By Rich Pollack
For the third consecutive year, Highland Beach residents will have a commissioner selected without opposition.
Commissioner Evalyn David was elected last month after the qualifying period for candidates to file paperwork ended with only David running for office.
Because she was the only candidate to qualify, David will automatically serve a second three-year term on the Town Commission.
David believes the lack of opposition is an endorsement of the work the current commission is doing.
“I think people are very happy with what’s going on in the town,” she said. “Usually people only run when there’s a problem.”
With David’s election, all five members of the commission have run at least once without opposition.
Mayor Doug Hillman, Vice Mayor Natasha Moore and Commissioner John Shoemaker all ran unopposed and are in their first terms. Commissioner Peggy Gossett-Seidman was elected in 2018 and ran unopposed earlier this year.
David, an attorney, ran in 2019 and narrowly defeated incumbent Commissioner Elyse Riesa, capturing 990 votes to Riesa’s 955 votes.
In other business:
• Commissioners last month gave final approval to a condo recertification ordinance that requires buildings of more than three stories or 50 feet high to have recertification inspections when they reach 25 years old.
For buildings under 40 years old, further inspections will be required every 10 years. For the 45 buildings over 40 years old, further inspections will be required every seven years.
In January town officials plan to begin notifying condo associations of when inspection reports are due.
The town plans to notify two buildings per month, letting them know that they have 360 days to file reports from certified engineers detailing any critical or major structural or electrical problems.
Each association will then have another year to resolve the issues unless there is imminent danger to residents, in which case the town will step in and, in the worst-case scenario, require evacuation.
• Commissioners unanimously agreed to begin the process of creating a marine patrol unit by spending an estimated $164,000 on an outfitted police boat.
The 28-foot rigid-hull, inflatable boat with twin 225-horsepower engines is manufactured in Fort Lauderdale and could be available by February.
Getting the marine unit up and running, Police Chief Craig Hartmann said, will take a bit longer.
Details including staffing and training as well as determining a dockage location need to be worked out, he said.
The chief said he hopes to have the unit, which will include one full-time officer and possibly additional reserve officers, working in the first quarter of next year.