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Letitia Newbold Appointed Commissioner

Commissioner Matthew Sparks Resigns

Commissioner Matthew Sparks

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:

  1. Christina Landers
  2. Christopher Fischer
  3. Jennifer Garcia-Kovacs
  4. John Michael Perez
  5. 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.

I would like to thank all of the citizens of Oakland Park who voted for me in the election. In addition, I offer my sincere appreciation to the city commission who appointed me to serve alongside them in helping to move our great community forward. Like my name, my campaign was about a (NEW BOLD) commitment to be a voice for the people of Oakland Park. Working with this commission and our tremendous city staff, I am confident that together we can meet the needs of our vibrant city. I would like to expand and initiate new business opportunities, address the challenges that our growing city faces, and improve those qualities that make Oakland Park a dynamic city to live, work and play in. I am prepared to hit the ground running and I am “At your service.”

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* 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.

Check out her real estate websites:
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