Although I moved from the Village of Royal Palm Beach in 2007 after a 25-year residency, which included stints as a reporter for this newspaper as well as briefly serving as a village councilwoman, my Royal Palm Beach ties remain strong, and at one time included four generations of my family living as village residents.
My familiarity and involvement with village government began in January 1986 when I began covering the village hall “beat” as a Town-Crier reporter. At that time, the village was exploding with growth and development, and the role of elected council people was particularly crucial in light of often-difficult and even controversial decisions which needed to be made. Entire comprehensive plans and codes needed to be written and enacted to assure a high quality of life for the growing village. And some council people rose to those challenges more capably than others.
One who has served with outstanding clear-headedness and distinction is David Swift. With experience dating back to the 1980s, he has provided steady, sane leadership and has never been afraid to cling to his convictions on behalf of village residents. I well remember sitting at council meetings in the old village hall late into the evening while council members grappled with difficult agenda items. David Swift was never afraid to stay even later when he fervently believed he “had a problem” with some aspect of the discussion. At the time, I mostly wanted to get home to my young family, but all these years later, I know that matters needed to make sense and be of benefit to village residents before David Swift would vote his approval and go home to his own young family. David is his own man, and his dedication has been to village residents rather than to political expediency or to special interests.
Having previously covered umpteen council elections for the Town-Crier, I know that each election cycle may bring forth political rhetoric and alliances. Some of what I have read and seen in this newspaper concerning this year’s contest has more than a familiar ring to it, and I would encourage voters to very carefully examine the record of each candidate or incumbent.
David Swift’s long and honorable service to Royal Palm Beach stands fully on its own merit, and for those voters who enjoy an uncommonly low tax rate and amenities most municipalities of the village’s size could not afford, then you would do well to return David Swift to council for another term, since he more than helped provide them.
Barbara Yoresh, Vero Beach