By Mary Thurwachter
For the second consecutive year, the Lantana Town Council gave a generous merit raise — 5% — to Town Manager Brian Raducci and heaped praise on his work.
“We’re one of the luckiest councils in Palm Beach County having him as our manager,” Vice Mayor Lynn “Doc” Moorhouse said during the manager’s yearly performance evaluation on Nov. 13.
“He has done an absolutely amazing job in catching up the infrastructure and going forward with some preemptive stuff. We’re getting a lot of grant money, we have a person in Tallahassee working for us and this town is moving in the right direction better than it ever has.”
Moorhouse also praised Raducci for uniting the council. “There’s nobody on this council that’s mad at anybody — Brian’s brought that closer together.”
Other officials also extolled Raducci’s virtues.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Brian and I agree with what Doc said about the grant money bringing a lot of improvements,” said Chris Castle, the council’s newest member.
This year, the town received $2.8 million in grants and appropriations. The bulk of the money — $1.2 million each from the federal and state governments — will be used for water main replacement.
Grant money will also go toward improving the stormwater drainage system and a future-needs analysis; an asset inventory and Ocean Avenue vulnerability assessment; and to pay for ADA door openings and parts of the library garden.
Council member Kem Mason said Raducci has “dragged us into the 21st century” and works well with law enforcement, receiving nothing but praise from the police and their union. “He’s a great communicator. He’s always available to answer any questions and is doing a great job.”
Vice Mayor Pro Tem Mark Zeitler said “so far, so good. I like the grant money, and he has brought us all together.”
Mayor Karen Lythgoe was as effusive as Moorhouse.
“You make all of our lives much easier,” Lythgoe said. “The whole staff looks up to you. You’ve empowered your directors, you guide them. Everybody knows what they’re supposed to do.”
With that said, Lythgoe said she wanted to keep him.
“I brag about you when I go off to be with the rest of the folks at Florida League of Cities and I have to tell myself ‘shut up, Karen,’” fearing someone will steal the manager away.
Raducci began working for the town in October 2021 with a starting salary of $175,000.
Last year, the council gave Raducci a 5% cost-of-living adjustment and a 4% merit raise, bringing his salary to $191,100. This year on Oct. 1, he got a 5% COLA increase, upping his pay to $200,655. The latest advance brings it to $210,687.