Coral Springs has a three-way race for City Commission Seat 5 and voters will have a tough time deciding who they believe is best qualified. All three candidates are enormously passionate about the city, each one bringing unique qualifications.
Joy Carter, is a 29-year resident of the city and works as a Realtor at Keller Williams Great Florida Home Team which is based in Coral Springs. She is also a volunteer and leader with the Festival of the Arts and the 50th Anniversary Committee. Carter is also actively involved with the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce where she not only has led every committee, but has served as Chair of the organization.
Carter’s days are nonstop, but she insists, never routine. “In the life of a Realtor there is no routine.”
She wakes up everyday at 6-6:30 a.m and works out at an outdoor bootcamp three times a week, and uses a personal trainer once a week to stay in shape. But if a meeting is planned, that takes priority she said. If there are pockets of time, Carter fills it with prospecting, lead generation, follow-ups and various networking events for her business. “I put in long days and typically don’t finish work until 10-10:30. Fortunately, I have an assistant, as well as my brother who is a partner and three buyer’s agents.”
On weekends, Carter spends time campaigning. “Fortunately, I only work one weekend each month. I have a team of people which gives me a lot of flexibility.”
So far Carter says she has knocked on 3,300 doors.
“I feel very positive, very strong. [I have] almost three decades of community service, not for political aspirations. This is the ultimate in public service jobs.”
Carter remains firm that the city is in need of a new city hall, but believes that the cost of $28 million dollars is exorbitant. She believes that the best place for it would be along the current municipal corridor on Coral Springs Drive. All the fiber optics for communications are already in place she said. There is an open site near the gym which was a holding site for construction equipment where the last administration had plans to build the new city hall 10 years ago.
Carter believes that the proposed raises for the mayor and city commissioners which will be on the ballot are inappropriate because they already get cost of living increases. “I don’t think you should make this up in one large swoop, a 61 percent increase is excessive. Do it over time.”
The Sun Sentinel revealed that Carter has had financial troubles in the past which left her in bankruptcy. She explained to us that she had a real estate development business with a man she was going to marry where they were rehabilitating homes after Hurricane Katrina. She said that the government wasn’t reimbursing them fast enough, so Carter, who put more into the investment than her partner did, carried the debt which she believes she could have continued carrying if the real estate market didn’t crash.
“It was an awful experience to go through. Now I have empathy for others. If you don’t have income, you can’t pay your bills.”
Carter is divorced and has two daughters ages 24 and 28.
She says she still loves being a community volunteer, However, at this point in her life, she wants a larger platform so she can continue to give back, to nurture and to guide and to listen, and to be able to do more for the people who also enjoy living in the City of Coral Springs as much as she does.
Education: High school graduate and attended one semester at Fresno Community College and University of Nevada Las vegas.
Major Endorsements: Lori Parrish, Broward County Property Appraiser, Coral Springs City Commissioner Claudette Bruck, The Hispanic Vote Political Action Committee.
Andy Holz has lived in Coral Springs for 17 years both as a student, and now as a married father of twin boys. Besides running a campaign for city commissioner, he’s teaching high school math and English and coaching the football team.
His busy schedule barely allowed him a moment to do an interview with us. He’s up everyday at 6:30 a.m., wakes up his two year-old twin boys and helps get them ready for school. Afterwards, he and his wife can head off to their teaching jobs at Coral Springs Christian Academy where they both met back when they were in high school. If his wife is coaching volleyball in the afternoon, he’ll pick up the boys and play with them. He then campaigns late in the afternoons if he isn’t coaching, while his family helps watch the boys.
“I like to visit with the people before I stick a sign in front of their business.” said Holz who says he is a proponent of small business owners.
“I think the message I’m putting out there, people are receptive to. People are concerned with how we’re spending money and where we’re spending money. I think there is room for improvement there.”
Holz said that the the downtown Coral Springs is not a viable option and that they surveyed the city and found out it wasn’t a pedestrian friendly town.
“We should have looked at other options in making the businesses we have more visible from the road. If you’re going to make it pedestrian friendly, we’ll have to make Sample a two lane road. If you do that [downtown] it will make it completely congested.”
“We’re cutting 31st down to a one lane and each direction with a median in the middle. That’s the main entrance to the medical center,” said Holz. ”It’s the most used entrance.”
Holz says he is completely against the proposed raises for the mayor and commissioner that will be on the ballot. “It’s not the right time. Not only is our budget increasing. There’s no merit for using money for that.”
He says that he is a citizen who understands what it’s like to live in the city and grow up here. “I’ve been here as a student, employee, and father, and I see the issues that we need to deal with: looking out for our citizens as individuals.”
Instead of reaching out to small businesses, Holz said that the city is looking at the big business that make a good name, but at the end of the day, he asks if those are really building the City of Coral Springs.
With a full-time job teaching and two young children, will Holz have the time to add the duties of being a commissioner to his schedule? “I have the blessing of my employers, so I have the flexibility in that regard.”
Holz adds that he’s not running for office because he has future political aspirations. “I’ll be the commissioner that will look out for the individuals in Coral Springs. I like to think that the decisions that I make as a commissioner will be one of common sense. If I’m elected, at the end of my term I don’t necessary want people to know who I am, but that I did a good job of representing them.”
Education: College Graduate Norwich University, University Nova Southeastern Law School Juris Doctor
Endorsements: No endorsements.
Campaigning hasn’t changed business owner Laurette Homan. At least not her non-stop schedule. She wakes up everyday at 4:30 a.m., says a prayer and then she’s in the gym by 5 a.m. for an hour-long workout. Afterwards, she comes home, gets her daughters ready for school, and by 7:45 a.m. she is in her office getting ready for the day.
Homan does all this without drinking any coffee. “I gave up coffee two years ago,” she said.
A small business owner, Homan has owned Hilton Insurance Services located in Coral Springs for over 17 years where she is a licensed Florida property and casualty agent specializing in commercial insurance including Workers’ Compensation, Commercial Property, General Liability and Professional Liability.
“Municipal government needs to work with small business and I feel I can offer this and improve this relationship. I also have a risk management background which will be good for the commission,” said Homan.
Unless she has a meeting, she’s out the door by 4:30 p.m. campaigning and knocking on doors. Homan personally goes to each door and meets with residents. She likes to ask them if they were mayor or commissioner, what would they change? Her goal was to knock on 4,000 doors which she believes she’s accomplished.
Born in Coral Springs, Homan has lived in the city 35 years. She is a graduate of Coral Springs High School where she met her husband Josh. They now raising two daughters who both attend Broward County Public Schools.
Homan is on the Parent and Education Commission Committee, the Customer Involvement Government Committee, Youth and Family Committee and is a member of both Country Hills Elementary and Coral Springs Middle Schools PTA.
How does Homan feel about her chances of winning the commission seat in November?
“I’m a confident person in general. I feel that I’m getting good feedback.” She said that she thinks the competition is between Joy Carter and herself.
Homan is a strong believer of fiscal responsibility. “The business I’m in is highly regulated, I’m dealing with millions in premiums and coverage and do commercial lines of insurance. When someone puts their business in my hands, I’m dealing with their business. I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”
In order to compete globally and reinvigorate the city, Homan supports the need for the $28 million City Hall Complex. “First of all it’s not a City Hall, it’s a Municipal Complex,” she told the audience at the candidate forum at St Andrew Catholic Church. “Welcome to the 21st Century Coral Springs.” Homan believes the complex will bring business and events to the city. “Let me tell you, I’ve been here 35 years, my heart and soul is here, I believe this municipal complex, whatever the cost may be, will make [in turn] more money than the price tag.”
Homan doesn’t agree with commission raises on the ballot for the November election and told the Forum, “I am not for the raises; I don’t think they should have done it. As far as I am concerned, it is a volunteer position; I have chosen to put myself out there as a servant of the public. I am doing it for the city, not for the paycheck.”
Education: High School and attended FAU where she received her agents license. Also studied marketing for one year.
Major endorsements: Metro Broward International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 3080, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 87, Broward County AFL-CIO and Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, Mayor Vince Boccard, Vice Mayor Larry Vignola, Commissioners Tom Powers and Dan Daley.