What's next for Riviera Beach City Council?

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office released the district breakdown for last week’s election. In Riviera Beach, two seats on the city council were up for grabs and the vote wasn’t even close.

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“I think this election was monumental and a huge message was sent,” Chairwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson said. 

Voters seemed to have disliked the firing of former city manager Jonathan Evans on Sept. 20.

Miller-Anderson, who supported Evans, won in all but two districts. 

In the other race, political newcomer Julia Botel won with 79 percent of the vote. 

Councilwoman Dawn Pardo said before the election she did not believe her vote to fire Evans was going to play a role in the election.

“Absolutely not,” Pardo said. “Especially on Singer Island.”

The numbers paint a different picture. After over 10 years in office, Pardo did not win a single district, not even her own of Singer Island. 

“I don’t recall a time in which we’ve had an election that was so lopsided,” Miller-Anderson said.

On Wednesday Julia Botel will be sworn in as council member, ultimately changing the power structure on council. 

Miller-Anderson hopes that means they can focus again on moving the city forward.

“One of the major things for us is to hire a a qualified city manager,” Miller-Anderson said. “Once we’ve got our qualified city manager, then we can fill our major vacancies that we have open for a lot of our department heads.” 

Currently there are around 80 vacant positions at the city. Many positions, like that of the police chief, will not be filled until a new city manager is hired. 

Miller-Anderson said she’s hopeful the city will now be moving in the right direction. 

“We’ve had a lot of tensions, as most people could see on council,” Miller-Anderson said. “I’m hoping that we can rebuild all of the relationships and be able to work together.”

Botel asked for one item to be added to Wednesday’s city council agenda: the timeline of the hiring of a new city manager. 

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