The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: Three vie for Council Seat A

A special election for Seat A on the Boca Raton City Council will take place Aug. 28. The qualifying candidates are Kathy Cottrell, Tamara McKee and Andy Thomson. Scott Singer was forced to resign the seat in mid-May to run for mayor. According to City Clerk Susan Saxton, because this is a special election to fill a vacant seat, the initial term for Seat A is through only March 2020. The winner can then run for two more consecutive terms. The salary for council members is $28,000.  — Steven J. Smith

Kathy Cottrell

Personal: 60; B.S. in news editing and reporting from the University of Florida; master’s degree in public policy and administration, Cal State University at Long Beach; master’s degree in organizational psychology and a PhD in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology; Boca Raton resident for 30 years; married, no children.

Professional: Over the past 15 years, she has served as a senior organization development consultant with Fortune 500 companies Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Raytheon Company and Walt Disney World.

Political experience: None.

Positions on issues: Advocates for responsible growth, ensuring school safety and addressing school overcrowding, infrastructure, traffic congestion.

Quote: “I’ve been very involved in my community on various boards and panels and have actively participated in City Council meetings for the past several years. I have also been a lifelong volunteer in various capacities. There are hundreds of issues the council has to address. In addition to my interest in our city’s growth, infrastructure and traffic issues as well as the concerns I have for school safety and overcrowding, I want to say that these are things residents are speaking to me about when I’m having conversations with them. I think I am the most qualified for this position, based on my background and experience, having worked with large companies my entire life.

Tamara McKee

Personal: 48; Bachelor’s degree in history, cum laude, Florida International University; Boca Raton resident for 20 years; divorced, four children.

Professional: Spent the last 35 years as an actor, producer and branding professional. Clients include Netflix, JetBlue and Procter & Gamble.

Political experience: None.

Positions on issues: Wants to bring improved transparency to city leadership; advocates for smart growth, multi-pronged traffic solutions and sustainability, especially as to how it relates to flooding in town.

Quote: “Boca Raton is a city with a world-class brain and a small-town heart. When I am a City Council member I will serve to protect our quality of life, be fiscally lean and restore trust in our city leadership. I am a proven leader on a city and state level, working on behalf of elders, consumers and residents. I’m the candidate who has served our city for the past 20 years in our schools and nonprofits. I have more experience than all the other candidates combined. I have a 100 percent attendance record in my eight years of public board service. I get things done.”

Andy Thomson

Personal: 35; B.S. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, J.D. from University of Miami; Boca Raton resident for two years; married, three children.

Professional: Business litigation lawyer with Baritz and Colman.

Political experience: No political offices held, but has served as a board member for the Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Agency since 2016. Was also vice-chair for Boca Raton’s Education Task Force as well as a board member of the Boca Raton Community Advisory Panel.

Positions on issues: Wants to alleviate traffic congestion in Boca Raton and overcrowding in the schools; wants to make sure first responders have all the necessary resources and training; favors preservation of beaches and parks; endorses keeping taxes low.

Quote: “I am a big believer that elected officials are elected to represent all of their constituents — not just their neighbors and friends, but everyone. It’s my pledge to represent all 90,000 people in Boca. I believe strongly that we are one city with one voice. That’s how I plan to govern.”

Council contributions

Kathy Cottrell’s total minus a $25,000 self-loan was $14,708 as of June 30. Her contributors include Library Advisory Board member Betty Grinnan ($100), Wildflower activist Nancy Hendrey ($500), philanthropist and candidate Al Zucaro’s spouse, Yvonne Boice ($200), Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member Dennis Frisch ($100), Beautification Advisory Board chairwoman Jo-Ann Landon ($50), Riviera Civic Association President Kevin Meaney ($99) and frequent BocaWatch contributors Katie Barr ($200) and Jack McWalter ($250). Cottrell is endorsed by City Council member and former BocaWatch editor Andrea O’Rourke and she introduced Zucaro at his inaugural campaign fundraiser.

Tamara McKee’s war chest minus a $23,000 self-loan was $7,600. She has donations from McWalter ($50), architect Derek Vander Ploeg ($250), ex-husband and former Boca Raton High School Principal Geoff McKee ($510) and two-time council candidate and lawyer Frank Chapman ($1,000), whose complaints led to the criminal charges against then-Mayor Susan Haynie.

Andy Thomson has $31,593 in contributions not counting a $20,000 self-loan. Donors include Vander Ploeg ($500), law firm Dunay, Miskel and Backman ($1,000), former City Council member Al Travasos ($225), Marine Advisory Board Chairman Gene Folden ($300), city activist Judith Kaye ($250), lawyer and School Board member Frank Barbieri ($500), Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District Chairman Robert Rollins ($100), architect Douglas Mummaw ($250), Downtown Advisory Board member Peg Anderson ($100), Habitat for Humanity President Randy Nobles ($50), the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee ($1,000) and former Mayor Susan Whelchel’s son, John Jr. ($500).

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