SOUTH BAY — The seats of Mayor Joe Kyles and Vice Mayor Betty Barnard will be up for election on Tuesday, March 17, 2021, in South Bay, and candidates who might be interested need to get their qualification ducks in a row quickly.
City Clerk Natalie Malone said the qualifying period for this election will be during the second full week of January 2021 — Monday, Jan. 11, through close of business on Friday, Jan. 15.
The South Bay Municipal Code has a couple of simple requirements for aspiring candidates for the South Bay City Commission:
The mayor, who occupies Seat 2 of the commission, has this biography on the City of South Bay’s official website: “Joe Kyles has lived in South Bay since 1970. He was educated in the local schools, where he graduated from Lake Shore Junior-Senior High in Belle Glade. He matriculated into vocational training at North Technical School in Riviera Beach. He began his career with the Okeelanta Sugar Corporation, a subsidiary of Florida Crystals Inc., for 20 years to retire as a division supervisor. The energy and vigor for helping and empowering people was raging and he began a second career that also span 20 years as a labor negotiator with the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Lodge 166 in Cape Canaveral. He studied labor management in Hollywood, Md., at William Wimpersinger Center. Mayor Kyles has earned several community and humanitarians awards, yet he’s mostly excited about his godly service as the chair deacon of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Belle Glade, where he remains grounded and ready to serve. He’s a devoted Christian, dedicated husband and father. Mayor Kyles thrives upon improving the quality of life for the residents of South Bay.”
Vice Mayor Barnard’s bio (edited for length): “On March 13, 2018, Betty J. Barnard was elected to the City of South Bay City Commission. Barnard holds commission Seat 4 and was installed on March 20, 2018, for the 2018-2020 term. She is a first-time city commissioner. Betty Barnard was in Belle Glade to Maggie and Eddie Lee Adams and raised in South Bay, Florida. Betty is the third youngest sibling. She is the proud parent of two children. Betty grew up in Western Palm Beach County. Her elementary education was spent in the first through sixth grades attending Rosenwald Elementary School. She then attended grades seventh through eleventh at Lake Shore Jr.-Sr. High School; her last year of high school, 1971, she graduated from Glades Central High School. Betty received her associate of arts degree from Palm Beach Community; a Bachelor of Arts in education from Florida Atlantic University (FAU); and a Master of Arts in education and Certification in Gifted Education from Nova Southeastern University (NSU); a Certification in Gifted Education from Saint Leo College; a Certification in Early Childhood Education from NSU; and an educational leadership – all levels certification from FAU. Betty is also an active and engaged member the Glades Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Betty has 40 years of experience as an educator for Palm Beach County School District. She also has 30 years of experience as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach Community College — teaching educational credit courses. Barnard taught child care classes at West Technical Service Center as well. She also spent her last three years an assistant principal. Barnard decided to run for city commissioner because she wanted to actively engage citizens through transparency, communication, education, advocacy and breaking barriers. Her greatest efforts revolve around serving the city through building movements, not monuments. Demonstrating leadership throughout her 40 years as an educator for the School District of Palm Beach County has prepared her to step into the forefront of leadership. As city commissioner, her plans are to offer more town hall meetings for resident dialogue, as well as an open ear and mind. She seeks to address problems and matters brought forth. She is also a member of the Palm Beach League of Cities, Palm Beach League of Cities Transportation Committee.”
All candidates who file for office will be invited to participate in an interview with the Lake Okeechobee News.