By Steve Plunkett
The election over, commissioners of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District began welcoming the two new commissioners-elect and saying farewell to the defeated incumbents.
“I’m sorry to go. It was a great 12 years, but Erin, you just have to get your legs under you and I think everything will be fine,” Commissioner Earl Starkoff told Erin Wright, who outpolled him at the ballot box by a 52-48 percent margin, 23,423 votes to 21,846.
“I’m just very excited for the opportunity I have ahead of me. I’m excited to get going,” Wright said at the commission’s Nov. 14 meeting.
Commissioner-elect Craig Ehrnst was equally upbeat.
“You’ve always had the vision of looking out for the residents, and I don’t think that’s going to change,” said Ehrnst, who beat eight-year incumbent Dennis Frisch by 56 to 44 percent, 25,608 votes to 19,938. “I think we’ve got some good challenges ahead of us, and hopefully we can accomplish a lot.”
District Chairman Robert Rollins seemed pleased by the comments. “It’s evident that we have the same enthusiasm for having the best parks,” he said.
Later in the meeting, Rollins solicited feedback from Ehrnst and Wright, who take office in January, on the district’s idea of offering to finance the city’s possible acquisition of the Ocean Breeze golf course at the north end of town.
Wright called it “a fantastic opportunity.”
“That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to be on the commission is to keep the green space in the city and try to find as much as possible,” Wright said. Ehrnst agreed, as did all the seated commissioners. “I think it’s a great thing, so yes, move forward,” Ehrnst said.
Rollins turned bittersweet as the meeting drew to a close. “I must tell you, Dennis and Earl, I will miss their participation. And I’ll save my going-away remarks for the appropriate time. And welcome to the new commissioners,” Rollins said.
By Steve Plunkett