The Delray Newspaper invited candidates to participate in our questionnaire and meet to discuss their platforms and explain why they are running for office. Candidate Richard Alteus did not respond to emails or phone calls to his listed contact information on file with the city clerk. The rest of the candidates participated in our questionnaire, which ran in our February edition, and met one-on-one with a representative from the paper. Once we reached the candidates, our staff met to discuss their ideas. Our endorsements are a reflection of the candidates we believe will represent the city in the most positive manner.
On March 14, Delray Beach voters will head to the polls to elect two new commissioners.
It’s an important election at a critical time in Delray’s history. Regular readers of the Delray Newspaper know that we have been concerned about leadership and the culture of division and incivility in our city. In our opinion, the atmosphere has led to attrition and instability at City Hall and has threatened Delray’s brand as an innovative city. So the upcoming election is particularly important.
Here is the candidate we recommend for Seat 2 based on interviews, questionnaires and observations of the individuals seeking office.
For Seat 2, the Delray Newspaper recommends voters choose Jim Chard over Richard Alteus, Anneze Barthelemy and Kelly Barrette. Mr. Chard, a retired businessman with a background in urban planning is a tireless community volunteer who has been working on issues ranging from adding more trees to the city and making streets more walkable to revamping the Congress Avenue corridor. He has written grants on behalf of the city and served on key boards dealing with site plans. We find him knowledgeable on the issues, passionate about Delray and even tempered–a needed trait especially at this time. Mr. Chard is an independent thinker who has also participated on Delray’s Drug Task Force and has worked hard on neighborhood plans for Osceola Park. His main opponent Ms. Barrette is best known for starting a Facebook page called TakeBack Delray which concentrates on the recovery community and fighting development projects. She has only a few years tenure in Delray and a thin civic resume–that pales in comparison to her opponent. She is strongly supported by Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz and has an antagonistic relationship with Mayor Cary Glickstein. We don’t see her as a consensus builder. Even the name of her page: TakeBack is an affront to civic leaders who have been working hard to revitalize Delray since the 80s. The difference between those civic leaders and Chard and Ms. Barrette and many of her most vocal supporters is simple: the former produce, she hasn’t yet. We hope she re-evaluates her approach whether she wins or loses. A dollop of respect and consideration for those who have rolled up their sleeves would go a long way. She may even learn a few things. On a commission that has been tone deaf to community leaders and senior staff, that would be a good thing.