Lake Worth Beach Commissioner says he lost cool, but stands by comments on city’s handling of COVID-19
Omari Hardy has dispatched Al Jaquet to advance to November.

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The outburst stemmed from the city's handling of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Omari Hardy is apologizing for his tone following a Thursday night Commission meeting where Hardy ended up in a shouting match with the Mayor and City Manager.

“This is a banana republic is what you’re turning this place into with your so-called leadership,” Hardy yelled at Mayor Pam Triolo at one point during the heated exchange in remarks highlighted by the Palm Beach Post.

The back-and-forth stemmed from the city’s handling of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

In recent weeks, Commissioner Hardy had pushed his colleagues to take additional action aimed at protecting the public from the virus’s spread. After his calls for an emergency meeting on the issue, the Commission gathered Thursday night.

It was at that meeting that City Manager Michael Bornstein admitted 50 people had their power turned off prior to a Wednesday announcement that those shutoffs were being halted.

As the two hour meeting extended past its halfway point, Mayor Triolo moved to stop debate on a resolution allowing Bornstein to have emergency powers even absent the city declaring a state of emergency.

That’s when Hardy began to let loose.

“This gentleman has turned off people’s lights in the middle of a global health pandemic,” Hardy said of Bornstein, before critiquing the city’s overall response.

“We could’ve banned large gatherings. We could’ve closed the beach. We could’ve put a moratorium on utility shutoffs,” Hardy continued. That prompted Mayor Triolo to abruptly call for a recess.

As Triolo moved to leave the meeting, things continued to heat up. Hardy began by arguing Triolo was turning the city government into a “banana republic.”

Triolo turned back to accuse Hardy of showing off, retorting, “You got a camera on that?” Hardy is departing the Commission to run for the Florida House in House District 88.

That prompted Hardy to continue shouting at Triolo, saying he “didn’t care” about the publicity.

“We should’ve been talking about this last week,” Hardy said.

“We cut off people’s utilities this week and made them pay what could have been their last check — to us — to turn their lights off in a global health pandemic. But you don’t care about that and you didn’t want to meet! But every other year you go around and beg people for their votes!”

Triolo responded, still standing after attempting to leave for the recess, “Point of order! Your are done. You’re done. You’re done. Disrespectful.”

That caused Hardy to continue pushing back.

“What’s disrespectful is what you’ve done to the working people in this city.”

While Hardy said he stood by his overall charges, he said he should have remained calm.

“Things got heated last night, but I don’t regret one word,” Hardy said on Twitter, before repeating the charge that the City Manager shut off the lights for dozens of residents.

“And my colleagues didn’t want to discuss it all, didn’t want to acknowledge what we had done, and I lost my cool. But sometimes you have to get into trouble to stand up for what’s right. That’s called #GoodTrouble,” Hardy said, referencing a motto of civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

Still, he reiterated, “Shouldn’t have lost my cool, though.”

After that recess, the resolution was approved by a 4-1 vote.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.


87 comments

  • Philo

    March 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    The so-called “Mayor” needs to resign. Watching her and two others on the council passive-aggressively try to use parliamentary procedure to shut down someone who was arguing for common sense is revealing. “Mayor”? How about “incompetent”? That’s what she is -nothing but one more pathetic tin-pot municipal politician that has led Florida down the drain.

    • Gene Williams

      March 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      I absolutely agree. In light of this pandemic, the last thing Americans needs to be worried about is there utilities and how to make ends meet with the millions of layoffs and unemployment. Shame on the mayor and her cohorts for not taking the time to address the needs of their citizens. Cudos to Commissioner Hardy for standing up for those who cannot stand for themselves.

      • CATHEY THOMAS

        March 22, 2020 at 11:16 pm

        I posted on my FB page Hoping to go viral! He was right! The others are a disgrace! Good ole boys club and she the ring leader! Point of order, point of order! I am white and I see clearly the disrespect for a black man on that Commission Board! People you elected these numnuts you need to rethink at election time! You need more up there like the one that fought for you!

    • Souherngirl990

      March 22, 2020 at 9:51 am

      This guy Is clearly standing up for the people, We need more people like him in the White House!

      • Citizen Kane

        March 22, 2020 at 1:09 pm

        We need more people like him in EVERY office & I hope the people there remember these other folks conduct when its time for re election.!

        • Felicia

          March 22, 2020 at 2:27 pm

          Yessss!!!!!!

    • Jorge Hernandez

      March 22, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      1000% AGREE!!!!!!!

      • Sonia N Soto

        March 22, 2020 at 2:12 pm

        I 1000% with you He should not apologized. They are just as bad as my landlord he just decided to raise my rent by another 75.00 dollors making my rent 1300.00 in times like these where is the good people to have our back I have two kids single mom and not working right now.

    • Cinder Rella

      March 22, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      You were BRILLIANT ! Don’t apoplogize !!

  • Easterphine Williams

    March 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Mr. Hardy was right to stand his ground and reveal what’s going on in his city. I don’t think he lost his cool, it’s my opinion that he is passionate about the people represented. As for the rest of the council shame on you! Think more about the people you are representing and less about rules that don’t accomplish anything!

    • Donna P

      March 22, 2020 at 11:30 am

      If Lantana had audio and video during their Town Council meetings it would’ve made headlines too. Unfortunately it’s not recorded and residents don’t show up for those meetings so they have NO CLUE what’s REALLY going on in that Town Hall. They’ve been going relatively unchecked for years!

  • Johnny Ringo

    March 21, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Good for him! That’s a leader in the making right there! Her on the other hand, needs to go! SHE’S DONE!

  • Hala totah

    March 21, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    She need to go. We don’t want racists people governing us. Shame on her. Think of the people out there with No monies for food gas etc

    • Nona

      March 22, 2020 at 8:54 am

      Racists? Where did anyone say anything about race? Stop looking for victimhood. It doesn’t become you & nullifies the validity of your point.

      • The Confessor

        March 22, 2020 at 1:02 pm

        Depends on peoples narrative, doesn’t it? I have a co-worker who sees misogyny everywhere she turns. This one sees racism. The other thinks old people smell bad. Can’t change minds with words though…

      • CATHEY THOMAS

        March 22, 2020 at 11:18 pm

        I posted on my FB page Hoping to go viral! He was right! The others are a disgrace! Good ole boys club and she the ring leader! Point of order, point of order! I am white and I see clearly the disrespect for a black man on that Commission Board! People you elected these numnuts you need to rethink at election time! You need more up there like the one that fought for you!

        • jeanette phelps

          March 23, 2020 at 8:00 am

          It has nothing to do with Race she is just all kinds of WRONG and he did the Right thing they are suppose to be there for the people

      • Birdy

        March 24, 2020 at 10:25 am

        So what you don’t know is that this has been a common behavior with them to cut him off when he has anything to say it is just this time he wasn’t going for it they don’t respect him because he’s a black man I don’t think they have done a white man like that you always want to think that we jump to because we’re black will sir open your eyes because a lot of things have happened to us and I’m still happening to us because we are black when I nervous and jumpy about it we just see it how it is and I hope one day you do too

  • Andrea

    March 21, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    U did the right thing!!! The mayor and other commissioners not standing up for the people during this time, should be ashamed of themselves. I’m sure they will have no problem begging people for their votes come election time…despicable. Thank you for standing up for what is right! You got my vote

    • Carol

      March 21, 2020 at 11:03 pm

      Hero!

    • Donna P

      March 22, 2020 at 11:32 am

      Don’t forget the City Manager Michael Bornstein. He needs to go too!

  • June

    March 21, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Right on, sir! Madam Mayor was disrespectful

  • Dave

    March 21, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Cheering all over for Mr. Hardy, viral on YouTube.

    Thanks for your service to the people.

  • Jamie, I don't live there.

    March 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Honestly, I don’t even live in Florida but this man should not have to apologize for his pure passion of advocating for the working class who are barely making it by, let alone trying to stay afloat during this crisis. Never apologize for doing the right thing.

    HARDY FOR MAYOR!

    • Carolyn holloway

      March 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      Thank you!

    • Robin

      March 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      President kinda vibes !!!! Thank you for standing up for us!

  • Kelly Tomlinson

    March 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    What a joke of a Mayor!! I would be ashamed!! During a crisis like the whole country is experiencing and to shut off people’s electric? We don’t even reside in Florida, but this man makes me want to! We need more leaders like him…wanting what’s best for their community instead of what’s coming into their wallets! Whoever resides in this town would be absolutely crazy to vote for her!!

  • Stephanie Grim

    March 21, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    She is power and money greedy, he was right in his concerns and she should be thrown out on her butt!!!

  • Kimberly

    March 21, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    She needs to resign Immediately!! Shes (Mayor) is as ignorant as it come. City of Lake Worth stand up.. also take your city manger with you. Common Sense. Hardy for Mayor

  • Shay Macdonald

    March 21, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t reside in Florida but I agree with Commissioner Hardy 1000%…no apology need it YOU SAID WHAT YOU SAID and that’s it.. ..Florida residents Hardy for Mayor

  • Valerie Burrs

    March 21, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    You did nothing wrong you are a caring individual. The mayor and other board members should feel ashamed. Your city need to think about this situation when it comes time to vote again

  • Karen Etzwiler

    March 21, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    I don’t believe that Mr. Hardy has anything to apologize for. Yes, he did get a little hot under the collar….BUT “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation IS NORMAL behavior” (Viktor Frankyl) It is sociopaths who react in “normal ways” to abnormal situations.

  • robert smith

    March 21, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    I dont live in lake worth anymore but Mr. Hardy is the person you want to represent lake worth… he didn’t need to apologize for anything. He raised his voice because he knew he was right, and the mayor walked out! She doesnt seem like the person you want to represent Lake Worth.

      • Faith

        March 22, 2020 at 2:56 am

        You the one I was waiting on . You troll. Negative Susan. What ever faults he had before was than. In this crisis he choose what’s right. But you don’t no the difference between right and wrong.

        • kathy griner

          March 22, 2020 at 12:47 pm

          I absolutely agree with you. Whatever that articles about I didn’t read it doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on right now and people’s lives and people’s livelihoods and their abilities to feed and put lights on to their families. Mr. Hardy stood up for that I don’t care what else is policies are

      • Mark

        March 22, 2020 at 9:51 am

        What does that have to do with now?

      • Leic

        March 22, 2020 at 10:42 am

        It’s nothing wrong with changing the demographics to attract higher poor working class people. People with degrees making $60000 is still poor especially when they have student loans but it does help curtail crime and help property values increase so it’s not a bad thing. It actually helps. If it’s too many poor or low class people crime increases and property values stay low.

      • Me

        March 22, 2020 at 5:13 pm

        He was at that moment.

  • Annette

    March 21, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    We all fell off n love with Commissioner Hardy!! He’s gone viral & the “mayor” Triolo has too. No mayor, YOU’RE DONE!

  • Francy Diaz

    March 21, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    I wish he was commissioner of our city. He spoke the truth. You can tell he is for the people. Lake worth mayor is a POS. Smh. She should be ashamed of herself.

    • Burnetta Smith

      March 22, 2020 at 8:59 am

      Great job Councilman Hardy…this is the type of passion and representation that is needed. The Mayor retaliated against you because of het lack of action…SHAME ON YOU MAYOR! #LEADERSHIPMATTERS

  • James Perkins

    March 21, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    My hat is off to you sir thank you For your courage

  • Claudia

    March 21, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    So much outrage, but no concern for the families who had their power shut off at this critical time. How do we help them? I’m a LWB resident, what can we do?

    • Michael Kerkes

      March 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm

      I mean hardi’s outrage was what got their power back on.

  • Leon

    March 21, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Sometimes you have to stand on that island alone and as long as you know that you know that you know its the right thing to do, you can go home that night and sleep with no worry. Great leaders do what Hardy did and the people will follow you because they know you believe in doing the right thing and you’re not afraid to voice your opinion.

  • Genie

    March 21, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    We all stand by you she needs to resign

  • Taylor Tipton

    March 21, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    She should resign, absolutely disgusting she is.

  • Travis McIver

    March 21, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    These are the types of representatives that we need, stand up for the people whom put you in your position because they often dont have a voice.

  • Lex

    March 22, 2020 at 2:43 am

    Lost his cool? Absurd! He did exactly what needed to be done! He spoke up on behalf of his constituents! He spoke up and did what he was elected to do – act in the interest of his constituents in times of need!

    The mayor and the rest of those other commissioners did as they said “I did nothing.” That’s right! They did nothing during a pandemic!

    I stand and support Hardy!

  • Deborah Wood

    March 22, 2020 at 5:26 am

    My favorite hashtag is #dosomething and he did!!! Kudos! It is incumbent upon us all to speak out on behalf of the poor, elderly, the “least of these” in our society at this time. This is when the best in us rises to the occasion or when we let our darkest side rule. This is a time when TRUE leaders will show themselves … remember these people. They are the strength of our nation. Support them. It’s folks like this who will carry us through this crisis (and real or perceived, it is NOW A CRISIS) and folks like this Mayor whose TRUE colors we see and need to call upon to remove themselves from public “no” service.

  • MC Edwards

    March 22, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Well said! Finally a Politician who stands up for what is right. Speaking with compassion and honesty can never be wrong. I say Bravo!!

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    March 22, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I wish a few “national correspondents” at Pres Trump’s daily “briefings” would lose their cool and call him out on his stream of lies.

    • Platypus Picker

      March 22, 2020 at 10:53 pm

      I drink to that!

  • Nona

    March 22, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I’m a bit stunned at the blanket support for irrational behavior at this point. Why call an Emerg meeting to shout down anyone you disagree with. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING GETS ACCOMPLISHED THIS WAY! This is the LAST behavior we need in Congress! They already act like grandstanding partisan tantrum throwing babies & once again NOTHING GETS ACCOMPLISHED!! We need those who can ‘be passionate’ while capable of working with others with opposing views. That’s the only way things will start to better the lives of the people. They need to stop showing their ass to get their 5 seconds of viral video time.

    • Trice

      March 22, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Something did get accomplished. Those people now have their power on.

    • Nona2

      March 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Is this the mayor? LMAO

    • Michael Kerkes

      March 22, 2020 at 4:45 pm

      Are you fucking serious? You think he was being irrational? He said what needed to be said. She needs to be removed for gross incompetence and outright neglect of her constituents.

    • Madame

      March 22, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Nona, you couldn’t have watched that video. Mr.Hardy did not disagree with the Mayor. They didn’t want him to respond and speak more about the issues that could take place in the community. It wasnt a disagreement. It was a total disregard for another leader to speak. The problem is people see what they want, when they want. Human minds follow what they can relate to and what makes sense to their heart and their way of thinking. Solutions come by working together and respecting one another. U cant do that if everyone is not heard!! Respect doesn’t exist if there is a limit to expressivenes. However, political agendas shouldn’t be a concern in a time like this. This is a crucial time for people EVERYWHERE!! And we all need to understand. That death and sickness has no respect of person. As soon as we understand that. We will know that WE ARE ALL IN DANGER!!! While ths mayor is worrying about being the Mayor for the upcoming years, she need to think that there might not be a city to be a mayor overnight a few weeks.

    • Kay

      March 23, 2020 at 9:18 am

      Girl , he spoke up ain’t nothing wrong with that. They all being so dismissive and that’s a proven fact. Would anything be getting done if he didn’t speak up. You talking about 5 seconds of going viral but that what you really mad about these people were exposed for incompetent reactions during a crisis and shady behaviors as well. I’m glad it got it’s viral 5 seconds. This virus has shown Americans the true nature of political accountability and why voting and meetings. From here on out I hope people make better decisions electing officials on city and state level

  • Michael

    March 22, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Gods response in this situation would have been even harsher on the mayor. During hard times his people shall receive compassions. Our leaders should seek wisdom, we are in this position because we have boastful leaders that only worship there selves. That’s why America is suffering our President has continued to show divide

  • K fisher

    March 22, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Well done Comnissioner! No need to apologize!

  • Jason Brooks

    March 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. James Baldwin

  • Anne

    March 22, 2020 at 11:26 am

    How did Madam Mayor Umbridge get voted in to that position in the first place?

    Hardy shouldn’t apologize. Hope he keeps fighting the good fight.

  • Nay

    March 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

    No apologies needed. He displayed the kind of passionate advocacy we need on behalf of the people in political office. That Mayor and those Commissioners should be ashamed of themselves. I’m glad they were exposed. Hope they’re all voted out.

  • Shae

    March 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Doesn’t matter what party affiliations your with. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. No utilities should have been turned off. They should have met sooner. There are vets and elderly and others on fixed incomes and barely getting by. That money could of been used to buy food or toiletries in case there comes a lockdown. I don’t think he should’ve apologized. I think the mayor wanted him to stop talking because she knew he was right!

  • Jorge Hernandez

    March 22, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Has a petition been started asking for Mayor Pam “I don’t give a damn about people” Triolo to resign? If so, please reply with link.

  • Christopher Weeks

    March 22, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    He didn’t lose his cool, he spoke with passion about something he believed in. Need more like him to do more of the same.

  • Sharon

    March 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    This mayor and the city manager needs to go! This commissioner really has the citizens back. They need to elect him as mayor because he has the people back. They could have left the citizens utilities on;afterall,the city is going to turn to the government or fema for any money they can recover during this pandemic.

  • Catherine Morrison

    March 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    That was a great call and Commissioner Hardy should be applauded by what he said and did. How dare they try to silence a brother that is looking out for the welfare of his constituents. He is doing what he was elected to do.

  • Tangela D.

    March 22, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Good to know that politicians like Mr. Hardy still exist.

  • Lisa

    March 22, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    I think the fact that it takes a city council to tell the utility company not to charge people and turn off their power after people have lost their income so they can not take a warm shower, heat a can of soup, look on the internet for a job or even charge their phone let alone have light to see. What about all the kids that are trying to do their schooling online or have a cooked meal. Every other business is sending emails out to contact them if you are in a bad situation and they will suspend payments or work out a plan and are doing all they can to help other human beings in this crisis and what does the power company do since they have no interruption in their life? Kick people when they are down and hurting, the utility does not have the human compassion to say lets keep the lights on for those that are suffering and do our part as a human beings, its not like it is costing them a dime to keep the power on. It is a disgrace whoever is in charge at that utility company should be fired.To me it is just as bad as the people that are hoarding all the necessities while other people suffer.

  • Charles

    March 22, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Mr. Omari Hardy for POTUS, please!

  • Michael Kerkes

    March 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Get that incompetent mayor out of there.

    He didn’t lose his cool. He said what needed to be said and fought on behalf of the people in LWB.

    She is neglectful and clearly can’t listen to authentic criticism.

  • Ann

    March 22, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    In times like these someone has to stand up for the working poor. Please sir do not apologize for supporting the people.

  • Sheri Hunt

    March 22, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    There’s zero question in my mind the commissioner was absolutely right! I don’t know if he is a dem or a rep but i do know he was 💯% correct!

  • Serg

    March 22, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Wow. Amazing how incredibly ignorant both “Mayor” and “City Manager” can act at a time like this in our history. Her, herself, could have possibly saved thousands in the near future from becoming infected and without a doubt as covid 19 spreads amongst the people of LWB you can guarentee she will be held up quarantined at home.

  • Izzee

    March 23, 2020 at 2:27 am

    Passed. 4-1 (( wonder who that 1 is… ? )) 😏🙄

  • Jenny Reiter

    March 23, 2020 at 11:35 am

    This is true compassion! He spoke truth and we need more leaders like this in our local, State and Federal levels! I applaud him for standing up for the PEOPLE!! No need to apologize, the ones who should be are the City Manager, Mayor and the other commissioners that failed to have some compassion and common sense in this crisis! Everyone keep an eye on Mr. Hardy, he is a true leader and voice for people!

  • Jonee

    March 23, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Blessings to you Commissioner Hardy! Well done! If only we can replicate more politicians to think more about the people. He was being a gentleman by apologizing for his tone. That’s a good thing. Also, ot appears the entire Commission needs to go, unless I understood wrong….did they vote 4-1 in favor of allowing the City Manager to have full power to shutdown individual’s electricity whenever he sees fit? Or did I read that wrong? I sure hope so 🙁

  • Avril Francis

    March 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Now I know where I am moving to. A place where I know someone who stand up for wrong doing. He apologized if he hurt her feelings but he is not apologizing for taking a stand. I Wish I can see that here in NYC Some more. We need to make sure he is the Mayor in making. He stand up like a champion. Can someone send him to sit with the President? But then again the President will not understand his message. it will be too powerful . MR Hardy I need to work for you so please let me know where to send my Resume.

  • Amanda Westbrook

    March 23, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    A true hero to the people! Keep it up man, hope you can influence those around you in office to start doing what’s ACTUALLY in their job description and be a real leader like you were in that video, sir.

  • Amy

    March 24, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Commissioner Omar Hardi, I salute you! If you run for office in my home state of Illinois, you have m vote. God bless you for your righteous anger and honesty. How refreshing it is to see the welfare of the people that you represent as a primary concern.

  • Cameron doane

    March 24, 2020 at 12:58 am

    KEEP THIS DUDE! Promote him!

    That woman clearly had bad intentions. She used lame and childish tactics to dismantle a clearly upfront and direct request.

    Give this dude her job.

    • John Brand

      March 26, 2020 at 2:11 am

      You are the man thank you standing up for the hard working people we will always keep you in our minds !

  • Anthony

    March 26, 2020 at 8:45 am

    The mayor needs to be removed and he need to replace her. When you put money and other matters in front of human lives you are no longer fit to lead.

Comments are closed.


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