Palm Beach Shores Mayor Myra Koutzen has written to County Commissioner Hal Valeche to express her support for a plan to build sports fields on 27 acres of the North County District Park.
Koutzen notes that Palm Beach Gardens wants to use some of its money from the one-cent sales tax increase to build sports fields on park land, which is located in Valeche’s district.
“As a small community with very limited public space, our residents have particular need of the types of recreational space proposed for that area of the North County District Park,” Koutzen wrote in am email to Valeche. “We are particularly appreciative that Palm Beach Gardens opens their facilities to residents of neighboring communities such as ours. This proposal would support their ability to continue to provide this access in the future.”
County commissioners who sit as the authority board selected McKinlay Wednesday morning at their regular meeting. The vote was 7-0.
The board then selected as officers two new commissioners; Mack Bernard as vice chair and Dave Kerner as secretary.
Mayor Paulette Burdick had nominated Bernard as authority chair but there was no second. Mary Lou Berger then nominated McKinlay.
McKinlay has been the authority board’s vice chair. She succeeds Hal Valeche, who also has been county vice mayor. By tradition, the county commission’s vice mayor heads the authority’s governing board.
Valeche did attend last month’s organizational meeting, his first in weeks, and was sworn into his new term. He did not make mention at that meeting of his absences or his health.
Valeche has not describe his health situation, and during the election, opponent Tony Bennett had called on Valeche to be more transparent about his health. Bennett, a Democrat, noted that Republican Gov. Rick Scott would appoint a replacement if Valeche, also a Republican, won re-election and could not finish that four-year term.
The Palm Beach County Commission changed the guard Tuesday with laughs, hugs and tears.
The commission also made a surprise pick for its mostly-ceremonial mayor’s post, selecting Paulette Burdick 4-3 over colleague Steven Abrams.
The panel Tuesday said goodbye to Shelley Vana, out by term limits, and Priscilla Taylor, defeated for reelection in August.
It then swore in former state representative Dave Kerner, who won Vana’s seat, and former Delray Beach City Commissioner and former state representative Mack Bernard, who replaces Taylor.
By tradition, outgoing Vice-Mayor Hal Valeche was next in line for mayor. But Valeche, hospitalized for weeks in late October and early November,said Nov. 9 he would not stand for mayor, citing his health.
Since the position was created, the board traditionally has turned to the person who is Vice Mayor and is chairman when 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. But only Burdick and Abrams were nominated Tuesday. McKinlay later was unanimously picked for vice mayor. McKinlay said later she hadn’t sought the top post and was happy with the pick.
Abrams had been the first mayor when the panel switched to the title from “commission chair,” and Kerner said later he voted for Burdick because she hadn’t had the post yet.
In 2013, Burdick, who as vice mayor traditionally would be next in line, was passed over for Shelley Vana in a move she later called “petty” and blamed on her growth-management stances. Burdick said Tuesday that was in the past and she was ready to take on her new duties.
Not clear: who will be picked for the mostly-ceremonial mayor’s post. Valeche, hospitalized for weeks in late October and early November, said Nov. 9 he would not stand for mayor, citing his health. Since the position of mayor was created in 2013, the board traditionally has turned to the person who is Vice Mayor and 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.
Also on today’s agenda:
Westlake: A vote to approve changing the boundaries of its Municipal Service Taxing Unit for fire-rescue to include the new city of Westlake.
Cancer Treatment Centers: A vote to approve $357,500 in local incentives for Boca Raton-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which will spend at least $14.,5 million to buy and renovate an existing building for its corporate headquarters.
Palm Beach County Commission Meeting: When: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Public comment at 2 p.m. Where:Sixth-floor chambers, Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center,301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach
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.
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.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche, who missed a series of county meetings last week, told his colleagues illness is the reason he’s been hospitalized.
“I was scheduled for some medical tests regarding gastrointestinal issues I have been facing when I fell ill the week before last, and was admitted to the hospital,” Valeche wrote to his colleagues this morning. “My doctors and hospital medical staff are working through the issues and I am confident I will be back in action soon. I am grateful for all of the well wishes and outpouring of concern from so many and look forward to getting back to work as soon as possible.”
Valeche, 67, represents District 1, which covers northern Palm Beach County. He is facing re-election.
Commissioners are scheduled to meet on Tuesday. The subject of Valeche’s note was “absence from November 1, 2066 BOCC meeting.”
Candidates competing in three Palm Beach County Commission races are scheduled to participate in an event hosted by the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County Wednesday at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse in West Palm Beach.
Commissioner Hal Valeche and Tony Bennett, competing to represent District 1, Dave Kerner and Sean C. Hogan, the candidates in District 3, and Commissioner Mary Lou Berger and Taniel Shant, vying to represent District 5, are all expected to participate in a forum.
Randy Schultz, former editorial page editor of The Palm Beach Post, will moderate the discussion.
The forum will also introduce Mack Bernard, who will represent District 7 after defeating Commissioner Priscilla Taylor and a pair of other candidates on August 30.
A meet and mingle begins at 11:30 a.m., with the forum/luncheon starting a half-hour later.
Reservations are $70 for non-members and $50 for members and their guests. For more information, contact Jon Kline at 561-373-5488 or 561-622-9920.