Commissioner Matthew Sparks Resigns
Earlier this year on January 9, 2023, Commissioner Matthew Sparks tendered his letter of resignation from the City Commission. The resignation became effective January 18, 2023, at 23:59 and created a vacancy on the City Commission.
On January 18, 2023, the City decided by a 3-2 vote, to move forward with an appointment process to fill the vacancy in instead of filling it by special election.
On February 1, 2023, the City Commission provided direction for the process to accept Commission appointment applications. Applicants could apply with the City Clerk’s office from noon on February 6, 2023, to noon on February 15, 2023. The Clerk’s office received 13 applications.
Five Finalists Selected
A Special City Commission meeting was held Wednesday, February 22, 2023. The meeting was held to specifically select five applicants for consideration for appointment at the March 1st meeting.
After introducing themselves and elaborating the reasons why they should be selected, applicants were asked questions by the Commissioners. At the end of the meeting the five finalists selected were:
- Christina Landers
- Christopher Fischer
- Jennifer Garcia-Kovacs
- John Michael Perez
- Letitia Newbold
Letitia Newbold had run previously for the Commission in November of 2022. She came in 3rd, trailing behind Steve Arnst by just 40 votes.
Letitia Newbold Appointed Commissioner
During tonight’s commission meeting all five finalists were allowed to speak for two minutes. Commissioner Lonergan asked the City Attorney and his fellow Commissioners if he could ask two yes and no questions. He was allowed to do so.
He asked each finalist if they would be willing to meet with developers, prospective business owners, and others that might have plans to discuss the same even if they were personally not supportive of the development. All five applicants said yes.
The second question was if they thought there should have been a special election. All five answered that they felt there should have been a special election.
The Commission was asked to vote on the appointee and Newbold was confirmed by 3-1 vote. Mayor Gordon, Vice Mayor Rosenwald, Commissioner Lonergan voted in favor of Newbold while Commissioner Arnst voted against Newbold’s appointment.
Newbold will be sworn in at the next Commission meeting.