Palm Beach County Commissioner Valeche: I won’t stand for mayor

PBC Commissioner Hal Valeche

Valeche

County Vice Mayor, and newly-reelected Commissioner, Hal Valeche, hospitalized for weeks, said Wednesday he will not stand for the mostly-ceremonial mayor’s post when the new commission is seated at its Nov. 22 meeting.

“I don’t think I can do it because of my health. I’m going to decline,” Valeche said from Jupiter Medical Center, where he’s been since at least Oct. 24.

On Tuesday night, the 67-year-old Palm Beach Gardens Republican defeated his Democratic challenger, suburban Jupiter attorney Tony Bennett, for a second term on the commission.

For the position of mayor, created in 2013, the board traditionally has turned to the person who is Vice Mayor and also is chairman as the commission sits as the governing board of the Solid Waste Authority. That would be Valeche. Next up would be Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, the current vice chair of the Solid Waste Authority’s board.

Valeche has in recent weeks been prominent mostly for his absence. He missed more than two weeks worth of meetings; his last was Oct. 18, at which he arrived late. In a pair of brief emails sent a week apart, Valeche told fellow commissioners he was undergoing tests for gastrointestinal issues when he fell ill and was hospitalized. But the commissioner has not said whether those gastrointestinal issues are the reason for his hospitalization.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

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