O’Rourke remains deputy mayor as Boca City Council reorganizes
Boca Raton City Councilwoman Andrea Levine O’Rourke, who was appointed deputy mayor last year after Councilman Jeremy Rodgers, then the deputy mayor, was called to duty with the U.S. Navy, has retained that second-in-command position.
During a virtual reorganization meeting Wednesday, the council voted to give O’Rourke another term as deputy mayor since she has only held the job about six months. They also recognized elected members and paid tribute to Rodgers, who, as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve, was summoned to duty in Qatar last summer.
Rodgers, who served two terms, or about six years on the city’s legislative board, could not have run for re-election in March because of term limits. The council last October appointed Yvette Drucker to fill his Council Seat C on a temporary basis. She went on to win the seat in the March 9 election, outpolling three other candidates for that job.
On Tuesday, Drucker and Monica Mayotte, who won re-election to the Council, representing Seat D, were sworn in for new terms.
Under normal conditions, officials take the oath of office during the organization meeting held in City Hall when speeches are delivered, and other beginning-of-term business is taken care of. This has changed for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year’s swearing-in of Mayor Scott Singer, O’Rourke and Councilman Andy Thomson was also conducted virtually, with City Clerk Susan Saxton delivering the oath of office via computer. This year’s organization meeting was also conducted virtually, as have all Council meetings since the pandemic lockdown began last year.
O’Rourke noted that because of the staggered nature of elective positions in the city, there will not be another municipal election until March of 2024.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the Council voted on several other appointive positions, adopting all of them on unanimous votes
- Monica Mayotte remains Community Redevelopment Agency chairperson.
- Andy Thomson remains CRA vice chair.
- TPA (Transportation Planning Agency) representatives are Andy Thomson and Yvette Drucker.
- Palm Beach County League of Cities voting delegate is Monica Mayotte.
- IPARC (Interlocal Plan Amendment Review Committee) representative is Andrea Levine O’Rourke.
Rodgers remains overseas, but he recorded a video message that was played at the meeting.
In it, Rodgers begins: “Hello, Boca Raton.” He recalled how the electorate chose him as Seat C Council member six years ago. “We did this together, and I will never stop fighting for you.”
“What a beautiful city we have, and it keeps getting more amazing,” he said.
He addressed thank-you to all Council members, to his wife, Mandy, and their four children. “I love you, and thank you for your support, now and during the election. Our kids have been a big part of this, too.”
Thanking his mother and his late father, he also praised his colleagues. “It has truly been a pleasure serving with you.”
While he did not attend meetings with Drucker, he congratulated his successor for winning Seat C. “The voters put you there. You’ll do a great job.”
To the other four members, he noted that he and they “didn’t always agree on every issue,” but the discussions usually led to a more fitting solution.
“We came at issues from different sides, and I appreciate what you have done,” he told Mayotte.
“Andrea, I enjoyed serving with you,” he told O’Rourke. “Your passion for issues is not in doubt. We have better projects because of our discussions.”
“Andy, it was a pleasure serving at your said,” Rodgers said to Thomson on tape. “Businesses will thrive, and the city will do well because of you.”
“To Scott, the mayor, you have been there the longest. I look forward to your continuing service.”
“Someone asked me what makes Boca Raton great. I tell them it’s the people.”
And reflecting on troubles going on in across the nation, Rodgers said: “Despite what is going on at the national level, let’s be better than that.”
Mayor Singer showed a plaque honoring Rodgers for his service as a Council member and deputy mayor. “I am honored to drop this off at the Rodgers home,” he said. “We wish you fair winds and following seas.”
O’Rourke called Rodgers “a colleague and a friend. I hoped you would surprise us today and maybe show up for the meeting. We have missed you the last few months.”
“Jeremy, thank you for your service to the country and to our city. It’s been a pleasure working with you,” Mayotte said.
Drucker thanked Rodgers “for serving the Council and your service to the city. I wish you a speedy and safe return.”
“I know Jeremy best as a father and a husband,” said Thomson. “His family loves him dearly. I hope he stays safe and comes home soon.”