In the City of Oakland Park, the Mayoral and Vice Mayoral seat are rotated between Commissioners each year. This past Wednesday, November 20th, Matt Sparks, Oakland Park Vice-Mayor was sworn in as Mayor. Jane Bolin was sworn in as Vice Mayor. Both Sparks and Bolin will serve as Mayor and Vice Mayor respectively until next November.
Meet Mayor Sparks
Background and Political Career
Matt Sparks hails to South Florida form Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to the City of Oakland Park website, Mayor Sparks “… has always been politically active. He grew up in small town in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Between the ages of 12 and 16, he helped his family build a home. He learned the value of hard work at an early age and was told “If you don’t like it, fix it” and “Don’t get angry, get active!“.
Mayor Sparks studied at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising where he earned an associates degree. In 2016 he graduated from the City of Oakland Park’s Local Government Academy (LGA).
Mayor Sparks, a 21 year veteran of American Airlines, became an Oakland Park City Commissioner after a highly contested election in 2016.
After he won the election, Sparks shared with South Florida Gay News:
“I don’t fit into a pretty box,” he said. “I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I believe in a hand up and not a hand out. I believe in helping those less fortunate. It is important to help people get to a point where they can be self sustaining.”
More recently on his Facebook page he announced his intention to run for re-election in 2020.
“It is my pleasure to Officially announce that I am running for re-election during my Mayoral year. I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to represent the resident’s of the Great City of Oakland Park. I wanted to make this known as people have begun asking and I wanted everyone to hear it from me. Let’s keep “The Spark in the Park” and I look forward to a Campaign Kick-off Party (TBA) and meeting the needs of all the residents as well as helping to guide Oakland Park into it’s 2nd Century”.
Mayor Sparks is a member of The LGA Class of 2016, Adopt-A-Street Coordinator and Volunteer, Kiwanis Club of Oakland Park, Volunteer Corps of Oakland Park, The Boys On 13th and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida Volunteer.
Personal Life & Interests
On December 15, 2016 Mayor Sparks married Scott Hindley. The Mayor and his husband lived in Wilton Manors before making Oakland Park their home. Mayor Sparks’s husband is a member of Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, an organization for which Mayor Sparks is also a volunteer.
Mayor Sparks is also passionate support of animal adoption and antique car aficionado.