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Oakland Park Has a New Mayor!

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. 

Mayor Sparks and Vice Mayor Bolin talk before the Commission Meeting on November 20, 2019.

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 poses with his husband, Scott Hindley, and his in-laws just before he is sworn in as Mayor.

Mayor Sparks is also passionate support of animal adoption and antique car aficionado. 

On any given day you may see Mayor Sparks around town in this ’65 Mustang.

Be a part of Oakland Park online!

* is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

Desiree Avila


Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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