By: Sharon Aron Baron
Interested residents who would like a seat on the Coral Springs commission have until June 12 to make their decision.
There are several seats up for the November 3, 2020 election, including the mayoral and two commission seats. So far, in the mayor’s race, Mayor Scott Brook is the only one who has opened a campaign account.
For Seat 3, termed-out, Commissioner Larry Vignola is stepping down, which has attracted five candidates, and two residents who were challenging Seat 5 Commissioner Joy Carter no longer have active accounts, leaving her seat safe for now.
These are paid positions. For instance, the mayor in Coral Springs earns $37,107.24, and city commissioners earn $28,844.83. This package includes an expense allowance, travel, leadership development, conference allowances, local events participation, cellphone allowance, and $75,000 in basic life insurance. They may also opt for health insurance for themselves or their families at an additional cost.
If a seat does not attract a challenger, then the person occupying it wins by default — or unopposed.
After serving as a city commissioner in 2002 and then as mayor from 2006 to 2010, Brook won the seat again in 2019 with 37 percent of the vote. This special election was due to the untimely death of Mayor Skip Campbell, whose term ended in 2020.
Brook has lived in Coral Springs for 23 years and holds a bachelor of science in psychology and an MBA from Tulane University. He graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and has a family law practice in Coral Springs.
He’s running again to be mayor because he loves the city, enjoys working with a great team at the city, and is grateful that he and his wife have been able to raise their five children in Coral Springs.
“I want to continue the progress with our downtown,” he wrote. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as mayor. The opportunity to serve our population is a blessing. With all of my children now grown, I have even more time to devote our city, and I want to continue to give back.”
If re-elected, Brook wants to ensure his commitment to public safety, and continue to be an integral part of the recovery through and after the current crisis and continue to help those impacted by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy.
“I am proud to have represented our city as its mayor for almost six years in total, and I have been blessed to work with a team of caring professionals throughout my tenure,” and added that he is committed to continuing the progress that has been made over the years.
One of his goals is to give youth a greater role in the community and also see more connections made with Veterans.
“I love the sports leagues, parks, entertainment facilities and restaurants we have in our city. I would like to do everything I can to help them to thrive. Ultimately, I would love to continue to work on and with the commission as it is a labor of love and very rewarding to be connected to such a caring and appreciative citizenry.”
According to his last campaign report, Brook has raised $24,108.70. His expenditures are $8,352.29, which includes $1,993.91 for catering and $1,277 for meals and beverages. He now has a net of $15,756.41 in available campaign funds going forward.
City Commission Seat 3
Randal Cutter has worked in the community for 33 years and has lived in the city for 19.
He 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 also performed 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.
“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.”
According to his last campaign report, Cutter has raised $12,705.00, which includes $4,000 from family members. After expenditures of $1,146. 17, he has a net of $11,558.83.
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 earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science, summa cum laude, from Florida Atlantic University and earned her law degree from the Florida International University College of Law.
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 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.”
Fawzy has raised the most so far for a Seat 3 candidate with $16,644.00. This includes a $1,000 loan to herself. After expenditures of $3,301.21, she has a net $13,342.79.
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.
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.
He is running for office because 24 years ago, Coral Springs was a special place to raise a family, and competition at that time from surrounding cities did not compare.
“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 wants to 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.
So far, Kastan has raised $9,051, which includes a $100 loan to himself. After $2,132.05 in expenditures, he has a net of $6,918.95.
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 a community engagement liaison 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.”
So far, Metayer has raised $11,705.00, which includes a $100 loan to herself, $1,070 from family, and $1,000 from her current employer, Commissioner Mike Gelin. With $1,736.21 in expenditures, she has so far netted $9,968.79.
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.”
Morera has raised $9,195.59, which includes a $3,040 loan to himself. His expenditures are $1,667.67, leaving him with a net of $7,527.92.
City Commission Seat 5
Joy Carter has been a Coral Springs resident for 35 years and has served as a city commissioner for Seat 5 since 2014.
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. 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 with Great Florida Homes at Keller Williams.
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.”
Carter has raised $11,810, which includes a $100 loan to herself, and $1,000 from the fraternal order of police and $1,000 from the firefighters union. She has only spent $985.01, leaving her with a net of $10,824.99.
Interested in Running for Office?
Candidates who are interested in running for 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 have contacted 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 for the past six months.
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