Here’s What We Think…

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In many cities the holiday season is marked by parties, celebrations and of end of the year reminiscing.
We hope that’s been the case for your friends and families.
At City Hall, the end of the year was marked by political warfare, anger, frustration, lawsuits, another departing City Manager, allegations of improper bonuses and a Charter violation that triggered protests and promised to lead to deadlock until April.
But on a good note, the Beach Property Owners Association convinced Commissioner Mitch Katz  (after much effort and aggravation) to support a permit to trim the sea grapes at the beach. A permit the city sought by the way—and was endorsed by biologists in the name of dune health. Folks it shouldn’t be this hard.
Also, Old School Square, after more than a year of often contentious negotiations, a ton of time and lots of aggravation finally got a new 10 year lease. Hallelujah.
Yes dear readers, the pride of Delray and the focal point of the community struggled mightily to secure a lease to continue serving the community after 27 years of service.
It shouldn’t be this hard.
But it is.
This type of “governance” is debilitating, exhausting and expensive. The volunteers at the BPOA and Old School Square and the citizens who come to meeting after meeting to push for decisions on things as mundane as plats or as important as sitting a fifth commissioner as the charter calls for are running out of patience.
And that’s a good thing.
Because Delray deserves better than this and ultimately it will be the citizens who will demand better.
Make no mistake, we have a great city.
Not a perfect city, but Delray is a special place. Which makes what we are experiencing so upsetting but also gives us impetus to insist on change for the better.
Probably the only thing the warring factions on the commission can agree on is that Delray is very special and deserves more.
Will that spur the commission to rise to the occasion? It hasn’t so far but they always have that opportunity–unless of course they decide to double down on dysfunction. In which case, they run the risk of being swept aside.
One thing that we feel has been lost is the very simple notion of servant leadership. The mayor and commission work for us, not the other way around.
It’s not about their personal preferences–it’s about us. Either they figure that out or they are on borrowed time.
Regardless, 2017 is a new year. A chance to rewrite the script. We are pleased to see citizens wake up and speak out. Whether to rally on behalf of an interim commission appointment or because they believe in healthy dunes.
Complacency is killer. An informed and active community gives us power and ensures progress.