It has been my observation that when a non-partisan election becomes partisan, the best qualified candidate, if he or she is not affiliated with one of the major political parties, may lose. That appears to be what happened in the recent election for seats on the Royal Palm Beach Village Council when Richard Valuntas lost his bid to retain his seat on the council. Similarly, that is why Michelle Santamaria lost her bid to fill the District 6 seat on the Palm Beach County Commissioner in that contest.
Richard lost to Selena Smith by a mere 161 votes because voters voted along party lines rather than considering who was most qualified for the job. The fact is that Richard Valuntas garnered more votes than either Martha Webster or Lenore White!
As for Martha Webster vehemently declaring at the recent council meeting that Richard Valuntas should not be appointed to fill the vacant seat because “the people have spoken,” I recall that “the people had spoken” three times before, yet that didn’t deter her from trying and losing a fourth time. Has she not yet heard the voice of the people?
Arlene Olinsky, Royal Palm Beach