Published On: Sun, May 13th, 2018

Singer Sworn in as Mayor, Special Election Set for August

By: Michael Demyan

Deputy Mayor Scott Singer was officially sworn in as the interim mayor of Boca Raton on May 7 in response to Mayor Susan Haynie’s suspension, following the corruption charges that landed her in jail.

The Boca Raton City Council unanimously voted the next day to hold a special election on Aug. 28 to fill the position permanently. Singer will serve as mayor until that time, but he has also decided to run for the position. Jeremy Rodgers was also named the interim deputy mayor until the time of the election.

The mayoral term is set to end on March 31, 2020, no matter who ends up filling the seat after the election.

This situation also means that Singer’s seat on the city council will become vacant, since he has to give it up even if he loses his bid to permanently become the mayor. Singer plans to resign from his seat before the election, which would allow Seat A to also be on the ballot.

Currently, the Boca Raton City Council will be operating with four members, rather than the traditional five, until the special election. They do have the ability to appoint a fifth city council member, but they seem to agree that waiting until the election would be the best move.

“We just go right to an election and avoid the complication, the extra work for the city clerk’s office, the time and energy for taking applications for appointments for one, maybe two, times that someone would be sitting up here,” Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke said.

Rodgers immediately concurred, noting that the transition of a new member while they could simultaneously be running for the seat could pose a bit of an issue.

“Having that itself be a piece of the election and look like we’re interference and we’re picking someone, I’d rather the residents pick the person for August,” he said.

This does, however, mean that votes coming from city council during this time could end in ties due to the even number.   

While Singer and the Boca Raton City Council are anticipating the special election plan to move forward, it could actually all be undone if certain events happen in relation to Mayor Susan Haynie.

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Haynie from her position as mayor on April 27, three days after her arrest. If Gov. Scott decides to remove the suspension before the special election, Haynie will be allowed to take back her seat.

If the suspension is still in place and Boca Raton elects a new mayor in August, Haynie will also still be able to return to her position if she is cleared of the charges against her, which included four felonies and three misdemeanors.

About the Author

- Michael Demyan is the associate editor and reporter for The Boca Raton Tribune. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University where he received a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Twitter: @michaeldemyan

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