CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Outside of Coral Springs City Hall, on a portable stage set up to prevent the spread of Covid-19, three members of the new City Commission asked residents Thursday evening to support their visions of inclusion and civic engagement.
With a slight wind blowing across the Great Lawn, a selected crowd of family members, friends and elected officials kept their distance as Mayor Scott Brook, Vice Mayor Joy Carter, and new Commissioner Nancy Metayer took their oaths of office in the swearing-in ceremony and hit on themes about staying united in the face of political division and continued spread of the coronavirus.
One of the hour-long ceremony’s most poignant moments came when Metayer’s grandmother, Marie Therese, swore in Metayer and spoke to her in their native Haitian Creole. Metayer is the commission’s first Haitian-American member and only the second Black member.
Brook, who was re-elected and ran unopposed, talked about the importance of uniting the community and appreciating the city’s diversity, particularly the fact that minorities now make up the majority of the population.
He also stressed the need to get more youth involved in all facets of community life and discussed challenges facing Coral Springs including the distribution of the soon-to-come Covid-19 vaccine to residents.
“I’m committed to lead with love,” he said.
Carter, who was re-elected and beat one challenge in her race for Seat #5, stressed that she, too, wants to keep supporting efforts to get youth – as well as senior citizens – more active in city affairs.
She said being a commissioner is a “platform” to create “good for all.”
“It’s a privilege and honor that I’ll always be grateful for,” Carter said.
Metayer, who defeated five candidates in the race for Seat #3 held by term-limited Commissioner Larry Vignola, thanked the “strong women” in her family and all women who have run for office across South Florida for paving the way for her victory.
She didn’t touch on her views on social justice topics she ran on during the campaign, including police reform that brought on attacks from Coral Springs Fraternal Order of Police.
Instead, Metayer focused on the “many firsts” in her win. She spoke to residents thanking them for opening their doors during the pandemic to listen to her story.
“I will serve my community with integrity and compassion,” she said. “I am one of you. Thank you for accepting me as a leader.”
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