Margaret Zeidman is seeking re-election to the Group 2 Town Council seat in the March 8 town election.
Zeidman filed candidacy papers Thursday with Town Clerk Queenester Nieves’ office.
She joined the council in March 2016 after being elected without opposition to the seat previously held by Penny Townsend. Zeidman faced no opposition for re-election in the 2018 and 2020 town elections.
Zeidman is one of three council incumbents whose two-year terms expire in March. The other two, Lew Crampton and Bobbie Lindsay, both filed this week to seek re-election. So far, no opposition has emerged.
A retired medical professional who has lived in Midtown for 24 years, Zeidman was elected by her peers as council president in 2020 and 2021.
She is also vice chairwoman of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
Zeidman said Friday she wants to help guide the council through crucial decisions in the next two years.
“Without a doubt, the health, safety and welfare of our town and its residents continues to be challenged by drinking water [quality] issues, rising sea level and considerable growth in neighboring cities and in our own town,” she said.
Over the next year, the council will determine a future drinking water source for Palm Beach after 2029, when its supply agreement with West Palm Beach expires, she said. The town also will develop a coastal resiliency plan to combat sea level rise.
This council has the experience and diligence to meet these challenges, she said. “We know the issues we know the challenges and we are set to go.”
The council will also review the zoning code with an eye toward making changes to protect the small-town character of Palm Beach, she said.
“I would like to see code revisions that favor more green space, less massing of homes and which take into consideration the effect of new development on neighboring properties,” Zeidman said.
Zeidman led the town’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic with support from the other elected officials, town administration, civic groups, community leaders and health care leaders. Elected officials and administrative leaders educated the public about the importance of social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and getting vaccinated to protect themselves and limit the spread of the virus.
Town Council and other town board meetings were held electronically to avoid public gatherings at Town Hall.
“I was absolutely driven to put into place that which would protect the people of our town,” Zeidman said in a written statement.
Zeidman said she also brought to the council’s attention the “boiling pot on the stove” – an enormous unfunded liability in the employee retirement plan. Today, the liability has been reduced and the retirement plan is on a firmer financial footing. Zeidman credited the leadership of the Retirement Board of Trustees and the council’s decision to allocate an additional $5.42 million to the pension fund each year.
As chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, Zeidman played a key role in the council’s 2019 decision to boost town employee compensation, which had slipped behind competitors in the local market. As a result, she said, employee morale and the retention of police and firefighters is greatly improved.
“A stable police and firefighter force is the pillar of a safe community,” she said.
To qualify to run for office, candidates must be nominated for a specific seat by registered voters of the town at the Dec. 7 Town Caucus at Town Hall.