After two years in office, Palm Beach Mayor Danielle Moore finds herself energized by the direction the town is headed. Dan’s Papers Palm Beach recently had the privilege of sitting down with Mayor Moore, as she discussed her thoughts on the town’s recent successes, past challenges they have faced and the town’s main priorities in 2023 and beyond.
A Chat with Palm Beach Mayor Danielle Moore
We know your familial history hails from a long line of philanthropists and politicians, but how did you become involved in politics in the first place?
I started from the bottom up, beginning with my service on the town Golf Commission in the ’90s, which later became the Recreation Advisory Commission, and then a short stint on the Planning and Zoning Board. At that point, I knew I had more work to do, so I committed myself to the residents of our town.
What are your favorite things about our little slice of paradise?
The weather and the remarkable people I’ve had the opportunity to meet here!
If you had a magic wand and overnight you could change one thing about our roads, our town or livability, what would it be?
I would ask people — especially some of the newer residents — to embrace the fact that Palm Beach is a small town, and perhaps slower paced than where they came from. Civility, respect and kindness go a long way when you live in a place where you tend to see each other on a regular basis.
Good governance at any level requires the strong support of constituents. To both obtain and maintain this support, what values and policies do you embrace in Palm Beach?
I think I have the support of the community due to a combination of familiarity, stability and a genuine desire to do good. The people of this town are committed to various passions, and I’m committed to making Palm Beach work for everyone — and I try to apply that notion when conducting the town’s business. I think that really resonates with the residents of the Town of Palm Beach, who are particularly engaged with our community, and that’s amazing. Very few other municipalities are so lucky.
You’ve kept the budget on solid footing, and revamped employee pay and benefits, two issues we know you are proud of. What do you hope to accomplish next?
Every project in the town is exciting to someone, however I’m particularly proud of the Strategic Planning Board and the work they/we have done over the past 18 months. That work will be presented to the Town Council at the April 3 meeting. We are also very conscious of protecting the town against the effects of sea-level rise, as well as protecting the town’s infrastructure. We are constantly maintaining our town and our way of life for Palm Beach residents, and that’s thanks to the work that our staff does on a daily basis.
What downward trend in Palm Beach’s last two years are you most proud of? What trend worries you?
I am so proud of the Public Safety Department and everything they do to keep us safe. People are flocking to Palm Beach, not only for its beauty, but also for its safety. I’m also appreciative of the incredible dedication of the general employees of the town to our community. In many ways, they are the unsung heroes. That is why the last three mayors — Gail Coniglio, Jack McDonald, Lesly Smith — and myself started the General Employees Appreciation Fund that will provide a monetary gift once a year to all general employees.
The trend that concerns me most is the increasing homeless population in our surrounding communities. What can we do to help? What is the most effective method? That is why our family foundation is so committed to The Lord’s Place and the work the organization does in that arena.
As an ambassador and advocate for Palm Beach, what are the most pressing issues facing Palm Beach today?
I believe planning for the town’s future water needs is the most pressing issue. We need a safe, secure and reliable source. We are so very fortunate to have residents who not only have expertise in this particular area, but are willing to share their valuable knowledge with the town council and administration.
What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever faced as mayor?
The hardest part about being mayor of our beautiful island paradise is knowing that I cannot make everyone happy or resolve all of their issues. My job is to be as helpful as possible to as many people as possible, while representing our town faithfully.
New residents have been flooding into not only Palm Beach but West Palm Beach over the last few years. How do you see the relationship with West Palm Beach evolving over the next few years?
In order for Palm Beach and West Palm Beach to thrive, close collaboration is necessary. Our communities are growing rapidly, and there’s much more to be gained through the partnership of our leaders. I think we are doing a pretty good job of that thus far. Moving forward, there are a few issues that will need to be addressed, but I am confident that present and future leaders will find a way to work in a more cohesive manner as our concerns become intertwined.
When locals see you out in the community, what do they usually say to you?
I’m happy to say that I feel that I’m both accessible and approachable, whether casually running into people at Publix or speaking to them at a formal event. The feedback I receive is a combination of praise and constructive criticism on what people think the town ought to be doing, and I appreciate that. I always try to make myself available to listen to the concerns of Palm Beachers, and I think this town council works very hard to try to resolve the issues in our town while considering all of the sides.