PBC History Pages

The restored courthouse opened in 2008 and is home to the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum.   

The restored courthouse opened in 2008 and is home to the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum.


Independently elected constitutional officers include the Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller, Sheriff's Office, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections. State officers serving the Florida judicial system include the State Attorney and Public Defender. These positions are four-year terms and are elected by voters in presidential election years.

There are many departments, offices and agencies under the Board of County Commissioners and other agencies that are partially funded.  The departments include more than 5,000 employees who are stationed throughout the county.  All department heads report to assistant county administrators who are under the leadership of the county administrator.  This is illustrated in the Palm Beach County organizational chart.  For an up-to-date list of Palm Beach County departments and offices, visit pbcgov.com, and click on Departments.

County Services Adapt to Residents’ Needs

mangrove planter in West Palm Beach 

The Office of Resilience collaborates with other departments to identify and promote projects that help the county adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This mangrove planter in West Palm Beach is an example of a Department of Environmental Resources Management shoreline project that will help stabilize the seawall and restore wildlife habitat.



Palm Beach County government responds to the needs of its residents.  Through voting, the charter and communicating with government officials and representatives, residents can take part in shaping county government.

In 2009, the Board of County Commissioners joined Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in signing the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact to jointly address shared climate mitigation and adaptation challenges, and the Palm Beach County Office of Resilience was established shortly thereafter.

After several incidences of corruption among members of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, as well as the West Palm Beach City Commission, the board adopted an ordinance to establish the Office of Inspector General, and the office opened in June 2010.[61] In May 2010, the Commission on Ethics and Code of Ethics ordinances became effective.[62] 

In November 2010, 72 percent of Palm Beach County voters approved a countywide referendum to amend the charter to permanently establish the Office of Inspector General[63] and extend the jurisdiction of the Commission on Ethics and Code of Ethics to all municipalities in the county.[64]

Delray Beach 

The county has approximately 50 beaches guarded by Palm Beach County and municipal lifeguards such as this one operated by the city of Delray Beach.

County Population Continues to Grow

Since its beginnings, the county has not only been recognized as a beautiful and enjoyable place to visit, but also a desirable place to live.  By 2000, the county’s population had grown to be more than a million.[65] According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 1, 2017 estimate, the number of people living in Palm Beach County was 1.47 million.[66]  One of the challenges of county government is to provide a consistent level of service in times of growth.  Establishing an annual budget can be challenging, but Palm Beach County commissioners strive to meet the needs of residents.  

Responding to Residents

 Robert Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center located at 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach.  

Board of County Commissioners meetings are held in the Robert Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center located at 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach. The entrance is in the courtyard on the west side of the building.

2019 marks the 110th year of Palm Beach County government, and similar to the protocol established at the commissioners’ first meeting on July 6, 1909, residents today are welcome to speak at Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meetings.  They are held in the Jane M. Thompson Memorial Chambers, 6th floor, Robert Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach.  Board meetings are held on one or more Tuesdays each month.  For the agendas and meeting schedule, visit www.pbcgov.com.

Attendees may offer comments on consent and regular agenda items.  Also, anyone is welcome to speak on public hearing items.  In addition, citizens can speak about any topic within the scope of the jurisdiction of the BCC during Matters by the Public, usually held in the afternoon of the first BCC meeting of the month (except for January and August).  Everything that is said at meetings is documented and kept in the Clerk and Comptroller’s records.  Meeting videos, minutes and agendas are available online. 

The BCC meetings are cablecast live on PBC TV Channel 20 on the county website that also posts countywide news items.  Residents can stay in touch with their commissioners by calling a district office or sending an email.  Visit your commissioner’s website for information about community events in your district.  To find out who your commissioner is, visit pbcgov.com/district locator.


Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller employees provided access to the Board of County Commissioners meeting minutes that are stored in archives.  Their assistance was instrumental in the production of this article. 

June 2019

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