As a proud, 40-year resident of Royal Palm Beach, I was pleased to attend the 60th anniversary celebration of the village on June 30. It was noted in the opening remarks that the celebration was almost not held. I was surprised, as a decade is a good time to look back and forward, as we had done for the 25th and the 50th.
Our village is not well-publicized, and should be if the remarks of the six honorees in the souvenir magazine are correct. I was also disappointed to not see any mention of this important event on the local news stations. It would seem that they would want to mention this event if they had known about it. Our much younger, little “sister” to the south has no problem being mentioned frequently.
I have read and thoroughly thought about the six honorees. Congratulations are in order for most, but not all, of them. At the celebration party, I mentioned to the mayor that I did not understand why Parks & Recreation Director Lou Recchio (a 35-year resident and 27-year employee) was not among the honorees. He pawned me off to the manager. His mantra was, “He did not meet the requirements.” However, that is not true when one reads the qualifications of the honorees who were chosen. He repeated this phrase over and over until I assured him that I am a twice college graduate with 37 years as an educator and that I heard him the first time. All I could say was, “Seriously? That is shameful and embarrassing for you to say.” I have known Lou and his wife Donna for almost 30 years. He is a man of integrity whose sentences do not all start with “I” and has enough humility to let others speak of his work for the citizens of the village. He is not motivated by money or politics. He does not know that I am writing this letter.
Perhaps the council should have chosen the “baker’s dozen” of those who have changed the face of Royal Pam Beach, and Lou would have been included in that group, along with other longtime employees not recognized. The criteria for the selection of the six honorees still puzzles me. Instead of a small certificate and a picture in the paper, once a year all the retirees could be honored at the Cultural Center so that friends, family and fans of theirs could attend. If the village can afford to set off beautiful, but not long-lasting fireworks, they can afford to thank their faithful employees once a year in a big way. In my opinion, it appears that Royal Palm Beach officials have work to do and 10 years to get it done.
Jana Springfield, Royal Palm Beach