Letter: Thinking Of Charlie Schoech

We were saddened recently to hear of the recent death of Charlie Schoech’s wife, Janice.

For me, it brought back memories of working with Charlie at the Acme Improvement District, the Palm Beach County Commission and the incorporation of Wellington.

When we began an effort to incorporate Wellington, I asked him to help create our new charter. The charter needed to be unprecedented, in many regards, to gain the support of very skeptical Wellington voters, while at the same time meeting extensive State of Florida requirements.

Charlie spent nearly a year crafting our unique charter, balancing the protection of unique neighborhoods with landowner rights, empowering the citizens to limit tax increases and requiring developers to pay infrastructure costs of development. He refused any compensation for hundreds of hours of legal work.

On the day the legislature was to vote on the Wellington incorporation, following a year of intense opposition, Charlie Schoech and Kathy Foster were to meet me at my aircraft hanger to fly to Tallahassee. Charlie, uncharacteristically, didn’t show up, so Kathy and I took off without him.

There were only two items on the agenda: the annual state budget and the incorporation of Wellington, which passed unanimously.

After landing back in Palm Beach County, I tried to locate Charlie, only to find he had been in a terrible auto accident. While waiting for a red light on Southern Blvd., he was rear-ended by a dump truck loaded with gravel. When I saw his car, it was difficult to believe that he could have escaped alive.

Wellington owes Charlie Schoech a great deal. Not only did he donate hundreds of hours drafting our constitution, but he nearly lost his life to provide us with the right of self-governance. In all the hours we worked together through fierce opposition, I never heard Charlie say an unkind word about anyone — a wonderful example that seems to have been lost over the years.

I hope he knows that there are many here in the community thinking about him in this, histime of loss.

Ken Adams, Wellington