Summer Update - September 2018
Palm Beach County District Six

Mayor's Forum on Opioids

This summer, I hosted a forum on the opioid crisis.  During the forum, we discussed the progress on Palm Beach County’s Opioid Response Plan and the collective efforts of stakeholders throughout the County to address the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders.  We also discussed continuing challenges related to the epidemic, the latest treatment and recovery trends, and ways to galvanize stakeholders around further action steps to address this complex challenge.

The County Medical Examiner is estimating that there will be 399 opioid-related overdose deaths deaths this year, which would be a 38% drop from the 647 in 2017, which would be the first decrease in local deaths since the emergency started.  While this is good news, there are still too many people losing their lives.  I am not convinced yet that we have had a significant reduction in overdoses; the reduction in deaths may be attributed to a wider availability of Narcan.  That's why we must remain vigilant and continue the work we're doing.  

Special thanks goes to John Hulick, the County's new Substance Abuse Program Manager, for his hard work in organizing and moderating the forum, and the panelists who shared their expertise and updates on their work to address the crisis.  

And I am especially thankful to everyone who attended.  Your dedication  in helping fight this battle and your everyday work to save lives is so appreciated!  

FY 19 Budget 

The Board of County Commissioners recently approved a $4.8 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019.  The millage rate has been set at 4.78, the same as FY18.   

I am happy to share that the budget includes six additional firefighters to be added to Station 22, which serves the Acreage.  I've pushed for this staffing increase at Station 22 for years, so this is an important victory for public safety in District 6.  Construction for the new Station 22 is expected to begin by the end of this year.  

Finally, the budget also includes $2 million to continue our response against the opioid epidemic.  

Garbage Collection Update 

Thank you to everyone who shared their concerns over the changes that had been proposed for the new Solid Waste Authority garbage collection contract.  After carefully considering all of your comments, I voted with the majority of my county commissioners to keep trash pickup at two times per week.  We also approved going to a semiautomatic/automatic collection method instead of manual, which will improve worker safety.  Yard waste pickup will also remain at 6 cubic yards.  These conditions will be part of a new seven-year contract that garbage haulers will be submitting bids on soon. 

Orange Bowl Field Groundbreaking

On July 11, Palm Beach County and the Orange Bowl Committee broke ground on a $3 million renovation to the football stadium and field located at Glades Pioneer Park.  The field will also get a new name: Orange Bowl Field at Glade Pioneer Park.  Renovations include a synthetic turf field and maintenance, an entry monument, fencing, walkways, signage, and an electric scoreboard.

Thank you to everyone who made this happen!  It will truly make a difference in the lives of many youth to have such an enriched athletic environment! 

Mayor McKinlay Appointed to NACo Leadership Position

I have recently been appointed to a one-year term as chair of NACo’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee.
The NACo Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee is responsible for elevating the county voice in all matters pertaining to U.S. Department of Agriculture programs related to agriculture, rural development, rural renewal energy development, research and extension, food safety and conservation.

I am excited to lead this committee. The importance of America’s agricultural economy as well as the challenges rural counties face impact millions of residents and visitors.  Counties are working to bolster rural development, strengthen safety and security, enhance our infrastructure networks and promote rural county interests on the national level. As a County Commissioner from one of the nation’s largest agricultural communities, I understand the unique issues our farming communities face. I also believe I may be the first woman and the first from Florida to chair this prestigious committee, a huge honor.

Leadership Programs


It was an honor to participate in Governing Magazine's Women in Government Leadership Institute, a prestigious year-long leadership program for women.  I was one of only 25 state and local female leaders from around the country to participate over the past year.  It was a wonderful opportunity to build professional relationships and friendships with this wonderful group as we all seek to mentor and empower the next generation of women in government! 

I will be embarking on another professional journey in the next year, as I have been accepted to Leadership Florida's Cornerstone XXXVII class.  I look forward to fostering relationships with other leaders across the state during this nine-month education and leadership program. 

Florida Association of Counties Certified Staff

Congratulations to Joseph Sophie, my senior legislative aide, and to Lisa DeLaRionda, Palm Beach County's Director of Public Affairs, for being inaugural members of the first graduating class of the Florida Association of Counties Certified County Staff program!  This year-long program is dedicated to enhancing the overall knowledge of Florida county government for county staff through a diverse offering of courses on government structure and authority, finance and budget, growth management, ethics and Sunshine Law, and Florida’s legislative process.

Text to 911

On June 25, Palm Beach County announced that hearing and/or speech impaired members of the community, or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1, now have another option to request help in an emergency – Text to 9-1-1.
The benefits to the public are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. Examples of Text to 9-1-1 scenarios include an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability; someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1; or a medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.
Text to 9-1-1 guidelines:
•            “Call if you can – Text if you can’t.”
•        Do not include anyone other than “911” in the Text message. If you include anyone else on your text, it may not be received.
•         Always provide your location. Text to 9-1-1 location information is not equal to current wireless-location technology.
•           When communicating with 911, use plain language.
No abbreviations, shortcuts or slang.
•           Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911 at this time.
•           Language interpretation is not currently available when texting
•           As with all text messages, messages to 911 may take longer to receive, may get out of order, or may not be received at all.
•         Text to 9-1-1 is an enhancement to the existing 9-1-1 system and is not intended to replace traditional emergency voice calls. Text Messages are routed to the appropriate Palm Beach County 911 center, in a designated queue.    

S.W.A.G. Graduation

On August 7, the Village of Wellington hosted a graduation ceremony for the students who participated in the S.W.A.G. internship, short for Students Working to Achieve Greatness.  This internship program encourages students ages 16 - 18 to complete high school, acquire life-skills, pursue advance education, and assist with attaining meaningful and gainful employment for teenagers who face barriers that place them at risk.  In addition, the program provides the students with educational counseling, developmental skills training and stipends for summer internships.  

Our S.W.A.G. intern, Madison Gay, did a phenomenal job this summer!  She is looking forward to a career as a firefighter, and we know she will be an incredible asset to the community.  

Glades Operation Roadblock Tabletop Exercise

On August 16, Mayor McKinlay participated in a tabletop exercise organized by the Treasure Coast Local Emergency Planning Council that revolved aground emergency response coordination for the Glades region.  Discussion focused around issues such as hazmat decontamination, victim transport, on-scene incident command and control, and communications with impacted communities.  In addition, the ability of resources to reach affected rural areas if essential roadways were compromised was also discussed as a paramount issue. During the meeting several agencies and organizations, such as Florida Department of Transportation, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Department of Health, Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center, and Lakeside Hospital, were named as playing a significant role in support to first responders and deemed essential to the overall goal of effective and efficient emergency preparedness and response.

Upcoming Meetings

  • 10/2/18: BCC Meeting.  Preliminary reading and permission to advertise for public hearing on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 an ordinance establishing the new Equal Business Opportunity Program.  301 N. Olive Ave., 6th Floor Chambers, West Palm Beach.  9:30 am.
  • 10/16/18: BCC Meeting.  Present ordinances and PPMS for final approval by the BCC. Request direction for program implementation at Public Hearing for Equal Business Opportunity Program.  301 N. Olive Ave. 6th Floor Chambers, West Palm Beach, 33401.  6:00 pm.  
  • 10/23/18: BCC Workshop/Opioid Epidemic Town Hall.  November will mark two years since the BCC began addressing the epidemic, and the Board welcomes those impacted by this crisis to share their thoughts on how the response has been handled so far and what else is needed.  301 N. Olive Ave., 6th Floor Chambers, West Palm Beach, 33401.  Town hall will begin at 3 pm.  Workshop begins at 9:30 am.
    • 9:30 am: Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness Review and Next Steps
    • 10:30 am: Staff Initiatives to Increase Economic Mobility and Reduce Poverty in Palm Beach County 
    • 2:00 pm: Workforce Housing Policy Provisions
    • 3:00 pm: Opioid Epidemic Town Hall

Recent BCC News

Forbes – announced that Palm Beach County was named to Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best Employers. Forbes selected 500 large companies in the U.S. with 5,000 or more employees, and Palm Beach County placed No. 243 overall. The county also ranked No. 10 nationally among large government services employers.
School security – approved a budget amendment of $223,200 for law enforcement services provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to the Palm Beach County School Board. The funding pays for 10 deputies per day for campus security on days to be designated by the School Board.
Tourist development – approved on preliminary reading and to advertise for public hearing on October 16 an ordinance amending the Tourist Development Ordinance to require hosting platforms and booking services to verify that a host's residential unit is registered with the Tax Collector’s Office and has both a business tax receipt and a tourist development tax account prior to advertising the unit as a short-term rental.  The amendment also requires short-term rentals to retain certain records and authorizes the Tax Collector’s Office to issue administrative subpoenas to obtain records, and provides for civil and administrative penalties.
Project Paper – conceptually approved a property tax exemption up to $478,873 over a ten-year period for Project Paper. The company is considering relocating its Florida-based manufacturing business to Belle Glade. The company will invest $33.7 million to purchase land and construct and equip a 400,000-square-foot facility, creating 40 new jobs over a two-year period and retaining 150 jobs at an annualized average wage of $34,999. The estimated five-year local economic impact is $108.5 million.
Mayor Melissa McKinlay
(561) 355-2206

Kelley Burke
Chief of Staff
(561) 355-2206
Joseph Sophie
Senior Legislative Aide
(561) 355-2206

Lisa Wilson
Legislative Aide
(561) 996-4814
Copyright © 2018 District 6, All rights reserved.

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

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