Newly elected Vice Mayor John DuBois and Seat 2 Councilmember Tim Schaffer were formally sworn into office at the Palmetto Bay Village Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 3.
DuBois, when contacted before the meeting, said he is pleased to be able to serve as vice mayor.
“Obviously I’m very appreciative to the people of Palmetto Bay and humbled by their support for me in this election, DuBois said. “It was a tough election running against an incumbent, but it worked out okay and I’m looking forward to representing the interests of the residents of Palmetto Bay to the best of my ability.”
DuBois said that he will seek to get past the divisiveness of recent months and work toward achieving common objectives.
“I think the big overreaching issue is that we had a very contentious campaign season and now I want to move on to higher things and get the community working together in the same direction to achieve the same goals,” DuBois said.
“One specific I want to focus on is fiscal responsibility. Also customer service and customer friendliness, an attitude that I believe we can improve upon for residents, both on the part of the village council and the village itself. I’m looking forward to providing input that’s a reflection of what I’ve heard from the community during the campaign.”
Schaffer, who will be representing District 2 in the village, also was modest about the election outcome.
“I don’t see this is a personal competition amongst the candidates,” Schaffer said. “I’m not better or worse than anybody else that was running. For me it was an opportunity to represent my village and do something for the community. For me it’s an honor to serve and to do this for the residents of Palmetto Bay.
“Going forward, my responsibility is to the 16,000 total registered voters. I’ve got to build that confidence in them. I’ve got to listen to what the residents want.”
Schaffer, who has a background in police work both in Miami-Dade and Portsmouth, VA, said he also knows what he wants to focus on in the months and years ahead.
“In the campaign I had the opportunity to walk around and meet a lot of different people and hear their message, and over all they love living in Palmetto Bay, with the old style village that used to be and many people in other places wish they had,” Schaffer said. “People want the police protection to continue and improve. What we have here is excellent, and that needs to continue. I really want to spend a lot of time focusing and making sure of that. There’s a lot that goes on in a council meeting, but not a lot that can save lives, and good policing can save lives.”
And like DuBois, Schaffer said that he hopes to get everyone moving past the conflicts that have marred previous council meetings and policies.
“I’m looking forward to getting into the responsibilities of the job,” Schaffer said. “I want to avoid getting caught up in tug of wars and, if I see that happening, I won’t be afraid to tell everyone to just step back and take a look at it and try to do what’s best for the community.”