Two Consecutive Terms are Good Enough for PBC Cities

Not all of the municipalities in Palm Beach County have Term Limits – but most of the larger ones do.  See the chart below.  Note that none of these allow for more than TWO consecutive terms, except for WPB where the Mayor is limited to 2 consecutive 4 year terms, and the Council to 4 consecutive 2 year terms.  All have more meetings and workshops per month than does our Council – and their council and/or commissions have comparable or more complex  jobs (due to the population of their cities)  than does our council, and are all part-time positions.  Most are silent but some specify whether a term-limited member can run again.

Click on the image for link to PDF version with links to city charters, and League of Cities pages.

Click on the image for link to PDF version with links to city charters, and League of Cities pages.

Other cities that are similar or larger without term limits, but have term  and election descriptions:

  • Jupiter – 3 year terms, Majority Wins, Run-off required
  • Riviera Beach – 3 year terms, Majority Wins Run-off required

Traffic and Safety the Overwhelming Issues with PGA Waterfront Project Proposal

The City Council chambers were almost full with residents of Palm Beach Gardens and other affected communities eager to hear the developer’s proposal for the PGA Waterfront Project on the SW corner of PGA Blvd and Ellison-Wilson Road.

Dodi Glas, project agent, handled most of the slick presentation, along with the architect, Bernard Zyscovich. The architect described how the primary and unique inspiration for the design was the 30′ elevation change from Ellison Wilson down to the waterfront – and it was the hill that enabled both the underground parking and a 75′ staircase leading down to the Promenade area and Beach (sic). Much of the discussion focused on various views provided by a preliminary 3D simulation. The Hotel and Condominium buildings were intentionally placed in an east/west orientation so as to not block views or create a ‘hulk’ (my words, not the presenters’ ;-). To their credit – the parking garage view at Ellison Wilson was only 2 1/2 stories high – but the garage was still the first thing one would see when driving east on PGA Blvd from US 1, much like Harbourside in Jupiter.

Promenade View including the ‘beach’

Challenged by the Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board – some of whom did like aspects of the project, were the traffic assumptions, number of trips, handling of traffic turning onto Ellison Wilson from those westbound on PGA, disguising the parking garage, having a hotel so close to a bridge with associated noise. There was also discussion on the Promenade – which is not part of a Riverwalk type of plan but essentially a promenade to nowhere. It was clear that the project as presented was not going to get their support.

Public comment was vociferously against the project. Petitions were submitted by 3 of the speakers – Ms. Karch from NPB with 100, Ms. Navratick, of PBG (of FB Page Save the Rum Bar) with 800 and Ms Harvey of NPBconnect with 1500 petitions all objecting to the project. Former County Commissioner, Karen Marcus, represented Lost Tree Village and voiced the subdivision’s opposition. She also brought historic perspective to the County’s plans for the site – saying that there were already approved plans for the site that more resembled the casual mix found at Sailfish Marina. Many disagreed with the accuracy of the traffic studies – performed out of season and only during selected periods. Others pointed out that in order to avoid the intersection, drivers would find other routes causing traffic impacts elsewhere. The hotel and residence buildings were 10 stories high – so if one found the 5-story Harbourside project objectionable, these would be twice as high! There is so much retail space empty in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens so others questioned the need for yet more office and retail buildings.

I counted 18 speakers – all given 2 minutes to speak. They came from North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, PB Shores and Singer Island, and Old Port Cove.

It is clear that more traffic studies will be required and there will be more opportunities for the public to voice their opinions, even before it comes to the City Council.