When Bob Weinroth took the oath of office as a Palm Beach County commissioner, it turned the seat from red to blue after 30 years. But it’s still held by a Boca resident.
Weinroth, a Democrat, now represents District 4. The district extends from east Boca north through Highland Beach and Manalapan to South Palm Beach.
But both Weinroth and his predecessor Steven Abrams live in the city limits of Boca and come from city council. Abrams, who was term-limited, was a former mayor. Weinroth’s council posts were appointed by other council members.
In his remarks at the county Tuesday, Weinroth mentioned his four years in public service and said his new job will broaden his perspective.
But he told Boca Voice he doesn’t think of the seat as partisan. “Everyone is worried about their community, not their party,” he said. Boca council elections are strictly non-partisan.
“I am hoping this will be the only time we ever allude to party affiliation during my term of office,” he said in his remarks.
Weinroth said among his priorities will be “helping our Supervisor of Elections prepare for the presidential election in 2020. We need to help support her efforts to update election equipment and procedures.”
He wants to “eliminate much of the pain we endured during multiple recounts.”
There was some chatter about Weinroth’s Nov. 6 election results that were closer than expected. Weinroth had 54.27 percent of the vote vs. Billy Vale’s 45.73 percent.
“Certainly a landslide compared with [Mike] Caruso and the governor’s that were razor thin,” Weinroth told Boca Voice. The other races triggered recounts.
Staff wise, District 4 longtime senior aide Kate “Freddie” Scott is retiring Dec. 3. Senior aide Lucia Bonavita is staying on. Weinroth has brought on Jon Carter and Alexandria Ayala as legislative aides.
The other big differences from his Boca posts are distance and salary but not time spent OTJ [on the job].
“This is designed to be a full-time job. I made the other one a full-time job,” Weinroth told Boca Voice. “I was out and about,” always with his wife Pam Weinroth who was also his campaign treasurer.
“I will do the meetings and will be out and about in the county to understand the issues,” he added. “I will follow in the footsteps of Steven and become the commuting commissioner.”
He plans to take Tri-Rail from Boca to his West Palm Beach office. District 4 also had an office in Delray.
He hopes Abrams’ new job as executive director of the agency that oversees Tri-Rail will help upgrade commuter rail service.
Among his other concerns will be continued job creation, highway congestion, affordable housing, the mental health crisis, and the opioid epidemic.
By Marci Shatzman