Letter: Why Was Jess Passed Over For Position?

Why was County Commissioner Jess Santamaria bypassed for the post of vice chairman? Lord, what fools these mortals (county commissioners) be. The despicable act of bypassing Commissioner Santamaria has left many observers shocked, to say the very least.

Actions such as these should not be tolerated or forgotten by the citizens of Palm Beach County. The commissioners broke with a 27-year tradition, bypassing Santamaria in favor of Commissioner Priscilla Taylor. One wonders why.

Their actions were vindictive, shocking and outrageous, to put it mildly. I don’t know about you, but I smell a rat. Not only is Santamaria a man of impeccable integrity, he is indefatigable, has vast experience as a developer, he is an entrepreneur and the senior commissioner on the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners.

We are lucky to have him. He is the only commissioner who has not wavered in his strong support for the Office of the Inspector General. He is never afraid to stand up to developers and special interests. He is their worst nightmare. He has done more for the citizens of Palm Beach County than all the other commissioners combined. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is a “people” person. I think that these attributes make him a shoe-in for the post of vice chairman.

So, why was he bypassed? Commissioners, please explain. Could his ethnicity, not to mention his success, be the cause of his rejection? I sincerely hope not. Talk about a slap in the face for Commissioner Santamaria. Shame on you, county commissioners. You are all well aware that you are all under the microscope and have not yet shed the title of “Corruption County.” It does appear that there is a board of county commissioners within the board of county commissioners, judging from the voting practice, and I think that an investigation is needed.

Hopefully, Commissioner Santamaria will not let the deplorable actions and votes of certain commissioners deter him or curtail his stalwart efforts. Stand tall, Jess — we, the citizens of the western communities are behind you 100 percent.

Welcome, to the two new commissioners, Mary Lou Berger and Hal Veleche. You did not get off to a good start; you are not clones of your predecessors and better is expected of you. We, the people, demand a better performance from the board.

To Commissioner Paulette Burdick, I say: Keep up the good work. To the “Fickle Five,” I say: “This, above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as night follows day, you cannot be false to any man.”

To Commissioner Santamaria, I say: “Let your tongue tell the anger of your heart, or else your heart concealing it will break.” Please, for the good of the western communities and Palm Beach County as a whole, continue to fight the good fight with all your might.

Karl Witter
The Acreage


  1. Dear Watch the Meetings, Please note that the County Commissioners are required to operate under Sunshine Laws and are not allowed to communicate on issues, which protects ordinary Citizens !!! Each Commissioner is solidly independent and vote accordingly. Based upon these, there is no such thing as consensus building within the County Commission. Sorry !

  2. It is not the end of the world because Santamaria is not vice-chair of the commission.

    If you had the opportunity to elevate one of your peers, would you select the person who always questioned your motivations, continuously lectured you on good and evil as if you were a child, publicly scolded you when there was an honest disagreement over an issue, and the many other actions by Santamaria that has made him an ineffective commissioner?

    I doubt it.

    I had high hopes for Santamaria.

    I watch the commission meetings. Bottom line is Santamaria has become useless to District 6. He has become more political and plays up to his constituency groups even worse than Burt Aaronson. And that says a lot.

    • Dear Kenneth, obviously you do not watch the County Commission Meetings as much as you think. Please also note that Commissioner Santamaria won re-election overwhelmingly by a more than (2) to (1) margin. This proves that an overwhelming portion of the Citizens of District 6 are very pleased with Commissioner Santamaria. Furthermore, Commissioner Santamaria’s life is based along the lines and philosiphies of Jesus Christ more than anyone in the County. By your comments, you are obviously a very bitter and shallow and extremely jealous man.

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