Delray city manager
Delray Beach will have a new city manager on Nov. 6.
The city also will have a new mayor in April.
Before the city commission approved Mark Lauzier’s contract Tuesday night, Cary Glickstein (pictured above) announced that he would not run for another three-year term in March. Glickstein ran in 2013 for the last two-year term before voters changed to three-year terms. Term limits kick in only after consecutive three-year terms, which would have allowed Glickstein to serve eight years.
Over the last few weeks, however, Glickstein said he had become uneasy about that “technicality.” Though he “would have liked another year” to work with Lauzier—“the first city manager I’ve had that aligns with the city’s needs”—he “kept coming back to feeling better giving up that one year over taking two more that no one else would have.” The last of his three children also will leave for college soon. He has sold Ironwood Properties and is getting into private equity ventures.
In his remarks Tuesday night, Glickstein cited progress during the last four years on development rules, sober houses, the garbage-hauling contract, the commission’s relationship with the community redevelopment agency and investment on West Atlantic Avenue. “Today,” Glickstein said, city government “stands more effective and prepared to deliver on its purpose and promises, and as a city we are more desirable than ever as a place to live, work and play.”
Having run his own company, Glickstein often has been impatient with the pace by which government has to work. But he also has taken the job more seriously than himself. “I’ve always been a big believer,” he told me, “in fresh ideas that usually come from fresh faces, no matter how smart we think we are
Delray March elections
With Glickstein’s announcement, attention will focus even more on Delray Beach’s elections in March.
Petrolia already had filed to run for mayor, and her first campaign finance report shows that she’s all in. For August, her first month, Petrolia raised roughly $25,000 and loaned herself another $25,000. That early start will make it a tough race for potential challengers.
Among Petrolia’s contributions is $1,000 from CRA board member Allen Zeller. Petrolia nominated him for that position. She also received $1,000 from Mark Denkler, owner of Vince Canning Shoes. Frank McCluskey and Melanie Winter each gave $1,000. They have been involved with Caring Kitchen, which the city commission has told to stop serving food at its city-owned space in the Northwest Neighborhood by the end of this month. Caring Kitchen can continue to prepare food and distribute it from the site for a year.
Meanwhile, Mitch Katz has filed for reelection in Seat 3. He raised about $11,000 in August, including a $500 loan. Katz also received $1,000 from McCluskey and Winter. Another $500 came from the Carney Stanton law firm. A member of that firm is Tom Carney, who lost to Glickstein in 2013 and 2015.
And who’s on deck
Petrolia’s candidacy for mayor creates an opening in Seat 1. Two candidates have filed.
One is Ryan Boylston, who owns the Woo Creative marketing firm and is publisher of the Delray/Boca Newspaper. He tried to challenge Petrolia in 2015, but the supervisor of elections ruled that he had not submitted enough valid petition signatures in time to make the ballot. A judge upheld that ruling.
The other Seat 1 candidate is Adam Frankel, who served on the commission from 2009 until 2015. During his last year in office, Frankel—with Al Jacquet— consistently refused to provide a fourth vote to fire Louie Chapman, the thoroughly incompetent city manager. Frankel also cast a vote to bail out the former owners of the Auburn Trace housing complex. The commission rescinded that vote, which drew opposition from residents and city staff, enabling Delray Beach to strike a deal favorable to the city.
With as much harmony as they showed in choosing Lauzier, Delray Beach commissioners agreed on a contract that will pay the new manager $235,000. That’s in the middle of the advertised salary range and will mean about a $40,000 increase for Lauzier from what Tacoma, Wash., pays him to be an assistant city manager.
Lauzier also will get a monthly car allowance of $650 and up to $25,000 in moving expenses. He will receive $2,500 per month for up to six months for temporary living costs. If Lauzier left before serving two years, he would have to pay repay a portion of the moving money.
Lauzier’s first day will be Nov. 6. There’s a commission meeting the next day.
Addison Mizner Elementary
The Oct. 5 meeting about Addison Mizner Elementary apparently demonstrated that there probably is more support for moving the school than for keeping it on the cramped campus south of Palmetto Park Road.
School board member Frank Barbieri, whose district includes Boca Raton, convened that meeting. Barbieri said most of his emails from Addison Mizner parents favor the move, which would double the size of the campus as Addison Mizner prepares to add a middle school. The only “reluctance,” he said, comes from parents who now can walk their children to school. Boca Raton City Councilman Scott Singer, who attended the meeting, said the parents are “strongly in favor.”
The issue, however, is whether the move could happen.
To recap, the school district’s first plan was to rebuild Verde Elementary and then send Addison Mizner students to the old Verde for 18 months, during construction of the new Addison Mizner. Both projects will be financed through the sales-tax surcharge.
During those 18 months of a shared campus, however, traffic likely would be beyond terrible around Verde. The possibility of moving Addison Mizner then arose, with Sugar Sand Park the only practical location.
The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District owns Sugar Sand. I spoke Wednesday with four of the five district commissioners. They believe that the first priority is whether the city council would lift the covenant that restricts use of the land in question to conservation. The property is roughly 24 acres on the southeast corner of the park, fronting on Camino Real.
Art Koski is the district’s director and attorney. He has provided documents about the deed restriction to the commissioners. The city is supposed to get them by Nov. 1. After reviewing the documents Wednesday, District Chairman Bob Rollins told me that he sees two potential “major stumbling blocks.”
One is a provision specifying that at least part of the land must be used for “parks and recreation purposes,” Rollins said. The other limits “entrance and egress” on Camino Real to one lane. “Those two things,” Rollins said, “could be game-changers.” Residents of communities on the south side of Camino Real already have expressed concerns about traffic from a school.
Barbieri told me this week that Superintendent Robert Avossa has authorized the school district’s legal office to “negotiate” with the beach and park district. If the proposal got far enough along, the question then would be what the district wants for the Sugar Sand property. A swap involving the Addison Mizner land? Money? Since the school would use Sugar Sand’s fields, Rollins said, “we would need some compensation at least for that.”
City officials first said they would wait to see what happened between the school district and the beach and parks district. Now the beach and park commissioners, though, say council members first must decide whether they would lift the deed restrictions.
City council members, of course, could say that they need to see what the school district might build. But Barbieri told me that the school district wouldn’t spend money on design without knowing that the school could be moved. So who will make that first move?
Despite rumors on social media, nothing has been decided. There will be no more public meetings, though the school district will take additional comment through its website. The emphasis now is on examining how the deal actually might work.
District commissioner Craig Ehrnst called the issue of compensation “negotiable” and said, “Neither party should try to take advantage of the other, as the taxpayers are the same.” He said the potential move is “a phenomenal opportunity for our community to design and develop a world-class school in a natural environment that is really unique. . .That said, there are some big obstacles that require more thought, and we may not be able to overcome (them) in order to relocate the school.”
Steve Engel, Ehrnst’s colleague, said, “Regardless of whether this project moves forward or not, there will be some very unhappy residents in Boca Raton. There are compelling arguments both for and against.
“There are more moving parts to this than meets the eye. Essentially, I’m waiting to see if the project can even be done before I take a position.”
On Monday the Boca Raton City Council, acting as the community redevelopment agency, will hear a presentation from the city’s traffic consultant about making Federal Highway one-way to the north and Dixie Highway one-way to the south. The goal would be to better manage traffic and make downtown more walkable.
I’ll get into the details next week, but the consultant estimates that the project would cost almost $50 million and take about 15 years to complete. The city would seek federal and state grants to help pay for the work.
Publix closer to West Atlantic
As expected, the Delray City Commission on Tuesday approved waivers for a Publix store on West Atlantic Avenue. It would be the first chain grocery west of Swinton Boulevard and a big symbolic boost to the area.
The commission also essentially agreed to a restart of the Swinton Commons project. Commissioners delayed their ruling on the historic preservation board’s approval of some demolition and moving requests until the board reviews Hudson Holdings’ new site plan. If the site plan doesn’t work, nothing else matters.
In my Tuesday item about Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s search for a partner, I wrote that the partnership “could mean establishing the hospital in a new area or bringing a new service or capital.”
My wording could have left some readers thinking that Boca Regional might want to move from its Meadows Road location. My intent was to say that a partnership could bring the hospital’s brand to another area or otherwise raise the hospital’s profile. CEO Jerry Fedele and the board have no intention of moving Boca Regional.
In this post, I originally wrote that Glickstein could have served another three-year term as mayor—which would have made it eight years in all—because his first two years filled out the term of the previous mayor.
Actually, Glickstein ran in 2013 for the last two-year term before voters changed to three-year terms. Term limits kick in only after consecutive three-year terms, which would have allowed Glickstein to serve eight years. If Petrolia had run for reelection in Seat 1, she could have served that long for the same reason. This post has been edited to reflect this information.