President Glas-Castro's Installation Speech

Palm Beach County League of Cities
May 27, 2021

Welcome – it’s nice to see all of you!  Welcome to our first full in-person Board meeting since – since BEFORE.  What a year we have had:  self-quarantine, social distancing, working remotely, and virtual meetings.   We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel – but we are not returning to “normal” …. We’re entering a new world TOGETHER.

We’ve all learned how to Zoom.  Even though we might all be on-line and visible to each other, it’s not the same.   There’s always that person who doesn’t mute  or the person who starts to speak who doesn’t unmute.  We’ve all been there.  I’ll admit that while attending a meeting I’ve been multi-tasking and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Virtual meetings are not always effective because we only have ½ of someone’s attention.

As we emerge into the new world together – let’s get focused!  We need to maximize our energies.  Let’s make our time together mean something.  We need to collaborate.  Many times, ad hoc collaboration only results in inertia, fatigue and frustration.  “Muddling Through” might provide short-term alliances and temporary solutions, but that’s what we have been doing the past year during COVID.  It’s time to be more strategic in our collaboration.  

This League has always been about sharing knowledge, innovation and best practices.  Through enhanced collaboration we are able to maximize opportunities to meet common community needs that extend beyond our municipal boundaries.  We’re able to find economies of scale when we work together and reduce costs that ultimately affect our taxpayers - at a time when the pandemic has yet unknown effects on revenue streams this might be very important for our cities.

I challenge all of us to focus on collaborations and partnerships to achieve better results than we could by each of our local governments working alone.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that cities need to do things differently though.  There needs to be sharing of information, critical thinking, and a new means to address day-to-day needs.  Our cities cannot operate in a “silo”. 

We have a new World going forward, and we need the free-flow of information so that our cities can take necessary actions to protect the quality of life of our residents and the economic viability of our businesses.

I’ll advocate again this year that  the Multi-Jurisdictional Issues Coordination Forum provides a structure for us to cooperatively problem-solve and develop solutions that address as many interests and needs as possible.   This intergovernmental coordination framework includes not only our cities, but also the county, school board and our special districts.

The Issues Forum provides a means to collaborate, communicate, and cooperate, yet still differentiate our unique cities’ qualities.  We have the foundation in place, we need to take advantage of it and have real dialogue and exchanges between all levels of our governments and districts.  Our cities are diverse in our demographic, economic and fiscal compositions, but we have interdependencies and we should have a shared vision and collaborative policymaking.

Let us utilize the Issues Form as the means to engage in a cooperative network of governments that is once again recognized as the model for the State for intergovernmental coordination.

Thank you all for your confidence in me, and allowing me to serve in this capacity.   Thank you to my buddy Andy Amoroso for agreeing to conduct the installation for us – I will miss working beside you.   Thank you to my colleagues on  the Lake Park Town Commission for their support of not only me, but for their support of League policies and programs.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t also express appreciation to the Village of Palm Springs Village Council and Village Manager, my bosses, for allowing me flexibility in my schedule to undertake a leadership role in the League.  Thank you to my family for the support and understanding all of the meetings that we attend.    To all of you here in person today (the 2021-22 League Board of Directors and to League staff), I look forward to working with all of you this next year, as we work collectively to ensure that the Palm Beach County League of Cities continues as a vibrant organization that advances municipal interests and democratic self-government.  Thank you.

 

Kim Glas-Castro
Vice Mayor of Lake Park
2020-2022 League President