Maniglia, Kane Win Loxahatchee Groves Council Seats

There will be one new member and one returning member once the new Loxahatchee Groves Town Council is seated after the municipal election held Tuesday, March 19.

Seat 1 incumbent Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia held back a challenge from resident Robert Sullivan. Maniglia took 389 votes or 59.75 percent to Sullivan’s 262 votes or 40.25 percent.

In the race for Seat 3, former Councilwoman Anita Kane unseated Councilwoman Marianne Miles. Kane took 400 votes or 61.63 percent to the 249 votes or 38.37 percent garnered by Miles.

Maniglia, who secured her third three-year term, said she was happy with the election results, which were fairly lopsided by Loxahatchee Groves standards. The last two contested elections were decided by just a few percentage points.

“I think the people have been paying attention and let the town know what they want,” she said. “They want independent thinkers on the dais.”

Maniglia said she aims to move forward in a positive manner, despite what has been an acrimonious relationship among council members in recent years. “I think there will be less friction on the dais,” she said.

Maniglia’s goal is to move forward with the many projects on the town’s plate.

“My goals are to complete the paving projects and upgrade our canals,” she said. “Infrastructure needs attention. The things that have been neglected are very expensive.”

Hopefully, the town’s new rural designation from the state will help get grant money for these projects, she noted.

“I am looking forward to hopefully getting some grants from the federal government and the state to assist with these expensive, well-needed projects,” Maniglia said.

She is glad to see that Kane will be re-joining the board, noting her service as chair of the town’s Finance Advisory & Audit Committee.

“We are going to be able to get things done in a more fiscally responsible manner,” Maniglia said, adding that she hopes the council will “open the committees and have citizen involvement again.”

Kane, who was appointed to fill a vacancy back in December 2018 and served on the council until March 2019, has now secured a full three-year term on the dais.

“I am very pleased with the results,” she said. “The thing that I am post proud about is that the people of the Groves got the opportunity to use their voice through their votes, and voted for much-needed changes to preserve our rural community.”

Kane said that concerns about the town’s future were top-most on the mind of residents.

“When I was out campaigning, what I heard was that people wanted us to stay rural, and they were worried we were headed in a different direction with the council that was seated currently,” she said.

Kane believes that the size of her majority provided a clear direction for the council. “The citizens sent a clear message that they felt that things were going in the wrong direction,” she said.

Kane aims to be a public servant, representing her constituents.

“We need to address each situation one at a time and honor the wishes of the residents of the community,” she said. “It’s about listening to and caring about what people in the community have to say.”

While her focus will be on “responsible spending, responsibly made roads, drainage and infrastructure,” Kane noted that there is much to be dealt with right away, including a packed agenda for the upcoming council meeting on Tuesday, April 2.

“You look around and see what needs to be handled, and you do it,” Kane said. “That is the way I comported myself in the past, and how I intend to comport myself in the future. I am extremely well-versed on town finances because of my position on the finance committee. That historical knowledge will help me make responsible decisions.”