2016 Election Results by Precinct

The 2016 March elections in Palm Beach Gardens generated a lot of interest – a full 42% of registered voters participated in the Presidential Primary, with 37% voting in the city council race, compared to a more typical 10% in a municipal-only election.

When the votes were counted, incumbent David Levy got 386 votes more than Carl Woods and was declared the winner.. There are several wrinkles with this result though, as a third candidate, Kevin Easton (who withdrew from the race after the ballots were printed), received 1103 votes which meant that no candidate got a majority. The City and the Supervisor of Elections opted to throw out Kevin’s votes, but the charter clearly talks about the case when no candidate gets a “majority of votes cast” requiring a runoff election. Were the votes for Kevin “cast”? The challenger has brought suit against the city and the SOE so we will have to see how that plays out.

Group 3
Strong Levy Weak Levy Very Close Weak Woods Strong Woods
Click the precinct on the map for vote totals.

Tabular Results

Precinct Registered Cast Turnout % Easton Levy Woods Levy %
1186 1373 580 42 34 263 224 54
1188 874 307 35 33 112 121 48
1190 2712 1155 43 101 366 462 44
1192 1378 534 39 52 204 190 52
1194 1936 979 51 42 528 272 66
1238 1581 756 48 37 414 230 64
1240 2389 1133 47 94 476 435 52
1242 2399 1190 50 66 580 411 59
1244 1450 688 47 35 289 294 50
1246 2374 969 41 76 259 534 33
1248 1443 649 45 34 229 322 42
1250 55 28 51 1 13 9 59
1252 2246 1268 56 27 861 300 74
1254 424 194 46 18 85 75 53
1260 1267 529 42 38 170 257 40
1262 1 1 100 1 100
1264 1 1 100 0
1266 404 96 24 8 35 43 45
1268 283 49 17 1 13 27 33
1270 10 2 20 1 0
1272 1814 678 37 49 227 328 41
1274 1555 603 39 37 200 318 39
1280 371 153 41 16 57 65 47
1284 2013 659 33 66 270 187 59
1288 37 15 41 6 8 43
1290 2025 820 40 68 300 332 47
1292 63 33 52 2 9 10 47
1296 622 187 30 13 65 74 47
1306 9 2 22 0
1310 4 0 0 0
1324 1201 370 31 36 125 151 45
1326 547 227 42 21 88 79 53
1340 10 8 80 2 4 0
1352 2016 734 36 66 277 309 47
1360 848 346 41 27 111 174 39
1372 143 26 18 2 9 10 47
All 37878 15970 42 1103 6642 6256 51

Martino: The Silence from City Hall is Deafening!

What is that sound coming from the City Hall in Palm Beach Gardens? Can you hear it? No, you can’t! Me neither! It’s the sound of silence emanating from the City Council regarding the runoff election for the Group 4 City Council seat that the City Charter mandates must be held on March 29, 2016?

The silence from City Hall is deafening. Did the Mayor and City Council adopt another forbearance agreement; this time against speech?

If you haven’t heard, the tabulation of the Group 4 election results is mired in ambiguity because no candidate received a *majority of the votes cast as the City Charter (Sec. 26-6) requires. Therefore, a runoff election is mandatory, again, per the City Charter. The total votes cast in the Gardens’ Group 4 election were 13,789. Of those votes cast David Levy received 6,632 or 47%, Carl Woods received 6,245 or 45%, and Kevin Easton received 1102 or 8%.

Section 26-6(b) of the Charter declares…

“Whenever a general or special election is held to fill any elective office in the city, the candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast at such election to fill such office shall be declared to be duly elected; provided that if no candidate for a particular elective office shall receive a majority of the votes cast for such election to fill such office, then a run-off election shall be held on the fourth Tuesday in March of the same calendar year the general election was held; and in the event a special election is held, except for the year 2016, when any required runoff election shall be held on the fifth Tuesday of March, and a run-off election is required,…”

*Please note from the Merriam-Webster dictionary…

Majority : a number that is greater than half the total number

Cast : to deposit (a ballot) formally

Now, let’s return to discussing the forbearance agreement on silence. In my opinion, there is one, whether it’s official or not. Otherwise, we would and should be hearing from the City Council members as to their enforcement of the City Charter which they were elected to do. Where is Eric Jablin’s ever present usual prepared speech on the City Charter runoff requirement? How come no posturing speech, as yet, on the City Charter from Joe Russo? Come on Bert Premuroso, tell it like it is, do what’s right by speaking up for a runoff election as the City Charter elaborates! Marcie Tinsley, if you want to be Mayor than do the mayoral thing and insist on the runoff election. David Levy, if we are to believe all the literature you sent to our homes regarding your qualifications for the City Council than you should have no problem with understanding the need for scheduling a runoff election as the City Charter dictates.

Silence is gold, speech is silver, and so the saying goes. The residents of Palm Beach Gardens are not greedy. In this controversy City Council members, silver speech is acceptable and expected.

Martino: Run-off Election Warranted for Group 4!

Primary Election Day, March 15, 2016, with its winners and losers has come and gone. But in Palm Beach County “gone” is never a certainty in our peculiarly run elections. This time the black cloud of uncertainty is stationary over Palm Beach Gardens.

The hullabaloo is two-fold. First, Takeata King in Group 2 and Kevin Easton in Group 4 withdrew their respective candidacies prior to March 15th but not in time to have their names removed from the printed ballots, thus, requiring all polling precincts to post notices advising the voters of the withdrawals which, allegedly, did not occur. Second, the tabulation of the Group 4 election results is mired in a cloud of ambiguity because no candidate received a majority of the votes cast as the City Charter (Sec. 26-6) requires, thus, a runoff election, again, per the City Charter is required. The votes cast in the Gardens’ two races are as follows…

Is the omission of the notices to the voters of the Candidates withdrawals enough to upset the elections in the Group 2 race? Probably not, but with the closeness of the tally in Group 4, probably yes? From my perspective, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, as well as, the City Clerk of Palm Beach Gardens, should answer for this oversight and issue a public statement as to cause and ultimate effect on the election results.

The more egregious and obvious election controversy is the need for a runoff in Group 4 as the City Charter clearly articulates. Section 26-6(b) of the Charter declares…

“Whenever a general or special election is held to fill any elective office in the city, the candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast at such election to fill such office shall be declared to be duly elected; provided that if no candidate for a particular elective office shall receive a majority of the votes cast for such election to fill such office, then a run-off election shall be held on the fourth Tuesday in March of the same calendar year the general election was held; and in the event a special election is held, except for the year 2016, when any required runoff election shall be held on the fifth Tuesday of March, and a run-off election is required, then the run-off election shall be held two weeks from date of the original special election; provided further, that in such event only the names of the two candidates having received the greatest number of votes in the general or special election for such office shall be submitted to the voters and the one of these two receiving the majority number of votes in such run-off election shall be declared to be duly elected to such office;

In my opinion, the key words in the charter section, above, is votes cast. Clearly the votes cast in Group 4 do not render any candidate a majority of the votes cast, therefore, a runoff election to decide the winner is mandatory. Runoff elections have been required before in the Gardens. Anything less than a runoff election is a charter violation, an injustice to the candidates, disrespects the voters, and leaves the Group 4 election suspect.

Martino: Self-aggrandizement, Backslapping, Gibberish and Nothingness!

After attending the City Council meetings of Palm Beach Gardens for the last two years I have a message for the City Council members. The message is basic and simple. City Council members, honoring volunteers is fine but constantly praising yourselves is unworthy of the office. Frankly, it is wearing to listen to the City Council members telling us how great they are and how wonderful the City Staff is at the one and only monthly meeting. More substantive discussion of policy and more problem-solving with less self-praise is my suggestion. In the lexicon of Palm Beach Gardens’ city government, it appears as though, to serve has been replaced by self-serve.

Enough is enough!

Enough self-aggrandizement! I get the message. I understand that the current City Council members are the best ever; you are a fantastic group, hurrah for all of you. But wait isn’t that why you were elected. Isn’t that why you are paid $60,000 in salary and benefits?

Enough backslapping! I understand and agree that the City Staff is very competent, professional, and wonderful. But wait isn’t that what is expected of them in the performance of their job. Isn’t that why they are rewarded with top salaries and excellent benefit packages?

Enough gibberish! I recognize that the City Council members attend various community, civic, and other governmental meetings and activities. I can appreciate that. However, do we have to hear about each and every dull detail at the one and only monthly meeting?

Enough nothingness! Often the City Council agendas’ are full of nothing that solves residents’ real problems and concerns. Self- serving, ego satisfying, innocuous speeches serve nothing. One scheduled meeting per month does nothing to fully serve the informational rights of the residents. Not scheduling regular workshop meetings does nothing to serve and satisfy the rights of residents to discern how the City Council members arrive at decisions.

Self-aggrandizement, backslapping, gibberish, and nothingness are not traits to be proud of. They are not tenets of good government. They are not the way to serve a constituency, and in particular, the residents of Palm Beach Gardens.

Farewell to Joe Russo and Progress on Some Major Issues

There was only one Public Hearing on the March 3rd Agenda, Signage Amendment for the Gardens Commerce Center – which passed 5:0. However much of the meeting was spent on several topics.

First on the agenda was recognition of Barbara Nicklaus and the impact she has had on the Gardens, living here for the last 50 years. She was awarded a Key to the City and a plaque for her efforts on the Nicklaus Children’s Health Foundation. Council Member Joe Russo read the proclamation, as a long time friend of the family.

March 3, 2016

Sherry Brown, Assistant Budget Director for Palm Beach County, gave a very brief update on the status of the proposed sales tax increase with little detail and discussion. Purchasing Director Km! Ra and Special Projects Director Charlotte Prezensky gave an update on the status of the new Golf Club House and the awarding of the design/build contract. Public input will be sought on the City website as well as at a Residents’ Day at the golf course on March 17th from 9-10:30 and 4-7 (extended from the original 6pm by request of Council Member Premuroso). Council Member Tinsley asked how long buildout would take – and the target is 16 months to completion. Council Member Russo expressed concern that 40-60 banquets/years not interfere with the golfers.

The Council reserved much of the Items of Resident Interest to thanking Joe Russo for his 27 years of service to Palm Beach Gardens, as both Mayor and Council Member. Joe, in turn thanked everyone, highlighted what he viewed as the major City accomplishments over the period, and suggested that the City consider Districts and direct election of a mayor as it continues to grow. He ended with advising future councils to ‘be a leader and always listen!’

Comments from the Public included:

  • Carol Courtney, of 40th Terrace spoke of the destruction of beautiful trees by the City, who did so without a survey, fines against Kevin Easton of $500/day, her arrest, and public record requests ignored, related to the Sunset Terrace/40th Terrace city water project.
  • Warm thanks to Joe Russo and to his family from former County Commissioner Karen Marcus, Tequesta Mayor Abby Brennan, Mark Marciano (via a letter read by Joni Alias, Joni Alias and from Joe Russo’s son, Joseph R. Russo who described growing up in the City with his father always on the council and his father’s dedication and service to the City.
  • Residents opposed to the Shady Lakes Extension included Ruth Peeples, Craig Allgood, Kathy Beamer, Barry Mandelewicz, and Vito DeFrancesco all reinforcing the point that they’re not being listened to.
  • Flax Court neighbors Margaret Collins and Gary Pitchford questioned and discussed the results of the Special Magistrate Meeting, and inappropriate fining/treatment of the property owner and liens on the property.
  • It was the 137th day without answers on the Corey Jones shooting and several friends and family members speaking included Michael Marsh, Terry and Sheila Banks, and Mami Kisner asking for justice. Mayor Jablin said that he would draft a letter to State Attorney Aronberg and urge him to come out with the findings related to the case and hoped the information would bring some measure of peace.
  • Incoming Council Member Maria Marino thanked the Council for the progress on the Golf Club House.

City Manager Report:

Thanks to City Manager Ferris for placing subjects to be covered on the agenda. We hope that he continues to do so every month, making the agenda more valuable for affected or interested parties.

Flax Court Update – as a result of the Special Magistrate – the City will be abating the unfinished roof, securing the structure and addressing the exterior condition including debris removal. At the March 23rd Code Hearing, the owner will be assessed the abatement costs and fines. City Attorney Lohman addressed lien issues. See details from the Palm Beach Post article.

Shady Lakes Extension – Feedback from the residents will be incorporated into the project; once there is a plan to share, there will be a workshop in the April/May timeframe; Ferris cited a consultant report and traffic study justifying the need for the expansion as well as at 117th. He also showed ‘drone’ footage of the traffic patterns during school pickup – worth watching the video to see what the area residents are complaining about! Council Member Levy said priority of 117th Ct should be first and asked if doing that would alleviate the needs for Shady Lakes. Ferris said he would have to defer, without another study. Council Member Tinsley made major progress with the School Board on 117th Ct right-of-way. Council Member Russo said the entire plan should be worked out. The City Manager hopes to have many more answers prior the the workshop.

There were no items for council discussion or City Attorney reports.