By Jane Smith
The city’s mayor says he will not seek another term in office.
Cary Glickstein has served as Delray Beach mayor for five years. He could have run a third time. During his first two-year term, voters approved a longer term for each commissioner of three years. This overlapped with Glickstein’s existing term, allowing him to run again.
“I ran for mayor because I love our town and didn’t care for the direction it was heading,” he said. “It seemed City Hall was measuring its success simply by busy Atlantic Avenue restaurants. … Resident concerns — from all corners of the city — were just not that important.”
He considers the city’s actions to change the substance abuse treatment industry a highlight of his time in office. According to Glickstein, the city has moved from being perceived as a “rehab pariah” to presenting a new image of “forceful, proactive leaders,” crafting changes on the local, state and national level.
The city leaders now want to protect the vulnerable people seeking recovery, while “shuttering shoddy treatment centers and sober homes,” he said.
Delray Beach became a prime recovery destination with websites showing palms wafting in the ocean breezes. Recovery was rare and relapses occurred frequently, overwhelming the city’s public safety departments with a spike in overdose calls.
In late December, Delray Beach became the first Florida government entity to sue opioid makers and distributors over the marketing and prescribing of painkillers. Once the prescriptions run out, a majority of the users turn to street drugs such as heroin, because they are addicted, he said.
Other highlights of his time in office Glickstein lists are: rewriting land development rules that provide clarity to developers “while preserving our small-town character”; a focus on education and third-grade reading that led to the city’s third All-America City award; completing Federal Highway and the Beach Master Plan projects; moving the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency and all nonprofits to be more accountable when spending taxpayer dollars; reining in special events by choosing quality over quantity; and restoring order to city procurement and public works projects.
Glickstein regrets not having the current senior management and leadership in place when he started as mayor in 2013.
“Coming from the private sector, I’ve had to temper my expectations regarding the pace of change in government,” he said. “It’s akin to turning the Titanic.”
What’s next for the lawyer turned developer turned mayor?
It won’t be a higher office.
“I would find it frustrating to go from an executive role I enjoyed in both private and public sectors to a legislative body that moves at a glacial place, where politics are valued over ingenuity or the merits of an idea,” Glickstein said. “That’s not for me.”
Instead, after March, he will focus on consulting with startups and mid-level firms around the country, he said.
“On a personal side, the mayor’s role made extended travel impossible,” Glickstein said. His kids are older and in college, allowing him freedom to play in his University of Hawaii alumni baseball game. He also has “surfing trips planned with friends for Hawaii, Morocco and Indonesia.”
Two current city commissioners have qualified to run for mayor on March 13: Jim Chard and Shelly Petrolia.
Three men have qualified to fill Seat 1: Richard Alteus, Eric Camacho and Adam Frankel.
Two men have qualified to fill Seat 3: incumbent Mitch Katz and Ryan Boylston.
For Seat 2, William Bathurst automatically will take Chard’s seat after no one else qualified for that seat.
A candidate forum hosted by the Beach Property Owners Association will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Northern Trust Bank, 770 E. Atlantic Ave., Second Floor.