During a sparsely attended Boca Raton City Council meeting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2022, the introduction of Ordinance 5637 set the stage for a costly win for voters in the March 2023 Municipal Election.
The Ordinance, if passed during an expected sleepy election, added a year to the terms of Mayor Scott Singer, Council Members Monica Mayotte and Yvette Drucker, Council Member-elect Fran Nachlas and future Council Member Marc Wigder. Council Member Andrea O’Rourke was not eligible for the extra year. She was term-limited and her service would end in March 2023. City Council Members are elected to a three-year term. They are eligible to serve a second three-year term if re-elected. All voters who live in the City may vote for City Council candidates.
City Council voted two weeks later to approve Ordinance 5637. Singer, Mayotte and Drucker voted yes. O’Rourke and newly-appointed Council Member Nachlas voted no. Candidate Marc Wigder advertised that he opposed adding a year onto Council Members’ terms. Wigder’s opponent, Christen Ritchey, expressed the same sentiment as Wigder. Ritchey dropped out of the race before Christmas. This left the Charter amendment as the only thing on the ballot.
Mayotte asked whether the March 2023 election was in the budget. It was, at $255,000.
Mayor Singer cited a laundry list of reasons to support the effort. Some of the reasons were similar to those cited in 2006 when the voters changed the terms from three two-year stints on the dais.
City Council blew the chance on January 10th to call off the election and save taxpayers the cost to open dozens of polling places and mail thousands of ballots.
I led the effort with a small group of Boca Raton volunteers to convince 59.25% of the voters to say NO. The election wasted taxpayer money and brought no benefit to our City. A single NO vote by one of the Council members in December or in January would have averted this disaster.
That’s how important YOUR vote is when you pick local elected officials.