In the main courtroom of the historic 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse, whose first tenant a century ago was Palm Beach County’s “tax assessor,” that post’s ninth incarnation was sworn in Tuesday.
With a big smile, and with her family looking on from the old jury box, new Palm Beach County Property Appraiser — that’s the title now — Dorothy Jacks took the oath of office from a woman whose children she’d baby-sat as a 13-year-old in Palm Beach Gardens: retired Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Mary Lupo.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say that was very emotional,” said Jacks, whose voice then faltered with emotion as she said, “there is really nothing better in life than a dream come true.”
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.
When Palm Beach County Commissioners convened this morning as the governing board of the Solid Waste Authority, it was the first of many proceedings this fall in which the 7-member panel contains two lame ducks.
Commissioner Shelley Vana already was on her way out
because of term limits. But 3-term commissioner Priscilla Taylor fell in Tuesday’s election t0 former Delray Beach city commissioner and former state representative Mack Bernard.
As of press time Tuesday night, Bernard had clung to a lead of less than 3 percentage points. In the final overnight tally, which still doesn’t include the small number of provisional ballots, that lead held:
Mack Bernard 41.96% 7,413
Priscilla Ann Taylor 39.02% 6,894
Lawrence Gordon 13.66% 2,414
Robbie T. Littles 5.35% 946
For Vana and Taylor, at least for now, years and years of elected office come to a screeching halt; 17 for Taylor and 14 for Vana, who was soundly beaten Tuesday night by longtime Deputy Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks in the race to replace Jacks’ boss, the retiring Gary Nikolits.
At Wednesday morning’s Solid Waste Authority meeting, chair Hal Valeche acknowledge the “bad day” Taylor and Vana had on Tuesday. He said he’ll miss them and thanked them for their service and directed a round of applause.