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New City Commissioners Take Seats. Appoint Mayor and Vice Mayor

Commissioners-elect Anthony Caggiano and Arlene Schwartz were sworn into office last week along with Mayor, Tommy Ruzzano, who ran unopposed in the November election. Ruzzano was appointed unanimously by the commission as Mayor for another year and Arlene Schwartz was appointed Vice Mayor through November 2017. _________ Ruzzano and Caggiano took an oath to office from wives Amanda and Assia respectively with Schwartz sworn in by City Clerk, Joe Kavanagh.

All had family in the audience and thanked friends, volunteers and voters for having faith in them to serve the City through 2020.

Elected to Seat 2, Schwartz pledged to “make Margate a family, friendly city” and to do everything in her “power to revitalize commerce and establish a climate for new and existing businesses,” she said, adding that she encourages residents to let her know how they “feel about things” and “that every person who gets up to speak [during Commission meetings] feels valued and their comments honored.”

“Because without you I wouldn’t be standing here,” Schwartz said. A retired adult education teacher for Broward Public Schools, Schwartz sat previously as Margate city commissioner for three terms in years 1991-94 and 1997-2004. She was the first woman in the 60-year history of Margate to be appointed Mayor of the City and took 33% of the vote against three contenders for Seat 2 in November. Also with three adversaries, November marked Caggiano’s second run at Margate office. “Well today you did it,” announced Assia while swearing her husband into office. Caggiano began his campaign early in 2015 and took 43% of the vote for Seat 1.

“Thank you so much for the over eight thousand people who voted for me,” he said. “I am stunned and humbled by this. I mean to make all of you proud. Thank you for the honor and thank you for supporting me.” (Click for election results)

Once seated, commissioners unanimously appointed Ruzzano as mayor for a second year - the maximum allowed by City Charter. “I love representing the city and I do the best that I can to listen to the majority of the people when making my decisions,” Ruzzano said. “We truly have a really good commission here. We’re going to move things forward, I promise you.”

Dignitaries in the audience at City Hall last Tuesday included Coral Springs Vice Mayor, Larry Vignola, and Coral Springs Commissioner, Dan Daley.

“On behalf of the city of Coral Springs we look forward to continuing to work with you and as the incoming Chair of the Broward League of Cities, I look forward to working with you in that respect as well,” Daley told Margate commissioners. Newly appointed Vice Chair of the Broward School Board, Nora Rupert, threw her support behind the city commission and the Margate students they represent. “I look forward to working with you all for the betterment of all our children here in District 7,” Rupert said. The first city commission meeting with newly elected officials is scheduled for December 7, 2016

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