By: Commissioner Ryan Boylston
At a City Commission meeting on Jan. 16, I addressed an email sent to the community by our Mayor. It was a “Political Advertisement approved and paid for by Shelly Petrolia for Mayor Campaign” packaged as an official “update” from the Mayor. The email, which was not approved by the City’s Public Information Officer, leveraged half-truths to paint an inaccurate and unfair picture of her fellow colleagues — specifically the two commissioners that are up for reelection. The following is a transcript of my comments at said meeting.
Lastly, I want to apologize to Delray Beach. I was elected to bring stability and decorum back to our city, as several of us were. It was unfortunate to be in Tallahassee working to get more state dollars dedicated to our city – and have an email come from our mayor attacking her colleagues. Suggesting that two of my colleagues could be swayed by campaign support or contributions. We have a reputation in Delray Beach. A reputation I have been fighting against since the second I was elected. Now, I am in Tallahassee and finally starting to make in-roads and guess which email is passed around to everybody that morning? I had an opportunity to speak with one specific representative for 10 minutes. That is double the time that you are normally allotted. You usually get five minutes. Not a lot of time. I got ten. Nine of the minutes were spent discussing said email. That left me one minute. It is really unfortunate.
I have had votes not go my way. I didn’t want to take over the CRA. We moved on from our city attorney in a meeting I was absent from – and it wasn’t even on the agenda. Lastly, I have been trying to get a community wealth building plan adopted for two years. I don’t attack my colleagues. I keep working on those things. This is my team up here. Even though there are individuals up here who inspired me to run—you are my team and we work together and I would not do that to any of you. We have an awkward time coming up—the next 60 days, right? We have our election in Delray Beach and unfortunately we are not like any city in the county, and I’m reminded of that by many people when I go to Tallahassee. We are unique and are a level above the norm when it comes to elections — and not in a good way. It is going to be a rough 60 days and I was hoping to stay out of it — as I believe anyone on the dais should not play a part in the election. I don’t think you, as an elected official, should put that type of pressure on residents, business owners or property owners (ie taxpayers).
Listen, these two years have been good. We did bring decorum back to the dais. Our financials are good (award winning actually). We were able to go out for a new City Manager and pull REAL talent — unlike last time. Our reputation was getting better. I was ready to go to Tallahassee and not talk about all of the things that I had to talk about last year and didn’t get a chance to. I had to overcome our reputation in almost every conversation I was in.
If you want my opinion on this next election, here it is. You wanted stability. That seat over there was Mr. Jacquet’s. His attendance could have been better and he left early. The seat then sat empty, because the previous commission could not appoint a replacement. Then it was filled by a gentleman, Mr. Jim Chard, who stayed one year. And now it is a gentleman who does his homework, who puts in the time, but that you may not always agree with. The city needs stability. That’s what you told me it needs.
It does need stability — and it certainly needs diversity as well. The last time this commission was an all white commission was 1967 and I will not let it go back and will not be part of the group that allowed it to happen. Think about those things in the next 60 days and hopefully my colleagues will agree that this is not something we have to be involved in. Two have to be, but the rest of us don’t have to be. We don’t need to put that type of pressure on any of our residents.
I apologize, I am working very, very hard on Delray Beach’s reputation and to show the rest of the county, the rest of the state what being a “Village By the Sea” means. It isn’t just about buildings. It is about people.