Boynton commissioner resigns

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The city will craft its $166 million budget minus one commissioner after Bill Orlove unexpectedly announced his resignation Thursday.

His departure could be problematic for a City Commission that often votes on major issues along strict lines. Orlove frequently joined Mayor Woodrow Hay and Vice Mayor Mack McCray in the majority.

"There are times when you have to make a decision," said Orlove, who put in his notice to the city Wednesday and officially leaves office Friday.

In his resignation letter, Orlove cites a "new professional position" as the reason, but did not elaborate when reached by phone.

"I will be unable to carry out my civic duties at the level that I believe is required," he wrote. "For more than two years, I have enjoyed my work as a public servant representing Boynton Beach ."

Orlove had been a supporter of interim City Manager Lori LaVerriere, even as two commissioners have tried to remove her from the job. On Tuesday, commissioners will begin the process of appointing a replacement to finish his term, which ends March 2013. That person could shift the balance of power.

"I'm not going to say that things are going to be deadlocked," McCray said. "If we do our homework and do what we're supposed to do, we'll be able to do what's best for the citizens."

Orlove had been a critic of a $7,117 annual expense fund that commissioners receive, and a county ethics panel has compared it to a slush fund. In his resignation letter, Orlove said he will distribute more than $2,500 remaining in his account to civic and nonprofit organizations.

He resigns just as the city seeks to fill a $6 million budget shortfall and attempts to rebrand itself. The city had poured millions into redevelopment efforts, including a push to rehabilitate a crumbling downtown high school built in the 1920s. Orlove had been critical of the developer chosen to take on that project.