By: Sharon Aron Baron
It’s that time of the election year again when local candidates are jockeying up for open —- and not-so-open seats, vying for a chance to be the next mayor or city commissioner.
There are several seats up for the November 3, 2020 election, including the mayoral and two commission seats.
Sitting mayor, Scott Brook, has already opened a campaign account to run again and does not have a challenger at this time.
Commissioner Larry Vignola is stepping down after being termed-out, and so far, five people are hoping to win Seat 3.
Commissioner Joy Carter, who sits in Seat 5, who was elected in 2014, won unopposed in 2016, is now facing two challengers in 2020.
Interested residents still have until June to throw their hat into the ring (details how at the bottom.) Until then, Coral Springs Talk introduces the candidates who have returned our questionnaire.
City Commission Seat 3
Randal Cutter has worked in the community for 33 years and has lived in the city for 19. He is running for Coral Springs city commission Seat 3 because he believes that Coral Springs, as good a city as it is today, can become even better and more unified.
“We live in a time where people are looking for leaders who truly care about the taxpayer, rather than one who is only interested in his or her own personal interests.”
Cutter graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota, in 1983 and is a 1987 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin, where he earned a master’s degree. He has done further post-graduate work at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, and Orlando, Florida.
Currently, he is the president, business manager, and senior pastor at New Dawn Community Church in Coral Springs, where he first established the church in 1987. Before that, he had worked at his family’s retail business in Wisconsin, and for several years in the construction industry.
In addition to leading the congregation, Randal also has run an international consulting business, traveling over 79 times to Europe to assist organizations and ministries in developing their volunteers and employees into a more cohesive and focused operation.
“I have committed the last three decades to helping make Coral Springs an even better community. As a business leader, I am well aware of the types of things that are necessary to help our city, its businesses, and its people thrive. As a long-time leader in the religious community, I know what builds and unites people, and can help build and unite the people of this community while serving on the commission.”
Noor Fawzy moved to Coral Springs 20 years ago with her family when she was nine. She is a J.P. Taravella High School graduate and is proud to call the city her home.
She believes Coral Springs needs leadership on local policy, particularly on the issues of economic development, public safety, violence prevention, and suburban development, as she feels these issues have a profound and direct, day-to-day impact on the residents.
“I believe that Coral Springs can take the lead on local policy and, in doing so, move the city forward and set an example for what it can do at the municipal level to benefit the communities it serves.”
She earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science, summa cum laude, from Florida Atlantic University and earned her Juris Doctorate from the Florida International University College of Law, cum laude.
Currently, Fawzy works for Conroy Simberg, a statewide law firm, as a civil litigation attorney and previously clerked for the Broward County Attorney, where she gained first-hand experience researching, analyzing, and discussing various local government issues which have an impact on Coral Springs residents.
She said she wants to serve on the Coral Springs city commission to take the lead on local policy.
“Many of us tend to get caught up with what is happening at the state and national levels given the influence of the media, but local politics is incredibly important as it has a profound, day-to-day impact on our lives. For this reason, we should not wait for others to make policy decisions for us.”
Andy Kasten has lived in Coral Springs with his wife Lori for 24 years, and they have raised both of their children in the city.
He is running for office because 24 years ago, Coral Springs was a special place to raise a family. Competition at that time from surrounding cities did not compare with Coral Springs.
“I want to help connect the Coral Springs of 20 years ago while taking it forward into the future. I want to bring innovative, out-of-the-box ideas and make our city, “Everything Under the Sun.” I want to make sure our police and fire are the best. Make our schools safe.”
Kasten is a high school graduate with some college courses. He is a licensed insurance agent and president of Creative Financial Property & Casualty Group, LLC, out of Fort Lauderdale. He is also the vice-chair of the Coral Springs Redevelopment Association — or CRA, which is responsible for the redevelopment of the downtown.
Kasten wants to make schools safe, make the city business-friendly, continue to redevelop the downtown, redevelop the industrial park to help build a strong business community, and keep citizens’ taxes as low as possible. He also wants to create better transparency for citizens and advocate for them.
Nancy Metayer and her family has called Coral Springs their home since 1997. She started her advocacy journey in 2010 after witnessing the cholera epidemic in Haiti, where people were dying because they did not have access to clean water. From that moment on, she was committed to ensuring that everyone was treated fairly.
“By gaining a better understanding of how our government functions, I quickly realized how meaningful changes could happen through policy. I have been working across different levels of our government to make changes for the better.”
Metayer earned a bachelor of science in environmental science from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a master’s of health science from Johns Hopkins University.
She is currently a consultant for NEO Philanthropy, which describes itself as a public charity committed to building strong social justice movements and works part-time as an assistant to Tamarac City Commissioner Mike Gelin.
She said she wants the same things everyone else does — a Coral Springs where everyone can thrive.
“I want to sit on the dais because it is time to prioritize the voices and the interests of everyday people and the new generation.”
Joe Morera has lived in Coral Springs for the last 22 years with his wife, Gina. As a first-generation Cuban-American, Morera values the freedoms our country affords and the opportunities it presents.
He is running for city commissioner, Seat 3, to act as an agent of change in improving the lives and safety of the community and said his 21 years of active contribution as a volunteer had led him to this point.
“I am not a politician. I am an involved resident embracing the opportunity to directly and actively impact the future of Coral Springs.”
Morera is a high school graduate who has taken numerous business courses. Currently, he works as the brands’ operations manager for ES Cosmetics International, LLC, in Miami.
He also is the president of the Sunshine Water Control District (SWCD), which he said has prepared him for negotiating contracts, balancing budgets, and addressing critical issues that affect the residents.
“Local government impacts our lives with every decision it makes. I have no professional conflict or future aspirations other than serving my community with care, common sense, and the commitment I have demonstrated for the last 21 years as a volunteer.”
City Commission Seat 5
Joy Carter has been a Coral Springs resident for 35 years and has served as city commissioner for Seat 5 since 2014, after running for Tom Power’s seat after he left to run in an unsuccessful bid for mayor.
Carter wants a shot at another term to continue the mission of service and planning, and to keep Coral Springs on a path of resilience.
“This is done through maintenance and repurposing,” she said. “It’s a privilege to be able to listen and assist where I can.”
Carter has attended “some college,” she wrote, but her experience and knowledge come from being a real estate agent where she’s rated in the top two percent of agents in the nation. She is also a certified residential specialist and a graduate of Good Government and annual ethics training.
She stays on top of residents’ requests through email and social media because they are a part of the process, which requires a flexible work schedule that allows her to be present.
“As a Realtor, I have a team and a supportive family that allows me to be present to serve. I have invested five years and four months in this process. There is no learning curve for me to serve four more years.”
Natalie Cathy Remy
We did not hear back from Seat 5 candidates Natalie Cathy Remy and Douglas Caires despite two emails.
Scott Brook – We did not hear back from candidate Scott Brooke despite two emails.
Interested in Running for Office?
Candidates who are interested in running in the November 3, 2020, General Election must qualify between noon Monday, June 8 through noon Friday, June 12. City Clerk Debra Thomas would like potential candidates to know that they should not accept any money until they’ve gone to her office and filled out a form. Call her at 954-344-1067 with any questions.
Interested candidates must be an eligible voter and have resided in Coral Springs in the last six months.