Tasked with delivering bold ideas, Mayor James' Transition Team delivered a series of 100 Day Recommendations to improve government efficiency, public safety, create jobs, enhance mobility and more.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL. (August 9, 2019) -- Mayor Keith James of West Palm Beach announced today the 100 Day Recommendations of his Transition Team and major policy initiatives his administration has taken to improve West Palm Beach.
“It’s been so important to me that I spend my first 100 days as Mayor wasting no time tackling issues that are critical to West Palm Beach, while listening to the community and ensuring a diversity of ideas and experiences to help guide the City forward,” said Mayor James. “We’ve exceeded our goals for this first major benchmark and have incredible momentum to keep doing great things for our city and its people.”
Upon taking office, Mayor James announced the formation of his Mayoral Transition Team, a diverse group of local residents, community leaders and experts who volunteered their time to work with Mayor James and City staff to review City policies and goals.
Consisting of nearly 100 community leaders and chaired by Don Kiselewski, Florida Power and Light executive and Former Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, the Mayor’s Transition Team focused on eight key policy areas. Each policy area had a committee responsible for providing recommendations to the Mayor. The policy committees and their co-chairs included: Arts, Culture, Education and Recreation (co-chaired by Melanie Hill and Phil Growick); Economic Development and Jobs (co-chaired by Veronica Cooper and Neil Merin); Environment and Sustainability (co-chaired by Ann Marie Sorrell and Steve Scherer); Government Efficiency, Budget and Taxes (co-chaired by Elizabeth McBride and Howard Pincus); Homelessness (co-chaired by Sally D. Chester, RN and Jonathan “Jack” Frost); Neighborhoods First (co-chaired by Cathleen D. Ward, Esq. and Greg Mermigas); Public Safety (co-chaired by Joseph Ianno, Jr. and Reverend William Washington); Transportation, Mobility and Transit (co-chaired by Bill Bone and Will Corrente).
“Chairing the Transition Team Committee has been an incredible honor,” stated Mr. Kiselewski. “Mayor James assembled the best and brightest in their fields. We had a shared common goal of focusing on West Palm Beach’s residents and neighborhoods and we held ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and productivity.”
Through its eight policy subcommittees, the Transition Team made a series of recommendations based on their suggested timeline and implementation: immediate (100 Days) and two sets of long-term recommendations (before 2021 and post 2021). The 100 Day Recommendations were ideas and policies that can be implemented within the first 100 Days of Mayor James Administration.
Below is a summary of the 100 Day Recommendations submitted by the Transition Team and being implemented by the City:
Arts, Culture, Education and Recreation
Economic Development and Jobs
- Create a dedicated channel to communicate the city’s cultural assets and increase visibility of assets through existing communications outlets.
- Review existing signage and wayfinding for cultural assets in an effort to increase and improve signage for residents, visitors and tourists.
- Identify opportunities to expand the Northmore Elementary School model to other schools in West Palm Beach.
- Review existing public transportation routes and connecting city cultural institutions to the trolley line.
Environment and Sustainability
- Direct the CRA to identify a centrally located job readiness training center in the CRA boundaries.
Government Efficiency, Budget and Taxes
- Oppose the lowering of the lake levels of Lake Okeechobee and actively participate in opposition efforts to lower the lake levels.
- Perform a review of the Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District Storm Water System that provides infrastructure services to the West Palm Beach Western Communities.
- Maintain the commitment to the goal of Net Zero 2050.
- Create taskforce to work with city staff and IT department to advise on IT opportunities, challenges and network security.
- Implement Six Sigma training across the city departments to improve efficiency.
- Create a position within City Hall to serve as the Homeless Coordinator to monitor the various activities and agencies involved in homelessness issues in the city. Armando Fana will serve in this position.
- Increase training of police officers on how to work and mediate issues with the homeless population during service calls.
- Publicly support the County’s newly proposed Homeless Resource Center. West Palm Beach supported the center at the meeting publicly and with funding.
- Work with local, state and federal leaders to leverage funding, solicit grants and other support to fund additional services, programs and opportunities for the homeless population.
- Build partnerships through a central coordinator with strategic not-for-profit organizations that are focused on neighborhood revitalization.
- Create a position to coordinate city engagement and understanding of neighborhood priorities.
- Create a communications plan that focuses on communicating with neighborhoods about ongoing priorities and projects, improves responsiveness and ensures information is readily available, even for those without access to internet.
Transportation, Mobility and Transit
- Create a designated liaison between the Mayor and the public safety organizations in the city.
- Research the need and cost associated with funding a position/role of a grant writer for the city to assist the public safety departments in acquiring additional funding and resources.
- Improve traffic signalization of major arteries, including Okeechobee Blvd, by working with the county on immediate modifications and long-term solutions to improve signal timing.
- Review the cost of a joint study with the county on a pedestrian crossing along Okeechobee Blvd.
- Formally request the Coast Guard to adjust the middle bridge opening and closing timing during rush hour traffic.
- Provide discounted employee parking for downtown service businesses.
- Use funding from increase in downtown parking meter fees to fund additional transit and transportation solutions.
- Create a director of Mobility within City Staff to oversee transportation issues citywide and oversight of the city transit system.
- Review long-term solutions to public transit, including the use of Electric Coaches, to replace the city’s existing trolley system.
- Create a taskforce to advise on creating the “last mile of connectivity” between neighborhoods and transit hubs.
These recommendations were part of a series of 100 Day Recommendations the Transition Team submitted to the Mayor. The goal of the 100 Day Recommendations were to evaluate low hanging fruit of issues and opportunities upon which the city could quickly act!
Since April 2019, the Transition Team has held over 35 meetings and will be submitting its final report with the long-term recommendations in late August.
During the first 100 days, Mayor James also implemented a series of significant changes to better reflect his vision for West Palm Beach. To ensure greater accountability and efficiency, Mayor James reorganized the structure of the City Administration providing for greater accountability from each of the city’s areas of service.
Public safety being Job #1 for the city, Mayor James reorganized the police department with Frank Adderley being sworn in as the new police chief. Chief Adderley is charged with reducing violent crime and implementing intelligence-led policing efforts with a focus on community policing.
Mayor James has appointed Tiffany David to oversee the city’s Neighborhoods First Initiative. Acting as an advocate for each of the city’s neighborhoods, Tiffany is charged with problem solving and providing feedback on issues affecting our neighborhoods.
The Mayor has also created The Office of Equal Opportunity headed by Frank Hayden. This office is charged with ensuring that small and minority companies can actively participate in the city’s economic growth.
Focused on creating a community of opportunity for all, Mayor James recently appointed Jose Tagle to serve as outreach coordinator for the City on Hispanic and Latin affairs.
Here is a complete list of transition team committee members:
Mayor Keith James Transition Team Committee
Don Kiselewski, Chair
Sr. Director of External Affairs, Florida Power & Light Company
Arts, Culture, Education and Recreation Policy Subcommittee
Phil Growick, Co-Chair
Chair, Art in Public Places for West Palm Beach
Melanie Hill, Co-Chair
Owner, Kofski Antiques, Inc.
Claudia Kirk Barto
President, Junior Achievement
Sue Ellen Beryl
Managing Director, Palm Beach Dramaworks
President, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium
Elliot Bostwick Davis, PH.D.
Director & CEO, Norton Museum of Art
Susy Diaz Piesco
Executive Director, Bak Middle School of the Arts Foundation
Dr. Donald Fennoy II
Superintendent, Palm Beach County School District
Managing Principal, REG Architects, Inc.
Producing Artistic Director, Palm Beach Dramaworks
President & CEO, Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
CEO, The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
President & CEO, Discover the Palm Beaches
Economic Development & Jobs Policy Subcommittee
Veronica Cooper, Co-Chair
Vice President, Cooper Construction Management & Consulting
Neil Merin, Co-Chair
Chairman, NAI / Merin Hunter Codman
Maria S. Antuña
CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County
President, Rebel Cook Real Estate
Francisco "Paco" Gil
General Manager, Morrison Group
CEO, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches
Owner, Kofskis Antiques, Inc.
Phillip H. Hutchinson
Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Partner, Holland & Knight
Vice President of Public Policy, RAPB + GFLR
Bruce N. Lewis
CEO, LB Limited, Inc., Strategic Public Relations
President, All-Site Construction
President & CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
Grasford W. Smith
Attorney, Jones Foster P.A.
Margie J. Walden
Board of Directors, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Environment & Sustainability Policy Subcommittee
Steve Scherer, Co-Chair
Retired, Engineer and Utility Executive
Ann Marie Sorrell, Co-Chair
President & CEO, Mosaic Group
Business Consultant, Barlow Consulting
Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Realtor, Remax Prestige Realty West Palm Beach
Justice Ira J. Raab (Retired)
Former Chair, West Palm Beach Charter Review Committee
Harriet M. Sacher
Former Board Member, West Palm Beach Water Commission
Government Efficiency, Budget & Taxes Policy Subcommittee
Elizabeth McBride, Co-Chair
Counsel to Inspector General, Palm Beach County School Board
Howard Pincus, Co-Chair
Consultant, Organizational Development & Human Capital Management
President, Hedrick Brothers Construction
Judge Rand Hoch (retired)
President and Founder, Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
Michael H. Olenick
Vice President Corporate Affairs, The Morganti Group, Inc.
Hon. Ike Robinson
Former City Commissioner, West Palm Beach
Of Counsel, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Brian M. Seymour, Esq.
Geoffrey B. Sluggett & Associates, Inc.
Homelessness Policy Subcommittee
Sally D. Chester, RN, Co-Chair
Board Member, Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County
Jonathan "Jack" Frost, Co-Chair
President, Commerce Consulting, Inc
Michelle Anaya Depotter
CEO, Associated General Contractors of America, Inc. Florida East Coast Chapter
Patrick J. Franklin
President & CEO, Urban League of Palm Beach County
Robert J. Harvey, Esq.
Partner, Jenks & Harvey LLP
Nicholas T. O’Neal
Housing Commissioner, West Palm Beach Housing Authority
President & Creative Director, O'Donnell Agency
CEO, The Lord's Place
Neighborhoods First Policy Subcommittee
Greg Mermigas, Co-Chair
President, Old Northwood Neighborhood Association
Cathleen D. Ward, Esq., Co-Chair
Chair/President, Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods
Dodger Arp, Esq.
Law Offices of Dodger Arp
Ronald A. Davis
President, Mosnar Group LLC
President, Pioneer Linens
Peter C. Pivko
Grandview Gardens Bed and Breakfast
Hon. David Smith
Former City Commissioner, West Palm Beach
President, Progressive Northwest Business Association
Public Safety Policy Subcommittee
Joseph Ianno, Jr., Co-Chair
Managing Attorney, Florida Power & Light Company
William Washington, Co-Chair
Pastor, Friendship M B Church
Florida State Lodge 2nd Vice President, Fraternal Order of Police
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
Palm Beach County Sheriff
President, Northwood Village Merchants Association
President, West Palm Beach Police Benevolent Association
Hon. Dave Kerner
County Commissioner, Palm Beach County
CEO, Good Samaritan Medical Center
Founder, Presidential Women's Center
Legislative Vice President, West Palm Beach Association of Firefighters
Transportation, Mobility and Transit Policy Subcommittee
Bill Bone, Co-Chair
Larmoyeux & Bone
Will Corrente, Co-Chair
Entrepreneur, Corrente Consulting International Inc
Hon. Mack Bernard
County Mayor, Palm Beach County
Dr. Joaquin Garcia
Owner, El Cid Animal Clinic
President, Gast Construction Group
President & CEO, Economic Council of Palm Beach County
William P. Jacobson, Esq.
Law Office of William P. Jacobson, P.A.
Managing Member/Loan Originator, Palm Beach First Financial & Mortgage Co. LLC
President/Owner, McCann Design Group/Hive Home/Hive Collections
John Pankauski, Esq.
Pankauski Hauser PLLC
Don Ramon Restaurante Cubano & Social Club