The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Six candidates contend for two commission seats

    The city of Delray Beach’s municipal election will take place March 14, as six candidates will compete for two seats on the City Commission. The winners will serve three-year terms.  Despite many phone calls and emails, seat 2 candidate Richard Alteus did not respond to our requests for information.

Profiles compiled by Steven J. Smith

Commission Seat 2

Kelly Barrette
54; graduated from Tufts University with a degree in English; five-year resident of Delray Beach; married, no children.

Owned an art gallery in Boston for 15 years then worked as an art consultant for another five years.

    Political experience:
Never elected to public office, but volunteered on local political campaigns and with nonprofits such as the Delray Beach Historical Society, the Achievement Centers for Children and Families and the Sandoway Discovery Center, of which she is a board member. Has been outspoken proponent of sober home reform. Also worked with the Florida Coalition for Preservation and the Delray Beach Preservation Trust.

    Positions on issues:
Regulation for sober homes; compatible development; quality of life; preserving and protecting neighborhoods; infrastructure.

“I want to do everything in my power to make Delray the most difficult place to open a sober home, instead of the easiest place, which it is. I hear the same refrain, which is that residents don’t feel they’re being listened to on development and our neighborhoods. My priority would be to listen to resident-driven agenda. I’m also endorsed by two sitting commissioners, Commissioner Shelly Petrolia and Deputy Vice Mayor Mitch Katz.”

Anneze Barthelemy
    Personal: 39; graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Florida International University and a master’s in social work from Barry University, currently completing her doctorate in ministry at the University of Fort Lauderdale; 12-year resident of Delray Beach; unmarried.

    Professional: President and CEO of Rapha Family Services from 2007-present. Founded Anneze Barthelemy Consulting, LLC in 2010, which serves as a consulting company for churches, leaders and individuals wanting a faith-based social services agency.

    Political experience: Served as an adviser to Sen. Daphne Campbell of the Florida Senate and assisted in her election.

    Positions on issues: Reducing the number of sober homes; affordable housing; responsible development of commercial property; economic development; job creation; transportation and safety.

    Quote: “I believe that I possess the strengths that will be an asset to the city of Delray and the residents. As a social worker, my whole career has been about serving, advocating and defending those who are not able to defend themselves. I have the personality, commitment and leadership skills that will unite, encourage and empower the commission to work for the betterment of our city.”

Jim Chard
    Personal: 70; graduated from Pomona College with a degree in government and got master’s degrees in city planning and business administration from Harvard University; 15-year resident of Delray Beach; unmarried; two children, four grandchildren.

    Professional: Retired for the last five years. Over three decades of experience in management, finance, budgetary, economic development and community involvement in both the private and public sectors. Ran offices for three New York City mayors and ran that city’s largest agency, the Human Resources Administration; also headed several successful high tech startups, including a local one, JumpStart Wireless.

    Political experience: None, but has been involved in city matters for the last five years as a volunteer and serves on a City Commission advisory board.

    Positions on issues: Responsible administration of sober homes; the rise in drug addiction, homelessness and crime; addressing crumbling infrastructure; lopsided tax base; job opportunities for younger generation.

    Quote: “I’d like to get the sober home issue under control and under management. I’m not looking for any endorsements from any commissioners up on the dais who might tell me how to vote. I want to be known as someone who comes at each issue fresh, someone who does his own research and someone who makes his own decisions.”

Commission Seat 4

Shirley Johnson
    Personal: 70; has a political science degree from Howard University; 38-year resident of Delray Beach; married, two children, three grandchildren.

    Professional: Retired. Worked in management and systems analysis at IBM for 26 years, from 1971-1997.

    Political experience: None, but helped start the Paradise Heights Homeowners Association and was its president from 1997-2000.

    Positions on issues: Safe neighborhoods; establishing sober home regulations; maintaining historic preservation; establishing sustainable growth.

    Quote: “I am going to be a commissioner who will be available to listen to all parties involved in my city. My slogan is ‘Lose the politics and listen to the people.’ ”

Josh Smith Jr.
    Personal: 76; has a doctorate in educational administration and leadership from Florida Atlantic University; 51-year resident of Delray Beach; divorced; two children.

    Professional: Retired from job as administrator in the Palm Beach County School District, 1962-1994.

    Political experience: Ran for Delray Beach commission in 2015.

    Positions on issues: Sober home administration; safety; overdevelopment in some areas and a lack of development in others; infrastructure deterioration; traffic and parking problems.

    Quote: “Sober homes have wreaked havoc on our city and placed a strain on our police and fire departments, with drug overdoses and deaths at a big cost to taxpayers. My first priority is for the protection of our neighborhoods and the quality of life our residents want and richly deserve. There is nothing wrong with our city that cannot be corrected by what is right about our city — and the right makeup of our commission.”

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