By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Delray Beach residents can hit the polls on March 14 to select who they want to see serve in commission seats 2 and 4.
To participate in the local election, you must be a registered voter in the city of Delray. For your vote to count, you must be registered for at least 29 days before the election.
To see where your polling site is located, check your voter registration card.
Last month, we featured questionnaires completed by the candidates vying to serve. This month, we will take a more in-depth look at who is running, their position on city topics and what their campaign coffers look like as of the first report due in 2017. That report covers finances through Jan. 31. We will break the candidates down by races:
There is no incumbent running for Seat 2. The seat was vacated by Commissioner Al Jacquet who is currently serving as a state representative.
Four candidates officially qualified to appear on the ballot. They will be discussed alphabetically for fairness.
Richard Alteus did not respond to our calls or emails and he did not participate in our questionnaire, so we don’t know much about him. He created a campaign Facebook page last month with a cover photo stating “New Direction For Delray Beach.” In the about section, it states he was born in Port Au Prince. He has raised $1,030.
Kelly Barrette is a familiar face in city hall. She has voiced her opinions as a resident on projects like Atlantic Crossing. She says she is a citizen activist who has been involved in the city for the past five years. She manages a Facebook page called TakeBackDelrayBeach, which is often critical of development and changes to the city. She has raised $14,045 of which $4,000 is a self-loan. She is endorsed by Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz and the County’s Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.
Anneze Barthelemy has lived in the city for more than a decade and her father worked for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for 25 years. She is a social worker who has experience working for a state representative. She hasn’t held any local positions in Delray. If elected, she said her focus would be on investing in youth services, addressing sober homes and homelessness. She has raised $1,070. Of that $850 is a loan and many donations are from outside of the city.
Jim Chard is also a recognizable face in the city. He serves on the site plan review and appearance board, is involved with the Congress Avenue Task Force and comprehensive plan update as well as other initiatives. He said he is ready to take his job as a volunteer to the next step as a commissioner. In addition to addressing sober homes like the rest of the candidates, one of his focuses is on economic and business development for the city. Some of his endorsements include the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Associations, Palm Beach County Firefighters Union, Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. He has raised the most money with $33,045 in his account. Of that, $10,000 is a self-loan.
Vice Mayor Jordana Jarjura has decided not to seek re-election, so there is no incumbent vying for Seat 4, the city’s historically “black seat.” Two long-time city residents are duking it out to sit on the dais, Shirley Johnson and Dr. Josh Smith. Both have lived in Delray for decades, both are black and both want to serve their city.
Johnson is a retired IBM professional who has served as a community volunteer. She said she would like to listen to the people and get rid of the politics. She has been endorsed by the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, She has raised $2,508.
Smith, a retired educator, has had one unsuccessful run for a commission seat in the last cycle and one unsuccessful chance to be appointed to Seat 2 as an interim commissioner. Many residents from the northwest and southwest neighborhoods told commissioners that Smith didn’t represent their views and they didn’t want to see him serve even on a temporary basis. Despite the community voicing their opinions, Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz still said they wanted to appoint Smith. They both support him and have endorsed him. He has raised $5,295.
By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor