This letter is to inform you, the reader, that I will be stepping down from my role as Publisher of the Delray Newspaper effective October 22nd, 2017. Five years ago, when I co-founded the Delray Newspaper it was because I felt our city needed a voice. I still very much believe that today, and our local newspaper will move forward without me. I have chosen to seek office in an effort to represent our community as commissioner in 2018.
Last week, I made my final decision to run for Delray Beach City Commission in the upcoming March, 2018 election. When I think about why I moved to Delray Beach 13 years ago, and why I live here today, I reflect on the things I once thought were important—and what I find truly important now. My wife and I chose Delray Beach because of the physical assets. We liked the proximity to the beach (as Floridians naturally do), we liked the downtown area, and we liked what was on the horizon (easily identifiable in the city’s Master Plan). But, when I consider why we stayed and why we will raise our three children here—none of those things come to mind. Instead, people start popping up in my head. Not things. Not places. People.
Delray is transforming. I don’t mean physically, although thats happening too. We’re still a small city with a great beach and a happening downtown—same as it was when I moved here at age 22. Where I really see the change is in the culture. Some will say its always been here. Others insist it’s a resurgence of what Delray was before my time. All I know is that every day, I meet new and amazing people doing new and amazing things within our community. Fresh ideas, new businesses and neighborhood related causes are around every corner. I’ve met 8-year olds that started citywide movements (Meatless Mondays), I saw a local entrepreneur reinvent what education looks like, and I’ve watched a one-person delivery service become an empire. Our city is truly a miniature version of the real world—with a diverse landscape in every major category. This is why I live in Delray. This is why my children will be raised in Delray. This is why I will continue to launch and grow businesses in Delray. Not because of the beaches or the downtown nightlife—because of the people.
The good news? The hard part is done. We ARE the community that others strive to be. Is Delray perfect? No. But we are working together towards a better Delray… every day. The disconnect is our leadership, and it has been for a few years. Typically within an organization, whether a city or a business, leadership sets the culture. In our case, the culture was established. We don’t need a commission telling us what they think we should be. We need a commission that is willing to listen, think and act (in that order). A commission that will listen to the community, the properly appointed community boards and the city-staffed professionals—then make the best choices for our city in order to achieve it’s defined goals.
Within the last few years, our commission has forgotten to aspire. Something WE, the people of Delray Beach, do daily. We wake up and aspire to be better husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, friends, teachers… and the list goes on. What we need is leadership that is truly reflective of that culture—and is ready to empower people and bring great ideas to life. It’s amazing how much we’ll accomplish by simply respecting and collaborating with one another.
This is why I have chosen to run for City Commission. Over the coming months, as we make our way to the March election, I will share with you my story. You’ll learn about my experience, my passion and my ideas for our city. You have made our city an amazing place to live—and you deserve leadership that will work every day to make Delray Beach even better.
Thank you and I look forward to your support.