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VOL. 30 NO. 9                                    FAX 561-624-9088 • E-MAIL                                    SEPTEMBER 2020

      Commissioner’s Update

      Voting Is Convenient By Mail                       to request the vote-by-mail ballot for you or someone else.  you will have to wait until SOE staff can verify that you did not
                                                            The vote-by-mail option allows you to complete your ballot   already cast your ballot. If they cannot verify that you have not
      By Commissioner                                    privately in a relaxed setting, utilizing the candidate information   already submitted your vote-by-mail ballot, you may complete
      Hal Valeche                                        you may have acquired to make your decisions. If a particular   a provisional ballot.
         I hope this finds you well.                     contest appears on your ballot that you may not have anticipated,      When planning to mail your ballot back to the elections
      As we press on through the                         it allows you time to investigate that office and the qualified   office, make sure you sign the envelope and allow at least one
      COVID-19  pandemic  and                            candidates in order to make a decision on who you think would   week for it to reach the SOE office. The postage is already
      sail  into  the  peak  months                      best serve that post.                             paid, so do not delay. You can also drop it off in person at any
      of  the  2020  hurricane                              The deadline to request that the SOE mail a vote-by-mail   of the SOE offices during office hours or at early voting sites.
      season, we have learned the                        ballot to you is 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the Nov. 3 election,   For your ballot to count, the SOE must receive it by 7 p.m. on
      importance of preparation.                         which would be Oct. 24. You can pick up a vote-by-mail ballot at   Election Day. Please note that the satellite offices close at 5 p.m.
      That  is  no  less  important                      any time it becomes available, right up to and including Election   on Election Day and only the main SOE office in West Palm
      as we approach this year’s                         Day. A designated person can pick up your ballot for you nine   Beach is open until 7 p.m. If your ballot envelope is unsigned,
      general election on Nov. 3.                        days before Election Day and that person must submit written   or there is a discrepancy with your signature, you will be asked
         You may have concerns about going out into public   authorization or an affidavit and produce a photo identification.   to complete and return a signature affidavit (DS-DE 139) with
      places,  even  to  vote.  Everyone  has  different  health      One way to track the arrival of your vote-by-mail ballot   a copy of your current and valid ID no later than 5 p.m. on the
      vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, voting is a privilege that none   once you have requested it is to sign up for Informed Delivery   second day after the election.
      of us takes for granted and all should exercise. Fortunately,   through the United States Postal Service. Through this process,      For complete information about the vote-by-mail process,
      you do have options.                               you will receive emails with images of your mail for the day.  candidate data, records and other helpful links, visit www.
         Vote-by-mail is synonymous with absentee voting, and      Once you receive your vote-by-mail ballot, carefully follow Once on the site, you can even track the status
      refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by   the detailed instructions provided. Make sure to include your   of your vote-by-mail ballot.
      or for a voter instead of going to the polls to vote. You can   signature or legal mark on the Voter’s Certificate Envelope,      The Supervisor of Elections has worked closely with the
      request your vote-by-mail ballot for a specific election or   because failure to do so may cause your ballot not to count.   County Commission to update their equipment and systems
      for all elections through the next two general elections by   If you make a mistake on the ballot, let the SOE office know   to provide a safe, transparent and efficient voting process.
      contacting the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) by phone (561)   immediately, so that they can send you a replacement ballot. Just   With three options to meet your needs: early voting, vote-
      656-6208, fax (561) 656-6230, by email at votebymail@  like voting in person, voters can receive up to two replacement   by-mail and Election Day in-person voting, you can be sure, or in person at the SOE’s main office or   ballots prior to casting your ballot.   your vote counts.
      North County branch at 3188 PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach      If you eventually decide to vote in person at the polls, just      As always, if there is any way I can assist you, please contact
      Gardens. Elections staff will confirm the address you have on   be sure to bring your vote-by-mail ballot with you so that the   me at (561) 355-2201 or by email at
      file with their office and what information you must provide   polling clerk can cancel it. If you forget to bring it with you,   Remember, stay safe and be prepared.
      Northern Notes

      What Is NPDES?                                        About 40 local governments from                and proof that the regulations are being followed. Northern staff
                                                         around Palm Beach County have taken               use these reports to prepare an annual compliance document.
      By Katie Roundtree, Finance                        a cooperative approach to compliance,                How can you help? By knowing the facts and being aware,
      Director, Northern Palm                            jointly conducting several activities             you can help clean up our lakes and waterways. Some examples
      Beach County Improvement                           and collectively developing a number              include, store materials in enclosed or covered areas, prevent
      District                                           of tools used to carry out pollution              liquids from leaking out of the trash area, never clean paint
         What  is  NPDES  and                            prevention programs. Each year, the lead          brushes or rinse paint containers into the street or storm drain
      what does it stand for? You                        permittee  (Northern  Palm Beach  County  Improvement   and keep vehicles and equipment in good working order to
      see  the  initials  mentioned                      District) enters into interlocal agreements with each of the   prevent leaks. Always remember, nothing but storm water
      at  the  bottom  of  every                         remaining local governments to oversee the joint activities. A   belongs in the storm drains. Please see our website, www.
      article Northern Palm Beach                        steering committee, composed of individuals representing local, for more information on the NPDES program. See
      County Improvement District                        governments that participate in the program, advises Northern   the Helpful Links section for information on the Palm Beach
      (Northern) sends in to the                         on the various activities.                        County NPDES program ( as
      newspaper. NPDES stands                               Contractors are required to maintain their construction sites   well as a website designed to educate the public about keeping
      for National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. It is a   so that debris is contained and any sediment laden water will   pollution out of our waters,
      federal program designed to eliminate stormwater pollutant   not find its way to the waterways nearby. If you’ve ever driven      NPDES tip: If you suspect a discharge or spill is hazardous,
      discharges to receiving waters of the United States. In 1987,   by a construction site, you may have noticed hay bales or tubes   call 911! For all other discharges, spills and illegal dumping,
      the Environmental Protection Agency developed regulations   placed around street drains. This is to help keep any construction   call the local entity responsible for the stormwater system (a
      governing stormwater discharge requirements under the Clean   debris and/or soil out of those drains. The hay bales and tubes   reporting list may be found at
      Water Act. In 1990, the Federal Register indicated that the Palm   act as filters so that only clean water runs into the drains. Either   or call the FDEP Environmental Crimes toll-free number
      Beach County area was to begin compliance with the program.   the contractor or the engineer inspecting the site is required to   (1-877-2-SAVE-FLA or #DEP from your cellular phone).
                                                                                 file reports on the contractor’s
                                                                                 compliance with the program.
                                                                                 In addition, companies that
                                                                                 spray  chemicals  into  the
                                                                                 canals and lakes in order to
                                                                                 maintain aquatic weeds, are
                                                                                 required to report the use
                                                                                 of  those  chemicals  and  if
                                                                                 there were any spills each
                                                                                 month. The reports are given
                                                                                 to Northern staff for review
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