Lake Park Commission Elections on The Horizon

Sun rising from cloudsImage courtesy of George Tanguay


It’s almost time for Lake Park residents to vote for a new Town Commission again. The election is on the horizon, but the outcome is a lot like a sunrise. It can be a little iffy. Thick clouds cover the sun’s rays and we don’t know which way the day will go. Unlike a sunrise, we can do something about the outcome of an election. Here at the local level is where our voices are most likely to be heard. In a small town like Lake Park, you can have a say, a big impact and hold your elected officials’ feet to the fire, thus holding back an ever-encroaching government.

Lake Park’s election will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, from 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are 6 candidates running for the available seats:  Diane Bernhard; Kimberly Glas Castro; Erin Flaherty; Steve Hockman; Michael O’Rourke; Kathleen Rapoza. Your vote will be very important in deciding the kind of town we live in, in the days to come.

The Street Where You Live will be featuring some of the candidates running for this important position, as well as providing information about them for our readers. Please take some time to know before you vote. Signs in yards don’t tell the story of who a candidate is or what they believe the roll of town government is…or the direction they are likely to take our town by their votes.

Today, The Street Where You Live would like to introduce candidate, Diane Bernhard, to you. Diane has been an active participant in the town and has been vigilant in attending town meetings and speaking up with common sense about matters of concern at commission meetings, as well as becoming involved in the Marina Task Force. She has also been a contributor to The Street Where You Live. We hope you’ll take a moment and get to know Diane. Her campaign email address follows at the end of her message, so feel free to get in touch with her if you have any questions. She would love to be able to connect with residents and provide any information she can that would help you make an informed decision come election day.


Diane Bernhard, Candidate for Lake Park Commission

Diane Bernhard, Candidate for Lake Park Commission

Hello Readers! As you probably already know, I have entered into the race to fill a seat on the Lake Park Commission. Naturally, I have some idea of what I will do if elected.

One of the biggest lessons we all learned from the recent National Campaigns is that candidates best beware of making promises that they cannot keep — by themselves.

This is a concept that really got my attention. I understand that good intentions can often run afoul of other folks’ agendas. So it was a challenge to come up with a plan that would have substance but not be so bulky that I can’t keep a grip on it. I hope this will resonate with the voters here in Lake Park!

I can reach out to the people of Lake Park to encourage active community participation. According to J. Norman Reed, of USDA Rural Development, this “is key to building an empowered community.” He describes, “All persons are actively welcomed, regardless of color, age, race, prior community involvement, level of education, occupation, personal reputation, handicap, religion, or any other factor.” I will work for an empowered community.

I can treat the entire Town as one neighborhood, without favoring one area or group over another. Last year, I was shocked to hear one of the Commissioners tell the audience that the people along the waterfront were keeping the folks on the west from profiting from development along the water! My own belief is that we all share the Town and have common interests — if something happens to people in one part of our town, it happens to us all.

I can oppose the impractical development of our waterfront, while supporting the reasonable and appropriate use of that land. I think it’s time to revisit the Interlocal Agreement. I want to bring it back to The Palm Beach County Commission for a renegotiation.

I can continue to work for the improvement and financial success of our Marina. As an appointed member of the current Marina Task Force (working on issues involving parking and launching facilities) I’ve had the pleasure of brainstorming with an inspiring group of innovative people. I know that there are simple things we can do to bring more boats into the facility.

I have been asked if I am interested in the Marina because I live next door. Actually, I live next door because I was interested in the Marina. I lived aboard a boat for many years in Marinas like this one and wanted to continue the experience. I have, however, seen firsthand, what inappropriate commercial development can do to a clean waterfront. A word to the wise: Once the waterfront area is altered, it cannot be changed back.

I’ll be interested to read your comments here, or you can reach me by email at: or by phone at: (561) 707-7057.

Thank you for reading this.

Diane Bernhard


The next candidate to be featured on The Street Where You Live will be Steve Hockman.

Stay tuned and become informed before you vote. The candidates we choose will make all the difference in our quality of life, our tax burden, how much government intrusion is forced upon us in Lake Park and whether or not we are able to maximize and enjoy the freedoms we hold dear in the years to come. Our town is shaped one commission vote at a time. Who is voting, and how, will tell the continuing story of our town.