As a resident of Royal Palm Beach for more than 30 years, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised with the recent mayoral forum. Unable to be there in person, I watched the entire event on TV and felt it was quite informative, as it relates to the candidates, as well as shining some light on some of the issues facing our community.
All four candidates handled themselves well, though in my mind one stood out above the rest. Upon its ending, it was very clear to me that it is indeed time for a change — new blood, new ideas, new energy to move the city forward. While I expected to learn something more about the candidates, I didn’t expect to come away thinking there are some serious issues facing Royal Palm Beach that I didn’t feel were being adequately addressed.
For instance, who knew we had problems at Royal Palm Beach High School relating to its condition and quality of education? All I can say is that needs to be made a priority, because one of the metrics used to value our community is the quality of our schools; so goes the schools, so goes our property values.
Secondly, regarding the Madrid Street connection to State Road 7, not having it open is a disservice to residents, as well as other provided services (such as fire-rescue and police). This connection would not only save thousands of residents commute time, but also give services the ability to move through Royal Palm Beach more efficiently.
Commons Park is our gem! It was a shock to learn the park’s maintenance cost exceed $500,000 per year with no revenue coming in. I didn’t hear our sitting mayor provide any solutions to this serious yearly financial drain. Somebody has to figure out how to close that money pit fast!
Regarding no tax increases, Royal Palm Beach needs to generate revenue somehow; stop bragging about “no taxes” and start finding solutions that will increase our tax base. If you don’t want to raise taxes on residents, then we need more smart commercial development. One way to accomplish this is to open State Road 7 to Northlake Blvd.; it will bring cars and people through our community who, if we provide a good setting, will stop and spend their money with us.
If these problems are to be solved, we need to make sure we elect people who will work for us, not just for elections. I’ve highlighted four problems facing Royal Palm Beach. In my opinion, there is only one candidate who has the experience, ability, decorum and fortitude to get the job done. For those of you who need a hint, think dictionary.
Peter ReJune, Royal Palm Beach