Two newly elected and two returning supervisors took the dais at the Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Michael Johnson (Seat 5) and Joni Martin (Seat 3) were sworn in for the first time after being elected last month. Jennifer Hager (Seat 1) became the longest-serving member of the board after taking the oath of office to begin her third four-year term. Tim Sayre (Seat 2) returned unopposed after being appointed to fill the seat vacated by the death of the late Gary Dunkley.
Johnson replaced Carol Jacobs, while Martin replaced Ralph Bair. Both longtime incumbents had chosen not to seek re-election.
ITID President Betty Argue commented on the past year’s accomplishments of the board.
“It has been a tough year, and I think that we have tackled some really tough issues, and we couldn’t have done any of it if we weren’t able to work together to get them done,” she said.
Argue listed things that the board has accomplished over the past year.
“We developed the R-3 plan, which was in response to some major issues that were coming to us with respect to the roads,” she said. “That will be moving forward.”
Budget discussions were a challenge.
“We had some really tough budget discussions this past year and some really tough budget issues,” Argue said. “Traffic calming is something [with which] we as a community have significant issues, currently, but even more down the pipeline. We will work toward discussing some of those things and developing our traffic calming plan.”
She was very happy with recent staffing decisions.
“Most excellently, we hired an excellent district manager to take us to the next level of what we need to do, and through him, he has hired some key personnel — a new director of operations and maintenance and clerk,” Argue said. “We have some great new staff. Everybody is working really hard at direction from the board.”
Argue said controversy sometimes overshadows these accomplishments. “We have made great strides,” she said. “We had a successful audit. We had a very successful lobbying year, although it didn’t give us a return on our investment last year. Lobbying this year, I believe it will.”
Argue pointed out that ITID has created a pipe crew to replace culverts in-house rather than hiring a contractor.
“We started working with Santa Rosa Groves to potentially bring money in as a unit of development to Indian Trail, and we worked on many grant issues for major drainage projects,” she said. “This board, every step of the way, supported the things we were working on. They’re not always popular, but it’s what we were elected to do.”
Argue thanked Bair and Jacobs for their past support.
“In particular, I want to thank Ralph, 19 years of service, and Carol, 12 years,” she said. “Carol made a comment about a year ago. There has never been a truer statement, that until you’re up here on this board, you absolutely have no idea of what it is that we do and what the sacrifices are that we make to serve.”
Sayre welcomed the new board members and the continuing members.
“I think this might be the beginning of something new,” he said. “I’m sure that we will do the right thing for the community and listen to what the community says, and I’m always there to listen to what the community says. I hope that we move forward and do everything in the best interests of the community as a board.”
Hager said that she was happy to be back at the dais, and she looked forward to working with the new members.
“I’m happy to see some fresh new faces sitting up here,” Hager said. “I feel like the senior person. I guess, technically, I am. However, I haven’t been here that long, not when you compare Carol and Ralph. I wish you guys well.”
For the election of officers and appointments, Hager made a motion to re-appoint Argue as president, herself as vice president and Sayre as treasurer. The two new supervisors will serve as assistant secretaries, while ITID Attorney Mary Viator will continue as secretary.
Argue asked to again be assigned to the Western Communities Council, pointing out that there has been discussion of disbanding that organization, which she has objected to.
Sayre was reappointed to the Palm Beach County League of Cities, although Argue encouraged other supervisors to attend its meetings.