For the second in our three part interview series we catch up with Commissioner Keith James, the incumbent, and Len Fintzy who are running for the District 4 commission seat.
Please take the time to meet and learn more about each candidate, & most importantly come out to vote on March 10th.
Learn more about West Palm Beach District 4
What motivates you to serve the City of West Palm Beach?
Keith James says: West Palm Beach is my hometown. It’s where I live and work, and it’s where my family lives. I’ve always volunteered to help my hometown, and my service as a Commissioner is an extension of that commitment. I will be the senior most city commissioner if reelected. I want to use my experience to ensure our City continues to move forward.
Len Fintzy says: When I moved to West Palm Beach almost 18 years ago, I had already spent about 40 years as a public school teacher, principal, union leader, businessman, Scout leader and volunteer paramedic. I have always dedicated my life to public service and quickly found myself looking for a way to get involved here. It was at this point that I realized retirement didn’t really suit me, so I started advocating for issues facing the western communities in which I live. I helped start CityWatch to give residents throughout West Palm Beach a voice in City Hall. That same spirit of public service is what now drives me to want to represent the people of District 4 on the City Commission.
What one thing have you done for West Palm Beach of which you are most proud?
Keith James says: West Palm Beach has always been a great place, but we have some challenges. I’m proud of the fact that the crime rate has dropped across the city That has helped encourage new businesses to locate here and existing businesses to expand, resulting in 5000 new jobs since the economic downturn—all without raising taxes.
Len Fintzy says: Founding CityWatch and working to represent the people for more than a decade would have to be one of the things I am most proud to have done for the residents of West Palm Beach. Through our activity, we were able to mitigate the double taxation the western communities faced. We have also successfully advocated against projects that threaten our drinking water, such as Roebuck Road and SR7.
Describe your vision of where West Palm Beach will be in 10 years.
Keith James says: I envision a city with happy residents and successful businesses. To make that happen I want to keep property taxes and utility rates low, and keep city services focused on what we need most. I’m looking forward to attending major league baseball games, strolling along our beautiful waterfront, frequenting the shops and stores surrounding the All Aboard Florida station, and watching our community continue to thrive.
Len Fintzy says: I would like to see the diverse neighborhoods of West Palm Beach become more integrated and symbiotic. Currently, significant parts of our city are being neglected. You have well maintained homes surrounded by derelict buildings that foster crime. You have small business areas struggling for exposure, parking and walkability. I see a new vision on the horizon which will develop the neighborhoods in such a way that crime will diminish, business will flourish and the quality of life will dramatically improve.
What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing West Palm Beach?
Keith James says: There are many challenges here in West Palm Beach, and I think we need to find cost-effective ways to solve them. I am focused on our city finances and making sure we balance our budget, keep taxes low and continue to provide the services that make West Palm Beach the wonderful place it is to live.
Len Fintzy says: Our aging water system is the single biggest problem we face as a city. Just last week, we saw the cost of putting band-aids and temporary fixes on a system that is more than a century old. We had five million gallons of drinking water flooding downtown streets during rush hour. Parts of our city have roads caving in as ancient pipes give way. We need to be looking at all possible options to ensure that we have top notch storage, purification and delivery of potable drinking water.
What is your favorite place to go for dinner on Clematis Street and why?
Keith James says: Kabuki. I love their sushi/sashimi combo
Len Fintzy says: My wife Rita and I enjoy the menu variety of Duffy’s as well as the fact that they have two-for-one specials daily.