The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Wednesday congratulating newly elected District 6 County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who was on hand to swear in newly re-elected supervisors Ralph Bair, Jennifer Hager and Carol Jacobs.
Supervisor Michelle Damone read the resolution, which concluded, “The supervisors of the board at Indian Trail are committed to working with Commissioner McKinlay in a positive manner to regionally serve the needs of the residents of The Acreage.”
McKinlay thanked the board for the resolution and the warm welcome.
“I’m a fresh face around here, and I appreciate you extending those sincere remarks,” McKinlay said. “I’m happy to be here. I’ve survived my first two commission meetings.”
Although sworn in only a few weeks ago, McKinlay said she has already gone to work meeting with other officials to address issues in the western communities.
“I just want to share a couple of things with you,” she said. “One of the reasons I came in late tonight is that I have been working with the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Economic Development and Appropriations all day about community development ideas for the western communities of Palm Beach County.”
McKinlay also recommended former ITID Supervisor Mike Erickson, who lost a recent bid for a return to the ITID board, as her appointee to the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission, which was approved unanimously by the Palm Beach County Commission.
“I’ve been working with him, and I felt that he represented The Acreage very well,” she said. “As a person on the campaign trail, he was tough as nails and did not make anything easy.”
McKinlay said she also asked County Administrator Bob Weisman to reach out to the ITID board and other independent districts to hold a roundtable meeting and start working together on some long-range planning issues now that new developments are starting to come online.
“We want to make sure that we don’t miss the boat on future development, and I want to make sure that whatever comes in here reflects the nature of the community, and that we have infrastructure that can support it,” McKinlay said. “We also want to make sure that economic development is available, especially if we go further west.”
McKinlay said she was interested in economic development as far west as 20-Mile Bend, and possible employment centers for residents of the Glades, where unemployment is 40 percent, as well as residents of The Acreage.
“I want to make sure that all the players involved are seated at the table together,” she said. “I made that promise to you that I would start reaching out to build these relationships and work hard together, and I’m going to live up to that promise. I look forward to working with each and every one of you.”
Damone said she considered McKinlay a true professional and was happy that she was going to be working with the western communities.
“I am looking forward to the next four years of teamwork with all our community members and leaders,” Damone said. “We’re really going to get some things done out here, and I just can’t tell you how excited I am.”
Jacobs said she was optimistic that McKinlay would make a positive difference for all of District 6. “She’s a fantastic lady, and I just hope that we can all come together,” Jacobs said.
Also Wednesday, the ITID board held its annual reorganizational meeting. Hager made a motion for all officers to remain as they are, with Jacobs as president, Bair as vice president, Damone as treasurer, attorney Mary Viator secretary and Supervisor Gary Dunkley as assistant secretary. The motion carried 3-2, with Damone and Jacobs opposed.
ABOVE: County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay accepts the resolution from the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors.