Swamp Life Runs Deep in South Florida as Boynton Beach Considers Extending Their Own Terms

Boynton Beach joins the Boca Raton swamp by considering a city charter amendment to add additional terms for its commissioners.

Boynton Beach commissioners can serve two consecutive, 3-year terms. Boynton Beach is not a strong mayor city, meaning the mayor operates under the same rules as any other commissioner. The commission is considering amending its city charter, which residents would vote on, to decide if a commissioner who has served their allowable two terms (6 years) should be able to run for mayor without sitting a cycle out. If elected, the commissioner could serve an additional two terms, meaning they could serve on the commission for 12 years instead of 6.

This experiment is already in place in Delray Beach. Commissioner Ryan Boylston is presently serving his second term as a city commissioner. If this change goes through, he can then run for mayor and be on the commission for another two terms. So what happens if the mayor wants to go back and serve as a commissioner without sitting a term out? I asked Commissioner Boylston. He didn’t know. We could be on the verge of forever officials who never go away.

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According to Delray Beach city attorney Lynn Gelin, the person would have to sit out a term before serving again.

The Boynton commission wants Boynton to be a strong mayor city. Under the current weak mayor system, the city manager is the one who runs the city. The city manager serves at the pleasure of the commission and directs staff. The commission approves decisions but does not direct staff. A strong mayor would mean that the mayor essentially becomes the city manager, and their vote and approval would be the final say as opposed to a majority commission vote.

A prominent local Democrat who wishes to remain anonymous said:

“The longer someone stays in office, the more power they have and the more likely special interest groups will control them. It also becomes tough to run against a long-term incumbent….These ideas are not coming from the people but from the elected officials. Who does it benefit, the people or the elected officials themselves?”

Currently, Mayor Ty Penserga can only serve one three-year term as mayor. If the city charter change goes on a ballot and the residents vote in favor of it while Penserga is in office, he can run for mayor again and serve an additional three years.

I reached out to Mayor Penserga for comment, and Pensarga said:

 

“I honestly have not heard anyone talk about that in Boynton, and no commissioner has ever brought that up in a commission meeting. Not sure where that’s coming from. And yes, of course, term limits are important.”

He reiterated his belief in term limits. So far, he is the only Boca and Boynton official who answered the question directly. He says he has yet to learn if another commissioner will bring this up, but he is not spearheading any efforts to increase terms. Penserga supports the strong mayor system and says the current system works. The city manager, a person the voters never elected, is positioned to speak directly with department heads, giving this person an unbalanced power advantage.

Boca Raton City Council Baby Swamp Creature Has Arrived

I did reach out to other commissioners, who mostly kept silent. Commissioner Thomas Turkin responded, but we couldn’t make a call happen. Many local officials avoid making public statements on this issue because they know it is unpopular. Fran Nachlas, now on the Boca council, didn’t answer questions about term limits. Mayor Scott Singer gave a response but no actual answer.

Any elected official who would vote to have any term limit extension would have a lot more credibility if they voted for something like this to start after their terms ended. It’s much more credible to say that you believe in something like this if voting doesn’t benefit you personally.

Local government has become like a controlling HOA that everybody hates,” said a local Democratic official.

Voters have the right to know where their government or potential officials stand on term limits. Call or email your Boca Raton City Council or Boynton Beach Commissioners and any candidates currently running for office. Ask them if they believe in term limits. It’s a simple question, and you have the right to know where they stand. Just say no to this power grab.

Boca Raton Swamp Conducts Loaded Poll to Trick Residents

This is not just happening in Boynton Beach, but we know this is on the agenda in Boca next week, setting a dangerous precedent for other cities to follow suit. Just yesterday, Boca campaign consultants texted an absurdly misleading poll to get the residents’ opinions on term limits. The Boca Swamp and its consultants want you to believe that extending their terms will make politics less partisan. Do not fall for their game, and do not let them take any more power away from you.

Mayor Ty Penserga, At-Large
Email: Pense[email protected] | phone: (561) 742-6010 | Cell: (561) 528-3366
Term of office: March 2022 to March 2025 | Mayor Penserga’s bio

Vice Mayor Angela Cruz, District I
Email: [email protected] | phone: (561) 742-6010 | Cell: (561) 702-0253
Term of office: March 2022 to March 2025

Commissioner Woodrow L. Hay, District II
Email: [email protected] | phone: (561) 742-6010 | Cell: (561) 702-2107
Term of office: March 2020 to March 2023

Commissioner Thomas Turkin, District III
Email: [email protected] | phone: (561) 742-6010 | Cell: (561) 702-0520
Term of office: March 2022 to March 2025

Commissioner Aimee Kelley, District IV
Email: [email protected] | phone: (561) 742-6010 | Cell: (561) 702-5751
Term of office: March 2020 to March 2023


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