Palm Beach County to talk Air 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.”


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.

Palm Beach County Commission to congratulate Trump

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (Getty Images)
Trump (Getty Images)
Palm Beach County Commissioner Paulette Burdick (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
Burdick (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Part-time Palm Beach County resident Donald Trump will get a congratulatory letter from the Palm Beach County Commission, but it will be more in the spirit of unity than enthusiasm.

At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Steven Abrams suggested drafting such a letter to the president-elect, “wishing him the best in his presidency.”

New Mayor Paulette Burdick, a longtime Democratic activist, looked like she’d bit into a lemon.

“Thank you, Mr. Abrams. Good suggestion,” she said, appearing to want to let the issue die. When Abrams persisted, she said, “If I am directed by the board to do it, I will do it.”

Abrams cited post-election national calls for unity and noted Trump’s connections to the county and the prospects of a “second White House” at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach. Where, coincidentally, Trump will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” said Abrams, a longtime Republican who noted many people crossed party lines on Nov 8,  but didn’t say how he voted.

“We in Palm Beach County are always gracious,” Burdick said. “I’m sure we can draft an appropriate letter to Mr. Trump.”

And Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, also a strong Democrat, said, “it does send the right tone that we’re willing to cross the aisle.”

Palm Tran offers free rides to polls Tuesday; 368 take advantage


UPDATE, noon Nov. 9: Palm Tran says 368 people used the free Palm Tran rides to the polls on Tuesday.

Palm Tran, Palm Beach County’s public transportation system, says it will offer free rides Tuesday for people to vote.

You must present a valid voter information card when boarding.

The offer is valid for all 35 routes system-wide throughout Palm Beach County for the entire day, but isn’t valid for use on Palm Tran Connection, which provides call-ahead bus service for the elderly, disabled and ill.

Palm Beach County voters will cast ballots for president as well as 36 other federal, state and local races and seven referenda, including four amendments to the Florida Constitution and a Palm Beach County sales tax increase.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for 868 precincts at 461 polling locations, according to the county supervisor of elections.

Bring your voter registration card and a form of photo identification. Your polling place is shown on your voter registration card, or you can find it at

More than 50,000 voted early or by mail in Palm Beach County; nearly 21.5 million statewide

102516-pbc-early-voting-4 The number who already have voted in the Nov. 8 election, by either early voting or mail-in, is nearly 2.5 million in Florida and nearly 50,000 in Palm Beach County, stats show.

Palm Beach County’s three-day total of 49,714, as reported by the Supervisor of Elections, already is more than a fourth of the 124,896 who participated in eight days of early voting for the November 2012 general election.

For all three days,  the highest volume among the 15 early-voting sites has been the Hagen Ranch Road Palm Beach County Library branch, west of Delray Beach, which by itself accounts for 11 percent of all early voters.

The Florida Division of Elections’ mail-in and early-voting figures, as of midday Thursday, show 2.47 million people already have used one of the two pre-Election Day options. Another 1.65 million ballots were requested but not yet turned in.0

Among mail-ins submitted statewide, Republicans still outnumber Democrats, 677,907 to 631,672, But among those voting early, the GOP trails 336,299 to 370,809.

The state’s figures for Palm Beach County, which don’t exactly match those posted locally, show Republicans trailing 23,662 to 40,955 in mail-ins and  13,905 to 24,748 in early voting.

Vote-by-mail ballots to be sent out Friday for military/overseas, Oct. 7 for all else

Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Vote by mail ballots for the Nov. 8 general election will be sent out Friday for registered voters who requested them and are in the military or living overseas, and Oct. 7 for everyone else, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections said this week.

The deadline to ask that a ballot be mailed to you is 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

All ballots must be returned by Election Day at 7 p.m. at the main office or 5 p.m. at satellite offices.

Early voting runs from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6.  Sites are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m . Bring a current picture or signature ID.

For more, call 561-656-6200 or visit

Early Voting Locations:

Elections office: Palm Beach County turnout was just 19.2 percent

Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Last week, Palm Beach County’s elections chief predicted a 20 percent turnout for Tuesday’s vote. She actually  had been a bit optimistic.

Total voting — in person on Tuesday, early, or by mail — was 167,497, according to data from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

That’s 19.2 percent of the 872,061 registered to vote.

The breakdown: 84604 voted Election Day, 54,029 used mail-in, and 28,865 voted early.

Supervisor Susan Bucher had given the 20 percent figure even as she predicted an 80 percent turnout for the high-profile Nov. 8 election, which will include the presidential vote.

Florida Division of Elections statistics weren’t immediately available Wednesday. The division has said turnout statewide was 18 percent in the 2014 primary.

Bucher, who was up late Tuesday night with the voting tabulations, couldn’t immediately be reached Wednesday.

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