By: Sharon Aron Baron
The week-long period to qualify to be a candidate as Coral Springs next mayor is now over and four residents have thrown their hat into the ring: Scott J. Brook, Vince Boccard, Kurt Gardner and Nancy Metayer.
The special election will be held on March 12. We interviewed the candidates after the noon deadline today and we found out a little about them and why they want to be the next mayor of Coral Springs.
Former commissioner and mayor Vince Boccard wants to see the vision that he had for the city come to fruition. He served as commissioner from 2006 – 2012 and was elected mayor in 2012, serving a two-year term.
A resident since 1998, Boccard lives in The Clusters. Originally from Miami, he attended Miami Dade Community College for two years. He works as a homebuilder with Boccard Homes & Kessler Construction located in the corporate park.
Since being termed out of office, Boccard said he has sat back and watched carefully what was happening in Coral Springs, even considering running for mayor in 2020.
“I really care about the residents and the city. I have a 10-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old granddaughter in the school system and my mother is a senior in Coral Springs.”
He said he doesn’t want to change anything, he just wants to further the vision of having a cutting-edge fire and police department, beautiful aesthetics of the city, economic development and fiscal responsibility.
Boccard said the city needs a jumpstart in economic development and that would help lower the tax base.
“I believe in safety in our schools and in our parks. We were really in competition with other cities and we had to see how we could attract families to the city. This is what the citizens told us they wanted.”
Boccard said he’s not an armchair guy. As a blue-collar worker, citizen input is important through dialogue.
“I’m also the type of mayor who would go to your place of business or go to your house instead of pushing it off to a staff member.”
Scott J. Brook
Former mayor Scott J. Brook, who served as a city commissioner in 2002 and then as mayor from 2006 to 2010 has decided to run again.
A father of five children and grandfather to three boys, he advocates for families and parents as a partner in the Coral Springs law firm Brodzki, Jacobs, & Brook.
Brook grew up in New York City and graduated with a BS and MBA from Tulane University. He went on to earn his law degree from the University of Miami in 1992.
A 21-year resident, he lives in Mariner’s Cove after moving to Coral Springs after meeting his wife and her three children.
“I love our city. I think our city is amazing,” he said. “I raised my five children here and I think I can help bridge the divide, and welcome the opportunity.”
Brook said that one of his major commitments is to complete the downtown area, and wants it done with a greater sense of urgency. He wants to exceed the proposed area on the SW corner of Sample Road and University Drive and work with both the city and developers about the completion.
One of the committees Brook created as mayor was the Customer Involved Government Committee. His hope is to continue to bring more people to the table to learn more about government. Also, he’d like to have a Budget Academy so citizens can learn more about the budget, line items, and saving money.
Brook believes property taxes need to be kept low.
“Aspirationally, it would be great if we could if we could lower taxes.”
Originally from Glen Burnie, Maryland, Gardner and his wife moved to the Forest Hills area of Coral Springs five years after they researched the city after living a short time in Pembroke Pines.
“It’s a great city and it does a lot well,” he said, adding that there were some tweaks that could be made without raising property taxes.
Gardner holds a BS in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. A brand development consultant, he said the city needs to improve for its commercial residents.
“We need to recognize that there is competition from other cities for those jobs.”
Gardner, who has only attended a “couple meetings” and is not on any government committees, is involved with the Saint Andrews Men’s Club. As a new father, he said he’d rather spend his spare time with his young son.
“I’m a younger guy. I have a two-year-old, so I’m interested in the viability of this city for the next 30 or more years,” he said.
His goal would be to try to draw in those companies that bring in the six-figure salaries.
“This is what the city needs to do to get better for its commercial residents. We need to recognize that there is competition from other cities for those jobs,” he said. “By having a mayor and commissioner to advocate the city of the future instead of a footnote, that’s what I want to be as mayor.”
Metayer, grew up in the city and attended Coral Springs Charter School from 6th – 12th grade where she graduated with honors in 2006.
Recently elected as a board member to the Broward County Soil and Water Conservation, Metayer, who lives in Westview Estates, said she has dedicated the majority of her life to public service.
She holds a bachelor of science in environmental sciences from Florida A&M University and a master of health science from Johns Hopkins University. She went on to hold internships with Representatives Ari Porth and Audrey Gibson in the Florida House and in the Senate with Bill Nelson.
In 2011, she served as White House intern in a division which helped place staff in the environmental department agency.
Working as a state-wide climate justice program manager for a nonprofit, Metayer took a leave of absence to run for the office of mayor.
“I was doing research on local politics and did a background check on two former politicians, and I felt like we shouldn’t go back in the past.”
She believes she has the skills and energy to bring to the city.
“I have lived here my entire my life. It’s time for a new generation of leaders to step up.”
One of Metayer’s goals would be to revitalize the look of the city – in an environmentally sustainable way. She said she wants to make sure the city’s infrastructure reflects the time that we live in. A lover of art, she also wants to make sure it remains a staple in Coral Springs.
“That’s what makes us so special is that we have our own museum and performing arts center.”