Our Year In Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Food Drive

The holiday season is a time for reflection and a chance to count our many blessings. This year I am partnering with our local churches for my annual holiday drive. We are collecting canned goods that can be used to feed needy families during the holidays and as part of the weekly outreach to feed the homeless, families and seniors throughout our city.

Thank you to New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, St. Paul AME Church and Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church for partnering with me this year.

Here is how you can help.

  • We are collecting canned goods and other non-perishables for donation. Make sure you take a look at the expiration date to ensure those items are still usable.
  • Drop canned goods off at the following locations: 105 S Narcissus Ave Suite 505, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 or 9200 Belvedere Rd., Suite 202, West Palm Beach, FL 33411.
  • Please call first before you stop by so I can make sure someone is there to meet you.
  • Share this email with your colleagues or others and let’s all do our part this holiday season to help out.

I am dropping off all the canned items on Friday, December 21st, so please connect with me before then so we can put these items to work for our community.

Call me: (561) 284-9891

Email me: Keith@KeithJamesForMayor.com

Every little bit counts. When we come together as a community, we can truly make a difference.

Yours in service,

Keith James
City Commissioner District 4
Candidate for Mayor
West Palm Beach

Summer Recap

 

I hope you had a wonderful summer with your friends and family. The City has been busy making improvements and there are many opportunities where we can work together to make West Palm Beach a better place to live, work and play.

Watch this week’s edition of The Breakdown to hear my take on what happened over the summer.

The Breakdown


Be sure to keep those questions and feedback coming! I love hearing from you. If you have an idea you want to share or an issue you want to discuss, drop me a line or take my survey.

Thanks.

Keith James
City Commissioner – District 4
Candidate for Mayor

Share Your Ideas

 

We finished wrapping up all our Community Budget Workshops throughout the City where we discussed finalizing the City’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.
However, it’s not too late to share your thoughts and ideas on how to make West Palm Beach a better city to live, work and play.
Please take the survey below and let me know how you think funding should be spent on City projects and programs.
Once you complete the survey, please mark your calendars for the following dates.



September 13, 2018

First public hearing to adopt the tentative budget and millage rate

September 27, 2018
Final public hearing to adopt the final budget and millage rate

October 1, 2018
Fiscal Year 2019 Budget goes into effect

Thank you,

Keith James
City Commissioner

Survey: www.KeithJamesforMayor.com/Survey/

Latest Video Update

Hope you are having a great Sunday.  

I have just released my latest video update on this past week’s City Commission meeting. Enjoy!

The Breakdown

Historic Day for WPB

 

Have you heard the great news? 

Wednesday, June 13th, the City and the Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District reached an agreement that will protect our most vital environmental resource – Grassy Waters Preserve.

Since joining the City Commission in 2011, I have been at the forefront fighting the expansion of State Road 7 for the City of West Palm Beach, our residents, and our future generations.  Because of this agreement, SR7 cannot be extended into or along the Grassy Waters Preserve, therefore protecting our city’s vital water supply.

I would like to thank our Mayor, Jeri Muoio, who has been fighting this issue for over a decade, while creating a lasting legacy that will benefit our future. Without her leadership, this hurdle would have been difficult to overcome.

I would also like to thank Sal Faso, President of the North County Neighborhood Coalition and a true West Palm Beach community leader who helped spearhead the movement. Sal had the foresight to understand our environment is worth protecting and fighting for.

Last, I would like to thank the hundreds of residents who sent letters, attended meetings and worked hard to protect our water.

Perseverance and hard work shows that when we work together as a city and a community, great things happen in West Palm Beach.

Please take a moment to listen to my take on Wednesday’s historic commission meeting on this week’s The Breakdown.

Thanks.

Keith James

City Commissioner – District 4

Candidate for Mayor

The Breakdown

City Update

 

Happy Saturday. I wanted to send you this email before the day got away.

We had a busy week of meetings. We took an initial look at the city’s proposed budget, we heard proposals for the tent site, and we approved multiple neighborhood projects. I am excited that there are so many good things happening in West Palm Beach.

Listen to my take on what happened in this week’s edition of The Breakdown.

And please keep those questions and feedback coming. I love hearing from you. If you have an idea you want to share or an issue you want to discuss, drop me a line.

Thanks.

Keith James

City Commissioner – District 4

Candidate for Mayor

The Breakdown

In run for mayor, Keith James seeks to bridge economic divide

 

WEST PALM BEACH —

When a land use or development issue comes before the board, City Commissioner Keith James can be counted on to pose the lawyerly questions, asking city staffers to explain details as if parsing a contract. But overall he remains something of a mystery to the public, a frequent supporter of Mayor Jeri Muoio’s initiatives but one who hasn’t stepped into the spotlight with projects of his own. To be sure, that’s partly because, with West Palm’s strong-mayor form of government and Muoio’s approach to it, commissioners serve as policy makers, not movers and shakers of their own accord.

So with Muoio term-limited out, mayoral candidate James, who has represented the wealthier, western part of the city since 2011 as District 4 commissioner, is stepping forward to let voters citywide know who he is and what he hopes to do for them.

For one, he wants the public to know he wasn’t always a Harvard lawyer. He grew up in a small house in Wichita, Kans., son of a single mother who was 17 when he was born, and of a “bad boy” father who dropped in and out of sight.

Though his mother never completed high school, she knew education would be the key to her son’s progress in life, James said in an interview. So he kept his head in his books.

Still, when a high school counselor pulled James aside and suggested he apply to an Ivy League university, he didn’t know what that was. “I said, ‘Ivy what?’” he recalled. “My life experiences are probably more similar to folks in our least advantaged neighborhoods.”

His policy priorities, if elected, will include public safety, economic development, technology and seeking regional solutions to housing, homelessness and transportation, he said in a recent interview.

He supports buttressing police with crime-fighting technologies such as ShotSpotter, license-plate readers and computer analysis, as well as with continued efforts at community policing. But he says the city also needs to build the economic infrastructure of its poorer neighborhoods. “These kids don’t have jobs,” he said.

And if the city can’t stop crime, it won’t fill its office buildings or attract visitors, he said. “We’re only as strong as our weakest neighborhoods.”

The city needs to diversify its economy, to expand beyond real estate and tourism to hot areas of the future, whether health care or the marine industry or others, he said. It also needs to encourage growth of “the generation of creators that’s coming up,” he said, noting the city hosts more of a tech community than most people realize. Similarly he wants the city to position itself to take advantage of the automated vehicle technology of the future. “Why can’t West Palm Beach be one of those test sites?” he asked.

The city also should partner for regional solutions to major issues, from addressing the shortage of affordable housing, the need for mass transit improvement and to coordinate on addressing homelessness, he said.

With the mayoral election not until March 2019, James was the first to jump into the race. The only other person to file candidacy papers so far is Priscilla Taylor, former county commissioner. City Commissioner Paula Ryan, a developer whose district runs from the wealthy El Cid area to the poorer Northwest, sounds more and more like a candidate lately, as well, while south end businesswoman and former commissioner Shanon Materio also is considering a run. Subculture Coffee co-owner Sean Scott said he, too, may run.

West Palm needs to focus on what it wants to look like, five, 10 years from now, James said. Some people still want it to be the same sleepy town it was 30 years ago, he said. While aware of the problems growth created for Miami-Dade and Broward, he said, “we can’t ignore the forces of change.”

 

The Palm Beach Post // By: Tony Doris

Full article: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/run-for-mayor-keith-james-seeks-bridge-economic-divide/bVtBiPGd84U1z9DFj8YkGI/

City Commissioner Keith James announces for Mayor in 2019

The 2019 mayoral race began in earnest Wednesday afternoon as Keith James, a city commissioner since 2011, threw his hat in the ring to replace Mayor Jeri Muoio, who will step down because of term limits.

James, 59, a Harvard-educated lawyer and one of two African-American men on the five-person commission, said he is “focused on supporting city initiatives that keep taxes low, increase job opportunities for residents, improve public safety in our neighborhoods, support our local schools and education programs, manage transportation and traffic issues and encourage diversity.”

He faces potential opponents in colleagues Shanon Materio and Paula Ryan but neither has filed candidacy papers yet.

He has represented District 4, which consists of western, relatively wealthy sections of the city, and with few exceptions has been a supporter of Muoio’s initiatives. The district traditionally has heavier voter turnout than the rest of the city, giving James an early advantage.

“As a city commissioner, I have provided a level of experience and collaboration that has helped West Palm Beach become the city of excellence we have today,” he said. “As mayor, residents can expect from me leadership that listens, a champion who looks out for all our neighborhoods and a vision for the future that unites our city.”

James has served during a period when the city was pulling out of recession, a time of tight budgets that the commission has gradually relaxed as it unfroze employee pay and played catch-up with maintenance, equipment and program shortfalls, from police cars to road repairs and parks improvements. Even as real estate values rose and the city raked in increasing amounts of tax revenue, the commission has not reduced the property tax rate.

James pledged Wednesday not to increase the tax rate if he’s elected and said it’s possible he would move to reduce it.

As for addressing the city’s areas of generational poverty, he said, “We’re pecking away at it through our Housing and Community Development Department at the city, as well as the Community Redevelopment Agency, to try bringing projects that add to employment possibilities.”

“It’s a matter of continuing to push away at the buttons and address the problems,” from employment, to education and real estate ownership in those areas, he said. “We have to continue to expand our tax base so we have monies available to pursue these programs.”

He cited his early support for The Bristol, a luxury waterfront condominium project now rising at the former Chapel-by-the-Lake site, which was controversial for its view-blocking size but which is expected to bring the city millions of dollars in additional property tax revenues.

He stirred controversy in 2015, when a developer proposing a major medical campus on the downtown “tent site” alleged that James angrily refused to support the proposal because the developer had sided against the mayor in a recent election. A state ethics complaint filed against him by developer Michael McCloskey was dismissed.

James declined to say Wednesday where he stands on another controversial project, the proposed 25-story One Flagler office project proposed for a site currently zoned for a maximum of five stories, also near the waterfront. He said he wouldn’t comment before that project is formally presented to the commission.

Recently elected president of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, James also serves as one of the city’s representatives on the county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, which focuses on regional transportation and other growth issues.

Along with the rest of the commission, he has consistently voted to fight the extension of State Road 7 near Grassy Waters Preserve and the Ibis Golf and Country Club community. He recently persuaded a majority of the city commissioners to remove his potential mayoral opponent, Materio, from her seat on the MPO, for a vote she cast for a project priority list that included the road extension.

As a lawyer, James represents small- and medium-sized businesses in corporate, real estate and governmental law. He graduated from Harvard in 1979 and Harvard Law School in 1982.

He and his fiancée, Lorna, live in the Andros Isle neighborhood.

Palm Beach Post // By: Tony Doris

Read the full article here: https://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/city-commissioner-keith-james-announces-for-mayor-2019/N1qrtRMscf81Blv59SROPN/