He could also be abrasive and dismissive, and detractors began calling him King Koretsky.
Five months after naming him mayor, three fellow commissioners bounced him from the post, saying he’d been “impossible’’ to work with.
He, in turn, called them “boobs,’’ sued them for illegally removing him, and initiated a recall campaign against them.
The following year, a Broward Circuit Court judge ruled in Koretsky’s favor — a short-lived victory. In 1985, Koretsky plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of forging signatures on recall petitions, and Gov. Bob Graham removed him from office.
But in March 1987, Pembroke Park voters returned him to the commission, and the mayor’s job. The following summer, some residents began circulating petitions to recall Koretsky and Vice Mayor Norman Price, alleging Sunshine Law violations.
Price resigned, but Koretsky hung on until a few months after the Florida Supreme Court ruled against the petitioners. His personal cheering section: girlfriend Alma Soccoccio, now deceased.
Bob Levy recalls her loud encouragement in a thick New England accent: “‘They cahn’t do that to you, Bahney!’ You’d hear it at every meeting.’’
Then, on Sept 12, 1990, Koretsky stunned friend and foe alike by resigning during a commission meeting.
“There comes a time in a political life when you have to do some soul- searching and this is such a time for me,’’ he said, rising from his seat. “I have served with commissioners attuned and not attuned to my programs, divisive and otherwise and I can honestly say without hesitation that this commission is the worst of the lot.
“Effective immediately, I am resigning as mayor-commissioner.’’
The Miami Herald reported that Koretsky gathered his papers and “stalked out of the commission chambers, leaving behind a shocked audience and a silent commission.’’
His parting shot: “I intend to work like crazy to help Hallandale annex this town. It doesn’t deserve to exist.’’
But he didn’t, and according to Town Manager Levy, “no matter what people thought of him, Barney did do some terrific things as mayor during a critical time in the town’s history.’’
Barney Koretsky is survived by sons Steve, Ralph, and Jay; also sister Rose Karas, of Sharon, Mass. He has been buried in Hollywood. The family suggests memorial donations to Jewish War Veterans, to which he belonged: jwv.org.