It’s been eight years since Walter “Skip” Campbell has been a political notable. Now he’s returned.
Voters on Tuesday picked Campbell — who served in the state Senate from 1996 to 2006, when term limits forced him out — as the next city’s mayor. His challenger was Commissioner Tom Powers.
Powers was a vocal supporter of the city’s downtown redevelopment efforts, but Campbell criticized plans to build a $28 million City Hall and parking complex he nicknamed the “Taj Mahal.”
Campbell campaigned on a promise to let voters have a say on the size, cost and location of the controversial project before it’s built.
“There are winners and losers and thank God I won,” Campbell said late Tuesday. “Coral Springs wanted to go in a different direction. I’m excited for a new future.”
Campbell replaces Vincent Boccard, who is leaving office because of term limits. Powers had resigned from his commission seat to run for mayor, so he will no longer be on the commission.
Joy Carter, who was elected to Powers’ commission seat, also opposes the proposed location of the new City Hall at the southwest corner of Sample Road and University Drive. Laurette Homan and Andy Holz were unsuccessful in their bid for the seat.
“My first thought was, ‘I have to go to work!'” said Carter, who campaigned to promote incentives to attract businesses to the city’s corporate park. “I have so much I have to accomplish. This is all about Coral Springs. I am so privileged. I am so lucky and so blessed.”
Lisa J. Huriash Coral Springs wants visitors to do more than shop and eat at its planned downtown it wants them to spend the night. And to do that, it plans to build an upscale hotel, a movie theater and urban housing. Coral Springs wants visitors to do more than shop and eat at its planned downtown it wants them to spend the night. And to do that, it plans to build an upscale hotel, a movie theater and urban housing. ( Lisa J. Huriash ) –>
In the election to replace outgoing Commissioner Claudette Bruck, voters chose Lou Cimaglia Jr., best known for trying to bring a traveling war memorial to the city, and who had big-name endorsements, including the majority of the current city commission and the police and fire unions.
Outspoken activist Howard Melamed, who has aggressively campaigned to rein in city spending and publicly criticized the city for paying for the new city hall with a type of bond that doesn’t require voter approval, lost that race.
“Wow,” Cimaglia said. “I think I aged 10 years in the last 20 minutes. I am just thrilled. And I just can’t wait to get to work.”
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