Published On: Tue, Mar 9th, 2021

Mayotte, Drucker win Boca Council seats; charter amendments approved

By: Dale King

Boca Raton’s electorate on Tuesday made more changes to the City Charter than it did to the makeup of the city’s legislative body, according to results of the 2021 municipal election.

Voters returned incumbent Monica Mayotte to Seat D on the Boca Raton City Council and also gave Yvette Drucker her first electoral victory for Seat C.

Drucker, who was one of four candidates in the race, was appointed in November to serve temporarily in place of Jeremy Rodgers, who was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in Qatar last August and has been absent from municipal duties. Rogers is a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Had Rodgers returned from military duty in time to fill out his council tenure, he would not have been able to run for re-election since he has served six years – and is term-limited from running again.  Drucker said she would have stepped down from the temporary post had Rodgers come back.

Voters also approved two amendments to the City Charter affecting how candidates run for office. A total of 94.2 percent of voters who cast ballots Tuesday supported lengthening the time a person must live in the city before running for office from 30 days to a year.

In addition, nearly 84 percent of voters adopted a new requirement that potential candidates submit the names of 200 registered voters rather than simply pay a fee for declaring candidacy.

In the race for Seat C, Drucker picked up just over 50 percent of the votes (6,025) compared to Constance Scott, who placed second with 4,030 votes, or 33.8 percent. Josie Machovec finished third with 1,269 voters or 10.6 percent and perennial candidate Bernard Korn got just under 5 percent, or 585 votes.

Scott’s run for Seat C was an effort to return to the City Council where she had served in that same seat from 2009 to 2015, when she had to leave the body due to term limits.  Rodgers was elected to Seat C in that year’s election.

A couple of hours after election results were in, the Tribune contacted Scott, who offered no comment on the results “except that my deepest appreciation goes out to all my supporters. I want to thank Boca Raton’s firefighters and first responders and the Boca Raton Police Department for its leadership. I want to thank the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Palm Beach County Board of Realtors, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Commission and Frank Barbieri, chairman of the Palm Beach County School Board. I also thank the Palm Beach Post [for its endorsement] and to Boca Raton residents, my prayers go out to you.”

Drucker, who won the endorsement of at least two of her colleagues, Mayor Scott Singer and Deputy Mayor Andrea Levine O’Rourke, as well as the Sun-Sentinel, said Tuesday night: “Our campaign has proven that the truth matters, and that the city of Boca Raton is looking forward, not back.”

“I am so honored and grateful for the support of my community and am excited to continue to represent Boca Raton as councilwoman for Seat C.”

Drucker has chaired the city of Boca Raton Education Task Force, served as president of multiple PTAs and the Boca Raton Historical Society, and was statewide chair for the Junior League State Public Affairs Committee.

The Tribune contacted Machovec and left a voice message, which was not returned Tuesday night.

In the race for Seat D on the council, Mayotte was returned for a second three-year term.  She garnered 58.4 percent of the votes (6,951) to 41.6 percent (4,954) for Stenberg.

“I’m very happy with the results,” said Mayotte. “Boca Raton’s voters still have confidence in me.” She said she did not conduct a negative campaign, but rather, explained her platform which “gave people something to vote for.”

She said she plans to continue working in issues she has already begun to address, that is, COVID-19 relief, city resiliency and smart redevelopment.

In his endorsement of Mayotte, Mayor Singer said: Singer said, “Mayotte has proposed forward-thinking ideas. She supported our important efforts to obtain a new public school for Boca, bring a Brightline train station to downtown and make sensible decisions on COVID-19 to keep residents safe and provide help to residents and business.”

Political newcomer Brian Stenberg, who challenged Mayotte, said he feels “great” about the results of Tuesday’s election. The 30-year city resident and native Floridian felt his 42 percent vote tally represented a majority of those who went to the polls on Tuesday. “My downfall was in mail-in ballots,” he said. “I feel that I won the people who voted in person.”

There was no early voting period for the city election this year, only in-person balloting on Tuesday and mail-in votes.

Stenberg said he hopes the issues he discussed during the run-up to the election “will resonate with people.” He said Boca will have to deal with the retirement of City Manager Leif Ahnell in the near future. Other issues that need attention are downtown overdevelopment, control of building height and traffic.

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