Riviera Beach resident Julie Botel has entered the race for city council. She’s going to take on longtime incumbent Dawn Pardo, one of the three city council members who voted to fire City Manager Jonathan Evans on Sept. 20.
“This was a man who, in just six short months he was here, had begun to do so much good,” Botel said about Evans.
Botel was one of many people in Riviera Beach who asked the three city council members over and over again to change their vote.
When they didn’t, Botel joined a recall effort to get them out of office.
“The things are so chaotic over there that you can’t help but become involved and trying to get something done,” Botel said.
Now she has decided to run against Pardo. She said her first priority would be to find a way to rehire Evans.
“If I am elected I would be in the new majority and we could bring back a good man,” Botel said.
Botel, who grew up in New York, worked for Apple but spent most of her career in education.
“My background is not in politics, but I think that’s a good thing,” Botel said.
Of course there is much more on Botel’s agenda than just brining back Evans, but she said the firing of the city manager is a symptom of the problems in the city.
“The role of city council is to set policy, not to run the city,” Botel said.
A big issue for Botel is transparency.
“We need to know what’s going on,” Botel said. “We can’t have close-door meetings.”
Although Botel is running for the seat on Singer Island, any resident in the city can vote in that race.