and Boynton Cinemarks. My King and Complete Unknown opens at the FAU Living Room Theatres. Sully, Complete Unknown and Life Animated opens at the Classic Gateway in Ft. Lauderdale. Anthropoid and Tales of Love and darkness opens at the Last Picture Show in Tamarac. See 2,2016/.

     West Boca Leaders is the best networking group in the area. One of a kind networking group. First and Third Thursdays. Next meeting is Sept. 22, 2016, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tulipe Café, Boca Grove Shopping Center on Powerline Road between Glades and Palmetto Park Roads. $60 per quarter. Fill out form on site if you qualify and bring $60 for fourth quarter. For more information or questions, call 561.702.0000.

  Shark Tank’s Daymond John, Celebrity Motivational Speaker is at FAU Carol & Barry Kaye performing Arts Auditorium at FAU Student Union, 7 pm Sept. 8. Tickets at 561.297.2471 or visit

     Brazilian Beat is back for its 5th year!! Saturday, September 10 from 6-11 PM. at Mizner Park Amphitheatre,  590 Plaza Real. Come hear the sounds of a top-selling Brazilian artist and Samba drummers, see beautiful costumed dancers in a Rio-style parade, and enjoy savory Brazilian cuisine and cocktails. As an official celebration of Brazilian Independence Day, Brazilian Beat brings together the art of music and dance in one mesmerizing cultural event.

     The Boca Raton Regional Republican Club presents cocktails and tapas with special guest speaker Dr. Sherrie Raz discussing the Islamic Trojan Horse in our American government as well as Syrian immigration into the U.S. using her expertise in clinical psychology,, creating human solutions for the devastating effects of terrorism and frontline disasters, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Sept. 12 La Cigale Restaurant 253 SE 5th Ave. Delray Beach. $20 per person, includes one drink and hord’oevres. RSVP to Complimentary Valet and nearby parking available.

        Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club will feature Jeff Dawson, AIPAC’s Florida Deputy Director on BDS: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Against Israel, 11:30 a.m. Sept. 13 at City Fish Market, Glades Road and the Turnpike. RSVP at Former CNN reporter Susan Candiotti will speak on Thursday, Oct. 13. As an extra added attraction, TV’s Nancy Grace will speak on Oct. 14.  and have her new book signing too. Former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski will speak for the first time since his incarceration on November 9 and California political comedian Eric Golub will speak on Dec.14.

         Local estate professionals will share much more than congenial company, prime networking, and a lively cocktail reception at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation’s PAC kick off membership drive at the Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, 2000 NW 19th St. Boca Raton on September 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm, including passed hors d’oeuvres and a number of stations, with dietary laws observed, at a couvert of $60 for PAC members or $75 for nonmembers. For more information, please contact Lisbeth Rock Cauff at 561-852-3188. To RSVP, professionals and guests may visit<> or contact Shielle Traverso at 561.852.3114 or

     The Downtown Branch of the Boca Raton Library will be having the League of Women Voters deliver a political “informative” session regarding the upcoming November election on Sept. 21st at 7PM. Contact the library at 561-393-7852 or at Register quickly if you want to be there and express your opinion. 

     Not In My town, A Musical Drama in One Act, Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m.,Sunday, Sept. 25, 3 p.m. University Theatre, FAU Boca Raton Campus, Tickets: $20,, or call 561-297-6124 or visit the Box Office in FAU’s Student Union. “Not In My Town” is the story of the events surrounding the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student who was beaten and left tied to a fence to die. The murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation. As a result, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Opera Fusion is a nonprofit artist-driven company of professional South Florida singers.

     FAU School of the Arts Department of Theatre and Dance present Ominium Gatherum Sept 30-Oct. 9, Studio One Theatre, FAU Boca Campus, 777 Glades Rd. Tickets: $12-$20. Call1.800.563.9539 or visit Tickets also on sale at the Box Office in FAU’s Student Union.

     Lucie Arnaz brings her father’s Desi Arnaz’s Cuban pedigree, and the Capitol Steps their election satire to Libby Dodson’s Live at Lynn Theatre Series starting Oct. 1. The series has seven shows performed twice through March 26, 2017 at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center on the Lynn University campus, 3601 N. Military Trail. The Steps do 30 songs and skits with five people and a pianist. The Live at Lynn series will also include shows about Michael Jackson and French chanteuse Edith Piaf; Tenors Unlimited – The Rack Pack of Opera, The New Shanghai Circus and top 40 and Broadway hits by The Company of Men. Also on sale are tickets for Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Cabaret at Lincoln Center comes to Live at Lynn series starting in January with five shows in the university’s Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall through May 17. Season subscriptions, available now at 25 percent discount, and individual show tickets for Libby Dodson Live at Lynn Theatre Series are at events/ or the box office at 561-237-9000.

     The second annual Boca Raton Mayor Ball is Oct. 8 at Broken Sound Country Club, honoring Christine E. Lynn, Boca Raton Resort & Club and Boca Helping Hands with coveted George E. Long Awards. The event is co-chaired by Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton members Jon A. Kaye, immediate Club past president who served as the founding chair of the inaugural 2015 Mayors Ball and Club member Constance J. Scott. The 2016 Mayors Ball Honorary Chair is Former Mayor Bill T. Smith. Honorary Advisors include Mayor Susan Haynie, Former Mayors Susan Whelchel and Steven Abrams who currently serves as a Palm Beach County Commissioner; Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Michael Mullaugh and Council Members Robert Weinroth, Jeremy Rodgers and Scott Singer. Co-chairman Jon Kaye only had 48 seats left out at the start of the kickoff for the second annual Boca Raton Mayors Ball, But by the end of the evening, sponsors had gobbled up most of the 400 tickets. The inaugural event was a sellout, too. For sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, visit or contact Jon A. Kaye at 561-392-5166 or Deborah Freudenberg at 561-299-1429, email

     Good Morning America news anchor Amy Robach and her husband Andrew Shue will be the keynote speakers at the 13th Annual Go Pink luncheon to benefit Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. Save the date: October 21, 2016. 

     The Fourth Annual Hope Bash Boca is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Boca West Country Club. For sponsorship opportunities and additional event information, visit Tickets at $250 each will be available for purchase online late summer.

     Woman of the Year Luncheon is Nov. 18 at the Boca Resort & Club with fashion show by Saks Fifth Ave. Tickets and info at or 620.2553.

      The 2016/2017 Broadway series at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts include Cinderella, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, Something Rotten!, Matilda and Finding Neverland. More info at

    The Marmot Boca Raton Bowl game will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Florida Atlantic University Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. It will be the third annual bowl game for FAU.

      Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Business Journal, Palm Beach Post contributed to this column.

          Barry Epstein, APR, is a noted public relations, marketing and political consultant based in Boca Raton, president of the, the, the and the founder and former president of the West Boca Chamber of Commerce; His motto is: Public Relations is the enemy of anonymity. Email:, or fax column items to 561.451.0000. 


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