Well it looks like the men in the black hats have won… for now. Will corruption rule the range in Palm Beach County once again?
Sheryl Steckler has announced that she will not seek a second term as Palm Beach County’s inspector general. And who could blame her? She struggled to fulfill the duties of her office with just half the staffing and half the funds the office needed. She had to deal with 14 cities whose leaders would rather spend taxpayer money for lawyers than for supporting the inspector general’s office. And the funds paid by the supporting cities were withheld by the clerk’s office.
Given those circumstances, Ms. Steckler did an admirable job; yet some at the county level wished for no more than to see her gone. One commissioner, Jess Santamaria, is to be commended for his support of this position and Ms. Steckler. He heard the voice of the voters and chose to listen. Now it is up to those voters to demand that all of their elected officials hear their voices and, if they do not, then vote them out of office as soon as possible.
The big question now is who will want to be considered for the inspector general position, knowing all of the obstacles that Ms. Steckler faced? Despite all of those problems, Palm Beach County has made progress shining the light on those who would use public office for their illegal personal gains. It will take a strong and determined champion to continue the good work of Ms. Steckler. And it will take the eyes and ears of the public to make sure the inspector general is empowered to do the job that the county’s residents envisioned with their 78 percent vote. It is time for the guys in the white hats to take charge!
As for Ms. Steckler, we thank her for her courageous efforts and wish her well as she rejoins her family.
Arlene Olinsky, Royal Palm Beach