Published On: Mon, Mar 8th, 2021

Meet Josie Machovec, candidate for Boca Raton City Council Seat C

By: Mammie Barnhardt

With the City of Boca Raton’s Municipal elections rapidly approaching, the local spotlight takes its focus on the City Council’s Seat C and Seat D candidates, who come from an array of backgrounds and prior political experience.

However, as the only Seat C candidate who has never run for or held public office, Josie Machovec is the always-interesting combination of most inexperienced yet most refreshing. Originally from the Greater Boca Raton Area, Machovec is a current stay-at-home mom with a background in sales, customer service, retail, and has two years of service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). When Machovec says, as she did to the Sun-Sentinel, that she is not a political candidate but “a regular person with a desire to help and serve [the] community,” we can believe her.

Machovec has always been politically minded but made the decision to get involved in local politics because of what she describes as a disconnect between concerns expressed by citizens and actions taken by local government, which was amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things we might complain about, the city government has a huge influence in…and I think that we as citizens need to make that connection….one of my goals with running is to…encourage people to take more of a part in local government…,” Machovec said in an interview with the Boca Raton Tribune. If people feel, as she did, that they are not being heard, they stop participating. Machovec’s goal is to bridge that gap and become the voice of the people in our local government.

When speaking about communication between the current city council and its citizens, Machovec reveals there are several projects she would like to investigate. For example, during the Tribune interview, she mentions the 4th Avenue student housing project. Machovec says that residents are asking questions that have not been answered but need to be before ground is broken. She points out that even if those questions have been asked and answered, that information is “not shared with the community…and [residents] feel like their voices are not being heard.” If elected Machovec would function as a go-between, allowing residents to “feel more comfortable in [their] neighborhood.”

To fully make the changes she feels necessary, Machovec insists that the current City of Boca Raton’s Comprehensive Plan must be changed significantly. “Some of the foundation questions need to be asked…and I think it needs to go back to a broader picture of what direction do we want the city to go in.”

Her plan to rewrite the Comprehensive plan if elected makes her unique among the other candidates, but when it comes to other key issues, she falls in line, making COVID-19 recovery a priority. 

Machovec told the Tribune she believes the city has done a “decent job” responding to an unprecedented event, but once again points out that communication could be improved and insists the city should be doing more to help small businesses. “I have spoken to a lot of small business and some of them…haven’t even received a phone call from the city..,”

Machovec points out. And while she acknowledges she is not privy to all the behind-the scenes-details, she says she would have made small businesses her priority, possibly by creating a task force to help those businesses acquire the essentials (PPE, etc…) required to make it through the pandemic.

“That is a ball drop on our part..,” explains Machovec, “if those small businesses shut down, that is going to impact our tax base…, it’s going to impact our population…, and it will impact the overall moral and economy of the city.”

In regards to recovering from the pandemic, if elected Machovec asserts that she will increase communication between those businesses and the government for the health of the city.

Machovec’s final key campaign issue is a more broad-sweeping goal of, according to her responses to the Sun-Sentinel questionnaire, “having a balanced approach to a sustainable future.” In her interview with the Tribune as well as on her campaign website, Machovec breaks down how she plans to achieve that goal. 

For Machovec, a sustainable future means increasing the City of Boca Raton’s food self-sustainability, repurposing buildings, and as her website says, “keeping our streets safe, and our Police and Fire equipped with everything they need to protect our community.”

Watch the complete interview here:

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