A Letter from the MayorAs mayor of Palm Beach Shores, I have 6 priorities that guide my actions. I base all of my mayoral actions and decisions on the following:
Communication and Transparency. I will continue to send my monthly email updates and encourage all residents to participate as much as you wish.
Living Within our Financial Means. We currently have a moderate property tax rate. Our property values are coming back slowly and I believe that we have enough income to run the town efficiently and take care of some of the infrastructure backlog. For instance, repaving Inlet Way and restriping all of the perimeter roads should happen as soon as the major construction is completed at 106 Inlet. We have the money set aside and are just waiting until the dump trucks are off our roads. Now the exception to this is, of course, if the town decides to underground our utilities. Obviously, then we will need to take a loan and find the funds though a utility consumption tax or some other means. All of that will be decided together with you, the residents, since this would be both major construction and a large financial commitment.
Ensure Public Safety and Quality of Life. Job One for any Mayor is to keep their residents safe. So, of course, I will ensure that our police, fire and lifeguards are properly staffed and equipped to do their jobs properly. My main concern for public safety is District B, the motel area, primarily along Bamboo, Ocean and Inlet. Many of these properties are struggling to make ends meet and as a result, they have ended up as sober homes or transient apartments. What little crime we have in our town often happens in this area. Especially in the summer when the more lucrative snowbirds have flown home. Now I am not saying that everyone who lives in this area is a problem but our crime reports show that this is an issue for all of us and we must take action to encourage these owners to redevelop.
Maintain our Infrastructure and Beautify our Town. I have already been working in this area as well. Our town should "SPARKLE"! I was the champion for bringing a Town Engineer on board. This is already paying dividends in so many ways. When our Town Manager arrives, one of his first duties will be to do an assessment of our town's infrastructure and work with our Town Engineer on a long term maintenance and improvement plan. As for beautifying the town, I am a member of the Environmental Committee and helped get a $12,000 increase in the town's budget for trees and Parkway plantings. I also have enjoyed getting the opportunity to do some of the plantings myself. Our contract with Bass for maintaining our parkway is done in September. We are working with the EC in developing the criteria that we will use to bid out the business this summer.
Balance Small Town Friendliness with Professional Reliability. This is going to take some work and I ask each of you to help me with this. We have new faces in Town Hall and driving our streets in the police cars. They are young, energetic people who love this town like you do. Go introduce yourself or ask me for a tour. I will be happy to introduce you to everyone and tell you what they do in service for us. I hear from residents that the rigidity of our new procedures are rubbing folks the wrong way. The intention was to ensure that our town resources are used efficiently and that everyone is treated equally. However, perhaps the direction in Town Hall has gone too far towards consistency in some areas. Both our Town Manager and I will be actively involved in finding the right balance between flexibility and reliability. You can help by bringing issues to our attention.
Build Strong Bridges with Our Neighbors. You never know when you'll need one.
I look forward to serving our town and our residents.
Mayor Myra Koutzen