Incumbent Carrabelle City Commissioner Brenda La Paz topped the field of five Tuesday, as she was returned to office, with political newcomer Audrey Olivia Massey winning a tight battle for the second seat.
La Paz, 58, gathered 214 votes, easily topping the field in the non-partisan election, while Massey, 41, edged out incumbent City Commissioner Cal Allen, 75, by two votes, 173 to 171, to take the second seat.
Nikki Mock Millender, 36, finished in fourth place, with 108 votes, while Franklin Daniels, 52, picked up 58 votes. A total of 375 registered Carrabelle voters cast ballots in the election.
Both La Paz and Massey are now set to each serve four-year terms. They will be sworn into office after the Thursday, Sept. 5 city commission meeting.
“I would like to thank the citizens of Carrabelle for their participation in the election process,” said La Paz. “I am very honored to have the support of the people for carrying on my public service.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the new commission board and looking forward to working with the city staff on projects that we currently have in the works,” she said.
La Paz said high on her agenda is working to make sure the city’s Community Redevelopment Area is brought into compliance with Florida statute, and can assist in downtown revitalization.
“I reach out for public input, I want public input. I would encourage the public to participate in the city commission meetings,” said La Paz. “I’m only one voice on that city commission but I’m ready to confront the issues and I will continue my effort to make informed decisions that affect the city’s future.”
Massey said she is eager to get to her top priority – helping to bolster what the city can offer the city’s youth.
“I’m happy that the people from Carrabelle come out and voted for me,” she said.. “I’m going to do my best and I’m going o listen to what the people got to say and try to get something in here for our youth. And try to keep utility bills down without raising rates,” she said.
“First thing I really want to work on is getting a grant and get something for our youth, and get some jobs in here, which is not only what the city of Carrabelle needs but what the whole county needs,” Massey said.
She thanked her opponents for their efforts during the campaign. “I like every one of them and think me and Miss Brenda La Paz will work well together,” she said. “I think anyone of them would have done a good job.
“Right now, I’m going to sit back and see what’s going on and go from there,” Massey said.