More than 300 attended the Civic Association Annual Meeting held at the Flagler Museum Monday. Here’s a recap.
Bob Wright, Chairman and CEO of the Civic Association, called the meeting to order with an agenda including introductions of federal, state, and local elected officials; new Civic Association board member nominations, the Civic Association’s Presidents report, awards, and the State of the Town Address by Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio.
State of the State of Florida
Jeff Atwater, State of Florida CFO, explained the differences in the state between 2006 pre-recession, 2009 recession peak, and today.
Year State Revenue Avg. Home Price Unemployment
2006 $27 Billion $258,000 3.5%
2009 $21 Billion $121,000 11%
2016 $28 Billion $200,000 5%
One of the areas that the state should be proud of is in reading education. “Six years ago the state of Florida was ranked 45th in the nation on 4th Grade reading tests.” said Mr. Atwater. “Today because of our initiatives in education and standards, Florida ranks 8th in the nation.”
Board of Director Nominations
Mr. Wright presented new director nominations and they were unanimously approved in a vote by Civic Association members. The new board members are:
- Lisbeth R. Barron
- Peter S. Broberg
- Pepe Fanjul Jr.
- Rudolph W. Giuliani
- Paul Tudor Jones II
- Pauline Pitt
- Harold B. Smith
Click to See Their Bios
“I’d like to thank you all.” said Mr. Wright. “I look forward to working with you in the coming year.”
Civic Association President’s Report
Ned Barnes, President of the Civic Association, invited the audience to read his President’s Report in the Program and watch the 2015 – 2016 Season Recap Video.
Click Here to See the President’s Report
Click Here to See the 2015 – 2016 Season Review Video
The Town Beautification Award was presented by Committee Chair Isabel Furlaud to recipients: Bill Bone and Bill Metzger. Mr. Bone led the effort to raise $1.4 Million to restore the Memorial Fountain and Town Square.
In his remarks during the presentation of the award Mr. Bone said, “Like you I love this place and like you I feel that working together works. Let’s keep working together to keep Palm Beach the most beautiful place on earth.”
Kunkel Awards were presented by Chairman Will Matthews, Anne Keresey, and Paul Leone to recipients: John Blades, Dr. Rebecca van der Bogert.
The Raymond J. Kunkel Award is given each year at the annual meeting to an individual or group who renders heroic and/or meritorious service to the Palm Beach community.
Mr. Blades is retiring after 21 years as the Executive Director of the Flagler Museum and Dr. van der Bogert is retiring after 7 years as the Head of the Palm Beach Day Academy.
On accepting his Kunkel Award Mr. Blades said, “Thousands have helped the Flagler Museum become what it has become over the last 20 years. I accept this great honor on behalf of all of you.
While accepting her Kunkel Award, Dr. van der Bogert said, “I don’t think you can have a great school without a great town. The intelligence, talent, and above all the willingness to share their talent – no other community has the adult role models that we have for our children.”
State of the Town Address
Mayor Gail Coniglio gave her sixth State of the Town address. Highlights included shore protection results with over 2 million cubic yards of sand placed on the beaches in the Town of Palm Beach, a slim win for undergrounding our utilities which is a “reinvestment in the future of the town” and a need to “work harder to work together,” a public safety crime clearance rate of 58% (vs. 18% nationwide), a booming growth of West Palm Beach, a sales tax initiative by Palm Beach County to raise the rate from 6% to 7%, and a plan to redevelop Bradly Park.
“We are living in Palm Beach at a proud time in our history.” said Mayor Coniglio. “Great progress has been made in every corner of our town.”
Mayor Coniglio asked for continued patience and to work as one town as West Palm Beach and Florida Public Utilities works to finish replacing water and gas lines, roads will be resurfaced, the Flagler Bridge continues to completion in 2017, the Southern Blvd. Bridge temporary bridge will start construction in preparation to replace the existing bridge, and the Town Council will address the public safety compensation package that she called “problematic.”
End of Season Party
Directly after the Annual Meeting the End-of-Season Celebration was held in the Grand Hall complete with champagne and mimosas.
Click Below to See the Full Annual Meeting Video [1 hour 6 min.]
Press About the Event
Roads, utilities, pensions top town’s to-do list, Palm Beach mayor says