Friday, July 12, 2024

Meet the Candidates: Delray Beach Seat 1

Last week, I profiled candidates for mayor of Delray Beach and City Commission Seat 3. Here are profiles of the candidates for Seat 1, in alphabetical order.

Eric Camacho

Eric Camacho
Eric Camacho

Background: Camacho moved to the city in 2015. He is an information technology specialist for Delray Beach-based WMPH Vacations. To learn the city, Camacho has served on the civil service board, volunteered at special events and attended community meetings. He has attended most city commission meetings for the last year.

His most recent campaign finance report shows that Camacho has raised just $200. He has been endorsed by the Northwest Southwest Neighborhood Alliance.

On the record: Camacho, who is 40, said he decided to seek the open seat because “the youth in Delray need a voice.” He would like to “restore some common decency” to commission meetings. Camacho would have voted for the iPic project—Fourth and Fifth Delray—“even though maybe it’s not the perfect location.”

Though he acknowledges infrastructure and sober homes as major city issues, Camacho said his personal priority is climate change and all the sustainability issues that go with it. He contrasts himself with Frankel by saying that he would oppose raiding reserves to lower the tax rate. He called Frankel’s vote in 2014 for the first deal on the Auburn Trace housing complex “problematic.”

Camacho said he chose to not raise money. “There’s already too much money in politics.” He is walking neighborhoods, trying to visit people “only at convenient times.” Why should voters choose him over someone with six previous years on the commission? “Delray Beach is very different now. I bring a new perspective.”

Adam Frankel

Adam Frankel
Adam Frankel

Background: Frankel, an attorney, served on the city commission from 2009 until 2015. Among his notable actions, Frankel voted for Atlantic Crossing. He did not vote to hire former City Manager Louie Chapman in late 2013, but he also voted repeatedly against firing Chapman for cause in 2014. Chapman eventually resigned under an agreement that paid him $75,000.

Also in 2014, Frankel voted for that Auburn Trace deal that Camacho noted. The city’s finance department estimated that the deal would cost Delray Beach $4 million. After criticism of the vote, Frankel reserved himself and supported a revised deal that has brought the city between $10 million and $11 million. In 2012, he voted to extend the trash-hauling contract without competitive bidding. He opposed a legal challenge that resulted in a judge invalidating the contract. The new agreement saved the city roughly $8 million. Frankel cast an early vote in favor of iPic, “I like the project.”

Frankel has been endorsed by the firefighters and police union, the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale and the AFL-CIO.

On the record: Frankel decided to run again because the consultant who helped the commission hire City Manager Mark Lauzier said videos of meetings caused potential applicants not to apply. He blames Mayor Cary Glickstein for the discord.

Like Ryan Boylston, who’s running in Seat 3, Frankel would like Delray Beach to have a full-time city attorney. “I think we’re getting half the work” from Max Lohman “at three times the price,” though he offered no numbers. He refused to fire Chapman “because he wasn’t getting due process. He never had a hearing.”

Frankel opposes the lawsuit against Match Point, the promoter for the annual pro tennis tournament. He has received a $1,000 campaign contribution from Match Point. “There’s too much outside litigation.” Frankel claimed that the promoter “wanted to cooperate.”

Among Frankel’s legal clients were the principals of London Treatment Center who later pleaded guilty to patient brokering. I asked why Frankel would represent clients in the drug treatment industry, given the city’s problems with that industry. Frankel said he represented London only at a bond hearing and two meetings with the state attorney’s office before he decided to return to politics. Frankel said he supports Delray Beach’s regulation of sober homes.

“I have the experience,” Frankel said. “I’m the only candidate with a record.” Camacho “has many good ideas and has been a gentleman, but he needs time to learn.”

Back story

There’s another candidate in Seat 1. His name is Richard Alteus. He has raised about $2,000, but he has been skipping endorsement interviews and none of the candidates in this year’s election could recall seeing him at any city commission meeting.

Alteus ran for Seat 2 in 2017. He finished a distant third in a four-candidate race.

Randy Schultz
Randy Schultz
Randy Schultz, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, has been a South Florida journalist since 1974. He worked for The Miami Herald until 1976 and for The Palm Beach Post from 1976 until 2014, where he served as managing editor and editorial page editor. Since 2014, he has written a politics blog, commentaries and other articles for Boca magazine. His writing has earned first-place awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. Randy has lived in Boca Raton with his wife, Shelley Huff-Schultz, since 1985. His son, daughter-in-law and their three children also live in Boca Raton.

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