Dr. Richard Carrington
Founder of COBWRA
COBWRA’s founder, Dr. Richard Carrington, was born in Citrus County, Florida, on August 7, 1907. He spent most of his career life in New Jersey working as a management psychologist. When he retired to Florida in 1979, Dr Carrington and his wife, Doris, purchased a home in Greentree Villas, an area considered the “country.” One day, while taking a walk west toward Military Trail, he and Doris saw a banner across Military Trail announcing the coming of a new shopping center.
Dr. Carrington went to the county offices to learn more about the shopping center and while pouring over county records, he became aware of the urban sprawl that was happening in West Boynton area and across all of Palm Beach County. He decided to do something about it and called a group of his friends from other associations and suggested that they meet and consider joining forces to protect the quality of life in their neighborhood.
Dr. Carrington and representatives from Banyan Springs, Bent Tree Villas West, Greentree Villas, Limetree Court, Mirror Lakes, and Pine Tree Village met at Greentree Villas on June 9, 1981. He proposed forming an organization to voice local concerns before the county government about the rapid growth and many zoning variances being granted by the Board of County Commissioners without any input from nearby communities. They decided to proceed and invite more communities to the next meeting. On July 15, 1981, representatives from 9 West Boynton communities met at Mirror Lakes Clubhouse and agreed to create a civic organization to address the needs of the area. They adopted the name Boynton West Residential Associations.
The first Coalition officers were elected on July 23, 1981.
- President: Dr. Richard Carrington, Greentree Villas
- Vice President: Newton Jones, Mirror Lakes
- Secretary: Marion A. Steinbronn, Banyan Springs
- Treasurer: Faye O’Donnell, Le Chalet
At this same meeting, the Delegates voted to add “Coalition of” to the organization’s name, to imply more power, and they established the following committees: Zoning and Permits, Water Management, Law Enforcement, Environmental Control, Roads and Streets, and Liaison with the City of Boynton Beach.
The Coalition adopted its Articles of Incorporation on January 21, 1982, and representatives of the 9 communities signed the Articles. The official Charter as a not-for-profit civic organization was granted by the State of Florida on March, 19, 1982, and signed by George Firestone, Secretary of State. Dr. Carrington’s vision to establish a voice for West Boynton had been realized.
How the Coalition became COBWRA
For the first few years, the organization referred to itself as “The Coalition.” At a County Commission meeting, Dr. Carrington made his point about the quality of life in the West Boynton area and convinced the Commission to deny a just-presented petition. Commissioner Dennis Koehler blurted out, “COBWRA has struck again!” and from that day forward, the organization has been known as COBWRA.
Commissioner Koehler and Dr. Carrington became close friends and the Commissioner often advised Dr. Carrington. Commissioner Koehler’s assistant was Karen Marcus, who was elected a County Commissioner in 1984. Commissioner Koehler was a strong supporter of COBWRA and told the Sun Sentinel, “If you represent a developer out there in COBWRA’s area of interest, you had better get to meet with them. You meet with COBWRA first, often before you file a petition.”
Today, COBWRA’s leadership and volunteers continue Dr. Carrington’s legacy of managing growth sensibly and striving for the best quality of life for West Boynton residents.