Phone: (561) 393-7708
Mayor Susan Whelchel was first elected to the Boca Raton City Council in March 1995. She was re-elected in 1997 and again in 1999. During her first tenure in office, Mayor Whelchel served as Deputy Mayor from 1999-2000 and was Vice-Chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency from 1996-1999.
Susan Whelchel was term limited in March 2000 and was appointed by then Governor Jeb Bush to a two- year term on the Palm Beach County School Board, where she served with distinction and successfully enabled a renewed focus and commitment to our local schools. Upon completing her term on the School Board, Whelchel was re-elected to the Boca Raton City Council in March 2003 and again in 2005, serving as Deputy Mayor for the years 2003-2004 and 2005-2008. In 2008 she ran unopposed for Mayor.
Whelchel puts neighborhoods first and, as a former teacher, continues to be a strong advocate for our children. She has worked tirelessly to support Boca Raton’s schools, and through her initiative, the Don Estridge High Tech Middle School was constructed on the historic IBM campus.
A leader who understands the value of collaborative partnerships with both county and state government agencies, Whelchel was the catalyst behind the Boca Raton Education Task Force that culminated in the creation of a School Liaison for the City of Boca Raton to ensure our local schools are prioritized by the School District.
Meetings with neighborhood groups, brown bag lunches with small businesses, and finding new ways to create and retain jobs are all in a day’s work for Boca Raton’s mayor. Susan Whelchel is a hometown leader who is facing down the current economic slump with vision and adaptability. She is focused on new opportunities that don’t just require new buildings, and she is leading the charge on City-wide “green” initiatives as she focuses on both economic and environmental sustainability for the City of Boca Raton.
Her groundbreaking effort on Boca Raton’s new business development initiative in partnership with key stakeholders including the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, her innovative environmental action and collaborative approach with neighborhoods, businesses, and educational institutions has earned her praise throughout the region. As a result, Whelchel recently won the Sun-Sentinel/Forum Publications “Politician of the Year” for the third year and was announced as the Rotary Club’s winner of the Opal award for civic leadership.
Whelchel continues to use common sense and real-world solutions to address budget constraints brought on by the national economic recession. She insisted on fiscally sound practices and effective oversight of a billion dollar budget while serving on the Palm Beach County School Board, and she has continued that approach as mayor. With more than a decade of public service, Whelchel is a strong watchdog for every taxpayer. She has used her small business expertise to effectively monitor revenue and expenditure trends and to make sure city staff maintains the highest quality of service and responsible use of public resources for our community.
The safety of our citizens is paramount to Whelchel, as is safeguarding the quality of life that residents enjoy. For years, Whelchel has been a strong supporter of law enforcement through her fiscal appropriations to add additional police officers as required, needed equipment and training for all personnel.
Ms. Whelchel has also strongly supported the use of better technology to improve our traffic standards. She has served on the Metropolitan Planning Organization which was mandated by the Federal Highway Act of 1973 and covers both short and long range transportation planning in our area. In addition, she has been at the forefront for timely City response to innovative initiatives such as the expansion of educational opportunities at FAU and balancing the ever changing budget/tax issues.
Through years of involvement in the family environmental business, Susan has become a strong advocate for the “green movement” and is leading the council to address the environmental issues affecting our city.
Understanding that Boca Raton has many facets, Susan has a strong sense of commitment, working tirelessly for a well balanced community that includes safe neighborhoods; a strong vibrant business economy supportive of the cultural arts, recreational and educational programs; and a healthy family of local non-profit organizations. Susan’s passion for young families is legendary and has set the trend for greater involvement of young professional families returning to Boca Raton or joining our community for the first time.
Susan has also been an active and dedicated Boca Raton volunteer for 30 years. In addition to her public service that has spanned three decades, Mayor Whelchel has been active in the following:
- President: Spanish River High School Parents Association
- Chamber of Commerce: Leadership Boca
- Vice President of Community Affair: Junior League of Boca Raton
- Board of Trustees: Boca Raton Historical Society
- President: Boca Raton Educational Television
- Board of Trustees: Boca Symphonia
- Board Member: Palm Beach County Business Development Board
- Board Member: Palm Beach County Educational Foundation
- Metropolitan Planning Organization for Palm Beach County
- Member Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
- Committee for FAU President Frank Brogan’s Inaugural Day Celebration
- Founder Boca Raton Educational Task Force
- Nominee for Junior League’s Woman Volunteer of the Year Award
- Library Foundation Board
- Deacon and Elder of First Presbyterian Church
- Host: T.V. shows in support of non-profit organizations
- Honorary Chair: FAU University Club Gala
- Honorary Chair: Boca Museum of Art Gala Auction
- Honorary Chair: Kids in Distress
- Honorary member of Boca Raton Sunset Rotary Club
- Grand Marshall for FAU’s Homecoming Parade 2009 and 2010
- Advisory Board: Centre for the Arts
- Member of the American Heart Association’s Leadership Circle
- Keynote Speaker at major events
- Board Member: Allianz Golf Tournament to support the Boca Raton Community Hospital
- Boca Raton Forum City Official of the year in 2008, 2009 and 2010
- Rotary Club of Boca Raton Opal Award recipient 2009
Mayor Whelchel was educated in North Florida schools, holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and has done post graduate work at Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University. Susan has been a part of the Boca Raton community for the past 30 years and, with her husband John, has raised four children who attended public schools and took active roles in sports and community programs. She has been a resident in both western and eastern Boca Raton neighborhoods and feels blessed to have worked with so many dedicated residents from all areas of Boca Raton. Three of her four children reside in Boca Raton. Mayor Whelchel has eight grandchildren, six of whom live in Boca Raton.