The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: Three candidates compete to be mayor

A special election for mayor of Boca Raton will be held Aug. 28. The qualifying candidates are Scott Singer, Al Zucaro and Bernard Korn, who will vie to complete Susan Haynie’s term, which ends in March 2020. Haynie was suspended from office in late April by Gov. Rick Scott and faces criminal charges of official misconduct and corrupt misuse of her office. Singer, at the time deputy mayor, took over as mayor when Haynie was suspended. Singer was compelled to resign his Council Seat A in mid-May to run for mayor. That seat is also up for grabs in this special election. The winners of both seats will be eligible to run again for two consecutive three-year terms. Boca Raton’s mayor is paid $38,000 a year.  — Steven J. Smith

Bernard Korn

Personal:  63; bachelor’s degree in business and finance from Brooklyn College; Boca Raton resident since April; married, two children.

Professional: Owns Undiscovered Properties, a real estate and education franchise company, and Travel Lines Express, a home-based travel agent franchise.

Political experience: None.

Positions on issues: Stop corruption; advocates for accountability, transparency and honesty in political government; wants political finance reform established; concerned with overcrowding in schools, traffic congestion.

Quote: “We must stop corruption in Boca Raton City by forming an anti-corruption task force. Protect our schoolchildren by establishing an anti-violence and anti-bullying task force with local, state and federal law enforcement officials. In service of this, I will also contribute my covert services as a former New York City law enforcement officer. I’m the only non-lawyer running for mayor. I was the first candidate to be qualified and approved for the Boca Raton City Mayor’s official election ballot and was the first candidate to disclose my financial documents. My mission is to create employment, education and business opportunity in Boca Raton.”

Scott Singer (Incumbent)

Personal: 40; Harvard University, A.B. cum laude, government; J.D., Georgetown Law; Boca Raton resident for seven years; married, two children.

Professional: Served as a business lawyer with law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Davis & Gilbert before founding his own practice. Previously was a strategy consultant for Monitor Co., now part of Deloitte. 

Political experience: First elected to the City Council in 2014 and was reelected in 2017; also serves on the state Sober Homes Task Force and policy committees for the League of Cities at the state and county levels.

Positions on issues: Continue to partner with and listen to Boca residents to ensure they have a seat at the table on the important issues for our city; guard against overdevelopment; strengthen and increase support for our schools; keep taxes low; maintain world-class public safety; expand economic development efforts; enhance green space and the waterfront; improve ethics standards; cut red tape.

Quote: “I’m proud of my work in partnering with residents and bringing needed change to champion a new school for Boca, oppose overdevelopment, improve planning, increase high-paying jobs and enhance green space and services. I look forward to continuing to lead to improve the quality of life for our residents and ensure a brighter future for Boca Raton.”

Alfred “Al” Zucaro 

Personal: 69; B.A. in economics from Fordham University, J.D. from Nova University; Boca Raton resident for 10 years; married, no children.

Professional: Publisher of a local blog, BocaWatch; served on Palm Beach County’s Planning and Zoning Board, the Tourist Development Council and the Film and Television Commission.

Political experience: West Palm Beach city commissioner (1995-2002), unsuccessful run for West Palm Beach mayor (2007), unsuccessful run for Boca Raton mayor (2017).

Positions on issues: Wants more open and transparent government and insists the city charter should be revisited to address deficiencies in that regard; advocates for greater economic opportunities for Boca Raton; concerned with overdevelopment, traffic congestion, a lack of parking in the city, balancing the budget and green space preservation — and the City Council’s reluctance to rectify these problems.

Quote: “If there were a position in this town under the internal auditor that had the ability to go back and review things that the city manager and city attorney did, we may have avoided the Haynie situation, because it would have been known before the fact. We have a lack of communication and a deficiency with how the city communicates its posture, its position and how it negotiates deals. I believe this city negotiates from a position of power rather than a position of reason and I believe the mayor’s position is to advocate for better communication between varying interests. I plan on being a mayor who reaches out and works with various community leaders to resolve issues, to come up with practical solutions and to find ways to bring closure to items that seem to never get closed.”

Mayoral contributions

Bernard Korn is not taking contributions and is self-financing his campaign. He lent his campaign $2,602.72.

Scott Singer’s war chest minus a $15 self-loan totaled $110,469. He started taking donations in October and has contributions from architect Douglas Mummaw ($500), law firm Dunay, Miskel and Backman ($1,000), land-use lawyer Bonnie Miskel ($1,000), developer Compson Associates ($1,000), law firm GrayRobinson’s PAC ($250), lawyer Mitchell Kirschner ($500), Welky Car Wash ($1,000), Andre Welky ($500), Planning and Zoning Board member Larry Snowden ($250), former county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein ($250), architect Derek Vander Ploeg ($500), Vander Ploeg’s firm ($500), Library Advisory Board member Betty Grinnan ($100), city activist Judith Kaye ($350), former Deputy Mayor Constance Smith ($25), Danburg Management Corp. ($1,000), philanthropist Christine Lynn ($500), 155 E. Boca Raton Road LLC ($1,000), Marine Advisory Board Chairman Gene Folden ($300), Rapaport’s Restaurant Group ($250), Geo Group ($1,000), former City Council member Al Travasos ($325), former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff ($250), Downtown Advisory Board member Peg Anderson ($100), Kaufman Lynn Construction ($1,000), law firm Greenspoon Marder ($1,000), County Commissioners Steven Abrams ($200) and Hal Valeche ($250), city firefighters union PAC ($500), Stiles Corp. ($250), Chamber of Commerce PAC ($1,000), iPic Gold Class Entertainment LLC ($1,000), Planning and Zoning Board Vice Chairman Richard Coffin ($250), Kolter Payments LLC ($750) and Hyatt Place Boca Raton ($750).

Al Zucaro, who entered the race in late May, has $15,629 not counting a $1,000 contribution from his law firm and a self-loan of $3,500. His donations came from city activist John Gore ($250), Mummaw ($250), frequent BocaWatch contributors Katie Barr ($500) and Jack McWalter ($200), Beautification Advisory Board chairwoman Jo-Ann Landon ($25), Wildflower activist Nancy Hendrey ($1,000), former council candidate Kim Do ($500) and former council member Cormac Conahan ($200).

Source: Campaign finance reports through June 30

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