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Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia begins 2nd term, wants new water treatment plant for city

'The people expect a better level of drinking water,' mayor says
Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia on March 22, 2021
Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 18:03:08-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia narrowly edged out challenger Tracy Caruso in this month's municipal election to win a second term as mayor.

Petrolia discussed Monday her vision for the city moving forward.

"Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work," she said.

A big topic during the campaign was the city's drinking water. The Florida Department of Health is investigating the city for a reclaimed water system issue from early 2000.

Delray Beach Water Tower
The Florida Department of Health is investigating Delray Beach for a reclaimed water system issue.

Petrolia said she wants a new water treatment plant.

"The people expect a better level of drinking water, and I agree. So, one of the biggest things that I want to do in these next three years is get that off the ground," Petrolia said.

She said city development will be a focus and wants the commission to take a better look at what type of expansion the city can handle.

"There is a tipping point where you can go too far," Petrolia said.

Reginald Cox, who lives in the northwest part of Delray Beach, said he did not vote for Petrolia but hopes she can listen to the opinions of her opponents' supporters.

Reginald Cox, Delray Beach resident
Delray Beach resident Reginald Cox hopes Mayor Petrolia will be responsive to residents who didn't vote for her in the March election.

"The voters spoke loudly and clearly about them coming together," Cox said.

Cox said a big message during the election was inclusion for all of Delray Beach's residents.

"That can only happen through communication, collaboration and diversity," Cox said.

The city is also hiring a new city manager after its sixth since 2013 was fired last year. Petrolia said she thinks they will find the right fit and the community will be involved.

"It is not unusual that we would not consider having a task force," Petrolia said.