As city commissioner for West Palm Beach, Shanon Materio’s record shows that she votes for and supports projects that negatively impact the community by producing more traffic and tall buildings in the downtown area and Dixie Highway.
As city commissioner, Materio supported the Flagler Shore initiative, the recent pilot project to close two of the four lanes of Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach. While intended to create an area for pedestrians and cyclists, the project merely worsened already congested traffic in downtown West Palm Beach. The Palm Beach Post called Flagler Shore a “flop” and downtown residents erupted in opposition. Meanwhile, Materio supported the proposal without public input, calling it a “waterfront enhancement project” and “fantastic.”
Additionally, Materio was the only commissioner to support a proposal to build two tall office towers in downtown West Palm Beach, which could have blocked views and increased traffic and congestion. The developer of the project sought more than $8 million in taxpayer incentives to develop his towers. Since Materio’s vote to support his project, Materio’s Tallahassee political action committee (PAC), Protecting Coastal Communities, received donations from the developer and his associates.
Shanon Materio’s pro-development record can be highlighted by the donations she has received from some of West Palm Beach’s biggest developers, including one $10,000 contribution from one developer alone. Materio also has received contributions from developers who want to build tall buildings right next to West Palm Beach’s historic neighborhoods. At a recent City Commission meeting, Materio expressed support for building five 14-story tall buildings on South Dixie Boulevard, saying she doesn’t think there would be any pushback from any of the neighborhoods. Meanwhile, citizen and neighborhood groups are being organized in opposition to city zoning changes along Dixie Highway.
Shanon Materio says she supports West Palm Beach residents’ wishes to protect our neighborhoods and improve traffic, but her campaign donors, voting record and previous project support say otherwise.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.