To quote a political ad from our most recent election cycle: “one of the most reputable national publications, Forbes magazine, named our area the ‘fourth most miserable place to live’ in the country due to corruption and crime.” Let me say that Royal Palm Beach is hurdling very quickly to No. 1 if its council continues to be orchestrated by outside politicians.
The first act of the Royal Palm Beach Village Council was to twist a routine assignment of volunteer boards and approval of liaison recommendations (in accordance with the village charter rules) into the mayor’s personal vendetta aided by the manipulation of outside current and ex-politicians. What happened was not honesty and integrity in government but rather a small number of entrenched volunteer appointees making demands on their entitled positions on the Planning & Zoning Commission. In the process, those innocent citizens stepping up to serve were publicly abused and terrorized into walking away from the available seats.
Is this an honest and responsible council? Do they fit the words just barely dry on the pages of the Town-Crier [in County Commissioner Jess Santamaria’s March 2 letter “We Need Honesty In Government”]? Those words are still stinging our eyes: “Now more than ever, we the people must demand honesty in government”; “I need honest persons… to join me in my continuing mission to end corruption in both county and municipal governments and protecting the quality of life in our communities”; “(people) who have a proven track record of … honest public service, professional integrity and leadership.”
So where is the support for Councilwoman Martha Webster, a proven honest official? Not only were her recommendations not provided an opportunity to be honestly vetted, but in an unprecedented action, the position of liaison was reassigned. In fact, the past three council meetings have not had any display of honest public service, professional integrity and leadership.
If you want a truly honest council, it would be good to follow the suggestions of Councilwoman Webster. Bring on new members to the village volunteer boards, specifically the Planning & Zoning Commission. Even West Palm Beach Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell knows that in seeking a police commissioner, looking outside is a good thing to do. She said, “I think a new fresh perspective is good for the whole organization” (Palm Beach Post, May 13). Yes, it is a sad time for the village. Something happened in this election of honesty in government — we got hijacked!
Marcia Berwick, Royal Palm Beach