Westlake’s City Council Reappoints Robinson As Vice Mayor

The Westlake City Council voted Monday to retain Councilwoman Katrina Long Robinson as vice mayor.

Staff explained that the charter provides that after the March meeting, the council gets to choose a vice mayor for the upcoming year.

“It’s up to you,” City Attorney Pam Booker said. “If you want to continue with the existing vice mayor, or someone else would like to be vice mayor, you can take recommendations and vote on it, or you can ask the vice mayor if she is willing to continue.”

Mayor Roger Manning said he had asked Robinson if she was willing to remain and she agreed.

“I’m alright with her being vice mayor,” Manning said. “Do we have to have a formal vote?”

Councilman John Stanavitch made a motion to keep Robinson, which carried 5-0.

In other business, the council passed a resolution approving a final plat for Town Center Parkway South Phase II, which runs east from Seminole Pratt Whitney Road. A Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue station will be located near the roadway’s intersection with Seminole Pratt.

Booker said there were two minor changes from the original plat submitted.

“Let’s make sure that it’s where you want as we move forward,” she said. “In the future there will be a signature block on the final version, so on your motion to approve, you’ve got to approve it with two changes, so that it will reflect those two modifications, changing the number ‘2’ to a roman numeral and adding a signature block for acceptance of the road right of way by the City of Westlake.”

Robinson made a motion to approve the resolution, which carried 5-0.

The council also heard the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office monthly report for March.

“I received these from Lt. [Craig] Turner, who is covering our section, and I thought I would start including it in our report to see that they are working in our area, and they are doing citations, traffic stops and business calls to the residents,” City Manager Ken Cassel said.

The PBSO reported 142 business and residence checks, 36 traffic stops and 82 calls for service, with no crimes or fires reported.

“We’re like the safest city in the county, I think,” Councilman Phillip Everett said.

“That’s because nobody has been able to find us yet, but that will change,” Manning added.

“The only thing I would add to that is the guys coming out here from the PBSO are doing a great job for us on the times that we have them out here,” Cassel said.

In his manager’s report, Cassel said that the road construction contractor will be flipping the lanes on Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, which is adding lanes through the Westlake area.

“We actually have it moving forward and traffic will be rerouted,” he said. “The switchover will occur right in front of the Grove Marketplace. It will be on the east side from there out and go to the west side of the street on the last two sections, so it will put the traffic on the outside lane in each direction. By mid-June, the projection is to be completely done with all the roadwork on Seminole Pratt for the first phase.”

During council comments, Robinson said at the last meeting, two students from Seminole Ridge High School had asked for help on projects at the school.

“Jackie Emerson, the CEO and owner of Earthcare Properties, was able to get 72 dresses donated from the City of Westlake,” she said. “So that was a good thing that happened.”

She added that after the Parkland shooting, the Palm Beach County League of Cities is asking municipal officials to meet with school officials about hardening their facilities.

“They have a lot of entrances and exits, so moving forward, the district has approved more money in regard to security in schools. So, mayor, you may want to follow up with [SRHS Principal Dr. James Campbell]. He and I have been in contact, but you may want to talk directly about what we can do to help them out.

Cassel said Seminole Ridge held a meeting about a week and a half after the Parkland shooting and mapped out route and safety zones. “They’re modifying their lockdown and emergency plans,” he said.

Robinson said she would like to move forward with holding a “state of the city” meeting where people can come and hear what’s going on. “I think we’re doing some phenomenal things,” she said.

Cassel said he would pursue that, as well as post information on the city’s web site at www.westlakegov.com about what is happening in the community.

Robinson suggested holding the event sometime in June, which corresponds with Westlake’s second anniversary of incorporation.