October 2017
Palm Beach County District Six

Hurricane Irma 

The last few weeks have been a trying time for Florida thanks to Hurricane Irma. In Palm Beach County, the most significant effects from the storm were widespread power outages and tremendous vegetative debris damage.  

I want to thank all of the police, firefighters, and other first responders who kept us safe during and after the storm.  And thank you to the linemen who worked tirelessly to get the County's power back up and running! 

I also want to offer my deepest appreciation to all those volunteers who staffed shelters.  I know how difficult it was to leave your families and homes.  There were many people under a mandatory evacuation order, especially in the Glades region, whose lives were protected because of the shelters and those who staffed them.  Your hard work during this stressful time will not be forgotten.  

I am so proud of how our residents came together during these difficult days--neighbors helping neighbors, communities helping communities.  Our local, state, and federal leaders all worked in unison to ensure that Palm Beach County residents had the necessary resources to bounce back quickly.  My office spent several days in the Glades working with our state and federal partners to help hundreds of residents get signed up for FEMA disaster assistance.  I want to offer a special thank you to the offices of Senator Nelson, Senator Rader, Representative Abruzzo, and Representative Willhite, as well as all of the other volunteers who worked so hard to help the Glades bounce back from Irma! 

Finally, let us not forget the residents of Puerto Rico and other islands who have been severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating supplies to help these areas recover. 

Other Irma updates: 

For those who haven't had their storm debris picked up yet, I understand how frustrating it is.  The Solid Waste Authority is working tirelessly on this massive clean up effort. At least two years worth of vegetative debris fell during the storm.  SWA's goal is to return to normal yard waste collection within the next two weeks as it is now beginning its final collection pass of Hurricane Irma debris.  We all appreciate your patience and understanding. 

If you need to apply for  FEMA assistance, please visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/. As always if you have any questions or need extra help, please don't hesitate to contact my office at 561-355-2206.  

Vice Mayor McKinlay handing out food with Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Marco Rubio in the Glades after Hurricane Irma. 
Vice Mayor McKinlay interviewed on MSNBC on September 8, discussing the evacuation of the Glades during Hurricane Irma's approach.  

Opioid Crisis Roundtable

On August 8, Senator Jack Latvala, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, held a roundtable on the opioid crisis at Palm Beach State College. Sen. Latvala had been invited by Senator Kevin Rader and me to learn first hand about the tragic epidemic facing not only Palm Beach County, but the entire state and nation. For three hours, the forty people around the table and the over 150 people in the audience shared concerns, offered suggestions, and told personal stories.  

I want to thank Senate President Joe Negron and the other state legislators from Palm Beach County and elsewhere throughout the state who attended.  

With the legislative session starting in January, now is the time for our state leadership to hear the call about the resources that are necessary to effectively combat this crisis.  

Opioid Crisis Roundtable

 
Opioid Crisis Roundtable

 

Congressman Hastings Community Meeting

On October 18, Congressman Alcee Hastings held a community meeting to discuss Lake Okeechobee's elevated water levels and the safety of the Herbert Hoover Dike.  Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and Palm Beach County Emergency Management were in attendance to answer questions.  Thankfully, after water levels reached over 17 feet--the highest seen in over a decade--they have started to slowly decrease.  The Army Corps has been repeatedly inspecting the Dike to ensure its stability.  It is a priority of mine to continue advocating that the repairs to the Dike be finished as soon as possible.  

Fed Up Rally/International Overdose Day

I was honored to speak at the Fed Up Rally at Florida Atlantic University on August 31 to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day. The event started with a march across campus, followed by a town hall forum, and finally a candlelight vigil.  Too many people have lost their lives in the opioid epidemic, and we are truly "fed up!"  I will not rest while loved ones throughout our community continue to fall victim.  I want to thank everyone who participated--your strength, commitment, and leadership are the key to overcoming this crisis.  

Legislative Meetings

Vice Mayor McKinlay recently held separate meetings with Congressman Brian Mast and with Senator Marco Rubio's office.  At these meetings, she discussed issues of great importance to District 6, including securing a seclusion designation for the Glades region to protect residents from high flood insurance costs, attaining an extension from FEMA for repairing the floating dock system at the Pahokee Marina, and identifying possible transportation projects in advance of a new federal infrastructure bill.  

MLB in Belle Glade for the Boys and Girls Club

On July 6, Major League Baseball unveiled its refurbishment of the Palm Beach County Boys & Girls Club Teen Center of Belle Glade.  The refurbishment includes upgrades to the dance studio, renovations to the kitchen and game rooms, upgrades to the Technology Center, and new furniture.

Major League Baseball was represented by Tom Brasuell, MLB's VP of Community Affairs; Ryan Bertschman, Florida Marlins Vice President; and Antonio Alfenseca, the retired Marlins pitcher who played on the 2007 World Series-winning team.  Aide Lisa Wilson represented Vice Mayor McKinlay at the ceremony.  

During the event, Jaene Miranda, President & CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, presented a $5,000 scholarship to Je’Cynthia Nonar, a recent graduate of Glades Central Community High School.  Je’Cynthia spoke about how much the Teen Center and renovation meant to her.

We are grateful to MLB for their wonderful contributions to the Glades!  
 
VA Mental Health Summit

On August 1, the VA Medical Center held a mental health summit to bring together mental health providers and community stakeholders, identify resources, and strengthen collaboration between the VA and its community partners.

Congressman Brian Mast addressed the attendees and shared his legislative efforts to help and protect veterans.
Legislative Aide Joseph Sophie participated in the Director's Roundtable to strategize solutions to the problems of substance abuse and homelessness among our veterans.  
Office Depot Back to School Celebration
 
For the past 17 years Office Depot Foundation has lent assistance to student’s attending the School District of Palm Beach County.  This year was no exception.  On July 25, 2017 the Office Depot Foundation donated 6,000 colorful new sackpacks containing essential school supplies to non-profit organizations, schools, and agencies.  

Aide Lisa Wilson emphasized to the attendees how passionate Vice Mayor McKinlay is about continuing to ensure that all students of Palm Beach County are equipped with the necessary tools they need to succeed in school.
 
Melissa McKinlay
(561) 355-2206
mmckinlay@pbcgov.org

Kelley Burke
(561) 355-2206
kburke@pbcgov.org
Joseph Sophie
(561) 355-2206
jsophie@pbcgov.org

Lisa Wilson
(561) 996-4814
awilson1@pbcgov.org
Copyright © 2017 District 6, All rights reserved.


Belle Glade Office
2976 State Road #15
Belle Glade, FL 33430
(561) 966-4814

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