Would you believe 270 people showed up at Boca Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting? In August?
That was enough to fill the ballroom at the Marriott Boca Raton early Thursday for the annual State of the City address.
But before the deputy mayor narrated a slide show, chamber president Troy McLellan introduced the new hospital CEOs.
Each exec stood up at his table to introduce himself to the business community. Lincoln Mendez is on the job at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Former chamber chairman Jerry Fedele has retired as expected.
George Rizzuto started work at West Boca Medical Center after Mitch Feldman retired as well.
Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers stood in for Mayor Scott Singer, who was there via video. Singer mentioned Brightline, aka Virgin Trains’ plan to site a new station in Boca as a “possibility.”
With a population hovering at 99,244, the city is changing to accommodate more people and their needs, Rodgers said, citing “a new vision.”
Among them are streamlining business with the city. “If you’re making a small change, you don’t have to go through the whole process,” he said, whether it’s a home or business.
The city has hired a new sustainability manager and an innovations director, he said. They’re using more organic compounds on parks and landscaping. 4Ocean was hired to clean up the canals.
The city is proud it keeps property taxes at 3.68 percent, below other cities in the county, he said, showing a comparison chart.
Among priorities include: Creating a technology hub for new jobs. Approving a new government campus master plan. Exploring Midtown opportunities. Dealing with traffic and connectivity. Preparing for the next downturn. Ensuring public school safety.
“We’re looking at a performing arts center. Golf course talks are ongoing,” Rodgers concluded.
Clara Bennett, Boca Raton Airport exec, stood in for chamber chair Susan Saturday.
By Marci Shatzman