CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The qualifying period for the election to the Coral Springs City Commission ended Friday, and here are the results, according to the City of Coral Springs City Clerk office.

- Mayor Scott Brook will remain as mayor in Seat #1 (two-year term) because he had no challengers.

- Six candidates will face off in the Nov. 3 general election in the race for commission Seat #3 (four-year term): Randal Cutter, Nancy Metayer, Noor Fawzy,  Jose "Joe" Morera, Andy Kasten, and Abel Pena. The seat is now held by Commissioner Larry Vignola who is term-limited and can’t seek re-election.

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- Two candidates will face off in the Nov. 3 general election in the race for commission Seat #5 (four-year term): Vice Mayor Joy Carter and Cathy Remy.

Below are the candidate profiles of Brook, Carter, Cutter, Metayer, Fawzy, Morera and Kasten. Pena and Remy could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Here is the breakdown for salaries and benefits:

- Salary for mayor: $38,304 in salary and allowances (including travel, registration/conferences, and local event participation)

- Salary for commissioners: $30,802 in salary and allowances (including travel, registration/conferences, and local event participation)

- Mayor and commissioners are also eligible for health care benefits

There are more than 80,000 eligible voters in Coral Springs.

 

SEAT #1: SCOTT BROOK

Age: 56

Occupation: Attorney

Education : BS Psychology Tulane University 1985; MBA Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business, 1987; University of Miami School of Law, 1992

History of serving in public office: City Commissioner from March, 2002 - March, 2006; Mayor, March 2006 - November, 2010; and Mayor, March 2019-Present

1) Why are you seeking re-election on the City Commission? I am seeking to be re-elected as Mayor in order to continue the progress we have made with keeping our residents safe, to help guide our community through these current crises and to complete the vision of a vibrant downtown. I am committed to do so with prudent fiscal leadership. 

2) What have you accomplished in your term so far? During this term, I have:

1. One of 40 International Mayors chosen for Bloomberg/Harvard Leadership Program

2. Founder, Mental Wellness Networking Alliance

3. Co- Leader of over 10 Youth Leadership Programs

4. Engaged in each of five impactful Power of Art Programs

5. Economic Recovery Task Force

6. Participant in numerous nationwide calls/meetings to help guide our city through current pandemic

7. Hosted extended office hours with more than 40 participants to address current social issues

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. The issues I care most about are our current physical, mental and financial well-being of our community and my commitment to continue to foster unity in the community. Our collective well-being and unity are my most important issues because I love our unique diverse community with all of my heart and I have no doubt that we are much stronger when we are united than when we are divided. Experience in crisis management with an excellent team and collaborating with our citizens and small businesses will help our city recover from our current challenges and provide sustenance for a strong future for all 130,000 of us.

4) What would be your first public action if you are re-elected? If re-elected, my first public action would be to form two committees - a Citizens Budget Committee and a Youth Committee and along with a Youth Council. Our citizens should be more involved and aware of the intricacies of our finances. The engagement and empowerment of our youth will help take our City to greater heights.

 

SEAT #3: RANDAL CUTTER

Age: 60

Occupation: Pastor and Business Manager at New Dawn Community Church

Education: Master’s Degree, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin

Run for public office before?

-Broward Commission 2016, but did not win.

-Coral Springs Commission special election 2019, but did not win (came in second out of six candidates).

1) Why are you running for the commission seat? I am running for the Coral Springs Commission because Coral Springs, as good a city as it is today, can become an even better place. I came to Coral Springs in 1987. 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 at an even higher level.

2) What qualifications do you have for public office?

I have been actively involved in the city of Coral Springs for 33 years. I have served as a chaplain for the Coral Springs Police Department, with the Coral Springs Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee on its National Day of Prayer Committee since 2004, on the city’s Customer Involved Government Committee for the past several years. I have participated in a broad variety of leadership and citizen involvement opportunities in the community over three decades. I have been a member of the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce for the past several years, and am also active in several of Mayor Scott Brook's personal initiatives, the Veterans Networking Alliance and the Mental Wellness Networking Alliance. In addition, I have co-chaired the Clergy Coalition of Coral Spring and Parkland since 2002, working to bring a spirit of unity to the community, and to help the community overcome the painful issues of our recent past.

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. Issue One: It is extremely important that we continue to keep Coral Springs affordable for its residents, especially in view of the economic stress caused by the pandemic. It saddens me when I speak to a resident who is considering a move out of our city because they can no longer afford the taxes and fees. Issue Two: The only way to do this, and to continue to support our amazing Police and Fire Departments, our beautiful parks, and our many other wonderful amenities, is to adopt an aggressive strategy of business development in our downtown areas and in our corporate park. If we press forward on this issue, we can keep Coral Springs affordable and maintain the levels of excellence we have all come to appreciate.

4) What would be your first public action if you are elected? Many commissioners who are first elected to office must spend a great deal of their first year learning how the city works. I would be able to press for a pro-growth agenda from day one because of my extensive involvement in the city and familiarity with the city over the years. It is vitally important that the next commissioner who sits in Seat 3 has a pro-business agenda that helps the city meet its budget, especially in view of the shortfalls in budgetary funds due to the pandemic. Without this approach, which is a pro-resident approach, property taxes will continue to increase to meet the many important needs in our city.

SEAT #3: NANCY METAYER

Age: 32

Occupation: Florida Coalition Manager, NEO Philanthropy 

Education:  I graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, and from Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Master of Health Science in Environmental Health.

Run for public office before? I ran for Mayor in the 2019 Coral Springs Special Election. Elections were held on March 12, 2019. With only 8,098 voters, I came in second with 2,290 votes in a 4-way race. 

1) Why are you running for the commission seat? I want the same thing everyone else wants: a Coral Springs where everyone can thrive, a city that is innovative when addressing economic growth, public safety, and sustainability. I want to lead by prioritizing the voices and interests of Coral Springs residents.

2) What qualifications do you have for public office? My background and my experiences make me uniquely qualified to succeed in the role of Coral Springs Commissioner. I’ve worked with elected officials for nearly a decade supporting and implementing policies, which promote fair and just societies at the local, state and federal level. I have served in the FL House of Representatives, the US Senate, and the White House. My most valuable qualification is that I have been working in my community and communities around South Florida for years and I understand the issues of everyday people and I truly care about making life better.

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. The challenges Coral Springs faces are real. First, we must find ways to accommodate our growing and aging population. We are quickly running out of space for our seniors in the city and unless we purchase new property, and upgrade our current facilities we will be faced with a crisis.

Second, we must continue our development with environmental sustainability in mind and figure how we will keep ourselves safe. Our city is growing and the long-term effects of climate change will not skip us. I want to invest in ways to make our city more resilient and safe such as creating more sidewalks, bike paths, and canopies for bus stops to protect from extreme heat. With experienced, bold, and unrelenting leadership, I am ready to tackle these issues with my neighbors in Coral Springs.

4) What would be your first public action if you are elected? During my first 90 days, I will continue cultivating relationships with neighbors and city staff. Community building is crucial because it’s how I’ll ensure I’m doing the job I was elected to do. I will hold virtual conversations, meet and greets, and office hours so I am always connected to the issues in Coral Springs. I will listen and turn needs into solutions. Lastly, I will begin drafting a plan that moves our city towards decreasing its dependency on fossil fuels.

SEAT #3: NOOR FAWZY

Age: 29

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, summa cum laude, from Florida Atlantic University, and my Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, from the Florida International University College of Law.

Run for public office before? No.

Why are you running for the commission seat? Recent developments have confirmed that decision-makers outside the city do not always offer model policymaking guidance for Coral Springs, and given the profound impact of local politics on our day-to-day lives, we should not wait on others to make policy decisions for us. I am running for public office because I want Coral Springs to take the lead on local policy, and I want to help lead Coral Springs to become the model city for good local government in Broward County and beyond. 

What qualifications do you have for public office? (1) I am an attorney. I work for a statewide civil litigation firm. As an attorney, I am judged by my ability to deliver the excellent results to my clients based on the exercise of sound and correct judgment. That matters, because a commissioner is a policymaker, and good policymaking can only be accomplished by those who have sound and correct judgment, which is what I work hard to offer my clients day in and day out. Additionally, as an attorney with prior experience working in local government, I am also able to navigate the jurisdictional differences between city, county, and state authority in a manner which will enable us to put our residents first. (2) Importantly, my family and I have lived in Coral Springs for 20 years. I grew up here. I went to school here. I played sports here. That makes me a product of Coral Springs. Homegrown leadership is the way to move the city forward and bring lasting, positive impact to our city.

Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. (1) Our spending practices. Our residents work hard to earn a living, and they pay a lot of money into our budget to keep the city up and running. Our commissioners owe it to our residents to provide the most value for their tax dollars. To that end, we must ensure that we are properly allocating our city's financial resources, authorizing expenditures on only those items and services that are necessary and beneficial for our residents, such as much-needed infrastructure improvements as one example, in order to maximize the quality of services in our city. (2) Our youth. They are the future of our city. One of the best ways to invest in our youth is to maximize access to, and increase their involvement in, our city's excellent recreation programs. This will increase their level of civic engagement in the city, benefit their cognition and well-being, and help to divert them away from harmful activities such as substance abuse and violent behavior.

What would be your first public action if you are elected? (1) At the city level, I, in conjunction with my future fellow commissioners and our city manager, will work with the appropriate city staff to improve the construction and design of the city to promote traffic safety, decrease traffic at intersections, and reduce the response time for our first responders. (2) At the county and state levels, I would push to implement cognitive behavioral therapy programs in our schools to train students to adopt healthy responses to negative thought patterns that lead one to engage in aggressive or violent behavior or self-harm behavior. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is known to be effective at treating various mental health issues, including anxiety, stress, and depression, and, since violence is a learned behavior, it can also be effectively applied to achieve the prevention of violence in all its forms. I would push to make cognitive behavioral therapy a required part of the K through 12 school curriculum. 

 

SEAT #3: Jose “Joe” Morera

Age: 62

Occupation: Brand Operations Manager

Education: High School graduate with various business courses at the college level

Run for public office before? Yes. Sunshine Water Control District (SWCD)

  • Position (currently held): President of the Board of Supervisors
  • Initially elected in 2009
  • Re-elected in 2012, 2015, and 2018

1) Why are you running for the commission seat? As a Cuban American, I value the opportunities our country affords us. I’m running for City Commissioner, to act as an agent of change, improving the lives and safety of our community. I am not a politician, just an involved resident, embracing the opportunity to impact the future of Coral Springs.

2) What qualifications do you have for public office? My years of cross-functional executive experience in the corporate world, along with my tenure as president of SWCD, have prepared me for negotiating contracts and balancing budgets. For 22 years I have given back to and improved our community through my participation on city boards and non-profits, enhancing the lives of Coral Springs residents. This has given me a deep understanding of important issues affecting our community and makes me uniquely qualified to advocate for our residents.

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. Coral Springs is not immune to the economic impact of recent events. We need to shore up the future success of local businesses, removing burdensome regulations and fees that stifle them and our residents. Further exploring grant opportunities can get businesses back on sure footing while moving forward with our downtown project, keeping Coral Springs active and thriving. Anticipating tight budgets, it’s important that the commission be mindful of the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. Continuing support of our first responders, schools, parks, and maintaining the quality of life Coral Springs is known for is important. To keep resources flowing to these areas, I would look to review and identify where we can reduce costs.

4) What would be your first public action if you are elected? There are many issues of importance to me and the residents of our city - safety, diversity and inclusion, maintaining city aesthetics, and the expansion of downtown to name a few. These are ongoing, long-term projects which I will give my voice to as a commissioner. Once elected, my attention would be given to providing solutions to the issues most relevant to our business owners and residents at that time.

One idea I will bring to the Commission as soon as is feasible, expanding our Senior Involvement Committee to include a Senior Assistance Program. Having had recent interaction with local seniors and with my own 100-year-old mother in mind, this issue is near and dear to my heart and I see the need for these services to be more easily accessible. I hope to gain the support of the commission as this proposal should have minimal impact to staff and city resources, and a large impact on our senior residents letting them know that they will not be left behind as we continue working towards the future.

 

SEAT #3: ANDY KASTEN

Age: 60

Occupation: Insurance agent license to sell all lines.

Education: Some college, Franklin Pierce College, University of North Alabama, Fairleigh Dickinson, all studies in Business and Economics.

Run for public office before?  No.  

1) Why are you running for the commission seat? I have been living in Coral Springs for 25 years and raised two children here. I have been a board member for 10 years and am the past chair of the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce.  I have served as a board member, and currently vice chair of the Coral Springs Redevelopment Agency for the past 6 years.   I want to continue the work that I have done thus far by bringing my expertise in business to help build a more economically stable path for our business owners.  Continue to create our downtown for our citizens and help businesses locate to our industrial park.  Focusing on these things will create more job opportunities for our citizens and thus create a robust tax base so that we can continue to keep our property taxes low and allow us to be the city to live, work and play in.  Make us live up to our motto “Everything Under the Sun.”

2) What qualifications do you have for public office? For 10 years, I was involved in a family owned clothing manufacturing business. We were a $32 million USA manufacturer and had 350 employees. I know what it takes to run a large company and deal with a diverse collection of people. As past chair of the Coral Springs Chamber and past six years as a CRA Board member, I have been working with and listening to our citizens and business owners, I understand their needs. I have many business connections with small and medium-size business owners which are the backbone of our community. I would like to lend that experience to our current commission which would be beneficial to our residents.  

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. Maintain a unique, diversified family-oriented community with great city services, safe schools, parks and entertainment venues.  Secondly create a thriving business environment, we need to bring back dollars to our city so we can continue to maintain top notch services and keep out taxes low.

4) What would be your first public action if you are elected? Due to the COVID crisis and a probable $6 million budget shortfall, I would work with our city staff and current commission to create programs to help our current struggling businesses owners stay in business. Work and create ways to encourage business to relocate to our industrial park which would create needed jobs and thus tax dollars for our city.

 

SEAT #5: JOY CARTER

Age: 61

Occupation: Team Leader for The GreatFloridaHomes Team at Keller Williams Realty Coral Springs.

Education: Some college - I graduated from high school early but decided to forgo finishing college as its purpose was to get a "good paying job" and I did have that while attending college, so I opted to put more time and energy into my work, which turned out to be a good choice. I do believe in higher education and have stayed the course in both real estate and city government to continue to find better ways to process through initiatives.  

History of serving in public office. First elected in 2014 for a remaining term of two years. I did not want to be committed to four years if I could not do the job that was expected of me. Having never been in politics, I was not sure. By the end of the first year, I was certain that I could help more people. I ran again, unopposed.

1) Why are you seeking re-election on the City Commission? I don't feel I have completed my mission of service and education. Educating residents on how to get things done that are important to them is a passion of mine. Prior to being elected, like most, if my taxes were reasonable and I felt safe, I was good! There is so much more to running a city.

2) What have you accomplished in your term so far? Expansion of the online permitting process. When I started in 2014, requests were still by fax, when those details should have been online for viewing as they are now. Due to the stay in place order the building department now has 92 permits that can be obtained online. A remarkable collaboration by city staff.

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. Funding new programs for seniors and youth. Being landlocked is a challenge in providing new locations for services. Revising or re-purposing needs to be continued. Perception of city government and its role for caring for its residents is often misunderstood and I welcome the opportunity to share this for a better understanding.

4) What would be your first public action if you are re-elected? Expanding senior programming as many residents are aging in place. We have added many new programs, but partnering with AARP there is an opportunity to make our city more age-friendly. This is all ages. If a sidewalk is wide enough for a wheelchair, it is wide enough for a stroller.

 

SEAT #5: CATHY REMY 

Age: 38

Occupation:

- Pastor of The Glory Center

- Advance Registered Nurse Practitioner

At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Dan Marino Center

Education:

2005: Associate of Science in Nursing, Broward Community College

2007: Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, Florida Atlantic University

2011: Master’s of Science in Nursing, Florida International University

Have you run for office before? No.

 

1) Why are you running for the commissioner seat? I believe this is a perfect opportunity to be a voice for this great community. As we gear to advancing in unknown territories due to Covid-19, it is my hope to contribute to our city’s framework towards recovery, preservation, and restoration.

 

2) What qualifications do you have for public office? My experience in politics is not vast, but my knowledge of advocacy, policies, drawing solutions and implementing interventions from my experience in the medical field is considerable. I have worked as a registered nurse for  six years at Broward Health Medical Center, and then after obtaining my Master’s of Science in Nursing in the year 2011, I become an advance practice nurse practitioner. This amplified my capacity to understand the importance of taking the lead, advocating for my client, and the significance of a multidisciplinary approach to improve patient outcomes. In the same way, I am fully aware, that advocating for the constituents of Coral Springs, and combining forces with the community is instrumental in fulfilling the mission and vision of this remarkable city.

Together, with the residents and business owners of Coral Springs, we can attain the goal of sustaining its legacy of a wonderful city to reside, work, manage a business and raise a family.

 

3) Describe two issues related to Coral Springs that you care most about, and why. Improving the working relationship with our community businesses and the local government. Prioritizing what needs our local businesses have during this unprecedented time, streamlining policies, implementing plans that will alleviate further distress and reduction of strain. Thus, allotting a forging ahead to a place of stability and growth. When we support stimulation of the economy, we contribute to the wellbeing and overall success of the community.

Coral Springs has always promoted a solid front, and going forward, how we continue to display our solidarity in preserving the legacy of our city will be foundational for the future of Coral Springs. When we combine our efforts to work towards a city that speaks family, compassion, unity, and integrity, we can anticipate a sound that is harmonious.

4) What would be your first public action if you are elected? Uplifting our City is essential, and creating a sense of destination in our town will contribute to this. Another aspect of strengthening our community is ensuring our schools have resources in place such as safety measures, and protocols in the event unanticipated school closures were to occur.

Ultimately, I look forward to when we can return to a place where social distancing is replaced with greeting our friends with a hug, and associates with a handshake, all while enjoying our new downtown, Coral Spring’s sunny disposition. Additionally, I look forward to meeting with the residents of this city, and joining forces to empower our community.  

 

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