Town of Palm Beach News

Scholarship Founded in Honor of Mettler

Late Palm Beach Town Council member Thomas Mettler’s legacy will live on through a scholarship in his name, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

The council accepted his family’s initial donation of $100,000 to the Thomas Mettler Scholarship Fund unanimously after a presentation by Thomas Mettler’s son, Chris, on Feb. 14.

Mettler died in 2013, but many members of the current town staff have personal ties to the man. Town Council President Danielle Moore knew him as a result of his close friendship with her mother, former Mayor Lesly Smith. Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay babysat Mettler’s four children when she was a teenager. Mettler was on the Town Council that hired Town Attorney John Randolph in 1979.

“He was probably one of the most divine neighbors that I can ever describe to you,” said Mayor Gail Coniglio.

Mettler, longtime Palm Beach resident and lawyer, served on the council from 1975 to 1982. He was elected council president in 1981 and 1982. Mettler also served as chairman of the Employee Retirement System Board and as a municipal judge for the town.

The scholarship, which will be managed by the town’s Finance Department, will provide financial aid to children of town employees who are incoming college freshman. 

Scholarship Founded in Honor of Mettler

Chris Bettler thanked the town, especially Congilio and Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar, “for so wonderfully working with us to steward the scholarship in memory of our father’s service to the town.”

Several other family members and friends of Mettler were present for the donation approval. These including Mettler’s daughter, Sarah Jane Cecil; his widow, Sally Mettler; Sally’s husband, John Archibald; and Mettler’s law partners, Cater Randolph and Michael Sterlacci. 

“Our father was very serious about how the town employees were treated, as well as their critical importance in making Palm Beach a special place to play and work,” Chris Mettler told the council while fighting back tears. “What hopefully captures the essence of this scholarship is the sincerity in which my father, and others he served with, were immensely proud of town employees and counted many as friends.”

Related >>> Mayor Gail Coniglio Presents Scholarships to Town Employee Children

Christ Bettler also shared a few stories about his father, many of them about laws his father set in place during his time as a judge. One such law was the ban of alcohol sales before noon on Sundays.

“We once witnessed our father in line at Publix on a Sunday morning trying to buy beer for a Dolphins tailgate,” Chris Mettler said. “To which he said in line, ‘Who was the idiot who made up this rule?’ To which someone, no kidding, in line said, ‘I believe it was you, Tom.’”

Moore thanked Chris Mettler for his family’s contribution.

“I spent many hours at the Mettler house,” she said, “and it’s my great pleasure to be sitting in this seat as the town accepts this contribution.”

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