[ 1 ] No Debating It

Political pundits can agree to disagree on the impact the third and final presidential debate had on the 2012 election, but there’s no arguing when it comes to the impact that the Event of the Year had on host Lynn University, Boca Raton and Palm Beach County. Data released in January showed that the debate:

• Had a $13.1 million economic impact on the county, including $1.7 million in elevated spending by local residents and a 22-percent increase in bed taxes.

• Generated 33,208 total news stories.

• Drew 59.2 million TV viewers.

[ 2 ] Is It Too Late to Retract?

Lest anyone think that South Florida glided through election season without drawing national headlines for one of its hanging chad-like episodes, think again. Republican candidate Mitt Romney made his famous “47 percent” comment—the one that was videotaped by a bartender on the catering staff—during a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser last May at the home of Boca resident and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Marc Leder.

ART: Photo in the Dec/Jan Influencers story

[ 3 ] Where There’s Smoke

The Boca Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, championed by local activists Betty Grinnan and Judith Teller-Kaye, continued to apply pressure to city leaders to take on the “unfunded actuarial liability of the police and firefighters’ retirement system”—a long-winded name for the escalating pension benefits that are threatening to bankrupt many cites and counties throughout the nation. A recent newsletter by the duo noted that, over the last year, the city’s required contribution to the police and firefighters’ pension plan has increased by almost $1 million—to a whopping $13.2 million. Is the movement gaining momentum? We think so. The longer the city stalls, the louder the protests.

To continue reading, please pick up a copy of the July-August Boca Raton magazine.