The dust is still settling from the runoff election and the obvious sign is that the current council and its new mayor lack a mandate. Job one needs to be bringing the community together, not pushing though any political personal agendas.
Palmetto Bay was less than enthusiastic in anointing a successor to first Mayor Eugene Flinn — taking the vote to a runoff and ultimately only 81 votes separated the final two candidates.
This is a huge indicator that the new mayor has her work cut out for her — to attempt to restore the sense of community built by the first village council of Mayor Flinn, Vice Mayor Robinson and council members Feller, Neidhart and Breder.
Winning close is not new for Mayor Stanczyk. She barely made the runoff in her first run for office with the incumbent, John Breder, falling seven votes shy of winning a three-person race outright, without a runoff. Stanczyk ultimately won the very low turnout runoff by a mere 50 votes.
This year’s race was hers to lose. Attempting to ride Mayor Flinn’s coattails, she should have taken a majority in the first round, but did not. Nearly 63 percent of the first round Nov. 2 voters indicated that they wanted someone other than Stanczyk to be mayor.
The race took a much more negative turn in the runoff and even after destroying her opponent’s character, she prevailed by a margin of a mere 81 votes. That means she would have lost this race if only 41 people would have switched their votes.
So what now? There clearly is no mandate, only a divided city. Newly elected Mayor Stanczyk is both a new mayor and lame duck mayor due to term limits. She has four years to accomplish her goals and has an uphill fight to do this with both a divided constituency and a divided council. Her real goal should be not to undo the accomplishments, the legacy, built by the first council.