By Rich Pollack
Highland Beach residents will see familiar faces on the Town Commission for another year, with the mayor, vice mayor and one commissioner all returning to their seats thanks to drawing no opposition.
With filing for a Town Commission seat ending late last month, Mayor Natasha Moore, Vice Mayor David Stern and Commissioner Judith Goldberg are all running unopposed.
All three say they are eager to continue serving, especially with several major projects coming to fruition, and believe the lack of opposition is the result of overall satisfaction among residents with the job that the commission is doing.
“Most people seem to be happy with the present board,” said Stern, who has been on the board for the last year, having first been appointed to fill the vacancy left when Peggy Gossett-Seidman resigned to run for — and eventually win — a seat in the state Legislature.
Stern served in that position until March, when an election was held to fill the seat for the remaining one year in Gossett-Seidman’s term. Goldberg defeated two other candidates to earn that commission seat.
Stern was reappointed to the commission as vice mayor when Moore was elevated to mayor following the death of Mayor Doug Hillman, who died shortly after winning a second term without opposition.
Moore said she is looking forward to seeing the implementation of a new fire rescue department — the first new department of its kind in Palm Beach County in more than 30 years — as well as other key projects in the town’s strategic plan.
“I like being involved in initiatives that positively impact our 3 miles of paradise,” she said, adding that she will remain the lone member of the commission living in a single-family home, giving people in that community a voice in town government.
While some in other beachside communities have chosen to abandon plans to run for election because of a new state law requiring local elected officials to fill out Form 6, a more detailed financial disclosure than previously requested, the incumbents in Highland Beach said they were not deterred.
“I would prefer not to have to fill out Form 6 but it wasn’t enough to prevent me from running,” Moore said.
Goldberg, who ran an aggressive campaign for commission a year ago, said there’s another reason for the lack of opposition this year.
“It’s expensive to run,” she said.
Also on the commission with the three returning members are Evalyn David, who will serve her final year before being term-limited out, and Don Peters, who will complete his first year in office in March.