Oakland Park Commissioner, Matthew Sparks, Resigns

Current City Commissioner and former Mayor Matthew Sparks tendered the notice of his resignation from the City Commission on January 9, 2023. His resignation takes effect at 11:59 pm on January 18, 2023. His term of office was to end in November 2024. Commissioner Sparks is relocating to Arizona.

Matt Sparks Leaves Commission After 6 Full Years of City Work

Commissioner Sparks was first elected to the Commission in 2016 and reelected in 2020. He served as City Commissioner in 2016, 2017 and 2018, Vice Mayor in 2018 and 2019, and as Mayor in 2019 and 2020. He proactively helped guide the City Of Oakland Park through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Commission must now decide how to fill the vacant seat on the dais. They have two options for how to do this.

Filling The Vacant Commission Seat

The City Commission can fill the vacant seat:

  1. By appointment; or
  2. By voting yes on a proposed resolution, at the next Commission meeting, to hold a Special Election.

If the Commission votes “Yes” to approve the Resolution and hold a Special Election, the election would be held on March 14, 2023. The estimated cost to the City would be $74,415.00. Funding for it would be drawn from the City’s Contingency Fund.

Alternatively, the City Commission could choose to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. The new appointee would serve the remainder of Commissioner Sparks’ current term, thus negating the need for a Special Election.

Previous Handling of Commission Vacancy

Appointment by the Commission was done previously in 2015 when former Commissioner Sheri McCarthy resigned from the Commission during her second term. The sitting Commission at that time appointed Michael Carn to complete McCarthy’s term.

Share Your Thoughts with the Commission

The Commission will vote on this issue at this Wednesday’s City Commission meeting, January 18, 2023 at 6:30 pm in Commission Chambers at Oakland Park City Hall.

This meeting is open to the public, which includes a Public Comments section for residents to directly address the Commission for up to four minutes. Residents can also submit comments by email, up to 250 words, to [email protected] by 5:00pm this Wednesday.

Call the City Clerk’s Office at 954-630-4300 for more information.

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

About the Author

Jeff Barnes

Jeff Barnes

Jeff Barnes has lived in Oakland Park since 2001. Originally from Denver Colorado, Jeff moved here for the sunshine and he never looked back. He is a past board member of The Corals Of Oakland Park Neighborhood Association where he served as Vice President 2017-2020 and President from 2020 to 2021.

Jeff has lived on both the West and East sides of Oakland Park and is very well versed in Oakland Park history. A very active citizen, you will often see him at all the local Oakland Park events and meetings.

Jeff has worked in the Commercial Real Estate Management field for 20 years in downtown Fort Lauderdale. His hobbies include, classic movies, travel, writing and pretty much anything outdoors, weather permitting.

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