The transport carriers are loaded and gone, there’s room to spread a blanket at the beach, and the sea turtles have returned. Ahh … must be summer.
Of course it’s not really all that quiet: A “culture of cronyism” is being investigated in Delray Beach with possible criminal charges pending, ethics violations have been alleged in Boca Raton and we’re still waiting on a judge’s ruling on a recall effort in Ocean Ridge and the beginning of a RICO trial in Gulf Stream. Looks like it’s going to be a pretty busy summer for The Coastal Star.
We’ll be watching as municipalities along the coast make some staffing changes over the summer.
In Ocean Ridge a new town manager and town clerk will be coming onboard by October; Briny Breezes is looking for a town clerk and an alderman; Highland Beach has a high-paying librarian position open, and the town manager of South Palm Beach is tossing all of his cards into the wind to see what direction the townsfolk want to pursue for their future.
So, throw in the inevitable tropical weather warning and the summer seems off to anything but a slow start.
Snowbirds likely don’t realize that our municipalities begin their budget process each July leading up to the beginning of their budget year in October. This pushes a lot of big decision-making into the summer months when many residents are at their Northern homes.
With taxable values up on real estate, there shouldn’t be any draconian staff cuts to worry about this year, but legal fees and aging-infrastructure costs concern most of our communities.
Plus, this newspaper will be checking to see whether Lantana, Manalapan and Ocean Ridge address the public’s “right to know” by renegotiating with their telecommunications providers to allow logging of local phone calls at town hall to meet public record access expectations.
Many on our staff do take time off in the summer months, and I’ll be doing the same this year. So, if you find our office door locked, you’ll know that we’ve “gone fishin’ ” — but we will be back.
There’s too much going on along the coast to stay away for long.
While we are away off-and-on over the next few months, we will be depending on our year-round readers to keep us informed of news and issues in our community.
Don’t hesitate to call (561-337-1553) or email (email@example.com). Even when I’m off watching white sails catch the breeze on azure seas, someone will be around to respond.
We continue to take our watchdog responsibilities seriously even during the “slow” season.
Have a great summer.
— Mary Kate Leming, Editor