Jupiter top cop Frank Kitzerow applies to be town manager

Frank Kitzerow

Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow is one of 58 applicants to become the town manager of Jupiter.

Kitzerow, who has been Jupiter police chief since 2005, supervises a department of about 116 sworn officers and is paid about $147,000 annually.

List of Jupiter Town Manager candidates

The annual Jupiter police budget is about $20 million.

Jupiter, with about 60,000 residents, has an annual operating budget of about $90 million. The town has about 380 full-time employees.

Former Town Manager Andy Lukasik, 47, who was paid about $180,000 annually, left March 18 to be village manager in North Palm Beach.
Lukasik had been in the Jupiter position since 2004.

The Jupiter council on May 10 agreed to pay $18,500 to Keller, Texas-based Strategic Government Resources to find applicants. Additional expenses are not to exceed $8,500, according to the agreement.

SGR officials will consider the applicants and present a list of candidates to the council on Sept. 14.

The council is scheduled to determine at a meeting in October who will get an interview.

Former Jupiter town manager Andy Lukasik

 

Jupiter struts its stuff to attract a new town manager

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“Pristine beaches, unmatched recreational offerings, stunning scenic vistas, a high quality of life,” reads the national advertisement seeking a new town manager in Jupiter.

About 50 candidates from across the country sent in their resumes, seeking the position that Andy Lukasik vacated.

Read the full story in The Palm Beach Post.

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Cloud cover doesn’t dampen spirits of Jupiter eclipse fans

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Cloud cover made Monday’s the eclipse tough to see at Juno Beach Pier, but dozens showed up (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)

Sharing eclipse safety glasses, grilling chicken and generally just having a blast at the waterfront, several hundred lunar watchers gathered at DuBois Park on Monday afternoon for the rare celestial event.

Read full coverage in The Palm Beach Post.

“It’s so great to see so many people in the same place getting along. We need more of this right now in this country,” said Joey Huempfner, a Realtor from Jupiter.

Meanwhile, dozens of sky watchers started gathering about a half-hour before the 2:56 p.m. Monday maximum coverage by the moon of the sun. Scattered clouds blocked the view of the sun at the 1,000-foot Juno Beach Pier, but many stayed to watch.

“I like the fact we’re dealing with scientific certainty. With all the craziness in the world, science gives us something we can depend on,” said Dan Thayer, a former biologist with the South Florida Water Management District who lives in Jupiter.

Many watchers, such as Gabi Israelsen visting from Utah, made their own box cameras to view the eclipse.

“It’s not hard. It took me about 15 minutes,” said the University of Utah English major, showing how she cut away the cardboard top a Cocoa Pebbles cereal box and replaced it with tin foil. Poke a hole in the tin foil and it’s done.

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Joey Heumpfner looks at the eclipse Monday through his hand-made box camera. “The smaller the whole in the tin foil, the sharper the image,” the Jupiter resident said. (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)

The parking lot at DuBois Park in Jupiter was full and had to be closed about 1:45 p.m., police said.

Watching as the sun reached its maximum 80 percent coverage, many marveled how it suddenly appeared dusk was approaching.

“It got cooler. The breeze came up. I was amazed watching through my glasses how much of the sun disappeared. The whole thing was so much more exciting than I thought,” said Teresa Ross from Tequesta.

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The parking lot was full at DuBois Park at about 1:45 p.m. (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)

Lawsuit against Jupiter police chief settled

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Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow

A lawsuit filed against Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, who owed about $1,600 in homeowner association fees, has been settled, according to Palm Beach County Court records.

Read the full story in The Palm Beach Post

Civil War icons: Honored relics or trouble makers?

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Shaun Mosier of Loxahatchee says will keep displaying his two Confederate flags — along with his American flag — on his pickup truck.

“I’m not doing it to taunt anyone,” he emphasized. “The Confederate flag is a part of of our history. We should honor it,” said Mosier, 31, a Loxahatchee tow truck operator who with his wife Taylor helped organize the American & Southern Flag Rally that drew several dozen supporters in July 2015 to northwest Palm Beach County.

Ilan Kaufer, a member of the Jupiter town council, lived for five years in Charlottesville, where Saturday’s violent protests occurred, does not share the same belief.

He says the Confederate flag represents racism.

“I understand freedom of expression. Open advocacy of racism is not what we need right now,” said Kaufer, 35, an attorney.

See the full story in The Palm Beach Post.

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New Jupiter manager will face tough issues

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Future development of Suni Sands property on the Jupiter Inlet will be on the new manager’s agenda (File photo)

A visionary, a proponent of historical preservation and an inspirational leader.

That’s what residents and Jupiter officials want in the new town manager to replace Andy Lukasik.

Jupiter needs a manager “with bodacious ideas,” said land planner Don Hearing, a Jupiter native who is working with developer Charles Modica to develop Love Street and the former Suni Sands properties.

Read the full story, with comments from other Jupiter residents, in The Palm Beach Post.

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New manager will be faced with traffic issues on Indiantown Road (File Photo)

 

What’s the latest with Harbourside vs. Jupiter lawsuit?

In a word, nothing.

The constitutionality of the town’s regulations of music from the waterfront entertainment center’s amphitheater was the subject of two days of hearings in September before U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra.

Almost a year later, no final ruling has been made in the lawsuit brought by Harbourside Place against the town.

The sound limitations at Harbourside Place are so restrictive that people in the back of the amphitheater area can barely hear the music from the stage, testified a Harbourside sound expert.

“The town controls the time, the volume, the instruments played and what kind of music. These rules shut us down,” testified Ryan Miller, the director of the entertainment center on the northwest corner of Indiantown Road and U.S. 1.

Jupiter contends Harbourside is not complying with town regulations.

Harbourside does not want to operate within the conditions of the development agreement. They think they are above the law,” Jupiter Town Attorney Tom Baird said during the hearing in West Palm Beach.

 

 

What’s the latest on the two paramedics killed in crash in Jupiter?

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Allison Besaw salutes her father Paul Besaw at Celebration of Life ceremony at Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens (Photo/Bruce Bennett)

The man accused in the fatal crash that killed two paramedics is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond.

Genaro De La Cruz Ajqui, 39, a citizen of Guatemala living in Jupiter, is accused in the June 1 crash that killed emergency-medical technicians Lahari Garcia and Paul Besaw. De La Cruz has had a detainer placed on him by the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Jupiter Police declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

“We are waiting for the case to go to trial,” Vince said.

The fatal crash occurred shortly before 3 a.m. near West Indiantown Road and Philadelphia Drive. Authorities say De La Cruz was driving under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his 2000 Chrysler convertible into the ambulance occupied by Garcia and Besaw.

Jupiter police arrested De La Cruz on multiple charges, including DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and driving without a license on June 15. De La Cruz was taken into custody when he was released from St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Any criminal court proceeding would take priority over an immigration hearing, according to ICE spokesman Nestor Yglesias.

If De La Cruz is convicted, he would serve whatever time is imposed by a judge before being turned over for deportation proceedings. If he is charged with a crime, but acquitted, they could still face deportation hearings. He could also negotiate a plea agreement, according to ICE regulations.

Palm Beach County records show De La Cruz was cited several times for traffic violations over the years.

Dawn Besaw, the widow of Paul Besaw, said she does not understand how De La Cruz could be driving after being cited several times for traffic violations.

“How can you explain that to me?” she asked.

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Genaro De La Cruz Ajqui makes his first appearance in West Palm Beach Friday, June 16, 2017. The 39-year-old was arrested Thursday on two counts of vehicular homicide and of DUI manslaughter in the deaths of Lahiri Garcia, 51, and Paul Besaw, 36, two drivers for the American Medical Reponse ambulance company. (Photo/Bruce Bennett)

Driver ends up tilted near pond in Jupiter, no injuries

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The driver was not injured (Photo provided)

This pickup truck ended up tilted on the side of a retention pond Monday morning at the entrance of the Jupiter Country Club, on the south side of Indiantown Road across from Florida’s Turnpike.

The truck was traveling east on Indiantown Road about 10 a.m. and began hydroplaning on the wet pavement.

The truck hit two other vehicles, skipped over the six-inch curb, rolled over a sidewalk, crashed into some bushes and came to a stop next to the retention pond, said witnesses.

No injuries were reported.

Workers removed the pickup truck from next to the retention pond.

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The driver of the pickup truck rolled over the curb and grass before ending up next to the retention pond at the Jupiter Country Club on Monday morning. (Photo/Bill DiPaolo)

 

Participate in National Night Out on Tuesday in Jupiter

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(Photos/Bill DiPaolo)

National Night Out at Roger Dean Stadium is planned Tuesday, Aug. 1 starting at 4:30 p.m.

The game between the Jupiter Hammerheads and Lakeland Tigers starts at 6:30 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public. Donations are suggested.

National Night Out is a national community-building campaign that promotes police/community partnership and neighborhood camaraderie.

For information, go to RogerDeanStadium.com or call 561-775-1818.

Events at Roger Dean Stadium include:

  • safety demonstrations
  • kids’ activities
  • visits from emergency personnel and exhibits

Proceeds go to Jupiter Police Explorer Program