Pinto, McKinlay have sharp exchange on car burglaries

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay and Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto recently exchanged sharply worded emails over a public safety issue in the village, a break from the usually harmonious dealings between local public officials.

The flare-up was especially remarkable because it occurred between officials who share constituents. Typically, such officials are eager to be seen as working together for those constituents.

Pinto was elected to the village council in 2003 and was elected mayor in March. McKinlay was elected in 2014 to serve a district that includes Royal Palm Beach and other municipalities west of Florida’s Turnpike.

Their dispute centered on McKinlay’s response to a complaint from a Royal Palm Beach resident and council member about a rise in car burglaries in the village.

McKinlay reached out to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and sought to hold a community meeting on the issue.

Pinto, displeased, admonished the commissioner for not first reaching out to him or the village administrator, Ray Liggins.

“Any issues or concerns regarding crime activity in the Village should have been brought to the Village Manager’s and my attention,” Pinto wrote to McKinlay. “Members on the Village Council will be advised that any ‘official business on behalf of the Village’ with The County Commissioners Office, or other agencies must go through the Village Manager and the Office of the Mayor.”

McKinlay fired back.

“My apologies but when residents in my district contact me and one of your councilmembers, I feel obligated to respond,” she wrote to Pinto. “I fail to see the problem here. We simply were trying to address some concerned citizens’ worries and all I did was ask my contacts at PBSO if there was a possibility we could do a community meeting with the worried residents.”

McKinlay later added: “Of the seven cities I represent, no other city censures their elected members from contacting me directly. I am here to help whenever someone within District 6 contacts me. My apologies if anyone felt their toes had been stepped on, but such a strong censorship is not necessary.”

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

County to spend $1.7M for Royal Palm Beach fire rescue stations

Palm Beach County will spend $1.7 million to purchase two fire rescue stations owned by the Village of Royal Palm Beach.

County commissioners approved an agreement to purchase the stations when they met on Tuesday.

The county, which provides fire rescue service to the village, rents the buildings for $225,000 per year and determined that it would be less expensive to purchase the stations rather than continue renting them.

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Chief Jeffrey Collins at county budget workshop, March 25, 2015 (Staff photo/Eliot Kleinberg)
Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Chief Jeffrey Collins at county budget workshop, March 25, 2015 (Staff photo/Eliot Kleinberg)

 

Palm Beach County Commission gets Westlake impact update today

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What impact will  the planned Westlake development, formerly called Minto West, have on the surrounding area? Commissioners will get a report at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Also on the agenda:

Pets: Set to take the first of two votes on tough new rules for pet stores that the head of the county’s Animal Care and Control says are designed to reduce the flow of animals from so-called “puppy mills.”

Vehicles for Hire: Set to take the first of two votes on new “reciprocity” rules for taxis, limos, and app-based rides such as Uber, for five southeast Florida counties.

PBIA: Would approve the replacement of a bookstore at Palm Beach International Airport with a “gourmet market.”

Fire Stations: Would agree to buy the property where it operates two fire-rescue stations for the Village of Royal Palm Beach, saying it was cheaper in the long run than leasing.031616 met barn fire011

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

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Palm Beach County Clerk Bock: I’ll close Royal Palm Beach center on Fridays

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Bock
Bock

Describing it as yet another consequence of what she’s called deficient money from the state, Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock said Friday she’s closing her “Midwestern Communities” service center in Royal Palm Beach on Fridays.

The new hours start Aug. 5 at the center, at 200 Civic Center Way, Suite 500.

Bock has said her budget took a $2.6 million cut this budget year, leading to layoffs and branch closings. She already closed operations on Fridays last year at her offices in the North County and South County courthouses.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.