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End of an era: Nonpartisan Palm Beach County Voters Coalition to disband

by George Bennett | August 15th, 2013

After three decades as a forum for Republican and Democratic candidates to debate and for judicial candidates and school board hopefuls to meet the public, the nonpartisan Palm Beach County Voters’ Coalition is disbanding.

A statement released Wednesday evening said longtime leader Harold Ostrow needs to attend to his wife’s health and “various problems have severely restricted (co-leader) Bob Newmark‘s activities.”

The statement also said increasing partisanship had made things difficult for the group, which has seen attendance decline at its monthly meetings at the South County Civic Center west of Delray Beach.

“Faced with the extreme polarization of the political parties, the extreme divisiveness that currently exists and the diametrically opposed philosophical views of the function of government, a nonpartisan view is most difficult to maintain. Therefore, the Board of Directors of the nonpartisan Voters’ Coalition voted to terminate the organization at this time,” said the statement.

Read the entire statement after the jump….

Statement from the Palm Beach County Voters’ Coalition:

The Voters’ Coalition will cease to exist effective at the end of August. Founded over thirty years ago, the mission of the highly respected nonpartisan Voters’ Coalition has been to reduce apathy by involving people in the political process by having them learn about the issues and the “players.”

After more than thirty years of close involvement with the organization, it is with deep regret that Harold Ostrow has resigned his position with the Voters’ Coalition. He did so because of the health of his wife of 65 years which requires his major attention and keeps him from active participation. During his tenure as the respected leader of the Voters’ Coalition, it became a highly regarded factor and an influence in the political scene.

The torch was passed to Bob Newmark who, for the past several years, continued to maintain the organization’s high regard and viability and whose leadership earned him recognition and great respect in the community. Unfortunately, various problems have severely restricted Bob Newmark’s activities and he, too, has reluctantly been forced to resign.

Faced with the extreme polarization of the political parties, the extreme divisiveness that currently exists and the diametrically opposed philosophical views of the function of government, a nonpartisan view is most difficult to maintain. Therefore, the Board of Directors of the nonpartisan Voters’ Coalition voted to terminate the organization at this time.

All funds held by the organization are being donated to the United Way of PBC to benefit its many charities.

The Voters Coalition offers its sincere thanks to the many people who supported it throughout its existence. It hopes that the public’s voice will be heeded and that elected officials will place the people’s interests before the interests of their party.

5 Responses to “End of an era: Nonpartisan Palm Beach County Voters Coalition to disband”

  1. So sad Says:

    Good luck, Harold. You provided an invaluable service to the community for many, many years.

  2. Ana Says:

    Ditto ‘So Sad’ – Harold Ostrow and Bob Newmark provided a great service.

  3. saleb 888 Says:

    After more than thirty years of close involvement with the organization, it is with deep regret that Harold Ostrow has resigned his position with the Voters’ Coalition. He did so because of the health of his wife of 65 years which requires his major attention and keeps him from active participation. During his tenure as the respected leader of the Voters’ Coalition, it became a highly regarded factor and an influence in the political scene.

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