By Dan Moffett
A proposal to begin a “sticker identification” program for vehicles in South Palm Beach got a stormy reception during the Town Council’s meeting on Jan. 14.
Councilman Mark Weissman said he brought the idea forward as a way to get more residents involved in the town’s activities, not to invade their privacy.
“It is a voluntary sticker program,” he said, “and a way to show hometown pride by putting a sticker on your car.”
Weissman hoped that having residents register at Town Hall also would be a way of accumulating contact information that could be invaluable to officials when emergencies such as hurricanes require mass notifications.
But those who attended the meeting would hear none of it.
“Too much Big Brother!” one resident shouted.
“I won’t put stickers on my car,” said another.
“We all hate this,” yelled another.
“I feel this is absolutely ridiculous,” said Ellen Salth. “I really feel this is a waste of time and energy. If you need names and email addresses, there’s another way of getting them.”
Vice Mayor Robert Gottlieb said he was willing to consider the idea because it was a voluntary program. “But I don’t like stickers either,” he said. “I wouldn’t use it myself.”
The proposal died on a 3-1 vote, with Weissman the lone supporter and Councilwoman Stella Gaddy Jordan absent.
In other business:
• Mayor Bonnie Fischer said there is still a good chance that the town could begin a beach renourishment project this spring. But it’s up to officials from the town of Palm Beach to make it happen.
For the sand plan to go forward by the April target date, project managers have to get the remaining easements they need to access the beach and hire a contractor. Fischer said the work has to be completed before the beginning of peak turtle nesting season in May.
Palm Beach earned final approval from federal officials in January for its $32 million project and is set to begin dredging this month off Midtown Beach.
The South Palm part in the $770,000 collaboration plan between towns would come after the Midtown work is done. It calls for hauling hundreds of truckloads of sand — dredged by Palm Beach contractors — to South Palm’s beach from a Phipps Ocean Park staging site. That could take three weeks to complete.
• Palm Beach County has added seven-day, east-west Palm Tran bus service from Lake Worth Beach to Wellington, and Gottlieb is hoping to add a stop in South Palm Beach to the route. He said the determining factor would be if Palm Tran officials can find a spot in South Palm or at Lantana Municipal Beach to turn buses around.
• The council has scheduled a 7 p.m. workshop for Feb. 26 to discuss what to do about renovating, repairing or rebuilding Town Hall.