Published On: Thu, Jun 17th, 2021

Palm Beach County Commissioner’s Corner

By Robert S Weinroth

County Vice Mayor Robert S Weinroth Palm Beach County Commission District 4

For the last 18 month, the pandemic has been front and center on our agenda. Last March, as we watched the virus march across Europe, we switched out of the normal day-to-day oversight of the county and switched into emergency mode. Even today, the county remains in a state of emergency. I would contemplate this will, finally, be ending in the very near future.

For the most part, life has returned to normal. That is not to say that residents are not falling ill to the virus or that additional patients will not succumb to this disease. But, with vaccinations now readily available to anyone over 12, residents have carefully returned to their normal activities.

If you’re like me, you are likely carrying around hand sanitizer, being cautious when touching “high touch” surfaces and steering clear of people who are ill.

With that being said, the attention of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners is returning to the more routine issues we address to move our county forward. In the coming months I will review the high points of the budget we will be asked to approve in September.

Some important dates in that regard:

Our County Administrator, Verdenia Baker, has already made a preliminary presentation of the proposed budget for the next fiscal year during our budget workshop on June 15th. While the Commissioners had a great deal to say about the proposed expenditures, there was clear consensus that we would not be looking for an increase in the tax millage (the rate at which real property is taxed) for the coming year. That will make a decade since the millage has been increased.

While it doesn’t appear the millage will be increasing, your property tax bill will likely increase as a result of the increase in your property’s value. Property values have increased significantly. However, if you are a resident who has homesteaded your primary residence, the total increase in your “taxable value” (the amount against which the millage rate is applied to compute your property tax liability) cannot go up more than the lesser of 3 percent or the annual increase in the cost of living. This year the cost of living increased 1.4 percent so that will serve as the ceiling for any increase in the taxable value of a homesteaded residence.

The Board will set the maximum millage rate at it meeting on July 13th. The millage rate can be reduced thereafter but the rate set at that meeting cannot be exceeded. Our first public hearing on the FY 2022 Budget will be held on Thursday September 9th at 5:05PM. The final public hearing on the FY 2022 Budget will be held on Monday September 20th at 5:05PM.

At its regular meeting on June 15th, the board took the following action:

Airports: Commissioners approved the Construction Manager at Risk Contract with Suffolk Construction Company Inc. for the Concourse B Expansion project at Palm Beach International Airport. Approved Amendment No. 4 to the General Consulting Agreement with RS&H, Inc. for consulting/professional services for $2,644,110 for continued professional planning and design services related to the Concourse B Expansion project.

Career Source: Commissioners adopted a resolution approving the CareerSource Palm Beach County Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget for $16,955,437 for its programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

Commission Redistricting: Commissioners approved criteria for analysis, review and development of proposed commission district maps based on the 2020 Census data and a contract not to exceed $50,000 for professional consulting services with Jerry Wilson, PC for expertise in election law and political redistricting.

Commission on Ethics: Commissioners approved several amendments to Chapter 2, Article V Division 8 of the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics Ordinance, Article VIII of the Palm Beach County Lobbyist Registration Ordinance and Article XIII, the Palm Beach County Code of Ethics.

Emergency Food Assistance: Commisiioners adopted a resolution supporting the Florida Department of Agriculture Emergency Food Assistance Program, its 2020-21 regional map and selection of Farm Share, Inc. as the contractor for Palm Beach County.

Engineering: Commissioners adopted a resolution approving an Adopt-A-Road Program for litter removal along Palm Beach County maintained road rights-of-way.

Facilities Development and Operations: Commissioners adopted a resolution authorizing the conveyance of 0.206 acres of land to Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) in exchange for 0.159. Approved an interlocal agreement with the Westgate/Belvedere Homes Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) for the donation of approximately 1.36-acre property located on the southwest corner of Westgate Avenue and Seminole Boulevard for the relocation of Fire Station 24.

Environmental Resources Management: Commissioners adopted an amendment to the Cindy Defilippo Floating Structure Ordinance prohibiting the anchoring, mooring or otherwise affixing of floating structures upon or to, waters of the county within the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.  

Housing and Economic Development: Commissioners adopted a resolution approving the issuance of Housing Finance Authority Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds (Village of Valor) in the principal amount of $36,000,000. Approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Riviera Beach, approved up to $550,000 in workforce housing funds for design fees and construction drawings of housing units. Approved Section 108 Loan Program funding for Oxygen Development, LLC for $5,000,000 contingent upon the approval of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

Parks and Recreation: Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday Family Day in Palm Beach County.

Public Safety: Commissioners approved Secondary Service Provider Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCNs) for AMR, medics and the Healthcare District (HCD) for the period July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2027 with an option to revisit. All other applications were denied.

Youth Services: Commissioners conceptually approved allocations for funding in the Action Areas of Economic Access, Educational Supports, and Parenting & Role Models, for the period October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2024, in an estimated total amount of $1,130,000, annually.

Stay Safe and Healthy and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>