Three of the five candidates running to be the next mayor of Plantation debated at a Tuesday evening meeting for the city’s Democratic Club.
Peter Tingom, Lynn Stoner and Aron Davis were invited to speak to the small crowd that gathered inside Deike Auditorium, as rain poured down outside.
They fielded questions on issues like housing, recycling, and development.
And though the other two candidates running for the job, Jennifer Izaguirre and Bart Berger, had the option to attend the club’s meeting - they were not invited to join in the debate because they aren’t registered with the Democratic party.
Izaguirre is a self-proclaimed environmentalist, and Berger is registered non-partisan.
The winner of the November election will replace the current mayor, Diane Veltri Bendekovic, who announced her retirement after being in office since 2011.
In March of this year, she announced her retirement, after a tenure that included a famous 2015 clash with a resident over Christmas lights. Veltri Bendekovic also proposed creating a new tax this year, to replenish the city’s reserve fund after Hurricane Irma debris cleanup. Her father, Frank Veltri, was also mayor of the city of Plantation for 24 years.
Maude King-Bruce has lived in Plantation for more than 30 years. She’s a board member with the Democratic Club, and helped picked some questions for the debate.
“I would like to see us focus on senior citizen housing,” she said.
The three candidates did agree something needs to be done about affordable and senior housing in the city, but did not propose any immediate plans. Davis says that he thinks any senior housing communities that could come into the city should be walkable communities.
Kathryn Reeve is another longtime Plantation resident. She’s concerned about what she considers to be too much development that’s leading to congestion.
“Obviously I understand that the city may need revenue, but you have to have a balance,” Reeve said.
Both Stoner and Tingom are current city council members, while Davis is a political newcomer.
A sixth candidate, city councilman Jerry Fadgen, had announced he would run for mayor for a third time, but died suddenly and unexpectedly in a landscaping accident in late May. He was 72.
In addition to electing a new mayor, residents will have to choose two new members to join the city council in the election on Nov. 6.