By C. B. Hanif
Angeleta Gray says she will “continue to meet with people, listen to their views and bring all the players to the table. I think that will be instrumental in helping us to continue to move forward.”
There’s agreement that her fellow Delray Beach commissioners helped advance the city by appointing her to Seat 4 that was vacated by Mack Bernard.
Citing the former Community Redevelopment Agency board member’s longtime involvement with the city, commissioners chose Gray from among five candidates Sept.10.
Her credentials also include being a businesswoman who owns and operates the Top Notch Beauty Spa in the West Settlers Historic District.
Gray, born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but since age 10 a 34-year Delray resident, attended Atlantic High School and Delray Beach Elementary, now Old School Square.
“I am looking forward to working with the whole city,” she said. “My first priority would be trying to help out with the budget.”
Gray also offers the possibility of continuity: She had planned to seek the seat in next March’s election. Her appointment settles, for now, the political dominos set in motion when former Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie Greene resigned in April, Gov. Charlie Crist on July 3 appointed former state Rep. Priscilla Taylor to that District 7 county seat, and Bernard, resigning his commission seat, won Taylor’s former District 84 seat in an Aug. 25 special primary election.
The appointment of the only African-American applicant maintains Delray’s four decades-long history of having a minority member on the commission, in a city more than a quarter of whose residents are of African descent.
“When I was at her swearing-in ceremony,” Bernard said, “where you had former Commissioner David Randolph there, former Commissioner Alberta McCarthy was there and I was there, it was amazing to see how the city of Delray Beach always continues to get great representation.
“I feel like she’s going to continue that same line of work that the previous commissioners have done. I’ve worked very closely with her. I’ve seen her at work on the CRA, and her work with the city. I felt like she was the best person to replace me.”
Someone else perceived yet another plus: “Thanks goodness for a woman,” said the Rev. Kathleen Gannon of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, who had opened that night’s commission meeting. “We need that voice.”