Town of Palm Beach News

Araskog and Silvin Face Off in Town Election

In the race for Group 2 Town Council seat in Palm Beach, Incumbent Julie Araskog has raised and spent more than twice as much money as challenger Rene Silvin as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

The election is just around the corner on March 12, when voters will decide who they want to represent them.

According to Araskog’s most recent campaign finance report, she raised $249,763—including an $80,000 personal loan and $20,000 personal contribution—through Feb. 28. Her report also says that she spend $132,271 during that same period.

Silvin raised $107,846 in monetary contributions through Feb. 28 according to his report. He also received $15,450 in in-kind contributions. During that same period, Silvin spent $61,633.

Between Feb. 15 and Feb. 29, Araskog spent $34,388, with nearly two thirds of that money going to Mark Graphics of Boca Raton for campaign mailers and an advertisement in the Palm Beach Daily News.

Between the same dates, Silvin spent $10,406. He paid $3000 to Woo Creative of Delray Beach for mailer creation and mailing, $1428 to Al Fresco restaurant for a campaign event, and $1353 for an advertisement in the Condo News.

Individual campaign contributions are capped at $1,000.

Araskog has received contributions from many former Town Council members, whose donations ranged from $250-$1000.

Araskog and Silvin Face Off in Town Election

Araskog also received a donation from Martin Klein who ran against her in the February 2017 town election for the seat she currently holds. Now, Klein, who chairs the Planning and Zoning Commission, is a vocal supporter of Araskog’s.

Two people who donated to Araskog’s campaign, Micheal Scharf and Anne Pepper, are resident who have sued the town in recent years. Scharf sued over the towns plan to asses property owners to pay for the town undergrounding project, and a trial date has not been set. Pepper sued in an attempt to stop construction of a new recreation center, claiming that the Town Council was violating town law in granting it zoning approval. Pepper’s case was dismissed when a judge found that she lacked legal standing.

Frank Coniglio, restaurateur and husband of Mayor Gail Coniglio, and Tim Moran, vice president emeritus of the Palm Beach Police Foundation are both supporters of Silvin and made donations to his campaign. 

Silvin also received a contribution from from Michael Ainslie, who helped raise money to pay for the new Recreation Center. Araskog has been critical of the plan to build a new and larger center, approved before she joined the council, saying that many resident don’t want to need it. 

Related >>> Julie Araskog Wins Town of Palm Beach Town Council Election

Silvin also received donations from the Breakers and Flagler systems as well as Renato’s restaurant and its owner Arlene Desiderio. 

Paul Rampell, who sued the town in 2015 after the Town Council blocked his plan to build a modern-style home, also donated to the campaign. Rampell and his wife won their case.

Araskog lives on the North End and  is a lawyer. She has been on the council for two years. Silvin lives in Midtown and is a retired health-care executive and vice chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. He is making his first run for elective office. 

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Alanna Barrett

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