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Oakland Park City Commission Elections: How do They Work?

On November 3rd Oakland Park residents will vote in three new City Commissioners. The three winners will join the current incumbent Commissioners, Vice Mayor Jane Bolin and Michael Carn on the dais as the elected representatives of the residents of Oakland Park.

While the City provides detailed information about how the election process works, many residents don’t know how the elections are conducted. In this article we will present election related information in the simplest form possible so that you know how it all works. 

What are the requirements to run for a Commission seat? 

In order to qualify a candidate must have resided in the City of Oakland Park for at least six months. Furthermore, according to the City’s website: “Each candidate for nomination and election as a member of the city commission shall be a duly qualified elector of the city at the time of qualifying”.  

How many Commissioners are there and how long are their terms?

 The City Commission is made up of five members. Each Commissioner shall be chosen from and represent the City’s residents at large. Each commissioner serves a four year term. Commissioners’ terms are limited to two consecutive, four year terms. If a Commissioner has served two consecutive terms would like to run again they must wait for a two year period before running again.

If Mayor Sparks wins, he'll be re-elected as Mayor?

If Matthew Sparks, who is the current Mayor, is elected again, he’ll be a Commissioner. In Oakland Park we don’t specifically elect a Mayor. Instead, each year one of the Commissioners serves as Mayor.  In November Vice Mayor Jane Bolin will begin her year long Mayoral term. 

When does voting occur?

The City of Oakland Park holds their general election in November of even number years along with the County wide General Elections. This year the election will occur on November 3rd, 2020. 

On the ballot you will see the names of the seven candidates running for the three available City Commission seats. Since there are three available openings, you must choose three candidates. It is important you choose ALL THREE candidates or your vote can be invalidated.

Who are the candidates for Oakland Park City Commission this year?

  1. Steven R. Arnst
  2. Aisha Gordon
  3. Scott Herman
  4. Grecia Rivas-Smith
  5. Mitch Rosenwald
  6. Matthew Sparks
  7. Robert B. Thompson

Our current commissioners are Mayor Matthew Sparks, up for re-election; Vice Mayor Jane F. Bolin (elected on November 2018), Commissioner Tim Lonergan, Commissioner Sara Guevrekian, and Commissioner Michael E. Carn. Commissioners Tim Lonergan and Sara Guevrekian will conclude their second term in office this year and are ineligible to run in the next election. 

Let's Talk Oakland Park: Conversations with Candidates

In order to get to know the candidates running for Oakland Park City Commission, every Thursday at 7pm in Living in Oakland Park Facebook Group we are hosting a Conversations with Candidates series. These interviews have been put together in order for you to get to know who is running to represent you and what skills and experience they bring to the table. Candidates are asked serious questions and the interview concludes with a funny 20 question interview. 

To see the videos of our Conversations with Candidates and our weekly programming schedule go to Let’s Talk Oakland Park. Learn more about each candidate by going to Meet the Candidates 2020.

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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