The Palm Beach Post backs Kaufer, Schneider, McDermott

Jupiter has come a long way from its days as a sleepy coastal town that once boasted Burt Reynolds’ home away from Hollywood. Growth in this northern Palm Beach County community has resulted in a rush of congestion, development, and traffic typically found in other parts of the county, issues now infused into city politics.

On March 8, voters will choose a new mayor and two new councillors. Whoever wins will face the growth and development challenges that come with being a popular beach community. They will also choose a new permanent city manager, a key administrator expected to turn council directives into meaningful programs.

The following are endorsements from The Palm Beach Post:

Mayor — Ilan Kaufer

Jupiter Mayor Todd Wodraska has decided against re-election, opening the door to three candidates seeking to replace him. The Post recommends voters choose Kaufer, a longtime city councilor whose experience and energy are best suited for the top job.

Kaufer, 40, is an environmental project manager for Florida Power & Light and has served on the council since 2013. As mayor, he would address the impact of growth and infill development on a community that cherishes its small-town character.

If elected, Kaufer would continue to protect the city’s natural environment. He would push to re-evaluate the city’s comprehensive plans to make changes to better meet Jupiter’s current needs and manage infill development. Transportation – attempt to relieve congestion on Indiantown Road and parts of the Federal Highway by working with county and state transportation agencies to accommodate city needs.

Other candidates in the race are Patrick Gallagher, 59, a Martin County firefighter and Jim Kuretski, 66, an FP&L project manager with two decades of experience as an adviser. Kuretski has served the village well, but the Post thinks Kaufer is the best choice for Jupiter’s future.

District 1—Cheryl Schneider

Cheryl Schneider, candidate for Jupiter adviser

Voters in this contest have a choice of two candidates vying to replace Kuretski on the council. The Post endorses Cheryl Schneider.

Schneider, 60, is a retiree with varied backgrounds. She began her career as a telecommunications lawyer, then became a small business owner of two chocolate and ice cream shops in the Washington, D.C. area, before retiring to Jupiter, where she is vice- president of the Jupiter Inlet Foundation.

Schneider hopes to use this experience to implement growth management policies that help retain Jupiter’s small-town character. She will work with county and state transportation agencies to alleviate bottlenecks, maintain high-quality public safety services, and protect Jupiter’s environmental resources.

Schneider is facing Barbara Richardson, a real estate agent who filed for office but did not actively campaign.

District 2—Linda McDermott

Linda McDermott, candidate for the post of adviser to Jupiter

If nothing else, this neighborhood race gives the village an abundance of options. A total of five candidates hope to succeed Kaufer on the board. The Post recommends McDermott because of his experience in municipal government.

McDermott, 69, is the grants and special projects administrator in West Palm Beach, formerly the second-in-command of that city’s finance department. If elected, she would use this financial management experience to leverage government revenues, especially federal government payments, to undertake infrastructure projects and protect wetlands. She would also push to bolster city staff in the building and water departments, which will see greater activity in the coming months and work to help police improve recruitment and retention.

McDermott faces four challengers. Robert Kupyers, 41, a senior sales manager for a marketing firm, and Malise Sundstrom, 38, who sits on the planning and zoning commission are new faces capable of holding elective office. Ben Klug, a 42-year-old glazier who served as acting councilor, and Gloria Tucker, a 54-year-old hairstylist are also in the running. Neither was involved in the document approval process.

Comments are closed.