The recent Delray Beach election of Shelly Petrolia as mayor must be seen as a decisive victory for preserving the best future for Delray and a sharp rebuke to out-of-town development interests that insinuated themselves into the campaign of her opponent, Jim Chard.

Despite heavy funding from them, and a veritable forest of “Jim Chard for Mayor” signs, Ms. Petrolia won convincingly — giving hope to those who believe the charm, history, architectural uniqueness, the wonderful small-town feel of Delray must be preserved and advanced.

It is, after all, what has made Delray what it is today and what was celebrated in two feature articles, one in the Sunday New York Times, the other in Southern Living magazine.

Out-of-town forces have pushed through wrong-headed developments such as the iPic theater in a downtown already overwhelmed by people and cars, and in the closing hours of the prior administration, a dark-of-night vote approved Midtown Delray, another oversized colossus that has no place in the Village by the Sea. Ms. Petrolia was the one vote against it. Kudos!

Best wishes to Mayor Petrolia and to those newly elected commissioners, and hoping they embrace the clear message of this election: We in Delray want control over our future!

Phil Pepe

Delray Beach

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  • There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. Robert Kennedy

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