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Lake Worth Beach looks to future with new mayor, 2 new commissioners

1 other commissioner's race to be decided by runoff
Lake Worth Beach
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 18:54:48-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Tuesday's election brought new changes to Lake Worth Beach.

MORE: Full Election Results

Former city attorney Betty Resch soundly defeated three-term incumbent Pam Triolo to become the next mayor. Also, two incumbent city commissioners were ousted from office.

On Lake Avenue Wednesday, newly-elected commissioner Sarah Malega received congratulations on her victory.

"We knocked on over 5,000 doors and to see over 4,000 people actually turn up and show out and say they want change and new leadership, there's a great energy in the city today," Malega said.

Sarah Malega
Sarah Malega defeated incumbent Scott Maxwell by more than 1,000 votes for the District 1 commissioner race in Lake Worth Beach.

The sweeping election victory for Malega as commissioner was one of two newcomers to oust incumbents on the commission. Tuesday was also a big day for Resch.

"The outpouring of support and the votes we got, I was just completely taken aback," Resch said.

The Election Day changes came a year after controversy erupted following the video of a city commission meeting went viral.

In the meeting, then city commissioner Omary Hardy questioned the commission over disconnecting utilities in the city at the start of the pandemic.

"It just so happened they were all up for election in 12 months, and they got great opponents," said Hardy, who now is a state representative.

Betty Resch
Betty Resch defeated incumbent Pam Triolo to become the new mayor of Lake Worth Beach.

Malega is now part of new leadership in the city government.

"Instead of what's good in Lake Worth, we were known for what's bad, and I think people were frustrated with that because we have so many great things to talk about here," Malega said.

For the new mayor, it also means charting a post-pandemic future for a place feeling the pressure change.

"Sure, we need the tax base. We need apartment buildings, but if you take away the little cottages and the quirkiness of downtown why are people going to come and visit?" Resch said.

There is still one more commission race to be decided in a runoff, but the newly-elected mayor and two new commissioners will be sworn into office next Tuesday.