Re-Elect Royal Palm Beach Mayor Matty Mattioli

On Tuesday, March 11, voters in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach will head to the polls for municipal elections. There are two council seats up for election in Wellington and the mayor’s seat up in Royal Palm Beach. Over the last two weeks, we have profiled all candidates running in this election cycle. The profiles were based on the candidates’ individual visits with the Town-Crier’s editorial board. After careful consideration, we  issue the following endorsements in the races.

Mayor of Royal Palm Beach — In the only race on the Royal Palm Beach ballot this year, incumbent Mayor Matty Mattioli is being challenged by three candidates: former Councilwoman Martha Webster, community activist Felicia Matula and businesswoman Laurel Bennett.

Ms. Bennett is a longtime resident and business owner who will bring her business acumen to the dais. She offers new opinions and solutions on several of the village’s issues and would be an advocate for cutting the village’s spending costs. Ms. Bennett has been an advocate for residents in the area, speaking out locally and regionally in support of the State Road 7 extension and on other issues. She has the gumption to go out and be a voice for the people and, if elected, we believe she will continue to do that. She does not, however, have a great deal of experience in Royal Palm Beach government.

Ms. Matula has proven that she is extremely dedicated to the community, taking time between her last run for office to get involved with local government on both the village’s recreation and zoning boards. She is a far stronger candidate than she was two years ago. Her experience as chair of the Recreation Advisory Board has proven she can be a leader on the dais, while her position as chief financial officer at her company shows she will bring a business perspective to the council if elected. She has continued to stay involved, which deserves admiration. We are impressed by her dedication and willingness to learn.

Ms. Webster served Royal Palm Beach residents for five years, both locally and regionally. If elected, she will bring a different perspective to the council, and also help the village branch out with her involvement in more regional organizations. This would be an advantage for Royal Palm Beach residents, especially with many regional issues coming to a head in the near future. Ms. Webster has proven she is a leader who can get things done, and she brings with her years of experience that will benefit residents on the dais. However, she has had issues in the past building consensus on the council for her point of view.

Mr. Mattioli has spent the last two decades helping to steer Royal Palm Beach through good times and bad, and the village is where it is today because of his leadership. Mr. Mattioli helped set Royal Palm Beach up for economic success with the sale of its water utility to the county, which left the village with an important nest egg to weather the recent economic downturn. More recently, he helped to attract the Aldi distribution center to the area, which will bring in jobs and tax revenue. Mr. Mattioli has steered Royal Palm Beach through tough economic times without resorting to spending the village’s reserves or raising the tax rate. He leads a council that shares a common vision and sense of purpose. It is true that he is nearing the end of his political career, but we feel he still has a bit left to offer.

Although each candidate would bring a unique perspective to the dais, it’s important to have a mayor who can bring the council together, and Mr. Mattioli has proven he can build consensus. He has asked for a final two years to see through his plans for the village, and we believe he will serve Royal Palm Beach well in that task. The Town-Crier endorses the re-election of Matty Mattioli as mayor of Royal Palm Beach.

Whether or not you agree with our opinions shared in this space, more important is that you make your way to the polls on Tuesday, March 11. Local elections tend to be low-turnout affairs, but they shouldn’t be. Show up and make your vote count!