Palm Beach Gardens City Council
Candidate Forum

Join us for an evening of in-depth discussion of city issues with the candidates for the March 14th Municipal election in Groups 1, 3 and 5. With nine candidates vying for 3 open seats, it should be a lively discussion.

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Moderated by WJNO Radio Host Brian Mudd

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
6:00 PM
Gardens Branch, Palm Beach County Library *
11303 Campus Drive
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

The candidates are:

Mark Marciano Michael Paolercio Ron Berman Kathryn Gettinger Matthew Lane
Group 1Group 3
Kevin Easton Rachelle Litt Joe Russo George Wicker
Group 5
For information, call 561-972-8789
This event is jointly sponsored by:
North County Democratic Club
Palm Beach County Tea Party
PBG Watch
Republican Club of the Northern Palm Beaches
Republican Club of the Palm Beaches

* This program is not sponsored/endorsed by the Palm Beach County Library System



Brian Mudd is the WJNO Financial Analyst, co-host of the Palm Beaches' Morning Rush, on-air weekdays from 5AM to 9AM. Brian's career has included 19 years with iHeartMedia, including time as a fill-in host for Sean Hannity's national radio show. Brian, whose motto is "Passion plus talent is unstoppable", believes that many of our societal failures have resulted from a general willingness to distance ourselves from our founding values while embracing political correctness. He is actively involved in local events and has hosted many political forums at all levels in Palm Beach County.

Ron Berman was born in Detroit in 1957 but has lived in the county for 20 years. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Michigan State and a law degree from the University of Detroit. A licensed real estate broker who started multiple local companies, including several brokerage firms, he is a co-founder of Quicken Loans. Currently, he is a practicing attorney in both Florida and Michigan. In 2016, Ron ran for Florida Senate in district 30, getting 46% of the vote against Democrat Bobbie Powell. Ron lives in BallenIsles (precinct 1252).
Kevin Easton was born in 1954 and has lived in his 40th street neighborhood for 32 years. He has a BA in Criminology from FAU with a minor in Business Management, and AA degrees in Computer Science and Accounting from PBCC. He retired from Pratt & Whitney in 2009 after a 24 year career, is a Journeyman Plumber and a real estate investor and landlord. He has served as the President of the PBC Beekeepers Association, the UTC Retirees club, and the PBG Residents Coalition. A regular at City Council meetings, Kevin ran for the Council in 2011, getting 37% against Eric Jablin in a low turnout election, then again in 2015 before dropping out several months before the election but still getting 8% of the vote. Kevin lives on 40th Terrace (precinct 1360).
Kathryn "Katie" Gettinger was born in 1971 and has lived in Palm Beach Gardens for 17 years. She has a BA in Business Administration with a marketing emphasis from the University of Missouri St. Louis and worked in market research until the birth of her first child. A volunteer at Timber Trace Elementary, Bak Middle School and Dreyfoos High School, Katie is also a leader at Trinity United Methodist Church with 10 years on the Board of Trustees. A frequent attendee at City Council meetings, Katie closely followed the discussion on the stadium and Shady Lakes Drive extension as her son attended Timber Trace at the time and rode his bike in that area. She is a proponent of community gardens and helped get the zoning rules changed to allow them. Kathryn lives in PGA East (precinct 1248).
Matthew Lane was born in 1955 and graduated from Emory University and the Nortwestern University School of Law. Following law school, he served as law clerk to the Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. He is admitted to practice in both Florida and Ohio. With his own practice, Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A., he practices family law in Palm Beach County. Active in the community, he is a board member of the North County Neighborhood Coalition (NCNC), a member of the Advisory Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of PBC, and was General Counsel of Hospice of PBC. He is active with the North Palm Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee and serves the city of Palm Beach Gardens on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Matthew lives in Mirabella (Precinct 1186).
Rachelle Litt was born in 1955, and is a consultant pharmacist who has lived, worked, and raised her family in Palm Beach Gardens for the past 30 years. Her three children grew up on the athletic fields and at the Recreation Center as the parents got to know each other in the stands. Rachelle would preserve our quality of life through smart sustainable growth, growing our economy by recruitment of environmentally sound, innovative new businesses while supporting current businesses with a low, stable tax rate, and investments in parks and enhanced recreational facilities for our families. Rachelle lives in PGA National (precinct 1240).
Mark Marciano was born in 1971 and has been a Palm Beach Gardens resident since 2001. A small business owner, he and his wife Brandee are both Optometrists in West Palm Beach and employ 10 people. Active in Palm Beach Gardens governance, Mark has been a member of the Budget Oversight Commitee since 2011 and twice served as its chairman. A regular at city council meetings, Mark is very knowledgeable about the issues facing the city now and in the future. Not Mark's first foray into politics, he ran for the Florida House in 2010 (then district 83), getting 38% of the vote against Republican Pat Rooney. Mark lives in PGA National (precinct 1240).
Michael Paolercio was born in 1951 and has a Business Administration degree from Bernard M. Baruch College in New York. With his brother, he founded Michael Anthony Jewelers in 1976, which was sold after 30 years of successful operation. He is now CEO and Co-Chairman of Michael Anthony Holdings, a real estate investment company and partners with his wife Michelle in the consulting company PPHI Inc. Locally, Michael is actively involved in The Chabad of Palm Beach Gardens where he serves as Director and Chairman of the Golf and Building Committees, and is on the board of the Frenchman's Reserve HOA. Michael lives in Frenchman's Reserve (precinct 1194).
Joe Russo Jr., a Gardens native and son of former Mayor and Councilman Joe Russo was born in 1989. He attended Cardinal Newman High School and Florida Gulf Coast University. After brief stints as a public relations consultant for businesses and local officials, some time at the James Madison Institute, the Northern Chamber, the PBC Business Development Board, and several nonprofits, Joe now works for the Palm Beach Tech Association, a nonprofit trade organization for local tech companies. A frequent visitor to Council meetings and an alternate member of the Gardens Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, he is no stranger to the issues faced by the city in the recent past and of future challenges. Joe lives at the Residences at Midtown (precinct 1246).
George Wicker was born in 1943, graduated from Santa Clara University (CA) and the Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu. He is a retired attorney, licensed in California. Currently a director and Treasurer of the Ballenisles Charities Foundation, a Vice President of the Ballenisles Community Association, George serves the city of Palm Beach Gardens on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. George lives in BallenIsles (precinct 1252).