The Coastal Star

South Palm Beach: Engineer challenges 2 incumbents for Town Council

    These three candidates are competing for two seats on the South Palm Beach Town Council. Each seat carries a two-year term

ELECTION RESULTS (unofficial)

Robert Gottlieb: 43.41% | 336 votes

Stella Jordan: 36.56% | 283 votes

Robert Gargano: 20.03% | 155 votes

Robert Gargano
Age: 68
Education: Ph.D. in chemical engineering, University of Connecticut
Marital Status: Divorced, one child
Employment: Semi-retired owner of an IT consulting firm that installs software in the public sector
Political/Community Service Experience: No experience holding public office
Important Issues: Waste Management contract, beach renourishment
Quote: “The people on the current Town Council are nice people, but they don’t have the time or qualifications to do the job. They’re in over their heads. They just signed a 10-year contract with Waste Management, whose profit margin is going to go from 10-50 percent over the next 10 years. The profit margins in this contract can only go up. I don’t think anybody on the Council actually read that contract or did their homework. They need to be looking out for the taxpayers of our town and they’re looking out for everyone but the taxpayer. Also there is a beach renourishment project coming in and there’s not one member on the Town Council who has a scientific background.”

Robert Gottlieb (incumbent)
Age: 75
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, University of Miami
Marital Status: Single
Employment: Retired owner of a yarn business, Gottlieb Brothers
Political/Community Service Experience: Member since 2005, South Palm Beach Town Council; board member, Palm Beach County League of Cities; member, Palm Beach Impact Fee Committee
Important Issues: Beach renourishment, tax relief
Quote: “I care about this town. I have owned property in South Palm Beach since the early ’70s. I also care about our beaches. We are currently working with the county on an environmental impact study. When that is completed, the [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] will approve it and we will put groins — hard structures that will hold the beach in place — on the beach and cover them with sand. I’m also against raising taxes and I’m in favor of lowering the millage rate next year. It’s time to give back to the citizens.”

Stella Gaddy Jordan (incumbent)
Age: 76
Education: Studied at Florida State University
Marital Status: Widow, three children
Employment: Retired first vice president for Sun Trust Bank of Tampa Bay
Political/Community Service Experience: Member since 2010, South Palm Beach Town Council; member, Independent Referendum Oversight Committee for the Palm Beach County Board of Education
Important Issues: Real estate development, fiscal responsibility
Quote: “The top of my to-do list is to prioritize all of those issues that are within our town and begin an action plan for them. At this point we have a new town manager and so we have the right management, and Council, in place to begin moving in that direction to better improve those areas of the city that need it — particularly beach restoration and financial accounting. We need to take better control of our incoming and outgoing expenses. We have no debt, but we need to reserve appropriately.”

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