Please join our West Palm Beach community in bidding farewell to Mayor Jeri Muoio, and thanking her for her years of service. This Thursday, March 21st during Clematis by Night between 6 pm – 9 pm, our city will pay tribute to Mayor Muoio. The Mayor will address the crowd at 7 pm.
For the last eight years that I have served on the Commission, I have had the privilege of working with Mayor Muoio to help move our city forward. I have the utmost respect for her leadership and vision for the city.
While we have been colleagues for the last eight years, I am proud most of all to call her my friend. My sincerest thank you to Mayor Muoio for her guidance, insight and courage.
Please join us in wishing her all the best this Thursday at Clematis by Night.
West Palm Beach
On Friday, the canvassing board for the West Palm Beach elections met and decided to hold a recount to ensure my campaign did exceed the 50% threshold needed to win.
I am excited to share the recount was completed and I was announced the official winner of the West Palm Beach Mayoral election with over 50% of the votes cast.
I wanted to cooperate fully with the recount process to make sure all voters, my opponents and all parties were satisfied. I didn’t want to start my administration under a cloud of doubt about the election process or my victory. The will of the voters is being followed.
I want to thank the Supervisor of Elections, her staff and the canvassing board for their work to get this recount done accurately and efficiently. Thank you again to the voters of West Palm Beach for participating in the election.
It is my goal to move past the election and focus on the future of our city. We have some important issues facing West Palm Beach and I trust we can put aside our differences to create a city that is united and working towards a better future.
As Mayor-Elect I am going to continue the work necessary to move towards a smooth transition and to hit the ground running. I will keep you updated on this progress. Thank you.
Yours in service,
West Palm Beach
THANK YOU. Tuesday was a historic day for our city. I am honored by the trust the voters put in me as the next Mayor of West Palm Beach.
I would like to thank all the voters for participating in the process. Thank you, also, to my volunteers, supporters and team. A special thank you to my wife, Lorna, my mom and my loving family for their help during this campaign.
I commend my two opponents for their willingness to run for Mayor and their service to our community. We all shared a common goal to make West Palm Beach a great place.
On Tuesday’s Election Day, we secured 50.38% of the vote. The city charter says that if a candidate wins with a majority of votes cast, or 50% plus 1 vote, there is no need for a run-off election. The Supervisor of Elections office and the City are in discussions about whether there is a requirement to do a machine recount of the ballots since we were close to the 50% total. Our campaign attorneys do not believe a recount is required, nor would it change the outcome of the race since we had a 21.5% lead over our next closest opponent. I want every vote to count and a fair election process. I am optimistic this will be resolved quickly, so that we can end the election and unite together as one city that can start to look towards the future.
I have already gotten to work on the transition process to take full advantage of the few weeks we have before the swearing-in process on April 4th. I want to make sure the projects and programs serving our residents operate without any slowdowns. I have started to assemble a transition team of neighborhood and policy leaders to listen to new ideas, create implementation plans for key issues, like homelessness, and seek innovative ways to prioritize our neighborhoods and services. In the coming weeks we will keep you posted on our progress.
My door remains open. This is not the end of the conversation, but only the beginning of a new era. Send me your ideas, concerns or drop me a line anytime at Keith@KeithJamesForMayor.com. I promise to listen.
Thank you again for your confidence and your support.
Yours in service,
West Palm Beach
I have been in our neighborhoods across West Palm Beach over the past two days talking to voters and sharing my goals for our city. Our coffees, meet and greets and mobilization efforts are getting a HUGE response. Take a look below to see the photos from our “Day of Action”.
Now it’s time to focus this energy and excitement towards Election Day.
Please vote Keith James for Mayor on Tuesday, March 12th. If you don’t know where to vote, you can get all the details you need here: http://www.KeithJamesforMayor.com/Vote/.
Second, volunteer for an hour or two on Election Day at the polls to show your support. This is a great opportunity to answer any last-minute questions from voters and share my plans for our city. I can bring you a shirt, sign and some literature. Email me or call me at 561.284.9891 if you can volunteer on Election Day.
Thanks for all you are doing. We have entered the home stretch. Every door knocked on, phone call made, conversation with a voter is making a difference. Spread the word to vote Keith James for Mayor.
See you at the polls.
I have been across our city, meeting with residents and visiting our neighborhoods. Public safety continues to be on the top of everyone’s mind.
As a City Commissioner, I made it my mission to keep us safe. I supported investing in new technology like Shot Spotter and Real Time Crime Center, grant funding opportunities to keep firefighters on the job, our new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center and a state-of-the-art radio system that saved taxpayers $5 million.
While overall crime is down in West Palm Beach, violent crime is up in certain pockets. That’s why I have outlined a detailed plan to go after violent crime.
My plan will focus on:
- More community policing in our neighborhoods
- Going after violent criminals using new technology and intelligence led policing efforts
- Data driven policing to ensure areas where crime is occurring have the police and personnel needed
- Cracking down on code enforcement violators to ensure our neighborhoods don’t become havens for crime
- Supporting programs like the Mayor’s Village Initiative that work with our youth to keep them from turning to crime
I’m excited to announce that I have been endorsed by our local firefighters, police and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. I will work everyday to make sure our neighborhoods are safe.
I am asking for your vote so I can keep working for you.
Please vote Keith James for Mayor on Tuesday, March 12.
P.S. If you missed these videos, please take a moment to watch Sheriff Bradshaw’s endorsement and the endorsement of our Police Benevolent Association.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
Detective James Louis/ Police Benevolent Association
(This is the full unedited article as published on March 3, 2019)
Post endorsements: Keith James is best bet to lead West Palm
A decade that began in the depths of the recession has proven prosperous for West Palm Beach. Downtown is dotted by construction cranes, boasts the futuristic Brightline station and is a growing address for residences, not just shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
But while downtown is growing impressively, many other parts of the city have felt starved of attention. That’s the position of the three strong candidates who are vying to succeed Mayor Jeri Muoio in the March 12 election. All three say they’ll emphasize neighborhoods beyond the city core.
Priscilla Taylor, 69, is a former county commissioner seeking her way back into public office after a surprise defeat in 2016 to Mack Bernard. Unfortunately, she is running against two sitting city commissioners with closer knowledge of city issues.
Paula Ryan, 59, currently represents District 3, where she previously headed the El Cid Neighborhood Association and shepherded the plan to narrow South Dixie Highway, making it nicer for bicycling, walking and the proliferation of shops, restaurants and apartments occurring there. Her goal, she told the Post Editorial Board, is to take the same kind of small-business-centered growth to other parts of the city.
A professional developer of affordable housing, Ryan has notched significant achievements in the usually low-profile role of city commissioner. She attracted an Atlanta nonprofit, Purpose-Built Communities, to help tackle entrenched poverty, and encouraged the city’s adoption of the “Vision Zero” traffic-safety program.
Impressive. Still, the Post Editorial Board endorses Keith James, who shares much the same goals for boosting city neighborhoods as his opponents, but who emphasizes that he’ll take a collaborative approach to running the city — certainly more than we have seen from Muoio. More than the other candidates, James understands that for West Palm to thrive, it must abandon the haughtiness it has too often displayed toward neighboring cities and the county government.
Currently the commissioner for District 4, a sprawling territory west of I-95, James, 61, has already met with County Administrator Verdenia Baker and School District Superintendent Donald Fennoy to explore areas of cooperation. He is also immediate past president of the Palm Beach County League of Cities.
On the campaign trail, he has reached out to residents for their ideas; he says he has collected some 500 names of people interested in participating in neighborhood advisory roles. He says city commissioners ought to be granted a more participatory role in decision-making, and that he intends to make the mayor’s office more open and transparent to the media and the public than it has been.
A Harvard-educated corporate lawyer, James helps clients set up or buy and sell companies — but has a history of trouble in his own finances. Records show he owes the IRS more than $100,000 and was hit with two foreclosures and an eviction judgment. As James explains it, he fell into a financial hole a decade ago when he was going through a divorce, putting two children through college and starting a new business.
“I wish I could come before you as a man without flaws,” he told the Editorial Board.
But those flaws were in his personal life. In almost eight years on the dais, he pointed out, he has been perfectly diligent in overseeing public money. “We have balanced the budget successively for seven straight years; the millage rate has not gone up,” he said.
The same troubling questions about James’ ugly finances arose when he first ran for the city commission in 2011. The Post endorsed him then despite those negatives, citing 20 years of public involvement including service on the county’s budget oversight board, the Quantum Foundation and the Palm Beach State College Foundation board.
We acknowledge the matter will give some voters pause in the present election. But we are also aware that layers of checks and balances exist — a finance director, city manager and independent commission — for just this reason.
Moreover, the Post’s judgment in 2011 has been amply validated by James’ solid performance on the commission. Like most of his fellow panelists, he has mainly followed Muoio’s lead — a Pip, as he puts it, to her Gladys Knight — from promoting livable downtown development and the Okeechobee Business District to fighting the extension of State Road 7.
Notably, he clashed with the mayor over the 2016 elevation of assistant police chief Sarah Mooney to the top spot, saying he preferred to hold a nationwide search for a police chief. In the current campaign, James has not hesitated to criticize the city’s handling of crime, especially in its poorer precincts, noting that of 52 homicides in the last two years, only two have been solved.
We believe James can be relied upon to build upon West Palm Beach’s momentum in the downtown while attacking persistent problems in other parts of the city, such as pothole-rutted streets, neglected buildings, the all-too-public miseries of the homeless and a 17-percent poverty rate.
James is a strong communicator with the ability to draw listeners to his side. His instinct is to persuade, not dictate. He has the humility to own up to mistakes, and the confidence to propose actionable steps forward for the public good.
The Post endorses Keith James for mayor.
By: The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
Read the article online at: www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/20190303/post-endorsements-keith-james-is-best-bet-to-lead-west-palm