Call off the election, because we already have a winner. The new mayor of Sunrise is (or will be) Roger Wishner.
We were all expecting a political war for the most powerful post in Sunrise between Wishner, who is now deputy mayor, and Commissioner Joey Scuotto. Both had created campaign accounts to run in March 2009 for the seat vacated by Steve Feren, who has resigned his mayoral post to become a judge.
But a rather obscure rule in the city's charter has made that race moot. The charter dictates that the deputy mayor, in this case Wishner, take over the mayor's spot and hold the position for 120 days before running in a citywide election. It's apparently designed to prevent costs of special elections.
Since Wishner will officially be taking over the mayor's spot on January 5, he'll hold the spot until 2010 and the commission will appoint someone to hold his vacated seat. City Attorney Stuart Michelson has issued an opinion confirming Wishner as mayor until 2010.
"I feel fantastic," Wishner told me this morning. "I left this city in 2000 and what the majority since then has created personal benefit packages for themselves, you had a city manager who could care less about hte commission and employees, we got rid of the police chief and turned the department around. We've done tremendous things. Through the leadership of Commissioner [Sheila] Alu we've brought the Internet into the city and made things more transparent."
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But it looks like the battle between the Wishner-Alu-Don Rosen majority and Scuotto is only beginning. Sources say Scuotto is going to run for Commissioner Rosen's seat in the election next March and that an ally of his, James DePelisi, is now vying for the seat Scuotto is vacating. I left a message for Scuotto and will report more as I get it.