By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Boca Raton residents can hit the polls on March 14 to select who they want to see serve as mayor and in council seats A and B.
To participate in the local election, you must be a registered voter in the city of Boca Raton. 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. We will break the candidates down by races. Council members are elected citywide not by district.
Incumbent Mayor Susan Haynie drew one opponent, Al Zucaro. If re-elected Haynie said she would like to see several initiatives she started completed. Those include the Spanish River interchange, 20th Street District, Municipal Campus Master Plan, Lake Wyman Park, Waterfront Master Plan and improvements to downtown transportation.
Haynie has served as Boca’s mayor since 2014. She also holds other leadership roles in the county and state. She is the president of the Florida League of Cities, Chair of the Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council, Past President of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, Gubernatorial Appointee to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and the Florida Representative for the National League of Cities Presidential Task Force.
Outside of serving as mayor, she is a licensed general contractor and a licensed community association manager. Haynie has raised nearly $60,000 for this race.
Challenger Zucaro is no stranger to politics. He served on the West Palm Beach City Commission for eight years. He jumped into the Boca race on the last day candidates were eligible to file to run.
Zucaro is a lawyer. He also founded the World Trade Center Palm Beach in 1999. Records show he has been in litigation surrounding his business. He also formed Boca Watch, a website that posts news-style entries, but are often biased. He has raised a little more than $27,500.
Both candidates have called Boca a “world class city” and have discussed the importance of continuing the quality of life residents have grown accustomed to the top-notch services the city provides.
Incumbent Councilman Scott Singer is seeking re-election. In his next term, he said he has five ideas he plans to focus on including, supporting public schools more, implementing best practices in local government, creating more accessibility in government and easing downtown traffic and looking into a transit circulator downtown.
His challenger Patricia Deverishi said she has concerns about evacuation routes and transporting people to the hospital in a timely manner. She said the council always sides with the developer and she is tired of it.
She filed to run on the last day of eligibility. Singer had already been hitting the campaign trail with neighborhood walks, phone banks and town hall meetings. He has raised more than $65,000 while his challenger only has $1,250 in her account.
There is no incumbent vying for Seat B. That’s because Councilman Mike Mullaugh is term limited. Three residents are looking to fill his seat. For fairness, we will discuss them in alphabetical order.
Emily Gentile received the nod from Councilman Mullaugh in her campaign efforts. She announced his endorsement in an e-blast. Reasons stated in the email about why he supports her include that: she had a successful business career, served on community, civic and charitable boards and that she doesn’t have higher political aspirations.
Gentile has served on several Boca Raton boards and committees including as chair of the Business Improvement District Steering Committee and vice chair of the Downtown Advisory Committee. She has raised more than $53,000.
Andrea O’Rourke has ties to Zucaro. She has served as an editor on the Boca Watch site. Some of her platform focuses on overdevelopment in the city. She has been involved in city boards and committees over the years including the Downtown Advisory Board and the police department’s Crime Watch board of directors. She has brought in nearly $72,000.
Andy Thomson is more pro-development and instead of halting any more development, he would like to focus more on “smart” growth in the city. He has raised about $55,000.
By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor