New Palm Beach County Property Appraiser sworn in next week

Dorothy Jacks
Jacks
Nikolits
Nikolits

Palm Beach County’s about to have its first property appraiser in nearly a quarter-century who isn’t Gary Nikolits.

Dorothy Jacks, longtime chief deputy to Nikolits, is set to be sworn in Tuesday at the 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse.

Nikolits was elected to the post in 1992 and reelected five times since. He announced in May 2015 that he would not seek a sixth term. Jacks, who’d worked in the office for 28 years and been chief deputy since 2012, filed to succeed him.

In August, Jacks easily defeated outgoing Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana, who’d stepped down from the commission because of term limits.

 

Palm Beach County to talk Air Trump

trump
trump

What to do about that plane? The one that part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump will be using when he visits his Mar-a-Lago club on Palm Beach. No, not the one with his name emblazoned on the tail. The one he’ll start riding in after Jan. 20 that says “United States of America.”

On the agenda for a Jan. 24 Palm Beach County Commission workshop: “Airport presentation on presidential visits.”

Pelly
Pelly

County Airports Director Bruce Pelly told The Palm Beach Post Wednesday only that he was “still working on” his presentation about how the county will handling landings by Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, a short ride west of Mar-a-Lago.

Even before the Donald’s stunning upset win on Nov. 8, the county was mulling how to handle his visits should he become president. He visited for Thanksgiving and is there now for the Christmas-New Year holidays. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction for the airspace over Mar-a-Lago, to run through Monday night. It allows flights into and out of Palm Beach International Airport to fly over the club, but bans smaller planes without FAA approval. Trump has been spending holidays at Palm Beach for two decades.

Done with that Christmas tree? Stick it at the curb

Solid-Waste-Authority122111-npt-cp-santas-2Right about now, if you haven’t already, you’re stripping the last of the light strings and ornaments off your Christmas tree. Now what?

It’s not complicated. Just place it at the curb, like any other landscape trash, on the scheduled pickup day, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County says.

The authority said that’s for people living outside municipalities; if you live in a city or town, check with its officials for their procedures. If you live in a multi-home community with dumpster service, contact your homeowners association or property management company directly

As a general rule, the authority said, trees can be up to eight feet long — if yours is longer, cut it in half — and weigh no more than 50 pounds. Remember to remove all decorations, lights and tinsel.

The authority said collected Christmas trees are burned in its giant waste-to-energy plants, although some are mulched and used on authority properties.

For more, call 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO (866-792-4636).

Are you properly disposing of holiday trash? Take Solid Waste Authority quiz

christmas-lightSolid-Waste-AuthorityDo you recycle your Christmas lights? What about ribbons and bows?

Not sure? Take this holiday recycling quiz from the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.

Then let us know how you did. (Some of us not so well.)

 

 

Firm drops suit against Palm Beach County over unpaid $100k bill for Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

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UPDATE: County Attorney Denise Nieman said on Monday, Jan. 9, that Oldcastle has dismissed the case.

A firm has sued Palm Beach County for $109,854 it says the county failed to pay for concrete pavers for the new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Audrey Wolf, the county’s director of facilities development, told staffers and commissioners late Tuesday afternoon that the county sent a check for $105,219.37 on Dec. 20 and the various entities are trying to resolve the difference.

Oldcastle Coastal, based in Tampa, filed the suit filed Dec. 20 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

The suit says the county agreed to a purchase order April 5 for materials that include concrete block, mortar and sealer. It says the county received the supplies between June 21 and Oct. 21 but did not pay the full bill. It says the total claimed includes an 18-percent a year finance charge for late payment.

“I believe we’ll work it out amicably with the county,” Dave Toolan, an attorney for Oldcastle, said Tuesday from Atlanta. “We’ve done business with the county for a long time and always been able to work out issues.”

County Attorney Denise Nieman Tuesday repeated her policy of not commenting on active suits. New York-based spokespersons for Orlando-based Hunt Construction Group, the primary contractor, also did not return calls.

The $148 million future spring training site of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals is scheduled to open Feb. 28.

Construction began in November on the 160-acre plot south of 45th Street, which will house a stadium, 12 major and minor league practice fields, public soccer fields and a park. A steel superstructure above the 7,500-seat ballpark will allow 360-degree views of the action.

Jupiter Farms man released from South Korea jail

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Julius Malinowski (Family photo)

Julius Malinowski is coming home.

The 79-year-old retired Federal Reserve vice president, who winters in Jupiter Farms, has been released from jail in South Korea and arrives Tuesday night in Miami. He’ll spend a few days at the Jupiter Farms home of his son Kent before returning to Virginia, Kent said in an email.

Julius Malinowski has been in a South Korea jail since Nov. 10, charged with fraud, his son said. The family says he is the real victim, set up by people posing as executives of North Carolina-based BB&T Bank to unknowingly rip off a South Korean businessman.

Kent Malinowski said Dec. 21 that his father’s attorneys have told him his father agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 1-year sentence that was suspended.

Kent said at the time he had an emotional phone call of less than 10 minutes with his father, who was awaiting clearance to leave. He said his father “choked up, and said to me, ‘Thank you… thank you…for all you did to get me out.  You saved my life.’  That’s when I couldn’t hold back my own tears. Both of us… on the phone… sobbing like little kids. This phone call was the single greatest gift of my life…it’s taken me 57 years to experience the unrestrained joy of a Christmas miracle.”

 

 

 

 

Bridge, bus to go pink next month for Palm Beach County breast cancer fight

Bridge in Jan. 2016 (Meghan McCarthy/PB Daily News)
Bridge in January 2016 (Meghan McCarthy/PB Daily News)

A bridge and a bus will be pretty in pink next month to focus on breast cancer.

At 6 p.m. on Jan. 12, the Royal Palm Bridge — the “middle” bridge at Okeechobee Boulevard — will light up in pink, in partnership with Susan G. Komen South Florida. Just before that, Palm Tran will debut, for the fifth year, one of its buses that’s been wrapped in black, with pink lettering providing a message about breast cancer awareness. The bus, which operates on Palm Tran Route 1 — along U.S. 1 from Boca Raton to Palm Beach Gardens — will be wrapped for three to four months, Palm Tran said.

It’s all in advance of the Jan. 28 Komen South Florida Race for the Cure, which hopes to raise $1 million.

Komen South Florida says the bridge will stay lit into mid-February.

Appeals court rules cities don’t have to pay for IG

The 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled that area cities don’t have to contribute to an inspector general program established by Palm Beach County after voters approved a referendum calling for such a program.

That referendum was approved in November 2010 by a majority of voters in the county and by a majority in each of the county’s municipalities.

But after the county created the Office of Inspector General in 2011 – and required cities to help pay for it – 15 cities sued, arguing the county could not force them to pay for the program.

The county won the first legal battle when a trial court ruled that funding the program was not a discretionary budgetary decision and that the county could compel municipal payment for it.

The cities appealed, and today the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in their favor, setting the stage for the case to go to the Florida Supreme Court.

Asked if the county will take the case to the state Supreme Court, County Attorney Denise Nieman said: “We’re exploring our options.”

Inspector General John Carey said he’s “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.

“My disappointment is that we must continue to provide the OIG oversight to the County and all municipalities at approximately half staff,” he said.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio said the ruling reaffirms that cities have the right to determine how municipal funding is spent.

“It can not be imposed on us by the county,” she said.

Check with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today for more on this story.

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County seeking reimbursement of Trump costs

Palm Beach County is seeking federal reimbursement for costs associated with escorting and providing security for President-elect Donald Trump, who spent the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-A-Lago mansion on Palm Beach.

County Administrator Verdenia Baker said the cost of escorting Trump’s motorcade and providing additional security over the holiday was roughly $250,000.

Baker’s staff is drafting a letter to the county’s U.S. congressional delegation to seek reimbursement. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is keeping track of Trump-related costs.

Click here for much more on this story.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (Getty Images)
President-elect Donald Trump. (Getty Images)

County approves committee to oversee sales tax projects

Palm Beach County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to establish a 19-member committee that will oversee projects paid for with money from the sales tax increase voters approved last month.

The committee members, to be selected by commissioners and various community organizations, must be Palm Beach County residents and would serve three-year terms.

The sales tax increase is expected to generate $2.7 billion over the next decade to repair roads, bridges, schools and county-owned buildings. Half of the money would go to the School District of Palm Beach County. The county gets 30 percent, and cities would get the remaining 20 percent.

Check back with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today for more on this story.

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