The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, governed by a board of five nonpartisan commissioners, will hold an election on Aug. 18 for Seat 3, open to candidates living within Boca Raton, and Seat 5, open to candidates living inside the district but outside city limits. Newly elected commissioners will each serve a four-year term commencing Jan. 5, 2021, and receive $80 for each meeting they attend.

Steven M. Engel (incumbent)

Age: 70

Occupation: Ad sales for the Sun Sentinel

Education: Bachelor’s in business administration from Baruch College in New York City

Marital status: Married, two children, one grandchild

Political/community service experience: Has served as beach and park commissioner for eight years; community service includes the Alzheimer’s Walk, the American Heart Association Walk, beach cleanups, blood drives and coaching Little League

Goals: “I want to protect the park legacy that we have. A lot of people would like to see our parks developed commercially. My No. 1 priority is to prevent that. I would also like to see improvement in our facilities and have them kept up to date. Right now we’re planning the opening of Ocean Strand as a passive park, which should happen later this year. I’d like to see us acquire park property outside the city limits and get the Boca National Golf Course up and running. I’d also like to see us expand the Gumbo Limbo environmental complex. It’s important to maintain our partnerships with local youth and adult sports organizations.”


Eric Pendergraft

Age: 35

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Bachelor’s in political science at the University of Florida; JD at Florida State University College of Law

Marital status: Married, one daughter

Political/community service experience: First time running for public office; has participated in the Glass Leadership Institute program at the Anti-Defamation League and chaired the Palm Beach Bar Association’s South County Bankruptcy Committee

Goals: “I want to put some new blood on the commission. I’ve got a young family and we enjoy the outdoors. We enjoy the parks. Until last March, I spent seven years living at the beach just south of Spanish River Park. I want to see Ocean Strand Park turned into an actual park. Right now it’s just sitting there unused. No one gets to enjoy it, even though the district has owned it for over two decades. Also the park district is committed to overpaying for a replacement golf course on the east side of Boca. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”


William “Billy” Vale

Age: 53

Occupation: Insurance agent

Education: Bachelor’s in management from Florida State University, master’s in international business from Nova Southeastern University

Marital status: Married, one son

Political/community service experience: Unsuccessful run for County Commission in 2018; a director with the Boca Del Mar Improvement Association since 2011, overseeing a $1.2 million budget with over 9,000 property owners

Goals: “It’s my aim to acquire and preserve as much of the remaining green space in our district as possible. I also want to increase the level of service throughout our district but within our budget. Fiscal responsibility is key.”

Website: None

— Compiled by Steven J. Smith

Views: 1680


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