Tuesday, December 4, 2018

City of Lake Worth elections: Districts 2 and 4 will be on March 12th, 2019 ballot.

The Qualifying Period to get ones name on the ballot ends next Tuesday, December 11th at noon.

Please Note: This blog post today is quite lengthy and also very informative about the upcoming 2019 municipal elections in this City. But if politics in the L-Dub is not of interest to you then please scroll down to the blog post that follows this one.


Another candidate has filed paperwork with the City Clerk to run for the City Commission seat in District 4 next year and that would be Mr. William Joseph — interestingly in the March 2017 elections there was another gentleman named Mr. William Joseph (see image below) in the District 2 race — is that the same Mr. Joseph? Stay tuned. We will find out soon enough.

To find out all five individuals (two incumbents and three challengers) who have thus far filed their paperwork to be on the ballot next year please continue reading.

And of course, with the prospect of more people jumping into the races in Districts 2 and 4 there is always the “shill” to consider.

The ‘shill’ would be in the race not to win but to help someone else get 50% + 1 or in some cases the shill’s job is to damage another candidate and force a run-off election between the two top vote-getters in the runoff election that would be held on March 26th, two weeks after the general election. You see, if the candidate being targeted is politically damaged enough two weeks may not be enough time to recover and end up losing to the second-place finisher in the run-off.

A quick question. . .

Are you or someone you know considering running for a seat on the City Commission? There is still plenty of time to ‘test the waters’. And it could be a highly interesting election season coming up in this City. Why? Because the deadline for submittal of ballot questions by the City to the Supervisor of Elections is on December 13th.

The City Commission is considering several ballot questions and one of them could be to settle a debate that been going on for many, many years: To change the name of this City to “Lake Worth Beach” or keep the name the way it is.

It’s finally time to put this question to ballot once and for all. If you wish to learn more about this topic, after you finish reading this blog post scroll back up and click on this link.

Have you been thinking of running for elected office
in the City of Lake Worth?

If so, then the following blog post will answer
many of your questions.

Municipal Election Day will be held on March 12th, 2019. Thus far the incumbents in Districts 2 and 4 are seeking re-election and each incumbent already has a challenger(s). Learn who those people are later in this blog post. How many names total will be on next year’s ballot? We will not know that until the end of the upcoming Qualifying Period.

The Qualifying Period (QP) is from Tuesday, November 27th at noon and ends on Tuesday, December 11th at noon. One can wait until the QP or visit the City Clerk prior to the QP and get all the information you need to run for a seat on the City dais.

The City Clerk’s office is in City Hall and open Monday–Friday from 8:00 a.m.–5:00. Call 561-586-1602 or click on this link for more information. Following the end of the QP and you qualified for the ballot and then decided you made a mistake? There is a brief period of time to remove your name and it has been done in the past. But be forewarned, it is a complicated process.

Thus far who has declared their intent to run for the seats in Districts 2 and 4? Here they are but this is not the final list until the end of the QP:

District 2:

  • Omari Hardy (incumbent)
  • Cathy Dawn Turk

District 4:

  • Herman Robinson (incumbent)
  • William Joseph
  • Tom Copeland

Below are the election results from March 2017 which included a significant referendum.

Messrs. Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson
were both elected.

[Note the name “William Joseph” on the
March 2017 ballot.]

The “Question” on the ballot in 2017 was to increase terms for elected officials from two to three years. Thus, whomever is elected in the March 2019 elections will serve a three-year term.

Now comes the really good news. Because that referendum passed in 2017 following the elections in March 2019 there will not be another election of candidates until March of 2021. That’s right. A year off. How cool is that!

Also of note is an endorsement in The Palm Beach Post matters little any longer. It used to be an endorsement in the Post brought with it a 5–6% bump “back in the day”. But not any longer. As newspaper endorsements have faded in significance the power of political endorsements have become very important, especially so from other elected leaders here in Palm Beach County.

And that’s made defeating an incumbent a very big hill to climb. Not impossible but still very difficult. Thus, challengers are tasked with having to raise much more money than incumbents.

Briefly, let’s set the stage for March 2019.

In District 2 Cathy Turk announced last June she would be challenging Commissioner Omari Hardy. Turk is a worthy candidate and has been involved for many years in City issues. Last year Commissioner Hardy appointed Turk to the City’s Planning and Zoning Board and now they will both face off on the issues. The debates should be very interesting and expect a lot of substantial ideas back and forth.

In District 4 Tom Copeland announced last October he would be challenging Commissioner Herman Robinson. Not much is known about Copeland’s positions on the issues as yet. Copeland was appointed to the Finance Advisory Board by Mayor Pam Triolo. But little is known about that board. No minutes of meetings have been posted on the City’s website since last January. And now Mr. William Joseph has entered the race.

To look over the campaign Treasurer Reports turned in thus far click on this link.

What happened in this year’s municipal elections last March?

District 3 Commissioner Andy Amoroso was unopposed and automatically re-elected to a three-year term. Soon afterward he was chosen to be the City’s vice mayor. And Mayor Pam Triolo should have been unopposed too:

The election results on March 13th, 2018:

Most predicted a very close race in District 1 but Commissioner Maxwell won handily. It could be Sarah Malega getting the Post endorsement damaged her candidacy much more than people thought or maybe it was the specter of Drew Martin in the race that hurt Malega with voters?

So. Still considering running for a seat on
the Lake Worth City Commission?

Setting up a campaign account and getting one’s name on the ballot is the easy part. The hard part is preparing a credible “opening statement”, right at the start explaining why you are running for election. A poor opening statement could doom one’s campaign from the get-go.

But right now, politically speaking, everything is still in the shadow of the General Election on November 6th. It will take a few weeks for everyone to try and figure out what happened and then most everyone’s focus will shift to other things. Like the Holiday and Snowbird Season. And then things, once again politically speaking, will begin to pick up again for the March municipal elections after the New Year.

Note there is a very big difference between the November General Election and the municipal elections in March here in this little City of Lake Worth. And that big difference is called nonpartisan elections. Learn more about that a little later in this blog post.

And as to a question oft-posed on this blog: Should the City of Lake Worth have a referendum to eliminate run-off elections? One good reason why is to deter the “shill” from swaying the election results and there is the “shill shuffle” too.

What is the ‘shill shuffle’?

Usually in a race with multiple candidates the shill jumps in last. Sometimes within minutes of the end of the Qualifying Period in December. But then there’s the shill shuffle when the shill qualifies first and then the real candidate qualifies later on. Then everyone has to figure it out: “Who is the shill?”

Now to the question everyone wants to know. . .

Is getting an early start a big help?

District 1 candidate Sarah Malega got a very early start in 2017 but still lost to Scott Maxwell last March in the 2018 election cycle. But Mr. Herman Robinson also got an early start in 2016 and won the District 4 seat in March 2017. So it cuts both ways.

However, to avoid any potential disappointment, and even heartbreak, please learn more about something called “nonpartisan elections” below.

The information below is “Worth Noting”:

From City of Lake Worth’s City Charter. . .

“Lake Worth, Florida — Code of Ordinances —
Part I, Subpart A, Article V (Qualifications and Elections), Section 1, “Nonpartisan elections”:

All qualifications and elections for the offices of mayor and city commissioner shall be conducted on a nonpartisan basis without regard for or designation of political party affiliation of any nominee on any nomination petition or ballot.

From the City’s website, “Mayor & Commissioners”:

According to the provisions set forth in the City Charter, Lake Worth operates a Commission–Manager form of government. Authority is vested in an elected City Commission, which, in turn, appoints the City Manager.
     The City Commission is comprised of five members who serve staggered three-year terms and are elected on a nonpartisan basis by residents of the City. The Mayor is elected by a city-wide vote to serve a three-year term as the presiding officer at City Commission Meetings and as the official head of the City of Lake Worth for legislative and ceremonial purposes. The City Commission is responsible for passing Ordinances and other policy directives necessary for the operation of the City.

Hope you found this information helpful.

And, as always, Thank You for visiting today.