Published On: Mon, Jan 18th, 2021

Boca Raton Election Roundup

By: Dale King

Drucker taps veteran political consultant 

Boca Raton City Council hopeful Yvette Drucker has been using the services of a veteran political consultant to work on her 2021 campaign, according to her latest financial report filed for Nov. 1-30, 2020.

The document says she paid Blake MacDiarmid $3,975 to handle media relations and related charges for her political effort. That’s about three-quarters of the $4,959 the report says she spent on her campaign so far during this campaign.

Folks in Boca may recall MacDiarmid as a consultant for Steven Abrams during most, if not all, of the years that Abrams ran for mayor. A quick trip around the internet will show that MacDiarmid working recently for a candidate or two in Broward County. He also was a consultant for local state Rep. Michael Caruso during his nail-biting 2018 campaign when he captured the victory by just a handful of votes.

Looking over the finance reports for the six candidates running in the March 9 Boca Raton municipal election, the payment to MacDiarmid seems the only major expenditure.

Drucker is in the unusual position of being a candidate for Seat C on the council, but she is also serving temporarily in that position because incumbent Jeremy Rodgers has been absent while serving overseas with the Navy. Actually, his term expires March 31 anyway.

As of Nov. 30, the report says, Drucker raised $27,718 (including a $5,000 loan to herself) and spent $4,959. Expenses other than MacDiarmid include printing and credit card processing fees.

Candidate Constance Scott, who wants to return to Seat C, which she held from 2009 to 2015, collected $42,093 by Nov. 30 and spent $3,186, mostly for email services and online donation processing.

Bernard Korn, who is back on the Boca ballot, this time running for council Seat C, has loaned himself $11,000 and spent $150, his Nov. 30 financial report says.

Josie Machovec, also a seeker of Seat C, hasn’t yet filed a finance report, nor has Brian Stenberg, who is challenging incumbent Councilwoman Monica Mayotte for council Seat D.

Mayotte, candidate for her second term on the council, loaned her campaign $50,000 in September, says her finance report. Her only listed expenditure is $5.86 to print campaign checks.

Boca voters face two charter amendment questions

In addition to casting ballots for Boca Raton City Council Seats C and D, the city’s electorate will also face a couple of potential changes to the city charter.  Both referenda involve the process of qualifying to run for local office.

If approved, the charter changes will go into effect April 1 and will not impact any of the candidates in the March 9, 2021 contest.

Regarding Question 1. The city charter currently provides that a person seeking to qualify as a candidate for city council, including candidates for mayor, must be a city resident for at least 30 days before the first day of the qualifying period. The proposed amendment lengthens that residency period to one year, disqualifies persons who hold a non-city homestead exemption and provides that proof of residency will be established by ordinance. 

Regarding Question 2. Currently, the city charter says that a person seeking to qualify as a candidate for city council, including candidates for mayor, must pay a qualifying fee. The proposed amendment eliminates the fee, and instead requires candidates to submit a petition with signatures of 200 or more qualified registered city voters.

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