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Boca Raton city council must decide on special election

Posted: 9:32 PM, Apr 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-01 00:09:07-04

Boca Raton city leaders are one step closer to deciding when they will have a special election to fill suspended Mayor Susan Haynie’s seat. 

The Boca Raton city attorney, Diana Friseer, explained Monday night that Haynie’s suspension creates a vacancy and advices the city move fast to get a special election in August. 

Frisere said the state statue says a suspension is treated as a permanent vacancy and cities will rely on their charter to deal with vacancies, and in Boca’s case, a special election is needed. 

“I am not aware of a circumstance or peculiar charter provision, in which, as a result of suspension there has been a whole different application of filing the vacancy,” said Frisere. 

Some council member brought up concerns, worried they city is not interpreting the statute and law correctly. 

“I just don’t want to mess this up,” said Councilwoman Andrea Levine O’Rourke. 

Others disagreed, “When you take the time to look at the special line, to treat the temporary vacancy as a permanent vacancy for filling it, it gives us clear direction to go into our charter and fill as it is a permanent vacancy,” said Councilman Jeremey Rodgers. 

The council has until May 30 to approve a resolution for an August special election. They will meet next Tuesday.