Briny Breezes: Mayor Hill stepping down

By Dan Moffett

    Briny Breezes Mayor Mike Hill says the Town Council doesn’t need him anymore and his grandchildren in the Midwest do. So it’s time to go.
    Hill announced his resignation Feb. 23, and with a wave and a smile, told council members he’d “had enough fun” working with 7960711263?profile=originalthem the last three years.
    “I’m not moving, I’m staying where I am [in Briny Breezes],” Hill said. “But we’ve got some very well-qualified people on this panel now, and these are people who probably can devote more time to the issues that are facing the town than I can.”
    Council President Sue Thaler credited Hill, 69, with helping the town break in an inexperienced group of officials and staff after Roger Bennett left the mayor’s position in 2013.
    With a long career as a lawyer and service as an elected official in Highland Beach, Hill guided the council through some tough issues — such as switching to Boynton Beach from Ocean Ridge for police service, developing new golf cart operation rules and placing restrictions on truck traffic.
    “You stepped up to fill the role of mayor when Roger retired,” Thaler told Hill. “You did an outstanding job. Thank you for your service.”
    Hill said he wants to spend more time with his 11 grandchildren and family in Illinois. His wife, Shirley Smith-Hill, died unexpectedly at age 66 a year ago.
    “I want to thank my colleagues and the people of the town of Briny Breezes for letting me serve as your mayor for the last few years,” Hill said.
    Thaler said the council hopes to appoint a replacement soon, perhaps as early as the March 23 meeting. The rest of the Town Council lineup remains unchanged, after no candidates filed to challenge incumbents Thaler and Jim McCormick, whose seats were up for contest in the March 14 election.
    “Not having an election saves us between $7,000 and $8,000,” Thaler said.
    In other business:
    • The town and corporation are planning to work together on an initiative to improve the safety of golf carts and ensure that those used in Briny are properly registered. An older model, gasoline-powered cart caught fire Feb. 14 on Cardinal Drive, damaging the street pavement and a couple of front yards. Alderman Bobby Jurovaty and Thaler say the town wants golf carts to be equipped with fire extinguishers and wants their owners to keep carts mechanically sound. Enforcing registration will help promote that, they say.
    “I’d like to see that as soon as possible,” Jurovaty said.
    • It’s been close to two years since the council started getting serious about putting a golf cart crossing at A1A and Cordova. Progress this year has been slow, but there has been some.
    Boynton Beach police have completed a survey of bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk, and the council hopes to use it to convince the Florida Department of Transportation that a crossing won’t compromise safety.
    The project still has a chance to begin later this year.

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