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Santamaria takes aim at longtime rival

by Jennifer Sorentrue | September 30th, 2013

Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess Santamaria launched a fiery attack Thursday at his longtime rival Andy Schaller of Wellington.

In an email message Thursday, Santamaria urged Schaller to “make an appointment with the most competent psychiatrist in Palm Beach County as soon as possible.”

Santamaria copied the email message, which was titled “long overdue constructive advice” to the seven-member commission and several top level county administrators. The message was in response to a lengthy email Schaller sent to county commissioners last week about a road paving project in the Palm Beach Ranchettes community, west of Lake Worth, where he owns a home.

Schaller, a former commission candidate who lost to Santamaria in 2010, has been critical of the way the county has handled road projects in the Ranchettes neighborhood.

Santamaria and Schaller have a long history.

Santamaria filed suit against Schaller in 2011, alleging that a 118-page inquiry request Schaller released during the 2010 campaign contained libelous statements that damaged the commissioner’s reputation. Santamaria lost the suit and an appeal.

The inquiry request, sent to state and county investigators, questioned whether Santamaria had a criminal record. It cited the 1991 felony conviction of Jesus R. Santamaria, who has the same middle initial as the commissioner.

“Does Santamaria have a felony record?” the inquiry asked.

State criminal records show the commissioner has never been arrested.

3 Responses to “Santamaria takes aim at longtime rival”

  1. Andy Schaller Says:

    When you can’t attack the message… attack the messenger! The county has made mistakes they are yet to correct and the process is now five years old.

    To make matters worse, the county has now leaned 12 properties in the amount of $7,000 per property for the road improvements they will make sometime in the future. There is no estimated start date for the project to begin! The property owners will pay a total of about $84,000 and the county will pay nearly $800,000. The original cost if the county had listened to me was estimated at about $250,000 (estimated by the county engineering department.)

    So five years, an internal audit with about 1262 man hours, and somewhere around $600,000 worth of extra cost…. Just keep attacking the messanger who brings out the reality of the county’s actions. Should I also mention that Santamaria has voted a number of times to make the road improvements?

    Tomorrow I think I will pay a little vist to the supervisor of elections office.

  2. Archie Says:

    I believe I will side with Mr. Schaller in this discussion. We have heard this story before and it seems the county has dragged it’s feet too long and Santamaria has made a fool of himself several different times including his lawsuit simply because Schaller asked a question.
    We need some honest leadership in this county and Mr. Schaller will be an honest candidate.

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