WCOM NEWS

6-11-05

 

Miramar advises Aug. 30 election

 

Winner would replace official on suspension

 

MIRAMAR--A special election to replace suspended Miramar Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman could be held as early as Aug. 30.

That's the date the city's staff will recommend at Wednesday's commission meeting, said Tim Kennett, the city's administrative officer.

 

If commissioners agree, qualification would take place between noon on July 11 and noon July 15.

Gov. Jeb Bush suspended Salesman on June 3, after he was charged with driving under the influence and eluding a police officer. Under Miramar's charter, the city must conduct a special election within 90 days.

 

Miramar police arrested Salesman, 48, on April 30, not far from his house and charged him with DUI, speeding, and running two stop signs. Salesman has said he is confident he will be exonerated and regain his seat.

If he's found not guilty and the governor reinstates him, the person elected to fill Salesman's seat would have vacate the position.

The Aug. 30 recommendation is being made in part because Plantation could possibly have its special election on the same date.

Plantation's election is to replace Commissioner Bruce Edwards, who resigned recently for business and personal reasons.

Kennett said initial estimates showed that a special election could cost about $75,000, but he said that figure could be a lot less if the city shares an election date, since the elections are handled by the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office.

Miramar Commissioner Troy Samuels said he had mixed feelings about the August date.

"I think it's a good thing if it will save us money in the long run," he said.

But he's concerned that because commissioners may have a second vote on the controversial proposal to build a Wal-Mart on Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road the week after the proposed election date, a new commissioner would not have enough time to catch up on the issue.

The election for Salesman's seat could be heated.

Already, at least four of the 13 candidates who ran in March say they're considering running again.

Those former candidates include former Commissioner Sallie Stephens, teacher and 3-D animator John Moore, sales representative Alex Casas and airline crew chief Wendy Murray.

(source) Sun Sentinel (Georgia East) 6-11-05