Cimaglia edges Out Melamed for Commission Seat 4: Becomes the “Monkey in the Middle”


By Ira Rather:

With just a hundred plus more votes, Lou Cimaglia edged out Howard Melamed for Coral Springs Commission Seat 4. By all accounts, and based on the other local contests, this was a real surprise.

Cimaglia ran on a status-quo platform, supported by and supporting the policies of Commissioner Tom Powers (who happens to now be the failed Mayoral Candidate and retired Commissioner because of his Mayoral loss), as well as being supported by Seat 5 candidate and loser Laurette Homan, who both supported the proposed Taj Mahal City Hall.

Walter Skip Campbell soundly defeated Powers for the Mayor’s seat, and Joy Carter more than just trounced Powers’ preferred candidate Laurette Homan. Both races centered strongly on the downtown development project that most residents don’t want, a new city slogan that most residents don’t like and that cost too much, and entrance signs that most residents will never see.

Yet Cimaglia squeaked out the win, who campaigned as part of the powers (and Powers) that be, which Coral Springers strongly voted against in these other two contests.

So what the hell happened?

In a previous article here on Coral Springs Talk on the first candidates forum, I wrote that Cimaglia was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. (I swear. Look it up. You don’t need my link to help you.) However, I did and still claim his grasp of the issues and enthusiasm for the job wouldn’t be up to snuff, and I still believe that. I don’t doubt for a second his sincerity or honesty, but these other doubts still persist.

So how did Cimaglia edge out Melamed, when his campaign partners and sympathizers Powers and Homan got so thoroughly creamed at the polls? And when the Sun-Sentinel endorsed Melamed?

I think I figured it out:

Nice guys don’t always finish last, and I think Lou’s folksiness, honesty, and casual approach to the campaign won him a lot of points, especially compared to Melamed’s often-perceived aggressiveness. Now, I think Lou is wrong about some big issues, but how the hell can you argue with a mensch like this? At the same time, I don’t think he really expected to win, and he may have wished he hadn’t.

With Campbell and Carter bringing an anti-downtown Taj Mahal agenda, and Vignola and Daley forced into the position of defending it (without Powers and Boccard there to lead the charge), will Lou now still be so in favor of the project? Are Vignola and Daley really that committed to this project in the first place, without Powers and Boccard putting the heat on them? And what effect will Campbell and Carter have on Lou’s “thinking?”

So Lou finds himself as the monkey in the middle. The deciding vote on crucial issues. A guy thrust into a position of important decision-making, even though he never wanted to be thrust there in the first place.

Good luck, Lou! As they say, be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.

And you sure did!

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About Ira Rather

avatar Ira Rather is an advertising professional and sometimes publisher of He is a former Brooklynite and 20-year Coral Springs resident. In his spare time, he interacts with private and governmental agencies to implement policies and establish new regulations for the aggressive hunting and eradication of the invasive Burmese Python.


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  • Karen

    I had the pleasure of campaigning next to Lou all yesterday. He’s charming and sweet, and wants to do good things for Coral Springs, especially when it comes to honoring our vets. At least Coral Springs got one thing right on the election. Congrats to Lou!

  • Who the Hell Kknows

    I wonder whether Lou will keep his 40+ years of being a member of the Democratic Party in mind when he has to be on the Commission with the 2 candidates the Democratic Club endorsed and supported and left him out in the cold as compared to Melamed, who just recently became a D after supporting Tea Party candidates in 2010. Does he stay with the 2 remaining commissioners that endorsed him and supported him despite the political party difference, or does he join up with the 2 Democrats who decided to support Melamed who just recently joined the party? It will be interesting to see.

    • Ira

      But do you think party affiliation is such a big deal as some people are making it out to be?

      Hell, I didn’t even know or care that Lou was a Democrat, until you just told me. It doesn’t enter my mind for municipal office.

      And the fact that so many Repubs here supported him should be proof of that, right?

  • Tim

    I had an encounter at church on Easter Sunday with Lou. He pushed my daughter into the wall instead of asking her nicely to step back. He is not a nice guy has a very bad temper. He has no idea what he has gotten into and so glad my family is moving out of Coral Springs. Good Luck!

    • Ira

      Holy shit!!!

      • tim

        I said to him if we weren’t in church I would have shoved you into the wall put your hand on my kid again and we will have a problem. He is an usher there good example.

      • tim

        I also think the backing Lou had in the community like the owner of Wings Plus who is very involved with the police dept helped to get the votes. I don’t think he would have won without it and I agree he didn’t expect to win lets see what he does.

    • consumingflame

      I have a hard time believing that.

  • Big Daddy

    Trust me Cimiglia will be NO MONEY IN THE MIDDLE. It’s Carter and Campbell that will be lame ducks and rethink their “no confidence” stance on the building you call the Taj Mahal. Its insulting to say Lou will be the monkey in the middle. And while were at it Lou will be the most important commissioner on that panel, trust me don’t sell him short. . Daley, Vignola and Cimiglia are 3 votes and the other 2 will be lame ducks, mark my words!

    • Ira

      Optimism is a good thing, but I think you’re ignoring reality here. And you’re selling Lou short.

      You might be right in being upset by my “monkey in the middle” analogy, but I really didn’t mean it in the bad way you suggest.

      I’m just saying that Lou WON’T automatically swing one way or the other. That he WON’T automatically vote to spend $28 million on this project. And that even Daley and Vignola WON’T necessarily shed blood over this, and accept a more reasonable plan.

      In other words, I’m giving Lou the credit to think for himself, whereas you aren’t.

      • votingforchange

        If there is any chance that Lou might not be neutral and do what’s in the best interest of ALL the residents, then maybe Howard Melamed should be asking for a recount.

        There were over 29,000 votes for Mayor but only 26,000 or so for this office. So, is it possible that some spaces were left blank for this vote or maybe not filled in properly?

        The difference is so small that maybe it falls withing the Statutes allowing for a recount.

        • Ira

          I was posting that all last night–that the numbers didn’t add up. There’s an automatic recount because the difference is so small, but I’ve been over to Naples all afternoon and don’t know the status.

          It’s not possible that so many people wouldn’t vote for that race.

          • Barb

            Well then explain why there was 50,000 votes last election cycle only cast for the senate and president? Go back and look at results it is true. Skip got his democratic party to get people to vote for him and didn’t mention Howard….not so hard to figure.

          • Get Your Facts!

            That’s actually not true Barb – I was campaigning for Skip and all campaigning done was a package deal – Skip Joy and Howard. Before you just spout off at the mouth, make sure you know what you’re talking about.

          • votingforchange

            Yes, it looks like there is a mandated recount if the difference is less then one half of one percent. This looks like it meets that criteria so it should qualify for the mandated recount. Hummm, if there is a recount going on, the results should be interesting.

      • votingforchange

        Did you notice he used “money in the middle”. I think he used it intentionally, because in all reality, Low might really be “the money in the middle”.

  • Jay

    The contest between cimaglia and melamed is not over. Once the recount is done, then we will know who won. Please do not assume cimaglia won

    • BL


      • Howard Melamed

        Actually….I’m Howard. The recount is going to happen, but quite frankly most recounts show that the count was right. Let’s see if there were some polls that were not counted fully, or some results that were posted wrong. If Lou wins, give him credit for this loto. If I win, then I need to cancel some of the trips I already booked for my company 🙂

    • Ira

      You’re right, Jay. I was totally remiss in not mentioning the automatic recount:

      I wrote this election night way after all the results were in (or Broward’s best version of doing that), like 3 in the morning, and didn’t know about the automatic recount until that afternoon.

  • jhkilroy

    I wonder if Lou were African American would ira have used the term ‘ monkey in the middle ‘ ?????? hmmmmmmm I wonder…..All is well now that Joy and skip are here to rain in all that spending , right ira ….?

    • Ira

      If Lou was black, I wouldn’t have used “monkey in the middle”–because there’s obviously a real racist inference to that.

      So your point is exactly what?

      You MUST have a point to that, don’t you? Because damn if I could figure it out.

      • Barb

        It’s insulting,the whole article. How dare you assume the man didn’t want to run or win for that fact. No one goes through this whole process who doesn’t want to do it, well I guess unless you are just using it for name recognition or personal gain. I can’t imagine that is what Lou was going for. The fact that you think that is a game tells it all.

      • jhkilroy

        the POINT is you called him literally a monkey …. I guess your the shylock in the middle Ira…. its okay to use that term by the way Joe Biden or crazy uncle Joe as you call him uses it all the time…

        • Ira

          You’re really stretching there:

          The “Monkey in the “Middle” comparison is totally legit, and it would still be legit if three BLACK guys were all playing the game.

          Are you being so ridiculous as to first claim that I would actually use the expression if it was just one black guy in the middle, and at the same time accusing me of using a black racial slur here against Cimaglia?


          What a pointless waste of bandwidth your computer, smartphone and tablet all represent.

  • Le Peerman

    Provisional ballots have not been counted yet. the canvas board meets at 5pm and should post those votes by 7pm.

    • Ira

      Not until Monday.

      • Howard Melamed

        The ballots will be rescanned at 1 pm on Monday. by 3 PM the process will be over.

        I am not holding my breath on this one, and I really do not expect much change. We need to go through this process to make sure that every vote counts.

  • The Truth

    Hey Ira, why don’t you learn how to write unbiased news. You disgust me in the way you presented the results of a man who worked extremely hard for what he rightfully won. A honest, fair, US Army Veteran who has put in more man hours talking to the citizens of Coral Springs, getting people to see his platform that he INDEPENDENTLY came up with, and worked harder at his age than YOU have in your attempt to write a satirical article for shits and giggles; deserves more respect. You are a joke Ira, you really are. Maybe next time you attempt to write, you should look at the the facts for your story, not at who is signing your pay check.