Letter: Royal Palm EAB Deserves Thanks

In a little-publicized resolution on Thursday, June 7, the Royal Palm Beach Village Council voted to dissolve the Education Advisory Board, which has been in existence, but for one brief interlude, since the 1990s. A new board is to be formed, with its main purpose being to interview applicants and select recipients for the village scholarships each spring. These scholarships are the current council’s only significant contribution to education in the village. The outgoing board members, if eligible under the new resolution (most are not), may reapply and will be considered, along with any new applicants, to “serve at the pleasure of the council.”

Mayor Fred Pinto, who rarely supports any assistance for public schools, led the discussion toward dissolution of the existing board and a significant reduction in the future board’s opportunities to enhance local education. The board members were told that they were overstepping their objective through their efforts to help Royal Palm Beach become a center of excellence in education through a continuum of programs from kindergarten through 12th grade. Vice Mayor Selena Smith, also not a strong supporter of public education, contributed by attempting to exclude all future applicants with any day-to-day knowledge of operations within the Palm Beach County School District.

This dissolution of the existing Education Advisory Board was the only “gratitude” shown to the outgoing members by the council. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their many years of volunteer service. Klemie, Renatta, David and Lynn — your hard work and contributions on behalf of the students of Royal Palm Beach have made, and will continue to make, a positive impact and are greatly appreciated by many.

Sally Balch, Royal Palm Beach