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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