In our Election Spotlight, the second of two City Commission races in Boynton Beach on March 14.
Earlier this week, we brought you the candidates for the District 4 seat and here we focus on District 2.
Incumbent Woodrow Hay, who previously served on the Commission before this current term. He sat at the dais from 2007 to 2014, including some time as Mayor.
As with the other candidates, Hay is focused on future plans for the Boynton Beach Mall property.
"Some of the ideas that I have of that is centered into some type of affordable housing project. We're talking at some of the developers who can come along beside us and come up with some ideas of how to do that."
He's also focused on public safety, referencing the city's decision to not seek a merger with the Sheriff's Office after requesting a proposal from that agency.
"We've gotta make sure that we don't end up with another Memphis, Tennessee here in Boynton Beach" he says, referencing the beating to death of a Black man at the hands of five Black police officers, who were fired and are facing murder charges. "I don't think that will happen. We have an excellent police department here in Boynton. And that's one of the reasons I fought so hard to keep our local PD department because I knew that once it left our hands, we'd have no control."
Joe Josemond is one of three of Hay's challengers.
He worked in the city's Public Works Department before his current job as Chief Parking Administrator of the City of Delray Beach.
"What I can actually bring to the dais is something new, someone different. Someone that actually knows the inner-workings of government."
Josemond says Boynton Beach is having an issue with housing and food insecurity...
"District 2 is basically a food desert and right now I feel like someone new coming to the dais can actually attract new businesses."
Back to the subject of the Boynton Beach Mall property, while Hay said affordable housing should replace the mall, Josemond says that it shouldn't be the entire focus.
"The Boynton Mall is a big big project that I would love to talk to some developers about...what (are) their ideas, so I can actually bring that back to the community and see if they approve of these ideas."
Josemond says he wants to work with people on their path to home ownership.
Just as Woodrow Hay did three years ago, candidate Mack McCray wants to return to the Commission. He previously served as recently as 2020.
"What my main reason for getting back onto the Commission was that I was asked by the constituents that live in District 2, they said that they need representation who's willing to work for them as well as return phone calls and help to balance the budget in the City of Boynton."
McCray, a funeral director, says the city has been dipping into its reserves for the past several years.
He also talks about the mall property.
"Do a study...a rezoning issue study to see how they can best utilize that property so that we can get people that want to move into Boynton Beach so that they will contribute towards the tax base."
The fourth candidate in this race is Bishop Bernard Wright, who ran unsuccessfully for Mayor last year.
We reached out to Wright but have not heard back. We're told he is recovering at home after being struck by a hit and run driver in December, but have confirmed he is still running for this seat.