Gala balls and black-tie fundraisers under the microscope
by MICHAEL GOLD, STATE EDITOR
Watchdog Wire – Florida
Historic City News noted that the mayor’s black-tie fundraiser, held in Palm Beach County last night, is being called a “test” for the community’s newly hardened anti-corruption ethics reform rules.
Sounding uncannily like St Augustine Mayor Joseph L. Boles, Jr’s “Holiday Lighting”, the Palm Beach event is aimed at helping the homeless.
Palm Beach County elected officials are the main draw for the $250-per-ticket “Mayor’s Ball” as is the case with the $195-per-ticket Holiday Lighting in St Augustine. Something about having wine and dinner with local mayors, county commissioners and other government policymakers, gives some gadflies a false sense of importance.
During past Holiday Lighting affairs held in City Hall, St Augustine’s homeless population showed up with poster-sized signs in protest of the elitist event. Many called it a “feel good”, conscience-clearing way for wealthy residents to contribute a token amount, by comparison, towards the virtually immeasurable cost of the haunting social issue.
In the Palm Beach County case, the event will test rules aimed at keeping contractors, vendors and lobbyists from currying favor with elected officials by donating to causes they support.