The outcomes of the Nov. 4 election and Nov. 25 runoff vote are bringing changes to the Palmetto Bay Village Council in December.
Karyn Cunningham already had gained the Distrist 1 seat on the council on Nov. 4 by getting 5,246 votes to candidate David “Dave” Zisman’s 2,544 votes, but the mayor’s race and the Seat 3 contest went to a runoff election on Nov. 25. Former Mayor Eugene Flinn faced incumbent Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and first time candidates Henry Clifford and Larissa Siegel Lara sought the voters’ approval for Seat 3.
In the runoff election, out of a total of 16,478 registered voters there were 4,415 ballots cast (26.79 percent). Eugene Flinn received 2,883 votes (65.81 percent), while Shelley Stanczyk received 1,498 votes (34.19 percent). In District 3 Larissa Siegel Lara received 2,278 votes (52.82 percent) to Henry Clifford’s 2,035 votes(47.18 percent).
Interviewed the day after the election, mayor-elect Flinn spoke about the opportunity to return to village government. “I’m very excited,” Flinn said.
“I’m looking forward to picking up where we left off and moving forward on some of the basic things, like traffic mitigations and continuing to improve our parks and programming.
I promised a lot of kids we’d put some of that equipment back in the park. I’ll be working to build our community. We’re going to move very quickly on gathering the council, working hard to get everyone on the same page.”
Speaking about the downtown development project and other matters, he added, “We want to work with the residents and draw together the business community now that the elections are over. We’ve got the issues with the fire station. We’ve got to get the south location locked down, and unfortunately the north location just became subject to litigation.”
Cunningham, in a Thanksgiving Day message to her supporters, thanked everyone and expressed her plans.
“Over the upcoming months, I want to create more opportunities for residents to be engaged in sharing ideas and making recommendations to the council on everything from our growth and budget to our parks and community events,” Cunningham said.
“I will be adding some features to my website to keep you informed of opportunities and updated on events and information that will be important to you. I hope you will remain engaged and get involved even more.”
Lara, the newly elected Seat 3 councilmember, spoke about the results and her future efforts.
“I am humbled and grateful for the support and confidence that Palmetto Bay residents have placed in me,” Lara said.
“I’m very excited to serve. My focus will be on building community. I’m looking forward to representing all neighbors and working constructively with fellow council members.”