Coral Springers resoundingly voiced their preferences for a new mayor and sent Commissioner Tom Powers packing in favor of Skip Campbell. They also showed their approval…in fact, they screamed their approval…for Joy Carter over Laurette Homan to take over Commission Seat 5.
The contest wasn’t even close—Carter’s 15,338 to Homan’s 6,705.
But in a bizarre twist in the voting, second place Homan beat out third place finisher Andy Holz, who had 5,330 votes, even though Holz held almost identical positions to Carter. (More fiscal responsibility, for example, and an anti-downtown Taj Mahal vigor.)
So how does one interpret this? After three days of thinking about it and scratching my head, I finally realized the numbers were right there in front of me all along:
Carter and Holz’s anti-downtown and more conservative spending positions total a little under 21,000 votes, compared to Homan’s whip-out-the-credit-card total of 6,705. Which means more than three times as many people voted against a huge downtown development project as for it—for this seat, at least.
However, with the Seat 4 Lou Cimaglia versus Howard Melamed contest going to a recount on Monday, what garnered Cimaglia more votes (as of this writing before the recount, anyway), even though he was in favor of the big project too? My interpretation is that he wasn’t that much in favor of it in the first place, and like his other statements, “I think we could have come up with a better slogan for the city”…”Well, those signs could have been handled differently [paraphrasing here]” …I think Lou put some distance between himself and defeated candidates Powers and Homan.
Lou was a respectable, reputable cheerleader for Powers and Homan, but when push came to shove, he didn’t yell the cheers as loudly or as exactly as Powers expected. He didn’t always stick to Powers’ script.
Homan’s weak showing demonstrated not just the weaknesses of her positions in the voters’ minds, but her inherent weakness as a credible candidate. Think about it:
If Carter wasn’t in the race, Holz would have run away with it, due to sharing similar positions. If Holz wasn’t in the race, Carter would have run away with it even further (if that’s possible). And if Homan wasn’t in the race, as the numbers clearly show, it could have been a real horse race between Holz and Carter. (Okay, maybe Carter would have run away with this too because of more experience, name recognition, city committees membership, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., but I doubt it would have been a 3-to-1 result!)
Likely scenario is that if Carter or Holz weren’t in the race, Homan wouldn’t have picked up many votes at all, unless you claim her personality alone would have made a big difference. It didn’t in this contest, and if anyone wants to encourage her to run again, you’re also encouraged to watch her “performances” at the candidates’ forums, and take a good, honest look at some of the things she said, and how she said them.
We’re going to see more of Andy Holz in the next few years, because he has a lot to offer. I encourage Andy to start making his face known at Commission meetings, or if that’s too painful for him (isn’t it for most people?), he should at least get more active in city politics via committee participation, social media, etc.
In the meantime, congratulations Joy! And please don’t be too nervous about your new responsibilities:
Be honest, listen to the residents and those who own businesses here, and do the right thing when push comes to shove. People will love you, and you’ll sleep better at night.
And by the way:
I don’t mind being called names and that some of you hate my guts because of my political views, but wouldn’t you like to frame your own arguments in full article form, and experience all of this wonderful feedback for yourself?
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Ira Rather is an advertising professional and sometimes publisher of www.thecoralspringer.com. 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.