Crist picks Taylor for Palm Beach County commission seatby George Bennett | July 3rd, 2009
Taylor’s appointment runs through November 2010, when an election will fill the District 7 seat for the next two years. Taylor recently opened a 2010 campaign, saying she planned to run for the seat regardless of whether she was appointed by Crist.
Taylor will be the county’s only black commissioner, as was Greene. District 7, which runs from Lake Park to Delray Beach, is about 48 percent black and 40 percent white.
“This particular District 7 needs representation…I’m just ready to get in and get to work,” said Taylor, who said she was “grateful” that Crist chose her from more than 20 applicants.
Commissioners now are trying to craft a 2009-10 budget at a time when plummeting real estate values have made it more difficult to reap big property tax revenue windfalls.
“I don’t know everything” about the county budget, Taylor said, but she said he hopes to quickly get up to speed.
In District 7, Democrats outnumber Republicans by roughly a 4-to-1 margin.
Many Republicans publicly urged the Republican governor to name a GOP appointee to the seat. County GOP Chairman Sid DInerstein was among those calling for a Republican appointee, but he conceded Republicans probably would not be able to hold the seat in an election.
Some Republicans said privately they would not object to Taylor because she has maintained cordial relations with the business community.
Taylor, 59, owns an insurance agency and was a Port of Palm Beach commissioner before winning election to the state House in 2004. A special election will fill the final year of her current state House term.
Greene was reelected to a new term in November 2008, but announced in March that she planned to step down because of health concerns. Her last day in office was April 30. Greene wanted Crist to name Taylor as her replacement and recently expressed disappointment that the seat had remained open for two months.
Today, however, Greene was pleased.
“Boy, what a beautiful Fourth of July,” Greene said. “I told her (Taylor) I never did give up on the governor even though it took him so long.”