Palm Beach County administrator: We’re not a sanctuary county

trumpsanctuaryOn Thursday night — around the time the mayor of Miami-Dade County relented to pressure from the Trump administration about Miami-Dade’s designation of “sanctuary county” — Palm Beach County commissioners received an email from a “tax paying, registered democrat voting citizen” who urged them to follow the lead of their neighbor to the south.

There’s one problem.

“We never considered ourselves a sanctuary county,” Deputy County Administrator Jon Van Arnam said. “The board of county commissioners never took any action to make ourselves a sanctuary county.”

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said in a statement that it’s Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s policy “to follow Federal law as it relates to federal immigration detention requests. Furthermore, ‘PBC never has been or will be a sanctuary county’, per (Bradshaw.)”

Trump said earlier this week sanctuary cities — locales that don’t cooperate with immigration authorities — could lose millions of federal dollars. Many cities are vowing legal action, arguing the threatened punishment would be unconstitutional.

“Right decision. Strong,” the president tweeted Friday morning of the Miami-Dade action.

To read more, go later to

Palm Beach County to offer stress help for caregivers

SC MET 1_1 SENIOR FAIR 17 If you’re a caregiver and, like most, you’re stressed out, there’s help.

Palm Beach County’s Division of Senior Services will conduct a 6-week, once-a-week course, “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” on Thursdays, Oct 13 through Nov. 17.

Sessions will be 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Mid County Senior Center at 3680 Lake Worth Road, in suburban Lake Worth.

The course helps caregivers to take care of themselves, which helps them better care for their relative or friend. They’ll learn how to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, and increase their ability to make tough decisions and find helpful resources.

Admission is free and includes a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook.”

Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Call (561) 357-7135.

What’s a broken window worth? In Pahokee, $22,000.

City of Pahokee

Palm Beach County’s economic recovery is slowing in reaching Pahokee. So the town along Lake Okeechobee, where unemployment’s been as high as 27 percent and property values rose at a lower rate than any other municipality, doesn’t have money lying around. And for want of that $22,000, it can’t, at least for now, bulldoze a crime magnet.

A 2-story building at 171 Booker Place is owned by a Lake Worth church that had hoped to renovate it as a homeless residence. But that plan fizzled, and the complex “has become a blighted nuisance to the surrounding community, and a haven for illegal activity (drugs being sold, prostitution, drug-use, and other illicit activities),” City Manager Chandler Williamson said Tuesday in an email to County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes the Glades.

The Broken Window Theory is in plain sight,” Williamson wrote, referring to a doctrine that says a broken window suggests no one cares and helps lead to blight and crime.


Williamson said the owners have offered to sign the place over. But there’s $22,000 in back taxes. Williamson asked for a break. No, the county said. Its hands are tied.

“We cannot waive taxes,” Sherry Brown, director of the county’s Office of Financial Management and Budget, said in an email. “If the city takes ownership, they are responsible.”

Williamson couldn’t be reached to learn the city’s next move. 

Wawa gets preliminary approval for station at Hypoluxo and High Ridge

Wawa got a win Thursday when the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission gave it preliminary approval to build a gas station and eatery at Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.

Some residents of the area have fought the proposal, arguing that its approval would mean more traffic and noise.

The proposal must still be approved by the Palm Beach County Commission.

Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)


One Wawa gets initial OK amid opposition to another

The Palm Beach County Zoning Commission approved Wawa’s application to build a 24-hour gas station at the southeast corner of Military Trail and 10th Avenue North west of Lake Worth.

That application will now go to the Palm Beach County Commission for consideration on August 25.

A far more controversial application from Wawa – this one for a gas station at Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road – was also to be considered by the Zoning Commission today. But the agenda item was postponed until the Zoning Commission’s September 1 meeting.

Citing noise and traffic concerns, residents near the proposed Hypoluxo Road station have bombarded county commissioners with letters of opposition to the project.

Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)


Groundbreaking July 29 for John Prince Park expansion, dog park

jp1 JP2A groundbreaking for the dog park and expansion at Palm Beach County’s John Prince Park, west of Lake Worth, is set for 9 a.m. Friday, July 29, at the park’s Mound Circle Pavilion.

In March, Palm Beach County Commissioners approved a 1-year $2.1 million project at the pavilion.  New features include the five-bay dog park as well as five gazebos, along with renovations of the existing cricket field and new landscaping and parking.



Mayor of Westlake runs printing business, looking forward to serving

The newest mayor of Palm Beach County’s newest city doesn’t live there, and he’s not sure he will move there even after taking the oath of office.

But Roger Manning, who lives in unincorporated Lake Worth and has run a printing business there for more than 30 years, said he is looking forward to serving as Westlake’s inaugural mayor.

Nothing about Westlake’s founding has been standard, and Manning, 62, didn’t become mayor by kissing babies and earning votes.

He said he was asked to serve as the infant city’s mayor by John Carter, vice president of Minto Communities, the builder that plans to construct 4,500 homes and develop 2.2 million square feet of commercial space in an area of The Acreage that is largely fields and groves.

Carter and Manning serve as board members for the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce.

Minto is the largest landowner in Westlake and supports its incorporation, much to the chagrin of area residents, who don’t want the hustle and bustle they believe the developer will bring to their quiet area.

County officials who endured intense criticism two years ago when they worked with Minto to set limits on the size of the development – only to have Minto support an incorporation that could open the door to even more development – aren’t thrilled, either.

County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes Westlake, has called Minto “greedy” and said it’s backing of incorporation was “a dishonest business practice.”

In an exclusive interview with The Palm Beach Post on Thursday, Manning said he is aware of the frustration surrounding Westlake’s start as a city.

“Some things are shocking for a start, but, once people work together, things can work out,” Manning said.

Manning said his decision to stand as mayor wasn’t a snap choice. He said he visited the area and determined that it could use much of what Minto plans to bring.

“There is a real need for services in that area,” he said. “The area looks like it needs more services.”

Read more about Westlake’s new mayor – including his views on a jailed former Westlake council member and on how he plans to work with Minto – later today at

Westlake Mayor Roger Manning
Westlake Mayor Roger Manning



PBC Human Services to participate in housing discussion

Palm Beach County’s Department of Human Services will participate in a discussion Thursday morning about the county’s housing needs.

County officials are expected to join others in real estate, finance and non-profits to look for ways to address the number of people in the county who struggle to pay for housing or have no housing.

The discussion is scheduled to last from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Public Safety Building on Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus, located at 4200 S. Congress Avenue.

Lake Worth residents crying over Wawa

Some Lake Worth residents are pleading with Palm Beach County commissioners not to approve a land use change that would allow a 24-hour Wawa gas station to be built at the intersection of Hypoluxo Road and High Ridge Road.

Residents were successful three years ago in blocking a plan to put a gas station in their neighborhood. They are now emailing commissioners, telling they them to vote no-no on Wawa.

Many are sending a form email telling commissioners: “The neighborhood has been there since before I-95, and the High Ridge Road area is unique in character and should be protected!  It is already heavily congested and more traffic will lead to even more accidents, injuries, and fatalities.”

Commissioners aren’t expected to consider the Wawa proposal until August.

Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Residents opposed to a proposed gas station on a lot at High Ridge and Hypoluxo hold signs expressing their opposition Monday, April 11, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

PBC Commission, school board members approve new sales tax plan

During a joint meeting to smooth over differences, Palm Beach County commissioners and school board members agreed on a joint plan to raise the county’s 6-cent sales tax by a penny on the dollar.

Commissioners and school board members had previously agreed on the broad outlines of the tax increase, which would generate $2.7 billion over 10 years for repairs to roads, bridges, schools and county buildings. School board members expressed concern, however, when commissioners changed the plan, stripping out a combined $161 million in funding for cultural projects and for economic development incentives.

On Tuesday at Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus, commissioners and school board members agreed to a revised plan, which includes a provision to end the tax early if $2.7 billion is generated earlier than 10 years.

Check with later for more on this story.