County commission candidate Valeche packs in supporters at fundraiser

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Fundraising events have begun for Palm Beach County Commission candidate Hal Valeche, who is vying for the District 1 seat held by Karen Marcus since 1984. Dozens of Valeche supporters turned out Wednesday in Jupiter to hear the local investor talk about why he plans to run, and what his goals are if he wins the job.

Valeche’s main message centered on shrinking the bloated government that the County Commission has created over the years. He also called for a more proactive recruitment plan for businesses to invest in Palm Beach County. The current model, he said, charges the Business Development Board with the task of wooing businesses while commissioners shirk their responsibility.

The BDB is a nonprofit public/private partnership made up of the Economic Council, various chambers of commerce and other local business leaders. The agency has worked closely with the county since its inception in 1982, and Valeche asserts that the county’s attitude toward the group has become “It’s your job. You take care of that.”

Valeche also made a point that has been echoed by many in the town hall meetings and protests of the past few years – that government is out of touch.

“The county commissioners are indifferent to what’s going on in the real world,” he said in his brief address to the crowd.

As a former Palm Beach Gardens city councilman, a member of the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County League of Cities and co-chairman of the Government Concerns Committee of the Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Valeche says his political and civic experience has well-prepared him, both for the race and the job of county commissioner.

He will compete with four other Republican candidates who have officially filed with the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office for next year’s primary. Term limits, approved by voters in 2002, will prevent Marcus for running for re-election to the north county seat.

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Michele Kirk

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