LGWCD Board Could Change Election Schedule To Match Town

If Hurricane Irma doesn’t prevent them, the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District Board of Supervisors is set to talk about changing district elections so that they are held the same day that Loxahatchee Groves residents elect town leaders.

As of press time Wednesday, the LGWCD board meeting scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11 is still on. If the meeting goes forward, the supervisors may act to make a single election day in Loxahatchee Groves a reality.

The district’s annual election and landowners meeting historically have been on the fourth Monday in June. The plan is to move it to the second Tuesday in March.

The board informally discussed changing the date during its Aug. 29 special meeting, but did not pass any motion regarding the issue.

LGWCD Chair Anita Kane suggested changing the election date in order to save money and reduce confusion by having the district election coincide with the town’s election by enacting a local bill through the state legislature.

However, upon researching the question, LGWCD Attorney Mary Viator reported that the board could change the date of the election and annual meeting if it is done at least 150 days prior to the meeting and election, and if public notice is given.

If the consensus of the board is to change the annual meeting and election to the second Tuesday of March to coincide with the town election, it would approve a motion to publish a legal notice for two consecutive weeks beginning Oct. 20, that the district is changing the annual meeting and election from the fourth Monday in June to the second Tuesday in March, thus making the first March annual meeting occur in 2019.

The June 25, 2018 meeting and election would be canceled and replaced by a meeting and election in March 2019, thereby extending the sitting supervisors’ terms by about nine months.

Also on the agenda is a move to make the LGWCD a dependent district to the town and to determine whether to take the steps necessary for that process.

District staff will prepare a proposed legislative local bill for the Oct. 9 meeting so the LGWCD could seek the approval from the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation, the approval of the Florida Legislature and subsequently the approval of the resulting special act by a majority of district landowners. If all three give the OK, the LGWCD would, in effect, become a subsidiary of the town.

The next legislative delegation meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Solid Waste Authority auditorium at 7501 N. Jog Road in West Palm Beach.

The board will also consider changing the district’s healthcare writing agent and agent of record.

According to the staff report, the agent of record for the district since 2013 has represented the district with a different agent each year from its offices in Orlando and Jacksonville.

Staff recommends changing the agent of record to Julie Boulanger, who is in Wellington and will provide local representation that is currently lacking. Boulanger would also begin the district employee healthcare policy review as early as October.