Update: Commissioner Abrams did respond, briefly. See bottom of the article.
After three attempts we’ve still received no response from Commissioner Abrams and Berger on the panhandling issue in West Boca and the rest of unincorporated Palm Beach County.
Today we sent an e-mail to Andy O’Brien, who is challenging Abrams in the current election for the seat in District 4. Unlike Abrams, O’Brien responded quickly. Here’s what he had to say:
I would favor an approach such as they have in Boca Raton and find the County Attorney’s opinion curious. My first principal as a Commissioner is to protect citizens safety. While care must be taken not to violate anyone’s constitutional rights, care must also be taken to find a balance where non-panhandling citizens are not endangered.
Said more plainly, I will put this question in my (large) pile of items not being dealt with by my opponent and once elected will take up the issue with the county attorney and fellow commissioners so as to find that balance.
Commissioner Abrams’ response:
As an update, at our meeting yesterday, the Board discussed the possibility of a blanket ban, and the county attorney’s office will be providing additional information, and then the Board will determine if it wishes to consider same.