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Town Caucus December 7, 2021

Our Town with William Kelly: Incumbents nominated without opposition at Town Caucus

Three Town Council members emerged from Tuesday’s Town Caucus unopposed in their bids for additional two-year terms.

Council members Lew Crampton, Bobbie Lindsay and Margaret Zeidman all were nominated, and their nominations twice seconded, as required by town election law. Their new terms begin in March.

In the absence of opposition, the council at a special meeting on Friday is expected to cancel the March 8 town election.

All three incumbents had announced their intentions to seek another term prior to Tuesday’s caucus.

The New England-style town meeting at Town Hall formally launches each year’s election season. This year’s 50-minute gathering was lightly attended, with about 40 masked attendees filling less than half the seats in the meeting chambers.

Crampton, who holds the Group 1 seat, was nominated by Skip Aldridge, who is co-chairman of the Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach.

Crampton is a former tank commander in the U.S. Army and former senior administrator in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who once made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in Congress from Massachusetts.

After moving to Palm Beach, he became president of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, leading it from the verge of bankruptcy to a new era of expansion and prosperity, Aldridge said.

A South End resident, Crampton was vice chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and chairman of the Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach before joining the council.

“Lew is all about public service,” Aldridge said. “Lew Crampton has demonstrated exceptional leadership in every aspect of his private and public life.”

Crampton’s nomination was seconded by Zoning Commissioner Nicki McDonald and by Bob Wildrick, a former council president.

Crampton joined the council after defeating lawyer Harris S. Fried in the March 2018 town election. He was re-elected without opposition in 2020.

Having retired as its president and CEO, he is now chairman of the board of trustees at the science center.

Lindsay was nominated for the Group 2 council seat by Gail Coniglio, a former mayor who is now chairwoman of the zoning commission.

Coniglio recalled how she and Lindsay became friends before Lindsay joined the council.

“Bobbie’s passion and immeasurable understanding of Palm Beach was an extension of our collective mission to protect the town’s unique character,” Coniglio said. “She is an independent thinker who does her homework while recognizing the importance of building a consensus as a town leader.”

Lindsay’s nomination was seconded by Dan Stanton, chairman of the Retirement Board of Trustees, and by Gordon McCoun.

A North End resident, Lindsay joined the council in February 2016, when she ran unopposed for the seat previously held by Wildrick. She was re-elected without opposition in 2018 and 2020.

Lindsay is retired from a career in real estate development and investment in Seattle. She was a member of the Shore Protection Board and the zoning commission before joining the council.

Zeidman was nominated for the Group 3 council seat by former council president Michael Pucillo.

Pucillo cited Zeidman’s diligent work ethic, solid judgment, leadership ability and six years of experience on the council as qualifications for her to serve another term. He also noted her professional background as a retired nursing director at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“She has led us through this pandemic during this past 20 months,” Pucillo said. “Because of her judgment, we are much better off and have fared better than many other places.”
Zeidman’s nomination was seconded by Timothy Moran, co-founder of the Palm Beach Police and Fire Foundation, and by her husband Mark Zeidman.

A Midtown resident, Zeidman joined the council in March 2016 after being elected without opposition to the seat previously held by Penny Townsend. She was re-elected without opposition in 2018 and 2020.

Zeidman is president of the council and vice chairwoman of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews.

Michael B. Small and Rene Silvin served as chairman and secretary, respectively, of Tuesday’s 110th annual caucus.

Small is chairman of the Architectural Commission and Silvin is chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

They were nominated by resident Carla Cove.

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