A direct mail piece doesn’t just rip Palm Beach County property appraiser candidate Shelley Vana for attending what it described as a Donald Trump rally. It doesn’t just say she took gobs of money from developers and then voted for more growth.
The mail piece also says Vana, a county commissioner, voted for “the largest tax increase in Palm Beach County history.”
That vote, taken in May, was to have voters decide whether the county’s sales tax should be raised from 6 cents on the dollar to 7 cents on the dollar. That increase would generate an estimated $2.7 billion over 10 years for repairs to roads, bridges, schools and county buildings.
Vana does back that sales tax increase. Her opponent in the property appraiser’s race, Dorothy Jacks, would not say if she supports the proposed sales tax increase, which will be on the ballot in November.
“I do not think it is proper for me to advocate for or against an issue which does not directly impact the duties and responsibilities of the Property Appraiser’s office,” Jacks said when asked about the sales tax plan in candidate survey from The Palm Beach Post. ” I am glad the voters get a chance to make a decision on this in November.”
Jacks isn’t taking a position on the sales tax proposal, but Rick Asnani, the man behind the anti-Vana flier, was squarely behind the proposal earlier this year.
Working with the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Asnani made presentations and pushed hard in favor of what the anti-Vana flier describes as “the largest tax increase in Palm Beach County history.”
When the commission voted not to use sales tax money to pay for projects backed by the Cultural Council, Asnani’s role in the sales tax push diminished.
A lot of people came to the polls that day wanting to vote in a party other than the one in which they were registered. Many were furious when they learned Florida was one of only 11 states in which you can vote in a primary only in the party for which you’re registered.
The election office’s new video, posted July 14, explains that while there is the closed primary, everyone can vote in races that are non-partisan or in which a candidate faces no opposition in the general election —- in this case Nov. 8. And all can vote in referendum questions.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor has directed county staff members to conduct an overview of sober homes in the county, which have generated opposition from those who feel the private, unregulated facilities lead to increased violence and drug abuse in some communities.
“We as commissioners really need to know what’s going on,” Taylor said during a meeting Tuesday.
It is not clear what staff will review, and there is no timetable for the completion of that review.
Taylor’s colleagues were in general agreement with the notion of a review. Commissioner Shelley Vana added that she wants to know what can be done to make sure sober home operators who solicit for out-of-town clients provide those clients with a way to return to their communities if treatment is unsuccessful and ends early.
For the Nov. 8 general election, the deadline to register to vote, or to change party affiliation, is Oct. 11. Early voting runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 24-Nov. 6. The deadline to have a ballot mailed to you for that election is Nov. 2.
To see a sample ballot for the Aug. 30 vote, or for more information, contact the elections office at 561-656-6200 or visit www.pbcelections.org.
Get the candidates’ background and views in their own words in The Post’s exclusive Know Your Candidates online guide, pbpo.st/kycp2016.
EXCLUSIVE ELECTION COVERAGE
KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES GUIDE
One in a series about all races and referendums on Palm Beach County’s Aug. 30 ballots. Series will run daily through Sunday, the day before the start of early voting in the county.
Palm Beach County government is operating in a whole new light today.
Guess that’s what new lighting can do. New lighting was installed in the 6th-floor chambers of the Weisman Government Center where county commissioners meet.
Those lights were shining brightly when commissioners began their meeting this morning, but county staff say the building is in need of more substantial repairs, which could be made with money from an increase in the sales tax. (That’s if voters pass the sales tax referendum.)
Water truck: Expected to approve $300,00, to match a federal grant, for a $600,000 high-pressure water truck for Palm Beach International Airport, to clean up debris, spills and other materials from runways and ramps. The county previously had hired contractors but staff said having its own truck was more cost-effective.